The Military: The Other Enrollment Trap

by Carter Brock
File under: Fake Culture18 Sep 2013 12:27 EDT

My fellow writers at Fakenation have made numerous efforts to caution readers against the despicable college debt machine currently ensnaring our peers. It seems opportune then, with the din of the President's Syrian saber-rattling still echoing, to shed some light on the other enrollment trap targeting young people — the military.

In fact, college and the military share eerily-similar positions in American society, and it starts with the way the two are impressed upon us early on. At most high schools, the only recruiters who are given access to students are either from universities or the armed services. Thousands and thousands of possible organizations are in existence, but this pair is the sole, binary choice presented to students. If they don't push you into one, they'll feed you into the other. It really is disgusting.

Both the military and higher ed also enjoy an untouchable status in the American consciousness. I was about to say that the two were sanctified beyond criticism, but that's not quite right. It's worse than that. Everyone recognizes the abject failure of these institutions, yet in some impressive Orwellian double-think, still justifies them as necessary evils. This is how deeply we've been conditioned.

Belonging to either institution becomes part of your identity. People broadcast these affiliations across their clothing, cars, and social media profiles. Whether university or military, we internalize that community. And when the community is shown to be disgraceful, we then share in the blame. I suspect this element of guilt partially explains why Americans will not denounce these two systems completely.

Although the plans to attack Syria seem to be faltering, this doesn't mean the military machine is becoming unfavored. The PR masterminds have engendered mass military loyalty through the absurd “Support our Troops” campaign. You could hate the president, totally disapprove of our imperialist foreign policy, yet still condone endless war by “supporting the troops”. The whole thing is a marketing ploy to keep the scam running.

If you're a young person thinking of joining the military, don't believe the lies being told.

America has a long history of leaving its veterans out to dry. Veterans constitute about 13% of homeless people, yet only 5% of total U.S. population (17 mil war vets / 309 mil citizens). Going into the military increases your chance of becoming homeless, not successful. Veterans hospitals, meanwhile, are notorious for their worthless care. Once the military has used you up, they won't do a thing to help you out. (Oh, but they'll pay for your college... Great, I just threw up on my keyboard.)

They don't keep their promises. Once you sign on, they own your ass. Like Darth Vader, the military will “alter the deal, and pray they don't alter it further.” They will totally hold you past your end-date of service, in a lovely bit of rule bending known as stop-loss. And like college, they never have to deliver on any of the benefits they're supposed to provide.

Military careers do not prepare you for civilian life. Just like college, all that supposed career preparation you'll receive is pure fantasy. The military will demand that you commit acts of unspeakable, inhuman horror. That is why so many service members return home with PTSD. Businesses don't want to hire mentally-disturbed individuals who are haunted by ghosts from the past. Psychological trauma is no way to start a career.

You will not be protecting American lives! Our military incursions only make world-wide sentiment toward America worse. Turns out that people hate it when we go in and bomb their homes and loved-ones. Makes 'em want to retaliate. This response is called blowback. They don't hate us for our freedom, they hate us for our interventionism. Our foreign policy itself creates the terrorists. Don't be part of the problem.

It's even worse for women! If you are a woman, this anti-military advice is twice as important. The military has a deeply ingrained culture of sexual assault and coverups not unlike the Catholic Church. If you are a woman in the military, you are very likely to become the victim of a sex crime while serving. If you think this problem is bad enough on college campuses, it's even worse on military bases.

In this shitty economic climate, the armed services might look like an attractive option to young people. But just as with universities, we must withdraw our support from military systems that seek to exploit us. In the past, wars were about territory and resources. Now they are about corporate profits for arms manufacturers and defense contractors, banks who finance the war debt, and associated enterprises such as oil companies. This is why they never want the wars to stop.  And why they'll always be looking for the next kid to sign on the dotted line.

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