Boganmeldelse: The Myth of National Defense

Når man diskuterer med statstilhængere, så er en af de ting som der oftest vil blive brugt som argument for statens nødvendighed, at markedet ikke er i stand til at levere beskyttelse generelt og i særdeleshed et forsvar, hvis man skulle blive angrebet af en fremmed statsmagt. I “The Myth Of National Defense” er det […]

Når man diskuterer med statstilhængere, så er en af de ting som der oftest vil blive brugt som argument for statens nødvendighed, at markedet ikke er i stand til at levere beskyttelse generelt og i særdeleshed et forsvar, hvis man skulle blive angrebet af en fremmed statsmagt.

I “The Myth Of National Defense” er det netop denne myte man tager fat på. I alt 11 essays, udvalgt af Hans-Hermann Hoppe bliver det til, i en bog der burde få selv den mest stivnakkede minarkist til at tænke sig om en ekstra gang.

“State-Making and War-Making”

“The Myth Of National Defense” lægger ud med en sektion der hedder “State-Making and War-Making”der indeholder et essay af Luigi Marco Bassani og Carlo Lottieri, samt det klassiske “War, Peace and The State” af Murray N. Rothbard.

De to italienere, hvis essay hedder “The Problem of Security:Historicity of the State and “European Realism” ” leverer en interessant gennemgang af statens historie, hvor de gør op med den idé at staten skulle være noget der har fulgt menneskeheden altid, og de leverer seriøs kritik af mange teorier om statens oprindelse, bl.a. Weber’s og endda Franz Oppenheimer’s, der jo er så populær blandt libertarianere.

De skriver:

“The first myth one has to debunk in order to assess the relationship between the provision of law and order and the rise of the (modern ) State is that this political institution is merely a natural and organic outgrowth of political power, as old as the history of mankind or of organized society…one thing is clear: the State gradually emerged in the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and found its first mature form in the seventeenth.”

Og de fortsætter:

“The second myth we must dispose of is the belief, shared by most historians, that the rise of the State contributed to the general cause of human liberty. In other words, that it has been a “progressive factor” in the history of mankind. instead it must be seen as a revolution that upset the old order, granting privileges, immunities, and rents to some and obliterating the for the rest of society…The history of liberty is rather to be found in the attempts to restrain the powers of the State, from the fight to preserve “medieval freedoms” and community privileges, to the struggle against the concentrations of power in a given center (whether a king or parliament).”

Derefter kaster de sig ud i en yderst interessant redegørelse af forholdene i Europa i middelalderen :

“…[in the middleages] There was no single source of law and order…For several centuries, customs, traditions and ancient Roman laws worked together in assuring a juridical order. Law in the middle ages was a way of resolving conflicts, but it was kept a more or less private business…crime remained a private matter to be taken care of with well-defined rules…victims were the center of any lawsuit; redress was done from the point of view of the victims, never of a supposedly wounded collectivity.”

Og derfra tegner de statens historie, og beskriver hvorledes de liberale tanker opstår, og hvordan den franske økonom, Gustave de Molinari, er den første der gør med John Locke’s idé om “staten som beskytter” da han i 1849 skriver følgende:

“But why should there be an exception relative to security? What special reason is there that the production of security cannot be relegated to free competition? Why should it be subjected to a different principle and organized according to a different system?…It offends reason to believe that a well established natural law can admit of exceptions. A natural law must hold everywhere and always, or be invalid…I consider economic laws comparable to natural laws…The production of security should not be removed from the jurisdiction of free competition; and if it is removed, society as a whole suffers a lot. Either this is logical and true, or else the principles on which economic science is based are invalid”

Ligesom sin samtidige, Frederic Bastiat, var Molinari godt og klart formuleret. Og det er en fornøjelse at læse citater som disse og de andre der er at finde i essayet. Det burde sætte tankerne i gang blandt de liberale der stadig mener at en stat er nødvendig for at levere disse ydelser.

Til sidst vender de tilbage til den polycentriske lov i middelalderen, og de bruger Østrig som et konkret eksempel på dette, noget der er meget spændende, da de fleste er vant til at kigge til isolerede samfund som Island, det vilde vesten eller Irland for at finde eksempler på lov uden stat. Der forskes stadigvæk i forholdene i denne periode, så det er bestemt værd for libertarianere at følge med i, da der helt sikkert er værdifulde lektioner at hente dér.

Det hele kædes sammen med nutiden i essayets endelige opsummering, hvor der blandt andet spekuleres om hvilken vej libertarianismen skal gå:

“One of the more characteristic features of the medieval period was the dimension of the traditional community. The “isolated individual” did not exist either socially or politically. The intentional characteristic of modern law – as an act of free will of those who are in power – and the centrality of the individual without relations, without a history or identity(completely abstract and simply a part of the welfare state), are therefore closely linked. Contemporary libertarianism, after decades of oblivion to community, has also developed a tendency to rethink the individual, and to emphasize his strong ties within a community. Furthermore the free market can be appreciated fully for its ability to connect individuals, thereby favoring communications and the development of a sense of community. The market, in fact allows the emergence of relationships based on trust. This is essential for the quest for a society capable of minimizing the role of violence, like the one envisioned by libertarians. Protection agencies competing for customers could be the means to create consensus and trust among those who require security. This free market for protection, favored by libertarians, would be a prelude to a revitalization of interpersonal relationships.”

Der bliver altså gjort op med idéen om det isolerede individ, bestemt et problem som libertarianismen har, i hvert fald i opfattelsen blandt mange mennesker der ikke er libertarianere, der ofte opfatter os som imod fælleskaber. Selv om det libertarianere er imod er de fællesskaber der ikke er frivillige. Med dette essay, der efter min mening er et af de bedste i bogen, har de to italienere leveret en glimrende række argumenter af både logisk og historisk karaktér for privat produktion af sikkerhedsydelser.

Men bogen bliver bestemt ikke dårligere af at det næste essay er Murray N. Rothbards klassiske “War, Peace and The State” ( der kan læses hér ), hvor i han argumenterer for hvorfor alle libertarianere bør være isolationister. Noget der er meget relevant, med tanke på den støtte krigen i Irak har fået, også fra visse libertarianske kredse.

Jeg vil ikke gå I dybden med dette essay, men blot citere et par af mine yndlingspassager derfra:

“Jones finds that he or his property is being invaded, aggressed against, by Smith. It is legitimate for Jones, as we have seen, to repel this invasion by defensive violence of his own. But now we come to a more knotty question: is it within the right of Jones to commit violence against innocent third parties as a corollary to his legitimate defense against Smith?
To the libertarian, the answer must be clearly, no. Remember that the rule prohibiting violence against the persons or property of innocent men is absolute: it holds regardless of the subjective motives for the aggression. It is wrong and criminal to violate the property or person of another, even if one is a Robin Hood, or starving, or is doing it to save one’s relatives, or is defending oneself against a third man’s attack. We may understand and sympathize with the motives in many of these cases and extreme situations. We may later mitigate the guilt if the criminal comes to trial for punishment, but we cannot evade the judgment that this aggression is still a criminal act, and one which the victim has every right to repel, by violence if necessary. In short, A aggresses against B because C is threatening, or aggressing against, A. We may understand C’s “higher” culpability in this whole procedure; but we must still label this aggression as a criminal act which B has the right to repel by violence.

To be more concrete, if Jones finds that his property is being stolen by Smith, he has the right to repel him and try to catch him; but he has no right to repel him by bombing a building and murdering innocent people or to catch him by spraying machine gun fire into an innocent crowd. If he does this, he is as much (or more of) a criminal aggressor as Smith is. ”

Åbenbart noget som mange libertarianere har “glemt” at tænke på i forbindelse med invasionen af Irak.

Rothbard fortsætter om isolationisme:

“If one distinct attribute of inter-State war is inter-territoriality, another unique attribute stems from the fact that each State lives by taxation over its subjects. Any war against another State, therefore, involves the increase and extension of taxation-aggression over its own people.7 Conflicts between private individuals can be, and usually are, voluntarily waged and financed by the parties concerned. Revolutions can be, and often are, financed and fought by voluntary contributions of the public. But State wars can only be waged through aggression against the taxpayer.

All State wars, therefore, involve increased aggression against the State’s own taxpayers, and almost all State wars (all, in modern warfare) involve the maximum aggression (murder) against the innocent civilians ruled by the enemy State. On the other hand, revolutions are generally financed voluntarily and may pinpoint their violence to the State rulers, and private conflicts may confine their violence to the actual criminals. The libertarian must, therefore, conclude that, while some revolutions and some private conflicts may be legitimate, State wars are always to be condemned.

Many libertarians object as follows: “While we too deplore the use of taxation for warfare, and the State’s monopoly of defense service, we have to recognize that these conditions exist, and while they do, we must support the State in just wars of defense.” The reply to this would go as follows: “Yes, as you say, unfortunately States exist, each having a monopoly of violence over its territorial area.” What then should be the attitude of the libertarian toward conflicts between these States? The libertarian should say, in effect, to the State: “All right, you exist, but as long as you exist at least confine your activities to the area which you monopolize.” In short, the libertarian is interested in reducing as much as possible the area of State aggression against all private individuals. The only way to do this, in international affairs, is for the people of each country to pressure their own State to confine its activities to the area which it monopolizes and not to aggress against other State-monopolists. In short, the objective of the libertarian is to confine any existing State to as small a degree of invasion of person and property as possible. And this means the total avoidance of war. The people under each State should pressure “their” respective States not to attack one another, and, if a conflict should break out, to negotiate a peace or declare a cease-fire as quickly as physically possible. ”

Rothbard leverer, som altid, klokkeklare argumenter for hvorfor en hver libertarianer må være modstander af krig, hvis vedkommende altså ikke vil komme i konflikt med sine egne principper. Og ikke nok med det, det er også klart at det er umuligt at forsvare et militær finansieret via skatten som vi kender det i dag, hvis man skal følge den tankegang som professor Rothbard lægger for dagen i sit essay.

