That’s not the stuff of which eager conscript armies are made. Should a draft be reinstated, officials are likely to find that a whole lot of their intended cannon fodder would “try to avoid being conscripted into the armed forces.”

This may come as a bit of a disappointment to politicians and pundits who have taken to floating the idea of mandatory national service for tasks both military and civilian. Last summer, The New York Times spotlighted a new round of “debates about whether mandatory national service is undemocratic or whether it’s the path toward a stronger sense of solidarity among Americans.”

Democratic presidential wannabe Pete Buttigieg dreams of his countrymen shoved into “standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other Americans for a greater purpose” as a means of building “social cohesion.” John Delaney, another White House aspirant, wants conscripts serving in a variety of government-designated tasks “to give back to their country” (give what back he doesn’t specify).

Some social scientists perversely imagine that extending government control over people’s lives will empower the public to exert more control over that government.