State mandated military service -

Apoth42

Hehe xd
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Really? So, the military is nothing for "smart people", you imply?
McNamara thought the same thing during the Vietnam war and conscripted 100,000 people with like 50 IQ. It ended badly.

Soldiers are professionals that require a strong mind and body... however, modern conscription terms usually don't actually train you to be that good of a soldier so thats kinda irrelevant.
 
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StyrofoamFridge

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I think, at the least, every person in the U.S. should be taught how to use a firearm and safely handle them around others. It disgusts me that there are people here who do not know the first thing about gun safety. The virtues of discipline and respect would do well to be instilled in public school. While I think service in the military is a good choice all around, it should be voluntary unless our numbers need bolstering.
 

Guardian G.I.

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If by mandatory military service said /pol/acks mean Cold War Soviet-style military conscription like what my country still has today, it's a stupid idea. It doesn't actually teach you how to fight - for example, many people have about one or two firing drills in the entire 1 or 1.5 years of service. Most of that time is spent doing bullshit tasks like painting the grass green and being abused by senior recruits (dedovschina). People who served compare their mandatory service in the army to a prison term. As a result, mandatory service here is extremely unpopular and pretty much everyone who can do draft-dodging do so.

Should an actual fighting force like one of NATO member states invade our country, our glorious conscripted armed forces will very likely shatter in 2-3 days like the Red Army in the summer of 1941. It also doesn't help that most of our gear is leftover Soviet equipment and vehicles from the late 1970s.
 

los pepes

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Never happen. The powers that be learned in Vietnam the public really doesn't give a shit about how many expendable people we kill or lose in bumfuck no where. But once their little princes get snatched up and start dying they'll burn the whole country down.

If we had a draft the clusterfuck in Iraq would have ended in draft riots across the US by 2004 and the one in Afghanistan would not have survived the decade either. The oligarchy aint gonna risk getting overthrown over one of its big brained misadventures oversees.
 

The best and greatest

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Why military service specifically? Is a doctor earning his citizenship working at a state clinic two months out of the year not applicable? How about a high power lawyer working as a public defender? The broader question is whether citizenship should be a birthright or something you work to earn? I can see arguments both ways though personally am not super keen on obligatory labor for the state for political enfranchisement.
 
So from my own experiences and those who I have talked to on the subject.

Universal conscription can be a force for good, especially in some of the areas where poverty is rife because it gives those in those training programs a chance to learn independence, leadership, and often access to trades or other valueable educational programs that they would not have had access to.

It also builds a culture of civic service in most citizens, so that even though they might not hold the same political views they are willing to come to the aide of the country and it's people in general in a time of need. It's also a great benefit to have people trained not just in military practices for times of danger, but also in the cases of great emergencies, such experienced personnel are invaluable.

The issue that most have with universal conscription then is the fact that governments do not respect that a universal conscript is not a professional soldier. What killed the National Service in the UK was the fact that the government used it as a means to fight foreign wars, there were effectively non-consequential to the people of those nations. Korea mainly for the British, and Vietnam for the US, both were the major death knells of universal conscription in those countries.

Counteracted with this idea that people aren't willing to put in military or communal service is the fact that the home guard in the UK was essentially a voluntary military organisation that was prepared to go to war in the event of invasion.

The Swiss Army while requiring conscription of all males, is voluntary for females. The service can be done in one long stretch, or broken up into smaller stretches of service throughout, and for conscientious objectors there is a national volunteer service available since 1996 which allows for the small factions of Mennonites still in Switzerland to serve without any religious objection.

The reason that it works is because there is a culture of understanding with previous generations having gone through the same service and supporting the younger citizens who are currently going through service. (So much so, that jobs will be held for individuals to return to once military service is completed.) And because the Swiss know that they are a strictly neutral military presence, meaning that their government has not and will not involve them in any wars.

The knock on effect is essentially a well trained well armed militia that forms the backbone of the countries citizenry, as well as having substantially lower levels of violent crime.

So national services or universal conscription could work and maintain popularity if its used as a force for good.
IE self development of the citizens, a more responsible civic class, a gateway out of poverty and other opportunities, and not used to fight foreign proxy wars.
 

