A Student Asks Me For Career Advice

From: G
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 3:35 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: career
Dr. Block, I will be visiting New Orleans as often as I can, though, so anytime I do I will come to any event you’re hosting. I certainly miss you. I wish my time at Loyola was more productive and prioritized studying with you more, as I originally intended, rather than socializing and partying. Lesson learned for next time. In other news, I have moved back to Texas, and I’m taking a career path that you might not expect, and I welcome your thoughts on it – both as a mentor and a libertarian scholar. I have decided to join the military, specifically the Marine Corps. I chose this path because it fulfills a number of things I think I need in my life right now: development of physical fitness and discipline, stable income so as to pay down debts, seclusion from society and many of its features and distractions, and the opportunity to experience US foreign policy – and war if it comes down to it – for myself. What are your thoughts on my decision, particularly the last reason I named? Do you see any conflicts with serving in the military and libertarianism? What other thoughts might you have? Most people I tell this to don’t challenge me on it, so I would welcome it if you did. Best, G

Dear G: If you must enter the US military, why not the Coast Guard instead? They do not engage in (nearly as much) imperialistic war-mongering, as do the other 3 branches, and, will give you most of the benefits you mention that the Marines offer: “development of physical fitness and discipline, stable income so as to pay down debts, seclusion from society and many of its features and distractions.” The main problem with them is that they interdict illegal drugs, all of which ought to be legal. But, better that, I suppose, than the more explicit illicit activities engaged in by the Marines. The US now has some 1000 military bases in some 130 countries. That is not defense, that is offense. Even better, as for “development of physical fitness and discipline,” why not take up karate? A stable income can be earned in many, many ways, apart from the military. As for “seclusion from society and many of its features and distractions” maybe get a job with a (private!) lumber company, watching out for forest fires. You can earn a stable income in that way, while not seeing anyone else for days; weeks, maybe.

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9:37 pm on November 8, 2017