What do you think?
The Order is Right, cowards should be shamed.
10.3% (3)
10.3% (3)
The Order is Wrong, people should be allowed to live their lives.
86.2% (25)
86.2% (25)
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Poll: The Order of the White Feather

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January is finally here, and that means a new season of Downton Abbey with all episodes released on iTunes!

I just finished the first episode, and it, like those that came before it, were amazing.

There was one scene that stood out to me, however, and that was the one during the charity concert concerning the War, when two young ladies started passing out "white feathers of cowardice" to the male staff, most notable the young footman.

Luckily, the man of the house intervened in very British fashion and expelled the two harpies.

Here is an article relating to the white feathers themselves:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_feather

I find it funny how the American interpretation of the feather is to use it to distinguish expert marksmanship and extraordinary bravery.

So what are your thoughts on this?

Should a country in total war actively shame those not on the front lines?

Who the what now?

As to your question? Well, the women handed out feathers to those who haven't enlisted in an attempt to shame them into signing up. Now that, while definitely unfair, can actually be quite productive.

I'd say considering the situation (total war, possible annihilation of the entire country) such "propaganda" may be justified. I don't like it, but it's not a situation where you have much choice. You'd want to get as many people on the front lines as possible, so why not use both the "sign up, be patriotic" and the "don't be a wuss" approach?

It's unfair, it's childish, but it's not forcing anybody and if it helps?
In that sense, neither option of the poll apply to me. I think they are wrong in shaming people, but I don't think what they do is infringing on people's ability to live their lives.

Skeleon:
Who the what now?

As to your question? No. I'm not exactly heavily patriotic or care too much for the military, but under such circumstances there's neither need for nor benefit from undermining morale. You want your soldiers fight, hold their ground and die and if their morale is shot to pieces before they are, they won't be able to do that. Obviously both counterproductive and unfair behaviour in a situation of total war.

EDIT: Hold on, according to that Wiki article, the women handed out feathers to those who haven't enlisted in an attempt to shame them into signing up. Now that, while still unfair, can actually be quite productive.

Yeah, I know its kind of a random topic but I found it interesting.

SacremPyrobolum:
Yeah, I know its kind of a random topic but I found it interesting.

Heavily edited my post, I somewhat misunderstood what was meant at first.

Anyway, yeah, it is interesting. I'm something of a Utilitarian and while I don't agree with shaming people, I have to take the circumstances into account (total war). I guess I'd say it's okay, all in all. What wouldn't be okay would be actually forcing them to the front, shanghaiing them or whatever.

Skeleon:

SacremPyrobolum:
Yeah, I know its kind of a random topic but I found it interesting.

Heavily edited my post, I somewhat misunderstood what was meant at first.

Anyway, yeah, it is interesting. I'm something of a Utilitarian and while I don't agree with shaming people, I have to take the circumstances into account. I guess I'd say it's okay. What wouldn't be okay would be actually forcing them to the front, shanghaiing them or whatever.

You could argue that this is all but forcing them to enlist. If someone guilts you enough, they can get you to do anything even if they don't in the normal sense of the word "force" you.

Hell, I might think a draft is preferable to this because at least they are being honest.

I actually looked up the topic further and found out that recruitment people would work with the White Feather-ers to gain recruits
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2038997/In-Downton-Abbey-male-servants-taunted-feathers-women-going-war-So-whats-truth-cowards-tormentors-Feather-Girls.html
16th Paragraph

SacremPyrobolum:
You could argue that this is all but forcing them to enlist. If someone guilts you enough, they can get you to do anything even if they don't in the normal sense of the word "force" you.

Hell, I might think a draft is preferable to this because at least they are being honest.

