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Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 3:49pmSanction this postReply
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If anyone hasn't taken a look at R. J. Rummel's Democide/Power Kills online books at his University of Hawaii website, I would highly recommend it. This is very important stuff.

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Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 3:56pmSanction this postReply
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"We do not exist for the sake of others!" seems to be a credo forgotten in this spewing of imperialistic nonsense...... it would appear that the socialisticness still lies underneath those who cry "Saddamites!" to those who disagree with them.... maybe "once a tribalist, always a tribalist"?


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Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 5:30pmSanction this postReply
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Robert Malcom said:
"We do not exist for the sake of others!" seems to be a credo forgotten in this spewing of imperialistic nonsense...... it would appear that the socialisticness still lies underneath those who cry "Saddamites!" to those who disagree with them.... maybe "once a tribalist, always a tribalist"?
Perhaps you missed the part where Rummel said:
But besides this basic human me and mine, it is also a blindness to his own welfare. For in an age of readily transportable biological weapons, such as anthrax, and nuclear weapons, no longer can a country like the U.S. sit back and ignore what goes on elsewhere in the production and deliverability of such weapons. In the hands of those who hate the democracies and their libertarian values, democracies have too much vulnerability to attack. Now, involvement and intervention in the rapacious affairs of thug regimes is of necessity a protection of democracies, not to mention advancing human rights and the freedom libertarians praise.
In short, it is in our best interest, an act of self defense, and additionally something that is right to do. 

Michael Dickey


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Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 7:20pmSanction this postReply
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In the last fifteen years since I came to US, I've met many Americans who's interested in China or Chinese culture, but there hasn't been a single American that I met who's interested and willing to discuss with me about the genocides committed by CCP. 

Earlier last year, I was searching the web in desperation and came upon Prof. Rummel's website. I was hugely relieved that what had happened in countries such as communist China and Soviet Union in the 20th century have not gone completely unnoticed by the world.

It is through his links that I eventually came upon Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and now SOLO.



 


(Edited by Hong Zhang on 1/23, 7:22pm)


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Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 9:29pmSanction this postReply
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    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
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."
    So, once again Mr. Perigo is promoting neocon nonsense. 

    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



       


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Monday, January 24, 2005 - 5:53amSanction this postReply
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What I miss is any real discussion of the evolution of a proper foreign policy. During most of our history, the barriers provided by the oceans made it prudent to be isolationist. How about the future?

Most libertarians talk about protecting liberty within one's country and stopping government at the borders (including the avoidance of entangling alliances). But what makes for a viable country in terms of scale? A city-state? Baltic-size nations? USA-size nations? Obviously, no one would expect governments organized and restricted to city-blocks. What's a viable scale? The question arises whether our government should remain confined to the old borders or whether we have to be concerned with the governing of other nations.

As the future presents new challenges in an expanding context, weíll have to re-consider some of the rules-of-thumb that prudence had led us to adopt. Iím not sold on the nations-building option but I donít see the matter discussed in anything but dogmatic terms especially among isolationist libertarians.

Have I missed the debate somewhere?


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Monday, January 24, 2005 - 5:59amSanction this postReply
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You are right about this, Hong. I too was glad to read some of that history. Awareness strips away romantic ideas, and forms the basis for action.

John

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Monday, January 24, 2005 - 8:43amSanction this postReply
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Hong Zhang writes:

In the last fifteen years since I came to US, I've met many Americans who's interested in China or Chinese culture, but there hasn't been a single American that I met who's interested and willing to discuss with me about the genocides committed by CCP. 

Earlier last year, I was searching the web in desperation and came upon Prof. Rummel's website. I was hugely relieved that what had happened in countries such as communist China and Soviet Union in the 20th century have not gone completely unnoticed by the world.


How can anyone today call himself a freedom-fighter or freedom-lover who doesn't observe and loudly denounce the horrors of North Korea, Burma, Sudan, etc.? Or note the impotence of America in bringing freedom 90 miles off its shore to Cuba for 40 long years? But the mostly "isolationist" -- which is a fair term, despite Rand -- libertarian and Objectivist world is very silent on all this. Indeed, in the face of 9/11 they actually seem to favor even more isolationism (!) if not outright accommodation with and appeasement of foreign tyrants.  

The best current thinking on foreign policy actually seems to be coming -- not from the L/O community -- but from moron George Bush and the jewish-based neo-conservatives. Natan Sharansky in his current book 'The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror' actually dares to denounce John Quincy Adams by name with his Don't go "in search of monsters to destroy" ideology, and his view of America as "well-wisher to freedom" but "champion and vindicator only of her own." [page 70] And Sharansky implicitly praises the (admittedly disastrous) foreign policy idealists Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter.

At some point it's necessary and desirable -- it's practical and moral-- to fight for freedom outside of national boundries. This means Bush's"pre-emption," not just Rand's self-defense and emergencies.  


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Monday, January 24, 2005 - 10:42amSanction this postReply
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Well, what Rummel said is in itself nice rhetoric, but it lacks reality. The United States have just got themselves into two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq (and the injustice being done in Afghanistan at the moment, because of the lack American interest is an example and a proof in itself)). The military is already stretched at its limits, the fiscal policy is going wild and the government is limiting US citizen's rights. Perhaps, the U.S. should rather be interested about getting themselves out of troulbe rather than fighting for "peace" "freedom" and "self-defence" abroad, or there will be nothing to defend anymore.

