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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Mortai Gravesend:

generals3:

Mortai Gravesend:

I wouldn't consider it slavery regardless of the purpose it's used for. So that argument fails there. I'd consider it practically extortion though. Why? Because it's not being used for legitimate purposes, it's the same as the mob making me hand over money. But theft and slavery are different, so that's not going anywhere.

Situation's not going to fix any of my complaints about it.

And if I'm dead it doesn't benefit me. Furthermore, I have been given nothing that is worth my life. I am given services for my taxes.

Nothing is worth lives. They are irreplaceable for those who lose them, no compensation is great enough because no compensation can be enjoyed while dead.

Doesn't really matter.

Taxing people benefits society as a whole, and generally those being taxed. Those being taxed also benefit. Drafting gives me nothing in return. It might be worth it for you, but if I die it is not worth it for me.

Death is a risk, but it is one as well even if you aren't fighting.

Not as high. And if it's my life on the line I get to choose how to risk it. Why? Because they don't own me.

And many come back alive from wars.

And we *know* some won't.

Drafting is not asking you to give up your life but to risk it, there is a difference.

It is saying my death is an acceptable risk. It isn't. It is taking my life out of my control.

It's not like the army asks you to suicide bomb the enemy.

No, they just ask me to risk giving up everything when I get nothing in return worth that risk.

But than again, it is obvious that we have different levels of patriotism and i doubt any of us will be able to change the mind of the other.

Different levels of patriotism? Bleh. Patriotism is not an argument. Patriotism doesn't give you my life as a commodity.

Everyone's life is a commodity. Life itself is a commodity.

The idea that Germany could not have prosecuted World War II for six years without Conscripts is irrelevant. Meaningless. You're arguing that conscription is morally wrong, well, Nazi Germany did a lot of morally wrong things. You'll never win a real, full-scale war by playing nice. You have to use every weapon in your arsenal to win. Better to enslave a million for a year to save the whole, than to not fight with everything you have and lose everything - your nation's wealth, sovereignty, the lives and freedom of her citizens.

There are worse things than death.

PrinceOfShapeir:

Mortai Gravesend:

generals3:

Death is a risk, but it is one as well even if you aren't fighting.

Not as high. And if it's my life on the line I get to choose how to risk it. Why? Because they don't own me.

And many come back alive from wars.

And we *know* some won't.

Drafting is not asking you to give up your life but to risk it, there is a difference.

It is saying my death is an acceptable risk. It isn't. It is taking my life out of my control.

It's not like the army asks you to suicide bomb the enemy.

No, they just ask me to risk giving up everything when I get nothing in return worth that risk.

But than again, it is obvious that we have different levels of patriotism and i doubt any of us will be able to change the mind of the other.

Different levels of patriotism? Bleh. Patriotism is not an argument. Patriotism doesn't give you my life as a commodity.

Everyone's life is a commodity. Life itself is a commodity.

No it isn't.

The idea that Germany could not have prosecuted World War II for six years without Conscripts is irrelevant. Meaningless.

Which is why I didn't mention it at all. So why are you bringing it up?

You're arguing that conscription is morally wrong, well, Nazi Germany did a lot of morally wrong things.

Okay, that doesn't justify it.

You'll never win a real, full-scale war by playing nice. You have to use every weapon in your arsenal to win. Better to enslave a million for a year to save the whole, than to not fight with everything you have and lose everything - your nation's wealth, sovereignty, the lives and freedom of her citizens.

No, it isn't better.

There are worse things than death.

Not really, realistically speaking. Recuperation is impossible.

It is certainly fair to say that Rome tore itself apart through bad administration. The Book I choose to rely on is Edward Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". This landmark series of volumes is pretty much the best work ever produced on the subject, drawing on vast resources and impeccable scholarship. These volumes informed British Imperial policy for 200 years.

I may not agree with Gibbon's moralistic thesis, but I find the quality of his data beyond reproach, as he draws on exclusive primary source documents he himself translated, that others have since verified.

From this work we see Rome experience a late renaissance under Constantine the Great. Constantine re-organizes the army, and reunites the Empire with Constantinople as the new capital, legalizes Christianity etc.

The rot sets in soon after.

Rome's borders extend basically from the Low Countries of the Rhine, up and along the Danube, under Constantine. The frontier is defended by a system of palisades and forts known as the Limes (Limits), and the guards of the Limes are the Limitanei.

The foundation of Late Roman strategy is that the Limitanei on the Limes are supposed to be able to hold off Barbarian interlopers long enough to be relieved by the more expert and better equipped Comitatenses and Cavalry.

