France

Sacre Bleu! France to Reinstate Mandatory National Service for 16-Year-Olds

Emmanuel Macron wants teens to "value" their citizenship. Milton Friedman would be appalled.

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Abaca Press/Blondet Eliot/Abaca/Sipa USA/Newscom

In an effort to promote national pride and "social cohesion," French President Emmanuel Macron is reinstating a mandatory national service program for all 16-year-olds.

Back in 2017, when he was running for president, Macron said he wanted all young adults in the country to experience military life. France conscripted young people into the military until the late 1990s, when it got rid of the draft.

Macron's new program, which officially begins in 2019, does not bring back the draft. Rather, the only mandatory part of the program is a month-long placement focused on civic culture, during which 16-year-olds have the option of doing teaching or charity work, or military, police, or fire service training. Aside from that mandatory one month, participants can spend an optional three months to a year either volunteering or working in the defense or security fields.

The main goal of the program seems to be the promotion of nationalistic ideals. Macron apparently wants young French citizens, both boys and girls, to "value" their citizenship and feel like they are truly part of the French community.

The program's official aim, according to a statement from the Elysee Palace, is to "encourage the participation and commitment of every young person in the life of the nation, to value citizenship and the feeling of belonging to a community gathered around its values, to strengthen social cohesion and boost the republican melting pot."

"The [program] will be a time to meet others that will be useful and profitable for every young person, and a special opportunity to learn and receive, but also to give and engage, regardless of social background," the statement continued.

However, the idea of this national service program has garnered mixed reviews from the French people.

A YouGov poll conducted in March revealed that 60 percent of French citizens support a mandatory national service program. But when the opinions of young people themselves were taken into account, the idea received less than 50 percent support. Moreover, even before the plan was announced, 14 youth organizations said they were unhappy that young people are not being given any choice in the matter.

It appears the opinions of those affected the most don't seem to matter all that much.

The same line of thinking the late famed economist Milton Friedman used to argue against the draft and in favor of a volunteer army applies here. In Friedman's book Two Lucky People: Memoirs, which he co-wrote with his wife Rose, he recalled a conversation he had with U.S. Army Gen. William Westmoreland about the draft.

"In the course of his [Westmoreland's] testimony, he made the statement that he did not want to command an army of mercenaries. I [Milton Friedman] stopped him and said, 'General, would you rather command an army of slaves?'" the passage reads.

France isn't forcing young people into military service, but it is forcing nationalism down their throats. And the people whose lives will be affected by this program have no say in the matter.

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  1. Nothing’s as patriotic as slavery.

    1. It isn’t slavery when government does it. Government is us. How can the people enslave themselves?

      1. Easy.

        1. Come on, it’s the same logic as to why taxes aren’t theft. Government is the people. Taxes mean giving money to the people. To us. It’s not theft because you can’t steal from yourself. Jeez. Government and society are one and the same. Every socialist understands this.

          1. “Being forcibly drafted into military or community service is the price we pay for civilization*”

            *civilization in this context is defined as “barbarism”

          2. “Government is the people. Taxes mean giving money to the people. To us. It’s not theft because you can’t steal from yourself. Jeez. Government and society are one and the same. Every socialist understands this.”

            You’re correct comrade. It’s for the people. Now, back to work!

          3. It’s just democratic participation in the civic life of of young people.

          4. Democrats consistently score lower on knowledge of civics, basic current events and history in the US. perhaps we need to sent them all to mandatory civic instruction here. they are way less likely to understand (or even name) the three branch of government, what the house and senate are, who their senators or member of congress are, There was even a survey showing they are more likely to think the soviet constitution “collective” type language mirroring our bill of rights but giving the rights the government, are the in US constitution

            1. No they dont, I’ve see the studies, Dems and Republicans are both ignorant of the Constitution and civics in general.

          5. Taxes aren’t theft within reason. If you don’t want to pay taxes you are free to move some place where you don’t have to pay taxes and live off the land.

            1. So when the mafia tells a local business man to “pay for protection” it isn’t extortion because the business man could “move some place where you don’t have to pay [insert whatever forced payment here] and live off the land,”?

