Tuesday, 1 January 2013

What America can learn from Switzerland.



A traveller in time said...

Great article Keith. Many thanks!

Jenny said...

Thank you Keith.

A bit of background which might help.

We *began* with a militia description much as described. This was a very deliberate choice of Whig political thought - remember most were Classicists as few are today - and the choice of a universal militia was derived from the experience of Republican Rome and the fallout of the Marian reforms.

Fast forward two thousand years.

In the early years of the 20th c, our state militias were effectively nationalized. Ostensibly for modernization I believe, but the timing - the political heydey of those who saw the damage of our Civil War as children - leads me to think it was primarily about consolidating the power of the sword.

By reducing the military power of the disparate states in favor of the national government, I believe they thought they would be making such horrors as our Civil War less likely in the future.

The unintended consequence of professionalizing our military - well known to our Classical founders but forgotten in modern times - was an increasing gulf between the soldier and the citizen.

The former loses many of his disincentives to long service abroad. The latter becomes childish and insulated from the brutal reality of his political choices.

Humanity, as those of us who dabble in programming here sometimes say, has a comparatively fixed API. The same incentives will usually produce the same results.

And so the rhyme of history gains another stanza.

Thanks Loup!

Frontier Carpenter said...

Good article Keith I couldn't agree more with the idea of social control.

The problem I see with America now is that we have went from being a rural country to more of an urban country. Peoples values are different dependent on were they live. Predominantly people living in rural areas are more independent and want as little government interaction. People in urban areas expect everything from the government.

I'm glad I live in rural America. By the way my at my sons school which is private they offer a hunters education class and bring in firearms and talk about gun safety and responsibility. This does not happen in the public schools, hell anymore teaching doesn't take place in the public school their to busy turning the kids into future entitlement beneficiaries