Neoconservatives are prone to make the observation that libertarians are naive in their belief in a non-interventionist foreign policy because that is just not how the world works. “Nature abhors a vacuum” and “if we aren’t the policeman of the world then some other country which is much more evil will step in.” And they do have a point, looking back on history, it is replete with examples that foreign policy is akin to the rule of the jungle, i.e., might makes right.
What astounds me though is their complete lack of consistent thinking on this matter. If they took this view of history and employed this reasoning across the board of public policy, you would be hard pressed not to conclude that they really support no rule of law at all. If in foreign policy, why not economics? Why shouldn’t force be the reigning paradigm? Why shouldn’t all activity revert to the law of the caveman–what is mine is mine because I can take it?
No, they say. Society can’t run without the rule of law. We would have chaos. Oh really. And what sort of cognitive dissonance is required to arrive at these independent thoughts? What is so markedly different between the actions of nations and the actions of individuals? Is there something that magically gives dispensation to those who organize by force and maintains that monopoly of force, by force? The hundreds of millions who have died through war by governments over the ages, it occurs to me could be the very definition of chaos.
Yet the neocons insist that force is the method by which to successfully implement foreign policy.
And by that reasoning, slavery would also be the rule of the day.
Soviet style central planning would dictate economics.
Dictatorships would be the preferred form of government.
Deep down they must know that liberty has won the argument when it comes to political and economic organization; that cooperation, contracts and voluntary trade works much better than force. That to the extent liberty has been tried, it has made mankind freer and more prosperous than any other system tried.
Foreign policy by force is the last vestige of caveman mentality. It, too, will go the way of the dinosaur, slavery, and soviet style central planning. It is the regressive remnant of the law of the jungle. Its chaotic results will eventually defer to more peaceful cooperation, voluntary trade and diplomacy. It will do so because peace, prosperity and freedom hold more value for man than murder, prisons, and brute force.
And that day will come sooner rather than later when the neocons recognize the inherent contradiction of their beliefs.
Force or freedom? There really is no other choice.