Dear Antiwar Progressives: We Are With You

Jeremy Sapienza, August 22, 2011

Look. It’s no secret most of us at Antiwar.com are libertarians and/or anarchists (a Venn diagram of the two labels would only have a few of us outside the overlapping part…). But it’s never enough for some progressives that we are against every war, everywhere. They are affected by a Naomi Klein-like hysteria about libertarians — Milton Friedman’s followers run the world! The Koch brothers own and fund everything! — that still make them see us as an enemy. This is partly a misunderstanding of real libertarianism, a lack of knowledge of correct economics, or possibly just suspicion of our motivations.

For example, Raw Story ran a news piece about Antiwar.com’s FBI file. Most of the commenters are outraged, but one isn’t so bothered.

“This should surprise no one. But those crazy Libertarians will still vote Republican no matter what because they hate taxes and corporate regulations more than they hate war.”

Now, I don’t know if he means Libertarian Party member-types, or those of us here at Antiwar.com. If he means the former — and I highly doubt it, otherwise it wouldn’t have come up — he’s more or less right. If he means the latter, he’s a liar. Not merely wrong, a liar. Because aside from an obvious affinity for a certain Ron Paul, we not only don’t vote for Republicans, most of us don’t vote. Further, we specifically cite war as the VERY REASON for America’s onerous rate of taxation and regulation — you can’t finance a war without privileging certain entities and taxing the crap out of everyone else: the classic give-take of state-corporate mercantilism. So really, it is an utter lie that we “vote Republican no matter what” because we hate taxes and regulations more than war. And it’s one I have personally seen repeated over the years by our various leftist detractors who don’t realize we are on the same side.

To further illustrate, I should bring attention to a piece by the fabulous progressive David Bromwich from last week. Everyone in Antiwar.com’s universe ran this piece, and normally we also would have. But as the on-duty editor on Friday, I decided not to. Why?

The article is entitled “George W. Obama?” and details the officials with whom Obama chose to surround himself. I have no issue at all with most of the list, including such odious punks as the career climber Bob Gates, vicious goon Rahm Emanuel, paternalist Cass Sunstein, and spineless Eric Holder; Bromwich also notes those whom Obama jettisoned apparently to burnish his centrist image. But the main one, and the first one Bromwich cites, is Larry Summers.

Summers is no libertarian, and frankly, not much of an economist. I am not offended that he is included in the list. Rather, I am offended that Bromwich is repeating the boring and hackneyed “Glass-Steagall” myth. That is, that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which prevented the commercial banks that hold the savings of ordinary Americans from engaging in speculative investment, was the reason for the 2008 crash. This is only true in the narrowest of senses — you have to ignore the entire body of US regulation and the actions of the various financial authorities to come to this conclusion with a straight face.

This is why I declined to run this piece. It does not go far enough by miles to explain the reason for the current economic disaster that continues to unfold. We live under a massive, overarching system built to favor gigantic connected corporations over ordinary people. This is NOT a free market, it is a heavily commanded one. It is one that purposely undermines the plans of ordinary citizens in favor of the plans of the few lucky enough to have the ear of the politburo. It’s called “fiscal policy,” and it is that for which “liberal” “economist” Paul Krugman gets paid to propagandize. Sadly, progressives unwittingly agitate for MORE of this evil system, thinking they will ever hold the reins. They will not.

To say, as many progressives did after the crash, that “everything was deregulated” is to fall into the trap of the power elite. The world’s biggest corporations love regulation — after all, they write it, someone else enforces it, and their alleged enemies on the left cheer this system on as they are taxed to pay for it. It’s insane. And it ignores all the other crashes of the last 200 years, all due to some intervention by the ruling rich into the voluntary economic affairs of everyone else.

So, no, anti-Antiwar.com progressives, we are not Republicans. We do not favor lower taxes over ending war — ending war lowers taxes! And what good is a healthy economy anyway when your government rampages over the world creating enemies who plot to destroy your wealth?

If you oppose war and its concomitant monopolistic control over the economy by connected elites, we are with you. But if you just want a D in front of the murderer-in-chief, it’s best if you left the real opposition to violence and institutional control to those of us who actually care about human freedom.

UPDATE: I wish this had been written and sent to me before I posted this — “Quantum Tuba” writes Don’t Tax the Rich, Smash Their Privilege: A Response to Warren Buffett, on all the ways a minuscule tax hike on the elites will do NOTHING if we don’t throw off the very system that would make theatrical motions of taxing them to keep us contently within this system. So to preempt a lot of commenters who still don’t understand what I mean: read this. Your precious state is the very entity shoring up the evil actors you hate.




118 Responses to “Dear Antiwar Progressives: We Are With You”

  1. Well spoken Jeremy. While I do not claim the mantle of a Libertarian, or an anarchist, I find I can more closely associate my political views with theirs. My family is mostly progressive, and during the Bush years, it was amazing how many things I had in common with them. All of that has changed now that a 'D' is in the office.

    Obama commits the same atrocities as his predecessor, is almost exactly the same way. And yet, somehow, in the minds of my family, all of it is justified. They are no longer anti-war, no longer guardians of civil liberties, and they have seemingly lost the ability to critically think. In fact they literally regurgitate party talking points verbatim. It's the most disgusting form of group-think I have ever seen.

    Despite my every effort, they see me as the enemy (at least politically). They simply don't see what they became, they don't realize that they turned into neo-cons virtually overnight. Maybe the anti-war movement never existed at all, maybe it really was just "astro-turf". But I owe anti-war progressives a lot for shaking me out of my politcal coma, I'm just sad that it was never real…

  2. I have given the subject some thought. I have noticed rumblings here and there, and generally get the sense that the mainstream progressive movement holds these views. The whole thing about Milton Friedman started on the radical left, then moved to the mainstream progressive movement. The Koch Brothers trope started in the libertarian movement with Samuel Konkin III, then moved to the progressive mainstream. The left is not monolithic, of course: there is a huge gulf between the radical left (which is against capitalism, defined as the actually existing economy) and the mainstream progressives (who aren't really against capitalism per se, seeking instead to reform and regulate it-but, they aren't hellbent on abolishing it). No movement is monolithic in the final analysis; some on either the radical or mainstream left are still eagerly wanting to work with libertarians on this issue. Likewise, the right is not monolithic: between the fusionists, paleocons, neocons, theocons, budgets hawks, business interests, it is impossible to declare there is a single "right-wing". Likewise, libertarians are not monolithic; from radical anti-statists to moderate classical liberals, it runs the gamut. However, I must end up siding with that one commentator on this issue, however reluctantly.

    That really seems to be the case with the majority of libertarians; it isn't new either. I personally hold the heretical view that there hasn't been a libertarian movement since the election of Ronald Reagan. Reagan essentially dissipated the general anti-government sentiment in the country through his rhetoric, conflicting anti-government message with a promise to restore faith in government. The root of the problem goes back to a persistent searching for "our John Galt"; first, it was Goldwater. Then, it was Reagan. Now it is Ron Paul. Once the movement believes it has found "the hero", it dissipates. It turns into a cult of personality.

