What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: candacesthomas
A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny. (Alexander Solzhenitsyn, via Quoty)
In the age of American imperialism, politicians wonder how to remedy the problem created by being spread so thin. It is during such times of militaristic interventionism that some in Congress talk up the idea of reinstating mandatory conscription (i.e. the draft) to fill the ranks of our “volunteer-driven” armed forces.
Most recently we have seen a bill from Rep. Charles Rangel, introduced in January, which aims:
To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services
My, how our government has fallen from being a liberty-protecting Republic if such legislation is even to be considered as acceptable. The JBS had this to say:
Rep. Rangel’s bill would go against the very principles that our country was founded upon. One would not be able to live as he or she chooses if a state-mandated servitude is enacted. One would not have the freedom to travel freely about if at any time they were called up for national service. While Rep. Rangel and other national service advocates would likely argue that such a law would only enhance patriotism by graciously allowing every citizen to defend this great country, the truth is, there would be little sense of self-sacrifice when a task is done purely out of obligation.
Nazi-Germany used similar tactics when the Hitler Youth was formed. In a 1933 speech Hitler said, “the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.” He continued saying that pflichterfulling, or the fulfillment of duty, was a great German attribute which means “not to be self-sufficient, but to serve the community.”
But the love of the State and use of force against free citizens is not merely a characteristic of random representatives. No, in fact, we have presidential hopefuls tossing in their two cents as well. John Edwards apparently thinks we need a draft:
We have people from all walks of life in America who are serving, including Reservists and National Guard. What we want to do is to have all Americans to have a chance to serve their country.
“Have a chance”? Oh, thank you, your majesty. We, the property of the State, ever so humbly express our gratitude for this wonderful opportunity. What garbage! What bondage! What opposition to liberty! I echo the sentiments of William Grigg:
I am constantly amazed by the unctuous dishonesty with which collectivists describe servitude as an “opportunity.” The words “mandatory” and “opportunity” are blood enemies.
Such is always the case when the State and those running it, out of their boundless generosity and magnanimity, extend to the rest of us an “opportunity” to surrender our time, property, and lives in the State’s service. Our "privilege" in this transaction is to submit with docility — nay, with happy gratitude to whatever imposition our rulers see fit to inflict on us, including the surrender of our lives in their service.
This is emphatically not the same thing as serving our country. Every individual who provides any useful service, whether as a volunteer, an employee, or a businessman, is serving our country. Collectivists believe that coercion is the magic ingredient that makes State-imposed "service" morally superior to private industriousness.
My patriarchal blessing says that throughout my life I will have many opportunities for service in the Church. Opportunity, in this case, describes a potential situation in which I may consent to render such service. That is a far cry from a conscription-created mandatory opportunity (read: obligation, under threat of imprisonment and/or fine) in which the person is required to do whatever the State demands.
Conscription is not an opportunity. Fighting in foreign entanglements, extending the empire, and shedding more blood is not my idea of an opportunity.
To fight a defensive war, a draft is never necessary. Conscription only becomes "necessary" when policy-makers are pursuing evil objectives. (William Grigg, via Quoty)