War’s Purpose

In his famous dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (*) George Orwell described a world enthralled to a permanent war economy which was an “economy existing by and for continuous warfare.” It is said that the idea for the novel came in 1944 and the novel itself was written just after the war.

In the late ’40s the leadership of the US in business, government, the military, and others believed that the US economy had been “saved” by the war. They further worried that the US economy might sink back into the Great Depression when peace finally came to the world. What to do? What to do?

One did not wish for a continual WWII style nightmare; but rather for a low grade, safe to both sides, conflict. Hey! A Cold War! The USSR would be the perfect enemy. With spies, the Russians knew before the war was over we were going to betray them. The CIA helped by always painting a dark and frightful picture of Russian supermen who would take over the world and give us Orwell’s dystopian vision if the Sainted West did not stand and fight. The media and the schools did their part.

Unfortunately for the leaders, the USSR suffered from a fatal flaw that had been pointed out in the 20s by von Mises.  The USSR folded its tent after about 70 years and we looked around for another long term enemy. Today, we are waiting for China to become the new Great Enemy and in the meantime we have to make do with little, weak enemies like Afghanistan, Pakistan(**), or Iraq.

War is the health of the State and the bane of the people. Freedom leads to prosperity and the “mixed model economy” based on force, fraud, and drones leads only to ruin.

So; what to do? What to do? What to do?

(*) Some say that Orwell was a time traveler and 1984 was a really a documentary with a few names changed. I don’t know, maybe.

(**) Pakistan, much like Russia, is OK when we need them but they are really one of them!


Butler Shaffer:

Thanksgiving is the one holiday that has been the most difficult for the statists to corrupt into a warmongering celebration of political systems. Memorial Day (what was called “Decoration Day” in my youth), July 4th (previously known as “Independence Day”), Labor Day, and Veterans Day (what was originally called “Armistice Day” with its anti-war implications) were long ago transformed into state-worship. Even Christmas — celebrating the birth of the “prince of peace” — has been conscripted into the cause, with Santa Claus appearing in his new red, white, and blue uniform.

It would be great to live in a society that honored peace, prosperity, and mutual cooperation. I doubt I will ever see that in America. More is the pity.

Murray Rothbard was ever optimistic over the chances for peace, freedom, and liberty during his lifetime. I hope he was right.

who owns you?

A central question in any man’s philosophy must: “be who owns you?”

Stephan Kinsella:

The primary social evil of our time is lack of respect for self-ownership rights. It is what underlies both private crime and institutionalized crime perpetrated by the state. State laws, regulations, and actions are objectionable just because the state is claiming the right to control how someone’s body is to be used.

One wonders how modern Americans think that slavery to the State is somehow any better than the old time slavery to another man. Either you are a free man or you are not. Few modern men seem to understand that being enslave to the state is still being enslaved.