Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Draft: Either Your Life or Your Life

It has been reported that Representative Charles Rangel plans on reintroducing a bill to congress that would reinstate the military draft. Given that Obama is a supporter of national community service it is most likely that he will either advocate it or pass it.

This bill is the most fundamental violation of individual rights possible. When it comes to light (Rangel plans on reserving it until an economic stimulus is passed) we need to write to our representatives to let them know that we oppose this legislation and why.* This bill is immoral and, as a corollary, impractical.

It is immoral because it violates an individual's right to life by not only forcing him to join and participate in an organization he may not want to (the military), but also by placing him in life or death situations (war). It is an unspeakable horror to think that a politician can force his judgment on an individual and send him off to war and then shrug apathetically if the individual should happen to die or sustain an injury (psychological or physical likewise) that will reduce the quality of his life for the rest of his lifetime.

It is impractical because if a country cannot obtain enough voluntary soldiers to fight a war, then why should it hope that an involuntary military force will solve the problem? Obviously, the person that would make the worst soldier is the person that does not want to be a soldier. Have we not learned from Vietnam, where American soldiers threw grenades into the tents of their commanding officers? If people do not want to fight the war, then it is both immoral and futile.

Worst yet, a drafted person (assuming they do not want to serve) is forced into a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't situation by the fact that the consequences of either obeying or "dodging" the draft are essentially the same. If he avoids the draft, then he gets the punishment of partial death by being sent to jail. Obeying the draft, on the other hand, not only forces him into a state of partial death, but also risks absolute death as well. "Partial death" is when a person is partially "killed" by being forced to spend a part of their lifetime either by not acting in accordance to their values or by stagnating, which means that a part of their life amounts to nothing while the grave gets ever closer in time.

It has been frustrating enough that the government thinks it can control our wealth as it sees fit, but it is sickening to contemplate that it could spend humans lives as it sees fit as well. A draft is not within accordance of America's founding principles, but rather of that of a dictatorship, where the individual is only seen as a means to serving the ends of a bigger collective (the community, society, state, etc.), despite the fact that a collective is simply a group of individuals.

Please be explicit in your disagreement with the draft and do not passively "let it go", for in a finite lifespan no amount of death is permissible or affordable. We are getting dangerously close to the end of freedom in America.

*Some argue that writing to one's representatives is a waste of time, but it is not so. The only type of politician that can maintain his political career is the one that the majority wants in office, and for the majority to want him in office he must be attuned to popular opinion. The only way for him to know what the popular opinion is is for us to express it.

No comments: