Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Problem With Libertarians.

I've personally got a lot of sympathy with libertarian objectives for domestic policy- lower taxes, lower spending, fewer regulations and little interference in people's private lives. However there is one problem that I have with them, on foreign policy libertarian purists are often wildly unrealistic. Take the current challenger for the Republican nomination for president Ron Paul whose candidature is a genuine phenomenon, from a recent interview:

Is this case not different? Religious fanatics hate us and want to kill us because of our culture.

I don't think that's true. It is not Muslim fanaticism that is the culprit. The litmus test is whether we are actually occupying a territory. In the case of Saudi Arabia, that was holy land.

US troops have been in Britain for 50 years yet we've managed to restrain ourselves from shooting at them, almost as though there is another factor at work. If anything expansionist philosophies like radical Islamism go harder on societies that are more pacifistic in their responses.

And if in most of Iraq, some religious fanatic comes to power and has money to buy nuclear weapons, we should just leave him alone?

The Soviets had the technology. They were 90 miles off our shore, and they had nuclear weapons there. But we were able to talk to them. We took our missiles out of Turkey. They took the missiles out of Cuba. We should be talking to people like this. It's the lack of diplomacy that is the greatest threat, not the weapons themselves.

Yep let's sit back whilst countries where the national motto is 'death to America, death to the West' acquire nuclear bombs. After all they won't eventually come to us will they? The rest of his foreign policy would leave an open door to any expansionist regime (except Canada) to destabilise the planet.

If North Korea invades South Korea, we should just leave it alone?

Sure, but it's not going to happen. South Korea's about 10 times more powerful than North Korea.

If China invaded Taiwan?

That's a border war, and they should deal with it.

If Canada invades Montana?

I think that might be a little bit different. Montana probably could take care of it, but we'd probably help them out from Washington if that happened.

That's a role for the federal government?

Oh, sure.


marvin said...

Good post, I agree with your points. I have sympathy with those libertarian objectives, but actual 'libertarians' like Ron Paul and left wing moral relativists, seem to think that we should never intervene in other countries affairs.

Genocide. Torture. Misogyny. All allowed, as long as it's 'over there'.

The vision of the world this creates in my mind is a very depressing one.

Ross said...

Thanks for the comment, not just because I agree with it but because you've reminded me that the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is on television tonight.