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Is tyranny intrinsic to governments?

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We have no example in History about a State that suceeds in preventing itself to expand.

Or, to say it in other words, we have no example of people succedding in keeping their government in check for long periods of time.

Even the United States, the closest a government has been to the ideal of a free capitalist country during the XIX century, has slowly fallen into a condition of a semifree, mixed economy ( and I am not thinking necessarily in Obama's America, but just in the long distance that separates end-of-century America from the ideal of the Founding Fathers)...

Then the question raises: is a minimum, proper State an utopy? Are the anarchists right, at least in their idea that, even if a minimal State were moral in theory, it can never happen in reality?

Or is it that I am missing the point and rather than States forcing their way to expansion, it is the citizens demanding and furthering that expansion, out of a prevalent wrong philosophy?

But then, at the time of Independence, were the Found Fathers relatively alone in their thinking, whereas the mass of common Americans had other country in mind? If we succeed in bringing a critical number of intellectuals to Objectivism, will they be able to build a free country that lasts long? Or are these efforts doomed to fail because the monopoly of coercion towards criminals ends up creating new laws to translate that coertion (sooner or later) to non-criminals?

Edited by Hotu Matua
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We got where we are now (in the US) because of a deliberate undermining of the very idea of what entails individual rights by the "progressives." they have been at it for a good 100 years now, and largely succeeded because they infiltrated the ranks of academia and the beauracracy of government. When the people do not know their rights under the constitution, if they are practically illiterate, they can be manipulated. Reference Animal Farm, which used to be studied when I was in High School, but no more, no more...

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IT is not utopic to think of a more proper society where government finds its place in the insurance industry: just think that at the time of the Founding Fathers it existed no example of a non-tyrannical government in history either, and yet something close to it happened.

Humankind is in its DAWN. The United States of America came to being just a couple of hundred years after the Earth, mankind's natural expansion turf had been circumnavigated and NOT EVEN before all of its continents were charted (including the North American one, the NW at least). In 1776 Australia was Terra Incognita. The freest societies at that time were the fading Italian Plutocracies.

The Frontier theory, of which I am a partidary, claims that the particular situation of being in between Civilization and Wilderness prompted men to rely on themselves to each be individually a beacon of Civilization. When the frontier was declared closed in 1890 the Sherman Act was passed.

When there was no more nature to be conquered, man began to conquer men.

Micronations are often subject to the whims of its neighbors, for instance the Prince of Andorra must be the Head of State of France, and the Monaco can legally cease to exist and return to France if the Royal Family doesn't produce heirs. But in all, they are the only countries where by virtue of the sheer size, government is literally by the people. Extreme Federalism like the Switz's could approach that as well, and in a fully sovereign country.

Governments of big countries will tend to expand its power, but the population is free to break away. More than two million Americans enjoy convenience citizenship from small tax-friendly nations; or are expats shopping for a homeland worldwide - little and little forcing countries to compete to attract these desirable citizens.

As you said, monopoly of coertion - over a locked Geographical area, is the real problem. When this Shopping Around for a Country becomes increasingly popular, new corporations will take risks to establish security agencies in diverse places, land and maybe sea, and Government will gradually become part of the Hospitality/Insurance industry.

I am extremely confident on the commercialiation of Nationhood, but we are up to many enemies. Loyalty to the Homeland is a perceived virtue shared by friends and foes. Even Objectivists sometimes heartily support the USA in a Patriotic manner that can sometimes by-pass rational judgement.

Edited by volco
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Earlier I answered your second question but what about the first one:

Is tyranny intrinsic to governments?

NO!

While etymologically speaking to Govern someone is indeed tyranny, Government is a naturally occuring phenomenum that arises even within the family, and indeed everytime more than 2 people get together and need to figure out how to hunt or behave in a group. Just read Lord of the Flies.

The more efficient and refined the individuals, the more codified the system they use, until the point where the rule of men becomes the rule of law.

I'm not saying we have that now (we have rule of men using the law as a proxy) but we can certainly have it in the future> refer to previous post.

