Is drafting people into the military a form of slavery?
Yes
60.3% (135)
60.3% (135)
No
37.9% (85)
37.9% (85)
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Poll: Is drafting people into the military a form of slavery?

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So what if it is? It's necessary. I don't really give a shit about it one way or another. Throwing the label of 'IT'S SLAVERY' on it doesn't erase the fact that in times of national emergency conscription is the only way to get enough boots on the ground to protect your country.

Danyal:
Stealing is taking something without permission or consent from the owner. Taxing is taking something without permission or consent from the owner.

So if I think killing people should be legal, I am being enslaved by our justice system which has made murder a crime?

OneCatch :
Not a false comparison - if you are drafted, you are protecting the nation that provides services for everyone, yourself included.

But, see, here's the problem; you're not, really. What you're doing is killing on the whim of the government. Conscription has absolutely fuck all to do with protecting the country.

Let's look at Sweden, which thankfully abolished conscription quite recently. Sweden hasn't actually fought a war for the last 198 years. Don't you think it's about time we realized that mobilizing absolutely every single man (no conscription for women, though) in the country is useless?

Then let's look at the US, which doesn't have conscription, but has involved itself in countless conflicts that have had fuck all to do with protecting their own country. If they had had conscription, then they would have forced people to kill and die for the economic benefit of their corrupt government.

Elcarsh:
Let's look at Sweden, which thankfully abolished conscription quite recently. Sweden hasn't actually fought a war for the last 198 years. Don't you think it's about time we realized that mobilizing absolutely every single man (no conscription for women, though) in the country is useless?

Can you guarantee Sweden will never have to fight a serious war anymore? Because as long as that is impossible to predict, one can't say conscription is useless.

Besides, why do you think fighting wars is useless? Many wars have a lot to do with a the interests of a country. Also your assumption that the recent wars of the US are for economic benefit is baseless and provably untrue. They were a huge economic detriment for the US.

Agema:

Danyal:

Batou667:
Only if being made to pay taxes is theft.

It technically is.

No, it technically isn't.

"Taxation is theft" is based on concepts of rightful ownership that are unprovable, modern philosophical constructions, particularly undermined as any kind of fundamental reality by their lack of historical precedent.

That's a call to tradition.

Go far enough back, and every single right didn't exist at some point or another, and ownership actually goes pretty far back with many Greek city states requiring you to own land to even be considered a citizen.

The classic definition of slavery was that people are property and are treated as such. Drafted soldiers are not property, so I don't see how that is slavery. Living in a country during a draft means accepting the consequences of living in that society.

Kendarik:
BTW, to become a lawyer or accountant or plumber or electrician or many other trades and professions you have to do a period of low paid/overworked employment that you have little control over in order to prove yourself to the profession and be able to choose your work.

So? How is this relevant to the topic at all? There's a big difference between working your way up the ladder in a career and being drafted. The difference being you actually chose the former career path and all that comes with it.

Diablo1099:
Proof of Conscription failing: Vietman.
I read in my History textbook that some soldiers Fragged their CO's as they believed that they were actively trying to get them killed.
If this is untrue, let me know.

True. That's happened throughout history in many wars actually.

That does nothing to comment on conscription though. Not all Nam soldiers were drafted.

It goes to comment on using convicted criminals to fight your war as an alternative to sentencing, as well as appointing officers based on favoritism and wealth rather than skill and experience.

Agema:
If army conscripts are slaves, then army volunteers are mercenaries.

That's totally unfair.

Mercenaries get paid better.

Way I see it, if a country can't get enough people to volunteer to fight in whatever war they're in, they probably deserve to lose it.

Elcarsh:

OneCatch :
Not a false comparison - if you are drafted, you are protecting the nation that provides services for everyone, yourself included.

But, see, here's the problem; you're not, really. What you're doing is killing on the whim of the government. Conscription has absolutely fuck all to do with protecting the country.

Let's look at Sweden, which thankfully abolished conscription quite recently. Sweden hasn't actually fought a war for the last 198 years. Don't you think it's about time we realized that mobilizing absolutely every single man (no conscription for women, though) in the country is useless?

That's right, instead of fighting wars you became war profiteers. There's something to be proud of...not.

