Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Forum - Perennial Ideas and Debates that cross societal/time boundaries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old November 11th, 2012, 05:55 AM   #51
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: May 2010
From: Rhondda
Posts: 2,964

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnoozi View Post
I have a theory that an army of conscripts is better than an army of volunteers. I think a lot of people often join the military as a last resort, people with issues that prevent them from getting a "normal" job. And unfortunately this means we end up with a lot of knuckleheads in our armed forces. Not sure if it's true, just an idea I've had. So I don't mind conscription, especially during a time of war. I'd rather go to war with conscripts than volunteers.
Some people say that the 'flu after the First War killed off the best and brightest. In my view conscription should be credited with its fair share of that capitalist work, and with the state of so many of those who survived that merry episode too. Let's stick to poppies!
Iolo is offline  
Remove Ads
Old November 11th, 2012, 06:00 AM   #52
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 100

Quote:
Originally Posted by philosopher View Post
Even though I was disqualified for the conscription 8 years ago, I still see it as a complete and utter disgrace made by human beings.

Conscription is slavery, maybe not in its literal sense, but it is forced labor to such a degree that it should be placed in the same cathegory as slavery:

First and foremost, conscription demands a certain amount of labor done for the the government for a certain amount of time. If you refuse, you get punished. It has NOTHING in comparison to taxation, as many people say "we pay taxes too" - taxation is money, if you don't earn money, you don't pay taxes! Thats one thing, the other thing about taxation is that you don't have to do certain specific labor for the government or other people to pay your taxes. There are lots of ways of getting money, and as long as you don't get money in the illegal way (theft, fraud etc.) it is very easy for you to pay the tax duties.

Conscription on the other hand demands a certain amount of labor (military service or civil service in some countries if you refuse military service).

It makes no difference that there is a compulsory civil service for those who are deemed fit but refuse (conscientious objectors) as it is still forced labor.

I have never in my entire life, since my early childhood, understood the ethical concept of saying no to taxation but yes to compulsory, forced military or civil service.

I have come across the argument that without compulsory military service, the poor will pay the price by having to serve in the military. I say: No, you don't make a wrong a good thing by extending the wrong to include even more people!

In the western world, most people agree that compulsory military service is a part of "your duties to the country". That it is for the sake of the society.

Well, limiting child births the same way they do in China is for the sake of society too, but that's a "disgraceful intervention in human liberty" - but why on earth isn't compulsory military or civil service not a Disgraceful Intervention in Human Liberty too?!?!?

To me I'd rather have the state to impose the death penalty for a variety of crimes, even though I am against the death penalty, than for ONE moment allow the existence of forced labor.
I don't know your position, but I consider you to be a friend, and find conscription without agreement to be abhorrent. Power to your elbow my friend.
Piers Staker is offline  
Old November 11th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #53

Cavanboy's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,714

http:// http://www.historum.com/phil...y-service.html
Cavanboy is offline  
Old November 11th, 2012, 10:50 AM   #54
Archivist
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 134

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnoozi View Post
I have a theory that an army of conscripts is better than an army of volunteers. I think a lot of people often join the military as a last resort, people with issues that prevent them from getting a "normal" job. And unfortunately this means we end up with a lot of knuckleheads in our armed forces. Not sure if it's true, just an idea I've had. So I don't mind conscription, especially during a time of war. I'd rather go to war with conscripts than volunteers.
WWII showed the entire world what an army of conscripts can do. America's great wars have always been fought by nonprofessional armies of citizen-soldiers. The Civil War (although most of these were volunteers), WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam. In WWII, we really kicked butt, in two theaters of war at once, against two determined and well-organized enemies.

The opinion that equates conscription to slavery seems to lose sight of some of these examples, particularly WWII. The behavior of our troops in this epic struggle is not what we would expect from slaves. Slaves are lazy and can be expected to do the bare minimum - the GI's of WWII put forward a maximum effort, and yet most of them had been drafted. If they are slaves, why don't they act more like slaves?

