May 31st, 2007

A Conscription Opportunity


photo credit: candacesthomas

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny. (Alexander Solzhenitsyn, via Quoty)

In the age of American imperialism, politicians wonder how to remedy the problem created by being spread so thin. It is during such times of militaristic interventionism that some in Congress talk up the idea of reinstating mandatory conscription (i.e. the draft) to fill the ranks of our “volunteer-driven” armed forces.

Most recently we have seen a bill from Rep. Charles Rangel, introduced in January, which aims:

To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services

My, how our government has fallen from being a liberty-protecting Republic if such legislation is even to be considered as acceptable. The JBS had this to say:

Rep. Rangel’s bill would go against the very principles that our country was founded upon. One would not be able to live as he or she chooses if a state-mandated servitude is enacted. One would not have the freedom to travel freely about if at any time they were called up for national service. While Rep. Rangel and other national service advocates would likely argue that such a law would only enhance patriotism by graciously allowing every citizen to defend this great country, the truth is, there would be little sense of self-sacrifice when a task is done purely out of obligation.

Nazi-Germany used similar tactics when the Hitler Youth was formed. In a 1933 speech Hitler said, “the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.” He continued saying that pflichterfulling, or the fulfillment of duty, was a great German attribute which means “not to be self-sufficient, but to serve the community.”

But the love of the State and use of force against free citizens is not merely a characteristic of random representatives. No, in fact, we have presidential hopefuls tossing in their two cents as well. John Edwards apparently thinks we need a draft:

We have people from all walks of life in America who are serving, including Reservists and National Guard. What we want to do is to have all Americans to have a chance to serve their country.

“Have a chance”? Oh, thank you, your majesty. We, the property of the State, ever so humbly express our gratitude for this wonderful opportunity. What garbage! What bondage! What opposition to liberty! I echo the sentiments of William Grigg:

I am constantly amazed by the unctuous dishonesty with which collectivists describe servitude as an “opportunity.” The words “mandatory” and “opportunity” are blood enemies.

Such is always the case when the State and those running it, out of their boundless generosity and magnanimity, extend to the rest of us an “opportunity” to surrender our time, property, and lives in the State’s service. Our "privilege" in this transaction is to submit with docility — nay, with happy gratitude to whatever imposition our rulers see fit to inflict on us, including the surrender of our lives in their service.

This is emphatically not the same thing as serving our country. Every individual who provides any useful service, whether as a volunteer, an employee, or a businessman, is serving our country. Collectivists believe that coercion is the magic ingredient that makes State-imposed "service" morally superior to private industriousness.

My patriarchal blessing says that throughout my life I will have many opportunities for service in the Church. Opportunity, in this case, describes a potential situation in which I may consent to render such service. That is a far cry from a conscription-created mandatory opportunity (read: obligation, under threat of imprisonment and/or fine) in which the person is required to do whatever the State demands.

Conscription is not an opportunity. Fighting in foreign entanglements, extending the empire, and shedding more blood is not my idea of an opportunity.

To fight a defensive war, a draft is never necessary. Conscription only becomes "necessary" when policy-makers are pursuing evil objectives. (William Grigg, via Quoty)

5 Responses to “A Conscription Opportunity”

  1. Scott Kohlhaas
    May 31, 2007 at 12:51 pm #

    Hello.
    Would you be willing to spread the word about http://www.draftresistance.org? It’s a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts.

    Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help!

    Thanks!

    Scott Kohlhaas

    PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

  2. June 1, 2007 at 6:57 am #

    Connor,
    I agree with you 100% on this issue. However, a part of me wonders if a conscription bill isn’t just what it would take to wake this country up in rebellion against the secret combinations that control it.

    We (generically speaking) always sit back and allow our nation to massacre and kill in our names without being bothered to look up from the sports page or the soap opera. It’s more important to us to find out what Paris Hilton is up to, or to cheer for the next American Idol than to be bothered with our country’s murders.

    For the majority of us, the war is not close and personal like it was for Cindy Sheehan and others, so we just sit back and let it happen and are thus complicit to some extent. If it hit home for us by taking away our sons and daughters, maybe then we would finally have the fire lit under us necessary to do the job of getting rid of our wicked leaders.