I actually looked up the topic further and found out that recruitment people would work with the White Feather-ers to gain recruits
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2038997/In-Downton-Abbey-male-servants-taunted-feathers-women-going-war-So-whats-truth-cowards-tormentors-Feather-Girls.html
16th Paragraph

Yeah, it is a pretty shameful tactic, I'm not disputing that.
I'm just not sure it warrants outright condemnation considering the circumstances. My earlier mentioning of needing your soldiers to stand and die still applies, unfortunately. It's an understandable behaviour when facing complete destruction, though understandable does not mean it is suddenly excused.
And, frankly, conscientious objectors should be principled enough not to fall for such an obvious trick. While I don't doubt plenty of people did sign up because of those women and their direct cooperation with recruiters, I still have to consider it much less problematic than what we did even earlier when we needed more soliders, like raiding a village and dragging people off.

SacremPyrobolum:
January is finally here, and that means a new season of Downton Abbey with all episodes released on iTunes!

I just finished the first episode, and it, like those that came before it, were amazing.

There was one scene that stood out to me, however, and that was the one during the charity concert concerning the War, when two young ladies started passing out "white feathers of cowardice" to the male staff, most notable the young footman.

Luckily, the man of the house intervened in very British fashion and expelled the two harpies.

Here is an article relating to the white feathers themselves:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_feather

I find it funny how the American interpretation of the feather is to use it to distinguish expert marksmanship and extraordinary bravery.

So what are your thoughts on this?

Should a country in total war actively shame those not on the front lines?

BTW the reason the white feather is viewed like that is because of a Vietnam sniper who habitually wore a feather in his cap. (Carlos Hathcock, if you want to look him up.)

As for the shaming, I don't really know where to stand on it. On the one hand I am a pacifist, but on the other I believe in situations of total war you need every able bodies person you can. I guess if it weren't portrayed as cowardice, i would be completley fine with it. You can support the war effort from the rear in non combat positions just as well as you can getting shot at. Rather have people that volunteer for frontline duty not have to deal with those that don't want to be there and could potentially get more people killed.

Disagree with it. If you want people to risk their lives for you, don't try to pressure them. Their life, no one else's. Especially if you're just sitting around at home handing out white feathers yourself. Go let yourself get shot first.

Mortai Gravesend:
Disagree with it. If you want people to risk their lives for you, don't try to pressure them. Their life, no one else's. Especially if you're just sitting around at home handing out white feathers yourself. Go let yourself get shot first.

Would even the most nationalistic woman have had the right/ability to join the army in WW1?

Although your point is fair even if that's not the case, considering there were plenty of women who served still relatively directly in field hospitals and the like at the time. It's not like they couldn't have gotten involved more directly themselves at least.

Skeleon:

Mortai Gravesend:
Disagree with it. If you want people to risk their lives for you, don't try to pressure them. Their life, no one else's. Especially if you're just sitting around at home handing out white feathers yourself. Go let yourself get shot first.

Would even the most nationalistic woman have had the right/ability to join the army in WW1?

Although your point is fair even if that's not the case, considering there were plenty of women who served still relatively directly in field hospitals and the like at the time. It's not like they couldn't have gotten involved more directly themselves at least.

Nah probably not, but I'm applying it to any future scenarios. But yeah, I hadn't considered field hospitals to allow them to be more active in their participation which is the least I could expect of someone telling me I need to go out and fight.

Hmm interesting, I'm surprised I have never heard of this before.

As for whether men who do not enlist should be shamed...well certainly not in largely peaceful times like this. An all volunteer military is best for most countries who are not under threat of being attacked or something like that. In this scenario men should not be shamed for choosing a civilian occupation in their life. After all part of the point of the military is to protect peoples right and ability to work in such occupations unmolested by foreign enemies.

On the other hand, say you are in Israel during their Independence War or in France or Russia when the Germans invade in the 1940s. In those situations your fellow countrymen need you just as you need them and a big way to help your country and by extension your countrymen (and women of course) is to enlist. Then again that is not the ONLY way of helping the cause. They still need people handling logistics and working in factories and what not too.

So in short, normally I think its rather silly to shame someone in peace time or even in limited war times for choosing not to enlist in a volunteer army (though its a different matter if you are drafted and try to avoid serving unless you have a legitimate reason not to, like a disability or something).

In times of Total War or when the very existence of your country is under threat, yeah let the ladies shame the boys into men if that is what it takes. However as I said there are other ways besides enlisting to help your country in times of total war and then again total war is a rarity, particularly in this day and age.

It's a fairly distasteful and underhanded method of getting young men to march to their deaths, in my opinion, but perhaps a lot of that sentiment comes courtesy of the benefit of hindsight. I wonder how some of these feather-girls later managed to live with the knowledge that their actions were in many cases a death sentence for their "victims". All war is horrible, of course, but WWI had the added ignominy of being a fairly senseless and bloodily unsophisticated affair.

Batou667:
It's a fairly distasteful and underhanded method of getting young men to march to their deaths, in my opinion, but perhaps a lot of that sentiment comes courtesy of the benefit of hindsight. I wonder how some of these feather-girls later managed to live with the knowledge that their actions were in many cases a death sentence for their "victims". All war is horrible, of course, but WWI had the added ignominy of being a fairly senseless and bloodily unsophisticated affair.

World War I wasn't senseless, if the Archduke of Austria-Hungrary had a driver who knew the streets of the Bosnian capital better then the whole thing never would have happened (historical joke based on the fact that the assassins had actually given up on killing Franz after their initial attack had failed. The Archduke was actually on his way out of the city when his driver took a wrong turn and just happened to end up on the same street where one of the assassins was walking on his way to buy a sandwich...think about that the next time you take a wrong turn).

Interesting topic OP.

It may be worth pointing out that the white feather campaign went on before conscription was enacted in the UK. So before 1916 it was a matter of free choice as to wherever you signed up or not. Of course young men were under a lot of pressure to do that- but a lot of that was through positive reinforcement (your country needs you). The white feather campaign is negative reinforcement- essentially guilt tripping young men into the trenches. It plays on masculine gender expectations- the white feathers given out by a woman to denote a man who is a coward and therefore unworthy as a sexual partner. Essentially the white feather campaign manipulates masculine gender expectations and also sexual desire to get young men to risk their lives for the national interest. Perhaps in a total war situation the ends justify the means, but it's certainly very morally corrupt.

Firstly, under no circumstancce would you recruit all your able bodied citizens and send them off to war, you need people to work in the everything else side of things.

Secondly, the people doing the shaming were the ones that couldn't join/be called up, and stayed safe at home the same as they were shaming other people for.

I despise any sort of nationalism. The people decide when to fight, and to shame them is nothing sort of tyranny. If a country is so crappy that not many people want to defend it, than the government has no right to exist. This is the general rule of all countries for all time.

Drafts are just as bad for the same reason. A country's right to exist is tied to its ability to gain volunteers. If a country cant do that, it loses its right to exist. Natural selection for countries does exist, and there is NOTHING saying one particular country MUST exist. Times changes, and countries rise and fall. Its a cycle that cannot be stopped.

I think it is best when discussing anything historical that one judges things by the standards of the time - having a go at them for not having early 21st century social mores is akin to having a go at them for having iPods.

That said, the whole phenomenon was heartily detested by those serving in uniform during the First World War, and by the government. Naturally, it was difficult to stop the women (and it was nearly all women, for obvious reasons of hypocrisy) from doing it, but there are many recorded instances of women attempting to give white feathers to wounded ex-servicemen in civilian dress and getting a damned good thrashing for it - there's was even an occasion when a white feather was presented to a munitions worker, which an onlooking officer caught site of, took them by the collar and frog-marched them to the Women's Legion recruiting station and told them to join up. There was another occaision when a woman gave a feather to a serving sailor - he had a "landsman" trade, and thus his uniform was very similar to a navy blue civilian suit rather then the traditional square rig sailor suit, and the woman didn't recognise it.

The campaign had massive negetive effects for the war economy in the early days, as it caused many people who were needed for the war efforts in other fields to join up.

Of course, their was something of a propaganda campaign to ecourage people to enlist using shame, however the idea wasn't to publicly shame those who hadn't taken the King's Shilling, but rather to...get those who weren't contributing to the war effort to feel privately inadequate. Quite a different proposition to publically shaming such. It also recognised that the war effort wasn't just about firing a boondook at a baddie in a pickelhaube.

