Norway introduces slavery for women

Norway\’s parliament voted overwhelmingly on Friday to conscript women into its armed forces, becoming the first European and first NATO country to make military service compulsory for both genders.

Tsk. A properly free and liberal society would have abolished the slavery of men, not expanded the State\’s helotry in the name of gender equality.

59 thoughts on “Norway introduces slavery for women”

  1. Of course, the presumption is “A properly free and liberal society” comes cost free.
    If one accepts there’s a price attached to keeping a society free & liberal from foreign aggressors, who should bear that cost? Better to have a mercenary army paid from taxes? Or does the citizen have a duty to defend that from which he/she benefits?

  2. Helotry and Military Conscription are two different things. In Sparta, the military conscripts oppressed the Helots.

  3. The Norwegian government has been importing foreign aggressors for decades. Not as rapidly as Sweden though.

  4. A significant justification for conscription as arising from the individual’s responsibility and need to provide for his own defense in the face of foreign aggression can be found welol-expressed in Mises’ HUMAN ACTION.

    The issue divides libertarians and other advocates of greater freedom from government control. Personally, I side with some sort of universal, obligatory contribution to the defense effort, to include the able of both sexes (whether or not in cmbat roles).
    effort

  5. Or does the citizen have a duty to defend that from which he/she benefits?

    The problem is this was probably what was told to Estonian conscripts dragged into the Soviet Army. Nobody asked them whether they actually want to the state they were fighting for to exist in its current form.

    Also, history shows it is a short step from conscripting people to defend the homeland from outside attack to shipping conscripts off to distant continents to further muddle-headed political goals.

  6. Tim N – actually I think the Iraq War would have been politically unviable if the British Army was conscripted, while there would have been less protest in the USA against the Vietnam War if there had been no draft. So a weakish argument against professional militaries is they make an aggressive foreign policy more viable both politically and (I presume, since they are likely more effective on the field) militarily.

  7. Without defending the principle of conscription, in practice, Norwegian conscription is not actual conscription like you may see in Israel or Switzerland. If you disagree with foreign/allied policy, or allied WMD armament policies, or you are a pacifist, you can avoid conscription entirely by giving a signed statement about this. Second, any military action other than domestic defence is contract only. In practice, those who do not want to join the army, don’t have to, and a large portion of those who actually do, will not get in either, as very few conscripts are needed.

  8. Better to have a mercenary army paid from taxes?

    Yes. Conscription is wrong. Always wrong. We do not owe the state anything. Certainly not our time, our bodies or our lives, let alone our loyalty.

  9. bloke in spain // Jun 16, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Or, we can allow the citizen to decide if that state is truly one that he benefits from (and benefits from enough to be worth fighting to preserve it). rather than say, letting the state assume the power to determine if it benefits its citizens enough to enslave them in its military.

    The Nordic states already take a huge bite in taxes (as compensation for the ‘benefits’ the state provides), and there are many ‘free and liberal societies’ (my own United states for one) who don’t limit their violence to defensive scenarios. if nothing else, having a war and no-one showing up is the penultimate level of control citizenry has on government overreach – the only thing left after that is revolution.

  10. “Or, we can allow the citizen to decide if that state is truly one that he benefits from”
    Nice bit of libertarian theory that.
    Meanwhile, on planet earth…

  11. Oh, bugger, this commenting system is broken isn’t it. try again…

    Not really. Your argument relies on the position that the citizen supports the state. You cannot assume that – the citizens may look upon an invader as a liberator. I certainly do not support our state. I despise it utterly and wouldn’t lift a finger to assist it.

    Put it another way; would I take up arms to defend myself, my family, my friends and my home? Yes, absolutely. But I wouldn’t lay down my life for the denizens of Westminster – those scumbags deserve to perish in the most horrible ways imaginable.

    Ultimately, a state that cannot rely on willing volunteers to come to its aid in an emergency does not deserve to survive.

    And, back here on planet Earth as you say, conscription is enforced servitude. Enforced servitude is slavery. Slavery can never be justified.

  12. One final point to all of this; the state extorts money from us to pay for a standing army. Having paid thousands over the years, I fail to see why I should then bark myself…

  13. @Longrider
    You’re trying to deal with one of the aspects of libertarianism that aspiring libertarians haven’t even worked out the questions for, let alone the answers to.