Elcarsh:

OneCatch :
Not a false comparison - if you are drafted, you are protecting the nation that provides services for everyone, yourself included.

But, see, here's the problem; you're not, really. What you're doing is killing on the whim of the government. Conscription has absolutely fuck all to do with protecting the country.

Let's look at Sweden, which thankfully abolished conscription quite recently. Sweden hasn't actually fought a war for the last 198 years. Don't you think it's about time we realized that mobilizing absolutely every single man (no conscription for women, though) in the country is useless?

Then let's look at the US, which doesn't have conscription, but has involved itself in countless conflicts that have had fuck all to do with protecting their own country. If they had had conscription, then they would have forced people to kill and die for the economic benefit of their corrupt government.

That's why I said in the rest of my post that it should only be enacted in the case of a 'war of survival' or 'total war' or whatever you want to call it.
.
I don't agree with the policy of people being drafted into Vietnam or Korea, because that was an intervention, not a case of survival. But World War II was, and I don't think that it's immoral to introduce conscription in similar cases.

Danyal:

Stealing is taking something without permission or consent from the owner. Taxing is taking something without permission or consent from the owner.

Oh you are so cute sometimes.

Taxation is taking money WITH your permission. We elect officials to set communal rules and communal service and communal funding for those services. If you don't like it, you can't be part of the community. By agreeing to be a part of the community you can take part in the active decisions through referendum, elections, the political process, and voting. Basically through your participation in the community you have agreed to what the group agrees to as a majority.

Danyal:
Stealing is taking something without permission or consent from the owner. Taxing is taking something without permission or consent from the owner.

steal (stl)
v. stole (stl), sto·len (stln), steal·ing, steals
v.tr.
1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission.

See, I just changed the bolded word and provided a dictionary proof that taxation isn't stealing, as the state is granted the right to tax in our democratic society. Fannying around cherry picking our definitions from dictionaries rarely gets us very far.

* * *

We have concepts of "rightful ownership". However, these are societal constructs that have varied through place and time. In the old days, for instance, you could own people. In the really old days, ownership was probably heavily communal.

What society deems to be rightful ownership is effectively encoded by law. It is not illegal for the state to tax, therefore it is not criminal. Although that's circular reasoning, it does actually answer whether taxation is technically theft as you originally posited: i.e. it isn't. It's perhaps more useful to argue law represents societal will, so that tax clearly represents a societal belief that the state has some due right to the property of individuals. By continuing to live in such a society, you are tacitly giving some degree of permission.

At no point can you demonstrate any fundamental "human right" to property. At best, you can adhere to some philosophical opinion that there is one.

Agema:

Danyal:
Stealing is taking something without permission or consent from the owner. Taxing is taking something without permission or consent from the owner.

steal (stl)
v. stole (stl), sto·len (stln), steal·ing, steals
v.tr.
1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission.

See, I just changed the bolded word and provided a dictionary proof that taxation isn't stealing, as the state is granted the right to tax in our democratic society. Fannying around cherry picking our definitions from dictionaries rarely gets us very far.

* * *

We have concepts of "rightful ownership". However, these are societal constructs that have varied through place and time. In the old days, for instance, you could own people. In the really old days, ownership was probably heavily communal.

What society deems to be rightful ownership is effectively encoded by law. It is not illegal for the state to tax, therefore it is not criminal. Although that's circular reasoning, it does actually answer whether taxation is technically theft as you originally posited: i.e. it isn't. It's perhaps more useful to argue law represents societal will, so that tax clearly represents a societal belief that the state has some due right to the property of individuals. By continuing to live in such a society, you are tacitly giving some degree of permission.

At no point can you demonstrate any fundamental "human right" to property. At best, you can adhere to some philosophical opinion that there is one.

No, but society itself is an arbirtary human construct as well, nor has it ever been a perfect representation of the will of the people in the area. Thus, we really don't have any fundamental "rights" at all, so we should all be slaves to who ever has the biggest and pointiest stick by this line of logic.

You are forced into the army as a tool of war against many other tools of war whilst a few men actually claim these people want to take your lands and lives.

