Should Peace Prevail? Of Course! by Karen Kwiatkowski (“The Hobnail Boot of the State Stomping on your face. Karen Kwiatkowski on war.”)
Recently by Karen Kwiatkowski: Rebellion, Resistance, Renewal … or War?
This is my small part of Marc Guttman’s recently published book Why Peace now on Kindle and I-books too!
When I contributed to the recently published Why Liberty, the assignment was easy. After all, liberty is a condition that men and women everywhere instinctively love and need, even if it isn’t always well-articulated. Liberty speaks to a way of self-government that is human-centered and fundamentally humane. Liberty defines human rights in a way that is supremely just, and liberty, by its very nature, is antithetical to force. Liberty is the natural condition of man, and most Americans share this ideal. Peace, on the other hand, for Americans born in the past 70 years, and for the millions of foreign subjects of the modern American empire, has not been part of their ideals, their ethics or their collective experience.
When we think of the Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his work on individualism, libertarians and logicians alike chuckle at his claim that “Men must be forced to be free.” Rousseau likely meant that we tend to be voluntarily enslaved by our governments and kings, and by our cultures and traditions. He was right on one aspect of human nature. We are often reluctant to give up our fantasies of the justness of our rulers, and the righteousness of our traditions.
Americans, in particular, embrace the language of liberty, even as the American state itself has become ominously and voraciously antithetical to liberty. The state pursues its wars in the name of liberty, and the government constantly reminds us that it maintains a large standing army, a massive military establishment, and a heavily integrated domestic police apparatus – all in the name of freedom. We cannot go far in the United States without being reminded that “if we like our freedom, thank a soldier.”
To talk about peace in the 21st century, as fresh as we are from the deadly outcomes of the 20th, is a challenge. While it is natural to love liberty, it seems that peace is often argued to be unnatural, uncommon, and unlikely in the human condition. While the claim to liberty is granted by the Creator, claims to peace are not. But practiced liberty, with its prohibition on the use of force to take a man’s time, his children, his property and labor, his movement, is the fundamental precursor to peace. A truly free society is one that embraces a culture on the value of individual lives, a respect for their property, and aversion to the use of force. It is one that is comfortable in the art of trading and deal-making based on marketplace choices, not government edicts. A truly free society is a peaceful society.
In the United States, we once had a vocal combination of thinkers who advocated nonviolence, and opposed the use of force, by individuals and by states. For many decades in our history, the primary opinion in the country was that government was to be limited in size and scope. Statesmen referenced the Constitution as a guide for this limited government, and limiting government (and by extension, war) was considered both valuable and normal. In these previous eras, serious public debate on war and peace was tolerated, and one could read about both war and peace in the newspapers.
But gradually, the state…………EXCERPT
- Rebellion, Resistance, Renewal … (lewrockwell.com)
- The Hobnail Boot of the State (txwclp.org)
- Rebellion, Resistance, Renewal … or War? by Karen Kwiatkowski (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- The Good News Is Everywhere! (network54.com)
- The Hobnail Boot of the State (lewrockwell.com)
- Ron Paul’s Torchbearers (businessweek.com)
- Essay: On Positive and Negative Liberty (marysoonae.wordpress.com)
- The New Ron Paul Candidates (reason.com)
- Businessweek: Ron Paul’s Torchbearers (dailypaul.com)
- SOPA stirs passion, not donations (politico.com)