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wishin
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This question is mostly directed to US citizens, but I'd still be interested in hearing from others around the world.

A couple of us at work were talking about how some countries require that everyone serve at least a year or two in the military. One of my co-workers strongly believes that the US should require this as well.

If I remember correctly his reasons were:

1. Helps us appreciate what we have by seeing how others in some countries have to live.

2. Would hopefully help with racism and discrimination (I think the thought here was by being in the military you'd make friends from all walks of life).

3. Because we owe it to our country etc etc.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.....I'm kind of thinking he might be on to something...still on the fence though.
 

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From what I've seen of other countries, I would support this.
 

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I understand his points in contending value here.

We could ask our youth to on a mandatory level work for the Peace Copr or Habitats for humanity, or work on a church mission and the above results would all be accomplished less one thing. The killing and being killed part.

the above proposal is incrediby Spartan. I think it's a bad idea. It would mean the death of divergent thought, it would ruin the arts, it would further repress society and it risks losing our greatest technological advantadge in the capitalist marketplace: Youth. It will also subject divergent thinkers to heavy brainwashing. Not everyone needs to be broken. I think it's a horrendous idea. Perhaps SOME kind of compulsory goodwill service where the millitary is an option but I could never endorse compulsory service. Our consitution doesn't allow it to happen anyhow and shouldn't. That is the sort of thing that thi country was founded to prevent. If it happened at all millitarily it would have to be on the Natioal Gaurd level and that wouldn't yield the above desired results. I don't want the compulsory bolstering and further centralization of federal power.
If this was enacted I would leave the country because my children will have the right to chose if their path is one military.
 

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While never gung-ho about obligatory service, I supported it when I was younger, and I still support it now that I'm probably too old for it.

Spirare, why would it lead to what you say it would lead to?
 

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A quality Military demands unquestioning unwavering jingoism. This is accomplished through brainwashing. That's fine if it your choice. Compulsory adherence to the national agenda will quell divergent thinking as a matter of course. The termination of even a percentage of divergent thought will hurt the arts as a matter of course for the same reason. I don't have a problem with compulsory service of some kind but to demand military service is also a violation of religious freedoms if your religion or particular way of thinking demands pacifism. I also question the value of having a nation of trained killers. That is why I mentioned compulsory goodwill service, through the Peace Corp., the WHO, Habitat for Humanity or a religous organization. The military would be an option but not the only option. You need to give people the chance to do good work without violating their ethics and like it or not we have the right to decide NOT to participate in the military for ethical reasons. I didn't join (well I left) because I don't agree with killing another human unless in self defense.
 

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Germany has a compulsory system that gives you an option - either Bundeswehr, or what's known as "Zivildienst" or "civilian service". This can take the form of working in an old folk's home, or some other type of non-military activity.
Give people an option like that, and I could see it. Otherwise? I don't think so...
 

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I got this user title because I'm old and special
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Spirare does have a point. One of the reasons are military is so strong is the participants are free willed. It was their free choice to sign up.
I think you might damage this strength with a mandatory service.
 

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Spirare, you are stuck with a very small view of the world and history. The military (save for a few select groups) is not all about brainwashing, it is about dicipline and duty, while it may be hard for some to see there is a difference. America is in danger of becoming a lathargic group of cowards, while I am with you and would not have been crazy about spending a few years in the service maybe it could have done me some good. Further more in regaurds to hurting the arts I will be so bold as to say that you have no idea what you are talking about, I think a historical review of artists that have served their countries might do you some good (I am short on time or I would start the list for you, maybe tonight if you wish). As far as killing other humans, when ingauged in battle it is always self-defence, am I wrong? Man countries have the policy of manitory service and they are doing just fine on the global market place. Hell I belive that even switzerlan is one. Remember, having an open mind is not hateing everything you are told to.
 

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vista_cruiser said:
Spirare, you are stuck with a very small view of the world and history. The military (save for a few select groups) is not all about brainwashing, it is about dicipline and duty, while it may be hard for some to see there is a difference. America is in danger of becoming a lathargic group of cowards, while I am with you and would not have been crazy about spending a few years in the service maybe it could have done me some good. Further more in regaurds to hurting the arts I will be so bold as to say that you have no idea what you are talking about, I think a historical review of artists that have served their countries might do you some good (I am short on time or I would start the list for you, maybe tonight if you wish). As far as killing other humans, when ingauged in battle it is always self-defence, am I wrong? Man countries have the policy of manitory service and they are doing just fine on the global market place. Hell I belive that even switzerlan is one. Remember, having an open mind is not hateing everything you are told to.
So what's your point? I'm going to respond to what makes sense to me but the bulk of your post is nonsensical, poorly written drivel. You don't know me or what knowledge base my opinions are founded upon and presume to grasp the breadth of my knowledge, insight, drives and goals by reading a few posts. This is indicative of a foreshortned, closed minded worldview if nothing is. My advice to you is to engage in debate not pandering condescension and overt unsupported generalizations.

