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Wed
22
Nov
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Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: What is Militarism? What is Militarization?

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: What is Militarism? What is Militarization?

Selene Rivas - November 22, 2017

In the previous articles, we talked about how normal is defined differently in both space and time; just as Japan and Argentina might have two different ideas of what constitutes as “normal”, so does 18th century and 21st century United States. We also talked about normalization, or how things become more (or less) socially accepted over time. Finally, we introduced the concept of “militarism”. In this article, we’ll attempt to define it as concisely as possible, as well as give examples of militarism in Japan.

The following statement is found in page 92 of the 1996 edition of Naval Science 1, a textbook used for High School JROTC courses.

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

This week is the International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth

This week (20-26 November) is the International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth. During the week activists from various countries will be taking actions and organising events to raise awareness of how the military and military values are promoted to young people, and how we can challenge it.

In Czech Republic, NESEHNUTÍ is organising a screening of the movie “Výchova k válce” (Education for War), followed by a panel session on the militarisation of education in the country.

In Israel, activists from the Mesarvot network - a solidarity network supporting political conscientious objectors in Israel - is organising a demonstration in Tel Aviv in support of the young refuser, Matan Hellman, who's declaring his conscientious objection on 20th November.

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.

English translation unavailable for .
Mon
09
Oct

Bermuda: Government revealed plans to end conscription

The newly elected Bermudian Government is planning to end military conscription, a government official revealed at a speech last month.

Speaking on behalf of the new Progressive Labour Party government, Governor John Rankin said: “The Government will amend the Defence Act 1965 in consultation with the Governor to officially end conscription to the Royal Bermuda Regiment within this legislative session.”

The Royal Bermuda Regiment has not used conscription for two years and relied on volunteers instead after the previous One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) government suspended mandatory call-ups.

However, it didn't mean total abolishment of conscription in the country. The Defence Amendment Bill, issued by the previous OBA government in 2015, still allowed mandatory call-ups “when voluntary enlistment leaves a shortfall in the required number of members”.

Mon
09
Oct

Scotland: SNP Youth motion to raise Army recruitment age passes at conference

The youth wing of the Scottish National Party (SNP) secured a landmark victory at the party's annual conference on Sunday (8 October) as members voted in favour of raising the army recruitment age from 16 to 18. 

SNP Youth have long-campaigned for the Ministry of Defence to ban the enlistment of 16- and 17-year-olds into the armed forces and yesterday a majority of party members agreed as the motion passed with a significant majority. 

Rhiannon Spear, Glasgow councillor and SNP Youth national convenor, told the conference: “This is about what society that we want to be, it is about how we value our young people. We believe that the interests and health of Scotland’s young people must come before the demands of British military recruiters.”

The passing of the motion, which was publicly backed by 17 MSPs, one MP and 12 local branches before Sunday's debate, means that the SNP as a whole will now actively push for an increase in recruitment age.

Mon
09
Oct

Marvel Comics pull tie-in with Northrop Grumman

At 4pm on Friday 6th October, Marvel Comics tweeted that they were to "join forces" with Northrop Grumman, the world's fifth biggest arms manufacturer.

Marvel and @northropgrumman join forces! Come check out the #MarvelNYCC booth tomorrow at 3pm EST. pic.twitter.com/pb5V1tj19L

— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 6, 2017

Fri
22
Sep

A call to action: 4th International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth, November 20-26

This November, activists from all around the world are taking action against the militarisation of young people in their countries, cities and towns.

Join us in this week with your own nonviolent actions, and be part of this global movement resisting the recruitment of young people's minds and bodies into violence. 

The International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth is a concerted effort of antimilitarist actions across the world to raise awareness of the many ways in which violence is promoted to young people, and to give voice to alternatives. The week is coordinated by War Resisters' International.

English translation unavailable for .

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