    Another problem is the fact that economic issues generally end up taking priority over social ones or foreign policy ones. It must be remembered that Rothbardians were really the only explicitly anti-war segment of the libertarian movement.

    At the end of the day, the movement is plagued by so many problems that outsiders see, but the movement is blind too. The other is a sense (partly well-founded) that there is less-than-honest power-playing and dealings going on inside the organizations. I get bad feelings about the staff of Cato and Mises alike that there is something dark going on. The alliance with the paleos for that period also alientated the left as well.

    Really, the movement has a lot of skeletons in the closet, dirty secrets, etc. Really, I have a bad feeling about the future. In light of all this, I cannot blame progressives for being suspicious with us. Conservatives too are suspicious. The game of politics, when played, corrupts a movement.

  3. Jeremy!!! Well said my brother. That cleared the wall by a mile. You know, I used to consider myself "progressive" and then something happened. Hmmm, what was it… oh wait, I remember. Barack Hussein Obama. I drank the Obama koolaid and waited for the change and hoped it would come and waited and Obama appointed Rahm to be WHCOS and there on the George Snuffle-opagus show, Rahm proudly told America how he'd served the IDF killing Palestinians. It was EXACTLY at that moment I realized I'd been had. I hate that. I really REALLY hate that. The old 'bait-and-switch'. Oh well, they will never EVER get me again.
    I'm voting Ron Paul. Whether Dr. Paul gets a nomination or otherwise. I don't think my voting for Ron Paul would necessarily make me Libertarian. I do know that whatever defines "progressive" at the moment, is morally bankrupt and so egregiously smug as to be nauseating.
    Sorry Jeremy, I blather. It's just a mite disconcerting to discover that people you thought you knew and respected turns out, are warmongering freaks just like the Bushco warmongering freaks.

  4. To clarify — I am not voting for Ron Paul or anyone else. I just very much appreciate his hard antiwar and anti-mercantilist message and am glad it's being heard, though he will never be president. I can't necessarily speak for other Antiwar.com employees on that and we're not allowed to be too explicit — IRS rules.

  5. I remember back in 07 I would take Ron Paul supporters to local antiwar demonstrations and the so called Progressives would freak out insisting that Obama was "the one". I guess that didn't work out too well for them. Now the closest thing there is to an antiwar meeting is us. I don't expect them to give up their whole belief system but it would be nice if they would figure who their allies are. We might make more progress.

  6. The irony is that, on the historical left-right spectrum, modern-day conservatives and modern-day liberals are next to each other on the right side of the spectrum while libertarians are way over on the left. Anarchists — regardless of any hyphenation — are as far left as you can go. See Hess: http://www.wconger.blogspot.com/2005/08/karl-hess… and Richman: http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0706b.asp

    The modern-day "liberals" count FDR, the first true Wall Street president, as one of their own. Even if you completely ignore his imperialism, he gave the banks the privilege they spent decades lobbying for (the power to create money out of nothing). A power they used to expand credit to their biggest clients… large corporations who used it to start gobbling up smaller businesses (similar to what FDR's vulture fund did in the 20's) and consolidating wealth. But FDR is supposed to be a hero because, after he gave banks these special privileges, he put limitations on how they could use them.

    Conflationism (left and right) — http://aaeblog.com/2010/12/26/how-to-do-things-wi… — is a problem but it can be overcome.

  7. While I agree entirely-I learned this from a political philosophy teacher before learning here-that anarchism generally means being far to the left, that statism and stability lie on the right, I am not as optimistic as you. Only an educated minority, whether receiving their instruction from good professors or self-education, grasps this fact. Anyone with any historical perspective and knowledge of political philosophy would understand that the two parties are, in fact, conservatives. Really, it comes down to battle between different sets of Tories.

    Most, however, accept the common understanding-that is, that opposition to government is "right-wing", while the opposite is left-wing. In reality, libertarians are squeezed between two different set of rightists. Conflationism is simply too ingrained. The radical left, good souls all, have decided that basically we're evil rightists. But, I find the conservative right more distasteful. Presuming libertarians are or ought to be on their side; frankly, Jonah Goldberg and his ilk can just jump in front of a bus.

  8. I still identify as liberal-to-left, but something curious has happened over the past few years. The two political blogs I lean on the most are both run by libertarians, and others I consult regularly are also libertarian. Meanwhile, with Obama in office, I find I can hardly speak about politics with my brother, who is ostensibly on the same side of the political spectrum as me, if more wishy-washy. I am still waiting for him to admit he made a mistake with regard to Obama.

    I honestly never realized until recent years just how anti-corporate some libertarians and paleo-conservatives are. The internet has been an education, in many ways. As I have followed particularly issues, I have discovered unexpected allies. Likewise, I have also lost respect for some of those I considered allies. Particularly, seeing many progressives and leftists embrace the ridiculous official account of 9/11 pushed me away from many sources I had previously relied on fairly heavily. I decided they were either a little clueless or controlled opposition. I'm still basically on the fence about which, but I strongly suspect that at least some alternative media is controlled opposition.

  9. You mean you actually FOUND an antiwar demonstration "back in '07?" Did you use a magnifying glass, or could it still be seen with the naked eye? I wonder how much you, and the author, buy into the myth that the antiwar movement died because progressives abandoned protest for the sake of Obama. This seems to be an urban myth that Libertarians in particular like to repeat. Fact is, the antiwar movement was at best a walking cadaver by the time Obama decided to be president, so that he could — well, be president! Obama was able to get those soft "antiwar" votes precisely because the antiwar movement had shrunk to insignificance. Atomized voters are a particularly powerless and pathetic lot, whatever their politics.

    So where are the avowed "tea partiers" organizing antiwar marches? Are they harassing Michelle Bachmann rallies, or are they waiting for the left to start in? Do they go to Obama fundraising events and talk loudly and specifically about the wars, or do they feel that it's still "the left's job?" Forgive me if I have no confidence in "the right" on this question, save for those in Ron Paul's close political orbit.

  10. >There is something dark going on. Really, I have a bad feeling about the future.

    Are we in a Dan Brown novel? Do libertarians form a monolithic ideological bloc that can be sold out wholesale or taken over by a strongman? No. Do people throw judgement out of the window? I hope not! Indeed, I would tend to assume that other sectors of the political landscape are far more dogmatic and affected by personality cults and rightthink than is libertarianism, so I really don't see where these bad feelings come from.

    Consider these statements. Which one is closer to the truth:

    “This should surprise no one. But those crazy Libertarians will still vote Republican no matter what because they hate taxes and corporate regulations more than they hate war.”

    “This should surprise no one. But those crazy Progressives will still vote Democrat no matter what because they hate tax reductions and liberalization more than they hate war.”

