National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth

Tue
28
Oct
2014
New translation available
A National Call: Save Civilian Public Education
Submitted by Gary

Over the last several decades, the Pentagon,conservative forces, and corporations have been systematically working to expand...

Sun
26
Nov
gdghirardi's picture

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: If we oppose militarism and militarization, what should our relationship with pop culture be?

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: If we oppose militarism and militarization, what should our relationship with pop culture be?

Selene Rivas - November 26, 2017

Over the course of this series, we have explored several concepts which are building blocks for the social sciences (“normal”, “normalization”), which in turn have helped us understand and define “militarism” and “militarization”. After this, we dove into the transformative potential found within popular culture: how can it affect the people who consume it? Linking this very powerful influence to previously defined concepts was both the justification and launching point for the two articles that followed. In them, we tried to build upon what had been said previously, and provide some examples of what could be accomplished through this approach.

Sat
25
Nov
gdghirardi's picture

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: Can video games be anti-violence?

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: Can video games be anti-violence?

Selene Rivas - November 25, 2017

Fri
24
Nov
gdghirardi's picture

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: What exactly is an 'anti-war' film?

Selene Rivas - November 24, 2017

“A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil… You can tell a true war story if it embarrassses you. If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for the truth; if you don’t care for the truth, watch how you vote. Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty.” - Tim O’Brien (The Thing They Carried)

 

Thu
23
Nov
gdghirardi's picture

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: Can Pop Culture Normalize Militarism/Militarization?

Militarism: Can Pop Culture Normalize Militarism/Militarization?

Selene Rivas - November 23, 2017

Can seemingly innocuous activities such as playing video games, watching movies, or binging on TV shows affect your ways to see the world or how you behave? Could it affect social norms? Is one able to “turn one’s brain off”, and not be affected beyond the most superficial level, by what one is consuming? Much has been written about violence in the media and how it might affect people’s behavior, and indeed, positive correlations with violence can be found1. But beyond these oft-discussed subject, the question is: what role does mass media and pop culture play in normalization? And, more related to this series of articles, what is the relationship between pop culture, militarism/militarization, and normalization? This article will attempt to approximate us to an answer..

Tue
21
Nov

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: How do things become normal?

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: How do things become normal?

Last article, we tried to answer the question of “what is normal?” and after a few examples, eventually settled on “normal is what a group of people are used to.” In this article, we’ll look at an example of the ‘normalization’ process, that is, getting used to something to the point where alternatives are forgotten. We’ll conclude by introducing the main topic of this series: how the presence of the United States military in a surprising amount of aspects of American culture has become so normal that it is no longer noticed or questioned.

“Normal” changes, not just from society to society, but also through time. In a single society, what was considered normal before is not necessarily thought of as normal now, and we can't even begin to imagine what things are normal today that won't be normal in the future. How does that happen? And does something becoming "normal" with time necessarily mean that it is "better"?

Mon
20
Nov

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: What is normal?

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: What is normal?

"Human beings are consumers of vast quantities of raw materials and fuels. A tremendous amount of waste materials results from this use--individual, societal, industrial, and accidental."1

Is this sentence a fact, or an opinion? When starting a sentence with "human beings are..." or "human nature is...", who determines whether what is being said is fact or fiction? History? One’s own experiences or philosophy? Is there such a thing as normal human behavior anyway?

In the following article, we'll discuss how "normal" beliefs, actions, and practices are not, despite being often assumed to be so, universally defined. They are products of a specific context, and are often used to judge others outside of it.

Sun
13
Nov

World Beyond War, Pat Elder

Good coverage of what can be done by activists wanting to intervene in the increasing presence of military recruiters and Pentagon recruitment efforts in our public schools.

World Beyond War, Pat Elder
Mon
14
Sep

America’s Tween Soldiers

August Say, 12, holds out his arm to determine where he should stand in class in the new Dragon Leadership Corps at his middle school in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Seth Kershner, In These Times

Last year, Henry F. Moss Middle School in Bowling Green, Ohio, offered students a brand new course. And, as a headline in the local newspaper proclaimed, this was “not your traditional class.” For starters, the teacher—an army sergeant—had told the Bowling Green Daily News that one of his goals was to expose these seventh- and eighth-graders to “military values” that they could use as “building blocks” in life. To that end, students in the class earn military style ranks, engage in army-style “PT” (physical training) and each Wednesday, wear camouflage pants and boots.

This is the Moss Middle School Leadership Corps, part of the growing trend of military-style education for pre-adolescents.

Wed
17
Dec

Counter-recruitment Resources

DOWNLOAD THE KIT

The kit is a catalog of basic material useful to educating young people and school personnel about the realities of military enlistment and war. The catalog also includes some information on alternatives to enlistment, as well as items written for organizers seeking to reach out to local schools.

All of the material in this catalog was carefully reviewed for relevancy and accuracy as of the summer of 2014. A task force of knowledgeable organizers did the research. It does not include all of the available literature on this topic because much of what exists is out of date or is no longer being produced by the original sources. Consequently, we focused on identifying items that we felt were basic and most useful for effective organizing and educating. New items may be added to future kits as they become available.

Mon
20
Oct

Why is the U.S. Military Pushing K-12 Students to Build Drones in Dayton?

By:  Seth Kershner

As a journalist and researcher, I’ve spent the last several years investigating the expanding network of links between public education and the U.S. military. With my colleague Scott Harding, I’ve also been researching the grassroots response to this phenomenon: the counter-recruitment movement.

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