Yes it is a form of slavery only with one specific role, to fight the enemies of your new masters.

I hope to everything with a heart in the UK that conscription never happens again. Not that it would do much good, why the fuck should I fight for the basterds that govern us?

I refuse to let my body be used as a tool of war.

Agema:

steal (stl)
v. stole (stl), sto·len (stln), steal·ing, steals
v.tr.
1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission.

See, I just changed the bolded word and provided a dictionary proof that taxation isn't stealing, as the state is granted the right to tax in our democratic society.

1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission.

No permission? It's stealing. No right? It's stealing.

Agema:

Fannying around cherry picking our definitions from dictionaries rarely gets us very far.

When we're talking about definitions, dictionaries are very useful. You accuse me of cherrypicking while I embrace both definitions of stealing (right OR permission) why YOU are the one who says "it's 'right', not 'permission'".

Fannying around cherry picking our definitions from dictionaries rarely gets us very far.

Agema:

We have concepts of "rightful ownership". However, these are societal constructs that have varied through place and time. In the old days, for instance, you could own people. In the really old days, ownership was probably heavily communal.

What society deems to be rightful ownership is effectively encoded by law. It is not illegal for the state to tax, therefore it is not criminal. Although that's circular reasoning, it does actually answer whether taxation is technically theft as you originally posited: i.e. it isn't. It's perhaps more useful to argue law represents societal will, so that tax clearly represents a societal belief that the state has some due right to the property of individuals. By continuing to live in such a society, you are tacitly giving some degree of permission.

At no point can you demonstrate any fundamental "human right" to property. At best, you can adhere to some philosophical opinion that there is one.

And there is no fundamental human right to take property from another man without his permission, nor is there a fundamental human right ('natural', not a societal construct) that protects our property.

image

Nazi-Germany, 1938. Hitler suspends Jewish rights and anyone can take their property. The government, representing societal will decides that all individuals can take the property of Jews.
image
By your definition, this wouldn't be stealing. The government is allowed to steal.

Agreed? Would that make your definition worthless? I mean, I, as a historian, could then not write that the Nazis stole Jewish property; the Nazi government defines what Jewish property is, and if they decide they have none, the Jews have to accept it, like anyone has to accept taxes.
Disagreed? You think the Nazi government is not a valid government? That means that to decide whether tax is theft or not, one has to decide whether a government is just or unjust. That isn't simple.

Thus I say, all tax is theft, because the dictionary says that thefts include taking property of another without right or permission and taxes are not voluntarily.

Does this mean that tax is unjustified? Not necessarily. Murder isn't allowed, yet Obama kills Osama. Violence isn't allowed, yet the government has a monopoly on violence. So I'll say that the government has some kind of "monopoly on theft".

Conscription should be the last resort of any government prosecuting a war. During WWII, it became necessary to begin drafting soldiers in order to fight the Germans and Imperial Japan. With the results of the major battles, it's not hard to see why.

I think compulsive service is not -in itself- terribly immoral on behalf of the government so long as its terms and length are reasonable and defined. Just as one may be 'compelled' to serve on a jury for a definable period, so too should compulsory military service be for a definable period - both for the service member (e.g. two years or ten combat engagements or however you want to do it) and for the viable period of conscription itself (like the duration of the war +6 months.)

Danyal:

Nazi-Germany, 1938. Hitler suspends Jewish rights and anyone can take their property. The government, representing societal will decides that all individuals can take the property of Jews.

By your definition, this wouldn't be stealing. The government is allowed to steal.

Agreed? Would that make your definition worthless? I mean, I, as a historian, could then not write that the Nazis stole Jewish property; the Nazi government defines what Jewish property is, and if they decide they have none, the Jews have to accept it, like anyone has to accept taxes.
Disagreed? You think the Nazi government is not a valid government? That means that to decide whether tax is theft or not, one has to decide whether a government is just or unjust. That isn't simple.

Thus I say, all tax is theft, because the dictionary says that thefts include taking property of another without right or permission and taxes are not voluntarily.

Does this mean that tax is unjustified? Not necessarily. Murder isn't allowed, yet Obama kills Osama. Violence isn't allowed, yet the government has a monopoly on violence. So I'll say that the government has some kind of "monopoly on theft".

