| Thursday, December 4, 2008 - 06:57 pm |
"The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight."
"A passive and ignorant citizenry will never create a sustainable world."
"Good government is no substitute for self-government."
-- Mohandas Gandhi
"A generation that acquires knowledge without ever understanding how that knowledge can benefit the community is a generation that is not learning what it means to be citizens in a democracy."
-- Elizabeth L. Hollander
"The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves."
-- John F. Kennedy
"What do I owe to my times, to my country, to my neighbors, to my friends? Such are the questions which a virtuous man ought often to ask himself."
-- Johann Kaspar Lavater
"Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in bonds of fraternal feeling."
-- Abraham Lincoln
"Neither democracy nor effective representation is possible until each participant in the group...devotes a measurable part of his life to furthering its existence."
-- Lewis Mumford
"The worth of the state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it."
-- John Stuart Mill
What is the sentiment behind compulsory service?
What would we hope to achieve?
To instill the virtues of public service and VALUE of citizenship in those who otherwise would have none?
"Value" has no meaning other than in relationship to living beings. The value of a thing is always relative to a particular person, is completely personal and different in quantity for each living human-"market value" is a fiction, merely a rough guess at the average of personal values, all of which must be quantitatively different or trade would be impossible. [...] This very personal relationship, "value", has two factors for a human being: first, what he can do with a thing, its use to him... and second, what he must do to get it, its cost to him. There is an old song which asserts that "the best things in life are free". Not true! Utterly false! This was the tragic fallacy which brought on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the twentieth century; those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted... and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears."
--Robert A Heinlein
A man must desire to have a thing. If it is forced upon him, it is at best valueless, at worst, a burden to be resented and resisted.
Civic virtue can no more be forced on the unwilling than a pig can be forced to play concert piano.