March 29, 2005

The New Libertarian, from QandO

QandO has a publication coming out called The New Libertarian. The first issue is free to all and I highly recommend it.

Obviously I guess I fall somewhere in this new group of "neo-libertarians" if only by virtue of this blog's name. Of the 5 determinants of neo-libertarian policy preferences, I agree with four. I have to disagree, or at least qualify, the final one on foreign policy. That one is about using US military force solely at the discretion of the US (something I have no problem with and think is probably mandated by the intent of the Constitution) and only in circumstances where American interests are directly affected.

I must object if this means something close to the Buchananite view. I'm sure the author agrees with the war in Iraq, unlike Buchanan, but it sounds to me like a rejection of the Somalia and Kosovo missions. I do not believe it makes sense to ignore massive crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing simply because the victims don't offer us anything. I also think it horribly undermines our image as saviors and guardians of freedom that we would try to cultivate under the other foriegn policy point (about the pre-eminence of democracy in foreign policy).

I'm not sure exactly what is outside our interests if our interests are expanded to include support for stopping genocide even in oil-free countries like Kosovo or Rwanda, but that's not my direct concern. I do think we ought to leave most of the humanitarian stuff to the charities and churches, except the most pressing instances, and that we don't NEED to intervene militarily to stop genocide unless others refuse to do so.

I think it really lends credibility to us as a guarantor of liberty if we were to step in and stop another Rwanda or another Holocaust before it got into high gear - there are still Europeans grateful to us for saving them in World War II. I also think that, with the changes in technology and economy, it's both affordable and possible for us to learn of genocide and then stop it in a short period of time. I won't make a big tiff about what others think, though. Discussions are good; constant condemnations and vilifications are not.

TNL seems like a very decent publication. It has a very professional appearance and intelligent articles.


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