On Intervention

A friend recently analogized the US Government intervening in a foreign dispute (Iraq, for example) with me intervening in a mugging. This is a poor analogy. In the latter, my willingness to intervene depends greatly on not only the power I wield, say a gun, but also the costs of intervention, ie. the potentialities of immediate harm to myself and future harm to either myself or others, such as my family. In the former, the willingness to intervene does not depend on the costs of intervention, because the US Government will push that cost, both monetary and in lives lost, like all of its costs, onto others. In other words, the US Government, or rather, those particular individuals who make the decision to intervene, unlike me in my situation, do not have to bear the costs of their decision. This seems like an inherently immoral act to me. What about to you? And that’s today’s two cents.


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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.