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. --D.
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