War for Credit

To serve and learn at the same time?/ Haley Klassen

To serve and learn at the same time?/ Haley Klassen

Learn anything except war!

A low minimum wage, a high cost of living, and low-quality public services. These factors create a municipal situation that is hostile to the people of this city. The financial precarity of Regina citizens has now created a situation in which the military is offering to collude with the Public and Catholic school boards. The Regina Public and Catholic School Boards have voted in favour of starting a joint program with the Canadian Armed Forces. This program would pay students $2,000 for a semester of doing military training and studying with the Forces and would count as a Canadian Studies credit on the students’ transcript. We see that Brad Wall has personally met with the new head of the military reservists over this very matter, as expressed in a recent school board trustee meeting. Keynesians and free-market advocates both agree that war is good for the economy.

High school is already an exercise in authoritarian control in which students are taught what to think rather than how to think. Allowing the military to have this privileged position within the school allows them early and regular access to people who may need this money. This was demonstrated by the American experience of the 1960s in which high school aged children were lured into war by the prospect of striking it rich and seeing the world. Voluntary military service programs are traditionally aimed at the most impoverished members of a society, offering them an above-average wage to gamble their lives in service to the state. Making the military an official stakeholder in Regina’s public education system puts at-risk youth even further in harm’s way. Regardless of a child’s economic background and need, this is incredibly immoral. No child is capable of making a rational decision on matters such as military service. Students from impoverished backgrounds who receive this money will feel incentivized to join the military after leaving high school, exposing them to the fate of so many people who have given their lives for states that have given them nothing in return.

The education ideological state apparatus exists to socialize the young into our society’s racist and violent practices. Giving immediate access to students with an in-built $2,000 bribe guarantees the military a full classroom of potential recruits. Whatever one’s views of the military, it has historically led to the slaughter of the poor in great numbers while the rich amassed more wealth and did not lose family or friends. Modern capitalist liberalism requires a constant state of war to expand its markets by the gun. Do not allow Brad Wall’s friends to send any more of Saskatchewan’s children to die in a pointless foreign war. Wall is a friend to capitalist and warmonger alike and is conspiring to set more of Regina’s poor on the path to military service and war.

It’s no secret that Regina is a difficult place to live if you are poor. Minimum wage increases cannot sustain a young person in an increasingly costly city and, as such, one will look for other options. These options are now increasingly tied to the Canadian repressive state apparatuses that have traditionally been used to enforce state capitalism at home and abroad.

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