Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”     George Washington

April 17, 2007

Let’s Make Something Clear

by Adam Selene

I realize that the news today will be all about the Virginia Tech shooting. And gun laws. And so forth. But, I think it is valuable, given much of the recent conversation (past 3 months, give or take), to put a stake in the ground on what The Liberty Papers stands for around the war in Iraq, Islamo-Fascism and how to best defend our country.

Let’s start with this statement. We are individuals. We do not require that any contributor adhere to some specific position on anything. The contributors hold a wide range of individual beliefs. From near Anarcho-Capitalist, like Brad and myself, to Minarchists, like Mike and Chris. We also have a fairly divergent range of beliefs on the war in Iraq. Doug is probably the most vocal supporter of ending the war now and Chris the most vocal win the war proponent.

That said, we do have some areas where we all agree.

First, about Iraq. Not one of us would leave our military “in the lurch”, we do not agree with the Democrats approach. Whether we want to withdraw and leave Iraq to deal with its issues on their own, or we want to stay and try to help them through. Every one of us began this saga as supporters of the war in 2003. Most of us still are. I think every one of us would also agree that the Bush Administration has done a bad job of prosecuting this war, both militarily and politically.

Islamo-Fascism. A threat to freedom and liberty, the anti-thesis of everything we believe in. We diverge in how best to deal with the problem. Personally, I say we get rid of our dependence on oil as quickly as possible and leave ‘em to rot in the sand.

How best to defend ourselves against enemies that use terrorism as a tactic. Here we are in strong agreement that giving up liberty to gain false security is the worst possible choice. We all agree that government never gives back power once gained. Government never uses that power for just the narrow purpose defined. And, even if we did think some loss of liberty was necessary, Bush has not shown that he is a wise custodian of such power.

We have clashed with people that some classify as “left libertarians” quite often. Libertarian Party types generally consider us to not be Libertarians. And we agree. Why? Because we disagree with the non initiation of force principle, we disagree, generally, with the isolationist position they take. For the first time that I can recall, we are actually accused of being Libertarians in the Lew Rockwell tradition. We, in fact, are not.


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2 Comments

  1. As far as I can tell, this is a neocon board/Center-Left Board. You emphasize your disagreements with those who would regulate Economic Life especially when they lead with a moral or Commie rationale, but at the end of the day, you put those differences aside to generally agree with the status quo.

    That alleged ancaps favored the 2003 invasion against Saddam and his Winnebagos of death, tells me this is a gatekeeper site, filtering neocon opinion. It’s a bit of a joke, but carry on. Your commentary on the Va Tech stuff at least helps the cause.

    Comment by Charles Bowen — April 17, 2007 @ 7:00 pm
  2. Charles, from everything I’ve ever seen, how you could think neocons and center-left people would get along, I’ll never know.

    Note that Adam said near-an-cap, not an-cap. Adam and I are probably the closest contributors on this site to an-cap, but if you search the archives, you’ll see several places where I talk about specifically WHY I’m not an an-cap, and the flaws I see in that philosophy.

    I would also point out that for myself personally, my political views have changed considerably from minarchist pro-defense libertarian over the last few years, to pragmatically nearly an-cap. However, there’s a difference between what I see as my preferred society, and how I suggest our government act now. In 2003 I supported war on Iraq. Whether I would support it now, had we not done it then, I’m not sure. But I can tell you now that we’re in a tough situation, where the payoff for setting up a functioning Iraqi democracy are pretty tangible, and the costs of failing to do so are catastrophic. Looking back from 2007, my view is that if we can achieve our goals, it’s better than if we didn’t go in at all. But if we don’t achieve our goals, it’s far, far worse than if we didn’t go in at all.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 17, 2007 @ 7:44 pm

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