|To Jeff: I believe in the old just war theory formulated by the scholastics, to the extent I understand it. Basically, war is justified in two cases: repelling an aggressive invading force, or throwing off an existing oppression. I suppose you could just listen to this talk, since it elucidates in a clear and entertaining way my position: http://www.mises.org/multimedia/mp3/War/War4.mp3|
Objectivism's foundation as a philosophy is the rights of the individual to self-ownership. You Own Your Self. Interestingly, so does everyone else own themselves. We must consider as one of the most eggregious violations of this right your fellow man enjoys, the act of totally destroying his primary property: his life. In other words, to kill him. You should have awfully good reason to justify such an extreme action. Only in very narrow set of circumstances does a fellow human being forfeit the right to life.
One of those circumstances is clearly living in Saudi Arabia, yes? Without question. If you can believe it, some wimpy appeasenicks can't stomach this obvious logical deduction. Traitors!! (Or, if female, to use a term inadvertantly coined by misspellers here: Treasonesses!! Treasonesses!!)
Of course, the anti-sadaamites don't really follow this line of "reasoning". They rather say things like one American's soldier's life is worth an entire nation of Saudis. Well jolly good for the soldiers then to be so productive and valuable. I think the anti-sadaamites overstate the case here, to the point of providing their own reducio ad absurdum, but let's say they're right. Does the value of the lives in question matter? No. Their ownership matters. What if, say, a million people decided it would help them to seize the life or wealth of one Hank Rearden, to take an example familiar to you (hopefully). Would they be justified? Only one right answer: no. Is it because Hank's such a brilliant guy that his life's worth more than all the million combined? No. It's because he owns his life. They do not. It doesn't matter if he's a peasant with a hut who sells watches; the same principle applies. You have no claim on anyone else's life. Neither master nor slave. And while murder is at least less demeaning than enslavement or imprisonment, you would be hard pressed to prove logically that you, or your home team army, have the right to murder others, but not enslave them.
Is my reasoning here flawed? Have I missed some critical logical jump? I seriously doubt it. Rather, the Anti-Sadaamites, for all their talk of the individual, do not really see things in terms of individuals like this. They are fond instead of reasoning in terms of groups, countries, officials, etc. They embrace abstractions without considering what they represent, applying principles where they do not apply. For example, they anthropomorphize nations -- that is, they speak of nations as if they were people, whereas in reality they are simply useful abstractions. Thus good old Mr. U.S. of course has every right to step in when he passes Mr. Sadaamsregime indecently treating the sweet next-door neighbor girl Miss Iraqicitizenry in the alleyway. If these were real people, Mr. U.S. would, even as a disinterested third party, have every right to protect his neighbor's virtue. Hard core objectivists may say this smacks of altruism, so OK, if you like you can pretend he expects grateful payment for his service from his customer, the girl. However none of the same principles apply when neither Mr. U.S., nor any of the other characters, in reality exist, except as constructs in our imaginations. Do you see?
>Anthony Gregory (not certain of this one either)
Well, be certain. I am firmly in Anthony's camp. Read his articles on LewRockwell.com and it will be pretty clear he's a libertarian (meaning he is, of course, opposed to aggressive warfare). Didn't realize he was active on these boards. Another masochist, I guess.
Now, what about the practical considerations of invading the planet and Objectifying it? You can't fight guerrillas. A conventional army simply cannot beat determined, competent guerillas. This may not be an indisputable cardinal fact, but I give it as my opinion. If a significant number of guerrilla fighters are determined to fight, by their very nature they are unbeatable. Put another way, you can't occupy a country where any significant portion of the people don't want to be occupied. For example, no hostile foreign army, if recognized as a hostile foreign army, would ever be able to occupy North America. Half of Montana would take to the hills and wage a war eternal.
Yes, this applies even if you nuke. For one thing, if nuclear weapon use becomes common, bomb shelters and deep tunnel homes will become common as well. For another, even if you totally obliterate every living person in a certain area, which is by no means impossible, you afterward have no useful territory. Nothing to plunder or occupy; i.e., no victory.
(Edited by John Wiltbank
on 5/13, 2:27pm)