Responding to Adam of the Metropolis Times on Nation Building

Note: Problem with blogspirit comments, so I am posting my reply to Adam as a story. — tdaxp

 

Ah, ok, that explains a lot then. I didn’t realize many people took the whole neo-con PNAC thing seriously. I have no problem with spreading freedom via violent revolution (as illustrated by my background image) but there’s a way to go about it. Destroying rights in order to save them is self-defeating.

“Using the corruption of the government we invade to justify our own mistreatment of its citizens doesn’t make any moral sense. Just because a government is less free doesn’t mean none of their laws are valid.”

 

True. However, just because a goverment exists doesn’t mean any of their laws are valid.

 

“Just because someone is a member of a government we’re at war against doesn’t mean its moral to kill him or her,”

 

I agree, but under international law being a member of a criminal government can make one a criminal — “just following orders” is not an excuse.

 

” and just because a nation is not free doesn’t mean the property it governs is up for grabs.”

 

True. However, just because a state exists doesn’t mean the property it governs is sacrosanct.

 

“Lakota law gave the individual members the right to use and occupy land owned by the nation, although they didn’t divide it up into individual parcels. United States law at the time recognized that this constituted property owned by the Lakota. The US’s own Supreme Court ruled that the US Government took the Black Hills illegally.

 

Actually, that was American law that gave Lakota those rights. It is anachronistic to speek of “law” in a pastoral society.

 

“There’s no need to wage total war against another nation.”

 

Well, that certainly depends on the circumstances. Though I agree Total War is often not the best approach.

 

http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2005/01/pnm-theory-reviewin…

 

“If they’re oppressing their people, then allow their citizens to migrate to freer lands and allow volunteers to help fund and fight their revolution. If they’re attacking others, beat their military back until they are no longer a threat. Destroying their cities, seizing and redistributing the stuff they were using (since some of them might not have Lockean concepts of property I’ll avoid that word) and declaring ourselves the new rulers of the land is violating their rights just as much as their old government was.”

 

So there is no right for the international community to directly intervene in Zimbabwe or Saudi Arabia, terrible countries that respect their neighbors?

 

“Pax Americana works just about as well as Pax Romana did.”

 

Pax Britannia is a better model, as many concepts of Roman law are foreign to us.

 

But you are right that both are preferable to their absense.

 

“Occupation and ‘peacekeeping’ breeds resentment, terrorism and more dictatorship.”

 

Which is why Germany and Japan are dictatorships?

 

“Go ask people in Vietnam how well they’re holding up compared to those in Poland.”

 

As Vietnam is rapidly becoming a globalized, free-market society, not soo bad.

 

http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/04/28/our_friend_vietna…

 

Of course, both had the ancien regime of Communism imposed on them by different means (from foreigners in Poland, from fellow countrymen in Vietnam), so it shouldn’t be surprising that political freedom in Vietnam significantly trails Poland.

 

“Go visit the Sioux Nation today and ask them how much prosperity permanent occupation has brought them in contrast to that of the self-government schemes we tried in Germany and Japan.”

 

I regularly visit the Dakota reservation in Lakota, and the answer is: a lot. About the same per capita income as the state as a whole.

 

“While you’re at it, ask the Chinese we’ve had a hands-off policy on if their government has moved in the direction of more or less freedom since 1949”

 

Except we haven’t had a hands-off policy since Nixon. We have been engaging them economically and diplomatically

 

http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/06/23/bangladesh_and_th…

 

The result is that China has been rapidly improving her human rights record.

 

” and then go ask the North Koreans we warred against the same question.”

 

The difference is that Pyongyang is auto-genocidal while Beijing is not. So violent intervention in China would be inappropriate, but in North Korea it is needed.

 

http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/02/17/deadly_viper_assa…

 

” Try and figure out why the people living under the anti-communist regimes the US government set up for them in the Middle East”

 

Such as??

 

I’m unaware of other governments in MENA ‘set up’ by the United States.

