TCS Daily


The Return of National Greatness Conservatism

By Gregory Scoblete - March 4, 2008 12:00 AM

There's an old military aphorism that reminds us that "no military plan survives contact with the enemy." It can equally be said that no intellectual fad survives contact with reality. Such appeared to be the verdict rendered on one of the late 1990s silliest intellectual fads, "national greatness conservatism" as it collided with the ugly realities of policing Iraq.

Yet John McCain's ascendancy in the Republican primaries signals the idea's rebirth. Indeed, appreciating "national greatness," its impact on America's foreign policy, and McCain's affinity for it may help shed some light on what his prospective presidency could offer.

National greatness doesn't actually refer to the greatness of America or of Americans (a subject not in dispute). Rather it is a set of beliefs about how America is to achieve, and retain, greatness as defined by the movement's authors.

To understand what national greatness is one must first appreciate the milieu within which it emerged. The notion was articulated in a 1997 Wall Street Journal article by David Brooks and Bill Kristol, then of the Weekly Standard. The late 1990s were, if you recall, a time of historically low unemployment, a healthy economy, and relative peace internationally. The end of the Cold War had turned the page on a tense, decades long superpower stand off, bequeathing a significant degree of calm to international affairs. Brooks and Kristol and their fellow national greatness devotees viewed this peace and prosperity with great alarm.

Rejecting what they saw as a "cramped" conservative view toward government (embodied by the phrase "leave us alone"), the authors sought to suffuse conservatism with a high-minded, patriotic nationalism centered on a "limited but energetic" federal government. This was not to be, mind you, the European "blood and soil" nationalism responsible for so much carnage in the early 20th century. What the authors had in mind was a Lincoln-esque nationalism rooted in the belief that ours was "an exceptional nation founded on a universal principle."

Implicit in the national greatness critique of contemporary conservatism (indeed, of society at large) was that material abundance and the perception of international peace were sapping our vital spirit, turning us into thoughtless "Bobos" basking in our consumer paradise. To merely enjoy the fruits of freedom was "unworthy" of the world's sole superpower. Only a reinvigorated sense of national purpose, thrust down upon the people by an "energetic" government could rejuvenate our souls. The pursuit of happiness our founding fathers spoke approvingly of? A dead end.

The corollary to the belief in the exceptionalism and the universality of American principles was a proclivity for activism, especially internationally. In a related Foreign Affairs article, Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, sketched out a "Neo-Reaganite" foreign policy that scorned those who were "more interested in balancing the budget than in leading the world." To the authors, it was incumbent upon the U.S. not simply to defend itself, but to actively propagate its values behind its superior military force. The goal, they wrote, was "benevolent global hegemony."

Free marketers and realists were, needless to say, not impressed with the doctrine. James Glassman and Virginia Postrel called it "wistful nationalism in search of a big project." Adam Garfinkle, executive editor of the National Interest, derided it as a "peculiar notion" born of Washington's excess intellectual capacity.

Yet the movement hitched its wagon to a popular politician, backing John McCain's 2000 presidential run. They saw in McCain's language of virtue and honor the second coming of Teddy Roosevelt. Here was a man, they believed, willing to unapologetically wield the big stick of government power on behalf of grand goals. When McCain was defeated by a candidate pledging "humility" in American conduct, it appeared as if national greatness would amount to nothing more than an engaging intellectual sideshow.

Then came 9/11. Here at last was a moment that would rouse the Bobos from their consumerist torpor to claim their mantle as their world's benevolent hegemon. Though President Bush did not campaign as a national greatness conservative, his response was saturated in its rhetoric. That's not surprising given that his chief speech writer, Michael Gerson, was an ardent proponent of the doctrine (since leaving the White House, Gerson authored Heroic Conservatism which can be read as an updated brief in defense of national greatness).

America, Bush said, was not simply attacked, but freedom itself was under siege. Ours was a "generational challenge" akin to the World Wars or the Cold War. The small network of jihadists whose chief masterminds barely escaped to the filth and illiteracy of the Pakistani hinterlands had suddenly become the peers of the Wehrmacht and Red Army. They were not merely an urgent threat, but "the calling of our time."

One of President Bush's famous faux pas - his invocation of a "crusade" against terrorism - was another hat-tip to the national greatness movement. Critics erroneously attributed the phrase to the president's historical insensitivity but it was not meant to evoke the contentious past between Western Civilization and Islam, but the president's new found longing for a national mission.

