Thanks for your comments, Dave. I’ve heard quite a bit in recent years about what you’ve described — young men who have been programmed for war, but who are not ever really re-programmed for civilian life. I’ve also heard a lot about the isolation and disconnection that comes from returning from real cooperation, camaraderie, and community to return to a world that discourages male connection with anyone but their wife and children.
I don’t know exactly what the answer is, but I don’t see that there is necessarily a disconnect between keeping a standing army and teaching our society to value violence less. Again, not saying that it is simple or easy but the opposite of a domination-based system is a partnership-based one, and the military, as you’ve said, seems ideally suited for that in many respects.
Partnership is not about absence of hierarchy; it’s just about hierarchies of actualization rather than of domination. Hierarchies of actualization are more like the military special forces where those closest to the work have both the power and the responsibility to make the relevant decisions, with some oversight from higher-ups, but that one of the primary jobs of the higher-ups is to make sure the more junior people have what they need to do their work effectively. Respect runs both ways. I’m thinking this needs to be another piece in the near future.