Arnold Kling  

Conservative Fascism

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Dogs: I Take it Back... Anti-fascism...

David Brooks writes,


National service should be a rite of passage for 20-somethings, and these volunteers could mentor students through high school and college years.

...That’s the conservatism of the fresh start.


I think that everyone who is in favor of national service should immediately set an example. Mr. Brooks would do well to abandon his column and become a student mentor.


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CATEGORIES: Political Economy



COMMENTS (20 to date)
Randy writes:

This is already being implemented in many high schools - community service hours are often required for graduation. If it goes unchallenged in the schools, then it is one step closer to becoming law, and military conscription will not be far behind.

Scott Scheule writes:

Is your post title an imperative? Because I refuse to conservate fascism, even if conservate was a word.

Arnold Kling writes:

The title was a typo, not an imperative.

Scott Scheule writes:

The comment was a joke, not a snark.

RL writes:

"Mr. Brooks would do well to abandon his column and become a student mentor."

Indeed, I think we would all be better off if Mr. Brooks abandoned his column, independent of whether or not he went on to student mentor...

Daniel writes:
I think that everyone who is in favor of national service should immediately set an example. Mr. Brooks would do well to abandon his column and become a student mentor.

And your much superior notion of how to improve a nation-state's process of 'Human Capital Development' is...what, again? Otherwise, you're just being snarky, not putting forth your own suggestion on it. Is this because you're happy with how things are now?

Brad Hutchings writes:

Brooks can bite me. If that is conservatism, I want none of it. I'd gladly help young people avoid such a ridiculous mandated waste of their time and talent, and consider it my own version of national service. The ideas that catch hold in flyover country these days perplex me. It's far worse than the liberal claptrap emanating from New York and Los Angeles.

Owen Hatteras writes:

Mencken's Law:

If A proposes that B take wealth from C to help D, then A is a scoundrel.

Brooks is just another in the conspiracy of scoundrels.

The scoundrels divide up into "conservative" and "liberal", and then do what scoundrels do.

Daniel writes:
It's far worse than the liberal claptrap emanating from New York and Los Angeles.

Oh, really, Brad? How much book-learning do you think went on at the anti-USMC protests in Berkeley on 12 Feb, 2008?

"http://www.zombietime.com/berkeley_marines_2-12-2008/"


Apparently their teachers took those young minds to this event, which featured the Maoist group, "World Can't Wait".

BTW Still waiting on a response from Dr. Kling on how he would mold young minds in lieu of National Service. I wouldn't mind hearing more specifics as far as Brad's philanthropic notion; at least we, the People, wouldn't be taxed for his plan. Or would we?

Arnold Kling writes:

I am a parent. I also teach high school statistics. That is about as far as I am prepared to go to mold young minds.

I don't have any centralized solution for molding minds. The minds that I really wish I could mold are the minds that believe in centralized solutions.

Daniel writes:

"...I also teach high school statistics."

So we should put you down as happy with how things are, then. Being part of the problem really invalidates your snarky, solution-free response to David Brooks.

"I don't have any centralized solution for molding minds. The minds that I really wish I could mold are the minds that believe in centralized solutions."

Who said anything about belief in centralized solutions? Personally, I would prefer more support for home-schooling, and vouchers for low-income families. It's not like we're advocating statistics classes in public schools and busing to anti-US protests here, are we?

Dennis Mangan writes:

Brooks is well known in conservative circles as not being a real conservative, just the NY Times house pet. So, Arnold, I think your post header is mistaken. I can't think of any real conservative who advocates national service except in times of grave national danger. It's liberals who love the draft.

Brad Hutchings writes:

Daniel,

I'm not defending the crazies and loonies at Berkeley, other than to note that if they protest peacefully, it's their right. It sounds like you're coming at this as a culture warrior rather than someone who values freedom, like say the freedom of a 20-something to be able to spend his time working at in-N-Out, skateboarding in the evenings, and drinking with his buddies. To me, even that's worth defending, though I'll never be a 20-something again. If national service becomes a conservative proposal in the context of the culture war, I'll side with the liberals. You can teach liberals math and economics. You can't teach tolerance to troglodyte conservatives.

Dr. T writes:

Commenter Daniel does not seem to understand what others are saying. Here it is in language simple enough for him: The concept of National Service sucks. It is nearly the equivalent of indentured servitude. No alternate proposal is required, because there is no real national problem that National Service would be fixing.

I also agree with a previous commenter about the idiocy of compulsory community service to graduate high school. Not too long ago, the only people who performed compulsory community service were those convicted of misdemeanor crimes. I guess all teenagers are now de facto misdemeanor criminals.

David Bradley writes:

I thought there was a Constitutional ban on involuntary servitude (though that didn't stop the military drafts of the 20th Century).

Daniel writes:

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Daniel writes:

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Alex writes:

So, how are the 20 somethings, like me, supposed to build human capital when we spend all of our time mentoring younger people? I work 50+ hours a week, am I supposed to take time off work to teach people or waste a couple of years in the army? How does that build my human capital?

Sorge L. Diaz writes:

I'm sorry, but David Brooks is a conservative? I hadn't noticed.

aaron writes:

I've an idea. Instead we can pay people to do this. We can also assemble youths in cental locations and times so that we can more effectively match them with teachers. We can call them schools or something.

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