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Militarism Run Amok: Russians and Americans Get Their Kids Ready for War


Militarism Run Amok: Russians and Americans Get Their Kids Ready for War

Lawrence Wittner

In 1915, a mother’s protest against funneling children into war became the theme of a new American song, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” Although the ballad attained great popularity, not everyone liked it. Theodore Roosevelt, a leading militarist of the era, retorted that the proper place for such women was “in a harem―and not in the United States.”

Roosevelt would be happy to learn that, a century later, preparing children for war continues unabated.


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"But today we see that besides not having a military draft in place, we have the amazing sight of these naive, gullible people, women as well as men, actually joining the military on their own with no threat of retribution if they choose not to join."

In a lot of cases the retribution is continued economic despair.


I think we have butted heads on this before (smile). There is none so blind as he (she) who will not see. Passionate defense of something one is attached to--for whatever reason--is normal, but must be seen as a form of bias, no?


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Your rigidity always astounds me and it comes off as Conservative-sounding. After all, while one would laud your interest in protecting foreign innocents from military plunder (which I agree with), positing an argument that relays the favored right wing Talking Point--which is INDIVIDUAL choice--shows a complete incapacity to recognize the very strong social implications of modern U.S. culture along with the MYRIAD ways that it conditions people to accept (if not march lockstep with) certain values. Those values salute militarism.

The military male is EXALTED in U.S. society as is this premise of the male super-hero.

For one demographic he might be the star of world wide wrestling, and to another, the football quarterback who slaughters the opposing team.

In Hollywood, he's the sexed up, gun-toting cop or sometimes the slick Mafia "wise guy." What both have in common is a cool nonchalance when it comes to the "art of killing."

To teenage of boys still learning how to inhabit their own masculinity, it's video games where "winners" (and winning) are based on kill numbers.

The fact that CHURCHES push the idea of holy war and seduce their congregants into the misconception that signing up to "serve" their country is based on a willingness to take part in a holy war you discount altogether. Similarly, while using ONLY your own experience as yardstick, you're incredibly cavalier when it comes to dismissing just how prevalent all this pro-military conditioning happens to be and that from mass media, churches, and school auditoriums it's hitting kids when they are young and impressionable and have not yet had a chance to know (or live) enough about life to make informed decisions.

I am hardly defending soldiers. But more important--by far--then the right wing individual choice argument which you seem to be postulating is the preponderance of pro-military messaging, symbols, and rituals that absolutely infuse U.S. culture with an (unconscious) homage to Mars, war-god. It's intentional and is a copy of Nazi Germany... likely a carryover from all those brought over from Project Paperclip.


You've obviously never studied Sociology, Mind Control tactics, Psychology, or read anything on the subject of Subliminal Advertising.

These games do NOT speak to those portions of the conscious mind/intellect where a sorting process can occur. They speak to the limbic part of the brain that is moved by heightened images, and the rush of adrenalin.

The human being typically uses 5-10% of their brain capacity and a LOT of activity goes on that is unconscious. However, it's often these unconscious functions that fuel behavior.

Similar naïve (or are they paid talking points?) assertions come up when the subject is porn. Someone like you (and it probably was YOU, under one of your other screen names) will insist that he likes porn and that he, personally, has never raped anyone.

This idea that only direct cause and effect that can be measured holds value is one of the lies that's decimating our society.

Parallel arguments are used that insist that certain levels of poisons are safe. NEVER are these poisons measured in composite or studied--for their cumulative effects--over time.

Whatever goes into a person or society influences its character.

Steady images of violence normalize violence. It doesn't matter if EACH individual doesn't exhibit that violence. Similarly, if heightened levels of corn syrup make a high percentage of people fatter but a limited number escape that fate, that hardly argues for the safety of said product.

Just because Libertarians like you who argue for INDIVIDUAL choice can't see how the cumulative affect of those choices reduces the moral character of a society hardly means that these foci on violence, porn, and fake food are not having major detrimental impacts.


The American Empire will continue its wars until it finds a Stalingrad. Russia seems more defensive minded.


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I am more concerned now than I was back in the 1960s and1980s that the USA's Stalingrad will happen in one radioactive flash that will do none of us any good. At least it was possible to re-build and inhabit Stalingrad once the war had left it behind.


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Russia has had compulsory military training since at least 1650...this is nothing new im afraid.


They start them out early:

I think this came from an army wife's blog. I can't believe how cute this kid is. Too bad mommy and daddy are baddies.


Well, haters rejoice! My family and the families of my friends have had family in the military for 250 years! I am always astounded on the broad breadth of the population that is subject to derision and hate on CD comment section. Some folks will soon winnow out the general population through subtractions to the superior 1% that they themselves believe they belong too. I have known many fine people that have served in the military...so have you if you are honest. Just saying.


How sad is to know that Obama's Secretary of Education,instead to make change to contribute to an integral education mreinforced the sentiment of war increasing ROTC activities and trainings in High School and colleges.
Another broken promise