From the Theodosian Code (Late Roman Legal Code), we find that there is a solid body of evidence that there are loads of penalties regarding conscription dodging described in it. This is because AFTER Constantine, as the situation became worse and the money ran out, Conscription was rampant. None of the urban population wanted to join the military. Roman Citizens were exempt from conscription if they paid their taxes, but could volunteer; few did.
Mostly the Limitanei were slaves sent in lieu of their masters. Limitanei received pitiful pay and no land on mustering out, and were expected to do one of the most crucial jobs in the Empire. SOME of them got chainmail. As time wore on, the likelihood of chainmail declined steadily as the money ran out.

Rome had an enormously long border, and it defended that huge distance with increasingly pitiful, under-equipped and under-paid conscripts. They left the gate open. Surprised ?

Agema, the problem with the book you have chosen is that it deals primarily with the time of Constantine, not what happened to the Roman military AFTER his reforms. The extended Northern European frontier was all but unworkable, this had been proven during the Marcomanni Wars under Marcus Aurelius. Rome won, but the cracks were clearly evident and Marcus Aurelius reformed the military to include a large cavalry corps to counter future threats. When Constantine reforms the military again to have a second class force guarding the border and a first class force that cleans up incursions, he sets a precedent that ultimately leads to further cost cutting and abuse. Limitanei are gradually reduced from pseudocomitatenses to little better than a frontier slave levy over the following decades, because all they are supposed to do is light a signal beacon and try not to die if barbarians come. The rest of the time they face cold, isolation, and frequent loss of supply from an often corrupt military hierarchy. If every Emperor had been a Constantine, this perhaps wouldn't have happened, but most Roman Emperors were forgettable if not for their corruption, treachery and perversion.

Limitanei when left unsupported were not above striking deals with barbarian raiders to not light the signal fires in return for a share of the spoils, and sometimes even deserted to join the barbarians. And why not ? The barbarian offered better opportunities than the Roman Army did for Limitanei.

PrinceOfShapeir:
Everyone's life is a commodity. Life itself is a commodity.

No. One's life is pretty much the furthest from a commodity a thing can get. A commodity is something which isn't distinguishable from others of its type. I'm not willing to give up my life to save yours; I wouldn't consider that a fair trade. And because almost everyone feels similarly, life can't be a commodity.

It is a "good" of sorts. But it is most certainly not a commodity.

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.

Considering there are soldiers snapping and killing other soldiers oversees now, I don't doubt it for a minute.

Mortai Gravesend:

PrinceOfShapeir:

Mortai Gravesend:

Not as high. And if it's my life on the line I get to choose how to risk it. Why? Because they don't own me.

And we *know* some won't.

It is saying my death is an acceptable risk. It isn't. It is taking my life out of my control.

No, they just ask me to risk giving up everything when I get nothing in return worth that risk.

Different levels of patriotism? Bleh. Patriotism is not an argument. Patriotism doesn't give you my life as a commodity.

Everyone's life is a commodity. Life itself is a commodity.

No it isn't.

The idea that Germany could not have prosecuted World War II for six years without Conscripts is irrelevant. Meaningless.

Which is why I didn't mention it at all. So why are you bringing it up?

You're arguing that conscription is morally wrong, well, Nazi Germany did a lot of morally wrong things.

Okay, that doesn't justify it.

You'll never win a real, full-scale war by playing nice. You have to use every weapon in your arsenal to win. Better to enslave a million for a year to save the whole, than to not fight with everything you have and lose everything - your nation's wealth, sovereignty, the lives and freedom of her citizens.

No, it isn't better.

There are worse things than death.

Not really, realistically speaking. Recuperation is impossible.

Really? You'd prefer a live of misery and torture to the sweet release of the grave?

Anyway, if you're facing enslavement if you're defeated, then the logical move is to conscript because whatever bad you're doing to your people, the fate of your people if you are defeated is far worse.

Danny Stewart:
like i always say, i'd rather be a merc than a soldier, you dont have to follow their bullshit and they get what they want

You mean those guys put in the most dangerous positions with inferior equipment and no support with the reasoning 'well, if they get killed, nobody's going to miss them and we don't have to put them on the casualty list'?

PlatonicRapist:

Rome had an enormously long border, and it defended that huge distance with increasingly pitiful, under-equipped and under-paid conscripts. They left the gate open. Surprised ?

Agema...

I think you're more addressing this to your other correspondent with reference to him having a book.

However, some points of consistency anyway.