 

I am aware of (too) limited human rights interventions, like the removal of the monstrous Mossadeq.

 

http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/03/04/incompetent_blood…

 

“hate us so much they’re willing to blow themselves up just to take a few of our lives but the Spaniards we left under fascism are strong allies.”

 

Especially under Opus Dei influence, Franco’s Spain was moving forward in freedom. Most of the Arab World is still unfree retrograde.

 

“The only times the US military has been successful in bringing democracy and prosperity to a peoples is when we responded in self-defense, let them keep their land and allowed the people self-determination.”

 

Which is why the German government so kindly rules Prussia and Siles…

 

Well, at least we have granted Japan full sovereignty over Okina…

 

” Even then we don’t have a perfect record.

 

I want to give the people living in “the Gap” the same standard of living and human rights as “the Core” just as much as Prof. Barnett does. We need to spread the idea of government FOR the people rather than people FOR the government.”

 

Exactly. Which is why strict standards of “self defense” no longer make much sense. We don’t care about the rights of the governments — only the peoples.

 

” The solution is the strengthening of international law and objective standards as to when the people of a nation need the UN or ‘G20’ or whomever it is to assist in their revolution and to help with post-war re-organizing.”

 

Again, why the focus on revolution?

 

” The solution is not to do what we did with the Native American nations.”

 

Only in certain circumstances. (though remember your earlier comments about conflating the experience of all indian tribes)

 

http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/06/11/delusional_iraqi_arab_sunnis_slouching_toward_lakotization.html

One thought on “Responding to Adam of the Metropolis Times on Nation Building”

  1. This is probably a first- usually the more I learn about someone's perspective the more I find what I had objected to was just part of a misunderstanding and they're not really so bad. The more I've read of your essays on how to treat people in “the Gap” the more I question your moral conscience.

    So, I wrote a longer essay attempting to explain to laypersons just exactly what is wrong with imperialism and hegemony.

    http://themetropolistimes.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/07/08/the-problems-of-imperialism.html

    “True. However, just because a goverment exists doesn't mean any of their laws are valid… True. However, just because a state exists doesn't mean the property it governs is sacrosanct.”

    Of course not. All states have both valid and invalid laws. Respecting the valid ones that protect property rights is good, disrespecting them isn't. Not too hard to figure out.

    Also, your history of the Lakota you briefly present in a few posts leaves out important details, such as the Lakotas migrating to the North because the Europeans paid and armed the Chippewa to drive them out of New France. Even if I can squint and pretend that the murder of a small handful of innocent white Americans by some Lakotas is 'genocide,' that still doesn't justify taking away the rights of all Lakota any more than the Nazi Party would have justified the US annexing Germany as a new state and ordering all Germans to live in relocation camps.

    And your plan to ensure loyalty to the government via cultural genocide and the destruction of family bonds makes me so sick I think I'll puke if I write about it. People aren't toys to be controlled.

  2. “Also, your history of the Lakota you briefly present in a few posts leaves out important details, such as the Lakotas migrating to the North because the Europeans paid and armed the Chippewa to drive them out of New France.”

    Carolina was never part of New France.

    The Sioux rapidly adapted to horse and gun tech, and abandoned a settled existence for a more profitable pastural one early on.

    ” Even if I can squint and pretend that the murder of a small handful of innocent white Americans by some Lakotas is 'genocide,' that still doesn't justify taking away the rights of all Lakota any more than the Nazi Party would have justified the US annexing Germany as a new state and ordering all Germans to live in relocation camps.

    And your plan to ensure loyalty to the government via cultural genocide and the destruction of family bonds makes me so sick I think I'll puke if I write about it. People aren't toys to be controlled.”

    Interesting you quesiton the use of “genocide” for a racial massacures, but accept it for culture evolution.

    As for what the Sioux did to Sioux Falls, Medary, and Bon Homme, though, I do believe that “ethnic cleansing” is a more appropriate term.

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