Every Free Society has a right to engage in Self-Defense And Defense Of Others.
Whenever U.S. libertarians, most of us, are faced with questions about how to address barbarities by aggressive tyrannies; the normal reaction for American libertarians is this.
- “WE ARE NOT THE POLICE OF THE WORLD!”
- “WE HAVE NO BUSINESS OVERSEAS!”
- “BRING ALL U.S. TROOPS EVERYWHERE HOME NOW!”
- “BOMBING STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM CREATES MORE STATE SPONSORED TERRORISM!”
Notice how all of these are based in emotion, dogma, and fear-mongering. Remorsefully these are the deeply normal reactions of U.S. libertarians to being asked how to address barbarianism by some insane tyranny. Also none of these answer the questions that are typically being asked in foreign policy.
Thankfully, there exist libertarians including me who are not like this. Libertarian doves in the U.S. who actually bother to answer defense policy questions (such libertarian doves are legendarily rare in America) offer a few choices.
- Debate one’s way to a Negotiation with the one or more barbarian regimes
- Infiltrate the enemy by opening free trade with its population behind its back
- Wait for the enemy to attack innocents on U.S. soil to make an impacting reply
Mostly, I am Anti-Negotiations.
I also believe that opening free trade with the enemy population behind the enemy’s back makes absolutely no sense. Nor do I see any room in the very idea of empathy for waiting for Americans to be violated within U.S. borders to make a self-centered reply.
Rather I am in favor of War; Not debates, not infiltrations, & not the typical pacifism-until-attacked that is mainstream in what I will gladly call “libertarian fundamentalism“.
This is because of the statistical yet miserable fact of reality that war is usually, but not always, the only way a free society can save many innocents long term.
20th Century Histories & What They Imply
Back in 1776 with his big book ‘Common Sense‘, libertarian activist and US Founding Father Thomas Paine wrote this. And this paraphrase uses the terms ‘republic’ and ‘monarchy’ to refer to ‘libertarian regime’ and ‘authoritarian regime’, respectively:
- The Republics of Earth are all, and always will be, peaceful. Monarchies will go to war out of pride in situations where republics will not.
Roughly 19 decades later, political scientist Rudolph Rummel verified Paine’s claim has being fact of life all along by extensively researching government abuses of authority throughout the millennia. You can find Rummel’s findings here. The relevant finds to this section, however, are all right here.
Looking at Soviet Russia’s record of 62 million innocents murdered with nothing to do with combat and everything to do with what they are, we also know that the Bolshevik Revolution is what started Soviet Russia. If warfare was used to reverse the Bolshevik Revolution’s effects within Russia’s first year of being Soviet Russia, then those 62 million innocent lives would not be the only lives saved. Preventing the global popularization of socialism that occurred over the 20th century by defeating socialism right at the Bolshevik Revolution (its source) would have also saved a global total of 100 million innocents.
As for the Bilateral British and American firestorm against Nazi Germany in 1945, if that firestorm was carried out in 1933, right after Hitler and the Nazis started acting on their platform at the time, then 21 million innocents would have been saved, long term.
While we got nothing positive anywhere else in World War One, there is a fact to bare in mind when assessing the Middle Eastern section of it. The Ottoman Turks has murdered a total of 2 million Armenians and Greeks from 1909 to 1918. War against Ottoman Turkey in 1909 would have saved 1.5 million Armenians and at least 500,000 Greeks.
Should War Be A Last Resort?
“War needs to be the last resort in national defense, not the first”; said every presidential candidate ever. Even Austin Petersen claimed that “while war needs to be a last resort, we also need to retain a very strong national defense” in his LP nomination run.
My question, even to Austin, is “In what concept?”
Because I assure you, Austin, and everyone else that by the concept of Self Defense And Defense Of Others, it is clear that War is actually the Only resort, not the last.
Rather this notion comes from the most cancerous concept to libertarian foreign policy: Just War Theory, which was created by authorities of an organized religion with a penchant for tyranny. So yeah, don’t see Just War Theory as even remotely libertarian, anyone.
“War is the Health of the State”?
As a libertarian, I assure you the truth is: Tyrannical Regimes are the health of War. And it’s actually diplomacy, negotiation and other brands of appeasement that are the healths of the authoritarian tyranny. A free society doing Self-Defense and Defense of Others via warfare, on the other hand, is the bane of tyranny. So no, war is Not the health of the state.
Even Total Warfare can save innocents
Total warfare is basically warfare that has extremely few if any limits to how combatants can defeat the enemy, for those who do not know. And I have come around accepting the fact of human history that even Total Warfare can save countless innocents from oppression and/or slaughter long-term. But I vastly oppose any deliberate murdering of civilian people. Free Societies often risk doing Collateral Damage, which by any definition is not deliberate murder.
- Slavery in America was primarily ended in 1864 as a result of General William T. Sherman carrying out what we call the ‘Savannah Campaign‘. Sherman had his troops burn down every single building in the American South’s eastern states and steal every single food and drink item in American South mess halls. Plus Sherman ordered many of his troops to free and train able-bodied slaves on the go so these former slaves could bring out brutal retribution on their former owners. The resulting trauma on the Slave South was so astronomical that the American South became terrified of the very idea of treating minorities and/or women as second class citizens.
- Bringing up the Bilateral US-UK firestorm on Nazi Germany again, these two liberty republics at the time destroyed so much Nazi land and property and citizenry that it’s easy (at least for me) to argue that this in particular is what drove Hitler to ‘accepting’ defeat by taking his own life.
Are ‘Letters of Marque And Reprisal’ A Legit Alternative To War?
Yes, and for people who do not know:
- Letter of Marque and Reprisal is basically a bounty letter issued against a tyranny or against one of its governmental institutions offering financial reward for the defeat of the bounty target.
And historically, soldiers of “bounty hunter” armies were called “Privateers”; people that former president George Washington hired to assist the actual US military during the American Revolution. Also, Thomas Jefferson used a Letter of Marque and Reprisal against Ottoman Turkey, who was sponsoring Jihad back then as prolifically as Saudi Arabia is today, as part of the First Barbary War. It was then James Madison who ended the Ottoman Empire’s hold of Mediterranean North Africa (the ‘Barbary States’) and Ottoman slavery of Europeans by using both US military and Letters of Marque in one move.
I know this was the double the size of a normal article, but I wanted to get this out there for fellow U.S. libertarians who share my resentment of pacifism and share my adamant support for Self Defense And Defense Of Others. Thank you all,