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“Our Children Are Yours, O Great State”

Here’s a letter to USA Today:

Chris Marvin believes that Uncle Sam has the moral authority to force his and other Americans’ children into military or national “service” (“Draft our daughters,” Dec. 23).

How sad.  How sad that a retired Army officer believes that stuffing the ranks of the military with people who have no wish to be in the military will “strengthen national security.”  (Does Mr. Marvin also believe that stuffing the ranks of, say, physicians with people who have no wish to be physicians will strengthen medical care?)  How sad that a father willingly grants to the state the power to dispose of his children’s lives against his children’s wishes.  And how sad that an American finds in temporary enslavement “a nice reminder of what it means to be an American.”  How very, very sad.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

The deification of the state is manifested in few ways more unnerving and dangerous than its encouragement of conscription.

(I thank Tim Townsend for the pointer to Marvin’s essay.)