  14. One of the problems:
    ” I certainly do not support our state. I despise it utterly and wouldn’t lift a finger to assist it.”
    Almost certainly written by someone who is entirely dependent on some form of State for their continuing existence. As are the overwhelming majority of people. We are rarely viable as individuals.

  15. Entirely dependent? You are Richard Murphy and I claim my £5.

    Those “benefits” I might enjoy from the state are bought and paid for multiple times over.

    As for not having worked out the question – sorry, but the question is perfectly clear. Enforced servitude is always wrong in all circumstances. There is no ambiguity, nor is there any haziness about either the question or the answer. The state does not own us and we do not owe it any duty or loyalty.

  16. OK. One of the questions needs asking.Related to Tim’s original post.
    Is the making of war best left in the hands of those who wish to fight?

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    Longrider – “Yes. Conscription is wrong. Always wrong. We do not owe the state anything. Certainly not our time, our bodies or our lives, let alone our loyalty.”

    We owe them taxes. Which go to pay those mercenaries. And which take up quite a lot of our time. Until some time in June for British people every year. How is one form of enforced servitude fine but the other is not? You are also opposed to taxation in all its forms?

    12Longrider – “Your argument relies on the position that the citizen supports the state. You cannot assume that

  18. So Much For Subtlety

    12Longrider – “Your argument relies on the position that the citizen supports the state. You cannot assume that [] the citizens may look upon an invader as a liberator.”

    They may. In which case the tradition (and all too often ignored in these degenerate times, alas) solution is to drag them to the Tower Gate on a wicker picket, remove their bowels with hot irons, hang them until they are half dead and then chop them into four pieces.

    Which I consider very fair.

    “But I wouldn-t lay down my life for the denizens of Westminster – those scumbags deserve to perish in the most horrible ways imaginable.”

    Absolutely. But that is not the issue is it? Would you lay down your life so that Britain could continue its existance as a light unto the nations?

    “And, back here on planet Earth as you say, conscription is enforced servitude. Enforced servitude is slavery. Slavery can never be justified.”

    Well yes it can be justified. And often is. It often was. How do you go with child support? That too is enforced servitude in that the State can deem you employed at a certain salary and then deem you responsible for paying a certain amount – even if you get fired.

    Or how about jury duty?

  19. The conscription year(s) are subtracting from leaning time and often family creation time.
    This is quite a high cost. Learning and reproduction are both easier when a young adult.
    Any way who is going to attack your country with an infantry army when they have weapons of mass destruction – real ones.

  20. The equating of military conscription in a democratic nation-state to slavery (helotry!) is a silly, melodramatic argument. Seeing it reminds me of that incredible sense of righteousness I felt and displayed when I was a naive young leftie.

    Conscription, like taxation, is not ideal (and should certainly be kept to a minimum) but it is no more slavery than taxation is.

  21. pjf/bis/smfgs–sorry lads but that is an alphabet soup of bullshit. Taxation and conscription are most certainly aspects of slavery. Longrider is quite correct and like him I would not break a fingernail for the shithole this country has become. There was a time I might have considered it worth volunteering to defend but conscription?–never.

  22. So Much For Subtlety

    john malpas – “Learning and reproduction are both easier when a young adult.”

    So it is a double bonus then? As most of what people learn after the age of 18 is pointless, at least in a formal setting, and the only learning that is useful they should be doing before they are 18 – apprenticeships for instance.

    As for reproduction, I doubt there are many children born to parents before the age of 25 who add to society as a whole.

    “Any way who is going to attack your country with an infantry army when they have weapons of mass destruction

  23. A properly ordered state is responsible for an armed service to protect against foreign aggressors, a police force to deal with domestic unrest at whatever level, and a judiciary to investigate and punish transgressions. To fund these activities, we pay tax. We’re not obliged to serve as police officers or as judges; why should we be obliged to serve as soldiers? If you pay to have your car washed, are you required to wash someone else’s?

  24. I would certainly volunteer again if it meant defending our way of life against an aggressor. I’m less sure about volunteering with such a gung-ho political elite who seem to think the armed forces are there to salve their conscience whenever there are picture on TV of people dying in conflicts, which appears to be William Hague’s argument over Syria.

    There is one role of the armed forces that is often forgotten and that is MACC. Having a self sustaining force that can react to disasters and other emergencies very valuable.

