5 Reasons it Doesn’t Make Sense to say “We Owe Our Freedom to the Military”

Unfortunately the most important issues become controversial, which makes them difficult to discuss with a level head. I am not trying to offend anyone, though I am sure some will be offended. The subject however is too important to shy away from, so I hope you will give it some rational thought.


The problem with thanking the military relentlessly for protecting our freedom is that people might start to believe it is true. If anything the military is ordered to do becomes “protecting freedom”, then if you disagree with American military deployments you are against freedom. This strategy equates any military action with protecting our freedom, which is clearly a fallacy.

Our freedoms have been disappearing one by one. So even if the military does protect our freedom, they aren’t doing a great job. “We owe our freedom to the military,” is essentially a propaganda statement that allows our government to be aggressive at home and abroad, while shifting focus from the very real threat to our freedom from Washington DC, to a much less potent threat thousands of miles away, across an ocean.

First off, most founders of this country warned against a standing army, and pointed out that a standing army is actually a threat to liberty. But today we equate any action by that army to freedom. Coming from the right, I have seen pretty much everyone who worships the military also complain about big government, and correctly claim that we cannot trust a single politician. Do they realize it is the politicians who send the troops off to war? Do they realize that the military and police have always been what big governments use to oppress the people?

Secondly, I care about people in general, and I hate seeing anyone die or be maimed. Blindly repeating that we owe our freedom to the troops encourages more people to make a bad decision–joining the military. It is not safe to join the military, the pay is not worth the risk, the cause is not noble (remember, the scumbag politicians decide the cause), and the USA will forget about each soldier soon as he comes home.

Over 20 veterans a day kill themselves, many are homeless, and many are battling mental illness brought on by their time in the military. The best thing we can do if we care about the troops is stop sending them off to die in stupid wars and operations. But how are we going to stop that when we keep pretending these wars are protecting our freedom… we don’t want to give up on freedom, do we?

Which brings me to my third point: acting like the troops are protecting our freedom prevents proper scrutiny of troop deployments. Lots of people say, “I may not agree with the war, but I support the troops”. Yet when a veteran comes back from the middle east, many thank him or her for protecting our freedom. But the wars in the middle east are not protecting our freedom. So this attitude again makes people assume any act of war by the USA is to protect our freedom, which is pretty much never true. The more people who realize the troops are not protecting freedom, the harder it will be to frenzy the public into another war.

Fourth, in a sense, we are all shirking our own responsibility of defense, and praising young men and women for allowing themselves to be thrown into situations which could kill them or debilitate them in the prime of their lives. Many encourage these young men and women to join the military because they will attain glory, and be held in higher esteem than they could achieve in another field. Or people claim they will gain skills needed for work, without mentioning it is more likely that PTSD will prevent them from holding meaningful employment.

Really, America is lying to a bunch of naive young people in order to get them to join the military, and “protect our freedom”. Artificial fear, manufactured by the government, is making Americans throw their fellow human beings under the bus in the misplaced hope that it will keep them safe and free.

Fifth, I take issue with the oft repeated phrase, “Well, someone’s gotta do it!” No, no one has to do it. We would all be more free and safer if there was no military. But instead there would need to be top of the line, fully automatic firearms beside a cache of ammunition in every single home on this continent where the inhabitants claim to care about freedom. How is any hostile going to invade a land where every house has a machine gun? Ask Switzerland: they’re not!

We cannot outsource the defense of our freedom. People must care about their region, their friends, their family enough to take steps to defend them in an emergency. Regions could absolutely voluntarily team up to defeat a larger threat. But this means we will not be able to conquer; we will not be able to invade. And that is what defense means. That is what needs to happen for us to defend (or take back) our freedom.

I realize a lot of people join the military hoping to protect the Bill of Rights, and the freedoms mentioned there-in. But this is not reason enough to perpetuate the false claim that the military is what guards our freedoms, especially as we have fewer and fewer freedoms in this country every day.


20 thoughts on “5 Reasons it Doesn’t Make Sense to say “We Owe Our Freedom to the Military”

  1. If you are out of middle school, you should be embarrassed by this. You don’t give any evidence to support your claims, you just state your opinions as if they are fact. You also lose a fair bit of credibility when there is a grammar mistake in your second sentence.

