Below The Beltway

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Robert Heinlein On Conscription

by @ 7:28 am on November 20, 2006. Filed under Individual Liberty, The Liberty Papers

My post about Congressman Charles Rangel’s call to reinstate the draft has generated quite alot of discussion over at The Liberty Papers. One of the comments includes this great quote from my favorite Science Fiction author, Robert A. Heinlein:

“I also think there are prices too high to pay to save the United States. Conscription is one of them. Conscription is slavery, and I don’t think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called. We have had the draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If a country can’t save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say: Let the damned thing go down the drain!”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

3 Responses to “Robert Heinlein On Conscription”

  1. You know that Starship Trooper was a cult book in the Army in the 70s and 80s. Read by many officers and admired. On the bounce.

  2. Freddie says:

    There are things a lot worse then conscription. If we had lost World War II because we did not want conscription, then we would know what real slavery is. Sometimes one has to pick from alternatives even though one does not like any of the alternatives.

  3. Of course, during WWII there would have likely been overwhelming support for joining the military — indeed the military had to turn down some people so as not to lose essential personnel from defense-related areas. That is why neither of my grandfathers served in uniform during the war — one was a state police officer detailed to guard a defense plant in the St. Louis area, and the other was a shipyard worker sent to do a bit of “repair work” at Pearl Harbor in early 1942 before being relocated to a shipyard in San Diego once that job was done.

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