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War is not the health of the state

I am glad that Brian has invited readers of his article below to veer off into unrelated realms because I intend to do exactly that. Of course, I would have done so anyway but I feel better for having had Brian’s blessing.

Though this post has been sparked off by Brian’s musings, it has nothing to do with Islam. Rather I have homed in on one particular phrase which Brian has used in his post and which has been repeated ad nauseum by others. Namely:

War is the health of the state

If free-market axioms were trees then that one would be a mighty oak. Among libertarians it is an unquestioned and proven truism. An article of faith. The nearest thing we have to a party line.

However, it is a line from which I dissent. Not because I regard the process of war with any favour but rather because, like Brian, I dislike untruth and while the declaration that war is the health of the state may be comfortingly self-righteous and gallery-friendly, it is not true. This is not to say that war is a pleasing state of affairs. Far from it. War is terrible and it is terrible because it means that all sorts of people are going to have their lives ripped from them in all manner of frightening and ghoulish ways. It means countless others left without their limbs, their eyes or their mental faculties. Are any other disincentives required? I cannot think of more compelling reasons to avoid armed conflict wherever possible. In fact, given the awful effect of war on the health on actual human beings, does it not sound frivolously tangential to base one’s opposition to it on the succour it may provide to public officials?

Even leaving aside the grisly fate of its victims, I can wholly understand why so many libertarians and conservatives oppose war on principle. After all, we don’t like big government projects and what is war in this day and age except a big government project par excellence? But that does not mean that war is the ‘health’ of the state and I would submit that British history dispels any notion that it is.

The British spent the entire 19th Century expanding their empire across the entire globe and in every corner of that empire Her Majesty’s footsloggers and cavalrymen were busy fighting wars, rebellions, skirmishes and guerilla campaigns. The glint of Sheffield steel could be seen and the report of Enfield Rifles heard on every continent. On the high seas, the Royal Navy was charged with enforcing the government writ against slave-traders while simultaneously fending off imperial challenges from the French and the Dutch.

Yet, despite all this military activity, the British state was so small as to barely figure in the lives of the average citizen. Comparisons with the leviathan we have now are hardly possible. Nor, at any point in the 19th Century, did taxes exceed 10% of the GDP. Nowadays, people like Brian and I would consider it to be a monumental victory to get that figure down to 40%.

And speaking of British history I have often heard the ‘war-is-the-health-of-the-state’ supporters cite the introduction of Income Tax in Britain in 1799 as proof of their proposition, i.e. it was only introduced for the purposes of raising revenues with which to fight the Napoleonic Wars. This is certainly the case but it is seldom mentioned that Income Tax was subsequently abolished in 1816. It was re-introduced in later years because it had become the pet project of a group of political campaigners who spent years assiduously lobbying for Income Tax not because they wanted the proceeds to fight any wars but because they wanted to redistribute wealth.

A growth chart of the British Welfare State rather bears this out. The Welfare State line climbs steadily upwards not in relation to the number of wars but directly in relation to the increase in enfranchisement. If the historical records are anything to go by, then there is a pretty good case for declaring democracy to be the ‘health of the state’.

I also offer up the case of Sweden. I think anyone would be hard put to find any country in the developed world with a more comprehensive and interventionist welfare state. Yet, the Swedes have not fought any kind of war with anyone in nearly two hundred years. How does one explain the rude and robust ‘health’ of the Swedish state?

All that said, Brian and others are quite right to be concerned about the ongoing ‘War on Terror’ being conducted hand-in-glove with a very sinister agenda of social control by means of biometric systems and ID cards and the such. But the War on Terror is the excuse not the reason. The provenance for all this social control dates back to the late 1980’s and first manifested itself in the global ‘anti-money-laundering’ regime that has been implemented since. The excuse then was the ‘War on Drugs’ but the real reason was the advent of the internent. Yes, our wonderful internet. It was the prospect of ordinary Joes and Janes being able to despatch packages of digital information around the world in anonymity that scared the willies out of our political elites and prompted them to construct a legal framework that would enable them to maintain an audit trail on every citizen.

Anyone who thinks that our political leaders and their security advisers suddenly thought of ID cards on September 12th 2001 is someone who is ignorant of this recent history. While the threat of terror attacks (be they real or imaginary) has certainly added an urgency to these impulses, the citizen-branding scheme was only ever going to be a matter of time. The internet has proved to be as healthy for the state as any war.

