The 'GIVE' Act Calls for Your Kids to be 'Owned' by the State

"We should be owned, as soldiers are by the army, and our pride would rise accordingly." ~ William James, The Moral Equivalent of War

The quote above is taken from an essay that The Corporation for National and Community Service ( takes as one of its founding documents. What is the CNCS you may ask? We'll be getting to that. First let's take a gander at the latest statist scribblings to come forth from the horde in Congress, the GIVE Act H.R.1388:



(2) YOUTH ENGAGEMENT ZONE – The term youth engagement zone means the area in which a youth engagement zone program is carried out.

(3) YOUTH ENGAGEMENT ZONE PROGRAM – The term youth engagement zone program means a service learning program in which members of an eligible partnership described in paragraph (4) collaborate to provide coordinated school-based or community-based service learning opportunities, to address a specific community challenge, for an increasing percentage of out-of-school youth and secondary school students served by local educational agencies where –

(A) not less than 90 percent of the students participate in service-learning activities as part of the program; or

(B) service-learning is a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.

There is much more in statist scribbling, but the first question that should come to the mind of any thinking parent is, "What exactly is service-learning, and why should it be mandatory in public-statist schools?"

At the National Service Learning Clearinghouse website at, you can read the glossy euphemistic "What is Service Learning?" page for its glorious "Guiding Principles" and its exalted "Vision of the Organization." Or, you can dig deeper. Dig deeper, why don't you? After all, this is about the souls of your children. National Service Learning Clearinghouse is simply one of many operative appendages of The Corporation for National and Community Service. Finding its founding principles would divulge much more than the NSLC's bulleted list of glossy euphemisms.

"The mission of the Corporation for National and Community Service is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering." That's pretty, yes? But more importantly, look at the National Service Timeline page to begin to get into the genetics of the matter:

National Service Timeline

Read about the history of national service – from the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 to the launch of the President's Volunteer Service Award in 2003. This timeline provides a quick glance at key dates and milestones during the past century.

1903 The Cooperative Education Movement is founded at the University of Cincinnati.

Circa 1905 American philosophers William James and John Dewey develop intellectual foundations for service-based learning.

1910 American philosopher William James envisions non-military national service in his essay “The Moral Equivalent War”

"The Moral Equivalent of War” essay is an allegedly monumental ditty, and a founding building block for the concept of "service learning," as it is embodied in today's NCSC and the GIVE Act. As a matter of fact, the NCSC cheerfully lists the GIVE Act as one of their legislative achievements right on their home page. In other places, the essay is claimed to be "based on a speech delivered at Stanford University in 1906, is the origin of the idea of organized national service. The line of descent runs directly from this address to the depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps to the Peace Corps, VISTA, and AmeriCorps." AmeriCorps is what the GIVE Act seeks to enlarge and further empower.

So what of William James and his mighty essay? Like all else Mr. James gave birth to with his cumbrous brain, it is quite pointy headed and longwinded. It can be read in full by the interested at But here's the gist of it for the less than interested; "War is hideous and must come to an end some day. But we can't be wimps about it, because the brutes among us insist it is an essential part of being a true man. War is hideous in all but one respect. It is really good at kicking the childishness out of people. It is really good for organizing and centralizing. I think we need to create pseudo-wars where people don't die, so we can use this positive element of war to help us centralize power in the hands of the unbrutish, like myself, for the good of all mankind." That really is about it. This rather juvenile concept is more fully documented in such books as Johan Goldberg's Liberal Fascism.

We are full to the gills with these pseudo-wars in this liberal-socialist American society we presently live in, are we not? As Mr. James says in this article, H.G. Wells puts it best:

"In many ways military organization is the most peaceful of activities. When the contemporary man steps from the street, of clamorous insincere advertisement, push, adulteration, underselling and intermittent employment into the barrack-yard, he steps on to a higher social plane, into an atmosphere of service and cooperation and of infinitely more honorable emulations. Here at least men are not flung out of employment to degenerate because there is no immediate work for them to do. They are fed a drilling and training for better services. Here at least a man is supposed to win promotion by self-forgetfulness and not by self-seeking. And beside the feeble and irregular endowment of research by commercialism, its little shortsighted snatches at profit by innovation and scientific economy, see how remarkable is the steady and rapid development of method and appliances in naval and military affairs! Nothing is more striking than to compare the progress of civil conveniences which has been left almost entirely to the trader, to the progress in military apparatus during the last few decades. The house-appliances of today, for example, are little better than they were fifty years ago. A house of today is still almost as ill-ventilated, badly heated by wasteful fires, clumsily arranged and furnished as the house of 1858. Houses a couple of hundred years old are still satisfactory places of residence, so little have our standards risen. But the rifle or battleship of fifty years ago was beyond all comparison inferior to those we now possess; in power, in speed, in convenience alike. No one has a use now for such superannuated things.”