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The United States has in many ways improved since the founding fathers died. Even if a crappy ideology took the place of classical liberalism, many of the modern liberals achieved some of our goals by coincidence (expanding liberties to all racial groups and such).

People used to go to war to take things from other cultures. People don't do that anymroe. People now go to war because of

1) Altruism (We need to free people around the world.)

2) To get contracts, sell guns. To basically take money from the citizens of the aggressing country.

3) Actual or percieved threat to a nation.

Its not impossible to think that a culture could grow to the point where people would force the state would actually do its job.

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Hairnet can you please provide me with some examples of #2?

I am not going to do a paper for you, if you want more details about the following watch the documentary called "Why We Fight".

I thought it was common knowledge that companies such as Haliburton received contracts from the government to construct things in Iraq. For instance that giant embassy they have there, had to had been made by someone, and tons of other things built in Iraq on the governments dime.

So with the altruist premise, were there to humanely bring about liberal democracy to the people of Iraq, a situation of perpetual war is created where no one side can actually win. This creates a very good situation for people who will profit off of the war. In reality the Iraqis aren't being looted, with the exception of oil, there isn't anything that is worth the trip to Iraq. What is really happening is that the Americans are paying for an unnecessarily long and expensive war.

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I thought it was common knowledge that companies such as Haliburton received contracts from the government to construct things in Iraq....
Across the ages some businessmen have ended up getting very rich from selling things to armies. It does not follow that they were causal agents.
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Across the ages some businessmen have ended up getting very rich from selling things to armies. It does not follow that they were causal agents.

The fact cannot be ignored however that wars are more frequent and in the interests of certain groups in a society where corporations and government conspire with each other. I think that is the point being made, not that they were causal agents. Military-Industrial Complex and all of that jazz.

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The fact cannot be ignored however that wars are more frequent and in the interests of certain groups in a society where corporations and government conspire with each other. I think that is the point being made, not that they were causal agents. Military-Industrial Complex and all of that jazz.

I don't know if members of the Military-Industrial Complex can actually cause a war. I am talking about motivation, not cause.

My point is that certain interests benefit in some way from the altruistic motive for war.

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I don't know if members of the Military-Industrial Complex can actually cause a war. I am talking about motivation, not cause.

My point is that certain interests benefit in some way from the altruistic motive for war.

So companies like Haliburton and Lockheed Martin motivate the USA to go to war. So you are saying that in a dark room somewhere these companies prompted the USA to wage war when? WW2? Korea? Vietnam? Grenada? Was it in support of Kuwait during GW1? Afghanistan? Surely GW Bush was nothing more than a patsy when he committed Troops to Iraq.

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So with the altruist premise, were there to humanely bring about liberal democracy to the people of Iraq, a situation of perpetual war is created where no one side can actually win. This creates a very good situation for people who will profit off of the war. In reality the Iraqis aren't being looted, with the exception of oil, there isn't anything that is worth the trip to Iraq. What is really happening is that the Americans are paying for an unnecessarily long and expensive war.

From "Collectivized Rights"

Dictatorship nations are outlaws. Any free nation had the right to invade Nazi Germany and, today, has the right to invade Soviet Russia, Cuba or any other slave pen. Whether a free nation chooses to do so or not is a matter of its own self-interest, not of respect for the nonexistent "rights" of gang rulers. It is not a free nation's duty to liberate other nations at the price of self-sacrifice, but a free nation has the right to do it, when and if it so chooses.

This right, however, is conditional. Just as the suppression of crimes does not give a policeman the right to engage in criminal activities, so the invasion and destruction of a dictatorship does not give the invader the right to establish another variant of a slave society in the conquered country.

A slave country has no national rights, but the individual rights of its citizens remain valid, even if unrecognized, and the conqueror has no right to violate them. Therefore, the invasion of an enslaved country is morally justified only when and if the conquerors establish a free social system, that is, a system based on the recognition of individual rights.

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Getting back to the OP's question about whether the monopoly of force governments have means that governments are inevitably corruptible and therefore tyrannical, I agree completely with Volco's responses.

I'd add governments don't really have anything like a monopoly on force. Not so long as the second amendment exists.

