[Marxism] "Why do they always send the poor?"

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Fri Aug 19 05:46:40 MDT 2005


There's no question but that the "volunteer" military, like the
conscripted one of the Vietnam era not only reflects the working class
but, disproportionately so, the small town and rural working class.
These are the least cosmopolitan-minded folks, who often see few
options, largely because they have so few.  In fact, there were
statistics circulated on this list not long ago indicating that this
military is proportionately MUCH MORE small town and rural than the one
that fought in Vietnam.

It is often frustrating to deal with such folks, of course, less because
of the knee-jerk institutional loyalties than the frustrating lack of
experience--or of well-digested experience.  But it has to be done.

The article's discussion of a "warrior caste" is misleading.  There's a
lot of hype about this generational continuity when it happens, of
course.  The American military often complains that there's not enough
of it, and they have a kind of romanticized view of how this is the norm
among the traditional European powers.  However, when it takes place
here, it does so mostly among officers, less among noncoms, and rarely
among the enlisted men.  You might go in for a few years, and your dad
might have been in for a few years, but the sons of lifer-grunts aren't
encouraged to become lifer-grunts. 

Best,
Mark









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