Blogs are a familiar feature on the internet - where users post content in an accumulating manner, with comments, and search options, etc. They facilitate expression and exploration, and via attached comments, also debate and synthesis.
Reading and Navigating Blogs
Our blogs are quite powerful. Each writer can post, as is typically the case. Sustainers who have the option can also post, however. All Blogs appear in the blog system, and sometimes also in content boxes the top page of ZNet - and always via the left menu of the top page - and can be found via searches, etc.
Commenting on blogs follows the blogs, attached at the bottom, and blog comments, like all others, are also visible in many places that show comments including in the forum system. In addition, the entire blog system gathers content for everyone - but one can look at the accumulating content in many ways.
For example one can look at one writer's efforts - so one is seeing what is effectively a blog system for that one writer, or Sustainer.
One can also look at the content by topic, seeing blogs that are tagged as being about a certain topic - or place, as well. Thus, when doing that, it is a blog system about a topic, or a place, with many contributors.
One can look at only writer blogs, or only sustainer blogs, as well.
One can look at blogs for particular Groups, too.
All this is easily done using the left menu. Searches allow even more variables and refinements.
Creating Blog Posts
If you are a Sustainer with permission, and are logged in, you will see a link in the left menu for you to post a blog - and you can use that to post one, and then tag it various ways (such as with a topic or place, or a group tag), and once you do, it is in the system with you as the author.
You can also use the console button to the left to post a blog - anytime and from anywhere in the site, as long as you are logged in.
Meanwhile, enjoy the blogs - and, by the way, if you are a Free Member or a Sustainer with a ZSpace page, of course you can put one or more content boxes on it, pulling blog links of any sort you may want to filter for, for example, by you or by your friends or by others - and by topic, about places, for groups, etc.
One is the system that the military preferred after the debacle with a citizen's army in Vietnam, the first time an imperial power used a citizen's army to fight a colonial war: what's called a "volunteer army," which in effect amounts mostly to a mercenary army of the disadvantaged, from which the privileged are exempt. That's why recruiters avoid prep schools and elite universities (except for officer and specialist training), and work hard in poor neighborhoods. That's a "shade of grey" in between your two extremes. And there are plenty of others. Under the empire, the British commonly used sepoys -- poor Indians -- to fight their dirty wars, in India and elsewhere. That's also in between. And there are a lot of other choices...
One preliminary question is whether it is a democratically determined community decision that an army is necessary. Sometimes the answer is pretty clearly Yes: in World War II, for example. There were some people who refused conscription, dedicated pacifists mostly: courageous and honorable, but doesn't bear on the issue. Suppose that assumption holds. Then conscription is not a violation of basic human rights any more than parcelling out other unpleasant work equitably is. Say garbage collection. In a decent society it shouldn't be "volunteer" in the sense that it's undertaken only by people who are driven to it by need. Rather, it should be equitably distributed -- which one can call "conscription" if one likes. These are basic issues discussed in all thinking about decent participatory societies, within the PARECON discussions, for example.
Suppose we make different assumptions: conscription for aggressive war, for example. Then it's a violation of human rights because the very assumption is.
Make different assumptions and there are different answers.