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April 21, 2014

Troll So Hard: Daily Beast Writer Calls US Military a Socialist Paradise

He may just be trolling (so I'm not linking him, but Jonah Goldberg's discussion of the troll-posts), but he may be partly serious.

We were just discussing this idea of Socialists on the podcast, with Jonah Goldberg, as a matter of fact.

Socialists actually crave the non-fighting aspects of the military life -- the collectivization of people into a single body with one shared purpose. (This feeling of a shared purpose is often craved by those with a religious impulse but who reject actual religion.)

Socialists long to be corporatized -- turned into a single cell of a much larger, much grander, much more transcendent body.

They are frequently pretty casual about admitting that they would like a military-like society, regimented and hierarchized, with orders flowing down from those of superior rank.

Indeed, the military does have these attributes, as it must. But people in the military are largely conservative-leaning, and opposed to collectivization generally.

The Daily Beast writer implies this is somehow a contradiction. It's really not. A soldier might accept that he will give up certain rights of expression and choice for purposes of an undeniably grand purpose (defending the country) and only for that purpose.

The fact that a solider accepts that he is not permitted to bad mouth his superior officers or civilian leaders while acting as a soldier does not suggest he believes that such forbiddances should attach to an ordinary citizen.

Including himself, when he musters out -- most soldiers aren't lifelong soldiers, after all. A soldier may accept some aspects of collectivism (including obedience to superior officers) in his life as a soldier, and yet be completely averse to such a situation in his civilian life.

As most do, of course.

But the left does seem to imagine that if it works for the military, why then it really ought to work for society in general.

It's a creepy idea. It's a totalitarian idea. The military is exceptional in many ways, and foremost among those ways is that the military obeys rules that regular civilians are not required to obey, nor even to recognize.

But the left does see a well-functioning society as resembling the military, minus some aspects -- such as a patriotic temperament, willingness to use force to defend a nation, etc.

But otherwise: March in formation, act as a single unit, sublimate individuality into shared purpose decided upon by your superiors, and so forth.

And so they'll keep on insisting on this point, claiming it reveals something about conservatives, without realizing it reveals far more about themselves.

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posted by Ace at 03:29 PM

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