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Military service as a form of punishment

Deathbeforedishonour
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12/17/2012 9:54:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So here lately I have been thinking about the concept of compulsory military service, and I have come up with a policy that is based on a medieval practice and was used in the Soviet Union during WW2 and actually, Britain's Prime Minister considered it as a response to the rioters they have problems with a few years back.

The idea I am thinking of is making military service as a form of punishment for certain crimes like 1st degree murder, theft, counterfeiting, etc. I think it is great idea and so far I have found several benefits of this type of punishment:

1. It would save money. We already dump loads of cash into our prisons as they are now and the prisons are in my opinion...too good. They have libraries, they can lift weights, they enjoy better food then some hard working families, and most don't work. So, I think by shift that money elsewhere in our economy (maybe that huge debt) and let our over-sized military budget take care of them and turn them into something our country can actually use.

2. Rehabilitation. Our current prison system is my opinion counterproductive because all it does is house the inmates for years if not life. These detainees do not learn from their mistakes (mostly), our prison system is not helping with that, the prisons are as I said before, too good. Now, I think that the prisons should look more like prisons rather then a retirement home with cages. Furthermore, I think it would serve the criminals more if they were to be forced into the military as a result of their crime. It would teach them discipline and would teach them crucial skills that would help them start careers and get out of the "thug life".

3. Justice, our current justice system is not serving justice by making these prisons really comfortable. Justice would be best served if the criminal is made to pay their debt to society in, in this case, the form of military service.

4. Military, it would of course lastly, supply our military with more manpower.

Not all criminals in the system I am proposing, be drafted. It would only be the able bodied men and women. The rest would be sent to work farms where they would pay their debt off in labor.

What is your thoughts on this?
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." ~ John 1:1

Matthew 10:22- "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Ragnar_Rahl
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12/17/2012 9:59:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You'll never successfully run a modern war with slaves. It didn't work out great even when war was simpler.

As for saving money, it costs more to police men with guns (or with farm tools) making sure they don't rebel and don't slack off than men housed in prisons. Men housed in prisons cost more than the average person produces, and are probably below average in productive capacity.
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Deathbeforedishonour
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12/17/2012 10:13:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 9:59:01 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You'll never successfully run a modern war with slaves. It didn't work out great even when war was simpler.

As for saving money, it costs more to police men with guns (or with farm tools) making sure they don't rebel and don't slack off than men housed in prisons. Men housed in prisons cost more than the average person produces, and are probably below average in productive capacity.

They wouldn't be slaves, they would be indentured servants. They committed a crime, they pay the price for it. It works out for Russia against Georgia and Chechnya it could work out for us against countries that have sucky armies.

Furthermore, concerning the economic aspect of it, if we send them to war a lot of them would die. This would decrease the money that would have to be spent on them, and anyone who rebels would just be sent to crappy work form that is nowhere near as nice as the prisons here and in some of the countries in Europe. Taking care of someone for their whole life is more expensive then taking care of them and training them and policing them for 5 to 8 years. It would save tons of money.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." ~ John 1:1

Matthew 10:22- "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Runs-With-Scissors
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12/18/2012 12:58:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
This has historically been a practice in many navies of the world. If I recall, prisoners were give the option to be executed or join Her Magesty's Royal Navy. It was a no-brainer. The modern US Navy has it's own stricter-than-civilian rules and allows for worse punishments, like living on bread and water. Having spent some time on a warship, I can tell you, it feels a lot like prison.

One aspect that this might detract from the benefits of having prison ships is that joining the military is one way for lower class income people to escalate their status.

Plus... Naval vessels have nuclear reactors and serious weaponry.

During the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War, the British suffered because the conscripted soldiers would abandon ship and go become Americans. Sometimes it doesn't work.
Runs-With-Scissors
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12/18/2012 1:00:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Furthermore, concerning the economic aspect of it, if we send them to war a lot of them would die. This would decrease the money that would have to be spent on them, and anyone who rebels would just be sent to crappy work form that is nowhere near as nice as the prisons here and in some of the countries in Europe. Taking care of someone for their whole life is more expensive then taking care of them and training them and policing them for 5 to 8 years. It would save tons of money.

