Demos today launches a report arguing that the principle of national service, abolished in Britain in 1960, still has something to offer. A national civilian service — a sort of “civic corps” — would look very different from its military forebear: it would be flexible and tailored to people’s lives, not a one-size-fits-all compulsory scheme.
It would, however, be based on the same principles that underpinned wartime service: the idea that we owe something to each other and that citizenship is more than a soulless contract between individuals and the state. It would be paid for by introducing interest on student loans, raising about £1.2 billion a year.
The scheme would see people serving throughout their lives, taking up opportunities, from school projects at the age of seven to paid leave for employees. For a week a year, people would down their tools or keyboards and pick up litter, dredge canals, become reading mentors or help the elderly. The community benefits would be huge.
That last sounds very like a subotnika.
And, err, yes, people did try this
In fact, it\’s been tried several times.
What is it with these people? Why can they not understand that civil society is, by definition, voluntary society?
Fuck me, they bring in nonsense like this I\’ll have to not just move back but start having children: so that they can jail me as I deny them to the State and it\’s myrmidons.