|I'd like to point out an interesting parallel between common libertarian views of America's foreign enemies, and liberal views of America's domestic criminals.|
The same sort of arguments advanced by libertarians like Ron Paul to "explain" the actions of terrorists like al Qaeda have been offered for decades by liberals to "explain" the heinous acts of common criminals. Read any sociology or criminology text, and you'll find endless laundry lists of "causal explanations" for crime: poverty, neglect, poor parenting, lousy schools, poor "socialization," inadequate pre-natal care, hunger, disease, bullying, racism, police brutality, social stigmatizing, untreated psychological disorders, victimless-crime laws...you name it.
And in both cases -- foreign and domestic -- it's always American culture, society, and policies that are the toxic "root causes" underlying the actions of those who attack us.
Just as libertarians treat the actions of al Qaeda and other terrorists as "blowback" for the sins of American society against them, liberal social-science professionals treat the actions of our home-grown criminal thugs as "blowback" for the alleged sins of American society against them. These bloody acts are not the terrorist's or the criminal's "fault" (responsibility), you see; rather, it is all OUR fault, for "driving him" to do his dastardly deeds.
Those of you old enough to remember the Cold War may recall that precisely the same sort of "explanations" were offered by liberals and, later, by libertarians like Murray Rothbard to lay the blame for Communist aggression at the West's doorstep: It was OUR imperialist provocations around the world that were "driving" the Soviet bloc to "respond" by conquering and butchering millions, building weapons of mass destruction, etc.
I defy anyone to draw a rational, meaningful distinction between "explanations" for criminal or terrorist aggression, and "excuses" for it. After all, "causal explanations" for human actions aim at exonerating the actor for committing them, by treating those acts as if they were not under the actor's conscious, volitional control, but were instead a deterministically driven "response" to some external provocation or "cause."
Just as I reject the liberal "excuse-making industry" that denies volition and rationalizes the acts of criminals, I am totally fed up with the disgraceful foreign-policy perspectives of those libertarians who portray the United States as the causal agent of every evil on earth, thus rationalizing the acts of foreign terrorists and despots. Ron Paul has become the most visible exponent of that malignant view. In my mind, his "blowback" excuse for 9/11 -- and "excuse" is exactly what that "explanation" amounts to -- is sufficient to completely disqualify him for any American public office, let alone for the role of commander in chief of the U.S. military.
And no -- I don't intend to argue the point here. We'll have much more to say about Mr. Paul (and not only his foreign-policy nonsense) in an upcoming issue of The New Individualist.
(Edited by Robert Bidinotto on 11/21, 8:12pm)