Bryan Caplan wonders why more libertarians weren't against the war:

When the Washington Times announced that libertarianism is trendy, I couldn't help but think "It would be a lot trendier if libertarians had been against the Iraq War from the start."

Plenty of libertarians were against it, of course. But if you remember how integral isolationist/ non-interventionist foreign policy was to the libertarian idea back in the '70s and '80s, the libertarian reaction to the Iraq War (and the War on Terror generally) has been quite astonishing.



I'd say that the fall of the Soviet Union discredited several ideas on the left and the right: on the left, the idea that the state should own most of the means of production; on the right, the idea of isolationism, or non-interventionism. It is now patently obvious that if the US had not drawn a proverbial line in the sand through Germany, the Soviets would now own large blocks of Western Europe that would be struggling in the same way that Eastern Europe now does. Moreover, unlike in Southeast Asia, one cannot make even a tenuous argument that American intervention somehow caused Soviet imperialism, creating the cold war that we then had to fight. Everyone's a consequentialist if the consequences are bad enough.

But that's just a theory; perhaps my readers have better ones.

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