sexta-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2007

Rothbard e a Guerra

O tema pelo qual adoram odiá-lo (força de expressão, claro). É estranho que em política externa tudo seja admissível, menos...menos...qualquer posição de neutralidade prudente. Até parece que foram estes que tiveram qualquer culpa perante a estupidez do inicio, meio e fim da Primeira Guerra Mundial do qual saiu o Estalinismo e Nazismo, e depois parece também que foram estes que fizeram a aliança com o Estalinismo concedendo-lhe no fim a vitória total depois de este ter cometido todos os seus crimes uma década antes e ter igualmente invadido a Polónia. Coisas ...

Mas David Gordon que esteve recentemente na Gulbenkian apanha uns quantos argumentos rothbardianos de senso comum:

"(...) The Accepted Picture draws a lesson from all these events. An aggressive power, almost always led by a dictator, must be dealt with as one would handle a neighborhood bully. Only firm demands to the dictator can stave off war.

Since bullies generally are cowards, dictators will back down if directly challenged. The Munich Conference, September 29-30, 1938, perfectly illustrates how not to handle a dictator. Britain and France appeased Hitler; the result was war one year later. Had Britain and France acted when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in 1936, the Nazis could have been overthrown virtually without cost.

Rothbard at once locates the fallacy in this oft-repeated line of thought. "Answer me this, war hawks: when, in history when, did one State, faced with belligerent, ultra-tough ultimatums by another, when did that State ever give up and in effect surrender – before any war was fought? When?" (p. 170).

Rothbard's rhetorical question rests upon a simple point of psychology. The supposed "bully" cannot surrender to an ultimatum lest he be overthrown. "No head of State with any pride or self-respect, or who wishes to keep the respect of his citizens, will surrender to such an ultimatum" (p. 170).

The Gulf War perfectly illustrates Rothbard's contention. Faced with an overwhelming show of force, Saddam Hussein did not back down. Rothbard's apt generalization explains Saddam's seemingly irrational response.

But have we not forgotten something? What about World War II? Does not the failure to confront Hitler over Czechoslovakia in 1938 prove conclusively the thesis of the anti-appeasers?

Our author's response illustrates his ability to counter an opposing argument at its strongest point. "Neither was World War II in Europe a case where toughness worked. On the contrary, Hitler disregarded the English guarantee to Poland that brought England and France into the German-Polish war in September 1939" (p. 170).

A belligerent foreign policy, then, will most likely lead to the wars it professes to deter. But who urges us toward this course? Rothbard arraigns the social democrats and their successors, the neoconservatives. These he accuses of support for statism at home and war abroad.(...)"

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