President Clinton recently attended a three-day presidential summit in Philadelphia to launch a nationwide campaign aimed at boosting "volunteerism" and community service in the United States. Since the days of FDR, America has experimented with "volunteerism" as mandated by the government and the recent summit promises that the experiments of the past will become the policies of the future.
"The Presidents' summit for America's Future" took place from April 27-29 in the shadows of Independence Hall. The all-star event was co-chaired by former Presidents Carter, Ford, Vice-President Al Gore and General Colin Powell. Also featured was Mrs. Ronald Reagan and a host of celebrities. The summit's goal is to "mobilize millions of citizens and thousands of organizations from all sectors" into national service for the purposes of ensuring that children have access to five fundamental resources that can, in the words of the organizers, "help them lead healthy, fulfilling and productive lives."
Since the Clinton administration took office, the subject of national service has been the theme of many a presidential address. Vice-President Al Gore is heading up the drive to "reinvent government" with "volunteers" as the replacement for shrinking governmental services. President Clinton's AmeriCorps volunteers are used in tasks such as trash clean-up and community policing. At the summit he proposed to expand AmeriCorps by 50,000 and increase his "Police Corps" which offers scholarships to college students who commit to be police officers after graduation. All of the indicators show that the trend for national service is accelerating.
The concept of national service originated in Europe during World War I as an alternative to military service. It migrated to the U.S. and was used as a centerpiece for FDR's "New Deal" during the Great Depression. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Work Progress Administration (WPA), among others, became America's first experiment with such social engineering concepts.
Slave labor camps run by the CCC and WPA during the New Deal had their counterparts in Europe. Hitler Youth were herded into dormitory and work camp living arrangements similar to those used by AmeriCorps volunteers, wearing arm bands that bear a striking resemblance. Stalin was experimenting with his own style of "volunteerism" as well, the atrocities of which are well chronicled. We are all familiar with the stories of forced labor in the fields and on massive public work projects in the Soviet Union. It was not just a coincidence that the concept of "volunteer" national service was introduced, experimentally perhaps, into the world's three socialistic models in the same period of time.
After World War II the United Nations carried the national service idea forward. In 1948, UNESCO convened an international work camp conference which included representatives of the "World Federation of Democratic Youth", a communist organization which helped coordinate large work camps for tens of thousands of young people in the eastern European countries.
The idea of national service was slow at catching on in the U.S. until recently. The massive government effort to make "volunteerism" a way of life promises the experiment is over, and we may expect to see more and more Americans herded into "volunteer" work. The government seems confident that Americans will march shoulder to shoulder in their service to the state, according to Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Henry Cisneros. "Americans are a can-do people, an enthusiastic people, a problem-solving people," he told CNN. "And when given a direction and given a plan, they'll sign on."
At the Presidents' summit, Clinton told the cheering crowd that because the era of "big government" was over, it is time to begin an era of "big citizenship" to take up the slack left by shrinking government services. While it may be the end of the era of "big government" services, it is not the end of big taxes or Big Brother. The national debt has skyrocketed past the $5 trillion mark and the cut in government services will, hopefully, enable the government to start making the interest payments on that debt by the year 2002.
Most families require two incomes just to get by. The father and mother work three hours a day just to pay their taxes which are, in reality, interest payments on the national debt. Now they will be induced, coerced or required to "volunteer" their precious time to some cause, leaving them even less time for their family. Not content with the almost universal decimation of the traditional family over the past three decades, the global planners are turning up the heat even more, molding and shaping society into one common mass of people whose chief loyalty is to the state.
19th century political philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, once said, "The genius of America is our ability to come together in voluntary associations." True volunteerism is a spirit that is the natural outgrowth of true religion, family, community and patriotism, which are elements that make up the culture of a people. America has debased itself with immorality and materialism, losing its culture in its downward decline. Therefore, it is incapable of true volunteerism.
The state, with its ruling elite behind the scenes, has created a counterfeit "volunteerism" which is the old slavery presented to the ignorant masses in the wrappings of "national service". True volunteerism is dead, replaced instead with non-compensated service that is performed under the promise of reward or the threat of punishment from the state.
The utopia of global socialism, where humanity is reformed by law and where society's ills are rectified by the all powerful arm of the state, is a vain hope at best. Over one-hundred nineteen million people have died at the hands of their own governments during peacetime this century and the utopian vision remains more elusive than ever. As the current trend to legislate away our freedoms continue, today's generation will suffer even greater calamities than have been witnessed so far this century.
Those pondering the almost unanswerable argument for "saving the children" that the President and his accomplices, are urging upon us, should consider the words of H.L. Menken who said, "A plan to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."
Another wise Man put it this way: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:15.
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