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 How about mandatory national service

10.06.21. Anybody that has anything to do with young school leavers will be positive about the future.
So many are committed to achieving a good future either by going into work or further education.
So why would anyone suggest a mandatory national service scheme?
Sure, we need to do something to break the waster syndrome among the percentage of young who just want to live off society, but there is a greater reason.
We need to get everyone more committed to the success of Australia and build a more cohesive and loyal society and break up the developing tendency for ethnic ghettos to be created, especially among Indian and Chinese migrants.
We now live much longer so another couple of years after school in mandatory “education” would not affect one’s life but give a wider range of experience to our young. Neil Patel explains it better in his call for the same thing to happen in the US:

Our country is broken — it’s coming apart at the seams — and it is not going to fix itself. Repairing it will take effort from all of us. It may require consideration of some big national changes. Too many of us are just sitting back and watching America’s decline. It’s time to consider any idea that holds some promise for national renewal, any idea that could universally bring us all together and teach us a shared cause.
Perhaps even mandatory national service.
Mandatory service would require every 18-year-old to serve for a year or more. It is not a radical or new idea. Seventy-five countries have some form of national service requirement, and we’ve already required service at times in American history. It can also be broader than just military service. Other options include the Peace Corps, community service, cleaning up public lands and rebuilding aging infrastructure.
As a society, we are growing increasingly self-interested. Citizenship brings responsibility beyond self-interest. The concept of civic responsibility — as enunciated so eloquently by President John Kennedy — is eroding. A national service requirement can help reinvigorate a shared sense of citizenship in everyday Americans.
America is also becoming increasingly polarized and siloed along economic and racial lines. We no longer interact with those outside our own cohort. A rich kid growing up with parents in the New York City finance world likely has zero idea what it’s like in an aging Ohio steel town. The kid in the steel town can’t even imagine New York. They are two different worlds. Throw in racial division, and the whole thing is magnified. For a multiethnic, multiracial country with as many new immigrants as we have, this sort of polarization is deadly to national culture and unity. None of these dynamics is brand-new, but they are getting worse.
The social and cultural segregation in our country is directly contributing to the coarseness of our national culture and politics. We no longer just disagree in America; we vilify those who don’t share our views. Democrats think Republicans are Klansmen without the hoods. Republicans think Democrats are Joseph Stalin before the purges. Rural people think city people are snobby, materialistic and out of touch. Cosmopolitan urbanites think country people are stupid, fat and lazy.
When you have little interaction with those who don’t share your background or beliefs, it’s easy to view them as caricatures. It becomes easier to demonize or marginalize them. This results in the sort of fissures we have in America today and the normalization of summary political violence; we’ve all seen it. Left to fester, these dynamics lead to the downfall of societies.
We need to break down racial, class and geographic barriers to help create a stronger sense of national community. Doing that is not easy, but mandatory service can help rekindle a sense of civic pride and begin to erode some of the extreme polarization in America. A year’s service requirement will bring together Americans from all walks of life, which will help young people understand one another. Contact reduces intolerance and promotes cohesion. And we are definitely short on national cohesion. We need it now more than we have at any time since at least the 1960s and maybe since the 1860s.
The main argument against mandatory national service comes from the military. America did have mandatory military conscription until 1973. Since then, we have had an all-volunteer force. Our professional voluntary military has served us well. Bringing in recruits who don’t want to serve can cause problems with morale and discipline. We experienced this in Vietnam. We did, however, fight World War II with a system of mandatory conscripts based on registration and a lottery system. That seemed to work pretty well.
Mandatory service on the military side brings another benefit. Twenty years of fighting in the Middle East has contributed significantly to the erosion of support and trust in our national leaders. One reason may be that the brunt of the pain was endured by American working-class families. Working-class kids were enticed to join the military by ever-increasing bonuses and retention programs. This brought a sense in much of America that our leaders were out of touch and not feeling the pain that can come with extended military engagements. There are, of course, prominent exceptions to this — including even the president’s son, who served in the National Guard — but as a general matter, it’s true that wealthier citizens don’t often serve in the military. Mandatory service would put an end to this dynamic.
The concept of a national service requirement is surprisingly popular nationally, considering nobody has been out making the case for it in a prominent way. In the 2020 election, Pete Buttigieg and John Delaney argued for some form of national service in the Democratic primary, but it was not a major talking point. Still, according to a Gallup poll in 2017, half of all Americans are in favor of a one-year mandatory national service requirement. Interestingly, the support is relatively bipartisan; 44% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans are in favor.
National service is complicated. It must be presented properly, or it could be a loser politically, and there are downsides we should explore fully. If you agree, however, that Americans are too self-absorbed and no longer as civic-minded, and especially if you think we are lacking in national cohesion, a national service requirement could be just the answer.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Muphin 10/06/2021, 4:52 am