In the case where service is compulsory (this means you HAVE TO serve) you will inevitably find people who DO NOT WANT TO. How do you convince them it is in their best interest to employ the ascribed brand of disipline and duty? You brainwash them. Maybe it isn't the best word to use but it is what is done. Tough. I can take the time to teach you how to do it if you'd like. I have practice.

No it is not self defense to kill people on the field of battle if 1) your side started it 2) You chose to follow those orders.

Yes why don't you take the time to teach me about the arts and everything else. You are correct in saying that having an open mind doesn't mean hating everything that you are told to do. It means that you QUESTION everything you are told to do. Are you allowed to do that in the military? NO.

I think a historical overview of artists who have not been in the military compared to an historical view of those who have might be in your best interest. Bear in mind that you don't know this because you are a NEWBIE, that I went to school for design and fine arts and have studied art history extensivley. I have had paintings in numerous shows and exhibits and appeared in a couple of local magazines. Are you sure that you would like to educate me on the value of free thought in artisitc exegesis? I have a feeling that you can't name 15 prominent figures in the arts, that have trully changed thought regarding form, structure, composition, and subject matter that have served in ANY military. I garantee I can name 50 that haven't served who have impacted our collectives perceptions of beauty on profound levels far beyond those few you can name. That would be off topic.

The result of centralizing federal power throughout history has been the same. A decline in the arts and divergent thought. This happens and has happened with only one exception. When the government is run by a religion, in which case divergent thought founders but gross output of works skyrockets.

In short. Yes I think we are becoming lazy. Yes I think service could be good for some people. I simply think they shold be allowed to chose what is good for them and what is not.

Why is it that so many right wingers can't spell or structure a sentence correctly (this is not directed at you J-RAd)? Good gracious, it is raw tedium reading some of the posts that rebutt mine. Ugh.
 

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I'm too old now (mid 40's) but I'd be ok with service - IF I could contribute along the lines of my talents. I would really enjoy helping out in a way that reflects my abilities. I'm not the marine take-lotsa-phys-abuse type - but I think I could help out significantly in terms of techie areas.

but the problem is - our system requires that we ALL be treated like grunts. and I'm just not up to it, physically. if I could help in my own way, that would be cool.

finally, I have a bit of a problem with someone ordering me around (big surprise) ;) if I _know_ that my idea is better, yet I'm forced to follow someone else's orders, that would just drive me nuts.

I think the military should modernize and have places for rebels like me who WOULD contribute if it was more rebel-friendly, so to speak ;)
 

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I don't agree with mandatory military service unless and until it becomes necessary. It will only become necessary if we are under constant seige like other countries that have mandatory military service programs (e.g. Isreael).

What would make a HELL of a lot more sense would be to have mandatory civil service or peace corps service. We could all benefit from a broader perspective. :thumbup:
 

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I think a mandatory service policy of any kind takes away individual rights and freedoms, I do think however, if our country was in dire enough circumstance e.g. we actually felt threatened, there would be no shoratge of people willing to do their part, myself included :beer:
 

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mandatory mil service is a bad idea, but I do think it would help americans be more appreciative if every one had to do either community service or military service.
 

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I'd be for mandatory military service just to snap those NIMBY people out of their fog...you know, those people (and my mom's on this list) that say "the war in Iraq is fine, just don't send my kid there". :suspicio:

Seriously though, I'd be more for mandatory service of some kind, as long as military isn't the only option (and this is coming from someone who just signed up with a Guard unit).

linux-works said:
if I _know_ that my idea is better, yet I'm forced to follow someone else's orders, that would just drive me nuts.
Hear, hear. However, if my modern military history is correct, you'll find the most successful commanders were the ones who actually listened to their subordinates...

Andy
 

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This is fun :lol:

Here's an opinion from somebody who was forced to serve, and who also served on his own free will.

Some of you know that I was born in Czechoslovakia which was a communist country and part of the Warsaw Pact block. In 1980 I was drafted to CS army where I had to serve for two years. It was mandatory. There I was subjected to constant brainwashing regarding imperialist US and their threat to freedom loving Soviet block countries. The service there was fairly comparable to two years term in prison. We were restricted to barracks 24 hrs a day, and under constant watch of the officers whe were professional soldiers. Never the less even after all that brainwashing I defected to west three months after being discharged from the CS army. So much for the brainwashing effectiveness Spirare :wink:. Did I get anything positive out of it. Yes I did. I found out that I could go through hardship in life, that what looks like impossible may in the end not be impossible if you have a goal, and that your personal beliefs are your own and no matter what somebody does to you they stay your own. I also struck friendship and cooperated with people who were not necessary from the same walk of life as I was but we had the common "enemy" so it worked. So that is my experience with compulsory service.

Some of you also know that I served in US Army for eight years. This was totally my choice and I did it for my own personal reasons. I fought in Panama and in the first Gulf war.

What is my opinion on compulsory service? I would support it. Here's why.

Service to your country fosters discipline, self sacrifice, sense of duty, camaraderie and teamwork. Characteristics that have positive impact in society.
There is some a amount of brainwashing, but it is NOT ideological. It is aimed toward cohesiveness. Don't forget, the military is not a political instrument. When you serve, you serve your country no matter if Democrats or Republicans are in power. That applies in peacetime. Ultimately in time of war, when the bullets are flying you are not even fighting for big ideas or for your country. You are fighting for your buddy who is next to you in the foxhole. He knows that you will cover his back and he will do the same for you so hopefully you both walk away in one piece. I know this for fact as I've been there myself.

