We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Personal foul, late hit. Fifteen yards, automatic first down

As a citizen-journalist who lives five time zones west of GMT, I am often the last Samizdatan to get a crack at the day’s news. I read Fukuyama’s lame remarks in the WSJ this morning, but by the time I got home to write about it, everyone from Virginia Postrel to the sage of Knoxville to our own Perry de Havilland had already taken the time to thoroughly refute Prof. Fukuyama’s anti-libertarian screed.

But I am going to join the scrum anyway. Fukuyama criticizes the Cato Institute, accusing them of “propound[ing] isolationism in the ’90s, on the ground that global leadership was too expensive.” He points to a Cato analysis from 1991 that rejected the Gulf War on a cost-benefit basis and extrapolates from this one (1) data point that Cato is anti-war. Check out this excerpt from the Cato Handbook for the 105th Congress, which was written well in advance of 9/11. The authors criticize the lackluster response to previous state-sponsored terrorist attacks against the US (Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, etc.) and argue that state sponsored terrorism against the US should be treated as a matter of war and not as a criminal justice / extradition matter.

While Harry Browne and some other libertarians have elevated their antiwar rhetoric since 9/11, the Cato Institute has done no such thing. Consider these words from longtime Cato analyst (now their VP) Ted Galen Carpenter, posted to the site on 9/11:

The first order of business must be to determine who is responsible for these terrible acts and to order appropriate retaliation. Terrorist assaults of this magnitude should be treated as an act of war against the United States, not merely as a criminal justice matter. The President should immediately seek the full authorization of Congress to use whatever military force is necessary against the guilty parties. If the perpetrator is a government, the objective of the United States should be nothing less than the removal of that government. If the perpetrator is a terrorist organization without government sponsorship, the objective of the United States should be to track down and eliminate the members of that organization.

Fukuyama would have us believe that Cato thinks we ought to hold hands in a big circle and sing “Come on people now, smile on your brother” by Jessie Collin Young and the Youngbloods. Pacifism and isolationism are not the mainstream libertarian opinion by any stretch of the imagination, but it makes a convenient straw-man for Fukuyama to direct his puffery.

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