Anthony Gregory said:
“One example of such a collectivist, murderous philosophy is aggressive warmongering”
Are you suggesting that absolute ALL WARS produce an outcome that is worse than having had no war? I would be interested to know what crystal ball you are gazing into which gives you this alternate history where no Wars were ever fought.
“democracy itself is not individualism. Democracy is tyranny of the majority.”
Of course not, that is why we and Rummel no doubt establishe the difference of Liberal Democracies, that is, representative republic with constitutional protections of civil liberties. The ‘Tryanny of the majority’ can only extend so far. Regardless though, the standards of living, and the political and civil rights in democracies always tend to be better than those of non-democracies. Of course this idealized anarcho-capitalist utopia that lives in your head may be justly called more fair to it’s inhabitants, but I am sure it wouldn’t fare so well sitting next to Stalinist Russia, where the entire nation can be forced at the drop of a hat to wage war on your little utopia and free the proletariat from the evil capitalists!
The fact is this dreamlike ‘country’ that you love to hold the US standards up to does not exist and has never existed and if it ever does it will only come to pass when the majority of the world no longer lives under brutal oppression or murderous tyranny.
“In response to Michael Dickey, I'll just say that none of my questions have really been answered. No one has addressed how the US helped expand Communism. No one has addressed Operation Keelhaul or US aid to Saddam Hussein.”
The US also fought communism where it could and when it could. I do not suggest that absolutely every instance of foreign intervention was proper, and I certainly do not support the US’s backing of the Khmere Rouge to help them fend of the invading North Vietnamese (who helped put the Khmere Rouge into power, and thought the Khmere’s brand of communism was too extreme for even their taste’s, additionally Pol Pot was becoming psychotically paranoid and thought Thailand, Laos, and North Vietnam where in league with the CIA to Oust him, to bad he was just dreaming it up) The North Vietnamese finally did install a puppet government after overthrowing the Khmere Rouge and subsequently set up a slightly less murderous communist government. I guess they figured the Khmere had already gotten rid of most of the “counter-revolutionaries” when they murdered 1/3rd oif the population. But the main point is if the US has not completely abandoned Indo china, and specifically South Vietnam, the North Vietnamese would not have been victorious over the South, and would not have moved onto Cambodia to help bring about the Khmere’s defeat of Lon Nol (again whom even modest support by the US would have kept in power) You can rehash the anti-US rhetoric of “The Killing fields” and try to blame the Khmere Rouges massacre of their own people with some twisted logic on the US, but the fact is it is they who did the killing, and they did it with AK-47’s and Soviet tanks not M16’s and Hueys, and they did it in the name of Stalin and Marx.
”No one has discredited my argument that US intervention over the last century has contributed to the worst developments in warfare and the worst examples of expansionist tyrannical states.”
There is only so much time in the day to counter your ridiculously broad generalizations and over simplifications of complex events. Yes the US sided with Stalin, but that was to defeat a more immediate threat to the world, Nazism and Japan’s murderous expansionism. The allies could not have defeated Germany, Japan AND Russia at the same time. The US did not put Lenin and Stalin into power, and fought Stalinism to a significant degree during the cold war, which was anything but cold, opposing the expansionism of communism in Greece, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia (when supporting Lon Nol), Laos (supporting the Hmong), Chile, Cuba, Afghanistan (the Mujahadeen would not have fought off the massive soviet invasion without the infusion of millions in aide and thousands of surface to air missiles) etc etc (I do not care to list every state the US backed against soviet communism). Many people following WWII wanted the US to move on Russia and depose Stalin, and I am sure you would have been right there crying interventionism and claiming those proponents to be war mongering. Yet Stalin was at his weakest at that point and we had nuclear weapons, he did not. An invasion costing 10’s of thousands of lives might have saved 10’s of millions later. Instead nothing was done until later, and the giant cemetery that was Russia was left lone to murder. You on one had despise interventionism but on the other blame the US for the democide in the soviet union. What should we have done about it, launched a massive ground invasion? Opposed its expansionism with all out war every step of the way (hardly, since I doubt you even considered it a threat, no doubt uttering that in the same breadth in which you acknowledged that it has killed millions upon millions of people)
Did the US put Mao into power? Since you like to play the alternative history game I’ll gaze into my crystal ball. Had the us backed the Nationalists against the communists in China, (who themselves killed millions) in all likelihood 35 million lives would have been saved from the communist purges under Mao, and China today would be a state like Tawain but of over a billion people, it no doubt would have been the world superpower, and your equivalent today would no doubt be arguing in mandarin that the evil war mongering of China has caused all the problems of the world. Had we supported the Nationalists, there would have been no Mao, no purges, no Korean war, no Vietnam war, and the collapse of the Soviet union, absent it’s largest ally, would have been escalated, and 10’s of millions of lives would have been saved. But you would have been right there crying war mongering and imperialism.