Hellbound Hellhound

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State mandated military service is a bad idea, practically, economically, politically, and ethically.

Practically, it is a bad idea because conscription is demonstrably ineffective as a way of cultivating a successful military force when weighted against the alternative method of training professional military personnel. The only real benefit conscription had historically was the benefit it brought in terms of sheer numbers, but this is increasingly no longer an advantage in modern warfare.

Economically, it is a bad idea because it imposes a cost upon society by removing large numbers of young people from potentially productive educational and work-based opportunities for reasons of highly dubious economic merit. Unless conscripts decide to stay on and embark upon a useful military career, their time with the military is arguably wasted.

Politically, it is a bad idea because it is massively unpopular among many of those it affects, and only marginally popular among those who support it but who are unaffected by it. This makes it a non-starter for any politician who even wants to entertain the idea.

Ethically, it is a bad idea for the obvious reason that it involves involuntary servitude. I think the real question anyone should be asking themselves here is: what kind of government thinks of itself as unable to rely upon the voluntary service of it's citizens? I think the potential answers to this question should give even strong supporters of conscription some pause.

People can argue about there being potential societal benefits to state mandated military service (such as the encouragement of discipline and civic responsibility, etc), but as far as I'm concerned these benefits can only really be justified if you take a paternalistic view of society. The question is, how far are people willing to take this line of thought? Should we impose bans upon sugary drinks to combat obesity; should we go even further and require that overweight people be sent to state mandated fat camps until they are deemed to be suitably fit by the government? Both would be of tangible benefit to society, but is it worth the cost to personal freedom?
 

Ron /pol/

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Never happen. The powers that be learned in Vietnam the public really doesn't give a shit about how many expendable people we kill or lose in bumfuck no where. But once their little princes get snatched up and start dying they'll burn the whole country down.

If we had a draft the clusterfuck in Iraq would have ended in draft riots across the US by 2004 and the one in Afghanistan would not have survived the decade either. The oligarchy aint gonna risk getting overthrown over one of its big brained misadventures oversees.
This. There's a lot less backlash if you use people who actually want to be in the military for foreign ventures.
 

Lemmingwise

Through a scanner smuckly
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Ethically, it is a bad idea for the obvious reason that it involves involuntary servitude. I think the real question anyone should be asking themselves here is: what kind of government thinks of itself as unable to rely upon the voluntary service of it's citizens? I think the potential answers to this question should give even strong supporters of conscription some pause.
Almost half of what I earn I have to pay in taxes, most of which is wasted instead of used in a good way.

I'd say that I would have rather paid a couple of years of my youth than half of every economic endeavor I engage in in my life.

We already engage in involuntary servitude in some sense and we are not at all concerned with the ethics of this as the enforcement derives from power, not any ethical grounds.
 
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Hellbound Hellhound

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Almost half of what I earn I have to pay in taxes, most of which is wasted instead of used in a good way.

I'd say that I would have rather paid a couple of years of my youth than half of every economic endeavor I engage in in my life.

We already engage in involuntary servitude in some sense and we are not at all concerned with the ethics of this as the enforcement derives from power, not any ethical grounds.
There's a big difference between the government taking a percentage of your income (that you voluntarily acquired with the knowledge that the government is entitled to a percentage of it) and being forced to serve the government against your will.
 

Lemmingwise

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There's a big difference between the government taking a percentage of your income (that you voluntarily acquired with the knowledge that the government is entitled to a percentage of it) and being forced to serve the government against your will.
Yes, there's a big difference, which is why I'm stating my prefference for one over the other. I'd rather have them appropriate 4 years of my life than roughly 50% of my work time for my entire life.

At least one ends after a couple of years.
 
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Hellbound Hellhound

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Yes, there's a big difference, which is why I'm stating my prefference for one over the other. I'd rather have them appropriate 4 years of my life than roughly 50% of my work time for my entire life.

At least one ends after a couple of years.
I'm pretty sure just about every country that requires mandatory military service also requires taxation. I'm not seeing your point, nor what relevance it has to mine.
 

Lemmingwise

Through a scanner smuckly
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I'm pretty sure just about every country that requires mandatory military service also requires taxation. I'm not seeing your point, nor what relevance it has to mine.
I'm really not sure why this is confusing for you. If I was unclear, let me state it more precisely.