What I find disgraceful is when we disparage the honorable service of our brave soldiers, just because they submitted to conscription. Why spit on their efforts and sacrifices by calling them slaves? They could have pretended to be homosexual or crazy, they could have faked an illness or injury; there are always many ways to get out of combat. Even if forced into combat, no one can keep you from cowering in your hole when the fighting starts - Why stick your head out to fire a shot? Why leave your hole to pull your wounded comrade to safety? In order to win a war, you need soldiers who are willing rush toward the sound of gunfire, not run away. Slaves will always run away. American conscripts do not.
Student is offline  
Old November 11th, 2012, 01:01 PM   #55
Historian
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,459

Quote:
Originally Posted by Student View Post
WWII showed the entire world what an army of conscripts can do. America's great wars have always been fought by nonprofessional armies of citizen-soldiers. The Civil War (although most of these were volunteers), WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam. In WWII, we really kicked butt, in two theaters of war at once, against two determined and well-organized enemies.

The opinion that equates conscription to slavery seems to lose sight of some of these examples, particularly WWII. The behavior of our troops in this epic struggle is not what we would expect from slaves. Slaves are lazy and can be expected to do the bare minimum - the GI's of WWII put forward a maximum effort, and yet most of them had been drafted. If they are slaves, why don't they act more like slaves?

What I find disgraceful is when we disparage the honorable service of our brave soldiers, just because they submitted to conscription. Why spit on their efforts and sacrifices by calling them slaves? They could have pretended to be homosexual or crazy, they could have faked an illness or injury; there are always many ways to get out of combat. Even if forced into combat, no one can keep you from cowering in your hole when the fighting starts - Why stick your head out to fire a shot? Why leave your hole to pull your wounded comrade to safety? In order to win a war, you need soldiers who are willing rush toward the sound of gunfire, not run away. Slaves will always run away. American conscripts do not.
The slave-conscript dichotomy is rather flawed.

Otoh the idealisation of conscript armies should be avoided. The German Wehrmacht was a conscript army as well, and certainly did not behave in a very "slavish" fashion, despite fighting for what's not too hard to argue was the worst totalitarian regime and ideology in world history.
Larrey is offline  
Old November 11th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #56
Historian
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,459

My experience of a conscription army is actually that you conscript so as to possibly NOT have to fight. In those terms it is something that requires considerable solidarity from those conscripted for it to work. Especially if the expectation is that if you have to fight after all, defeat is as good as certain. But that still doesn't detract from the equation that you need to prepare for just that eventuality, as it still is your best shot at never having to actually face it.

My experience is of course the Swedish so-called "total defense" of the late Cold War. The objective was to present a "Swedish hedgehog" sufficiently prickly that should NATO and the Warsaw Pact actually square-off, the Swedish military preparedness would ideally be sufficient to make the Soviets (we were sort of "neutral on the NATO side" after all) reach the conclusion that any potential advantages of including Sweden in the general melt-down would be offset by the estimated costs of taking the war to Sweden.

Of course, if able to take on Sweden at their leisure, and expense was no objection, there was literally nothing that realistically could prevent a Soviet military take-over. IF the Soviets decided to move on Sweden, it would probably be toast sooner or later. IF called to fight, the Swedish armed forces must expect to lose. What might still matter would be how it lost though.

The thing is, if prepared enough, and determined enough, BEFORE the bombs started falling, odds were that it might be possible to discourage any Soviet attempt. While otoh had Sweden been presenting the image of soft target, what would stop anyone from shouldering in, at least as part of a larger more generalised conflict?

As it turns out, judging by the documentation that has i latter years surfaced from Russian archives re Cold War military planning, it does in fact seem that "Swedish hedgehog" worked. In case of Warsaw Pact - NATO conflict, Sweden was slated to appear low on the Soviet agenda. There would be special forces operations, targeted killings of key political and military personnel, and rather extensive and disruptive bombings, but any actual invasion attempt was slated to come at some unspecified later point, when the Soviets had eventually dealt with the NATO, if they could. (Sweden was still "neutral on the NATO side", and the Soviets certainly were aware.)

The Swedish realisation regarding a possible Soviet invasion was that it would be settled in the air and on the sea. Not even the Soviets would be able to mount a fully airborne invasion of Sweden. Since we were going to remove the population up by the arctic and seed from the air the entire north with mines, any Soviet attempt to go down through the country from the north would be painfully slow for them (or if not slow, at least very painful). Consequently a Soviet invasion would involve a beach landing. Consequently the deciding event would be whether the Swedish airforce naval strike, and in particular the submarine arm of the navy, would be able to hit a Soviet task-force in transit, or not? If they (either or both) could manage it, the Soviet invasion attempt might be scuppered. But if this failed and the Soviets did land, that conscript army would at best be fighting to buy time before the inevitable defeat.

