The Conservative Nut That's Hard To Crack

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During this
holiday season and with all the performances of The Nutcracker
now, I must express my frustration with hard nuts to crack: influential
conservatives who simultaneously criticize domestic Big Government
yet support Big Government foreign policies.

Since President
Obama’s election, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have been consistently
lecturing from the rooftops in favor of free market capitalism and
getting the government out of our lives. These conservatives advocate
the Founders' views of "limited government" and private
property rights when it comes to government's invasions of our personal
and economic lives. Then, they contradict themselves by enthusiastically
supporting the US government's expansion and invasions into the
lives and property of people on foreign lands.

As Lew Rockwell
noted,
"conservatives have two brains. One sees the government as
a menace, something stupid, inefficient, brutal, isolated from real
life, and the enemy of liberty. The other sees government as smart,
wise, and all-knowing, a friend to all, in touch with life around
the planet, and the friend to liberty everywhere."

In his article,
The Intellectual Incoherence
of Conservatism
, economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe analyzes post-World
War II anti-communism, particularly of National Review founder
William F. Buckley, Jr. Hoppe notes Buckley's "new conservative
credo," and Buckley having written that "we have to accept
Big Government for the duration―for neither an offensive nor
a defensive war can be waged…except through the instrument of totalitarian
bureaucracy within our shores."

By the time
the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, the US Military
Industrial Complex
had become a firmly accepted fact of life,
along with its funding through taxes and debts, and had conservatives
supporting it. In 1990, the elder President Bush decided that Saddam
Hussein was the new enemy, and took the US military into Iraq. That
was followed by more Islamic-based terrorism in the 1990s and the
September 11th, 2001 attacks. The Islamic terrorists had replaced
the communists as the bad guys.

Ten years after
the elder President Bush invaded Iraq, the younger President Bush's
Doctrine
of "end justifies the means" moral relativism was in place.
Because the terrorists use unconventional means of attack and are
not of any organized nation or state, say the conservatives, therefore
it is necessary to compromise our principle of non-aggression by
initiating foreign invasions to prevent future attacks.

Those kinds
of destructive expansionist policies, from the anti-communist Big
Government military
socialism
to the US government's last 20 years of invasions
and occupations in the Middle-East, could not have been possible
without Americans' dependence on the US government's compulsory
national defense monopoly. Prof. Hoppe has discussed how such a
state-run defense monopoly, navely approved by the Founders in
their Constitution, is inherently invasive of the very people the
state is in charge of protecting, because it compels citizens to
participate in such a contract, and it is funded through coerced
taxation. As Hoppe notes,

…no one
in his right mind would agree to a contract that allowed one’s
alleged protector to determine unilaterally, without one’s consent,
and irrevocably, without the possibility of exit, how much to
charge for protection; and no one in his right mind would agree
to an irrevocable contract which granted one’s alleged protector
the right to ultimate decision making regarding one’s own person
and property…

Hoppe contends
that, when the state has a compulsory monopoly in protection, "…instead
of preventing and resolving conflict, a monopolist of ultimate decision-making
will cause and provoke conflict in order to settle it to
his own advantage." Is it too cynical to suggest that the elder
President Bush's Iraq War of 1990–91 coinciding with the Soviets'
end was more than just coincidental?

The conservative
Bush War supporters' being manipulated by emotional fear
mongering
can compare to the left's being manipulated by the
current "global warming" panic. As Prof. Hoppe has observed,
it is democracy itself that makes way for deceitful
politicians to rise to the top and manipulate external events to
achieve the goal of expanding government's territorial power even
further.

While citizens
have an inalienable right of presumption of innocence, it would
be self-protective of society to presume politicians liars, especially
when such politicians are placed at the helm
of a compulsory territorial monopoly. If we did that in 1990, for
example, we would probably have rejected the elder President Bush's
appeals
to invade Iraq. (Of course we can take the word of a former
CIA man!)

Reflecting
on these last 20 years, one might realize that the terrorism during
the 1990s and the September 11th attacks may have resulted from
a people of a region reacting
to invasions of their territories. People inherently react against
aggression into their territories, as demonstrated
by the unborn infant's attempts to ward off an abortionist's invasive
medical instruments.

Some may ask,
"Well, if it really is the case that Middle-Eastern, Islamic-based
terrorism has been a reaction to the US government's last 20 years
of invasions and occupations of the Middle-east, then how can we
protect our country from terrorism?" Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Remove US
    governmental forces from Middle-eastern countries and stop invading
    and occupying their territories.
  • End our
    dependence on Middle-eastern oil. Encourage the American states
    to ignore all federal laws and regulations and build nuclear power
    plants and drill for oil and gas.
  • Encourage
    states to ignore all federal laws and regulations pertaining to
    armaments and arsenals and whatever weaponry is necessary for
    them to protect themselves against any foreign attacks or invasions.

As Prof. Hoppe
has stated,

In order
to combat terrorism it is necessary to engage in a non-interventionist
foreign policy, to have a heavily armed civilian population —
more guns, less crime — and to treat terrorism for what it is:
not as a conventional attack by the armed forces of another state
but as essentially private conspiracies and crimes which must
be combated accordingly by police action, hired mercenaries, privateers,
assassination commandoes, and headhunters.

A few months
ago, National Review's Andy McCarthy questioned
the US's presence in Afghanistan, and NR's Mark Levin responded
with Not
So Fast
. Perhaps that should be "Nutso Fast,"
because clinging to Big Government whether it's in the name of preventing
the spread of Islamism or the spread of communism, or for "spreading
democracy
" through military force, is irrational and counter-productive.
For many years, such debt-increasing policies of military socialism
have required huge sacrifices, and, while the costs of "protection
services" have risen, the quality has declined to such a degree
that such policies are making us more vulnerable.

Do conservatives
have some extra genetic component that makes them navely trustful
of manipulative Republican politicians but not manipulative Democrat
politicians?

Do conservatives
really want 300 million Americans to be dependent on a centralized,
bureaucratized,
politicized national defense monopoly? Wouldn't a decentralized
defense be more efficient? Common sense says, "Yes."

Most conservatives
agree that, domestically, the biggest enemy of freedom and prosperity
is government. If only they could see that government is also the
enemy of our security and safety, and that our government is destroying
our country more than terrorism ever could.

Scott
Lazarowitz [send him mail]
is a commentator and cartoonist at Reasonandjest.com/blog.

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