This is Part 3 of my 3-Part series on geopolitics.
5 Ways To Maximise Peace In The World is Part 1. There, I gave you a menu of options for handling international politics. If you haven’t read it yet, go back and read it now.
Then in Beware! This Article Channels The Ghosts of Locke, JSM, Friedman and Other Pugnacious Thinkers, we’ve double-checked the leading thinkers of our classical liberal-libertarian movement. I even chipped in with my opinion and asked for yours. Again, read it if you haven’t yet.
Now, in this third and final part of the series on geopolitics, 3 Wacky Crazy Ideas Creeping Into International Politics, I’m going to eviscerate some of the more stupid ideas coming out of the commentariat. Then I’m going to tell you what positions any sensible thinking classical liberal or libertarian should have when it comes to international relations. Then a call to action.
Australian libertarians need to be outwardly-focused, alliance-building policy advocates, and dedicated to early warning defence systems and a deterrent with punch.
Ready? Let’s do it!
Just to prove how centrist classical liberals and libertarians are, and how off-the-charts the Guardian is when it calls us ‘far right’, here are 3 Wacky Crazy Ideas Creeping Into International Politics, all which fall outside the Overton Window as far as I’m concerned:
WACKY, CRAZY IDEA #1: NAÏVE, PEACEKEEPER, WHITE FLAG DEFENCE
There are at least 11 senators in the Australian Parliament who, for whatever reason, believe non-aggression means we wait until a foreign-invader’s amphibious craft land on our beaches before we protect ourselves. They are called the Australian Greens. If they had their way, the Australian Defence Force would be relegated to fractional peacekeeper capacity. I have heard some in the freedom-movement, usually young and unschooled in the realities of a harsh world, a tiny group, who share this view. They don’t understand statecraft and chokepoint strategy.
The threat to Australia isn’t from a landing on Bondi Beach. It’s the South China Sea shipping lanes through which passes critical fuel from South Korea on the way to our last two government-subsidised refineries in Brisbane and Geelong. A blockade for 53 days would deplete fuel reserves, preventing trucks from replenishing supermarket shelves. Imagine 25 million starving people in 53 days!
And Australia has other chokepoints which could be squeezed from afar by a foreign actor.
And in this regard, we depart from our US libertarian friends with isolationist tendencies, the ‘no foreign entanglements’ brigade. This might be arguable from the bosom of a 330 million populated, 5422 nuclear warheaded nation. For nuclear-free Australia with a 25 million population strewn across the same continental land mass, it just doesn’t fly. Australian libertarians need to be outwardly-focused, alliance-building policy advocates, and dedicated to early warning defence systems and a deterrent with punch.
WACKY, CRAZY IDEA #2: ANTI UN RHETORIC
Can we just stop with the Ricardo Bosi conspiracy theories? Enough. The United Nations is absolutely worth keeping. In fact, it’s a great innovation of the liberal movement of which libertarians are front and centre. We just need to update its software. Classical liberals and libertarians are supporters of cooperative arrangements between nations whether free trade or to prevent of war. Stop with the nutjob UN bashing and start talking UN reform It is a voluntary organisation, not an Orwellian world government.
WACKY, CRAZY IDEA #3: AN ACTUAL WORLD GOVERNMENT
This is the biggest of the wacky crazy ideas. Can you imagine the horror of a ‘world president’, world laws, world surveillance, no reprieve from the totality of it all? We have enough of a problem with nation states. As I’ve said, the Structural Realist Theory sacrifices freedom for the security of a global Big Brother. Mad!
A blockade for 53 days would deplete fuel reserves, preventing trucks from replenishing supermarket shelves. Imagine 25 million starving people in 53 days!
A FOREIGN POLICY ON WHICH LIBERTARIANS SHOULD AGREE
Australian libertarians ought to advocate the following positions on international relations:
- A strong, technologically-advanced Australian Defence Force. Defence is a legitimate role of government. Let’s do it properly, building a domestically-located defence manufacturing capacity delivered by the private sector, space industry included;
- Formally-negotiated and robust multi-lateral defence alliances including with Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, India, New Zealand, PNG, the Pacific Islands and of course the United States, the United Kingdom and the Anglosphere countries. Make clear that alliances will not be granted with countries which permit strategic advantage to apparent foes;
- Instant free-trade agreements with those who become our formal allies;
- The creation of a Preferential Alliance Citizenship. If a citizen of any of our formal allies wishes to migrate to Australia and has the skills we value, he is given preference. Let’s create a more cohesive cultural and economic region of strategic importance;
- Zero foreign aid to any country apart from our formal allies, if that be strategically advantageous;
- Trade with our apparent foes, but no Preferential Alliance Citizenship;
- A fresh look at the UN Security Council admission criteria.
THE UNLIKELHOOD AND PRECIOUSNESS OF FREEDOM
There are 195 countries in the world. Freedom House says 17 of these are true democracies, Australia being one of them. Corruption, tyranny and authoritarianism are the norm, not freedom. We need every possible strategy at our disposal to maintain our precious legacy and to hand it to our children.
Classical liberals and libertarians must continue to operate in the context of the world as it is. We must have our wits about us. We must cooperate and engage and project ourselves as a free people. We must negotiate and trade around the world for mutual benefit, lifting people out of poverty as we do it. We must find the common ground of our humanity. We must continue to show the greater part of ourselves and inspire those with whom we come into contact. We built this modern world. We continue to unlock human potential and flourishing. We must be open to those who value our freedom. We must also deter and resist those who don’t. We must neither aggress nor harm, but we also must not withdraw into the timid shadows of fear at yet another foe, for we have seen so many of them off.
If not entrepreneurial, nation-building classical liberals, if not liberty-loving, deep-thinking libertarians alert to coercion wherever it may lurk, who?
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An entrepreneur who has employed 1,470+ people, Kenelm was admitted to the BRW Fast 100 three times with businesses in Australia, NZ, Singapore and New York, where he lived for 12 years. Kenelm’s investment firm performs mid-market leveraged roll-ups. He was a regular columnist for the Australian Financial Review. Kenelm is the Founder of Liberty Itch.