Government Forms, War, and Strategy

Den næste sektion i bogen omhandler forskellige styreformer, og hvorledes de forholder sig til krig. Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn starter med det stærkt Hoppe-inspirerede “Monarchy and War”, hvori han forsøger at underbygge Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s tanker om at et gammeldags monarki, ofte vil være friere end et demokrati.

Selv om jeg mener at Hoppe muligvis har en pointe, så synes jeg at Kuehnelt-Leddihn tager den en anelse for langt i hans begejstring for monarkiet. Det er trods alt anarkiet der er det optimale og ikke monarkiet, og det virker som om han glemmer det lidt. Bortset fra det, er det interessant læsning og han leverer mange spændende historiske fakta. I forhold tilkrig, er det jo især en tanke værd, at under monarki, der er det regent mod regent, mens at under et demokrati, så er det den totale krig, hvor det er befolkning mod befolkning.

I sit essay, “Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation or Monopoly?”, tager Bertrand Lemennicier fat på problematikken omkring atomvåben, og ender med at konkludere at det er bedre med spredning af atomvåben, and at det er nogle få lande der sidder på dem. Jeg har svært ved at se at dette kan retfærdiggøres ud fra et libertariansk synspunkt, eftersom atomvåben kun kan bruges til masseødelæggelse og derfor må anses for at være krænkende i sig selv.

Gerard Radnitzky spørger “Is Democracy More Peaceful thanOther Forms of Government?”. Hér gør han op med myter som f.eks. at “demokratier ikke bekriger andre demokratier” Om dette skriver han bl.a.:

“The implication is that, if we force the whole world to democratize, then we will have eternal peace…This naïve argumentation gives the hegemon (at the moment, the U.S.) a blank check for intervention –not only an excuse but a “mission” – so that it can always conduct an interventionist policy not only with succesful rhetoric but with a good conscience (if politicians should ever need such a thing ) as well. The country that does not behave in line with the intentions of U.S. foreign policy is denounced in the media as “undemocratic”, hence there is an obligation (due to the new state religion) to send “missionaries” in order to convertthe unbelievers. This way of reasoning eventually leadsto a funny argument: “Going to war with nondemocratic countries solely to turn them into democratic countries makes it less likely that we have to go to with them””

Radnitzky’s essay indeholder mange stærke kritikpunkter af demokratiet som “den mest fredelige form for styre”, og det hele er godt underbygget af historiske fakta og logiske argumenter. I anden del af essayet bevæger han sig ind på hvorledes private kan tilbyde beskyttelse, og ser på hvorledes det foregår i dag, i lille målestok og forsøger at overføre disse erfaringer til et nationalt forsvar.

Private Alternatives to State Defense and Warfare

Den tredje sektion omhandler alternativer til stats-drevet forsvar og krigsførsel. Joseph Stromber, som nogen måske kender fra antiwar.com, lægger ud med “Mercenaries, Guerillas, and the Defense of Minimal States and Free Societies”, der med eksempler fra den amerikanske historie og renæssancens Italien, tager fat på nogle af de problemstillinger omkring dette, i særdeleshed hvilke strategier sådanne private beskyttelsesudbydere ville have bedst af at benytte.

Derefter følger “Privateering and National Defense: Naval Warfare for Private Profit” af Larry J. Sechrest, der fortæller historien om de såkaldte “privateers”, der var privatejede krigsskibe der var i anvendelse fra 1200-tallet og helt frem til det nittende århundrede. Sechrest essay er særdeles veldokumenteret, og for mig var det meget spændende læsning, da jeg ikke var bekendt med dette begreb.

Sechrest får det også sat i forbindelse med nutiden i sin konklusion:

“This topic offers insights into how private firms can supply defensive services, and it deserves to be investigated further. However, one thing seems clear already. The long, succesful history of privateering disproves the claim that national defense is a public good, if one takes that claim to mean that governments must monopolize the market for defense”

“The Will To Be Free: The Role of Ideology in National Defense” er Jeffrey Rogers Hummel’s bidrag til bogen, og hér udforsker han hvorledes et frit samfund kan vedblive at blive frit, når nu det er sådan at det er stater der dominerer verden i dag. I følge Hummel er det vigtigste at folk har viljen til frihed, men han argumenterer også økonomisk for hvorfor et anarko-kapitalistisk samfund ville være i stand til at forsvare sig bedre end et statsbaseret samfund, dog på den betingelse at det var stort nok.

