We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

A press gang there I chanced to meet

“Conservatives want to bring back mandatory national service”, reports the BBC:

Twelve months of mandatory national service would be reintroduced by the Conservatives if they win the general election.

Eighteen-year-olds would be able to apply for one of 30,000 full-time military placements or volunteering one weekend a month carrying out a community service.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he believed bringing back compulsory service across the UK would help foster the “national spirit” that emerged during the pandemic.

Back to the good old days:

As I walked out on London street
A press gang there I chanced to meet
They asked me if I would join the fleet
On board of a man-o-war, boys

They said that a sailor’s life was fine
Good comrades and good pay I’d find
They promised me a bloody good time,
On board of a man-o-war, boys

Traditional sea shanty

The press-ganged sailors of the Napoleonic wars often did fight well. That might have been due to their national spirit. Or it might have been due to the disciplinary methods detailed in the next two verses of the song:

But when I went, to my surprise
All they’d told me was shocking lies
There was a row and bloody old row
On board of a man-o-war, boys

The first thing they did, they took me in hand
And they flogged me with a tarry strand.
They flogged me till I couldn’t stand,
On board of a man-o-war, boys

The Home Secretary is already rowing back:

James Cleverly has insisted that “no one is going to jail” if they refuse to take part in National Service, but that the Tories would “compel” young people to participate.

Rishi Sunak last night vowed to create a mandatory scheme where school leavers will either have to enrol on a 12-month military placement or spend one weekend each month volunteering in their community.

But Mr Cleverly said that young people would not face any criminal sanctions if they did not take part.

Asked what would happen if someone said they didn’t want to engage, the Home Secretary told Trevor Phillips on Sky News: “There’s going to be no criminal sanction for this. No one’s going to jail over this…

“We want to make this compelling, we are going to compel people to do it, but also we want to make sure that it fits with different people’s aptitudes and aspirations.”

He added that “we force people to do things all the time” when pressed by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg about whether he was comfortable as a Conservative forcing teenagers to do something.

He told the BBC: “We force 16-year-olds who, as a society, for example, we recognise are not fully formed, and they still require education. So the decision was made that they remain in education or training.

“So we force teenagers to be educated. No one argues with that.

I argue with it.

41 comments to A press gang there I chanced to meet

  • Ferox

    The only thing more arrogant than the line “we will compel, but not force” is the idea that they are going to be able to get any useful labor out of unwilling teenagers.

  • Martin

    The extent to which Sunak deliberately seems to be trying to lose this election just gets more outstanding. He makes John Major look like Machiavelli.

  • Alex

    The Tories have done nothing to rollback the Blair governments undermining of national spirit. The young of this country have grown up knowing that they are replaceable, they aren’t valued in any way. They are largely rootless, from their accents you sometimes wonder if they are American or Australian then you realize that they are British just part of the TikTok generation that has no roots in this or any other country. This government wants to conscript them? Why should these young people want to participate in such a scheme? What evidence is there that the government cares at all for the population? To it, we’re an amorphous blob and it doesn’t matter at all if we leave and are replaced by migrants. So why should anyone feel any sense of duty to it?

    National service at least made some sense. The country had just been through a dreadful war, there was an uncertain future and ensuring the majority of young men had some military knowledge and training was sensible, if illiberal. Before my time so I can’t attest to its efficacy but I have heard mixed reports from older people some of whom say that it was a great experience while others said it was horrible.

  • Mark


    That’s the only logical conclusion!

    Wonder if their private polling is showing a hung parliament and they want to make sure Der Sturmer – wetter than the Marianas trench and twice as dense – actually wins?

    SO much shit is likely to hit SO many fans in the next few years and for the tories, if all this lands on Sturmer, they – no matter how abysmal they appear now – can only think they will be back within a few years.

    Don’t let them do it, don’t vote for either! (or the limp dumps or “greens”)

  • Stonyground

    My dad did National Service in the Royal Engineers in the late 1950s. I was a baby so too young to remember. Growing up I was left with the impression that he had a decent time, he learned to drive in the army so that was a plus. But it was a different time and different circumstances. My understanding was that National Service was discontinued because it was becoming unsustainable, to revive it now is just an unbelievably stupid idea.