The founding fathers knew that everyone can't just place their trust in some institution, the people who pass through it, and go to sleep. Part of the solution is to make sure every free citizen has access to a gun.

Call it mutual self-destruction in the microcosm.

Or I suppose there was an advertisement for guns which I think has truth behind it:

"God didn't create man equal, Sam Colt did."

Aside from education - free society is logically the best society - (which is the final solution),

to fill in the gaps, we just have to protect ourselves with guns.

Or to say it a different way. The first amendment is first. The second is second. We do need both as a matter of law. But as a matter of practice, I'd rather defeat the enemies of freedom with words than with a gun.

Edited by Brian9
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Getting back to the OP's question about whether the monopoly of force governments have means that governments are inevitably corruptible and therefore tyrannical, I agree completely with Volco's responses.

I'd add governments don't really have anything like a monopoly on force. Not so long as the second amendment exists.

The founding fathers knew that everyone can't just place their trust in some institution, the people who pass through it, and go to sleep. Part of the solution is to make sure every free citizen has access to a gun.

Call it mutual self-destruction in the microcosm.

Or I suppose there was an advertisement for guns which I think has truth behind it:

"God didn't create man equal, Sam Colt did."

Aside from education - free society is logically the best society - (which is the final solution),

to fill in the gaps, we just have to protect ourselves with guns.

Or to say it a different way. The first amendment is first. The second is second. We do need both as a matter of law. But as a matter of practice, I'd rather defeat the enemies of freedom with words than with a gun.

The practical truth is that the US Military could easily wipe out American Gun Owners (facilitated by certain list the Gov I believe has); the mutually assured destruction is one of media leverage and the nature of the welfare fascist state which doesn't want to outright enslave its people. The leverage is done more with videocameras than with guns.

However as a microcosm, you'd enjoy this piesce of not Romantic Galt's Gulch: http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/off_the_grid_life_on_the_mesa/

.

As of what you were saying about the American Government not deterioratig (further?), your first two ammendments are not enough compared to the last few.

The only way to make a Republic work is to add another check to the system of checks and balances. That be the market. Not endogenally (that's Corporativism), but exogenally: as I keep saying: Shopping around for nationhood. My "Fatherland" is whichever territory offers me what I like best. Not every offer will be the same, but they will have one thing in common: they'll try to acquire, not repel customers.

Problem is postulated by pessimists in denial like Patri Friedman as the World being small enough; but 60 years ago you could count with your fingers the amount of countries claiming sovereignty of the Earth; now there are more than 150.

I'm not saying deliberate separatism is the way to go, but rather that after the typical political systems in vogue now (epitomized by the hediuous experiment in Europe) new small countries will inevitably break away in different levels of autonomy and we'll see more Singapores and Hong Kongs. Both evidences of success unthinkable at the time the American Revolution was as well so.

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I agree with most of Volco's views.

Maybe the most effective way to keep a State in check is by keeping small the number of people over whom it holds a monopoly of force.

The breakdown of current big nation-States into small city-States, like Hong Kong or Singapore, will be essential in the future, as long as large rogue hostile States are dismantled by bold action of the USA and its allies.

Once we live in a world without Irans and North Koreas, the USA should lead an international effort toward converting current nation-Sates into confederated collections of autonomous provinces, and then, further ahead, into polis or city-States.

Then the efficacy and commitment of each government to freedom will ensure competition and nationhood-shopping, as Volco suggests.

This is in line with Ayn Rand's appeal to patriotic loyalty as something that should be earned by the country in question.

Today, it makes little sense to most of human beings to ask themselves whether their country deserves their loyalty or love. It makes little sense because they have, most of the times, no way out. Either their country is too big ( Russia, China, USA) or too fused with other countries (European Union) or their target country too unwiling to accept immigrants, specially if they are poor ( USA towards Mexico, or France toward gipsies).

In a really free world, why 145 large cities would accept to be ruled by the same central government, knowing that, at any time, this government could go wrong, with dire consequences for the 145 of them?

