Russians are on BOTH sides of most of European problems — for example they sponsor both European nationalist groups and Islamic terror groups. Why?
I think they either know or sense that Russian civilization cannot compete with European high trust. It is only under miasma of chaos and struggle that Russia’s vertically structured low-trust institutions can compete with the horizontally structured, high-trust, high initiative institutions of the West.
Russia sees war as never-ending and relies on opportunism and social manipulation.
The west sees war as a means of resolving problems, and relies on technology, tactics and maneuver.
So Russia always attempts to steer even into an in-between space between peace and war, because it can neither win in peace nor in war.
#Russia attempts to combine Western technology/institution/capability/prestige with an Eastern conception of man.
The solution to Russia is
1) giving Poland a three nuclear weapons. They only need one, really. Russia is a one-city country.
2) giving Ukraine 1240 javlin anti-tank missles, one for each nuke they gave up in 1996 under the Budapest memorandum.
3) US and NATO withdrawal. Yes, withdrawal. In a planned, organized way while empowering an Eastern European alliance. Right now the best that eastern Europeans can do is beg for help. NATO and US is a quagmire of politics and conflicted interested. An Eastern European alliance would have much more freedom of action. All the parties remember the hell on Earth that Russia created in their societies. They understand the threat. Starting with Germany, the West does not understand the threat.
Russian vs Ukrainian owned businesses.
Ukraine has only had capitalism for 25 years, and unlike in Poland, its development was severely stunted by rent seeking, subsidies, and inertia. Everything is getting better, and it’s been a thrill to watch — from the breadth of goods and services offered, to the quality of customer service, to the reliability of deliveries (I love you, Nova Poshta).
Though you still have the feeling that if the market was more accessible, western businessmen would run circles around the local competition.
You can often tell whether a business is Ukrainian owned or Russian owned.
The UKRAINIAN OWNED businesses tend to be like incompetent families.
– Things don’t happen on time.
– There are no processes — instead of one competent staff person helping you, the entire office will get involved in something that you can’t imagine isn’t a standardized, daily task.
– They may try to hike prices for westerners. (They assume all westerners are millionaires.)
– Customers are asked to accommodate the personal travails of the staff — they have to go next door to get change, they haven’t had time to update the prices on the menu, can they pay you later because they paid for their uncle’s dental surgery.
RUSSIAN OWNED businesses tend to be like the mafia. Everything revolves around rules and status.
– The staff will demonstrate their authority by ignoring you.
– There can never be enough vulgar attempts at sophistication: pleated curtains, lights, rhinestones, and Russian pop music. This, I think is byzantine style. More is better. There is no efficiency or functionality. Perhaps the mentality goes: everything sucks, so more is better. More wins.
– There are rules. Forget the fact that all but one table in the entire place is empty. They are all reserved. The staff will flex their authority by telling you the table you sat beside is reserved, then watch you go to the next one so that they can get another status boost and doing it again. It’s not their fault, they insist. Those are the rules.
– Authority trumps usability. Forget the fact this is the obviously the door to use. It may be the only door, and it won’t have any signs or barriers indicating any restriction. It will only have a grave, suited man standing beside it (not in front of it, but beside it), who say in a guff, irritated manner, as if it’s obvious, that the door is closed. Those are the rules.
I think the generous thing to do is to attribute thier lying to their impossibly expansive and indefensible frontier — perhaps it led to their valuing strength above all else (even truth).
The less generous, but probably just as accurate, observation is that they are the bastard child of the Golden Horde, and inherited her institution, her mentality, and her crest — a two headed eagle.
Russia not only failed to become a state, it failed to become a nation. Russia’s problem has always been uniting disparate cultures to legitimize their state. Ukraine’s problem has always been establishing a state that will protect its culture.
Good overview of history, except for when the article mentions: –“the rise of other Russian centers to the north, including Moscow.”–
There was no Russia then. There were Finno-Ugric Tribes, and Slavic ones, and others too. Muskovy rose to prominence AS A VASSAL STATE of the Golden Horde. They weren’t “under the Mongol yoke” as they like to claim. They WERE THE MONGOL YOKE. They still are.
Much of their history, including Czar Peter I’s deciding to call Muskovy and its conquests “RUSSIA” are best understood as their attempt to distance themselves from the Mongolian roots of their institutions.
The accumulated weight of Russia’s lies has to be pressing on something – there has to be a consequence to it.
