We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
By not having a conscript military, the US invests its time and energy on those volunteering to take up military work as a profession. That is not understood as a profession by the other professional classes in America, and those classes tend to devolve military work as 'shooting and killing' only. That does happen, yes, and military conflict requires that the wilingness to counter an enemy with brutal means must be done for survival of one's own forces and to reach the goals of the Nation in such a conflict. Denigration of all other professional classes, but particularly in academia, has lowered the ability of the US population to understand military work and how it works. Without knowing the why it is done the way it is, and how things are achieved not just by killing, nearly an entire generation of Americans are left with very little concept of the utility and necessity of military power.
I personally believe in the utility and necessity of military power and agree with Jacksonian's point here. It is a powerful truth that in our current American culture, as he syas here: "Denigration of all other professional classes, but particularly in academia, has lowered the ability of the US population to understand military work and how it works."
One of the problems with this is that it makes it harder to get the quality of leaders we need in our military to be effective as well as the necessary funding.
Just the other day I was annoyed by a well meaning person whose car had a bumper sticker to the effect that perhaps we should have bake sales to fund the army.
Our media and education system, due to the high level of similar ideology in both, I consider to be one effective whole: it acts in pseudo-coordination due to similarity of outlook coming to similar end results. As the media created the 'sound bite' and the limited time due to the media of television decreased attention span so, too, did the history and civics courses of old get re-worked to disassociate historical events from their meanings. I remember the 'speed learning' course presented in an episode of The Prisoner (The General, I believe was the name of it), so that all the historical events of a subject could be presented in less than a minute. Anyone could be asked 'When was the Council of Trent?' and come up with an answer... ask 'What was the Council of Trent?' and you got an empty look, as that was not taught in the speed learning course.
The criticisms of the presentation of history as 'Great Man' and the shift to multi-vector approach was a sound one. That did not eliminate the need to understand how those individuals who become a nexus of events that would then reshape history actually were important and it is in the de-emphasis of that view that history and civics have fallen down in instruction. There are, indeed, individuals who have changed the course of history and deeply so, from Alexander the Great and the spread of Greek martial arts and culture to the Orient and even India, to people like Gustavus Adolphus, Isaac Newton and Thomas Watson.
The Marxist views of 'great movements in history' falls down on the detailed examination: history becomes contingent upon individuals and events and there is no directivity to it. The 'want of a nail' causal outwash (the presence of absence of something vital at the right place at the right time) precludes mass movements as those masses depend upon the singular contingent effects. History does have patterning and meta-patterning due to the types of societies and social outlook humans form, which is why that even when there are great technological changes, we see the same damned sorts of things popping up again and again. While commonly put forth as 'history repeating itself', it is, more properly, an expression outgrowth of how individuals form relationships and actions based on need or apparent need. It is when someone stands and does something different to change the patterns and shift the outcome that we take notice... but that someone may not be readily apparent.
That means 'progress' is only what we make and what we can keep. When societal patterns move to alienate the protection segment of society, like the Armed Forces, from the actual society, disaster is not far behind. When Rome shifted its basis to non-Roman mercenaries, the lifespan of the Empire was set. The Eastern portion attempted to highly Christianize and convert the northern peoples, but that would not remove the fact that they were not Romans. Alexander's conquests fell into disarray as it depended on subdued local authorities under individuals each seeing their own need for power. The 30 year's war would grind to a halt of exhaustion as everyone had become an outsider to religion because of the rampant side-switching and outright atrocities that left 15% of Europe dead due to war... not to speak of plagues. The British Empire attempted similar and only gained decline that would be marked by those outsiders brought into their military then causing dissolution with internal corruption. The internal alienation of the elite, metropolitan media and professional classes is causing this same rift to open between those highly populated urban areas that feel they should be privileged and the more rural areas that put forth one must work to gain advantage to succeed. The first does not contribute out of proportion to the armed forces and the latter does. That repeating pattern in new milieu does not bode well for America... or the world.
Each of us makes those decisions day in, and day out. So history will be the outgrowth of our present actions or non-actions, and attitudes towards things. When one accepts the omnipresent memes given by the media and educational institutions, and does not put context to them so as to understand why history happened, then you are being remolded by those in power and their outlooks. The results of such changes is rarely peaceful, as the millions dead due to a man by the name of Gutenberg can attest. The greatest advance to our ability to record, transmit and comprehend knowledge... put to uses high and low. Now we see that again with the modern era of communications, save that it all will happen at 'internet speed' and what took centuries before will happen in years...
i remember some 10 years ago
reading the commentary that by such-and-such a date,
the number of politicians and legislators who would have had any military service history would be very low, and the resulting disconnect between "the services"
and "the government" would widen. _____________________________
this article depicts what can happen when a society gets drastically out of balance:
November 05, 2007
Rumors Flying as Crackdown in Pakistan Continues
Rick Moran - americanthinker.com