I am not suggesting that war has no part to play in the growth of state. It clearly has and clearly does. But it is not the health of the state. It is just one of many phenomena that play a part in the whole process along with technological changes, random events, ideologies, natural disasters, class interests and, let us never forget, the eternal lust for power.

Yet, despite all of that the only true health of the state lies in the lumpen apathy of the citizens and their mystifying readiness to assign great swathes of their individual sovereignty over to those that govern them. Wartime, peacetime, anytime.

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35 comments to War is not the health of the state

  • Interesting comment about the enfranchisement and the size of the state. Consider the growth of the nanny state and the enfranchisement of women (would ‘think of the children’ work in a male-only electorate?); the growth of the welfare state and the relaxing of property requirements for voting (redistribution appealing to those who would get more than they give)?

    Hmm. A very conservative argument. I’ll have to think about that some more.

  • Pedro

    I agree, war is not the health of the state, but it is a big course of steroids.

    My theory is that the size of the state is driven by a combination of envy and the desire for power.

    The poor envy the rich, and by definition the rich will always be a minority. The universal franchise means that power gets bought with welfare, the votes of the poor being bought with the money of the rich. That’s simplistic as the middle classes complicate the money flows, but that is the basic principle.

    On the subject of expanding the franchise, someone once gave the objection that the people would try to vote themselves rich. No question that has happened.

  • Shawn

    ” War is the health of the state

    If free-market axioms were trees then that one would be a mighty oak. Among libertarians it is an unquestioned and proven truism. An article of faith. The nearest thing we have to a party line. ”

    Actually I am one libertarian at least who has never bought into this line, for all the reasons you state above, amongst others. As you correctly say, the real health of the state has always been democracy, or perhaps universal suffrage. In the long run we have to either do away with democracy all together, or limit it in some way, perhaps along the lines advocated by Robert Heinlein in Starship Troopers. O.k. I know using a sci-fi book about a war against bugs is not going to win me any points with the high culture people, but I seriously believe that Heinlein was on to a potentially good idea.

  • JakeV

    It’s “ad nauseam” not “ad nauseum.”

  • Guy Herbert

    I’m sure the internet has been a goad. (As well as a convenient folk-demon excuse in itself.) But the pursuit of the surveillance state goes further back than that. The limitation has been cost and personnel–and the time taken to grind down public expectations of privacy.

    Remember the fuss about spetznaz in the 80s? That was succeeded by drug barons; then child-porn, first on video, and then the internet. Now we have posters instructing us not to give to beggars because they may finance terrorism

    Cameras appeared in large numbers as soon as practical–in the late 80s. They were first on public buildings and security infrastructure. Anywhere with razorwire had also a camera. And this was well before politicians civil servants or security people outside cryptology had heard of the internet.

    It is mass travel (from jet-liners on) and private communications (from international direct dialling on) that are the worries. If you can physically escape the state or communicate beyond its control, then you have a choice.

  • Reality Check:

    These figures from US Office of Management & Budget, US Treasury Stats. (2003)

    Defense $405 bn / 18%
    Social Security $465 bn / 21%

    The other 60% is mostly wasted as well…

    This is out of a $2.157 trillion budget.

    But its a massive amount to dole out to the military-industrial complex. The defense contractors every day get awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in tax-payers money. Many of those millions get recycled into Washington lobbyists and campaign funds.

    The fact is the US outspends the rest of the world on defense. The overkill is not necessary. Its politically corrupt.

    Libertarians should be as wary of warfare spending as of welfare spending. The state screws you whilst simultaneously promising to protect you. The greatest protection racket on the planet.

  • Andrew Duffin

    The surveillance state has come about because the technology has made it easy.

    All sorts of totalitarians would have loved the amount of data “our” elites can now gather, but in the days of Stalin et al, to do that would have taken the work of 75% of the populatation to spy on the other 25%. Stalin tried, but even he couldn’t keep the economy going on those terms.

    Now it is all done quickly and automatically by computers, so naturally the leviathon will take advantage.

    Whatever other improvements come along, they’ll us those to spy on us ever more pervasively too.

    No conspiracy theory required.

  • Andrew Duffin

    Oops that would be leviathan. Sorry.

