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Nuclear weapons

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Vladimir Ulyanov Posted: Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:35 AM

What are other peoples opinions on nuclear weapons. Do you think people should be allowed to buy them? I found this video quite worrying.

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/the-vice-guide-to-travel/bulgarian-dirty-bombs

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Kakugo replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 7:41 AM

There are a thousand questions I'd like to ask. I only got basic training through the Chemistry of the Elements course (which deals with such taboo topics as how to refine uranium oxyde "yellowcake", thermal reactors and fast reactors) but there are a few things that popped into my mind.

First thing, it would be extremely easy to build a "fake dirty bomb". Radioactive scrap metal, mostly originating from the former Soviet block, is a serious concern for the European steel industry because it's so widespread. It originates from a variety of sources hence it's pretty easy to obtain. Build a fake artillery shell with some irradiated scrap metal and it will set off any Geiger-Muller counter the potential buyers may bring along. While there are some obvious safety concerns which are still not fully studied it would not be a proper "dirty bomb" which in its most basic form is nothing more than highly irradiated material with an explosive charge to spread the radioactive material as far as possibile.

Second thing, obtaining radioactive material is not as difficult as it sounds. I hope I don't get the CIA's attention by saying this but two of the worst nuclear accidents (both requiring a lengthy and expensive clean up operation) involved medical sources of radiation, not "dirty bombs". The Goiania accident in Brazil is pretty well known. Lesser well known is the Samut Prakarn accident in Thailand. If terrorists are so crafty and well financed why don't they set up a front company to buy a cesium-based radiotherapy device and use it for their means? Or why don't they simply rob a hospital? It beats dealing with shady Bulgarian "businessmen" and it will work.

Third thing. Tracing a source of radiation is easier than it seems. During the Yom Kippur War, after Israel went on nuclear alert (viz Moshe Dayan's famous cryptic phrase: "This is the end of the Third Temple" which really meant "Arm the bombs and fuel the bombers"), the US Navy found a Soviet vessel near the Bosphorous was leaving behind a peculiar radioactive "signature". The ship was shadowed by a Navy Neptune aircraft carrying sampling equipment until it docked at Alexandria and then kept under close surveillance. At the time it was believed the Soviets had sent nuclear weapons to Egypt to counter Israel. Later research turned out the Soviets had most likely just loaded radioactive waste on the ship to fool the US (and hence Israel). This was done in 1973 and technology has since moved in leaps and bounds, so much now we know whence radioactive material came just by atmospheric sampling. That's how it was discovered North Korea had a reactor of her own and didn't just buy nuclear fuel from Pakistan.

Four thing. Small nuclear weapons (the kind "terrorists" are supposed to covet) are the most expensive and technically challenging of all. It took Israel over a decade of research (not to mention stealing/obtaining know-how from France, the US and the Soviets) to produce nuclear artillery shells. This, of course, with the full power of a State backing up the nuclear program. Also nuclear weapons are notoriously temperamental and require quite a bit of babying. How is a nuclear weapon supposed to function after being smuggled around and stored in the most unlikely places?

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But surely if we had a free market, good quality bombs would be available and would not need to be smuggled. Should people be allowed to buy them? And if so, how could other people ensure that the bombs are not used?

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Nukes wouldn't exist in the first place if it wasn't for national socialism. The state invented nuclear weapons during the orgy of destruction we call the Progressive era, in a free market system no private business would have gone through the expense of inventing something that useless.

Like any misallocation of resources caused by socialism, we have to deal with the mess as best as we can in a free society. A free society will gradually fix this, there is no shortcut. I don't think it's a good idea to implement more socialism to fix the problems caused by socialism.

So yeah, let people have nukes. Maybe one goes off once in a while. Just consider the deaths from private nukes an aftereffect of the Progressive era. It would be a rather insignificant one, actually. People die by the millions every day because statism holds back technological progress.

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''Nukes wouldn't exist in the first place if it wasn't for national socialism. The state invented nuclear weapons during the orgy of destruction we call the Progressive era, in a free market system no private business would have gone through the expense of inventing something that useless.''

This is irrelevant. If there is a problem it has to be dealt with.