Yet devotees of national greatness knew that defeating al Qaeda (difficult though that prospect remains to this day) was inadequate. From the earliest days after 9/11, they embraced a much wider target set. It was not enough to roll-up al Qaeda, instead, America was to roll back all rogue states and "transform" the Greater Middle East. Here, at last, was a "neo Reaganite" mission of sufficient magnitude to restore America's greatness.

That such a task was unprecedented in scope and historical context was precisely the point. Only by setting a grand goal, anchored in the twin pursuits of America's interests and values could the nation rise to fulfill its greatness. That the war was designed not to stop an impending assault but to "shape" the regional environment more to our liking was precisely the "neo-Reaganite" use of American power urged on by Kagan and Kristol.

And it is precisely that project that has come to ground in Iraq. Far from vindicating the use of American power, Iraq has demonstrated its limits. These limits, of course, were hiding in plain sight. They were respected by many, including the former President George H. W. Bush and his coterie of national security advisors who urged caution before plunging ahead with a war whose broader aims of democratization were both extremely difficult to achieve and largely irrelevant to American national security.

Though the Iraq war has chastened some early supporters, McCain shows little inclination of revisiting his views. McCain's campaign Web-site boldly declares that "Iraq's transformation into a secure democracy and a force for freedom in the greater Middle East is the calling of our age." Far from moderating the ornate rhetoric of national greatness, he has, if anything, sought to amplify it during his campaign. He has called Islamic terrorism the "transcendent" challenge of the 21st century, a phrase no doubt gratifying to both bin Laden and Beijing.

McCain shares with the devotees of national greatness a deep distrust of freedom. In a speech in 2002, he said: "Our freedom and our industry must aspire to more than acquisition and luxury. We must live out the true meaning of freedom, and accept 'that we have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither.'"

Like Henry Ford advising a buyer that they could choose any color they wanted, so long as it's black, John McCain loves freedom, so long as you submit to the "true meaning" as defined by McCain himself. Judging by his policy positions on campaign finance reform and national service, that definition seems destined to be top-down and government-centric.

It's enough to make one say "leave us alone."


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132 Comments

Not to worry...
the pursuit of freedom and human rights for millions of humans held down by Islamists is not a worthy goal. Neither is an attempt to bring rogue states into line that are pursuing the most destructive weapons imaginable.

I guess it needs to be pointed out that the 90's would have been a far better time to take on AQ and to pursue nuclear disarmament of rogue states. Instead a certain administration choose to kick the can down the road and claim victory by helping North Korea with their nuclear program and ignoring Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Rwanda, Syria, Lebanon, China, and Africa as a whole.

Oh and don't forget the wonderous job done with Serbia and Kosovo. How is that looking these days? Considering that this was done without UN sanction or Congressional approval one would think the more liberally minded out there would be calling that administration "war criminals".

This article is insulting to those of us who have intelligence and the ability to access their memories. The last seven years are what you get when the previous eight years was spent having a love-in at the White House assisted by the MSM.

Sounds like fascism to me.
Why must liberty be associated with state?

Everyone knows
that any war that is not concluded within a week, a month at the outside, and without any loss of life, on either side, is by definition a failure.

After all, if Hollywood can do it, why can't the Pentagon.

LIberty or the USA?
Which is more important?

The USA was intended to be a vehicle to advance liberty. What happens when that is no longer the case?

Liberty
Liberty is more important. That's what the nation was founded on. Liberty is lost when men make the purpose of state the promotion of various virtues and values, including national greatness, er, nationalism.

See Bastiat, _The Law_: "It seems to me that this is theoretically right, for whatever the question under discussion—whether religious, philosophical, political, or economic; whether it concerns prosperity, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, cooperation, property, labor, trade, capital, wages, taxes, population, finance, or government—at whatever point on the scientific horizon I begin my researches, I invariably reach this one conclusion: The solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty."

Excess capacity?
Juxtaposing "excess intellectual capacity" and "Washington" seems like an oxymoron. Wherever that excess is, it's not in the halls of Congress. Maybe the National Air and Space museum has some to spare?

Emperor McCain hides in his clothes.
Thank you for taking the clothes of propaganda off of the bellicose policies of the Wanna-Be Emperor McCain. The National Greatness policy is simply propaganda clothing the naked policy of: Kill those you hate then spend billions hoping that they will like you. This policy was already proven a costly failure in Vietnam, but McCain hasn't yet learned the lesson. In fact he uses his awful experience there to give the facade of expertise in the matter.

