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Libertarian Viewpoint on Nuclear Weapons

Would one of us Libertarians maintain a position that advocates American citizens ought to be able to own nuclear weapons? The laws in which I were able to examine (or the closest things to it) doesn’t really give a definitive answer to this. I would argue that given the 2nd Amendment to the constitution protects the right of citizens to take up arms for militia warrants (in this day and age) that citizens ought to own nukes if they so choose. I may be totally overlooking something, but in the event I’m not, I feel this is the a good proposition for libertarians to talk about.

Nukes

I feel that the nuclear weapon/attack policy in this country has very little oversight from its citizenry. The debate between presidential or congressional authority to use nuclear weapons has diminished over the years, and needs to be resurfaced. Is presidential first use of nuclear weapons a constitutional policy or a horrible interpretation of Article 1 section 8 of the U.S. Constitution?

Hopefully, this community Jimk has been able to build can offer a discussion on this topic.

I would also like to congratulate JimK on the outstanding job he has done in building this website. JimK has brought the news of the Libertarian community (particularly the South Florida area) to a very organized and professional venue that should be appreciated and expanded by all of us (including candidates running for office). Thank you JimK and keep up the wonderful work.

In Liberty,
Jonathan Raof


20 comments to Libertarian Viewpoint on Nuclear Weapons

  • lptbruce

    it seems that the right to kevlar or other protective garments, guns -pretty much of any type– and vehicles probably up through and including an armored tank or submarine are proper defenses for individual persons. nuclear weapons (and for that matter mass biologicals) may be a different matter. our right to defense (recognition admitted by 2nd amendment) is not the same as a right to offense. now it may be the same with respect to property rights– you buy it, acquire title and possession, have the right to free unrestricted unencumbered use of your personal property — so long as no one else is harmed. Are others harmed or threatened? maybe. it seems that this may be the weakness in that part of the issue. probably if localized entities — incorporations, compounds, communities etc had adequate storage and safety (defined, controlled by whom?) there may be a way to handle this. this is really frontier issue –of a far more legitimate sort than the usual nonsense from the political class that has the unmitigated gaul and temerity to believe that mere possession of defensive weaponry like handguns (including applicable accessories and ammunition for it) are legitimate objects for regulations, registrations, taxes etc. they have (of course in the lunatic asylum world in which we are all to one degree or another imprisoned in) assumed the right to arrogate to themselves the banning of weapons (or for that matter any other good as contraband — a convenient legal fiction) as well. these acts need repeal, the people need to not tolerate that. however the nukes question may be different. let the discussion begin.

  • LOL

    Jonathan my friend,

    By law, there should be nothing to stop a citizen from owning such things as it is not delineated in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. Therefore Congress does not have the power to make such laws and such laws are reserved for the states and people respectively (Amendment 10).

    The second amendment was put in place to protect us from a tyrannical government. One should be able to defend themselves with like power against the people that are attacking them.

    Of course, that being said, there are some weapons that are NOT defensive in nature. Nuke weapons are in this category. Defensive in nature means that when using a weapon you are defending yourself from harm by a certain party. I would venture to say that if you drop a nuclear weapon you will be doing a lot more damage to others then just the one party you purport to be attempting to protect yourself from.

    How many innocent people would be killed if we dropped a nuke on a government that is oppressing us? The travesty was visited many decades ago in Japan. Yes, Japan could not keep up the war because of its use, understood, but look at the cost of human lives and the continued devastation that, to this day, still exist.

    Would having such an instrument in the hands of every person really be of any benefit? What if just one of those things went off – even by accident – what would the cost be in terms of human lives? Is it worth it?

    Regarding your question on the President’s First Use Authority, it doesn’t exist. Not legally anyway. Yes, he is the commander in chief and must make the decisions of weaponry use during war. But WAR MUST BE DECLARED FIRST – and only Congress has that authority. NOT the President.

    There is no interpretation of Article 1 Section 8 that has anything to do with “first strike”. We have always been defensive in nature as a country until recently. The new change was and still remains a disastrous choice by our government. If it is NOT reversed such policies will be our undoing within the world at large.

    Times have changed, technologies have such and these new things bring countries closer together. That’s good. But it doesn’t change the principle that we as a country should not use force or fraud to get what we want. We abhor other nations for doing such. To become our enemy is NOT the answer.

    We should maintain the principled high ground. It will be a beacon for all other to follow. The moment we do as the rest of the world, we are no better then them. We will begin the slippery slope into tyranny. We will have alliances with despots, our economy will go to shambles and the people will begin to awaken from their stupor to realize what is going on. Then the revolution begins anew.

    Don’t believe it, look around you. People are starting to wake up. It may take a few years of pain to bring them completely out of their stupor, but the stirrings have already begun.

  • Jonathan Raof

    JimK and LptBruce,

    Thank you for beginning the discussion. To JimK, with the more conventional weapons you speak of that deter against tyranny/attacks against personal property; wouldn’t you agree that in the cause of assembling militia, private ownership of nuclear weapons would be justified? After all, a militia is a non-government issued army. If the American people ever have to take up arms against the government, wouldn’t it even the playing field if the American people were armed with nuclear capabilities?

