I don’t know why the Russia-Ukraine issue seems to be causing conflicts in the liberty movement. As I wrote in this post, libertarians could not support U.S. government interventions in the Ukraine-Russia conflict because in that case they are not libertarians, they are statists.
First of all, I have addressed how to deal with the Crimea situation, and that is the people of Crimea shouldn’t be slaves of either the Russian or Ukrainian bureaucrats.
Private property, desocialization and homesteading is the true answer there (and here in the U.S. as well!). I agree with Ron Paul and Justin Raimondo. If we have to have a U.S. government then the government should mind its own business. But there shouldn’t be a U.S. government, as its existence is without legitimate contracts involving the actual people for whom said government is the only third-party agent, involuntarily.
What should Putin do? Nothing, as he has no legitimate authority over the people of Crimea, Kiev, or even Moscow, in my view, “democratically elected” or not. Perhaps resigning from his parasite State employment is what he should do.
And what should Obama do? The same as Putin. I don’t see why libertarians are in conflict over this situation. It’s just that some of them really aren’t libertarians.
I know, there are those self-described libertarians who are “minarchists,” accepting some role for the State. No, there is not.
As Lew Rockwell wrote in an article just today,
Libertarianism is concerned with the use of violence in society. That is all. It is not anything else. It is not feminism. It is not egalitarianism (except in a functional sense: everyone equally lacks the authority to aggress against anyone else). It has nothing to say about aesthetics. It has nothing to say about race or nationality. It has nothing to do with left-wing campaigns against “white privilege,” unless that privilege is state-supplied.
Let me repeat: the only “privilege” that matters to a libertarian qua libertarian is the kind that comes from the barrel of the state’s gun. Disagree with this statement if you like, but in that case you will have to substitute some word other than libertarian to describe your philosophy.
. . .
Libertarianism is a beautiful and elegant edifice of thought and practice. It begins with and logically builds upon the principle of self-ownership. In the society it calls for, no one may initiate physical force against anyone else.
Now, regarding the right of people in Crimea to secede from Ukraine and become slaves of the Russian regime, of course that is their right to do. The right to freedom of association is basic. But there might be a minority of people in Crimea who wish to remain slaves of the Ukrainian bureaucrats, and some who may not want to to be associated with any ruling regime and just want to live their lives and be left alone. What about them? Must everyone have to belong to a particular ruling government?
And also, Butler Shaffer addresses those issues of “social contract” and the lack of actual contract between the Rulers (of any regime) and those who are ruled, and the subject of secession. He writes:
That no evidence exists for any state having been brought into being by a contract among those to be ruled, has not diminished the use of the fiction. Political systems have been created and sustained by violence; by the conquest – not the consent – of the governed.
While I do not recognize a “social contract” as the origins of the state, I am quite willing to use the statists’ fabrication of such a transaction against them. By their nature, contracts are agreements voluntarily entered into by two or more persons to exchange claims to the ownership of property interests. Courts often refer to this voluntary nature as “mutual assent.” When one is forced, through threat of violence, to part with some property interest – as occurs when a street-mugger takes money from another at gun-point – a crime, not a contract, has taken place.
That goes exactly with my point that I have been trying to make for a long time now. The State is itself a criminal institution. It is a criminal racket, and a fraud, a “Ponzi scheme.” It is especially worse the larger and more centralized such an illegitimately ruling regime is. The U.S. government is the worst of the worst. But, as investigative journalist James Corbett refers to in this video on the cognitive dissonance of the sheeple, a lot of people have invested much of their emotional lives in believing in the State as a legitimate authority over them, and in believing in the Rulers of the parasitic political class as legitimate.
But that libertarians are arguing over the Russia-Ukraine situation shows that some people who think they are libertarian really have not outgrown their emotional loyalty to the State, and viewing ALL State actions as “bad” seems to be difficult for them.
In his recent essay on “libertarian cold war,” referring to the various disagreements of Crimea and Putin, especially among libertarians, Anthony Gregory writes:
I easily identify four factions, not two: (A) There are people who outright defend Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and Crimea, and who otherwise downplay his autocratic tendencies; (B) There are those who agree that Putin is worth condemning, but who think it’s more important to emphasize the evils of U.S. interventionism; (C) There are those who agree that U.S. intervention is unwise and maybe even unethical, but who think it’s most important right now to emphasize Putin’s despotism; (D) There are those who outright favor U.S. and western intervention to stop Putin.
But there are other factions, including the one with which I identify: Those who believe that, like the Russian government, the U.S. government is illegitimate and thus actions by U.S. government bureaucrats and forces are also illegitimate as much as those by Russian bureaucrats and forces. The governments themselves need to be dismantled and the parasites sent into the productive sector. Sooner or later (better sooner than later), the people need to overcome their emotional ties to the entire political system and this phony “democracy” thing which empowers some people to vote to take other people’s property, enslave their neighbors’ labor, and restrict their liberty.
Heh. This situation now reminds me of this past weekend, in which there was an “activist training” seminar hosted by WRKO morning conservative talk host Jeff Kuhner. Supposedly he along with some Republican flunkies and state representatives met with people to teach them how to “get involved,” how to lobby their ruling slave masters to ask for their permission on how to live one’s life, and to please, please, please lower my taxes etc. And that reminded me of another Boston area radio talk host Michael Graham and his “candidates school.” (Cringe!)
I don’t know. When will people learn that the State is not the answer to society’s problems? In most cases, it is the cause. A lot of those people are conservative, and they tend to cite Ronald Reagan as some sort of political and conservative success story. No, Reagan was no conservative or “free market capitalist.” Only in his rhetoric. He may have cut taxes, but then he raised them. He promised to eliminate the federal Departments of Education and Energy, but he kept them, and he added several more. The federal government has continued to dangerously expand since then despite the 1994 “Republican Revolution,” the post-2000 Republican majority in both the White House and Congress (“all three branches” as Chick Schumer might say), and the 2010 “Tea Party takeover.” In Massachusetts, “conservative” Willard Romney raised taxes and did nothing but aid and abet the statists in further expanding the parasitic class.
The activists who worship the State as the savior need to face the reality that running to the bureaucrats of the State to “fix this” or “fix that” never works.
Dismantling the State — our freedom and prosperity might have a chance there. That is the real solution. And that, to me, is the true libertarian solution.