But the possibility of even coming up with a scenario that could dicourage the Soviets, should they decide they needed to for some reason, did hinge on the Swedish armed forces having both quality and quantity sufficient for a credible deterent, and every little bit might help. The conscript army was still needed in those terms.
Larrey is offline  
Old November 11th, 2012, 01:36 PM   #57

Belgarion's Avatar
Cynical Optimist
 
Joined: Jul 2011
From: Australia
Posts: 3,172

I think we can look at conscription from two different perspectives. When there is an obvious and immdiate threat to the nation, like during WWII, or in Israel today, it is readily understood and accepted by the people. However conscription as a general impostion during peacetime with no immediate threat is something else again.
Belgarion is offline  
Old November 11th, 2012, 01:46 PM   #58

gregorian's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,077

Conscription has a hard communist philosophy to it.
Requiring the population to devote their lives to The Greater Good.

Demanding that you work in the army, as opposed to demanding that you work on the collective farm is really a matter of occupation.
If it is considered a universally acceptable thing to do, then I would suggest that I would rather give .... 3 years of my youth perhaps? ... to something that isn't so violent. I'll join Emergency Services, or help construct school buildings. Anything positive for the Greater Good. But learning how to kill people is not something I can give back to the nation with much enthusiasm. As I always say, in my first battle I'll the the stupid tall guy who forgets to duck. I'll be no good to nobody.
gregorian is offline  
Old November 12th, 2012, 01:26 AM   #59
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Dec 2010
From: Denmark
Posts: 1,582

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapio, the king of forest View Post
Why is it morally wrong to compel people to perform military service? In my opinion the state has the right to do that.
Just because the state has the right to do that, just because the law says so, doesn't mean it is morally right.

Would it be morally right to kill all red-haired people if the law says so?
Would it be morally right to kill all jews, or muslims or christians or the disabled just because the law says so?

No, that's why the "law says so"-argument is the most RIDICULOUS statement EVER!

Quote:

Motivation is a problem yes, but my country has overcome this problem. Against to what you are saying, Finland doesn't take everyone in the army. Unmotivated people choose civil service, make up medical excuses or threaten to shoot everyone on their first day in (and thus get sent home right away).
It is simply beyond human dignity to force people who refuse to be slaves of the state to have to have medical excuses or threaten to shoot everyone.

Quote:
This way service can be motivational, rewarding and professional. Todays military is not so complex that 6 or 12 months of training would not be enough. It's also a question about money. Smaller countries can in no way afford to pay soldiers to sit in the barracks just for that they could be called professional.
Then abolish the military for the smaller countries.

It wasn't the military of Denmark which fought fiercely against the nazis.
It was the volunteer rebels forces who established "illegal papers" and the like and made sabotage. The military of Denmark was defeated by the nazis, it made NO difference at all to have the conscription.
philosopher is offline  
Old November 12th, 2012, 04:52 AM   #60
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: May 2010
From: Rhondda
Posts: 2,964

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorian View Post
Conscription has a hard communist philosophy to it.
Requiring the population to devote their lives to The Greater Good.

Demanding that you work in the army, as opposed to demanding that you work on the collective farm is really a matter of occupation.
If it is considered a universally acceptable thing to do, then I would suggest that I would rather give .... 3 years of my youth perhaps? ... to something that isn't so violent. I'll join Emergency Services, or help construct school buildings. Anything positive for the Greater Good. But learning how to kill people is not something I can give back to the nation with much enthusiasm. As I always say, in my first battle I'll the the stupid tall guy who forgets to duck. I'll be no good to nobody.
Conscription is pure capitalism: you lie to people through your Noise Machine and use the law to make them do what the rich require - fight people they know nothing about and with whom they have no quarrel whatever.
Iolo is offline  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology

Tags
conscription, disgrace, human


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Value of Human Life and Human Rights throughout History? EpicHistory360 General History 12 March 7th, 2014 06:34 PM
The true story of Conscription philosopher Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 13 October 9th, 2012 12:08 AM
Human 2.0 ghostexorcist Speculative History 15 April 27th, 2012 06:05 AM
Ottoman conscription policy and Arab world in 19-20 centuries. Lors Middle Eastern and African History 4 July 28th, 2011 12:07 AM
A Human is completely human only when s/he plays coberst Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 9 October 29th, 2008 11:09 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.