              The onus is on the brute to be civilized and respect the rights of the property owner, not the property owner to forfeit his home and standard of living in favor of the brute.

    2. *shrug*

      You want me on that wall!

      You will realize it sooner or later.

    3. Don’t forget to mix in some child labor.

  2. the feeling of belonging to a community gathered around its values… volunteering or working in the defense or security fields

    Basically training kids to bully their local Muslims (and Jews and Blacks) to incite them to violence and then shooting them. Europe is so screwed. This is what happens when you don’t have free speech or gun rights.

    1. Maybe they should be drafting those local Muslim kids. Give them the values of hard work and discipline that will get them out of the banlieus and into the job market.

      1. No that’s not hot it works. They need to reduce social services because that only makes them entitled and resentful. This national service scheme is just thinly veiled indoctrination into laicite: “You can shoot anyone who believes in G_d because otherwise they will try to kill you first. Laicite.”

        1. BS. They are resentful because they face serious job discrimination. It’s very easy to see it even as a tourist – very few customer-facing jobs at entry-level in retail/service/etc. And it’s illegal in France to gather info about ethnicity/religion so there is nothing that will ever even indicate there’s a problem.

          So the 2nd/3rd generation of immigrants – knowing that they are permanently marginalized – is gonna rebel against that. And religious fundamentalism/violence is a perfect way to piss off a France that is composed of post-modern elites, ethnically French bigots, and their own parents.

          ‘National service’ actually helped before 1999 (when it ended) – but in a very very slow intergenerational way.

          1. It’s actually both.

            The French ghettoize their immigrants and their society will never accept someone as “French” if they their family hasn’t lived in the country for centuries and they lack the ethnic background of a “Frenchman”. And the French concept of laicity (which is strikingly similar to the truncated version of “religious liberty” that the Left and certain libertarians in the US are trying to implement) has further ostracized its Muslim population.

            The French don’t even consider the peid-noir of being (French people who lived in Algeria, but are ethnically French) “authentically French”.

            1. So maybe the government should stop dumping foreigners into France

              1. Exactly. France should NEVER have let all those Muslims in to their country in the first place. Large concentrations of Muslims never get along with their neighbors.

            2. Most went to France BECAUSE of la?cit? – to escape both the strictures of sharia and the tribalism/corruption/classism of kin-based societies. There’s no reason to believe that their kids/grandkids ‘need’ what the original migrants didn’t.

              What ostracized them imo is the traditional European inability to integrate differences over time which you describe. It’s that same inability that led to pretty much the entirety of European emigration to America. All of our ancestors were out-groups in Europe of one sort or another. The problem for Europe is that that emigration also eliminated much of the experience of integrating differences in a modern society which occurred when people were forced off the land and into cities.

              1. Literally no one has ever immigrated to France BECAUSE of laicite. And it’s a wholly illiberal and overbearing concept that intertwines religion with government more than anything else

                1. BS. France has been the preferred destination of exiles/migrants from pretty much every country where there has been overt religious control of the state. Both by those oppressed by that – and those who WANT it but can’t get it currently. It’s why that model was copied by Turkey and Mexico too. La?cit? was driven directly by the French experience with ‘establishment’ – and that is much easier to understand around the world.

                  The American model was driven by a uniquely Calvinist interpretation of ‘what is the secular world’ during the English Civil War and the institution of Freemasonry during the Enlightenment. That is not something that is understandable to non-Americans – or frankly even to many Americans now. We still kind of ‘get’ pluralism/tolerance/selfrestraint when it comes to say a religious minority wearing hijabs in public – but the religious majority (and the secular/atheist) now has no such awareness re imposing their belief systems on others.

                  1. “France has been the preferred destination of exiles/migrants from pretty much every country where there has been overt religious control of the state.”

                    What world, exactly, do you live in? The US remains the number destination for migrants fleeing religious persecution.

                    You realize that the French government is heavily involved in shutting down mosques and funding churches, right? All the French did with laicite was make the State superior to the conscience of everyone else.