  11. I'm sorry, but the reason cited to not run the Bromwich piece is tissue thin.

    The editorial team IS aware that Ron Paul voted AGAINST the repeal of Glass-Steagall, correct? Not because Glass-Steagall was such a fine piece of legislation, but because he knew the successor law, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, would end up being a blank check for the banks to take insane risks knowing they'd be bailed out in the end — the very definition of "moral hazard," or "privatized profit, socialized risk."

  12. I loved this sentence: "Summers is no libertarian, and frankly, not much of an economist." On several occasions I have called Summers the most incompetent economist in America.

    One of my biggest complaints with progressives (and I prefer to call myself a liberal) is that they will vote Democratic every time (instead of lodging protest votes for third-party candidates) because they are more afraid of Republicans than they hate the Democrats who always take them for granted and shit on them. The ones who voted for Nader in 2000 had the right idea, but were too small in number to make an effective statement that they couldn't be taken for granted by Democrats.

    The best thing anti-tax conservatives did to increase their power was to vote in large numbers for Ross Perot in 1992. Bush was destined to lose that election anyway, owing to the recession. By voting for Perot, they made a strong statement that they could not be taken for granted. The Republican politicians have cow towed to them since.

    Obama is destined to lose in 2012 due to the ongoing high rate of unemployment. So progressives have nothing to lose and everything to gain by abandoning the Democrats this time to vote third party. I predict they will once again be corralled by fear of the boogeyman Republican. They will throw away their leverage by voting for the conservative DINO Obama who has betrayed them consistently. Obama will still lose and progressives will still have no political influence.

  13. Jeremy,
    I like a lot of what you say but you are really only talking about a very thin layer of "progressives" who write websites or newspaper columns. Most "progressives" are wary of libertarians because what they see is the constant haranguing against Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. They think those policies are VERY good for the American people; they do not see those policies as "theft," something I have been told by self-avowed libertarians in so many comment sections over the years.

    Why are they good for Americans:
    (1) This is getting to be my main reason: Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid save some of our wealth for the benefit of the American people. Otherwise, our power elite will take it to make wars and steal around the world. I think libertarians are very naive to believe that the vacuum created by doing away with Social Security, etc. would be happily filled by more freedom!

  14. (2) Medicare and Medicaid tremendously benefitEVERYONE. Not coincidence that the last 40 years of government pumping money into medical care coincided with innovation. A billionaire in 1950 had a shorter life span than someone with the same medical condition and an ordinary income has today.

    (3) Families really need some support. Ron Paul said something about a family with a $30,000 income is in a depression, not a recession. Raising children is so hard. Why does anyone want to do it? If people stopped having children, the economy would fall off a cliff entirely. We need a better model than the way government operates now, primarily putting money into "education" that benefits political cronies and unionized teachers, especially in these very troubled urban areas where plenty of money has been plopped but nothing changes.

    Remember, if our power elites aren't forced to spend the money on social programs, they WILL spend it on wars. Its not an option that they will simply leave you free to do what you want with your money.

  15. "Controlled opposition" – exactly. You can see it in the way they pussyfoot about the wars. It only makes sense if they are controlled opposition.

  16. @Eric…: I had the same experience here in San Diego. My wife and I — who don't vote — joined a small group of progressives who met each week to remind people about the war…or so they claimed. My wife had a Ron Paul shirt on. They were rude to us and shunned us because our sign said: "War Is Big Government" on one side and "Stop the Welfare/Warfare State" on the other. These double messages cut at the right and left by showing their complete unity in favor of the state, and their mutual reinforcement of each other. They literally cannot exist without each other.
    I remember one fateful day when I went without my wife. The so-called anti-war progressives walked to the other side of the street — leaving me by myself. Now remember, in San Diego, there are Marines everywhere and Navy people everywhere. This action of the progressives was like a death-sentence to me because I then became fish-food for the sharks without the protection of numbers. Sure enough, I was getting all the intimidation routines from the chicken-hawks and Marines. One Marine goof-head was driving his car on the road and was so incensed by my sign that he stopped his car in the street and was so out of control that he couldn't even think to put the vehicle in neutral or park. He had one foot on the break and got the other out of the car because he wanted to attack me physically. The lefties just watched with a smirk on their face.
    A week after Obama was elected, all of the anti-war signs disappeared, and it was suddenly all about healthcare. My wife and I drove by this new non-protest one week and asked what happened to their opposition to the war. Their answer: you're just racists. This tells it all.

  17. Irrelevant. Glass-Steagall was just one piece of gum holding a crap-shack together. It was not the singular reason for the crash, which is ongoing and worsening because of the obsession with the government to endlessly "do something," literally no matter what it is.

  18. I agree with you. Just as it's stupid to say "hey let's tax the power elite!" as if they'd ever allow this to be forced on them, it's stupid to say "let's boot all those welfare bums into the street!" It's a fantasy "fix" that does absolutely nothing to the underlying system.

    The problem is most libertarians have a shit grasp of economics because they learned it as a fairy tale from Ayn Rand. They believe in "the free market" on faith but then cannot argue coherently on even basic economic principles. I do think these programs just keep people quiescent when they need to be angry, and I also think they should be creating alternative economies right now in which they don't need to beg the elite to leave them some of their own money. That's a longer conversation. The point is, this or that tweak to the system — raising taxes, nixing this or that single law — doesn't challenge anything, and less so as it has to ask the very system that runs the world to curtail itself. That's what I mean by "it's insane."

  19. Let's be real. A power elite isn't forced to do anything. It throws us bones to prevent revolt.

  20. Both seem pretty accurate descriptions of the mass-men of the respective movements, but of course inaccurate regarding their intelligence minorities.

  21. You raise good points; so long as we have a uniquely privileged class of wealthy people, this will be so. To strike the root, eliminating their privileges is the thing to do. But, in the meantime, I admit: as hardcore a libertarian as I am, the welfare state is a lesser evil than the warfare state. Am I against both? Sure, but the warfare state is a bigger danger than Social Security. However, your post also provides evidence to my view that progressivism is, in fact, a kind of conservatism. It takes the privilege the power elite enjoys as a given, then seeks to modify it so they have to help the lower classes more. All well and good, but why should the power elite enjoy these privileges anyway?

    I found it to be quite bizarre that some libertarians decided Obamacare was worse than Obama's foreign policy. That's the real problem with the bastards in power.

  22. Pretty much. The welfare system isn't radical or progressive at all, but fairly conservative. It's purpose to keep the people impoverished by the rich's mercantilist laws from starving, so they can go on benefiting from the privileges they have won.

    When the merchants wrestled control of the State from the feudal lords, they started writing laws to benefit themselves: thus leading to the merchant-state, which is still with us.

  23. It still sounds like a rather sectarian and silly reason not to run the piece. Your entire "explanation" boils down to "I didn't run it because I disagreed with it." Do you only run material you agree with? Then why not write it all yourself? You couldn't run a small disclaimer explaining your piddling disagreement? You've got a quibble with one paragraph out of over sixty, and your choice is to not run it? You will NEVER get everyone to agree with your economic religion, and this is not an economics site. Nor should you have expected that article to give what you, or ANYONE ELSE, thought was a full explanation of the 2008 meltdown, since that was not the prime topic of the article. Either remember why this site is called "antiwar.com," or change the name to "AustrianEconIsGod.com," or something like that. Your editorial decisions suck.

