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emtee10
September 5th, 2004, 09:00 PM
Is there ever any justification for mandatory military service (conscription)?

What do you think?

My personal view is that conscription is a form of slavery and should be forbidden under the Thirteenth Amendment of the US Constitution:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Anyway, that's just my opinion. I'm very curious as to what others think. :)

Spartacus
September 5th, 2004, 09:06 PM
Is there ever any justification for mandatory military service (conscription)?

What do you think?

My personal view is that conscription is a form of slavery and should be forbidden under the Thirteenth Amendment of the US Constitution:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Anyway, that's just my opinion. I'm very curious as to what others think. :)


First...Welcome to ODN...

Second....The pre-amble of the Constitution supercedes the 13th Ammendment...
"Provide for the common defense...."

Interestingly...the first national Conscription took place during the Civl War...before the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment.

chadn737
September 5th, 2004, 09:17 PM
Is there ever any justification for mandatory military service (conscription)?


Yes, there arise times when manpower is desperately needed for the defense of this nation and the only way to get the man power is through conscription.


My personal view is that conscription is a form of slavery and should be forbidden under the Thirteenth Amendment of the US Constitution:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

When a nation is at war, especially a major war like the civil war or WWII then drastic measures are needed in drastic times. If men had not been drafted during WWII we would not have had the manpower to free the world of two oppressive empires. Our nation would have been split asunder if not for the thousands that served during the civil war.

You will often hear people say, if my nation trully needed me I would serve. Only problem is talk is cheap and when it comes down to it few are usually willing to carry through with what they say.

This is especially true in our modern world where the military is viewed more as a last choice. Sure people say they have the utmost respect for the military, but if you ask them they wouldnt choose it unless they had no other choice.

KneeLess
September 5th, 2004, 10:01 PM
Besides the country being invaded, or something to the degree of WWII happening, the draft is almost never needed.

You will often hear people say, if my nation trully needed me I would serve.
If my country was being invaded, I would fight. I would not fight a peacetime war agaisnt a country that barely effects me (Vietnam).

Telex
September 5th, 2004, 10:54 PM
Second....The pre-amble of the Constitution supercedes the 13th Ammendment...
"Provide for the common defense...."

Interestingly...the first national Conscription took place during the Civl War...before the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment.
Emtee10 is saying that the 13th Amendment should have ended the draft along with slavery. The fact that it was used before the Amendment was added has no bearing.



Sure people say they have the utmost respect for the military, but if you ask them they wouldnt choose it unless they had no other choice.
That's precisely why people have respect for the military - most of them would never do it.

I think a draft must be very clearly necessary to be warranted. After Japan attacked, America was clearly in danger. In regards to Vietnam, we can look back and say that it was a largly pointless war, but back then the Domino theory was the pervading school of thought and Vietnam may have been seen as the spark that could start a world communist uprising. I believe the massive protests towards Vietnam have ended any Administration's thoughts of a draft, as it would be the end of their and their party's reign.

chadn737
September 5th, 2004, 10:58 PM
Emtee10 is saying that the 13th Amendment should have ended the draft along with slavery.

Drafts should be extempted from this because of their possible necessity. The future is closed to us and what threats await we cannot tell. The possible need for a draft in defense of our nation should be sufficient reason to keep it as a possibility.

emtee10
September 6th, 2004, 06:43 AM
I acknowldege that, in some rare cases, like an invasion of the country, a draft does seem like a good idea. But even then, can it not be considered a form of slavery or "involuntary servitude"?

My hope is that is that identifying conscription as slavery will help to minimize its use in the future.

P.S. Thanks for the welcome, Spartacus!
And thanks to everyone else who has taken interest in my thread.

Fyshhed
September 6th, 2004, 02:17 PM
I acknowldege that, in some rare cases, like an invasion of the country, a draft does seem like a good idea. But even then, can it not be considered a form of slavery or "involuntary servitude"?

My hope is that is that identifying conscription as slavery will help to minimize its use in the future.

P.S. Thanks for the welcome, Spartacus!
And thanks to everyone else who has taken interest in my thread.
This topic was sort of coasted into on another thread.
Can I be so bold as to ask if you're between 18-25? :)

AuspiciousFist
September 6th, 2004, 02:55 PM
I acknowldege that, in some rare cases, like an invasion of the country, a draft does seem like a good idea. But even then, can it not be considered a form of slavery or "involuntary servitude"


If America ever gets invaded, I doubt there will be a need for a draft. People are much more willing to put themselves in danger to save their families/friends/fellow citizens.

RTShatto
September 6th, 2004, 03:06 PM
This topic was sort of coasted into on another thread.
Can I be so bold as to ask if you're between 18-25? :)
Emtee is from Canada ;?

Unless we are no longer talking just about the American draft, then it would be appropriate to ask.

emtee10
September 6th, 2004, 03:15 PM
Can I be so bold as to ask if you're between 18-25?

Actually, I'm 16, but that does not mean that I am any less interested in this topic than anyone else.


Unless we are no longer talking just about the American draft, then it would be appropriate to ask.

I am talking about the draft in general, but seeing as how most people in this debate community are from the USA, I felt it would be appropriate to refer to the Thirteenth Amendment. However, the moral justification for a draft would be no different in Canada.

Fyshhed
September 6th, 2004, 04:08 PM
Actually, I'm 16, but that does not mean that I am any less interested in this topic than anyone else..
Ok, I was just curious as to the incentive for your argument. I am 18 and a prime candidate for draft within the next few years. This leads me to believe that since I am subject to involuntary servitude I should know what it is I'm at risk of doing.