    On presidential first use of nuclear weapons, I believe the war powers resolution (and to my knowledge another prior piece of legislation) that congress passed through the “necessary and proper clause” granted first use nuclear capability for the president through his ability to engage in temporary war. Although the congress may have been justified in passing such acts, the president usurped first strike capability that he himself would implement. As such, I feel it comes down to a matter of the executive power the constitution grants, and not the congress’ “necessary and proper clause”.

    Whatcha think?

  • Jonathan,

    Once again – some weapons are never defensive. Nuclear weapons fall into this category; Private militias may well indeed be needed to protect us from our own government. However, if they have nuclear weapons, and intend to use them – whom are the protecting again? Are they protecting the millions of innocent people they will be killing when it’s deployed? If you kill the people you claim to protect how does that make you any better then the tyrant you are supposedly defending against?

    Likewise, if our own president would use nuclear weapons against his own people, just how is he a good president and not a tyrant? He should have been removed from office long before such a treasonous act could ever occur. If he wasn’t, there is something wrong with our system to allow such despotic measures to be enabled.

    The “necessary and proper” clause does NOT give the president the power to declare war on anyone. That is reserved for the Congress ONLY. No where in the Constitution does it say the president has the power to declare war. Just because some war mongering president decided he was going to misinterpret the constitution to usurp some power does NOT make it right, legal or lawful.

    Neither does the abdication of that power by Congress give credence to such actions either. Congress was never justified in passing such acts. Such despicable acts by Congress should have resulted in the impeachment or removal of Congressional members for their participation in the enactment of “other high crimes”.

    When dealing with what is LAWFUL vs. what is LEGAL the question never comes down to the Constitution. The Constitution is WRITTEN LAW, law written for government purposes, NOT lawful purposes. If it is unlawful for one person to pull out a gun and shoot someone, what makes you think dropping a nuclear bomb would be lawful? Even if it is written in the law somewhere that such tings can be done by the president, does that law make it lawful or just merely legal?

  • Jonathan Raof

    JimK,

    When you say “If you kill the people you claim to protect how does that make you any better then the tyrant you are supposedly defending against?” I would argue that privately own nuclear weapons would even the playing field as a deterrence factor. I think government would be a lot more on its toes if militia had nuclear capabilities.

  • lptbruce

    there was an episode (fictional) of the TV series – boston legal- where a particular jurisdiction (a city in Massachusetts i think) sought its own bomb. the (improper) ruling was against them but it seems that states, cities, militias of similar entities– could be the beginning points for greater distribution. part of our problem today is not limited to the rejection of our rights by our several states and federal government but also an international attempt to restrict access even to small arms (personal guns) much less nukes. of course wider array of distribution increases deterrence.

  • Jonathan,

    I say a government held accountable for its action prior to the use of nuclear weapons would even the playing field more. Again, a government that fears its people will produce a free society not the other way around. You are arguing semantics over the present day position rather then reality. A truth, no matter what the situation is remains the truth.

    As Libertarians we do not believe on the initiation of force or fraud to get what is necessary. Keeping that principle in mind – since all principles, like truths, are there and true across ALL situations, how is the use of an offense weapon (in this case a nuke) in keeping with the Libertarian philosophy?

    If people held their government accountable in the first place this whole discussion would not be an issue. When you can prove to be that using this nuke keeps you true to your Libertarian philosophy then I will consider your argument. Until then, its use is NOT defensive in nature and it is NOT Libertarian in nature.

    PROVE TO ME THE USE OF A NUKE IS LIBERTARIAN IN NATURE

    As for your deterrence factor – that’s a lame argument. It’s the same thing used to justify the building of the nuclear arsenal to begin with. Does it matter that we have enough nukes to destroy the world ten times over or 100 over. That’s no deterrent. If you killed the world once, it is not going to be any more dead when you kill it the 100th time.

    The deterrent isn’t in the use of nuke; it’s in the idea that something will happen if the nuke was used. For instance, let us say I had a weapon that would dry up all the water in your country if you used a nuke on me. When the threat of your very own survival as a country is in question AND you believe that I will follow through on that threat – that is deterrence. I don’t need a nuke to deter you. I simply need to present you with a believable threat.

    Likewise, our government simply needs to be presented with a believable threat. NOTHING builds trust faster then action. If people got into action now and held this government accountable, they would know that the use of a nuke is verboten and that they will be held accountable. THAT would be deterrent enough.

    Now if only we can get people to do what is right and actually hold the government accountable.

  • Jonathan Raof

    JimK,

    When you claim,

    “I say a government held accountable for its action prior to the use of nuclear weapons would even the playing field more. Again, a government that fears its people will produce a free society not the other way around.”

    and

    “f people held their government accountable in the first place this whole discussion would not be an issue”

    First, how is government accountability even the playing field? At the point the federal government has nukes and we don’t – the playing field will never be even. Sure, we should hold government accountable for an action, of say, bailing out another bank – how does that give we the people nuclear capability?

    Say, a child breaks a window and the parents want to make him accountable for his action. The child now must work weekends to pay for a replacement window. As such, through the authoritative leverage the parents have over the child, it made it so that the child learned his lesson and takes responsibility for his actions. The point here is that the parents used their role of authority, power, control, over the child…as a mechanism to how that child accountable for his actions. The playing field was never even for the parents and child before the window was broken – yet the window still got broken. The child was still accountable for his actions as the parents were responsible and was expected to discipline the child for misbehavior, even before the window was broken. Thus, government accountability can always be maintained…but even so, it will never prevent government actions (good or bad) 100% of the time. Further, post government action (good or bad) – how do you even hold a government accountable without having the appropriate leverage over government (just as the parents had over the child)? I argue that in a world in which the government has nukes and the people don’t, government is the one with the leverage, not the people.

