1989 alone, nine bills in the Senatenand eleven in the House proposednsome sort of national service. PresidentnBush’s $25 million Youth Engaged innService (YES), the least ambitious plannof national service, would create anPoints of Light Foundation to grant taxnfunds to promising private organizationsnand public service programs. Thenmost ambitious plan, the bill that hasndrawn the most attention and the onento which virtually all of the Hoovernpanelists addressed their arguments,nwas drawn up by the DemocraticnLeadership Council (DLC) and introducedninto Congress as the Citizenshipnand National Service Act of 1989 bynSenator Sam Nunn (D-Georgia) andnCongressman Dave McCurdy (D-Oklahoma).nThe New York Times callednthis $13 billion proposal “the catalyst”nof the current national service debate.nThe Nunn-McCurdy bill proposedna voluntary program of national servicenthat would encompass both civiliannservice and citizen soldiery. Individualsnwho had completed high school with andiploma or its equivalent could eithernenlist in the armed forces for two yearsnof active duty or work for one or twonyears in a CiHzen Corps for $100 anweek plus health insurance valued atn$1,100 a year. Charies Moskos — ansociologist at Northwestern Universitynand one of the nation’s leading proponentsnof national service—believesnthere are 3.5 million positions openneach year that are ideally suited fornunskilled Citizen Corps volunteers,nparticularly in “education, the healthnsector, and child care, but several hundrednthousand youth could be employednin such fields as conservation,ncriminal jusHce, and libraries and museums.”nAll participants in the Citizen Corpsnwould receive a $10,000 tax-freenvoucher for each year of service, whichncould be used for college tuition, careerntraining, or a down payment on anhouse; a two-year stint in the armednforces would entitle the volunteer to an$24,000 tax-free voucher. After anphase-in period of five years, all federalnfunds for student aid would be tied tonthis program; in other words, studentnloans and grants would be contingentnon national service.nThe Hoover debate highlights thenprincipal objections to this program.nPolicy analyst Bruce Chapman andn28/CHRONICLESneconomist Walter Oi demonstratednthat the national service volunteersnenrolling in the military track wouldnactually be earning a higher salary thannregular military recruits — hardly annincentive “to be all you can be.”nMilton Friedman, not surprisingly, objectednto any form of national service.nBesides questioning the voluntarinessnof these voluntary programs — “Is itnvoluntary for me as a taxpayer whennmy money is used for the purpose ofnpromoting somebody else’s concept ofnnational service?” — he argued thatnthe law of unintended consequencesnforever works overtime in national politics,nthat large, federally-run projectsnare doomed to be perverted into porknbarrels of corruption. He, amongnothers, also questioned the “opportunityncosts” of such initiatives, the cost ofnforegoing whatever else our youngnpeople could be doing in lieu of sweepingnfloors for Uncle Sam, to whichnproponent Amitai Etziono responded:n”I could accept people working less fornMcDonald’s and more for the conservationncorps.”nThe deficit crisis stalled the DLCnplan in late spring of 1989, whereuponnSenator Nunn and others began speakingnof a small trial run of the project.nVirtually every proposal of nationalnservice ever made has suddenly beennresurrected for inclusion in this $300nmillion experiment. Programs bynBarbara Mikulski, Christopher Dodd,nand Edward Kennedy have been combinednwith the Volunteers in Service tonAmerica, Retired Senior Volunteer,nFoster Grandparent, and the SeniornCompanion programs and included innthis new omnibus bill. It is difficult tondisagree with Bruce Chapman’s observationnthat what is now at work is thatn”great stove of government expansionismnwhere many a pot of old liberalnporridge is kept on the back burnernuntil it can be brought forward andnpresented as nouvelle cuisine.”nBut perhaps what is most interestingnabout the Hoover debate is not sonmuch what was discussed as what thenpanel refused to discuss: the idea of anmandatory system of national service.n”No one is talking about compulsion.nThere is no bill currently in Congressnthat is compulsory,” said PeternSzanton. “Emphatically rejected by allnbut a handful, politically speakingn[compulsory service programs] arennnnonstarters with about as much appealnas concentration camps,” stated MartinnAnderson. Yet, as many proponentsnhave pointed out, such an idea is notnnecessarily a nonstarter with the Americannpeople. As Mr. Moskos cites in AnCall to Civic Service, recent Gallup-nHarris polls show that the public hasnconsistentiy supported the idea of nationalnservice, and that a majority ofnrespondents even favor compulsorynservice. But regardless of public opinion,nthink tanks and scholars shouldnnever allow politics or political expediencynto set the parameters of debate.nThe Hoover debate reminded me of an1988 conference on the future ofnEurope, where a State Departmentnanalyst discounted a paper contemplatingna unified Germany because “that’snoutside the scope of our agenda.”nIn fact, the history of Germany —nmore specifically Prussia — offers salutarynlessons on this question of nationalnservice. In the six years between thenTreaty of Tilsit of 1807, which reducednPrussia to a virtual vassal of France, andnNapoleon’s defeat at Leipzig in 1813, ansmall band of soldiers and civil servantsninitiated one of the most ambitious andnsuccessful periods of reform in Europeannhistory. To circumvent the stipulationnin the Treaty of Tilsit that forbadnPrussia an army larger than 42,000, asnwell as to devise a system for thentraining of replacements for war, thenPrussians instituted the Kriimpersystem:nthe rotation of small groups ofnyoung men into military service fornshort periods of time. This allowednPrussia to train a larger number of mennin the use of arms than treaty stipulationsnallowed; it also contributed to thenfervid sense of citizenship that sweptnthrough Prussian society in the wake ofnreform.nPrussia’s revolt against Napoleon innDecember 1812 set the stage for anothernmilitary innovation. To defendnitself against French reprisals Prussianmobilized a Landwehr, a civilian militianof territorial units of all able-bodiednmen between the ages of 18 and 45.nThe Landwehr was a citizen army withnits own leadership and officers. Itsnmembers were not split up and sent tonthe front as replacements for the regularnarmy, but rather fought alongsidenthe regular regiments with separatendesignations and distinct uniforms. Inn