Doug Casey on why conscription is coming back and what you can do about it
06/21/2024 // News Editors // Views

International Man: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently pledged to bring back mandatory national service.

(Article by Doug Casey republished from

The German government has also mulled reinstating compulsory military service. In Ukraine, it’s not uncommon for government agents to forcibly kidnap civilians off the streets and send them to the front.

These are a few recent examples. There seems to be a clear trend of governments preparing their citizens for some sort of mandatory national service.

Is conscription coming back in the West generally and the US in particular?

Doug Casey: The US is now automatically registering all males between 18 and 26 into the Selective Service databank. I’m no fan of conscription. Or the military in general. Of course, it shocks a lot of people when I say I’m not a fan of the military, although I tend to like soldiers as individuals. Don’t get me wrong; the military can serve a useful purpose. But when you’re in the military, you’re not necessarily fighting for the country or “freedom.” You’re fighting for the government and the people who control it.

Propaganda and jingoism aside, the kind of people who run governments are not the best and the brightest, just the most ambitious and opportunistic. Without exception, they’re power grubbers who like to control other people.

It’s one thing if someone joins voluntarily, but something else entirely if they’re coerced. The draft, or any kind of mandatory service or conscription, should be called what it is: Involuntary servitude. Or, as shocking as it may sound, slavery.

Anyway, this trend towards conscription everywhere in the West is most disturbing. It’s inuring people to the idea that they should serve the State, the government.

International Man: You’re well-known for saying, “Right now, by paying all their taxes, the government uses you as a milk cow. But they may decide to turn you into a beef cow.”

Can you elaborate?

Does conscription have any place in a free society?

Doug Casey: “Survive” is the prime directive of all living things, from amoebas to governments. That means if the government needs your life to survive or the lives of a million people like you, it will take them. To the State, you’re just a resource—notwithstanding all the rhetoric about democracy, the value of life, and blah, blah, blah.

Remember that the government doesn’t really represent the country. The government is a separate entity that has its own interests, much as a church, a corporation, or any other organization does. The problem is that the government is the only institution in society that doesn’t survive by voluntary trade and production. It survives by force, confiscating assets from the people that it rules. People have an entirely backwards view of what the government is. It’s not your friend.

When I say that it treats its subjects as milk cows, I mean that they value you only as a cog in the wheel. As a milk cow, you may be relatively well-treated. But, if push comes to shove, they’ll turn you into a beef cow. That’s what the military does. You’re forced to put your life on the line, not necessarily to defend yourself, family, and friends, but to defend the interests of the government who’ve organized the army.

To answer the second part of the question, there are basically three types of army—volunteer armies, mercenary armies, and slave armies.

If a truly free society is invaded by a foreign government, its people will volunteer to defend it. They’re defending their personal home. The ideal military is composed of volunteers in a well-organized militia that will only rise up when an actual threat occurs. The US was once ideally suited for this type of army. But it no longer is since it’s devolved into an empire. Switzerland is probably the best model in today’s world. A volunteer army can only be used for defensive purposes. Part-time citizen soldiers aren’t interested in being killed or maimed in order to gratify some politician.

The second type of military are mercenaries, hired soldiers. Mercenaries, as competent professionals, are excellent for today’s hi-tech environment because they’re specialized and enthusiastic; some people are better suited to soldiering than others. The problem with mercenaries is that they’ll basically do what their employer tells them to do. Today’s US military are basically domestically recruited mercenaries. In many ways, they’re apart and separate from society at large.

The third type of army is a slave army. This is what you get with conscripts. Conscripts can get the job done, but mainly out of loyalty to their fellow slaves and for fear of being shot by their officers. Most would desert, except for fear and their loyalty to their fellows. Many would frag their officers if they think they can get away with it. If you need a slave army to defend your country, it should be obvious your country isn’t worth defending.

The ideal military will naturally and voluntarily defend its country if it’s attacked but cannot be used to invade other countries. Only a volunteer army, essentially a militia, suits a free country. Conscription has no place in a free society.

Some say that, in today’s world, conscription might be a good thing because it might imbue discipline into soft, spineless, unruly youths. And you can certainly pick up some good habits in the military, like learning to say, “Yes, sir,” making your bed, and shining your shoes.

