I am serving my conscription and army is basically my life now. Similarly to your usual mundane habit and day to day lifestyle, sometimes you just refuse to talk about things that you are doing since it’s took out so much of your your life now and it sickens you whenever you mention it .Not to mention, military stuff are all kind of top secret “your family will get kill shit if you leaked this” so you have to be reserved when talking about it on such a public platform. However, I think it’s time to talk about it now because why not?
People in my country love to tout our compulsory conscription as a rite to manhood and how it is important and beneficial. On the other hand, there are also people who find it to be a waste of time. For me, I am right between these two groups of conflicting viewpoint because what the hell, I am indecisive like that and being neutral is the safest spot you can be.
The manifesto of serving your conscription always focus on how you should be a man and pick up a gun to protect the one you love. It says that it’s a necessity and you are actually doing somethings to protect your country. Without you, the country will not stay the same.
In theory and practice, it kinda make sense since we had enjoyed long lasting years of peace since the time when conscription is in place. However, you can’t help but think that this manifesto is too well embellish to the point that it’s sounds kinda propaganda and brainwashing-ish. I think the problems lies with the taunting play on your masculinity and how it’s portrayed as a clear cut cause and effect thing.
The manifesto insists that due to conscription(cause), we enjoyed our peace(effect) and if we took it out of our system, the effect will be gone away with it. It also insists that you are doing something important even though you know it’s not entirely true. It’s also too one sided and thru experince, you know that thing gets kinda fishy when it sounds too good to be true and indeed, the manifesto didn’t really cover the disadvantage of conscription to balance things up. There are also no evidence to counterpoint the manifesto becuase there won’t be a chance to conjure up evidence unless the system is abolished, which you and I know is impossible for reason I would touched on slightly in the next paragraph.
All these conscription=peace are just a theoretical guess and it reeks of the “don’t change thing that aren’t broken” mindset so one can’t really buy into it. It’s however too risky to experiment so no one really meddles with it and it contains resemblance of truth so people(myself included) still somewhat believe in the manifesto.
One thing for sure though, the lessons and drills you learned in the army are mostly useless and impractical during peacetime. You may get a perfect shot or an airborne badge but these skills translate to nothing but boasting tools in our real practical world ran by politics and economy.
You are just training skills that you might someday used it. It’s like taking a bet in buying properties in an unknown area, hoping that someday it will blossomed into something substantial when there are little to no evidence that your properties will do that for you.
The thing about toughen up and building your discipline through regimentation is all kind of bullshit as well. Once you serve your conscription for long enough, you will know that these discipline shit are nothing but an act. We are just acting in-front of our commanders so not to get fucked. Our commanders are also putting up the same kind of show to make believe that we are actually working towards something.
Not to mention, discipline in army includes regimental bullshit such as the ability to stand for long hours without moving, walking cohesively and keeping your room dust free, all of which are stuff that are so impractical outside of military life that they doesn’t really add up to your overall character.
They say that doing these regimental stuff makes you less pampered but I think they have mixed up being spoiled with being an lazy ass in my case because I am able to do and adapt to all these shit without hint of reluctance since one day as shown in how I am actually coping well with the military lifestyle now. What I am trying to say is that, I always could leopard crawl through mud and tolerate shit since the day I was born and the army has no part to play in making me able to do that.
I find that a better and more practical way to toughen you up and making you wake up your pampered idea is to intern in a company that actually make you do hard and stressful shit. I learned and grew up more in my 3 months of internship than in my 5 months of conscription and I don’t see that changing. All the leadership and planning stuff can also be better achieve with a good internship. It’s also more practical in preparing you for adulthood since that will be most likely what you will also do for the rest of your life.
But on the other end, it goes back to what I mentioned above, the correlation of peace and conscription. As baseless as how “don’t fix thing that aren’t broken” is, if you observe closely enough, our world is actually run with this logic. Logic also dictates that it’s necessary and better to have a sizable of useless soldiers(such as myself) than having none at all. Not to mention,you actually do gain physical fitness and all kind of useless military knowledge in term of personal gains.
Things are getting long and I odd to end here. However, as odd as adding a disclaimer part way through is, I believe that it’s essential to make things clear here. I went thru the path of being a lowly men in the army and had experience life differently from everyone else before serving my conscription so one may have a different opinion and army might really be their wake up call. One might also believe that they gained more if they so choose to take the path of being a commander. In simpler terms, your millage may vary and I am totally just wanting to cover my own ass in this paragraph.
It’s with these half-sure that I entered into the realm of self doubt and sometimes think that I would be deluding myself if I really think that I am actually doing something beneficial for my country and myself when I serve the army. At most really, I will just be one of the many cannon fodders in a war that may never come but the value of cannon fodders is rather peculiar because they are an essential part of war no matter how useless they are. It’s these half half that I still can’t really make a decision or form a concrete for or opposing point about this army thing.
P.S: Oh, anime! I still watch and enjoy them. I think I am all kind of mellow now because I actually enjoyed Hyouka and thought that chuu2 was ok. I think I have a truce with moe now. GGG still isn’t my cup of tea and some facet of anime fans are still bothersome though. I am watching RahXephon now but it doesn’t really catch my interest after 6 episodes.