For centuries they’ve valued strength above everything else, but they lie to achieve it, and because no one can trust anyone else, they are far weaker than their European neighbors. Maybe it’s time for them to understand the truth.
But to accept it, Russians need a moral exit. They need a way to feel good about themselves that isn’t a lie. They need to rediscover their own story. They need a new mythology.
But they’ve been lied to for so long: Russians are not ‘Rus’. They are not Kievan. They are Muscovites – Europeans, mostly – but their culture and institutions are Byzantine, Mongol, Tatar and Islamic. And that is an unappealing, uninspiring history.
This conflict may be truth’s conquest of strength. It will continue toward Moscow because truth and cooperation is stronger than strength exercised as savagery and corruption.
The faster Muskovites find their story and return to their roots, the less people will suffer.
They never really discovered truth. They’ve always had a version of strength instead of truth, and they lie their asses off to exercise it. But because of this metaphysics, nobody trusts anybody. It’s a low trust society with a very low capacity for cooperation, both internally and with outsiders.
So even though they value strength, their inability to trust each other makes them weaker than European peoples.
Europe (really North Sea Europe): Truth (ie Science)
Muslim Civilization: Family
Maybe I should revise “Europe”.
Anglo – Truth (Science)
Germany – Duty
Anglos are an island people and had the luxury of putting truth ahead of duty. Germans were a continental people who survived by strength of arms. It’s no coincidence that that counter-enlightenment began in Germany.
Also, the war between and Anglos and Germans marks the second time that civilization ended in a war between the navy and the army. The industrial revolution may very well have happened in ancient Greece had not civilization’s navy (Athens) got to war with civilization’s army (Sparta).
Putin could have been a hero to many people, including me, if he would have created property rights and rule of law and made Russia into a conservative alternative to the West. The opportunity was enormous.
I now realize this was impossible, and my hopes were completely naive. Putin is incapable of doing this, and the Russian idea needs to change on a very fundamental level before they will see property rights and rule of law to be in their interest.
Right now, the Russian idea is threatened by these western institutions. (As it should be, because the idea is rotten as hell.)
The Soviet Union never finished collapsing. It needs to.
This essay is part of a trilogy regarding Kremlin influence over the alternative libertarian media in the west.
Part 1: Putin’s Libertarians
THE LATEST LIBERTARIAN SHILLERY FOR RUSSIA
THE RATTLE OF SOVIET SKELETONS
Living in Ukraine, particularly since the poorly disguised Russian invasion began last April, has taught me a lot of what the Soviet Union must have been like.
Petty gangsters and vain nobodies are elevated to positions of power and status. When their Russian handlers disapprove of them, they are murdered in the street (like “Batman”), or simply vanish. Some have reappeared in Moscow doing interviews with Russian media.
Early in the Crimean invasion, a Tartar activist, Reshat Ametov, was kidnapped and his body was found covered with signs of torture. He died a painful, horrible death.
Early in the invasion of Donbas, a local, pro-Ukrainian politician, Volodymyr Rybak, was kidnapped and his body found covered with signs of torture. The reason they lead with such savagery is spelled out in Lenin’s infamous 1918 hand-written hanging order: “Do it in such a fashion that for hundreds of kilometres around the people might see, tremble.”
Civil society is actively dismantled. A distant acquaintance of mine, a petite girl who works in a bookstore and organizes literary events was followed for three days when she went home to Crimea. The agent waited for her outside her home and followed unassumingly throughout the day. I guess for Russia, she was a person of influence and they wanted to let her know they were watching.
Propaganda leads reality in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There is a cynical joke here that if a bunch of Russian journalists show up and turn on their cameras, get ready, because something is about to explode.
Included in the online instruction manual of Pavel Gubarev was the instruction, “Don’t pass up any opportunity to engage in some atrocity that can be blamed on the junta’s fighters.” I’ve collected these stories as evidence that Russia has been doing everything it can to create civilian massacres which can be blamed on Kyiv.
And while brutality and confusion swallows up Ukraine from the East (with no analogous treatment of Russians), prominent figures in the West make it their job to praise the Russian regime, to tirelessly repeat obvious lies, just like in Soviet times — lies which aren’t even internally consistent with their other lies. Evidence is ignored. When one talking point becomes too uncomfortable they’ll switch to the next. Often, they exactly match the language used by the Kremlin.
AN OBVIOUS LIE
Chris Martenson recently wrote “What’s Really Happening in Ukraine” for the Casey Report. He write that US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt tweeted a “crudely doctored photo” which attempted to blame the shooting down of MH-17 on the “Russian backed separatists” (ie Russian mercenaries and military forces).
For libertarians like myself who’ve spent the last decade skeptical and critical about our own government’s false flag attacks, this is very intuitively appealing. We’re sensitive to government lies and false flags. But Chris Martenson is lying. Shamelessly. He just made this up.
Like most Kremlin talking points, this one is designed to help us believe things our intuition wants to believe.
There was no tweet by Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt with satellite imagery showing the shooting down of MH-17, and it gets even stranger the closer we look.
He’s ignoring the mountains of evidence implicating Russia in shooting down MH-17. There have been separate Dutch, German and Malaysian investigations into MH-17, all reaching the same conclusion — the Russian side did it.
This report is a particularly good read. Even barring these official investigations, the evidence against the Russians is pretty damning (collection of links) — they took credit for shooting down the plane on social media and Russian news, and then attempted to cover their tracks when they realized it was a civilian plane.
At the same time, Russia’s various lies and excuses are not even internally consistent. They can’t keep their story straight: the CIA had filled MH-17 with dead bodies, a Spanish air controller (who’s never been found, despite him creating a Twitter account after the attack) redirected MH-17 into Russian-controlled territory to cause the accident, a Ukrainian missile shot down the plane because they thought Putin was aboard, a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter (which is actually too slow to catch a 777 and has too low a ceiling) shot down MH-17.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS & MEMORY
Russian propaganda is very conscious of how memory works. They work like hell to influence first impressions — Ukrainian protesters are Nazis, Russia is not invading Crimea. They also work to dilute and re-wire past memories damaging to their image.
Take Chris Martenson’s lie. The US Ambassador did tweet satellite imagery, but not about MH-17. It was about cross-border artillery bombardments from Russia into Ukraine — something which has since been corroborated by soldier testimony and a detailed crater analysis study by a British investigative journalism group.
Let’s also consider Chris Martenson’s strange choice of words: “crudely doctored photo.” If you have a moment, please Google “MH-17” and “crudely doctored photo.”
The Kremlin briefly became a laughing stock when they released a “crudely doctored photo” of an SU-25 fighter jet (launching a missile even) at MH-17. This can’t be a coincidence. The identical choice of words is an attempt to dilute and re-wire people’s memories from scraps of things which they heard some months ago.
These propagandists produce crap faster than anyone can shovel. Their goal is not to be right or win the argument. Their goal is to distract, demoralize, effect first impression, and re-wire memories.
You couldn’t praise Ukrainians overcoming the lethal force of their government after it began killing protesters when libertarians were screaming at the tops of their lungs that we are all Nazis. You couldn’t condemn Russian’s invasion of Crimea when libertarians like Scott Horton and Daniel McAdams were insisting that it wasn’t, in fact, happening. It was all imagined, presumably.
This is why I’m trying to strike the root by questioning Chris Martenson’s credibility. He’s a shameless liar and propagandist for Russia. But I’ll make a few more arguments:
KREMLIN TALKING POINTS, VERBATIM
Chris Martenson writes, “Western-supported and installed leadership in Kiev is losing the campaign.” (Similarly, the secretive libertarian writer and assumed sock-puppet persona Robert Wenzel wrote, “The ‘libertarian’ supporters of the current Ukrainian government never address this fact. Can they please tell us why it is legitimate for the U.S. government to be involved in the overthrow?” Dear Robert, please review my work including “Putin’s Libertarians.” Also, who are you?)
There’s no evidence for the leadership being “Western-installed.”. I refute this theory exhaustively in “Putin’s Libertarians.” Point by point. What happened in Ukraine was a revolution by the people. All my friends were on Maidan. My lead developer would quit work every time violence flared up and drove his SUV to be on Maidan. He earns twenty five dollars an hours. (Paul Craig Roberts insisted that Maidan protesters were motivated by twenty dollars a day paid by western intelligence, and had the audacity to tell me I was wrong.) My developer, like many Ukrainians, considered it his duty.
We see a thriving Poland to the west with property rights and rule of law, and a corrupt, savage, impoverished, propaganda-saturated Russia in the east, which has for centuries worked to destroy Ukrainian identity. Russia’s leaders regularly insist that Ukraine doesn’t really exist.
We’ve been fighting Muskovite occupation since before the CIA (or even the USA) existed. So far, help from the West has been very, very little and very, very welcome.
