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Thread: Libertarianism and the balance between individual rights and anti-interventionism

  1. #81
    Hall of Famer B-Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senorsheep View Post
    I distrust the UN's record on Israel, too. They'd have to address that and other problems before I'd be willing to grant them more power to pick and choose which battles to fight, and how to fight them. Is there a way to eliminate, or at least reduce, bias and corruption at the UN? Those seem to be pretty basic human problems that are likely not fixable, IMO. So, there's the argument in favor of American cowboy diplomacy. Unfortunately, I think we've proven to be no better at choosing battles and fighting them effectively than the UN. So, then what?

    Given these realities, I think the best we can do is to lead by example, and show the world how free democracy can prevent problems like genocide in the first place. Sadly, we are currently doing a piss poor job at being the shining example for free democracy. I guess the first step is to fix ourselves. It makes me sad to think how many new global crises will blow up in the time it will take to sort that out. I wish I had a better answer.
    My heritage weighs on me here, too. I don't read what you've written as remotely suggesting, for example, that the US shouldn't have joined the fight against Hitler earlier, but I can't help but think of that example and then "smaller" genocides like Rwanda without feeling like there has to be some moral obligation to act.

  2. #82
    Big Leaguer senorsheep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Fly View Post
    My heritage weighs on me here, too. I don't read what you've written as remotely suggesting, for example, that the US shouldn't have joined the fight against Hitler earlier, but I can't help but think of that example and then "smaller" genocides like Rwanda without feeling like there has to be some moral obligation to act.
    Our pre-Pearl Harbor isolationist stance towards Hitler was the wrong play in that set of circumstances. There was little moral ambiguity about what what happening - one clear aggressor was committing genocide against a clear victim class and militarily dominating surrounding countries. There was little ambiguity about what needed to be done to stop Hitler - smash his army, destroy his political regime, and kill him. And we had the means to do what needed to be done to solve the problem. And it was clear that the League Of Nations had no resolve to carry out its function.

    In modern day global crises, it's often not clear who has the moral imperative in interfactional conflicts that have roots going back centuries until one side effectively dominates the other. It's often not clear what the correct course of action is. These complicated conflicts usually can't be resolved by simply rolling the military in and smashing infrastructure, or killing one figurehead. And bad guys everywhere have largely figured out the template for thwarting our military occupations. Plus, for all its faults, the UN will usually at least attempt to intervene in some manner when things get too dire, so there is an alternative to US intervention. And, by the way, we've killed our golden goose - we're broke, and we can't even address the needs of our own people.

    I appreciate your desire to help people in crisis, but IMO we're just not sufficiently equipped to handle today's Syrias and Yemens and Ethiopias effectively on our own.
    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
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  3. #83
    All Star DMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senorsheep View Post
    Our pre-Pearl Harbor isolationist stance towards Hitler was the wrong play in that set of circumstances. There was little moral ambiguity about what what happening - one clear aggressor was committing genocide against a clear victim class and militarily dominating surrounding countries. There was little ambiguity about what needed to be done to stop Hitler - smash his army, destroy his political regime, and kill him. And we had the means to do what needed to be done to solve the problem. And it was clear that the League Of Nations had no resolve to carry out its function.

    In modern day global crises, it's often not clear who has the moral imperative in interfactional conflicts that have roots going back centuries until one side effectively dominates the other. It's often not clear what the correct course of action is. These complicated conflicts usually can't be resolved by simply rolling the military in and smashing infrastructure, or killing one figurehead. And bad guys everywhere have largely figured out the template for thwarting our military occupations. Plus, for all its faults, the UN will usually at least attempt to intervene in some manner when things get too dire, so there is an alternative to US intervention. And, by the way, we've killed our golden goose - we're broke, and we can't even address the needs of our own people.

    I appreciate your desire to help people in crisis, but IMO we're just not sufficiently equipped to handle today's Syrias and Yemens and Ethiopias effectively on our own.
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  4. #84
    All Star DMT's Avatar
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    If DMT didn't exist we would have to invent it. There has to be a weirdest thing. Once we have the concept weird, there has to be a weirdest thing. And DMT is simply it.
    - Terence McKenna

    Bullshit is everywhere. - George Carlin (& Jon Stewart)

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    Journeyman Kevin Seitzer's Avatar
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    I'm reading a biography of Ernest Lawrence, and one of the things that deeply saddens me about the legacy of what otherwise could have been a great scientist is how enthusiastically he endorsed the beginnings of the military-industrial complex, because he thought the flow of money from the government would benefit scientific research, and how he participated in destroying the careers of those, especially Robert Oppenheimer, who opposed the military-industrial-science linkage both on humanitarian principles and on the principle that it would corrupt the scientific research.
    "Jesus said to them, 'Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.'"

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