  3. Silus Grok
    June 4, 2007 at 10:52 pm #

    If conscription — without qualifiers — is deemed “force” or “coercion”, then I’m afraid any law would fall under such a broad stroke.

    Don’t get me wrong… conscription could be a filthy bit of coercion, if, for example, our president got us into a war and then couldn’t convince anyone to join-up by appealing to their better selves… and instead, relied on conscription.

    But to me, a well-crafted and appropriately-timed conscription act could be quite a blessing to our nation…

    Imagine:

    Suddenly the overwhelming majority of our nation’s households — not just our nation’s poorest, or those with a family history of military service — would have a vested interest in the direction of our foreign policy.

    Suddenly our nation would be fully-armed — with nearly every citizen properly trained in the safe use and storage of weapons… and no longer would the Second Amendment be a marketing ploy by gun industry nut jobs… but a real and abiding check to the power of the state.

    And suddenly our armed forces would be fully-staffed… appropriately managed, such a program could woo some of our nation’s best and brightest to serve in long term capacities.

    How do I see this happening?

    It starts with timing: no conscription bill should even be presented until we’re out of Iraq — and with Iran off the table.

    Next comes some leg-work: we would need to expand our training facilities considerably… imagine some 20 million young people going through an 8 – 12 week bootcamp over the course of five years. Other changes would also have to be made.

    As for the basic layout, I see this: for this to work, and to be the motivator I hope it will be, the net must bring in as many of each generation as possible… exempting only the mentally un-sound, the mentally handicapped, and the most disabled of our physically disabled. There’s no reason a boy in a wheelchair can’t learn to shoot a gun or take an order. Both men and women would serve and service would be regardless of sexual orientation.

    After a proper and thorough bootcamp experience, each conscript would be issued a rifle, some ammo, and a gun safe — which would be theirs for the rest of their lives. At this point, and according to some combination of need and choice, conscripts would serve-out the remaining period of their service (15 months?) in either a US military or para-military unit, a State-run National Guard unit, a unit under NATO command, a unit under UN command (yeah yeah, calm down), or any of a number of alternative-service corps.

    Care would have to be taken in designing these alternatives… but I think it could be done effectively… Army Corps of engineers, peace corps, urban volunteer corps. The trick would be creating corps that served national interest without undermining professional services in the same area.

    The real question, though, would be how do we draw upon these corps in time of national crisis? Well, that’s the hard question… and one that people smarter and more involved than I should answer.

    So there you go… more fleshing-out is needed, but I think it’s clear enough.

    Thoughts?

  4. Silus Grok
    June 4, 2007 at 10:54 pm #

    Oh… another point…

    I think that anyone serving in a military unit should be granted citizenship (this would be available only to children who fall within the bounds of conscription service.

    Are you willing to bleed for our country? Welcome, brother!

  5. June 5, 2007 at 1:08 pm #

    Yikes, that last post really made me cringe. I understand your goals for this whole scenario to be:

    1. More citizens having a vested interest in the direction of our foreign policy.
    2. An armed and trained citizenry
    3. Fully staffed armed forces

    These goals are good, but come on. You talk about conscription being a motivator? I believe it would do just the opposite. I think it would invite more resentment and rebellion (especially under the foreign policy we’ve had for the last few decades). How many times have you been more motivated by being forced to do something as opposed to choosing for yourself? I agree with the above quote:

    “…there would be little sense of self-sacrifice when a task is done purely out of obligation”

    I think the best way to acheive your goals would be to start by electing government officials who actually follow the constitution and make wise and moral decisions for our country. I think if people started to trust their leaders once again and agreed with their policies and actions, more of them would naturally be willing to sacrifice their service for what America stands for.

    If someone like Ron Paul was president, the military might be a more desirable place to be because people wouldn’t feel so much like “pawns” in a senseless and endless war. They would know their service was being used responsibly and constitutionally for a very good reason. Let’s face it. If you’re going to put your life on the line and give your best, it helps immensely to know that the cause you’re fighting for is just. If you don’t have that…well, good luck trying to get anyone to defend it — even if they are forced to be there.

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