The Public Interest

Of Citizens and Soldiers

Seth Cropsey

Winter 1981

FOR Tocqueville, the military’s place in democracies is shaky because democratic men are prone to see war not as a chance for honor but as an interruption to commerce and the furthering of wealth. This turns out to have been a better analysis of Rome and the Greek city-states in their decay than a prediction of the United States in its first 200 years. Anti-military feeling, on the other hand, as shown in a collection of essays edited by Peter Karsten under the title The Military in America, is a national tradition which dates back at least to colonial times.

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