A Libertarian Army?

John Clark (jonkc@worldnet.att.net)
Mon, 14 Dec 1998 10:23:34 -0500

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Samael <Samael@dial.pipex.com>

>Any ideaology will have to spread from one place to another. It's going to
>be hard to set up the first libertarian country/area without everywhere else
>also being libertarian. It's like pacifism. Great idea, but everyone has to
>become a pacifist at once.

Some truth in that. Most anarchists, myself included, think that defense against unfriendly nations is the single most difficult problem of all to answer. Of course, we wouldn't need to worry about an invading country if countries no longer existed, but as you point out, nation states are unlikely to die at the same time.

There is no point in denying it, we will need to protect ourselves, when nations start to undergo death convulsions some may become downright nasty. Protection costs money, I estimate it would take about 1/8 what an American citizen now pay in taxes for defense to protect the continental USA. About half of the defense budget involves defending third parties in Europe, Japan, Australia etc for free, it takes government twice as much to do anything than anybody else and the army is about twice as big as it needs to be. That's about 1/40 of the what the US government extorts from taxes, remember the complete defense budget is only about a fifth of the total budget. That's still a lot of money, where will it come from?

Every year people give billions of dollars to charities even though they gain no advantage from it. They also pay billions of dollars in tips, they don't have to but they do it because they think it's the right thing to do. I don't think it's crazy to say that they would do the same thing for defense, especially since unlike charity and tipping it would help them directly. Perhaps additional money could come from offering protection services to other countries for a price.

How can I guarantee that this voluntary army won't switch from being a protector to being an oppressor? I can't. I can't give you an iron clad guarantee that the US Army wont overthrow the government and set up a military dictatorship either. They certainly have the means to do so if they wished to. I don't think that's very likely to happen, but it's far more likely than the sort of army I'm talking about doing it. The instant a voluntary army starts acting in a totalitarian way, shut off it's money supply and stop its cancerous growth in the bud. That is a powerful tool that we don't have today, with the US. Army you are forced to keep sending it money even if you hate what it's doing.

John K Clark jonkc@att.net

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