                    “The American model was driven by a uniquely Calvinist interpretation of ‘what is the secular world’ during the English Civil War and the institution of Freemasonry during the Enlightenment.”

                    I mean laicite was also pushed by Freemasons. There are two brands of masonry. The Scottish version, which is the most common in the US, that requires people to express belief in some higher power, but accepts all religious adherents. And the Continental version, which is the most common version in France and most of continental Europe, that does not require people to express belief in some high power, and generally does not accept religious adherents.

                    You don’t seem to have a firm grasp on the American version of religious liberty and the “freedom of worship” that is popular in France, but not all that different from religious liberty that was provided under kings during the Medieval ages

                    1. And using Turkey and Mexico as examples to bolster your case is not as persuasive as I think you think it is.

                      Are you not familiar with the Cristo Wars in Mexico or the forced secularization of Turkey under Ataturk? Spoiler: they were not very “liberal” policies

                    2. I mean laicite was also pushed by Freemasons.

                      No they didn’t. They created a nondenominational language re ethics/etc that could transcend ethics that were previously purely denominational. That is what created the ‘shared understanding’ of what is secular and what is religious – and what is right and what is wrong – that is essential to the American model. Don’t pretend that Freemasonry ended with the Founders. It probably ended with the WW2 generation when they moved to the suburbs and didn’t really set up ‘lodges’ there – and then passed on the habit of not joining groups to their boomer kids.

                      Are you not familiar with the Cristo Wars in Mexico or the forced secularization of Turkey under Ataturk? Spoiler: they were not very “liberal” policies

                      And neither were their predecessors of establishment. Catholic control over land, education, birth/marriage/death, inquisition. Ottoman claims of caliphate. The fact remains that power struggles are far easier to understand than theologies of self-restraint and semi-‘syncretism’.

                    3. So, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Like at all. You should probably refrain from stating an opinion on a topic that you are obviously ignorant about. You don’t even know the history behind laicity or what it entails.

                    4. And you can’t read.

                      “I mean laicite was also pushed by Freemasons.

                      No they didn’t. They created a nondenominational language re ethics/etc that could transcend ethics that were previously purely denominational. That is what created the ‘shared understanding’ of what is secular and what is religious – and what is right and what is wrong – that is essential to the American model. Don’t pretend that Freemasonry ended with the Founders.”

                      What I actually said:

                      “I mean laicite was also pushed by Freemasons. There are two brands of masonry. The Scottish version, which is the most common in the US, that requires people to express belief in some higher power, but accepts all religious adherents. And the Continental version, which is the most common version in France and most of continental Europe, that does not require people to express belief in some high power, and generally does not accept religious adherents.”

                    5. No, I’m not familiar with the “Cristo Wars”, nor do I find anything about that on the web. Perhaps you meant the Cristero Wars?

                    6. Yes I assume he meant the Cristero War. Best fictional account of it is Graham Greene’s best novel – The Power and the Glory.

          2. You know who else wanted to gather info about ethnicity/religion of people in France?

            1. The French who somehow manage to avoid culpability in the Holocaust while everyone libels the Poles as participating in the Holocaust even though they were invaded and occupied by the Nazis and Soviets, while the French had nominal independence from the Germans after losing the war?

              1. That sentence was too long.

                1. No

              2. Yes

      2. They’ve spent a generation locked out of the job market because of France’s high minimum wage and worker ‘protection’ laws – a month long draft isn’t going to lift them high enough to reach the bottom rung when France has cut off the first 15 feet of the ladder.

  3. OK. I’ll step into the breach here. I think the goal here is entirely reasonable. There is a value to social cohesion – and that does not come about in any other way than working together in an organized way towards some goal.

    That said – there are also a ton of ways that that peer group could be incented to do that – rather than lazily mandated to do it.

    1. There is a value to social cohesion – and that does not come about in any other way than working together in an organized way towards some goal.

      Utter bullshit.

    2. there are also a ton of ways that that peer group could be incented to do that

      Yeah, like working at McDonalds for example.

    3. I agree there is a value to social cohesion, but mandating it is the wrong way to get it.

      If a country wants people to think it’s the best, it has to be the best.

      As a libertarian, I think the only way to achieve that is to let each individual maximize their efforts towards becoming the best. No authoritarians needed in that sort of society.

      1. I think the only way to achieve that is to let each individual maximize their efforts towards becoming the best.

        And that’s where I would disagree. The values of social cohesion are most similar to those that one gets from participating in team sports – not from individual endeavors. The problem is that team sports has a pretty high barrier to entry (physical athleticism) – for that matter traditional military service does too – so that’s not going to be very effective at actually getting very broad buy-in.

        I do think the age-16 point that Macron is talking about is the right age because it can integrate with the tail-end of the mandatory full-time education system. The ‘incenting’ that I’m talking about is enabling the kids themselves to help create the community goal they will work towards – and let them do much of the self-organizing towards that – with the requirement that they impose no barrier to entry among their peers (ie pretty much everyone has to be able to play some role in the accomplishment).

        1. So join a company and work together to make money and satisfy your customers.

          1. Corporate cohesion in a hierarchy is not even remotely social cohesion.

            Failure to comprehend the difference is one reason why libertarians can so easily be tarred as the Koch’s dingle berry munchers.

            1. Government force leads to social cohesion? Good to know!

            2. Let me alter that statement a bit. Companies expect those cohesion skills in those they hire. They don’t teach them (except sometimes in the oddball exec training stuff).

              One of the reasons imo why so many companies have simply adjusted their hiring bar re college degrees higher over time and no longer even hire kids right out of high school. It’s not about coursework or the degree. It’s about kids willingness to wasteinvest their time/energy/money in achieving a goal that has absolutely no immediate payback to them. It’s one way of interpreting Michael Spence’s job market signalling which won him a Nobel.

              1. Y’know, I actually kind of agree with you JFree. These kids are already forced to go to public school at this age, so really ‘forcing’ them to engage with civics with a wide range of options based on the individuals interest isn’t the worse thing France could be doing.

                The force angle is, as always, something I’m not a big fan of but in context of what’s already the status quo this isn’t a bad idea if you want kids to engage more with civics.

                You can’t really ‘force’ people, immigrant or otherwise, to engage with society but I think this could very well help bring kids together and teach them valuable lessons about community and cooperation.

                In my mind, though, a ‘better’ way of doing it would be to allow it to be voluntary but incentivize it somehow, perhaps with college credits or as a high school requirement since this seems to dovetail right into education and future job prospects. American high schools have options where you can choose to go work for credits, and that seems like it would be a good model for them to use here.

                1. The incentives are imo tough mainly because of us adults – not because of the kids. WE are the ones who want to insist on controlling this or that – forcing them into the military to fight for us, coercing them to go to college if they want a ‘real’ job, structuring the what-do-they-do of natl service because dammit we’re running things.

                  I’m thinking of it as a multi-year civic ‘coming-of-age’ institution where they get to – as a peer group – negotiate their terms of how they will enter ‘age of majority’ and demonstrate the utility of what they’ve been doing for the last decade in school. Which is internally motivating not merely externally incenting. Done right, I can see every ‘adult institution’ – military, employers, schools, local govt – crawling all over to recruit, test, tweak, scout, supply, etc. And all of sudden – the notion of ‘mandatory’ is irrelevant. You’d be a bit nuts in that peer group to think that was just a waste of time.


                  1. The incentives are imo tough mainly because of us adults – not because of the kids. WE are the ones who want to insist on controlling this or that – forcing them into the military to fight for us, coercing them to go to college if they want a ‘real’ job, structuring the what-do-they-do of natl service because dammit we’re running things.

                    I have no idea what you’re talking about since these are kids, not legal adults, and as such their ‘choices’ are always governed by what their parents think is permissible for them.

                    If a kid wants to laze about all day long and play video games and give the finger to their homework, I doubt most parents would let that fly either. The very idea cited in the article that ‘kids don’t find it popular’ amounts to ‘so fucking what’ in my mind.