Hans argumenter for hvorfor det er værd at stræbe efter det anarkistiske samfund, finder jeg især brugbare:

“Everything said, the human species may still be unable to rid the earth of macroparasitic States, just as it may never eliminate all microparasitic diseases. But the possibility that disease is inevitable would never be entertained as an adequate justification for abandoning medicine’s efforts against this scourge. The history of Western civilization demonstrates that great strides are feasible – both in curbing illness and curbing government. Although we may never finally abolish all States, there is little doubt that we can still do better at restraining their power. If only we can motivate people with the will to be free.”

Så smukt og ligetil kan det siges.

Private Security Production: Practical Applications

Den sidste del af bogen, er også den mest interessante. En af mine absolutte favoritter, Walter Block, leverer en sønderlemmende kritik af de sædvanlige argumenter for statens beskyttelsesmonopol. Bevæbnet med logik angriber slår han fast at det vi har at gøre med hér er et paradoks af dimensioner:

“No matter what you call it – the skim milk fallacy, the problem of selfreference, the difficulty of commiting a pragmatic or logical contradiction – this problem is widespread in the literature of what passes for social scientific thought. But nowhere does it form more the very basis of an entire philosopchical outlookthan in the case of national defense provided by governments. To put the thesis in a nutshell, to argue that a tax-collecting government can legitimately protect its citizens against aggression is to contradict oneself, since such an entity starts off the entire process by doing the very opposite of protecting those under its control. The government, by its very essence, does two things to its citizens incompatible with this claim. First, it forces the citizenry to enroll in its “defense” activities, and second, it prohibits others who wish to offer protection to clients in “its” geographical area from making such contracts with them, in preference to the one it it self offers to them, under duress.If true protection from violence includes the government itself, and there is no reason it should not, then it is this entity which is the prime rights violator. The state, here, is indistinguishable from the Mafia chieftain who tells his victim he will protecther from himself. What are the specifics?”

Og det er bare starten på hans glimrende essay. Walter Block piller statens sag fra hinanden bid for bid, og gør det rigtigt godt.

Men det bliver bedre endnu, for næste mand er Hans-Hermann Hoppe, hvis “Government and the Private Production of Defense” udgør bogens absolutte højdepunkt. I dette essay præsenterer han nemlig ikke alene argumenter imod statens beskyttelsesmonopol, der jo er nemt nok, men han leverer også en række positive argumenter for den private produktion af beskyttelse. Hoppe forklarer hvorledes et system af private forsikringsselskaber/vagtværn ville være i stand til at levere en bedre beskyttelse, fordi de pga. af profit-motiver ville arbejde effektivt for at minimere kriminalitet og aggression ( det være sig fra stater eller individer ) og på den måde skabe en tendens der gik imod civilisation og fred.

F.eks. skriver han:
“What if a state…attacked and/or invaded a neighboring free territory? In this case the aggressor would not encounter an unarmed population. Only in statist territories is the civilian population characteristically unarmed. States everywhere aim to disarm their own citizens so as to be better able to tax and expropriate them. In contrast, insurers in free free territories wouldnot want to disarm the insured. Nor could they. For who would want to be protected by someone who required him as a first step to give up his ultimate means of self-defense? To the contrary, insurance agencies would encourage the ownership of weapons among their insured by means of selective price cuts.
In addition to the opposition of an armed private citizenry, the aggressor state would run into the resistance of not only one, but in all likelihood several insurance and reinsurance agencies. In the case of succesful attack and invasion, these insurers would be faced with massive indemnification payments. Unlike the aggressing state, however, these insurers would be efficient and competitive firms.

Hvis man er interesseret I at læse mere af Professor Hoppe omkring dette emne, så anbefaler jeg “The Private Production of Defense”.

Hele herligheden afsluttes med Jörg Guido Hülsmanns “Secession and the Production of Defense”, der omhandler løsrivelsesprincippet, dets sammenhæng med privat forsvar og hvorledes det kan fungere som strategi for at nå til et frit samfund.

“The Myth of National Defense” er en fremragende essay-samling, der er uundværlig for alle der har interesse i at finde nye løsninger på hvorledes den private ejendomsret skal beskyttes uden staten. Hoppe har samlet nogle utroligt kompetente forfattere hér, der har en enorm viden om de emner de skriver om. Man skal være den mest hårdnakkede statstilbeder for ikke at kunne se det meget problematiske i at mene at staten er i stand til at yde beskyttelse efter at have læst denne bog.

Bogen kan købes hér

You may also like

0 comments

Sign In

Reset Your Password