Are you against “the war” in Iraq? Maybe in public, you have one of those kitschy bumper stickers that says something like, “End
this THIS war!”
Or are you against war.
It’s entirely possible for you to be against “the war” without being against war. Are there circumstances under which you are, or might consider yourself to be pro-war? There aren’t any such circumstances for me—I’m against war, which includes “the war”.
Ask yourself, what is at stake when nations go to war? and, who stands to gain or lose? Chances are, “the people” won’t be much better or much worse off than before, but the Statist elite stand to reap far greater rewards from victorious war than do the people who are forced to produce or to fight the war. Likewise, the defeated State generally incurs far greater losses (usually, 100%) than the people over whom it rules. Wars are always fought and financed by the people, for the State.
Even the so-called “just” war is ignoble, in my opinion. Some may simply consider a just war to be something akin to self-defense writ large. But since a State does not have rights, States cannot act in self-defense! And any State claiming to do so, or any supporters of such a State, must ultimately admit that this act of self-defense, so-called, relies first and foremost upon the State’s willingness to point its guns at its own constituents. This act of self-defense has typically relied upon expropriation of industry or productive capacity, wage and price controls, production quotas, tax-hikes, import and travel restrictions, racist nationalism, and violations of man’s liberties to an extent otherwise not generally tolerated.
This self-defense, so-called, relies upon impoverishing and oppressing the State’s own, for their own good, of course. If the State will not let you abstain from fighting or financing its war, if you can’t be your very own Benevolent Dictator, then the State is merely proctecting itself from you! War is the lifeblood of the State, and contrary to popular opinion, war doesn’t stimulate the economy any moreso than a Category-5 hurricane. The belief that military spending or war-time production is an economic boon is “so wrong a small child could see through it. Or Frederick Bastiat 158 years ago.”
The path to wealth is not paved with destruction, but rather production leading to an abundance of goods and services. War is an entirely wasteful consumption of productive resources, capacity and human life.
So, are you against war, or merely “the war”?