Another Canadian libertarian blog

Dave Killion — January 9, 2012

The Libertarian has some thoughts on US – Iran relations in his latest post

“Once again, the West’s annoying habit of cherishing life above all else, will come in handy for the holy men in Tehran. While they will continue to engage in sending young men and women to the embrace of 72 virgins, the US will do anything to get the unfortunate young man released from the squalor of his prison – short of any military action, of course.”

This sort of event takes us right to the bleeding edge of libertarianism. If the function of government is to protect the rights of its citizens, does that mean the unjustified arrest of a US citizen necessitates military action? In the absence of such action, how might the private sector protect such citizens? What are the arguments for and against funding the military through coercive tax collection? It goes on and on and on.

Please take time to visit The Libertarian. He has lots of thought provoking material.


Jeremy Maddock says

Yes, it is a tricky issue, and unfortunately one that spurs a lot of people who genuinely care about liberty (usually those who lean right) towards increased trust in the State to “fix problems” around the world.

But the State cannot “fix” problems of aggression here at home, only put offenders in prison so they can’t re-offend, or occasionally force an offender to pay reparations (in the rare case that the offender has sufficient assets to execute against).

Dealing with aggression is a difficult challenge that will always be with human beings (as a result of our fallen nature), but when a government tries to deal with every act of aggression everywhere in the world, this will inevitably result in unintended consequences and unjust outcomes.

Each individual has a right to exercise force in direct self-defense of themselves or their loved ones. Each community has a right to exercise force in direct self-defense of its own weaker members, who are clearly being subject to violence through no fault of their own. A nation state has a small role to play in providing a last-ditch self-defense mechanism for all citizens who cannot provide for their own protection or hire someone to do so.

But when a nation state tries to exercise force in order to solve every problem, everywhere in the world, and keep everyone “safe,” that would be as ridiculous as you or I saying that we can highhandedly go in with guns blazing and justly resolve every dispute in this city. Good intentions do not necessarily lead to good results.

Undoubtedly, there is injustice in Iran, just as there is in every other country. But the people and communities of Iran need to rise up and fix it in a bottom-up manner, either through democracy, collective self-defense, armed revolution, or otherwise. The implication that it is America’s job to sort this out for them is laughable.

— January 10, 2012

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