  • Jacob

    I think the slogan “war is the health of the state” is a meme which has been inherited from Marxism. A lot of such memes are widely dipersed and accepted, without our consciously beeing aware of their Marxist origin.
    Marx stated that one (maybe the main) instrument of survival of the capitalist state was making wars, especially colonial wars. Thus were the capitalists able to survive by looting the resources of the poor people of the colonies, and transforming them into captive markets for the capitalists’ manufactured goods.
    Another such meme – inherited from Marx is “root causes”. Marx – in his materialistic interpretation of history – claimed he knew what the root causes for anything are: they are economic. So “why do they hate us” ? That’s easy: because they are poor. And why are they poor ? Obvious: because we made war on them and robbed them of their riches.
    Why did we have a prolonged Cod War ? Why didn’t the West just accept the peaceful and international solidarity of communist world order ? Because capitalists love war – while communist, it is well known, just love peace.

  • Tom

    Ooh, tinfoil hats abounding on Samizdata today.

    And I noticed that no-one was too concerned about the morally disgusting insinuation of the first commenter, who seemed to be suggesting that the democratic system would be a lot more libertarian friendly if only men and landholders were given the vote. Fits right in on the loopy right I suppose…

  • joe

    Fans of that quote -anti-war libertarians, I am talking to YOU:

    Was the recent War the health of the Iraqi state? Was it healthy for Saddam’s regime?

  • This site is starting to attract some really loopy folks.

    Abolish/strictly limit Democracy? Join the army to get a vote?

    National Defense is a dole to a military/industrial complex? In a day and age when we’re checking to make sure Haliburton doesn’t over-charge for our gas, I really don’t think that dole is the right word. We’re trading tax dollars for services – that’s better than Social Security, which is just tax dollars for Middle Class votes.

    Seriously Commenters, where is Samizdata going? Do you want to be relevant to the political discussions of this day and age, or do you want to fantasize about Libertarian utopias of your own making? If it’s the latter, that’s fine, but don’t expect to actually be a force for change in Britain or America. No one who isn’t as fringe as you is going to give you the time of day.

    As for the original post, War is a good indicator of the health of the state, but war does not make the state healthy. It’s very taxing (heh heh), even on those who aren’t fighting personally. A State that can fight wars successfully is healthy, but war reduces that health, and so wars must be as short as possible.

    I felt that a few commenters feel like War is always about taking away Liberty by your own government. What the hell is your problem? Sometimes war is about banding together with trusted comrades to prevent your own destruction, or the destruction of friends and allies. Often war can be a political tool of oppressing your own people, but not in a fully enfranchised democracy. The citizens would not allow it.

  • Thoughtful premise, but with more ups & downs. I hope to live, someday, in World Without Dictators. It will take this current anti-Islamofascist war, at least, to get there. Maybe others.

    In such a world, war will be far less likely. That’s an upside, in the future. Today, with the war on terror, and it’s big gov’t ally war on drugs, and the 100% certain prediction that terrorists will be running drug rings, both wars will be making the gov’t bigger.

    But it is corruption, not democracy per se, that makes gov’t too big. Corruption as defined: using the gov’t to control the spending of other people’s money, for private purposes.

    If Soc. Security was privatized and individual accounts were required (10% Chile model), folks would be forced to save their own money for their own retirement. Then the $400-500 billion would be privately owned — much better.

    Corrupt voting for specific desired gov’t benefits is the corruption of the voters — in virtually all democracies through history. It should be replaced by alternate programs of greater individual responsibility, and choices, though perhaps less choice to be gov’t subsidized when irresponsible.

  • Shawn

    Brock: “This site is starting to attract some really loopy folks. Abolish/strictly limit Democracy? Join the army to get a vote?”

    This is a libertarian web site. Very few libertarians believe in majoritarian democracy, and for good reason. A democratic majority can simply vote to take away your rights and your property. The moral problem with this should be obvious. If a majority of people on your street vote to rob you, does this make their robbery morally right? This is exactly the premise upon which majoritarianism is based. Libertarians have always upheld the primacy of rights over democracy. The Founding Fathers understood this, which is why the created a constitutional republic with limited democracy. We can say now that some of the ways they limited suffrage were wrong, such as basing it on race and gender, but the basic principle was right. Since the U.S. shifted away from a constitutional republic to a majoritarian democracy, our rights have steadily eroded, and the state has grown ever larger and more powerful.

