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Militarism & War

Chilean repression 1973Militarism is a value system that stresses the superiority of some people over others. Under militarism, the people deemed inferior are dehumanized as enemies who must be overpowered by any means necessary. Those who deem themselves superior are permitted to take whatever they want from others — land, freedom, natural resources, cultures, lives — by force.

Militarism derides cooperation, equality and nonviolence, and instead enforces strict hierarchical relationships. Hierarchical systems create a winner at the top and render all others losers, so in a desperate attempt not to be a loser, each individual or group struggles to keep others down. As long as it is possible to see someone else as inferior, even those victimized by the hierarchy believe it is beneficial and continue to endorse it.

This same value system creates racism, sexism, homophobia and other types of discrimination. It is not surprising that these types of discriminatory behavior are inherent in military systems. The artificial creation and dehumanization of an "enemy" is used to manufacture hatred of certain groups of people and fuel wars. The system is so powerful that it does not stop with the enemy: within the military itself, women, ethnic minorities, gays, lesbians and others are treated as inferior due to their religion, language, nationality or other identities.

Militarism is the root cause of many of the global and domestic problems we face today. Solutions to these problems will only come about when enough people actively challenge this destructive way of thinking. This must include challenging and resisting the influence of the most powerful purveyor of militarism, the military establishment itself.

Some of the ways that militarism is evident in the U.S.:

FundingOver half of the federal government’s discretionary funds are devoted to war instead of essential civilian needs li ke housing, healthcare and education.

 

Schools invaded by militarismThe traditional independence of secondary and post-secondary schools has been eroded by laws forcing them to grant the military access to campuses and student records, even when it violates personal privacy and campus policies banning organizations that discriminate.

Military without limitsUnquestioning deference is given to the military by civilian government, the media and other institutions that we have traditionally counted on to help safeguard us from military encroachment on democratic civilian rule.

Military without limitsThe military is granted significant exemptions from laws concerning pollution, discrimination, civil rights and claims of injury, including death, that result from neglect and harmful acts by the military.

Schools loosing freedomsThe public school system, our primary mechanism for teaching democratic values, is being militarized with a growing presence of the armed forces, including the expansion of programs like high school Jr. ROTC that teach military values and hierarchy.

Lawa without civilian protectionsMilitarism can be seen in the weakening of laws prohibiting armed forces involvement in civilian law enforcement and immigration control, and in the growing militarization of civilian police agencies.

Here are some recommended links that offer other arguments against militarism and war. This is a work in progress and NNOMY will be adding new documents as they are prepared and as policies change that effect enlistment. Check back periodically.

Documents:

Organizations you should know:

Articles on the web:

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    Wednesday, 24 April 2013
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