If military establishments in time of peace be judged proper, their purpose may be effected either by consigning the practice of military discipline to a certain part of the community, or by making every man, whose age is suitable for that purpose, a soldier.
The preferrableness of the latter of these methods to the former is obvious. The man that is merely a soldier must always be uncommonly depraved. War, in his case inevitably degenerates from the necessary precautions of a personal defence into a trade, by which a man sells his skill in murder, and the safety of his existence, for a pecuniary recompense. The man that is merely a soldier ceases to be, in the same sense as his neighbours, a citizen. He is cut off from the rest of the community, and has sentiments and a rule of judgement peculiar to himself. He considers his countrymen as indebted to him for their security; and, by an unavoidable transition of reasoning, believes that in a double sense, they are at his mercy. On the other hand, that every citizen should exercize in his turn the functions of a soldier seems peculiarily favourable to that confidence in himself, and in the resources of his country, which it is so desirable he should entertain. It is congenial to that equality which must operate to a considerable extent before mankind in general can be either virtuous or wise. And it seems to multiply the powers of defence in a country, so as to render the idea of its falling under the yoke of an enemy in the utmost degree improbable.
In case you have not noticed, I like to peer over Godwin's shoulder, after checking the 1516 Purity Law and the 1971 NHL rulebook, when I am in need of a little wisdom. For an Englishman, the fucker could rock. His above thoughts speak to our present day military predicaments like few present day thinkers do. Sometimes I think just about all of today's thinkers are all not thinking so good.
I am big on everybody who wants to to get in on the action to have a place made for them in our modern armies. i.e. Why is my job not reserved for me back home if I were willing to fuck off for Afghanistan as a medic?
Every citizen who wants one should be given a little training, a uniform, a big motherfucking gun or two and a roomful of ammo. But we should never conscript the unwilling to become a state's murderers, with the possible exception of politicians. Those fuckers should be on the front line swimming in blood.
Man does not live on beer and hockey alone. He needs some guns.