January 31, 2012

David Brooks: "we need a National Service Program."

"We need a program that would force members of the upper tribe and the lower tribe to live together, if only for a few years. We need a program in which people from both tribes work together to spread out the values, practices and institutions that lead to achievement."

Here's a value from my tribe (called We the People of the Unites States of America): Freedom.

154 comments:

Carol_Herman said...

We need better movies. We need John Wayne.

You know what's amazing? David Brooks gets paid to write real crap.

Can't you just hear George Carlin doing a riff "up there?" I think his bullshit detector would drop right through the clouds.

Rialby said...

From Wikipedia:
He graduated from Radnor High School (located in a Main Line suburb of Philadelphia) in 1979. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1983 with a degree in history.

I'm sure he mixed a lot with different classes at Radnor High and the University of Chicago.

Christopher in MA said...

It's called the draft.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I bet we would all wear really cool uniforms too and march in parades while Dear Leader waves to us from his special platform.

You know the scary thing is that guys like him aren't laughed out of town.

EMD said...

Chris beat me to it.

DaveW said...

We have one of those. It's called the United States Military. Upper and lower class alike can and do serve in it, they only need to love their country and feel the need to serve others.

It's just that like all good progressives Brooks believes people need to be forced to do what he wants them to do.

Amartel said...

Now, children, play nicely together. That's an order.

For certain people, the answer to every problem is always some sort of government compelled action.

F said...

I wonder what David Brooks did for his "live together" experiment? I did two years in rural India with the Peace Corps. I will admit it changed me a lot, and that's no small thing since I had previously lived in the third world anyway. But I worry about "national service" turning into "national cheering squads." What we really need is a national service that places city folks, especially from the two coasts, in flyover country. And Brooks should be the first to volunteer to spend 2 years in a small town like the one I live in now.

Rialby said...

Oh, and he lives in Bethesda where the average home price is almost a million dollars.

purplepenquin said...

It's called the draft.

This is a good idea for many reasons.

chickenlittle said...

I haven't read Brooks since he was honorably discharged from the WSJ. I'm not about to start now.

Michael said...

The draft once served this function but the draft is gone and won't be coming back (imagine OWS activated by the prospect of having to actually do something. Protest city.)

I would prefer if David Brooks just shut up.

Plus what F wrote.

Amartel said...

A liberal will be along shortly riff whimsically about tribes and tribalism and how we should be more curious to learn about other tribes and how this National Service Program isn't such a bad idea after all I mean think of the children and even though it came from the NYT's In-House Republican so maybe some Republicans aren't entirely racist after all. Maybe.

The Drill SGT said...

Forced Bussing :)

after all, the short hand for what he is saying (apologies to Crack) is that the white lower class is "acting black" to use the expression. Lower class whites are exhibiting the same destructive behavior that has crippled black progress out of poverty. For the same reasons. Big government, big Hollywood, and big education.

bringing back the draft or putting kids into some Post-obama Job corps to be indoctrinated won't work. You need to catch them (kids) earlier with policies get men into jobs, and women into marriages, (yeah, its more complicated, but blogger doesn't like long theses.

Using a very old analogy about that wonder of the middle ages warfare, the trained English Yeoman Long Bowman. When the French King asked his English captors how long it took to train a Long bowman, the English King replied, "you start with his grandfather..."

Carol_Herman said...

First of all, the jerks who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center, would aim their terrorist violence at the defenseless American kids.

So, this won't fly!

But you do have a problem. It is called UNEMPLOYMENT.

As long as there's no solutions to our UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS ... And, as long as teenagers can no longer find jobs after school ... where they'd gain some work experience, PLUS CASH. This problem is not going to go away.

I think Newt's suggestion to send these kids to the moon, would work better. (/S tag and all that.)

Maybe cell phones could be used to teach programming skills? (The way Ma Bell taught hackers they could get free phone calls, by blowing a whistle into the receiver, without paying a dime.)

You know, we could up the requirements to graduate high school, by keeping the non-readers in 3rd grade. And, just building bigger desks and seats.

Scott M said...

This is a good idea for many reasons.

Compulsory service would do our society a world of good. Expand it, though, to include things like the peace corps and the forestry service, etc. At least that way, the truly dangerous military gigs still go to the people that WANT to be there.

The Drill SGT said...

Yeah Carol,

I just got done watching some of my collection of John Ford Westerns. Hollywood needs role models like Wayne and Cooper.

Bring back Kirby York and Maureen O'Hara (not Michelle O'Bama)

I love watching Maureen twirl that umbrella to the sounds of the brass band playing "Dixie"

Rabel said...

Didn't Obama already cover this?

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've gotta have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

dmoelling said...

I live in what Charles Murry calls a "super-zip" community (more likely a "medium zip" community). Fortunately I live in an integrated section (plumbers and middle managers) so not so snooty. The problem is that the elites and aspiring elites have to try really hard to acquire the badges of elitedom. To do so they are not at all reluctant to use the power of government, even if only on the town level. Zoning, so-called open space, design restrictions etc. are used to keep the riff-raff out. It makes a pretty dead place.

It's David Brooks who needs to get out more. How about a weekly ferry ride to Staten Island for a story?

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I did 6 years in the National Guard, enlisting when I was 33 primarily due to feeling like I should do community service of some sort since I hadn't served in the regular military or Peace Corp etc. I believe in service.

Having said that, who cares what David Brooks thinks? I mean, really? He is one of the guys the left uses when they want to quote a Republican for their own purposes...He and Joe Scarbrough, and they each work for media organizations with relatively the same amount of credibility.

This idea that you can shape society in a positive direction by forcing "diversity" is a complete fraud even if it were moral to do so. All you can do is create opportunity. The rest is left up to the individual and most will reject it. The best we can do is make opportunity available to those who will take advantage.

Tank said...

This is what comes from hanging out with Tom Friedman at THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Sad.

Hey, the last thing we need is involuntary servitude. Isn't this mentioned in the 14th Amendment, or something.

Ah forget it, that document is dead.

The Drill SGT said...

