Wasn't There An Amendmenty Thingie To End Slavery?

By Amy Alkon


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Wasn’t There An Amendmenty Thingie To End Slavery?
At the LibertyCrier, Ron Paul calls “national service” anti-liberty and anti-American:

Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently called on the government to force young people to spend two years either “serving” in the military or performing some other type of government-directed “community service.” Neoconservative Senator John McCain has introduced legislation creating a mandatory national service program very similar to Reich’s proposal. It is not surprising that both a prominent progressive and a leading neocon would support mandatory national service, as this is an issue that has long united authoritarians on the left and right.

Proponents of national service claim that young people have a moral obligation to give something back to society. But giving the government power to decide our moral obligations is an invitation to totalitarianism.

The government has no right, if you have committed no crime, to take your time and your labor from you.

Paul makes a good point:

Whether or not they admit it, supporters of mandatory national service do not believe that individuals have “inalienable rights.” Instead, they believe that rights are gifts from the government, and, since government is the source of our rights, government can abridge or even take away those rights whenever Congress decides.

Mandatory national service also undermines private charitable institutions. In a free society, many people will give their time or money to service projects to help better their communities, working with religious or civic associations. But in a society with government-enforced national service, these associations are likely to become more reliant on government-supplied forced labor. They will then begin to tailor their programs to satisfy the demands of government bureaucrats instead of the needs of the community.

…It is baffling that conservatives who (properly) oppose raising taxes would support any form of national service, including the military draft. It is similarly baffling that liberals who oppose government interference with our personal lives would support mandatory national service. Mandatory national service is a totalitarian policy that should be rejected by all who value liberty.

As of late, I feel very few “value liberty.”

Most people seem to take it very much for granted.

I’ve gotten to the point where, when libertarian friends have a baby, I’m extremely grateful, because there’s a better chance that their kid will be raised consider a liberty-driven lifestyle rather than just shutting up and consuming things and not caring that government is growing bigger and bigger and more power-bloated.

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