Krigens århundre

John V. Denson betegner det 20. århundre som ”The War and Welfare Century” i en artikkel idag.

Artikkelen beskriver blant annet hvordan spesielt krig har bidratt til å transformere den opprinnelige frihetsvennlige republikk til vår tids amerikanske statsapparat.


Denson siterer blant annet et brev fra Lord Acton til sydstatsgeneralen Robert E. Lee:

Therefore, I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo.

Denson filosoferer også over forholdet mellom demokrati og frihet:

We should learn from the war and welfare century that the greatest discovery in Western civilization was that liberty could be achieved only through the proper and effective limitation on the power of the state. It is this limitation on the power of the state which protects private property, a free-market economy, personal liberties and promotes a noninterventionist foreign policy, which, if coupled with a strong national defense, will bring peace and prosperity instead of war and welfare. It is not democracy per se which protects freedom.

Han sier videre:

Too many people living in democracies are lulled into believing that they are free because they have the right to vote and elections are held periodically. If you take conscription for military service as an example, I think you would find that if it was proclaimed by a sole monarch, the people would revolt and disobey. However, in a democracy, when the politicians vote for it, the people comply and still think they are free.

Han siterer til og med Friedrich August von Hayek, som blant annet har skrevet:

There can be no doubt that in history there has often been much more cultural and political freedom under an autocratic rule than under some democracies – and it is at least conceivable that under the government of a very homogeneous doctrinaire majority, democratic government might be as oppressive as the worst dictatorship.

John V. Denson er redaktør av bøkene The Costs of War og Reassessing the Presidency.

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