That said, on a separate thread, I raised the point that since I have been notified that I may not enlist in a separate branch of military service to avoid draft, how come President Bush was able to?

And if it has been deemed inappropriate behavior now, it has been concluded by those in power that such actions are unacceptable.

emtee10
September 6th, 2004, 04:17 PM
Ok, I was just curious as to the incentive for your argument. I am 18 and a prime candidate for draft within the next few years. This leads me to believe that since I am subject to involuntary servitude I should know what it is I'm at risk of doing.

That said, on a separate thread, I raised the point that since I have been notified that I may not enlist in a separate branch of military service to avoid draft, how come President Bush was able to?

And if it has been deemed inappropriate behavior now, it has been concluded by those in power that such actions are unacceptable.

My view is that the War in Iraq, which is what you would be drafted for if you were to be drafted, is not a conflict in which conscription could be justified. I think it is quite clear that America's national security is not at risk, so a draft would be unacceptable, in my opinion.

chadn737
September 6th, 2004, 04:22 PM
A standing military is vital to a nation's security. If a void in manpower became desperate enough even in the absence of war wouldnt a draft still be justified? If it ever gets to the point where filling the military ranks to the bare minimum becaome impropable with only volunteers I could see a real justification of instituting a draft.

emtee10
September 6th, 2004, 04:29 PM
A standing military is vital to a nation's security. If a void in manpower became desperate enough even in the absence of war wouldnt a draft still be justified? If it ever gets to the point where filling the military ranks to the bare minimum becaome impropable with only volunteers I could see a real justification of instituting a draft.

If not enough people would want to volunteer themselves into military service, then I think that is an indication of the confidence that the people have in the current federal administration. If, for a specific conflict, not enough people are volunteering, then perhaps involvement in that conflict is not in the nation's best interests.

chadn737
September 6th, 2004, 04:41 PM
Im not talking about being in any conflict, but instead of in times of peace. Even in peace a standing army of trained soldiers is needed to protect a nation. If the necessary troops can not even then be met wouldnt a draft be warranted?

emtee10
September 6th, 2004, 04:47 PM
Im not talking about being in any conflict, but instead of in times of peace. Even in peace a standing army of trained soldiers is needed to protect a nation. If the necessary troops can not even then be met wouldnt a draft be warranted?

I think that it would be a much better idea to persuade people to join the army, rather than use force. As I mentioned earlier, the only reason I can see for a major lack of voluntary enlistment would be if the people think poorly of the military, and do not trust those who command it. Therefore, the best way to encourage enlistment would be to modify foreign policy.

For example:

It would make logical sense to state that more Americans are interested in joining the army for the purpose of defending their homeland, rather than engaging in conflicts around the world where the justification is unclear or lacking. Therefore, if foreign policy was altered to be more focused on America's defense and less focused on "policing the world", then the number of people interested in enlisting would logically increase.

Atticus
September 7th, 2004, 03:25 AM
I am talking about the draft in general, but seeing as how most people in this debate community are from the USA, I felt it would be appropriate to refer to the Thirteenth Amendment. However, the moral justification for a draft would be no different in Canada.

A fellow Canuck, great to have you here. Oh, I truly doubt any Canadian government would try to reinstate the draft again. There was huge controversy about it in the first and second world war. When conscription was in place in the First World War, the Liberal party was divided down the middle on the issue which caused major problems. Anyways, I really don't think Martin would have the balls to reinstate conscription with a minority government.

Zhavric
September 7th, 2004, 04:43 AM
My personal view is that conscription is a form of slavery and should be forbidden under the Thirteenth Amendment of the US Constitution

I challenge your assertion that military service as the result of a draft qualifies as "a form of slavery".

As a citizen of the United States I enjoy the protections, rights, and privelages of this great nation. Perhaps looking at America as a whole is too large a scale.

Consider this analogy a tribe of 100 native Americans living before contact with whites:

Chief: "Hey, Finishes-the-thread. Your tribe needs you. Our ancient enemies from the next valley are getting ready to attack us. You must fight.

... okay, so they're a native American tribe living before contact with whites, but they have internet connections... "Finishes-the-thread" was just too good to pass up. Back to the analogy...

Finishes-the-thread: "But I'm almost done with this posting to onlinedebate.net in which I am going to convince Sparticus to become a Shaman. Are there no other brave warriors who can fight in my place? Why do I have to fight? Why does it have to be me to go and risk my life? I am not your slave, Chief."

Chief: "Indeed, you are not my slave. You do not have to fight... but, neither do you have to belong to the tribe. You do not have to be allowed into our teepee's or eat the corn that we grow or the buffalo that we hunt. You do not need to use Running Bear's laptop to net-surf all day on onlinedebate.net. If you choose to enjoy the benefits of living within our tribe, then you also must acknowledge the responsibilities that come with them."


So, comedy aside, it's not slavery. As an American, you acknowledge that in return for the rights and freedoms that you enjoy, you may be called upon to protect them.

Problems arise when we elect unwise leaders who would use the draft or regular troops when they are not 100% necessary. This is why the Constitution calls for Congress to declare wars, not the president...

... which is just one of many reasons I won't be voting for Bush.

Fyshhed
September 7th, 2004, 06:22 AM
... which is just one of many reasons I won't be voting for Bush.
Misuse of the military. That's up there on my list.
I think draft is justified for matters of required defense.
If the country needed me to defend itself, I would volunteer before the draft was even active. However, I am no particular fan of attacking other countries without plain and irrefutable justification. Therefore, I have concluded:
WWI/II: Draft acceptable. Troop shortages and the need for a massive and powerful army were clear, global threats were visible.
Vietnam: Political fear of communism got to the heads of those who mattered. Draft was not acceptable, waste of human lives and resources on both ends.

emtee10
September 7th, 2004, 01:48 PM
I challenge your assertion that military service as the result of a draft qualifies as "a form of slavery".

How is it anything but slavery? The government is forcing you to serve in the military, against your will. You are not given a choice, and therefore it seems difficult not to associate the draft with slavery/involuntary servitude.

The great irony of the draft is that supporters claim that it is necessary for defending freedom. However, the idea of a draft is not in any way compatible with the idea of freedom. Freedom means that you get to do what you want with your life, so long as you do not infringe upon the right of others to do the same. However, when the government drafts you, it is telling you what to do with your life. The draft does nothing to protect freedom. It simply erodes it.

Furthermore, the major idea behind the draft is the idea that the citizen is the property of the state (and therefore the state can command the citizen to do whatever the state demands) rather than the idea that the state is designed to serve the citizens. The draft seems like an idea with is much more compatible with authoritarian forms of government (like communism or fascism) rather than the classical liberal ideals set out by America's Founding Fathers.

Anyway, this is just how I feel. If my government tried to draft me (which is not very likely considering I live in Canada), I would vigorously resist it with every ounce of my strength. If freedom at home is lost, then what is it that the draft is supposed to protect?

chadn737
September 7th, 2004, 01:53 PM
How is it anything but slavery? The government is forcing you to serve in the military, against your will. You are not given a choice, and therefore it seems difficult not to associate the draft with slavery/involuntary servitude.

Zhav made an excellent point, it is just one of the prices of being a citizen. If you wish to be a part of a nation, that means you must accept the consequences, one of which is participating in its defense.

Freedom isnt free, which is something any nation that has fought for its rights knows. Maybe those countries that had independence given to them thinks differently.

chadn737
September 7th, 2004, 01:56 PM
Furthermore, the major idea behind the draft is the idea that the citizen is the property of the state (and therefore the state can command the citizen to do whatever the state demands) rather than the idea that the state is designed to serve the citizens.

Yes, yes, government is ther to serve the people, but this is not a one-sided relationship. If the government is to serve the people than the people must also serve its government, otherwise the government is torn apart by self-interest.

KevinBrowning
September 7th, 2004, 02:09 PM
Furthermore, the major idea behind the draft is the idea that the citizen is the property of the state (and therefore the state can command the citizen to do whatever the state demands) rather than the idea that the state is designed to serve the citizens. The draft seems like an idea with is much more compatible with authoritarian forms of government (like communism or fascism) rather than the classical liberal ideals set out by America's Founding Fathers.



Citizens of any country have certain responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to protect one's country when one's nation calls for it. The truth is, not enough people will always volunteer in a war, and when that occurs, the government must draw upon current citizens to ensure the survival of that country's later generations.

emtee10
September 7th, 2004, 06:42 PM
Citizens of any country have certain responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to protect one's country when one's nation calls for it. The truth is, not enough people will always volunteer in a war, and when that occurs, the government must draw upon current citizens to ensure the survival of that country's later generations.

If I may ask, how do you feel about pacifists and conscientious objectors? Should they also be required to serve?

Zhavric
September 8th, 2004, 04:25 AM
How is it anything but slavery? The government is forcing you to serve in the military, against your will. You are not given a choice, and therefore it seems difficult not to associate the draft with slavery/involuntary servitude.

The great irony of the draft is that supporters claim that it is necessary for defending freedom. However, the idea of a draft is not in any way compatible with the idea of freedom. Freedom means that you get to do what you want with your life, so long as you do not infringe upon the right of others to do the same. However, when the government drafts you, it is telling you what to do with your life. The draft does nothing to protect freedom. It simply erodes it.

Furthermore, the major idea behind the draft is the idea that the citizen is the property of the state (and therefore the state can command the citizen to do whatever the state demands) rather than the idea that the state is designed to serve the citizens. The draft seems like an idea with is much more compatible with authoritarian forms of government (like communism or fascism) rather than the classical liberal ideals set out by America's Founding Fathers.

Anyway, this is just how I feel. If my government tried to draft me (which is not very likely considering I live in Canada), I would vigorously resist it with every ounce of my strength. If freedom at home is lost, then what is it that the draft is supposed to protect?

Think of it this way:

When the government takes money from you in the form of income tax / sales tax / etc., do you consider that stealing? Or instead do you acknowledge that the government needs money to maintain infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc), pay police officers / fire fighter to keep neighborhoods safe, pay government employees to make sure the papers keep getting pushed along, etc.

Many do not agree with how the government spends their hard-earned funds. Liberals think too much is spent on the military and conservatives think that too much is spent on useless social programs. Both liberals and conservatives, however, acknowledge the need to police, public roads, etc. So, we allow our incomes to be taxed. We don't like the specifics, but we like living in safe neighborhoods. We like driving on roads without six foot deep / wide pot holes. We like knowing that we can call 911 and have fire fighters and paramedics show up to us whenever we need them.

The draft is not completely divorced from this concept. We enjoy having freedoms, rights, and privelages. When those are threatened and the volunteers who have filled out the army aren't enough then there needs to be the ability to draft citizens.

Consider also that many countries have MANDANTORY military service. Israel is a good example. "You're 18 years old? Time to serve your country. PERIOD."