Face the truth: No society can survive by taxing itself to prosperity having to pay for war and/or socialism. The only result is the break down of society from poverty and violence.

Only free societies can exist indefinitely as their citizenry reaps the benefits of their rights to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. And McCain has proven himself no friend of these rights in his career in Congress and in his own words.

But don't worry about More War McCain. If he fails, then there are BHO and HRC who have slightly less war and more socialism in their versions of National Greatness Liberalism.

Coupla questions
You state "Face the truth: No society can survive by taxing itself to prosperity having to pay for war and/or socialism."

How in the world has the United States lasted 228 years?

You further state "Only free societies can exist indefinitely as their citizenry reaps the benefits of their rights to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness."

Got any examples of this?

It's Security And Public Safety First
Everyone should be safe. Security from attack, and the public safety are most important. Then, individual liberties and free speech may follow: as long as the public safety is not threatened.

How much liberty will you sacrifice for security?

Order Must Prevail For Civilization To Survive
To imply that terrorism and anarchy should be allowed to exist is foolish. Critics of U.S. Policies in Iraq frequently hold a belief. They assume that appeasement will work. They think our enemies will leave us alone, if we ignore them.

We live in a post 9/11 world. The United States and our allies are fighting a Global War On Terror.

Due to years of service in the U.S. Senate, John McCain understands the politcal realities that affect National Security.

The USA is a good example of both?
There is no perfectly free country UNFORTUNATELY. But until the Civil War the US Government spent about 3% of the GDP. Now it is over 20% and growing much faster than the rest of the economy. The US even dissolved the national bank several times. How much better could it have been had the US dissolved slavery and letting those folks add their utmost to the economy?

For the first part of USA history, the citizens lived without the biggest stealer of freedom, that being the central government. From the Civil War on, the US has remained RELATIVE TO THE REST OF NATIONS a very free place. But the spending of the highest level of government has sped up and with it the loss of rights by the citizens. Look at the Economic Freedom Index. There was a time when the US was number 1. It is now between 7 and 12.

As to the statement that no country has survived through taxation: History is lettered with police states and totalitarian states that have crumbled under their own weight. The two best examples of this are Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. We are also seeing the destruction of Venezuela under the weight of near-totalitarian socialism.

The USA and its partner in crime The United Kingdom have a golden opportunity to spread peace and prosperity through the reduction of the size and scope of their respective governments. This is especially true in the case of foreign war making.

A Good Fair Considerate Degree
Humanity is entering a new stage of technological evolution. The human race is developing a capability to ensure the public safety. Some of the old values regarding privacy and the government's right to protect the public are no longer viable.

In reality, a very small degree of individual liberty will be traded for the better outcome of keeping people safe. Automated technologies will create a good standard of living for the world population, when correctly installed.

Did not answer the question. How much liberty are you willing to sacrifice?

How far will you go?
" Forcing one person to bear the burden of health care costs for another is not only a moral question but a major threat to personal liberty. Think about all the behaviors and lifestyles that can lead to illness and increase the burden on taxpayers. A daily salt intake exceeding 6 grams can lead to hypertension. A high-fat diet and high alcohol intake can also lead to diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to several costly diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and heart failure.

There are many other behaviors that lead to a greater health care burden, but my question is how much control over your life you are willing to give government in the name of reducing these costs? Would you want government to regulate how much salt you use? What about government deciding how much fat and alcohol you consume? There are immense beneficial health effects of a daily 30-minute aerobic exercise. Would you support government-mandated exercise?

You might argue that it's none of government's business how much fat, salt or alcohol a person consumes, even if it has adverse health care cost implications. I'd ask: Wouldn't the same reasoning apply to helmet laws and proposed obesity laws? Last year, The Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act was introduced in Congress. It's a measure to prevent schools from serving "junk foods" such as pizza, burgers and French fries. If the government protects children from "unhealthy" meals at school, would you want government to also protect them from unhealthy meals at home? "

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2008/03/05/liberty_versus_socialism

Who provided the order?
As was demonstrated in Iraq, order could not imposed from above. When those at the grassroots decided they wanted order, order began to be achievable.

The path to order is for individuals to have as little order imposed and have much opportunity to create their own order.

The most egregious error in battle
is to underestimate the enemy's will to fight on;

and, to assume the enemy is merciful.


