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nemethnm

The State: My Answer

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Ok, this is simple so I'll just spell it out real quick.

A country is playing a protectionist game with its industry. There are two things to notice here. The first is that the counrty is subsidizing one or more industries. In order to do this it must infringe on the rights of the people that live in that country. This means that it is a rouge state and we can invade it at any time we want to (assuming that our government is the ideal or at least better than theirs). The second point is that by the rouge government subsidizing its industry(ies) it will interrupt our economy and indeed cause harm (although I disagree on how it will interrupt our economy... you rely on the firm divorced from the rest of the economy as if "micro-economics" was a real division of economic thought).

Anyway, since the country is a rouge nation and it would be in our nation's interest to have this subsidizing stopped we now have met all of the requirements of a just war. So, we first see if they will stop the subsidation peacfully and if not we then go to war. It's very simple to solve this problem, see!

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America has no right to use force except in defense of its own interests, as an extension of its obligation to protect the rights of its citizens here.

The situation you describe, a rogue state which invokes a protectionist policy on its industry, does not in itself pose a threat to America.

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The second point is that by the rouge government subsidizing its industry(ies) it will interrupt our economy and indeed cause harm

How exactly does the subsidy hurt the our economy? Assuming we trade freely with this nation, the subsidized goods will represent a discounted good for our economy, leading to increased savings which can then be distributed to the next highest demand for capital in our economy. In a laissez-faire system, this excess capital can be moved very quickly, and the business displaced by the competition for foreign subsidized goods will quickly be re-allocated, resulting in short term unemployment but long-term net gain for ALL parties involved in our economy.

As for attacking the country, there is no basis for doing this. The subsidy, while it may injure the foreign country, is actually in our best interest. Our government can only react to physical threats. Because ecomonic trades are voluntary, a foreign subsidy imposes no physical threat whatsoever to our interests.

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I think he means subsidization of the competing industry until Objectivist Country's industries have to shut down because of the competition. Then, the industry in the foreign country could go without subsidization. If competitors against it propped up again, it could be subsidized again. Etcetera.

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think he means subsidization of the competing industry until Objectivist Country's industries have to shut down because of the competition. Then, the industry in the foreign country could go without subsidization. If competitors against it propped up again, it could be subsidized again. Etcetera.

This could only go on for so long before the competing country's economy collapses. Basically, it boils down to the competing economy operating at a loss intermittantly. Each time they try to raise prices to levels that will make real, not imaginary, profits, the free market country will quickly rebuild the industry to pick up the slack. I think too much emphasis is placed on a supposed "collapse" of an industry. In reality, it would be fairly simple to re-tool manufacturing to shift to similar products. The fluid nature of the free market should not be underestimated. The inefficiency of the subsidized economy would lead to its own undoing, and in the mean time would represent a boon the the free market country.

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There is just grounds for war.

There is always justification for war when any foriegn government initiates force against some individuals, no matter what the nationality of the individuals.

Even if this were not true, in the case which has been presented, the rights of any individual in any country who would like to trade freely with a citizen of that corrupt government are being violated, because he cannot do so.

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Living Student:

There is always justification for war when any foriegn government initiates force against some individuals, no matter what the nationality of the individuals.

I don't know about this. For instance, what about a democratic country that freely votes to implement socialistic economic controls. If this country poses no threat to the security of a country, let's say, an Objectivist country, I don't see how it is clear that we should go to war. Even businessman can vote for a candidate who raises taxes. If your criteria were sufficient, we could go to war with any nation on the planet, today. Self-defense, I think, must be a prerequisite of any military action. If the people of another country are heading peacefully towards socialism, but still have the right to democratic protest, it is up to them, not us, to affect change.

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If every citizen voluntairly enters into a contract giving money for certain industries of that country, it wouldn't be socialism.

At least not in the most important sense of the word, as well as the sense which was used at the beggining of this thread.

There are two things to notice here. The first is that the counrty is subsidizing one or more industries. In order to do this it must infringe on the rights of the people that live in that country.

This statement about the rights of the citizens necessarily being violated wasn't addressed or disputed until now, which I find odd in a conversation about wether or not war would be justified.

That statement is correct. When you talk about socialism, or taxs, or subsidies in this context, you must mean that force is being used to accomplish some goal other than the protection of rights. (And then necessarily the violation of rights)

Thats the important meaning.

Countries don't vote freely to implement socialist controls. Any (sucsessful) vote for such controls is followed by rights-violations of someone.

And just as importantly, if they did, how would they then be socialistic?

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America has no right to use force except in defense of its own interests, as an extension of its obligation to protect the rights of its citizens here.

Define "America". Would there be a problem with citizen's privately funding/organizing an aggressive war for 'humanitarian' reasons (such as liberating a people living under an oppressive government)?

I would say that there has to be a certain amount of rights that the target government has infringed though. You couldnt reasonably claim that a group of people were being "oppressed by socialism" to the extent that an invasion was justified because of a small amount of protectionism/tax. Remember that an aggressive war is likely to result in a large amount of deaths and injuries - the benefits have to be great enough to outweigh these. You couldnt justify nuking a city in order to 'liberate' people from a 10% income tax, or to punish them for subsidizing an industry in which corporations from your country were competing.

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A further point is that government control of investment is often short-sighted and politically motivated. The socialist country may gain a temporary advantage in one field, but the capitalist country will simply diversify and invest in new areas, perhaps more profitable than the original. The socialist country will be left with massive investment in a certain industry, but that investment becomes useless when that industry loses importance. In the meantime, the capitalist country has developed new markets and has improved their products due to fair competition.

If the government could make the right decision about how to invest money every time, then I'd be a socialist. The fact is that it can't, and it more than likely will make worse choices than those determined by a free market. In this case, the socialist country is abandoning long-term growth for the short-term appearance of success and prosperity.

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