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View Full Version : Is Conscription Slavery?


Flapjack
January 15th, 2017, 11:42 AM
Hey guys, I was wondering what your opinions are on conscription! I have been thinking a lot about this recently and was shocked to find that I don't think we have had a debate on the topic, at least not recently.

Simple question really, do you think conscription is slavery and why?

I personally do believe that conscription is slavery as slavery is involuntary servitude and obviously conscription is involuntary as the alternative is prison. I think it is barbaric to just force people to join an army, especially when they are at great risk of getting seriously injured or killed.

I think a better alternative is to have a reserve army.

nebula
January 15th, 2017, 12:26 PM
To some people it could be seen as slavery, but at the end of the day some convicts with life sentences have nothing to lose, and army enlistment could seem more appealing than rotting in a cell until your dying days.

It is a rather controversial topic since they could essentially be fighting for the opposite political or religious views the person believes in.

Conscription exists in Israel for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18 who are Jewish, Druze or Circassian; other Arab citizens of Israel are not conscripted. Other exceptions are made on religious, physical or psychological grounds. The normal length of compulsory service is currently two years and eight months for men (with some roles requiring an additional four months of service), and two years for women.

source (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_Israel)

Personally I really don't agree with the fact that people are forced no matter what - apart from a few circumstances stated above - to conscript, however. There are clearly citizens there who disagree with this system too, so surely it seems that it should be abolished? Especially with the onset of shell shock/PTSD from war veterans it could definitely affect the well-being of the general population forced to enlist.

PlasmaHam
January 15th, 2017, 07:08 PM
I see forced conscription as a last case scenario, but I don't see it as equivalent to slavery. I would much rather be a solider for a few years and risk my life, than to allow America to be compromised. I think conscription has been misused some in the past, Vietnam for instance, but I don't think the concept itself was wrong, it just should only be used in cases where America is clearly threatened.

Freedom isn't free, and sometimes we have to step and up and defend it, even if we don't want to. Everyone who enjoys those freedoms should be willing to defend those freedoms when they are threatened. Anyone who would rather live without liberty than to risk their life for liberty, cannot say that they truly support liberty.

pconnor
January 15th, 2017, 08:04 PM
Service for your country is not slavery.

bentheplayer
January 16th, 2017, 04:57 AM
This all depends on the legal system and constitution. Like you argued, conscription can be seen as slavery but the government has the responsibility to intervene and ensure that there is a sufficiently huge(fit for purpose) army when the reserve army won't suffice.

If I am not wrong some courts have used the principle of the reciprocal rights and duties of citizens to justify conscription. In any case, most countries are usually only allowed to impose conscription as a last resort when war is declared. I believe that the only few developed countries with proper conscription lasting for more than 18 months are Israel, South Korea and Singapore.

For these 3 countries, there is a very strong case for conscription due to the perceived military threats they face and they have relatively small populations. Personally I think that Israel and Singapore have extremely interesting military policies and capabilities given their many limitations. You might want to find out more about them if you have the time to do so.

Stronk Serb
January 16th, 2017, 06:22 AM
Slavery, forced servitude without any compensation for your labor. Conscripted soldiers get paid for their service. It is not slavery. It is bad in some cases, but to call it outright slavery... No. The conscripted still have their rights in the army.

Porpoise101
January 16th, 2017, 05:24 PM
Conscripted soldiers are paid, so it's not slavery. There are also opportunities if you are a conscientious objector in the US. However, it is involuntary so there is that point to consider.

If it was for a government which does not allow you to have a voice in it, then maybe it would be slavery. Yet, in democratic systems like the US, elected officials are the ones who instigate wars. So, if you don't want to be conscripted the idea is that you have the power to 'free' yourself from conflict by removing the warmongers from power. In this way, society has to choose whether to go to war or not. And if society chooses war, then war is the burden that society shall bear.

Here is another argument. Conscription is usually only put into practice in times in which there is an imminent threat to the nation. In WWI, we thought the Mexicans would attack us if we didn't help Britain. In WWII, we were at threat by both expansionist dictatorships in the Pacific and in Europe. Even during Vietnam, we feared the 'domino effect' causing global catastrophe. Now we know that theory is incorrect, but then we did not. In each of these scenarios, the citizen population contributed to the greater good of their society by trying to prevent the spread of permanent and foreign authoritarian rule. In other words, temporary slavery is better than permanent slavery.

One last point. You seem to paint military service as something dangerous and something that is to be avoided at all costs. While it is dangerous, it is also an opportunity for one to distinguish themselves personally and show leadership. Many great politicians, inventors, and even writers were inspired to do what they did because of the formative impact that military service had upon them.

The Byrd
January 16th, 2017, 05:30 PM
No, it's patriotism.

Jean Poutine
January 16th, 2017, 06:48 PM
The fall of national service in much of the Western world is kind of symptomatic of the greater cancer afflicting our society : everybody wants rights, nobody wants obligations.

Conscription isn't slavery. It isn't even that useful in a military sense for most countries. It's mostly a nation-building, citizen-shaping exercise meant to foster a sense of duty to one's country and discipline in personal life. That a lot of people view it as some kind of terrible moral wrong is baffling to me. A year or so spent serving your country is cheaply paid for all the benefits we reap as first world citizens.

Stronk Serb
January 17th, 2017, 03:53 AM
The fall of national service in much of the Western world is kind of symptomatic of the greater cancer afflicting our society : everybody wants rights, nobody wants obligations.

^^ THIS ^^

What many people here, in Serbia- a second-world country, don't also realize is they have obligations. The youth lacks discipline. You could say there is a rise in youth deliquency which could correlate after military service was abolished. Besides, it is better for conscripts during war to have served in the military before for the sake of them having less chance to die due to lack of training.

Porpoise101
January 17th, 2017, 03:36 PM
everybody wants rights, nobody wants obligations.
In some ways, I would say that we could do with more obligations. Selective Service and jury duty aren't enough. Ideally, we would have compulsory voting and other things to keep people engaged with their society. Otherwise they become detached from the rest of the country, obsessed with their own lives. Not that pursuing one's own ideals is bad; it's usually beneficial. But when people do not have awareness, it is a bad sign.

Uniquemind
January 21st, 2017, 02:42 AM
In some ways, I would say that we could do with more obligations. Selective Service and jury duty aren't enough. Ideally, we would have compulsory voting and other things to keep people engaged with their society. Otherwise they become detached from the rest of the country, obsessed with their own lives. Not that pursuing one's own ideals is bad; it's usually beneficial. But when people do not have awareness, it is a bad sign.

The kind of awareness required requires quite a cerebral mind, to truly understand the ins-n-outs of legislative loopholes being written, already in use by a sick marriage between corporate world dealings, and government.


Duty is one thing, but there comes a point where the system exploits duty, to keep freethinkers busy about their next paycheck, rather than have the freetime to ponder law and the state of one's being economically, socially, emotionally, physically (hence many of Americans are obese), and so that's a thing.

For those that do have time, most are caught up in the indulgences of pop-culture, shopping, eating, games, and sex/romantic lives, and the next step up being family life.

I would be for conscription IF it is proven in the design of the nation's system that the widowed, orphaned, and injured-survivors, were compensated like kings.

But they aren't so for this reason I am like "nope", conscription as of now would lead to power abuse.

Human
January 21st, 2017, 10:30 PM
I think conscription can be beneficial for society, it helps young people mature and shows them the reality of life in a way, but it also takes away a lot of their youth. It isn't slavery because you get paid and it may be necessary unlike slavery, and it may also have positive impacts for you

Flapjack
January 23rd, 2017, 03:28 PM
Service for your country is not slavery.
Why? Throughout history slaves often served their country...
I see forced conscription as a last case scenario, but I don't see it as equivalent to slavery. I would much rather be a solider for a few years and risk my life, than to allow America to be compromised. I think conscription has been misused some in the past, Vietnam for instance, but I don't think the concept itself was wrong, it just should only be used in cases where America is clearly threatened.
I kindaaaa agree? Tbh I am not sure what I think about this issue but I certainly agree that wars like Vietnam do not justify conscription.

Like I try to put myself in everyone's shoes and if you country was being invaded by someone that I reallyyy didn't want to live under and I chose to join the army, I think I would be angry that my fellow countrymen didn't also join the fight but at the same time just because I want to fight, doesn't give me the right to dictate what others do ya know?

etimes we have to step and up and defend it, even if we don't want to. Everyone who enjoys those freedoms should be willing to defend those freedoms when they are threatened. Anyone who would rather live without liberty than to risk their life for liberty, cannot say that they truly support liberty.
Often it is not a question of liberty, for example if Canada invaded the US, I don't think people would be fighting for freedom as both goverments let their citizens live pretty free?

Of course you can both truly want something and not want to get blown up for it.

maybe they should want to step up but I make the argument that they shouldn't be forced and I do personally consider conscription slavery.

I would much rather be a solider for a few years and risk my life, than to allow America to be compromised.
Honestly so would I and I am not even American XD Of course it depends on by who though, don't think I could be motivated if it was just Canadians invading. But just because I would fight, doesn't mean everyone should be forced to.

Of course allowing conscription also brings up the awkward question of why are women not conscripted when men are?