bjdotson on December 04, 2019, 12:24:46 pm
I hear you but I still think there's a difference between a nation with a Standing Army (not currently in civilian jobs) and a nation that uses only Militia forces who when needed have to be pulled from civilian jobs.

Historically, there have been two problems with Militia.

First, there's the problem of training & discipline. Do they know what they are doing and do they have the discipline to "do the job"?

Second, when the Militia is called up, then whatever jobs they did in the community is not being done or at least is being done by "less qualified individuals".  This means that a long war has a greater impact on the community/nation than it would if the war was fought by a standing army.

The second can be seen as a feature when one dislikes the idea of a nation going out to conquer other nations, but is a problem when a nation with only militia forces is defending itself from another nation that has a standing army.

The problem with that argument is it assumes those soldiers come out of thin air and eat nothing. It doesn't matter if the soldiers are part-time or full-time; those soldiers are workers who are taken out of the civilian economy. Now, you can say that a community that has a standing army is one that is accustomed to the extra load, and that fielding that army therefore produces much less of a system shock to their economy than calling up part-timers, and leaving tasks normally done now unfilled.

I should have replied to you a week ago.

There is a difference.

The best analogy I can compare a standing military to is insurance. You pay into insurance monthly, and hope you never need it. That is money that you aren't using to buy food, transportation, shelter, or toys. Because you are a wise individual, you accept that the potential future need, that would be blunted by insurance, is worth not having a few toys, or the latest and greatest of everything else.

A society which maintains a (large) standing military is one that has accepted that they can't spend all of their labor on the collective, and generally indirect, obvious good of the populace, but must instead spend some of it on preparedness.

Like with insurance, a society which lacks a military might look fine on the outside, and even from the inside, provided peace or other disaster doesn't expose their failure to prepare for it. This might mean better schools, better roads, better hospitals, or, in a freer society with fewer government-managed programs, richer citizens who can afford to buy better cars, better houses, etc.

Going into a disaster without an already existing, already paid for military, one that you've become accustomed to supporting in peacetime in wages, equipment, training efforts, upgrades, and replacement, is like going into the hospital without insurance. Suddenly, you can't afford all the things, the "necessities", which you've become accustomed to. You find yourself pawning that TV, your second car, all your new hires between the ages of 18 and 35, all for far less than you initially paid for them, and suddenly you can't afford your accustomed new wardrobe, or to eat meat except once a week. Hospitals are EXPENSIVE, more so if you don't have insurance to help carry the expense. War is also expensive, more so if you don't have anyone ready trained and equipped to fight in it. Both are also incredibly disruptive.

A small army is like an emergency-only insurance policy with a large deductible. A large standing army is like a comprehensive insurance policy with a small deductible.

A large standing army is like having a really super-expensive toy that you can't wait to use, to justify all the money you've spent on it. So, you go about terrorizing your weaker neighbors.
Not only to justify money already spent, but to demonstrate that you need to spend more next year. Eventually they just take over and seize all the money.

UncleRice on December 06, 2019, 12:19:19 am
I would expect people to have fleets of combat robots with just enough brain power to do their job.
Stupid criminals put on a mask and rob people with a gun.
Smart criminals put on a suit, call themselves politicians, and rob people with writ of law.

MirrorField on January 08, 2020, 06:04:55 am
I would expect people to have fleets of combat robots with just enough brain power to do their job.

Most probably a part of any modern military fleet. However, your greatest weapon is between your ears as they teach at the boot camp of all military forces today. And if you make smart enough combat robots they just might start having ideas of their own.

More likely scenario says that your basic "human level" grunt is more like a lieutenant in modern army, commanding a platoon of dumb (read: Non-sapient) limited-AI combat robots with various specialties/loadouts and which are expendable if necessary.