  24. By the way, why did you write "(S)ummers is no libertarian, and frankly, not much of an economist." I read the article, and saw no attempt by the author to either call hin a "libertarian," nor rate his comptetence as an economist. Did he touch a raw nerve?

  25. Well said. The conclusion I would draw from your remarks is that we shouldn't let disagreements over economic and social policy overshadow our agreements on war and civil liberties. Is that a fair assessment?

  26. Actually, they only throw bones when they are tangibly threatened with revolt.

  27. I am personally very pro-healthcare spending yet I don't know whats in Obamacare! Its a big mystery to me and I tried to follow it. I'm not buying that the Tea Party lady who was worried that Obama would ban fishing really knows enough about Obamacare to be down in Washington protesting it. What on earth did they tell her and give her?

    Yes, we're all on the same page and its nice to see that. The one positive sign, to me, was the Republican frontal attack on Social Security and Medicare in the last 6 years and the possibility that a broader public will get the message: They WILL take it from you, just like Bernie Madoff had to take it all. The elite will have no mercy. You and your spouse will die on the street from easily cured infections at age 80 while the Federal Reserve is bailing out Wall Streeters so that they can continue to be super rich people and while the generals and colonels are stealing bundles of cash money off trucks in our empire around the world.

  28. And wouldn't it be great to have a major political party thats supposed to represent "ordinary people/working people" (i.e. the Democratic Party) speaking clearly to those sentiments?

    "Something we were withholding made us weak" – thats from a Robert Frost poem and that is the Democratic Party's problem. They have to be 1000% pro Israel – I remember hearing Biden say he was a Likudnik! And they have to obey the public employee unions, even at the expense of the African American communities that are getting short shrift because all the money has to go to largely white union workers. And they have to be pro Immigration to get the Latino vote, at the expense of low income people who compete with immigrants.

    Blecch.

  29. Very true and at heart, my attitude always has to be "cultivate your own garden." The wars could make one very sick at heart for the cruelty and horror and the HYPOCRISY. If there is a God and he is just . . .

    One hopeful thing is that somebody got the idea that they could go after Social Security and Medicare. I don't know why they weren't content to just keep printing money but I guess its a kind of triumphalism. Theyre going to screw us totally and we'll be dying in the street while their wives and daughters stock up on $1500 sandals to wear once. The one thing, the only thing, that can get the public's full attention is an attack on Social Security and Medicare, especially Social Security. So, note how the news media and politicians don't like to call it that and have come up with "entitlements" to bamboozle people that its "welfare" they're after.

  30. Most everyone in my family voted for Obama thinking he was the least pro war. They weren't naive; they heard the dog whistle to the neocons about taking our eye off the ball in Afghanistan.

    But who could have thought he'd be as bad as he's been? He was a bait and switch.

    This year, we talk about Ron Paul and voting for Ron Paul as the one thing we can do for peace. Many of us went to demonstrations over the years but thats wasted effort. Every Ron Paul vote is a vote against war first and foremost. All other "Paulite" issues are secondary. The man himself knows it and thats why he's hitting the antiwar issues every chance he gets. He knows the possibility of getting formerly Democratic, formerly Obama voters into those Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

  31. Good piece, that the left and right need to reflect on if they want to end fascism.

    Are you an Agorist?

  32. +9001. Good article. Also, funny how so many progressives will, upon learning that one is a libertarian, immediately forget about how they agree on not mass-murdering people and start talking about how evil one is for not wanting coercively funded social programs.

  33. I reject the idea that our choice is between the state killing people abroad just for being foreign and different or the state threatening to kill people at home for not wanting to participate in their social programs. Certainly, the latter is the lesser evil. But I'm not going to choose an evil.

  34. Well, I don't buy your claim that money going to public workers (public employee unions) in any way short changes black people. In the first place, look at who the public employees actually are. Black people are overrepresented (per population %) in many public employee union locals, and certainly in major metropolitan areas. So how would diverting the money to say, housing in the black community, from public employees help, if the people who live in those areas are laid off, and can't afford even cheap housing? This "largely white union workers" is largely a figment of ideology.

    Even the question of immigration is a mixed bag, since illegal Latino immigrants compete for jobs with the mostly legal Latino population, at least as much as they do with anyone else.

    It seems that 1000% pro-israel describes both parties.

  35. Jeremy — Your comments here serve as a good example of what I don't like about Antiwar.com. I don't come here to hear you, or anyone else, rant against Glass-Stegall, Paul Krugman, etc. Stick to issues of war and peace. You're obviously passionate about your economic beliefs — good for you, but please spare the rest of us. Write for Lew Rockwell if you must, but keep this site free of these issues.

    I don't know, it's your site, you'll do what you please. I just feel the need to stress that I'm getting sick of the anarcho-libertarian talking points. For instance, I think Scott Horton does a pretty good job on his show, but sometimes I'd wish he'd just keep his mouth shut. He's an anarchist, I get that, but why the need to frequently insult Ray McGovern for formerly serving in the CIA? Yes, Horton thinks the CIA and all gov't agencies should be abolished; some of us disagree and wish he would show more respect and get on with the interview.

  36. Well, thats my view from New Jersey where we have almost 600 school districts, among which are 31 "Abbott" districts, so named from a State Supreme Court decision that mandates all of the states taxpayers to pay to educate the children in those 31 inner city districts. Only its not equal education; its education at up to $35,000 per child per year in the case of Asbury Park. Asbury Park probably still has a 40% drop out rate.

    Yes, I am sure that there are a lot of black teachers in those Abbott districts as well as a lot of white teachers. I would bet that there are a higher percentage of white teachers in those heavily minority Abbott districts than the percentage of black teachers in my suburban nearly all white district. But either way, its a small number of people benefiting – primarily the staff – from all that spending, at very great cost to the taxpayers (and very great resentment). Its been a very bad use of public money. We could have done a lot better for the people of Asbury Park with that money or, better still, have lower taxes and not drive the jobs out of the state.

  37. Heres an article on another Abbott district, Elizabeth, NJ and something in the news right now http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/08/elizabet

    Top school officials – and the picture with the article is a black lady – signing their kids up for free school lunches that they don't qualify for.

    They're getting great pay, too. A lot of the political cronies that get caught ripping off the state every once in a while are black, too. We've had loads of prosecutions of corrupt black politicians as well as corrupt white ones. I don't count that as putting money into those communities!

  38. @Anon. Oh, you mean you want antiwar.com to resemble CNN and NPR more. Don't we have enough of those? Gee, don't go out on a limb or anything.

  39. Your take on Larry Summers and Paul Krugman just displays your ignorance about macroeconomics. You really ought to stick to what you know, and stop whoring for oligopolists. It is not an essential element of liberty (or peace) that private wealth be concentrated in a ridiculously small number of hands.