    Limiting suffrage in the way that Heinlein was advocating is one possible way of dealing with this. But its just one suggestion. Also, Heinlein’s idea was to limit suffrage to those who voluntarily undertook national service, but he never said that such service was limited to the military. He made a number of good arguments as to why this might be a good idea, based on the necessity of civic virtue, though many of them, such as the willingness to sacrifice ones self for the good of the republic, would not sit well with Objectivists and other Ayn Rand followers. Still, I think he was on to a good idea.

    As for being loopy, what I find loopy is the concept that our rights can be preserved in any kind of majoritarian democracy. As Heinlein said in another book, the people will always end up voting for bread and circuses.

    Majoritarianism is just a process of counting heads regardless of their content.

  • R. C. Dean

    I always divvy Big Government up into three or four sectors:

    (1) The Welfare State.
    (2) The Regulatory State.
    (3) The National Security State.
    (4) The Night Watchman.

    Of these, I regard only the last as wholly legitimate. Really, it is shorthand for those minimalist bits of the regulatory and national security states that are necessary to protect life, liberty, and property from aggression.

    In connection with this post, I don’t think that the presence or absence of war much affects the growth or activiites of the Welfare State or the Regulatory State – they grind on pretty much regardless of war or peace, as far as I can tell.

    War is, obviously, the raison d’etre (if one may use French in such a martial context) of the National Security State, and I would say that war contributes to its size and reach.

    The War on Drugs, by the way, is an activity of the Regulatory State, not the National Security State. It isn’t a war at all, although the National Security State has profited from it somewhat anyway, by expanding some of its activities into the domestic sphere under cover of the War on Drugs.

  • Shawn

    “I always divvy Big Government up into three or four sectors:

    (1) The Welfare State.
    (2) The Regulatory State.
    (3) The National Security State.
    (4) The Night Watchman.”

    Please excuse my ignorance, but could you explain the difference between the National Security State and the Night Watchman? I’m not being sarcastic, I’m honestly not sure what you mean here.

  • Well, it seems I am an unintentional troll:

    Ooh, tinfoil hats abounding on Samizdata today.

    And I noticed that no-one was too concerned about the morally disgusting insinuation of the first commenter, who seemed to be suggesting that the democratic system would be a lot more libertarian friendly if only men and landholders were given the vote. Fits right in on the loopy right I suppose…”

    and

    This site is starting to attract some really loopy folks.

    Some people seem to have reading comprehension problems – and are indulging in namecalling to supress un-PC speech. All I said was I would have to think about that, after making a corrolation between known historical events. In fact, compare it to these two RAH quotes:

    Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How’s that again? I missed something.

    Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let’s play that over again, too. Who decides?

    Human governance is a hard problem, else we would not be arguing so much.

    As far as the “morally disgusting”, it depends where you base your morality on: i.e principles, intentions or results. I prefer to look to results, myself – it’s more practical. (It’s is also where I sometimes part ranks with common libertarian thinking, which tends to ignore the transient effects of change.) And in reference to that, one final RAH quote:

    What are the facts? Again and again and again–what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”–what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!

    Amen.

     

  • Brock,

    We’re not “trading tax dollars for services” when it comes to defense. No trade is involved, its coercion. It may be the proper role of the state to defend the realm, but defense is not a traded service.

    Generals are be like trade union leaders, always demanding more money to buy new toys. When was the last time the military said “hey, threats have diminished, cut the budget”? Not even when the Berlin wall collapsed. Before 9/11 they were beating the drums about the threat from China – a threat from a country that has not one soldier stationed beyond its borders! Now we have the war on terror – which is becoming a cover-all excuse to fleece the taxpayer, new toys for the Generals and intrusive powers for the bureaucrats.

    Do defense suppliers under-play threats or discourage scaremongering at the expense of their profitability? No of course not, they encourage it. The current situation is proving to be a bonanza for the military-industrial complex. Hunting down Osama won’t require more expensive Stealth weaponary, it requires better intelligence and men in the field. But putting men in the field – spies – doesn’t boost Pentagon contractors profits, get lobbyists lunches or fund campaign donations.

    Get real. This is the way Washington works. Why should we suspend our critical faculties when it comes to that part of the state where the bureaucrats are in uniform?