Scott M said...
This is a good idea for many reasons.

Compulsory service would do our society a world of good. Expand it,


channeling Heinlein in Starship Troopers:

- Completely voluntary National Service
- you take the tests, and get assigned to do what is needed. be it emptying bed pans or being a vaccine test subject, or a Mobile Infantryman
- you can quit anytime
- you never get a second chance, if you quit
- only folks that complete their service get to vote

why?

because only the Veterans have demonstrated that they are willing to put the good of the Nation in front of self...

not.gonna.happen.

Sofa King said...

It's called the draft.

This is a good idea for many reasons.


I can't think of even one.

Scott M said...

not.gonna.happen.

Well, no, for a number of reasons. First, because the puppy/child method is not the norm in our society and not how we deal with crime. Second, because there aren't enough multiple-amputees to serve as recruiters. Third, no powered armor...yet.

Henry said...

Everyone in America should be required to pick up after an occupy protest.

Don said...

Sounds like China's Cultural Revolution. It seems more and more like the libs actually are taking their talking points from their "favorite philospher" Chairman Mao.

traditionalguy said...

The myth makers want more myth schools created.

The WWII experience following the 10 years of Depression inoculated the veterans from myths. We even had Film Noire audiences that refused myths for their entertainment.

The loss of incomes and any hope for an income is having a similar effect on the working age middleclass today.

Brooks sees that and says it needs fixing ...supposedly fixing by the same people who started it and are maintaining it to destroy the wealth of the USA and suck out the strength behind of the USA's military hegemony from within.

Ever notice that we are self deporting prosperity available in energy development and pipelines?

Christian said...

cMormon's do this all the time. It's called a "Ward". Although, there is no force, and it's entirely voluntarily, it has rich people like Mitt Romney rubbing shoulders with, serving along side, and often reporting to janitors, unemployed people, school teachers, etc. etc.

The irony of Mitt's wealth is that because he goes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints every week and is very active in his callings he not only rubs shoulders but serves and serves along side people from all walks of life.

purplepenquin said...

not.gonna.happen.

