L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 209, February 3, 2003
GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!
State of Disunion 2003
Exclusive to TLE
Well, Dubyuh's most recent State of Disunion address is out of the way, and I managed to restrain myself from watching it. What would have been the point? All he was going to do was go on about saving the world from terrorism and adding all kinds of insane government programs that would save the world. And -- as they've been in the process of doing since Bloody Tuesday -- the Republicans would applaud like the wild, power-mad butchers they are, ejecting once and for all the notion that they have any real affinity for limited government.
Why bother watching such tripe? I probably would have ended up cursing at the television and putting .45-inch slugs through it. Certainly my viewing habits would have improved as a result, but then I'd've had to fix the holes in both the walls and exterior siding of the house.
The thing that really galls me isn't the mad rush to war that both the Republicans and Democrats are engaging in. After all, they're sick, twisted, disgusting little trolls deep down in their evil, shrivelled souls. They'd have absolutely no qualms about selling their own mothers and sisters into prostitution, as long as they got an occasional hummer from time to time.
They don't bother me. What bothers me is the people who are nominally supposed to be on the libertarian side who want to send other peoples' sons off to die in pointless conflict based on the price of a fuel that's mere moments away from obsolescence.
That's right: oil as a fuel source is about to be obsolete -- and probably would already be gone were the FedGov not bent on artificially keeping its prices low. Regardless, the next Henry Ford is ultimately going to put a "Mr. Fusion" on every car in America. When that happens, watch how rapidly the entire concept of the Middle East fades from the American consciousness. The United States will abandon any pretense of being interested in the region, and the various factions will go back to being what they were prior to 1948: warring tribes engaged in centuries-long blood feuds, more concerned with murdering each other than some heathen country half a world away.
Until then, however, we have would-be dictators like Comrade Dubyuh to deal with. And worse, we have lily-livered so-called "libertarians" who don't even understand what individual liberty really means.
Let me be very specific: if you are in favor of any war ANYWHERE, then you are not a libertarian.
A libertarian is a person who believes that no human being has the right -- under ANY circumstances -- to initiate force against another human being, nor to advocate or delegate its initiation. If you don't believe that, you're not a libertarian, pure and simple.
No libertarian can be in favor of any kind of war. War is totally at odds with the Zero Aggression Principle.
Now, let's forget the specifics of any given war, because they really don't matter. War -- as a concept -- cannot be waged without the initiation of force.
On a high level, war requires government, and government requires initiation of force. I know it would be nice to imagine a world in which government didn't initiate force, but it's not possible. Government initiates force against the governed. Government cannot so much as put one brick atop another without paying for it, and it cannot pay for it without stealing the money from someone. Certainly the massing of troops on anyone's border is an affair requiring billions of dollars in this day and age, and these billions must be stolen from the governed.
Government -- as a concept -- initiates force. Government without initiated force is the same as fish without water: e.g. DEAD.
For any so-called libertarian to be in favor of war is to be in favor of government. For any so-called libertarian to be in favor of government is to be in favor of initiated force. To be in favor of initiated force is to not be a libertarian.
However, on a closer level, war very specifically initiates force. In modern terms, we call the victims of initiated force "collateral damage," but I prefer to call them what they truly are: "innocent bystanders."
Let's imagine for a moment that divorced of all the government propaganda that Dubyuh and his cronies are using to inflame sentiment against him, that Saddam Hussein is a raw, naked initiator of force. There are many reasons to believe this: from all accounts, both he and the ilk with which he surrounds himself are, in fact, wretched, evil excuses for human beings several orders of magnitude worse than Dubyuh himself.
As an initiator of force, Hussein is morally required to provide restitution to his victims. If he will not or cannot, then there is no reason that any individual or group of individuals cannot take it upon themselves to respond to his initiated force and destroy him.
Note that INDIVIDUALS may destroy him, not GOVERNMENT. Individuals have the ability to peacefully raise a militia, buy materiel, and shoot him dead without requiring disinterested parties to become involved. Government forces EVERYONE to become involved.
However, the moment that any individual harms an innocent bystander, then that individual becomes an initiator of force himself.
So let's take a hypothetical (but highly probable) situation:
Saddam Hussein lives in a palace, which he pays for by keeping his subjects in a state of abject poverty. Nestled up against his palace are subjects who use it for shelter, who attach their carts to it and trade with those surrounding it, or just wander by to take pictures of it.
Enter the men of the North Sioux City Militia, Ltd. The NSCM has raised the necessary funds and hired the appropriate personnel to locate Saddam, and they decide that one sure way to get rid of him is to drop a large bomb on his palace while he's inside it.
The pilots of the NSCM fly over the palace, and using the high technology at their command, let fly with an explosive missile that can shoot the fleas off of a dog's back from 20,000 feet.
The missile does the job, turning Saddam's palace into assorted piles of rubble. However, in the process, they also kill the individuals crowded around the palace at the time of its destruction.
The pilots of the NSCM have just become initiators of force. Their victims are due restitution. Considering that their victims are DEAD, it's impossible to provide such restitution. Therefore it would not be an initiation of force for interested members of the Greater Baghdad Regional Militia to shoot the pilots dead -- provided that the GBRM's snipers didn't initiate force against anyone else to do so.
Similarly, massing hundreds of thousands of government troops to invade a country, shoot their way through, and destroy Saddam Hussein will inherently initiate force against numerous other individuals in the process.
Thus war -- as a concept -- is inherently immoral.
No doubt pseudo-libertarians among my readers are up in arms at this point, pointing out that in all of human history, wars have created victims. Such is the price of war.
This is certainly true. Nevertheless, war is immoral because it violates the Zero Aggression Principle. If you can't accept this simple, easily-provable truth, then you are not a libertarian.
What, you may ask, are individuals to do about such force initiators as Saddam Hussein? The answer is simple:
Anything they like, provided that they do not initiate force.
They can raise private bounties, for example. An interesting note about force initiators is that lacking any real moral scruples, they are easily bought. A sufficiently high bounty will cause Saddam's own henchmen to betray him.
They can infiltrate his country and at an opportune moment pick him off sniper- style.
They can invest in new technologies, such as space exploration, particle weapons, and targeting systems. Imagine for a moment that the NSCM launches a particle beam weapon over Baghdad. The next time Saddam Hussein goes out for a stroll in his palace garden, he and he alone will have a large hole from his skull to his crotch, and no force need be initiated against anyone.
The only real answer to the problems of dictators and terrorists will not be found in government. They'll be found in free individuals with 100% sole ownership of their lives and destinies. Relying on government to solve these problems only creates tyranny and suffering. Indeed, as has been noted many times previously, the reason that Bloody Tuesday occurred at all was because immoral government foreign policy incited terrorists while immoral domestic policy made it possible for them to hijack the aircraft. Had the individuals in the United States been simply left unmolested by their government, Bloody Tuesday would never have occurred.
Indeed, in all likelihood, dictators such as Saddam Hussein (or Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, or Abraham Lincoln) would not have survived long enough to cause trouble.
Free individuals can morally police the world of dictators. Governments can only create more dictators.
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