A Libertarian Approach to North Korea


Privileged citizens allowed to live in Pyongyang lined the streets in late 2011 to mourn the death of their “Dear Leader”. People threw themselves down and wailed almost comically in a show of unadulterated passion for the State. I would say the incentive to act with grief was high, considering a work camp or death would be the consequence for anything alternative. North Korea is under the grip of raw, unfiltered Authoritarianism that is starting to mimic a Pharaoh-like hereditary rule of half-god kings. There is no State on earth that is more diametrically opposed to the Liberty Movement.

So, as Libertarians, what do we do about it? It would be one thing if they kept to themselves. However, since assuming his reign, Kim the Third has been saber-rattling at an alarming rate. North Korea has initiated several missile test launches, performed provocative military drills and conducted an underground nuclear detonation to put a cherry on top. Now with threats to nuke a major US city on the west coast, can Libertarians really turn a cheek, be friends and hope they play nice? Where is the line drawn with consideration to the Non-Aggression Principle? The initiation of force is immoral, and self-defense is moral.

To be fair, the United States bullied its way into the affairs of the peninsula in the 1950s to engage in a hopeless and bloody attempt to “contain” the spread of Communism. As you can see, the conflict was so effective that it ended in a perpetual state of war through a shaky cease-fire and the buildup of one of the most militarized areas on earth. Ever since, the US has had tens of thousands of troops stationed in South Korea, kept a strong naval presence parked offshore and set up a grid of air bases capable of bombing the totalitarian regime into oblivion. The North Korean Army has an aged but expansive arsenal of equipment and highly trained ground soldiers. If the Korean War were to re-engage, there is no doubt it would be extremely violent on a massive scale.

The solution that many Libertarians would come up with is simple: Leave them alone! It is absolutely reasonable to assume that North Korea builds up a massive show of force because of the United States. It is an instinctual and primitive reaction to prepare for war when the enemy is pointing weapons at you. It is the height of hypocrisy for the Global American Empire to chastise a nation for being hostile while holding a gun to their head with a round chambered.

Let’s assume a Libertarian gets elected President in 2016 and vows to stop intimidating North Korea. The President reaches out to all disenfranchised nations of the world and promises a new era of world peace. The new President does what Ron Paul suggests and starts to trade with everyone on an equal basis. What does the President do if North Korean tanks roll in as American troops roll out? What if the day the last solider leaves South Korea, the North attacks? Technically, we are not being threatened and we are not being attacked. Where would the justification for helping the South Koreans come from, if any at all?

It is a very hostile and dangerous situation indeed, but there is a silver lining. The American public is weary of war. The US has been at war for over ten years in Afghanistan, Iraq and the indefinite global war on terrorism. The federal government will be hard pressed to sell preemptive war with North Korea. Couple that fact with the nation going through fiscal crisis after fiscal crisis and the continuously slumping economy; it would take an outright attack by North Korea for the US to go to war. As for the here and now, the best thing that could be done is to avoid conflict at all costs. One person dying for the State and special interest is one too many!

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Costumed Vigilantes in the Real World

Badman and Robin

Last summer, 2012, was viewed as the “summer of the super hero”, due to the fact that blockbuster movies such as “The Avengers”, “Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” were released, to great success.
We’re due for another wave this summer, as the new Superman epic, “Man of Steel” hits theaters, along with “Iron Man 3”, “The Wolverine” and, scheduled for November, “Thor: Dark Warrior”. I wonder what they’ll call “Man of Steel” in Russia? Continue reading

To Set the Record Straight on Recessions


One thing will be agreed upon by all libertarians: that the Great Depression and subsequent ‘Great Recession’ were caused by government. However, this is where the agreement ceases; there are monetarist libertarians who say that the cause was ‘government inaction’ and a failure to inflate the money supply whereas the Austrian school libertarians will say that the cause of a recession is the inflation of the money supply during the boom. I am of the latter persuasion and I’m rather concerned that more people are not. Indeed, many readers of this site are monetarists, as was indicated when 33 people ‘liked’ it when our Facebook page posted a video of Milton Friedman’s explanation of the Great Depression.

