Comments on: Violence, Wars, and States http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/ Free Markets and Social Justice Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:21:00 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 By: Libertarians and War: A Bibliographical Essay — The Libertarian Standard http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-27482 Thu, 21 Mar 2013 00:38:06 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-27482 […] wars” and elaborated on it in “More on Libertarians and War.” Gary Chartier’s “Violence, Wars, and States” at the same forum stakes out the antiwar […]

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By: Some Principles | Bleeding Heart Libertarians http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-24715 Mon, 26 Nov 2012 16:20:25 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-24715 […] here. I want to resist the temptation to engage in amateur historiography. Instead, bulding on the more general remarks I offered here about war some time ago, I’d like to suggest a move to a higher level of […]

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By: The Distinctiveness of Left-Libertarianism | Bleeding Heart Libertarians http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-23437 Mon, 05 Nov 2012 14:02:11 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-23437 […] of the operation of the state, which seeks predictably to expand its influence by force. Leftist opposition to war should be seen as entailing opposition to the state per […]

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By: What about Ron Paul? | Bleeding Heart Libertarians http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-11606 Wed, 21 Dec 2011 21:23:38 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-11606 […] are most unlikely to save America. But by far the worst thing governments do is to make war, and Paul’s campaign is committed to dramatically reducing the chances that the US […]

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By: Attack the System » Blog Archive » Left-Wing Market Anarchism and Ron Paul http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-11604 Wed, 21 Dec 2011 20:39:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-11604 […] are most unlikely to save America. But by far the worst thing governments do is to make war, and Paul’s campaign is committed to dramatically reducing the chances that the US […]

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By: War Is Big Government at its Biggest « Spatial Orientation http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-9960 Fri, 09 Sep 2011 17:27:24 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-9960 […] When states wage war, they move quickly to expand and consolidate power. As Gary Chartier recently pointed out: State actors’ perceived need to mobilize and consolidate domestic support for war leads to the […]

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By: Fredagslinks 9/9/11 | Agorist.dk http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-9953 Fri, 09 Sep 2011 03:18:10 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-9953 […] Gary Chartier om krig. Chartier gennemgår en række argumenter imod krig. […]

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By: Anonymous http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-9889 Mon, 05 Sep 2011 19:57:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-9889 Matt,
I don’t know whether you meant to address your comment to me, or to Prof. Chartier, but I will take the opportunity to offer a couple of thoughts in response to your comment. My own view is that just as in our personal conduct, in the international realm there is an irreducible role for moral discretion. That is, there is no universally valid rule that will provide clear and unambiguous guidance in all cases.

I believe that the international sphere resembles nothing so much as Locke’s state of nature because there is no single power that can claim a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Rather, there are a large number of states, all acting in what they perceive to be their self-interest, with varying degrees of ruthlessness and willingness to resort to unprovoked violence. Locke held that in a state of nature any peaceful party may justly punish an aggressor, even though the aggressor has not specifically acted against him/her, because an unpunished aggressor represents a clear and present danger to all those wishing to live in peace. See 2nd Treatise, Chap. III, sec. 16-8. I think Locke’s reasoning is sound.

Given this, I see no reason why in a state of nature peace-loving persons may not band together in alliances to resist or punish aggressors in a coordinated way, or why this principle should not also apply today to states. Having said this, it is obviously the case that great care must be taken in exercising this right for the reasons noted by Prof. Chartier. Just because we have the moral right to punish, there may be a variety of prudential reasons why we should elect not to do so. Nevertheless, I think it would be a mistake for a generally peaceful state (at least relative to others) to renounce this right or for citizens to insist that it do so.

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By: Matt Pugsley http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-9888 Mon, 05 Sep 2011 16:42:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-9888 I think that Professor Chartier’s position introduces an element of arbitrariness by restricting the permissible wars of states to those used to defend their *own* territory. If it’s permissible for me to use violence to defend myself against unjust violence, what justifies the use of violence is not that it is *me* that is being unjustly attacked. What’s important is that “a person” is being unjustly attacked. That is what we are preventing with the use of violence. That is why it is permissible for me to use violence to defend others from unjust violence.

It seems to me that the same logic should apply to states. If Britain is unjustly attacked, it is permitted to defend itself. If Poland is unjustly attacked, it is permitted to defend itself. But if Poland is unjustly attacked, why is Britain not permitted to defend Poland (especially when Poland is unable to defend itself)? The attack is unjust, regardless of who (if anyone) responds. It is therefore just to respond with force. (I expect I would agree with at least some of the examples to which Professor Chartier alluded where the use of violence in self-defense may be unjustified. Morality is, after all, very complicated. But I assume those examples don’t involve Hitler attacking Poland.)

I understand that the position is a pragmatic one, but even pragmatic positions should be wary about arbitrariness. I think this element of arbitrariness makes the position less defensible.

I also think that there may be pragmatic reasons to ignore this problem however. The adage “give an inch, they take a mile” can apply to hawks as well as anyone else. As lots of countries get together to defend the target of aggression, their combined resources can lead to violence that is more massive than what is justly warranted by the details of the situation. (Kuwait may be an example of that.) And it may lead hawks to feel greater confidence in the holiness of their cause when others are with them, thus leading them (and others) to discount the other costs mentioned (blowback, tyranny, growth of the military-industrial complex).

Perhaps the charge of arbitrariness is incorrect. Perhaps there are pragmatic reasons for sticking to ‘only defend your own territory’. Either way, I think the strategy of “argue strenuously against any war undertaken by a state that doesn’t involve defense of the state’s own territory” will be more successful if it is able to answer Mr. Friedman’s “What about Poland?” question.

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By: Matt Zwolinski http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/09/violence-wars-and-states-2/#comment-9885 Mon, 05 Sep 2011 16:12:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1240#comment-9885 Yes, just a joke. 🙂
For what it’s worth, the version of Godwin’s Law with which I am familiar doesn’t involve calling the other person or their views Nazi or Nazi-like. It merely involves “invoking” the Nazis.
http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/godwins-law

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