Just War Theory Vs Empire of Liberty


I somehow rarely post here of late. So I figure I need to contrast two very different approaches to foreign policy: Just War Theory as developed by Thomas Aquinas, and Empire of Liberty as developed by Thomas Jefferson. If you look at the section “Alternative Theories” of the JWT article I linked to, you notice that Empire of Liberty is not on the Alternative Theories list. I am going to demonstrate how it belongs on there in this post.

Empire of Liberty as Foreign Policy Theory

The theory of Empire of Liberty based on spreading individual freedom, minimal state and economic freedom to the world; from what I can gather by learning the Monroe Doctrine; appears to hold that the use of Preventive policies like Big Stick Policy is justified against Nations of Tyranny who militarily prepare to wage Wars of Aggression. Additionally, if an Empire of Tyranny is sponsoring tyrannical guerrilla movements to spread itself across the globe, then Defensive war is justified against both that Empire and its legion of movements. Thirdly, if a despotic government has already very recently done severely violent damage to individualists and minarchists anywhere on the planet, then Liberation war is what to do. Therefore, in any of these cases, Nations of Liberty must use everything that is authorized by their respective National Constitutions to fully destroy the despotic governments, the despotic establishment militaries, and the despotic guerrilla groups, all at the mutual source. After this, we must spread individualism, minarchism and free-markets and not simply let foreign populations set up any kind of new despotism they want for as long as their new tyranny has election cycles.

Difference from Neoconservatives?

Neoconservatives stand on the simplistic, Neolibertarians like me stand on the holistic. “Neo-cons” believe it is very much perfect to just remake an enemy regime into a Democracy, no matter how Totalitarian or Collectivist that democracy is, and then keep our troops overseas without them really doing anything useful over there, all to pretend as if they are spreading freedom to the Earth. “Neo-libs“, like myself, recognize that the thing to do with enemy regimes is to remake them into Minimal States that breathe Individual Freedom and Economic Freedom. We objectively size up the policy of simply letting foreign populations set up any kind of Totalitarian Democracy they want and say “Yo, this is a really, vastly, BAD idea! This is bad for Empire of Liberty, we do NOT support this policy!” They look at the policy and say “Oh, don’t mind that there are no historic examples of simplistic policy being smart and holistic policy being dumb, just have faith that it is infallible policy!”


Jefferson was not at all one for warring at the first sign of danger, but the theme he was getting at with “Empire of Liberty” is that individualism is well worth fighting hard and well for, no matter where on Earth you live. Thanks for the read,



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