Secondary while in military, you are also exposed to different cultures around the world as you get deployed, stationed, or TDY in other countries around the world. That is a two way street beneficial to you, but also the people you come in contact with. You will see conditions under which people around the world live and can compare it to your own conditions you live here in US. Many times it's an eye opening experience. You will also find out that on basic human level all people are the same. You will see that in many instances they have distorted views of the US and how we live here. Then you have the opportunity to show them that their views do not reflect the reality, and in many instances you'll find out that their hostility is then gone.

Lastly you will be exposed to different strata of US society. Economical and racial. Military is fully integrated and does not show preference to anybody. You do your job well and you get promoted. You don't and you will be left behind. Simple.

So that is my take on this subject.
 

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Boris said:
Service to your country fosters discipline, self sacrifice, sense of duty, camaraderie and teamwork. Characteristics that have positive impact in society.
service to your COMPANY fosters discipline, self sacrifice, sense of duty, camaraderie and teamwork. Characteristics that have positive impact in society.

you do not have to be in the way of fire, or reduce yourself to a piece-o-meat to learn all those things you listed.
 

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Spirare said:
I understand his points in contending value here.

We could ask our youth to on a mandatory level work for the Peace Copr or Habitats for humanity, or work on a church mission and the above results would all be accomplished less one thing. The killing and being killed part.

the above proposal is incrediby Spartan. I think it's a bad idea. It would mean the death of divergent thought, it would ruin the arts, it would further repress society and it risks losing our greatest technological advantadge in the capitalist marketplace: Youth. It will also subject divergent thinkers to heavy brainwashing. Not everyone needs to be broken. I think it's a horrendous idea. Perhaps SOME kind of compulsory goodwill service where the millitary is an option but I could never endorse compulsory service. Our consitution doesn't allow it to happen anyhow and shouldn't. That is the sort of thing that thi country was founded to prevent. If it happened at all millitarily it would have to be on the Natioal Gaurd level and that wouldn't yield the above desired results. I don't want the compulsory bolstering and further centralization of federal power.
If this was enacted I would leave the country because my children will have the right to chose if their path is one military.
Wow Spirare. What you see in the military is not what I've experienced. Boris has pretty much said every thing I could and a company doesn't come close to fostering those traits like the military.
 

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Urlik said:
and a company doesn't come close to fostering those traits like the military.
excuse me, but you are a bit wrong.

go find some people who started a company and who put their whole lives (and life savings), sacrificed their time with family for their company. then ask them if their 'life lessons' are any less significant than yours.

sure, its not life and death, but not all bonds that last require you to shed blood, literally.

I'm not belittling service in the military; but please don't write-off entrepreneurship just because you, personally, place it below your own kind of preferred career.

we each have our own abilities and preferred environments that cause us to grow in the most enriching and efficient ways. I can point you to many ex-military people who are bitter, resentful and highly farked-up due to being forced to live a military life.

some plants grow well in strong light and some prefer less light. there isn't a one-size-fits-all that works for everyone.

which is why I think compulsory military FOR ALL (such as requiring boot camp and playing with guns) is a very bad idea.

 

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Wow, some folks sure have paranoid fantasies regarding the armed services. I believe I would be safe to say that those same folks have no actual experience on which to base those feelings.

"Brainwashing"? No. There is some "indoctrination" but people are not changed by it. There are sociopaths in any group, military included. (see totally fictional reference pictured above)

If you are still unconvinced, re-read Boris' last post.
 

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The list as requested:

Artists whom served their country:
For better or worse they did their time and it affected their art and Lives.

Otto Dix Humphry Bogart
George Grosz Michael Caine
Michelangelo Sean Conery
Max Beckman Richard Bartow
Felix Muller Gerald Boldenow
Franz Marc Ned Broderick
Gary Cooper Cao Ba Minh
Elvis Presley Elgin Carver
Oliver Stone Mary Margarett Caudill
Leo Tolstoy Kieth Decker
Horace Pippin Michael Duffy
Fyodor Dostoevsky William Dugan
Ernest Hemmingway JRR Tolkien
Gene Autry Robert Lewis Posner
James Arness Dale E. Samuelson
Charles Bronson Arturo Alonzo Sandoval
Richard Burton R. Dean Sharp
Mel Brooks David Smith
Art Carney Kenneth Willhite
Tony Curtis Richard Russell Yohnka
Kirk Douglas Isaac Rosenburg
Henry Fonda Walter Gropius
Clark Gable
Glen Ford
Don Knotts
Jack Lemon
Steve McQueen
Jack Palance
Jimmy Stewart
Bob Hope

I CAN continue but I don't the time a little independent research will yeild plenty more results. Ironic that you are an Artist and don't realize that some of the most deeply touching and beautifull works are the result of personal pain and suffering, even if such works stem from the atrocities of war. Not that all in the service see war, in fact I would say a large percentage never do.
 
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