The Politics of Conscription...

SckizoBoy

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So, I was reading over a dead thread about conscription... and a recurring comment was one that was 'conscription = advocated primarily by fascists'...

But is it really? Fascists discriminate and are xenophobic at their core (or at least that's my interpretation, feel free to correct), so you'd think that a fascist army would be composed entirely of people who have the same hair colour/eye colour/tendency to salute their national leader in a particular way, and so I thought that conscription was a Communist thing...

Discuss...
 

Thaluikhain

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SckizoBoy said:
But is it really? Fascists discriminate and are xenophobic at their core (or at least that's my interpretation, feel free to correct), so you'd think that a fascist army would be composed entirely of people who have the same hair colour/eye colour/tendency to salute their national leader in a particular way, and so I thought that conscription was a Communist thing...
Why would that stop them from being fascist?

Anyway, a conscript army is never going to be as good as a purely volunteer force, excepting in terms of numbers. Nations that institute conscription for everyone for a short time also have to muck around with training people for a short return, instead of retaining them for longer periods, which makes the most of the investment and allows them to gain more experience.
 

Vivi22

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Hardcore_gamer said:
I don't think conscription should be allowed during peace time or when your nation isn't directly under threat, but if it comes under attack and needs to be defended then nothing can be left to chance and the government should be allowed to raise armies to defend the nation. Under such circumstances saying something along the lines of "people should be allowed to choose" is just a fancy way of saying that you want someone else to fight for you so you don't have to risk your life yourself.
No, saying people should be allowed to choose is allowing people to exercise the rights they're supposed to have and which the military is supposed to be defending.

More over, what if the people you're conscripting don't agree with the war you want them to fight. Well, now they get to be criminals and flee the country. Or go and potentially die for something they're against to begin with. If a country actually is under attack, and the war itself is justified, you'll probably see a surge in volunteers anyway who are willing to protect their homes and families.

Conscription itself isn't going to be effective. It's hard enough to get the soldiers who volunteered to do their jobs properly in combat and actually kill another human being. Moreover, conscription is immoral simply because you are forcing another human being to do something, something which is potentially very dangerous, without their consent. Essentially taking away their rights to choose what they do with their life. And I can't agree with that when the people in question have committed no crime.

But let's be realistic here. We don't live in an age where any nation who might invade a western country actually could and not be destroyed by the far more advanced Allied forces. No one has the logistical capabilities to pull it off. And anyone who wanted to take down western nations would be stupid to brute force it anyway when terrorism has proven to be so cheap and effective.
 

BiscuitTrouser

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SckizoBoy said:
So, I was reading over a dead thread about conscription... and a recurring comment was one that was 'conscription = advocated primarily by fascists'...

But is it really? Fascists discriminate and are xenophobic at their core (or at least that's my interpretation, feel free to correct), so you'd think that a fascist army would be composed entirely of people who have the same hair colour/eye colour/tendency to salute their national leader in a particular way, and so I thought that conscription was a Communist thing...

Discuss...
Obviously every political idea is either faschist or communist. Or socialist. Spend 5 mins in an American political debate.

Faschist doesnt mean everyone has blonde hair and blue eyes, thats hiter, the most faschist faschist to ever live. Faschism isnt some evil super villain that does stupid uncessessary shit like pretty much half its army just for hair colour. Thats beyond idiotic. Nor is communism. Conscription is just an idea that to keep armed forces up to standard and to keep the country feeling united everyone serves a few years in the army, even if its not in active combat as everyone will instantly assume. Finland does it.
 

Thaluikhain

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Vivi22 said:
But let's be realistic here. We don't live in an age where any nation who might invade a western country actually could and not be destroyed by the far more advanced Allied forces. No one has the logistical capabilities to pull it off. And anyone who wanted to take down western nations would be stupid to brute force it anyway when terrorism has proven to be so cheap and effective.
This is a point which bears repeating. Though, I don't agree that terrorism is all that effective in destroying a nation...it can make a mess, and provoke reprisals, but that seems to be it.
 

hawkeye52

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I believe the Germans still employ conscription to an extent by giving the German citizenry the choice of either joining the army or some social/medical scheme. I would emplore the use of the latter conscription but in lots of public offices not just the medical and elderly care although it would have to have some limits like if you are going to a uni to take a course with a definitive career at the end of it like business or law.
 