    I think you may be right, if the government was held accountable and everything was peachy – then sure, nukes would probably be banished and at the most its use would never even be warranted or considered. But the cold hard truth is that the government is not held accountable for its actions – most likely due to our lack of leverage we have over the government – and I really believe for those of you that think the government is held accountable – then why do democrats and republicans still exist?

    Next you claim:

    “how is the use of an offense weapon (in this case a nuke) in keeping with the Libertarian philosophy?”

    First, what is an offense weapon? A nuke? How can a nuke not be used as a defensive weapon? Regardless of calling it an offensive or defensive weapon doesn’t even mean that the use of a nuke doesn’t subscribe to the libertarian philosophy. A nuke can be used to defend against force or fraud, just as the U.S used it to defend us from Japan during WWII, just as we used the size of our nuclear arsenal to deter against the USSR during the cold war (not that I agree with the pretexts behind both incidents). More on this later when I answer your arguments on deterrence.

    Next,
    “As for your deterrence factor – that’s a lame argument. It’s the same thing used to justify the building of the nuclear arsenal to begin with. Does it matter that we have enough nukes to destroy the world ten times over or 100 over. That’s no deterrent. If you killed the world once, it is not going to be any more dead when you kill it the 100th time.”

    As for the deterrence factor, thats not a lame argument. it’s the same thing used to justify the 2nd amendment and people’s ownership of conventional weapons to really begin with. Does it matter that we have enough guns to shoot everyone ten times over or 100 over? That is deterrence. If you shoot everyone in the world once, everyone is not going to be more dead when you kill them the 100th time.

    See how that statement also makes sense by replacing nuke with gun. You mean to tell me that people don’t own guns to deter against potential crime or violation? Why isn’t the assurance of mutual destruction for both parties involved in a conflict the ultimate defense?

    Next,

    “The deterrent isn’t in the use of nuke; it’s in the idea that something will happen if the nuke was used. For instance, let us say I had a weapon that would dry up all the water in your country if you used a nuke on me. When the threat of your very own survival as a country is in question AND you believe that I will follow through on that threat – that is deterrence. I don’t need a nuke to deter you. I simply need to present you with a believable threat.”

    The deterrent is the use of nukes, or weapons; its the same thing as the idea that something will happen if someone in a conflict wants or threatens to use a nuke, or weapon as a means of defense. Deterrence is not “if you do something we both die” as you point out in your instance of drying up all the water. Deterrence is “if you do something, I’l do something…and whoever survives, survives”… and even before all that – the defensive nature of both parties engaged in the conflict have to be so high, that the only thing to be done is to deescalate the situation (just as what happened in the Cold war).

    Next,

    “Likewise, our government simply needs to be presented with a believable threat. NOTHING builds trust faster then action. If people got into action now and held this government accountable, they would know that the use of a nuke is verboten and that they will be held accountable. THAT would be deterrent enough.”

    How does us having government accountability lead to the increase in the government assuming we the people have nuclear weapons? Again, I agree that in a world in which we did have government accountability, the use of nukes or the existence of them could be not likely, but I don’t feel even if their were sporadic increases in oversight over government actions – like debunking whether or not 9/11 was an inside job – would lead to an increase in the government assuming we have nukes.

    Finally,

    “Now if only we can get people to do what is right and actually hold the government accountable.”

    Your right. Government isn’t held accountable – thus justifying this discussion and the question of whether or not the people should be armed with nuclear capabilities.

  • Jonathan,

    You are lost in your understanding of Libertarian philosophy. What part of “NOT initiating force” don’t you understand? How is the killing of INNOCENT civilians considered defensive in anyone’s book? Even with the power to use nukes, we don’t. Ask yourself why not. Our defensive weapons are becoming more and more targeted to DECREASE the deaths of innocent civilians.

    Your claim to its use in Japan was “defensive”. I disagree – it was NOT – it was offensive. It was an offensive move meant to cripple the Japanese and make them realize that the loss of innocent civilian lives would be so astronomical that it could wipe out their entire race if they continued with the war. That offensive move worked. It ended the war in the Pacific. You are mistaken to see it as defensive. It was never a defensive weapon.

    It remains an OFFENSIVE option to this day.

    For your example of parents, you need to realize who the parents are and who the children are in your example. We The People are the parents – NOT – the government. In using your example, you basically let the government child take over the house. When we the people as parents use our authority of our governmental children we will bring order back to the house.

    Yes, you had a broken window in your example. So, extrapolate that example. Replace the window with nukes. The broken window is the nuke dropped on Japan. In your example the parents took charge. Here in the nuke world the parents never took charge. So, if the parents in your broken window world never took charge how many more broken windows will there be? If we the people never took charge, how many more nukes will be dropped?

    Apply your own theory to the situation you want to engage in. Like all truths, it should work in EVERY situation. If you have to make excuses, reword things, manipulate law etc. then it is not something that is absolute or true. It is something you are using to just get what you want – through use of force or fraud I might add – LOL.

