Re: MD terrorist blackmail

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Sat Dec 11 2004 - 01:12:51 GMT

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    Dear Wim,

    > Dear Platt,
    > You wrote 8 Dec 2004 09:10:18 -0500:
    > 'It seems to me your solution to terrorism is to offer terrorists Dutch
    > style socialism whereby money is forcibly extracted from the pockets of the
    > productive citizens of the world to pay off killers in the hope that in so
    > doing, the killers will renounce their decapitating ways and become model
    > world citizens. I find no historical evidence that large scale
    > redistribution of wealth assures peace any better than encouraging and
    > rewarding the productive members of society by means of a free market
    > system.'
    > Does that (implicitly) mean that you at least concede that my suggested
    > solution would not imply giving in to terrorist blackmail?

    No. I do not wish to share my hard-earned money with a holdup man pointing
    a gun at my head. Likewise, no nation should share it's wealth with
    > As I told you before, the money needed for a social security system is not
    > forcibly extracted from the pockets of Dutch tax payers. Almost all of them
    > are convinced that it is right that they pay for it.

    Would you be in favor of making such transfers voluntary?

    > Political debate is
    > only about a little more or a little less. That's not socialism as I
    > understand it and as it was meant by Marx, as the 'means of production' and
    > the decisions on how to utilize them stay safely in the hands of their
    > owners. Dutch experience shows that we don't need large scale
    > redistribution of wealth to assure peace.

    The Dutch are a homogeneous society that shares a common value system.
    I think that's the main reason for their peaceful history. Now they are
    challenged by Muslims with a different value system, resulting in
    unprecedented strains on the system.

    > The USA would be a much safer
    > place if most of its expenditure on national security would be redirected
    > into social security and (to the small extent necessary to meet its
    > obligation to spend 0,7% of GNP on it) into development aid.

    Obligation? Imposed by whom?

    > Until recently
    > it DID assure peace (in combination with encouraging and rewarding people
    > in a guided market system) in the Netherlands. (Mind you that political
    > assassinations, like those of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, that shocked
    > the Dutch politial landscape in recent years, had almost no precedent in
    > the Netherlands since the assassination of Willem van Oranje, the Dutch
    > founding father.) It does not assure peace in the Netherlands any more,
    > because the Netherlands had become part of a globalized world without a
    > globalized social security system.

    I doubt if that's the reason. What you are experiencing is a clash of
    social values, a tyrannical system vs.a democratic system.

    > You wrote:
    > 'As for the UN and Global Courts -- well, one look at the Iraq oil for food
    > scandal is enough to convince me that trusting international politicians to
    > do the right thing would be disastrous.'
    > What struck ME, was that those 'international politicians' didn't behave
    > like supranational politicians, but tried to serve national interests. Of
    > course you should never trust them. That's why I proposed checks and
    > balances. These are indeed still lacking to a large degree (but less so
    > than in most nations). Why do you lump UN and a Global Court of Justice
    > together?

    Because neither represents U.S. values.

    > What about my argument that you need a carrot (global welfare
    > state) as well as a stick (military capacity/global police force) for world
    > peace? A free market system alone doesn't serve as a proper carrot. It
    > creates wealth for the average participant (enough state intervention to
    > guard the rules), but it also creates losers (and disproportionate winners)
    > and excludes people from participation as well.

    The system isn't perfect by every standard, but on balance better than any
    in history.

    > The USA has police and
    > courts internally and lots of state-inforced rules for a proper functioning
    > of its 'free market system' (often more than in Europe). Why not develop
    > them (again: with checks and balances) on a global scale?

    We're trying to bring our system to the Middle East, but most Europeans
    object to the effort. Why? I've yet to figure that out. You would think
    those who enjoy the benefits of freedom would want to spread it all over
    the globe and end tyranny once and for all. Notice I said freedom from
    tyranny, not freedom from earning a living.


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