Introducing: the Federation of Free States, an ongoing thought experiment

The most popular article I have ever written, in terms of views, has been, by far, “10 Places that Should Join the U.S.,” a short piece at RealClearHistory pining for an enlarged geographic area under the American constitution. This is not a strange concept for longtime NOL readers. I’ve been pleading for stronger political ties … Continue reading Introducing: the Federation of Free States, an ongoing thought experiment

Federation, not unilateralism, ought to be the American Libertarian’s foreign policy

This is an expanded post that stems from a conversation I have been having with Bruno and Jacques in the ‘comments’ threads. The conversation is more about the nation-state than the unilateralism/federation non-debate, but I thought that’s why it’d make a good post. The Nation-State Nation-states are often considered to be sacred territory to conservative … Continue reading Federation, not unilateralism, ought to be the American Libertarian’s foreign policy

Taxes, Free-riding, and Federation

Check out Adam Smith complaining about the rent-seeking that the UK’s North American colonies were practicing back in 1776: The expence of the ordinary peace establishment of the colonies amounted, before the commencement of the present disturbances, to the pay of twenty regiments of foot; to the expence of the artillery, stores, and extraordinary provisions … Continue reading Taxes, Free-riding, and Federation

Imperialism or Federalism: The Occupation of South Korea

A recent op-ed in Foreign Policy highlights South Korea’s very successful rent-seeking campaign in regard to US military services: When it comes to taking charge of coalition forces here on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea has been a little gun shy. South Korea and the United States this week are celebrating the 60-year anniversary of … Continue reading Imperialism or Federalism: The Occupation of South Korea

Entangling alliances, Donald Trump, and a new libertarian alternative

Some say that Donald Trump’s transactionalism in the realm of geopolitics has gotten out of hand. Tridivesh has actually been saying this for awhile now. Jacques is not pleased with the president’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria. Of the other Notewriters, only Andre has spoken up for Trump’s withdrawal from Syria. There are … Continue reading Entangling alliances, Donald Trump, and a new libertarian alternative

A short note on the Holy Roman Empire, “democracy,” and institutions

At the heart of Europe […] lay a hugely complex and fragmented political entity which resisted the ‘modernizing’ trend of national state formation, and preserved medieval arrangements conceived as rooted in antiquity: the Holy Roman Empire. After three decades of bloodshed retrospectively known as the Thirty Year War (1618-1648), the Empire had achieved a somewhat precarious equilibrium … Continue reading A short note on the Holy Roman Empire, “democracy,” and institutions

Colonialism and Identity in Wasolon (and everywhere else, too)

The notion of the person is constantly renegotiated and is at stake between groups situated within the same political entity as well as between neighboring political entities. With advent of [France’s colonial] district register and the resulting written registration of identity, the notion of a person acquired a greater fixity. It became much more difficult … Continue reading Colonialism and Identity in Wasolon (and everywhere else, too)

From the Comments: Military intervention, democracy, and stability

Longtime reader (and excellent blogger in his own right) Tam has an interesting response to Chhay Lin’s thoughts on the Paris terrorist attacks: It is an interesting read indeed but there are two or even more sides to every story. What we are also noting is that many of these groups that hate Western interventionist … Continue reading From the Comments: Military intervention, democracy, and stability

From the Comments: What is a “National Interest”? (Why not federalism?)

Michelangelo writes: I sympathize with your pro-federation views, but it is admittedly a difficult position to argue from a purist libertarian view. I would support offering statehood to Japan and South Korea, as I mentioned earlier this week.* I would not however offer the same deal to Ukraine or the Baltic states. If pressed why … Continue reading From the Comments: What is a “National Interest”? (Why not federalism?)

Has Senator Rand Paul been reading NOL?

Oooo lawdy! “Part of the problem is the Kurds aren’t getting enough arms,” Paul said. “The Kurds are the best fighters. The arms are going through Baghdad to get to the Kurds and they’re being siphoned off and they’re not getting what they need. I think any arms coming from us or coming from any … Continue reading Has Senator Rand Paul been reading NOL?

From the Comments: Western Military Intervention and the Reductio ad Hitlerum

Dr Khawaja makes an excellent point in the threads of my post the libertarianism of ISIS: As for the Hitler comparison, I think that issue really needs to be opened and discussed from scratch. One relatively superficial problem with the Hitler/ISIS analogy is that ISIS is not plausibly regarded as the threat to us that Nazi … Continue reading From the Comments: Western Military Intervention and the Reductio ad Hitlerum

From the Comments: Military Alliances and the Free Rider Problem

Dr van de Haar’s excellent post on secession and alliances prompted the following from yours truly: I think you highlight well the difference in opinion, on foreign policy, between libertarians/classical liberals in Europe and the United States. Alliances are sometimes a good option, and it pains me to see American libertarians dogmatically reject alliances in … Continue reading From the Comments: Military Alliances and the Free Rider Problem

The European Union Needs More States, Not More Territory

The recent uproar over the upcoming vote on the potential secession of Scotland from Great Britain illustrates well the European Union’s foreign policy weaknesses. The EU’s potential to increase the number of states within its borders without having to expand its geographic space is an overlooked avenue to reaching a bolder, more sophisticated foreign policy. … Continue reading The European Union Needs More States, Not More Territory