As usual you miss the point. The bad part of what the Nazi's did was declare Jews not to be citizens, or even full humans.

Taking their stuff is only fallout.

And stop going with your nazi stories to make your point, they don't. They make you look silly and, as I Jew, I find your comparison offensive.

Kendarik:

As usual you miss the point. The bad part of what the Nazi's did was declare Jews not to be citizens, or even full humans.

Taking their stuff is only fallout.

And stop going with your nazi stories to make your point, they don't. They make you look silly and, as I Jew, I find your comparison offensive.

New example. The Israeli government declares the property rights of Palestinians to be non-existent, and argue they have the right to do that because they represent the societal will of the Holy Land.

Danyal:

Kendarik:

As usual you miss the point. The bad part of what the Nazi's did was declare Jews not to be citizens, or even full humans.

Taking their stuff is only fallout.

And stop going with your nazi stories to make your point, they don't. They make you look silly and, as I Jew, I find your comparison offensive.

New example. The Israeli government declares the property rights of Palestinians to be non-existent, and argue they have the right to do that because they represent the societal will of the Holy Land.

I'm not sure what you are getting at here.

All property rights? Or are you talking land rights? Most countries allow land expropriation by the government for its own purposes and of course land holder law in Israel is a messy combination of laws going back many centuries from different law codes of different rulers.

Maybe you need to make your example more clear.

(btw, if you think you were going for a "gotcha" you missed the target since I pointed out the problem with your nazi example was not a property rights issue)

Danyal:

Thus I say, all tax is theft, because the dictionary says that thefts include taking property of another without right or permission and taxes are not voluntarily.

Does this mean that tax is unjustified? Not necessarily. Murder isn't allowed, yet Obama kills Osama. Violence isn't allowed, yet the government has a monopoly on violence. So I'll say that the government has some kind of "monopoly on theft".

Tax is theft the same way gym membership fees are theft. They have consent, in that if you don't consent to paying them, get off the equipment and leave the premises.

To stretch the gym analogy further, and to segwey back on topic, whilst I am happy to pay my membership fees and even to subsidise poorer gym members, I don't want to be forced to break up a fight in a different gym down the street.

Seriously, when was the last time a western country was invaded? America hasn't fought on its own soil since the civil war. Everything since the end of the cold war has been attempts to act as world policeman, and i'm not condemning that, but its hardly 'protecting you're country'.

If you actually get invaded, then i think its justified to ask people to do their bit, but anything else isn't on.

Danyal:

When we're talking about definitions, dictionaries are very useful. You accuse me of cherrypicking while I embrace both definitions of stealing (right OR permission) why YOU are the one who says "it's 'right', not 'permission'".

Words are symbols. Symbols that represent concepts, and how those concepts are understood differs between different people. Dictionaries contain approximate, descriptive explanations of the concepts behind words. They do not set proscriptive, absolute rules for what words mean: no-one owns or governs the English language, dictionaries included.

Sifting through dictionaries to try to pick on certain phraseology is usually fallacious. As above, dictionaries are not sufficient authority to appeal to in the first place. Secondly, it is trying to use sematics to set up false premises in order prove the desired conclusion.

Danyal:
Godwin's Law alert

This is really little more than a great, big appeal to emotion and false equivalence.

Mind you, assuming the Nazis passed the appropriate laws, it was indeed technically a confiscation of Jewish property, rather than theft. However, it can (and in my view should) be deplored and morally condemned on any number of levels anyway.

If you want to call the Nazi appropriation of Jewish property theft, go ahead. You should get away with it with very few if any objections. We have a decent societal consensus on the morality of the event such that people would understand what you were expressing. You can also use such languge to reveal your moral preferences in more contentious issues. That you mention of Israel v. Palestine is indeed pertinent: whether you call Israeli appropriation of Palestinian property theft or not has a lot to do with where your moral sympathy lies.

And that's the way it is. So, when someone says "tax is theft", it tells me very little about whether tax truly is theft. It tells me about the moral opinions of the person saying it.

Makes me glad I'm disabled enough to not have to be a slave to the government's crap. I view it as slavery because you're forced to risk your life against your will and in some cases for a cause you don't even believe in. It's a huge dick move by the government and I hope to never see it.

