MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Libertarian Lessons: Conscription – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. Fox on August 24, 2018

“If the state may force a man to risk death or hideous maiming and crippling, in a war declared at the state’s discretion, for a cause he may neither approve of nor even understand, if his consent is not required to send him into unspeakable martyrdom – then, in principle, all rights are negated in that state, and its government is not man’s protector any longer.”

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/libertarian-lessons-conscription/

by 

Authoritarians love conscription because it turns human beings into resources, for the factory or the battlefield. The idea receives support from across the political spectrum, either (a) to fight wars abroad, or (b) for the development of a “youth corps” providing “free” services at home. Neither excuse justifies enslaving young people to serve the interests of the political class…

The promise of the Enlightenment, which so greatly influenced America’s Founding Fathers, was that each person requires freedom in order that he might fully realize his potential. The existence of slavery within the Republic was a moral crisis for those who promised “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to all. Ten years after the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

Another eight decades would pass before the issue was finally resolved. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1865, reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” That wretched vestige of Old World elitism was finally eradicated by the highest law of the land.

Unfortunately, judges and legislators carved out an exception for conscription because they elevated the sentimental notion of “service to country” above the sanctity of each person’s life. Mandatory service to a private interest – a slave plantation, for example – was correctly deemed an untenable violation of human dignity, yet bowing to the diktats of flag-waving politicians somehow became a prime virtue. Writing during the Vietnam War, Ayn Rand called the military draft “the most blatantly statist violation of a man’s right to his own life” and noted its corrosive effect on the relationship between government and citizen:

“If the state may force a man to risk death or hideous maiming and crippling, in a war declared at the state’s discretion, for a cause he may neither approve of nor even understand, if his consent is not required to send him into unspeakable martyrdom – then, in principle, all rights are negated in that state, and its government is not man’s protector any longer.”…

Be seeing you

conscription

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: