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In many ways, I agree. But I would draw a distinction between the two examples you use in the first sentence. To me, the concept of 'National Service' (at least as traditionally meant) was based on bringing people together to serve what almost all agreed was a common good - the defence of the Realm. One might not want to do NS, but at least most could agree on the underlying rationale. As such, one of the great benefits of NS was the mixing of people from all walks of life in an environment of discipline and unified purpose - which qualities people could take back to their communities when released. The danger of the second example is that we could all have vehement disagreements on what a 'volunteering revolution' might look like, and which causes should be supported. I would certainly share your implied expectation that I wouldn't like most of those causes, and I therefore completely agree that such an approach would be deeply undersrable.

To me, there has undoubtedly been a massive weakening of the bonds of community and society over recent decades. There are many obvious and natural reasons for this, and Thatcher's famous quotation about society was undoubtedly absolutely correct. So recognising that those bonds of community have weakened, and seeking to do something sensible about it is vital - and your diagnosis of how we have eroded those building blocks is, I think, spot-on.

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