Kim du Toit: When Called
At its most basic foundation, conscription addresses an unpleasant little fact: most people are cowards. They might be cowards on their own behalf, or because they want to protect their children from dying, but they are cowards nevertheless.
We can dress this up with all the fine rhetoric, slogans and philosophy we choose: conscription is slavery; conscription is discriminatory; conscription is un-Constitutional, whatever.
It's all camouflage to hide the uncomfortable fact that many people consider their own lives to be more valuable than any ideal, or the needs of the community. (I don't have a problem with people feeling that way: I just want people to be honest about it.)
All emphasis is his.
Apparently, Mr. du Toit is one of those mystical types who can read my mind from afar! I had no idea my opposition to the draft was really just my inner coward spewing important-sounding words in stark terror, uttered because I'm unable to commit my life to any ideal or submit to the needs of the community. You've got me, Sir. I am a hollow, greedy individualist who cares nothing about anything beyond my immediate needs and short-term frivolities. All my talk about principle, ideas, concepts, coherency, and consistency is in reality a sham to cover up my terror at Standing Up Together For Freedom Like Good Little Citizens.
JesusfuckingChrist, what a revelation! All the arguments in the world mean nothing when exposed to Mr. du Toit! "Angels-dancing-on-the-heads-of-pins poppycock!" He'll see right through airy philosophy, ignore their pansy theoretical talk, and go straight to the heart of the matter!
Yes, if a cause is just, there should be no shortage of volunteers to defend it. That's a fine theory, but it's not the way the world works. In real life, there will be any number of shirkers, malcontents and cowards for whom nothing is worth the untimate sacrifice. Well, I take exception to that. If the cause is just, I don't see why only the brave should be sacrificed to preserve it.
Quite right! My stand against initiating physical force is paper-thin cover indeed for a thoroughly nihilist outlook that free-rides off the square-jawed efforts of hardy Manly Men. Hell, I bet if Mr. du Toit and I sat down for lunch, he'd show me that not only do I value nothing
higher than myself, I also snicker inwardly at the brave souls who choose to bear the burden of defending the community.
OK. Now that I've purged the bile from my system, I can aim a little in a more constructive fashion.
I can see why some libertarians and freedom-minded people might like Mr. du Toit and his writing. He's certainly more sane than most of the social control types populating the GOP. However, after this post I cannot see myself ever reading him again in the same light. This essay of his is a full-throated paean to forced collectivism.
Once again, let me remind everyone of who we're talking about here, when we talk about who would impose conscription: we would. We The People, through our elected Congressional representatives and our elected President, would impose conscription.
Even considering what I'm about to write is merely my reflexive cover for my valueless existence, let me say that this is bullshit and demonstrably so. The act of voting strips the context and weight of your opinion on an issue, reducing it to a mark on one column for a politician to abuse as justification to do whatever he or she wants.
You cannot hold vote on what is moral and what isn't. Something is right or wrong independent of it's popularity. Shit! My apologies. I'm being an Ivy League pinhead here. How about something more concrete?
Voting for someone who wants to reinstate the draft doesn't tell that person anything at all about your preferences and priorities. It doesn't say when you want the draft imposed, in what manner you want it imposed, or under what circumstances you want it imposed. It doesn't describe your ideas regarding who should be subject to conscription, where those conscripted should fight, and when they can be set free. It doesn't disclose how you want these conscripted to be paid, what their military goals are, or how they ought to be equipped. It doesn't say what parts of the politician's platform (as if there is anything solid beneath the feet of an elected official...) you agree with and which parts you think are trash. It doesn't offer guidance as to what should be emphasized and what should be discarded. Voting for a politician who wants to bring back the draft is utterly fucking useless as a way to add your voice to his or her ears, to "speak up" in the "national discussion" as the degenerates who tirelessly attempt to run our lives put it so euphemistically.
Attention, Kim du Toit: making the case for a draft takes an argument, with theories and ideas consistently arranged to not only be persuasive but to conform to reality. But I suppose "conform to reality" might be one of those stupid "principles" that irritate you when someone presents them in front of your eyes. Bah on all that, right?
Can anyone even remotely believe that this nation would re-introduce conscription, except under the direst of circumstances?
You are gawddamn right I can envision scenarios where the public (We The People) is duped into believing the lies of bureaucrats and politicians who say the draft is the only way for Our Glorious Republic to continue to exist! Either Kim is caught up in his own rhetorical momentum and hasn't paused to consider the implications of what he's saying, or he is no fundamentally any different from any other statist in imbuing "representative" government with powers beyond that of moral individuals.
...he topic of the Vietnam War introduces the next line of discussion: selective acquiescence, summed up by the sentiment: "I'd fight for this reason, but not for that reason", or "in this war, not that war".
Sorry, but you don't get to make that choice. The nation, We The People, through our elected government, gets to make that choice, and that’s the beginning and the end of it.
I think I know one reason why Mr. du Toit is so dismissive of intense theoretical discussions of ethics and politics: the complexity that results throws a cog into his nationalist mindset. Here, he simply asserts the right of the majority (or, as is true in most cases, a bare plurality of those eligible
to vote) to choose how the minority (or, as is true in most cases, an apathetic majority occasionally marbled with strident minority elements) will live their lives.
Mr. du Toit is only different from most in that he explicitly comes out and says it.
If we're going to talk in principles, though, let's consider this one: With freedom, comes responsibility and obligation. Freedom is not something which just is: it's something which needs constant nurturing, constant vigilance, and constant commitment.