That argument isn't going to sell to voters very well. You'd need to sell the death penalty first.
OberHerr
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12/18/2012 1:13:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I would think it could be a way for people with minor crimes and such to reduce their sentences.
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Zaradi
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12/18/2012 1:23:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I just don't think that there's a really solid way to compulsarize military service without turning it into a form of de facto slavery. We all know that if we don't want to do something, and we have a way out of doing that, we take the way out. The same thing can apply here. They don't want to be serving, and the first chance they get, they desert. That's not exactly great for the military to be having people deserting all the time. The only viable way around this is to make security stricter and prevent those who were forced into it by some crime they committed from exiting stage left at the first opportunity, buy I don't see a way to really do that other than stripping ALL rights a soldier may have during is career from them, which would make them not only essentially slaves, but really bad cannon fodder.
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Runs-With-Scissors
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12/18/2012 1:34:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
About the deserting risk, I don't think that it is very solid in the instance where it was suggested as a way to reduce a minor sentence. America is a very good place to live, when compared to Iraq, Afghanistan, or even Dubai.

Plus, if the consequences of deserting were high enough - i.e., it is execution if in a time of war, that would also deter such things.
Deathbeforedishonour
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12/18/2012 9:05:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/18/2012 1:23:21 AM, Zaradi wrote:
I just don't think that there's a really solid way to compulsarize military service without turning it into a form of de facto slavery. We all know that if we don't want to do something, and we have a way out of doing that, we take the way out. The same thing can apply here. They don't want to be serving, and the first chance they get, they desert. That's not exactly great for the military to be having people deserting all the time. The only viable way around this is to make security stricter and prevent those who were forced into it by some crime they committed from exiting stage left at the first opportunity, buy I don't see a way to really do that other than stripping ALL rights a soldier may have during is career from them, which would make them not only essentially slaves, but really bad cannon fodder.

It's not slavery in this case, If we were to do do it on ordinary people then yes, that is slavery. However, criminals are not ordinary people. They break laws and as a result need punishment in the form of they lose certain rights and unlike what our current justice system thinks, I think they should repay that debt they owe to society in the form of either compulsory military service for 1 to 8 years at a time or if they are not able bodied, they should repay in hard labor.

as for desert...that wouldn't do that because the system I propose would institute execution or half rations as punishment for desertion. Also, desertion rates were not high during WW1, WW2, Korean War, and Vietnam War, and they all had a lot of drafting involved.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." ~ John 1:1

Matthew 10:22- "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Deathbeforedishonour
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12/18/2012 9:09:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/18/2012 12:58:02 AM, Runs-With-Scissors wrote:
This has historically been a practice in many navies of the world. If I recall, prisoners were give the option to be executed or join Her Magesty's Royal Navy. It was a no-brainer. The modern US Navy has it's own stricter-than-civilian rules and allows for worse punishments, like living on bread and water. Having spent some time on a warship, I can tell you, it feels a lot like prison.

One aspect that this might detract from the benefits of having prison ships is that joining the military is one way for lower class income people to escalate their status.
This is true.

Plus... Naval vessels have nuclear reactors and serious weaponry.
I am for sending them to the Army rather then the Navy.

During the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War, the British suffered because the conscripted soldiers would abandon ship and go become Americans. Sometimes it doesn't work.

Sometimes it doesn't, however if we were to experiment with it in a morm of trial and error system, then I am sure we could make it work. If not, then it is obviously a bad idea and should be scrapt. :)
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." ~ John 1:1

Matthew 10:22- "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Deathbeforedishonour
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12/18/2012 9:13:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/18/2012 1:00:07 AM, Runs-With-Scissors wrote:
Furthermore, concerning the economic aspect of it, if we send them to war a lot of them would die. This would decrease the money that would have to be spent on them, and anyone who rebels would just be sent to crappy work form that is nowhere near as nice as the prisons here and in some of the countries in Europe. Taking care of someone for their whole life is more expensive then taking care of them and training them and policing them for 5 to 8 years. It would save tons of money.

