| Thomas Di Lorenzo comments on Rummel's theories on the LewRockwell.com blog:
The notion espoused by R.J. Rummel... that democracy will somehow put an end to war is a very old and very discredited idea. As Ludwig von Mises So, once again Mr. Perigo is promoting neocon nonsense.
wrote in Human Action (Scholar's Edition, p. 818), this theory was popular in Europe in the late eighteenth century. The theory, as Mises described it, is this:
"For the people wars do not pay. The only cause of armed conflict is the greed of autocrats. The substitution of representative government for royal despotism
will abolish war altogether. Democracies are peaceful."
Of course, substituting representative government for autocracy requires war itself, as Mises noted. But, supposedly, such a war would be "the last war, the war to abolish war forever."
This theory was disproven almost immediately. Once "democracy" was firmly in place in France, and the French revolutionaries repelled Prussia and Austria, "they embarked upon a campaign of aggression. Of course, under the
leadership of Napoleon they themselves very soon adopted the most ruthless
methods of boundless expansion and annexation . . ." (p. 819).
The real cause of unlimited warfare, wrote Mises, is economic interventionism of all kinds.
"While laissez faire eliminates the causes of international conflict, government
interference with business and socialism create conflicts for which no peaceful
solution can be found. While under free trade and freedom of migration no
individual is concerned about the territorial size of his country, under the
protective measures of economic nationalism nearly every citizen has a
substantial interest in these territorial issues. . . . What has transformed the limited war between royal armies into total war, the clash between peoples, is .
. . the substitution of the welfare state for the laissez-faire state."
And by the way Mr. Perigo, you should know that your rantings, ravings and personal insults are driving a lot of people off of this board. (Yes, I know I have been guilty of personal insults in the past, but I now ask forgiveness for my sins.)
At any rate, most of the objectivist movement seems to be degenerating into a unpleasant mirror of the neocon right. Warmongering, collectivist nationalism, moral relativism and total ignorance of history seem to be more the rule than the exception these days.
And this is all a real shame. Ayn Rand had many faults, but I doubt she'd be pleased at what is going on in her name these days