• Isaac
    8.5k
    Do you understand then the difference between law enforcement and vigilantism?ssu

    In legal terms, yes. How's that related? We're talking about what ought to be, not what currently is.

    If the Allies had stopped at Germany's border, the regime wouldn't have collapsed. Hence it would be a real threat later, perhaps then armed with it's own nuclear weapons.ssu

    The existence of a threat to the state is not in question. The question is whether it's justified to use conscription to deal with that threat.

    I think I've answered already that conscription is basically a manpower issue. If with a volunteer force you cannot create a force big enough to create a credible military deterrence, then you need conscription. If the population is big enough, then you can use volunteer force.ssu

    Are we having some translation problem? I'm asking you about justification, and you're replying with ability and requirements. Do I need to rephrase the question?

    I can walk into a shop, shoot the cashier and walk out with my food. If I wanted free food, I would need to do something like that. This has nothing whatsoever to do with whether those actions are justified (I think we'd both agree they're not).

    Im asking you if conscription is justified and you keep telling me how it's possible and would work. I know it's possible. I know a state might require it for defence. But is it justified?

    If you think it is so unjust for the state to demand military service conscription, just a while ago you and I were quarantined to home and set a lot of limitations thanks to the pandemic.ssu

    I thought that was unjustified too, but that's on technical grounds. Let's assume they had the science right...

    1. Being quarantined hardly compares to being shot at, captured, tortured and injured. The justification has to be significantly greater.

    2. Being quarantined is (usually) scientifically proven to save people's lives. It's not a wild guess, nor is it a political opinion. The benefits of retaining one flag over another is not in any way the same quality of evidence.

    So comparing enforced quarantine with conscription you have a monumentaly higher risk of harm for a much less well proven gain.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    In legal terms, yes. How's that related?Isaac
    There are legal terms in war too. Just starting from that combatants can be legal or illegal. That enemy soldiers are prisoners-of-war, not treated as ordinary criminals.

    Are we having some translation problem? I'm asking you about justification, and you're replying with ability and requirements.Isaac
    Seems like you don't want to understand my point. If you don't have the ability to defend your country and the potential enemy knows it, meaning your defense has no deterrent, then what is the justification for having a "defence force" in the first place? Perhaps it's just to lull your people into thinking that the army can protect the nation, when it cannot. I think there's enough justification on universal military service when otherwise you wouldn't have the ability to defend your country.

    I thought that was unjustified tooIsaac
    Well there you go. What you are talking about are the rights of the individual compared to duty of the state to protect the society and it's people, where the state then limits your freedoms because of the collective. And if you are somewhat OK with the state posing limitations on your freedoms during a pandemic, you think it's so totally different when the state faces a bigger threat of war.

    So if you are an American, just how much does the obligation of serving on a jury when summoned tramples your freedoms. Is that justified, because it's an obligation too?

    1. Being quarantined hardly compares to being shot at, captured, tortured and injured. The justification has to be significantly greater.Isaac
    And irrelevant of your status of being either a civilian or not, you might be shot, captured, tortured and injured in war. What is so difficult to understand in the grave threat a war poses to a society? It's not comparable to anything in peacetime. Just being an able military aged man is grave risk when enemy soldiers arrive to your neighborhood.

    I think what ought to be discussed is the relationship between the state and it's citizens.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    There are legal terms in war too. Just starting from that combatants can be legal or illegal. That enemy soldiers are prisoners-of-war, not treated as ordinary criminals.ssu

    I know. You're still not relating any of this to justifications.

    If you don't have the ability to defend your country and the potential enemy knows it, meaning your defense has no deterrent, then what is the justification for having a "defence force" in the first place? Perhaps it's just to lull your people into thinking that the army can protect the nation, when it cannot.ssu

    It's simpler to just answer the question, but whatever....

    If you don't have a capable defence force you can't defend your nation. We agree on this.

    Now. Why is it justified to solve the problem of not having a capable defence force by using conscription?

    What you are talking about are the rights of the individual compared to duty of the state to protect the society and it's people, where the state then limits your freedoms because of the collective. And if you are somewhat OK with the state posing limitations on your freedoms during a pandemic, you think it's so totally different when the state faces a bigger threat of war.ssu

    Yes. Finally! That is exactly the question.

    And yes, it is totally different for the reasons I've already given.

    1. Being quarantined hardly compares to being shot at, captured, tortured and injured. The justification has to be significantly greater.

