War is NOT the Health of the State (Sometimes)

From my friend, the libertarian Timothy Sandefur (you can find the entire post here).

“Libertarian sloganeers are fond of saying that war “is the health of the state,” but this is just as much untrue as it is true. While war is a major threat to freedom—bringing with it surveillance, conscription, confiscation, destruction, curfews, etc.—“peace” is just as often an effective excuse for censorship, spying, arbitrary arrest, forcible disarmament, and, yes, even conscription. Being forced into civil service has been justified as a means to ensuring peace. In the years before 1861, it was those who sought to preserve “peace” who aided and abetted slavery, who censored or ignored the abolitionists, who demanded the return of fugitives, and devised complex compromises to allow the belligerent Slave Power to expand—all so as to have peace. Fugitives have very often been handed over to their persecutors on the excuse that it will ensure peace. And war is often the opposite of the health of the state. The American Revolution was not the health of the British state. The American Civil War was not the health of the Confederate state. World War II was not the health of the Nazi or Japanese Imperial states.”

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