It could...especially if the same conditions occur that allowed it to be first set up in Heinlein's classic novel. (Yes, I give credit only to the book. There's only one good thing about that f'ed up movie, and that is it got some people to read the original.)

~~~

I can't think of even one.

People who vote to send men and women into war may ponder that decision a bit more deeper if they are sending their own children and/or spouses into harm's way.


Israel has a mandatory military term for all their citizens....why can't we?

mariner said...

When it was national MILITARY service it was Just Like Slavery(TM).

Henry said...

@Christian -- C.S. Lewis talks about this concept in one of his books. It is the concept of the parish. In a parish-based church, all worshippers in a location come together whatever their class.

If you go shopping for a religion you get to pick what class of people you associate with.

Tank said...

Actually, a pretty interesting and accurate column about Murray's new book; it's just the Friedmanesque solution that is absurd.

Murray's new book is mostly about whites - he left out the others to avoid the usual "racist" critiques.

Coketown said...

Will Idahoans be exempt? Considering there's virtually no difference in values or institutions between our "upper tribes" and "lower tribes", it seems like a waste of time and money and resources and effort. But that's David Brooks for you: cosmopolitan solutions for cosmopolitan problems. "New York is severely stratified, so this must be true for everyone else." Then he pops his head out of his office window and yells to the first little boy running past, "Hello! You there! Hurry to the Post Office and have a telegram dispatched immediately to the Oregon Territories, inquiring on the status of their working classes. No, nevermind. I haven't a shilling for your effort. I'll just assume their lot is the same as New York's lot. Good day!"

Or if I'm being even more cynical, Brooks's idea could be translated: "Let's put white people and black people together and hope that whiteness is contagious."

Robert Cook said...

"Hollywood needs role models like Wayne and Cooper."

No, it doesn't. Part of the reason we create so much trouble in the world is because so many Americans misperceive our imperialist land- and resource-grabs as altruistic heroism in the mold of the always fictional John Wayne movies--and we therefore support outright crimes against other nations.

edutcher said...

The Lefties hated the draft when it was killing Commies.

Now they want it because, like 1941, it would cut unemployment (15% in '40, 10%, by the time Pearl Harbor was attacked).

And, yes, you'd think the draft, but we could also be talking about Zero's civilian defense corpse.

Rialby said...

He graduated from Radnor High School (located in a Main Line suburb of Philadelphia) in 1979. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1983 with a degree in history.

I'm sure he mixed a lot with different classes at Radnor High and the University of Chicago.


Don't know about Chicago, but Radnor is just up the road from where I came from (Bryn Mawr). Middle class, a good many professionals, but a lot of trades there, too.

I'd say Brooks got his delusions more at Chicago.

Hagar said...

As stated many times above, we used to have that, and it was called the draft, and it included "the truly dangerous jobs."

Re-instituting it would do a world of good, not only for Mr. Brooks' idea, but we need a larger Regular Army anyway, and the G.I. Bill would be a great help with the sudent loan problem.

Seven Machos said...

Fuck David Brooks. The hoi polloi don't want him.

Rumpletweezer said...

Brooks can bite me. The government doesn't own me, goddamit, and you'd better come with a big gun if you want to enroll me or my kids in your stupid scheme.

Jack Wayne said...

It's not the draft. It's the Great Leap Forward.

Seven Machos said...

Also, reading thru the thread here, if you want a draft instead of a national service program, you are an authoritarian scum suffering from exactly the same problems that beleaguer dumb David Brooks.

The poor neighborhoods and the trailer parks and the ALDI and the Wal Mart closest to you are free to wander around in.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

Dear Mr. Brooks:

Why don't you try to sell this load of crap to Prez Obama who just gave a SOTU speech where he said he wants to be in charge of divvying up govt money based on whether you are in one group or another. Do you believe Obama's plan will bring us together?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Best regards,

AJ Lynch

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Murray’s basic argument is not new, that America is dividing into a two-caste society............His story starts in 1963.

Gee...what happened right about that time. The Great Society, which has sent us on a downhill slide into a country with a permanent dependent welfare class. Thanks a bunch Democrats!

The upper class, as he labels the rest of us, are those who continue to work and try to advance as before the Great Society crippled the country. The classification of the country is deliberate, malicious and done so that the progressives can keep themselves in power.

Thanks a bunch, hypocrites.

but we need a National Service Program. We need a program that would force members of the upper tribe and the lower tribe to live together, if only for a few years.

David Brooks is more than welcome to come and spend a year with my husband, pulling pumps from wells, replacing lift pumps in septic tanks, digging trenches and re-plumbing water tanks along with the occasional sewer line clean out jobs. Be sure to bring your rubber boots.

Then....we will spend a year lounging around in David's office sipping lattees.

That sounds fair, doncha think?

ic said...

Brooks wants to "force" the 1% to live with the 99% to upgrade the 99%, after he forced the upper tier Occupiers to share their fully loaded inflated priced $5000 MacBook Air with the lower tier in Zuccotti Park.

EMD said...

(Yes, I give credit only to the book. There's only one good thing about that f'ed up movie, and that is it got some people to read the original.)


Was there ever a more disappointing shower scene?

Paddy O said...

I like the idea. But here's the problem: "Force."

This stuff only works well if it comes out of free choice, which then leaves a person open to others, not resenting them.

But, some folks can't handle people making free choice to live how they want, so want to impose moral order on them. Which is basically a theocracy without a clearly defined theos, combining the worst of that model and the worst of bureaucracy as it is the bureaucrats who become the priests in such a system.

Michael said...

I am also not much interested in my kids learning the "values" of the lower classes which more and more appear to be comprised of tattoos, mangled grammar, early sex, church free Sundays and slovenly dress.

Pub Editor said...

@purplepenguin:

Maybe I'm misreading you, but you seem to be turning Starship Troopers on its head. One of Heinlein's major themes was to stress the superiority of an all-volunteer force over a conscripted force.

Speaking to a convention in Seattle in 1961, Heinlein said:
"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!"

In the book, the "conditions" that led to Heinlein's described system (fundamentally, a system (1) with an all-volunteer force and (2) where only honorably discharged veterans have the vote) is a general breakdown of society in which "citizens councils" of veterans assume control. Part of the formula was a large population of recent veterans (due to the recent conclusion of "The War of the Anglo-Russo-American Alliance against the Chinese Hegemony). How do you see that happening here?

Brooks and like-minded people (like Charlie Rangel) are talking, I beleive, about a mandatory National Service system. Heinlein hated the draft and wanted an all-volunteer system. Fundamentally different.

m stone said...

Brooks: The liberal members of the upper tribe latch onto this top 1 percent narrative because it excuses them from the central role they themselves are playing in driving inequality and unfairness.

Now that makes some sense. Of course "driving inequality" means dividing, but he can't bear to say it.