Some non-sensical statements:
"As to the statement that no country has survived through taxation: History is lettered with police states and totalitarian states that have crumbled under their own weight. The two best examples of this are Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. We are also seeing the destruction of Venezuela under the weight of near-totalitarian socialism."

Okay, but this doesn't address the issue of taxation. Norway and Sweden have imposed tremendous tax burdens on themselves (~70%) and yet, they survive quite well.

"The USA and its partner in crime The United Kingdom have a golden opportunity to spread peace and prosperity through the reduction of the size and scope of their respective governments. This is especially true in the case of foreign war making."

Please clarify that statement. Did you intend to mean that if the U.S. and U.K. hide behind their borders, that the world would be even more hunky-dory than it is now?

Norway and Sweden also provide more and better quality 'public goods' for those taxes
...at least as far as their respective cultures see it.

Try going to the unemployment office in Sweden. I hear it is a vastly different experience than in the States. They help you with relocation and all kinds of stuff involved in the taking a new job.

And, there is different kinds of taxation. Taxation on capital and business (big business, usually) in those nations are often times less onerous than in the US. The small entrepreneur, on the other hand, gets caught in the vice grip of the crushing income and payroll taxes that individuals are imposed with. But, if you consider that 'people pay taxes, not businesses' is mostly an economic truism, then that is still just fine for a reasonably functioning economy.

The Irish have emulated this divide between low taxes on business and capital and high taxes on personal income and consumption as well, with similar success.

Also, the Supply-Siders like Jude Wanniski have long stated that the level of taxation that is 'too much' vs. 'too little' depends upon the norms upon which the Taxed consider it to be. So, Scandinavian taxation levels would never fly in the US while US social spending levels would never fly in Scandinavia, either.
To each his own, in other words.

Order, By Definition
Order means: the people will obey the law. It means crimes will be prevented, or if a crime is committed- the criminal will be apprehended.

Order is necessary for civilization to survive. Law is necessary to determine what rules the people must follow. Law dictates order, but it is within the infrastructure of the order itself that laws are enforced.

Any laws against farting?
Is it against the law to fart in public? No. Do many people try to fart loudly in public? If not, why not?

Self discipline and peer pressure can't be order because there is no law?

Does NOBODY EVER fart loudly in public?
The question is always what PROCESS should OTHERS follow if something they don't approve of DOES happen.

Okay, It Was Only A Funny Joke
Not within the boundaries of good order, probably not sufficient cause for incarceration, but punishable by disapproval and possible mocking!

NO. Marjon is serious and brings such things up to support anarcho capitalism
He thinks that societal order and peace are NOT inconsistent with anarchy where ANYBODY can employ deliberated retaliatory force on ANYBODY else.

Do we need a law against it?
The process is called 'shunning' and pointing and laughing and ridicule.

In a society that no longer has shame, only laws can try to control behavior.

Shunning and ridicule are retaliatory force?
That is how societies usually 'punish' behavior.

Norway moonshine
When I visited family in Norway, they showed me the stil they passed around to make booze. Flavors were purchased in the grocery store for rum, whiskey, etc.

They make their own because taxes are so high on alcohol to lower consumption. Why do they drink so much?

I believe they have little motivation not to. Their socialism punishes those who might want to work hard and be successful. Sure, they all have a certain amount of economic security, but it comes at a high social cost, I believe, as well.

Why bother with a husband if the state will take care of you kids. Why have kids at all?

I am really disappointed with my ancestors.

Bring back the Vikings.

I was just enlightening "charlesholden" that you bring up such trivia to justify anarchism
whose essence is "ANYBODY can use pre-planned retaliatory force on ANYBODY".

Isn't that what you advocate?

How do I advocate force? Shunning is force.? Ridicule is force?

Charles did not answer the question. How much force is required for order?
Who defines order?

You haven't answered either; I mean, you haven't answered Bidinotto
I am referring to our argument in the feedback section of the article "Splinter States".

The Contradiction in Anarchism by Robert J. Bidinotto

http://rous.redbarn.org/objectivism/Writing/RobertBidinotto/ContradictionInAnarchism.html

As Bidinotto asked in the above article, how do you prevent a monopoly from arising?

And here is MY question.

You wrote you agree with the following defintion of anarchy attributed to Murray N. Rothbard

"I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of an individual."

