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40 years ago - Clay v. United States



  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Jury duty also slavery?

    e: Really the idea that a country can make claims to its citizens isn't exactly novel. Any claim to my stuff is in some way a claim on me, since I work to get said stuff. A payroll tax is a claim on my labor.

    No one is claiming a draft is novel. The claim is more along the lines of it being a throwback to feudal society, and not in a 'rich cultural legacy' kind of way.

    Re: Jury Duty as involuntary service

    Excellent, this is a much better comparison. It is, quite plainly, a form of involuntary service unrelated to the juror's conviction of any crime. You may be sequestered for 24 hours a day for the duration, you suffer legal penalties if you refuse, and the constitution allows the existence of juries, but does not delineate the method of acquiring said juries.

    However, I think the scope and duration of jury duty is more justifiable, and, unlike military service, compulsory jury service is preferable to voluntary service; if not the only feasible implementation. Military service benefits from motivated and willing inductees, and asks far more of it's members, far more often, and for a far greater term, than jury duty.

    I'll leave it there for now. I'm hesitant to launch into a discussion on the merits of Jury system as compared to the draft, but as they are the only two forms of compulsory government service that seem to violate the 13th amendment, perhaps it isn't feasible to separate them?

  • programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I think a draft is reasonably characterized as similar to slavery, despite my very narrow support of it in the most extreme circumstances.

    For one, for all the talk about pay, you only get to spend the money if you don't die, which being drafted makes considerably more likely.

    For two, the rights of a service member are highly limited in many ways. A soldier needs to ask permission to visit their family in another state even on days they are not scheduled for any sort of duty (well, assuming it is out of the mileage radius, and they generally say yes, but it's worth noting). They are subject to an entirely seperate and in some cases very restrictive set of laws. Adultery, for example, is illegal for US service members and not for US civilians.

    I think involuntary service is significantly close enough to other types of involuntary servitude that it is only really justified by extremely bad circumstances. However, considering that losing the wrong war against the wrong opponent will see your relatives, friends, and countrymen, including children, raped, experimented on (such as human vivisection without anesthetic), and tortured to death for fun, or alternatively for the purpose of developing weapons of genocide, there do exist circumstances bad enough to force someone to fight.

    Wicked Demiurge in most games. Solacus is my main in GW2.
  • Walrus von ZeppelinWalrus von Zeppelin Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Jury duty IS also a form of slavery. Taxes (generally) ARE theft. We use different ways to describe these actions when it is the government performing the theft or enslavement of people but that doesn't change what these words mean.

    You find the violation of man's natural rights acceptable when it is for a purpose you support.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Quid wrote: »
    kaliyama wrote: »
    Slavery is an awfully perjorative word.
    I'm sorry your feelings are hurt.
    The way you're reading things, compulsory education is slavery.
    Education isn't labor. No one is actually being forced to work. Being forced to be somewhere and being forced to be somewhere and actually perform labor are two entirely different things.
    The draft is a democratic guarantee that we can provide for our collective security and that burdens should be shared equally.
    It is not democratic. It's done at random, much more easily avoided by the rich, and doesn't apply to women at all.
    I think almost everyone on the board would prefer a draft not except people for education or their sex, but the point remains that when the state does it like this it isn't slavery, any more than the federal government imposing import duties is robbery.
    I still want you to explain how stripping people of their freedoms and forcing them to work against their will is different from slavery. The excuses given so far have been "They get paid" which slaves have been before, "They have arbitrary rights" which is, well, arbitrary, and "Some judges said so" which as I pointed out, while it makes it currently legally classified as not slavery, doesn't keep it from being slavery in the real world.

    And as Arbitrary pointed out if you want to equate people to property, your reasoning has already failed.

    As to you disagreeing with the draft being democratic: it's a burden sharing across society, chosen at random rather than based on class or political preference. There is a gender issue as you note. It doesn't make it undemocratic, it just makes it imperfectly democratic. America was a democracy pre-women's suffrage, and pre-emancipation of the slaves, just not as good a democracy. The implication of your argument here is that we should expand the draft - slavery in your eyes - to make it more democratic and thus less bad.

    All of your definitional points are well taken. I'd also be curious, if you'd share, how your experiences in the armed forces shape your opinions here. I agree that being paid doesn't make it not slavery. I think my issue with the word slavery is that slavery implies permanent ownership of another human being as property. This is temporary forced labor, but not ownership. I get that there might be some distinctions between the state taking our labor indirectly via taxation versus directly by the draft, but the point is to show that the state takes our labor, or the fruits of it, all the time. State intrusion into our liberty is the price we pay for civilization.

    I think your approach that if you force people to concede that the draft fits under some definitions of slavery, people will stop thinking the draft is a good idea and convert to anarcho-libertarianism. What you'll see is that people have instead responded by explaining that some forms of "slavery" - the draft, jury duty, taxation, the criminal justice system - are essential for the functioning of a modern state.

    So if we're running with the word slavery, what i'd say is: I endorse slavery 100%. The state has a right to make special demands of its citizens - I was trying to articulate this and I think Walrus does a more succinct job of doing so. The state can use coercion to take property from you - and income taxes essentially appropriate a percentage of your labor for the state. The state can force you to serve on juries. The state can force you to do things (buy car insurance, buy medical insurance) or not do things (murder, buy drugs). By your logic, imprisoning people is illegitimate slavery, too.

    If there is a core function of the state it is a monopoly on force, and by extension the power to call men to arms. The risk of being drafted is one of the prices of civilization and is part of the social contract between man and the state. Sure, the state could not exercise its power and rely on an all-volunteer force, and there are a lot of good policy reasons to prefer an all-volunteer force, but that doesn't make conscription immoral.

  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Taxes (generally) ARE theft.


    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Walrus von ZeppelinWalrus von Zeppelin Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Prisoners are slaves. That is why the 13th amendment specifically says involuntary servitude is okay as punishment for a crime.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Prisoners are slaves. That is why the 13th amendment specifically says involuntary servitude is okay as punishment for a crime.

    Yeah, but if you look up-thread we've gotten past the arguments about constitutionality, as the draft and jury duty are also clearly constitutional. The issue has changed, as Quid put it, to "what the law should be."

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