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Let's bring back National Service!

05 February 2013, 12:00
Those who know me well know me as an anarchist, and a generally non-violent and spiritual person. I like to think I'm one of the most spiritual people I know, and am certainly not in favour of senseless bloodshed.

It may surprise you, therefore, to learn that I am in favour of bringing back National Service in South Africa.

Of course this doesn't mean we have to go back to Angola or Vietnam and get shot at. Your national service doesn't have to be military. It can be spiritual national service too. Free ashtanga yoga lessons in the townships? It can happen in your lifetime!

Of course, even military National Service has its place. I think its a given that if it wasn't for National Service, Israel would have been over-run by the Palestinians by now. I'm not Jewish, but you know what I mean. Same with Switzerland and how they kept out of WW2.

Strong walls make good neighbours. And while I am obviously against the use of nuclear bombs, you have to admit, they have been an instrument of peace, keeping the Cold War mostly cold for 50 years.

By reading some of the responses to recent articles, it was clear to me that although some people had a bad time in the Army, others brought back some positives from the experience - and why not? Imagine how much more positive it would have been if you had been doing something physically constructive, like building a new highways or whatever. You could drive along a stretch of the N1, stop with your kids, get out, show them the tar and say I MADE THIS!

By conscripting every 16 and 18 year old for two years and making them do stuff for the country, you will have cheap labour (strike and you will be thrown in chookie, ha ha!) and everyone will learn a skill.

Again, being forced to do things by the government might seem anti-anarchist, and maybe it is. But if everyone is given the freedom to serve their country in whatever way seems best to them, I don't see this as a problem. 
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