Free trade is dependent upon mutual respect for the self-ownership and property rights of others. War is the ultimate act of disregard for human rights. To the extent that a war is supported by the people, it says, “We would rather kill you than trade with you.” To the extent that it is opposed by the people, but happens anyway, it says, “We respect you and want to trade with you, but not badly enough to stop our government from trying to kill you.” Allowing relations between countries to be managed by governments isolates us and keeps us from enjoying productive relationships.
While not considered war by some, embargoes and blockades represent widespread threats of force, and can be just as destructive as war. A complete blockade says, “If you do business with anyone in this country, we will attack you.” This is easier when the victim is seen as having committed some significant collective crime, but governments frequently impose lesser international trade restrictions that cause problems (and unfair trade advantages) on a massive scale. With countries so interdependent, the consequences of cutting one off from the rest can lead to widespread shortages of essential goods like food, fuel, and medical supplies.
Because war drives resources from productive uses to destructive ones, it also limits the people of a country at war in their ability to engage in trade with people of other countries. However, the international trade cut off by war, embargoes, or some form of managed trade is far more significant. When an embargo is declared, it says anyone engaging in certain trade will be shot or bombed. As a result of that single threat, thousands of regular daily exchanges essential to the standard of living of millions may be cut off, and countless more potential exchanges might never happen. While the measurable costs of war in lives and resources might be so immense as to be unfathomable, the total costs of war are incalculable.
Chapter 3 Section IV From FREEDOM! by Adam Kokesh
I am the author of FREEDOM!, a book endorsed (I mean banned) by the US Department of “Justice.” You can get a copy here. I’m running for Not-President in 2020 on the platform of the peaceful, orderly, and responsible dissolution of the United States federal government. You can find out more here. I am currently on my #TaxationIsTheft tour! You can find an event near you here. Whoever has the top comment on this post after 24 hours can claim a free signed copy of FREEDOM! by sending me a message with their address.