    2. Being quarantined is (usually) scientifically proven to save people's lives. It's not a wild guess, nor is it a political opinion. The benefits of retaining one flag over another is not in any way the same quality of evidence.
    Isaac

    being either a civilian or not, you might be shot, captured, tortured and injured in war.ssu

    Not if your state surrenders. War takes two parties, the aggressor and the defender. Many Ukrainians, particularly in the east want to surrender. They believe that their lives under Russian rule will be insufficiently different from their lives under Ukrainian rule to justify war.

    Others want to leave the country, to run away.

    Being a civilian victim of war is not the only other option.

    What is so difficult to understand in the grave threat a war poses to a society?ssu

    War (vs no war) is not the choice we're discussing. It's the current State vs some other State. You're assuming war. War is not a given . The state could simply hand over control to the invading party. No war.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    Not if your state surrenders.Isaac
    And just why wouldn't the surrendered people then fall to what surrendered people have fallen in history many, many times: to be second rate people in their own country and finally being assimilated to be the part of their conquerors after losing their language and their own culture? Or if not being assimilated, then live as a lower caste or live in a reservation.

    Perhaps these days an own independent nation state is taken as such an obvious given that one has to be a Palestinian or a Kurd to understand what an own independent country means.

    War (vs no war) is not the choice we're discussing. It's the current State vs some other State.Isaac
    And you think that one state to another doesn't matter? Well, benevolent and friendly states that value your freedom usually don't go and invade other countries and annex them.

    The state could simply hand over control to the invading party. No war.Isaac

    What would have surrendering in 1939 meant for us? Likely rape of women, pillaging, elimination of our political and cultural elite, deportations of entire families and villages to Siberia, masses of basically forced immigration of Russians (and Belorussians, Ukrainians) to our country. The Russification of our society and being under Soviet control perhaps until finally getting our independence back when the Soviet Union fell apart. We'd just be far more poorer with and ugly, painful history. We can see it all from what the Baltic States had to endure.

    Or was it so simply to all those countries that were colonized by the Europeans? Just surrender? I think the few non-European countries that didn't become colonies or protectorates of Europeans are quite happy with putting up a fight and staying independent.

    But that said, of course surrender and hope for the best is an option. History has told it's a really lousy option.

    Yet who cares about people or societies that don't exist anymore?
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    And just why wouldn't the surrendered people then fall to what surrendered people have fallen in history many, many times: to be second rate people in their own country and finally being assimilated to be the part of their conquerors after losing their language and their own culture? Or if not being assimilated, then live as a lower caste or live in a reservation.ssu

    Well they might. Or they might not. that's the point. the argument is about the degree of imposition the government considers reasonable in the face of a reasonable disagreement as to the consequences.

    Consider the lockdown again. Some people disagreed with the government there about consequences. But the imposition was small and the government consulted scientists (whereas those who disagreed generally didn't).

    This is no the case with war. The imposition is huge, and undeniably and the government consults no special experts as to what life would be like under foreign rule, it's just their opinion.

    Perhaps these days an own independent nation state is taken as such an obvious given that one has to be a Palestinian or a Kurd to understand what an own independent country means.ssu

    No. There are objective facts about the matter we can turn to, Belarus is not an independent state. It scores higher than Ukraine on several measure of human well-being. There's no reason to think an independent state is better than a foreign-controlled one.

    And you think that one state to another doesn't matter? Well, benevolent and friendly states that value your freedom usually don't go and invade other countries and annex themssu

    No, they don't. Something which would only make a difference if the state you currently have was a friendly, benevolent one. Otherwise the swap is irrelevant. The war, though, isn't.

    What would have surrendering in 1939 meant for us? Likely rape of women, pillaging, elimination of our political and cultural elite, deportations of entire families and villages to Siberia, masses of basically forced immigration of Russians (and Belorussians, Ukrainians) to our country. The Russification of our society and being under Soviet control perhaps until finally getting our independence back when the Soviet Union fell apart. We'd just be far more poorer with and ugly, painful history.ssu

    Probably. One of the reasons I think the war against the Nazis was just,

    Or was it so simply to all those countries that were colonized by the Europeans? Just surrender?ssu

    Yes. Absolutely. In most cases resistance was useless and failed anyway. Surrendering would have been much less harmful and resistance could have taken the more successful form of political action. The thing which actually repelled the colonists in the end.

    It's not a sufficient argument to say that because in some wars, we would have been worse off surrendering, that this must then be so in all wars.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    Well they might. Or they might not. that's the point.Isaac

    You do understand that it's a great, enormous risk?

    And think about it from the invaders viewpoint. If you invade and annex a country and then give autonomy to the country and have them have their own laws and institutions etc, why wouldn't they in the future just demand back their independence, if you are so benevolent and friendly? The actions that Russia has made it pretty clear what Putin has in mind for Ukraine, the state that he has called "artificial".