    • Kind of like the comma in your second sentence where you should have used a semicolon to separate the run-on sentence.

      What kind of evidence does Mr. Jarvis’ blog require to prove his personal thoughts on this subject? This particular bog article is how Mr. Jarvis feels on this subject. It’s not a research paper.

      • “What kind of evidence does Mr. Jarvis’ blog require to prove his personal thoughts on this subject?”

        How about a comparison between the freedoms of nations that had inferior militaries and were conquered during WWII vs the freedoms of nations that were able to defend themselves. That would be decent evidence to back up his claim. And if you think the threat isn’t real now, many thought the same thing back in the 1930s. The threat isn’t very real because no one wants to attack the US and get their asses whooped. But if we didn’t have a standing military…

    • Oh if that a had only been an e you would have taken me seriously! This is what you call an opinion piece, which only requires logic. Why not refute some of my points? Did the founders not warn against a standing army (because the British standing army caused tyranny)? Did Switzerland not avoid war because individuals in the country were well armed? What exactly about the wars in the middle east are protecting our freedom?

      • # 1 Although some of the founding fathers warned about the possible threat of a standing ARMY, they still supported the idea of a military that would be responsible for the defense of the country and provided the framework for a standing military, including the navy, but made them a shared responsibility between the congress and the commander in chief. If the founding fathers did not want a standing ARMY, they could have prevented it. They were concerned that a standing ARMY could be used by a tyrant or monarchy to oppress the people, so they took precautions to prevent the president, or one person, from controlling it. Madison was the most vocal about the many threats a standing ARMY could create, but after the war of 1812, in which local militias were overwhelmed by a professional army, Madison changed his view on the necessity of a professional domestic military.

        Here is a link on George Washington saying that a standing ARMY, (although small) was necessary at certain points throughout the country, and once the new nation was more prosperous, should engage in conversation about the necessity of expanding it. He prefers a well trained militia, this seems to mirror the current framework of the National Guard, as opposed to the neighborhood force you talked about in your 5th point.
        (http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_12s6.html)

        #4 I am not sure if you think people are tricked into the military and then are abandoned after ending their service. The VA has problems, but they seem to making a genuine effort to treat soldiers that need help. They have medical care and counseling available, and are constantly trying to improve their facilities. It may not be a perfect system, but the efforts are being made. The military also offers full education benefits and a monthly stipend to the student so they can pursue higher education or a gain a skill of their choosing after they complete their service. The benefits can also be passed to a spouse or child, and in 2012 more than 646,000 people were using the educational benefits. (http://archive.armytimes.com/article/20130415/EDU02/304150009/More-troops-families-using-Post-9-11-GI-Bill)

        #5 You want every house to have a machine gun and box of ammunition? Ignoring how many accidental deaths there would be, you assume that in times of need everyone would come together to form a cohesive defense of their area? Do you think this defense would be able to counter any kind of air offensive, or a professional trained military unit? This naïve thinking almost cost the United States its independence in the War of 1812. Although, I think that America should pursue a military policy that limits our troops in other countries, and focuses on securing our own territories, your solution seems to have almost no chance of success. You also talk about Switzerland, but they have mandatory military obligations, imposed the government. They are also about the size of Dallas (population) and smaller than Oklahoma (size), so it’s a little unfair to compare their defense policies with that of the United States. Switzerland actually has a higher percent of their population in the Activated ARMY than the U.S., but we are so much larger it is an unfair comparison. (http://www.globalfirepower.com/active-military-manpower.asp)
        What are the freedoms that you insist we are losing?
        The reason Germany didn’t invade Switzerland was a simple case of pros vs cons. The invasion would have been costly (but certainly doable) but Switzerland would serve a better purpose as a safe house and banking system.

      • Boone, thanks for commenting:

        #1 Even if they thought we needed an army, they wanted it to be activated for specific purposes, for periods of only 2 years I believe, so the point that the conservatives who vehemently support the military while claiming to hate big government stands. The founders, who these same people claim to love, would not like a thing about the way the military works in the US right now.