As for the comments about the senselessness of the war and it's pointlessness and how badly it was fought...well, that is a highly ill-educated view of the war with absolutely no understanding of the facts. However, I shan't debunk that view here as any reply I make would inevitably just cause those people who think such to reply "TLDR"

GonvilleBromhead:
...which an onlooking officer caught site of, took them by the collar and frog-marched them to the Women's Legion recruiting station and told them to join up.

To quote myself:
"Would even the most nationalistic woman have had the right/ability to join the army in WW1?"
I had thought women were only deployed in support roles behind the front.

I'm intrigued, what exactly was the Women's Legion? Where they an actual fighting force on the front? Were they support troops of sorts? Were they employed in field hospitals and similar? What was their range of operations or type of work?

At the time Britain had a professional army, so it's inexcusable, especially since the people doing it were themselves not on the front lines. Not being allowed to fight isn't an excuse; it remains blaming others for not doing something you've not done yourself.

However, if a conscription/draft is out, I would think it is justified. Under that circumstance service is compulsory, and people dodging it are indeed cowards for first walking around for years, voluntarily carrying a nationality of which they know draft is a part, and then dodging that for their own selfish interests. Those people want the rights but not the duties, and that's wrong and cowardly. If they didn't want military service, they should've emigrated obviously.

Nobody's ever said everyone has to be a hero, but the least one can do is not try to dodge it and show up. Heck, if they show up, get trained, get in a warzone, and then panic when bullets start flying I'll be the last to blame them. But walking away before it's even started by draft dodging, that's just wrong.

Blablahb:
At the time Britain had a professional army, so it's inexcusable, especially since the people doing it were themselves not on the front lines. Not being allowed to fight isn't an excuse; it remains blaming others for not doing something you've not done yourself.

However, if a conscription/draft is out, I would think it is justified. Under that circumstance service is compulsory, and people dodging it are indeed cowards for first walking around for years, voluntarily carrying a nationality of which they know draft is a part, and then dodging that for their own selfish interests. Those people want the rights but not the duties, and that's wrong and cowardly. If they didn't want military service, they should've emigrated obviously.

Nobody's ever said everyone has to be a hero, but the least one can do is not try to dodge it and show up. Heck, if they show up, get trained, get in a warzone, and then panic when bullets start flying I'll be the last to blame them. But walking away before it's even started by draft dodging, that's just wrong.

Right, because throwing your life away for a napkin tied to a stick is in no way ridiculous. Just like killing in the name of flying spaghetti monster.... obviously. At the end of the day, not everyone can afford to leave the country.

Secondly, "cowardice" has nothing to do with it. There are other reasons you would want to dodge the draft. This includes not believing in the war, or the country. Would you call a man a coward if he doesn't want to fight a war he believes is stupid? What about believing in the country? Would you call it cowardice if his country didn't earn his respect?

You cannot force the loyalty of the people. You must earn it. If a country is so incompetent that no one wants to fight for it. Its government has no right to exist. Anything else is desperation by government incompetence.

Skeleon:
I'm intrigued, what exactly was the Women's Legion? Where they an actual fighting force on the front? Were they support troops of sorts? Were they employed in field hospitals and similar? What was their range of operations or type of work?

They were one of many organisations that were formed during the war, often with no official backing, to help to support the troops in France. Very few were actually allowed to go to France, and the government in the early stages of the war was a tad iffy about letting them go on account of fears of militant suffragette-ism. The Women's Legion of Motor Drivers (to give its full name) was one of the many semi-official organisations, along with the Women's Voluntary Reserve, the Red Cross and St Johns Ambulance Voluntary Aid Detachments and the Scottish Women's Hospital Corps and many others, that were allowed to go to France. Whilst not armed nor in the front line, they often found themselves getting shelled and many were killed. It was absorbed into the completely official Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (a government sanctioned female service) on it's foundation in 1917 (some found themselves in the equally official Women's Royal Air Force when that was formed in 1918). Of course, perhaps the most famous example of a woman (a nurse) who ended up in the firing line was Edith Cavell - who was killed by a German firing squad for helping PoW's escape to the Netherlands (and was also a British spy, though the German's didn't know this. The British were rather annoyed that she had abandoned her spying to help out British PoW's!), and thus handed the allies a masterful propaganda tool that, along with the Sinking of the Lusitania in the same year, helped push the US into a pro Allies position.

