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The Voluntary Service of Citizens in the Armed Forces - Essay Example

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In the research paper “The Voluntary Service of Citizens in the Armed Forces” the author provides the debate on whether a draft in the USA should, at some time, be reinstated between positive (“what is”) and normative (“what ought to be”) considerations…
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The Voluntary Service of Citizens in the Armed Forces
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Download file to see previous pages Many nations, including the United States, although reliant on voluntary service still do reserve the right to impose a draft. The debate on whether a draft should, at some time, be reinstated is often a discussion drawn between positive (“what is”) and normative (“what ought to be”) considerations: the distinction between whether it is economically feasible, objectively necessary, or ultimately practical and whether it is morally justifiable, philosophically contradictory (for a country committed to freedom like the United States), or politically oppressive. To make the argument for or against the draft, a discussant must address both aspects of the issue. Put in this context, the practice of conscription is at once positively and normatively unjustifiable: not only does it create an inferior fighting force, making it ineffective at accomplishing its goals, but it is a severe violation of the individual’s freedom that a government exists to protect.
On the normative side, the military draft (or conscription) is a defining feature of totalitarian regimes, having been imposed by and large in the totalitarian countries and their dictators throughout history. Napoleon and Bismarck serve as two examples of despots willing to sacrifice individuals for the state. Having been instituted by these aggressive leaders and countries, the military draft carries with it aggressive force. By “aggressive force”, one means the force applied to countries other than one’s own, and not in self-defense. It is doubtful, after all, that in the event of a large-scale invasion of a country, that the country will have to force its citizens to fight to save their own lives unless of course it is ruled by a dictatorial regime unworthy of its citizens’ defense. One cannot consistently hold that individuals have rights to self-determination and individual liberties and yet that the state has the right to make them null and void.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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