        #4 It doesn’t matter how many benefits the US gives people in uniform, the deal still sucks, because they have been fed with propaganda, including in public schools, from day one. No one thinks they are going to get blown up, lose a limb, or die, but the chances are high, and a “free” education does not change that. Also, it isn’t free, we pay for it by force through taxation. So not only does the US entice young people with stolen money, the money would be better kept in the hands of whoever earned it. Some of that money would undoubtedly still be spent on defense, but it would look a lot different if a free market provided that defense, which brings me to my next point:

        #5 The machine gun and ammo was a short way of saying we should figure out our own voluntary defenses, instead of being robbed by the government to pay for the military which doesn’t embark on deployments to protect our freedom, they do the bidding of the politicians and their crony-capitalist partners in the defense industry, all for the low low price of a “free” education. Some of the money not stolen from us and wasted on bombing people in the middle east would be spent on general security, which would take the form of well organized militias (including air support) whose customers desire to remain safe. But yes, some people would choose the machine gun by the bed route, and no it wouldn’t lead to mass accidental deaths, there is no evidence to support that.

        The fact that Switzerland is so much smaller than the US makes it even less likely that a well armed US population would be able to be invaded and subjugated. The fact is if we were free (truly, not subjects of our government no matter how “small” or “limited”) there would be no reason for others to invade, but even if they did, they would meet resistance in every home, and soon find themselves outnumbered and demoralized.

        The US can not even decisively win a war in Iraq or Afghanistan, what makes you think other weaker threats would have better success against currently 100 million armed Americans, but ideally 300 million armed Americans?

        The military we raised to protect us is now so big and powerful that THEY are the biggest threat to freedom on earth, not whoever they are fighting. And that is the kicker, that the threat of the military, police, or government action (backed by the big guns) on us is what will make us lose our freedoms, not some outside threat.

        And all sorts of freedoms have taken a hit. We can start with the fact that 40-50% of what we earn each year is robbed by the government, or that I have to ask for the right to defend myself, which I can’t do properly because I have limited legal defense mechanisms available. the NDAA means I can be jailed without due process, and the police ignore the 4th and 5th amendments these days anyway, so those freedoms are gone. I can’t even conduct a mutually beneficial free trade transaction without some government alphabet agency jumping in the middle. USDA, FDA, DEA, means no raw milk, can’t choose to go under experimental cancer treatment, can’t grow, sell smoke, or research the health and industrial benefits of marijuana, and a million more ways the government tramples market transactions.

        If you are asking me what freedoms we have lost, I just don’t even know if we are on the same page. But I appreciate the comments, they was well though out, thank you.

  2. Bob, compare Switzerland to Poland, Belgium etc. The size is not the difference, it is the fact that Switzerland did not extend itself to wars of aggression, while the citizens were well armed. It was the governments of the countries Hitler took over that mostly disarmed their own people, and then failed to protect them. My point is that if you empower the government to the point of being able to protect you against foreign enemies, the government becomes a larger threat.

    Were the Germans the safest ones in the 1930’s because of their country’s military? Probably, and then they were slaughtered, raped, and pillaged when the Russians and Americans overran them in the 40s. Today, America is more like Germany than Poland or Switzerland. We don’t want a helpless military and a helpless populace like Poland, we want a non-aggressive military and a well armed populace like Switzerland. That is the lesson I take away from WWII.

    You are overestimating the threat from terrorists, and underestimating the threat from our own government, complete with the threat of retaliation on our government, which would effect us as negatively as retaliation against Germany effected Germans in 1945.

    I thought mentioning Switzerland would be enough for my point, since if I went into this much detail in each point, you and others would never have finished reading the article. But I have plenty of other posts that delve into such issues. Feel free to use the search bar at the top left.

    Thanks for commenting.

    • What do you think Germany would have done if we had a world full of Switzerlands at that time? LOL. You can’t be serious. Germany didn’t bother Switzerland because it didn’t need to – yet. But Switzerland also appeased Germany financially to keep Germany passive. Is that what you want? Maybe we could send N. Korea billions every month in exchange for a “promise” they won’t nuke us. Is that really the policy you want? How many more N. Koreas do you think will form with a policy like that?