1) you say the border was undefendable and that could be recognised even by the time of Marucs Aurelianus. Well, okay. But an undefendable border is an undefendable border: it doesn't matter whether you stick limitanei on it or not. Although the limitanei were useful, as below.

2) The limitanei "left the door open"? They couldn't have shut it even if they'd wanted. Border troops could block a raiding party, but they don't have anything like the concentration of manpower to block an army or a mass migration that was the real problem. The Germanic tribes poured over the borders were too much even for the mobile armies eventually.

3) The limitanei degraded when the money ran out (and the progressive loss of control of the intervening provinces to local Roman strongmen and barbarians). Well, sure. Armies will degrade when you can't pay and equip them. But that's a problem with money running out. Marcus Aurelianus' cavalry could not have been supported without money, nor comitatenses either.

4) The limitanei in the East did okay: they performed adequately and existed effectively until the reforms of the mid-7th century.

This is about conscription. The conscript army of limitanei functioned adequately, at least until the state maintaining them collapsed.

PrinceOfShapeir:

Mortai Gravesend:

PrinceOfShapeir:

Everyone's life is a commodity. Life itself is a commodity.

No it isn't.

The idea that Germany could not have prosecuted World War II for six years without Conscripts is irrelevant. Meaningless.

Which is why I didn't mention it at all. So why are you bringing it up?

You're arguing that conscription is morally wrong, well, Nazi Germany did a lot of morally wrong things.

Okay, that doesn't justify it.

You'll never win a real, full-scale war by playing nice. You have to use every weapon in your arsenal to win. Better to enslave a million for a year to save the whole, than to not fight with everything you have and lose everything - your nation's wealth, sovereignty, the lives and freedom of her citizens.

No, it isn't better.

There are worse things than death.

Not really, realistically speaking. Recuperation is impossible.

Really? You'd prefer a live of misery and torture to the sweet release of the grave?

Realistic scenarios only please.

Anyway, if you're facing enslavement if you're defeated, then the logical move is to conscript because whatever bad you're doing to your people, the fate of your people if you are defeated is far worse.

Maybe they'll turn us into robots who can overthrow them.

PrinceOfShapeir:

Really? You'd prefer a live of misery and torture to the sweet release of the grave?

Anyway, if you're facing enslavement if you're defeated, then the logical move is to conscript because whatever bad you're doing to your people, the fate of your people if you are defeated is far worse.

Please stop using imaginary scenarios to justify conscription. That's not what we're talking about. In reality, if a country were weak enough for another country to attempt to conquer it it's quite obvious conscription wouldn't do jack to save them.

PercyBoleyn:
Please stop using imaginary scenarios to justify conscription.

Imaginary scenarios? One needs merely a short trip through history to see that the conquered can suffer pretty awful treatment at the hands of their conquerors.

That's not what we're talking about. In reality, if a country were weak enough for another country to attempt to conquer it it's quite obvious conscription wouldn't do jack to save them.

Reality says to me that a country able to greatly increase the size of its military when threatened is in fact much more likely to save itself. What 100,000 men can't do 200,000 might, even if half of them are not doing it entirely of their own free will.

Mortai Gravesend:

PrinceOfShapeir:

Mortai Gravesend:

No it isn't.

Which is why I didn't mention it at all. So why are you bringing it up?

Okay, that doesn't justify it.

No, it isn't better.

Not really, realistically speaking. Recuperation is impossible.

Really? You'd prefer a live of misery and torture to the sweet release of the grave?

Realistic scenarios only please.

Anyway, if you're facing enslavement if you're defeated, then the logical move is to conscript because whatever bad you're doing to your people, the fate of your people if you are defeated is far worse.

Maybe they'll turn us into robots who can overthrow them.

Really? A life of misery and torture is that hard to imagine? Okay, how would you like to be put to work for twenty hours a day in a coal mine, given four hours total to eat and rest, and kept on a leash by addicting you to heroin? Is that incredibly brutal, sadistic, and unlikely? Yeah, but it's not that unrealistic. It's been done before. It's just a combination and scaling up of things that are fairly commonly done today.

Please stop using imaginary scenarios to justify conscription. That's not what we're talking about. In reality, if a country were weak enough for another country to attempt to conquer it it's quite obvious conscription wouldn't do jack to save them.

It's not 'imaginary', it's hypothetical. This kind of thing has been done throughout history. And yes, conscription can save a country because you can increase the number of boots on the field by millions. The United States currently has a standing military of less than 1.5 million, but over seventy million eligible to fight. If we conscript just ten percent, we've nearly quintupled our numbers.

