There’s a False Dichotomy on Foreign Policy that Objectivists and Neolibertarians have enough common ground to unite them against.
One thing there is to be very wary of, is the binary black and white thinking out there on foreign policy. Or, as Yaron Brook called it, false dichotomy.
There are roughly ten different tribes of the libertarian movement, although Objectivists profess as uniquely their own movement.
I am listening to the Austin Petersen podcast “The Freedom Report”, specifically the episode about the meaning of Trump’s movement, as I write this page.
And it gets me thinking, there has been a false sense of binary thought on foreign policy for quite some time. And a political alliance is needed!
The Non-intervention Side
There are two sides of this false dichotomy, which I will simply call Non-interventionist and Neoconservative.
Among the liberty tribes, the Non-interventionist side includes Anarcho-Capitalists, most Civil Libertarians, most Classical Liberals, most Fiscal Libertarians, Geolibertarians, Left-Wing Anarchists, nearly all Minarchists, and Paleolibertarians.
Outside of the liberty tribes, the Non-intervention side includes the Bernie Sanders and other ‘Democrat Insurgent’ types as well as a majority of the Ron Paul and other ‘Republican Rebel’ types.
Non-intervention side’s agenda on foreign policy basically looks like this.
- Bring every troop home from every nation on Earth
- No more alliances with any nations at all
- Puritanical Non-interventionism in preach and in practice
- Humble Engagement with the world through trade and diplomacy alone
- Everything bad about humanity is the US military’s fault
- And human nature is inherently infallible
The Neoconservative Side
Even though myself and other neolibertarians may have some common ground with actual Neocons, we are not on their side of this dichotomy I am highlighting. We’re also not on the Non-intervention side just so everyone knows.
But the Neoconservative types include establishment Republican types like George W. Bush and John Kasich and Chris Christie as well as establishment Democrats like the Obamas and also the Clintons.
This latter group’s agenda looks like this:
- It’s our moral obligation to fight to spread democracy to the world
- It’s our moral obligation to give up on the Bill of Rights in doing national defense
- It’s our moral obligation to use protectionism against certain regimes for them not being democracies
- It’s our moral obligation to send free money, free food and free water to economically poor nations at tax payer expense
What Do Objectivists and Neolibertarians Stand Together On?
Applying the legal theory of self-defense and defense of others to foreign policy, that’s what. The theory of self-defense and defense of others based on individualist moralities like ethical egoism (which’s officially the Objectivist perspective) and humanism (which I’d argue is the Neolibertarian perspective).
This theory as defense policy holds that the use of constitutional regime change, Western cultural imperialism and preventive strikes are justifiable actions, but not moral obligations, against tyrannical regimes who callously break the Non-Aggression Principle.
In addition, if a tyrannical regime attacks the individual citizens or national interests of a free society, it’s up to that free society to do everything tactically and strategically mandatory for a supremely quick victory.
See here on the Ayn Rand Lexicon:
There’s more terms relevant to foreign policy there. The number-one priority Neolibertarians like me have in common with Objectivists is free trade. As free trade spent almost the entire 19th century liberating most of the globe, birthing free societies.
On foreign and defense policies, I as a neolibertarian say us neolibertarians ought to unify intellectually with Objectivists against the false dichotomy I have been explaining this whole page. Thanks for the read;