The fundamental libertarian axiom is the non-aggression principle or NAP. The opposite of this is to take action violating someone else’s property or physical person without the person you’re violating having acted against you. Basically, violence can only be used in self-defense. This is such a fundamental and self-evident tenet of morality that even in this dumbed-down, brainwashed and propagandized world, it’s hard to get away with outright violations of this principle, so emerge the concepts of “pre-emption” and “precaution.”
The first, pre-emptive war, is the concept that a country may initiate war when its leaders are certain the other country is on the verge of initiating the war themselves and this way, the “victim” is acting in self-defense and still have the advantage of the first strike. It reminds me of the old canard, “in order to make an omelet you have to break some eggs,” which is rightly answered with “many eggs have been broken but not one omelet has ever been made.” In other words, in matters of governmental violence, destruction is not creation. Despite this reality, pre-emption is now an accepted call to arms. It was introduced to the United States in the fascinating document produced by The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies as a strategy for Israel going forward, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, and the so-called principle has been with us ever since.
I was only remembering this concept today, however, because of all the talk of the Paris Climate Accord. Modern environmentalism is based on a concept similar to pre-emption and that’s the pre-cautionary principle, which states that: “if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public, or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus (that the action or policy is not harmful), the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking that action.” Wikipedia. This principle has clearly extended to mandating action in the absence of evidence if an argument can be made that there might be harm resulting from inaction. The problem is, placing burdens or restrictions usually means using taxpayer resources and/or the force of government to control the activities or property of others without any evidence that they are doing or will do harm. Again, the law of self-defense is really the only operative civil law if you think hard about it (that is, to the extent government is used to take forcible action, it can only be used against a person or property that is violating the rights of others or no right exists to interfere), and calling unjustified action “precautionary” is, well–unjustifiable.
Update (June 5, 2017): I posted this glossary entry four days ago. Today in the paper, we are warned of the possible necessity of Israel launching a pre-emptive war against Syria. What I didn’t write above was that the primary example in the Clean Break document was Israel striking Syria as a reason to bring back the concept of pre-emptive war first used during the Six Day War. Read that document by clicking through above, read today’s article by clicking through below:
Syria’s Chemical Weapons Might Start a New Six Day War
In 1967, fear of a gas attack convinced Israel it had to destroy Egypt’s air force pre-emptively.