Do private militias prevent decadence?

Professor Bainbridge argues that professional military allows the broader culture to become more decadent, pacifist, etc. That there is something fundamentally lackaing when civic virtue does not keep pace with military virtue. Perhaps we need a draft. Perhaps we need some form of mandatory participation in local policing. The instinctive libertarian in me abhors these ideas, but perhaps they are necessary for us not to be a victim of something like BelmonClub’s latest scenario. The Professor quotes George Washington:

An energetic national militia is to be regarded as the capital security of a free republic, and not a standing army, forming a distinct class in the community.

It is the introduction and diffusion of vice, and corruption of manners, into the mass of the people, that renders a standing army necessary. It is when public spirit is despised, and avarice, indolence, and effeminacy of manners predominate, and prevent the establishment of institutions which would elevate the minds of the youth in the paths of virtue and honor, that a standing army is formed and riveted for ever.

The abhorrence of the concept of virtue and the embracement of irony among the nation’s liberal elites give’s one pause.


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