The Cost of Statist Foreign Policy: War and Intervention

“War is the mother of everything.” -Heraclitus

War (good God y’all) what is it good for? Absolutely nothing? Not entirely. War is good from a certain perspective… If that perspective is to increase the revenue and power of the State and erode liberties and freedoms of the citizenry at home. Other than that, war accomplishes nothing other than destruction of life and property. There are those that argue that war boosts the economy and gives full employment. There are those that say war is fought for freedom and liberty; but the growth in power of the State back home due to the “need” to increase defense only means we become less free (see the “War on Terror” or “The War on Drugs”).  What does war do exactly? What is the true cost?

Blowback was a CIA internally coined word for the unintended consequences of covert operations. The Unites States would attack someone else, and of course, the group attacked would retaliate. More often than not, they would strike civilian targets simply because the civilians are associated with the attacking government regime.

Blowback has occurred quite often due to U.S. Foreign policy. Sometimes I wonder if the United States instigates attacks on purpose so they can use the guaranteed retaliatory attacks as an excuse to expand their power. This way, they can create organizations like the N.S.A. or the T.S.A and other alphabet soup departments who’s sole purpose is to infringe on our rights or spy on us. They militarize the police at home by giving them tanks and dressing them up like Marines in Iraq. We have even gone so far as to adopt war tactics for domestic policing which is not appropriate since the tactics a soldier use do not regard the “rights” of their enemies very highly. Consequently, neither do domestic police regard our rights as they become more and more militarized. They take away guns because “We can’t have it too easy for terrorists and bad guys to get them”. All of this is done under the guise of our own protection. It is either this, or Governments really are that stupid as to believe that they can attack someone else without instigating an equal or greater response. All of these facts make it hard to argue that “war is fought for freedom” when freedoms always erode during and after war.

Government Protects its Rackets, Not its People
Governments protect us like a rancher protects his cattle. Seeing as Government is just a giant non-producer that leeches off of it’s citizens through taxes, they will “protect” us not because they care about our lives but because they care about our wallets. Wars are fought to defend a tax base or steal someone else’s. That is the only reason wars are fought when one reduces the reasons down to their core issues.

Governments cannot survive if a portion of their tax base is killed or annexed. If they do survive with a smaller tax base, their taxation racket is at least less ludicrous profit wise than it was before. Therefore, wars are fought to protect the racket and instituted robbery any particular State has. This is why governments make us less safe. If a free society existed where force was evenly distributed through a well armed populace, an invading force would have to build the institutions for taxation from the ground up. In the end, it would be more costly to build and maintain this tax base than it would yield in revenue. That is why a free and well armed society is safer than a centralized, less free one.

On the flip side this is precisely we the United States is in a constant state of war. It can gain influence by toppling dictators it does not like and instituting ones it does. This is not to spread democracy and freedom but to expand the protection racket. The “freedom and liberty” speech is given to the masses in order to make it so they can swallow inflation and higher taxes in order to pay for their statist crusades and machinations of war and profiting from it.

War Does Not Create Wealth
There is a common fallacy that circulates among State apologists that argues that war is good for the economy. “Look at WWII,” they’ll say. “It helped to end the depression!.” I have already shown this to be false in another post, but we can have a simpler argument against wars supposed economic gains here.

War diverts capital, labor and resources from the true demands of the market that lead to innovation and wealth, to destructive ends. Many potential laborers are wounded, maimed and killed in war. Resources that could be better used towards innovations in the market are diverted towards tanks and bombs. This can only stagnate an economy, not boost it.

If wealth and prosperity were the true goal we would abolish all tariffs. A wealthy trading partner makes more wealth for the other party than invading it would. If we wanted to excerpt control over the world, we should do so through voluntary business relationships, not through dropping bombs.

The Alternative
People like me advocate for non-intervention in foreign conflicts where the Unites States is not immediately threatened. We are called “isolationists” and told “Look, isolationism didn’t work very well in WWII.” Again there is a common collectivist fallacy present here. It’s really quite anti-freedom to think that the only way a population can interact with others outside their borders is through their government. That mentality shuts down a lot potentially prosperous global relationships. But isolationism does not equal non-intervention.

Isolationism has always been a smear word used to muddle up non-intervention. It was coined in the 19th century by Alfred Thayer Mahan, a militarist, who called people “isolationists” because they opposed American Imperialism. In his time you were an “isolationist” if you opposed “civilizing” the Philippines at the point of a gun. Now it’s a similar thing if you are opposed to “civilizing” Syria and Iraq.

Non-intervention is not advocating for having no stake in the global community, it only goes about it differently. Trade with people rather than bomb them. It’s really not that complicated.

War is massive propagandized organized murder. It isn’t anything else. If one loves liberty, free markets and freedom of the individual, one has to oppose war on 3 fronts. The moral ground, the utilitarian perspective, and the pragmatic perspective. War is not moral and it does not work economically therefore a population should not have such itchy trigger fingers if it values freedom and prosperity.

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