    In reasoning with you over this, you must realize that we need to have the same definitions and understanding to come to a valid conclusion. There are some inherent flaws with your argument that most readers will take as fact when they are not. For instance, you argument assumes that the government is in charge – when in fact – the people are. They just haven’t come to that conclusion yet because they are fooled into believing that the government is the answer.

    You should know better. Playing devils advocate for the sake of an argument may be fun in and of itself, however, that doesn’t change the truth. The people believing that the government is in charge will not change the truth either. It is just hidden from view.

    Let me try to answer some of your other question now. You asked about what is an offensive weapon. Hmm, let’s see how to describe this. A weapon used to cause an immoral act, a weapon used as aggression toward another, a weapon used in a repugnant manner to attack another. Defensive on the other hand might be characterized as a weapon used to protect oneself from attack with minimal damage, a weapon used to deter aggression, a weapon used to avoid risk or endangerment. With these in mind, tell me again how killing innocent civilians is not aggression.

    Your deterrence argument does not hold water when using an OFFENSIVE weapon. If that was the case, why not just drop nukes everywhere and take what we want. Want not drop one on Afghanistan and then the war, why not drop one on Iraq and end the war, why not drop one on Iran an end their nuclear threat before it begins? If we the people, as parents to our government, took charge of them the first time around none of this would be discussed now. The only reason we are discussing it is because the child now rules the house and suddenly the parent realizes something is wrong and wants to change things.

    The mutual destruction of both parties involved is a conflict is deterrent. What you are talking about is not the destruction of both parties but of INNOCENT parties. That’s where it is wrong. I could give a crap less what happens to both parties that are fighting – it is the innocent people getting harmed that make the whole idea of an offensive weapon so repugnant. Or haven’t you figured that out yet?

    I am amazed at your lack of connecting the dots. I had anticipated that you would say my use of a weapon that took all the water out of your country would be no different then using a nuke. I was hoping you would see how wrong such a weapon would be but you didn’t. You are blinded by your ambition to play devils advocate so much so that you cannot see what you are claiming as illogical.

    Perhaps it is best if you put it all to a test. Go build yourself a nuclear weapon. When the government does something you don’t want them to do, threaten them with that nuke. See what happens. Do yourself a favor, not only develop one for yourself but for everyone you know as well. Develop 1000 of them; give them away to anyone in your area that wants one. Then stand together and threaten the government with it – see what happens.

    Do you honestly believe that all the government, all the local police forces and all the frightened civilians are not going to be up in arms and doing something about it? I guarantee that they will come after you – why – because you are using it as an offensive weapon – not defensive.

    Violence begets violence. You implied so yourself when you mentioned “the conflict would be so high that the only thing to be done is to deescalate the situation”. The fact that you see this and don’t see the idea of cooler heads prevailing in the first place befuddles me. The fact that you use the de-escalation during the cold war in your example and yet you want to escalate the situation also baffles me. What part of getting rid of nukes in the cold war should tell you to build nukes now?

    No, the discussion should NOT be around building more nukes for civilians to hold government accountable. It should be around holding government accountable. That means things like exercising state’s rights and people’s rights. It should be telling the federal government NO. It should be stopping the federal government, through peaceful means, from overstepping its boundaries. It should be using the rule of law, the constitution etc to bring to justice the people in the federal government that do over step their boundaries. It means voting the people out that are not doing their job. It means impeaching those that do not abide by their oaths of office.

    No where in there do I see nuking innocent people as a way to hold government accountable. Yes, you might get rid of a government if you nuked it. But, at what cost, I would prefer to see 100 criminals on the street then to see one innocent man in prison. I had presumed you were of the same mind yet here you are advocating the destruction of entire populations. Just how is that Libertarian again?

  • lptbruce

    jim k wrote

    “Do you honestly believe that all the government, all the local police forces and all the frightened civilians are not going to be up in arms and doing something about it? I guarantee that they will come after you – why – because you are using it as an offensive weapon – not defensive.”

    the coming after you part is highly likely, the because its offensive doesn’t seem correct. having possession (generally of nearly anything) usually doesn’t entitle an agent of coercion (such as government) to interfere in your actions. they have no right to come after your gold,marijuana, amaranth, gun or nuke if they haven’t been credibly threatened.

  • The premise is that the threat exist – so yes – they will come after you.

    Don’t believe it – ask yourself why are they going after Iran right now. There was no threat made toward the US, yet, here we are sticking our noses at what our government “perceives” to be a threat even though one was not made. If they will do that for a country, what makes youthink they will not do that for you as an individual.

    And yes, they are going after Iran because they see it as an OFFENSIVE weapon to be used against the US.

  • Jonathan Raof

    JimK,

    I am not lost in my understanding of Libertarian philosophy. I am well premised in my arguments in that none advocate the initiation of force of fraud. Nuclear weapons as a deterrent force is not offensive. Again, it is no different from owning a hand gun to deter against violation. Are you telling me that gun ownership is an offensive proposition to the community at large? If so, then why do libertarians campaign heavily on gun rights? Nuke ownership is not offensive. The policies (foreign policy, NFU, NPT, etc) are what dictate the nature of nuke ownership – which can be seen as either offensive or defensive. Your telling me that a second strike nuclear policy isn’t defensive in nature? I don’t think so. You admit to the fact it is the policy/mentality we use toward our nuclear capability that makes nuclear weapons offensive/defensive: “Our defensive weapons are becoming more and more targeted to DECREASE the deaths of innocent civilians.” Meaning, conventional weapon policy is now being used more and more decrease death.

