Hi there. Today I’m going to talk about an important and long overdue issue. A social institution that is outdated, archaic, and barbaric. I’m talking about “conscription”, also known as “the draft”. The very idea that if you belong to a country, then your life and death belongs to whatever ruler that country might have at the moment.
If “Der Fuhrer” says that it is your “duty” to massacre “der untermench”, then it “is” your duty to massacre whatever people this leader consider to be inferior. No, I’m not exaggerating here. Conscription is not about defending democracy. It is about defending the nation, which means to defend whatever ruler the nation may have at the moment.
I’m not just invoking Godwin’s Law here: I think that the nazi reich is a very good example. Indeed, all those people who fought for Hitler and his Reich in the second world war… they were never really forgiven by history. They were considered evil. However, the people who refused to fight for Hitler wasn’t forgiven either. They were condemned for dodging the draft, condemned for refusing to do their duty to Germany as a country.
Of course, this is not entirely true. They were eventually forgiven. Officially. They got this huge official recognition that yes, it was okay to refuse to fight for Hitler. Except that almost all of them were already dead when they got this recognition. This happened in 2009. How many of them do you think were still alive?
The basic system is still in place in many places in the world. And this is not okay. Conscription need to die.
It is outdated. Warfare doesn’t work that way anymore. First of all, we don’t have mass armies like we had in the world wars. And second, war shouldn’t be about defending nations and their national interests. It should be about defending people, defending democracy. Most wars in the last fifty years have been internal wars, inside countries,civil wars. And that’s probably the way it’s going to continue. I mean, “going around invading willy-nilly”… those who do that these days at least pretend thatthey have the lokal population’s best interests at hearts.
Colonialism is dead, and rightly so. At least it has to masquerade itself if it’s going to have any chance to get accepted. So, conscription is outdated. And it is barbaric to declare that you have a right to decide that another person will die, and worse yet decide that you have a right to force another person to kill people. That is not okay by any modern standard. This old barbaric system really need to die.
There’s also a gender aspect to this. Pretty much all countries that have conscription in one form or another have it against men only. In contemporary society, I think this is a huge insult to men as a gender, and a huge oppression to men as a gender.
It wasn’t always like that, because conscription was a part of a larger package. Where men, yes, were supposed to die and kill… but this was considered cool. It was considered heroic. These men got a lot of status for this. And they were given some little power, especially over women, as their consolation prize. The patriarchs got to rule the world, and the little man got to rule over his little woman. In his own private little kingdom of family. But these structures are dying, and the men aren’t really getting anything back. And they shouldn’t. These old systems are pretty much worthless. And…
When you argue against conscription, take a moment to think.
What are you really arguing?
Are you in favor of human rights for all?
Or, are you in favor of equality for the sake of equality?
Or, are you for a return to the old barbaric system with hegemonic masculinity, where men are supposed to be killers and die and get all sorts of credit for that?
I’m arguing for universal human rights. And I’m arguing against all forms of conscription.
When it comes to equality, yes, in that particular sense it would be a solution to make the draft gender neutral. And yes, this would solve one of the problems with conscription. But it wouldn’t solve the main problem.
In the current form, conscription tells humanity that men as a gender deserve to die and they are expected to kill. Making the draft gender neutral would only be to say that humans, regardless of gender, deserve to die and are expected to kill whenever given order.
…And this whole thing with “only following orders”! Before 1945, this was a matter of honor and loyalty. But after 1945, the phrase “I was only following orders”: it’s not cool anymore, is it? And it shouldn’t be. So, drop the draft. Go for universal human rights, and don’t try to turn the clock back. Don’t go for any of that archaic bullshit: The old male gender role should die entirely. And it is dying, there’s only a few little remnants of it left. And those remnants need to be swept away.
We need to consider all human beings as human beings, period. Categorization into gender and race and so on need to be minimized. There are a few situations where we need to consider gender or race or whatever. When it comes to race, we have the very simple example of how much sunscren you are supposed to have when you go out in the open. But to divide people by race or gender when it comes to human rights… fuck that shit. Equal rights for everybody.
You can oppose conscription for the sake of humans as such. Or you can oppose it for the sake of men. If you are a man, and want to stand up for men, if you want to stand up for your own gender and be against conscription for that reason… That’s great. Go ahead. But keep your priorities straight. Say to yourself and others: “I have a right to decide whether or not I will risk my life, and for what I will risk my life. And I have a right to decide whether or not I’m going to kill other people, and for what I’m going to kill other people.”
This is a really basic thing to say. And of course, it doesn’t actually give you any right to kill anybody else. Bur the right to not kill other people, we can surely agree upon. Then in what cases it’s okay to actually kill other people… Whether or not it’s actually okay to follow orders and kill people… That’s an entirely different subject. Personally, I do think that there are legitimate police forces and military forces. And it’s okay to choose to be part of such a struggle for democracy and peace and upholding the peace in that sense of the word peace. And so on, but that’s another discussion.
If you want to stand up for men like this: Please, make it about that as a man, as a human being, you have these rights. The rights to choose whether or not and for what to get into an armed struggle. That you have a right to not be drafted into whatever the rulers think is a good idea at the time. And as such, you need to target the institutions that uphold this injustice. Target the government, target those organizations or whatever that are in favor of conscription. Don’t go around with any bullshit, targeting for example feminism over this. Because that is so much bullshit.
I mean, if your goal is to return to the bad old days, if you want men to be slaves to kill and be killed for the kyriarchy or whatever… and want them to get something in return for that… then it’s reasonable to target feminism over that. Because feminism is pretty much eroding away this whole idea about “the male warrior, blah blah blah”.
Make sure that you know what you are fighting for, and why. And do fight for universal human rights, not hegemonic masculinity.
That’s all I have to say for now.
Live long and prosper.