ZAP (Zero Aggression Principle) is incompatible with WAR. This is because that while wars can be fought defensively, to do so as the only means of fighting is to invite your eventual destruction. An enemy will put on the line, only the resources he is prepared to lose. Because he is prepared to lose those resources, he is also prepared to continue the war without them. The only way to win the war is go after resources that an enemy is not prepared to lose.
ZAP is a principle for society. But in WAR, society is forfeit for the sake of direct plunder. As such, ZAP cannot be applied correctly in WAR. This is why real libertarians shun WAR. It is incompatible with our moral code. That said, if an enemy attacks, defenses must be mounted. If the conflict continues, then WAR is the ineveitable result and ZAP is suspended until society can be restored to order. At that point WAR is suspended and ZAP resumes. This is the ideal of a stateless society. States are the source of war. States plunder by default. When states wish to plunder at a larger scale, they will muster the resources of the state (Usually by plundering its own citizens) and then attack for the sake of even more plunder.In “Unintended Consequences”, Henry Bowmans actions were at first defensive. But as things progressed he and his associates had to become offensive, or “go on the WARpath” in order to keep from being completely overrun. This is the unfortunate fact of life that some would like to forget.
In order to make WAR more palletable to the masses, states try to make rules for war. Such are the Geneva Conventions. Yet every member of the Geneva Conventions that has gone to war, has violated those conventions. The US governmment is no exception to this.
The problem is that WAR already violates ZAP, so the moral code goes out the window. Next is the fact if you go to the bargaining table with something you already have (like the willingness to prescecute a WAR to your advantage), the only thing you can do is lose. There can be no rules to WAR. WAR is an interruption and exception of society, and rules. To fight a war with rules is to accept your enemies conditions for your surrender. WAR is ugly. It is suppposed to be. If not, it becomes justified by statute and glorified by religious nationalism.
In the prologue of “To Hell and Back”, the story of Audie Murphy in WWII, General Walter Bedell Smith states:
“Armies, for the most part, are made up of men drawn from simple and peaceful lives. In time of war they suddenly find themselves living under conditions of violence, requiring new rules of conduct that are in direct contrast to the conditions they lived under as civilians. They learn to accept this to perform their duties as fighting men.”
Powerful words. And true. Malcom Reynolds in Serenity hints at the transformation when Inara questions his motives…
Inara: I just want to know who I’m dealing with. I’ve seen too many versions of you to be sure.
Captain Reynolds: I start fighting a war, I guarantee you’ll see something new.
WAR changes men. They lose their moral code in order to win the battle FOR the code itself. This is why things that would be crimes in a peaceful society become accepted behavior, even if despised on a personal level, in WAR. It is the reason that WAR should be avoided and that states should also be avoided, as they are the perpetrators of WAR.
We are rapidly approaching the point of open warfare between the citizens and the states of the united States of America. The states have been conducting this war for years under the veil of rules. Lately though, they have moved to more provocative measures, like the Patriot Act, I and II, and III (in the works) and the Mililarty Commisons Act and various state laws that directly interfere with free trade, individual rights and liberty. One day soon the pro-state and anti-state citizens will be forced into civil war by the states themselves. On that day, each of us will have to decide whether we want war as a fact of everyday life, or whether we will accept the war on the temporary suspension of ZAP to restore the rights to the people.
Also,… on that day…………..The Outlaw will ride…
“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” — Mahatma Gandhi