  25. I insist that taxes should be kept low exactly so that the reach of the state is limited. However, I can clearly see a clear philosophical difference between paying a tax after services freely rendered and having one’s service enforced by that state.

    If one doesn’t like the tax regime or fancys another lifestyle one can become Bloke in Spain. If so, then good luck to you. I envy you to a degree and I consider your deal with this state to be valid; you don’t benefit from this state anymore and so you don’t pay anything to it. By contrast, leaving the state to avoid national service makes one a traitor in the eyes of that state and a permanent outlaw, so no deal struck by Individual and State, no balance; hence slavery.

    Personally I say the State has no such legitimate claim.

  26. So Much For Subtlety

    john malpas -“Any way who is going to attack your country with an infantry army when they have weapons of mass destruction [] real ones.”

    Norway has WMDs? Actually probably the only sensible way to attack a country with WMDs is with the smallest and weakest Army you can find. That way they will be too ashamed to nuck the crap out of you.

    21PJF – “The equating of military conscription in a democratic nationstate to slavery (helotry!) is a silly, melodramatic argument.”

    How about if the State decides it needs coal miners and forcibly conscripts you and sends you down a coal mine until they get bored and let you go. Is that slavery?

    “Conscription, like taxation, is not ideal (and should certainly be kept to a minimum) but it is no more slavery than taxation is.”

    I agree. Except I would put it the other way around – both are slavery. And so there is no point objecting to one when we allow the other.

    24Ian Bennett – “We-re not obliged to serve as police officers or as judges; why should we be obliged to serve as soldiers?”

    We are obliged to serve as jury men. We used to be obliged to serve as policemen too if a posse was called for. So why is it fine for juries and not for regiments?

    25SimonF – “I-m less sure about volunteering with such a gung-ho political elite who seem to think the armed forces are there to salve their conscience whenever there are picture on TV of people dying in conflicts, which appears to be William Hague-s argument over Syria.”

    You used to be able to rely on the British Upper Class to send their sons to die in whatever pointless war was going on. The idea of Blair sending his sprogs to fight is laughable. This is the main reason it is not a good idea to go. No society can survive unless the Upper Class is willing to do and die for the national cause. Look at America. At least the Royals are reliable in that respect.

    “Having a self sustaining force that can react to disasters and other emergencies very valuable.”

    As long, one assumes, Hague does not see pictures on the TV and feel any emotion about it. Come on, you have just condemned the use of the military as a force for helping people. How can you turn around and support it in the next sentence?

    26Ironman – “However, I can clearly see a clear philosophical difference between paying a tax after services freely rendered and having one-s service enforced by that state.”

    My taxes are not freely rendered. Can you explain the difference? Why should we serfs have to work two and a half days a week in our Lord-s fields so that they can live in idleness?

    “By contrast, leaving the state to avoid national service makes one a traitor in the eyes of that state and a permanent outlaw, so no deal struck by Individual and State, no balance; hence slavery.”

    Actually it does not usually work out that way. You can defect to Red China as a US soldier and still not get treated as a traitor. You can take money from the hands of the KGB as Richard Gott did and still not get sacked from the Guardian. Certainly America is full of people who dodged the draft – and Bill Clinton seems to be one of them. They elected him President.

  27. SMFS… sigh.

    “My taxes are not freely rendered”

    Who said they were? I actually wrote “paying a tax after services freely rendered “: do you see? The services are freely rendered; the taxes imposed.

    Actually that’s all I am going to engage with here. I remember your reference to Indigenous Europeans and just don’t feel inclinded to join in a discussion. Goodbye.

  28. Bugger again!

    BiS: Is the making of war best left in the hands of those who wish to fight?

    Yes.

    SMFS – we have a contract with the state to pay for services rendered. Actually, yes, I am opposed in principle to all taxation, because I am opposed to coercion. However, as BiS quite rightly says; meanwhile in the real world we are where we are. I detest taxation, but accept that it is an evil we have to live with. Consequently, there is no double standard. I’ll pay my taxes begrudgingly. I will not lay down my life for the state. Therein lies the difference. I would, if the circumstances were appropriate, volunteer to fight an invader. But that would merely be a case of my enemy’s enemy, not loyalty to the state.

    I’m all for the disembowelling, by the way. Not enough politicians being disembowelled for my liking…

    Child support – I’ve seen this in action enough to regard it as an evil that should be abolished.