If your argument against LEGAL monopoly is the possibility of coercive aggression, how does anarchy prevent the NATURAL possibility of coercive aggression against the person or property of an individual?

Or, are you going to argue that THERE IS NO NATURAL posiibility of coercive aggression under anarchy?

You also wrote "Maybe Rothbard's definition of anarchy cannot be achieved, like when you divided by zero, but, why stop trying? Every step closer to the goal results in a better society. If you are a Christian, do you stop trying follow Christ even though you can never be perfect?

Is your goal removal of NATURAL posiibility of coercive aggression or LEGAL possibility of coercive aggression?

How does removing LEGAL possibility of coercive aggression removes NATURAL posiibility of coercive aggression?

Is Charles out there anywhere?

What is "NATURAL possibility of coercive aggression"?
Are you trying to suggest that there MUST be some sort of LEGAL (government?) force to establish order in all societies?

What? can't answer my questions and so skirting the issue?
..

NATURAL possibility of coercive aggression means,
Theoretically, ANYBODY can harm ANYBODY else at ANY TIME.

And ANY NUMBER of people can form "self-protection" groups (gangs) and take on any other number of people.

Are you going to argue against this (human) nature?

How does anarchy prevent this from happenning?

You haven't answered that yet.

Did anyone feel the world stop? McGovern: Freedom means Reponsibility!
"Since leaving office I've written about public policy from a new perspective: outside looking in. I've come to realize that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society.

Why do we think we are helping adult consumers by taking away their options? We don't take away cars because we don't like some people speeding. We allow state lotteries despite knowing some people are betting their grocery money. Everyone is exposed to economic risks of some kind. But we don't operate mindlessly in trying to smooth out every theoretical wrinkle in life.

The nature of freedom of choice is that some people will misuse their responsibility and hurt themselves in the process. We should do our best to educate them, but without diminishing choice for everyone else.

Mr. McGovern is a former senator from South Dakota and the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120485275086518279.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries


Hope springs eternal!

Sounds good to me.
You left out one minor point. Most people learn that there are NATURAL consequences when violence against another is initiated.

The more immediate the consequence, the more likely violence won't be attempted again.

How do you train a puppy? You catch him doing something wrong and provide an swift negative consequence.

Anarchy doesn't prevent NATURAL consequences of violence. In fact, it encourages swift response with all the responsibilities associated with the consequences.

Stacks of laws don't prevent violence. It just extends the time required to deliver the consequences.

It is against the law to bomb recruiting stations in NYC.
It happened anyway.

How many laws were broken in that attack?

How did all those laws prevent the attack?

How does NOT having ANY laws would have prevented that attack?
S**t happens.

Just as we have standard procedures in our homes (a place to s**t and a a way to clean and dispose off the s**t), we should have procedures to deal with such s**t as the NYC attack, in a given geographical area.

Do you send your family to jail if they don't pick s**t up?
Who enforces your standard procedures?

By the way, the discussion is about "how to deal with the AFTERMATH" of such an attack
..

Are you equating the NYC Recruitment Center bombing with s**tting at home?
You asked “Who enforces your standard procedures?”

That is the exact same question – in relation to a bigger geographical area (than a house where the house owner’s writ must run) such as a country – that you, and other anarchists, have been evading.

Your other post – the one titled “Sounds good to me.” – is quite revealing in many ways.

You wrote “Most people learn that there are NATURAL consequences when violence against another is initiated. The more immediate the consequence, the more likely violence won't be attempted again.”

Who decides and what PROCESS and STANDARDS must be followed in making the determination that “a particular violence is initiatory or retaliatory”? Who decides and what PROCESS and STANDARDS must be followed in making the determination “what should be the consequences”?

Take the NYC Recruitment Bombing case that you have brought up.

Since the essence of your philosophy (anarchism) is “ANY monopoly (final authority) on violence within ANY geographic area is Wrong and EVERYBODY has the Right to retaliate by ANY means, at ANY time, in ANY geographic area for ANY Wrong that THEY have determined has been done to them”, how can YOU, as a third party, find fault if the people who man the center keep killing any and all hooded people (a hooded man was caught on the video at the time of the bombing) they may come across?

Or, take the case of the arson fires reported in Washington State recently. The Earth Liberation Front is suspected of the fires that destroyed some million dollar homes. How can YOU, as a third party who propagates anarchism, find fault if the owners of the homes bomb every building that “THEY” determined, belongs to the ELF?