    I supported the liberation of Iraq, but it didn’t blind me to the failings of the military-industrial complex.

  • “Yet, despite all of that the only true health of the state lies in the lumpen apathy of the citizens and their mystifying readiness to assign great swathes of their individual sovereignty over to those that govern them. Wartime, peacetime, anytime.”

    Blame the plebs for being plebs, that’ll help… what exactly is the Samizdata party doing to improve things at the polling booth?

    Alice

  • Alice,

    what exactly is the Samizdata party doing to improve things at the polling booth?

    We are not a ‘party’ and the Samizdata is what we are doing. We hope that our ideas get read, discussed and disseminated. Why the hell else do you think we bother?

    Are you not doing the same?

  • Joe: “Fans of that quote -anti-war libertarians, I am talking to YOU:

    Was the recent War the health of the Iraqi state? Was it healthy for Saddam’s regime?”

    Was the war on Iraq the health of the US state? Or the British state? Is liberty as safe in the US with the patriot act as it was before the Iraq war?

  • Fedor Klihna

    Funny, I haven’t noticed a word about the originator of that lovable sentence.

    We should get back to the source.

    “War is the health of the state.”
    by Randolph Bourne

    read Randolph Bourne here:

    http://struggle.ws/hist_texts/warhealthstate1918.html

    or here:
    http://www.antiwar.com/ewens/bourne.html

    in case you all read it,
    I apologize

    so there…

    Fedor

  • This site is starting to attract some really loopy folks.

    Abolish/strictly limit Democracy?

    I guess the American Founders were also loopy since they also tried to strictly limit democracy. They feared democracy. They realized that democracy had been made obselete over 2,000 years ago.

    David Carr is absolutely correct; democracy is the health of the state. It is simply people voting to take each others’ stuff and violate each others’ rights. Like you, I once also thought this line of reasoning was loopy; after all, I am a victim of American public schooling and had been indoctrinated to glorify democracy. Only after years of recovery did I realize that the Founders did their best to try to prevent democracy from arising. Sadly, they have failed.

  • “while the declaration that war is the health of the state may be comfortingly self-righteous and gallery-friendly, it is not true.”

    The thing is, though, that I don’t know of a single person who has said that war is the health of the state. Most libertarians that I have read who have supported this phrase acknowledge that there are other healths of the state. There are other means of strengthening state power than by war, so the point about Sweden is moot.

    The point about income tax being introduced in 1799 and then withdrawn in 1816 is interesting. However, this is only one war-time power withdrawn. The Napoleonic war bankrupted the British treasury and led to the introduction of paper money and inflationary credit expansion, a half century of state seizure of the production of money in the UK. The increased ability that the state had to fund itself through inflation may well have meant that the state could expand without the income tax, and this monetary control originated as a war power.

  • Sometimes, in my darker moments, I think that good human governance may be impossible, in the long run. That there is no way to prevent the decay of the state into over-regulation and despotism, despite the best start. (The USA had a very good start, but the decay is deep now, and probably unfixable, practically speaking.)

    Maybe the only solution will be to create an impartial AI to rule us fairly.

    “All hail King HAL!”

    [/Tongue firmly planted in cheek]

  • Shannon Love

    David Carr,

    I think that many misread Bismarck’s use of “heart” in his statement that “War is the heart of the state” as meaning the generative force for growing the state relative to it’s own society but Bismarck intended “heart” to mean “core competence” or “defining attribute.”

    All internal state power devolves from it’s war fighting capabilities. A government is a force monopoly in a given region. The most minimal state is a victorious general and his army. When a government cannot fight successfully it falls to internal or external enemies. (Ask Saddam Hussein.)

    For libertarians, a better formulation of the phrase would be, “A crises grows the internal scope of the state.” Up to the twentieth century, 90% of what states did was fight wars so any crises needed to be military. In the modern era, however, a real war would be a nuclear war and all other wars are really just police actions fought with only a fraction of the states true power. These piddling conflicts will not serve to grow the state.

    Instead of wars, the modern political class creates an unending series of “Crises” each of which they claim can only be addressed by by increased state power “just as in a war” except these “wars” never end. We even name these crises like wars, “The Great Depression” , “The Energy Crises”, “Global Warming” etc.

    In the modern context, these pseudo-wars pose a far greater threat to individual freedom than any shooting war we find ourselves fighting.

