Fwd: [Marxism] "we now have very, very low propensity to enlist"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun May 29 11:47:49 MDT 2005

>I take a less sanguine view of this phenomenon. The paucity of visible 
>pro-war manifestations is made possible only by the paucity of anti-war 

Junaid, I think it is important for the average American to appear 
committed to the war effort if recruitment efforts are to be successful. 
This was the gist of the comments by General Rochelle that I posted here 
the other day. I should mention that I discovered Rochelle's comments in an 
entry by Chris Bray to cliopatria, a group blog on the History News 
Network. Bray is a grad student at UCLA and member of the US military about 
to be sent to Iraq. He includes his own comments on Rochelle's observations 
about the difficulties of recruitment:

 >>Now, this is obviously total bullshit. Twice a year, the Department of 
Defense compiles data on "influencers," finding out if they are encouraging 
or discouraging the enlistment of young people under their influence. 
Currently the military knows that most influencers are sharply opposed to 
the enlistment of young people they know...but they have no idea why, and 
apparently haven't even thought to ask. La la la, fingers in our ears, la 
la la.

Because the elephant in the room (and I think I may actually mean that as a 
pun) is that large numbers of people who sport yellow ribbon bumperstickers 
on their cars -- sorry, their SUVs -- and tell pollsters that they support 
the war in Iraq don't actually support the war in the sense that they want 
anyone they know to fight in it. The enlistment numbers, and the dynamic 
behind them, suggest quite strongly that the American project in Iraq is 
unsustainable. Wars require bodies in uniform, and the trend for that 
commodity is down, down, down. However many Americans "support" the war, 
the fact is that fourteen percent support the war.<<

full: http://hnn.us/blogs/2.html

>The liberals have their own reasons for quavering about fascism, namely as 
>a rationalization for supporting right-wing Democrats. But this does not 
>mean something like fascism is not already upon us. Perhaps worse than 
>fascism, in that in Germany the people at least had to be bought off with 
>material incentives, whereas Americans string along without even 
>benefiting from the carnage.

I don't think we have the same definition of fascism. Fascism to me is not 
just a brutal foreign policy. If it was, then France was fascist during the 
war in Algeria and Great Britain was fascist all through the Victorian 
epoch. Colonizers have acted mercilessly since Columbus exterminated the 
Arawak. Fascism is a recent innovation and a product of monopoly capital, 
and its deepest crises more specifically.

>Weakened recruitment numbers is a good thing, obviously, because as long 
>as our system is in a sense "voluntary" there is always the hope that 
>fewer and fewer will volunteer. But it is one thing to not sign up for war 
>because you realize you might end up dead instead of in college, and quite 
>another to begin seriously questioning the system itself.

There will be no "seriously questioning" of the system for quite some time. 
The USA remains the most powerful imperialist nation in the world with an 
expanding economy. Just watch "Househunters" for corroboration of that. We 
don't care if people refuse to join the army because the war seems like a 
lost cause. We would have serious problems if people joined despite that 
knowledge, just as the South fought on against Lincoln in 1864 or the Nazi 
youth groups fought against invading Russian troops in 1945. The absence of 
fervor here is a good thing, all in all. Especially in light of all the 
billions poured into hate radio and television, as the disappearance of 
Dennis Miller demonstrates.

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