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Re: OT: sponge burning!

Andrew Sackville-West wrote:

> What I am in favor of is mandatory service. And
> I think there is an important distinction here. The draft makes it
> random (in theory) that one get's thrown in the mud with a
> rifle. Mandatory service takes the randomness out of it. Its not bad
> luck that you're here in the trench, its just your turn. And when
> your turn is up, you will make a measured thoughtful decision whether
> to support a move to war at any particular moment or not.

That's the system that is in force in Germany. But let me tell you,
there's hardly anybody of the "ruling class" that has done service. The
reason is that the percentage of people getting drafted is getting
smaller all the time due to miliraty cuts (that I approve of), and with
the right influence at the right place you always had a pretty good
chance of never seeing the barracks from the inside.

Then there is the possibility of consciencious objection, which means
that before getting drafted you can submit a written statement (it had
to be a pretty long, personal essay back when I did it) that you're
unable to aim a gun at fellow humans, in which case you get drafted to
do social work (in kindergardens, hospitals and the like). In contrast
to the military, here you actually have to do quite hard work, the
service is somewhat longer, and *all* COs get drafted. Almost all ypung
men with a more intellectual background are doing the CO thing, which of
course tells something about those that do military service.

I think in any society, no matter in what system, it's always the stupid
and poor that end up in the military, at least in those ranks that
actually have to do the dirty work and risk their lives.

> And I say this as
> someone who didn't serve and regrets it -- not because I want to go!
> fight! kill! but because I feel I missed an opportunity to serve
> others and to understand a part of this society.

That's the reason I never regretted my time in the hospital. I think the
social service builds character and helps you understand society much
more than military service.


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