''So yeah, let people have nukes. Maybe one goes off once in a while. Just consider the deaths from private nukes an aftereffect of the Progressive era. It would be a rather insignificant one, actually.''

This could hardly be thought of as a good solution. Just let people destroy cities. Maybe lots go off all the time.

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Marko replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 8:38 AM

Unless you live on a planet of your own just having an a-bomb in your basement means you are (perhaps unwittingly) threatening other people.

If I had a neighbour who, while sleepwalking, pulled out a howitzer from his garage, aimed it at my window and loaded it with a grenade, I would now have every right to step onto his driveway and disable the howitzer. (He is threatening me without intent, since I am now in fact one press of a button away from annihalation even though he has no desire to see me dead.)

By the same token I have the right to force entry into the basement of my neighbour, who is a good guy and would not hurt a fly, but who has an a-bomb stashed there and disable it for good. (An a-bomb can not be aimed, it is aimed at everyone at all times.)


A person may own an a-bomb, but only if it is disassembled or otherwise put out of function (but then he'd have to allow acess to it to anyone that wanted to make sure that was the case —  so you would end up with a de facto museum anyway).

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Why worry about nukes so much when economic distortion kills so many more people? It's like being afraid of flying while smoking.

It's very relevant how the problem was created when we're thinking about how best to deal with it. I don't think we are well served to implement more socialism to deal with a problem that was caused by the last round of socialism. It never ends. We just have to take the hit. It's painful, but otherwise we're just in this vicious circle.

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''Why worry about nukes so much when economic distortion kills so many more people? It's like being afraid of flying while smoking.''

Economic distortion being bad does not justify having nukes. Both need to be stopped.

''It's very relevant how the problem was created when we're thinking about how best to deal with it. I don't think we are well served to implement more socialism to deal with a problem that was caused by the last round of socialism. It never ends. We just have to take the hit. It's painful, but otherwise we're just in this vicious circle.''

Yeah but just dismissing it as something government caused, and saying its screwed but its government's fault doesn't bring us nearer to a solution. With or without government it is a problem and needs a solution.

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Marko,

Could the same not be said for any weapon?

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Marko replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 9:36 AM

No.

The same could be said for any weapon aimed at your head.

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Autolykos replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 9:50 AM

Right. A bomb is implicitly pointed at everyone's head within its blast radius. (That's assuming it's not a shaped charge, and even if it was, I doubt one would be able to figure that out without having some expertise in explosives.)

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Malachi replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 10:19 AM
Shaped charges do focus a significant portion of the energy in specific directions. However, the destructive force of a bomb is not limited to the initial blast. Nuclear weapons cause fallout, even if the charge is directed 180 degrees from you, you can still be exposed to the radiation. Unless the owner/detonator has an easement on noise pollution, radiation proliferation, and waves of hot gas and debris, this would be an issue.

as has been observed in other threads on this subject, libertarians could find utility in the ownership and use of nukes in the service of territorial defense, somewhat like the "family atomics" in Frank Herbert's Dune. I am extremely interested in observing the variety of security arrangements that wold likely emerge in a private law society.

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Marko replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 10:27 AM

Right. A bomb is implicitly pointed at everyone's head within its blast radius. (That's assuming it's not a shaped charge, and even if it was, I doubt one would be able to figure that out without having some expertise in explosives.)


And with a nuclear bomb harm can extend beyond blast radius by way of radioactive pollution. Such pollution can travel far and depending on the weather in any direction. (The Chernobyl accident was said to have affected a million people outside the Soviet Union, and significant pollution travelled as far as Switzerland and Greece.)

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Malachi replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 10:36 AM
Well, thats also something to recognize. Nuclear power is dangerous even when it isnt weaponized. Chernobyl and fukushima have polluted the entire planet.
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Merlin replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 2:09 PM

 

The idea that nukes would be illegal under panarchy because they represent a threat is debatable. After all, ‘banning’ nukes because they could cause damage is like banning guns on the same account.  One is supposed to be punished only after a crime is committed, not before because he may commit one.

Also, if we let the ‘clear and present threat’ charge, fly for nukes why not for hydro dams? In terms of potential destruction, the bursting of a large damn would be far more disruptive than a small nuclear detonation. Would construction under anarchy be forbidden since dams are threats?