You don't think increasing your military numbers by 500% would help in a war? Seriously?

Sorry to just reiterate what you said, Agema.

PrinceOfShapeir:

Mortai Gravesend:

PrinceOfShapeir:

Really? You'd prefer a live of misery and torture to the sweet release of the grave?

Realistic scenarios only please.

Anyway, if you're facing enslavement if you're defeated, then the logical move is to conscript because whatever bad you're doing to your people, the fate of your people if you are defeated is far worse.

Maybe they'll turn us into robots who can overthrow them.

Really? A life of misery and torture is that hard to imagine? Okay, how would you like to be put to work for twenty hours a day in a coal mine, given four hours total to eat and rest, and kept on a leash by addicting you to heroin? Is that incredibly brutal, sadistic, and unlikely? Yeah, but it's not that unrealistic. It's been done before. It's just a combination and scaling up of things that are fairly commonly done today.

I'd say it's pretty unrealistic that they'd invade to do that and have the forces to hold down the whole country while doing that kind of thing.

Mortai Gravesend:

PrinceOfShapeir:

Mortai Gravesend:

Realistic scenarios only please.

Maybe they'll turn us into robots who can overthrow them.

Really? A life of misery and torture is that hard to imagine? Okay, how would you like to be put to work for twenty hours a day in a coal mine, given four hours total to eat and rest, and kept on a leash by addicting you to heroin? Is that incredibly brutal, sadistic, and unlikely? Yeah, but it's not that unrealistic. It's been done before. It's just a combination and scaling up of things that are fairly commonly done today.

I'd say it's pretty unrealistic that they'd invade to do that and have the forces to hold down the whole country while doing that kind of thing.

No, it's -unlikely-. Which I already noted. But it would be a case of a situation where conscription is a valid, even moral response. Facing total destruction and enslavement, -not- using every resource at your disposal to defend the nation would be a moral failure of the politicians.

And you really consider it that unrealistic? It was happening not that long ago. Maybe not on a national scale, but it happened to millions of people. Wake up in the morning to make switches for the German war machine, then go to the gas chamber at lunch time and get buried by the next batch in the evening.

PrinceOfShapeir:

Mortai Gravesend:

PrinceOfShapeir:

Really? A life of misery and torture is that hard to imagine? Okay, how would you like to be put to work for twenty hours a day in a coal mine, given four hours total to eat and rest, and kept on a leash by addicting you to heroin? Is that incredibly brutal, sadistic, and unlikely? Yeah, but it's not that unrealistic. It's been done before. It's just a combination and scaling up of things that are fairly commonly done today.

I'd say it's pretty unrealistic that they'd invade to do that and have the forces to hold down the whole country while doing that kind of thing.

No, it's -unlikely-. Which I already noted.

No, it's unrealistic.

But it would be a case of a situation where conscription is a valid, even moral response. Facing total destruction and enslavement, -not- using every resource at your disposal to defend the nation would be a moral failure of the politicians.

No, I disagree. It would be a moral failure to force anyone to risk their lives against their will when they have done nothing wrong. I do not think the ends justify the means.

And you really consider it that unrealistic? It was happening not that long ago. Maybe not on a national scale, but it happened to millions of people. Wake up in the morning to make switches for the German war machine, then go to the gas chamber at lunch time and get buried by the next batch in the evening.

Did you even try to consider the differences? National scale makes a difference, can't just discount it. Furthermore, they didn't have to go to war to get those people to work for them. Having it as a goal for war is a far cry from doing it with little opposition. The risks far outweigh the rewards. Even if they're highly unethical they're still going to want to consider whether it's worth the trouble. A decimated nation of slaves that is hard to maintain is not a very good pay off for a war, it'll probably be at least a decade before it even pays itself off.

No, I disagree. It would be a moral failure to force anyone to risk their lives against their will when they have done nothing wrong. I do not think the ends justify the means.

If the ends can never justify the means, then literally any act that causes harm to another Human being is unforgivable. Kill Hitler? You just committed murder. It doesn't matter that you stopped him from committing genocide, the ends don't justify the means. Saved the world from atomic devastation? Well, you're oppressing the freedom of the nuclear-armed nations by stopping them, the ends don't justify the means. That kind of absolutism just leads to insanity, my friend.

PercyBoleyn:

PrinceOfShapeir:

Really? You'd prefer a live of misery and torture to the sweet release of the grave?

Anyway, if you're facing enslavement if you're defeated, then the logical move is to conscript because whatever bad you're doing to your people, the fate of your people if you are defeated is far worse.