                    1. have no idea what you’re talking about since these are kids, not legal adults,

                      THAT’S my point. The transition from kid to legal adult is currently arbitrary and meaningless (candles on a birthday cake basically) so why be surprised that that’s how civic/social cohesion is viewed too?

                      Link that universal service TO that transition to legal adult – and it will become very meaningful.

                      Maybe one ‘service year’ will storm the beaches of Normandy and free Europe from Nazi oppression.
                      Maybe a different ‘service year’ will sit around in a circle and demand safe spaces.

                      Put those decisions in the hands of current legal adults – and we don’t much care. Put those decisions in the hand of those will-be legal adults – and that’s their first opportunity to prove themselves.

        2. Not all team sports requires the participants to be good athletes. Children’s team sports commonly go by the rule that all team members must play, although not necessarily the same amount, regardless of how bad they are at it.

      2. I agree there is a value to social cohesion, but mandating it is the wrong way to get it. … As a libertarian, I think the only way to achieve that is to let each individual maximize their efforts towards becoming the best. No authoritarians needed in that sort of society.

        But it isn’t actually “mandated”, in the sense that any French family who doesn’t want to be subject to this can move somewhere else in the EU. That’s roughly how it would work in a libertarian society: your local, private community might impose obligations on you in return for certain benefits, and if you don’t like them, you move.

        1. Does your community get to change the obligations on-the-fly for the same benefits? Do they get to do that after you’ve invested a significant percentage of your resources into things that can’t easily be packed up and moved with you?

          Because this sounds like a good recipe for incentivizing people to be LESS ‘socially cohesive’ lest they need to move to get away from controlling neighbors at any time.

          And I don’t agree that this is how it would work in a libertarian society. Your local, private community can *offer* benefits for sale (ie, in exchange for you completing some obligation) but they don’t get to *force* you to accept.

          1. This is where many people fail to grasp the libertarian model. They seem to think an HOA is “just like a government” in that it gets to tell you what to do and if you don’t like it, move. The reality is that the HOA tells you its expectations (not mandates or laws) PRIOR to you moving in. Governments tell you afterwards and expect you to figure it out or leave. Libertarians expect you to figure it out then decide if you want to move in.

      3. Muslims are very cohesive, social-wise – – – – – – – –

    4. JFree|6.29.18 @ 10:30AM|#
      “OK. I’ll step into the breach here. I think the goal here is entirely reasonable.”

      Is anyone surprised that JFree supports slavery?
      I’m not.

    5. Whether or not the goal is reasonable is irrelevant. He’s instituted a policy of slavery. For what goal is slavery part of a ‘reasonable’ path towards?

      Best case scenario – he’s going to unite the French youth the same way a Drill Sergeant does. They’ll be united in their hatred towards French government and the culture that enslaved them.

  4. For Sale: 10,00 FAMAS rifles. Like new. Only dropped once.

  5. In American parlance, France is often held up as an example of multiculturalism failing, but using the word “multiculturalism” to describe France gets it completely backwards. The United States is an example of multiculturalism. Feel free to bring your own language, religion, etc., and you can still be as American as you want to be. France is the opposite of that. France is an example of forced integration.

    1. France: Welcome all the Muslim immigrants, but shove them all into ghettos and deny them jobs. And then wonder why all the Muslim kids are hoodlums.

      France: If your great great grandparents immigrated to France then you’re STILL not considered a Frenchman!

      France: They have a part of the government dedicated to making sure the language never changes.

    2. Multiculturalism is garbage.

      1. What do you mean by “multiculturalism”?

        Forced integration is authoritarian.

        1. I mean multiculturalism is garbage as it inevitably leads leads to balkanization and destruction. There is nothing good that comes from celebrating special differentness.

    3. Well, France isn’t an example of forced integration either.

      Europe in general tends to *prevent* integration. They view multi-culti as all the icky minorities in their own little ghettos and away from the ‘proper’ people of the nation.