This alone is beneficial from war for the pointy headed cowards. Not that war is ever a self-sacrificial endeavor to save other human beings from servitude or death at the hands of tyranny. True, very often that is not the case, but sometimes it is. The disembodied concept of war though is much more about being "drilled and trained for better services." So all one needs is to be "drilled and trained" without the war, and then one may magically possess "martial virtues." The militarized person is then groomed to carry out the collective minded "better services" envisioned by the liberal-socialist elite their entire lives. Just that simpleminded, just that juvenile.

Cutting through the billows of hot air, Mr. James eventually felt the need to make his case clear:

"This is my idea – there were, instead of military conscription, a conscription of the whole youthful population to form for a certain number of years a part of the army enlisted against Nature…"

What is meant by this army "against Nature?" The "Nature" here would be man's seeming innate and undying urge to be a bloodthirsty brute, seeking barbaric conquest and loot, or the implementation of his illusory concept of "good" by force. The operative thought here though, that which is foundational to the NCSC and the GIVE Act, is the "conscription of the whole youthful population to form for a certain number of years." Certainly the concepts of "good" put forth by non-brutish statists would be more worthy of the service of the entire youth, than those of the brutish statist? This idea of "the conscription of the whole youthful population" is nothing new to the world outside our American window. This concept was brought here from Germany by the likes of James and Dewey, who suckled many a year at Germany's academic teat. Look how wonderfully it played out in Germany, remember? This is unnatural to the root of the American tree though.

What else does the exalted and cumbrous brain of Mr. James have to offer in this article?

"All these beliefs of mine put me firmly into the anti-military party. But I do not believe that peace either ought to be or will be permanent on this globe, unless the states, pacifically organized, preserve some of the old elements of army-discipline. A permanently successful peace-economy cannot be a simple pleasure-economy. In the more or less socialistic future toward which mankind seems drifting we must still subject ourselves collectively to those severities which answer to our real position upon this only partly hospitable globe. We must make new energies and hardihoods continue the manliness to which the military mind so faithfully clings. Martial virtues must be the enduring cement; intrepidity, contempt of softness, surrender of private interest, obedience to command, must still remain the rock upon which states are built."

The pseudo-wars that need to be created and engaged in, in order to instill the pseudo "martial virtues" in our youth, are an essential part of continuing and expediting "the more or less socialistic future toward which mankind seems drifting." "We must still subject ourselves collectively" he claims, in order to "make new energies and hardihoods continue the manliness … intrepidity, contempt of softness, surrender of private interest, obedience to command, must still remain the rock upon which states are built." This is what the socialist state of a Mr. James is built on, and this is what the youth need mandatory grooming for, through such means as the "educational" instrument embodied in the likes of a GIVE Act.

Yet more from the statist brain of Mr. James:

"The war-party is assuredly right in affirming and reaffirming that the martial virtues, although originally gained by the race through war, are absolute and permanent human goods. Patriotic pride and ambition in their military form are, after all, only specifications of a more general competitive passion. They are its first form, but that is no reason for supposing them to be its last form. Men are now proud of belonging to a conquering nation, and without a murmur they lay down their persons and their wealth, if by so doing they may fend off subjection. But who can be sure that other aspects of one’s country may not, with time and education and suggestion enough, come to be regarded with similarly effective feelings of pride and shame?"

These "martial virtues" are effective in brutish war and all, "but that is no reason for supposing them to be its last form," that is, all they are good for. "But who can be sure that other aspects of one’s country may not, with time and education and suggestion enough, come to be regarded with similarly effective feelings of pride and shame," as they do in actual brutish military service?

But how does one instill these "martial virtues" otherwise, Mr. James queries himself:

"It is only a question of blowing on the spark until the whole population gets incandescent, and on the ruins of the old morals of military honor, a stable system of morals of civic honor builds itself up. What the whole community comes to believe in grasps the individual as in a vise. The war-function has grasped us so far; but the constructive interests may some day seem no less imperative, and impose on the individual a hardly lighter burden. Let me illustrate my idea more concretely…and this is my idea – there were, instead of military conscription, a conscription of the whole youthful population to form for a certain number of years a part of the army enlisted against Nature, the injustice would tend to be evened out, and numerous other goods to the commonwealth would remain blind as the luxurious classes now are blind, to man’s relations to the globe he lives on, and to the permanently sour and hard foundations of his higher life."

If you read this essay in full, you would see that the "injustice which would tend to be evened out" by the service-learning programs for which "the conscription of the whole youthful population" is called for, is nothing other than those pesky inequalities between the socialist's concept of classes. The standard class warfare socialist swill. These pseudo-wars that need to be a mandatory part of all public-statist school curriculum is nothing other than the age-old Marxist yelp of "he has more stuff than him. I must rectify this." As stated above, it is essential to "the more or less socialistic future toward which mankind seems drifting," that the teaching of class warfare be mandatory.

