“For centuries the State has enslaved people into its armed battalions and called it ‘conscription’” -Murray Rothbard
Last week after the Military drone strike in Iraq, an influx of young people went to the selective service website to find information about the draft. So much so that the draft website reportedly crashed from the surge. Google searches also are said to have increased by 900% for searches on “Is there going to be a draft”. While there has not been a draft since the Vietnam war, the reality is a draft could happen at any time and on the government's whim as Rothbard pointed out,
“Every youth is forced to register with the selective service system when he turns eighteen. He is compelled to carry his draft card at all times, and, at whatever time the federal government deems fit, he is seized by the authorities and inducted into the armed forces. There his body and will are no longer his own; he is subject to the dictates of the government, and he can be forced to kill and to place his own life in jeopardy if the authorities so decree. What else is involuntary servitude if not the draft?”
Not only are you conscripted to serve your government even against your own free will, but if you refuse or fail to comply you could face a felony, as the selective service website points out: “Failing to register or comply with the Military Selective Service Act is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison term of up to five years, or a combination of both. Also, a person who knowingly counsels, aids, or abets another to fail to comply with the Act is subject to the same penalties.”
The government askes our youth to sign up for selective service on the day they become “adults”. Indeed, they are mandated at the age of 18 to possibly be called to kill and murder in a war and possibly die themselves and yet our government also believes our youth are not responsible enough to make the decision to not smoke or drink since the smoking age has been raised to 21 years old. The simple truth is the government thinks that they own our bodies, and they will happily sit behind a desk in safety while they use you as cannon fodder.
However foul the selective service is, there is a far more detestable form once you reach the army, As Rothbard noted:
“While conscription into the armed forces is a blatant and aggravated form of involuntary servitude, there is another, far more subtle and therefore less detectable form: the structure of the army itself. Consider this: in what other occupations in the country are there severe penalties, including prison and in some cases execution, for “desertion,” i.e., for quitting the particular employment? If someone quits General Motors, is he shot at sunrise?”
So why do we subject our youth to our very real Hunger Games where if their number is called they must fight to the death and may the odds be ever in their favor? Why in 2020 should the military be unable to operate free of involuntary slavery when it has been able to do so since July 1, 1973?
If history is our guide, we might expect a reinstatement of a draft to have profound societal effects. Consider the anti-war movement of the 1960s, during the previous “draft”. Now, consider the anti-war movement of today, during a time of an “all volunteer” military, when military service is elective and by choice, when people don’t necessarily have skin in the game. Should the draft return, and young people face the prospect of mandatory service, what will the social repercussions be? Further division or people realizing they have very real skin in the game?
The Government claims to be a representative government. Yet, how many of us disagree with its policies? How many not only disagree but find its policies and actions illegal. For them, it is bad enough that the Government should commit crimes in their name; however, should a draft be enacted, now those same objecting individuals will face the prospect of becoming a slave to what they sincerely perceive to be a criminal enterprise, and thereby helping with one’s own labor to commit crimes against one’s own will.
In another article, I noted the use of Conscientious Objection and once again I ask “is Patriotism defined as blind obedience to governmental authority? Can saying ‘no’ be more heroic than saying ‘yes’, when your conscience tells you its wrong that the Government requires innocent blood on your hands?” If war is murder, what does this mean for a silently objecting person’s soul to become part of a killing machine rather than consciously objecting? Even if their job is removed from the front lines, at the end of the day the war rages, people are murdered, and they played their part contributing to the war/murder effort.
The obvious answer to all of this is, the draft should be abolished unfortunately, things won’t change until the public demands it. As Jeff Deist said not very long ago,
“ We need an anti-politics movement just as surely as we need an antiwar movement.”