Sheldon Richman on the Anti-Militarist Libertarian Heritage


Herbert Spencer
via Wikipedia

With the United States on the verge of another war in the Middle East libertarians need to reacquaint themselves with thier intellectual heritage of peace, antimilitarism, and anti-imperialism. This rich heritage is too often overlooked and frequently not appreciated at all. That is tragic. Libertarianism, to say the least, is deeply skeptical of state power. Of course, then, it follows that libertarianism must be skeptical of the state's power to make war — to kill and destroy in other lands. Along with its domestic police authority, this is the state's most dangerous power. Herbert Spencer, the great English libertarian philosopher of the late 19th and early 20th century, writes Sheldon Richman, eloquently expressed radical liberalism's antipathy to war and militarism. His writings are full of warnings about the dangers of war and conquest.