If another Obama ever takes office in the future, he would apply his guardian-of-your-brother policies only over the polis of Chicago, not over >200 million people, from honolulu to Miami. Citizens from Chicago who dislike the policies could move to Saint Louis and swear loyalty to their new "homenation"

Even if another Hitler arises in the future, he would rule over Munich, not over Hamburg or Frankfurt.

Rather than considering the USA as a permanent Galt's Gaulch, we should consider the formation and growth of the USA just as a positive STEP in a long-standing struggle of free men to remain free. It is a step that should be followed by other steps. We must keep a vision of our children or grandchildren coming out of the gaulch, victorious, marking the whole world with the sign of the dollar.

We should not settle with nothing less that the whole planet as our home.

Edited by Hotu Matua
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The practical truth is that the US Military could easily wipe out American Gun Owners (facilitated by certain list the Gov I believe has);

You are assuming the US Military would turn on it's own fellow citizens. I beg to differ.

We evolved from tribalism, to city-states, to nation-states. A return to the city-state as proposed here is regressive and unnecessary.

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We got where we are now (in the US) because of a deliberate undermining of the very idea of what entails individual rights by the "progressives." they have been at it for a good 100 years now, and largely succeeded because they infiltrated the ranks of academia and the beauracracy of government. When the people do not know their rights under the constitution, if they are practically illiterate, they can be manipulated. Reference Animal Farm, which used to be studied when I was in High School, but no more, no more...

Perhaps a small point in this argument, perhaps not even a point at all but for some reason it is significant to me that at some point in the 1980's (when I was in Jrhigh & high school) "History" class was renamed "Social Studies" in many school systems.

I was reading an interesting article (and I intend to find it and post a link at some point) which speculates with some reasonable logic that schools have been systematically indoctrinating children into believing that the government should control them for the past few decades. Most certainly logic and philosphy aren't taught anymore in the average school. I think it was Thomas Sowell that said in his day high schools in the US taught Latin, and now kids graduate high school barely able to read and write english.

What I saw in school then, and what I've been hearing from younger employees recently out of school over the course of the past twenty years inclines me to see some truth in that speculation.

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.

We evolved from tribalism, to city-states, to nation-states. A return to the city-state as proposed here is regressive and unnecessary.

Then, according to yourtrend of thought, the next logical step would be to evolve from nation-states to a planetary central government. That would really signal the peak of civilization, wouldn't it?

I believe this represents a collectivist way of thinking.

The formation of all big nation-States in the world, except one, represented the fulfillment of a collectivist, statist view of the world.

"Let's become one big family, ruled by one big father". France was not the result of individualism, but brutal struggle for power over the lives and properties of a larger number of people. Same with the UK, China, India, Mexico, you name it. The only exception I know is the USA, but even this country has been becoming ordinary.

Even when smart and honest people work in the government, all government monopolies are fundamentally immoral and practically unsucessful. That's why we do not like Big Governments. Why, then, should we hand into a small group of imperfect men power over the police and tribunals for millions and millions of people with little chance of escaping if something goes wrong?

To me it is curious to see how some of you embrace the idea of a State reduced to its proper functions (police, tribunals, defense) but resist the idea of a State reduced to a small number of people that guarantees (or at least facilitates) free and straightfarward competition for loyalties and nationhood.

I would like to add a call to prudence when reading Ayn Rand's view of the USA and its position in world history and world affairs.

Rand's world was a one of clearcut bipolarity. She lived in a world where the nazis, and then the Soviet Union, incarnated large, nation-States that were clearly antagonic to freedom and which had real chances to take over the world and impose their rule. In such a world, holding fast to the USA as a refuge and backing his government in almost all its international affairs was a matter of life or death.

However, we are about to enter a new kind of world. Once we get rid of Iran and South Korea ( which represent much less of a threat to the free world than the Soviets or nazis represented at their time) our world will become a multipolar collection of semi-free, mixed economies. Heroes and villains will exist within the countries, but countries themselves will hardly qualify as "moral" or "immoral".

It is at this stage (and not before) when the real danger for a country will come from inside, and the larger the country, the larger will

be the risk for its citizens.