And we can all think of many technologies without which the world couldn’t do, and which may constitute grave threats if used improperly. From drilling and hitting some gas pocket that sends shockwaves for miles and miles around, to even risking having a building collapse, the world is full of threats. Nukes cannot be singled out.

In practice I think that nukes would exist under panarchy, owned by PDAs. If someone who was not trusted somehow got access to one, I think that a boycott would be orchestrated to convince him to sell it to these PDAs. If he refused, a guy with no PDA or insurance cover is as good as dead, and everyone can kill and/or steal from him. His nuke would just be stolen by PDAs, and he’d be killed if he resisted.

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Groucho replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 3:19 PM

They are weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction, manufacturing them or maintaining them is an aggression against everyone in range.

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Marko replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 3:25 PM

It is not necessarily aggression, it merely grants the right to self-defence. Having them means forfeiting the right to keep people off your property etc.

Having an a-bomb in your basement is not aggression, but harming somebody trying to force entry into your house to disable it is.
 

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Merlin replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 3:39 PM

Josh:

They are weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction, manufacturing them or maintaining them is an aggression against everyone in range.

 

 

By this standard having a knife in my pocket is also aggression against all people walking within a meter of me. Ho0w can you aggress against people by not aggressing against them?

 

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Groucho replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 4:10 PM

Merlin:

Josh:

They are weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction, manufacturing them or maintaining them is an aggression against everyone in range.

By this standard having a knife in my pocket is also aggression against all people walking within a meter of me. Ho0w can you aggress against people by not aggressing against them?
Knives don't usually work from across property-lines. And as for guns, if you keep your gun aimed at my property, I might consider that a threat (and reasonably so). However, just owning a gun doesn't mean you are aggressing everyone in all directions it might be aimed.
 
Now with bombs, the aim is not a linear but spherical - all volume around blast radius - there is no safe side of the bomb when it goes off. With missiles it is of course tricky because not only is it a threat to those located near the weapons lab and silos, it is a threat to where it is aimed, which might not be known specifically (though I could see the various nearby countries being threatened by it).
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Merlin replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 4:21 PM

Josh:

Merlin:

Josh:

They are weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction, manufacturing them or maintaining them is an aggression against everyone in range.

By this standard having a knife in my pocket is also aggression against all people walking within a meter of me. Ho0w can you aggress against people by not aggressing against them?
Knives don't usually work from across property-lines. And as for guns, if you keep your gun aimed at my property, I might consider that a threat (and reasonably so). However, just owning a gun doesn't mean you are aggressing everyone in all directions it might be aimed.
 
Now with bombs, the aim is not a linear but spherical - all volume around blast radius - there is no safe side of the bomb when it goes off. With missiles it is of course tricky because not only is it a threat to those located near the weapons lab and silos, it is a threat to where it is aimed, which might not be known specifically (though I could see the various nearby countries being threatened by it).
 

 

That’s a very interesting angle, but I’m not convinced.

To repeat my earlier issue: wouldn’t this line of reasoning apply to a nuclear plant too? A hydroelectric dam? A chemical factory? Why pick nuclear weapons arbitrarily out of this bunch?

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MaikU replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 4:55 PM

Because nuclear weapons (weapons, not technology, that can someday explode, like plants etc.) are with the sole porpuse to destroy things, and because it's near impossible to "defend" onself with atomic bomb and not kill simple "bystander" in a process it's hard to maintain an explosion radius), I think, that they should be outlawed in Libertopia.

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Groucho replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 5:21 PM

Merlin:
wouldn’t this line of reasoning apply to a nuclear plant too? A hydroelectric dam? A chemical factory? Why pick nuclear weapons arbitrarily out of this bunch?

It applies to all of them. Both the chemical factory and the nuclear plants are responsible for all their wastes that intrude others' property. The hydroelectric dam... I assume you mean what if it breaks? Then the dam owner has to pay the property owners for their loss (I'm assuming they didn't waive liability?)

While none of these things function as weapons of mass destruction in their use (actual or designed) and is mobile to boot - the odd man out, nuclear weapons, is both.

