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News Link • Philosophy: Anarchism

What is the anarchist or voluntarist theory of war?

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This is one question I haven't explored much with anarchists and strikes my curiosity. Did any of the heavy weight ancaps like Rothbard or Hoppe write about their idea of just war?

When you think about wars, historically, and the behavior of generals and leaders, the ones who win the wars were always willing to sacrifice the neutrality of third parties, conscript soldiers, permit collateral damage, and so on, in the service of the greater strategic necessity.

I am pretty much totally unfamiliar with how ancaps or voluntarists would approach the question of war. I know they believe in self defense, but that doesn't explain how they would respond to contingencies in which successful self defense, strategically, required things like seizing defensible area, resource depots, etc.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Anyone who wants to see what would happen in the case of voluntary war, need only look at what happened to the American Indians. Essentially, Indians didn't lose to Whites because they are less intelligent or weaker. They lost because they are FREER... at least individually. What I mean is this.

If an Indian Brave wanted to fight today, he would. But if he didn't, he wouldn't, and he wasn't looked down on by his people for his decision.

Now, certainly there were times that the individual Indian Brave would be ousted from his society if he didn't fight. But it had to do with protecting his family directly, or it had to do with a direct attack against his people. It had nothing to do with the formulating of gigantic wars by the leaders of his tribe. They simply didn't think that way.

In fact, it was only because a few wise Indian leaders saw what the White man was doing, that they were able to convince the Braves of their respective tribes to join in fighting such things as the massacre at Little Bighorn.

As it was for the American Indians of yesteryear, so it is today, for free-thinking libertarians and such. And this is what it is REALLY about. Libertarians are just smart enough to see through what the warmongers are trying to do to them. But they (libertarians) are not quite smart enough to see that they need to form a loose, informal group to fight the warmongers.

However, there are a few like Ernie and Powell, and John Hodges, who are making the best kind of battle that libertarians can make.

It's about time that the rest of us wake up to the fact these guys are speaking the truth. It's time that we do the ONE thing that we can do to collapse the illegal, unethical warmonger state. And that is, WE NEED TO VOLUNTEER OUT, at our root and source, even though it is difficult at times, even though it hurts.

WE NEED TO VOLUNTEER OUT of playing their game with them. It is the only principled way. And it may be the ONLY way.

The American Indians lost, because White Leaders were able to pull the wool over the eyes of the White Public in ways that the honor of the Indians didn't allow, and ways that the general intelligence of each average Indian would have seen through anyway.

In other words, the American public is stupid. So, if they get what they deserve in the end (death and disability from fighting in warmongers' wars), they get what they deserve for being so stupid.

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