Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: What Are Your Views on Standing National Armies? The Bane of Liberty?

  1. #1
    Funding Member
    „Friend of Germanics”
    Funding Membership Inactive
    Zimobog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    Monday, June 20th, 2011 @ 06:01 PM
    Ethnicity
    Celtogermanic
    Subrace
    Don't know
    State
    Alaska Alaska
    Location
    Mat-Su Valley
    Gender
    Age
    44
    Family
    Married with Children
    Occupation
    disaster mitigation
    Politics
    I want my country back now
    Religion
    HFR Heathenry
    Posts
    860
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    What Are Your Views on Standing National Armies? The Bane of Liberty?

    I was reading the Constitution of the United States of America and our Declaration of Independence over the July 4th holiday. I noticed that the founding fathers of the US seemed to feel very strongly against the permenant establishment of large standing armies that served the executive authority.

    For example, it was written that the King of England...

    ".... has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. "
    Also it was written that the King was accused of:
    "...Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States.."
    Do Skadi readers feel that standing armies are a threat to freedom and the citizens as servants of the governments (for instance, the American president is "the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy")?

    Do Skadi readers feel (as did America's founders) that the Army and Navy should be counter balanced by a numerically superior "citizen's militia" made up of freemen and women?

    "What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
    -- Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Patrioten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Last Online
    Saturday, June 27th, 2020 @ 10:02 PM
    Ethnicity
    Swedish
    Country
    Sweden Sweden
    Gender
    Politics
    Conservative
    Religion
    Protestant
    Posts
    1,919
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    2
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    9
    Thanked in
    9 Posts
    I'm in favor of a conscript based military combined with combat brigade sized units made up of professional soldiers. I don't see a viable alternative to this, since Sweden is such a small nation we cannot rely on a militia to defend our independence.

  3. #3
    These criminal nights
    Chlodovech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Last Online
    6 Minutes Ago @ 12:24 AM
    Ethnicity
    Flemish
    Ancestry
    Frankish
    Country
    Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire
    Gender
    Religion
    Catholic
    Posts
    3,582
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1,859
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3,086
    Thanked in
    1,402 Posts
    I'm not in favor of a large professional ground army, but a professional airforce or navy are nice ideas - there has never been a naval military dictature as far as I'm aware of.

    The accountability of the ruling class diminishes with a professional ground army - it could become more their toy, their tool, than that of the nation. It's very difficult for a liberal democracy to send troops to war if the war in question is unpopular. I doubt there would be still a large military presence in Iraq today if the American government would've tried to fill its ranks in Iraq with conscripts in 2004 or 2005.

    On the other hand, if the people believe a war is justified, especially when considered a clear case of self-defense, you can drawn upon the resources of the entire civilian population, through the conscription system - the army then draws its personnel from academia too, instead of almost purely from blue collar families. For this reason draftees can make an awesome army, more so than a professional army, not initially, of course - yet from the military articles I've read I conclude that one month of combat experience makes a drafted soldier just as reliable as a professional one with no combat experience.

    What would work in Flanders doesn't necessarily work elsewhere, but I prefere mandatory military service, also because it establishes a ritus for young adults, before entering the society of grownups. It would shape a bond between generations. Only a small number of army branches/units should be professional, IMO.

    Do Skadi readers feel (as did America's founders) that the Army and Navy should be counter balanced by a numerically superior "citizen's militia" made up of freemen and women?
    Good suggestion. Regardless of there being a drafted/professional army or no army at all, a militia force should always be there to counter balance the power of government.

    Was there ever a period when America didn't have a ground army, except for an officer corps, a period when it was just relying on the militia force - and the idea of rebuilding it - in case of war?
    “Traditionally, sex has been a very private, secretive activity. Herein perhaps lies its powerful force for uniting people in a strong bond. As we make sex less secretive, we may rob it of its power to hold men and women together.” - Thomas Szasz, “The Second Sin”

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Patrioten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Last Online
    Saturday, June 27th, 2020 @ 10:02 PM
    Ethnicity
    Swedish
    Country
    Sweden Sweden
    Gender
    Politics
    Conservative
    Religion
    Protestant
    Posts
    1,919
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    2
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    9
    Thanked in
    9 Posts
    Isn't a militia subject to the regular chain of command and to some extent under the control of the government just like any other military unit is? Otherwise what you have is an independent military force which is funded and equipped by the state/tax payer but which the state has no control over, which I have a hard time imagining existing in any nation. If the government/parliament of a particular nation declares a state of emergency and enacts martial law, or is engaged in a war, aren't militiamen required to be at the service of their government? If not, then on who's orders do they act? Their local commander?

