[Exi-bay-chat] When to fight

William Wiser will at wiserlife.com
Sun Feb 8 21:10:21 UTC 2004

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Samantha Atkins" <samantha at objectent.com>
To: "ExI regional: SF bay area, US " <exi-bay-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2004 11:15 AM
Subject: Re: [Exi-bay-chat] When to fight

> Since you do not wish to hear about the extent to which we abuse our

Using "we" in this case confuses the issue I think.  The US government
hardly listens to me.  It's kinda like the Mafia.  They do some good
things and some bad things but it is difficult for me to influence them
one way or another.

I did not reply to Kennita's message because I thought the answers
were obvious and complex.  In most cases if others have a right to
defend themselves you have a right to defend them.  You can group
with others to accomplish military goals.

If you defend others with money or labor you have stolen, the rightness
of it is more questionable.  It you defend others by involving a group of
people who do not wish to be involved it is understandable if they have
their own opinions about the wisdom of your activities.

Many people think that in matters of basic survival much is allowed that
is not allowed in matters of luxury.  Many people think that when it comes
to the basic integrity of a land it is acceptable to tax or conscript.
same people may think that when it comes to doing good in the world
or fighting other people's battles, you are free to act and group and do all
sorts of big things but it is not acceptable to take from innocent
(at least not at the same level, no system is perfect).

> 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.

I believe Kennita's idea was to try and focus on the idea of what sorts
of behavior are good without complicating things by asking at this time
who is engaged in which behaviors.  So, yes she seems to be interested
in addressing the issues one point at a time rather than starting with a
discussion.  To discuss what is right rather than who is right first.

When to fight is answered by ethics and practicalities.  For most people
(perhaps rightly) the answer is they fight when people they think smarter
than them tell them to.  I think many of our objections come because
from our point of view they so often follow such obvious idiots.

> 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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