The magnanimous pontificator continues:

"To coal and iron mines, to freight trains, to fishing fleets in December, to dishwashing, clotheswashing, and windowwashing, to road-building and tunnel-making, to foundries and stoke-holes, and to the frames of skyscrapers, would our gilded youths be drafted off, according to their choice, to get the childishness knocked out of them, and to come back into society with healthier sympathies and soberer ideas. They would have paid their blood-tax, done their own part in the immemorial human warfare against nature; they would tread the earth more proudly, the women would value them more highly, they would be better fathers and teachers of the following generation. Such a conscription, with the state of public opinion that would have required it, and the many moral fruits it would bear, would preserve in the midst of a pacific civilization the manly virtues which the military party is so afraid of seeing disappear in peace. We should get toughness without callousness, authority with as little criminal cruelty as possible, and painful work done cheerily because the duty is temporary, and threatens not, as now, to degrade the whole remainder of one’s life."

The "nature" of real brutish warfare is nothing other than the plundering of the have-nots by the haves, as Mr. James and his ilk would have it. The youth must be taught to war against this anti-collectivist and brutish "nature." It is only then that they can be proud of themselves and their society, when they have learned to war against this realest of "injustices," when they have mandatorily volunteered, as the GIVE Act would have it, to serve the oppressed peoples.

Mr. James goes on and on:

"I spoke of the "moral equivalent" of war. So far, war has been the only force that can discipline a whole community, and until and equivalent discipline is organized, I believe that war must have its way. But I have no serious doubt that the ordinary prides and shames of social man, once developed to a certain intensity, are capable of organizing such a moral equivalent as I have sketched, or some other just as effective for preserving manliness of type. It is but a question of time, of skillful propagandism, and of opinion-making men seizing historic opportunities."

The "moral equivalent of war" is nothing other than socialist class warfare. The "equivalent discipline that needs to be organized" is further unveiled in the GIVE Act. This act is not only the fruition of the foundation laid by Mr. James, but also the embodiment of plans announced by both Barrack Obama, and his Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. Plans to have "a civilian national security force." In July 2008 Obama stated (and repeated many times before and since) "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded." His Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, stated his intention to help create "universal civil defense training" in 2006. Despite denials from the Obama administration about specific plans to institute a mandatory program of national service, his original website stated that Americans would be "required" to complete "50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year." The text was only later changed to state that Americans would be "encouraged" to undertake such programs. This of course would be an example of the "skillful propagandism of opinion-making men seizing historic opportunities." We've heard much about seizing the "historic opportunities" that emerge out of crisis lately, haven't we? According to the statists that crafted the GIVE Act, and all the preceding legislation and agencies that led to its birthing, the "question of time" proposed by Mr. James is now being answered.

A bit more of Mr. James will suffice:

"The martial type of character can be bred without war…Priests and medical men are in a fashion educated to it, and we should all feel some degree of its imperative if we were conscious of our work as an obligatory service to the state. We should be owned, as soldiers are by the army, and our pride would rise accordingly…The only thing needed henceforward is to inflame the civic temper as part history has inflamed the military temper … H.G. Wells adds that he thinks that the conceptions of order and discipline, the tradition of service and devotion, of physical fitness, unstinted exertion, and universal responsibility, which universal military duty is now teaching European nations, will remain a permanent acquisition when the last ammunition has been used in the fireworks that celebrate the final peace. I believe as he does. It would be simply preposterous if the only force that could work ideals of honor and standards of efficiency into English or American natures should be the fear of being killed by the Germans or the Japanese. Great indeed is Fear; but it is not, as our military enthusiasts believe and try to make us believe, the only stimulus known for awakening the higher ranges of men’s spiritual energy."

"We should be owned, as soldiers are by the army?" "Owned" is pregnant with visions of involuntary servitude, is it not? The further you delve into this brain spewing of Mr. James, the concept of "temporary" seems to evaporate. Nevertheless, being "owned," either temporarily or permanently, is still involuntary servitude. Notice again, the necessity to "inflame the civic temper," to "blowing on the spark until the whole population gets incandescent," through means of "skilful propagandism of opinion-making men." All of this points to the unnatural, the artificial, the fabricated nature of the entirety of what the statist mind puts out as truth. Such are the minds of the Jameses, the Deweys, the Obamas, the Emmanuels. They are unnatural, artificial, fake, deceptive, in a word…lying. That they can state their lies articulately and eloquently does not make them not lies. It does though make them Orwellian unlies.

Under section 6104 of the GIVE Act, entitled Duties, in subsection B6, the legislation states that a commission will be set up to investigate whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges.

One may ask, "What's the big deal about kids doing some good for their community?" There is one very simple answer for this…"What's the big deal with your kids being OWNED by an omnipotent government?" What a wonderful example of its delights the Germans and their drilled and trained wunderkinder left us? Mandatory involuntary service shall set us all free!

March 25, 2009