I am not calling for an immediate and indiscriminate dissintegration of nation-States. That will prove catastrophic. i am just calling for a long term vision, co patible with Objectivist view of an earned loyalty that includes effective freedom for the average citizen to choose the State she wants to support by the simple, peaceful and very effective means of MOVING.

Edited by Hotu Matua
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It has nothing whatsoever to do with collectivism, which seems to be the default argument that fundamentalist Objectivists use to attempt to shut down an opposing viewpoint. A national government does not necessarily constitute collectivism, particularly one which recognizes individual rights.

The idea that nations should compete for loyalty is retarded, really. Loyalty to one's country, if it has a legitimate, rights respecting government should be a given. Some of you are living in a fantasy world, not the real one that I am living in.

The idea that "the United States and it's allies" should overthrow the legitimate government of sovereign states who have not initiated force against us, in order to impose someone's vision of a perfect world on others, is no different that the goals of the Soviet Union or communist China. Do you people seriously think that China, Russia or any other nuclear armed nation will sit idlly by and allow themselves to be over-run and disestablished?

I think someone's premise is seriously flawed.

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. A national government does not necessarily constitute collectivism, particularly one which recognizes individual rights.

A man does not necessarily constitute a liar. Yet all men lie sooner or later, and keep lying more or less often for the rest of their lives in some respect or at some level. That's why we take provisions against fraud.

A national government will not necessarily violate property rights. Yet all governments do. All governments have done it. I have no reason to believe that this will change, as I have no reason to believe that men will someday stop lieing. That's why we take provisions against power-hungry governments.

One of the provisions that volco, me and many others propose,is to keep States small... Also in geographical/demographic sense.

Edited by Hotu Matua
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A man does not necessarily constitute a liar. Yet all men lie sooner or later, and keep lying more or less often for the rest of their lives in some respect or at some level. That's why we take provisions against fraud.

A national government will not necessarily violate property rights. Yet all governments do. All governments have done it. I have no reason to believe that this will change, as I have no reason to believe that men will someday stop lieing. That's why we take provisions against power-hungry governments.

One of the provisions that volco, me and many others propose,is to keep States small... Also in geographical/demographic sense.

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I agree with most of Volco's views.

Maybe the most effective way to keep a State in check is by keeping small the number of people over whom it holds a monopoly of force.

Yes. That was originally called Federalism, not to be confused with the Federal Government (of either Mexico or the States)

The breakdown of current big nation-States into small city-States, like Hong Kong or Singapore, will be essential in the future, as long as large rogue hostile States are dismantled by bold action of the USA and its allies.

Once we live in a world without Irans and North Koreas, the USA should lead an international effort toward converting current nation-Sates into confederated collections of autonomous provinces, and then, further ahead, into polis or city-States.

Then the efficacy and commitment of each government to freedom will ensure competition and nationhood-shopping, as Volco suggests.

Despite your excellent defense on every other topic, I am in no way advocating the purposeful ruin of America and a World Invasion to promote Federalism. If I understood correctly (probably not what you meant).

This is in line with Ayn Rand's appeal to patriotic loyalty as something that should be earned by the country in question.

Today, it makes little sense to most of human beings to ask themselves whether their country deserves their loyalty or love. It makes little sense because they have, most of the times, no way out. Either their country is too big ( Russia, China, USA) or too fused with other countries (European Union) or their target country too unwiling to accept immigrants, specially if they are poor ( USA towards Mexico, or France toward gipsies).

In a really free world, why 145 large cities would accept to be ruled by the same central government, knowing that, at any time, this government could go wrong, with dire consequences for the 145 of them?

If another Obama ever takes office in the future, he would apply his guardian-of-your-brother policies only over the polis of Chicago, not over >200 million people, from honolulu to Miami. Citizens from Chicago who dislike the policies could move to Saint Louis and swear loyalty to their new "homenation"

Even if another Hitler arises in the future, he would rule over Munich, not over Hamburg or Frankfurt.

