Foreign Policy Comes Back to Haunt Us

The relationship between foreign and domestic policy ought to be obvious, but it still eludes many people. When the government attacks foreign populations, members of the victimized group may seek revenge in the perpetrator’s “homeland.” That threat — however slight — in turn offers pretexts for the accumulation of domestic power.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1) My fear of what “radical Islam” might do to me is infinitesimal when compared to my fear of what the government of the uSSA might do to me in response to what “radical Islam” might have done to them.

It seems impossible for Americans to be able to put the shoe on the other foot. — jtl, 419

by From: Center for a Stateless Society

The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) From the start, opponents of the American empire warned that the government could not violate the rights of foreigners without eventually violating the rights of Americans. An excellent example is William Graham Sumner’s post-Spanish-American War classic The Conquest of the United States by Spain. The anti-imperialists were spot-on, and the evidence for their case keeps piling up.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)To pick a convenient date, we can start at Sept. 11, 2001, though this hardly provides the only evidence to be drawn from American history. Government abuse of Americans in the name of security began long before al-Qaeda’s crimes. It can be traced to the very dawn of the republic, when the country’s safety was said to be threatened by the Indian nations, Spain, England, France, and Russia. Official American folklore notwithstanding, in statecraft there is almost nothing new under the sun.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsWe all know what happened after 9/11, an outcome of American-empire building in the Middle East and central Asia. The national-security complex (which includes “private”-sector firms drooling to get at the public trough) pulled all their longed-for police-state methods off the shelf and A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View fused them into the Orwellian USA PATRIOT Act. Empire-spawned terrorism is indeed the health of the state. (The French are now following suit.) The text of the Act wasn’t expansive enough, so government officials did things that even an author and a court said were unauthorized, such as mass collection of telephone data — and let’s not forget warrantless eavesdropping. See Edward Snowden’s revelations for details. While these particular outrages have been reined in somewhat — perhaps; can we really be sure when top officials have been caught lying? — other outrages against our liberty and privacy surely persist. It will take a whistleblower to inform us.

Unfortunately, most people seem unconcerned with government abuse, no doubt because they believe their safety requires the sacrifice of “some” liberty and privacy. They don’t buy Benjamin Franklin’s famous maxim: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” As Roderick Long implies, however, this is poorly framed, since liberty and safety can’t be at odds and hence can’t be traded off against each other: “What we want is not to be attacked or coercively interfered with — by anyone, be they our own government, other nations’ governments, or private actors. Would you call that freedom? Or would you call it security? You can’t trade off freedom against security because they’re exactly the same thing.”

Despite all the post-9/11 violations of liberty, we see that politicians can find room for still more. There’s talk in Washington about mandating government access — “backdoors” — to encrypted online networks, although the Paris attackers apparently did not use encryption and open-source encryption exists. (Think of the potential for breaches of bank, credit-card, and other commercial sites. Think of the potential for government spying.)

And front-running Republican Donald Trump endorses registration of Muslims and the closing of mosques. His crackpot stories about “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in Jersey City celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers and about Syrians trying to sneak across the Mexican border are meant to spread fear and make further liberty violations seem reasonable and necessary.

The relationship between foreign and domestic policy ought to be obvious, but it still eludes many people. When the government attacks foreign populations, members of the victimized group may seek revenge in the perpetrator’s “homeland.” That threat — however slight — in turn offers pretexts for the accumulation of domestic power.

To the extent we are at risk, it is the result of militarism and empire. So people are actually looking to the state to protect them from it.

The question posed by the regime is: How can Americans be kept safe while it pursues militarism abroad. That’s the wrong question. Americans cannot be kept safe under those circumstances because that foreign policy creates domestic danger and an open society is always vulnerable to the sort of attacks committed in Paris.

The question should be: What foreign policy would maximize the safety of the American people?

There is no perfect answer. But there is a best answer, and it is nonintervention — that is, liquidation of the empire.

Militarism abroad is the enemy of tranquility at home.

Sheldon Richman keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society. Become a patron today! Cross-posted at the Free Association.

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The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. This is the volume that pulls it all together. With reference to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s description of Murray Rothbard’s work, it is a “unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.” Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

You might be interested in the other two volumes of this three volume set: The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History and The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty

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About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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