I used to see some troublemaker teens and understand the State's offer of "military or prison".
But then I started observing, and using my brain.
I understand the thinking behind it: teens who keep getting into trouble seem to need discipline and structure, and something to give their lives meaning. Joining the military will supposedly provide that and put them into a supervised culture of camaraderie and cooperation.
So does prison.
Plus both justify more theft ("taxes") and government control. And we are told endlessly how unsafe "we" would be without either one.
Prison fosters an "us vs them" mentality among those who have gone through it- forever dividing them from everyone in society who hasn't gone through the same thing, and making them see everyone else as- at least- partly an enemy of sorts. It may (may) solve some behavior problems, but it just supersizes others.
Some people who go through prison want you to know. They make it the pivotal point in their life- one they dwell on the rest of their life, letting it define them as a person, and basing the rest of their lives on that event.
Same with the military.
Some people go through the military and move on. Some I have had the misfortune of knowing personally can't seem to do that. No matter how many years ago they got out, they never leave. They are never again free. They still let it define them, and probably always will. They are the ones getting angry while reading this.
So, "military or prison" isn't really a choice. And I can't support either institution.
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