Rather than considering the USA as a permanent Galt's Gaulch, we should consider the formation and growth of the USA just as a positive STEP in a long-standing struggle of free men to remain free. It is a step that should be followed by other steps. We must keep a vision of our children or grandchildren coming out of the gaulch, victorious, marking the whole world with the sign of the dollar.

We should not settle with nothing less that the whole planet as our home.

The historical Fact is that Hamburg and Frankfurt, collectively speaking, never supported Hitler's rise to power. Had Germany been a collection of nation states (the exact opposite of their quest for Nationhood) the Nazis would only have won in the brute semi-slavic peasant regions of the East and hinterland, not in the Big Cities.

You are assuming the US Military would turn on it's own fellow citizens. I beg to differ.

We evolved from tribalism, to city-states, to nation-states. A return to the city-state as proposed here is regressive and unnecessary.

A City is not very characteristic of Tribalism. Plutocracy and Objectivism deserve a separate thread, but they share some similarities. Plutocracy only arises in City States, like Northern Italy back then, or the South China Sea in the 20c, or the Persian Gulf now.

I'm not advocating for New York to separate from the Union, but for more state and county autonomy in the existing nations, and for the population of the world to spread all around.

Now more than ever there are people from "Third World" countries displacing to "First World" ones, and vice-versa. Eventually there would only be "One World" but God help us, as many countries and autonomous or special territories as possible to chose from, each deciding how permeable their border should be. It is not Feudalism, it is distribution like the internet, applied to geography and politics. It is to set man free from his Greography.

I would like to add a call to prudence when reading Ayn Rand's view of the USA and its position in world history and world affairs.

Rand's world was a one of clearcut bipolarity. She lived in a world where the nazis, and then the Soviet Union, incarnated large, nation-States that were clearly antagonic to freedom and which had real chances to take over the world and impose their rule. In such a world, holding fast to the USA as a refuge and backing his government in almost all its international affairs was a matter of life or death.

I am not calling for an immediate and indiscriminate dissintegration of nation-States. That will prove catastrophic. i am just calling for a long term vision, co patible with Objectivist view of an earned loyalty that includes effective freedom for the average citizen to choose the State she wants to support by the simple, peaceful and very effective means of MOVING.

I thoroughly agree with what you said. Prudece and context when regarding America in relation to Objectivism; and advocating the trend of more both-ways migration as a way to force existing governments to behave and then compete.

The idea that nations should compete for loyalty is retarded, really. Loyalty to one's country, if it has a legitimate, rights respecting government should be a given. Some of you are living in a fantasy world, not the real one that I am living in.

The technical term for "fantasy world" is Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, there's a thread dedicated to where Objectivists come from. I seem to remember that both Ayn Rand and her heir were born in frozen Socialist Tundras, and not even Yaron Brook is American by birth. Should this peculiarities be discarded as accident?

So what if one doesn't live in a country that "has a legitimate, rights respecting govrnment"? What if one lives in a country that has a government that arrests citizens and throw them into jail for prescribing pain-killers to a dying man, like say, the United States of America?

So Loyalty to one's country should be a given and countries competing for credibility is a retarded idea?

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Hotu: Regarding Mexicans having a hard time getting into America, remember how Mexicans give a real hard time allowing Guatemalans getting or passing through Mexico, and furthermore be encouraged to think of Mexicans moving South. Mexicans are the elite in Belize for instance and I wouldn't be surprised if they became so in other Central American countries. In Argentina for instance they are hired almost exclusively at Starbucks (which is oddly something very luxurious down here) because unlike Argies you have manners.

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So companies like Haliburton and Lockheed Martin motivate the USA to go to war. So you are saying that in a dark room somewhere these companies prompted the USA to wage war when? WW2? Korea? Vietnam? Grenada? Was it in support of Kuwait during GW1? Afghanistan? Surely GW Bush was nothing more than a patsy when he committed Troops to Iraq.

I am saying that they benefit from war, that they suppourt war. War makes them money, so a long protracted war will make them more money. This isn't hard to understand.

I just told you that I don't know if they have the power to cause a war. I do think that many of those people will do what is in their power though to maintian and benefit from situations like Iraq.

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