Monday, January 08, 2018

Today -100: January 8, 1918: Of self-determination, soldiers & suffrage, and conscription


The German Social Democratic Party (SPD) says a lasting peace can only be based on the principle of self-determination, putting them at odds with the increasingly aggressive annexationists (encouraged by Hindenburg and Ludendorff).

Since soldiers voted by mail in November’s elections, it is possible to see how they voted in aggregate. Soldiers from New York voted 26,664 in favor of the women’s suffrage referendum and 15,760 against. Soldiers from New York City voted 17,428 for and 8,323 against.

The US Supreme Court rules in 7 cases that conscription is constitutional, saying that governmental power isn’t real without sanction, that is, sanction against non-consenting US citizens. “[T]he very conception of a just Government and its duty to the citizen includes the reciprocal obligation of the citizen to render military service in case of need and the right to compel it.” That’s... really weak logic. The problem is that the Constitution only gives the federal government the power to raise an army, it doesn’t say how, and World War I was the only the second time conscription was used. The 14th Amendment, which some lawyers argued invalidates the draft, on the contrary, the Court says, “broadened the national scope of the Government by causing citizenship of the United States to be paramount and dominant.” That... in no way follows. The Court doesn’t even bother making up more crap arguments about why the 13th Amendment’s ban on involuntary servitude doesn’t apply, saying the argument that it does is just “refuted by its mere statement.”


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