    As I've said earlier, there have been times when countries have joined voluntarily another, but that is totally different matter.

    Yes. Absolutely. In most cases resistance was useless and failed anyway.Isaac
    And you think those that did successfully resist colonization are unhappy of their choice to resist?

    . Surrendering would have been much less harmful and resistance could have taken the more successful form of political action. The thing which actually repelled the colonists in the end.Isaac
    You think so?

    What do you happened then to the native Americans, the Aztecs and or the Incas? Or the Maoris in New Zealand? Did they get their nations back? With what political action?

    No.

    My wife is Mexican (and now a Finnish citizen also). She doesn't speak nahuatl, but Spanish.

    I can totally imagine that Finns and the Finnish language would be in a similar situation like many Fenno-Ugric people and their languages in Russia today (the Komis, the Udmurts, the Mari). And Finland would be a "natural" part of Russia proper inhabited by Russians. Five million people are quite expendable. Nobody would care a shit if they would have disappeared.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    You do understand that it's a great, enormous risk?ssu

    More of a risk than marching toward a line of machine guns?

    If you invade and annex a country and then give autonomy to the country and have them have their own laws and institutions etc, why wouldn't they in the future just demand back their independence, if you are so benevolent and friendly?ssu

    I doubt an annexed country would be given autonomy. What's so special about autonomy? I live in a rural county of England. We don't have autonomy, we're dictated to by London. In America, states are dictated to by federal law. What's so special about existing states that they have a right to autonomy which is denied individual counties, or villages, or households?

    What about the autonomy of those who don't want to enlist? Why is their autonomy trodden over but the autonomy of their state paramount?

    And you think those that did successfully resist colonization are unhappy of their choice to resist?ssu

    I doubt it, no. That some military defenses are successful is not an argument that any given military defense will be. No one would ever attack anywhere if that were the case.

    What do you happened then to the native Americans, the Aztecs and or the Incas? Or the Maoris in New Zealand? Did they get their nations back? With what political action?

    No.
    ssu

    Now you're just making the same error the other way around. That some political activism isn't successful is not an argument that any given political activism won't be. No one would ever act if that were the case.

    The matter is clearly uncertain. So the question is about what right a government has to force such an enormous imposition for such a disputed benefit.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    Perhaps these days an own independent nation state is taken as such an obvious given that one has to be a Palestinian or a Kurd to understand what an own independent country means.ssu

    Same could be said of the Russian Crimeans or the the independents in Donbas. Same could be said of the Basque separatists, the Scottish, the Taliban in their strongholds...

    Does Northern Ireland have a right to autonomy? Israel (at what size)? Did South Korea? What about the Pacific Islanders?

    Your notion that the world can be neatly divided into these shapes whereby a majority within them can rightfully tell the others to walk into a tank, but anyone from a different shape is monstrous to do so.

    It's insane. These shapes are an entirely arbitrary result of various wars, settlements and ongoing truces throughout history, they have absolutely no other meaning. To say that those within them are morally obliged to risk their lives to protect the line drawn by some autocrats hundreds of years ago is crazy.
  • Olivier5
    5.7k
    Does Northern Ireland have a right to autonomy?Isaac

    I would think they have a right to be reunited with the rest of Ireland. NI is an anachronistic remnant of colonialism.

    To say that those within them are morally obliged to risk their lives to protect the line drawn by some autocrats hundreds of years ago is crazy.Isaac

    @ssu is not arguing for a moral obligation.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    I would think they have a right to be reunited with the rest of Ireland. NI is an anachronistic remnant of colonialism.Olivier5

    Every border is an anachronistic remnant of some act of colonisation. Where else do you think borders come from? God?
  • ssu
    6.3k
    I doubt an annexed country would be given autonomy.Isaac
    The Russian Empire granted autonomy both for Congress Poland and the Grand Duchy of Finland. Poland, which had been for a long time a large independent nation, revolted several times against the Russians. Finland, which hadn't been an independent nation, revolted only when Imperial Russia started Russification and later when the empire collapsed.

    What's so special about autonomy?Isaac
    Local institutions. The government you face basically isn't the foreign power, but for example your old previous institutions. A county isn't a country: both your county and London are in England. In fact Scotland with their Scottish Parliament (or the Welsh Senedd) are examples of autonomy in your country. The Scots have been an independent country and have had now referendums about independence (and I guess one purposed for 2023 now), which just underlines my point. Whales shows even better how assimilation works: only a third or so of Welsh people actually can speak Welsh and only a tenth use it daily.