Of course, there were plenty of official organisations too - the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), and the First Aid Nursing Yeomany (FANY), both of which existed pre-war.

The First World War is a very interesting war, with far more too it then the "working class soldiers stuck in mud and walking slowly towards machine guns for no good reason at the behest of upper class officers" cliche that is as prevalent as it is inaccurate.

GonvilleBromhead:
*snip*

So there were plenty of women working in field hospitals, but also as drivers or spies. Very interesting; I wasn't aware of the latter two, though it makes a lot of sense.

One of my great grandfathers was a train driver during WWI, and was informed by the recruiters they thought he'd be more useful to the war effort driving trains than sitting in a trench. And so he carried on driving trains.

Blablahb:

However, if a conscription/draft is out, I would think it is justified. Under that circumstance service is compulsory, and people dodging it are indeed cowards for first walking around for years, voluntarily carrying a nationality of which they know draft is a part, and then dodging that for their own selfish interests. Those people want the rights but not the duties, and that's wrong and cowardly. If they didn't want military service, they should've emigrated obviously.

I'm going to have to disagree with you there. There is a difference between growing up in a nation that has Compulsory Military service, and being forced to go off to war when your government decided to pass a law bringing it back and coming for you a week later. Especially if you live in a country like Australia, which I myself do. Should I be forced, as a member of a nation with a proud history with our highly trained Volunteer army, to go to war as a member of a rushedly trained, low moral conscript force, that would be given the worse duties and looked down upon by the actual professional soldiers, and more then likely pick up a couple of hundred bad habits out of boredom or rebellion?

Especially when the only form of Emigration that would be available to me involves a thousand or so kilometre march (since petrol would likely be rationed) through a desert and highly dangerous rainforest, to build a shitty boat and cross an area known for sudden storms that eats professionally made metal boats practically weekly, all because my government brought in a law just a week before that's gone against all of their promises for the last couple of decades?

You almost sound like one of those old timers, who claim two to three years military service would be an excellent criminal punishment. Except for you know, the whole 'congratulations, our famously professional and highly skilled army is now full of drug users and criminals. Who, when they come back will have military training/knowledge to use when they return to their old tricks.

Sucal:
Should I be forced, as a member of a nation with a proud history with our highly trained Volunteer army, to go to war as a member of a rushedly trained, low moral conscript force, that would be given the worse duties and looked down upon by the actual professional soldiers, and more then likely pick up a couple of hundred bad habits out of boredom or rebellion?

If Australia decides that's needed, then yes. That's what it involves to be part of a society. Every man here also retains a service number. Conscription wasn't so much ended as the active duty part of it was canceled. If a war breaks out, and there's a mobilisation, everyone registered for conscription would still be expected to turn up.

And that's what I meant: Every man here received that number some weeks after their 18th birthday, and knew from that day forward that conscription could occur. For someone for whom that is a real problem, it also means they have had from that moment in time to withdraw from that duty by emigrating.
If they haven't, they consented

GonvilleBromhead:
Of course, there were plenty of official organisations too - the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), and the First Aid Nursing Yeomany (FANY), both of which existed pre-war.

Now those are two incredibly unfortunate acronyms!

Skeleon:
Who the what now?

As to your question? Well, the women handed out feathers to those who haven't enlisted in an attempt to shame them into signing up. Now that, while definitely unfair, can actually be quite productive.

I'd say considering the situation (total war, possible annihilation of the entire country) such "propaganda" may be justified. I don't like it, but it's not a situation where you have much choice. You'd want to get as many people on the front lines as possible, so why not use both the "sign up, be patriotic" and the "don't be a wuss" approach?

