Freedom: University of Hull Study

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by HullUni, Dec 13, 2008.



  3. MIXED FEELINGS (please state in post)


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  1. Hi there,

    Im currently a student at the University of Hull studying Media, Society and Culutre. One of my modules is on the concept of freedom. For my essay I have decided to study how the Military regulate freedom for soldiers. I was just wondering if i could have some of your thoughts regarding..

    * How free you think you are in the army

    * What freedom means to you

    * Do you feel you've lost some sense of identity because of rigourous training procedures, discipline, uniform and appearance regulations etc...

    * How regulated are you in your behaviour off duty, in terms of manners and such.

    * Do you feel you have had to reject (or at least subdue) your own culture in order to serve the nation.

    *Also do you feel you have being stripped of your freedoms to some degree in order to uphold the rest of the nations overall freedom?

    Well, there the main questions, but feel free to add anything else in relation to your freedoms. A copy of my essay, will be available to anyone that would like to look at it. Anyway, thanks for your time.

    Shaun Ransom
  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    I would bother to answer if questions

    1. were in a sensible sequence and
    2. were clearly defined. ..."etc" and "as such" means nothing to me
  3. Fugly

    Fugly LE DirtyBAT

    Very poor. You seem to think the Army is still stuck in the 1940's.
  5. Not as free as a civilian, but only in certain ways. I cannot go on strike, for instance, which is something civvies can do (and rightly so). Our 'sphere' of freedoms is smaller than a normal citizen's, but it is still there.

    Freedom to think and freedom of speech, the ability to do what you like as long as it doesn't harm another human being. The freedom to accept responsibilities and rights.

    No. Training attempts to teach you a set of behaviours you need to succeed in your role. It does not attempt to change your personality. No matter how clean your bedspace is you are still a slob inside. Some regs are a bit pointless, some are there for good reason (serious facial hair and respirators don't mix well, for instance).

    Not very much at all.

    The Army is a culture which you fit into, it does not supplant your own, or attempt to. It does have a strong Christian heritage, but many other cultures and religions have served in it successfully for hundreds of years, so I doubt there are any major problems there. The Army has, if anything, made me more aware of my heritage and my culture (British), and not in the all-white all-Christian all of the time BNP way.

    'Stripped' is too strong a word, it's loaded with connotations. My freedoms have been reduced, and I have done this voluntarily. For the sake of cohesion, efficiency, effectiveness and order I have joined an organisation in which my rights have been temporarily reduced or suspended to ensure the organisation functions properly in defending the country. The only reason this is done is because it is vital, and I have done it voluntarily, and more to the point I can leave and regain my full freedom.

    Those freedoms are part and parcel of the country, they are an outgrowth of hundreds of years of civilisation and a very valuable contribution to the modern world and our quality of life. Temporarily reducing my own rights to defend other's rights, lives, etc is not something I lose any sleep over. Perhaps this is contradictory in principle? I don't know.

    Compare this to our current government, made up of, and elected by, civilians, which is reducing our freedoms and when we ask for them back says "No, it is not safe to be free." because of an overblown terrorist threat. A real tragedy would be to find that, upon leaving the Army, I have no freedoms to come back to, that I have fought to defend a totalitarian state.
  6. Shaun, well done for undertaking primary research on a fascinating subject - needs to be more like you! 3rd/4th year project?

    Suggest you'd have helped yourself by giving a pre-amble outlining your project objectives and a position statement on the conception of 'freedom', as the Arrsers here have suggested. Possibly a quote from your literature.

    It's a little too broad in its scope (e.g. do you want your subjects to be serving or ex-service; value-laden language e.g. 'stripped'), shoddily presented (use of the word 'anyway'; question marks for questions), and clearly aims of the study need focusing more tightly.

    Otherwise well done and yes, would love to see the outcome. All the best,

  7. The Democratic Country of Great Britain is no longer a free country. So as far as the army goes, you're probably just as free as what anyone else is.

    The country spends billions of pounds doing so-called-fighting to aid other country's to have freedom; yet our own country suffers from a neglect in investment and suppresion from our own government. All of which is done in the name of freedom, saving the planet from global warming and crime reduction. When really all our elected ministers really want to do is dream up further ways of suppressing the electorate so as to be able to spy on us and make further taxes.
  8. So what are the options?

    - Uphold our freedom.
    - Control others.

    There is no contradiction. It is quite possible to try to control others to uhhold own freedoms.

    During colonial period Great Britain tried to uphold its freedom to capture as much lands as possible and to control others.