(yeah, commitment and vigilance against people like du Toit)
There is not much objectionable in this. The exercise of freedom is not a costless state of affairs. It takes effort, time, and resources to not only enjoy freedom, but to maintain it. While it is wrong to infringe upon my freedom, the immorality of that infringement doesn't prohibit it from occurring.
If we are to survive as a free nation, it may be necessary for some people to die, so that others may continue to live free.
Again, this is not objectionable in the abstract. Through the process of defending what individuals value, it may happen that those doing the defending are killed. However...
As much as people may cherish individual freedom, it is an inescapable fact that individual freedom requires, in the last resort, a collective protection against its infringement, especially against an organized and powerful enemy.
...this does not follow from the former, at least not in the way he probably means. Defense and security services do not have to be restricted to the realm of the state
, and when Mr. du Toit says "collective protection" in this context, I don't think he's talking about neighborhood contracts to alert others of danger. He means government armies: funded, enabled, and protected with the threat and application of physical coercion.
I do think a platoon or a regiment of trained warriors is very likely to do better in battle than a single person with a pistol or a large family with rifles. Just because someone is an individualist doesn't mean they are against people voluntarily banding together to work towards a common goal. Presumably, Mr. du Toit cannot fathom how a free market in defense would effectively work, the irony being that he has tried to build a "nation of riflemen" who would do precisely that. As he says, "The purpose of the Nation of Riflemen is not to provide the nation with a bunch of hunters, or target shooters, or tin-can plinkers. The purpose is to create a nation of people who are able to protect themselves, their families and their community against enemies foreign or domestic."
Demand creates supply and people want to be secure. Just as people will sometimes choose others to provide a safe, healthy, and tasty dinner for a price, free people will look at reality and decide for themselves (darn their independence!) whether or not to invest in their security beyond a lock on then front door. While the laws of economics might not provide enough of a guarantee for him, the alternative of slavery to the state isn't acceptable. The ends may be taken care of, but what if the means to those ends were morally abhorrent?
And it IS slavery to the state. In every which way (and increasingly the mundane), the various levels of American government have asserted their (We The People; or, We The Downtrodden; or, We The Unhappy; or We The Lazy; or We The Inept; or, We The 5% Who Voted For [whatever]) right to control what we do with our
- printing presses
in order to make things better. An individual's rejection of that presumption of authority is viewed as being anti-social, a blockade against progress, and a greedy selfish little shit. This attitude is perversely pervasive and is present in nearly every discussion of politics and society you can dredge up. Continuing to reject that declared right to use what I
own on their
terms results in sending people after me to force compliance.
People, I might add, that have legal protections civilians don't have...in case they "are forced to" use deadly violence to end my noncompliance.
We can debate the worth or otherwise of the principle of conscription till the cows come home. I'm not interested in that.
Magical hand-waving! Nothing to see here! Just allow me to make an argument that says you can't argue with me!
We are not likely to see an American conscript army fight in the likes of Vietnam ever again. Such "foreign adventures" belong, and rightly so, to a foreign policy which depends on a volunteer, not a conscript force. We know that in these United States, conscription is likely to be imposed only in circumstances of the direst extreme, when our nation, and the principles for which it stands, are in the gravest danger.
The road to tyranny is littered with the bodies of people like this, naively believing there are Good People in Government or that there is just Good Government and they/it mostly, kinda, sorta does the really nasty things when "necessary." No words, however, for those situations when people disagree over the necessity of a particular situation. By what standard do we judge their arguments? Does Mr. du Toit think voting solves these problems, granting one side legitimacy one day when it had none previously?
But this is all "academic." Put aside all the above and pay close attention: he's arrived at brass tacks. His rubber is about to meet my road.
When those circumstances come, we won't need to have the need thereof spelled out.
Actually, we will. Because among us are those querulous cowards, appeasers and traitors who will advance all sorts of ivory-tower, high-principled arguments about why they should not have to die so that others should live free.
To those people who feel this way, even now, I have no sympathy, and I will have no truck with them.
We've gone from "I don't have a problem with people feeling that way" to "querulous cowards, appeasers and traitors" gutlessly squirming around mooching off others' hard work.
I'm not going to say that "if you don't like it, leave" or other such inflammatory statements, although I do agree with the sentiment that those who are not prepared to shed blood to fertilize the Tree of Liberty are not entitled to live under its shade.
His Tree of Liberty is fed through income confiscation (theft by any other name) and defended by people told to bear arms or face prison. I think his tree is grossly misidentified.
He's also bought fully into the bogus commie externalities argument, whereby those who benefit from someone's actions ought to "repay," somehow, that person. If that person does not repay voluntarily, he should be forced to do so.
What I will say is this: if a cataclysm occurs, if this nation faces the direst extreme, and We The People decide, after much agonized and bitter debate, that we have to invoke USC 10.13.311; that, in other words, I or my sons will have to serve: then so will you and yours.
Do you think this is an empty threat? Do you think Kim du Toit is merely being colorful here?
And I'll volunteer to serve in the firing squad if you refuse. I'm not too old or feeble for that duty.
Kim du Toit
will volunteer to shoot me
if I refuse
to join the draft. He is willing to shoot me in the event I reject the government's call for "warm bodies."
After performing no crime against him and his, after violating none of his rights, after neither trespass nor assault, Kim du Toit is willing to shoot a stranger in cold blood for not saying yes to an entity that won't take no for an answer. He'll become a murderer for the government to help enforce a process that presents two choices: join the armed forces or lose your freedom.
The Gulag Du Toit, indeed. Check out the applause in the comments section as well as the clarification by both him and his wife "Tech Support." They mean it. It may mean nothing to them, but it means a lot to me.
It's my ass they would like to see shot.
Via Billy Beck. Hopefully he's given up on reasoning with these people.