The draft

Alex Gould alexandergould at
Sun Jan 5 15:11:14 MST 2003

Hi David, Hunter, and everyone.  Now despite my respect for what I know
of it I'm no scholar or practitoner of Marxism to any great extent or
orthodoxy, so if anyone here debates me over my mangling of the
encyclopedic and precise Marxist vocabulary used on this list I'll have
to admit defeat on the grounds of ignorance.  I wouldn't have a
disclaimer, though, if I had nothing to claim, and I think it's crazy
to believe that any "universal draft" that a capitalist state would
institute & enforce would lead to radicalization of the military.

I'm of draft age now, and I know more than a few vets of Viet Nam and
other wars before and after.  This is what they tell me:  In both draft
(vietnam) and "volunteer" (Gulf 1) wars, there was a disproportionate
number of poorer and non-white soldiers doing the most dangerous work.
The "draft avoidance for the wealthy" loopholes have always existed at
least as much as the "poverty draft" (our current system with its
cynical enticements, selective recruiting, and the important "prison or
the army" bargains) has.

My veteran (or currently serving) friends and acquaintances also tell
me that except for the rare gonzo delusional jingoist, they all know
and many openly admit that this is about oil and profit and empire.
I'm not saying that most don't have more patriotism & loyalty than
Marxists or others like myself would wish, but it does make them at
least as radical as most working class people I know.

The conscription draft is Capital and the State enforcing working-class
enslavement to protect its interests.  The poverty draft is Capital and
the State enforcing working-class enslavement to protect its interests,
except that most resisters aren't imprisoned.  I don't see the justice
in or the point of supporting a system where workers, who must be
radical to some degree if they resist conscription, get sent to prison
or worse so that they can become "more radical".

As for myself as a Quaker, I've committed to going to prison or worse
before I ever raise as much as a fist.  Now some Marxists I know have
told me that pacifism or religion or both are bourgeois and
counter-revolutionary.  To them and to any of you out there who'll tell
me so, I say be glad I don't believe in Hell, because if I did anyone
who told me that could go straight thataway for all I care ;) .  Peace, Alex

"Nicaragua is only two days marching time from Texas." -- Another dire warning about terrorist states, from Ronald Reagan

"We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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