It's unfair, it's childish, but it's not forcing anybody and if it helps?
In that sense, neither option of the poll apply to me. I think they are wrong in shaming people, but I don't think what they do is infringing on people's ability to live their lives.

I couldn't disagree more. I despise warmongers, especially warmongers such as these, who are the true cowards - at the time, these women knew with utter certainty that they would never have to fight, yet they have the utter gall to try and shame men who have chosen not to fight out of principle? Utter hags.

You see the same thing from hawkish right-wing politicos in the modern West; so hungry for war, so eager to send men to die, so quick to attack any who dare question them, but they do all these things safe in the knowledge that they will never be asked to sacrifice, that their children will serve out any mandatory service in a nice comfy reservist unit.

Perhaps half a dozen wars in all of history were actually "necessary", true wars of defense against armies led by a madman; most are actions of greed and commerce, nationalist belligerence to distract from domestic troubles, or arise simply because humans are stupid creatures who continually elevate "strong leaders" to positions of power, men who are actually respected because they consider compromise as something inherently distasteful.

I would do violence against another person only if absolutely necessary to defend my right not to do -murder- against other people.

Blablahb:
If Australia decides that's needed, then yes. That's what it involves to be part of a society. Every man here also retains a service number. Conscription wasn't so much ended as the active duty part of it was canceled. If a war breaks out, and there's a mobilisation, everyone registered for conscription would still be expected to turn up.

And that's what I meant: Every man here received that number some weeks after their 18th birthday, and knew from that day forward that conscription could occur. For someone for whom that is a real problem, it also means they have had from that moment in time to withdraw from that duty by emigrating.
If they haven't, they consented

No it doesn't Any nation that forces people that never consented in anyway shape or form to forcibly join their military for any way shape or form is no better then the Terrorist Organisations that force people to join or die/have their families shot. A person does not choose where they are born, and for many people, such as those who live in nations such as Australia, a person cannot choose to Emigrate within a day or two of any law that would force a nation into terrorism. Not every country has a nice close border they can just run across if they disagree with the way the nation is run.

Dulce Decorum est, est pro patria mori is as wrong today as it ever was. There is never a reason to justify murder or slaughter, especially if its caused merely because someone in charge signed a bit of paper. There is a difference between a culture where you grow up, and everyone under takes the same military service, from highest to lowest and a culture where those in charge simply sign a bit of paper and kill their economy by sending thousands of young people who never volunteered or asked for it to their deaths.

I don't know about you, but personally I'd prefer to have the smaller elite volunteer forces who are there to actually defend because they believe in it, rather then a large number of disraggled, badly trained and equipped moraless whoa re forced into battle and spend most of their time trying to escape/get away. Anyone who doesn't understand why conscript forces are a bad idea, go look up the stories of those who bribed their way into supposedly 'reserved' spots, just to avoid going to war, even as their parents voted it into parliament.

Blablahb:
If Australia decides that's needed, then yes. That's what it involves to be part of a society. Every man here also retains a service number. Conscription wasn't so much ended as the active duty part of it was canceled. If a war breaks out, and there's a mobilisation, everyone registered for conscription would still be expected to turn up.

And that's what I meant: Every man here received that number some weeks after their 18th birthday, and knew from that day forward that conscription could occur. For someone for whom that is a real problem, it also means they have had from that moment in time to withdraw from that duty by emigrating.
If they haven't, they consented

To be a part of society, you say? I never considered that being part of society entailed being forced to go into war for a government that doesn't give a flying shit about its citizens and just wants to preserve its own power. Because that's the issue at hand; being forced to fight for the government. Not the people, but the guys in suits at the top, who will never ever be called upon to make the supreme sacrifice anyway. Of course they can force people to die for them, because they don't give a shit. So what if 30% of the population dies on the frontlines, that's just statistics. The important part is that the regime gets to keep its power!

Pah, I say.

Blablahb:
And that's what I meant: Every man here received that number some weeks after their 18th birthday, and knew from that day forward that conscription could occur. For someone for whom that is a real problem, it also means they have had from that moment in time to withdraw from that duty by emigrating.
If they haven't, they consented

Does that not require them to be able to move to a country whose society they don't have any problems with?

