Make Trade, Not War

How libertarianism can make the world safe, prosperous, and free.

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I don’t claim that America’s culture, consumer goods or Bruce Springsteen was entirely responsible for that, but the obvious comparison between Soviet repression and America’s vibrancy did play a part. Eventually, people in the Soviet bloc wanted what we had.

These cultural and economic influences work, and they are less likely to create new enemies and bankrupt America than bombing and invading.

So let tourism flow. Let our music alarm mullahs. Let neocons donate books to the Middle East filled with ideas dictators hate. Let our cell phones expose isolated people to the wonders of the free world.

There are times when we have to go to war, but real progress means making those times as rare as possible.

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  • Hyperion||

    Sorry, Stossel. Without constant war, how do you expect us to keep the sheeples at home, in line? Our WOD is faltering. What are we supposed to do. NEEDZ MOAR WARZ!

  • some guy||

    What else could possibly waste enough resources to keep our growth at a manageable level? Constant war or immenent global catastrophe. We have to choose at least one.

  • Hyperion||

    Is this just hypocrisy? Politicians change their position on military intervention when their own party controls the White House?

    Part of it is. But part of it is the GOP has been infiltrated by a few crazed libertarian types. Did you notice that? Also, the natives are growing restless and are very tired of wars, in fact, it's a fairly healthy majority, on both sides of the fence.

  • Gadianton||

    Let our music alarm mullahs.

    Rock the casbah?

  • Anomalous||


  • XM||

    What about love? Can I make that instead of trade and war?

  • Square||

    "When the Soviet Union fell, conservatives said it happened because of 
Ronald Reagan’s military buildup."

    I never understood this argument. It struck me at the time as coming way out from left field (or right field, to be more accurate).

    The Soviet Union fell because COMMUNISM DOESN'T WORK. The CIA reported in 1974 that the Soviet economy was collapsing and that they posed no real threat to the world, but our wise and beloved Donald Rumsfeld suppressed the report and immediately demanding that we accelerate our production of weapons.

    We could have sat around whistling "Yankee Doodle" and playing board games, and the Soviet Union would still have collapsed. Because COMMUNISM DOESN'T WORK.

  • Anomalous||

    Obviously the Soviet Union would have collapsed either way. The question is, did the military buildup hasten it.

  • Square||

    I suppose I could see something to that - I think the argument was something like "we forced them to build weapons and fight wars that they couldn't afford, which hastened their already inevitable doom."

    I just wonder whether we could've done it without all the weapons and wars that weren't so healthy for us, either.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    "The CIA reported in 1974 that the Soviet economy was collapsing and that they posed no real threat to the world, but our wise and beloved Donald Rumsfeld suppressed the report and immediately demanding that we accelerate our production of weapons."
    That may or may not be. But, you'd kind of maybe think that, without benefit of hindsight, people at the time might have thought the report got it wrong. You had the Russian backed Viet Minh winning, Russia invading Afghanistan, the Sandanistas taking Niceragua....

  • Square||

    Sandanistas were 1979, Afghanistan was 1980, if I recall. But still, I agree that it was not unreasonable for people in general to still be scared of the USSR in 1974 - at that point you still had going on 30 years of serious tension. But I also doubt that Rumsfeld was acting 100% in good faith, as he made an awful lot of money off of the whole thing.

    So while the fear among the general populace was understandable, it was also being actively fanned by people who knew they were exagerrating it.

    I think the governments of the US and the USSR found each other convenient demons, but I wonder how the 80s would have gone if the US had more openly called out the holes in the USSR's sinking ship back in the 70s instead of upping the pitch of hysteria.

  • JeremyR||

    You know that "Born in the USA" is an anti-American song? So people singing it in East Germany isn't exactly a good thing

    I'd like to agree with that premise, but I don't think it's actually true.

    Look at the Middle East. They used to have all our ideas. Look at pictures from the region in the 50s and early 60s. They were dressed like us all over the place, from Egypt to Turkey to Iran to Afghanistan, only a few places like Saudi Arabia resisted. But then they rejected them in favor of Islamism and Shariah law.

    The truth is we are losing the culture war, because we hate our culture so much. Bruce Springsteen is a perfect example. And Libertarians often delve into the cultural self-loathing just like the Left does.

  • livelikearefugee||

    "When goods cross borders armies don't" --Baron Von Bismark (or somebody like that)

    What we need are more free trade agreements. Who in their right mind would bomb their customers?

  • juliajuli1||

    my classmate's half-sister makes $72 every hour on the internet. She has been without a job for eight months but last month her payment was $16159 just working on the internet for a few hours.Here's the site to read more......



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