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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Conscription - February 21st 2009, 04:49 AM

(Inspired by Grizabella's post in Invert's Sexism thread.)

So I was reading through the Sexism thread and came upon a post by Grizabella that was framed in terms of conscription. And I really wanted to reply, but it was like 10 posts old. So, here's my chance!

Do you think conscription is right?

But first! I'm going to lay out a common definition we can all argue by so we don't get into arguments around words.

Let's say that concription is the forced service of a citizen of a country during a time of total war in war-related activities. (Granted, in total war, everything is a war-related activity.) Let's say citizens only, but male and female both. A conscript can register as a non-combattant and work in a non-com job (communications, weapons manufacturing, food for troops work-farm, etc.). It would only be in effect during a state of total war (that's the level of war where food gets rationed and there are bomb drills in schools--I dunno if that's a real English term, but it's what we use in French).

So, what do you think? Is it OK for a citizen to be forced to serve his country in some capacity during wartime? We can have another discussion about forced service during peacetime later.


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Re: Conscription - February 21st 2009, 06:09 AM

I am strongly against drafting. I think it takes away people's rights. Glad we don't have it in Canada
   
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Re: Conscription - February 21st 2009, 06:15 AM

It is never ok. Slavery is still slavery if it is the government doing it.
   
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Re: Conscription - February 21st 2009, 06:30 AM

No no and no! One, I'm anti-war but two, if you can't find enough citizens who want to join your military, doesn't that send some sort of message about the morality of what you are doing?



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Re: Conscription - February 21st 2009, 06:49 AM

If the army is rather small or there are many abled-bodied people who could serve yet aren't, and the country is getting desperate, then I say yes. That, or stand around without useful weapons and get slaughtered (all the guns and such would've been given to the troops). If the country is winning but in serious need of people to help manufacture equipment, they should see if anyone is interested out of their good will to help. If not, then you start drafting people in.
   
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Re: Conscription - February 21st 2009, 06:52 AM

Or end the war. Seriously, if my country was being attacked I'd be more likely to join and I'd say so would many people. But public opinion does matter and if people don't want to join up there is a reason.



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Re: Conscription - February 21st 2009, 01:17 PM

Yes, it should be necessary. To make an important point:

With conscription the State can choose not to send you to war.

If you have volunteering you get what happened in Britain in 1914 - massive queues to sign up regardless of occupation and the joining of skilled men into the army. With conscription you can tell (for example) a railwayman to stay in his civilian job because trains are very important for the war effort.
Plus the public may not know what is to happen until it is too late, if you're country is being attacked you may not realise until the enemy lands on your shores (many people in England did not believe the scale of the German attack in France until the soldiers came back from Dunkirk) and then it's too late. The public are by and large selfish, why convert to a war economy when a peace economy is so profitable?
   
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Re: Conscription - February 21st 2009, 02:43 PM

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Originally Posted by Jessie View Post
Or end the war.
Yes, because history certainly shows us that wars are very easy to end. In war, people are always completely reasonable, and the enemy country will certainly stop opposing you if you ask them nicely enough.

You need an army to end a war. And if those people aren't volunteering to help end it, conscription becomes necessary.


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Re: Conscription - February 21st 2009, 06:57 PM

Honestly, I agree with drafting. I was raised in an area that traditionally has always felt that they owe something to the country, to the land, and to our forefathers. A lot of the boys I know plan to go into the military already when they leave high school. It's a common belief around here and I would be perfectly fine with a draft. Would this draft include women though? I don't see anything wrong with drafting women, but if both parts of a couple in a relationship are drafted then who will care for the children or the house? In the end, there needs to be someone at home to hold down the fort.


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Re: Conscription - February 21st 2009, 08:13 PM

When I was originally posting in the sexism thread, women not being conscripted was my issue. I think that women, if they want to be given all the rights that men are, need to be willing to take on all of their responsibilities too. So if a country is going to draft men, I think it's only fair that women are eligible to be conscripted too. As to who's going to stay home with the children, I think the government would only need to have some sort of policy stating that in the case of a couple with a young child, both parents cannot be conscripted at the same time.