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Taking a Politically Incorrect Stance


I am perfectly aware of the risks of articulating what I am about to. The consensus among modern libertarians seems to be that free immigration is the only stance possible in this debate because of the ‘economic benefits’ and that those who oppose free immigration are just statists who want the government to control who can and can’t move about from here to there. For those swayed by the content of this article, I highly recommend that you look into other ‘paleolibertarian’ stances and you may find yourself agreeing me on more than just immigration. Finally, before I begin, I know that I have previously supported open borders and I fully retract any such support here and now.

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Environmentalism: The Hypocrisy


Let me start out by saying that I am concerned with the well-being of the planet for the future. Air pollution, congestion, finite resources, peak oil, loss of biodiversity, etc. are issues we need to consider because they pose serious problems for the future. The economy, the planet, the people, and the biosphere rely greatly on our natural ecosystems.

I’m currently studying environmental geography in college (along with US studies and political science). I’m learning about climate change, ecosystems, and solutions to improving human processes and their impacts to the environment. From what research I’ve done, and from talking to earth scientists (experts in their field), there is no doubt that humans are doing a lot of damage to the environment. No doubt in my mind that there is a problem.

But its not all bad news, it is starting to change. Eco- or environmentally friendly products are in demand in the market; the organic industry is accumulating billions of dollars, recycled goods are sold from the shelves of mainstream stores, etc. Awareness is also doing a lot to preserve biodiversity and green-space (at least in North America.)

I have nothing against the environmentalism or the activists, I for one, consider myself to be green. My problem is with the environmentalists who have this kind of mentality; people that:
• Recycle their paper
• Re-use their bags
• Re-use their cups/bottles/mugs
• Use recycled paper
• Hate big oil and energy companies
• Hate corporations in general and blame them for polluting everything
• Vote democrat/left-wing party because they’re suited to solve the problem
• And then think government should do the rest
For the record, I do all of those things I mentioned (except the last two points). Here’s my problem.

If you fall into the description I posted above AND you have an SUV, fly all around the world for your “environmental conferences”, eat animal meat or animal products (devastatingly horrible for the environment), and use products from the big corporations that you hate so much, you’re a hypocrite.

First of all, recycling and re-using your goods is a great thing to do, but it does very little in the long run. I don’t mean to discourage anyone from doing them, but if you look at the big picture, you need to do a little more than that. Second, letting government come up with the solution is not going to solve anything.

These big, polluting corporations are what they are for mainly two reasons:
1) They get a lot of benefits from the government.
What good are rules if you can break them?
2) If not that, they are very popular among consumers.
This is either by creating a monopoly (giving consumers no choice) or by being so good and necessary that everyone wants to buy their product. In that case, consumers are making a choice to indirectly pollute the planet whether they know it or not.

Most of the environmental activists I know think that government is responsible for cleaning up after us. I’ll respond to that by saying: they’ve been “in charge” of it for the past ten or fifteen years, maybe it’s time we take matters into our own hands?

I often get this, “Well that’s because the Republicans or (anyone from the right-wing) doesn’t like them!” And somehow, by voting for a Democrat or a left-wing party, this problem will be solved.

Government, whether left or right, does not have such a great track record with the environment. Did you know that the U.S. Government is the biggest polluter on the planet? Not Exxon or Wal-Mart or Monsanto, but the U.S. Federal Government? And you expect government to clean up the mess when their practices are disastrous? They subsidize and are good friends with most of the companies that pollute in the first place.

What will finally change this self-destructing habit is getting consumers aware of the problem, and aware of the solutions. Giving individuals the ability to choose where they want their energy, how they want their food grown, and what products they want their textiles from will make the difference. Sitting around and waiting for Congress to finally look at the Green Is Good Act will never happen. It’s too little, too late by that time.

Nazzy S. is the author/editor for Puff Critique. Twitter: @PuffCritique