To counter this glaring contrast between European and Russian civilizations (you can also compare the standard of living in Belarus to the Baltics), Robert Wenzel resorts to the Soviet-era rhetorical strategy of whataboutism. He argues that they’re all states, so what’s the difference? As if living in Poland is the same as living in Russia, and living in South Korea is the same as living in North Korea.
The desire for a better life, much less for survival, is not a CIA conspiracy. Does is bother these Putin libertarians that people from Putin’s inner circle have called for genocide against Ukrainians? Or that within living memory, the Russians (Bolsheviks) inflicted it — killing up to 25% of Ukraine’s population in the 20s and early 30s?
Robert Wenzel is an idiot for drawing a moral equivalence.
Chris Martenson writes, “Ukraine Hides Devastating Losses as Russia-Backed Fighters Surge Forward.”
I do think Ukraine has been minimizing the losses in a Pollyanna sort of way, but Chris manages to ignore what has largely been the story of this conflict. Russia hides its dead.
Russia, like the Soviet Union cannot countenance its own weakness. During WWII, Soviet soldiers who became prisoners of war were considered non-persons. According to many sources, including Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s epic Gulag Archipelago, if they were returned into Soviet hands, they’d be shipped off to Siberia.
Perhaps a similar mentality informs the arrival of portable crematories in Russian held territory. They’ll burn their dead not far from the front.
For Russia, the need to appear strong is so fundamental, it’s almost a metaphysics. In their low trust society, everybody suspects everyone else of everything. The appearance of strength is a basic necessity as a deterrence. They can’t comprehend how idealistic westerners are.
Of course, Chris Martenson writes about “civil war.”
From the very beginning, this has been an invasion, both in Crimea and in Donbas. There is a video from April, 2014 of the notorious Bezler at the seized Horlivka PD “I’m a colonel of Russian Army” he said. (Later in the war, he admitted to executing Ukrainian prisoners of war. After MH17, he vanished and re-appeared in Moscow.)
This is an invasion. There is no civil war.
The number of personal friends I have from Eastern Ukraine is not two or three, it’s in the dozens, and includes some of my closest friends. What the hell is wrong with libertarians? Who the hell are they to lecture me about the sentiments of my friends?
And if you don’t want to believe my anecdotal evidence, here is a collection of eleven different survey about sentiments in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Support for Russia has always been low — at most (in Donetsk), it was half the size of support for Ukraine, and by all accounts, it has dropped precipitously since people became acquainted with the brutality and lawlessness of the irregular Russian mercenaries leading the invasion.
Have you noticed that libertarian support for Russia increases in proportion to how far the libertarian lives from Russian? Libertarians from Finland to Ukraine are all appalled at the betrayal. Libertarians in Russia (those who dare speak) feel similarly. Here is an appeal by the Libertarian Party of Russia.
Yet all these Americans are telling us the people in Eastern Ukraine revolted. It’s complete garbage. Russia unleashed hell in Ukraine and propaganda in the West. There is no civil war. There never has been.
The whole thing about Ukraine’s government suppressing the Russian language is also an invention designed to appeal to our intuition, to help us believe the thing that critics of the US government want to believe. The leaders of Ukraine’s two most prominent volunteer battalions, Donbas and Azov are both Russian speakers from Eastern Ukraine.
The leaders of what Chris Martenson calls a “civil war” are all known Russian GRU agents or local gansters. They’ve been rotated frequently at suddenly, with no disruption to the invasion (because the real puppet masters are in Moscow).
Chris Martenson writes, “But the people of Ukraine have to be kicking themselves right about now. Not only did they fall for the rosy promises of change and hope peddled by the West, they also believed the West would be a better partner for them than Russia.”
Go to hell, Chris Martenson, you Kremlin shill. We are fighting for survival. Almost nobody, not ever among their former supporters, believes Russia is better for Ukraine.
The big dismay that most Ukrainians express is that the West won’t offer more support. So far help has been very little and very appreciated.
ARGUING WITH PROFESSIONAL PROPAGANDISTS
This is what Russian propaganda does. It distracts you and consumes your time. After picking apart their Gordian knots of lies, there is little room left to recall the kidnapped and tortured Protestant pastors in Donetsk, kidnapped Catholic priests in Crimea, the almost two dozen Crimean Tartars who have gone missing (out of a population of only 250,000), how they’ve burned Ukrainian books, banned Ukrainian instruction in school, replaced bilingual (Russian and Ukrainians) signs with Russian ones, nationalized over a billion dollars worth of private property in Crimea and redistributed it to their gangsters, posted vidoes of Ukrainian POWs being beated and humiliated, of dead Ukrainians with their hands bound, seemingly executed, their threats to bomb, burn, and/or invade Kharkiv, Kyiv, Lviv, Warsaw, Tallinn, Berlin, London, and Washington DC.
