[Exi-bay-chat] When to fight

Kennita Watson kennita at kennita.com
Sun Feb 8 20:53:20 UTC 2004

On Sunday, Feb 8, 2004, at 11:15 US/Pacific, Samantha Atkins wrote:

What in the world are you talking about? <reread message> Ah -- 
basically, what I meant is that since we are (mostly) libertarians 
here, the standard bellyaching about the extent to which the United 
States is a totalitarian regime is preaching to the choir and beside 
the point.  The issue of abusing power is quite apropos, because I 
assume that even a libertarian regime could become powerful enough to 
have some power left over to abuse.  By calling it "abuse", I assume 
that the libertarian standpoint is that those are the times *not* to 
fight.  So please read my message again in that light -- when is it 
time to fight for your own protection, for the protection of allies or 
others, or for any other reason?


> Since you do not wish to hear about the extent to which we abuse our 
> power (those comments you invite us to keep to ourselves) I am forced 
> to the conclusion that you are not interested in a full exploration of 
> the question you raise.   I have elected not to guess what it is you 
> really intend by the message.
> - samantha
> On Feb 1, 2004, at 12:35 PM, Kennita Watson wrote:
>> This is keeping me awake.
>> When is it time to fight? When is it time to raise an army? When is 
>> it a matter of National Security?
>> I hear doctrinaire libertarians say that the United States ought 
>> never use its army except to protect the national security; some even 
>> say that the very shores of the United States must be at risk. But 
>> what constitutes a matter of national security? Killing off or 
>> subjugating our trading partners might apply.
>> Some dismiss the questions, saying "anyone who wants to help is 
>> welcome to pick up a gun and go do so". But for an individual to do 
>> such a thing is not helping, it is suicide. As it happens, this is 
>> also an argument for the broadest possible interpretation of the 
>> Second Amendment, because an individual, or group of individuals, 
>> ought to be able to buy a tank or a grenade launcher or a machine gun 
>> to go help with.
>> Congress has the power to declare war. Since we have a representative 
>> government (supposedly), ought not then the people have the power to 
>> declare war - at least as long as we have a volunteer army, and with 
>> the proviso that the funds for any particular campaign ought to be 
>> voluntarily collected? I say all this from the standpoint of 
>> attempting to justify a libertarian intervention in World War 2, a 
>> war in which I think most Americans believed it was appropriate for 
>> us to be involved. Civil war is one thing; wholesale slaughter of the 
>> defenseless is quite another. Defending ourselves is always 
>> appropriate; when might it also be appropriate to defend those unable 
>> to defend themselves?
>> Arguably, the only thing totalitarian regimes are good at is force - 
>> using armies and police forces to bully, terrorize, and destroy their 
>> enemies and dissenters. (You may keep your comment aboutt the extent 
>> to which the United States fits this description to yourself.) If 
>> this is the case, had Hitler managed to take over the entire European 
>> continent, we would be minus not only many people, but many thriving 
>> economies. So, if we had allowed that to happen, and to the extent 
>> that we allow similar things to happen today, while we may still have 
>> a large slice of the pie, it would be a smaller pie.
>> Comments?
>> Live long and prosper,
>> Kennita
>> --
>> Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
>> none but ourselves can free our minds.
>>           -- Bob Marley, "Redemption Song"
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