Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

And when we consider what Immanuel Kant wrote in one of his more important political treatises titled “To Eternal Peace” – and specifically in the section of this treatise titled “Standing armies shall gradually disappear” – we can then boil down everything to the core problem and in turn find the solutions to what are essentially surface problems which are interconnected and interdependent but are nevertheless symptoms of the core problem. As Kant wrote: 

“Standing armies incessantly threaten other states with war by their readiness to be prepared for war. States are thus stimulated to outdo one another in number of armed men without limit. Through the expense thus occasioned peace finally becomes more burdensome than a brief war. These armies are thus the cause of wars of aggression, undertaken in order that this burden may be thrown off.”

Kant added:

“In addition to this, the hiring of men to kill and be killed, an employment of them as mere machines and tools in the hands of another (the state), cannot be reconciled with the rights of humanity as represented in our own person. The case is entirely different where the citizens of a state voluntarily drill themselves and their fatherland against attacks from without.”

Moreover, in addition to the fact that our offensive stance is the cause of wars of aggression in places like Ukraine and that war can only be justified if it is defensive, the expenses and the overstretch which we are incurring will be yet another cause of a war which we will not be able to handle in the future. As Kant wrote:

“It would be exactly the same with the accumulation of a war fund if the difficulty of ascertaining the amount of the fund accumulated did not work a counter effect. Looked upon by other states as a threat of war, a big fund would lead to their anticipating such a war by making an attack themselves, because of the three powers – the power of the army, the power of alliance, and the power of money – the last might well be considered the most reliable instrument of war.” 

Hence, our current level of spending on “defense” will play to the advantage of our adversaries over the long run. And in order to continue the current level of spending, one must borrow insane amounts of money, and this kind of borrowing intended for the perpetuation of a war footing will be detrimental to the state and it will undermine the state when all is said and done. As Kant wrote: “The obtaining of money, either from without or from within the state, for purposes of internal development – the improvement of highways, the establishment of new settlements, the storing of surplus for years of crop failure, etc. – need create no suspicion. Foreign debts may be contracted for this purpose.”

Kant then contrasted the aforementioned purpose of borrowing with borrowing aimed at maintaining a war footing when he added:

“But, as an instrument of the struggle between the powers, a credit system of debts endlessly growing though always safe against immediate demand (the demand for payment not being made by all the creditors at the same time) – such a system, the ingenious invention of a trading people in this century, constitutes a dangerous money power. It is a resource for carrying on war which surpasses the resources of all other states taken together. It can only be exhausted through a possible deficit of the taxes, which may be long kept off through the increase in commerce brought about by the stimulating influence of the loans on industry and trade. The facility thus afforded of making war, coupled with the apparently innate inclination thereto of those possessing power, is a great obstacle in the way of eternal peace.” 

As a result, either the lenders have to prohibit such loans, or the government must pass a law which prohibits such loans, as Kant argued, given that the inevitable outcome of such a lending scheme is “the finally unavoidable bankruptcy of such a state” given that all other states will sit back and watch as the bankruptcy happens and they will avoid involvement and responsibility in such a scheme and in turn avoid “public injury” by being involved in such a scheme. Kant added: “Consequently, other states are at least justified in entering into an alliance against such a state and its pretensions.” 

In short, lawlessness and anarchy can only be digested and tolerated for so long both domestically and internationally, and as a result, other states will eventually come together to counteract and respond to such lawlessness and anarchy one way or another. 

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