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The Tip of the Spear
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[Editor’s Note: The following post is by TDV Managing Editor, Redmond Weissenberger]
“It was a commercial that got me when I was a kid, the one where the guy is jumping through spinning razor blades and then he fights a monster with a sword.” — Brandon Raub, political prisoner, explaining why he wanted to join the Marines.
The American military of today has its founding in the Cold War. During the Revolutionary War, the founders felt the need to create an military force in order to liberate themselves from the British Crown, but they were suspect of the kind of government that would create a permanent standing army.
Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: “What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.”
Thomas Jefferson: “The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.”
And so it was for the large part of US history, there was no permanent military force that could be used for foreign adventures or domestic suppression.
The Selective Service Act was first passed in 1917 for the WWI. The second Selective Service Act was passed in 1940 for WWII. The modern draft was created by the Selective Service act of 1948.
During the Cold War, the permanent standing Army was created in response to the “Soviet Threat”. Millions of American men went through the doors of the service, as a rite of martial passage for the bulk of the population.
All service age males were required to register themselves for an eventual lottery of death. The Vietnam War, launched by President Kennedy, eventually forced the US government to end the military draft in 1973. The endless slaughter of the Vietnam War had enraged the population and draft dodgers and resistors became the norm.
Of course with an all-volunteer military, you need volunteers, and so began the program of endless propaganda celebrating the praises of the Military as an ALL-AMERICAN choice for the average American teenager. And so began the assault of the Department of Defense on the hearts and minds of the US populace.
Endless numbers of films, television shows and commercials promoting the positive nature of the US military - in fact the Department of Defense created its own “Entertainment Media” division.
With the “Long War” chewing through more and more “volunteers”, the Department of Defense has engaged in such practices as “stop-loss”— the involuntary extension of a service member’s active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service.
The outlandish nature of the military cult continues to this day, with football games and churches being prime targets of the Military Industrial Complex. And, in fact, although the compulsory military service has ended, the Selective Service lives on; as of today all male US citizens born after December 31, 1959, who are 18 but not yet 26 years old, must register with the US government - not to be called up, except in a crisis requiring a draft.
Those of you with children, do them a favor, and get out of dodge.
Redmond Weissenberger is the Managing Editor of The Dollar Vigilante and the Founding Director of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, the centre for the study of the Austrian School of Economics within Canada.
Redmond founded the LvMIC in 2010 to address the lack of knowledge about the true cause of our booms and busts of the last 100 years and the need for sound money and sound economics to be applied to the Canadian and global economy.
For me it was G.I. Joe. The Hasbro toy company very effectively condensed pure state propaganda into molded plastic with articulated joints. The modern version of G.I. Joe with its 3 3/4-inch high "action figures" was introduced when I was just five years old. I remember how fulfilled my existence seemed that Christmas when I opened my present to find the complete collection of (at the time) ten Joes and the two types of Cobra soldiers.
I'm happy that my fascination with the military didn't hold. Instead I quickly veered into sword, sorcercy and muscle, spending the next few years obsessed with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line of toys. When I got too old to collect action figures without embarrassing my family, I moved on to an obsession with collecting comic books.
But I didn't understand just how propagandizing G.I. Joe really was till many years later. The beloved and comically death-free cartoon didn't say much about the Joes and Cobra beyond the fact that the Joes were the best of the US military machine and thus the good guys...while Cobra was a "terrorist organization bent on ruling the world."
The comic book, however, was a bit more mature, with plenty of violent death by machine gun...and with a complete backstory for Cobra and its founder and leader Cobra Commander...
Turns out Cobra Commander used to be a small businessman. A used car salesman, to be exact, who felt that the "system" had ruined his life and so he was out to dismantle it, particularly the government. Sounds like Cobra Commander was one of those militia-building, anti-govenment types. G.I. Joe wasn't just pro-military propaganda. It was also anti-militia and perhaps even anti-libertarian propaganda.
I couldn't imagine 30 years ago that I'd be rooting for Cobra against the Joes.
Well played, Cobra. Well played.
But of course I understand that Cobra and anything like it is a fiction. No one really poses a physical threat to the US federal government and its military juggernaut. The only real way to take on the US government is to get out of its way. Disengage. Untangle yourself from any legal obligations to the US and find someplace else to live free. Start here.
Editor, The Dollar Vigilante
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