The immorality of the draft.

I read an interesting article in the New York Times last weekend about the draft in the United States. It was abolished years ago but I did not know that there was a requirement that males of 18 of age had to register. For those who do not know, a draft ordered by the government is when the government forces you to enlist in the armed forces. Basically you become a legalized slave. If you refuse, you must justify yourself or go to jail. Draft dodgers coming from the United States in the 60’s were numerous as they simply went to Canada and never returned.

The article mainly was an argument that women too should be included in this register but more importantly, the article did not talk about the immorality of the draft, only its economic consequences as if the only thing that mattered was the cost of it.

It quoted several economists about why the draft had been abolished but not one talked about how immoral it was to forcibly enlist someone against their will. And it is after all the main reason why the draft is immoral, because you do not owe your life to the government. Not one person in the article talked about the morality of the draft.

At any time that a government is going to war it has to justify it to its citizens. Only a free army is justifiable. As well, it is well known that free armies are better armies than armies composed of soldiers that were drafted. In any case, when the cause is just a country never fails to see its citizens rise up and take up arms to defend it. But for that you need a good reason. Sadly, for a country to have a draft implies that it cannot logically explain why its citizens should put their life on the line, and this is precisely why a draft is immoral. Even putting one’s name on a register is wrong as this is the first step to a draft. It is an admission that the government may have the right in the future to your life, that it basically owns you. Does it?


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