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Compassion is the wrong word here--it is not a term of the political art. Liberals use this word, it would seem, because Rousseau made it world-famous. This is not sufficient reason, however.

But helping the poor is part of the common good & the common good is the object of gov't. What the people do together by way of gov't is apt to be judged in terms of morality & could well be moral--again, morality is not a term of the political art, so there is a difficulty, but if morality consists in the opinion & habits relating to the human good, then it's obviously some part of politics. Sending your kids to do good things for other people is noble even if you yourself are not the one doing the good.

Educating them to be good citizens is noble even if you are not the same as your children. Helping your friends to be good citizens is also noble, even though, again, they are different people. Even moral exhortation can add to the common good, even when unpersuasive.

What people believe to be good & conducive to the common good is the object of legislation. The gov't is justified in that pursuit of the common good. Gov't action for that reason is not merely threatening people with guns to extort money, whether for the poor or the rich.

Ah, this is where you and I are polar opposites. The "common good" is most certainly not the object of government. Protection of individual life and liberty is the only function of government.

Surely, you agree that the most serious part of gov't work is war, which is most obviously justified as defensive war. Why would the gov't call on citizens to risk death & to kill enemies if not for the common good? It is obviously insane to say that it is good for one soldier to die if life is what is good for human beings. If individual life is what matters, why should anyone be called on to die for his country?

First, service should always be voluntary. An individual voluntarily choosing to defend the lives of other individuals. Second,the only justified war is the self defense. A government goes to war to protect the lives of its own individual's lives. Which is exactly what I previously said. Government exists to protect lives, and private property from aggression.

If most of the young men eligible for enlistment refuse to 'volunteer' for whatever reason then what would you say?

Then I guess we won't be going to war. I think the draft is slavery.

Not slavery per se, but an ill-advised idea, nonetheless. If someone truly does not want to do something, no amount of coercion will force them to do it. I know plenty of people who would take a court martial and jail time rather than serve against their will. Hell, I am one of them. In a military unit, efficacy and safety of that unit is absolutely dependent upon cohesion within the group. How could you expect to maintain cohesion if you have a couple guys who will do anything not to be there? You can't. 

That same sentiment, though is what makes the sacrifice of those voluntarily enlisted all the more important; they do so not because they are forced to, but because they want to and choose to do so.

You have no idea what you're talking about. Slave armies have been the norm throughout history & they work to satisfaction. Armies of free men are an exception--but even free men must obey orders & suffer, which they would not freely choose. Look at the armies that fought for Congress in the war that made America's independence. Were they even paid what they were owed? War makes a mockery of many good men, but also of all silly ideas.

If you didn't act for the safety of the unit you'd probably be shot... by the unit personnel.

I think service should be mandatory for all citizens.  Otherwise there is no personal knowledge of what freedom actually requires.

Depending on who you are fighting, if enough don't fight, you lose the war and become their slaves anyway.

You have no idea what you're talking about. People who think like you would never have fought nor won American independence, much less the previous wars for British independence.

Without the authority to ask men to die for the common good, admitting that death is bad for those who die, there is no gov't.

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