The Peace That Ends All War

For the second time since last August, Uncle Sam has had to shut down production of its 2,000-pound 'Bunker Buster' bombs, Yahoo! News reported, because plant workers at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant were poisoned by exposure to trinitrotoluene, or TNT.

These 'Bunker Busters' are heavily used in Iraq , slaughtering entire neighborhoods just packed full with 'terrorists.'

It seems that the U.S. has no shortage of dangerous and infantile super weaponry, aimed and often used to wreak undocumented carnage and mayhem across the globe. Whether it's vast stockpiles of poisonous gases, frightening chemical agents, or the inhuman existence of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, most prowling the seas onboard attack submarines that have now been ridiculously reclassified as instrumental defensive countermeasures in the GWAR - the 'Global War on Terror,' there seems to be no end to the desires of the political classes for new and homicidal, indeed genocidal weaponry on Earth, in the skies, or even in space.

But even stranger than this is the oft-heard contention by libertarians that absent the State (the industry-military cartel), everyone would be free to own biological and chemical weapons, and even nuclear warheads, along with attack aircraft, missiles, and every other weapon of major destruction and suffering that the Statists and Sadists have conjured up out of their twisted minds.

Presumably, this view is based on a more universal application of the MAD doctrine--Mutually Assured Destruction--from central governments of nation-states down to the level of you and me. I remember that the very same Neocon vultures who stalked the almost dead carcass of Iraq before the war, and who are doing the same for Iran and Syria as we speak, warning of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, argued in favor of Belorussia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan retaining their nuclear arsenals left over from the Soviet occupation as a surer check on a future, resurgent Russia.

Apparently the thinking goes that if you and I and everyone else at least have the opportunity to park a nuclear warhead in our basement or garage, the world would be a lot more civilized.

But what possible use is a nuclear weapon to individual self-defense? Nuclear weapons are weapons of terror and mass murder. What does it say for our ethics of liberty if we were to argue that individual defense legitimizes the threat of mass murder of innocent bystanders and mass destruction of private property in retaliation? What crime could be of such magnitude in our anti-state society where a nuclear weapon would ever be considered proportionate in response? I can't think of a single one.

I believe it is far more likely that absent the sinister motives and incentives that the State monopoly provides for raising revenue and externalizing costs, that weapons of defense will actually contract in lethality and destructive scope. In a society founded upon individualism and the sanctity of property, what use are jet bombers, tanks, ballistic missiles, aircraft carriers, space-based death rays and all the paraphernalia of the warfare state and whatever else lurks in the dreams of its minions? In a society based on individual freedom, the State and its malevolent incentives to kill and destroy without restraint would no longer have a claim as the acceptable means to defend lives and property.

As we envision our future society, insurance firms will be able to provide a superior replacement for the state, while actually providing real defense for a change.

As insurance firms contract with their clients to insure their property and lives against loss, they will incur potential future claims against themselves. These normal business operations by insurance firms also present potential future claims on each other for damage or deaths caused by the insurers themselves or others acting on their behalf. If any insurer acted as the State usually does, it would incur enormous claims against itself for the deaths and property destruction that are the hallmarks of the State machinery.

I think, faced with bankruptcy if they behaved like a political monopoly without the necessary compliment of taxation, owners and managers would have to devise methods, practices and tools that would not require the use of lethal and destructive force. The economic incentives of a 'market anarchy' will, I think, continually favor and promote the development of technologies and training that eliminates the threat of both damaging the property of the accused as well as neighboring property, and the lives and bodies of clients and innocent bystanders.

With the inherent and inescapable feature of the defense and security system within a free market society presenting insurers with the threat of paying out millions or billions in insurance claims, insurers by necessity would have to work to avoid causing 'collateral damage' in their activities and avoid situations that would lead to any prolonged shoot-out. To avoid losses and bankruptcy, insurers would have the incentive to work together to create conflict resolution systems and mutual disarmament agreements.

It is the State, after all, that has mass produced the machine gun and artillery, the tank and the helicopter gunship, carpet bombing and intercontinental missiles. Faced with the potent exterminating machine that is the State, how can the small-armed equipped citizen hope to defend himself from tyranny?

The free market simply does not have the incentives to encourage the development, stockpiling or use of weapons of mass destruction or even local destruction. It is likely that the average insurance/defense agency would be no more well armed than the average citizen is himself. As it should be. That is the model of liberty and civilization. An all-powerful despotism is no liberty at all.

The modern era has seen many tyrants wage total warfare on societies under the banners of bringing liberty and waging a war to end all wars. A tin-pot tyrant has embarked on this futile struggle once again in recent years. However, democracy will never abolish war. It is the personal liberty of free markets and individualism that, by bringing peoples and ideas together, winds the bonds of friendship and cooperation between neighbors.

Liberty is the peace that abolishes war.

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Adam Young's picture
Columns on STR: 26