By Tyler Durden
Authored by Chris Calton via The Mises Institute,
In 1852, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in Springfield, Illinois in which he talked about the attempts at required militia training. He described how much of a joke the citizens made of any attempt at mandatory militia training.
“No man,” Lincoln said, citing the rules, “is to wear more than five pounds of cod-fish for epaulets, or more than thirty yards of bologna sausages for a sash; and no two men are to dress alike, and if any two should dress alike the one that dresses most alike is to be fined.”
He also described the militia figure of “our friend Gordon Abrams” at a militia training, “on horse-back . . . with a pine wood sword, about nine feet long, and a paste-board cocked hat, from front to rear about the length of an ox yoke, and very much the shape of one turned bottom upwards.”
Lincoln was attempting to ridicule the dismissive attitudes of his fellow Illinoisans toward compulsory militia training. The conventional wisdom in military theory is that, for effective defense, the military must be centralized and continually maintained in the form of a compulsory standing army. Even from supposed “small …read more