IndianaJonny

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Vivi22 said:
But let's be realistic here. We don't live in an age where any nation who might invade a western country actually could and not be destroyed by the far more advanced Allied forces. No one has the logistical capabilities to pull it off. And anyone who wanted to take down western nations would be stupid to brute force it anyway when terrorism has proven to be so cheap and effective.
But it isn't simply the West's problem; conscription is often a key tool of political and martial security for the purpose of sovereign independence for those moderate nations outside the West's mantle of protection and with less-than-friendly neighbours; Taiwan has had conscription since '49 (though this is due to change in the next decade) and Israel since '48. Conscription is perceived as no bad thing if keeps the wolves from the door.

thaluikhain said:
Anyway, a conscript army is never going to be as good as a purely volunteer force, excepting in terms of numbers. Nations that institute conscription for everyone for a short time also have to muck around with training people for a short return, instead of retaining them for longer periods, which makes the most of the investment and allows them to gain more experience.
Too simplistic an argument, we're not talking about medieval levies or the USSR's Red Army these days; the Danes and the Israelis are hardly novices and the People's Liberation Army of China hardly strikes me as an ill-equiped or poorly-motivated force.
 

Thaluikhain

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IndianaJonny said:
Too simplistic an argument, we're not talking about medieval levies or the USSR's Red Army these days; the Danes and the Israelis are hardly novices and the People's Liberation Army of China hardly strikes me as an ill-equiped or poorly-motivated force.
There are people that'd argue about Israel's forces, but nevermind. And equipment has nothing to do with do with conscription.

Yes, it's a simplistic argument, but someone who is in the military because they want to be is naturally going to be more motivated than someone who is in there because they were forced to be.
 
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...........This again?

Ok, look. I am a pacifist. I know what pain feels like, and I don't want to inflict it on anyone else unless absolutely necessary. I don't think I could pull the trigger on anyone. I would rather go to jail than get sent to another country to shoot them up for a cause I probably don't give two shits about.

Now, if the enemy is on OUR soil, and they're going to slaughter every man, woman and child, then yes, I would fight, because at that point It's not like I'd have a choice. But otherwise, hell no, I hope to never point a gun at a human being EVER.

That being said, I would GLADLY help out on the homefront somehow. Or do some kind of support work. But I would NEVER want to carry a gun.

Besides, Canada is a nation of peacekeepers. We don't go picking fights, and most nations like us. And no amount of Stephen Harper's stupidity is going to change that.

EDIT: Oh, BTW. I am also a total wuss who would probably not even be fit to enter the damn army. I would flunk the hell out of basic training. Or I would suffer a breakdown. I would be nothing but a liability anyway, so they might as well not even bother training me anyway.
-
On a related note, there was this radio talk show that I heard when I was 16-17. There was this woman on it who made my blood boil. She was saying that "all our boys are violent anyway due to 'dem video gaems' so we might as well just make them shoot at something worthwhile!" And when asked about pacifists, she said "Well, they should just go watch those matrix movies and learn to dodge bullets, then!". ...To this day, I regret not having called in and given her a piece of my mind. She REALLY pissed me the hell off.

--
On a barely related note....As a kid, I wanted to be a cop, I wanted to be there to help and protect people. .....But you know what stopped me? You know what made me decide not to? I didn't want to be in a situation where I might need to shoot someone.

Vivi22 said:
No, saying people should be allowed to choose is allowing people to exercise the rights they're supposed to have and which the military is supposed to be defending.

More over, what if the people you're conscripting don't agree with the war you want them to fight. Well, now they get to be criminals and flee the country. Or go and potentially die for something they're against to begin with. If a country actually is under attack, and the war itself is justified, you'll probably see a surge in volunteers anyway who are willing to protect their homes and families.

Conscription itself isn't going to be effective. It's hard enough to get the soldiers who volunteered to do their jobs properly in combat and actually kill another human being. Moreover, conscription is immoral simply because you are forcing another human being to do something, something which is potentially very dangerous, without their consent. Essentially taking away their rights to choose what they do with their life. And I can't agree with that when the people in question have committed no crime.

But let's be realistic here. We don't live in an age where any nation who might invade a western country actually could and not be destroyed by the far more advanced Allied forces. No one has the logistical capabilities to pull it off. And anyone who wanted to take down western nations would be stupid to brute force it anyway when terrorism has proven to be so cheap and effective.
I'm with this guy. He makes sense.
 

IndianaJonny

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thaluikhain said:
IndianaJonny said:
Too simplistic an argument, we're not talking about medieval levies or the USSR's Red Army these days; the Danes and the Israelis are hardly novices and the People's Liberation Army of China hardly strikes me as an ill-equiped or poorly-motivated force.
There are people that'd argue about Israel's forces, but nevermind. And equipment has nothing to do with do with conscription.

Yes, it's a simplistic argument, but someone who is in the military because they want to be is naturally going to be more motivated than someone who is in there because they were forced to be.
What? Argue that the IDF are novices? Some [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_War_of_Independence] 'people' [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Crisis] need [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War] to [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur_War] do [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Lebanon_conflict_(1982%E2%80%932000)] their [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_conflict] homework [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli%E2%80%93Lebanese_conflict].

As to motivation (to serve, not to go out and kill things; the later is a psychopathic condition), well again, I'd argue we're looking at this too simplisticly. Not all 'conscriptions' are the same. A requirement to serve in the armed forces for 3 years might not be so soul-destroying if they're paying your university/apprenticeship tution which would have been beyond you and your family to support beforehand. Social circumstances, mood and economic situations differ from country to country.
 

Saltyk

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On this note, I don't think America will do a draft unless we're being attacked. It's such an unpopular move that any President that instituted a draft would practically be impeached.

aegix drakan said:
...........This again?

Ok, look. I am a pacifist. I know what pain feels like, and I don't want to inflict it on anyone else unless absolutely necessary. I don't think I could pull the trigger on anyone. I would rather go to jail than get sent to another country to shoot them up for a cause I probably don't give two shits about.

Now, if the enemy is on OUR soil, and they're going to slaughter every man, woman and child, then yes, I would fight, because at that point It's not like I'd have a choice. But otherwise, hell no, I hope to never point a gun at a human being EVER.

That being said, I would GLADLY help out on the homefront somehow. Or do some kind of support work. But I would NEVER want to carry a gun.

Besides, Canada is a nation of peacekeepers. We don't go picking fights, and most nations like us. And no amount of Stephen Harper's stupidity is going to change that.
That's actually a pacifist view that I can support. Most pacifists seem to insist that we should never fight ever. Under any circumstances. Ever. Because fighting is wrong and we should know better. A great scene in a movie I saw involves someone trying to reason with his attacker and negotiate. The attacker cuts the guys head off in mid-sentence as he walked by.

I don't identify myself as a pacifist, but I largely agree with you. I've never been in a fight and will avoid them myself if at all possible (real easy to walk away), but that doesn't mean I think "War is bad". It just means I think war should be our last option. A last resort when all other options have failed or do no good.
 

Soveru

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Coming from a country with a conscription period of 2 years (Singapore), I'm against it. It is frankly, a waste of time. Our country is under no direct threat from our neighbours at this point of time and if really wanted to wipe us out, it wouldn't take much effort. Conscription should be only for nations under threat like Israel and South Korea.

To understand why some countries still have it, lets look at the obvious reasons first.

1) Build national unity - What better way to create some kind of national identity by making everyone suffer in bootcamp together?

2) Defend the country - If you're a nation with only 2 million people, you obviously need a conscript army because volunteers for a professional would not be enough.

Now lets look at the less obvious reasons

1) Force unemployment down - If people are kept off the job market for a year or 2, it certainly lowers the number of people entering the labour market which would in turn meddle with the employment statistics.

2) Illusion of security - Lets face it. If your country just has a few million people and is surrounded by countries 20 to 30 times your size, no amount of conscription will help. Conscription is there to create the illusion of security to prevent society from shutting down from sheer paranoia and building a counter-productive siege mentality
 

Soviet Steve

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Facists want everyone to know they must submit to the state. Forcing all able-bodied males to do slave labour for two years under pain of death, and being able to call them up at any time you please, does serve a facist agenda quite well.

Here in Denmark everyone is against it, especially the military, but predictably the conservative party and the nationalist party demand it stay on ideological grounds.
 

Zen Toombs

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Vivi22 said:
No, saying people should be allowed to choose is allowing people to exercise the rights they're supposed to have and which the military is supposed to be defending.

More over, what if the people you're conscripting don't agree with the war you want them to fight. Well, now they get to be criminals and flee the country. Or go and potentially die for something they're against to begin with. If a country actually is under attack, and the war itself is justified, you'll probably see a surge in volunteers anyway who are willing to protect their homes and families.

Conscription itself isn't going to be effective. It's hard enough to get the soldiers who volunteered to do their jobs properly in combat and actually kill another human being. Moreover, conscription is immoral simply because you are forcing another human being to do something, something which is potentially very dangerous, without their consent. Essentially taking away their rights to choose what they do with their life. And I can't agree with that when the people in question have committed no crime.
-snip-
What I was going to write an essay on, you explain in simple terms. I salute you.

It is very difficult to justify a government doing something that is against the consent of its people.
 

Leviathan_

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Conscription?

Can't we all just get along? It's not that I'm a pacifist, I'm just a lazy person with no patriotic feelings for his country at all.
 

Thaluikhain

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IndianaJonny said:
What? Argue that the IDF are novices? Some [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_War_of_Independence] 'people' [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Crisis] need [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War] to [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur_War] do [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Lebanon_conflict_(1982%E2%80%932000)] their [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_conflict] homework [//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli%E2%80%93Lebanese_conflict].
Presumably they don't think that defeating third world countries/paramilitary forces and/or successes generations ago are that impressive.

I'd point out that I'm not in the military-industrial complex, I'm just mentioning what I've heard from some that are.

...

Oh, on the politics. If you make everyone serve in your military, than everyone feels part of it. When soldiers are injured or killed, everyone defaults to being on their side, and doesnt ask too many questions about what the fighting was about that seems disrespectful.