Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Repeats, posted elsewhere 
A military in service to a democracy is an authoritarian order in service to a free one: every soldier is simultaneously both a soldier and a citizen. There's no way to resolve that contradiction; it has to be negotiated by each soldier individually. It doesn't matter if they're conscripts as part of a system of universal service, or volunteers.
Formal non-contradictory systems of democratic liberalism are bound to fail. And that's a good thing, not a bad thing.
The author, Jeff McMahan, is quibbling over details. A citizen has the responsibilities of citizenship, whatever other job he takes. You don't renounce your citizenship when you enlist and you can't be forced to renounce it when you're drafted.

Glenn Greenwald can't say the obvious when arguing with the idiot from the BBC


What he can't bring himself to say: "A policeman's job is only easy in a police state."

His opponents' arguments reduce to this: We spend billions defending police states, so it makes sense to limit freedoms here to defend the country from threats it would not face if we did not defend police states.

Any defender of democratic principles should be able to point out the absurdity, and be willing to challenge the complete range of government policy. Accepting a militarist foreign police weakens any argument for domestic freedoms.

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