[Marxism] Class status of the military?

Carlos A. Rivera cerejota at optonline.net
Tue May 31 18:19:00 MDT 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl Webb" <carlwebb at gmail.com>

> Did Marx or Lenin write about this issue?

Indeed. And Engels, don't forget Engels... who supported conscription.

The Prussian Military Question and the German Workers' Party (Engels)

Marx's comment on it:

The Military Program of the Proletarian Revolution (Lenin)

In general terms, Marxism has viewed conscription as the proletarization of 
warfare, and hence, a Good Thing. It was putting weapons and training in the 
hands of the proletariat, which then could use them against their masters.

The USA is unique, because of the Vietnam War, as a place were the majority 
of the revolutionary socialists oppose the draft to a point of principle. 
Which I don't think is entirely wrong in the context of the USA, but is 
unorthodox in terms of MEL. For example, in Puerto Rico we oppose it because 
its a colonial draft, yet there is no consensus on the view for a standing 
army in a Republic.

In general, conscription in center countries was abolished by Cold War 
social-democratic governments as a way to increase the political reliability 
of the troops, as an part of a general "profesionalization" of government. 
In places like Italy and Spain, the marxist left in general terms supported 
the draft. Some autonomist and "libertarian" variants don't.

Now, some might disagree, so let the games begin!


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