Jump to content
iNow

Military is an excellent example of socialism. Why or Why Not?

Recommended Posts

While rebutting some ignorant memes about the nature of socialism from friends and family on social media, I suggested that we in the US already offer socialistic programs in parallel with our capitalistic ones. My stance is that the conversation is mostly about where to strike that balance between them, but that we'll always be a hybrid of the two.

In support of my position that we already have socialistic elements, I referenced the obvious programs like Medicare and Social Security, but added that our military is also a perfect example of socialistic program.

I suggested that the only difference with the military as an example from others like medicare for all is that those on the right of the political spectrum see the the military as an acceptable, proper, and necessary form of government offering (even Ayn Rand).

I was challenged that the military is NOT, in fact, a form of socialism, but IMO no good arguments about why it's not were offered. Most of the counter positions distilled down to "nuh uh!" or "liberals are dumb...derp derp." I acknowledge that I could be wrong, but I'm gonna need more than paste eater replies to convince me, so... 

What about you? Any thoughts on whether or not the military is a proper example of socialism?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, iNow said:

Any thoughts on whether or not the military is a proper example of socialism?

I think it's almost a perfect example... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, iNow said:

While rebutting some ignorant memes about the nature of socialism from friends and family on social media, I suggested that we in the US already offer socialistic programs in parallel with our capitalistic ones. My stance is that the conversation is mostly about where to strike that balance between them, but that we'll always be a hybrid of the two.

In support of my position that we already have socialistic elements, I referenced the obvious programs like Medicare and Social Security, but added that our military is also a perfect example of socialistic program.

I suggested that the only difference with the military as an example from others like medicare for all is that those on the right of the political spectrum see the the military as an acceptable, proper, and necessary form of government offering (even Ayn Rand).

I was challenged that the military is NOT, in fact, a form of socialism, but IMO no good arguments about why it's not were offered. Most of the counter positions distilled down to "nuh uh!" or "liberals are dumb...derp derp." I acknowledge that I could be wrong, but I'm gonna need more than paste eater replies to convince me, so... 

What about you? Any thoughts on whether or not the military is a proper example of socialism?

 

I agree that it is. The military is paid for by the people and is for the benefit of all of them. That fits a common definition of socialism. In fact, I have stated elsewhere that virtually all of the spending based on the enumerated powers of a government such as the US's represents that definition of socialism.

(I will add to that: capitalism is not described in or in any way mandated by the Constitution, and the regulatory powers of the government represent deviations from true capitalism.)

30 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I think it's almost a perfect example... 

I have offered up GPS as a great, smaller-scale example. Owned and operated by the US DoD, paid for by tax dollars. Used by many, and virtually everyone benefits from it in some way.

Does anyone want to give it up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, swansont said:

I have offered up GPS as a great, smaller-scale example. Owned and operated by the US DoD, paid for by tax dollars. Used by many, and virtually everyone benefits from it in some way.

Didn't the military sponsor that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn’t matter and you can look that up your own. The underlying point is the same. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All Government programs are, by definition, Socialist.
The pooling of resources, through taxation, for the ( intended ) betterment of society.

Maybe that's why Republicans are always clamoring for smaller Government.
IE not so many Socialist programs.
( but then they always increase the size of Government )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, iNow said:

While rebutting some ignorant memes about the nature of socialism from friends and family on social media, I suggested that we in the US already offer socialistic programs in parallel with our capitalistic ones. My stance is that the conversation is mostly about where to strike that balance between them, but that we'll always be a hybrid of the two.

In support of my position that we already have socialistic elements, I referenced the obvious programs like Medicare and Social Security, but added that our military is also a perfect example of socialistic program.

I suggested that the only difference with the military as an example from others like medicare for all is that those on the right of the political spectrum see the the military as an acceptable, proper, and necessary form of government offering (even Ayn Rand).

I was challenged that the military is NOT, in fact, a form of socialism, but IMO no good arguments about why it's not were offered. Most of the counter positions distilled down to "nuh uh!" or "liberals are dumb...derp derp." I acknowledge that I could be wrong, but I'm gonna need more than paste eater replies to convince me, so... 

What about you? Any thoughts on whether or not the military is a proper example of socialism?

 

The difference between socialism and capitalism is the same as 'us vs me, myself, I' respectively, so an army is socialistic.  Or to put it another way: it's co-operation vs competition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that I'm no expert on socialism...

I tend to think "no". Socialism generally means everyone contributes and everyone benefits proportionately. Social Security is a great example of that. 

The military on the other hand is an example of everyone contributing but your return being anywhere from near zero (average Joe in the middle of nowhere) to a great deal (some US corporations and their owners).

There is no question that all benefit to some extent since the homeland is being protected but the distribution is far from equitable, and the military is far from only defensive in nature. It seems to me that paying taxes for the military is closer to paying taxes for buildings and cars the government needs, than it is to social security.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The military operates on a publicly-owned model where profit isn't the focus (or even within their purview), and it's authority is also derived from the public since the POTUS appoints the Chair of the JCS. 

I really hate referring to examples as -isms though. It seems very fallacious and slippery slopey to assume embracing smart public ownership of a specific program is going to make us treat everything that way. If we want a smart mix of ownership, we have to stop creating false dilemmas with -isms.

The military is a great example of a socialistic program, how's that? It was the perfect example when they did their own housekeeping. It's also an example of a socialistic program that's been co-opted and corrupted by capitalistic elements. While they aren't concerned with profit, they can be used as a tool for profit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Roman Empire legionnaire who served long enough in army could get land and become landlord..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legionary

"Once retired, a Roman legionary received a parcel of land or its equivalent in money and often became a prominent member of society."

Is it not an example of social security for retired soldiers?

 

I think we should start what means to you "socialism" and "capitalism".. Because people from different parts of the world, might have different meaning of the same word..

(JC once said that "liberal in UK primarily meant somebody who want to increase taxes and spend more, and conservative wants to decrease taxes and cut spending".. that was mind-blowing... the same word, completely different meaning, depending on where you live..)

 

 

If soldier is killed during service, family receives pension. Is it example of socialist mechanism? It used to be millennia before word "socialism" was created...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Sensei said:

I think we should start what means to you "socialism" and "capitalism".. Because people from different parts of the world, might have different meaning of the same word..

Capitalistic = privately owned (including publicly-traded corporations). Socialistic = publicly owned (by the citizens of the democracy). Communistic = State owned.

I pay for my own vehicle and home, but the sidewalks and roads around my home are paid for with public funds. 

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally-owned and operated utility, a corporation owned by the State (not the state of Tennessee, but the Fed, making this communistic). They provide power at cost, don't spend a dime of taxpayer funds, and most folks in that area LOVE the savings. It took a long time to develop (it's a New Deal era program), it's in a hard-to-manage area that doesn't entice private investors, and it's a great example of a socialistic or communistic choice being the right tool for the right job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

The military operates on a publicly-owned model

I disagree. We may pay for it but we certainly don't own it. Its benefits as often are used for the benefit of non-taxpayers as taxpayers. 

I think a key component of socialism is that all the benefits derived from the contributions must flow back to the contributors. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, zapatos said:

I disagree. We may pay for it but we certainly don't own it. Its benefits as often are used for the benefit of non-taxpayers as taxpayers. 

I think I'm part owner of the US military if my elected representatives can affect the choice of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and thus change the way the military operates using my tax dollars. I don't think ownership is determined by who benefits most from the goods or services. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

As long as service members explicitly and freely choose to serve, the US military is in no way socialistic.

Edit: with respect to the rights given up by those who opt for service.  Funding the military is, yes, socialistic.  :)

Edited by Huckleberry of Yore
Add details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Phi for All said:

I think I'm part owner of the US military if my elected representative can affect the choice of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and thus change the way the military operates using my tax dollars. I don't think ownership is determined by who benefits most from the goods or services. 

That seems to me to be a very broad definition of socialism. Not that it is invalid simply because the term is used broadly but in my mind it loses meaning as its scope increases.

I wasn't saying that ownership is determined by who benefits most, I was saying that if it is socialistic, then the owners would be the benefactors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, zapatos said:

I think a key component of socialism is that all the benefits derived from the contributions must flow back to the contributors. 

This is easy to see with education, where it's obvious that more knowledge is always better for a society as a whole, but it's a bit murky with the military. I suppose one could argue that without our defense measures, nobody's private dealings are safe, nothing you own is really yours if we can be invaded.

Perhaps your observation shows that the military may be a socialistic operation, but it's benefits have been perverted and the taxpayers aren't getting what they contributed towards. 

5 minutes ago, zapatos said:

That seems to me to be a very broad definition of socialism. Not that it is invalid simply because the term is used broadly but in my mind it loses meaning as its scope increases.

I'm not using it as a definition of socialism so much as a reason why the military is socialistic. We the People pay for it, We can elect representatives who can change it and shape it the way we want it. I can't do that with something owned by another entity. 

16 minutes ago, Huckleberry of Yore said:

As long as service members explicitly and freely choose to serve, the US military is in no way socialistic.

So the military was socialistic when we had the draft? Choice is the difference?! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

In 100% capitalist country somebody, completely optionally, pays percent of income, to get life insurance, or car insurance, or retirement fund, to picked by him or her private-owned company, private-owned insurance fund, etc. etc. After dozen of years get these money back (they are invested on stock markets, or invested other ways, giving profit to fund owners). In the perfect world, in the perfect stock market, in the perfect everything (at least from capitalistic point of view of "perfect"), everything would be indefinitely being more worth with time (isn't an example of inflation/hyperinflation? ;) ).. If the all goes fine, after many years, he or she, is happy or family is happy, getting promised money back at the moment when they are badly needed..

But in this world there are defrauders who collect money from people and then disappear with them, leaving people with nothing..

There can be unexpected disaster which will wipe out invested money, leaving participants with nothing.

Fifty, forty years, is a long time. Everything can happen in such period of time. Three months ago nobody thought about coronavirus, and it wiped out 444 billions of dollars from richest top western stock markets. Just this week.

In 100% capitalist country we would have gangs of homeless elderly people robbing for food..

 

In 100% socialistic country somebody is forced by government to pay percent of income to get life insurance, car insurance, or retirement fund, to government owned companies or funds etc. etc. And they ("government") claim to invest money the best they can (even though they change every couple years), and give them back at the right time in the future. They can disappear in "the blink of an eye" too (like capitalistic defrauders). But you don't know who they are.. Have no names.. "Government".. "Nationalization".. "War".. whatever..

In fifty, forty years, everything can happen.. In one week one could create entire Universe simulation code.. ;) That's easy part. The hard part is to not kill everybody.. ;)

 

56 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

I suppose one could argue that without our defense measures, nobody's private dealings are safe, nothing you own is really yours if we can be invaded.

Nothing is yours. It is property of the creator of the Universe. Including atoms of your body..

Your definition of "ownership by human being" is quite "full of holes"..

 

Edited by Sensei

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Nothing is yours. It is property of the creator of the Universe. Including atoms of your body..

Yeah? Tell your creator this is the Politics section, and the atoms in my ass are his only if he wants to kiss them.

35 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Your definition of "ownership by human being" is quite "full of holes"..

I'm being as broad as words like Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism allow. You asked us to define the terms, and I gave it a try. Have a nice day.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having served in the Military-- I do think it is an excellent example of Socialism.  Much of this thread has focused on the Military with respect to society.  I'd like to focus internally.  When I was in the Military I did not have to worry about anything external to my life.  My job was defined, my location was defined, my pay and benefits were totally beyond my control-- but I was cared for assured of housing, assured of medical treatment, and even life insurance.  Society (the Military) took complete care of me from enlistment until discharge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Phi for All said:

We the People pay for it, We can elect representatives who can change it and shape it the way we want it.

Which is a subset of those attributes that make up socialism. Even social security is not socialistic just because we pay for it, and we can elect representatives who can change it and shape it the way we want. At the end of the month, the checks have to show up in our mailboxes, not some mailboxes in Israel or Egypt. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, OldChemE said:

Having served in the Military-- I do think it is an excellent example of Socialism.  Much of this thread has focused on the Military with respect to society.  I'd like to focus internally.  When I was in the Military I did not have to worry about anything external to my life.  My job was defined, my location was defined, my pay and benefits were totally beyond my control-- but I was cared for assured of housing, assured of medical treatment, and even life insurance.  Society (the Military) took complete care of me from enlistment until discharge.

Personally I think military is perfect example of authoritarian system. When you get order, have to obey it or else you are punished... or killed... instantly..

e.g. nazis had to obey order from higher level nazis or else they would be instantly shot, or obey order, do evilness, and they were killed just a few years later, after war was lost.. (some few lucky not)

Some US military officers were so stupid to even make photos how they tortured captured captives..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse

Smarter executioners are still between you in the US, and you call them per "veterans" and "heroes"..

You salute to veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Japan, Germany, but you can be looking at mass-murderer who killed, raped and tortured dozen of innocent people..
But you have no idea what, he or she, did in the past..

If nazis-germany would win 2nd world war, similar war-veterans who killed, raped, tortured people, would get alive without any harm..

..like Russians, or Turks, etc., who made war crimes in Donbas or Syria, right now..

 

Was somebody sentenced by mass-murdering of people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.. ?

 

Edited by Sensei

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Was somebody sentenced by mass-murdering of people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.. ?

Not the subject of this thread 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, iNow said:
 
55 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Was somebody sentenced by mass-murdering of people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.. ?

Not the subject of this thread 

Really? Your premise was "military is example of socialism. is it true?".. I said "no, it's authoritarian", and started giving examples.... How is counter-example is not subject of the thread?

You seem to be more biased than Fox.. ;)

Simply, concentrate of authoritarian part of my post, rather than nitpicking..

 

Edited by Sensei

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I was referring to whether people were sentenced for Nagasaki/Hiroshima as the off topic part   

That’s what I quoted after all 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.