You examined state mandated military service from four different sides, including ethically and you asked a rather poignant question:

I think the real question anyone should be asking themselves here is: what kind of government thinks of itself as unable to rely upon the voluntary service of it's citizens? I think the potential answers to this question should give even strong supporters of conscription some pause.
My first thought was that this same question could be asked in regards to other aspects of state actions. For example taxation: what kind of government thinks of itself as unable to rely upon the voluntary contributions of it's citizens? Well, every country in the world. It's a compelling sounding argument and I completely agree on ethical grounds, but we are already complacent to many other practices that also violate these ethical grounds.

And as was pointed out before, a country like switzerland has a number of options how that service can be fulfilled, so it's not exactly plantation labor either.

I'm not arguing in favor (or against) mandated military service. I'm saying we already violate these ethical grounds every day and with little resistance to it.
 

Hellbound Hellhound

kiwifarms.net
My first thought was that this same question could be asked in regards to other aspects of state actions. For example taxation: what kind of government thinks of itself as unable to rely upon the voluntary contributions of it's citizens? Well, every country in the world. It's a compelling sounding argument and I completely agree on ethical grounds, but we are already complacent to many other practices that also violate these ethical grounds.
There is still an important moral difference though, because with taxation, you are not being forced to do anything except relinquish the percentage of your (voluntarily acquired) income which legally belongs to the government (the same government that creates the money you use and benefit from in the first place), whereas with mandatory military service, you are being forced to perform services for the government without consent.

The former is compatible with individual freedom in a way that the latter is not: if you don't want to pay taxes, you are free to avoid using the money the government creates and accept the consequences that choice entails, whereas with conscription, there is no legally avoiding it. In the case of mandatory military service, the government is claiming ownership over your very being, whereas in the case of taxation, it is actually you who is claiming ownership over something that the government has made possible for you, and which the government is entitled to a percentage of in return.
 

Lemmingwise

Through a scanner smuckly
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There is still an important moral difference though, because with taxation, you are not being forced to do anything except relinquish the percentage of your (voluntarily acquired) income which legally belongs to the government (the same government that creates the money you use and benefit from in the first place), whereas with mandatory military service, you are being forced to perform services for the government without consent.

The former is compatible with individual freedom in a way that the latter is not: if you don't want to pay taxes, you are free to avoid using the money the government creates and accept the consequences that choice entails, whereas with conscription, there is no legally avoiding it. In the case of mandatory military service, the government is claiming ownership over your very being, whereas in the case of taxation, it is actually you who is claiming ownership over something that the government has made possible for you, and which the government is entitled to a percentage of in return.
I can see what you're saying and get where you're coming from.

I don't think the difference is as big as what you're arguing for. Taxes are also taken without consent. You can also choose to not pay taxes and to accept the consequences that that entails.

But what you're saying is not exactly true. A person say, living in the US and setting up an internet business selling stuff in europe, perhaps gets paid in euros. Maybe he sets up a deal with a vendor to get food that he can pay for with euros. There is still sales tax and income tax and that obligation is not based on the fact that you use the federal reserve's money (which isn't a government operation in the first place).

So it's not really true that one has the ability to avoid taxes by not using their government's designated currency. But this is getting a little too nitpicky.

Just one quick question though, going beyond the ethical discussion: I know there is no such nation that offers it, but if you had the choice, would you really choose a lifetime of having to pay taxes over 2 years of either military or alternate service in the case of conscientious objection? I guess you would?

I find it hard to fathom, honestly. Why?
 

Zeke Von Genbu

BRINGER OF CHAOS
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I can see what you're saying and get where you're coming from.

I don't think the difference is as big as what you're arguing for. Taxes are also taken without consent. You can also choose to not pay taxes and to accept the consequences that that entails.

But what you're saying is not exactly true. A person say, living in the US and setting up an internet business selling stuff in europe, perhaps gets paid in euros. Maybe he sets up a deal with a vendor to get food that he can pay for with euros. There is still sales tax and income tax and that obligation is not based on the fact that you use the federal reserve's money (which isn't a government operation in the first place).

So it's not really true that one has the ability to avoid taxes by not using their government's designated currency. But this is getting a little too nitpicky.

