>Egalitarianism, the Military and Chuck Rangel

>I’ve always had a hunch that the regimentation and conformity of the military was the dark side of egalitarianism. Congressman Charles Rangel has confirmed it. His defense of the draft, from his website:

The question of whether we need a universal military draft will be important as long as this country is placing thousands of young men and women in harm’s way in Iraq. As long as Americans are being shipped off to war, then everyone should be vulnerable, not just those who, because of economic circumstances, are attracted by lucrative enlistment bonuses and educational incentives.

Of course this plan would also uproot those among the poor who refuse to join, no matter what the incentives. And as much as enlistment bonuses and educational incentives might entice one, it’s not a sure thing. Don’t punish the poor man’s bretheren for the choice he makes. But yes, I don’t think middle class kids should be sent to die either for the sake of making misery equally available to all.

Instead of Rangel’s almost fatalistic account of the military and its imperial ambition – “As long as Americans are being shipped off to war…” – why not reject the military and the imperial ambition altogether?


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