  40. My main problem with Libertarians is that they genrally tend to misunderstand the basic motivation for things. Most libertarians would say that war is a form of welfare to those countries, as if we were actually interested in bringing some kind of freedom in Afghanistan and the plan just didn't work out. Antiwar progressives will usually correctly indentify the motivation behind war as one of hedgemony. Ron Paul is exactly as much against war as he is against food aid. Which makes his opposition to war less meaningfull

  41. Did you even read the article?

    "Most libertarians" believe that initiatory force is immoral, period. Thus our opposition to war AND coercively-funded welfare. I don't know of a single libertarian who thinks that war is a form of welfare, although we do believe that you tend to get both with the government in charge. We are simply opposed to the murder of innocent people, of which war is easily the worst form.

  42. Oh, look: a case in point.

  43. So your solution to the problem of education is to lay off teachers in order to save money? Does not compute.

  44. And your point is — what exactly? that official corruption exists in Asbury Park, NJ? Welcome at leas to the real world, my friend! I guess we can solve this by disbanding the teachers' union, laying off half of them, and cutting the salaries of the rest, right? That will make high officials more honest! Is that what makes the most sense to you?

  45. And exactly where is the US government, or any state or local government therein, threatenin anyone with death for not participating in a social program?

  46. All threats of force ultimately rely on the threat of death.

    If you don't pay for their social programs, they will come to throw you in a cage. If you sufficiently resist being kidnapped, they will kill you.

    Sure, they never say "do this, or we will kill you". But in fact, people do as they say because they know that they can, and will kill people if pressed.

  47. No, I think we are way overpaying for education staffing. (I can only speak for New Jersey, of course.) We don't need to pay these salaries. There is a glut of college graduates and teaching is a very desirable job for the time off. We have layers of administration that is probably pretty dubious, too.

    And it doesn't benefit the children. Rather than one $100,000/year teacher you could have two at $30,000/year and the kids would get more attention, which is what they want and need more than anything. I know thats the mantra, "Pay teachers more." We've tried it here and it doesn't work. I think its a disservice to the children and a jobs killer. Why do businesses locate in places with floods, hurricanes and tornadoes regularly and not here? The taxes.

  48. Where do people like Joe get this stuff from? I've never heard anything so absurd. I think they make it up to suit the occasion. It's so much easier than actually doing research, thinking, and then being psychologically threatened by one's own contradictions and lies.

  49. My point is that the people who run schools are not to be automatically credited with altruism!

    Personally, I dislike school breakfast and lunch programs. I know, its a subsidy to farmers. Thats a lousy excuse for a program that undermines parental responsibility so hideously. Any decent parent would provide cereal and milk for breakfast and bread and peanut butter or cheese and bread for lunch. Its a lost opportunity to spot a child at risk , too. I saw that in real life; maybe someone would have noticed her never having a lunch every day. If they ate the lunches at their desks in the classroom, the teachers could be instructed to notice.

    As noted above, plowing money into "education" has failed here. The quotes around "education" are because the word is supposed to define the purpose but too much of whats really going on is massive spending to staff, political cronies, people who sell stuff to the schools.

  50. First, I wonder why this article, posted on Monday, and still generating comments, is no longer visible on the Antiwar frontpage. I'm active in circles I think most readers would consider "progressive" or "left", i.e., the people the author seems to be concerned to convince of the righteousness of Libertarian Anarchist ideas and figures, so of all the thinkpieces I've seen on the page in recent weeks this one is most of interest to me.

    But the fact that it vanished from PrimeTime so fast makes me wonder if Mr Raimundo and colleagues are that interested in reaching out and forming alliances to their left. ??

  51. "initiatory force" created this United States and established the accepted concept of "private property" as the law of the land. if it weren't for "coercively-funded" police and other wielders of "initiatory force", you wouldn't have any "property" to worry about the IRS liberating you from:)

  52. That is the very sort of misanthropic viewpoint that the right-wingers use to justify war: "the state is the only thing keeping my neighbor from robbing, raping, or killing me! I need a program of preemptory force to save me from the marauding hordes!"

    Ridiculous. I don't need cops OR soldiers around to keep me from acting like an animal. Nor, I hope, do you. If you do, then seek help immediately. If you don't, then just stop acting like you're special. Your neighbors are, by and large, just like you. They aren't out to rob you. The police (i.e., the king's men), on the other hand, are. If you don't believe me, see what happens when you break one of the tens of thousands of laws against activities for which there is no victim, yet for which the penalty is "your money or your life".

    The idea that someone, somewhere MIGHT want to do me harm could technically be true. I don't live in the fear of that, though. And even if it is true, I'm sure I can take care of it somehow without forcing my neighbor to pay for it.

  53. We get it from listening to your basic reasoning

    Do you not feel that intervention is a form of welfare?

  54. No being against the use of force has nothing to do with libertarianiasm
    That's called pacificism

    Libertarians are against government spending
    Which applies to war spending, which is the reason people like Paul are against it
    But he is against food aid exactly as much.

  55. I cant figure out how the software is supposed to work. I got an email telling me there was a new comment, with a link to "go to comment", I clicked it, and it brought me to this page alright, but there is no sign of either of the comments I was notified about, much less of my response to "eleemacfall". I see his response to what I said, but not what he was responding too.

    I wonder if the "moderators" have me on a No Fly list? Yes?

  56. Oh, good. I love it when people are so arrogant as to presume to tell me what I believe.

    Pacifists reject all force. Libertarians reject initiatory force. I AM a libertarian. You don't get to say otherwise.

  57. Lawrence — That's obviously not what I said or implied; your response makes absolutely zero sense.

  58. I'm sorry, I've been having some trouble navigating this IntenseDebate software. If the posts were just displayed in the order posted, it would be easier. But sometimes some of them will disappear, then resurface later but in another spot on the thread.

    Anyway, Mr Sapienza's remarks piqued my interest. I'm one with a serious interest in finding a way to if not stop the warmachine, to at least slow it down. So I and others, like Mr Kevin Zeese et al, are hoping we can find a way to cooperate with Libertarians without providing support to efforts to dismantle Social Security or Medicare, or other "social programs" on which so many of the least fortunate and most vulnerable citizens are so dependent.

    I have to confess that I find aspects of Mr EleeMacFall's outlook outrageous, but have considerable sympathy with other aspects.

    He's just one individual so I'm not going to judge all Libertarians or Antwar readers by his example. I'm going to keep hoping to find some people with whom to engage in a real dialogue.

    Wish me luck:)

  59. So you didn't read it at all. Thanks for admitting that.

  60. It's fine if you'd like to ignore it's relevance. But war, obviously, has a large economic component — one that can't function without state privilege.

  61. Some of the commenters here show that the real divide is between those who think civilization should be organized through dominance and violence and those who think it should be through cooperation and peace.

