20 October 2009

For Sevesteen

The Militia Information Service is an Internet website dedicated to the democratization of military forces around the world.

This service was created by the Human Rights Coalition (Australia) and is committed to two objectives:

* Promoting the democratization of national armed forces as a safeguard against tyranny and crimes against humanity; and
* Educating the public about the danger posed by the monopolization of force into the hands of professional soldiers.

I don't agree with this group, but they do present the miltia based idea of military service. While it is a bit fringy, it isn't as fringy as the "militia" groups in the US. It's belief that citizens have a duty to join a Swiss Army style citizen army, army reserve, or Home Guard type militia in order to act as a democratic safeguard and help deter crimes against humanity like genocide is defintely similar to the idea presented at the time of the drafting of the US Constitution. That is a militia is distinct from the full-time professional soldiers paid by the government. In modern times the militia normally serves to supplement a standing army (e.g., help it resist an invasion) and act as a safeguard against it (i.e., deter a military coup).

This is very close to the beliefs of the Founders of the United StateS:
A large part-time people's army reduces the likelihood of war as members derive the great bulk of their income from civilian employment thus are less than enthusiastic about interrupting their civilian lives and careers by marching off to an unnecessary war, while many citizens are far less likely to support a war of aggression if it is likely a family member will have to fight it, factors which help explain Swiss neutrality and the fact that it has not fought a war in almost 500 years (not counting a very brief civil war in 1847 that did away with the last vestiges of feudalism). Being a member of a military organization promotes discipline, comradeship and self-reliance, which fosters social cohesion and an egalitarian, democratic mindset thanks to the mixing of people from different social classes and cultural groups who would otherwise have little if any close contact with each other.