Re: If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 16:25:45 MST

> As laudable as these things are, we have absolutely no right to
> impose any system of government on Afghanistan or any other
> country.

I thought you said you weren't a relativist. Some actions, including
some practices of government and/or culture, are both inherently evil
and inherently dangerous to the safety and well-being of others. Even
the most die-hard anarcho-capitalist libertarian like me, for example,
would find it completely unacceptable for a neighbor to stockpile
biological weapons without proper safeguards near my house. I would
have not only the right, but the ethical duty, to interfere even
before he used the weapons, because the chance of an accident
threatening my life is high enough to justify preemptive force.
If he were just keeping conventional weapons, or could convince me
that his storage methods didn't threaten me, then I'd have to back
off and respect his rights; but if I have cause to believe his actions
threaten me, I _do_ have the right to demand that he prove otherwise
or cease.

It's a little harder to make a similar case for Afghanistan,
but the idea that there's _nothing_ they or any other nation
could do that would justify active intervention is nothing but
a total abrogation of the responsibility for self-defense.
If, for example, there were old Soviet nuclear weapons there,
we would be ethically required to use force to ensure that the
government set up there could properly deal with them, or else
we would have to remove them by force.

It is a difficult and unsolved problem in libertarian ethics
and politics to determine exactly when and under what conditions
an imminent threat or danger rises to the level to justify
defensive force; but there is such a level, and those judgments
do have to be made. Absolute dogmatic non-interventionism is
irrational and dangerous.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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