  • Martin

    That’s the only logical conclusion!

    Wonder if their private polling is showing a hung parliament and they want to make sure Der Sturmer – wetter than the Marianas trench and twice as dense – actually wins?

    I am starting to think he’s trying to throw the election, because even someone quite cynical like me is surprised someone with so many educational (Winchester private school, Oxford and Stanford), employment (Goldman Sachs and hedge funds), and family (in laws are Indian billionaires) advantages could have what seems to be such little political acumen.

    Anyway even if this national service thing is brought in – via Tory or Labour – we know Sunak’s daughters are unlikely to be in the UK when they reach 18. The family will be in California or India by then (maybe he does have some cunning after all!).

  • Alex

    It does totally seem like Sunak is trying to throw the election. This many own goals so close together just don’t add up, he can’t be this inept.

  • Agammamon

    Apparently some in the UK want to bring back slavery.

  • JohnK

    I don’t want the people who march through London every week chanting “From the River to the Sea” to be taught how to shoot.

    When Britain had National Service, we were still a homogenous and patriotic society. That is no longer the case. The White British population of London was 36.8% at the last census. No people who have not been defeated in a war have ever been replaced in their own capital city. One can only conclude that there has been a war on the White British population, waged for about 60 to 70 years by its policy blob, for reasons which are obscure. The blob has won. There is no “nation” as such left to defend.

  • Paul Marks

    Someone mentioned this today at the art shop where I volunteer – but I did not understand what they were saying.

    Then walking home I spotted the front covers of the newspapers outside a shop, and I understood.

    I have nothing more to say about the matter.

  • Roué le Jour

    My dad spent his national service somewhere out of the way, Aden?, tinkering with radios. I got the impression it was all a bit Sgt Bilko rather than grueling boot camp.

    My understanding is that the army barely has the resources to train the men it has, let alone provide tertiary education for a bunch of disaffected teenagers. That has certainly been their position in the past.

    We all know what conservative voters want, we also know the government, of either stripe, hasn’t the slightest intention of delivering those policies. As the prince of darkness, Mandelson, himself remarked, we live in a post democratic age.

  • jgh

    “force teenagers to be educated”

    We don’t force teenagers to be educated. We do force *parents* to ensure their offspring are educated, but we don’t force the offspring. It’s the parents that have to answer to the Truant Officer. (I used to deal with schools admissions and transfers, and one of the issues was supporting non-school education.)

  • gnome

    Sunak is on a winner here. He knows his party is going to lose anyway, badly, so now imagine a Parliament dominated by Labour but with 200 independants, which is how it could end up. In five years from now his crowd of degenerates will romp in.

  • Roué le Jour

    Honestly, politicians just ain’t that smart. He’s trying to appeal to the “bring back the birch” Tory voters, most of whom have already departed this vale of tears anyway.

  • Kirk

    The idea of “National Service” in this day and age is ridiculous on the face of it. Sunak has to have some other ploy in mind, and who knows what the hell that might be?

    Me? As a former professional soldier, I have to tell you that unless you’re also implementing a militia system like the Swiss/Israeli/Finnish/Singaporean model, it’s a waste of damn time and resources. By the time you’re finished training and “soldierizing”, a military term for acculturating a young civilian to be a useful part of a military team, their terms are already up and they’re gone, wasting all that effort.

    And, TBH, it’s ‘effing pointless. Combat has gotten so damn complex these days that taking anything other than long-service well-trained professionals to war is basically playing Pied-Piper and leading the children off to die in job lots.

    Can’t see the point, to be honest. And, frankly? If your national culture is so far decayed into decadence and sloth that you believe a shot of military discipline is going to help matters? You’re entirely delusional. I cannot fix in eight weeks of initial entry training what Mommy and Daddy did or did not do in 18 years; the people that creatures like Sunak envisions “fixing” are not people that the military can fix; they’re already human wreckage, and the fact they exist indicates that you’ve rather thoroughly mucked up the cultural transmission features in your society long, long ago.

    A fact that all these “leaders” are utterly oblivious to, because they’re not leaders; they’re social parasites who’ve climbed a ladder to power that they should never have been allowed to mount.