      You’re right about the US – because we don’t force anything, immigrant (most immigrant) communities in an area have a core where everyone is from the old country and only interacts with people from their culture and then around that there are multiple rings of people that are more and more integrated into US culture until, on the edges, there’s no longer any difference.

      1. It isn’t only on the edges. It’s across generations.

        Be as proud of being Irish, Italian, Jewish, or Persian, etc. as you want to be. Your kids are listening to American music, watching American TV, wearing American clothes, watching American football; they have American dreams, and they’re having American grandchildren.

        You have to outlaw letting Irish across the bridge if you want their grandchildren not to assimilate.

  6. “The program’s official aim, according to a statement from the Elysee Palace, is to “encourage the participation and commitment of every young person in the life of the nation, to value citizenship and the feeling of belonging to a community gathered around its values, to strengthen social cohesion and boost the republican melting pot.”

    Part of the reason the United States is sooooooooo much better than France at assimilation is because we’re more capitalist, and nothing makes people feel more like they’re an integral part of society than being prosperous in that society. Because we’re more capitalist, we create more opportunities for immigrants and their children to become prosperous.

    The other part is that France idealizes its own culture as fundamentally superior, not only to other cultures elsewhere on the continent but also, especially, to their former colonies–and they’re willing to enforce that superiority in law. It’s the Frenchman’s burden.

    I don’t care whether you’re a Muslim from Algeria or a redneck from Arkansas, try to force people to give up their ways through government coercion, and people will cling to their old ways like they wouldn’t have otherwise.

    1. People “clinging” to their way of life in the face of tyranny… seems like I’ve heard that before somewhere… only the tyrant seemed to also think they were bitter, too.

  7. Consequences?

    In France, they’re worried about impoverished, Muslim youth gravitating to fundamentalist extremism. I’ve never been to a mosque in France, but I’ve been to plenty of mosques in Los Angeles, and one of the primary concerns there seems to be the fear that their upwardly mobile, well educated youth are becoming too “Americanized”.

    The French might look to the United States as an example of what they should be doing–if they weren’t so sure of their fundamental superiority to American culture.

    1. Except for Jerry Lewis. His movies they adored.
      smdh


    2. …I’ve been to plenty of mosques in Los Angeles, and one of the primary concerns there seems to be the fear that their upwardly mobile, well educated youth are becoming too “Americanized”.

      I would invite you to think about that for a little longer and about what it means for those adults who choose to come to America. What incentive are they following, when culturally speaking they fear their children are becoming American.

      I wager it’s simply akin to other religions in that ‘the youth’ are doing ‘youth things’ but I’ve never set foot in a mosque so I genuinely don’t know.

      1. You’re right if what you’re saying is that Muslim parents are worried about their children becoming too Americanized like Baptists worry about their kids listening to the devil’s music, dating, getting involved in premarital sex, etc.

        But that’s the point.

        They’re coming from cultures where marriages may be arraigned, women don’t necessarily marry for love, women having career aspirations isn’t necessarily the norm, etc., etc.

        But they’re becoming American.

        If you tried to stop them from being Muslim, they’d resist–like a bunch of fundamentalist kids embracing black metal because their parents forbid them from listening to Nickleback. Because America doesn’t try to stop them from being Muslim, the attraction of assimilation into American culture is practically irresistible.

        1. That was more or less the point, but it’s not clear what’s meant by ‘Americanized’ since it could also mean they fear their children accepting American society which is sort of the opposite of the point it seemed like you were making.

          Thanks for clarifying. I obviously assume that ‘stopping them from being Muslim’ isn’t even on the table, but it wouldn’t be the first time an amendment explicitly saying the government can’t do a thing gets done.


          Because America doesn’t try to stop them from being Muslim, the attraction of assimilation into American culture is practically irresistible.

          Try not to oversell, since there are plenty of American faiths that haven’t assimilated into American culture for going on a few hundred years now. It depends on the religion and culture, I’d say. We’re not the Borg, after all.

  8. It takes a full month to learn how to properly make a white flag.

    1. Anyone who didn’t laugh their ass off when Germany and France proposed “going it alone” without the US has no soul

  9. Macron is the worst thing to happen to France since Jerry Lewis died.

    The Bonapartes should just be returned to the throne of France at this point.

