In response to the judicious remarks of my friend Hodja whose comments on my blog I appreciate immensely, I will add a few clarifications to complete my previous Defense of Libertarian Imperialism in a series of posts.
First, and most importantly, I think that hodja and I
actually agree on the importance of
staying out (emotionally, physically, etc.) of conflicts
that others try to impose upon us.
Every time we manage to stay out of a conflict
into which others are trying to draw us against our will,
we make a small victory against oppression.
I even wrote quite a few posts on this topic already,
most of them in French:
— the zen buddhist answer that
unasks a question
the premises of which you deny to accept.
When "my" government forces me to go to war with bad guys, I may or may not object on the principle that only a less criminal government has the right to fight a more criminal one — but I do object in either case to their drafting my support (in the form of increased taxes) not just for this war of theirs but also for the details of their implementation of it. Now similarly, when "my" government refuses to go to war with another government that it declares is legit, I may or may not object according to the principle that the other government is or isn't deserving to be toppled — but I do object to their preventing me (with my own tax money!) from supporting wars I think are just and worth fighting in the specific way that I think they ought to be waged. In either case, they are drafting my support to their specific implementation of specific goals no less in times of forced "peace" than in times of forced "war". My opposition to their monopoly on the provision of security is wholly independent from any particular decision they make or fail to make in declaring and misimplementing war or peace.
Moreover, inasmuch as anyone is lobbying with any power towards influencing said government into either going to war or not going to war — he is exerting political power, and I am objecting to this power just as much from them as from anyone with any bit of government power. I am just as much against peace-mongers as against war-mongers. "Do not speak in my name" is my equal message to both. Of course, most people who blather either way are but fools without any power proportionate to the noise they are making, wasting both their time and mine. Nevertheless they do participate in the general brainwashing and in the competition to determine who will temporarily be the tyrant who imposes his will upon me, whichever is their position on this particular conflict. And indeed, the main argument of most "peacemongers" is not at all to oppose the spending of trillions of dollars of stolen money by government — they just want to spend it in their own soul-crushing socialist enslavement schemes. Slow death instead of quick death.
That is why an honest man's first and vehement response to any intimidation towards taking side in a conflict should be "mu": a refusal to take sides and to waste resources into something that is none of your business, upon which you have no influence whatsoever, something that is beyond your competence in more ways than one, whereas you have more important and effective things to do. Leave the decision and the responsibility for it fall upon each empowered government official, who'll be making the decision independently from you anyway. Meanwhile, focus on doing good where actual good you can do.
And it is indeed an actual good cheaply achieved to disarm the trap of "big urgent catastrophes" that crooks prepare and that your friends may be falling into. Help your friends not become the useful idiots of statist oppression, both victims that they are of mental traps laid by the political oppressors who seek their support, and contagious propagators of these viral memes that victimize them.