PRESS HI 2-8682 HI 2-2426 1714 SO. CONGRESS AUSTIN verted, if not psychotic, society. Its goals have been perverted from individual freedom . . . into dollar signs with overkill to boot. A new set of national goals is clearly needed. The program of a universal draft for national service offers a means of bringing goals into reality. I assume the goals are to be something other than blind service to country. Some “whys” for this service are called for. The success of such a program depends both upon how forcibly these reasons can be presented and upon how effective the administration can be. . . . W. P. MANEWAL A Narcotic Haze The idea of a universal draft for national service is potent. As one of the “sub-adults kept at a low simmer” I know quite well how difficult it is to make the necessary choice between institutionalized “education” and institutionalized “defense” of one’s country via the draft. Both “alternatives” are equally unpalatable. Many of us feel that life between the ages of 18 and 30 ought, and, moreover, could conceivably be much richer, yet the structure of our society prohibits many of the large group of citizens ages 18 to 30 from engaging in responsible, character-building activity. The creative impulse of our age group has, by dint of the Either school Or the draft choice, had a narcotic haze cast upon it. 14 The Texas Observer 4FAAg3tgiVsSMCn kr _ wea5orfE4 ilitrecting5 kri5;:ii:XNKT.SZYACK5ZMNZtEZiMEZIMM VAC MA SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW THE TEXAS OBSERVER 504 West 24th Street Austin 5, Texas Enclosed is $5.00 for a oneyear subscription to the Observer for : Name Address City, State This is a renewal. This is a new subscription. It seems as if society demands of us a sleepy mediocrity. . . . In view of THE CHOICE, a juvenile delinquent, for example, is in a sense living a more authentic life insofar as he rejects the humanly debilitating claims of society as they are implicit in this choice. Such a situation is intolerable. Just as intolerable, though, as Mr. Shattuck quite aptly points out, are slums, decaying cities, inadequate social services, unemployment, and the ludicrous excrescence we hear called a defense establishment, just to name a few. A universal draft for national service, though attractive, would, I fear, prove to be politically unacceptable. The country is, again, almost asleep, but the institution of such a universal draft would demand a burning and pervading national consensus. Such a national consensus on anything, save the status quo, does not exist. Burning social issues are merely warmed over in the legislative halls. Yet total apathy does not exist. . . . I would suggest that the range of responsible choice open to sub-adults be expanded. Assuming that a universal draft for national service is impossible, a program of universal national responsibility might quite conceivably be adopted. Under such a system a sub-adult WOULD fulfill his rosponsibility to the nation in any one of as in the VISTA volunteers, the Peace bachelors degree or equivalent at some recognized degree-granting institution. This would result in the “disenfranchisement” of the abominable universal military draft. Only those who felt inclined to serve in the armed forces would be drafted, yet the nation would continue to profit from the service of all its youth. Several studies are available concerning how little the draft contributes to national defense. . . . Besides the numerous social services such a national program would provide, the value to each individual participant would be immense. We of the 18 to 30 MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. The TRAVIS COUNTY LIBERAL DEMO-CRATS meet at Saengerrunde Hall, Scholz’ Garten, at 8 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays. You’re invited. WORK PARTIES every Sunday afternoon in Austin, 2:00 p.m., Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment, 3014 Washington Square. Free refreshments. HOLD YOUR BREATH! Watch this department for an announcement of the regular meetings of the MIDLAND COUNTY COALI-TION. If you want to shake ’em up good, join us. Organizations College students in the South have recently formed the SOUTHERN STUDENT ORGAN-IZING COMMITTEE ganization dedicated to working for a new South in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties. academic freedom, poverty, and other relevant political and social issues. Newsletters and additional information may be obtained by writing Box 6403, Nashville, Tennessee. bracket are, really, in a kind of limbo. Responsibility comes only through experience. But how many persons at, say, the age of 20 have had much experience with the “real” world after having led a cloistered life in the shadow of one of the halls of ivy or a football stadium. . . . Such a new program would not only allow subadults a reasonable choice, but would allow themafter, say, participating in the program between their sophomore or junior years in collegeto say “I helped do thatfor society’s sake.” As the C.C.C. boys once did, sub-adults again would be able to find outlets for their creative impulses in ways other than peyote dreams or mugging other sub-adults in a back alley. DAVID F. DURHAM A Matter of Tactics The institution of a universal draft for national service would be one method of accomplishing the difficult but necessary tasks which face our social structure. The justification for this approach should be that it is personally rewarding to the drafted participants. Whether or not this becomes the case may largely depend upon the draft’s genesis. An act of Congress would negate any public freedom and emphasize the coercive aspect of the draft. Participants could only be resentful. Only if the individual’s freedom to choose among alternative forms of service was emphasized could government coercion and individual freedom be maintained in a delicate balance which would permit a maximum openness of feeling in the participants toward the service they must perform and, hopefully, will learn from. . . Vista and the Peace Corps should become alternatives to the military draft, alternatives which may be opted for by an individual already called to the draft. Those who chose to serve in Vista or the Peace Corps would be grateful for, not resentful of, these alternative forms of national service. Naturally more people would have to be called to the military draft to replace the draftees lost by the military to these other programs. But nominally the only coercion, or draft, would remain military, and the individual would be blessed with alternatives to it. Later women could be included in the draft on the argument of equality and the model of younger nations like Israel. . . . Service should be its own reward, but this can only be if participants feelnot merely that they are doing goodbut that they have chosen to do good. DIANE DEMME Subscriptions for $4 Subscriptions to the Observer can be bought by groups at a cost of $4 a year, provided ten or more subscrip tions are entered at one time. If you belong to a group that might be in terested in this, perhaps you will want to take the matter up with the others.
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