This is what Chris Martenson is defending. Libertarians who support and apologize for Putin are full of crap.
And before anybody listens to the Russian comment trolls who will accuses me of bias, please keep mind my previous positions:
– I (like many libertarians) wanted Russia to be an alternative to the West. Russia makes it very easy for us to believe that it can be an alternative, especially those of us who don’t live close enough to see their savagery and North Korea style, alternate reality lies. In Russia, over 100,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs are in prison for falling out of favor with authorities.
– I wrote an essay called “Why I’m against Ukraine joining the EU and you should be too.”
– Even after the Russians annexed Crimea, I wrote published an essay on the Daily Beast about how the west should still avoid involvement. (I no longer feel this way.)
How is it possible for libertarianism to be so full of Russian propaganda?
Contrary to James Bond movies, the KGB did very, very little espionage. The KGB effected the message. They identified dissenting media everywhere and infiltrated. They identified influential people everywhere (including my acquaintance, the bookstore employee in Crimea) and either suppressed or amplified the message.
In the famous “Deception was my job” interview, former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov describes how he traveled to California to meet Maharishi Mahesh, leader of the Transcendental Meditation Movement. They felt meditation encouraged Americans to withdraw from society and made them less likely to resist Soviet influence.
Watch it, or watch the Soviet Active Measures interviews to understand how influencing foreign media is a priority for Russian intelligence, and how deliberately they proceed.
If the KGB was that interested in meditation, imagine how interested today’s KGB (the FSB) is in libertarianism everywhere that it intersects with anti-Americanism and military withdrawal.
Libertarians, you are being lied to, and you should feel just as shocked and betrayed by this as you were when you discovered your government was lying to you.
To comments, please to do the original: http://dailyanarchist.com/2015/02/22/the-latest-libertarian-shillery-for-russia/
Originally published here: https://dailyanarchist.com/2015/02/22/the-latest-libertarian-shillery-for-russia/
Russia does not do maneuver warfare. I’ve known a few cavalry officers who are probably looking at Russia’s performance in the east and licking their chops.
The reason Russia doesn’t do maneuver warfare is because they can’t solve the great prisoners dilemma problem that all militaries face.
(Every individual soldier is best off if everyone *except* him does their duty. Think of how Arabs are great raiders and opportunists but have trouble holding the line.)
Nobody solves the prisoners dilemma of combat as well as Europeans. Nobody. And Russians — at least their culture and their institutions — are NOT European.
They do what they’re best at. A sort of anti-blitzkrieg. They leverage their greatest ability which is lying. They use words (promises, treaties) to distract their enemy while infiltrating his institutions and gaining influence over dissenting political movements and alternative media.
They uphold the illusion of their own strength, even to the extent of silencing the families of their own fallen soldiers.
They use their networks to amplify the illusion of whatever false reality is most suitable to them.
They strive to create decay and demoralization in the institutions of their enemy and wait for opportunities. Like Arab raiders, they are very opportunistic.
They pretend to have a European style army, but they don’t. Many times in history (including in the present war with Ukraine), their regular military served as a rear guard pressing reluctant, undisciplined irregular forces into the fight.
They don’t maneuver. Not much anyway. They can’t sustain a fight. They don’t have a flexible, efficient logistics system.
More importantly, they don’t have trust or idealism. They think everyone is out to get them, including their families and neighbors. This is so deep in their psyche, it’s like their metaphysics. It’s been observed many times in history. Here‘s a 19th century example. Russians don’t have good intention and they can’t even fathom how idealistic Westerners are. Everything is suspect. This nihilism is why they can’t cooperate on the level of Europeans. Without an armed rear guard, their military formations would disintegrate.
The Russian way of war is causing decay and demoralization (by lying their asses off), and seizing opportunities.
The only physical threat they pose to NATO is their significant nuclear arsenal.
Among Russians, shame goes not to the liar, but to the weak, naive sucker who believed. This is why Russians are so bad at cooperating.
After a promise of amnesty from Putin and the Russian parliament in 2000, 78 Chechen men (and 2 women) voluntarily surrendered to the Russian Army. They were all tortured and killed.
