Summer Soldier, Sunshine Patriot: Liberalism and the Crisis of Military Service in the United States (thesis)
This paper is not about politics or military strategy. It is not about international relations or just war theory. This is a paper about America on the sidelines. This is a paper about a nation at the mall, even as a tiny percentage of America stands post in the far-flung outposts of hellish foreign lands. I will begin by describing historical changes in the idea of military service as a moral obligation of American citizenship. Through the lens of history and civil-military relations, I will describe the erosion of this concept and ultimately attribute it to deterioration in the philosophical foundations of citizenship. Specifically, I will argue that the intellectual tradition of liberalism has produced modern tendencies towards extreme individualism, even as another intellectual tradition -- classical republicanism -- has withered and further diminished the concept of citizenship in wartime. I will do so by criticizing two modern liberal theorists, John Rawls and Michael Walzer, and by tracing the history of classical republican ideas in the United States. Finally, I will argue for a restoration and rejuvenation of republican virtues as a means of addressing the current crisis in our civil-military relations. [From the Introduction]
Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Lee Samuel Brett is a member of the Class of 2013 of Washington and Lee University.