Conscription is wrong, no matter what way it's spun.

ClockworkPenguin:
Tax is theft the same way gym membership fees are theft. They have consent, in that if you don't consent to paying them, get off the equipment and leave the premises.

I do know what a Social contract means but I don't think "Being a part of a nation" is exactly the same as "Being a member of the gym club". The gym club has a clear owner; the ones who paid for it and build it or anyone that was given "ownership" by those people. "Earth" or "My nation's soil" can't exactly be given away in that way.

Agema:
And that's the way it is. So, when someone says "tax is theft", it tells me very little about whether tax truly is theft. It tells me about the moral opinions of the person saying it.

Agema:
No, it technically isn't.

Agema:
Words are symbols. Symbols that represent concepts, and how those concepts are understood differs between different people. Dictionaries contain approximate, descriptive explanations of the concepts behind words. They do not set proscriptive, absolute rules for what words mean: no-one owns or governs the English language, dictionaries included.

I'm sorry, but "What dictionary says">"What Agema says without backing it up with proper sources"...

Oh and by the way,


Sorry, have to keep Danny happy.

Agema:

Sifting through dictionaries to try to pick on certain phraseology is usually fallacious. As above, dictionaries are not sufficient authority to appeal to in the first place. Secondly, it is trying to use sematics to set up false premises in order prove the desired conclusion.

Ah, is this...


Sifting phraseology, fallacious, sufficient appealing authority and semantics with false premises and desired conclusions!

That's not an insult, sirs are epic, but your beautiful words aren't really convincing.

Agema:
Mind you, assuming the Nazis passed the appropriate laws, it was indeed technically a confiscation of Jewish property, rather than theft. However, it can (and in my view should) be deplored and morally condemned on any number of levels anyway.

Democratic, liberal governments have a certain 'irresistible appeal'; they are 'good'. But zoom in. It's just a majority of people. Should 20 people have infinite power over 10 people? Should 20 million people have infinite power over 10 million people?
If 2 people demand half the income of someone in a dirty alley[1], it is a robbery and it is theft.


If 200,000 people demand half the income of 100,000 people who protest against this, it's taxes.

If we say that theft is taking something while you don't have the 'right' to do this, and the government is the one who can decide who has the right and who doesn't have the right to do this, well, tax isn't theft.
If we say that theft is taking something while you don't have permission from the owner, taxes can be theft very often.

Dictionaries and Wikipedia claim that it's "without right or permission"... And thus I said, "Taxes are technically theft".

-Mod Edit: Use spoilers when posting ridiculous amounts of pictures. Not everyone has Superman's bandwidth.

[1] By the way, this is the same alley as the alley where your hypothetical daughter was forced to have sex;
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/528.352941-Is-the-privacy-to-have-sex-the-right-of-a-teenager#13998032

I don't like the draft, but in both that and voluntary service, the socioeconomic breakdown of the military is not drastically different.

So, the draft is slavery and voluntary service is the combat equivalent to sharecropping. You're technically free, but it's not like you have much of a choice.

Seekster:
Its not slavery.

Slavery means that the individuals have no rights and they are not paid. Also very few slaves nowadays are issued expensive weaponry and given military training (it happens but its exceptionally rare).

Is conscription unfair, yeah but life isnt fair and at the end of the day a country may need conscription to ensure its survival and consequently the survival of the law system that guarantees the freedoms you do have. Conscription however is not slavery.

I hate the term "Life isnt fair"... because that means that natural occurances can really screw you over, yet everyone uses it to mean "Oooops, I am a dickhead... sucks to be you.". Yeah, life can be harsh sometimes... doesnt mean humans and the systems we create have to be.

OT: Its more like being a gladiator... except you fight for ages and the fight will probably not be you vs another guy or some animals. Although, a lot of gladiators were slaves so... yeah, alright.

Danyal:

*Snipped this wall down to size*

Surprisingly, your vote is permission. If someone is saying they will stop ALL taxes, then vote for them... but I bet they arent.

