Trump Has Wrong Strategy on Iran

William S. Lind has it right (see here and here), and Trump has it wrong on Iran. Trump is imposing new sanctions on Iran. The goal, made clear by many statements by him and others in power and out, is regime change in Iran. Trump and others want to de-legitimize Iran’s government even more than is already occurring. This goal carries the risk of wrecking the state, causing Iran to become a center of instability like Libya and Somalia. It is not at all good for us to become embroiled or intimately enmeshed with unstable centers of disorder much less create them. It leads directly to nation-building and presiding in one way or another over very thorny problems of foreign countries. Let them stew in their own juices and withdraw from being involved with centers of disorder. That’s Lind’s recommendation, which I find makes a great deal of sense.

The dissolution of a state doesn’t automatically usher in anarcho-capitalism, not in this world, not at this time, and not in any broad region or place one can name. It ushers in 4th generation warfare, instability, and warfare of all sorts among rival groups divided along all sorts of lines, political, religious, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, historical, legal and other. America becomes a target of external hostile elements when it links itself to unstable regions of the world, as it is doing in Africa and elsewhere. Furthermore, the divisions within America magnify and this country itself becomes subject to greater instability and decline.

In 2004, Lind already recognized and understood that survival of a culture meant a change in U.S. strategy and thinking. “But as America learned on Sept. 11, a Fourth Generation world will be a place where our physical security will depend on our ability and willingness to isolate ourselves from certain forces.” There cannot be a market order without security of law and property; and the latter cannot occur if that order is undermined, which can happen in a number of ways.

“What isolation means will vary from case to case, but in some situations it will require actions that appear harsh by current standards. For example, we may find it necessary to prohibit people from certain places from entering the U.S. We may need to profile on a variety of bases, including religious belief and ethnic origin.”

“In general, isolation will mean minimizing contacts that involve flows of people, money, materials, and new primary loyalties, such as religions and ideologies, into the United States.”

When an anarcho-capitalist theorist like Hans-Hermann Hoppe supports immigration restrictions, which is a state-imposed measure, there is an implicit recognition that the market order depends upon a culture of law and order that encompasses a broad region with borders.

Any government is relatively slow and inept in adapting to changed conditions because of political divisions and capture by various self-interested groups. That is why we cannot, routinely or generally or automatically, expect our government to choose strategies that actually benefit us. It takes constant work to keep government on the proper rails.

We are fortunate that anarcho-capitalism operates side by side with government and penetrates our every day relations thoroughly, even if in imperfect forms that are threatened by government. Utopia is impossible, so it’s not about to happen. The best that we can hope for and work toward is constant effort to educate ourselves and our children in strategies that work to our benefit, while toning down and eliminating those that are destructive. We have to monitor government constantly and present sound advice while pointing out the welter of destructive paths. We have to control our internal rivalries and bickering. We have to work toward a constructive culture. These jobs are endless. There are huge challenges in clearing away the undergrowth of mistaken apprehensions and interpretations of history so that we can have clear visions of facts.


9:49 am on January 13, 2018