    Thus, it isn’t the presence of nukes, it is the mentality behind its usage. Ownership is not preemptive to anything – other than I own this and I decide what I will do with it.

    Bombing Japan was defensive. They attacked us, we attacked back. It was determined that the death ration of Japanese to American soldiers would have been 3:1 with a conventional retaliation. That 1 lose to every 3 Japanese soldiers was too much of a price to pay for the families and countrymen of American soldiers. In wartime, everyone is a potential victim. Thats why its called war. The bomb defended us from the lose of even more lives. The bomb defended us from Japanese mobilization that could have potentially won them the war. Further, the Cold war till plays in favor of my interpretation. Deterrence lead to deescalation.

    YOU SAY: “It remains an OFFENSIVE option to this day.”

    Key word Jim: “Option.” Here, You concede the fact that owning nukes is very different from what we do with them through options…and it is what we do with them (through options) that make nukes offensive or defensive in nature.

    Next, your completely misinterpret of my metaphor with the child and parents when you say:

    “For your example of parents, you need to realize who the parents are and who the children are in your example. We The People are the parents – NOT – the government. In using your example, you basically let the government child take over the house. When we the people as parents use our authority of our governmental children we will bring order back to the house.
    Yes, you had a broken window in your example. So, extrapolate that example. Replace the window with nukes. The broken window is the nuke dropped on Japan. In your example the parents took charge. Here in the nuke world the parents never took charge. So, if the parents in your broken window world never took charge how many more broken windows will there be? If we the people never took charge, how many more nukes will be dropped?”

    You are acting under the assumption that their is government accountability and that we the people are the parents, not the child. My metaphor expressed how we the people are NOT the parents – through our lack of leverage over the government and other factors. My argument claims that this lack of leverage is from we the people’s lack of nuclear weapons. I don’t know why you have to extrapolate the metaphor by replacing the window with nukes…or involving Japan…the point was to reveal how we their is no government accountability; but if there was, a world without nukes is probable.

    Next, another analysis/definition of universal truth won’t save you. LOL

    Next, you say: “In reasoning with you over this, you must realize that we need to have the same definitions and understanding to come to a valid conclusion. There are some inherent flaws with your argument that most readers will take as fact when they are not. For instance, you argument assumes that the government is in charge – when in fact – the people are. They just haven’t come to that conclusion yet because they are fooled into believing that the government is the answer.”

    Unfortunately I just don’t think you are interpreting what I am saying. There are no inherent flaws in my arguments. My arguments are not just assuming that government is in charge – it claims it. My argument claims that government is in charge due to the lack of government accountability (that you concede to many times – every post on your website here negates that there is government accountability though all the messed up stuff government is getting away with). Further, (my original and unanswered argument) leverage is necessary to hold accountability. Leverage use to be enough in believing that the we have a government for the people and by the people…but unfortunately that isn’t the case today. Today we speak of a revolution…an uprising…you yourself claim it will happen in 2012. Are you telling me that a nuclear government vs. a non-nuclear militia is a fair fight? And don’t think for a second that if or when this revolution occurs, that the government will not use nukes to deter against the population.

    Next, and most interesting, you claim, “You should know better. Playing devils advocate for the sake of an argument may be fun in and of itself, however, that doesn’t change the truth. The people believing that the government is in charge will not change the truth either. It is just hidden from view.”

    Again, the struggle with you and these claims of absolute truth should be absent from debate. I argue nothing is absolute. You can’t just win over or convince people to agree with you by claiming what you are saying is absolute truth. Attempting to maximize morality would probably be better than attempting to be God. God is absolute, the devil is critical (hence the devil’s advocate).

    Next, you claim “Your deterrence argument does not hold water when using an OFFENSIVE weapon”.

    Hopefully by now you recognize deterrence through simply owning a nuclear weapon is not offensive. Through this continued advocacy, your promoting a framework that negates libertarians owning conventional weapons because it is “offensive” – and I don’t think you want to do that.

    You say “If that was the case, why not just drop nukes everywhere and take what we want. Want not drop one on Afghanistan and then the war, why not drop one on Iraq and end the war, why not drop one on Iran an end their nuclear threat before it begins?”

    This is an obvious misinterpretation of the term deterrence. Bombing countries at random threats is not deterrence and you know it. If you don’t believe me, go define it yourself.

    Next, you claim “If we the people, as parents to our government, took charge of them the first time around none of this would be discussed now. The only reason we are discussing it is because the child now rules the house and suddenly the parent realizes something is wrong and wants to change things.”

    KEY WORD TO START OFF YOUR ARGUMENT:…..”IF”

    Your right…if we the people were the parents.

    Next, you claim:

    “The mutual destruction of both parties involved is a conflict is deterrent. What you are talking about is not the destruction of both parties but of INNOCENT parties. That’s where it is wrong. I could give a crap less what happens to both parties that are fighting – it is the innocent people getting harmed that make the whole idea of an offensive weapon so repugnant. Or haven’t you figured that out yet?”

    Point out anywhere in which I advocated the killing of innocent people unless it is occurring in the inherent nature war and revolution present. I have definitely figured it out that I didn’t make such an advocacy, have you?

    Next, on your experiment you presented about building a nuke:

    You again are acting under the assumption that a nuke is inherently offensive. If I go build a nuke for the purposes of a scientific experiment – is it still offensive? No. The nature of the nuke is being used for science. I guess science can be considered offensive if you consider Intelligent design a science.

    Next, you say “Violence begets violence. ”

    Sure, but how is owning a nuclear weapon for the purpose of deterrence (which ultimately is a declaration of 2nd strike capability) or for just for the hell of it – an act of violence. Is owning a gun violent?

    You ask, ” What part of getting rid of nukes in the cold war should tell you to build nukes now?”

    It tells me that you don’t know that when the cold war ended, nukes still existed. The U.S is still armed with nukes, why can’t the people be?

    Next, you ask how killing innocent civilians is not aggression. Well, it is; but in times of war, revolution, defense, offense – it will happen.

    Next, you said:

    “”"you implied so yourself when you mentioned “the conflict would be so high that the only thing to be done is to deescalate the situation”. The fact that you see this and don’t see the idea of cooler heads prevailing in the first place befuddles me. The fact that you use the de-escalation during the cold war in your example and yet you want to escalate the situation also baffles me.”"”

    Well, I did say that. Now, your in a double-bind. You admit deescalation was the result of deterrence through both parties (U.S and USSR) having such a large nuclear stockpile. Thus I ask, how is something like a deterrence policy through owning nukes OFFENSIVE? Is deterrence offensive or defensive if it causes deescalation? Deterrence is deescalatory in nature, and thus defensive. And in that last sentence above…why do you keep thinking I am escalating the situation? Don’t be baffled! There is no reason to be. I am not.

    Finally you end with: “No, the discussion should NOT be around building more nukes for civilians to hold government accountable. It should be around holding government accountable. That means things like exercising state’s rights and people’s rights. It should be telling the federal government NO. It should be stopping the federal government, through peaceful means, from overstepping its boundaries. It should be using the rule of law, the constitution etc to bring to justice the people in the federal government that do over step their boundaries. It means voting the people out that are not doing their job. It means impeaching those that do not abide by their oaths of office.”

    and

    “No where in there do I see nuking innocent people as a way to hold government accountable. Yes, you might get rid of a government if you nuked it. But, at what cost, I would prefer to see 100 criminals on the street then to see one innocent man in prison. I had presumed you were of the same mind yet here you are advocating the destruction of entire populations. Just how is that Libertarian again?”

    To the first part, It almost sounds like you are catching the original point I was trying to make…but……..I never advocated building more nukes..I asked if it was legal to own nukes. Further, you are overlooking that there needs to be more substantial leverage (other than a disregarded constitution in a country on the brink of revolution) in garnering government accountability (such as private ownership of nukes). You speak of voting people in and out and impeachment, but I would argue that – didn’t we just do that over the past 15 years and the recent election? Then…didn’t we get…Obama?

    and

    Finally, to the last paragraph:

    QUOTE WHERE I ADVOCATED KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE. LIBERTARIANS DEFEND A WORLD WITHOUT FORUCE OR FRAUD. HOW IS IT LIBERTARIAN OF YOU TO MAKE FRAUDULENT ARGUMENTS BASED ON SOMETHING I DID NOT SAY?

    In Liberty,

    Jonathan Raof

    LOVE YAH JIM :) LOL

  • LOL

    Well where do you want to go with this discussion then?

    LOL

    Suffice it to say that your right to “owning” a nuke is fine and Libertarian in nature. However, why “own” something you do not intend to use? The “use” of a nuke is NEVER Libertarian in nature. You say you want it as deterrence and you compare it to a handgun. OK let us use that example. A handgun, when used, is directed at a specific target that is doing you harm and you are using it to defend yourself. A nuke is not.

    You also want to compare it to Japan and say it was used as a defensive weapon in Japan – OK – Let us use that example. Before we go there let us also make sure we are on the same footing and understanding. Your desire to write as a democrat and use definitions obfuscate the truth along with your republican leaning “might makes right” attitude both hide the truth behind the actions. So we will set a few grounds rules to be sure we understand each other.

    Do you agree that:
    1. truth is absolute
    2. the truth is the same in EVERY situation, it cannot be true in one and false in another
    3. principles are truths we choose use to live our lives by
    4. the non-aggression (initiation of force or fraud) is the principle by which Libertarians live

    If you do NOT agree we these then the rest of they discussion is moot and we should stop here. Since you say you are not lost in your understanding of the Libertarian philosophy I will go on the presumption that you are telling me the truth and that you fully understand and agree with the 4 points listed above. As such, we shall now begin to look at your Japan model.

    Let us take it to the smallest possible microcosm I can think of. It is between two people. We will work our way up the ladder in people and weapons. You tell me when you think I erred in my reasoning. Two people, me and you, our weapons will be guns. The situation is that you and I had a falling out, you destroyed something of mine and we went back and forth, tit for tat, we created our own Hatfield and McCoy situation. I want it to end. One day, I walked into your house. You, your wife, and your wife children are seated eating dinner. I hand you a piece of paper and tell you I want the fighting to stop, these are the conditions, stop or I will eliminate your family. You refuse; I shoot your wife (showing you I will follow through with my threat) and reiterate the demand, you again refuse. I repeat the process with your oldest child showing you that I am willing to wipe out your entire family, if necessary, to end the feud. You capitulate to save the rest of your family.