    Your notion that the world can be neatly divided into these shapes whereby a majority within them can rightfully tell the others to walk into a tank, but anyone from a different shape is monstrous to do so.Isaac
    Now your off to build your own strawman arguments.

    ssu is not arguing for a moral obligation.Olivier5
    Correct. :up:

    But seems that Isaac views these questions only from a moral point of view and cannot see any other way to look at it. Well, for a person living in the English countryside where the last foreigners that invaded the place did so 956 years ago, these issues can be only a question of freedom and morality.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    Local institutions. The government you face basically isn't the foreign power, but for example your old previous institutions. A county isn't a country: both your county and London are in England. In fact Scotland with their Scottish Parliament (or the Welsh Senedd) are examples of autonomy in your country. The Scots have been an independent country and have had now referendums about independence (and I guess one purposed for 2023 now), which just underlines my point. Whales shows even better how assimilation works: only a third or so of Welsh people actually can speak Welsh and only a tenth use it daily.ssu

    Why are you telling me all this?

    But seems that Isaac views these questions only from a moral point of view and cannot see any other way to look at it.ssu

    It's the topic of the thread. If you want to start another thread about the history and function of conscription, do so.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    But seems that Isaac views these questions only from a moral point of view and cannot see any other way to look at it.ssu

    It's the topic of the thread.If you want to start another thread about the history and function of conscription, do so.Isaac
    Not exactly.

    To answer the question "Is the country mobilizing to save its citizens, or is it mobilizing to save the existing power structure?", you need to look at the function of mobilization of the society in a war.

    And what happens to countries and societies if they loose the war (or surrender) to an invading power whose objective is annex the country.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    To answer the question "Is the country mobilizing to save its citizens, or is it mobilizing to save the existing power structure?", you need to look at the function of mobilization of the society in a war.ssu

    Sure, but in relation to the balance of value to citizens vs the value to the state. Simply declaring that citizens benefited won't cut it. We're talking about Ukraine here. I've given the evidence of overall similarity between Ukraine, Russia and Belarus (as an example of a puppet state). Since the evidence shows there's not much to choose between them, I'm struggling to see where you're getting your argument from about civilian benefits.

    And what happens to countries and societies if they loose the war (or surrender) to an invading power whose objective is annex the country.ssu

    Again, since I'm not disputing that some wars benefit the populations committed to them, your argument is wasted.

    ...

    The point here is that whether the benefit of any war is worth the cost is disputed. I don't think you can seriously raise an objection to that.

    So, given the enormous risk, and disputed benefits, how does a state justify not giving its citizens the freedom to choose?

    If your answer is "it wouldn't work otherwise", then that opens the state to the criticism that its own survival is the paramount objective.
  • baker
    4.9k
    And irrelevant of your status of being either a civilian or not, you might be shot, captured, tortured and injured in war.ssu

    That can happen to you in war regardless whether you're a civilian or a soldier. It can also happen to you regardless whether there is officially war or not.

    And anyway, you'll probably suffer more harm from capitalists and mean neighbors in peace time than you'd do in a war from an invading force.
  • Olivier5
    5.7k
    you'll probably suffer more harm from capitalists and mean neighbors in peace time than you'd do in a war from an invading force.baker

    Crassest post of the day.
  • Isaac
    8.5k


    From 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 7 August 2022, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 12,867 civilian casualties in the country: 5,401 killed and 7,466 injured.https://www.ohchr.org/en/news/2022/08/ukraine-civilian-casualty-update-8-august-2022

    Out of a population of 41 million, that's a death rate of 0.243/1000 (assuming a full year of war)

    Rates of avoidable mortality in Ukraine (due to lack of investment in healthcare, corporate irresponsibly, and lack of regulation) is 6/1000. One of the highest in the world. (According to WHO mortality database).

    So which figure do you dispute?

    What's "crass" is the almost total media whiteout over the war compared to the almost complete and negligent silence on the corruption and profiteering killing 30 times as many people.

    And we haven't even touched on the victims of air pollution, low wages, industrial diseases, poor nutrition...

    You may think that all the world's evil is perpetrated by Russia. Others are not so childishly naive.
  • Olivier5
    5.7k
    For those who think war is much better than capitalism, air pollution or one's neighbours, I recommend a little vacation in Dombass.

    You can do the paperwork here:
    https://fightforua.org/
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    For those who think war is much better than capitalism, air pollution or one's neighbours, I recommend a little vacation in Dombass.Olivier5

    Which figure do you dispute?
  • Olivier5
    5.7k
    From your link:

    OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher,

    Over 30 times higher? Don't be absurd.