Please stop using imaginary scenarios to justify conscription. That's not what we're talking about. In reality, if a country were weak enough for another country to attempt to conquer it it's quite obvious conscription wouldn't do jack to save them.

This however isn't always the case. Look at the war between the USSR and Germany. They thought they could win yet by sending anyone that could carry a gun or ammo the USSR managed to dickslap the Nazi's. And even if you have little chance to win why stack the odds even further on the enemy's side? And you never know who might join to help you out making every bits matter. And i think that if you look at history you can find plenty of battles or wars that were started and seen as easy wins and became losses. ("modern" examples: Vietnam, Afghanistan(USSR invasion))

generals3:
This however isn't always the case. Look at the war between the USSR and Germany. They thought they could win yet by sending anyone that could carry a gun or ammo the USSR managed to dickslap the Nazi's.

The Nazi's wouldn't have been able to start the war without conscription.

generals3:
And even if you have little chance to win why stack the odds even further on the enemy's side?

Because it's up to each individual to decide whether they want to fight or not.

Agema:

Imaginary scenarios? One needs merely a short trip through history to see that the conquered can suffer pretty awful treatment at the hands of their conquerors.

Again, it's up to each individual to decide whether they want to fight or not. A government's purpose isn't self preservation.

Agema:

Reality says to me that a country able to greatly increase the size of its military when threatened is in fact much more likely to save itself. What 100,000 men can't do 200,000 might, even if half of them are not doing it entirely of their own free will.

You're missing the point then.

generals3:
This however isn't always the case. Look at the war between the USSR and Germany. They thought they could win yet by sending anyone that could carry a gun or ammo the USSR managed to dickslap the Nazi's.

The Nazi's wouldn't have been able to start the war without conscription.

generals3:
And even if you have little chance to win why stack the odds even further on the enemy's side?

Because it's up to each individual to decide whether they want to fight or not.

Agema:

Imaginary scenarios? One needs merely a short trip through history to see that the conquered can suffer pretty awful treatment at the hands of their conquerors.

Again, it's up to each individual to decide whether they want to fight or not. A government's purpose isn't self preservation.

Agema:

Reality says to me that a country able to greatly increase the size of its military when threatened is in fact much more likely to save itself. What 100,000 men can't do 200,000 might, even if half of them are not doing it entirely of their own free will.

You're missing the point then.

PrinceOfShapeir:

No, I disagree. It would be a moral failure to force anyone to risk their lives against their will when they have done nothing wrong. I do not think the ends justify the means.

If the ends can never justify the means, then literally any act that causes harm to another Human being is unforgivable.

How sweet of you. You replied with an utter bullshit misrepresentation of my position and didn't even bother to quote me.

Anyway, no that's false. You'd have to first assume that harm is bad. I do not say it is bad.

Kill Hitler? You just committed murder.

Murder. The illegal killing of someone else. Hmm. No. Try again?

Killing Hitler is justified not because of the benefits, but because... well I wouldn't actually see justification for it at the end of the war. During the war, simply a defensive action. Killing itself is not inherently immoral.

It doesn't matter that you stopped him from committing genocide, the ends don't justify the means.

*yawn* How inventive of you. I'm sure you tried to think up other ways it could be justified before you tried to feed me this crap. Unfortunately you didn't think about it long enough. By committing said acts he forfeits protection. The ends don't justify it, he's changed his own status from innocent to a killer who is still in the act of killing more people. The reason it would be okay to kill him is not because the ends justify the means, it's because he is not innocent and is still committing his crimes.

Why is it that so many of the ends justify the means people have no clue what other positions someone might hold? Not to say all of them, but you're a shining example of people who are ignorant of the possibilities of the other side.

Saved the world from atomic devastation? Well, you're oppressing the freedom of the nuclear-armed nations by stopping them, the ends don't justify the means.

Were strawmen on sale today? You have to first assume I think they have and deserve that freedom. I don't.

That kind of absolutism just leads to insanity, my friend.

Only if you lack the integrity to not throw strawmen around.

Coming from a Military family going back multiple generations who all spent their lives in the military... voluntarily...

.............................................................................................

umm... maybe?

My thought is, if you're country was going to be, or at the risk of being invaded then conscription is a positive externality, in the sense... the country is better off not being occupied. So in that senario I'd say no it is not Slavery.

If you were conscripted to go half way across the planet in order to fight in a Jungle or a Desert against a load of farmers, then yes I'd call that Slavery as you are just fighting for the purposes of the countries elite.

