My Civil Service

Being a student is not the most important goal in life. How can you offer more to our world than just sheer existance?


I have always been enamored of the ideal of public service, which is to say, I have always envisioned myself becoming a perfectly disinterested public servant whose only impetus is to serve his country. Although I am constantly reminded that practically no modern public servant or politician is cast in such a Lockean mold, I am also aware there are exceptions. Indeed, George C. Marshall and Dean Acheson present any observer of political life with two examples of true statesmen in the modern era, to which country was far more important than personal gain. Together, they established the system of containment and alliances that allowed the United States to win the Cold War. However, they did this at a time when the vast majority of their fellow citizens considered government, and the civil service, a force for good. Today, in the aftermath of the sometimes disastrous social engineering of the 1960s and the equally disruptive conservative revolution of Ronald Reagan, government is looked upon in quite the opposite light; civil servants are derided as mindless bureaucrats.

Yet, I plan to enter that same world. And more to the point, I plan to do something exceptional while I am there. However, with the current socio-political...

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