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December 10, 2003

Being All You Can Be 

I’m interested in learning how other countries market recruitment for their armed forces, in countries where it’s neither compulsory or conscripted.

In the USA at present we have no draft, and one frequently sees recruitment adverts in the cinemas and on late-night television. With a palpable gap between what government does and how powerless people feel to influence it, I see a correlation between the way the armed forces needs to represent itself in order to attract canon fodder for our present incursions.

The adverts look like a combination of action movies, The Matrix, computer games and rock videos. Seduction by fantasy, founded on precepts developed in the consumer universe. By what means do other countries attract soldiers?

I wonder if service were mandatory (as in Switzerland or Israel, to name two extreme examples), perhaps people would have deeper investment in developing and shaping political process? Idle speculation on my part. Our leaders in the USA wouldn’t feel so free to behave imperially with people’s children if there wasn’t so much apathy or blind obedience or submission to the grand scale hoodwinking that’s gone on in recent history.

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