Holt on April 23, 2011, 02:25:51 am
As an organisation the US military is perfectly fine with pretty much anything. After all we are talking about a nation which came up with the idea of selling highly addictive narcotics to its own populace in order to fund criminals in the South American continent.

J Thomas on April 23, 2011, 11:16:08 am

Well the US military is perfectly happy with doing that sort of thing now. So just add what would inevitably happen if they tried to adopt policies like those of a European social democracy and we have the UW. Well ain't that fun.


Oh really?  So how many military people do you personaly know that are perfectly happy with "that sort of thing"?  I'm a 20 year vet and I can count on one hand the military people I have known who would be complacent with that kind of crap.

I agree. When our military people find themselves dealing on a day-to-day basis with something really horrible, they tend to get PTSD. They have lots of problems with it. They follow orders, they do what they have to do, and as much as possible they complete the mission. Then they freak out later.

The vast majority of our military people are normal decent people who might -- might -- get put into horrible situations that they know no adequate way to cope with.

I have known two Navy Seals who made a big deal about how macho they were. "No two skulls sound quite the same when they're hit with a nunchuk." And there are lots of public stories about SEALs being ruthless. Like, sent out to collect an enemy officer to interrogate, as they approach the beach each group that comes in carrying a prisoner after the first, breaks his neck and leaves him. "The orders were to collect one prisoner."

But their reputation is to be ruthless to carry out the mission, not to do gratuitous mayhem. Of course I haven't been with either of them on a mission, but my guess is that if they were supposed to cut a body into small pieces and scatter the pieces widely they'd have no trouble with it, but if they were ordered to gang-rape a 12-year-old it would be likely they would question their orders.

Quote
Know what?  Based on your comment, I think you're a bigot.  You fall into that same type of mindset of the KKK who are comfortable with the use of word "nigger" and would have no problem if it's counterpart (babykiller/raper etc.)  were it to be applied to the men and women of the armed forces.

There's a lot of that going around these days. Partly, it's that the military is becoming more and more a closed culture. Professionals who have their own customs and traditions separate from the civilians they come from. And also we preferentially recruit from the south and midwest, from areas that are "politically conservative". So the whole thing becomes increasingly foreign to people who are less conservative. I'm not sure what can be done about all that in the short run.

Quote
Thing is, there are aberations and monsters in every segment of society.  Here's a little factoid, due to the rigid standards or the US armed forces there are far fewer incidences of crime per capita as compared to the civilian population.

That's hard to measure. Civilian police forces have a pattern -- they report increasing crime statistics until they get a funding increase. Then crime statistics take a sudden drop, and rise gradually until the next funding increase. The obvious interpretation is that they report a crime wave to get funding, and then report less crime to show the funding worked. But there are other possibilities too, like better-paid police might be more industrious at catching criminals and getting them out of circulation, or alternatively better-paid police might be less diligent at turning in crime reports. None of this applies to the military, which gets no benefit at all from reporting crimes beyond their duty to report them. The military has a big reputation for handling discipline their own way, preferably without making reports to their own higher authorities or anyone else. Not to say they do less punishment, but they don't keep accurate statistics.

I have what I consider strong evidence that military crimes are consistently underreported. I also have weaker evidence that for one particular crime, the incidence is probably about the same as for the general population. I'll discuss that if you want.

But let's suppose that it's true there is far less crime in the military. Is that reasonable? There is considerably more reported crime among civilians when the economy is going badly and there is high unemployment. One possible interpretation is that police forces want to justify spending so they report more crimes. But there's a theory that lots of poor people prefer honest work but commit crimes when they cannot find jobs, or when they are generally more desperate. To the extent this is true, military people who have guaranteed employment until time for re-enlistment, and who have guaranteed food and shelter, and who have considerable to lose if they get caught, would be less likely to risk it.

Quote
You don't agree?   Prove me wrong..but you can't.

If we agree that the military has such great reporting standards that they never tell a lie to the public, then we should depend on the military's statistics to decide such things. However, the military has been caught in so many many lies to the public that we cannot do that. It could be argued that for some things the military has the duty to lie to the public. It's their responsibility to win wars, and any information that hurts the war effort should be censored. But also, each individual and each individual unit tries to look good so they won't make the military look bad. If they look bad to the public, they will also look bad to their superiors who will then commit more thorough inspections and damage careers etc.

I find all this completely understandable and not particularly dastardly. But it leaves me with no solid basis to answer the questions you ask. There's reason to think the military is not as shiny as they look. But how bad are they? I have no way to know.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 11:29:32 am by J Thomas »

mellyrn on April 24, 2011, 09:42:46 am
Quote
But in a scenario where everything is out to kill humanity? I highly doubt even an anarchist could say there is a future for us in anarchy.

Ah, well, I won't be there.  If survival means I must daily do things and endure things that revolt and disgust me, then the game's not worth the candle.  A life I can't enjoy? enjoy being human and humane and all that?  Why bother?  Existence just for its own sake ain't for me.

Holt on April 24, 2011, 09:44:45 am
Quote
But in a scenario where everything is out to kill humanity? I highly doubt even an anarchist could say there is a future for us in anarchy.

Ah, well, I won't be there.  If survival means I must daily do things and endure things that revolt and disgust me, then the game's not worth the candle.  A life I can't enjoy? enjoy being human and humane and all that?  Why bother?  Existence just for its own sake ain't for me.

Therein lies the problem with anarchy and anarchists. They are self centered.

GlennWatson on April 24, 2011, 12:42:05 pm
Quote
But in a scenario where everything is out to kill humanity? I highly doubt even an anarchist could say there is a future for us in anarchy.

Ah, well, I won't be there.  If survival means I must daily do things and endure things that revolt and disgust me, then the game's not worth the candle.  A life I can't enjoy? enjoy being human and humane and all that?  Why bother?  Existence just for its own sake ain't for me.

Have children.  It changes things.

mellyrn on April 24, 2011, 01:41:23 pm
I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.  Had I been a young woman in Holt's Imperium, I would not have subjected any new being (aka my children) to such a world.  That's terribly self-centered of me, I know, wanting to spare people I don't even know from dismay I wouldn't personally be willing to endure.  Holt, you made it clear that in that world the only two alternatives are endless suffering, and nonexistence.  Why anyone would choose a suffering existence is beyond me, but I'm not going to force them to choose nonexistence (i.e., I'm not going to kill them "for their own good").  Well, not unless they try to force me to choose suffering.

In this real world, otoh, I found (and find) enough of delight and beauty that I thought I'd share.

Those of you who think existence, any existence, no matter how wretched, debased or miserable and with no hope of change, is worth doing, go right ahead.  I ain't stopping you.  Me, I need something to live for.

Holt on April 24, 2011, 02:07:15 pm
It's not over until you give up.

You just prefer to give up.

Aardvark on April 24, 2011, 05:36:14 pm
Quote
Holt: It's not over until you give up.

Except that, for all practical purposes, you've already given up, haven't you? You deride natural rights and honor, and advocate that might is right. You rationalize, duck arguments, and change the meanings of words to suit, all the while likely grinning and patting yourself on the back for being clever like some Russell Brand wannabe.

In my opinion, you have the psychology of a whimpering slave or an uncaring slave master. I can imagine you in ancient Rome. You'd spend your peculium on prostitutes and wine instead of saving it to buy your freedom, then, as you were being whipped for being drunk and lazy, you'd moan that it was all so unfair. :)

Holt on April 24, 2011, 07:03:23 pm
Nah I'd be more likely to use it to buy something with which to poison my master.

Or burn down his home with him tied up inside it.

Or some other incredibly bastardy thing to do. Mind you if I was around in that time I'd be a celt which means I'd either be in the legion, killing the legion or in the Colosseum.

dough560 on April 24, 2011, 07:13:29 pm
GaTor, Holt has his preconceptions concerning the military, preconceptions no one has been able to change.  I was long term service as an MP and regularly compiled crime statistics and interacted with civilian counterparts.   I'd love to examine his alleged sources and data.  His stated results are not what I'm familiar with.  I'm sure the same is true for you.

We both know what would happen to any Officer or NCO advocating Rhonda's actions, or what would happen to them if they did happen and were not reported.  Granted there are those who believe anything goes, but thankfully today's military does a pretty good job of weeding them out.  I can think of a half dozen I've personally forced out of service or introduced to Fort Leavenworth.

Holt, a few operate only from self interest.  The majority of us operate from implied self interest.  Each and every day.  Accordingly, things work out.  The wheels come off when those who only care about themselves and their accumulated power are in charge.  Quite a few of us look forward to the day such people will not be able to control our lives, for we will have grown as a society to a point the power mongers will be ignored or if they threaten others, eliminated.  Such individuals have strong survival characteristics.

mellyrn, I'm 55 with two daughters 8 and 10.  With the crap I have seen and delt with during my life, I'm determined they have the skills they need to survive just about anything.  Life is worth living.  It's my job to instill in them the skills and strength of character to do what's right, not what's politically correct or expedient.  I'm sure that's what you did with your kids and are trying to help them do the same as they raise their kids.  With today's schools I'm aware just how hard that is.

Aardvark on April 24, 2011, 07:50:05 pm
Quote
Holt: Nah I'd be more likely to use it to buy something with which to poison my master.

Or burn down his home with him tied up inside it.

I don't think you know much about ancient Rome, which is fine, of course, not many people do. The practice back then was to kill all the slaves a master owned if he died suspiciously. You'd condemn yourself and all the other slaves to death. Even if you managed to escape, there would be nowhere for you to go in Rome. Everyone knew everyone's place by their names. Rome was an intricate system of families, clans, clients and patrons. A no-name person, or one with a false name would have been found out very quickly and would never have been given a job. You'd starve or have to keep on the move and steal for a living.

Holt on April 24, 2011, 08:06:13 pm
Well I'd be a celt like I mentioned. So I'd probably head home. Stealing is perfectly fine too.

Aardvark on April 24, 2011, 08:53:07 pm
Quote
Holt: Well I'd be a celt like I mentioned. So I'd probably head home. Stealing is perfectly fine too.

Nah, you'd never have left. You don't long for freedom, you long for the easy way, which isn't the same thing. You disparage individual rights. You wallow in nihilism. Your defeatist psychology is perfect for a slave. Master would beat you and you'd behave because "might is right." After a while, you'd develop the common slave philosophy of the day. You'd dedicate your life to your master, sneering at "bad slaves," and calling other slaves "boy" and "girl." Quite a few slaves were ambitious and made deals with their masters: they'd work their tails off and make them money in return for their eventual freedom. Alas, for that, one would have to embrace capitalism, which you disdain. :)

Holt on April 24, 2011, 09:02:01 pm
I disdain everything if you'd bothered to pay attention. In a way I guess that makes me more of an anarchist than you'll ever be. Hwat a hilarious thought

Aardvark on April 24, 2011, 09:48:49 pm
Quote
Commissar Holt: In a way I guess that makes me more of an anarchist than you'll ever be.

I guess so, but I don't claim to be an anarchist. Personally, I'm a bit dubious that Ceres could work, but I like the story and am willing to see how Sandy makes his case for AnCap.