But it’s not the government’s, or the army’s, place to mold the character of its people. Examples of governments that believe in molding the character of their youth always resemble the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, East Germany, North Korea, and the like.

The answer is simple: conscription, or “national service,” doesn’t have a place in a free society. If a society is worth defending, its members will rise up to do so, and they won’t have to be forced to.

International Man: Historically, conscription has been used in the US during major conflicts like World War II and the Vietnam War.

Given today’s geopolitical landscape, do you see a potential major war erupting that could bring back the draft?

Doug Casey: Let me point out that conscription was not used during the American Revolution. Soldiers during the Revolution were basically all volunteers. And the same is true of the War of 1812. It was only in the War Between the States that conscription started.

Most Northerners couldn’t have cared less about whether the South remained part of the US. White boys certainly didn’t want to be enslaved in order to free black people in a different country. The hatred, death, and destruction from 1861-1865 were enabled solely by conscription. If it hadn’t been for conscription, the US couldn’t and wouldn’t have fought the First World War, either. WW1 was the camel putting its nose under the tent in the destruction of Western civilization itself. It was a completely pointless war, made possible only through conscription—abetted by the income tax and the Federal Reserve.

It’s also true of World War II, although that was a more complex situation that is beyond the scope of this brief discussion. The Korean War and the Vietnam War were unnecessary and disastrous foreign adventures enabled by conscription. Conscription gives government the raw material that it needs to fight foreign wars. More recent sport wars, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, lent themselves to professional mercenary soldiers because they were heavy on using high-tech matériel and weapons.

It’s true that several governments in Europe are beating war drums and pushing for conscription. But the coming war is going to be fought increasingly cybernetically. The battlefield itself won’t need much cannon fodder; it will use drones and robots, supplemented by highly trained and motivated spec ops guys. If things get really out of control, bioweapons and nuclear weapons will join the party; the coming war won’t require masses of draftees. It’s unlikely that many recalcitrant latte-drinking soy boys will be forced to throw their bodies into the cauldron.

The coming war will take relatively few but highly specialized and trained individuals. In fact, most boots-on-the-ground soldiers today are special operations types. They’re essentially mercs, not conscripts who are anxious to get out as soon as possible.

Most of the coming war will be fought by pros and remotely by machines. If various governments bring the draft back, it’s not going to be very useful for the military. The main point of the draft is to get people into the habit of doing what they’re told.

International Man: On a related note, a recent bipartisan bill was introduced to expedite citizenship for foreign migrants who serve in the US military.

What do you make of this trend?

Doug Casey: This is a potential disaster in the making. Hiring foreigners who don’t share values, customs, religion, or even language with the native population is asking for trouble. Big trouble. Training them in an army is one of the most stupid and dangerous ideas I can think of. And there are loads of crazy ideas around these days…

It amounts to hiring foreign mercenaries for your national army. On the bright side, though, they won’t be competent professionals. On the not-so-bright side, they’ll be easily motivated to fight against citizens. At this point, the government is scaring away the parts of the US population that were traditionally soldiers, namely white men, and trying to replace them with a non-native DEI army that has values that are not just different from but at odds with traditional America.

If migrants are given a quick pathway to citizenship by joining the army, they’ll mainly be good for controlling the citizenry. Especially now since the current regime has come out and declared traditional Americans—MAGA people, if you will, or about half the country—as being potential terrorists. Foreign migrants are the ideal material for the bad guys who—as incredible as it might seem—appear to want a civil war against traditional Americans.

International Man: Given the disturbing trends we’ve discussed today, how can people protect themselves from the danger of conscription and forced national service?

Doug Casey: There’s very little you can do other than renounce your citizenship and/or leave the country.

Or you can do what a lot of people did during the Vietnam War and simply say, “Hell no. I won’t go.” If you do that, however, you’ll be imprisoned. But perhaps that’s a better alternative than being forced to kill people you don’t even know. There’s no easy solution to the problem at this point. The situation is pretty far gone. Ultimately, we have to reform the character of the country because it’s going in the wrong direction very rapidly.

Editor’s Note: The US government is overextending itself by interfering in every corner of the globe. It’s all financed by massive amounts of money printing. However, the next financial crisis could end the whole charade soon.

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