Pub Editor said...

I will agree that the book Starship Troopers is orders of magnitude better than the wretched film.

DADvocate said...

Here's a value from my tribe (called We the People of the Unites States of America): Freedom.

I can't believe all you g.d. right wingers think you should be able to do whatever you want, within reason or not. Get over it you little serfs!!

Pub Editor said...

@Henry: The parish church vs. congregational church distinction occurs in The Screwtape Letters.

Maguro said...

Another well-meaning social engineering project. What could possibly go wrong?

Paul Zrimsek said...

The poor neighborhoods and the trailer parks and the ALDI and the Wal Mart closest to you are free to wander around in.

What bugs Brooks is the fact that the people who live there are free to avoid him.

Even if we assume that people from different social backgrounds who are forced together will come out of it with a common set of mores (other than loathing for the people doing the forcing), why assume that the set chosen will be the one which has been losing ground to the other in this country for half a century now?

Paddy O said...

"In a parish-based church, all worshippers in a location come together whatever their class."

That works great as long as worship is itself compulsory. But, that's not the case anymore. That's precisely the trouble in Britain, folks of all classes combined to stop going to church altogether.

edutcher said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Murray’s basic argument is not new, that America is dividing into a two-caste society............His story starts in 1963.

Gee...what happened right about that time. The Great Society, which has sent us on a downhill slide into a country with a permanent dependent welfare class. Thanks a bunch Democrats!

The upper class, as he labels the rest of us, are those who continue to work and try to advance as before the Great Society crippled the country. The classification of the country is deliberate, malicious and done so that the progressives can keep themselves in power.

Thanks a bunch, hypocrites.


Well, with the Welfare State becoming unsustainable, that may all be coming to an end.

Original Mike said...

Explain to me why people think David Brooks is a conservative.

Tank said...

Conservatives do not think Brooks is a conservative.

We make fun of him.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Incidentally, Lewis disliked the congregational principle for a specifically religious reason-- he thought it encouraged believers to come to church in a spirit of criticism rather than humility. If some bright light had suggested encouraging parish churches for the secular purpose of mingling social classes, I suspect Lewis would have stuck it in his book as another bad example of "Christianity And". I suppose a similar abjection could be lodged against the idea of using the military for the same purpose.

Joe Schmoe said...

I just emailed Ross Douthat to have him go down the hall and bitch-slap Brooks.

Peter said...

Sometimes the best part of reading the New York Times is reading the "comments" columns. Because nothing quite describes the Upper West Side worldview as completely as what one finds there.

So, here's a sampling from Brooks' column.

I'd wondered if everyone had forgotten that Charles Murray wrote "The Bell Curve." They didn't. One commenter wants to dismiss the book out-of-hand because the author is also "the author of " 'The Bell Curve,' the notorious, racist screed ..." Another opines that "Coming Apart" is ", the kind of sociology that gave us eugenics and master-raciism." After all, Charles Murray "has been entirely discredited by the educated community."

Another insists that we just need more funding of pre-K education (as if Headstart hasn't been a colossal failure). More than a few simply insist that not enough "resources" are being spent on public education.

And the class warriors are out in force. For example, one asserts that Brooks "ignores the reality that many if not most in the upper tribe create nothing whatsoever of value." Another would "Eliminate [that] greed by taxing up to 90%" (and "reinvigorate the arts").

Besides, another reader offers "I don't believe these numbers or the way they are put together."

purplepenquin said...

If we could re-boot our country then I would lean towards a "Gotta serve if you wanna vote!" type of set-up that RAH espoused upon.

As it stands now, I think a draft...as vile as it may seem to some...would be in the best interests of our country for several reasons. We're in deep doo-doo right now, and I don't agree with my favorite author that we should just let our country swirl down the drain.

It wouldn't have to be full-time; people could serve in the Guard or Active Reserves. I also wouldn't want heavy punishments for failure-to-serve, but it should be a felony. Why should you be allowed all the rights that a country works to protect if you don't want to take part in protecting the country?


(And before anyone asks, I joined the Nat'l Guard when I was 17 and earned my blue cord before my 18th b-day. A few years later I wanted to go fulltime, and enlisted in the Navy.)

Henry said...

@Pub Editor -- Thanks. That's a hard thing to Google.

Freeman Hunt said...

I thought this was called school vouchers.

Is Brooks a fan or that or is too much freedom involved in it?

Freeman Hunt said...

Or, as has been mentioned, church.

Maybe Brooks will write a column encouraging people to go to church.

Freeman Hunt said...

"fan of that" even

Rusty said...

Israel has a mandatory military term for all their citizens....why can't we?


13th Amendment.
But you're free to sign up on your own if you like.

Nonapod said...

David Brooks seems like the very definition of what Adam Smith refers to as a Man of System in the Theory of Moral Sentiments.

“The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.”

Christopher in MA said...

Perhaps Brooks meant to type "Obamajugend," then thought better of it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If we could re-boot our country then I would lean towards a "Gotta serve if you wanna vote!" type of set-up that RAH espoused upon.


I would say that you have to either be an owner of property (pay real estate taxes) or actually PAY INCOME TAXES before you be allowed to vote.

If you have no 'skin in the game' it is easy to vote perks for yourself that others have to pay.

Some sort of test to show that you have a basic understanding of the constitution and the function of government would be nice. Mabye even be able to recognize who the candidate you are voting for actually is. (Watch a few Leno Jaywalking clips and weep at the idiocy and ignorance of the American voting public!!)

If you don't know WTF you are voting for you don't get to vote. Never happen....but a girl can dream.

Lem said...

We need a program that would force members of the upper tribe to have a hand on the lower tribes inner thigh through an entire dinner.

MadisonMan said...

It's good for you!

Lem said...

The word force sounds like a mandate.. meaning that because the TSA is already complying, they would be exempt.

Seven Machos said...

Israel has a mandatory military term for all their citizens

If this is true, then why don't all Israelis serve? Check your myths before peddling them. Thanks.

Moreover, we're not Israel.

Robert Cook said...

"I am also not much interested in my kids learning the "values" of the lower classes which more and more appear to be comprised of tattoos, mangled grammar, early sex, church free Sundays and slovenly dress."

All the more reason you or your kids might do well to work or serve alongside members of the "lower classes" for a while...perhaps you would all learn that they're people, too, just like you. They love their children and have hopes and fears for themselves and their families and want to work hard to achieve those dreams just as (presumably) you do.

Are there criminals among them? Sure, just as there are criminals in the upper classes, many of whom continue stealing you and me and all of us blind from their luxurious corner offices. The criminals from the upper classes do much more harm to many more people than do the small scale criminals from the lower classes...the superior dress, manners, diction and grammar of the corner office criminals notwithstanding.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Come to think of it, Brooks is exactly the sort of person who'd be very much in favor of other people going to church.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