    I’m not convinced that Jury duty being imposed is a good idea either – so I’m pretty consistent, eh?

  29. ” Is the making of war best left in the hands of those who wish to fight?

    Yes.”

    Is it any surprise we have wars? It’d seem to be a prime area for the principal-agent problem to be operating.

    And just a thought, in relation to this. Have we ever actually had a conscript army? At the core of any conscripted force is usually a professional cadre. You now have the worst of both worlds. A poorly educated (in military matters) majority required to obey a self serving minority.

  30. Bloke In Spain

    Yes, historically most armies in Europe were conscripted. The lower down the social scale you were, the more explicit the coercion. Higher up it was more a matter of making sure you chose the right side or kept onside with the powers that be. Indentured Hessian troops switched sides during the American War of Independence for the offer of their own land, which was theirs’ to farm; not their lord’s.

  31. BiS – no, it’s no surprise. However, forcing unwilling conscripts into the front line hasn’t stopped them, has it? Far better the willing lay down their lives than the unwilling.

  32. Pingback: More on Conscription | Longrider

  33. So Much For Subtlety

    Ironman – “The services are freely rendered; the taxes imposed.”

    But you could just as easily say the services are freely rendered and the conscription imposed.

    “Actually that-s all I am going to engage with here. I remember your reference to Indigenous Europeans and just don-t feel inclinded to join in a discussion. Goodbye.”

    Perhaps you could explain what it is about a perfectly normal and inoffensive term that upsets you so much? Not that I care, mind you, I just do not think that going through life being so precious can be good for you.

    30longrider – “Is the making of war best left in the hands of those who wish to fight?

    Yes.”

    But is that what is happenning? Napoleon once said that war and prostitution are the only two industries where the amateurs can do better than the professionals. It is not clear to me that professional soldiers do want to fight. They want to be soldiers. That is not the same thing. Conscripts on the other hand may be naive about the dangers or fired up with patriotic fevour, or they might just want to get home as soon as possible. I do not think the evidence shows conscripts do better or worse than the professionals.

    “we have a contract with the state to pay for services rendered.”

    So what is your beef with conscriptuion if that contract includes three years in the Army?

    “meanwhile in the real world we are where we are. I detest taxation, but accept that it is an evil we have to live with.”

    How does that differ from conscription?

    “I-ll pay my taxes begrudgingly. I will not lay down my life for the state. Therein lies the difference.”

    No one is asking you to lay down your life. They do not strap a suicide vest to your body. They ask you risk your life. But are you really saying that it is a matter of courage? You will not face the risk?

    “I-ve seen this in action enough to regard it as an evil that should be abolished.”

    And in much of the West, especially in America, if you do not pay what the State deems you to owe, regardless of your actual situation, it is off to jail you go. This is forced servitude but most people seem fine with it.

    “I-m not convinced that Jury duty being imposed is a good idea either [] so I-m pretty consistent, eh?”

    I am not sure. Would you or have you actually done jury duty? One of the two Ronnies or someone like that was actually forced down a coal mine. Britain did that. He does not seem to have borne a grudge but I doubt it did him much good.

  34. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “And just a thought, in relation to this. Have we ever actually had a conscript army?”

    The English Army that met William the Bastard at Hasting was made up of housecarls (who may or may not have been professional soldiers) and the fryd – a gathering of freemen dragooned into service. So that would be close.

    32Ironman – “Yes, historically most armies in Europe were conscripted. The lower down the social scale you were, the more explicit the coercion.”

    I do not know what that word historically is doing there. You mean since Frederick the Great in Germany and the French Revolution elsewhere? That is fairly recent. For most of the 19th century conscription was actually fairly popular, especially among the poor. Because they ate much better than they did at home – meat at least once a day. I am old enough to remember relatives who had nothing but fondness for their days in the military for the food among other things.

    “Indentured Hessian troops switched sides during the American War of Independence for the offer of their own land, which was theirs to farm; not their lord-s.”

    Not many of them.

    29,839 served in the Americas, and, after the war ended in 1783, some 17,313 Hessian soldiers returned to their German homelands. Of the 12,526 who did not return, about 7,700 had died. Some 1,200 were killed in action, and 6,354 died from illness or accidents, mostly the former.[14] Approximately 5,000 Hessians settled in North America, both in the United States and Canada.

    This is despite being offered a lot of land if they would desert.

  35. SMFS 27:

    We are obliged to serve as jury men. We used to be obliged to serve as policemen too if a posse was called for. So why is it fine for juries and not for regiments?

    Did I say that is was? We used to be obliged to give a tenth of our income to the church; do you want to revive that notion as well?

  36. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian Bennett – “Did I say that is was?”

    Well do you object to the slavery that is jury duty?

    “We used to be obliged to give a tenth of our income to the church; do you want to revive that notion as well?”

    Well yes. As it happens.

  37. Why should people that don’t go to church or believe in any of that stuff be obliged to give money to the church?

  38. SMFS 38:

    Well do you object to the slavery that is jury duty?

    Yes.

    Would you care to explain the reasoning behind your tithe requirement?

  39. SMFS – you appear to have misinterpreted my meaning. I did not comment upon the quality of warfare between those who choose to fight and amateurs. My response was that those who choose should do it, not force those who choose not.

    I see you are sticking with drawing a comparison with taxation. This is a tu qoque argument. Just because one is bad and we do it, is not a justification for something else that may be bad. And in the scale of evils, stealing several years of someone’s time and possibly their life ranks somewhat higher than taxes – and, I repeat, I pay via taxes for a standing army. I should not then be expected to serve in it.

  40. We used to be obliged to give a tenth of our income to the church; do you want to revive that notion as well?

    Well yes. As it happens.

    Er, on the off-chance that this is a serious comment – and I do hope it isn’t – fuck off already. No way would I tithe money to that bunch of charlatans.

  41. No one is asking you to lay down your life. They do not strap a suicide vest to your body. They ask you risk your life. But are you really saying that it is a matter of courage? You will not face the risk?

    Er, going onto the front line is being prepared to lay down one’s life. They do not ask, they command – that is what conscription amounts to. Forcing someone against their will to serve their captor. Courage has bugger all to do with it. I am not prepared to offer my life in the service of the state and the state has no moral authority to require me to.

  42. Conscription into the army, or to any other State service (e.g. some form of community good works group) is always and everywhere entirely wrong.

    In practical terms, in virtually every case a war consists of poor men (and now, women apparently) dying for the power lusts of the rich. Let the man who declares the war be first over the top against the machine guns, rather than safely back at home mouthing pieties in front of memorials to the dead.

    Slavery? Actually, worse than slavery. I’d rather pick cotton than be blown to bits by a shell, really I would.

  43. So Much For Subtlety

    ChrisM – “Why should people that don-t go to church or believe in any of that stuff be obliged to give money to the church?”

    We have to pay money to subsidise the poor and feckless. I just happen to think the Churches would do a better job of spending it.

    40Ian Bennett – “Yes.”

    Can you think of any reason why we might want, even need, juries to be made up of a random sample of ordinary people and not, say, those with a strong interest in the case?

    41Longrider – “I see you are sticking with drawing a comparison with taxation. This is a tu qoque argument. Just because one is bad and we do it, is not a justification for something else that may be bad.”

    But it is interesting why we tolerate one and not the other. I agree both are bad. But I also think both are necessary for society. And actually conscription is probably a positive for society as a whole. Maybe even for the people who do it. But that is not the point. We are going to take people-s time and money. Why is this way fine but that way is not?

    “And in the scale of evils, stealing several years of someone’s time and possibly their life ranks somewhat higher than taxes [] and, I repeat, I pay via taxes for a standing army. I should not then be expected to serve in it.”

    At the moment you are not paying for a standing Army because we have all but ceased to have one. How is it worse? People who have actually served in the Army rarely object to it all that much especially if they got to shoot at people.

    43Longrider – “Er, going onto the front line is being prepared to lay down one-s life.”

    Yes, as I said, a risk. They are not asking you to die, they are asking you to risk dying.

    “I am not prepared to offer my life in the service of the state and the state has no moral authority to require me to.”

    The first part of that is a statement of fact, but the second part is an opinion. You do not think they have a moral authority to require you to do so. A lot of people disagree. Why do you think they do not have a moral authority to do so but they do have the moral authority to ask you to till your Lord-s fields for two and a half days a week?

    44Ian B – “Conscription into the army, or to any other State service (e.g. some form of community good works group) is always and everywhere entirely wrong.”

