Monday, January 24, 2011
Random Thoughts on Unrepentant Militarists & Statists
-- George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism," 1945
Much has been written about the disease of American Exceptionalism, pertaining to cases of mischief and crimes carried out in the name of US foreign policy. But there is also a subset of this phenomenon- military exceptionalism. Any criticism of this institution is seen by its most rabid supporters as a blasphemous attack on an institution held in religious reverence. I’m constantly amazed at this continued support, respect, and forgiveness exhibited by people towards the military, despite the complicity of the armed forces in these state executed crimes.
Over the years I’ve had many email encounters with militarists who scorn me for my views and my failure to bow to their deified organization. What follows are some random thoughts inspired by such encounters attempting to analyze and explain such rabid, unbending allegiance. You may or may not grasp cohesiveness between these thoughts but I believe they each stand on their own.
Military apologists often bring up the “call” some individuals hear to “serve” in the military. What exactly is this “call?” Is it a demonic voice in their heads that “calls” them to kill for the state? Is it similar to the “call” fanatic Muslims hear, motivating them to kill for Allah? How are the two any different?
As for me, I never "called" anyone to kill in my name yet others feel I have some obligation to be grateful to those who answer this "call." Show me a signed contract where I have agreed to such a "service." I would submit that the only people who hear this "call" have agreed to have their lives and bodies owned by the state. That doesn't include me and millions of others.
The “Protection” Falsehood:
Military apologists claim the country would be in a "shambles" without the military? Please! What do you call this present mess? Militarists, claim that the military is fighting for liberty. If that is so, they're doing a pretty lousy job of it. My liberties grow fewer by the day. Perhaps they're fighting the wrong enemy. The wars militarists support are nothing but wars of empire, not defense, and have bankrupted all those enslaved under the US government's tyranny. The military today has nothing to do with defense but rather is directed to aggressive wars of conquest.
The Militarist Argument is Based on Faith:
Instead of logic and reason the arguments of militarists and statists are grounded in emotion and religious fervor. This delusional devotion also includes an unbending faith in the fantasy of a benevolent state.
I can sense the seething frustration when dissenters attempt to articulate their argument. They cannot provide honest, logical answers to honest, logical questions. The only ammunition left them is carefully crafted slogans, worn cliches, emotional rants, and a faith in a man-made institution, conditioned from birth. The only rebuttal remaining for them is slander, insults, threats, force ,and violence; identical methods used by their enslaving state when its meager attempts at persuasion fail. Nationalism is an affliction that dulls the powers of reason.
Faith is acceptable to defend viewpoints involving spiritual claims of the supernatural. These beliefs cannot be verified by empirical analysis. But it is an inadequate tool to justly defend an earthly, human created institution funded by coercion and maintained by aggression and force.
The Militarist’s Lack of Knowledge and Information:
A characteristic common to statists and militarists is that they are tragically uninformed. They formulate their weak, childish philosophies based on information gathered not from serious reading and study, but from strategically placed, carefully crafted sound bites received from state controlled television. They choose to explain their viewpoint with emotional outbursts rather than thoughtful, reasoned argument. They also have failed to overcome the conditioning and indoctrination they received while held captive in government controlled schools.
Unbelievers are Considered Dishonorable:
My opinions have often been described as “shameful” because I believe that the state and its military are not be respected, recognized as legitimate, and certainly not to be obeyed.
What is shameful are people (the military) who violate their oaths and contracts, then beat on their chests like chimpanzees, loudly claiming how wonderful they are.
What is shameful are people (the military) who arrogantly kill in my name (without my permission or even encouragement) and extract tribute at the point of their guns to pay for their murderous, unjust escapades.
The Militarist’s Unbending Allegiance:
In refusing to fawn over and bow in allegiance toward the state and its military, I’ll ask its supporters just why they agree to do so. Many times I’ve received this reply, “If I have to explain it to you, you wouldn’t understand.” The fact is that I'm capable of understanding anything that is logically and rationally explained. Of course, I know state and military apologists cannot do this because the god-state they so fervently believe in (and its mindless, hired assassins) cannot pass the scrutiny of such a discussion. This odious institution (a protection racket run by gangsters) would be exposed for the fraudulent, lying, hypocritical, murderous, demonic institution it is. It cannot survive the truth.
All states are evil, whatever they decide to call themselves, whatever philosophy they claim to hold. The US state has just done a better job of marketing and spreading propaganda to the masses, as well as having the good fortune to exist within an economic system that allows state plunder of extremely productive individuals. And let's not forget the ability to legally counterfeit its fiat currency and endlessly borrow to finance its empire.
Soon it will collapse, as all empires do, and the world will be better for it. After this occurs statists and militarists will be asking themselves, "How could I support and be willing to kill for such an evil institution?
The Falsehood of Military “Service:”
If the military deems itself so effective and confident, why not allow private competitors to emerge as alternatives to the forced “service” they now offer? Why not allow me to pay my hard earned money to a private defense agency who truly has my interests in mind (since they work for me). Wouldn’t this approach be more civilized than pointing a gun to my head to fund an enterprise that couldn’t care less about my interests- an enterprise that chooses instead to carry out the diabolical plans of power-crazed mad men? Members of the military take their orders from the state’s ruling class. A private defense agency would take orders from me, or risk losing my business to a competitor. Which organization do you think would best satisfy and “serve” me?
Even if you must have a state and a collective defense apparatus (the military), its only proper role is to defend geography, not to defend the ruling class or execute its “policy“. Likewise its role is not to defend other, distant governments and geography.