That argument isn't going to sell to voters very well. You'd need to sell the death penalty first.

Well...I guess I would leave that part out if I had to tell it to voters, but after 1 to 8 years of service the criminals are freed and that is way better then feeding them, clothing them, housing them, paying guards to watch the, etc for periods from anywhere to 10 years to a life time.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." ~ John 1:1

Matthew 10:22- "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Ragnar_Rahl
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12/18/2012 11:53:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 10:13:32 PM, Deathbeforedishonour wrote:
At 12/17/2012 9:59:01 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You'll never successfully run a modern war with slaves. It didn't work out great even when war was simpler.

As for saving money, it costs more to police men with guns (or with farm tools) making sure they don't rebel and don't slack off than men housed in prisons. Men housed in prisons cost more than the average person produces, and are probably below average in productive capacity.

They wouldn't be slaves, they would be indentured servants.
Indentured servants are volunteers. And even those don't work out great.

It works out for Russia against Georgia and Chechnya.
America is not Russia, it has to dominate the world, not just Mexico and Cuba. That takes power-projection, which takes soldiers you can trust with expensive hardware.

Furthermore, concerning the economic aspect of it, if we send them to war a lot of them would die.
This isn't the 19th century, you can't use human wave tactics in the Western world and maintain that sense of legitimacy.

This would decrease the money that would have to be spent on them, and anyone who rebels would just be sent to crappy work form that is nowhere near as nice as the prisons here and in some of the countries in Europe. Taking care of someone for their whole life is more expensive then taking care of them and training them and policing them for 5 to 8 years.
But not typically more expensive than just killing them off the simple way.

I do support, however, auctioning off any potential executionees who there might be a market for in actual slavery. The vast majority of slavery is inefficient, but there may be exceptions and there is no reason private investors shouldn't be able to test that with non-innocent slaves.

Mind, the owner would incur substantial liability for any lapse in security over their slaves. I suspect sexual slaves would be the most economically viable, along with perhaps the occasional gladiator.

This has historically been a practice in many navies of the world.
By "historically" one could mean "less than a generation ago." I'm in the Navy DEP, a Chief Petty Officer of my DEP division when he joined was given the choice of Navy or jail.

In his case it worked out okay, in most cases it didn't, which is why they can't do that anymore. And that's giving the guy a choice, much more likely to show success than just considering them all auto-conscripts.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Chuz-Life
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12/18/2012 12:38:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
When I was in the service (Marines 1981-1985) we had seome recruits who were given the choice of Jail or Military service by a judge. I have no idea how they fared after basic training but it seems to be something they were appreciative of.
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R0b1Billion
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12/18/2012 1:14:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The dynamic of mixing in criminals, lots of them, into a service where officers value pride above anything else seems to me like a mistake. Officers would find an inappropriate blur between the privilege to be an officer and the punishment of being an officer. Obviously there would have to be some dichotomy structured in, probably similar to the negro divisions in the civil war (and probably not of too different a racial composition), to separate the enlisted from the acquired.

Chuz
That seems more of an alternative to punishment.
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Chuz-Life
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12/18/2012 3:57:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/18/2012 1:14:50 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
The dynamic of mixing in criminals, lots of them, into a service where officers value pride above anything else seems to me like a mistake. Officers would find an inappropriate blur between the privilege to be an officer and the punishment of being an officer. Obviously there would have to be some dichotomy structured in, probably similar to the negro divisions in the civil war (and probably not of too different a racial composition), to separate the enlisted from the acquired.

Chuz
That seems more of an alternative to punishment.

Yeah. Especially after basic was over I'm sure it was viewed that way too. But there was some times during basic training where I'm sure they wished they had taken the jail time.
"Sooner or later, the Supreme Court of the Unites States is going to have explain how a 'child in the womb' is a person enough to be recognized as a MURDER victim under our fetal homicide laws but how they are not persons enough to qualify for any other Constitutional protections" ~ Chuz Life

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