“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Drudge headlines say the “The Troops”are turning on Commander in Chief

I know that we are supposed to be all agog and genuflect when someone wearing combat fatigues goes through an airport, but let’s get real for a moment. By the way, there is no reason  why military personnel should be flying on civilian flights dressed in battle fatigues and work uniforms. It is as absurd as a doctor flying in scrubs or a fireman traveling with his uniform.

To those that were in the military, because he had to, all left basic training wearing our uniform because we wanted to impress our parents and high school friends. We rarely wore uniforms off base, even  in Viet Nam. 

The US military of 2015  is a mercenary army. They are hired guns and paid contractors. No one put a gun to their head and said they had to enlist. The US military no longer has the  credibility as being representative of American society. That dissipated when selective service ended. The ending was IMHO a huge error, but the politicians and the professional lifers in The Pentagon wanted it that way because it gave them better control and less scrutiny by the public.

To those in the military that do not like the Commander in Chief, too bad. Quit and get another job.

Thank you for your service and don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.


  1. .

    I agree with many if not most of the comments above regarding the military. However, I disagree with this

    The US military no longer has the credibility as being representative of American society.

    I think they do represent American society, they have a job, feel they are under paid, don't like the direction of the country, and bitch about their boss just like millions of other Americans. What's new?

    They may not like some of the changes instituted under Obama but how can they complain about a stricter policy on sexual assault (other than it isn't handled equitably). The end of 'don't ask, don't tell' seems to be almost a non-event. Where I can sympathize with some of the grumbling is the expansion and deployment of women in combat roles. Still...


  2. The draft lottery is idiotic.

    Some ball with a number on it rolls down a chute and one guy goes off to war and the other goes off to his girlfriend.

    I don't have the answer to this puzzle.

    But I agree with Quirk, the military is broadly representative of American society.

  3. No, it is not representative. It was. It is no longer. There was a mental attitude, a type of skepticism that was present in the pre-professional army that is mostly gone. The army knew the difference and handed out two types of serial numbers. For instance, someone who was from PA, regular army, would.

    get a RA13xxxxxx whereas a draftee from PA would get a US13xxxxxx. That was an immediate question when you would meet someone.

    The Marines were originally all volunteers, but that dried up when the casualties increased and draftees. They represented an entirely different mind set as did the air force who was always had more volunteers and waiting lists to get in. The Navy and Coast Guard were similar although I think the Navy did get some draftees that washed out of Marine training.

    There is a huge difference in having a life plan and building it around a military obligation and someone entering todays foreign legion.

    1. .

      Of course, it's different now.

      However, that doesn't mean today's army isn't representative of today's society. In fact, if I had an inclination to think on it for a bit (which I don't) I might come up with an argument that the new army is more representative of the society than the old. This of course does nothing to argue against the rest of your arguments such as that the American public no longer has any skin in the game.


  4. I doubt that there are many in US military today that are anti-military or out and out right pacifists, but there sure as hell was during the sixties. It was a good thing. It kept it real. You had guys that came from wealthy families and all walks of life. The most realistic movie that I ever saw on the subject was “Biloxi Blues.”

    There were opinion leaders, scientists and an amazing diversity of regular guys, very few o them interested in a career. I can tell you this, very, very few would have accepted multiple deployments to Viet Nam. Therre were opinion makers and many in the ranks a hell of a lot smarter than the professional leadership. It was significantly different and IMO better and healthier.