Two different justifications of the nation-building/interventionist foreign policy advocated also by Rummel have been made:

- First, Democracies and Liberty spread in the world are good. (that is neocon-nation-building).
- Second, the United States has acted in self-defence (which was the guiding line in the last fifty years.

But what has been left behind, was the premise that underlied all of those arguments:
Whether the concept applies to reality and thus is scientifically provable. But if we look at the examples, the results are dubious to say the least.
Afghanistan is still a herd of tumult and far from being safe or democratic (even getting worse because the US had reallocated most of their troops to Iraq).
About Iraq, we must not speak, because the reports in the medias are sufficiently showing the desasters.
Vietnam had been a desaster,which is still showing up late consequences.
Other famous sites of US interventions in the middle of America show that there is neither democracy, nor liberty growing like a bloom. Neither can you expect them to be safe-guards to the US.

So, evidence is clearly against the United States use of preemptive strikes (even if they are carried out and prove to be based on false and observable facts) or nation-building have only succeeded twice and those had been singluar circumstances, which are not applicable on any nowadays.

I don't want to start with the Iraq-war pro/contra thingy (although it is a part of this comment), but rather point at the futility of using those strikes without regard to reason, reality and observable facts.

The US should strike and has the obligation to their citizens to strike against povable and realistic threats.
Iraq has been neither of this two and several other wars before, too.
Afghanistan can be seen as an example of a strike against the main threat, although it only prove that military power is only one factor in the equation to safety in this war of cultures.
As Sun Tzu said:
"War is the last alternative to use, after diplomacy and assassination failed!"
Though assassination will not help in this war of cultures, this warrior had been bright enough that war is the ultimo ratio, when evil really tries to get the best of us.


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Monday, January 24, 2005 - 2:11pmSanction this postReply
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A world without fascist countries would be safer for Objectivists and we would need to spend less on defence - and thus more on ourselves. A world without liberal countries would mean we won't have to compete against quotas, state subsidies, trade barriers - we would make more profit and have a better life. A world without conservative countries (even peaceful ones) would mean we have greater markets, more ideas and would be able to travel more freely - again a better life.

So the fact that changing other countries is good for the US (and its citizens) is clear to me. How this is done is not that clear. I would think that stealth (and I'm not speaking appeasement here) would be better than confrontation. Thought, ideas, rather than force.

A major problem is that the US doesn't have its house in order (not that any other country is better). Its not an objectivist state but rather a mixture of conservatives and liberals with a sprinkling of some others.

An Objectivist US government would lead by example. The economy would be far stronger and the economic differential with other countries would be far greater. In the China-US case it would dictate trade terms because China would have more to loose if trade was broken off. It could threaten to isolate China and mean it. It would make a principled choice, not one in the interests of lobby groups but one in the long-term interests of its citizens (who will have far more profitable trade with a free China). China will give in.

As for the middle-east. Stop buying their oil. Sure-fuel prices will go up. This will make alternatives more viable and will give entrepreneurs incentives to create new energy sources. An Objectivist US will have plenty of nuclear plants, cheap hybrid and/or hydrogen powered cars anyway. (This would have happened gradually without pain).

Its the Strike. It works.

I certainly don't rule out the use of force, even pre-emptively, to defend allies. The question of who those allies are, and why, should be answered first though.

As an aside: I wouldn't have thought that  Libertarianism and Objectivism have the same viewpoint on foreign policy. "L/O" sent shivers up my spine.



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Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 5:45amSanction this postReply
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Oil prices will soon regulate themselves and I think there are already plenty of options to use alternate energy forms sooner or later. However, those forms of energy the Greens advocate have mostly one drawback.
They are thief-solutions, such as solar-powerpanels on houses, or wind-power (both are not profitable in one way or the other).

I rule out pre-emptive strikes, because you can't a thief/robber/criminal a priori. Pre-emptive strikes are only possible if all the consequences and facts were objectivied before being used and Iraq has shown that mostly the war was motivated by private interests of right-winged Republicans, rather than by reasonable people. (The war was started invoking god and crusadorship? How can this be a war to be supported by atheists?)

However, I will never cancel out strikes in self-defense or even if their is a observable objective threat, but this would only be North Korea or Iran and even regarding them, I don't think they pose any threat to the United States. Iran perhaps presents a threat to Israel, but since the Israel confrontation with the Middle East is aggressive and morally twisted, I don't think the US has any obligations at all in this area.

On the China-US issue:

I don't think that the Chinese have to fear anything at all, because the US is also partly dependant on the products from China. The Chinese market growth is too high to be stopped only by the US declining trade agreements. They'd search for other markets and this will be the major problem the socialist-reforms inside the US have brought about.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 7:39amSanction this postReply
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"As for the middle-east. Stop buying their oil. Sure-fuel prices will go up. This will make alternatives more viable and will give entrepreneurs incentives to create new energy sources."

I am afraid something different would happen, Monsieur Prohibant: Americans would buy oil elsewhere, driving out current buyers, who would start buying oil from the middle east. Another results would be: smuggling of oil to America, economic slowdown, breaking ties with boycotted countries etc.

As Frederic Bastiat wrote - "The protective tariff is a violation, by law, of property." I have nothing to add.




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