sexta-feira, 27 de agosto de 2004

A dimensão

"The basis of history is fact, and there is no substitute for precise knowledge of historical facts. As Rothbard points out, this can only be gained by extensive reading and study of both the primary and secondary sources.

No one can deduce, on a purely a priori basis, that Monaco is not a major problem in the world. But armed with just one bit of empirical knowledge—namely that Monaco is less than one square mile in area—one can easily make that deduction. It would simply be absurd for tiny Monaco to even think about invading any other country.

By the same token, one can deduce that unified Germany (with 80+ million people under a single régime) would be much more aggressive than the Holy Roman Empire (split into 1800+ more or less sovereign units). Fact may be the basis of history, but reasoning and deduction supply its meaning, and permit us to learn from the experience of the past.

War is indeed the "health of the state". Yet, as Lenin pointed out, it is in time of war that the state is most vulnerable and most in need of popular support. The likelihood that countries will pursue aggressive and war-mongering policies depends on the ability of their ruling elites to mobilise mass "patriotism" (witness the "USA Patriot Act").

The larger the country, the easier the task becomes. It is far easier for the U.S., Russia, and China to impose their respective forms of "hegemony" on other peoples than it is for countries like Canada, Luxembourg, and Tunisia.

Woodrow Wilson got it wrong: It is not "democracies" that are unlikely to be aggressive and war-mongering. It is small countries that are unlikely to be so."

Doug Rees

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