Thursday, October 02, 2008

Global Readership

Below is a note from a reader in Moscow, who read my post on Rights:

First of all pardon my poor English.

I'm from Moscow Russia.

With great interest I read your topic.
The challenge you are discussing is of great importance.

But I have a question I'm eager to discuss with you.

Do you think that participation in militia should become compulsory for some 15-20 per cent of most active citizens?
That no good promotion of success in business should be possible for passive non-irregular?
I don't mean any legal provision. Only public opinion that may keep all irregulars away from any respectable society in each town or social sphere.
As far as I know Swiss Nation (militia is compulsory for all men) allowed any career or business mainly for irregular activists who spent more time training and preparing for officer or sub officer ranks. That wasn't declared by Law but public opinion didn't admit another approach.

In my opinion such idea is quite just. Those who are more successful in the society must defend it more.
Besides that National Militia in this case becomes more pluralist that permits to avoid any unipartizan ideology in this organization. It should be also mentioned that human nature is quite weak. People think army, law-enforcement bodies and public service in general should defend them by received taxes and there is no possibility that centralized salaried and ARMED organizations may sooner or later use its superiority.
The fact that human history states different thing will never persuade the majority of the men in the street.
But as to some 15-20% of population that are more successful... Well, they will join National Militia by fear of loosing the position in the society

My reply:
Здравствулте! и гостеприимсво к месту которое приводит свободу в пример! (Hello and welcome to a place that exemplifies freedom!--translated with babelfish, so it might say "I have a plum floating in a hat filled with perfume!)

To answer your first question, no, I don't think compulsory service is a good idea for the military. At least at least it isn't a good idea for our military. We ended compulsory service in the 1970s. What we'd seen was a huge decline in morale and discipline, because we had so many soldiers who simply didn't want to be there. It made the military a much less efficient organization. By developing the all volunteer military,we were able to set standards for enlistment, such as height, weight and education. We required that initial entry recruits fall within a certain range for height and weight, and that they all had at a minimum, a secondary school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma. By establishing a baseline acceptable level of physical fitness we were able to develop stronger and more combat-ready soldiers. by establishing a baseline acceptable level of education, we are able to teach more advanced concepts faster.

Societally, I think people should give preference to military veterans, when it comes to business. Personally I think that, just like Robert Heinlein, citizenship should be guaranteed by service, and not birth. This is of course, not the case in United States where simple birth into society equates to citizenship and naturalization into the society is a matter of paperwork.

This doesn't mean everyone needs to serve in the military, but guys equate to everyone doing some form of service for their country. Simply, the military is not for everyone. There are those who because of physical limitation, mental limitation and/or intellectual limitation are unfit for military service.that doesn't mean that they can't serve their country through public works. the key however, is that people should want to serve their country. They need to have a basis of understanding of how our country came to be, why we developed and founded our own nation instead of remaining and English colony. They need to understand the founding fathers (those who wrote our Constitution) intent and ideas and they need to have an understanding of how societally we have changed over the last 230 plus years.

Unfortunately there are many in our society that see government service (to include military service), and any work in the public sector, as a bastion of people who can't make it on their own in the private sector. this may be a function of the size of our society as it correlates to the size of our military. Only one person in 300 is in our military. Because of that there are few who actually understand the sacrifice that soldiers make on a day-to-day basis.

Many people do think that the government exists to care for them from cradle to grave. I believe that the government exists to do solely what is outlined in our Constitution. These are the two broadest extremes for the functions of government. I think that the government, who cares for the people from cradle to grave is one that will dictate and a mandate, what you will do or not do from cradle to grave. As one who loves the idea of freedom, especially personal freedom, the idea of an all encompassing all encroaching government is anathema to me.

It would be great if my society saw the sacrifices that our military makes, and without government intervention or mandate decided that it equate to advancement in the private sector. However, in a nation where most people have little or no connection to the military (save for maybe a distant relative, who serves now or did serve at one time) there are many who just don't consider military service to be anything other than a job. If society were to change and offer, not as a matter of law, but as a general societal understanding faster advancement to those who served in the military, then yes of course, I think would be good thing. And I think more people would be interested in serving in the military as a "step up."

-- Chuck

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