Otherwise, they'll just have to make do with their best choice, which they might not agree with.

(I'd argue though that if they feel that way they should probably be campaigning to fix what they see as a problem, though)

Magichead:

I couldn't disagree more. I despise warmongers, especially warmongers such as these, who are the true cowards - at the time, these women knew with utter certainty that they would never have to fight, yet they have the utter gall to try and shame men who have chosen not to fight out of principle? Utter hags.

Firstly, it's anachronistic to apply 2012 thinking to 1914 society.

It's unfair anyway. For all that these women did not have to fight, their kin and friends overwhelmingly did: they had to contend with the fear and, potentially, loss of them.

They might well have asked why others should enjoy the fruits of security and wealth bought by the misery and blood of their loved ones. I certainly wouldn't begrudge them for making their feelings known. Those that chose not to fight, that's up to them - but there's no reason they should be insulated and protected from the criticism of their fellow countrymen for that choice.

The first and foremost thing a government has to do is to ensure the continued existence of the state; this is the case as now as it was 100 years ago. After all, there is no point having a constitution that grants inalienable rights to it's citizens, a sound system of social security, a system of law an order, and all the other things that we rely on the government for if it's going to be immediately taken away by bunch of invading jack booted soldiers with no interest in the people who live there. If the geo-political and diplomatic situation is such that the continued existence of the state is on a knife edge, then a system of peace-time conscription can be a necessary precaution. If war is under way and the state is threatened, it's a sensible thing to implement in order to preserve your country.

Remember, whilst those in democratic nations can ensure that their country isn't the sort likely to invade it's neighbours for sh*ts and giggles, doesn't mean the neighbouring country isn't a led by a dick with his eyes on your shiny democratic peace-loving peoples.

Hmm... It really depends, I think. If you are in a total war for the survival of your nation and the ideas of it againts a powerful adversary, I'd say it would be acceptable. There would be better ways than through shame, but it could be an acceptable resort.

Of course, such wars are getting quite rare nowadays, and I don't think it'd be acceptable to attempt to shame anyone to throw their lot into a war that they don't want to or indeed don't need to take part in.

Blablahb:

Sucal:
Should I be forced, as a member of a nation with a proud history with our highly trained Volunteer army, to go to war as a member of a rushedly trained, low moral conscript force, that would be given the worse duties and looked down upon by the actual professional soldiers, and more then likely pick up a couple of hundred bad habits out of boredom or rebellion?

If Australia decides that's needed, then yes. That's what it involves to be part of a society. Every man here also retains a service number. Conscription wasn't so much ended as the active duty part of it was canceled. If a war breaks out, and there's a mobilisation, everyone registered for conscription would still be expected to turn up.

And that's what I meant: Every man here received that number some weeks after their 18th birthday, and knew from that day forward that conscription could occur. For someone for whom that is a real problem, it also means they have had from that moment in time to withdraw from that duty by emigrating.
If they haven't, they consented

You have a bizarre idea of consent. Notably one that doesn't actually involve real consent. "Go away to somewhere else where you can't be conscripted(even if there isn't anywhere) and make life hard for yourself. Or do what we want"

If I point a gun at your head and tell you to choose which cake to eat, is that supposed to be real consent? I'm letting you pick which one to eat after all. Same thing as forcing someone to choose a society to exist in. The idea of any kind of meaningful consent in such a case is bunk.

SacremPyrobolum:

Should a country in total war actively shame those not on the front lines?

A country in total war should institute a draft. During a draft, the government will exempt many from it for various reasons. A coal miner might be exempt because the war effort needs coal obviously. In that case, no. The government has said he is more vital to winning on the homefront. Someone who becomes exempt by staying in college for 4 extra years for example though, I believe absolutely should. You are a young male in a period of total war. Thousands of men like you have gritted up, and are now defending their homes and countrymen. Very few of them want to. Stop being a coward and letting those you know die for you.

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