Monday, July 26, 2004

Why Anarcho-Capitalism is a Pipe Dream

Three simple words: advantages of scale. Or here's another way of putting it:

  • Q: what do you call a private security company that's so big it can afford to build stealth bombers, supersonic cruise missiles, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and intercontinental ballistic missiles?
  • A: A government!
All the firearms* in the world won't do anything to preserve one's liberty in the face of such weaponry and an organization ruthless enough** to make full use of it if need be.

*Which isn't to say that I dispute the notion that the Second Amendment does indeed enshrine in the lawbooks the right to bear firearms of any variety, up to and including so-called "assault weapons." One can argue about whether or not this ought to be so, but I think it's simply dishonest to pretend that the language doesn't mean precisely what it means.

I don't buy into the old "the drafters of the constitution couldn't have forseen Uzis" argument either, as one could just as easily apply the same rhetorical technique to argue for the muzzling of press freedom in all media other than ye olde newsprint (not like that isn't already the case amongst many "liberals", what with their support for "Campaign Finance Reform" laws).

**It's worth noting that all the wars America has either "lost" or "stalemated" since the end of World War II have been so only because the USA wasn't willing to go anywhere near as far as it had the power to, and to the extent that there are presently difficulties with insurgents in Iraq, this is also still the case; were America half as ruthless as its detractors make it out to be, there'd be far more dead Iraqis than there currently are, and far fewer American casualties as well. It is this relative benevolence that makes American global hegemony so much more palatable than the alternative offered by less squeamish powers like China.