"Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it." -John Adams


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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Myth of War (and "Fighting for Freedom")

In this video Stefan Molyneaux asks a very interesting question of the interventionists who would seek to use war as a means of "freeing people more quickly."

If you're not going to be willing to go up against your own government (and get killed as you inevitably will, which is why I don't suggest it, cause it won't work). If you're not willing to go and do it, how the ... how the hell can you make that decision for somebody else and say, "Yes, it was worth killing all those people beacause it ended the tyranny more quickly."?


In addition, he asks the following question of every major war of the 20th century ... "More free or less free afterwards?" Of course we know the answer, but for some reason keep believing that the military "fights for our freedom" against all evidence otherwise.

4 comments:

  1. This sounds all well and good, and I don't disagree with our current wars, making who free? But having family that I visit with that went through the Nazi occupation in Holland, and the starvation and murder that was incurred on them, and their constant hope that the allies would soon come and Liberate them, I am not sure how to tell them they should have waited a whole generation to be freed. They lived under the "Peace" doctrine, they had no grand armies, they believed in peace with their neighbors. And they were taken over and murdered because of that doctrine. Should they have been responsible for their own Liberty? Sure.
    So shouldn't we?

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  2. Would they have waited a generation? We do not know. People living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki ... they did not have to wait a generation to be "free." Neither did non-combatants in Dresden. Germany and Japan were out of oil at that point. Can you wage war without oil?

    No armies were needed to end any of the world wars. Simply the removal of consent. That is one of Molyneaux's point that we don't "get" economics or there would have been an economic revolution in the past ... ever. We're too busy pulling guns on each other instead of just removing our milk and beef from the cow farmer by wandering to other pastures. Asymmetric preparation for the worst case instead of just avoiding it.

    The non-compliance of the of those who refused to fight and even marched to their death incurred a massive cost on the Nazi regime that, again as Molyneaux pointed out, would have resulted in the war ending very nearly when it did anyway. Did carpet bombing housing and urban centers near the end of the war help or hurt those who were freed after it? How long did people remain in the concentration camps after they were "freed" because there was simply no other place to go (some remained in operation well into the late 40s as "refugee camps")? Now, had these people packed up and taken their wealth (or at least their self) with them in the formative years of the Nazi regime, like Mises and Hayek did, the Nazis would have spent all that money to conquer and gotten nothing for it. In fact very many did. Non-compliance and even non-violent resistance costs a lot of money to overcome. War is not waged by dictators, presidents, or even generals. They are but a tiny minority. It is waged by the average guy who has nothing to gain by waging it except for "honor" and "valor." He is the one who pulls the trigger or drives the bayonet into his "enemy" ... who fights for the same virtues.

    Also, what of those in the eastern bloc who were freed? Eastern Germany? It is easy to see who was better off due to the intervention, but those who were worse off are rarely considered, perhaps because their story died with them in the Gulag.

    Whose choice and by what right?

    More to the point, what part of the world was more free after the war than before it?

    Also, I do not think that people are killed because they believe in peace with their neighbors. I believe they are killed because someone decides to murder them (and couldn't care less what their philosophy or moral standard is). Hitler invaded Russia where the troops had machine guns pointed at them by "their own" generals to "incentivize" them to fight. It would be a stretch to say that Russia was invaded and people killed because of some high minded overarching moral standard or adherence to peace. Nor did this Russian military response cause the greatest devastation. The harsh winter did most of the work on an invading force that simply did not have the economic power behind it to supply it with the tools needed for glorious conquest.

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  3. Germany and Japan did not run out of oil simply because they they had to much going on. They ran out of oil because other nations were fighting back, and they could not sustain what they tried to conquer because of that, including the under ground fighters of all countries involved. Of course the Dresden fire bombings were wrong. Of course nuking innocent people in Japan was insane. That doesn't answer the question about the Dutch, Belgium, Norway though does it? So were the non compliant better off because they were "freed" when they were marched to the death camps? They incurred heavy costs on the Nazi's, but they were dead.
    No carpet bombing at the end of the war didn't achieve anything, but alot of the ones who were in the camps after the war were from other countries that didn't have homes or lives anymore because the Nazi's destroyed them. To say that people should have just left before the war is simplistic. Millions of people should have up rooted and left? Weren't your examples of who left Germans? Non compliance and non violent resistance doesn't actually cost a whole lot when the ones your facing have no problems killing en-mass and just leaving you to rot. What cost did that have on the Germans? The cost came from resistance fighters sabotaging their war machine, their food supply and on and on. To say if everyone just marched off to the camps the war would have ended is non realistic. Germany's war machine went down because people resisted. I sure didn't say Russia was invaded because they believed in peace. They were an aggressor from the beginning. And their response did hold the Germans from victory before the winter set in.
    And I may have said that wrong when I said "because of that doctrine", but the fact remains if the European countries Hitler invaded had been prepared to defend themselves, things would have been better off. Because no matter how much you love peace, there is always someone else who wants to murder. And the peaceful man shouldn't always have to be the one who leaves. The evil guys don't care if you choose not to participate, they aren't going to ask when they take from you, they aren't going to ask when they murder you, sometimes you have to fight. Hitler wasn't just a happy dictator who was handing out flowers to every conquered country. He was there to kill. And he did. I guess he freed millions. But there were millions of people who were pretty darn happy when the allies "liberated" them.
    Of course the after math of the war was stupid,and we ended up destroying even more people, and it's obvious that our government became larger because of it and every war. But that is a fault of our own. I don't necessarily disagree that America did not have to fight the European war. But the Europeans sure needed to.

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  4. Now I will agree with you. The problem is governments. They have an insane need to wage war. Why? They get more power. They send off the young men to die while they live like fat cats, and it also takes care of alot of young men who might other wise create a problem for the fat cats if those young men ever decided not to comply with the government, cause they are dead, or far away from home. We have to quit giving our consent,and our wealth. We have to be willing to leave. And we should also be willing to resist.

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