Sheldon Richman discusses what he calls “the nonintervention principle,” a corollary of libertarianism’s nonaggression principle. Richman says that in the face of those who advocate foreign intervention and regime change, libertarians have a tendency to deny the claims that are being used to justify the intervention, rather than categorically opposing intervention qua intervention, no matter how bad the situation is. He acknowledges that many of these arguments are sound, so far as they go—for example, the fact that Assad is actually pretty good by regional standards—but that they can give the impression that in cases where the situation actually is dire, libertarians would be okay with the proposed regime change. This is obviously not the case, and Richman reminds us that opposition to this brand of foreign policy should be based first and foremost on the philosophical stance against any kind of aggressive war, not on the particulars of the situation at hand.
Discussed on the show:
- “TGIF: The Nonintervention Principle” (The Libertarian Institute)
- America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited
- Our Enemy, the State
Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of the Libertarian Institute and the author of Coming to Palestine and America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited. Follow him on Twitter @SheldonRichman.
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