“it not annoying to go to yearly health exams? Why go to those, you could be doing other things more important. Do you not do things you dont much like doing in order to accomplish something you value more? Do you have goals you are working towards? Do you understand the concept of benefit and cost analysis of an action, and that every action has effects that permeate throughout your life?
Yes, and I understand that government central planning is incapable of making efficient and productive economic calculation. If you trust the state to bring about world freedom, you might as well trust it to handle the much easier tasks of providing food, shelter, and healthcare for the people”
Of course you completely ignore the point, that things are done in the short term for goals of the long term. But in either case, I will address your point. I trust huge, bloated, inefficient governments that are representative democracies to spread freedom into the world more than I do “I’ve got mine screw you” ostrich solipsists such as yourself, who think that if you just do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, a perfect world will magically come about, neglecting that fact that SOMEBODY must be doing something to rid the world of those dictators, either it’s slaves whipped by them or their neighbors sick of seeing mass graves.
“It is a collectivist and flawed notion to say that since individuals act, and make sacrifices, for the benefit of future gains – essentially, that individuals act upon time preference – we can extend that principle to states,”
Then you are asserting the opposite, that all states must act only on the expediency of the moment, never being directed by principles or abstractions, and live only for the few seconds before and few seconds after their actions. If individuals can act and make sacrifices for the benefit of future gains, then why cant groups of individuals? Is that not the basis of a mutual fund? Insurance? Even if a state were completely voluntary and citizens chose to partake in state activites only voting on the use of the funds they voluntarily grant to said state, that state will still need a standing military and will still need to act to ensure the continuation of its citizens and will still need to recognize trends and abstractions and act towards long term goals. To surve it must live for the inverse of the expediency of the moment.
“Yes War is bad while its going on, while bullets are flying by your head and bombs are blowing up, but that single moment, or month, or year, or decade is not to be extrapolated out over all of eternity. Hopefully the terrible days of wars are repayed by a greater standard of living, more freedoms, and a more enjoyable life afterwards.
Your hopes run up against history”
Do they? Why then does more of the worlds population than ever before live under representative governments of some form, and many more under liberal democracies? Why do people all over the world, even the poorest, live longer healthier lives than ever before? Why are there fewer wars than ever before? Whey has the number of people killed in wars continued to decline for the past 50 years? Because we have created millions of monstrous dictators? Or is it because the United Sstates helped the world defeat Facism, Slavery, Communism, Totalitarianism, and now global Terrorism. The United States has freed more people than all other nations combined, and it continues to do so, despite the short sighted rhetorchic of absolute pacifists such as yourself, pacifism that rewards the murderous expansionism it hopes to undermine.
You dont care about people, you dont care about rights, you dont care about justice.
I'm not the one advocating the death of thousands of innocent people based on some ridiculous, disconnected theory that the state can effectively conduct a crude "benefit and cost analysis" and do the right thing.
Your not? That’s rather disingenuous. You advocate absolute isolationism and pacifism, which rewards all brands of murderous expansionism. That you choose not to make a choice about what to do about murderous expansionistic dictators does not absolve you of the moral culpability of that choice. Millions will still die. It is depraved indifference. You are indirectly advocating the deaths of thousands of people based on the theory that if you let them die now, more will not die later. Is that not the exact same theory I am espousing? You advocate the ridiculous disconnected theory that as long we aren’t doing the killing, its ok, even if 10 or 100 times as many people die by us not intervening. That as long as it isn’t anyone that lives within my borders that’s getting killed, I don’t care. I am advocating the theory that liberal democracies do not make war, and that the more liberal a democracy the less democide it commits and the less warlike its nature. History justifies this stance. Support for Korea prevented 50 million people from living in a brutal dictatorial hell hole for 50 years, a little more support in Vietnam would have prevented 100 million people from living in that brutal hell hole. You act as though if the US had not been involved in Vietnam, everything would have been rosy. Ridiculous, the communists would have just overrun Indochina with NO resistance and still killed millions upon millions of people. That you refuse to acknowledge the tough decision of deaths from inaction vs. deaths from action does not mean the problem disappears.