David Brooks is an idiot. He used the word 'force' which is a key element of socialism.

He claims he once was a liberal who came to his senses. I say he never exhaled.

This is a (not so?) veiled diversity meme, don't fall for it.

Paddy O said...

"Why should you be allowed all the rights that a country works to protect if you don't want to take part in protecting the country?"

Because that's precisely the rights that are being protected. And one person's definition of supporting this country is different than another's. Who decides? Well, then a power structure with sharply defined political authoritarianism is developed.

This country is based on the fact that citizens are free to live their lives as they see fit. Fortunately, many people really do want to serve their country in the military or police. Others want to serve as farmers or raising emotionally healthy children or as doctors or educators or whatever. Some people don't want to help anyone but themselves by making money, and often these people help others by putting a lot of money into the system to build companies and fund loans and such.

Our right to live as we please, for the most part, is the right that is being protected.

Israel does what it does precisely for the same reason the United States did what it did in WWII, the state of the country itself was at stake from massive opposing forces. We aren't in Israel's situation, so applying their model would be doing so for vastly different reasons, reasons that would undermine our own philosophical reasons for being the country we are.

Robert Cook said...

"I will agree that the book Starship Troopers is orders of magnitude better than the wretched film."

WRONG!

The darkly ironic film, presented as a brightly-colored, fast-moving man-meets-monsters romp in space, is vastly more entertaining and sophisticated than the fun but two-dimensional novel for juveniles by Heinlein.

The Drill SGT said...

purplepenquin said...
If we could re-boot our country then I would lean towards a "Gotta serve if you wanna vote!" type of set-up that RAH espoused upon.

That's what those Colonial Militias were all about. You betcha that you didnt get to cast your vote if you weren't in the Militia.

and why when Swiss canton's used to vote in the village square, the method of tallying votes was for the head of the household to hold up the family pike or sword to vote.

Seven Machos said...

Paddy O is right. The founding document of this country is the Declaration of Independence. It does not say that we believe it is obvious that rights entail corresponding responsibilities (leaving aside whether that's true or not).

Instead, the Declaration says that we are all born with rights that cannot be taken away no matter what we do or do not do. It says: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Or, to paraphrase: suck it authoritarians.

deborah said...

The main advantage to a mandatory two-year hitch in the service is forcing the unformed young to straighten up and fly right. We now have a nation of young people embarking on extended adolescences, playing computer games and schmoozing at Starbucks and movie houses. Let them experience a couple years of reality that will prepare them for the onslaught of wooly-headed, feel-good, platitudinous garbage found at todays universities.

Jay said...

It wouldn't have to be full-time; people could serve in the Guard or Active Reserves.

What would all these people do and where would the money come from to pay them for their time?

Sofa King said...

National Service => National Duty => National Socialism

Seven Machos said...

Shorter Deboarah:

1. Youth is wasted on the wrong people.

2. Get off my lawn!

You think you are the first older person to see the youth generation as squandering its inheritance? Really? Come on, Deb. Come on, people. That sentiment has been going on among fuddy-duddies since cavemen. Youth no hunt! No fish! Only sit in cave and masturbate!

Yet somehow life goes on, and abundance continues.

Revenant said...

David Brooks checked his calendar and realized it had been at least three months since he made an idiotic suggestion. This is the result.

Sofa King said...

The main advantage to a mandatory two-year hitch in the service is forcing the unformed young to straighten up and fly right.

And you do so at the expense of the youth who don't need it. Punishing the good, for the sake of the bad. The archetypical socialist motive.

Robert Cook said...

"The upper class, as he labels the rest of us...."

Hahahaha!

DBQ, unless you're making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year--or more--you're not in the "upper classes."

From the point of view of the true upper classes in America, you--and "the rest of us"--are insignificant rabble.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Or, to paraphrase: suck it authoritarians."

If I may: there is a direct correlation between the erosion of rights enumerated in the Declaration and the size of government.

The Tea Party exists because its members recognize this. Simple, really.

wv - mooceboy

Cedarford said...

Althouse - "Here's a value from my tribe (called We the People of the Unites States of America): Freedom."

Here's a value from My Tribe, Althouse, it is called responsibility.

With certain freedoms comes certain responsibilities.
You want a couple neocon wars of adventure, pay taxes on them. Same with Medicare Part D.
You want oodles of entitlements you pay nothing for if you are poor - what will you do to compensate others for those "rights".

More and more, military or other onerous service to nation is something that the very well off yelling "freedom!" avoid.

Same with the poor claiming they are just too victimized and oppressed to have any responsibilities.

LarsPorsena said...

""We need a program that would force members of the upper tribe and the lower tribe to live together, if only for a few years. We need a program in which people from both tribes work together to spread out the values, practices and institutions that lead to achievement."

Isn't that why we have Organizing For America?.

The Drill SGT said...

WRONG!

The darkly ironic film, presented as a brightly-colored, fast-moving man-meets-monsters romp in space, is vastly more entertaining and sophisticated than the fun but two-dimensional novel for juveniles by Heinlein.


WoW!

Cookie,

Even when I expect so little from your comments, that is just so so so ignorant.

Here's part of the LAT movie revew:

"A jaw-dropping experience, so rigorously one-dimensional and free from even the pretense of intelligence it's hard not to be astonished and even mesmerized by what is on the screen."

Cedarford said...

DaveW said...
We have one of those. It's called the United States Military. Upper and lower class alike can and do serve in it, they only need to love their country and feel the need to serve others.

It's just that like all good progressives Brooks believes people need to be forced to do what he wants them to do

=================
Sounds good on paper, DaveW..but more and more, the Elites avoid military service.
You have whole cadres of "America's next generation of leaders" that have emerged from the Ivys and other prestigious
schools in the last 40 years without ever knowing a peer who has served or will serve in the military.

That is a problem.
As much as the Victimhood-Entitled that scream about their Freedoms and Rights without even a shred of acknowledgment they have attendent responsibilities.

Like it or not, each Freedom or entitlement comes from the blood and toil of people.
And a system that is more and more rigged to kowtow to individuals that stridently announce - "Fine! As long as it is the blood and toil of other people and doesn't trammel It's All About Me and Maximizing my Rights, Freedoms, and gratis entitlements!" - is not a sustainable system.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... The darkly ironic film, presented as a brightly-colored, fast-moving man-meets-monsters romp in space, is vastly more entertaining and sophisticated than the fun but two-dimensional novel for juveniles by Heinlein..."