  • JohnK


    Apparently Sunak’s “idea” is that this should be put to a Royal Commission to consider and report upon, after which the first “volunteers” will be in the army in 2029. So it isn’t going to happen. Sunak will be running Google by then. It’s just an election gimmick.

    If Putin is still alive in 2029, and let’s hope not, maybe Russia will have taken a few more villages in an obscure Ukrainian oblast.

  • Martin

    When Britain had National Service, we were still a homogenous and patriotic society.

    Yes. I’ve noticed the proponents of this new national service idea say it will be good for national cohesion. Unless they are trying to lose the election I don’t understand why they want this conversation as it’s quite obvious that people like Rishi Sunak and his Tory and Labour predecessors are to blame for why social cohesion has collapsed in the UK.

  • JohnK


    Rishi Sunak is a nowhere man. His parents were both born abroad. His wife was born in India, and is an Indian citizen. Britain was clearly nice for her to live in, but not become a citizen of. Rishi for a long time held a green card. His father in law is one of the richest men in India.

    I’m sure his commitment to Britain is 100% total. But it does not really look like it.

  • BenDavid

    I thought I would read at least a few opinions that looked with favor at some restoration of government by the people… Or the hope that people who have learned to shoot and defend themselves will start pushing back against the deliberate racial chaos. ..

    Also restoration of a systematic induction into manly virtue and responsibility in this fatherless generation.

    As an American now living long term in Israel, the responses here go a long way to convincing me that Europe is too far gone to be saved ….

    We are currently being valiantly defended by a young generation of Israelis who were dismissed as spoiled and soft… Yet Israeli gays flew back from Los Angeles and Berlin to fight.

    You have to start somewhere.

  • JohnK


    There is no proposal to have any sort of British right to keep and bear arms. This is a nonsensical proposal brought up with no prior debate by a panicked government about to face defeat. It will never happen. And yes, our political blob have turned a homogenous country into a fragmented multiracial ghetto.

    To be a democracy, you have to have a demos, with the emphasis on “a”, it’s not plural. There has never in history been a multiracial, multicultural democracy, and we will not buck that trend.

    I would have been happy to defend Britain, if only it still existed.

  • Sigivald

    Twelve months of mandatory national service would be reintroduced by the Conservatives if they win the general election.

    Eighteen-year-olds would be able to apply for one of 30,000 full-time military placements or volunteering one weekend a month carrying out a community service

    “Mandatory”, “volunteering”.

    The two words are contradictory, but the BBC – naturally – sees no conflict at all.

    (And evidently neither do the Conservatives, natch.)

  • Graham

    I said I was against making slaves of our children on the Daily Telegraph comments, and was immediately downvoted and told that I didn’t know what slavery was. I think I am getting out of step with that lot. They are authoritarian, ignorant of economics (protectionism, farming subsidies, and the minimum wage are a good thing, they say), and take the general view that most problems can be solved by banning something or making something compulsory.

  • Kirk

    BenDavid said:

    I thought I would read at least a few opinions that looked with favor at some restoration of government by the people… Or the hope that people who have learned to shoot and defend themselves will start pushing back against the deliberate racial chaos. ..

    Also restoration of a systematic induction into manly virtue and responsibility in this fatherless generation.

    Well, if you’ve ever wondered how to say “I’ve never served, let alone in combat…” without coming out and actually saying it?

    There ya go.

    Military service cannot somehow magic into being this ridiculous concept of “manly virtue and responsibility” in the average yobbo. What you create with these situations is more akin to the Lord of the Flies; note the difference between a Swiss or Israeli conscript and the usual Russian cretin that insists on inflicting the wonders of dedovschina on his fellow “recruits” that have the misfortune to join the military a few short months after they did.

    A military inevitably reflects the population it is recruited from. You have cultural issues? They’re going to be there in the military taken up from that population.

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again: As a low-level military leader, I cannot possibly manage to “fix” what Mommy and Daddy (plus, the rest of the surrounding cultural matrix…) f*cked up at over 18 years.

    Not in any affordable initial entry training where I’m constrained by the usual rules, anyway. Given the leeway granted the French Foreign Legion and a six-year enlistment term? Could probably do something to ameliorate the things you dislike in your children that reflect precisely how you raised them, but…

    I ‘effing guarantee you that you won’t like what I have to do, in order to overcome your abysmally shitty and absent parenting.

