Reshaping the military industry brings the need to reimagine the military. The removal of perpetual war as a profit source creates a gap in what our soldiers direct their focus and energy toward, and with it, an opportunity to rethink the role of our national service members. There are many reasons why an individual might choose to enter a journey of national service by joining the military, and we must separate the will and intent of the soldier from the larger superstructure to which they are bound. Many presently enter the military as a means of escape from the circumstances of their birth lottery. For them, it is an opportunity to learn and grow as an individual while securing financial support for education and health throughout their lives. Others may see it as a call for higher service, a willingness to set aside personal priorities for the collective good. In reimagining the function of civic service to one’s group, federation, nation, or planet, we seek to expand the best elements of military service while decoupling them from their historic connections to violence and death.
Soldiers serve many roles within the immediate present that would continue and even be expanded upon in our journey toward reshaping the military. Vital functions such as natural disaster relief, providing aid and assistance to those in need of humanitarian services, combating piracy, and performing rescue operations require individuals and groups who are well-trained and ready to perform at a moment’s notice. The military also serves as a unique training ground, fostering both comradery and teaching valuable skills for many who might otherwise never have the opportunity to learn them. In many ways, the eight dignities are the solution to closing this opportunity gap so that the military is not seen as the primary means of escape for individuals inhabiting a birth lottery of poverty and rural living. Our reframing of the role of the soldier is an effort to expand their involvement in the reconstruction of national and global society in alignment with the single truth and the relational universe. We must also consider that many of the soldiers’ traditional roles will have increasing demand in the future. The crisis of extinction is leading us toward significantly more annual natural disasters, creating individuals needing rescue, relief, and perpetual aid. In the United States, there is also a broad need for infrastructure projects and coordination, which the soldier can be trained to work, facilitate, and manage. Our evolution into a spacefaring civilization will require many new engineers, scientists, medical professionals, and other positions most efficiently organized through a formal military hierarchy. The many branches of the military can still play a vital role within a systemically actualized society, provided they exist to reinforce and strengthen a widespread culture of cooperation and collaboration.
Self-actualization in the age of crisis requires more from every individual. To that end, we want to encourage a greater degree of selflessness and service within our communities. We accomplish this by expanding upon the idea of public civil service programs beyond combat readiness. Civic cores provide the people of a nation or federation a perpetual path to training and education for civil service professions. They are place-based programs acting as a hedge against unemployment by offering a variety of technical knowledge and skills programs necessary for the maintenance and upkeep of society. Civic cores create job guarantees to support individual productivity and participation independent of the influence of private markets. They leverage full employment instead of unemployment as a means of population management, supporting a reimagined approach toward government finance and economics. The forms they take will vary over time, but all present societies require upkeep, and these skills will likely remain necessary for some time. Civic cores can expand and shrink in accordance with their demand as people decide whether they prefer private work or public service. The benefits of civic cores are numerous, but a major incentive is they allow for excellent work-life balance. For example, civic cores might provide permanent forms of temporary employment that allow the individual to maximize their degree of personal pursuits. We might create a Civic Core DAO to facilitate the systems necessary for managing this revised approach to civil service, which would support reputation and experience milestones through digital tokens. This would also ensure the transferability of skills across geographic locations, increasing individual mobility. In combination with the eight dignities, civic cores provide paths toward individual contribution in alignment with our shared values while encouraging deep freedom.
Civic cores change the nature of our present form of military. We assume that given the choice between combat and civil service most individuals will choose a public service program with significantly lower risks of death and dismemberment. To this end, we incorporate the military into the civic core. Individuals choosing the military path would receive a separate track of training and resources in accordance with their chosen branch. Given our rejection of perpetual warfare as a viable economic model, the soldier benefits from both the traditional experience and excess time, providing them more opportunities to pursue the development of their self and skills. The individual is free to access military training and readiness without requiring the commitment to fight in profit-centric wars. From a national defense standpoint, this provides more ready and able combatants in the unlikely scenario of a defensive war. It also fosters high degrees of comradery and a sense of commitment beyond the family. Unlike public works DAOs, the military benefits from more rigid chains of command. Individuals are therefore provided the opportunity at a young age to experiment with both types of environments to see what forms of work best mesh with their personal preferences. This also rids us of a formal standing army and replaces it with a more mobilizable citizenry, reducing bloat and waste while removing opportunities to move from one war to another. We can imagine Civic Cores pathways, requiring some sort of commitment similar to military service but with more flexible alternatives for changing the direction or nature of the individual’s focus and energy.
Shifting the military’s primary purpose away from corporate conquest and back to defense will also support a shift in culture surrounding service. We cannot free ourselves from the grasp of violence when we traumatize every generation with pointless wars. Soldiers return home burdened by various mental health issues and physical deformities and are quickly forgotten about outside of arbitrary moral celebrations of their service. As it presently stands, the majority who serve in military conquest will be worse off for it, forever haunted by the horrors of the death and destruction they witnessed and created. In many ways, our reshaping of military order and purpose is an act of deep love for those who would volunteer their service, providing alternative methods of escape beyond being fodder for the wars of wealthy men who could care less about their person or divinity. No amount of fiscal reward is worth the trauma many soldiers endure. The soldier is noble in their dedication of focus and energy toward the collective good but forced into indignity when leveraged as a pawn for imperialism. Self-actualization in the age of crisis is a process of recognizing and expanding the dignity of all. To this end, we demand more for those willing to serve their country.
Of all the ideas proposed so far, the most powerful way to transform the role of the soldier within modern militaries is through the advancement of the single truth as spiritual philosophy. Through their personal journeys toward alignment, the individual will resist the embrace of visions of the military incompatible with the relational universe. Changing the nature of what it is to be a soldier is more likely to materialize through the progression of individual and systemic actualization rather than a direct focus within our immediate present. Our present military is beholden to the weapons industry complex through its capture of political leadership and cannot be changed until these strings are cut. Our reimagination of the role of the soldier draws from our core values of awareness, relation, and courage. We are aware of their circumstance as inherently unjust, yet their commitment to the service and protection of the collective is noble and good.
Through no fault of their own, the soldier is diminished in their value and divinity. This is an incompatible circumstance within our embrace of the relational universe. The role of a soldier is often selfless, yet the propaganda streams attempt to make it into something it’s not. Obedience is not honor, especially in relation to the fetishization of violence. We seek to challenge our role as tyrants in a moment of crisis shared between humanity of every state and nation. Our demand for structures supporting a greater humanity for the soldier is rooted in the love of their individual divinity—aspects of their humanity that will never be recognized, celebrated, or even respected under our present arrangements.