As if I needed another example that you're clueless.

Kirk Parker said...

db;dr

LarsPorsena said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
"... The darkly ironic film, presented as a brightly-colored, fast-moving man-meets-monsters romp in space, is vastly more entertaining and sophisticated than the fun but two-dimensional novel for juveniles by Heinlein..."

-----------------------------------

I didn't get the irony of the film but then I'm from one of Brook's lower tribes. Us lowers don't do irony.

Yiddishe Bloyger said...

I have to say I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, I can't stand David Brooks. On the other hand, I'm don't think it's in our best interest to put the federal government in charge of such a program. On the other hand, I don't trust the current administration, so even if it was a good idea in the abstract to have such a federal program, I certainly don't want them running it. But on the other hand, we sure as heck need help as a society developing our children into adults, and our boys into men. 'Cause we ceded that job to nobody at this point.

roesch/voltaire said...

I think the idea of some sort of service, social, military etc required of all young people is a good one for giving a sense of national identity as well as showing how we are connected at some level. Today it seems the nation is losing it sense of a common core of values and a sense of fairness.

JackOfVA said...

Let me inject another science fiction idea from Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" -- the elite conscription act.

Interstellar war and the associated weapons and equipment is so complex that the minimum IQ to be drafted is 150.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The best value that can be taught that gives you great advantage in staying out of the lower class is:

Don't drop out of school

Don't get knocked up

Don't get arrested

Thus endeth the lesson.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Today it seems the nation is losing it sense of a common core of values and a sense of fairness.."

Good point. I don't think this is more aptly demonstrated than by the OWS people.

Yiddishe Bloyger said...

There are several models in the world of good use of a national service. Israel is an example. Switzerland is an example. And I can definitely see the value of a national service her to teach young people a sense of duty, responsibility, and self sufficiency. But look at how our military has evolved in the past few years. Generals who are slaves to the PC and diversity agenda. Until we can back our way out of that trap, any national service would simply be another venue for mandatory leftist propaganda.

Hazy Dave said...

Was it Heinlein that used to write about national service (i.e. serving in the armed forces) as a prerequisite to be able to vote? Or how about as a qualifier for this "free health care" that so many people seem to think is a fundamental entitlement?

Paddy O said...

"Today it seems the nation is losing it sense of a common core of values and a sense of fairness."

That's because a certain generation actively protested and rejected it. The only trouble is they weren't protesting the power structure, they just wanted to be in charge so they could tell everyone the right values and correct sense of fairness.

Also, anyone who thinks this nation ever had a common core of values and sense of fairness has never actually studied American history, going back to pre-history and human settlements. Our system is based on the fact we don't have common values or a sense of fairness, so I need to be protected from you asserting your values on me.

Don't establish yourself on me!

Marty said...

We need a program to eliminate programs.

Scott said...

The Israelis have a completely different strategic situation than we do (surrounded by enemies, massively outnumbered), and even so, they do NOT conscript their Arab citizenry (too unreliable), and grant numerous exemptions (the ultra-orthodox for instance, most young women for another) which bring their overall level of constription down to about 30% of the population. I can easily see how the exemptions would be easily abused with our political class...

As for the value of the draft for anything other than empty-headed social engineering, we don't have a large mass military as we did in WWII, the forces sent to Iraq and Afghanistan are relatively tiny by comparison. Before anyone starts with the 'if we had sent more troops...' keep in mind that among serious analysts there is almost universal agreement that more troops with the same bone-headed rules of engagement (in Iraq we tried to keep the troops we did send unobtrusive, grouping them together in megabases instead of active patrolling) wouldn't have helped much. For all the talk about the so-called 'surge', it was the change in the ROE that brought about better results....

And Cookie, I didn't think you could have said anything that would make me think less of you, then you defended Starship Troopers....

Paddy O said...

All that being said, I think having routes to options for public service is a great idea, even ones that are culturally and socially encouraged (but not compulsory).

Paddy O said...

Is the military really the best example for interacting with people from every class?

It is, after all, sharply divided between officers and enlisted, which while not strictly class based do seem to reflect, in general, class differences, and then rigidly enforce the distinction in a way that most of society doesn't.

Hazy Dave said...

Oh yeah, Drill Sgt mentioned the Heinlein, above. But, imagine the requirement to do something constructive to qualify for the free stuff everyone should have that we can't afford... Are rich people intrinsically more deserving of organ transplants? And why do doctors make so much money, anyway? I'm beginning to think we could be in for another 4 years of this redistributionist kick the can down the road.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ, unless you're making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year--or more--you're not in the "upper classes."

@ Cook

It isn't about how much money we make at this time. It is about values and attitudes. You must not have read the work that the article was referencing.

You missed the main point of the article which is that there are classes that "act" differently. Have different moral values. Have different ideas about how to live and how to work.

That there used to be less of a gap between groups of people. Meaning that the ideas and moral values were more commonly shared than they are now.

The one "class" that has the old model values are those that will tend to become successful and will eventually become financially wealthy.

The other "class" remains mired in UN-success and rarely is able to climb that ladder of success.

It wasn't about how MUCH money you or I make, but rather about the values that we hold that will help or hinder.

The other point of the article, which it is painfully obvious that you didn't bother to read, is that Brooks thinks that somehow by forcing the widening "classes" to socialize and work together, that somehow....perhaps by osmosis....the success values will be relearned by the nonsucess class.

Revenant said...

I think the idea of some sort of service, social, military etc required of all young people is a good one for giving a sense of national identity as well as showing how we are connected at some level.

Because fascism was so much fun the last time around?

Scott M said...

WRONG!

The darkly ironic film, presented as a brightly-colored, fast-moving man-meets-monsters romp in space, is vastly more entertaining and sophisticated than the fun but two-dimensional novel for juveniles by Heinlein.


I had a hint that RC was off his rocker when he defined who is and isn't a Christian. Now it's confirmed. The movie had nothing good from the book and added lots and lots of extremely bad superfluousness.

Sofa King said...

Today it seems the nation is losing it sense of a common core of values and a sense of fairness.


But our only common national value is that our nation is based explicitly political freedom. Appeals to "national identity" and "national moral values" (or should I say Volksgemeinschaft?) are absolutely Anti-american, as I see it.