  62. Intervention is an attack. That only benefits the elites mentioned above.

  63. I don't think about it overtly, but of course.

  64. I give up. The way this thread is formatted, it's impossible to tell who is replying to what. If any of the commenters want to post their thoughts on my blog, be my guest: kwibono.blogspot.com. The only comments that will get "moderated" there are those that are too boring, or too non-sequitized, "off-topic".

  65. There cannot be peace as long as private people or corporations control the ownership of natural resources, the means of production and the systems of distribution. Last D I voted for was Kucinich, and I voted for Nadar in 2000. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil…. Obama is the present executive manager of the ruling elite, perhaps in 2013 it will be Huntsman, or one of the idiots Perry and Bachman, or even other D…. makes no difference, there will be no fundamental changes in the economic structure of this company. Okay, D's have real social values in mind like letting people have whatever types of sex they want, feeding the poor, providing schooling, etc, whereas too many Republicans are mindless theocrats whose minds are rooted in the Book of Hebrew Fairy Tales and not in the science of the 1st century much less the 21st century. There is no hope.

  66. "..a fairty tale from Ayn Rand". Bravo, young man. Keep talking like this and sensible souls (ie those who put intellect above ideology) will start paying attention to your economics.

  67. As usual, Joe deliberately misses the obvious distinctions that would end his misunderstanding of what libertarianism is. Libertarianism is based on not initiating aggression. It allows self-defense. Joe deliberately left out the adjective "initiatory" because it's so vital to preserving his misrepresentation. For the record, libertarianism is based on two fundamental beliefs: (1) it is wrong to initiate the use of force or fraud against another human and (2) we own ourselves (self-ownership). Simple, but Joe will never want to acknowledge these key items. It's so much easier to create a straw man and then light it on fire. Some of us call that dishonesty. And it's deliberate.

  68. What's really sad is that the progressives fail to realize that the welfare state and the warfare state are two mutually reinforcing entities. One cannot exist without the other. Until they realize this, they will not abandon their quest to initiate force by stealing through redistribution. Until they realize that the tax mechanisms used to create the welfare state make possible the warfare state, they will continue to ensure the existence of war, the Pentagon, and the military-industrial complex. This shows their ultimate hypocrisy: they will keep war going as long as there is a whisper of hope that the supporters of war will allow them to keep their welfare state. Translation: the allow the death of tens of thousands in Afghanistand and Iraq if they can have their healthcare program. The human calculus they engage in is simply brutal, but true. The old Campbell's commercial about soup and sandwich applies to welfare and warfare: "you can't have one without the other."

  69. who said libertarianiasm is based on initiating aggression?

    Libertarianism has nothing to do with with that at all
    It is opposition to any and all government spending with the idea that the private corporate structures will always be better than governmental ones, which I find to be completely unfounded and ridiculous

    Libertarians are against war in the sense that they oppose all government spending equally; just like I said

  70. But that has nothing to do with libertarianism

    Which is a philosphy that believes that all spending by the government is wrong

    Rejecting force is a form of pacifism. In your case you only reject what you call "initiatory" force which seems to suggest you support various wars. So for instance we were attacked on 911, so by your stated philosphy you would be ok with many of our drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan

  71. "who said libertarianiasm is based on initiating aggression? "

    Gee, how about THE PEOPLE WHO FOUNDED THE MOVEMENT?

  72. Joe, your understanding of libertarianism is superficial at best. Have you ever asked WHY libertarians oppose government spending? It's not just a whim or fetish. It's based on their opposition to initiatory coercion and on the principle of self-ownership. That's why they oppose government spending — because government spending is based on initiatory coercion (theft or confiscation) of peoples' voluntarily acquired resources. That's why we oppose government spending. It's also why we oppose wars of choice (the only kind that the U.S. is ever involved in). Wars of choice ARE initiatory aggression. You only look at the policy, but it is based upon a genuine principle based in ethics and meta-ethics. You are so accustomed to the superficial analysis of the world (liberals and conservatives are superficial) that you have never fathomed what libertarianism is all about.

  73. "Rejecting force is a form of pacifism."

    No, it isn't. You don't get to decide what words mean. Many other people, over many years, have already done that.

    Pacifism has two meanings. In a political context, it refers to the belief that nations can and should resolve conflicts through arbitration rather than armed conflict. Libertarians would be in favor of that. But in an ethical context, it is the belief that ALL force, initiatory AND defensive, is impermissible. Libertarians therefore ARE NOT necessarily pacifists.

    " In your case you only reject what you call "initiatory" force which seems to suggest you support various wars. So for instance we were attacked on 911, so by your stated philosphy you would be ok with many of our drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan"

    Ignorance is permissible, but speaking on something of which you are ignorant is not.

    Libertarians do not make collectivist political judgments, so your analysis is completely flawed from the start. "We" were not attacked on 9/11. Some 3000 INDIVIDUALS were. Those attacks do not justify the government forcing all Americans into supporting a war against sovereign nations, and it certainly does not justify the deaths of civilians who had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks.

    Now that that's cleared up, you can stop pretending that you know better what libertarians believe than a libertarian does.

  74. Jeremy, this is a non sequitur. I never suggested that Antiwar.com should ignore the state's role in war. I just think that, in order to end these wars, it's necessary we–libertarians, liberals, conservatives, etc.–agree to disagree about certain economic issues. It's not clear to everybody that regulation is a bad thing, that Keynesianism is of the devil, etc. You anarcho-capitalists have your view; many sincere and intelligent people (just as intelligent as you and your Austrian economists) have opposing views.

    In order to end the wars, it's necessary for all of us to agree to fight for certain shared principles–restoring civil liberties and ending the wars. Once we've accomplished that, then we can debate these other issues–deregulation, social welfare spending, etc.

    By excluding the Bromwich piece simply because he believes that deregulation caused the banking crisis, you've shown your divisiveness. Had a libertarian written the exact same piece but claimed that the Federal Reserve, not deregulation, had caused the crisis, you would certainly have run it.

  75. Again, I'm not against you expressing your anarcho-capitalist beliefs. I just wish you wouldn't do it at Antiwar.com. Let Antiwar.com be a Big Tent antwar site, not an antiwar site for anarcho-capitalists (and progressives so long as they don't say anything against Austrian economics).

  76. I would remind the author that just as most Republicans are not at all truly "conservative", neither are the vast majority of Democrats (and especially their weasel apologists) actual lefties. Honest conservatives (which are basically only Libertarian Party people and Ron Paul supporters) I can disagree with and respect. Reps and Dems are rats._Claiming that Dem apologists are the left is as disingenuous as claiming that the neo-cons are true conservatives.__Most actually lefties have a great deal of respect for this website,& would much rather have Ron Paul than Obama. Actual left opinion in America is hard to come by but I can point you to CounterPunch, which has been calling for libertarian-left cooperation for several years. We share a lot of common ground on issues of war, civil liberties, election reform, corporate welfare and so forth. I heartily welcome such collaboration and I would vote for Paul for the baby with the understanding that I get the bathwater too. Obama, Kerry and the like are 100% bathwater. Where we differ is that there's little to no difference between the corporate GOP & Libertarians when it comes to the social spending one sees outside of the Third World.