      No, the US is nothing like Nazi Germany. There were no nations like the US at that time. If there were, WWII might have been averted by early intervention (while Germany was still weak making the US look like a big bully in your eyes). THAT is why US intervenes now. But so few people who witnessed WWII are still alive that I suspect the lesson needs to be learned again. Your mentality is gaining traction. Eventually it will take hold, and we will dramatically reduce our military and stop interfering with dictators of poor countries who are trying to amass power (just like Germany – keep in mind, Germany was DIRT poor before WWII), and one of them will come back to bite us and we’ll get dragged into another world war that ends up killing 10s of millions of people instead of a couple thousand.

      • You realize Germany was dirt poor because of WWI and they were pretty much left out of any discussion that determined the future of their own country? And Hitler did want to invade the Swiss but it was difficult do to the location (mountains). If you are actually worried about North Korea being able to accomplish much of anything you are misinformed. If they had the power to make any real moves they would have already attacked South Korea on a large scale. America would not have been able to do anything to actually prevent WWII either, the policies and power structures left behind after WWI almost guaranteed WWII, and any historian can back that up. Our government spends more on defense than the next 10 countries combined, we do not have to fear these little shit hole middle eastern countries, in fact the only one we should be worried about is Israel dragging us into unnecessary conflict.

      • If there was a world full of Switzerlands, there would have been nothing he could do. If the 6 million Jews and 6 million Gypsies he murdered were armed, he would have never even been able to kill one million. The US actually sent guns to arm the population of England in case of a German invasion, knowing that a gun in every home would be an extremely effective defense against invasion.

        And that was the main point, that if we don’t outsource the protection of our freedom, we won’t NEED any savior to come to our rescue, just like Switzerland didn’t. But compare England, who disarmed their own people, who needed to be armed by American civilians sending their own guns, which were then once again confiscated and destroyed after the war by the british government.

        It’s like in Risk when you conquer a continent, and then leave one army in each inner country, and put 30 on the border countries. That may work for a while, but it causes other countries to build up their armies on the border. Then if that one wall of defense falls, the rest of the countries are easily taken over.

        With an armed populace, what you have is 10 armies in each country, so that every single time a foreign enemy aggresses, they will be met with armed resistance, not just at the border, but at every single door.

        You can’t conquer an armed population, and the Hitler was only able to do what he did because other countries disarmed their own people. And as Josh pointed out, we may never have even seen a Hitler if not for the way Germany was handled after WWI. Yet we are handling other countries the same way today.

        The current policies of the US are much more likely to lead to WWIII than individuals protecting their homeland. In this article https://joejarvis.me/2014/10/22/a-free-people-cannot-be-conquered/ I explain why free armed people could not be conquered.

  3. im a vet and I stood up and applauded when I read this. It’s a rarity to hear people agree even when not in mixed company

  4. Mr. Jarvis…
    This is a really thoughtful post. I am optimistic more people like your are cropping up. And I mean people who actually understand the constitution. The founding fathers said something along the lines of the constitution being interpreted according to the time that it was written in; in other words knowing the truth about history and why things came to what they did.
    They intended for us, the american people ourselves to be the “Militia”. And also, when they speak about regulating arms, they mean people understanding how to properly use and take care of their guns. Not having government regulation via gun registration etc.etc. I mean it’s common sense too right? It’s more important that people know how to use the weapon rather than register it with the government…
    Just wanted to share that tid bit…
    Great blog!
    Cat

    • Thank you! I am very hopeful as well. I was having the “regulation” discussion with a friend the other day, who told me that Paul Revere actually said “the regulars are coming”. I think something statists do is hijack words in order to use them for their own purposes. Sort of like how classical Liberal turned into progressive. Regulate was closer to the meaning of organize these days. Thanks for commenting!

  5. The same can be said about many subjects like religion and on and on. You see it all throughout history; People can manipulate just about any text to make it seem in favor of their agenda.

    • Nice argument showing how deep your own thought go. Maybe call out a point I made? No, no, just insult me. I’m the sheep, even though you are blindly following what the government and media tells you…. got it.

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