Another Excuse for Pushing Statism | National Review

President Joe Biden holds a news conference at the end of the G7 summit at Cornwall Airport Newquay, England, June 13, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The “progressives” among us have an endless number of excuses for expanding the power of government, which necessarily means contracting the sphere of liberty. Biden’s regime is interested in “national service,” for all young Americans. That’s the euphemism for conscripting them to work on projects the politicians like.

Jim Bovard, one of the most dependable foes of statism, exposes the horror of this idea in his latest AIER essay.

He writes, “But compulsory service advocates are rewriting the script for American history. Apparently, slavery was evil not because of the unjust subjugation but because plantation owners, not politicians, were the profiteers. If the federal government is the beneficiary of forced labor, any quibbles about the 13th Amendment’s prohibition of involuntary servitude are moot.”

The proponents of this nasty bit of authoritarianism say it will help build good attitudes toward each other and for democracy. Of course, they don’t actually believe their rhetoric. All this would accomplish is their ever-present goal of increasing government control over society.

Bovard provides a lot of history about the failures of similar schemes, going back to the New Deal.

Here is his fiery conclusion:

We should not turn young people into cannon fodder for good deeds that exist only in White House press releases. At a time when the media endlessly denounces inequality, remember that the greatest and most dangerous inequality is that between haughty government officials and citizens stripped of their constitutional rights. Peaceful co-existence between all citizens is the recipe for an American revival, not a vast increase in subjugation to indoctrinate the latest Woke Catechism of the Week.

I would like to hear the advocates of this explain why the 13th Amendment doesn’t rule this out, and what provision in the rest of the Constitution authorizes the feds to force people to work as directed by the government. I suppose it’s in the “living” part that only they comprehend.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.