Yiddishe Bloyger said...

Scott made an excellent point about Israel exempting the Arab citizens. If we had a national program like that, we would no doubt adopt a similar approach. We would exempt conservatives and many Jews. Jihadis could start as officers. And pretty soon it wouldn't be necessary to invade the country.

purplepenquin said...

The reason why the Starship Troopers movie was so bad is because when the script was first written it wasn't actually based on the book. Dude had written a generic screenplay about Space Marines vs Alien Bugs and his buddy told him it was akin to the Heinlein book. They thought it would sell better with the Godfather-of-Science-Fiction's name attached, so they simply added a few scenes after getting the rights to the novel.

Scott M said...

They thought it would sell better with the Godfather-of-Science-Fiction's name attached, so they simply added a few scenes after getting the rights to the novel.

If memory serves, the Godfather's widow had his name pulled and rightly so.

n.n said...

The values are defined in The Declaration of Independence and the guidelines are set forth in the Constitution. The only thing missing is voluntary compliance.

The use of involuntary measures or coercion only serves to exacerbate the corruption which afflicts our society, and they do not address the underlying issues and change which have contributed to progressive corruption.

Robert Cook said...

"I didn't get the irony of the film but then I'm from one of Brook's lower tribes. Us lowers don't do irony."

Watch it again.

Robert Cook said...

"Here's part of the LAT movie revew:

'A jaw-dropping experience, so rigorously one-dimensional and free from even the pretense of intelligence it's hard not to be astonished and even mesmerized by what is on the screen.'"


I will assume LAT is the Los Angeles Times. This review simply reveals the boneheaded obtuseness of ostensibly knowledgeable movie critics.

EMD said...

I have to say I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, I can't stand David Brooks. On the other hand, I'm don't think it's in our best interest to put the federal government in charge of such a program. On the other hand, I don't trust the current administration, so even if it was a good idea in the abstract to have such a federal program, I certainly don't want them running it. But on the other hand, we sure as heck need help as a society developing our children into adults, and our boys into men. 'Cause we ceded that job to nobody at this point.

You may be of two minds, but where'd you get the extra hand?

deborah said...

Seven Machos said...
"Shorter Deboarah:

1. Youth is wasted on the wrong people.

2. Get off my lawn!

You think you are the first older person to see the youth generation as squandering its inheritance? Really? Come on, Deb. Come on, people. That sentiment has been going on among fuddy-duddies since cavemen. Youth no hunt! No fish! Only sit in cave and masturbate!

Yet somehow life goes on, and abundance continues."

Leaving aside your inane 'shorters,' things are a little more serious since the days when beaver-coat clad college men ate goldfish for a lark. This is about the fabric of society being rent by the easy divorces made available to youth who blithely enter marriages just so they can 'say yes to the dress' and have David Tutera plan their weddings. This is a nation of youths (and adults) who think Jersey Shore and Real Housewives and the back-stabbing on Survivor is quality programming.

As for abundance continuing, our current 'abundance' more and more results in being a service society. Let's hear it for the value of enjoying a latte while enjoying a luxurious pedicure.

To paraphrase TS Eliot, civilized society ends when it crawls up it's backside.

So yes, Seven, I think there would be value in youths 'getting real' for a couple years. You know, waking up early, learning job skills, and however reluctantly, deveoping comraderie with others they would not usually have much contact with.

deborah said...

"And you do so at the expense of the youth who don't need it. Punishing the good, for the sake of the bad. The archetypical socialist motive."

Perhaps. But the positives of enforced 'pulling together' might outweigh the negatives.

Socrates believed that the state as nurturer and provider deserved reciprocated allegiance.

Revenant said...

This review simply reveals the boneheaded obtuseness of ostensibly knowledgeable movie critics.

The problem is that the critics are assessing the quality of the movie, both as a work of art and as a source of entertainment. By those criteria the movie stunk.

You're assessing the movie as a vehicle for ideology: "whoa, he dressed the heroes like Nazis! He's copying old propaganda films! What a clever message!". By that standard the movie is excellent... I guess?

Actually even by that standard it sucks. There must be a hundred films out there that conveyed a similar message without making the audience want to drink bleach.

Scott M said...

There must be a hundred films out there that conveyed a similar message without making the audience want to drink bleach.

Melted sterno, in my case, but yeah. There was simply nothing redeeming about 90210 In Space.

Revenant said...

Socrates believed that the state as nurturer and provider deserved reciprocated allegiance.

Ultimately the state ordered Socrates to drink poison because it didn't like his attitude.

I'm just sayin'.

Kirk Parker said...

"We need a program to eliminate programs. "

Shouldn't take more than a few lines of Lisp.

Yiddishe Bloyger said...

@EMD: I think I had two extra hands there, but who's counting :)

Look, between OWS and the Feds looking for handouts from every direction, I figure we need all the extra hands we can get.

Pub Editor said...

Socrates believed that the state as nurturer and provider deserved reciprocated allegiance.

Socrates showed that allegiance by submitting to the verdict imposed by his fellow citizens in a criminal proceeding. Making a stand for the Rule of Law does not equal making a stand for National Service.

Socrates did serve his polis as an infantryman in several battles (e.g. at Delium)...as a volunteer, if I recall correctly.

Socrates, unlike some of his wandering disciples, to my knowledge never showed any affinity for Spartan society, which very definitely had strong ideas of National Service.

sleepless nights said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

As for abundance continuing, our current 'abundance' more and more results in being a service society. Let's hear it for the value of enjoying a latte while enjoying a luxurious pedicure.

It amuses me that when people think "service society" they immediate leap to "making coffee and giving pedicures". Whereas in reality, the service sector includes everything except agriculture, resource extraction, construction, and manufacturing. Doctors, scientists, teachers, artists, priests, philosophers, journalists, soldiers, social workers, police, firemen -- these people are all service sector workers.

The service sector is the sector with the MOST need for human intelligence and the least need for the kind of brute force better left to animals and machines. That our service sector is growing so much faster than the rest of the economy is something to celebrate, not mourn.

deborah said...

"Ultimately the state ordered Socrates to drink poison because it didn't like his attitude."

He had an opportunity to escape, but chose to demonstrate deference to the rule of law of the country that formed and nurtured him.

Revenant said...

He had an opportunity to escape, but chose to demonstrate deference to the rule of law of the country that formed and nurtured him.

Voluntary submission to wrongful government behavior is the antithesis of what this country is about, Deborah. May I direct your attention to the Declaration of Independence?

dbp said...

"Socrates, unlike some of his wandering disciples, to my knowledge never showed any affinity for Spartan society, which very definitely had strong ideas of National Service."

You could not be more wrong. Plato's Republic idealizes the Spartan model. It is possible, though certainly not a wide spread view, that the words Plato put into Socrates' mouth were not his own.

