“Pro-War Libertarian”

In my response to a libertarian on youtube, I lay out my foreign policy suppositions in layman’s terms based on the indivisibility of liberty. Is there room in the Libertarian party for someone who understands liberty to be indivisible in the World?

From; Scoforever
Subject; Foreign Policy

Watch these videos. I think that pro-war libertarian like yourself should watch them.

From; BiggsReport
Subject; Re: Foreign Policy

Why do you think I’m “pro war”?

I have seen friends of mine die in war. It is pretty ugly. I recently made a video talking about how we can deal with North Korea and Iran without recourse to military strikes, by being firm and using economic and diplomatic levers. I did this because I think if we show weakness to them, there WILL be a war, as they become aggressive in a way we cannot ignore.
Do you think a physician who wants to lance a boil just likes to cut people? He doesn’t want that thing to get out of control, and if it does, you will have real cutting (surgery).
I am dismayed by libertarians who say that there is no room for anything but an isolationist foreign policy viewpoint amongst them. All libertarians must be isolationist conscientious objectors in their view, or they are not libertarian.

A party so defined is far too narrow to become a real national movement.
Isolationism does not work. It has been proven not to work many times in the past. Going back our entire history, there was never a time when the United States was sucessful and prosperous, and blissfully uninvolved in the World around it. The very first generation of leaders in this country -men who wrote the Constitution- were involved in the war of 1812 when the British Empire pressed our sailors from their ships and restricted our ability to trade. We were principally concerned with economic disruption in that conflict. In the war in which we took Florida, we were concerned with the Spanish territory harboring “terrorists”; tribes that were being funded, trained, and motivated by the British to come across our border and attack American settlements. Right there you have justification for Iraq and Afghanistan (if we had gone to Iraq for economic reasons, which we did not).
Bush had a fuzzy, incoherent foreign policy. When he was elected, he said he was not focused on foreign policy and would concern himself with domestic issues, unlike Clinton; unfortunately, we were attacked, and once the foreign policy dominoes started falling on 9/11, we were drawn into greater involvement overseas. He did not explain, justify, or plan out the Iraq conflict as he needed to, and we are left with many problems as a result (like a stronger Iran). However, on balance, it was a positive action. He instinctively grasped an idea that democracy in the Middle East would be transformative, then he wavered and tried to do a half-transforming, half status quo policy.

Here is my assessment. As I said in my video on Iran and liberty; the founding fathers debated a lot about whether liberty is indivisible. Many thought that it was. That is why they showed support for the French Revolution, hoping that it would lead to something like ours. They rightly understood the principle, but didn’t yet see how long it would take for the ripples of what they had done to transform the World.

It is simple logic. People, living anywhere under a system that denies them basic liberty, are unhappy in this system and long for something better. Very often, though, if they are unaware that anything better could exist, and if they think that tyranny is the only way to run a government, then they will patiently endure the inhumanity dealt to them by their leaders.
As soon as they see that there is an alternative, and become aware that another system works; where people have more liberty than they do, they become restive, and want what those others have. Most libertarians understand all this, and say that our job is to mind our own business and be a pristine, innocent, uninvolved “lamp on a hill” -rather like modern Christianity’s understanding of the job of the people of God; just live a good life and hope for the best.

The problem is this; tyrants are not complete idiots.

Tyrants often have a couple traits in common, one of which is a fairly good instinctive understanding of human behavior. This is how they get to where they are; ruling a small group of henchmen who use fear and psychology to enslave a vast number of countrymen who could topple them at any moment if they stood up together. They understand better than anyone that their people, provided with an example of freedom, will inevitably revolt. So they always try to close their society to influences from that free place. The USSR closely controlled all communication and trade with the West, Saudi Arabia tries to control the internet, as does China, Burma and North Korea are like vast prisons, with strictly controlled access. The list goes on and on.

At a certain point though, passive blocking of incoming communication just does not work. Technology, progress, invention, and time all work against these tyrants. They cannot go back to an agrarian era with almost no global trade or communication, not with satellites over their heads belting out Britney Spears and Star Wars. America; for the sake of it’s own citizens, understood from the very beginning that the liberty of it’s own people would be compromised if they were not able to trade as they would, and effectively go where they want. That is why we had the war with the Barbary Pirates. Why the marines went to the “shores of Tripoli” in the first place. Similarly, for the sake of our own convenience, we fly airplanes, create television stations, launch satellites, and hook everything we can to the internet. This makes our lives easier and more comfortable. We all do this individually, but the collective acts and inventions of millions of Americans makes the World constantly smaller and smaller, communication easier and easier, and we of course have big increases in our productivity here at home.