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Re: Conscription - February 22nd 2009, 07:42 AM

So what exactly is the point of winning a war if the population is subjected to slavery in the process? Certainly it can't be to protect individual rights.
   
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Re: Conscription - February 23rd 2009, 02:27 AM

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So what exactly is the point of winning a war if the population is subjected to slavery in the process? Certainly it can't be to protect individual rights.
Those rights don't really mean anything if the enemy wants to exterminate you.
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Re: Conscription - February 23rd 2009, 03:24 AM

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Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
So what exactly is the point of winning a war if the population is subjected to slavery in the process? Certainly it can't be to protect individual rights.
Greatest good for the greatest number. If some people have to be forced into the military to save millions of citizens, government's will be likely to do it.


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Re: Conscription - February 23rd 2009, 03:30 AM

I'm all for the draft. You live in this country, the least you can do is protect it. I'm disgusted that people would take so for granted their freedoms, yet refuse to fight so everyone may have them. What has the world become?


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Re: Conscription - February 23rd 2009, 05:30 AM

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Originally Posted by Gram Negative View Post
Those rights don't really mean anything if the enemy wants to exterminate you.
Nor if the government will exterminate you if you don't do the work they want to make you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizabella View Post
Greatest good for the greatest number.
How exactly is this established?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
I'm all for the draft. You live in this country, the least you can do is protect it.
You live next door to me. The least you can do is mow my lawn and wash my car.

That is just as arbitrary as the whole social contract 'love it or leave it' line of argument.

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I'm disgusted that people would take so for granted their freedoms, yet refuse to fight so everyone may have them.
Take their freedom for granted? I'd hardly call 'objecting to the government threatening you with violence to make you work for them' taking their freedom for granted.
   
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Re: Conscription - February 23rd 2009, 05:43 AM

Depending on the government, conscription isn't necessarily violent. Sometimes the worst that happens is you refuse and get sent to jail...and a lot of prisons in the US and Canada really aren't that bad.


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If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life
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Re: Conscription - February 23rd 2009, 07:42 PM

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You live next door to me. The least you can do is mow my lawn and wash my car.
If I lived IN your house, ON your property, I'd do my best to help maintain it!

Quote:
Take their freedom for granted? I'd hardly call 'objecting to the government threatening you with violence to make you work for them' taking their freedom for granted.
Freedom isn't free. If you aren't willing to work or fight for it, you don't deserve to live in it. I don't recall the government holding anyone at the point of a sword, by the way 'threatening you with violence.'


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Re: Conscription - February 23rd 2009, 11:00 PM

Being forced to take up arms is not the only way to "fight for your country". What about the people who work regular jobs and raise families and fight to live the American Dream so America even means anything to anyone? What good is there fighting for a country that ceases to exist by the very fact that it forces its citizens to war? What about expressing the freedoms and rights that our Constitution grants us? What about those people who live in this country because of its independence and the opportunity to freely express anti-war sentiments? If you have such a shortage of military forces that you can't even get people to voluntarily join for non-combat positions, then there is an inherent weakness in your argument for war.


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Re: Conscription - February 23rd 2009, 11:07 PM

While it is true that taking up arms is not the only way (Total War says it isn't) then you can always raise children, crops, animals or make weapons. It would involve changing from a civilian economy to a military one and people need to keep the factories turning to make bullets, planes, ships and rations. You still have freedoms even in times of war no doubt much to the chagrin of some members. Lyndsay, you refer to the independence of the USA - the country that annexed parts of Mexico forcibly, introduced the Draft upon entry into WWI, interned Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor, dropped napalm on Vietnamese children (such is the nature of collateral damage), invaded a sovereign state despite international pressure and used Guantanamo Bay (sp?) to hold people without trial. Even at the end of the 19th/start of the 20th century the US invaded the Philippines to protect the locals and democracy. In Vietnam your forces were winning until pressure in the US caused you to lose.

Conscription is forcibly putting the State before the person, as the person is greedier than the State and cannot see the long term effects of their actions.


Picture the following scenario, you've built up an awesome life with plenty of possessions and some collectables (for example a painting). Then an enemy soldier comes into your house:

Soldier:Give me the painting or you will be shot
You: No, who says you can do it?
Solider: My gun, now give it me.

and then your life is destroyed.

