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Is it immoral to get a job in the defense industry?

Hello everyone, this will be my first post on DP. I've been living in Japan for a few years now and am currently considering dusting off my BSME (mech. eng.) and looking for a tech job in Hawaii. Why Hawaii? Besides the stupendous weather, it's one of the few places I think my Japanese proficiency will come in handy. Looking around on the various recruiter sites, it seems that the main employer hiring in Hawaii for this kind of work is the military or companies that support the military like Lockheed Martin.

So here's where I'd appreciate some advice. As a Ron Paul supporter and libertarian-minded person, is it morally reasonable for me to try to find work in this industry? I mean, if I knew that everything they did was in fact for the defense of our country, there would be no problem. However, if I were to get a job, say, refurbishing torpedoes for the navy (this is a real job I came across) and these torpedoes were to be used overseas, wouldn't I just be supporting the military industrial complex? Am I overthinking this?

Thanks in advance for any advice on this.

Jarrett



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Ron Paul works for Federal Government himself :)

Just make sure those planes don't fly too far and the bomb don't kill anyone.

Hahahah.

Yah, just throw some parts away every once in a while when you're assembling something.

I have same reservations

I get the GI Bill now and basically am making most here pay for my education. If I was 100% in line with my idea of govt, I would not take them.

I made the proclamation during the debt ceiling debate that I would give up my benfits and pay for school somehow like everyone else if it meant we would get a balanced budget.

Like everyone is saying, take the money but vote for people who would essentially take that job away.

I liken it to Dr. Paul investing in gold, he knows his views if put in place would destroy his own wealth, but he votes as he does.

how would the value of gold get destroyed?

tajitj: I liken it to Dr. Paul investing in gold, he knows his views if put in place would destroy his own wealth, but he votes as he does.

@tajitj How is this true?

The current inflationary policy is causing gold to gain on the dollar. Hence he owns gold / gold mining shares.

If instead gold is adopted as the gold standard, there will be hundreds of millions of people now demanding gold who were not previously.

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i quit my "defense" industry job years ago, . . .

and have suffered many lean years since.
But my soul, my conscience, and sound sleep are more important than a big paycheck.

Also consider the ghouls that you'll be working with.
Being politically aware in a sea of amoral parasites, thieves, psychopaths, and sadists, you will loath every second of it.

I'd rather have tax dollars

(well i don't pay taxes right now) go towards the salary of a liberty minded person than a neocon/lib. Take the money and vote the way you think.

I'm (supposed to be at least) receiving unemployment benefits. I felt a little dirty at first when I signed up for them. I've already decided to use at least some of the money to help the campaign locally by starting a meetup, get supplies fot it (dvds, fliers, signs, etc). I say work the system to try and bring it down.

Santa Maria, Ca

Defense versus Intervention

Most of our "defense" expenditures pay for our foreign adventurism, which is not only very offensive, in every sense of the word, but counterproductive.

IMHO, we need to spend less on adventurism and more on defense research, development, and modernization. We would be wealthier, safer, and more free.

more than likely

you can do more for liberty while employed than not.

Does anyone support ending the 2nd Amendment

It states

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

If we do support the 2nd Amendment, where exactly are we going to get the Arms if not from Arms makers?

Take the job

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do what you need to do..

if you feel too bad, donate money to charity, or the Ron Paul's campaign ; )

Honestly...

I'd rather it was you who was getting fat off the blood money than some neocon shmuck.

Do what you gotta do.

You should always enjoy your work; if for whatever reason you don't think you'll be able to enjoy that job then do something else. If you think you'd have fun with it, and the pay is good then go for it.

If you interject politics into every aspect of your life you'll go crazy. I mean you're worried about supporting the military industrial complex? New's flash we're all supporting it simply by paying taxes.

My advice: Use your vote to vote, rep RP/libertarianism/Classical Liberalism when you can, and just live your life.

It's a tough decision. If you are hardcore RP then that decision

is easy. But if faced with perhaps a family and the choice of having a menial job that cannot please your family, or gaining a 80K/year off the bat then I can see how such a philosophical compromise is overcome. It has to be a strain on an awakened person's conscience.

Jarrett

Ask yourself: Would this exist, or more than likely exist, in a totally free society?

If that answer is yes, or more likely yes than unlikely, take the job and don't worry about it.

So, would contractors/businesses exist that built arms/weapons, etc., for defensive purposes in a totally free society? I believe they would.

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise." - Benjamin Franklin

Defense Industry?

oh you mean Offense Industry.

No worries I'm sure the ones who helped build the gas chambers for Germany in WWII were good people too....

curious...

what you do for a living. I'm wondering if there is any job that didn't have a Nazi era counterpart.

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I run a small business.

I run a small business. People willingly volunteer to pay for my products. I need no Gov't handouts or taxpayer dollars. I don't have to worry about my products or business killing children in some desert 5000 mi away.

Fiat currency and taxes

Your business does pay taxes to support a regime that does exact that, and by using fiat current supports a monetary system that does exactly that.

German businesses like yours in the 1930s and 1940s produced tax revenue that was used to buy the gas chambers then.

Making the jump to associate someone's work to Nazi gas chambers also links everyone else to them.

"First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."

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The Gov't puts a gun to my

The Gov't puts a gun to my head and forces me to pay taxes(and use their currency). I sure as heck wouldn't pay taxes otherwise.

Quite a stretch to compare myself with someone who would volunteer to work in the Offense Industry which directly supports killing children in deserts.

The gov't still provides for your defense

Even Ron Paul's ideal government if he was president still provides for US defense. The US Constitution is very clear on this.

It is wrong to say technical workers on torpedoes are doing the same work as building the Nazi gas chambers.

Your over-simplifying policy of condemnation has a much greater link to the gas chambers than torpedo technicians - similar to the Nazi policies themselves that sent Jews into the gas chambers.

Policies are always of paramount moral implication.

Ron Paul's drastically scaled-back American military as President will still need well-built torpedoes for defense. He should be encouraged to take this job.

Let's play to win here.

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Amen! you can't buy a clear

Amen! you can't buy a clear conscience!

Michael Nystrom's picture

The Universal Soldier

I think this song sheds some light on what Ron Paul might think of your predicament, in the event you were wondering.

Ron Paul personally requested Aimee Allen sing this song at the Rally for the Republic in 2008.

Here are the lyrics:

He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He's all of thirty-one, and he's only seventeen,
Been a soldier for a thousand years.

He'a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn't kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.

And he's fighting for Canada,
He's fighting for France,
He's fighting for the USA,
And he's fighting for the Russians,
And he's fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way.

And he's fighting for Democracy,
He's fighting for the Reds,
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one who must decide,
Who's to live and who's to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He's the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.

He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,

This is not the way we put the end to war.

<3 Donovan

To think... the man who came up with this also sang 'Mellow Yellow.' I guess no one can function at 100% of their intellectual capacity all the time.

;)

Michael Nystrom's picture

Actually, the Donovan version was a cover

"Universal Soldier" is a song written and recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie. The song was originally released on Sainte-Marie's debut album It's My Way! in 1964. "Universal Soldier" was not a popular hit at the time of its release, but it did garner attention within the contemporary folk music community. Sainte-Marie said of the song: "I wrote 'Universal Soldier' in the basement of The Purple Onion coffee house in Toronto in the early sixties. It's about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_My_Way!

I'll be damned... You learn something new every day on the net.

"Universal Soldier" was not a popular hit at the time of its release.
^----- That's ridiculous. De gustibus non est disputandum.

It ultimately comes down to you

Ask yourself, is this a decision you can live with? You obviously have some reservations and are seeking justification from others. Any advise from us (positive or negative) is quite frankly irrelevant.

That being said... I'd likely take a job I didn't feel good about if it was necessary to put food on the table and a roof over my head. I would then strive for something I could feel better about.

If men are good, you don't need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don't dare have one.

As long as you dont complain

As long as you dont complain about the welfare-warfare state. LULZ.

work where you can. it

work where you can. it doesn't matter. someone will take the job if you don't.

Michael Nystrom's picture

I simply don't get this reasoning

And we hear it all the time.

"Someone else will take the job if you don't." What does that have to do with you, i.e. the person making the decision? This is something I have never understood.

Yes, so the job will get done, but an individual is responsible only for themselves, not other people. Why do other people even figure into the decision?

It's a thought experiment

It's a way of changing the world analysis from subjective to objective. In other words, how would the world (outside of me) be if I did do this, vs how would the world (outside of me) be if I didn't do this.

It's a healthy analysis that goes beyond the cliche "if you don't do this job someone else will", "following orders", etc.

Take for instance a business opportunity to buy an undervalued apt complex with below market rent. If the apt units are renovated then higher rent can be charged.

Is evicting people from their homes who can no longer afford to pay in this case moral? Hard to say but the free market is very clear in this regard.

"If I don't do this someone else will" is a fundamental correlary to the principles of free market supply and demand. It is also expressed as the "invisible hand" by Adam Smith.

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Only if it's equally as

Only if it's equally as immoral to work in the kitchen while in jail.