Smilin' Jack said...

"... The darkly ironic film, presented as a brightly-colored, fast-moving man-meets-monsters romp in space, is vastly more entertaining and sophisticated than the fun but two-dimensional novel for juveniles by Heinlein..."

Also, Denise Richards does not take a shower in the book. Q.E.D.

deborah said...

"It amuses me that when people think "service society" they immediate leap to "making coffee and giving pedicures". Whereas in reality, the service sector includes everything except agriculture, resource extraction, construction, and manufacturing. Doctors, scientists, teachers, artists, priests, philosophers, journalists, soldiers, social workers, police, firemen -- these people are all service sector workers."

My bad, point conceded, but what is going to externally fuel this happy merry-go-round?

Robert Cook said...

"Also, Denise Richards does not take a shower in the book. Q.E.D"

She doesn't take one in the movie, either. It's the red-headed chick with the long-simmering love for the Aryan protagonist who showers in the movie. "At least (she) had him!"

deborah said...

"Voluntary submission to wrongful government behavior is the antithesis of what this country is about, Deborah. May I direct your attention to the Declaration of Independence?"

Of course you may if I may be permitted to clarify my point that there is value in dying for a higher value which, at the time, was the equivalent of the Constitution.

Robert Cook said...

Actually, I think STARSHIP TROOPERS is massively entertaining simply as a man-fights-bug space opera! (It hardly made me want to drink bleach. It was as tasty as a frosty chocolate malt.)

The depiction of the good guys as Nazis just makes it more finger-lickin' good!

Pub Editor said...

You could not be more wrong. Plato's Republic idealizes the Spartan model. It is possible, though certainly not a wide spread view, that the words Plato put into Socrates' mouth were not his own.

I would maintain that, by the time we get to The Republic, Plato is using Socrates as a mouthpiece for his own harebrained ideas, rather than reflecting the words of the dead master.

We're not going to "solve" the Socratic Problem in one comment thread, but I for one believe that the "Socrates" of the Republic (who admired Sparta) is not the same as the Socrates of The Apology, dialogues like Laches, and the writings of Xenophon. I guess that I subsribe to the views of Karl Popper (in this limited case) and George Sarton on the matter. I will freely admit that this is probably a minority view in academia at this time. But "could not be more wrong"? I think you overstate your case.

(It's like in a judicial opinion: whenever the judge begins a sentence with "Clearly...", my bullsh*t detector clicks.)

Revenant said...

there is value in dying for a higher value which, at the time, was the equivalent of the Constitution.

I couldn't agree less. Socrates died for a principle our Founders explicitly rejected.

dbp said...

It is not really known which order Plato wrote the dialogs, but I don't see any reason to suspect some of them contain the thoughts of Socrates and some don't. Socrates never wrote any himself after all.

Revenant said...

The depiction of the good guys as Nazis just makes it more finger-lickin' good!

The irony is that the film actually removed what little complexity existed in the original novel.

Beldar said...

Why does the New York Times get to pick the GOP's Official Clown?

Rob Crawford said...

Part of the reason we create so much trouble in the world is because so many Americans misperceive our imperialist land- and resource-grabs as altruistic heroism in the mold of the always fictional John Wayne movies--and we therefore support outright crimes against other nations.

To quote Wacko Warner: "Dumber than advertised!"

Seriously, you need to educate yourself from sources not marinated in leftist cant.

deborah said...

there is value in dying for a higher value which, at the time, was the equivalent of the Constitution.

I couldn't agree less. Socrates died for a principle our Founders explicitly rejected.

The principle of blind allegiance? The Fathers went on to allow slavery, the anti-thesis of freedom, in order to establish a covenant they felt worthy of dying for.

Robert Cook said...

"The irony is that the film actually removed what little complexity existed in the original novel."

No, it didn't.

I read the novel originally as an adolescent and thought it thrillingly entertaining. A couple years after seeing the movie, I decided to read the book again.

It's still a fast read, but it's far less exciting than I had recalled, and lacking any depth at all. That's when I realized the movie had improved upon the novel.

JAL said...

College helped. One of my roommates was a Congressman's daughter.

She was also a shop lifter for the thrills. (The stores weren't thrilled, I am sure.) I was stunned.

(Disclosure -- so as I until Mr. Murray caught me at age 8 in his 5 & Dime and threatened to tell my parents and scared the bizoogies out of me. I never shoplifted again.)

I went to the same school as people with money with people like me who got up at 5 AM and worked in the cafeteria. We were friends.

I had a blast and learned a lot about life.

Funny how so many smart [sic] people (like Brooks, Obama, Sullivan, Krugmann et al) can be black and white stupid.

Sort of like the intellectual South American marxist guy I knew briefly in NYC way back when. He did not understand that he would be one of the targets after the Revolution. They all think they will be exempt. (Must be part of the Plan, as Obama is exempting all his good buddies.)

Sort of like Congress ....

Here's an idea. Why doesn't Brooks do one of those Undercover Boss schticks for, oh, say 16 months. And live on < $25,000 a year in a neighborhood of the same blend.

Sigh.

Pub Editor said...

It is not really known which order Plato wrote the dialogs

Granted. Although we can make guesses, we cannot know.

I don't see any reason to suspect some of them contain the thoughts of Socrates and some don't

Most scholars and most readers notice a change of tone, emphasis, and ideas between the "early dialogues" (e.g., Crito, Laches, Euthyphro) and "later" works (e.g. The Republic, Symposium, Statesman). Basically, Socrates switches from mental sparring to preaching and lecturing.

Where Plato and Xenophon agree, I am comfortable that we are have something close to the "real" Socrates (to the extent that phrase has any meaning). The more Plato's "Socrates" diverges from the image of "Socrates" in Xenophon, the more skeptical I am that Plato is not ascribing ideas to Socrates that Socrates never held or endorsed.

Revenant said...

It's still a fast read, but it's far less exciting than I had recalled, and lacking any depth at all. That's when I realized the movie had improved upon the novel.

I'd love to hear what "depth" you think the movie had.

Heck, at least the aliens of the book had a motive (the same motive as the humans, for that matter).

J said...

I saw we have a program to have people like David Brooks eat shit.

I mean that literally. It's a program where shit is crammed down their throats.

It couldn't make their thought processes any worse.

John Lynch said...

I've read Charles Murray, too.

The US Armed forces seems to win more wars without the draftees from the upper classes.

Make of this what you will.

wv aspie

lol

EMD said...

She doesn't take one in the movie, either. It's the red-headed chick with the long-simmering love for the Aryan protagonist who showers in the movie. "At least (she) had him!"

Keri Russell is topless in the shower. Keri Russell has flat boobs. Great hair, flat boobs.

pst314 said...

David Brooks wants to force everyone to do "national service"?

Okay, let's start by forcing him to spend three years doing tasks set by people whose political opinions are diametrically opposed to his. See how he likes that.

Calypso Facto said...

"We need a program in which people from both tribes work together to spread out the values, practices and institutions that lead to achievement."

Mr. Brooks is also quite sure that his tribe of cultural elites will get to determine what values and practices are taught to the rest of us....