    Jury duty?

    “In practical terms, in virtually every case a war consists of poor men (and now, women apparently) dying for the power lusts of the rich.”

    That is rarely true. Wars are disproportionately started by young men who are not rich. The rich want to hold on to what they have. The young want to upset the apple cart so they can seize what they may. Which is why societies full of old people – like Germany today – are so very peaceful. WW1 was the result of the Victorian baby boom.

    “Let the man who declares the war be first over the top against the machine guns, rather than safely back at home mouthing pieties in front of memorials to the dead.”

    By all means.

    “Slavery? Actually, worse than slavery. I-d rather pick cotton than be blown to bits by a shell, really I would.”

    And yet most people who served in the Army, especially in War, loved it. And virtually none of the slaves in the Old South chose to remain on or return to their plantation.

  44. “We have to pay money to subsidise the poor and feckless. I just happen to think the Churches would do a better job of spending it”

    I don’t want some one to be even better at spending my money than the government. I would rather a party that was worse at spending my money.

    As it happens, I think the church would spend my money even less wisely than the government. If there is one person that talked more shit than most politicians, it was that beardy twat Rowen Williams.

    “they are asking you to risk dying.”
    We are talking about conscription to the army right? Where does “ask” come into it?

  45. SMFS-

    And yet most people who served in the Army, especially in War, loved it.

    Then presumably you’ll never have a shortage of volunteers, so why conscription?

  46. So Much For Subtlety

    ChrisM – “I don-t want some one to be even better at spending my money than the government. I would rather a party that was worse at spending my money.”

    So you would rather all your money was stolen a la Marco or Putin than actually going to help the sick and the homeless? An interesting proposition.

    “As it happens, I think the church would spend my money even less wisely than the government. If there is one person that talked more shit than most politicians, it was that beardy twat Rowen Williams.”

    Yes but he does not have responsibility. When the Churches did they were more responsible. If we return responsibility to them they will have to behave like grown ups. Maybe even tell some sluts that it is a good idea to get married before having children. That sort of thing.

    Besides, you are not giving your money to politicians as such. You are giving it to people like Sharon Shoesmith and whoever was in charge of Victoria Chimbile. Bea Campbell-s partner and her odd belief in Satanic Sex abuse. Still think they do a better job?

    47Ian B – “Then presumably you-ll never have a shortage of volunteers, so why conscription?”

    Well they do seem to have enjoyed it after the event. We are lazy. We rarely do what is good for us. More to the point, if the national defence is a national good, and it is, there is a case that everyone ought to pull their weight. That the Middle Class should not be able to pass off the collective obligation to the poor who soldier and the Upper Class who command. Nation building and all that sort of thing.

  47. We rarely do what is good for us.

    We rarely do what others think they know is good for us, because those others are generally twits.

    There is a certain case for conscription at times when the nation is direly threatened. That doesn’t apply to either World War, interestingly enough. And it seems likely that the outcome from Britain either not getting involved in WWI, or pulling out once the BEF had been devastated- either of which would have occurred had there been no mass army- would have been considerably better than what we got. Which includes WWII.

    So okay, Kitchener’s meat sandbag army was initially volunteer, and only later became conscripted. But the surge of future corpses signing up was almost entirely due to an irrational belief in dying for King and country, so basically of the same character.

    RIP Conscription: 1916-1960. Never again.

  48. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “We rarely do what others think they know is good for us, because those others are generally twits.”

    That is also true.

    “There is a certain case for conscription at times when the nation is direly threatened. That doesn-t apply to either World War, interestingly enough.”

    That seems a remarkable statement. The nation was clearly directly threatened in both World Wars. It was definitely bombed even. Now perhaps we could have stayed out of WW1. But I do not see that happening after 1939.

    “And it seems likely that the outcome from Britain either not getting involved in WWI, or pulling out once the BEF had been devastated- either of which would have occurred had there been no mass army- would have been considerably better than what we got. Which includes WWII.”

    I agree. I suspect we both share views that are not common here but it was a disaster than Germany lost WW1. But was the mass Army the problem? The problem looks to me like the British government sacrificed Britain-s national interest to France. They wanted dead British soldiers and they got them. We would have been much better off arming the Russians and staying out.