I suppose by the strictest definition you could call it a form of indentured servitude. However, seeing as it can easily be seen as payment for services received from the government and it is often necessary to keep your country safe, it is often a very justifiable form of indentured servitude. Is it wrong sometimes? Oh hellz yeah. Is a volunteer force more effective? Immensely so. Is the draft still necessary? Yes.

Kinguendo:

Danyal:

*Snipped this wall down to size*

Surprisingly, your vote is permission. If someone is saying they will stop ALL taxes, then vote for them... but I bet they arent.

Lol, I just wanted to tell you to PLEASE size down the quoted part :P

But...

Danyal:
Democratic, liberal governments have a certain 'irresistible appeal'; they are 'good'. But zoom in. It's just a majority of people. Should 20 people have infinite power over 10 people? Should 20 million people have infinite power over 10 million people?
If 2 people demand half the income of someone in a dirty alley[1], it is a robbery and it is theft.
image
If 200,000 people demand half the income of 100,000 people who protest against this, it's taxes.

I've already tried to explain myself :)

[1] By the way, this is the same alley as the alley where your hypothetical daughter was forced to have sex;
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/528.352941-Is-the-privacy-to-have-sex-the-right-of-a-teenager#13998032

Danyal:

ClockworkPenguin:
Tax is theft the same way gym membership fees are theft. They have consent, in that if you don't consent to paying them, get off the equipment and leave the premises.

I do know what a Social contract means but I don't think "Being a part of a nation" is exactly the same as "Being a member of the gym club". The gym club has a clear owner; the ones who paid for it and build it or anyone that was given "ownership" by those people. "Earth" or "My nation's soil" can't exactly be given away in that way.

The government owns the land. It provides and pays for the services. I don't think it is 'exactly the same as'. That's why it's an analogy. And the point stands, if you don't want to pay taxes, you don't have to, you can leave.

Another analogy, if i run a business out of someone's garage, i can't say they're stealing from me when they ask for rent.

Also its slightly ironic, that you dismiss my analogy pretty much for being an analogy, and then go on to make a metaphor involving a mugging in an alley.

Also, this is all a bit off topic. So to tack desperately topicwards i think being asked to put your life on the line, when your country is not being directly threatened with invasion is a much bigger imposition than being asked to part with a percentage of your earnings, so the comparison of taxes to conscription is not really a valid one in the first place.

Danyal:

*SNIPPED AGAIN!*

I already snipped it AND I already responded to the part you repeated, you claim it is without permission... your vote is permission. It doesnt matter who you vote for, no one is saying that they will get rid of all taxation thus you are giving your permission to the concept of taxation.

ClockworkPenguin:
The government owns the land. It provides and pays for the services. I don't think it is 'exactly the same as'. Another analogy, if i run a business out of someone's garage, i can't say they're stealing from me when they ask for rent.

But why is "the land" property of "the government"?

I mean, the 2 robbers can also just say "We are the democratic majority in this alley".

Seriously, justifying the government's powers isn't as easy as it may look.

ClockworkPenguin:

That's why it's an analogy. And the point stands, if you don't want to pay taxes, you don't have to, you can leave.

Shock and Awe:
I suppose by the strictest definition you could call it a form of indentured servitude. However, seeing as it can easily be seen as payment for services received from the government and it is often necessary to keep your country safe, it is often a very justifiable form of indentured servitude. Is it wrong sometimes? Oh hellz yeah. Is a volunteer force more effective? Immensely so. Is the draft still necessary? Yes.

Is it necessary? No
Can it be necessary? Yes.

None of the wars we're fighting now are the sort where its necessary. Many, like Afghanistan or especially Iraq, could be argued that conscripting people to fight would be immoral and (for the UK at least, where 3million protested and a huge number petitioned against the Iraq war) downright undemocratic

Kinguendo:
I already snipped it AND I already responded to the part you repeated, you claim it is without permission... your vote is permission. It doesnt matter who you vote for, no one is saying that they will get rid of all taxation thus you are giving your permission to the concept of taxation.

Hard-working guy; No robbers, I'm not going to give you half of my income! Who gave you the right to rob me?!
Robber: We're the democratic majority in this alley and we gave you the right to vote. In three years you can choose which robber party you want to see in power.

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