  • Alice Bachini

    David,

    Many apologies if my comment came over as meaning that Samizdata or any other blog is a pointless waste of time. It did not.

    I was trying to make the point that blaming the public is wrong, because the public have no opportunity to vote for any political party that espouses Samizdata-type ideas. I personally believe that the British public would vote according to the opinions expressed in the newspapers they read most widely- very broadly right-wing and anti-European- were any political party to espouse those ideas.

    In other words, I think your criticism of the British voter is misplaced, and the real culprits are the politicians. I was also wishfully fantasising a Samizdata party! with talented speakers and rabble-rousers such as yourself, that people could actually vote for.

  • Alice,

    I hope I did not sound tetchy. I found your comments puzzling but not annoying.

    Anyway, I see the force of what you are saying but a lot of us have mulled over this idea and all come to the same conclusion: it’s a non-starter. You need vast amounts of money (the late James Goldsmith poured £10m into his Referendum Party and got nowhere). It is also very time consuming so things like businesses/careers/jobs and families all have to be set aside.

    Added to which you open yourself up to all manner of dirty tricks, surveillance, press intrusion and, more lately, you also have a plethora of electoral laws and regulations to steer through.

    In a word: Feh!

    Far better for people like us to to try to shift the debate and influence the public discourse. So keep blogging, Alice 🙂

  • Yes, messy business, party politics. I wouldn’t do it either. I just wish *someone* sensible would…

  • Andrew Rogers

    “In other words, I think your criticism of the British voter is misplaced, and the real culprits are the politicians.”

    But who put the politicians in place, and who keeps them there?

  • Shawn

    It seems strange to me that Britain does not have a libertarian party, but I see the point about the problems involved.

    In the U.S. libertarians have four choices that I’m aware of. Vote for the Libertaian Party itself. Work through the Republican Liberty Caucus, vote for the America First Party (not strictly libertarian, especially on free trade issues, but it has some good proposals) or simply dont vote.

    New Zealand, which is a small country of just under four million people, is blessed with two libertarian parties, the Libertarianz and ACT, http://www.act.org.nz/ which is the party I support, for pragmatic reasons. ACT is actually represented in Parliament and will likely help the main center right party form a coalition government the next time they are in power.

  • “But who put the politicians in place, and who keeps them there?”

    Centuries-old traditions and institutions, such as the democratic process and the political parties, contribute to how things are: the public is one part of the process, but not the be-all and end-all, and being one part in the process doesn’t make anyone/thing wholly responsible. That depends on the unique factors of a given situation.

    What’s unique about the UK at the moment is, the people who live here are broadly right-wing and anti-Europe (as evidenced by the newspapers they read, whcih reflect their views), but there is no political party reflecting their views.

    As soon as the Tories get their act together, recognise what their market is- anti-Europe, free-marketing, lower taxes and more civil liberties, not on a libertarian scale but in a libertarianish direction- and show themselves to be capable of the job of government, they will walk into power. The current anomaly is caused by the gap they left in the politics market when they all-but self-destructed a few years back.

    What I would like to see is more people with sensible libertarian ideas joining and influencing the Tory party. It might be a hellish job, but it has to be done, and the country needs them. What good has come so far of leaving it up to the Tories to run their own party unaided?

  • Shawn

    I should have pointed out that U.S. libertarians have another option, the Free State Project. This idea has far more chance of success than trying to win power in the federal government. My wife and I are going to be moving back to the U.S. within the next three years, though we don’t yet have a firm date set, and I’m seriously thinking about signing up with the FSP. And New Hampshire is a beautiful state that I would be more than happy to live in.

    http://www.freestateproject.org/index.jsp

  • War Follows Protection. Peace Follows Free Trade. As David Ricardo said, “If you want peace, starve the government.” Adam Smith believed that trade both refined the manners and improved the standard of living of a people. Throat cutting and xenophobia decline with the growth
    of internationalism. For those who love liberty, war is the greatest tragedy, said Senator Robert Taft.
    Taft died having expressed his doubts
    about NATO, the Korean War, and the foundations of the post-World War II welfare–warfare state.

  • Ken

    If it was said that was the only “health” of the state, then I would have had to agree with you essay. I think you are attacking am straw man. War is for the health of the state. It is a consequence of apathy.