Similar questions asked by Robert J. Bidinotto in his essay “The Contradiction in Anarchism” (http://rous.redbarn.org/objectivism/Writing/RobertBidinotto/ContradictionInAnarchism.html) are yet to be answered by anarchists.

How do you decide what are standards in your house?
How do you enforce them?

The issue for anarchists is who is the third party.
Ever hear of arbitration services? They can be private. There is no requirement that a court system be owned and operated by a government.

As children on a playground, you usually learn the consequences of initiating and retaliating to violence. It usually is not good.

An example. On our high school wrestling team, we had an individual who liked to hurt people in practice. We told him and the coach that we would all quit if he didn't change. He changed. I think that is called peer pressure. Is that violence?

You are evading the philosophical questions
Do you approve of the Seattle suburb home owners bombing every building that "THEY" think belongs to ELF?

Do you approve of the Marine Center managers searching for and hunting down every hooded person?

If not, why not?

What part of your philosophy (ANY monopoly (final authority) on violence within ANY geographic area is Wrong and EVERYBODY has the Right to retaliate by ANY means, to ANY extent, in ANY geographic area, at ANY time AFTER THEY have determined (by ANY standards THEY have chosen, either explicitly or implicitly) that SOME Wrong has been done to them) tells you that such courses of action are WRONG?

Of course, here I am assuming (though, as I was taught in some management class, when people assume, they usually make an A$$ of U and ME), based on your silence about the two courses of action I wrote about, that you think they are WRONG.

And I could be wrong.

No, No.
Find the perps and make them pay.

What requires a government monopoly of force to find out who did the deeds and to make them pay for their crimes of violating private property rights?

I suspect that private investigators would have more incentive and be more successful tracking down the perps than the local government monopoly.

But which part of the definition of anarchism I have given - and you haven't objected to – says so
As a third party, how does your philosophy convince you that who ever will be caught and punished IS the real cuplprit?

By the way, EVERYBODY is a third party in the dispute between ANY TWO entities, within a given geographical area.

Evidence
Based upon what happened to the Duke lacrosse players, I would trust evidence collected by private investigators vs government investigators. Private investigators have a reputation to maintain to provide accurate information. Government investigators do not.

Check out how the FBI allowed several men to go to prison for 30 years for a murder they did not commit in Boston.

You are evading the principles
You wrote - in your post titled "No, No." - "I suspect that private investigators would have more incentive and be more successful tracking down the perps than the local government monopoly."

What happens if the "defendant" is the "private investigator"?

What part of the definition of anarchism you have accepted prevents people from acting as their own "protective agency"?

Are you going to argue that “the defendants” and “the accused” (in the eyes of a THIRD PARTY like you), acting as their own "respective protective agencies", have NO incentives to manipulate the outcome to their own liking?

What happens AFTER the Seattle home owners, acting as their own "protective agency", burn down a "suspected" (in the eyes of a THIRD PARTY like you) ELF member's house, killing all its members, including infants, children and women?

To avoid answering the questions at principles level, you bring up the “concrete” of “Check out how the FBI allowed several men to go to prison for 30 years for a murder they did not commit in Boston.”

What about the thousands of people – including some very good and honest FBI personnel (or are you going to argue that NOBODY in the monopolistic Government is personally honest?) - killed so far by people (called criminals in a monopolistic Government society) acting as their own “protective agency”?

If honest people are in government there are honest people out of government.
An honest citizen can investigate for himself and he can represent himself before a court, just as Judge Judy does.

What prevents the parents of Natalie Holloway from murdering the guy who let their daughter die?

"Are you going to argue that “the defendants” and “the accused” (in the eyes of a THIRD PARTY like you), acting as their own "respective protective agencies", have NO incentives to manipulate the outcome to their own liking?"

How does the scientific community establish their proof? They present evidence before their peers for evaluation. In theory, scientists should be impartial, but we know they are not. It is up to the judges, the peers to evaluate the credibility of the evidence and the testimony, just as is done in government and private courts today.

As for the government legal system, I will NEVER support the death penalty because the government has more incentive to convict someone of a crime than to be certain they convicted the person who was guilty. Too many people have been wrongly convicted. That is NOT how our system was supposed to work.

"What happens AFTER the Seattle home owners, acting as their own "protective agency", burn down a "suspected" (in the eyes of a THIRD PARTY like you) ELF member's house, killing all its members, including infants, children and women?"

Why do you think this is justice?

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