    Those young people lacking “manly virtues and responsibility”? They’re your kids, and they lack those virtues because of you. Nobody else. The fall of civilization begins in all those lovely state-sponsored day care facilities you demanded, because you were too feckless and irresponsible to properly raise your own damn children, who are the most important things you’ll ever be involved in over the course of your life. Regardless of what you might believe about that nice car in the driveway and that fancy house.

  • John

    It’s not even a case of scepticism. Everybody from the bbc to what’s left of the conservative party realise this announcement (I won’t dignify it with the term policy as that would imply at least a modicum of thought having been put into it) is the equivalent of the nutter on the bus. You don’t argue, you don’t even engage, you just move away feeling embarrassed and slightly sympathetic.

    What a way to have to speak about an admittedly unwanted and unelected PM.

  • Martin

    Graham – more embarrassing is the Telegraph devoting an editorial treating the idea as a serious policy worthy of support. Really embarrassing boomerish nonsense.

    John – even sadder for Sunak is he’s still very young, so unlike Biden, you can’t just chalk it down to being senile and on medications.

  • BenDavid

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again: As a low-level military leader, I cannot possibly manage to “fix” what Mommy and Daddy (plus, the rest of the surrounding cultural matrix…) f*cked up at over 18 years.
    Not in any affordable initial entry training where I’m constrained by the usual rules, anyway.
    Yet many African-American men were turned around and saved from the street – or the morgue – by Army service. Several have entered politics and lead the growing conservative movement in their community.

    I doubt their officers were allowed to apply the tactics of some of the armies and cultures you cited.

    Here in Israel we have had similar stories with marginal immigrant groups – yes there is a societal base of good Jewish values, but there are still many successful men who credit the Army with setting them on a good path.

    Any large gubmint program like this will act as a mill/revolving door for some – but many will learn basic self-discipline and other skills they would not acquire otherwise.

    And there is the other issue – the loss of what JohnK called a “demos” ethic when a country abandons widespread, mandatory conscription. Service in the IDF has helped forge a national identity out of disparate immigrant groups.

  • Steven R

    In the US every male 18-35 has to register for the draft. It’s the law. The law states that anyone who doesn’t register can be tossed in prison for up to five years and pay a fine of up to @250,000, but no one has been prosecuted for it since 1980 or so and there are no real penalties if you don’t…except you can get things like federally backed student loans or Pell grants (a type of low income grant to help pay for college), you can’t get a federal job, can’t get most types of federal aid or benefits, and it trickles down to state benefits and programs.

    If the UK does bring back compulsory service, I expect that kind of scheme to help “encourage” the British youth to join up. Do your service or no NHS or counsel owned housing or state-funded university or job training is available or whatever other programs are in use on your side of the Pond.

  • Martin

    And there is the other issue – the loss of what JohnK called a “demos” ethic when a country abandons widespread, mandatory conscription. Service in the IDF has helped forge a national identity out of disparate immigrant groups.

    Britain isn’t Israel. We didn’t lose our national cohesion due to ending conscription. Over a history of England/Britain of 1000+ years, conscription has rarely been used.

    Our national cohesion has been undermined by mass immigration, globalist economics, supranational authorities, and dubious leftist elites who hate our culture. National service does nothing at all to counteract any of this.

  • bobby b

    If government set up mandatory “community service” work, do you have any doubt it would all eventually be aimed at fighting climate change, re-painting pro-kid-transing signage, protesting Israel, searching out “white racism”, snitching on nationalists, and recruiting election workers to ensure liberals could vote early and often?

    (It baffles me that someone could have expected support for mandatory gov service on a right-leaning libertarianish website. The expansion of government power over our daily lives, combined with the knowledge that such “service” would mostly benefit woke policies, would seem to me to be an instant disqualifier.)

  • Kirk

    BenDavid said:

    Yet many African-American men were turned around and saved from the street – or the morgue – by Army service. Several have entered politics and lead the growing conservative movement in their community.

