Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on May 30, 2013

in Civil Society, Seen and Unseen, War

… is from Milton Friedman’s essay “Why Not a Volunteer Army?,” which first appeared in the Spring 1967 issue of the New Individualist Review:

A volunteer army would preserve the freedom of individuals to serve or not to serve.  Or, put the other way, it would avoid the arbitrary power that now resides in draft boards to decide how a young man shall spend several of the most important years of his life – let alone whether his life shall be risked in warfare.  An incidental advantage would be to raise the level and tone of political discussion.

A volunteer army would enhance also the freedom of those who now do not serve.  Being conscripted has been used as a weapon – or thought by young men to be so used – to discourage freedom of speech, assembly, and protest.  The freedom of young men to emigrate or to travel abroad has been limited by the need to get the permission of a draft board if the young man is not to put himself in the position of inadvertantly becoming a law-breaker.

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