WHO REALLY DEFENDED AMERICA?
In her acclaimed new book, Who Defended the Country?, Elaine Scarry, Professor of English at Harvard University, looks at the security failures of September 11th, 2001, and their implications for our national safety and well-being. Scarry argues that the only people who successfully defended the country during the attacks were the citizens aboard the hijacked airliner that was forced down in a Pennsylvania field; she asks why Americans stand by while its leaders bypass laws regarding national defense and continue building more weapons of mass destruction.In her lecture, Scarry recounts the events of September 11th and the inability of the Federal government to defend the United States of America from attack. In considering this interview, I've decided that the one positive development out of the "War on Terror" is the greater ease with which we can now distinguish fraudulent "libertarians" from the real proponents of the free society. True libertarians oppose the war and (at least) question the entire basis of "national defense" (historically as well as theoretically), as even the leftists in Cambridge appear to be doing. The fraudulent libertarians frantically cheer on the march of statist violence in Iraq and around the world as if freedom is flourishing.
Although the U.S. Constitution calls for congressional authorization before a declaration of war, this requirement has not been met since World War II. Recently, the events of September 11th precipitated unofficial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, justified by government officials calling for swift and decisive action. Yet, the security failures of 9/11 call into question the effectiveness of our national defense. Are citizens surrendering their constitutional right to take part in the defense of the country? Should the military, as the Constitution requires, be "held within a civilian frame?" Scarry details the events of 9/11 to explore these and other questions in this free public discussion.(Emphasis added)
Also, again in honor of the war dead, please take the time to listen to this lecture from Joe Stromberg on Rothbard's view on the warfare state. He provides lots of interesting background in telling the story of how Rothbard developed his increasingly radical views. One specific item that jumped out at me: Stromberg talks about Rothbard wrote a "technical" economic piece discussing -- from a free market perspective -- how a "necessary" war ought to be financed. Rothbard (as did Mises) pointed out that it should be financed through a tax increase, rather than government debt, for both reasons of economic efficiency as well as maintenance of a free society. Today, even the fake libertarians throw support behind the war without addressing these other important issues. Why should the government merely shift the burden to the debt markets or to future generations of Americans? Is a government which enjoys the ability to create (print) unlimited amounts of money to fund any program really consistent with a free society? I don't expect answers from the fake libertarians (or the attention of the coloring book conservatives) -- but it's interesting to consider when reading the garbage spewed all over the web by these clowns.
Finally, according to Stromberg, Rothbard categorized war and peace thusly:
Peace -- the State is only aggressing against its own people -- vertical violence.Well now that you put it that way...
War -- one political class using the State to aggress against another State, its political class and citizens -- horizontal violence.