Eamon Arasbard Posted August 15, 2015 Report Share Posted August 15, 2015 This is something I was thinking about this morning while re-reading Ayn's essay "Collectivized "rights"" which refutes the idea of nations have an intrinsic right to self-determination, and rejects the idea that dictatorships have a right to national sovereignty. Rand uses this as justification for her position that a free nation has a right to declare war on a dictatorship. Rand also rejects the idea that a free nation has a moral obligation to liberate dictatorships, but maintains that a free nation has that right if it serves its self-interest. Presumably, this would mean any time the existence of a dictatorship poses a threat to another nation's freedom. Rand also argued that if a free nation is attacked, and kills innocents in the enemy nation in the process of defending itself, that the aggressor is responsible for their deaths. As a result of this, the nation acting in self-defense is not acting in violation of the NAP. While I accept this argument, I would still argue that the non-agression principle applies to innocents caught in the middle of a war. If they are killed by a nation acting in self-defense, then their deaths are the responsibility of both nations; in some cases, however, it is necessary. However, I find it harder to reconcile this with the NAP if war was declared by a nation that had not yet been attacked. For instance, let's say that before World War II, someone had seen Hitler as a threat and decided to invade Germany. In the process, innocent civilians are killed. I can see how declaring war might have been the right thing to do. There is even some moral argument in favor of it, since the number of innocent deaths would probably be far less than the number of innocents actually killed in the process of bombing Germany during World War II. But how do we reconcile this with the NAP? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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