OPINIONSn- – t C/2nNational Servicenby Theodore Pappasn”/ cally therefore^ a complete and generous education, that which Bts a man tonperform justly, skillfully, and magnanimously, all the offices, both private andnpublic, of peace and war.”n— John MiltonnNational Service: Pro & ConnEdited and introduced bynWilliamson M. EversnStanford: Hoover Institution Press;n261 pp., $21.95 (cloth),n$14.95 (paper)nOn February 25, 1906, to a fullnassembly at Stanford University,nWilliam James gave his most famousnspeech, “The Moral Equivalent ofnWar.” James coined this phrase to contrastnthe noble and heroic human qualitiesnthat war evokes with the destructivenpurposes they most often serve. InnJames’s view there were many values ofnmilitary life that were worth preservingnif not encouraging, such as “intrepidity,ncontempt for softness, surrender of privateninterest, obedience to command,”nall of which “remain the rock uponnwhich States are built.” James evennsuggested the conscription of youth intonnational service for the purpose of in-nTheodore Pappas is the assistantneditor of Chronicles.nculcating these “martial virtues”:nTo coal and iron mines, tonfreight trains, to fishing fleets innDecember, to dishwashing,nclothes-washing, and windowwashing,nto road-building andntunnel-making, to foundries andnstoke-holes, and to the frames ofnskyscrapers, would our gildednyouths be drafted, off, accordingnto their choice, to get thenchildishness knocked out ofnthem, and to come back intonsociety with healthier sympathiesnand soberer ideas.nThese martial virtues, concluded James,nthough “originally gained by the racenthrough war, are absolute and permanentnhuman goods.”nMany in America today hold a similarnbelief, that our country’s sense ofncitizenship has deteriorated to such annextent that only by mobilizing ournyouth for a moral equivalent of war cannwe hope to reinstate a sense of civicnduty. The Hoover Institution Conferencenon National Service, held Sep­nnntember 8-9, 1989, brought together anpanel of both the leading critics andnproponents of national service, and NationalnService: Pro & Con is a collectionnof the papers and comments madenat the conference. As WilliamsonnEvers writes in his introduction, thendebate can be summarized as “opposingnlibertarian and communitarian ideologies”:nthose who oppose nationalnservice emphasize individual rights,nconstitutional protection, and freenmarket economics; and those whonfavor it stress civic virtue, citizenship,nand community service as a commonnduty of all. To the Hoover Institution’sncredit, no other book has ever presentednas balanced a picture of thennational service debate. The polemicsnare intelligently drawn and eloquentlynstated, and the frank and free fashionnin which the issue is debated is antreasure rarely found in contemporarynAmerican discourse.nAnyone who doubts that this is annissue whose time has come shouldnsimply take note of the number of billsnrecently proposed in Congress. InnNOVEMBER 1990/27n