PrinceOfShapeir:

Why is it that so many of the ends justify the means people have no clue what other positions someone might hold? Not to say all of them, but you're a shining example of people who are ignorant of the possibilities of the other side.

Because people like you are wide-eyed, clueless idealists who have no idea how things work in the real world. People like me have to simplify things down maybe a little too far so you can grasp.

I am? You don't seem to understand ethics if you say that. Idealism or lack thereof has nothing to do with the matter. People like you just can't stop showing how you don't understand anything.

Also, killing Hitler would be murder. He was the leader of his nation and was never convicted of any crimes. Under a western, civilized legal system, he was innocent until he could be -proven- guilty in a court of law, either by a judge or a jury of his peers. Killing him would be an illegal act according to both the laws of Nazi Germany and international law.

Depends on when.

Also the main point wasn't legality. I don't care if it would be legal or not.

Here's another example of the ends justifying the means, although I have little doubt you'll disagree (thus proving you have no idea what you're talking about.) The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A brutal, vicious act by any standard, one that claimed the lives of somewhere in the vicinity of a quarter million people.

I do disagree with the act. Swing and miss.

And yet it was the right thing to do. The alternative was the Allied Invasion of Japan, known as Operation Downfall, a plan that - while probably strictly more ethical - would have been a far greater tragedy, with estimated death tolls ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of American soldiers, with ranges on the Japanese casualty count ranging from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions.

If it's strictly more ethical to not do it then it was not the right thing to do. You're showing that you don't really have any clue what you're talking about when it comes to ethics. Empty platitude that is pure nonsense when you actually consider what ethics are.

Also, it was nice to see how you had the guts to quote me and address my post in full.

Not really, I anticipated you'd disagree with it. You're confusing 'ethical' with 'moral'. It would have been more ethical in that it would have more closely followed the rules of civilized warfare, but it would have been the wrong thing to do because it would have had a cost in blood exponentially greater. The ends justify the means because more lives were saved.

PercyBoleyn:

generals3:
This however isn't always the case. Look at the war between the USSR and Germany. They thought they could win yet by sending anyone that could carry a gun or ammo the USSR managed to dickslap the Nazi's.

The Nazi's wouldn't have been able to start the war without conscription.

generals3:
And even if you have little chance to win why stack the odds even further on the enemy's side?

Because it's up to each individual to decide whether they want to fight or not.

The first part is irrelevant, how they got their strength doesn't matter, the point is that those kind of scenarios aren't just "imaginary".

And it is your right to think that but i believe that defence (yes defence, not offence) is something that shouldn't be up to individuals just like any other state program aimed at helping the country (welfare, taxes, blablabla)

Not really, I anticipated you'd disagree with it. You're confusing 'ethical' with 'moral'. It would have been more ethical in that it would have more closely followed the rules of civilized warfare, but it would have been the wrong thing to do because it would have had a cost in blood exponentially greater. The ends justify the means because more lives were saved.

You're making a nonsensical distinction between morals and ethics. Even in the case where they might be separate to some degree, it would be nonsense to hold that they disagree.

Btw, you're just spouting the ethical position of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consequentialism

And no, it would have been the right thing to do because the ends do not justify the means. More lives saved? Doesn't matter.

generals3:

The first part is irrelevant, how they got their strength doesn't matter, the point is that those kind of scenarios aren't just "imaginary".

And it is your right to think that but i believe that defence (yes defence, not offence) is something that shouldn't be up to individuals just like any other state program aimed at helping the country (welfare, taxes, blablabla)

You can't ask people to give up their lifes in order to protect your beliefs.

Mortai Gravesend:

Not really, I anticipated you'd disagree with it. You're confusing 'ethical' with 'moral'. It would have been more ethical in that it would have more closely followed the rules of civilized warfare, but it would have been the wrong thing to do because it would have had a cost in blood exponentially greater. The ends justify the means because more lives were saved.

You're making a nonsensical distinction between morals and ethics. Even in the case where they might be separate to some degree, it would be nonsense to hold that they disagree.

Btw, you're just spouting the ethical position of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consequentialism

And no, it would have been the right thing to do because the ends do not justify the means. More lives saved? Doesn't matter.

Why does it not matter? Explain that. How is killing 250,000 a greater crime than causing the deaths of millions?

Mortai Gravesend:

Not really, I anticipated you'd disagree with it. You're confusing 'ethical' with 'moral'. It would have been more ethical in that it would have more closely followed the rules of civilized warfare, but it would have been the wrong thing to do because it would have had a cost in blood exponentially greater. The ends justify the means because more lives were saved.

You're making a nonsensical distinction between morals and ethics. Even in the case where they might be separate to some degree, it would be nonsense to hold that they disagree.

Btw, you're just spouting the ethical position of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consequentialism

And no, it would have been the right thing to do because the ends do not justify the means. More lives saved? Doesn't matter.

Why does it not matter? Explain that. How is killing 250,000 a greater crime than causing the deaths of millions?

I think that would be obvious when I just said that the ends don't justify the means. Killing someone who is not a threat, such as civilians, is simply not justifiable.

Even when the alternative is millions of other deaths, likely including those same civilians?

The fact that you can't understand how this is a ludicrous position to hold is just...well, comical.

PrinceOfShapeir:
Even when the alternative is millions of other deaths, likely including those same civilians?

No, that in fact seems pretty unlikely if they were to take an ethical approach to it. If their other plan involves killing everyone they see that just means the other plan is unethical too.

The fact that you can't understand how this is a ludicrous position to hold is just...well, comical.

You've failed to demonstrate that it is ludicrous. That's your inability to understand any position besides your own talking.

PercyBoleyn:

Again, it's up to each individual to decide whether they want to fight or not. A government's purpose isn't self preservation.

A government's purpose may be or involve self-preservation. Where a government is largely in line with it's citizens' wishes, the government's self-preservation is virtually indistinguishable from the self-preservation of the society that chooses to be governed by it.

Agema:

Reality says to me that a country able to greatly increase the size of its military when threatened is in fact much more likely to save itself. What 100,000 men can't do 200,000 might, even if half of them are not doing it entirely of their own free will.

You're missing the point then.

What point?

Seriously. You said conscription can't provide enough manpower to save a country from military defeat. It's just wrong, and very obviously wrong at that, and I told you so. Don't accuse me of defective insight for "missing" an irrelevant or unstated point: it's just pointless, shitty rudeness.

Agema:
A government's purpose may be or involve self-preservation. Where a government is largely in line with it's citizens' wishes, the government's self-preservation is virtually indistinguishable from the self-preservation of the society that chooses to be governed by it.

If the government were an accurate representation of its people's views then we wouldn't have political parties or elections.

Agema:
Seriously. You said conscription can't provide enough manpower to save a country from military defeat. It's just wrong, and very obviously wrong at that, and I told you so.

It's not about how many soldiers, it's about what the people want. If the people do not want to protect their government/society/nation then that's THEIR CHOICE and the government shouldn't be able to come in and force the people to fight for ideals they might not agree with. That's nothing short of tyranny. Besides, you haven't proven anything. If the situation were dire enough to warrant conscription then the battle is already lost.

PercyBoleyn:
If the government were an accurate representation of its people's views then we wouldn't have political parties or elections.

Sophistry. The vast majority of citizens in western democracies tend to respect their society, and accept the government as fair representatives of that society, even if they voted for the other side.

It's not about how many soldiers, it's about what the people want. If the people do not want to protect their government/society/nation then that's THEIR CHOICE and the government shouldn't be able to come in and force the people to fight for ideals they might not agree with. That's nothing short of tyranny. Besides, you haven't proven anything. If the situation were dire enough to warrant conscription then the battle is already lost.

Sure. Even with conscription, the UK and France were defeated by Germany in WW1. And with conscription, they and the USSR lost WW2 as well. Prussia lost the Seven Years War with conscription. The Byzantine Empire was destroyed by Persia in the 5th century. When...

Oh, hang on!

Conscription has its own natural limit. The government (particularly of a democratic state) cannot enforce conscription on a severely unhappy population - they'll take down the government, later if not sooner. Alternatively, it might be able to conscript a severely unhappy population, but those conscripts will fail to fight effectively. They desert or mutiny at first opportunity. They flee or surrender in battle at first opportunity.

A population truly unwilling to fight and die for their country will not do so whether or not they are conscripted. But conscription will get a chunk of people who are willing to fight for their country but otherwise don't for any number of reasons (see below).

* * *

What you don't seem to compute is that many people are not against fighting for their country, but require a hefty shunt to do so.

There are numerous issues of judgement. People can be direly unaware of what the consequences of inadequate defence are. They don't know how bad the enemy is. They are distracted by other issues. They just 'hope for the best'.