  77. I'm glad to hear that you are so strong that you can take care of any fight yourself, that you are rich enough to guard your own private property with your own guards, and powerful enough to put the hit on anyone who messes with you. The rest of us should perhaps fall on our knees and beg you for favors, I suppose.

    You said:
    "Your neighbors are, BY AND LARGE, just like you. They aren't out to rob you." <emphasis mine>

    I love weasel words like "by and large!" They hide a multitude of contrary examples and realities.
    ===============to be continued====================================

  78. =======continued from prior post=========
    Well, if you ever have a problem, don't ever call the police, or ever use the courts for any reason, including any civil suit, since your neighbors pay for them. Never call the fire department if there is a fire, because your neighbors pay for that. Instead, research the name of the insurance company for the building. Then, if the place is still standing, ask the insurance company if they would kindly dispatch their fire response team, since it is in their economic interests to minimize the damage. Ignore the guffaws at the other end of the line. After all, you're just living your principals.

    Also, no driving except on known private roads. No public buses, railroads, etc. Wouldn't want to inconvenience our peacable neighbors, would we?

  79. Most interesting analysis. Were those 3000+ individuals specifically chosen for the attack? Should the families of those 3000+ individuals pool their money to hire a hit team from the Mafia?

  80. I'm not that strong. I just believe that I can make arrangements for my protection which do not require the use of force against non-aggressors. And so can anyone else.

  81. You do not get to decide what my principles are. Opposition to those who advocate for the continued existence of coercively-funded services is not the same as opposition to their use.

    People essentially have the choice between "use the government's monopoly" or "starve". It's not their fault, so it is wrong to fault them for using it. But wanting that monopoly system of exploitation to continue is quite another story.

  82. They should be able to hire whomever they wish to hire. But since their money has already been taken from them by the state (i.e., the Mafia With a Flag), it is reasonable for them to expect the state to dispense justice on their behalf.

    The problem is that the state doesn't do *justice*. So instead what they get is almost a million dead civilians who had nothing to do with the attacks, while the regimes responsible for the existence of the 9/11 terrorists continue in power with U.S. support.

    What a bargain.

  83. Interesting. Tell me, have you ever had a soup without a sandwich, or a sandwich without a soup? Sorry to disappoint you, and your faith in the Campbell's Soup Company, but I do both all the time! Sometimes, I even have a salad without either one!

    Lets get concrete. When was the last time any of the Scandinavian countries, all of which have much more robust welfare bureaucracies than the USA by a long shot, have attacked anybody? Has it not occurred to you that the more money the state has to spend on public "welfare," the less it might have for warfare? Why do you suppose neocons want "entitlements" on the table, but not "defense?" On the other hand GW Bush fought two wars, while lowering taxes.

    But if "progressives" "fail to realize" your alleged connection between the welfare and warfare states, how can you accuse them of "hypocrisy" if they fail to act in accordance with those unrealized precepts?

    And isn't your claim that taxation causes warfare a kind of "post hoc, ergo proctor hoc" argument?

  84. Amd one more thing: NO AMBULANCES, unless they are from a private, entirely unsubsidized, hospital. My F*CKING TAXES pay for dem lazy, good for nothing, unionized EMTs! They make me pay them!!! Booo hhooo hooo!!!

  85. …You aren't actually interested in having a conversation about this, are you?

  86. And all successful defenses against "initiatory force" rely on the threat of death, since I might kill the one who initiates force against me. Or, alternatively, if I call the cops when someone initiates force against someone else, their success depends on the threat (or reality) of death. Problem is, the cops work for the state, that great "force initiator," but I'm frail and my gun is out for repairs. What is a poor anarchoid to do? Woe is me.

  87. A.G.: Your understanding of Scandinavian countries is about 20 years out of date. They are shedding their socialism faster than a pickled herring slips out of Babette's Feast. They also respect the right of people to own property much more there. The USA is the USSA these days. Stay here, it's exactly where you belong.

  88. Altruism? Where does that come from, and why, pray tell, would anyone expect it, or favor it?

    Any "decent" parent? What if that "decent" parent is having trouble making ends meet? I know you would like to cage up the kids during lunch, so you can watch them eat, or demonstrate their at-risk-edness, but I preferred eating my lunch in the yard. I even hated the lunchroom. School breakfast and lunch programs were initiated because teachers noticed that many kids were not getting adequate food, and couldn't concentrate. Would you prefer that teachers spend their time teaching, or checking on the home life of their captive students?

  89. You would very quickly learn two things: 1) very few teachers make $100K/yr, and 2) more importantly, that hardly any of those $30K/yr teachers would stay very long, and put up with a*shole school officials, and a*shole parents, in addition to teaching reading, writing, & math to the kiddies. I wouldn't touch it, for that money.

    You might as well ask why businesses locate in China. Hint: it ain't the taxes, here or in China. Should we be like China?

  90. And before they "shed their socialism," who did they attack? Simple question — simple as Campbell's Soup.

  91. It isn't a question of "should," it's a question of what is possible. All human societies, throughout history (and some of "prehistory") have involved combinations of both coercion and cooperation, and also individuality and collectivity. Can't we just face that, and move on? You question the rationality of the state, but you seem to accept at face value the rationality of the citizens of that state.

    Did you know that honey bees have "police bees?" Look it up.

  92. Well said. The fallacy of the undistributed middle is alive and well, here at antiwar.com. We will never achieve any meaningful cooperation as long as ideologues of either left or right continue to peer at the other side through the wrong end of their telescopes. Ignoring real distinctions, conflating ideologies because of where they might have sat in the French National Convention of 1793, etc. are just more ways of marking out one's enemies.

  93. I'm an old-school anti-imperialist Canadian leftist but the Antiwar.com staff and Ron Paul would get my last cold beer from my fridge if they ever stopped by.

    I think the scummy pro-war 'south park/drudge report' libertarian crowd poisoned a lot of progressives but the people here are completely stand-up folks. Their commitment to peace has been proven a 1000 times over.

  94. I don't even mind tyhem expressing their anarcho-capitalist bias in their writings at antiwar.com, where it is at least out in the open. But editorial judgement requires putting aside those biases, at least as much as possible. It requires understanding the main thrust of an article, not just those parts that disagree with the editor — in short, telling a mountain from a molehill. If necessary, it requires running short disclaimers, so that the reader can know where the editor disagrees. For a site like this, it requires toning down that paranoid fear of heresy that stalks the minds of all ideologues of whatever political stripe.

  95. Right. You're influential enough to organize your neighbors into a vigilante squad. I'm happy for you. Do i need to pay you for those services, or must I kiss your ring?

  96. Well, to paraphrase Daniel Day Lewis, in "Gangs of New York," "I don't give a tupenny f*ck about your principles, you meatheaded sh*tsack!" (-: You have no means of organizing things any other way, except through privately organized and armed gangs. Prove me wrong.