    “So okay, Kitchener

  49. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “”So okay, Kitchener-s meat sandbag army was initially volunteer, and only later became conscripted.”

    So we got into a total ball-s up with a totally volunteer Army. It does not seem to have mattered much in the larger sense.

    “But the surge of future corpses signing up was almost entirely due to an irrational belief in dying for King and country, so basically of the same character.”

    It is not remotely irrational. This is what marks First World countries out from Third World ones – they are coherent and so soldiers are willing to serve. They will not run at the first sight of gunpowder as in, for instance, the Egyptian Army since 1948. The Palestinians are a great example of what happens to peoples who are not coherent in that way.

    But I do not think this changes the rights and wrongs of conscription. Having it would not have kept us out, not having it certainly did not. The question is still whether the burden of national defence should fall on all equally or come down hard on the poor and the Upper class.

    “RIP Conscription: 1916-1960. Never again.”

    That remains to be seen.

  50. I agree. I suspect we both share views that are not common here but it was a disaster than Germany lost WW1. But was the mass Army the problem? The problem looks to me like the British government sacrificed Britain-s national interest to France. They wanted dead British soldiers and they got them. We would have been much better off arming the Russians and staying out.

    I think we should have just stayed entirely out, and after years of reading what i can about it, have still not formed a clear opinion of why we didn’t. Even the Germans were baffled that we got involved over Belgian neutrality.

    If we had stayed out, the Germans would presumably have got the continental dominance they desired (and, in the political context of the time “deserved”), and then we’d have had a probably constructive competition between the British Empire and Germany, and not a drop of British blood spilt. Instead, we got two wars, and a decimated Europe deferring to the single American superpower. Oh, and Soviet Communism for a lifetime, also. And no need for any conscription, ever.

  51. “So you would rather all your money was stolen a la Marco or Putin than actually going to help the sick and the homeless? An interesting proposition.”

    You have an annoying habbit of when a person says X, claiming they said Y. That I don’t want the state stealing my money doesn’t mean therefore that I am happy for the church to do so. Moreover, I fail to see how anyone could even think that holding one position implies the other.

    “Yes but he does not have responsibility. ”

    That is not the point though. You said that you would like to see people obliged to pay a tithe. You would like him to have that responsibility which is what the discussion is about.

    “When the Churches did they were more responsible. If we return responsibility to them they will have to behave like grown ups. ”

    Says who. On what do you base this fanciful idea.

    “Maybe even tell some sluts that it is a good idea to get married before having children. That sort of thing.”

    Yes, clearly that will do it. Telling people to do something ensures that they will indeed do it!

    Governments are forever hectoring people to do things or not do things to no avail. If only social problems could be solved by simply telling people not to do the things that cause them.

    You clearly like the church and believe in all the stuff. Good for you, just don’t force me to pay for it.

  52. Come off it , Tim .

    Military service in Norway is in practive voluntary- they examine everyone for democracy’s sake, but ‘conscript” less than 10,000 young people a year out of ~ 60 K who qualify.

    And the “slaves” who do not claim exemption” get paid rather more than twice a Portugese housemaid’s wages.

    Now about my consulting bill….

  53. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “I think we should have just stayed entirely out, and after years of reading what i can about it, have still not formed a clear opinion of why we didn-t.”

    Presumably because our government did not see German unification made a purely European balance of power impossible. Germany was too big and too rich. The only way to keep them from dominating the continent was by bringing in extra-European powers like the Americans and Russians. The mistake was to think that fighting the Germans would prevent this. We should have ditched France-s laughable claims of Great Power status and tried to find a new balance with the US and Russia.

    “then we-d have had a probably constructive competition between the British Empire and Germany, and not a drop of British blood spilt.”

    Except we would have had to fight Germany in the end as a unified Europe would be a threat. To that extent, Germany was a problem in 1914. But not one we should have tried to defeat in the trenches.

    53ChrisM – “You have an annoying habbit of when a person says X, claiming they said Y.”

    Or in this case, when you say you want the worst government possible, I assume you mean what you say. You did say:

  54. So Much For Subtlety

    ChrisM – “You have an annoying habbit of when a person says X, claiming they said Y.”

    Or in this case, when you say you want the worst government possible, I assume you mean what you say. You did say

    I don-t want some one to be even better at spending my money than the government. I would rather a party that was worse at spending my money.