    Questions:
    Was I defending myself?
    Did I use force or fraud to achieve what I wanted?
    Was this a Libertarian act?

    OK – now you have the basis for your future choices. This was obviously NOT a Libertarian thing to do, I obviously used forced to get you to sign a contract and I killed innocent people in the process. You might claim it is not the same because there is no declaration of war – suffice it to say, we declared our own war on each other so yes the declaration was made.

    Now let’s step it up a bit. We are now Mayors of different cities. Replace families with cities; replace single weapons with multiple weapons. As mayors we declare a war between our cities. I want it to stop. Replace your wife with a six block radius of people and house, I destroy them all, wipe out every living thing in the vicinity. You refuse. I wipe out another six block radius and continue to wipe them out one at a time until you agree. Finally, you realize that if I keep wiping them out you will have no one to rule over or protect, you capitulate in order to save the rest of your city and its citizens.

    Questions:
    Was I defending myself?
    Did I use force or fraud to achieve what I wanted?
    Was this a Libertarian act?

    You see, it is the same in this situation as the other, don’t you?

    Stepping it up even further, we go to the state level, now we use my state militia (army) against yours. Replace blocks with cities. How many cities do I need to wipe out before you capitulate? You do see this as the same don’t you?

    Finally, let us move from state to country. US vs. Japan, we tell Japan to stop, they refuse, we drop a nuke, they still refuse, and we drop another one. They capitulate.

    Questions:
    Was the US defending itself?
    Did the US use force or fraud to achieve what it wanted?
    Was this a Libertarian act?

    Dropping the nuke was NOT defensive. To be defensive you have to be deflecting the attack away from you. You mention the loss of lives being three to one in conventional warfare. Take your very statistic that you claim is the right reasoning and fid the real data. Estimate it if you want. How many American civilian lives were lost, then compare that to how many civilian Japanese lives were lost.

    The Japanese lost 580,000 civilians in the war compared to the compared to the 1,700 US civilian. The Japanese lost 2,120,000 military lives in the pacific the US lost 416,800 fighting on both fronts. That’s a Japanese loss ratio of 34:1 far greater then any 3:1 ratio used to justify any offensive action.

    Your claim my misinterpretation of the parent nuke stuff and that I make assumptions there is government accountability. I didn’t say there was, I said IF there was this wouldn’t even be discussed right now. You question why I extrapolate the example – I do it to show you the fallacy in the argument about using nukes to level the playing field. Again, truth is truth no matter what the situation is. It cannot be true in one instance and false in another.

    You don’t specifically say you advocate it, although your latest rant you did accept it as a mater of fact because it “happens” in a war. You did “imply” the advocacy when you talk about having nukes and being to use them. There is no way for you to drop a nuke on a city without having civilians die unless you empty the entire affected space before, but of course, if you did that it would defeat the purpose of dropping the nuke now wouldn’t it?

    If I made a fraudulent argument against you – it would NOT be Libertarian – I do not see where I made such an argument.

    WOW – with all that being said, you will have a very hard time to convince me that dropping a nuke on anyone is defensive. To me, dropping a nuke is an attack; attacks are ALWAYS offensive in nature. If you want to defend against a nuke you shoot it out of the sky, you don’t launch another one.

    Your idea of deterrence means that BOTH sides must know of the capability and threats of the other and that they believe such threats will be carried out. If this is not the case then there is no deterrence. If the US government knew you had nukes that would be one thing, if they did not believe that you would carry out the threat there is no deterrence on their part.

    During the Cold War, the deterrence didn’t come because both sides had a huge stockpile of nukes. It came because the US already proved it could and would use nukes if it thought it was necessary. The threat was there and it was believed.

    I suspect that there really isn’t anything left to discuss on this subject. Suffice it to say, yes your owning a nuke may be based on a Libertarian principle but the use of such a weapon is NOT. If you can prove to me that it is I might be willing to listen to the argument again. Simply apply the non-aggression principle before you make the argument like we did in the above examples, and step through it all the way up to the situation you want to present. If it is wrong between the smallest group, two people, then it is still wrong if you do it with 50 million in multiple countries. The truth is the truth in all situations. Figure it out and get back to me.

  • Jonathan,

    You know, we talked last night about doing something with books etc – THIS conversation would be a perfect thing to start with, practice and see how it turns out. Let m eknow if you want to move forward on this one particular piece before doing anything more indepth.

  • lptbruce

    dropping the bomb on japan is so far the only use of these weapons. more countries have them and they haven’t been used, similar to wider access to guns yielding less crime. if that premise is acceptable why would it be objectionable for individual states (such as florida) to have such weapons? if it is not, then cities clubs individual entities with security could also have that right. the tricky parts that remain are enforcement such as 10th amendment, what is a credible threat and who can respond under what circumstances, and can said right be exercised individually without a security or insurance system.

  • lptbruce,

    We have concluded that the right to “own” then should not be infringed upon. It isn’t the right that is at issue, it is the use that is in question. The use of such a weapon is NOT in keeping with the Libertarian philosophy becuase it is an OFFENSIVE weapon not a defensive one.

