Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Various and sundry thoughts on Iran

Some agreement, some disagreement with Eric Dondero:

I agree with Eric that there's a degree to which the libertarian movement is "AWOL" on Iran. Or, more to the point, the libertarian movement is pre-occupied with the prospect of US intervention in Iran, and not paying enough attention to Iran itself.

They're dying in the streets over there, folks, and what they're dying for is some version of the idea of freedom. We could argue all day over whether that version would pass Rand/Rothbard muster, but I don't think that's particularly relevant. The impulse is there, the flame is lit, and that flame deserves to be fed and fanned, not ignored or scoffed at or, especially, snuffed out.

I'm trying to be a consistent libertarian here.

One the one hand, I don't support foreign military interventionism by governments (which means that I favor the Libertarian Party, which deals in that arena, either keeping its organizational mouth shut or coming out against intervention).

By the same logic, though, I don't recognize national borders as legitimate barriers which should prevent individuals (or non-state organizations) from supporting struggles for freedom anywhere, any time, by any moral means, even if only by way of saying "we're with you."

Of course, perhaps we can do more than that. There may be some small effect from the whole "green your Twitter pic, change your time zone" stuff. Maybe we can smuggle some pro-freedom propaganda into the mix over there. Hell ... I suppose an Abraham Lincoln Brigade type project (perhaps renamed to preempt paleo conniptions) isn't entirely out of the question.

Sadly, I have to disagree with Eric on his description of this as a "fall of the Berlin Wall" moment. I suspect it's going to look a lot more like a "massacre at Tiananmen Square" moment. All the more reason to feed the flame now -- perhaps it can be kept alive, even at a slow burn, instead of being snuffed out entirely.

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