David: Maybe it’s because I’m a looney libertarian myself (and therefore more accustomed to reading stark descriptions of government coercision), but I have no idea what’s wrong with what Radley wrote. He’s reacting to Bob Wright’s suggestion that a society based on military values would be terrific, in part because of the government health care. Read the rest of the post:
Wright thinks this would be a good model for the rest of society. So long as all that coercion is used to instill good, liberal values in the citizenry…
I’m not an anti-military libertarian. I think it’s necessary, and I think there are times when it’s necessary that we use it. When used properly-to kill people and destroy infrastructure-it’s marvelously good at what it does… But that is what the military is for. It’s for destroying things, including large quantities of life. The values Wright so admires-and the procedures the military uses to instill those values-are emphasized because time and experience has shown that those are the values most conducive to the military’s mission. Which-at risk of repeating myself-is killing people and destroying their countries.
Wright values egalitarianism, access to health care, and economic mobility. Fair enough. I understand that he likes the Army because those things seem to be plentiful there. But it’s telling that he neglected to acknowledge the wholesale surrender of rights the Army requires of everyone who enlists in order to achieve them.
That’s all true — military service does require that troops agree to a set of rules that would be totally unacceptable in the larger society, and it is notable that Wright elides that.