Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quick note

Like Ukraine, Unforeseen Contingencies is not dead yet.  This summer has brought some personal unforeseen contingencies that have precluded blogging, and for that matter most productive work.  I am happy to report that resolutions are in sight, and so... well, "our" perpetual theme here is that what is in sight tends to be disturbed by those unknown unknowns ahead.  But regardless, we're not dead yet!  I hope to begin blogging maybe in early August.

As a quick note, UC fully supports the efforts of the Ukrainians to rid themselves of Putin and his assassins. "We" also support the efforts of the Israelis to smash Hamas.  Frankly, in both cases, the only real solution is to kill the enemy.  There are times when palaver and negotiations are warranted; these are always to be preferred when real discussion is possible.  But in these two cases, Ukraine and Israel, the civilized faces an existential threat.  One does not negotiate with those who propose to exterminate you -- meeting them halfway means suicide.

Incidentally, support for Ukraine and Israel in these wars is the real libertarian position.  In both cases, people who want more freedom are fighting desperately against thugs who would eliminate all freedom. Phony "libertarians" (e.g. Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, and similar buffoons) who praise dictator Putin and sympathize the with totalitarian terrorists of Hamas are not libertarians, but statists willing to lick the boots of any tyrant, so long as America is denounced in the process.

Dr. Steele:

I'm glad to see you blogging again. Although I never took one of your classes at Hillsdale, I always enjoyed hearing you speak about libertarianism.

You say here that the correct libertarian position is support of Israel and the Ukraine. I wonder, though, if there is a "correct" manner by which this support should be manifest. Should the libertarian, in rare cases, support foreign aid to these nations? Or instead, should they simply lend moral support and publicly endorse the attempts by Israel and the Ukraine (or really, any other nation that would find itself in their positions) to maintain their liberty?
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this manner.

-Thomas Waters
Thanks for the kind words, Thomas.

I think there reasonably can be substantial disagreement about the extent to which the U.S. government should be involved, and in what manner. There is a strong consequentialist case for why sitting on the sidelines is a bad idea -- it is better to fight enemies on other peoples' territory than on one's own, and better to fight them when they are weak than when strong. There are also good consequentialist reasons for avoiding participation as much as possible. I'm happy to have that discussion.

But "libertarians" who support Putin and Hamas, who would find the destruction of Israel and Ukraine acceptable, simply because these countries tend to allied with the U.S., well, these are not libertarians at all... they simply hate the U.S. government. Their tolerance for anti-American totalitarians belies their claim to "libertarian."

Thanks again for your comment. I will post regularly soon.
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