  • Jonathan Raof

    Jimk,

    Just because you think something is an absolute truth, does not mean it is. Your continued rants on what is and is not truth does not enhance this discussion, nor does it have anything to do with the Libertarian Party. If you wish to promote the libertarian party, avoid deep philosophical debates about truth; for example, avoid saying things like this:

    “Do you agree that:
    1. truth is absolute
    2. the truth is the same in EVERY situation, it cannot be true in one and false in another
    3. principles are truths we choose use to live our lives by
    4. the non-aggression (initiation of force or fraud) is the principle by which Libertarians live
    If you do NOT agree we these then the rest of they discussion is moot and we should stop here. Since you say you are not lost in your understanding of the Libertarian philosophy I will go on the presumption that you are telling me the truth and that you fully understand and agree with the 4 points listed above.”

    When you say “If you do NOT agree we these then the rest of they discussion is moot and we should stop here”, that just seems oppressive and anti-libertarian in nature. At its most basic level, your saying “believe this or shut up,” and we can’t engage people like that when educating them about the libertarian party. The libertarian party is a political party – and we can’t act in absolution…nothing or no one can. As a political party, we need to be able to accommodate circumstances, human behavior, and a world of cultures.

    Are you really saying that anything offensive is not libertarian? I thought something offensive was one of those subjective interpretations that occurred at an individual level. The interpretation of what is force, fraud, offensive, defensive, z, y, or z has no standard; and those of us that try to create one infinitely regress when defending it against a very opinionated and indifferent world. We even have multiple interpretations of what murder is…through the abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and self-defense debates. Crazy huh?

    As a political party – we should maximize our position, not enforce it as a do or die policy.

    I claim nukes are offensive and defensive in nature…you think they are only offensive. You make your argument with confidence through assuming the absolution it warrants from libertarian philosophy. Does that mean that everyone that believes nuclear weapons can be used as a defensive deterrent can’t go change their party affiliation on their voter registration card from DEM, REP, or IND,to LIB? And…if they did, they wouldn’t really be libertarian?

  • Jonathan Raof

    Jimk,

    For the record, you said:

    “I had presumed you were of the same mind yet here you are advocating the destruction of entire populations. Just how is that Libertarian again?” at the last line of your October 21st, 2009 at 8:20 am comment. And several other times you accused me of advocating the killing of innocent people.

    Then you said:

    “If I made a fraudulent argument against you – it would NOT be Libertarian – I do not see where I made such an argument.”

    So now you know where you made such arguments.

  • Jonathan Raof

    JimK,

    On Japan Model,

    Take your definition of “defensive”:

    “To be defensive you have to be deflecting”

    We both accept the 3:1 ratio argument.

    Thus, dropping the nuke was defensive because it deflected the death of 1 American for every 3 Japanese.

  • Jonathan Raof

    To all,

    http://www.bestsyndication.com/2005/A-H/DAVIS-Mike/112505_nuclear_weapons.htm

    The above link lends some support to this discussion:

    Who should Own Nuclear Weapons
    November 25th 2005

    Mike Gilson-De Lemos

    Conservatives (and Libertarians) should understand what positions are actually in place courtesy of the Republicans and Democrats before criticizing the Libertarians. It is also important to distinguish between Libertarian ideology (e.g. natural law) implications and the actual positions of the LP, which of necessity focus on issues in the public radar. the LP has no position on the subject: many people have ‘problems’ with the LP such as our writer based on mistaken assumptions about what the LP advocates heard from their conservative or liberal friends, not what the Executive Summary platform actually says.

    For example, Libertarianism implies a strong local citizen run militia with abolition of the authoritarian military. This is the ideal set forth by Jefferson and also the stated goal of the US since Eisenhower. Neither is a government function per se; the action of the militia is derivative from jury or other findings of right, and one can easily conceive of effective and well defended societies without a military (but with an even unarmed militia e.g. the Vatican).

    There is presently no law against private ownership of nuclear weapons. What does exist is a crazy quilt of government regulations, such as prohibitions on owning certain materials. There is certainly no Constitutional authority on the subject, except that States may not own such weapons without Federal permission.

    Libertarianism implies simply that nuclear weapons, along with all weapons, should be privately owned, and kept in a safe place according to common practice (set by the consensus of juries, not legislatures, whose job in common law is to set guidelines) , actual possession likely being in e.g. community armories. Such ownership serves as a valuable check against central ownership by tyrants and all that implies e.g. Chernobyl.

    Some communities have acted to limit private ownership of nuclear weapons: in California, several cities have set a fine of $500 for exploding atom bombs in city limits. The Federal government, in contrast, limits liability for nuclear explosions caused by private entities such as power plants, which last I looked was capped at $10- million. The military is exempt from liability for loss of weapons; there is evidence that the US is missing large amounts of nuclear and other material yearly.

    Compare this to a society with a more Libertarian ethic of private ownership and strict, pre-bonded liability.

    The LP has no position on the subject per se, most LP members considering that this is not a primary issue: as Libertarianism spreads across the world, most WMD’s will be stored where they belong in a peaceful society: museum exhibits of the barbarism of the past.

    In Liberty,

    Jonathan Raof