Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Concept of Service Nation

It really does violate the notion of liberty according to Jim Lindgren. Mandatory volunteerism is an absolute oxymoron.
Service Nation is an organization devoted to stripping away this bulwark of Anglo-American liberty, hoping by the year 2020 to require every young American man and woman to be drafted into either military or community service. Their more immediate goals include passing a National Service Act in 2009 (which would probably not require universal service).

But they do not even discuss the Constitutional Amendment that ought to be required before they can mandate community service and take away the hard-won Anglo-American liberty from involuntary servitude. The Constitution gives the Federal Government the power to raise a military, which in the 18th century contemplated an obligation of male citizens to serve in the military. In my opinion, the Constitution does not give the Federal Government the power to compel community service.
I have no problem with encouraging volunteerism or charitable giving by providing tax incentives and the like.

I have a problem with requiring community volunteerism. I do not have a problem with a draft since a military draft is designed to address issues of national survival, so that we can have these kinds of debates. I do think that in this day and age, though, given that many, indeed most jobs in the military can and are done by women that simply exempting women from the draft may not be the wisest course of action. There are still many jobs in the military that can be done by either men or women and if you have women doing many of the non-combatant jobs, it would allow men to go out and get shot at for their country, thereby needing fewer men for the draft, but that is another subject.

Requiring volunteerism means that there has to be regulations and when your regulate something, someone, somewhere has to make value judgments as to what counts and what doesn't and therein lies the rub, because it will be govermnent making the decision.

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