    Now the UK itself is simply unable to contol others (only can help our American friends in this business).
  9. With regards to the poll; I voted mixed feelings.

    Overall we are fighting to uphold our own freedom, however to do this we have to control others. Put it this way, if we weren't stopping the "bad" freedom happening in Afghan with the Taliban and other terrorist groups, they would abuse their freedom in such a way as to make bombs etc to use on us, which in turn begins to ruin our freedom.

    I'm sure you get the idea of where i'm going, that's extremely waffley lol.
  10. I don't think the armed forces fight for anyone's freedoms, we fight for Britain's interests. Always have always will.
  11. HullUni, you sound like some leftie SWP'er trying to have a go at the armed forces (while forgetting who gave and protects your freedoms)
  12. resurrection.jpg
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  13. i was very happy to sacrifice my so called "freedoms" to live in an ordered, safe society that values commitment, reliability, and self worth. i used to like my Dad until i found out he was a civi.

    to quote:

    Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

    kind of says it all.
  14. The soldiers is a citizen of the country he serves. He is therefore subject to the benefits and burdens of other citizens within the jurisdiction of the criminal and civil courts. In addition to this, by virtue of his service, he voluntarily undertakes to be bound by a code of conduct found within the Armed Forces Act and subordinate legislation enacted thereunder known collectively as 'Military Law' which applies in whichever country he serves. It would not be accurate to suggest that Military Law curtails his freedom since it is subject to the Human Rights Act 1998 containing as it does, most of the provisions of the European Convention.

    Most civilian contracts of employment contain express and implied terms within paid contracted hours for the duration of contract. In other words, there are periods within which the contract does not bind the civilian, for example, when he finishes work in the evening or when he takes his holiday. The terms of service under which the soldier operates are continuous and will apply to him whether he is on or off duty whether he is on or off leave. He remains subject to the service code of conduct.

    The code of service discipline creates criminal offences which are peculiar to the Armed Forces. Failing to turn up for work would not, in civil life attract criminal liability, although it might attract a civil contractual penalty. In the military, for example, absence without leave, or desertion are criminal offences within the coercive jurisdiction of military tribunals. Other criminal offences become active in time or war or national emergency. In civil life, insubordination to a senior member of staff may result in disciplinary proceedings and terminate the employment contract. In the military, such offences are criminal in nature and attract criminal sanctions.

    Breaches of the general criminal law may also attract various administrative sanctions. Thus, for example, a soldier awarded a sentence of imprisonment, including a suspended sentence would, in general lead to an automatic discharge from the Army. Lesser sanctions imposed by the criminal courts would result in a range of punishments ranging from reduction in rank to administrative discharge.

    Positive obligations towards the well-being and welfare of subordinates is a feature of service life which is largely absent from civilian areas of endeavour. The duty of care is much more extensive and more rigidly enforced than in civil life. In civil life, the breach of a duty of care results in civil liability in tort. In service life, the breach is, in many cases, both criminal and tortious.

    Administrative action relating to a fitness to hold rank or to continue in service might also be imposed for conduct which falls below that normally expected of a person's rank or status which in civil life is unregulated. Thus, for example, a female officer who engages in sexual relations with a non-commissioned rank may be deemed unfit to hold that rank, and be called upon to resign in severe cases. Inter-marital relationships and other 'immoral behaviour' would probably not raise much of an eyebrow to a civilian but would, in a service context seriously undermine service discipline and unit cohesion as well as affecting the security status of the individuals concerned.

    The foregoing might suggest that freedom, however defined is much more restrictive than that enjoyed by a civilian. However, the civilian is at greater risk of committing criminal acts by default since that which binds him is rarely promulgated to the same extent to which it is promulgated within the military, both orally and in written form from in the closed society of the military from the date of enlistment. Moreover, the soldier is supervised to a much greater extent than that of a civilian. Indeed, such supervision is accepted as normal and does not impinge to any great extent upon the freedom of thought, conscience, expression or religion.

    The stereotype of the 1950s with 'shouty' NCOs, and sharp division of 'class' has largely disappeared from service life and it is true to say that the discipline that a man imposes on himself within the Army is generally much harsher than anything that can be imposed upon him since he is bound by loyalty and trust to a much greater extent than a civilian to those with whom he serves, his Regiment and to the Army in general.

    To that extent, he enjoys a level of freedom to which many in civil life can only aspire.
  15. I wonder if, more than three years after originally enquiring, the one-post-wonder is still working on his studies?
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