Last edited by Hyper Sonic; February 23rd 2009 at 11:16 PM.
   
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Re: Conscription - February 23rd 2009, 11:08 PM

I think there's a difference in agreeing with war and agreeing with drafting. I am against war, but if another country was trying to wipe mine out, then I think that the citizens have a right to protect it. If there are able-bodied people sitting around and not helping while the war is going on on our soil, then I think that's ridiculous. They should be helping.
I think we take it for granted that war is not going on in our own countries. Just know that in that kind of war, you fight or you die. If you die, then you don't have freedoms.


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Re: Conscription - February 24th 2009, 02:00 AM

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Nor if the government will exterminate you if you don't do the work they want to make you do.

It won't execute you. It can fine you or imprison you. Take a look at Israel. You better be joining their army if you live there considering the fact that EVERY country around you wants you off the map.
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Re: Conscription - February 24th 2009, 02:01 AM

Quote:
I'm all for the draft. You live in this country, the least you can do is protect it. I'm disgusted that people would take so for granted their freedoms, yet refuse to fight so everyone may have them
That's the basis of my feelings, too. I dunno if I'd go so far as to say "disgusted," but I certainly think that if we're in total war, every citizen should be doing work to protect the country. I like Sonic's point about transfering from a civilian economy to a military one, too.

I wish I'd been able to check back quicker to make these points myself!

I don't see how conscription is slavery. I think it's a fair exchange for the liberties and freedoms we enjoy. You enjoy the freedoms, so it's up to you to protect them. Ever read The Little Red Hen? If you wanna eat the bread, you have to help grow the wheat, right?


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Re: Conscription - February 24th 2009, 03:52 AM

To everyone saying it is a person's duty their country to join the war effort, fine, make them do something. But don't make them take a bullet to die for you if that isn't their choice. Make them do something they're skilled at. You don't have to stand in the line of fire to serve your country. And to all of the same folks, I doubt you'd be so thrilled with the draft if you, yourself, were drafted. Imagine if your parent, sibling, or child were forced into war, forced into holding a gun and dying "for their country." You would almost certainly take a different stance on it. I'd smuggle my brother out of the country and face jail time before I let the government take him away from my mother and our family. Being free doesn't mean you must be willing to die for a cause you do not believe in.

And for the record, I would die for each of your freedoms. But not at the hands of my government. Not by fire on foreign soil. I can serve my country right here, IN my country.



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Re: Conscription - February 24th 2009, 04:05 AM

^I agree. I think there are tons of ways to serve the war effort without becoming a soldier. In fact, I specified in the OP that conscripts could serve as farm labourers, workers in munitions factories, telecommunications operators, etc. No sense in forcing a young woman who's never played a sport or done strenuous physical activity in her life to train to be a soldier! That's just un-economical! I'm sure she's be much better suited to something else. But she should be just as obligated to join the war effort as the most in-shape, bloodthirsty citizen of her country.


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Cause time goes by like hurricanes, and faster things.
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Re: Conscription - February 24th 2009, 04:39 AM

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Originally Posted by Grizabella View Post
Depending on the government, conscription isn't necessarily violent. Sometimes the worst that happens is you refuse and get sent to jail...and a lot of prisons in the US and Canada really aren't that bad.
And what happens if you disagree with being sent to jail? That's right; violence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
If I lived IN your house, ON your property, I'd do my best to help maintain it!
The problem being the government doesn't own the property in the same way a homeowner does. Even then, there is no explicit contract, which invalidates things. If you were, say, renting a room in my house, I would be completely justified in asking you to pay for rent in the way that we agreed. I would not, however, be justified in forcing you to go build me a patio out the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
Freedom isn't free. If you aren't willing to work or fight for it, you don't deserve to live in it.
I'm not living in freedom if the government is trying to enslave me. And as far as I see it fighting against government slavery is a more than acceptable way of 'working or fighting for freedom'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
I don't recall the government holding anyone at the point of a sword, by the way 'threatening you with violence.'
That's probably because they would use guns, which they will use on you if you try to evade conscription hard enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyper Sonic View Post
Conscription is forcibly putting the State before the person, as the person is greedier than the State and cannot see the long term effects of their actions.
Greedy? Can't see the long term effects? I'd say both of those apply more aptly to a government enslaving others in order to maintain it's power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyper Sonic View Post
Picture the following scenario, you've built up an awesome life with plenty of possessions and some collectables (for example a painting). Then an enemy soldier comes into your house:

Soldier:Give me the painting or you will be shot
You: No, who says you can do it?
Solider: My gun, now give it me.

and then your life is destroyed.
How about this one:

Soldier: Enlist with the military or you will be shot.
You: No, who says you can do it?
Soldier: My gun, now give it to me.

And then your life is destroyed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gram Negative View Post
It won't execute you. It can fine you or imprison you.
And what if you resist these measures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyEvee View Post
I don't see how conscription is slavery.
You are forcing someone to work for the state. It's plainly obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyEvee View Post
I think it's a fair exchange for the liberties and freedoms we enjoy.
Great, then how about you sign up and not threaten with violence anyone who may not share your valuation on whether it is a fair exchange or not?
   
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Re: Conscription - February 24th 2009, 11:20 PM

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And what if you resist these measures?

How are you gonna resist going to jail? You can get a lawyer like a lot of American soldiers have done when they refused to go to Iraq.

Last edited by Gram Negative; February 24th 2009 at 11:41 PM.
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Re: Conscription - February 24th 2009, 11:34 PM

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To everyone saying it is a person's duty their country to join the war effort, fine, make them do something. But don't make them take a bullet to die for you if that isn't their choice. Make them do something they're skilled at. You don't have to stand in the line of fire to serve your country. And to all of the same folks, I doubt you'd be so thrilled with the draft if you, yourself, were drafted. Imagine if your parent, sibling, or child were forced into war, forced into holding a gun and dying "for their country." You would almost certainly take a different stance on it. I'd smuggle my brother out of the country and face jail time before I let the government take him away from my mother and our family. Being free doesn't mean you must be willing to die for a cause you do not believe in.

And for the record, I would die for each of your freedoms. But not at the hands of my government. Not by fire on foreign soil. I can serve my country right here, IN my country.
This is all very well and good if you had immortal soldiers or a large supply of volunteers. Death Rate will be far higher on the front line and, like it or not, some other people would have to replace them to fight. I'm all for keeping skilled workers at home making things for the war but the non specialists would be drafted first. Only an idiot would call up their skilled steel workers before their labourers for example.

This problem afflicted the Canadian Army in WWII, there was conscription but only volunteers went abroad. An excellent suggestion I hear you say, but no; it didn't work. The Canadians had little operational manoeuvrability due to a lack of manpower in North-West Europe thus strangling them on a strategic level costing them more men
   
  (#28 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Conscription - February 25th 2009, 06:39 AM

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How are you gonna resist going to jail? You can get a lawyer like a lot of American soldiers have done when they refused to go to Iraq.
Try to escape when they come for you? Defend yourself?
   
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Re: Conscription - February 26th 2009, 12:05 AM

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Try to escape when they come for you? Defend yourself?
That would happen for any crime whether you were guilty or not.
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Re: Conscription - February 26th 2009, 09:44 AM

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That would happen for any crime whether you were guilty or not.
What's your point? That doesn't change the fact that you believe it is ok for the government to kill someone because they resist being forced into slavery.
   
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Re: Conscription - February 26th 2009, 11:27 PM

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What's your point? That doesn't change the fact that you believe it is ok for the government to kill someone because they resist being forced into slavery.
It is not slavery. How the hell are you even comparing it to slavery? You do realize you can sue the government as a conscientious objector and win. Good luck doing that as a slave that can't even sue. It is a part of the government action to save the country for the good of everyone. You better start refuting drafting during WWII and during the current Israeli/Middle East conflict.

And you are making a leap when you say the government is killing the person for being against conscription. They are killing them if that person tries to kill them. That was why those retards at Waco got blown to freaking bits. You will get killed regardless if you are guilty or not. You can either get a lawyer or try to shoot it out with the cops.
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