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JacobGalt

Are trade regulations with enemies acceptable?

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It would seem that they violate Rgihts, yet many Objectivists advocate giving government the power to regulate trade with countries we're at war with.

What do you think?

Edited by JacobGalt

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A state of war between nations is not the relevant consideration: what matters is whether a person is assisting in the initiation of force. For example, providing technical assistance to North Korea so that they are able to launch their nuclear bombs and hit the US or Japan would itself be part of the initiation of force. The same goes for "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" -- thus supplying the North Korean government with food aid in order to help them evade the reality of their brutal policies is initiation of force. It is exactly analogous to giving a burglar the tools that he needs to break into your house, on the excuse that the man needs some tools.

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A state of war between nations is not the relevant consideration: what matters is whether a person is assisting in the initiation of force. For example, providing technical assistance to North Korea so that they are able to launch their nuclear bombs and hit the US or Japan would itself be part of the initiation of force. The same goes for "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" -- thus supplying the North Korean government with food aid in order to help them evade the reality of their brutal policies is initiation of force. It is exactly analogous to giving a burglar the tools that he needs to break into your house, on the excuse that the man needs some tools.

But suppose we went into war with Iran... would it be proper for the government to prohibit me from exporting wheat to say, a local Iranian market?

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But the government would then be initiating force against me for trading with someone!

You are trading with those who initiate force against us. It is no different than funding them, since you are giving them something of greater value to them than what they are giving you to in exchange.

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You are trading with those who initiate force against us. It is no different than funding them, since you are giving them something of greater value to them than what they are giving you to in exchange.

Only their government is initiating force -- not the people.

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Only their government is initiating force -- not the people.

Wrong. Any Government is an extension of the people and therefore the people are complicit in the actions of their government. If they were not then they would rise up and overthrow that government.

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But the government would then be initiating force against me for trading with someone!
No, you would be initiating force against me, by helping an aggressor, the popularly-elected Iranian government, violate my rights (by providing the burglar with his tools). Citizens bear the responsibility for the actions of their governments. There may be some poor, hapless individual who has not been able to escape from this dictatorship, but the responsibility for the plight of this person rests with the initiator of force, not the US government. Focus on what initiator means.

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A state of war between nations is not the relevant consideration: what matters is whether a person is assisting in the initiation of force. For example, providing technical assistance to North Korea so that they are able to launch their nuclear bombs and hit the US or Japan would itself be part of the initiation of force. The same goes for "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" -- thus supplying the North Korean government with food aid in order to help them evade the reality of their brutal policies is initiation of force. It is exactly analogous to giving a burglar the tools that he needs to break into your house, on the excuse that the man needs some tools.

What defines an aggressor? At what point does someone become labeled as such, so that voluntarily doing business with them poses the possibility of a threat?

Obviously, I could sell wheat to my neighbor. If my neighbor turns that wheat into a wheat bomb, and kills everyone in my neighborhood with it, am I at fault as well? Have I initiated force? Not directly, no. But, according to your post, by extension, I have. The only difference between my scenario and a scenario with someone deemed an "aggressor" is... what exactly? This is so reminiscent of Minority Report to me. I need some clarification, Dave.

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What defines an aggressor?
The initiation of force -- starting the process of applying force.
Obviously, I could sell wheat to my neighbor. If my neighbor turns that wheat into a wheat bomb, and kills everyone in my neighborhood with it, am I at fault as well?
Did you know or have good reason to believe that his plan was to make a bomb? If so, then yes.

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