Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What Is Wrong With Isolationism?

So the prevailing sentiment among conservatives these days is that our country must be engaged in active intervention with other nations to secure our interests.  I dare say that there is an unspoken agreement among most prominent conservatives to declare anyone who does not agree with interventionist polices as being liberal and anti-American.  The other side expresses the same sentiment from time to time and I personally think that you can be moderately conservative and interventionist, but I believe that non-interventionism is the true heart of conservatism.

There is a difference, however, between isolationism and non-interventionism.  The main difference is that the latter allows trade with foreign nations, but remains neutral in all conflicts, leaving the affairs of other nations to themselves.  Isolationism, on the other hand, requires that we do not trade with foreign nations and remain neutral in all conflicts.  While I personally do not support isolationism, just non-interventionism, I think that the case could easily be made for it and that our nation could quite possibly be just as prosperous.

The United States of America has a rich abundance of land, the latest technologies, and enough labor to maintain itself economically for a very long time.  The caveat is that the United States governments, at all levels, would have to deregulate their restrictions on labor, property, and trade to the point where no more zoning laws would be allowed at a local level (which I believe are a violation of our 5th and 14th amendment right to property) and that there would be no restrictions in the agreements between employee and employer.  Without a minimum wage imposed, and many of the responsibilities of the benefits provided left to the individual, our labor force would certainly become leaner and meaner.  The lazy would be forced to either get a job to sustain their very lives, which is how it should be.  And the infirm would be allowed to seek the charity of others.  Of course, this would be the total elimination of the welfare state, but I believe that this will not happen in my lifetime.  While I do expect the entire facade of Social Security to have collapsed by the time I retire, along with Medicare, I do believe that the various vote-buying schemes will still be in place.

In any case, once such restrictions were lifted, businesses would flourish and prosperity would follow for all Americans.  I firmly believe that once government is treated as a necessary evil to prevent the fouler elements of society and the foreign world from destroying us, rather than as the saving grace for a variety of social ills, we will enter a new golden age of wealth and abundance.

Under such conditions, isolationism would provide a natural defense against foreign invaders.  With the United States remaining neutral in all conflicts and refusing to trade with other nations, but keeping a keen watch on foreign developments and maintaining a strong navy, as required of Congress, as well as secure borders, we will have few enemies.  While I abhor the atrocities that go on in the world, our current policy of interventionism seems to pick and choose which atrocities to fight.  Why do we send tax dollars to the Palestinians, who danced in the streets on 9/11, and we do not send in troops to overthrow the various brutal regimes in Africa?

Such selective methods are detrimental to our nation and go against the interests of the majority of Americans.  While I understand that we must destroy groups that wish to destroy us through cowardly acts, is it not bad policy to claim we will fight evil where ever it may be found and then turn around and ignore significant evils nearby?

Under isolationism, our energy will be produced locally, rather than foreign-based, and we will be able to produce better use of such energy sources since we will not import any more oil.  This has positive impacts on more things than just terrorism.  One of the major problems in Africa is where political leaders are bought off by Saudi oil money and then they convert to Islam.  While I refuse to accept blame for the behaviors of such scum, I acknowledge that without exporting oil to us, such situations would never come up as much.

Lastly, this nation is a great powerhouse of technology, labor, and resources.  With such an abundance and no international trade, the rest of the world would then be free to consume their own resources and thus, the rest of the world would prosper as well.

While I think that we are better off with a non-interventionist stance, I would certainly be fine with an isolationist policy, as I do believe it would much better than the current state of affairs we find ourselves in.