The piece interested me because it underlines the hopelessness of opposing optional, gratuitous wars from within the wonderful "two-party system." That, of course, is the system in which the Republican Caucus and the Democrat Caucus of the War Party offer marginal criticism of each others' management of our near-perpetual imperial wars. (I pause to note that the perpetual hopeful, the Libertarian Party, has failed miserably to offer any principled alternative to the duopoly.)
I'd suggest the interested reader follow the link and read Sylvia's entire piece. But, in the meantime:
The second question is both more complex and just as simple. The simple answer is: Yes, we should resurrect the draft. The complexity is what we should draft young people for.Why, I wonder, does Sylvia's utopia pick on the young people? After all, it's not going to be limited to military service. It would include all sorts of involuntary servitude -- much of which might be done sitting at a desk. Why shouldn't it be cut off at around age 80 or so?
Even though the draft was abandoned in 1973, all young men must still register with the Selective Service System. Of course, women also should be required to register, and the definition of “selective service” should be expanded. (We would have to drop “the draft” from our lexicon, given the baggage it carries from the Vietnam era.)
In my utopia, all young Americans would spend two years in service to our country, be it in the military, in the Peace Corps or domestically – as tutors, helping with the upkeep of national parks, working in low-income health clinics, giving a hand to homebound elderly people or assisting in any number of venues that would benefit from an infusion of voluntary muscle and brainpower.
Oh, that's right ... because the grownups wouldn't be amused by a working vacation for Uncle Sam, at army-type wages. And they vote -- they vote ferociously -- and there's a hell of a lot of them.
The bottom line, once again: if you're interested in the fundamentals of human liberty, the "left / right" distinction, as practiced in the American politics of this century at least, is a distinction without a difference, no more substantial than the early-morning mist of a summer's day.
Meanwhile: draft Sylvia. And Marky-Mark Souder, too. Yesterday.