    1. Macron is not bad, you are too harsh.

      1. Not harsh enough

        1. Disagree. Macron is realistic about the world and more people that are realistic about the world are necessary to make the world function.

          1. Macron is so “realistic” about the world that he actually believes that France is anything more than a fart in the wind on the international stage without the backing of the US

  10. France isn’t forcing young people into military service, but it is forcing nationalism down their throats. And the people whose lives will be affected by this program have no say in the matter.

    Well, from their perspective, I suppose the alternative was being dragged into war by Bush and, from that point of view, good on them.

    1. I mean, if I thought the breakup of the EU were between possible and eminent and that I’d need some way of simultaneously defending the homeland and increasing social cohesion, this seems like a decent way to hedge my bets.

      I freely admit that it’s not the most libertarian solution, but we’re talking about France as a member state of the EU here.

      1. The EU doesn’t have a military – France does.

        France doesn’t need a draft for protection if the EU falls apart – the EU needs France’s military to project power outside the EU borders.

  11. Of all the European countries, France is the politically strangest. Ostensibly a conservative populace (very Catholic, provincial, etc) they also had the French Terror, the Paris Commune, and other grand glorious revolutions of a quite leftist nature. Even before France invented the Left/Right dichotomy they had strange goings on like weird heretical movements and even a false pope at one point. It was a welfare state long before Bismarck thought up the idea.

    There’s got to be something in the water of the Seine that causes this.

    1. Paris ruins France.

      That’s just undeniable

    2. I blame brotherhood and equality.

  12. All that practice running for their lives will probably help keep them from having widespread obesity, so their is a silver lining.

  13. President Chirac stopped conscription about the time Macron would have been conscripted.

  14. They should force them to be mimes.

  15. There are places here in the US where you have to do so many hours of community service to get your diploma, and plenty of people applaud the idea of inculcating this sort of “the individual exists to serve the state” thinking in the young people. #MAGA!

    1. And of course, with a straight face, it is called “mandatory volunteer service”.

  16. “Sacre Bleu! France to Reinstate Mandatory National Service for 16-Year-Olds”
    Not going to happen unless Uncle Sugar loans ’em gas money to get them to training

    “Emmanuel Macron wants teens to “value” their citizenship. Milton Friedman would be appalled.”
    If this were the worst that France has done, Friedman would be dancing a jig.

  17. Because there is no possible downside to 16 year olds teaching for a month or a year or so – – – – – – – –
    What will they teach? Proper use of emoji’s? Cheat codes for video games? Economics? Philosophy?

    1. I thought that as well. 16 year olds are generally pretty much useless when it comes to any kind of work. Just try and get one to clean out the garage. Police, firefighting? What would they do except get in the way. They are only talking about a month or something, not enough time to really learn anything.

  18. Mandatory public service is slavery to the state.

  19. I periodically think back on Robert Heinlein’s novel, Starship Troopers in which he posits citizens would be required to serve in order to earn the right to vote. I don’t quite agree with it but keep coming back to seeing how little many of our citizens value their franchise. Maybe Heinlein was going in the right direction?

    1. There are many reactions to that novel.

      It is dystopian in my opinion. The war against the bugs is a forever war. It is not needed and exists only to perpetuate military control of government. All of those political speeches are propaganda.

      In the end you have a benevolent military dictatorship. One more than willing to have your son or daughter killed to stay in power. An
      alternative to liberal democracy.

      Heinlein was awesome. He took some very out there ideas and wrote stories you could relate to.

  20. This is starting to remind me of marching up & down the square https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucgU2DJlBiw&t=12s

  21. So much for “libert?” …

  22. Imagine believing that this has anything to do with legitimate nationalism and not just socially engineering the recalcitrant native population out of existence.

  23. Well, now, this does get the government a sample of everyone’s DNA, no?
    How could that possible go wrong?

    1. Well, OK, maybe one of them will add an edit button – – – – – – – –

      Possibly

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