Young Liberals embrace Southern Cross Soldiers

Young Liberals call for national service
John Stapleton
The Australian
January 24, 2009

THE Young Liberals are proposing nine months of compulsory national service to be completed before the age of 24 and which people will not be able to dodge by going to university.

Participants would receive a social security payment and an accommodation allowance if their service required them to live away from home. The plan, to be put at the Young Liberals’ national conference in Canberra this weekend, is not restricted to the military. Young Australians could complete their service in overseas aid programs. Or they could serve in hospitals, old-age homes and other community organisations.

Young Liberals president Noel McCoy said the aim was to provide a sizeable low-cost workforce that would help to offset the impact of the financial crisis. At the same time it would help to instil a work ethic and sense of national pride, he said…

Compulsory national service is an assault upon the free enterprise system, one which can only discourage the young entrepreneur; punish, rather than reward, risk-taking; disable workplace flexibility; and stifle productivity and skill development. Government should stick to its core business and not compete with the private sector; its intervention in the labour market is an Evil which must be avoided at all costs if the individual’s liberty — including his liberty to dispose of his labour as he sees fit — is to be preserved. Thus if the Young Liberals really believe in the importance of voluntary effort and voluntary organisations, then they must also reject the introduction of policies which render national service compulsory.

Rather than force young people to serve their country — and in order to demonstrate their own commitment — the Young Liberals would be much better advised to make it a condition of membership in their own organisation that the individual perform nine months of compulsory national service.

Adopting this policy would bring the Young Liberals numerous benefits.

In addition to enabling them to wean themselves off welfare, it would also provide a social benefit by developing in the Young Liberals an even deeper appreciation of Australian society and its traditions (especially its military ones), as well as a solid work ethic, a true sense of patriotism, mateship, camaraderie and self-sacrifice. At the very least, making nine months of national service compulsory for office-bearers would inspire many within the ranks of the Young Liberals, and they in turn young Australians: a win-win situation. (Unfortunately, being 30, Noel McCoy would be ineligible for such a program.)

On the other hand, young people do have a mutual obligation to society, and there are a large number of patriotic young Australians who are simply itching to become soldiers, so…

    And what is war, what is needed for success in war, what are the morals of the military world? The object of warfare is murder; the means employed in warfare — spying, treachery, and the encouragement of it, the ruin of a country, the plunders of its inhabitants… trickery and lying, which are called military strategy; the morals of the military class — absence of all independence, that is, discipline, idleness, ignorance, cruelty, debauchery, and drunkenness.

    ~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, 1872

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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