  97. What will I have to pay for private ambulance services, should I need them? What will my private road tolls cost me? Add it up, and get back to me.

  98. Well since they already hired the state for said purpose, is it unreasonable for them to believe that the "we" who was attacked involved more than the 3000+ individuals and their families? Don't you think the attackers thought of themselves as attacking the US ("we"), and not those 3000+ individuals?

  99. Agreed. They just need to rein in some of their sectarianism.

  100. Again you miss the point. They both require the same mechanism to exist. Sadly, your love of controlling OTHER people exceeds your willingness to do without the mechanism (itself a form or war, only directed at an internal "enemy." The difference between progressives and neo-cons is that neo-cons want to control other people abroad and consent to controlling people domestically by bilking them out of tax dollars. Progressives want to control people domestically, so they initiate coercion on a domestic populace to extract funds by waging war on them. It's psychologically based. The progressive feels better about himself thinking he has helped someone by playing Santa Claus with other peoples' money; this "good feeling" (solipsistic/narcissistic) helps him to paper-over the victimization of those he taxes and the disruption he causes in the families of those onto whom he pours this ill-gotten largess. Never mind the disruption of families broken up by welfare payments; the progressive can move to a neighborhood where its impact is less severe. Beware: a Detroit is in all our futures thanks to the "it's all about me" feeling-quest of the progressives.

  101. Splitter! (a la Monty Python's "Life of Brian")

  102. Well you COULD go and be influential in your own neighborhood. And if you need help you could, y'know, ASK for it instead of sending your blue-clad bully boys to force people to help. Or you could just go the "yay violence against the non-violent, as long as it's legal and serves my interests" route, and be on exactly the same ethical page as your neoconservative counterparts.

  103. …Wow.

    You do realize that Bill the Butcher was the VILLAIN, right?

    Not that I'm surprised. Progressives have a long history of siding with villains because it's convenient, or because they don't think that principle can "work". In this case, you're siding with neocons. Congratulations. But at least the neocons have the integrity to admit that they are in favor of force against innocent people when it serves their interests.

  104. Of course they did.

    They were wrong.

    I am not included in the "we" that rejoices when innocent people are turned into corpses by U.S. bombs and bullets simply because "they" live near someone who killed an American, and I will not support an institution that produces that kind of result.

    Apparently, you are. Welcome to the world of right-wing collectivism known as "neoconservatism".

  105. "And all successful defenses against "initiatory force" rely on the threat of death, since I might kill the one who initiates force against me."

    …You do realize that implicit in this statement is a concession to the point to which you are replying, right?

    Anyway, of course they do. But are you really unaware of the chasmic moral difference between the threat of retaliatory force and the threat of initiatory force? I guess that shouldn't surprise me.

    "Problem is, the cops work for the state, that great "force initiator," but I'm frail and my gun is out for repairs. What is a poor anarchoid to do? Woe is me."

    You don't even read the responses of your opponents, do you? Too inconvenient to address their actual arguments, eh? Also, your childish attempts at caricature do not help your argument at all.

    I've already said that I see no problem, in principle, with people making use of the services made available to them by the state when they have no other choice. I am only arguing against advocacy for the continuation of the condition in which they have no other choice – i.e., advocacy for the existence of a monopoly state.

    And contrary to your caricature (and apparently unlike yourself), I am not so pants-wettingly terrified of other people that I think I need to hide behind the biggest bully on the block, and grow the size of his gang, in order to be safe.

  106. So if people believe that they were under attack on 9/11/2001, you see no problem, in principle, with people using the services, such as the military, made available to them by the state. That clarifies a lot.

  107. Okay, I'll do that. If you want my help, you'll have to pay me. I won't ask you to kiss my ring. But if you don't pay, we leave you to die in the gutter. Deal?

  108. I see. Thank you, ideologue, for your conclusion that my heresies make me a "neocon." And Bill the Butcher was one of many villains in that movie. I don't even think it had a real hero. In the real world, everyone who sees a practical side to the existence of the state is not a "neocon." but keep on fantasizing.

  109. Well, since virtually anyone could have been at the WTC, don't you believe that there were more than 3000+ potential, intended victims? And, since they have no choice but to avail themselves of the services of the state in order to exact retribution, don't you agree that, just like calling the cops, they have the right to demand that the military be used, using your own "logic?"

  110. Thank you for ducking the question, and proving the utter bankruptcy of your argument. You're so afraid of significant counter examples that you have to bring up your global objections to the existence of the state as a means of avoidance. The rest of what you say, i will ignore, because it is ideologoguery.

    Once again, who have the Scandinavian welfare states attacked?

  111. Yes, but how much do you hate the Romans?

  112. In principle, no. But as a matter of practical reality, when people use the United States government as a means of security and/or justice, lots of innocent people get murdered, others get pissed off at Americans on their behalf, and we are therefore less secure with no justice to show for it.

    Similarly, I'm not going to say to the average person, "don't call the cops" while the police are the only thing keeping them "safe" as far as they know, and that's what they've paid for. But they should be aware that there's a good chance the police will use force indiscriminately and improportionally, and (per Supreme Court ruling) they have absolutely no obligation to protect them AT ALL, and they may end up wishing they'd taken measures for their own protection despite having paid for protection from the police.

  113. Irony: a "progressive" who shuns the altruism advocated by an evil, capitalist libertarian.

    But yes, that's fair. That's your right. Forced charity is no charity at all, and I do not believe that you are my slave. Can I say the same thing about you towards me?

  114. I didn't say you were a neocon. I said you are using the same principles for your own purposes.

  115. Those who were actually harmed – that is, who lost loved ones or property – had the right to demand that the perpetrators of the attacks be brought to justice. But the government never intended to do that. It was an excuse for invasion and occupation from the start. Knowing that, they had no right to call for mobilization, because the justice to which they were entitled was not even on the table.

    If someone shot your dad, and the police said they were going to kill 20 people who didn't even know the guy, you would have the right to say, "NO! Go after the guy who did it!" You couldn't just say, "yeah, sure go ahead and do your thing" in the knowledge that what they were going to do was criminal.

    And it's not like we didn't know. I remember the mental gymnastics I had to go through to justify supporting the war myself. And I was only a high school kid. I listened to every word Rush Limbaugh said at the time and I still knew in my heart that the war was wrong.

  116. And furthermore, the most that the vast majority of Americans suffered on 9/11 was indignation. That did not excuse their bloodlust, nor justify the mobilization of the entire nation, including those who objected to military action, against nations full of innocent people.

  117. I haven't ducked the question. You asked: "who did they attack." My answer was clear, but you didn't like it. Again, the answer is THEY ATTACK THEIR OWN CITIZENS. In other words, war can be conducted against people living far away, or it can be conducted against those living within a country. You prefer not to label the latter as war. I can see no difference.

  118. So you define "war" as giving money to your own citizens to make them "welfare dependent?" The REAL victims of war would disagree with your assessment.