5 Reasons To Vehemently Oppose War

The very contemplation of war comes into direct conflict with the libertarian ideals of freedom, prosperity, and non aggression. When States wage war, which they often do to expand their power and control over territories, the consequences are often disastrous for the citizens and innocent civilians living in these warring nations. The prospect of any military conflict, invasion, conquest, intervention, and all out war should be fervidly opposed by people who love freedom and support the principles of private property, economic growth, and human rights. There are a whole litany of reasons why war should be opposed. In this short essay, I will condense those reasons into five comprehensive arguments that outline and explain why war is a direct assault on liberty and the right to live without aggression. I will discuss how war is funded through theft, and how it ultimately leads to intrusive behavior by government in our everyday activities under the guise of security.

The first reason to oppose war is the cost of these long and seemingly never ending military campaigns. The government has to fund these brutal battles and it does so by legalized theft and expropriation (taxes), borrowing from other countries, and printing more fiat currency out of thin air so our hard earned cash assets and labor become more devalued while prices for goods and services continue to rise due to the most regressive tax in existence. This tax is known as inflation. These wars are extremely expensive and the expenditures are not just being appropriated for military operations and equipment. The money spent on taking care of wounded and disabled veterans along with an infrastructure for a national security apparatus to operate, tacks more on to the mountain of costs. The politicians and corporatists line their pockets through defense contracts and other nefarious business deals that conveniently appear during war time and the private sector is thoroughly bludgeoned over the head with the big stick that The State carries to further fund the wars of the day. Individuals and businesses are forced to sponsor and pay for these evil and unnecessary wars through tyrannical majoritarian rule and executive decision making at the highest levels of government. This is democracy at work. The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are said to have cost approximately $2 trillion dollars and that number will continue to rise when all is said and done. People are tired of giving foreign aid, and devoting capital to nation building in the slums of the world where despotism, theocratic dictatorships, and brutal totalitarian regimes flourish. They are tired of policing the world and having to pay an astronomical price for no tangible gain, just substantial and measurable losses.

The second reason, has to deal with our civil liberties. Randolph Bourne famously said, “War is the health of The State”, and he was, of course, right. The government not only loves to make money off of war but they also love to control more of their brainwashed and befuddled subjects who are always duped into believing that war is a “patriotic” duty to one’s beloved country. Anything the elitist politicians tell the populace about war is through endless propaganda and rhetoric that is intended to psychologically draw support for military operations. The government now spies on us “for our own good”. They read our emails, listen to our telephone conversations, harass us at the airport, use force and coercion to silence dissenters, conscript soldiers to fight bloody wars, and interrogate us when we are travelling on the roads and highways we own and paid for with our own tax dollars. This will only get worse and the government will use fear tactics and words like “terrorism” to get the masses to follow orders and to stay in line without questioning the “all caring” statist war machine. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, Wilson came down hard on free speech, FDR interned Japanese-Americans and grew government power to astonishing new heights, and today we are living in a dystopian surveillance/police state perpetrated by the Bush and Obama regimes.

Thirdly, comes the issue of our national security. When you are constantly killing and plundering foreign citizens under the guise of “liberation” and “humanitarian aid”, you will create what the CIA calls blowback. Young children in far away countries that see uninvited soldiers killing their family, destroying their cities, raping women, and stealing natural resources, are most likely going to grow up with disdain and hatred for that country. Wars are mainly fought between governments over territory, economic resources, and for more power. The notion that citizens from other nations or territories should despise each other is foolish. The government pits people of countries against one another in the name of nationalism but it is really the high branches of governments and corporations who start these fights. The more destruction and military quagmires a country creates abroad, the more likely its domestic citizens at home will come under a dangerous threat of retaliation as a consequence to these disastrous international ventures.

The fourth reason, and a very strong reason not to support war, is the number of casualties, and more seriously, the civilian casualties. It is extremely difficult to fight a war without civilian casualties. This is the main reason wars should not be fought. They are crusades for genocide and human annihilation on levels that are hard for the human mind to fathom. The Iraq War brought 300,000 casualties, The Korean War ended with over 1 million deaths, The Vietnam War brought over 3 million casualties, World War I death totals exceeded 36 million, and there are studies that have been done that put World War II casualties at 85 million. This is barbaric and outright abominable to come to understand that war and governments have killed hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century alone.