    The point is not to claim that war zones are no worse than peacetime communities under capitalism. The point is that overall suffering is caused in greater degrees by profiteering and corruption than it is by war, whole orders of magnitude greater. OHCHR estimation error has no bearing whatsoever on that fact.
  • Olivier5
    5.7k
    Over 30 times higher?Isaac

    Why not? Also, do add the maimed, the traumatized, the tortured, the raped, and then those suffering from hunger, poverty, or forced migration.

    People who have never seen a war speak of it easily, I guess. As I said, you're welcome to enlist in the Ukraine foreign legion, if your neighbours in Sussex are killing you.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    Why not?Olivier5

    Apart from the total lack of evidence that it's anything like that?

    Also, do add the maimed, the traumatized, the tortured, the raped, and then those suffering from hunger, poverty, or forced migration.Olivier5

    OK, so shall we add those consequences to the tally for capitalism too. What kind of figures do you think that will yield? How many are hungry because of profiteering agricultural companies?

    People who have never seen a war speak of it easily,Olivier5

    People who've never been on the brink of starvation or worked in a chemical plant for starvation wages speak of it easily too. So what?
  • Olivier5
    5.7k
    If war is safer than peace, what's your problem with conscription ?
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    If war is safer than peace, what's your problem with conscription ?Olivier5

    The Russian offensive is less harmful than the Holocaust, so what's your problem with it?

    Of the list of stupid things you've said to avoid conceding a point, this is definitely getting a runner up prize.

    "One ought not oppose anything for which something else is worse". Brilliant.

    Now all we need to do is find the activity with the worst outcome in the world do that we can at least oppose something.
  • Olivier5
    5.7k
    The Russian offensive is less harmful than the Holocaust, so what's your problem with it?Isaac

    Well, if we follow your reasoning, the Russians are in fact helping the Ukrainians survive longer by drawing them into a war, thus avoiding far worse dangers such as their neighbours or air pollution.... :chin:
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    The Russians are helping Ukrainians survive longer, if we follow your reasoning.Olivier5

    Eh?

    6 deaths per thousand from profiteering.
    0.25 deaths per thousand from war.

    War + profiteering = 6.25

    Just profiteering = 6

    I don't know what kind of crazy maths your Facebook feed now wants you to use but us old fashioned types still see 6.25 as more than 6.

    But you crack on with your 'newspeak' maths. I'm sure it'll be fine.
  • fdrake
    5.2k
    It can be just to war and wrong to conscript. If there's an argument that in a specific case the only way to fight would be to conscript, then the justness of conscription might follow. But that itself, and the inference, would need to be demonstrated.

    In general it seems you lot are discussing whether it would be better for Ukraine to be occupied by Russia than not, and leaving both the conscription issue (is any conscription just? and is this conscription just?) and the inference from just resistance to just conscription (in this case and in general) unexamined.

    Just fight implies just conscription, why and why here?
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    Just fight implies just conscription, why and why here?fdrake

    My argument has been that the value of the outcome in any war is necessarily disputed. Argue against this first point we'd have to divide all the world into the 'bad' countries and the 'good' countries, such that if a 'bad' one invaded a 'good' one we'd know the outcome would be universally disapproved of. Despite the media's best efforts, we can't reasonably do that, so the idea must be rejected.

    As such a government, in conscripting, is taking away a meaningful choice over what outcomes a person wants to contribute toward and imposing a very severe burden in doing so. I don't think there's any precedent for that.

    As to Ukraine. I've given the data (uncontested, as things stand) showing that Ukraine is not that dissimilar to Russia or Belarus (as an example of a Russian puppet state), by almost any measure of human well-being.

    Ukraine is in a very difficult situation. It's a very useful country (large, agriculturally very productive, oil access, trade access...) but no real military power. So it's going to get used, and abused, by one of it's more powerful neighbours. The only choice it has is which.

    Russia has forced it's hand by invading, and NATO have restricted its options by not seriously defending it. So really now, in terms of who they get abused by, it's Russia or Russia. Conscription in this particular case is therefore even less justified because it's very likely that the outcome of the severe imposition will be negligible either way. If Ukraine win, there'll still be all the corruption and fascism, plus decades of indebtedness and 'modernisation' to endure. If Russia win, there'll be further restrictions on political freedom, but maybe more investment (as there was in Crimea), and less 'modernisation'. If they surrender, there'll be all that plus less war, but perhaps more boldness in Russian future dealings. Their choices are all shit. It's nothing short of adolescent role-playing for a government to force it's citizens to risk their lives pursuing one of the three shit options.
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