Now, where I have issue with the draft is when our leaders carelessly expend military resources and lives to leave us so thinly spread that a draft is needed not out of any patriotic duty, but because of mismanagement.

If you don't like it, there's a lovely country to the north called Canada.

If you don't like the prospect of being drafted for a pre-emptive war, then don't vote for Bush.

Zhavric
September 8th, 2004, 04:27 AM
Just saw that you're location is Canada. Are you a Canadian or an American?

Heh... Canadian Jewish Elf.

CC
September 8th, 2004, 12:15 PM
When the government takes money from you in the form of income tax / sales tax / etc., do you consider that stealing?

MOST DEFINETLY............ http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj14n3-1.html

Withholding taxes was never received by anything other than forcibly denying us of our right (taxation without representation) by most citizens up until 1943. Up until then the gov had no authority to ask you to pay taxes (always more than owed) up front. Then with WW2 legislation was passed that did allow for the government to take our money up front and the "give" us back what they over-collected. that bill was supposd to end when WW2 ended......it never has and probably never will.


So, we allow our incomes to be taxed. We don't like the specifics, but we like living in safe neighborhoods. We like driving on roads without six foot deep / wide pot holes. We like knowing that we can call 911 and have fire fighters and paramedics show up to us whenever we need them.

All of the above could be done cheaper and better if the gov butted out. (if you are not at all libertarian you might not see how though) The fact is, before the government began it's "cradle to grave" mentality of taking care of it's citizens, the citizens generally fared better, bartering for goods and services was mandadated by supply and demand, not gov quotas.............................:O)

emtee10
September 8th, 2004, 01:15 PM
When the government takes money from you in the form of income tax / sales tax / etc., do you consider that stealing?

Well, yes, I do. I had thought that would be a topic for a seperate thread, but if you think it is relevent here, I can tel you more about why. Please, let me know if you are interested.


All of the above could be done cheaper and better if the gov butted out. (if you are not at all libertarian you might not see how though) The fact is, before the government began it's "cradle to grave" mentality of taking care of it's citizens, the citizens generally fared better, bartering for goods and services was mandadated by supply and demand, not gov quotas.............................:O)

I agree completely. I's nice to know that I'm not the only libertarian around here. :)

Zhavric
September 8th, 2004, 01:27 PM
*blinks*

Maybe in Middle Earth, taxation is stealing and serving in the military is slavery, but here in the really real world, we acknowledge that governments with no money are able to do a whole lot of nothing. Armies without troops to fill them out aren't very scary, either. It's all well and good that Legolas took out the Olephant(sp?) all by himself...

...speaking of Lord of the Rings, when Theodin tells his commanders to go get every man he can, do you think he's telling his commanders to go out and enslave men? Is Theodin a slaver?... or is he a King acknowledging that there is a threat to his kingdom which requires the bravery of his male citizens to defeat?

emtee10
September 8th, 2004, 02:10 PM
Maybe in Middle Earth, taxation is stealing and serving in the military is slavery, but here in the really real world, we acknowledge that governments with no money are able to do a whole lot of nothing

If the government eliminated the income tax and instead collected its money from a small property tax, it would still have enough money to perform all of the necessary functions of a government. However, most government services can be provided far better and less expensively in the free market. Why not allow the market to provide the services instead of the government? That would allolw the government to work on a much lower budget.

Check out the "Taxation is Theft FAQ" if you want to read more about the specifics as per why taxation can be considered theft: http://web.archive.org/web/20040214233300/http://www.objectivists.org.au/OCT26-2000/Tax/tax_is_theft_faq.html


Armies without troops to fill them out aren't very scary, either.

I don't believe that the purpose of the army is to scare anyone. It should instead be used for the nation's self-defense. I have no reason to believe that an army which existed for this purpose and this purpose alone would ever need to conscript. If the nation ever was invaded, people would have a natural incentive to want tp join the military: to aid in the protection of themselves, their comrades, and their assets.

I feel that the reason that the government would want to draft people would not be to protect the nation's interests, but the government's interests. I would never support conscription as a tool to support the interests of those in power.


It's all well and good that Legolas took out the Olephant(sp?) all by himself...

Hehe, it's Oliphaunt, just for the record. Are you a fellow LOTR fan?


...speaking of Lord of the Rings, when Theodin tells his commanders to go get every man he can, do you think he's telling his commanders to go out and enslave men? Is Theodin a slaver?... or is he a King acknowledging that there is a threat to his kingdom which requires the bravery of his male citizens to defeat?

He is acknowledging the threat to his kingdom and the need for the bravery of his citizens, but he also is telling his men to conscript the citizens. However, considering the context of the story (set in a Middle-Ages type era, where monarchies are still the main form of political organisation), I highly doubt that any of the characters would perceive conscription as being slavery. Classical liberalism wasn't around back then, and freedom as we know it today wasn't a major priority for the average person. Rohan was not a modern democracy, in which people are supposed to have rights and freedoms. Their political system is not as developed as ours.

chadn737
September 8th, 2004, 04:30 PM
I's nice to know that I'm not the only libertarian around here.

Far from it, there are many Libertarians on this board. Myself for one. I do not like the draft and consider it something necessary only in desperate times.

However, I think equating it to slavery is going to far. Free nations and governments exist because of the participation of the people and I feel that serving in a nations defence is a duty not slavery.

emtee10
September 9th, 2004, 12:30 PM
Far from it, there are many Libertarians on this board. Myself for one.

That's good to know. :) I became a minarchist libertarian within the past year, and none of my friends share my philosophy, so its nice to be able to communicate with a fellow libertarian.


However, I think equating it to slavery is going to far. Free nations and governments exist because of the participation of the people and I feel that serving in a nations defence is a duty not slavery.

If the term "slavery" is too far, then what about "involuntary servitude"? Those who do not want to serve are not being given a choice. It's nice that you feel your duty to your country, but what about those who don't? Is it really fair to use force to make them do what you want?

If the draft is only to be used in desperate times, what exactly does that mean? Who determines what situations are desperate enough? Where is the line drawn, and why?

chadn737
September 9th, 2004, 03:25 PM
It's nice that you feel your duty to your country, but what about those who don't? Is it really fair to use force to make them do what you want?

In desperate times the needs of the nation outweigh those of the individual. Something like Vietnam I understand and support not letting such people serve. Something like WWII is another story. When the nation is under a direct threat and its very existence is at stake, that person has an obligation as a citizen to serve. I see it kind of like Basic Training, if one drops, then you all drop.

chadn737
September 9th, 2004, 03:27 PM
If the draft is only to be used in desperate times, what exactly does that mean? Who determines what situations are desperate enough? Where is the line drawn, and why?

I dont know where the line should be drawn. Each situation is different and should be handled as such.

emtee10
September 9th, 2004, 04:14 PM
I dont know where the line should be drawn. Each situation is different and should be handled as such.

If the line cannot be drawn, and wars should be handled on a case-by-case basis, then the question still remains: who should decide how desperate a stituation is?

The President? We saw how that turned out. President George W. Bush thought that Iraq was a major threat, and that the situation was desperate. However, once American troops had taken Baghdad, they realised that there were no WMD, no ties to al-Qaeda, and nothing else that would make Iraq seem like the kind of threat it was hyped up to be.

The majority? People are easily influenced, my friend. They have a tendency to believe almost anything they are told, so long as they think that the source is credible. This is also shown with the run-up to the Iraq war. The president told the people about the major threat that Saddam posed to America, and the vast majority believed him at the time.

So then, who is left to determine how desperate a situation is in a fair, honest manner. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as an unbiased person, and that the judgement of the situation is skewed because of that.


In desperate times the needs of the nation outweigh those of the individual.

Again, you reference desperate times, but when is that exactly?

The way I see it, putting the needs of the nation before the needs of the individual goes against everything that freedom stands for. Freedom is about being able to be an individual, living your life in the way that you see fit without having force used against you. People would certainly be appalled if the fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of conscience, were taken away for the "good of the nation", and because the government thinks that it can manage your life better than you can. What good is it to defend the nation, if it is a nation that does not allow you to be free?

Zhavric
September 9th, 2004, 04:48 PM
Hehe, it's Oliphaunt, just for the record. Are you a fellow LOTR fan?

5re@7 5r@bx0r?! Do you not see Galvitron in my Avatar?? Zhavric = geek.



He is acknowledging the threat to his kingdom and the need for the bravery of his citizens, but he also is telling his men to conscript the citizens. However, considering the context of the story (set in a Middle-Ages type era, where monarchies are still the main form of political organisation), I highly doubt that any of the characters would perceive conscription as being slavery. Classical liberalism wasn't around back then, and freedom as we know it today wasn't a major priority for the average person. Rohan was not a modern democracy, in which people are supposed to have rights and freedoms. Their political system is not as developed as ours.

So, what you're saying is that Theodin was enslaving them, but they weren't... (ahem) sophisticated enough to know better?

emtee10
September 9th, 2004, 06:20 PM
So, what you're saying is that Theodin was enslaving them, but they weren't... (ahem) sophisticated enough to know better?

I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that you must acknowledge that the era in which the movie takes place is much different from our own. They did not have democracies. They did not have documents like the Constitution or Bill of Rights which guarantee freedom. All that the people could really hope for was that they had a benevolent ruler.

Today, though, western democracies don't have rulers. They have leaders (presidents, prime ministers, etc) chosen by the people through elections. The citizens have rights and freedoms upon which the government cannot infringe. Basically, our expectations from our leaders are far different from the expectations of the leaders in Middle-Earth.

I have yet to meet someone who would suggest that we return to the old system of absolute monarchy. Standards have changed since the Middle Ages. I sincerely doubt that one could find any political protesters in those times, because the political structure was far different. It did not allow for anyone other than the monarch to have influence in the way that their lives were run.

Let me put it to you this way: If, in Middle-Earth, a citizen of Rohan were to protest conscription (which is highly unlikely for the aforementioned reasons), I would agree with their stance.

I try not to read too deeply into any politics within LOTR. It's a fantasy. It isn't supposed to reflect our world. Middle-Earth is in a different era with different values.

Fyshhed
September 9th, 2004, 06:29 PM
In Middle Earth, rulers achieved their status by being strong and capable warriors and leaders. They earned the respect and duty of their citizens by putting their own lives on the line.

That's more to ask than any world leader can offer in the last few centuries.

emtee10
September 9th, 2004, 06:57 PM
In Middle Earth, rulers achieved their status by being strong and capable warriors and leaders. They earned the respect and duty of their citizens by putting their own lives on the line.

That's more to ask than any world leader can offer in the last few centuries.

Very well put!

chadn737
September 9th, 2004, 07:42 PM
The President? We saw how that turned out. President George W. Bush thought that Iraq was a major threat, and that the situation was desperate.

Bush hasnt called for a draft, so this argument fails.


The way I see it, putting the needs of the nation before the needs of the individual goes against everything that freedom stands for. Freedom is about being able to be an individual, living your life in the way that you see fit without having force used against you. People would certainly be appalled if the fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of conscience, were taken away for the "good of the nation", and because the government thinks that it can manage your life better than you can. What good is it to defend the nation, if it is a nation that does not allow you to be free?

Ever hear the expression "Freedom isnt free."

If the citizen isnt willing to sacrifice for freedom, which in depserate times would be at risk, then why do they deserve it. If the nation fails then so does the freedom one had under it.

Zhavric
September 10th, 2004, 05:38 AM
The way I see it, putting the needs of the nation before the needs of the individual goes against everything that freedom stands for. Freedom is about being able to be an individual, living your life in the way that you see fit without having force used against you. People would certainly be appalled if the fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of conscience, were taken away for the "good of the nation", and because the government thinks that it can manage your life better than you can. What good is it to defend the nation, if it is a nation that does not allow you to be free?

Reading this, I have conjured an image in my mind of a yougster playing in a yard unaware of the following:

The mortgage payments made monthly by the parents.
The painstaking decision to purchase that specific house with that specific yard.
The three jobs the parents collectively work to afford the mortgage payments.
The toil of cutting the grass weekly.
The commitment by he parents to being part of a block watch to make sure the neighborhood is safe.

"Cut the lawn? You want me to CUT THE LAWN!? What am I? You're SLAVE?!?!?"

This is effectively the argument you are making. You enjoy the comforts and rights of America. When America calls on you, you have a responsibility as a citizen to serve.

You also have a responsibility not to elect some schlub who's going to declare a needless war at the drop of a hat.

It's all part of being a citizen.

CC
September 10th, 2004, 11:41 AM
This is effectively the argument you are making. You enjoy the comforts and rights of America. When America calls on you, you have a responsibility as a citizen to serve.

Only if you believe the cause is just, if not then it is one's duty to satnd up and voice their opposition, (which under the current admin means "again us" since one would not be "for us" in that regard.)


You also have a responsibility not to elect some schlub who's going to declare a needless war at the drop of a hat

Of course if you responsibly vote but the "schlub" gets elected and declares a needless war anyway you still have carried out your responsibility.......................:O)

emtee10
September 10th, 2004, 12:20 PM
Bush hasnt called for a draft, so this argument fails.

I put that merely to show that the president's perception of how urgent a situation is can be far from perfect. Bush perceived that the threat that Iraq posed was enough to justify war, but it has turned out that Iraq was nothing like what he thought it was. Could he (or any president in the future, for that matter) not make the same type of mistake when judging when a situation is urgent enough to warrant a draft?


Ever hear the expression "Freedom isnt free."

If the citizen isnt willing to sacrifice for freedom, which in depserate times would be at risk, then why do they deserve it. If the nation fails then so does the freedom one had under it.

This implies that government is the provider of freedom, which is far from the way that I see it. I see freedom as the absense of forceful intervention, and therefore government is a threat to liberty. The government should not be deciding whether or not a person is "worthy" of liberty. I would say that a person who opposes the draft is more worthy than a person who supports the draft, because the person who opposes it is DEFENDING the freedom of people. That's just the way I see it.

Freedom that isn't free, isn't freedom.


This is effectively the argument you are making. You enjoy the comforts and rights of America. When America calls on you, you have a responsibility as a citizen to serve.

Before I begin responding to this, I just want to mention that I am NOT actually an American. However, for the purposes of this I will try to put myself in an American's shoes.

Your comment would be fully correct, in my opinion, were it not for the factor of free will. Let's say that I want to be exempt from the "comforts and rights" of being an American. Would this allow me to be exempt from the draft? Let's say that I don't want any social services. Do I still have to pay taxes for them? The answer to each of these questions is, of course, no. That is because an American is not being given a choice as to whether or not they can be affected by government.

The government is not to be an American's parent. If the government had full parental powers, then it could force people to be polite, tell people when to go to bed, and compel people to follow a certain religion. Would a government that could do all of this (plus more) be desirable?

By the way, these arguments are not only applicable in America. They can be applied to any government in the world.

njdn64
September 16th, 2004, 11:25 AM
"Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription." Famous words by a Canadian Prime minister. In times of war there are calls for extreme measure. In the case of Canada and it's conscription crisis during the World Wars, many Canadians were divided on the issue. But in this case, we must look at the time and the outcome of the war as a result of conscription. Many can argue that conscription did not do much in helping the war, but they can also say that Canada did not do much. This may be so however, one cannot tell who would have lived (as in Nazi leaders) had the Canadians not been in the war. At the time of the wars, Canada was divided mainly between english and french speaking people, the English were mainly from Britain or had strong ties to Britain therefore wanting conscription as many of them were already enlisted in the war and wanted the French speaking Canadians to help too. Of course there was resentment from the french but in the end, there was a referrendom in Canada and conscription was voted for. Had conscription not been done, it can't truly be said the outcome of the war,many boundry lines of countries would be different and possibly even thousands or millions more people could have been killed in the war (as the war would hvae taken longer to win) or in the consentration camps in the case of the holocaust. There is no true way to tell the effect that conscription had, but we can all say that with it, the World Wars ended for the better.

emtee10
September 16th, 2004, 11:42 AM
Before I begin, welcome to ODN, njdn64!


But in this case, we must look at the time and the outcome of the war as a result of conscription.

While this seems like a logical way to look at it, here's the problem: when the decision to conscript was made, no-one knew what effect it would have on the war. It is easy to look at the situation retrospectively, but it is much different at the time the decision has to be made.


Of course there was resentment from the french but in the end, there was a referrendom in Canada and conscription was voted for.

The effects of the resentment that was caused due to conscription in the 2 World Wars have yet to be fully determined. I live in Canada, and I am fully aware that there is a substantial amount of tension between English Canada and French Canada. Conscription seems to have made this problem much worse than it was before.


Had conscription not been done, it can't truly be said the outcome of the war,many boundry lines of countries would be different and possibly even thousands or millions more people could have been killed in the war (as the war would hvae taken longer to win) or in the consentration camps in the case of the holocaust.

I recognise that this quote applies to World War II, but in my mind I was also thinking about how the same things had an effect on the outcome of World War I.

Most historians recognise that the outcome of World War I was a primary cause in starting World War II. Perhaps, if Canada had not conscripted during WWI, and the Treaty of Versailles had been different, then the root causes of WWII (economic depression in Germany, shattered national pride, etc) would not have existed. This would not have allowed a manic like Hitler to become a national leader, and the Second World War would not have happened.

Keep in mind that much of the above is hypothetical. There is no way of knowing what effect Canadian conscription had on the outcome of WWI. However, the same goes for WWII.

Pibs
September 16th, 2004, 01:24 PM
You guys just crack me up sometimes.

:lol:


Of course conscription is involuntary servitude!

Fight for freedom!
Eh?
Freedom!
Oh.
Get in uniform and go die, I mean fight.
What's freedom?
Freedom to do what you want to do as long as you don't harm others.
Oh. In that case, I don't want to fight.
You have no choice, go kill other people or be killed.
But I want freedom!?
Tough! This isn't a free country! Go die! I mean kill! Kill!

It amuses me to read so many people holding up WW2 as an example of how America needed the draft.

The American contribution to WW2 was most helpful and much appreciated, truly. But please, don't go believing the BS about America being under threat.

The US was lied into both WW1 and WW2.


P.

chadn737
September 16th, 2004, 03:54 PM
This implies that government is the provider of freedom, which is far from the way that I see it. I see freedom as the absense of forceful intervention, and therefore government is a threat to liberty. The government should not be deciding whether or not a person is "worthy" of liberty. I would say that a person who opposes the draft is more worthy than a person who supports the draft, because the person who opposes it is DEFENDING the freedom of people. That's just the way I see it.

Government is necessary to ensure freedom, its a very delicate balance.

Take away government and anyone has the ability to impose their will on another. Government is necessary to ensure equality and freedom are maintained. If government didnt exist we have total anarchy and I have the ability to come and force you into servitude. It is the power that we entrust to government prevents me from doing this, because now I am at risk. If I force you into servitude then the government will punish me. Anarchy is not freedom, except for the strong. To ensure that all have freedom an institution must exist that protects the weak, we call that government. Yes government is often abused and heads the wrong direction, but it is better than the absolute anarchy that would otherwise be the case.


Freedom that isn't free, isn't freedom.

Really? You then spit on all those that died to give you freedom. Those that have sacrificed themselves through history is the reason freedom exists. If not we would still be living in the dark ages, where the strong wield their power over the weak, where onces fate is decided not by themselves, but by the whims of those more powerful.

Freedom comes at a cost and the check is written in blood.

Fyshhed
September 16th, 2004, 05:19 PM
The American contribution to WW2 was most helpful and much appreciated, truly. But please, don't go believing the BS about America being under threat.

The US was lied into both WW1 and WW2.
P.
Au contraire, Pierre. In the event that Allied forces were unable to halt Hitler's war machine, who is to say that Hitler would not have been able to muster enough force to taker over Russia eventually, then Canada and/or Mexico... I suspect the thought had crossed his mind not to be satisfied with Europe.

emtee10
September 16th, 2004, 06:57 PM
Government is necessary to ensure freedom, its a very delicate balance.

Take away government and anyone has the ability to impose their will on another. Government is necessary to ensure equality and freedom are maintained. If government didnt exist we have total anarchy and I have the ability to come and force you into servitude. It is the power that we entrust to government prevents me from doing this, because now I am at risk. If I force you into servitude then the government will punish me. Anarchy is not freedom, except for the strong. To ensure that all have freedom an institution must exist that protects the weak, we call that government. Yes government is often abused and heads the wrong direction, but it is better than the absolute anarchy that would otherwise be the case.

I don't think that anarchy is the answer. I just think that government power should be limited as much as is reasonably possible, so that there is much less potential for abuse. I think that when a government is too powerful, it poses a genuine threat to the liberties of the people. I don't think that we should get rid of the government, but merely that we should limit its power.


Really? You then spit on all those that died to give you freedom. Those that have sacrificed themselves through history is the reason freedom exists. If not we would still be living in the dark ages, where the strong wield their power over the weak, where onces fate is decided not by themselves, but by the whims of those more powerful.

Freedom comes at a cost and the check is written in blood.

You make a good point, but one must ask, "What did they fight for?" They fought for freedom from oppression. They fought for the freedom to be an inidividual. They fought for the freedom from unreasonable force. I think thats why the American government established after the American Revolution was much less involved in the affairs of the citizens than it is now.

I think you misunderstand what I said when you assumed that freedom is not to be fought for. What I meant is that a state of freedom, where you are still subject to the rule of a government which can force you to sacrifice your life, is not truly free in my mind. I believe that the government of a free nation would, at least for the most part, leave its citizens to manage their own affairs, and would never request that a citizen's life be sacrificed for the good of the nation.

Ibelsd
September 24th, 2004, 12:26 PM
I would argue that a free military, one without conscription, provides a good check against foreign policy decisions made by politicians. When causes seem just, more people will be willing to join the military. When the cause is perceived as injust, then the numbers in the military will decline, causing a change in foreign policy.

Let's take foreign policy today. Most people, by a very slim margin, support Bush's actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. A large enough group is opposed such that the National Guard did not meet its recruitment quota. This tells the current administration that it does not have a free hand to expand the current theatre of operations. The President must allocate the resources available. If a draft were imposed, then the President, or any other leader, would have free reign to go to war, almost at will. Congress attempted to provide a balance for this unmitigated freedom in the '70's, but they could have been just as successful by noting that without a draft, future wars will be kept in check by the number of volunteers willing to enlist.

Let's look at WW2 and WW1. Even before the U.S. officially entered the war, Americans joined the Canadian army to go and fight. It was considered a just war, and the number of volunteers easily filled the ranks. One could only assume that if our country's life was at stake, finding volunteers for the army would be the least of our worries. History has demonstrated this to be true. Be wary of any politician who considers the draft as a viable option. In a free society, conscription is a means to deny the individual his right to remain free.

emtee10
September 24th, 2004, 07:30 PM
I would argue that a free military, one without conscription, provides a good check against foreign policy decisions made by politicians. When causes seem just, more people will be willing to join the military. When the cause is perceived as injust, then the numbers in the military will decline, causing a change in foreign policy.

Exactly. This is why I believe that, even if the homeland was threatened, conscription would not be necessary. Like you said, history has shown that free people can be depended on to defend freedom, when it is genuinely threatened.

Pibs
September 25th, 2004, 08:00 AM
Ah, refreshing, some nice common sense posts.

I like that.


:)



P.

FruitandNut
September 25th, 2004, 08:56 AM
Au contraire, Pierre. In the event that Allied forces were unable to halt Hitler's war machine, who is to say that Hitler would not have been able to muster enough force to taker over Russia eventually, then Canada and/or Mexico... I suspect the thought had crossed his mind not to be satisfied with Europe.


Yes, he had the early stages of 'Atlantic Rocketry and Bombers' in hand by mid-war. The Third Reich had started to muster 'foreign' brigades and divisions to aid them.

Mind you, the vast area of the USSR could absorb hundreds of divisions and partisan activity would keep them occupied. The thought of occupying yet another hostile 'continent' may be one thing, and reality and practicality, another.

FruitandNut
September 25th, 2004, 09:15 AM
Let's look at WW2 and WW1. Even before the U.S. officially entered the war, Americans joined the Canadian army to go and fight. It was considered a just war, and the number of volunteers easily filled the ranks. One could only assume that if our country's life was at stake, finding volunteers for the army would be the least of our worries. History has demonstrated this to be true. Be wary of any politician who considers the draft as a viable option. In a free society, conscription is a means to deny the individual his right to remain free.


Many Americans joined the RAF before Pearl Harbour. They joined many branches of all three services.

On September 25th. 1942, Nos. 71, 121 and 133 'Eagle' Squadrons RAF became 334th, 335th, and 336th. fighter squadrons of the 4th Air Group of the 'Mighty Eighth'.

chadn737
September 25th, 2004, 10:21 AM
Many Americans joined the RAF before Pearl Harbour. They joined many branches of all three services.

Good old Americans, we always go where the action is.... must be our Cowboy mentality.

emtee10
September 25th, 2004, 11:38 AM
Good old Americans, we always go where the action is.... must be our Cowboy mentality.

LOL!

Ibelsd
September 28th, 2004, 07:58 AM
Many Americans joined the RAF before Pearl Harbour. They joined many branches of all three services.

On September 25th. 1942, Nos. 71, 121 and 133 'Eagle' Squadrons RAF became 334th, 335th, and 336th. fighter squadrons of the 4th Air Group of the 'Mighty Eighth'.


Indeed, I was just giving one example.

FruitandNut
September 30th, 2004, 12:57 AM
"Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription." Famous words by a Canadian Prime minister. In times of war there are calls for extreme measure. In the case of Canada and it's conscription crisis during the World Wars, many Canadians were divided on the issue. But in this case, we must look at the time and the outcome of the war as a result of conscription. Many can argue that conscription did not do much in helping the war, but they can also say that Canada did not do much. This may be so however, one cannot tell who would have lived (as in Nazi leaders) had the Canadians not been in the war. At the time of the wars, Canada was divided mainly between english and french speaking people, the English were mainly from Britain or had strong ties to Britain therefore wanting conscription as many of them were already enlisted in the war and wanted the French speaking Canadians to help too. Of course there was resentment from the french but in the end, there was a referrendom in Canada and conscription was voted for. Had conscription not been done, it can't truly be said the outcome of the war,many boundry lines of countries would be different and possibly even thousands or millions more people could have been killed in the war (as the war would hvae taken longer to win) or in the consentration camps in the case of the holocaust. There is no true way to tell the effect that conscription had, but we can all say that with it, the World Wars ended for the better.

Strange how the French Canadians who pride themselves in their Frenchness a often like to distance themselves from Perfidious Albions by wrapping themselves in the 'fleur de lys' and shouting, 'Vive la Quebec libre', were slower in their enthusiasm for conscription when it was France that was most threatened by The Third Reich. Hitler admired much that was British and of British achievments and fantasised an Anglo-German axis in the earlier part of World War Two, Germany was also the bigger threat to France in the first WW.