The fifth and final reason to emphatically oppose war, is the theft of natural resources from other countries along with occupation and imperialism. Countries have been invaded countries to strengthen their power and grow their economies for centuries. The Romans, The Ottoman Empire, Napolean, The Third Reich, Great Britain, and, more recently, The United States of America, have used military might to expand power, steal resources, and become a hegemonic force to be reckoned with on a global scale. The United States has been invading and intervening across the hemispheres since the 18th century. Here are just a few examples, Central America during the late 19th century and early 20th century (especially Nicaragua), The Philippines, the annexation of Hawaii, Cuba and The Bay of Pigs in 1961, Korea, Vietnam 1955-1975, Panama 1989, Bosnia and Kosovo during The Clinton Administration, Iraq on a number of occasions, and Libya just a few years ago in 2011. There are more occupations and conflicts that The U.S. is involved in now and there are a whole list of the country’s military conquests since its inception which are too numerous to list. It’s easy to see why this is wrong and it’s another solid argument in the debate against unnecessary and unjust wars.

Is it reasonable, then, to support any war? The answer is yes. However, there is no logical reason to ever support war unless it is in response to an unprovoked attack or people are fighting to be free from a tyrannical and brutal regime. The American Revolution is a war that was just and necessary for secession and eventual freedom from the British colonizers. There are other wars that have been fought for good causes but they are needles in haystacks. Most wars are fought by governments so they can gain more authority, protect their own interests, control the minds and lives of the populations they rule over, and to show off their great strength and military prowess. This all, unfortunately, comes at the expense of innocent human beings. The rights of people are stolen everyday but during periods of war you can count your rights on one hand and in many cases you have the same rights as an animal. This and the 5 reasons I described above are why any fair minded and sensible person should demonstratively oppose war.

Sources and Notes:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-do-we-ignore-the-civilians-killed-in-american-wars/2011/12/05/gIQALCO4eP_story.html

http://costsofwar.org/article/civilians-killed-and-wounded

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

Advertisements

My Complete Journey From Neocon To Free Market Anarchist

If someone came up to me six years ago and told me that in the year 2014 I would be an unapologetic principled free market anarchist, I would have laughed in that person’s face and then explained why being a paleoconservative that upholds the constitution and nationalism is the greatest political stance in the world. Boy was I wrong, and my journey towards libertarian anarchy begins before mid 2013 when I finally became a free market anarchist  This long political journey began somewhere around 2001 during a tumultuous time. The horrific events of 9/11 were fresh on every American’s mind and this is when I took the political stance of neoconservatism (I called myself a moderate Republican). I thought by the U.S. invading countries like Iraq and Afghanistan under the leadership of George W. Bush, America would be able to prevail in a war against injustice and an uninvited terrorist attack against innocent civilians. I did not look to research some of the causes of this terrible attack but took the word of various politicians that terrorists from the middle east hated America because we were “free”. To be a moderate Republican does not just mean you support a foreign policy of war and interventionism, although that’s a major part of neoconservatism and the philosophy of the Republican party. It also means you support big government policies like the “War On Drugs”, out of control spending, crony capitalism, entitlement programs, the growth of government agencies and bureaucracies, and The Federal Reserve. It also means that you support establishment politicians in The GOP, which I thought were the diametric opposite of Democrats, but the two parties are not much different from one another. Most of their squabbles are over how to stiff the private individual more effectively while simultaneously gaining more power. I realized after the debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan that it was time to be a more principled and educated conservative. By late 2008, after the presidential elections, I decided I would identify as a constitutional conservative and drop any affiliations with neoconservatism and support for big government policies. I wanted to be associated with a political philosophy that embraced the founding fathers’ vision for a limited and constitutional form of government  that respected the sovereignty of the individual. Unfortunately, I did not go far enough in my beliefs. It was not until around two years ago when I realized that the modern conservative movement and the ideas enshrined in the contemporary conservative political philosophy influenced by William F. Buckley Jr., and the like, were deeply flawed as well.

In early 2008, I was reading books by Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and  Dick Morris. I was watching Fox News every night and thought Hannity was a great conservative commentator. Later that year, after John McCain lost the election to Barack Obama, I decided it was time to support real limited government conservatives. I started listening to Andrew Wilkow on Sirius XM Patriot and I learned quite a bit about The U.S. Constitution from this conservative talk radio program. I continued reading books about  conservatism, including The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk and I read books about how the constitution was implemented and functioned to limit the tyranny of the federal government through checks and balances and separation of powers. I strongly supported states rights and made sure I understood the Constitution as it was intended to be understood. I was a constitutional textualist and took every word as it was written in the pamphlet I carried around in my pocket. I certainly knew it was not meant to be interpreted by nine unelected judges. Marbury v. Madison set that precedent in 1803 and is the reason why limited governments never stay limited.  When The Tea Party came along in 2009-2010, I supported that movement and I was able to stand by, and effectively articulate, my own ideas and convictions when speaking to someone about politics at this point.  I was always prepared for a debate with someone on the left or a family member that took an opposing point of view. I eventually came to the realization that The Tea Party just represented a different brand of big government and hypocrisy.

