|John said: "But the context here was the North and South as separate nations would've begun competing with each other for admitting new territories as states into their respective nations, which would have lead to an armed conflict at some time in the future anyways had Lincoln not waged the conflict at the time that he did."|
I'm not buying at all this notion of inevitability. Even a cursory understanding of history would dispel this notion. We didn't invade the Soviet Union or China, who both for some time had it as their official policy to take us over. Both countries have evolved into a considerably less evil regime than they formerly had. Whereas the Confederacy wanted to be left alone to practice their pernicious, evil policy, which would have certainly collapsed of its own accord in time.
John said: "The question of invading Russia or China is not one of justification, it's one of stupidity."
So, first you argue that we should preemptively invade a country based on morality, then you argue that pragmatic considerations should prevail. Well, if you consider the possibility that the Civil War was not inevitable and that slavery would have ended on its own, then pragmatically, the sensible and prudent thing would have been to not launch an invasion, but try to coax individual Southern states back into the Union. And the horrific cost of the Civil War, while not on the order of a nuclear Armageddon, was arguably a worse evil than slavery staggering on for a few more decades. Starting that war was not the no-brainer you posit it to be. A different president, such as the unjustly maligned Andrew Johnson, would likely have coaxed the southern states into not forming the Confederacy in the first place.
And, sure, we both agree that launching a preemptive invasion of a nuclear power is the height of stupidity. (We'll leave aside for the moment my belief that preemptive wars in general are stupid and counterproductive, that we should keep trying to work things out short of them massing armies on our borders or carrying out an actual attack or invading our close allies with an overt intention of taking us out too in time.)
Fine, let's stipulate that no matter how horrifically evil a country may be, it is the height of folly to choose to invade nuclear powers (you may disagree on Iran if you want). But, you ducked the rest of the globe: Do you believe we should invade non-nuclear countries with relatively weak militaries who practice evil policies: Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Rwanda during the genocide, much of the rest of Africa, South Africa when it was actively practicing apartheid, Venezuela under Chavez, Myanmar, and on and on?
This most disconcerting thing to me about Objectivism, as least as it is practiced on this site, is the dismaying militarism and willingness to engage in preemptive force.
(Edited by Jim Henshaw on 8/09, 12:03pm)