    Bullshit. I ran troops for decades, my friend. Every single “successful” African-American came into the military set for success. That “reform” you’re saying turned them around? Didn’t happen, mostly because the tools necessary to do so weren’t available to any of us. The minute they began demonstrating “street” behavior, they were thrown out of the service. We did not bother trying to reform them, because such an enterprise is not possible. Not to mention the fact that the test requirements and entry standards kept the vast majority of the low-life hoodlum types out in the first place.

    You’re a typical liberal fantasist, if you think these things are true. You’ve no personal experience to base your opinion on, and you are parroting the things that your fellow liberals tell you about the wonders of their ideology.

    By the time you hit the minimum age for military service, you’re almost certainly too set in your ways to really be influenced into positive behavior. Many tell themselves that they were “reformed” by the military, but the raw fact is, they weren’t. You either have the basic value set and mentality, by that point in life, or you don’t. There’s no means short of the draconian measures taken by the French Foreign Legion, and even they’re pretty damn careful about who they try taking in.

    No, the root problem here begins in infancy, with basic parenting. You screw up the first three years, that kid is almost not coming out of that. You want to blame society, but the people you need to be looking at are the parents, and what options you took to produce those parents across society, like the welfare options and employment rules.

    I would strongly suggest you go spend some time actually training soldiers and trying to effectively lead them before you start bloviating about “successful African-Americans” being the product of the military. They weren’t; any such people were first the product of the parents and social milieu that they came out of.

    I’ve seen many a man ruined by military service; I cannot remember seeing very many who were improved by it. They were either basically good men and women before they took the oath, or they weren’t. The ones who weren’t took far too much of my time, and reduced the things I could do for the good ones. Keep your social rejects; the job of the military is not to undo the labors your ilk have performed on the body politic, but to defend that body. Said task is only made exponentially harder by your delusional sort; you need to work way further upstream from a delinquent teen.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    If government set up mandatory “community service” work,

    You’re a criminal defense lawyer, right? Isn’t “mandatory community service” what they give criminals to punish them?

  • decnine

    Tory scum have raised taxes so high that they can’t raise them any more. So now, they are going to steal parts of our lives – without any possibility of compensation. Our young people won’t get that time to re-live for their own purposes.

  • BenDavid

    OK Kirk – it’s not that you win. But I can’t argue with a mind-reader… (I’m actually a Orthodox Jewish West Bank resident who voted for Trump in the US and Smotrich in Israel… you may need to rinse out your Magic 8-ball…)

    I will just point out that the army experience I have seen up close (Israel) was in a country with national conscription – which means the drill sergeants get as many dregs and loafers as in the general population. Also Israeli society valorizes army service, and young people push themselves to get into elite combat and intelligence units – which are often a stepping stone into Startup Nation after doing one’s stint.

    This looks a lot like the Greco Roman ethos of leadership I got when I was force-fed the classics of Western thought in uni.
    Initially such leadership was decentralized and based on personal virtue
    I think this is what another poster refers to when he talks about the “demos”.

    It’s gone missing… and I was surprised that nobody even admitted that universal conscription/service may be a way to revive it.

  • llamas

    @BenDavid – while not knowing enough to get into the middle of this spat, I will observe that, in my experience, I have never met a Jewish ‘dreg or loafer’, and that most Jewish communities I have moved in have a strong social order and a culture of improvement and success. Sure, the Purple Gang were some nasty guys, and Bugsy Siegel and Lepke Buchalter would not have been invited to the country club, but I’ve never seen anything like hip-hop ‘culture’ in the Jewish community. I dunno, maybe Ashdod and Bloomfield Hills are different. But that cultural predeliction may explain why nationwide mandatory conscription works in Israel, but would not work in the US, which (sad to say) has more than its share of ‘dregs and loafers’.



  • JohnK


    Sadly, I think Kirk is right on this. British and American society cannot be compared to Israeli society. The policy elites have turned homogenous societies into diverse societies through mass immigration, which have rather less chance of surviving than the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I have no fellow feeling with a large percentage of people who nominally are my fellow citizens. I would not risk my life to defend them, and they are more likely to try and kill me than defend me. No amount of national service is going to change this, and I fear it is irreversible.