Just one quick question though, going beyond the ethical discussion: I know there is no such nation that offers it, but if you had the choice, would you really choose a lifetime of having to pay taxes over 2 years of either military or alternate service in the case of conscientious objection? I guess you would?

I find it hard to fathom, honestly. Why?
The federal reverse is a government operation, it is not controlled by congress directly, but it is a section of the government. I don't see how it can't be classified as a government operation. It's website is literally "federalreverse.gov".

Taxes are basically the price you pay to earn income in this country, just like how business pay taxes to do business in this country, or property owners pay to have property in US land. People have access to the public services such as the police departments, the fire departments, the infrastructure you use to commute to your job so you aren't driving in the dirt, basically anything you use for "free" that was/is made or organized by the government. Taxes are your payment of sorts to use these services and pay for future services you'll use in the next year.

Assuming we're talking about America specifically if you truly want to avoid taxes, literally make less money. That sounds like a troll answer, but it is true, my parents basically never paid taxes and while we never swam in money we got along just fine. I volunteered to help low income tax payers do their taxes for 2 months and almost no one owed anything and if they did it was maybe 1000 dollars. So you're not even really "forced" to pay half your income though I really question that number unless you're in the hundred thousand dollar income brackets.

If we're talking about employment taxes like social security/medicare/unemployment, if you're employed by an employer it is only 7.65% where 6.2% of that goes away once you earn 128,400 in wages as that is the cap for SS medicare has no cap from what I remember. Unemployment is exclusively an employer tax. If you're self employed those first two taxes basically are doubled as you now pay your share those taxes, but if I remember correctly those are also considered business expenses which lowers your taxable income. Those are the main unavoidable taxes that I can remember, unless you own property which I believe varies from state to state how that costs.

My question to you is, lets say hypothetically we abolish taxes entirely and use your idea where the government basically becomes a charity. What do you think would happen, honestly?
 

Lemmingwise

Through a scanner smuckly
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My question to you is, lets say hypothetically we abolish taxes entirely and use your idea where the government basically becomes a charity. What do you think would happen, honestly?
It wasn't really a suggestion, it was applying the ethical principles put forward to a slightly comparable government enterprise. I don't think the sky would come crashing down, but I also don't think it's practical, considering there isn't a single nation that doesn't have them (as far as I know).

Also, apparently you don't have VAT / sales tax in the US? Jealous. Are countries without sales tax fucked? No. Was the US fucked when it had really low income tax? No.

Taxes are basically the price you pay to earn income in this country, just like how business pay taxes to do business in this country, or property owners pay to have property in US land. People have access to the public services such as the police departments, the fire departments, the infrastructure you use to commute to your job so you aren't driving in the dirt, basically anything you use for "free" that was/is made or organized by the government. Taxes are your payment of sorts to use these services and pay for future services you'll use in the next year.

Assuming we're talking about America specifically if you truly want to avoid taxes, literally make less money. That sounds like a troll answer, but it is true, my parents basically never paid taxes and while we never swam in money we got along just fine. I volunteered to help low income tax payers do their taxes for 2 months and almost no one owed anything and if they did it was maybe 1000 dollars. So you're not even really "forced" to pay half your income though I really question that number unless you're in the hundred thousand dollar income brackets.

If we're talking about employment taxes like social security/medicare/unemployment, if you're employed by an employer it is only 7.65% where 6.2% of that goes away once you earn 128,400 in wages as that is the cap for SS medicare has no cap from what I remember. Unemployment is exclusively an employer tax. If you're self employed those first two taxes basically are doubled as you now pay your share those taxes, but if I remember correctly those are also considered business expenses which lowers your taxable income. Those are the main unavoidable taxes that I can remember, unless you own property which I believe varies from state to state how that costs.
I mean, that's all fine. These same arguments can be made in regards to mandatory military service, where that service is the price you pay to be protected in the country, just like professional military learns how to defend strategically. In the end it just comes down to how resources are garnered and allocated.

Because you could actually calculate how many years of work you've done purely to pay the government and I would be surprised if the typical person does not spend far more than 4 years on that.

Also I forgot how low your US taxes are. I gotta get outta here.
 
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