By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, May 11, 2020
We don’t know what the long-term damage is of coronavirus in those who recover. We don’t know who will die among those who catch it. We do know that we each have a responsibility to avoid catching it and avoid spreading it. Here are some ways to do that.
1) If you can’t relocate to a well-run country, do get booked for a meeting with Donald Trump or Mike Pence, so that you qualify to be tested; but don’t actually go to such a meeting because,
a) The White House is a hotbed.
b) The reckless attendees won’t be careful.
c) You’d be meeting with Donald Trump or Mike Pence.
2) Do not go to jail. Avoid it at all costs. The place is likely to be a hotbed with cramped quarters and non-existent basic rights — almost like an aircraft carrier (and I do mean carrier) or a military base, only with nicer guards.
Now, here’s a bit of good news. Most people who join the U.S. military do so through the Delayed Entry Program. If that’s you, and you haven’t yet started your so-called service, there’s a very simple way to change your mind: just don’t show up. That’s all you have to do. You don’t risk jail. You don’t risk catching a deadly disease. You don’t risk a parking ticket. You don’t risk an unpleasant comment on social media. Nothing. What you’re supposed to do if you don’t want to show up for your first day in the supposedly volunteer military is not show up. That’s how you unvolunteer, something you can no longer do after first showing up.
Want some more good news? You may have just saved yourself and the rest of us a world of trouble. Participation in the military isn’t actually a real service involving real heroism. On the contrary, it endangers us, through immoral actions that produce moral regret and increase suicide, mass shootings, drug use, and unemployment. Military participation threatens our natural environment, erodes our liberties, impoverishes us, and promotes bigotry (the thrill of which is never lasting or satisfying).
Consider the myths that we’re taught about war and peace, and how false they are. Read this: “I Never Expected To Become A Conscientious Objector.” Consider alternative and more effective ways of creating safety. Military recruitment ads needed health warnings long before this pandemic hit:
There are millions of ways to actually be heroic, to sacrifice for an actually good cause, to provide an actual service. People need food and healthcare and transportation and childcare and job protection.
I wish I could offer a huge number of jobs. I know they are hard to find. I know it is not particularly helpful to warn you away from a job without offering you a different one. But I also know many people who deeply regret joining the military and who believe the best advice out there is this: make joining the military what the military has never ever made starting a war, namely an actual last resort.