  • Steven R

    There is a theory in Political Science called the Great Divorce that deals with having a peacetime draft. In short, normal people don’t tend to care what and where the US military is doing stuff because it really doesn’t affect them at all. There are less than one third of one percent of the population in the military at any given point (not including during a war or police action or whatever the last 30 years we’ve spend in the desert is called), and those kids are all volunteers.

    But, the theory goes, if every kid is at risk of being press ganged into service and sent overseas to some warzone or wasted being an international meals on wheels (like the Rangers in Somalia), American parents take more notice of what the US is doing simply because it could actually get their crotchfruit killed.

  • Kirk

    BenDavid makes the classic liberal mistake of projection of personal experience and values onto things they have zero personal knowledge or experience of. They also buy into bullshit they’ve been told, because they’re instinctively authoritarian at their roots; if the authority figure says something, then it absolutely must be true.

    Most practicing Jews, in my experience, are like this. They grew up believing in their community authority figures, the Torah, and other sources. So much so that many of them can’t even recognize things that are outside their experience as being contrary to what they’ve been told, so they superimpose their own belief in what they’ve been taught right on top of reality, never noticing they just don’t match.

    I’m always vastly amused by people that think the military has some magic wand to wave over their kids, who they neglected to raise properly, and fix all the parenting mistakes. No such thing is possible, which if you bother to stop and think about it, you’d be able to work out from the time scales involved. I believe the UK has an 18-week basic soldiering course for all Army members. That’s one week of a positive environment to condition out of the neophyte soldier all the things they didn’t get from Mommy and Daddy over the course of a year. Not to mention, all the peer influences their parents neglected to note or correct…

    I’ve done the “run troops” thing for real. I’m here to say that while it is possible to correct some behavioral problems, and you see some progress with many individuals right after they leave initial entry training, the sad fact is that they inevitably revert to type once they leave that environment of total control. If the kid wasn’t raised properly, by the time they leave the initial entry training course plus a year or two, they’ve reverted to type by the end of that period. You cannot maintain the sort of total control over volunteer soldiers or even draftees that you have during initial entry training; there simply isn’t enough cadre, time, or money to do that. And, absent that sort of nutbar effort for four or five years, it ain’t on.

    The French Foreign Legion, per informants of mine who were in it, maintains the sort of control we’re talking about here throughout the term of enlistment. You don’t stand a chance of getting out of what amounts to a total-control basic training environment with them until you’re a corporal or so, promotion to which pretty much indicates that you were either already a productive-citizen sort, or the conditioning took. Even then, the Legion has a bit of a problem with psychotic sociopaths masking themselves until they reach authority positions, and then making everyone’s lives miserable. Stories I’ve heard from first-person witnesses… I don’t think the average person would want to participate in a military run along those lines, or subject their children to it as a matter of course.

    All y’all really need to make up your minds: Is a military there to defend the nation, or is it some sort of free-flow social experimentation zone? Which is it?

    You want the military to do the job you didn’t do, raising your kids? I strongly suggest that you write off “National Defense” as a use for said military, and turn the whole thing into some sort of glorified Outward Bound deal, minus the weapons and brainwashing.

  • Martin

    The Tory boy commentators supporting this ‘national service’ are really coming up with some belters trying to sell this garbage:

    In the Telegraph Hamish de Bretton-Gordon says:

    Those young adults who benefited so much from lockdown and furlough – their health and jobs preserved by an enormous national effort – should be give an opportunity to thank their elders for their sacrifices.

    😄😄 I like this bizarro world fantasy COVID lockdown revisionism. Apparently the ‘elders’ made great sacrifices on behalf of the young. 😄😄😄

  • Kirk

    The sort of people that come up with these ideas like “National Service” are never the ones who’ve actually, y’know… Done anything like national service in the first place. They’re always social parasites who’re already aged out of their “ideal schemes”, and would never have to serve under them.

    If Sunak were an honest man, with any form of integrity, he’d be selling this as “National Service for Everyone”, and volunteering to spend the time that he didn’t spend in the military out picking up roadside trash or working on a hazardous-materials clean-up site, for free, at his own expense. And, since he didn’t do it when he was young, well… He should just do twice the damn time, since he’s not going to be risking his life doing military training.