    Putin would be worse. Therefore it seems reasonable to ask if he is what you meant.

    It may annoy you to be held accountable for what you say, but that is something you will have to live with.

    “That I don-t want the state stealing my money doesn-t mean therefore that I am happy for the church to do so.”

    I noticed. So what? I simply said that if we have to pay, we may as well pay to the people who will spend it the best and do the least damage. Which I think would be the Churches. I fail to see any valid objection to this so far. But I live in hope.

    “Moreover, I fail to see how anyone could even think that holding one position implies the other.”

    Given I have not come remotely close to saying that the problem does not appear to be mine, but rather you refusal to read what I say. Your money is going to be taken from, you anyway. Accept that. The welfare state should go but it won-t. It is forever. So if you have to pay anyway, it seems reasonable to ask who is going to do the best job with it.

    “That is not the point though. You said that you would like to see people obliged to pay a tithe. You would like him to have that responsibility which is what the discussion is about.”

    It is the point; you simply stubbornly refuse to read what is put in front of you. You cannot condemn him for being an irresponsible idiot when he does not have any responsibility. I think the responsibility would do him and the CoE good but it does not seem to be in dispute.

    “Says who. On what do you base this fanciful idea.”

    Says the weight of history. Says the need to balance a budget and choose priorities among many competing claims.

    “Yes, clearly that will do it. Telling people to do something ensures that they will indeed do it!”

    It will if their refusal to do so comes with an end to their welfare. The Church of Scotland greatly increased marriage rates by recording the profession of every unmarried mother as “common prostitute”.

    “Governments are forever hectoring people to do things or not do things to no avail.”

    That is because they are spineless and need to be re-elected. They are not serious. When they are serious, they avail. Look at their hectoring of the rest of us not to be racist or homophobic. They pass and then enforce laws.

    “You clearly like the church and believe in all the stuff. Good for you, just don-t force me to pay for it.”

    You cannot find a single word or deed that even suggests I believe anything at all. You are inferring and inferring without any basis. It would be nice if we did not have to pay for the feral underclass. But we do. It remains sensible to think about the best way to pay for said underclass. And I do not think the government is the best choice.

  55. I won’t bother going line by line through your post. Given you have attributed things to me that I never said that would simply lead to another pointless round of nonsense.

    Given I am a regular reader here, actually I do have a reasonable idea of what other regular commenters believe in (at least if I am allowed to infer what they believe based on what they say), and you clearly do have religious beliefs and sympathy for the church. This much is clear from most of your posts.

    That you want my money to support a body that you happen to like makes you little different to any other special interest that believes it is entitled to other peoples money.

  56. So Much For Subtlety

    ChrisM – “Given you have attributed things to me that I never said that would simply lead to another pointless round of nonsense.”

    You mean I have quoted you. Terrible that is. What is it you are objecting to apart from that?

    “(at least if I am allowed to infer what they believe based on what they say), and you clearly do have religious beliefs and sympathy for the church. This much is clear from most of your posts.”

    Sympathy is one thing. Belief is another. You have inferred one from another.

    “That you want my money to support a body that you happen to like makes you little different to any other special interest that believes it is entitled to other peoples money.”

    Yet again I will point out that the underclass is going to get your money no matter what you do. It is not that I am in favour of taking your money, I am simply resigned to the fact that it is going to be taken. So the question all along has been how best to spend that money. And all along I have said I think the Churches, plural note, would do a better job than the State.

    Nowhere have you seriously dealt with that claim. You insist on foisting claims on me I have not made. You insist on making absurd claims about what I have said. And you insist on missing the point.

  57. You didn’t just quote me though did you. You also paraphrased me, and it is in the paraphrasing part that you have attributed things to me that I never said.

    ” You insist on foisting claims on me I have not made.”

    If I have done this, then you know how annoying it is for me when you do the same.

    History and common sense suggest that unelected consumers of public funds spend it even less wisely that elected consumers of public funds.

    The question is NOT about how to spend it given the discussion is about tithes versus taxes. The discussion is about WHO spends it, or more accurate still, who has the power to levy claims on my income in the first place.

    Whilst I don’t think even an elected government has some moral claim on a portion of my income (and certainly not the portion of my income it takes), an unelected body such as the church has even less of a claim on my income.

    That people should have the chance to vote out those who can tax us strikes me as a very reasonable expectation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *