Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Monday, June 24, 2013

TGIF: National Servitude

The idea of "national service" never goes away. It just stands in the wings waiting to reappear. Well, it's back, and here is my take.
What do [the advocates of  “national service”] really want: improvement in the lives of people or service to “the nation,” which always translates into service to the state? If it’s the latter, they should remind themselves that earlier attempts to institutionalize that notion of duty weren’t pretty.


MarkZ said...

The most infuriating part of this whole idea is that adults (not "young adults" -- that modifier is demeaning to people who have their shit together) will once again face another barrier towards entering the workforce. This, of course, is deliberate. It's also a pretty significant form of age discrimination, which I'm sure Bridgeland and Khazei *claim* to be firmly against.

I'm a faculty member at a fairly large east coast medical school. In my view, one of the prevailing shortcomings of medical education is that it doesn't actually start for most people until their mid 20s. Sure, *some* students take a fair amount of biology and chemistry courses prior to that, but many do not, and even fewer have actual experience in a medical or laboratory setting. Most don't actually BEGIN their training until about 27 when they begin their residency.

Yet, at every step, you have groups of people who feel that everything needs to be prolonged... children should have longer school days and more "preparation" before college, adults should be sitting in high school learning trivia, people interested in medicine should be getting bachelors degrees in literature (no lie; this was in a recent article in Nature). And now we have two numbskulls who think it's a good idea to insert a year of ill-defined "service" as yet another obstacle.

Anonymous said...

I hail from a country where "national service" was in force when I was a young man. I still cringe when some of my contemporaries state that "what is wrong with the youth of today is that they did not do national service". Obedience training is a poor substitute for teaching someone to think.