Goodbye NKVD/KGB/FSB. Goodbye propaganda. Goodbye fake “brothers” we never really had & sure as hell didn’t want. Goodbye fake history. Goodbye autocracy. Goodbye lies. Goodbye hammer and sickle. Goodbye Lenin-Stalin worship. Goodbye intimidation, brutality, savagery, poverty. We won’t miss you. No, we don’t want to invade you, we just want to put up a wall and stake out the frontier of *****WESTERN***** civilization. Goodbye!
Irony serves as humor in Russia — it’s an extention of their profound nihilism. Everything is futile.
British humor is uniquely witty, connecting distant subjects in surprising ways. The more distant, the better. Is this a luxury of being island people?
German humor is sarcasm, shaming people into doing their duty.
Ukrainian humor, seems to be uniquely diminutive — applying the Ukrainian languages endless gradients of diminutives to surprising subjects or in surprising ways. I think it’s a coping mechanism for the difficult life which Ukrainians have long suffered.
This essay is part of a trilogy regarding Kremlin influence over the alternative libertarian media in the west.
Part 1: Putin’s Libertarians
WHEN YOUR FORMER LIBERTARIAN HERO CALLS YOU A NAZI
One of the biggest WTF moments of the Ukraine crisis was this demonstration by New York City’s lesbian gay trans bisexual & queer community in support of the “separatists” (who are mostly Russian-hired mercenaries, led by Russian GRU agents). The “separatists” are violently anti-gay.
At various times, Russia’s ever-changing propaganda centered on “protecting” Ukraine from European homosexuality. Sergei Aksyonov, the de facto leader of Russian-annexed Crimea has said “We do not need such people [homosexuals]. . . . Our police and self-defense forces will react immediately and in three minutes will explain to them what kind of sexual orientation they should stick to.”
So why would a LGBTQ community demonstrate on their behalf?
AGAIN, HOW TO ARUGE NON-INTERVENTION IN UKRAINE WITHOUT DECEPTION
When you portray Russia’s aggression vs their neighbor as defensive and just, you’re engaging in justification (ie deception).
If you want to make the case against American intervention (really ^continued non-intervention as the help Ukrainians have been pleading for has been minimal) then make it without deception. It should have everything to do with the cost of such a conflict and the need for Ukrainian self-reliance. I make the latter point here. The case should have nothing to do with Russia protecting Russian speakers, or their interests, or anything else because as far as their political system goes, it is immoral and has, for centuries, dragging surrounded civilizations into poverty and corruption.
I sympathize with your view, partly. As an American, I am also wary of endless militarism. I’ve written about this many times. But as I pointed out during my lecture at PFS 2011 – http://www.vimeo.com/user4741660 – there is a libertarian case for war in places where people want your protection. If my neighbor was being raped, I would not maintain a policy of non-intervention. Liberty and property rights have a cost. Who will bear that cost?
Libertarian ideology is grossly misguided where it assumes non-aggression is sufficient. A commons / social norms / legal norms exist and must be defended as one would defend property . . . . defended with violence.
AGGRESSION VS HARM VS COST (via +Curt Doolittle)
1 – I have no agreement with you, and therefore no constraint.
2 – I will not aggress against you.
3 – I will not cause you harm.
4 – I will not cause you to bear a cost.
5 – I will bear costs of reciprocal insurance.
Non-aggression alone leaves open unethical, immoral, and conspiratorial action. Harm leaves open the problem of relative costs — ie the costs of prohibiting criminal, unethical, immoral, and conspiratorial action of all kinds.
I think the jury is still out on the question of scale. Should we say that you bear the cost of reciprocal insurance for your neighbor, but not for your neighbor’s neighbor, or should the scope be universal. It’s a question of strategy, I suppose.
As an American, I am indeed wary of endless militarism. I’ve written about this many times. But as I pointed out during my lecture at PFS 2011 – http://www.vimeo.com/user4741660 – there is a libertarian case for war in places where people want your protection. If my neighbor was being raped, I would not maintain a policy of non-intervention.
As a Ukrainian, how the west or Russia rationalizes their actions or inactions is irrelevant (well put, Curt Doolittle). We see a prosperous, law-abiding Poland to the west and an oppressive, corrupt, murderous, impoverished, propaganda-saturated Russia to the east. Our choice is a rational one, even given the debt and incompetence of the EU which many of my close friends so effectively criticize.