Conscription, the draft, generally refers to a list to which people are involuntarily added. There are two lists civilian, and military. Though conscription often refers to the military, and civilian lists many people are drafted onto lists that have nothing to do with military service. There is a second way to be added to a list, to volunteer.
When conscription occurs, seldom is the person drafted afforded the ability to opt out. These are but a few of the lists you are likely to be put on by conscription:
Naughty or Nice – Left or Right – Smart or Dumb – Friendly or Mean – Fair or Unfair – Just or Unjust – Focused or Fruitcake – Dangerous or Careful – Kind or Belligerent – Patriot or Traitor – Religious or Secular – Friends or Enemies
These lists that people are drafted into can be used constructively, but they seldom are. They are used as wedges to divide people. Very few people justifiably belong in the lists they are conscripted to. Most fall somewhere in the middle, between the extremes. Conscription always has a purpose. It is important to identify the purpose. Realistically, studying subjects of ecology, economics, and education are exponentially more difficult if we fail to identify conscription, its practice, and its purpose. Conscription virtually hides most people behind the extremes. They are invisible. So are the dimensions of their humanity. Some are deified. But most are demeaned. Worse, the natural economic possibilities for humankind that exist in nature, are nullified.
We all use conscription. Especially on people we don’t know, we superficially evaluate them using conscription. What we see, hear, and believe can cause us to make false, and extreme assumptions. Learning more about people modifies our assumptions. Let’s just study two of a plethora of lists: Good and Bad. Few, maybe nobody. deserve to be on either list. People are some place in the middle. Conscription is socially dangerous. It renders most people nearly helpless.
Historically, conscription has been used badly. A country puts all citizens of another country on an enemies list. The enemies on the list are used as an excuse to go to war. People on the list are shot just because they are on the list. They didn’t volunteer to be on the list, and many, most, and perhaps all, of them didn’t belong there.
An entire race is conscripted, to humiliate it, or elevate it. An economic sector of citizenry is targeted for poverty, or riches. Hard working people are deemed lazy, and they are blamed because they received little, or even nothing for their efforts. People are denied food, healthcare, or housing because they were unfortunately conscripted to the wrong list.
Conscripted invisibility is a hard shell that protects war, injustice, and poverty. Encased in the shell are the seeds of anger, depression, and despair. Education is an awesome nut cracker. When we crack the shell, war, injustice, and poverty will be economically absorbed. They will no longer keep us from protecting each other, our planet, and the future.