    These schemes are always “good ideas” that’ll apply to “other people”, and the promulgators are always people who’re conveniently ineligible to participate. Ya wanna donate chunks of other people’s lives, Rishi-baby? Why the feck don’t you start with your own? Get out there and make Britain beautiful, sweetheart… It’s all you.

    I cannot possibly express my utter contempt and loathing for these assclowns forcibly or clearly enough. They’re scum, all of them, everywhere and at every time this crap comes up. Ya wanna draft the kiddies to go fight your war, you superannuated piss-bag? Fine; you go do it yourself, first. You lead, I’ll follow. Otherwise, feck right the hell off.

    “National Service” schemes ought to always include the caveat that they’re there for “someone else”, and never the arseholes that come up with them. I did my “National Service” for these halfwits for 25 years as an enlisted swine, and got to watch them piss everything I worked for away in a few short years. If the US political leadership were embodied in front of me in the form of a single person, I’d drown them in the nearest cesspool, drag the body out while it was still capable of breathing, break every rib on it doing CPR, douse it with some sort of flammable liquid, set it afire, then put it out at about the point it had third-degree burns over ninety-percent of its body, and then I’d piss on it and leave it there to suffer until it did finally die.

    And, ironically? That’s only about a tenth as bad as what some of those feckwit imbeciles inflicted on men I trained and led, on whose behalf I’d be acting.

    Do you know what contributes to a lot of PTSD, and makes it worse? It’s observing all the sacrifices you made pissed away to no purpose, and realizing that all the horrible things you did in the name of “mission accomplishment” were for naught. All the people you killed, all the men you led off to their miserable deaths… For nothing.

    You don’t “draft” or “conscript” men to do those sorts of things, not if you don’t want to demonstrate what a monstrosity of a creature you are. Politicians of any ilk are nothing but scum, and why we tolerate their existence, let alone let them “lead” us? I’ll never know. The mere fact that you’re trying to make a life as a “political leader” ought to prima facie evidence for capital punishment, delivered upon successfully winning an election.

    Frankly, if you don’t have to put your “leadership” into power via putting a gun to their heads, and then watching as they nearly piss their pants accepting it, you’ve probably selected the wrong person for the job.

  • Kirk

    At the risk of repeating myself, because I could have sworn I wrote and posted another post on this thread, but…

    I have had bit of an epiphany about something running along these lines, in terms of “leadership responsibility”.

    Long ago, there are apocryphal legends about how we Northern Europeans would have these sacrificial kings, men who’d be made king over the tribe and then who would get to enjoy all the luxuries and frivolities possible to such a position… Right up until times got bad. Then, it was hey-ho, off to the bog we go, and then it’d be “Yeah, time to pay the due, Mr. King…”, followed by some rather nasty business and a sacrifice to the bog.

    I realized something about that: It was an accountability technique, and a lesson, all in one. Leadership and its perks have to have a price, an enforced accountability. If only symbolic…

    I think that what happened to Johan de Witt and his brother might well have been vestigial memories of those times, an instinctual “Well, they were in charge when we lost, time to pay the piper…”, and that’s when our oh-so-civilized Dutch citizens went all Medieval on their leadership.

    There’s a lesson there, all the way around, for all concerned: You want responsible leadership that looks out for everyone? Then, you’d better have a system of certain accountability built in, with sufficient countermeasures in place to convince the usual sort of sociopath we throw up as leaders these days that they really, truly do not want to engage the mob.

    You either have accountability and keep everyone down low in the hierarchy placated, or you have the “elite” get away with murder, which will eventually lead to a situation like that day there in The Hague for the de Witt brothers. Or, in more modern times, Timisoara for the Ceaucescus.

    You either accept a little taste of accountability for the minor screw-ups as a leader, or you keep piling on with the bets, until it’s everything you have, including your life. Right now, across most of the West? The leadership is aching for a comeuppance, because they can’t keep doing what they have been and expect to survive the inevitable when it comes.

    All those old legends about the “corn king” have a root in reality, and keeping the mob at bay. The system occasionally demands a sacrifice, and the de Witt brothers were the ones for their time. As were the Ceaucescus for theirs…

    Who’re the “Bean Kings” of our era, I wonder?

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>