This activity; the detritus of our normal, everyday lives, threatens the tyrants all the time in innumerable ways. I have traveled all over the world, and it is amazing to see how things we take for granted are transforming how other people live everywhere. We are the most productive and inventive society in all of human history because we have unleashed human potential through freedom. This means that our inventions, changing the world all the time, cannot be ignored, they cannot be hidden from.

Every tyrant is a tyrant because somewhere down deep, he would rather resort to force than abdicate power. Believe me, they don’t use force all the time; like a bully, they always use the threat of force, but rarely resort to the act itself. Yet force is the basis of their political existence, so force is the recourse they resort to when pressed to a wall. They try to be clever and use the invasion of global communication for their own ends; saying that it is a threat to their local religious morality or fundamentally against their religion or civilization. Such appeals usually last about one generation; after this, a younger generation doesn’t see why they have to stop being a Muslim in order to use the internet. They don’t see why a good follower of “the civilization of Confucius” cannot listen to Western music, or make music influenced by it. When that bulwark fails; the tyrant is left with one option before his own people demand freedom and try to join the wave of openness in the world. They must use force.

Force has a shock effect on people’s psychology, and when repeated numbs them. Patriotic appeals can be made to try to use the war itself to bolster a tyrannical regime, and of course, there is always the possibility (though a tyrant usually knows, like the bully, deep down that he is weak) that a sharp blow will make the land of freedom shatter and fall like a house of cards. Maybe just one more blow will make them give up, make them collapse, and then they will stop inventing and trading and making movies and rubbing against all the non free societies.

Tyrants inevitably reach the conclusion that the United States is their biggest threat and inevitably seek a way to strike at it.
They talk about our being belligerent and aggressive, tyrannical, etc. Like any abuser, they usually cite all their own flaws as the reason for their hatred of others. This is of course absurd. The list of things we would have to do to “appease” every tyrant is endless and only grows as we try, as Obama will soon learn. I have spoken to America haters in the Middle East and elsewhere, and the list of what they want us to stop doing so they can stop hating us is never the same twice. It’s like anti-Semitic arguments for why the Jews are “bad”… it is never really consistent, and it’s unprovable and impossible to disprove either.

That is why liberty is indivisible. Because wherever it exists; it creates such a ruckus, such a burst of color and life and energy and industry and invention; that it simply CANNOT be ignored by anyone anywhere. This happened with Athens, it happened with Rome, and it happened with us.

The first two fell; look at my video “On The Republic”; Athens tried to appease enough that Philip of Macedon (a tyrant) would stop accusing them of things. They tried the Obama (Democrat) foreign policy approach and carried it to it’s logical conclusion. Rome fell as a Republic for internal reasons; because they thought that only a great “expert”, gifted leader with absolute power could save them from the problems of the modern age; problems too complex for normal people. We are now in a presidency that manifests BOTH of these fallacies.
But liberty is indivisible. We are attacked, no matter what we do, using varying excuses, and we have been through our entire history.

We have seen a trend where the United States has increasingly been vigilant against such attacks, and has maintained bases in states that ask us to help them protect themselves in recent decades. On this; see my video “Libertarian Foreign Policy”. As a Republic, we do assume a certain degree of collective identity. We are not ONLY a large number of individuals inhabiting the same space and time, but also a nation. Therefore, our leaders do have the right to accept the word of other leaders who speak on behalf of their free people similarly (democratic states) that they would like our help in protecting what belongs to them. We kept the USSR from over running Berlin, and the Berliners were (and are) grateful. We kept the USSR and North Korea from overrunning South Korea and Japan; and China from dominating them and absorbing them as they did Tibet. We do not put our soldiers on the line to protect Israel (except once during the 1991 Gulf War; and then only a small unit sent SCUD hunting in the West while our main force went East), but we do send them monetary aid and weapons. I personally think we should not send them monetary aid, and should change the weapons deal quite a bit; they just don’t need the money and we should not be taxing people here to send out foreign aid. The principle of our protecting those who cannot protect themselves is sound, as outlined in the principles of liberty video you use for your icon picture.

This principle cannot extend to our doing this for dictatorships because they have no legitimate claim to be representing the people who actually own that state; hence, we cannot continue to give military aid to Egypt; nor Pakistan, nor to several other tyrannies. This must end immediately. We can also decide that we will not protect others who ask us to (though their elected representatives); we can of course say ‘no’, and should probably rethink some of our commitments. Europe is strong enough to protect itself now. Even with Russia trying to bully them with energy supply disruption; and we are effectively subsidizing the states of Europe through our defense spending. So we should say “no”. I think our defense of South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan is useful and serves our own interests as well; but you can disagree. Nevertheless, if you accept the small degree of “collectivism” inherent in having a Republican form of government, then you cannot say we have no right to agree to defend another democracy as you might defend your neighbor’s household.