    What is the chain of command like for the type of militia that America's founding fathers talked about and which we are talking about here? How independent are they from the state powers?


    Regarding the issue of a standing, professional army one can also note that with professional soldiers comes additional costs in the form of wages, wages which would have to be competitive if the military is to recieve enough applicants, since they are forced to rely on volunteers.

    If Sweden was to maintain a sizeable professional army of let's say 200 000, which I think is a minimum, then the salary costs would amount to as much as we're currently spending in total for our military. Now, one could keep this number down and instead rely on a reserve of those who have served out their contracts and left the military but are still obliged by law to serve again if the country is attacked (which would have to be written into law, a form of war-time conscription limited to ex-professional soldiers) while also stockpiling the materials needed to equip that reserve, but then we might as well have a conscript army.

    With a conscript army the military has the entire male population to choose from and can fill their ranks with the pick of the litter, the most able candidates can be used to fill the combat units while those of lesser ability can be used to fill support roles.

    I do feel though that there should be a smaller but capable contingent of professional units as a complement to the conscription based military. Chlodovech mentioned the airforce and the navy and I am in full agreement with him on this. We want to have experienced pilots and sailors manning our fighter jets and navy. I also think that Sweden should maintain a couple of tank brigades which would be strategically placed in the north of Sweden and around Stockholm. There should also be a military presence on the island of Gotland, perhaps a couple of battalions of mechanized infantry. It might also be prudent to keep a full strenght mechanized infantry brigade in the south-east, both for defence purposes but also as a recruiting tool for the country's southern population. The old regiments, many of which have been closed down, would have to be ressurrected as they would assume the task of training the conscript military and the regiments' regional character is something I think should be ressurrected as well. Skåningar should train (and fight) alongside Skåningar, Norrbottningar alongside Norrbottningar etc.

    Also, for a country like Sweden with a population of 9 million, getting even close to 200 000 volunteers is not realistic. With the combat brigades and battalions I'm suggesting, the number of professional soldiers would number around 20 000, which I think is a far more realistic number of potential volunteers for a nation our size. Quality cannot be replaced by quantity alone of course, we also need to ensure that there is a balance of quality and quantity within the conscript part of the military.

    Also, here is where my suggestion of a Nordic military alliance comes in. With Sweden, Finland and Norway uniting in a military alliance, the burden of defending our three countries' territories could be shared by a much larger population. If all three nations contribute with a wartime military organization (in peacetime limited to conscript reserves) of 200 000 men each, we have a combined total of 800 000 at our disposal. Finland currently has a (wartime) military organization consisting of 300 000 soldiers, a number which Sweden should be able to match easily. We might be able to lower that number however if all three nations chip in.

    We should also work together on R&D and share the costs of developing new equipment, binding our three countries' together to form a credible and capable defence alliance.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Ward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Last Online
    5 Hours Ago @ 06:53 PM
    Ethnicity
    Vinlandic
    Ancestry
    1/2 German, 1/4 Norwegian, 1/4 Irish
    Country
    Vinland Vinland
    Location
    The Wild Frontier
    Gender
    Posts
    703
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    47
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    51
    Thanked in
    27 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    I'm not in favor of a large professional ground army, but a professional airforce or navy are nice ideas - there has never been a naval military dictature as far as I'm aware of.
    Actually, I think some nations are more prone to military coups than others. Latin America has had so much experience with military dictatorships that it's basically a cultural tradition.

    In the U.S. though, I couldn't really imagine the military ever overthrowing the civilian government. I can say from experience that given the cultural mindset within the U.S. military, the mere notion of a military takeover would never occur to most soldiers.

    The accountability of the ruling class diminishes with a professional ground army - it could become more their toy, their tool, than that of the nation. It's very difficult for a liberal democracy to send troops to war if the war in question is unpopular. I doubt there would be still a large military presence in Iraq today if the American government would've tried to fill its ranks in Iraq with conscripts in 2004 or 2005.
    You're dead on. The American public reaction to the Iraq War has been very passive in comparison to the Vietnam War, which was fought largely by conscripts.

    On the other hand, if the people believe a war is justified, especially when considered a clear case of self-defense, you can drawn upon the resources of the entire civilian population, through the conscription system - the army then draws its personnel from academia too, instead of almost purely from blue collar families. For this reason draftees can make an awesome army, more so than a professional army, not initially, of course - yet from the military articles I've read I conclude that one month of combat experience makes a drafted soldier just as reliable as a professional one with no combat experience.

    What would work in Flanders doesn't necessarily work elsewhere, but I prefere mandatory military service, also because it establishes a ritus for young adults, before entering the society of grownups. It would shape a bond between generations. Only a small number of army branches/units should be professional, IMO.
    I think every able-bodied male should have to go through some sort of boot camp, even if it only lasts a couple months. It's a great way to instill a sense of discipline, personal responsibility, and sense of community within young men. As you indicated, it'd be an excellent way to keep the torch of a nation burning from one generation to the next.

    Was there ever a period when America didn't have a ground army, except for an officer corps, a period when it was just relying on the militia force - and the idea of rebuilding it - in case of war?
    I think maybe after the Revolutionary War ended, when we were still under the Articles of Confederation, there wasn't much of what you could call a standing federal army.

    Since WWII our military has remained pretty massive, but before that large armies were only raised when they were deemed necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrioten View Post
    Isn't a militia subject to the regular chain of command and to some extent under the control of the government just like any other military unit is? Otherwise what you have is an independent military force which is funded and equipped by the state/tax payer but which the state has no control over, which I have a hard time imagining existing in any nation. If the government/parliament of a particular nation declares a state of emergency and enacts martial law, or is engaged in a war, aren't militiamen required to be at the service of their government? If not, then on who's orders do they act? Their local commander?
    In the U.S. at least, I believe militias were intended to be funded and directed by the individual states or other more local establishments, without any responsibility to or oversight by the federal government.

    Some informal grassroots militias have sprang up in recent years in response to encroachments by the federal government or to guard the southern border from illegal immigrants, but the powers-that-be in Washington DC usually crack down on groups pretty quickly.

    What is the chain of command like for the type of militia that America's founding fathers talked about and which we are talking about here? How independent are they from the state powers?
    I'm not sure on this, but I think they were intended to be totally independent from the federal government, and more or less run by local state establishments.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Patrioten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Last Online
    Saturday, June 27th, 2020 @ 10:02 PM
    Ethnicity
    Swedish
    Country
    Sweden Sweden
    Gender
    Politics
    Conservative
    Religion
    Protestant
    Posts
    1,919
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    2
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    9
    Thanked in
    9 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Torch_Bearer View Post
    In the U.S. at least, I believe militias were intended to be funded and directed by the individual states or other more local establishments, without any responsibility to or oversight by the federal government.

    I'm not sure on this, but I think they were intended to be totally independent from the federal government, and more or less run by local state establishments.
    Thanks for answering. That sounds like a pretty good idea and set up, a militia (or guard) which is under the control of regional powers. The only problem in Sweden's case would be that we lack the kind of regional leaders you have in your state governors. We have landshövdingar but they are politically appointed and have mostly formal power. The foundation isn't there. Also, with a conscript army you don't have the same potential for problem either which would necessitate an independent militia.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Ward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Last Online
    5 Hours Ago @ 06:53 PM
    Ethnicity
    Vinlandic
    Ancestry
    1/2 German, 1/4 Norwegian, 1/4 Irish
    Country
    Vinland Vinland
    Location
    The Wild Frontier
    Gender
    Posts
    703
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    47
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    51
    Thanked in
    27 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrioten View Post
    Thanks for answering. That sounds like a pretty good idea and set up, a militia (or guard) which is under the control of regional powers. The only problem in Sweden's case would be that we lack the kind of regional leaders you have in your state governors. We have landshövdingar but they are politically appointed and have mostly formal power. The foundation isn't there. Also, with a conscript army you don't have the same potential for problem either which would necessitate an independent militia.
    In the U.S. at least, the Founding Fathers never intended that the federal government would become the leviathan of today. The America of today is mockery of what it had been designed to be.

    I do have some questions for you about Sweden that I'll put forward in a another thread when I get the energy to create it.
    Last edited by Ward; Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 07:47 AM. Reason: deleted content not related the topic at hand

  8. #8
    These criminal nights
    Chlodovech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Last Online
    6 Minutes Ago @ 12:24 AM
    Ethnicity
    Flemish
    Ancestry
    Frankish
    Country
    Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire
    Gender
    Religion
    Catholic
    Posts
    3,582
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1,859
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3,086
    Thanked in
    1,402 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Torch_Bearer
    In the U.S. at least, I believe militias were intended to be funded and directed by the individual states or other more local establishments, without any responsibility to or oversight by the federal government.

    Some informal grassroots militias have sprang up in recent years in response to encroachments by the federal government or to guard the southern border from illegal immigrants, but the powers-that-be in Washington DC usually crack down on groups pretty quickly.
    Thanks for the info, Torch_Bearer. The civilian militia is an interesting subject, and whenever I read about it in an American context - mostly at Infowars.com - I would get the impression that the people on that website perceive the militia as a grassroots initiative, with only a limited governmental oversight (as in: the state neither equips/trains the militia, nor is there financial support) - and as technically legal, even though the government doesn't like it.
    “Traditionally, sex has been a very private, secretive activity. Herein perhaps lies its powerful force for uniting people in a strong bond. As we make sex less secretive, we may rob it of its power to hold men and women together.” - Thomas Szasz, “The Second Sin”

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Ward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Last Online
    5 Hours Ago @ 06:53 PM
    Ethnicity
    Vinlandic
    Ancestry
    1/2 German, 1/4 Norwegian, 1/4 Irish
    Country
    Vinland Vinland
    Location
    The Wild Frontier
    Gender
    Posts
    703
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    47
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    51
    Thanked in
    27 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    Thanks for the info, Torch_Bearer. The civilian militia is an interesting subject, and whenever I read about it in an American context - mostly at Infowars.com - I would get the impression that the people on that website perceive the militia as a grassroots initiative, with only a limited governmental oversight (as in: the state neither equips/trains the militia, nor is there financial support) - and as technically legal, even though the government doesn't like it.
    Yeah, technically they are legal but I think every group that is formed around an ideology which challenges the establishment is probably riddled with undercover federal agents doing their level best to undermine any power of influence they might otherwise gain amongst ordinary citizens. And I'm sure you've heard of the instances in Waco and Ruby Ridge where the federal government ran amok and slaughtered its own citizens in an Orwellian defense of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

    As the saying goes, the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

  10. #10
    Funding Member
    „Friend of Germanics”
    Funding Membership Inactive
    Zimobog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    Monday, June 20th, 2011 @ 06:01 PM
    Ethnicity
    Celtogermanic
    Subrace
    Don't know
    State
    Alaska Alaska
    Location
    Mat-Su Valley
    Gender
    Age
    44
    Family
    Married with Children
    Occupation
    disaster mitigation
    Politics
    I want my country back now
    Religion
    HFR Heathenry
    Posts
    860
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts
    This is how rank apparently was supposed to work in the early years of the militia (I found these qoutes collected on Wiki):

    " Sparks, Jared: "The Life of George Washington", page 134-135. F. Andrews, 1853....they recommended to the militia to form themselves into companies of minute-men, who should be equipped and prepared to march at the shortest notice. These minute-men were to consist of one quarter of the whole militia, to be enlisted under the direction of the field-officers, and divide into companies, consisting of at least fifty men each. The privates were to choose their captains and subalterns, and these officers were to form the companies into battalions, and chose the field-officers to command the same. Hence the minute-men became a body distinct from the rest of the militia, and, by being more devoted to military exercises, they acquired skill in the use of arms. More attention than formerly was likewise bestowed on the training and drilling of militia."[9]

    Here is who made up the militia and who armed them under the Militia Act of 1792:
    " Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act."

    Founding Father James Madison on the army vs. militia ratio:

    The highest number to which a standing army can be carried in any country does not exceed one hundredth part of the souls, or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This portion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.
    Torch Bearer:
    In the U.S. though, I couldn't really imagine the military ever overthrowing the civilian government. I can say from experience that given the cultural mindset within the U.S. military, the mere notion of a military takeover would never occur to most soldiers.
    I suggest that the military and the government have already taken over the country .

Similar Threads

  1. Neo-Nazis Are the Bane of Nationalism
    By Witta in forum Political Theory
    Replies: 69
    Last Post: Monday, April 3rd, 2017, 08:20 PM
  2. Replies: 19
    Last Post: Saturday, June 5th, 2010, 05:16 PM
  3. Your Views About National Anarchism?
    By Sigurd in forum Political Theory
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Monday, August 18th, 2008, 06:01 PM
  4. Brutus on the Evils of Standing Armies
    By Georgia in forum Law, Ethics, & Morals
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Wednesday, March 29th, 2006, 02:04 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •