by Kevin Carson
Bring on the Drones!
Most analysis of drone technology from libertarian futurists these days is pretty pessimistic. They’re generally treated as part of a larger techno-fascist scenario, like the U.S. global hegemony (enforced by orbital lasers and remote-controlled UN teletroopers) depicted in Ken Macleod’s Fall Revolution novels. Continue reading
Posted in Liberty, USA, War
Iraq: I Wish I Had Been Wrong
by Sean Gabb
My normal reaction when I turn out to be right is a combination of surprise and patronising self-righteousness. Where this Iraqi business is concerned, I really wish I had been wrong. Since the American war aims were never fully explained, there is no official criterion for judging the outcome of the war. On any reasonable view, however, the war has been a disaster.
The Americans invaded Iraq on a false prospectus. There were no weapons of mass-destruction. There was no link to al Qa’eda, nor any reason to think an invasion would reduce the will and ability of other terrorist groups. They destroyed the country’s administration and much of its infrastructure, and have done little to replace this. They rule the county by armed force. They are censoring the media. They have imprisoned thousands without charge or trial. They have tortured many prisoners. Their military is degenerating by the day into an armed rabble, killing civilians apparently at random. Before invading, they spoke of injecting liberal and democratic values into the heart of the Middle East. Instead, they have simply made themselves hated without being feared. Continue reading
Posted in Liberty, USA, War
by David D’Amato
Much has been made of last Thursday’s announcement that, as reported by the New York Times, the US Department of Defense will take its “first major step toward shrinking its budget after a decade of war.” The plan represents only a minor modification (if even that), but has been presented — by both its proponents and detractors in the US political establishment — as a veritable sea change. Continue reading
Note: Most Englishmen who comment on American politics fit themselves into the world view of either the Republican or Democrat Parties. Therefore, most English comment on Mr Obama proceeds on the assumption that what he has done to America is supremely good or supremely bad. But I am not pro-American. I judge American politics purely by their impact on England.
For this reason, I regard Mr Obama as an excellent American President, and very much hope he wins the next election. He may have turned America into more of a police state than his opponents would have done. He may simply have turned it into a different sort of police state from the one his opponents had in mind. I don’t care. I’m not an American. I don’t live in America. What happens there is, in itself, of no more consequence to me than what happens in Ecuador or Nigeria. What I do like about Mr Obama, however, is that he is the first American President in over 30 years who has not started any wars. Doubtless, he has not made the world a safer place. But he has done little to make it even more dangerous than he found it.
Since Ron Paul will not be the Republican candidate this year, the American presidential election will be a contest between a man who has started no wars, and whatever unwrapped mummy has bellowed the loudest that he will go to war with Iran/North Korea/Russia/China/Somalia/Cuba, etc, etc. Unless you really want the world to be blown up because “Jesus would have done it,” I suggest it isn’t much of a contest.
Sooner or later, the dollar will collapse, and America will complete its long transition from barbarism to decadence. We shall all then be able to forget the nightmare of its hegemony, except as a threat to naughty children – “Eat up your greens, or the Americans will come and bomb you!” For the moment, Mr Obama is easily the safest pair of hands in Washington. I may even donate £25 to his re-election fund. SIG Continue reading
Latin America: Growth, Stability and Inequalities:
Lessons for the US and EU
Introduction: Images of the Past
The image of Latin America portrayed by the mass media and held by the educated public is a region of frequent coups, periodical revolutions, perpetual military dictatorships, alternating boom and bust economies and an ever-present International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictating economic policy. Continue reading
Article by Anthony Gregory.
Being a U.S. war criminal means never having to say sorry. Paul Tibbets, the man who flew the Enola Gay and destroyed Hiroshima, lived to the impressive age of 92 without publicly expressing guilt for what he had done. He had even reenacted his infamous mission at a 1976 Texas air show, complete with a mushroom cloud, and later said he never meant this to be offensive. In contrast, he called it a “damn big insult” when the Smithsonian planned an exhibit in 1995 showing some of the damage the bombing caused. Continue reading
Carrying of arms
Jefferson copied many excerpts from the various books he read into his “Legal Commonplace Book.” One passage he copied which touches on gun control was from Cesare Beccaria‘s Essay on Crimes and Punishments. The passage, which is written in Italian, discusses the “false idea of utility” (false idee di utilità) which Beccaria saw as underlying some laws. It can be translated, in part, as:
A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility … who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.
The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. … It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons.
Jefferson’s only notation was, “False idee di utilità.” It isn’t known whether Jefferson agreed with the example Beccaria used, or with the general idea, or if he had some other reason for copying the passage.
What an extraordinarily articulate and educated man this was: I never knew. You learn something new and exciting every day, as you get older and older – I only looked him up out of interest as I was arguing with a student about the exact contents of the USA’s Declaration of Independence.