In addition to protecting other people’s things, I argue that these overseas bases sometimes serve to keep off attacks against our homeland, as might a breakwater placed far out away from the shore. Not in all cases of course, but some do. We are not totally blind and foolish, and we can often gauge the general direction of future attacks, and place a preventive bulwark against them. Nor are tyrants totally blind and foolish, and they devise better and better ways to use our own inventions to destroy us.

This is the world we live in. I have seen much of it. I have fought against people who hate us. I have spoken to others who hate us and asked them why. I think Christians are wrong who say they must live as a pure and perfect example to the World without getting involved with it in any way. If there is a people of God or a chosen people then surely they would have to be active in this world and take responsibility for it. Likewise, I disagree with libertarians who say we must be isolationists, purely tilling our fields and growing our survival gardens…
What century do they live in? I grew up in the 20th; I live in the 21st. Our everyday activities threaten tyrants, who try to kill us on a massive scale. Iranian military, intelligence, and political leaders often speak of their global terror network as a “strategic deterrent” like our submarines! They say this (in Farsi) in public televised conferences! That means that they officially WOULD arm a terrorist band with a small nuclear device, so they can have a second strike capability -or a first strike capability. We cannot allow these people to have a nuclear weapon. Do not say to me that because we have the ability to destroy them, it would only be fair for them to be able to destroy us! There is no moral equivalent between a state that is governed by representatives of free people and one cowed by a tyrant. The tyrant acts with no check whatsoever and only the wildest-eyed conspiracy theorist here would claim that our own government is even close.

Ronald reagan said that Mutually Assured Destruction was immoral. It is simply irresponsible for somebody who is set in place to protect Americans to leave their life or death to the whim of a man like Kim Jong Il or Khomeini. That is why he wanted to build a missiles defense; because we should have some say in our own life or death!

For this reason, I advocate the use of diplomatic and strong economic means to remove these threats before they mature. If we do not do so, then the threats will fully mature, and we will be left in a position where we have to use war because our only other choice is suicide. Believe me; the Islamist leaders of Iran do not chant “death to America” because they want a few minor trade concessions, or a change in “tone” from the White House.
I want to lance the boil; I do not want to have to deal with surgery.

I hate war as many people cannot; as somebody who can still smell the smell of death hanging over the city of Ramallah. I know exactly what war means. If we have to choose between a war here, or a war there, then by God, let it be there. Choosing to withdraw from what you call “foreign entanglements” is a choice of war here later, rather than something less than war there now.

Washington did not call us to suicide. He made provision for our federal government to have a permanent military. He did not advocate that we disband this completely and rely only on the voluntary activity of our armed citizenry to defend ourselves. He did not say “never go to war”, he spoke about the specific wars in Europe taking place while he was in office. He never said “never be involved in World affairs”; but advocated restraint.

If the libertarian party has no room for someone who understands this indivisibility of liberty, then so be it. I have been long tired of the Republican party because of the lack of leadership who actually understand conservative principles and act on them. Libertarians seem to reject any who would try to do anything to protect this land, no matter what the circumstance, Objectivists seem to reject anyone who believes in God; holding up a false choice between reason and faith, and the Republican Party seems to have forgotten it’s principles. Well, of the three; at least the Republicans do not have some inherent, inflexible rule or doctrine that will reject my morals, ethics, or the fundamental lessons of my life. They just need a new set of leaders. If that is what must be, then so be it.


~ by Jubal Biggs on July 9, 2009.

One Response to ““Pro-War Libertarian””

  1. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has cancer and may not live more than five years, a South Korean cable news channel reported.

    Seoul’s unification ministry said it had no information on the YTN report, which came days after Kim, 67, appeared on television looking gaunt.

    The TV news channel said the leader of the isolated nuclear-armed nation was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer around the time of his suspected stroke last August. It cited intelligence sources in Seoul and Washington.

    YTN, quoting medical sources in Beijing, said Kim may not live more than five years given the high mortality rate for such a cancer and his advanced age.

    Seoul’s National Intelligence Service said it could not confirm the report, which came three days after Japanese TV network TBS reported Kim is suffering from a “serious disorder” of the pancreas.

    TBS reported that Kim has been resting and is being treated at his villa in the southeastern area of Wonsan by a team of specialists.

    Kim’s health is the subject of intense international attention since there has been no announcement to the outside world about who would succeed him.

    Seoul intelligence officials have been quoted as saying that Kim has nominated his youngest son Jong-Un, 26, as his successor.

    State TV last week showed Kim limping slightly and with thinning hair when he made a televised appearance to pay homage to his late father Kim Il-Sung at a national memorial service.


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