28 August 2009

The Paradox of the Military Ideology

It is almost axiomatic in American politics that the military constituency is on the right. This fact can be attributed to several factors: the idea of American Exceptionalism that the military promotes, our history of fighting wars against the totalitarian left, the United States’ military flexing against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and the code of an absolute morality that motivates the citizen to be willing to sacrifice himself for country. Conservative positions all.

Yet, the military organization itself is about as far to the left as any could be. In fact, it resembles a veritable communist society, one that Orwell couldn’t have caricatured any better.

In the division of labor, management has total control as it might in some socialist commissar’s office, with none of the efficiency.

There are brain workers and laborers. The latter mustn’t ask too many questions of the former, lest they be labeled “enemies of the people.”

We have a strict rationing of resources that party leaders wisely calculate.

Party leaders have a way of getting better goods than do the proletariat. Perks above and beyond what are deemed suitable for the common man are set aside for party elders—the senior officer corps. If one disrespects a Party Man, he invites the wrath of the machine upon him.

All the while my fidelity to the cause is judged less by my effort to do a good job than by how snappy I am with a salute or citing regulations about uniform wear.

We still fight for the best way of life human history has ever recorded, but if we ever had to defend it against a socialist army, it might be difficult to distinguish our brand of fighting for freedom from our foes', much as Orwell himself declared, “the creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”


  1. Wow, you must have alot of time to think. Hope you're doing well!

  2. There are several things you can do in this life where the check shows up on time every two weeks no matter how efficient or lackluster your performance is. No matter your daily condition or if the threat of death is emminent. The military is one. Can you guess the other?

  3. I DO have a lot of time to think. We are occupying space and time over here.

    You've never heard, "hurry up and wait"?

    As much time as I have, I can't hink of the answer to the question above. I taught for several years, and even bad teachers can get fired.

  4. Funny thing you sent this to me. I mentioned our organization's odd resemblance to socialists to the people in my office the other day.

    They didn't really see it. >.<

    Good to hear from you by the way!

  5. I could be doing something more productive in the Army than sitting around at my weld shop all day doing nothing. Hell we sit upstairs at the office reading books, watching dvd movies, or doing pt in the shop because we have nothing else to do, or have 10 formations a day! What the hell did I sign up for this shit for?