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War and Capitalism

War is inimical to the spirit of Capitalism

Governments have waged war since time immemorial. War is never justified, even in self defense as it is impossible to avoid civilian casualties in modern means of national defense. Certainly, pacifism looks like a “sissy” point of view, way too idealistic and hopelessly out of touch with hard facts of reality. As usual, truth is often more complex than simplistic notions of hawkish warmongers. There is no evidence that even a war in self defense would serve its supposed purpose.

Roderick T Long reminds us: “Nonviolent resistance may sound impractical; yet sustained and widespread nonviolent resistance ultimately drove the British out of India, the French and Belgians out of the Ruhr, the Kapp Putschists out of power in Weimar Germany, and racial segregation out of the United States. Nonviolent resistance — “the secession of the plebs” — was also used effectively in ancient Rome by the plebeians against the Senate; and nonviolent resistance by war protestors in this country played an important role in ending the Vietnam War. Nonviolent resistance also had a significant impact against the British in the early phase of the American Revolution, and more recently against totalitarian governments during the Fall of Communism. Nonviolent resistance often fails, of course, as the blood of Tiananmen should remind us. But violent resistance often fails too. It’s worth considering whether, to what extent, and under what circumstances nonviolent resistance could be an effective tool of national defense.” Bryan Caplan cites historical cases of non-violent resistance: “The nations which nonviolently resisted National Socialist racial persecutions like Norway, Denmark and Belgium saved almost all of their Jews, while Jews in other Nazi-controlled nations were vastly more likely to be placed in concentration camps and killed.”

Even if we wrongly concede for the sake of an argument that non violent resistance won’t work, it is irrelevant. The market can get around the free rider problem, as it has done in the past. There is a seven hundred year old history of profitable privateering in naval defense which is well documented, and brought to our attention by late Larry Sechrest.: “With a permit issued by his government, the offended party could arm one of his ships and go searching for merchant ships flying the flag of the perpetrator’s nation. If he encountered such a vessel and was able to subdue her, he could then sell the ship and its cargo at auction and pocket the proceeds.” Tannehill’s, Hoppe et al. have proposed private insurance as another means of defending a nation. Private defense agencies can “issue signs to its clients, a large plaque for their homes, stores, and factories, and a small lapel version for their persons.”

War is often considered an outcome of the free market economy. One should understand the underlying causes before casting stones upon the free market. It was not free market, but the growing ‘progressive movement’ and interventionist policies of United States which were responsible for much of the tyrannies in the twentieth century. It was Lincoln, who the left-liberals hail as an anti-slavery hero who provoked the fire at Fort Sumter for reasons having nothing at all to do with slavery. Collectivists constantly remind us that things have gone worse since the First World War. They are certainly right in saying so, and they have only their own policies to blame for it all. Sixteenth Amendment, giving the government the power for arbitrary taxation was introduced in 1913.US Government now takes in a large part of the income as taxes. Then came the Seventeenth Amendment giving power to the people to elect the ‘US Senators’ rather than the state legislators. It was only since then introduction of these laws that things got the way it is.

Federal Reserve System too was introduced in the same year, placing monetary control in the hands of manipulators. It was Woodrow Wilson, promoted by the progressive movement, who led America to the First World War and finally led to the wreckage of the world economies through the expansion of credit, and finally the Depression of 1929. It was the humanitarian Roosevelt’s acts, which provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor. He even withheld the information from the military commanders stationed in the Pearl Harbor that an attack is being ripe.

Why is it that the freest nation on the world has become one of the most imperialistic nations in the world? It is not always necessary that a nation should be tyrannical on its own men to be imperialistic out of the border. US allowed semi-freedom to its own men, but was interventionist outside the borders. Some libertarians would like to believe that it is always dictatorial nations and controlled economies which initiate war. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Some governments are inconceivably brutal on their own men, but never venture to take it outside their borders. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe points out, no government had initiated an attack on the United States in the last hundred years. (Pearl Harbor was the result of Roosevelt’s provocations. The attack on September 11th was that of a terrorist organization, which, not coincidentally, grew out of Unites States own foreign policies.)

These facts, however doesn’t mean that it is free market which is responsible for all these evils. It is certainly true that some armament businesses profit from wars, and it motivates some governments to step into war. It was Lenin’s view that when Capitalists are done with their exploitation inside their borders, they step outside. To begin with, free market and Free trade simply means that men should be allowed to trade as they wish and there isn’t anything aggressive in that. It is true that some men use these terms in an entirely different sense, but it is they who are to be placed on the blame, not these terms.

Why it is not stated that Fabian Socialists, Shaw, Annie Besant, Sidney and Beatrice Webb all were imperialists? Why don’t they pay attention to the fact that the left sided with the British in times of the Quit India Movement? What irks me is that all those men who seem to be against US imperialism never utter a single word against the greatest butchers of the 20th Century-Stalin, Mao, and Hitler of the National Socialist Party (NAZI). Lenin was wrong in his analysis, but it could appear true when it comes to certain facts. A state grown rich feeding itself upon tax payers money steps outside the borders and turns imperialistic and that exactly was what happened in the case of Unites States. It is not free market, but Statism which is the root of wars and imperialism.

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