There was another crucial phase in my political development which happened earlier. So let me take you back a little. One day, in late 2008, I was told about Michael Savage by a family member. He told me that Savage was a cynical outspoken and humorous conservative talk radio host and that I should listen to him one day to hear his worldly views. I listened once and quickly became a regular listener to the program. He was the greatest voice I heard in the conservative movement. He did not really talk about the Constitution on his program but he talked about “Borders, Language, and Culture”, a phrase he coined and made part of his broadcast on a daily basis. He spoke about things that the media swept under the rug and he was not afraid to speak his mind, no matter how controversial the topic. I loved the fact that he was gutsy and talked about conservative issues that I identified with like the threat of Radical Islam, the deterioration of American society, immigration policy, and why Obamacare would fail. Plus, he had a knack for telling great stories. Couple this new discovery with constitutional conservatism and reading a few books by Patrick J. Buchanan, and I now considered myself a Paleoconservative who stood by the original intent of the constitution and supported The Tea Party movement. That all eventually changed. I would remain a Paleocon for the next few years, however, all of this was short lived because I finally found Libertarianism in late 2012 and it has changed my life forever.

Like many voters, I voted for the lesser of the two evils in 2012, and cast a ballot for Mitt Romney. It was a horrible thought to think Obama would be reelected and I would have to endure another four years of hardcore leftist and progressive policies under this despotic ideologue. The talking heads, populists, and neocons on Fox News told conservatives that Romney was a shoe in and that he would be our next president. They were of course wrong and I realized Romney was no different than Obama. He would also support big government policies. I had already been exposed to Libertarianism from a friend at work and the more I listened to the message Ron Paul was conveying on peace and prosperity, the more I became attracted to the libertarian way of thinking. When Romney lost the election that was it for me and the whole political process. I was fed up with mainstream conservatism and all of its old and unrefreshing ideas. I was tired of Fox News and the agenda they pushed down their viewers throats night after night. I was sick of The Republican Party putting up establishment big government neocons to run for office. And, most importantly, I was sick of the inconsistencies, mistruths, and tyrannical notions that became embedded in conservatism like the “War On Drugs”, policy making that was guided by religion, and the perpetual cries for war from the numerous party war hawks like John McCain and Lindsey Graham. What I was looking for was a philosophy that truly embraced freedom. Individual freedom, economic freedom, and the freedom to do what you want as long as you do not violate anyone else’s natural rights. This would be consistent and moral. I was now officially a libertarian. I started reading books by Ron Paul, End The Fed and The Revolution, and I began to realize that this man is not the same lunatic the Republican Party portrays him to be at debates. This man stands for pure free markets and non aggression. Ron Paul is a brilliant person and I am glad I opened up my mind and read his works. It was not long until I was introduced to a new philosophy that would build on the principles of libertarianism and take them to their logical conclusion. My friend at work told me that The State is a coercive monopoly power and that all goods and services can be provided entirely by the private sector. I had a hard time digesting the idea of security, courts, roads and national defense being handled by the private sector. How was this possible? He then told me about the Lew Rockwell phone app, anarcho capitalism, and Murray Rothbard, the father of modern libertarianism, and this is where the search for the most moral, consistent, logical, political philosophy that embraces freedom, peace, prosperity, and non aggression ends and where my journey to educate the world about this awe inspiring philosophy of liberty begins.

Some that have adopted the ideas of free markets without State intervention, identify as anarcho capitalists, libertarian anarchists, Austro-libertarians, private property anarchists, or just anarchists. I prefer to call myself a free market anarchist. It’s important to distinguish ourselves from left libertarians, anarcho socialists, and anarcho syndicalists who stand for egalitarianism and collectivism. Free market anarchists believe in a sound monetary policy that  starts with a salable commodity as currency, like gold or silver. We believe in unrestricted free markets and the right to private property. We also hold the non aggression principle to be the central tenet of anarcho capitalism or free market anarchy. This simply means that no one may use coercion against anyone’s physical body or private property except in cases of justified self defense. What could possibly be wrong with a doctrine that speaks to the ideas of freedom and peace. The notion that government can protect private property is one that can be thrown out since there is a glaring contradiction in this statement. A government that expropriates from people through taxation (theft) cannot possibly be the ultimate protector of private property. They steal private property in order to “protect” private property. This is nonsensical proposition and tyrannical in nature. The State has a monopoly on decision making authority, legislative power, the power to tax, and, of course, a monopoly on the use of force through various security agencies (police, FBI, CIA, DHS) and defense agencies (U.S. military, national guard, DoD). The only way to have a moral political system that raises the standard of living and respects natural human rights is through free market anarchism. The economy would be based on Austrian Economics which was deeply enhanced by Ludwig Von Mises and is based on human action, rationalism, and free markets, as opposed to, positivism, empiricism, and Keynesianism. The moral side of issues would be settled by Rothbardian ethics which focuses on free trade, voluntarism, contracts, private property, the non aggression principle, and anti state cultural conservatism.

I now understand that government is an old concept. Government can not bring about peace, economic growth, and protect individual rights. Governments are about control, and power, and they try to maximize their influence and domination as far as they possibly can. Individuals, unfortunately, suffer from all these unnecessary wars, and economic interventionism along with central planning that governments inherently perpetuate. The standard of living is lowered and the elites become richer all at the expense of the private business owner and taxpayer. The U.S. has stifled economic growth through regulations, entitlements programs, bailouts, cronyism, and taxation. It has also committed atrocities since its inception but has been extremely imperialistic and hegemonic since the beginning of the 20th century and especially after World War II. This can all stop by spreading the ideas of libertarian anarchy (pure libertarianism). If we can use education, the principles of secession, pacifist civil disobedience (non violent), libertarian activism, disownment of all statists and government workers, and boycotts of all businesses that support war, big government policies, and that collude with big government, then, there is a good chance people will start to realize that the concept of freedom, higher living standards, protection services, a sound currency, private property, and a chance to live your life the way you want is imperative and something government can not effectively provide. It will never be able to accomplish these things in a satisfactory way simply because it is incapable and it exists for a different objective. It’s created for a totally different reason. It is there to steal, murder, control, spy, and plan for more power and superiority so a handful of parasites in ivory towers can control the masses. Neoconservatism, democracy, liberalism, progressivism, and socialism are destructive and tyrannical. Some more than others. Open your heart and mind to free market anarchism. I did and it’s the only way civilization can be saved.

I no longer watch Fox News for any reliable news content and information about current events. When I do watch this network it is strictly for entertainment purposes or it’s because I am curious to find out what type of misinformation and propaganda they are disseminating on any given night. All the major news organizations have an agenda and are using their power to circulate deceptions and propaganda that benefit The State apparatus in one way or another. I occasionally listen to conservative talk radio to get their perspective on issues and to see where I differ on the issues they are discussing. I usually find myself in strong disagreement with what many of these conservative pundits are saying about the problems of the world and how we can fix them. Once in a blue moon I’ll tune into The Savage Nation (Michael Savage) to get a dose of pessimism and some humor, but by and large, I have abandoned all of these conservative media outlets and I now concentrate on devoting my time to libertarian websites for information and knowledge. The Mises Organization and Lew Rockwell’s site are great sources of information. I also recommend reading the works of Murray N. Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Walter Block, Ludwig Von Mises, Robert Higgs, Stephan Kinsella, Tom Woods, and Lew Rockwell. If you are a limited government conservative or even an anti war, anti media, leftist who wants the truth and wants to be left alone from government intrusion (notice I did not say socialists, communists, or progressives, they have not caught up to logic and reason), then there is a philosophy just around the corner that is waiting for you to learn about and include in your life. It’s free market anarchism and it is my last stop on this political expedition in search of the moral and logically consistent truth in politics and in everyday life. Now I just have to spread the message of liberty and peace through the ideas of libertarian anarchy.  I truly believe my life here on earth would have been worthwhile if I can convince a few to join me in educating people about the true libertarian tradition of non aggression, private property, and free markets.

(I’m still culturally conservative, barring any religious convictions. The difference now is that I wholeheartedly stand up for the rights of people to do whatever they please as long as they do not violate the non aggression principle.  I would consider myself a Hoppean, which is someone who follows the anarcho libertarian philosophy of Hans-Hermann Hoppe.)