Is the military socialist?

This seemingly innocuous question is actually a deceptive decoy in a swamp of logical fallacies.

The first is a logical fallacy called “Black or White“.  It presumes that the answer has to be yes or no when there are in fact other possibilities.  Therefore, the premise is false.  The same would be true if the question was, “Is the military capitalist?”  Socialism and Capitalism are economic systems which treat capital and labor differently.  The military is not an economic system.

logic penguin

“Have you stopped beating your child?”  This the same type of question and the person asking it this way could not care less whether you answer yes, no, or stumble over your tongue replying.  Instead of answering, you should clench your cheeks and rewatch “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” .

Another logical fallacy is “Composition/Division” which assumes that one part of something has to be applied to all, or other, parts of it; or that the whole must apply to its parts.

Just because there are elements of the military that may be similar to those found in a socialist (or capitalist) system does not make the military either one.

In a valid logical argument:

If ALL of the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true.

If ANY of the premises are false,

then a valid logical argument

may still lead to a false conclusion.

The later part is a little tricky.  ANY false premise only means that a valid logical argument may still lead to a false conclusion.  Like the magician with the hot assistant, the questioner wants you to focus on the thighs and boobs of a potentially valid logical argument (ie:  The military provides health care.), ignore the false premise (Providing health care makes the military socialist.) and arrive at the false conclusion (This means that the military is socialist.)

Look at it this way.

Let’s say that you work for Bob’s Liquor and Latex Store (  Bob says, “We pay the same salary as Dick’s Dildo Emporium but as part of our total compensation package we include “free” health care in return for your labors on our behalf.”

In case you still believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny,

“free” isn’t really “free”.

“Free” is only a matter of who it is free to, and who pays.

Bob could just as well have said, “I can either pay you $21 per hour and no health care, or $20 per hour and cover your health care insurance of $1 per hour.”

If you take the $21 per hour, you will get to determine whether you have the same bargaining power as an individual as Bob does negotiating for a large sect of liquor and latex purveyors.

Note that you are bargaining in a free market.  This is essential to capitalism.  You and Bob are bartering on the value of your services as a vendor of various beverages and recreational apparatus (Yes.  That is both plural and singular.)  You get what you negotiate for in return for working.

Thirdly – Bob is a private business person.  You are a private party.

Neither of you are the government – no matter how much you pay in taxes.

  • The first basic construct of socialism is that it involves the government — typically big government (think python, or maybe tapeworm).
  • The second basic construct of socialism is that work is not a required element in the equation.  It is “free to you”.
  • The third basic construct of socialism is that “free” is not free — we are just paying with somebody else’s money.

In the capitalist system, you and Bob bargain with each directly.  You choose whether to take a dollar an hour less plus Bob’s Group Healthcare package or take a dollar more and negotiate directly for with providers or insurance companies for your own healthcare package.  Either way – no free lunch.  You have to work.  Bummer.  Your folks are Santa.  Grow up!


In the socialist system, you and Bob don’t barter at all.  In fact, you don’t have to work at all.  (Cool.)  On the other hand, the government forces you to take whatever healthcare the government decides you need and determine when you should just die. (Less cool).

I realize that this is unfair to the socialist religion and is not taking into account people who will not work or who want to work but cannot or who can work but cannot earn enough – but I digress.  The topic isn’t whether socialism is the one true religion, but why it’s proponents have to pull the sheet over your head to get you to join.

The reason the question is asked in this way is to trick people into thinking that there are some elements of the military that seem to resemble elements alleged to be part of a socialist system – and therefore the military in itself is a socialist system – AND THEREFORE, since you support the military, you support socialism.   This is as clear as that sentence.

Combining multiple logical fallacies doesn’t necessarily lead to a false conclusion, but we are getting into a geometric progression of improbables relative to the truth.   Think of it this way.  Socialism is a tax on those who are bad at math.

Here is today’s challenge. “Fake News” isn’t necessarily a bald-faced lie, facts out of context or Opinion Editorials positioned as news stories.  From now on, every time you read or hear a news headline, ask yourself if it contains imbedded logical fallacies.  If so, you might not want to take the candy from the pretty lady or get into the nice man’s car.

Oh.  I don’t want to leave you with a cliff-hanger.

The military is not an economic system that favors socialism OR capitalism.  The military is a guard dog that will protect and defend whoever feeds it.