Re: What Is It that Libertarians Don’t Get about the Military?

Writes Greg Privette:

Hi Lew,

I read the LRC article today by Laurence Vance. I would add a couple of things to his responses to the two people whose emails he mentioned.

One person stated that Mr. Vance is: guilty of “committing the mistake of blaming the servant for the perceived misdeeds of the master.”

This is a long time propaganda idea that the soldier simply follows orders and shouldn’t question the political reasons or objectives. To this I would reply that it is not possible to project the moral responsibility for your actions on to others. It was the US government itself that established during the Nuremburg trials the principal that following orders did not excuse one of moral responsibility for their own immoral actions. In many cases they are blindly following the orders of people they wouldn’t trust to sell them a used car.

As for the oath to the constitution and defending freedom, they certainly are not fighting in the city that poses the biggest threat to those two ideas. To those who still believe the soldiers past and present are fighting for our freedoms, and many have died for our freedoms, I would ask them to sight half a dozen ways in which we are more free today than in years past? We are in fact much less free. This means either their efforts have been a complete failure, or our freedoms were never what they were fighting for to begin with.

Like many of the Libertarians Mr. Vance sites I also used to believe in the fallacy that the government and the military were essentially two different entities, one bad and the other good. Over time that feeling changed in me for a number or reasons. The late Harry Browne would dispel the notion that the military isn’t the same as the rest of the government by referring to the military as “the post office in fatigues”. I always liked that phrase. In other words, it is at best just another department of the government.