Back in the 1930s, even the communists were busy laying groundwork for the Nazis impeding resistance to them. In fact, many liberals and conservatives were doing much the same by telling everyone that nice Mr. Hitler wasn't much of a problem, and the last thing we needed to do was fight an ugly little war. Ask them 1950, they'd tell you how important it all was - with the wisdom of hindsight. But one of the most horrific totalitarian scumbags in history rose to power and terrorised Europe with the tacit permission of most of the rest of Europe due to their myopic preoccupations. Stupid, ideological preoccupations that got in the way of them identifying the worst of humanity and doing what was necessary to deal with it.

Perhaps worst is this idea that the government - and by extension the rich and powerful through the worst of liberal-left woolliness - is somehow the enemy. They are simply sending the poor off to die for their own gain. So in fact, if the people condemn their own country to defeat, this is somehow a WIN! - as if the rich and powerful don't normally come out fine anyway, or don't just get replaced by the rich and powerful of the invaders.

Another simple factor is that people want their country defended and are prepared to do it, but they prefer other people to do it. Thus they get the benefits of their society and it's awesomeness, without the risk of death or injury. However, sufficient people can hope other people take on the burden so that the whole effort fails. This is some well known psychological / sociological paradigm, but I forget what it's called. It is a reasonable pragmatic solution to bounce these people into putting their lives where their mouth is. You can wait for things to go wrong so that they realise they need to sign up after all, but given the fact it takes months to adequately train a soldier, they might not have a country left to defend long before they're ready.

So, really, the bottom line of conscription is pragmatism. The road to hell is paved with naive ideological absolutes.

Agema:
Sophistry. The vast majority of citizens in western democracies tend to respect their society, and accept the government as fair representatives of that society, even if they voted for the other side.

Prove it.

Agema:
Sure. Even with conscription, the UK and France were defeated by Germany in WW1. And with conscription, they and the USSR lost WW2 as well. Prussia lost the Seven Years War with conscription. The Byzantine Empire was destroyed by Persia in the 5th century. When.

Germany wouldn't have been able to even start the war, nevermind actually drag it on for so many years without conscription.

Agema:
A population truly unwilling to fight and die for their country will not do so whether or not they are conscripted. But conscription will get a chunk of people who are willing to fight for their country but otherwise don't for any number of reasons (see below).

Exactly. Because if I don't want to fight for my government that doesn't matter. I should be forced to do so, because my allegiance is automatically decided based on what country I was born in.

Agema:
What you don't seem to compute is that many people are not against fighting for their country, but require a hefty shunt to do so.

Well, I'm not willing to fight for my country and no hefty shunt will change that.

Agema:
Back in the 1930s, even the communists were busy laying groundwork for the Nazis impeding resistance to them. In fact, many liberals and conservatives were doing much the same by telling everyone that nice Mr. Hitler wasn't much of a problem, and the last thing we needed to do was fight an ugly little war. Ask them 1950, they'd tell you how important it all was - with the wisdom of hindsight. But one of the most horrific totalitarian scumbags in history rose to power and terrorised Europe with the tacit permission of most of the rest of Europe due to their myopic preoccupations. Stupid, ideological preoccupations that got in the way of them identifying the worst of humanity and doing what was necessary to deal with it

The situation surrounding World War 2 is much more complex than that.

Agema:
Perhaps worst is this idea that the government - and by extension the rich and powerful through the worst of liberal-left woolliness - is somehow the enemy. They are simply sending the poor off to die for their own gain. So in fact, if the people condemn their own country to defeat, this is somehow a WIN! - as if the rich and powerful don't normally come out fine anyway, or don't just get replaced by the rich and powerful of the invaders.t

You're overgeneralizing and misinterpreting my argument. That's not what I'm saying, stop going off on tangents.

Agema:
Another simple factor is that people want their country defended and are prepared to do it, but they prefer other people to do it.

Prove it.

Agema:
However, sufficient people can hope other people take on the burden so that the whole effort fails.

World War 2 happens everyday. Just ask the middle east!

Agema:
This is some well known psychological / sociological paradigm, but I forget what it's called. It is a reasonable pragmatic solution to bounce these people into putting their lives where their mouth is.

Yeah, no it's not.

Agema:
You can wait for things to go wrong so that they realise they need to sign up after all, but given the fact it takes months to adequately train a soldier, they might not have a country left to defend long before they're ready.

You know, I thought Cold War era propaganda died off with the Cold War. Apparently it didn't.

Agema:
So, really, the bottom line of conscription is pragmatism. The road to hell is paved with naive ideological absolutes.

Because the only way to live in a civilized society is to force other people to fight for your beliefs. I'd much sooner kill myself than let someone like you force me to fight for ideals I disagree with. It's the people's choice whether they want to fight or not, not yours, and in the end conscription boils down to ideological bullshit.

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