    Bring back Nation Service.
    I am proud to have served my Nation Service in the Royal Rhodesian Air Force many years ago.

    • Aktosplatz 10/06/2021, 12:48 pm

      Good one Muphin, as a young boy I used to enjoy watching air displays put on by the RRAF.

      Young Men in Rhodesia could eventually elect to serve in the Army, Police, Internal Affairs, or in the Law Courts as options for National Service.

      I had a friend from Denmark, and he said that in Denmark, (in addition to the above) men and women could also do their national service as an ambo assistant, in the fire service as an assistant.. A good idea.
      Here it could be extended to be a ranger in the bush, and environment protection as well as the Police & Armed Forces. Lots of opportunity and variety , and the young people (most of them anyway) would step up.

      • PW 10/06/2021, 4:00 pm

        I expect the (bush)rangers and environmental positions would be over run by what’s coming out of our schools. Best to delete that suggestion.

  • Cliff 10/06/2021, 7:22 am

    I think there are more than a few people in Canberra who are afraid of training the citizenry in military skills and doing anything that might unite them into one cohesive and unified Australia.

    Because they are afraid of that same citizenry.

    • luk1955 10/06/2021, 7:40 am

      Correct Cliff. Also having a pool of forced fighters will lead our government to enter more wars than if there is a scarcity of soldiers. The establishment would love to bring back forced military service for this very reason. After all, for a lot of large companies, war is a business model and is very profitable. Forced draft will lead to lower iq overall for soldiers.

    • Sir Peter 10/06/2021, 9:57 am

      No. I’m afraid of giving weapons training to potential BLM Antifa cretins coming out of the Marxist-dominated State education system.

  • Penguinite 10/06/2021, 10:05 am

    Tony Abbott attempted to engender some National Spirit and self-respect with his Green Army. Sadly, that was killed off by Malcolm the backstabber Turdbull. Abbott envisaged about 15,000 young Australians being mobilised for the project and get their hands dirty on environmental projects for a weekly wage of up to $500. With its abolition, the ‘Army’ simply reverted to the unemployed stats.
    The Greens, of course, applauded the ‘demob’ because it diluted their scope to indoctrinate the young! Now we have Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion doing it

  • PaulM 10/06/2021, 10:50 am

    New National Service requires considerable and quiet debate.
    There are advantages and disadvantages with NS in these troublesome times .

    I believe the disadvantages can be managed with logical planning and implementation. Lets have the debate.

    As a first intake National Serviceman doing a full tour of Vietnam ( tour ? – sounds like a holiday ) I am for it, however in these ‘modern times’ the format would need to be rather different than the old scheme.

    • PW 10/06/2021, 4:05 pm

      I was a 3 year ARA and reminded them it was classed as a ‘tour’ and made sure of it. Did Long Bihn, NuiDat, Vungers and Saigon.

  • Aktosplatz 10/06/2021, 1:17 pm

    Young people called up to carry out Mandatory National Service should be given a broader choice than just the ADF. Time spent in Emergency Services, Fire Ambulance, Police, National parks & Wildlife Protection would be a wonderful choice for such young people. The good it would do them and their country make it well worth considering.

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