“There's no such thing as a voluntary government. And if our government is so great, why did it fund, assist and protect Saddam Hussein after it discovered he gassed the Kurds? I don't trust the government to always be good. Why should I? It's good friends with plenty of "murderous dictators."
Sorry, I meant to say volunteer army. The United Sates did not want to lose control of its primary source of energy to the Soviet Union, which is why it opposed the soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the soviet backed state of Iran. It is common military strategy to cut off supply lines. At the time the Soviet Union was a greater threat to the American people, and the world, than Saddam Hussein was. Now it is not, and Saddam is. You take out your worse enemies first, and you deal the best blow you can against an enemy with the limited resources of the world. I don’t trust the government to always be good either, but nor do I trust the choice of pacifist isolationism to ensure a safe world for the continuation of my existence. Yes the US has been and still is good friends with murderous dictators, it was also “good friends” with Stalin at one point in time, and now his government has been defeated. We do not exist in a world free from material limitations. We were “Good friends” with Saddam at one point, no we have him in jail. A lot more of our “Good friends” will soon be joining him if they don’t shape up. They were good friends because a greater enemy always loomed on the horizon, that Soviet Union which you simultaneously blame the US for creating and deride it for fighting.
“And it steals half the wealth in this country, locks up more people per capita than any other nation, and disarms people (one reason 9/11 happened) and strips them of their rights.”
The US certainly locks up more people than most other westernized nations, but NOT more than ANY other nation. The report you are referring to specifically does not include those closed governments that do not report such things, like Vietnam, Iraq, Burma, Cuba, North Korea, etc. Additionally we have a moronic portion of the population that glorifies violence as a means to achieve value, parading victimization and deriding achievement through intelligence and productivity. Going to prison is considered a right of passage to many groups. Similar problems are on the rise in Britian, with a growing segment of their population glorifying binge drinking and nightly outings of violence. What percentage of the population is locked up in the US for victimless crimes? What percentage is in Cuba? Hey, why don’t we just ask Castro, I’m sure hes a trustworthy guy.
“Or do you mean any government that doesn't respect the rights of "its" citizens has no right to exist? In that case, I agree with you. But you don't agree with yourself, since you believe that the US state, which has not only violated rights but has killed people, should go on existing, violating rights and killing people.”
Every country at some point in time has violated some rights and killed people somewhere. The point is liberal democracies do that far less than any other form of government, and the more liberal a democracy the less it does it, and the more liberal democracies there are the less it occurs in the world. Right now radical Islam is the worse threat to the world and the continuation of our existence, especially considering the rapid growth of technological progress (this, incidentally, is why I am involved with the Lifeboat www.lifeboat.com project) Nearly every single majority Arab or Islamic nation is a murderous tyranny or theocratic hell hole and they are breeding terrorists by the thousands by forcing them to languish in poverty while blaming all of their problems on the west. The murderous oppressive governments of the middle east are the source of this, and something must be done about them. It is a matter of self defense, and it is morally just. Creating a progressive western democracy smack dab in the middle of the middle east is the best blow we can deal against this enemy.
Doing nothing in Iraq would have allowed Saddam to carry on murdering people at the same rate he has been for the last 30 years, which would have amounted to over 150,000 people now since the time we deposed them. Doing nothing kills more people than doing something. Except in the former you get to feel all happy about yourself, while Saddam cuts out tongues, paves over people, breaks limbs, and has wives and children raped in front of their family members.
“Peace, commerce and friendship with all. I buy goods overseas, and try to protect innocents abroad by speaking out when my government kills them. That's my foreign policy”
Yet you won’t even bother to speak out if THEIR government kills them? Only if OURS does? That’s the problem. And what if our governments kills the people that are killing them? Do you still speak out against it?