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Merlin replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 5:25 PM

MaikU:

Because nuclear weapons (weapons, not technology, that can someday explode, like plants etc.) are with the sole porpuse to destroy things, and because it's near impossible to "defend" onself with atomic bomb and not kill simple "bystander" in a process it's hard to maintain an explosion radius), I think, that they should be outlawed in Libertopia.

 

 

Ah, so these things are the same but one is called a weapon and the others are not. Sorry but  I myself am not convinced at all. 

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Merlin replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 5:30 PM

Josh:

It applies to all of them. Both the chemical factory and the nuclear plants are responsible for all their wastes that intrude others' property. The hydroelectric dam... I assume you mean what if it breaks? Then the dam owner has to pay the property owners for their loss (I'm assuming they didn't waive liability?)

While none of these things function as weapons of mass destruction in their use (actual or designed) and is mobile to boot - the odd man out, nuclear weapons, is both.

You see how we’re using two distinct rules here: one is that the mere possibility of the thing causing damage is reason enough to outlaw it. The second is that you can keep your toy (the dam) but you must pay if you cause any actual damage.

So, why would we apply two differing principles to the same things? Please do not tell me that nukes are called ‘weapons’ and that’s that, because I think it’s a very superficial ‘argument’.

An argument could be that all such things can be considered immediate threat and if I intend to build a dam I must buy wavers of liability form all the people living downstream. 

 

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Malachi replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 5:53 PM
The issue at hand concerns the nature of a threat. I think we can agree that if a neighbor aimed a sniper rifle at you, you would consider that a threat. Meanwhile, his 700 hp classic motorcar parked in the driveway pointed at your property is not a threat. Likewise, if a directional explosive such as a claymore mine was emplaced facing your property, you might also consider that a threat. So how come it isnt a threat when someone puts an explosive near you that is large enough to annihilate you inside your dwelling, in the absence of explicit permission?
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Groucho replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:07 PM

Merlin:
You see how we’re using two distinct rules here: one is that the mere possibility of the thing causing damage is reason enough to outlaw it. The second is that you can keep your toy (the dam) but you must pay if you cause any actual damage.

No, I am not saying that at all. All of the tens of thousands of government-owned nuclear weapons don't just have a "possibility" of creating damage; they were designed, built, and tested to ensure that they absolutely do cause immense explosive destruction over large areas.

It's not the "weapon" so much as the "indiscriminate mass descruction" that is necessarily unleashed when it is used.

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Merlin replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:09 PM

Malachi:
So how come it isnt a threat when someone puts an explosive near you that is large enough to annihilate you inside your dwelling, in the absence of explicit permission?

 

Ok, than how isn’t it a threat when someone builds a huge concrete wall 50 meters from your house which could obliterate you within milliseconds (the dam)? 

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Merlin replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:12 PM

 

But you completely miss out the real service that nukes provide. Nukes where not build to kill billions, but to deter conventional warfare that could kill hundreds of millions. You may say that they did so by putting billions at risk, but then again, how is this different form the dam which is not build to kill tens of thousands, but to make life easier for millions, and yet could kill tens of thousands in the process?

 Both are technologies that serve a purpose but have a probability of causing huge damages. Why treat them differently?  

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Malachi replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:12 PM
It could be. Like how the brazilian dam that is going to flood land that has been owned by aborigines since pre-colonial times is an act of aggression.
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Clayton replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:13 PM

A nuclear bomb is a weapon which cannot be legally used. It is a weapon whose sole purpose is extortion (do what we say or we blow you to smithereens). Building and storing a nuclear bomb is not necessarily criminal but it is prohibitively expensive for anyone but a tax-funded government.

Storage of nuclear weapons would have to be in massive, remote areas of the desert, underground, where their accidental or otherwise detonation could not hurt anyone. Removal of the weapons from such safe storage sites would be an actionable tort. It would be illegal to transport the weapons because they could not be safely transported from one safe storage site to another.

To reduce the costs and risks associated with owning a nuclear weapon, any private actor would immediately defuse it (and invite independent parties to verify the defusing). As far as I know, it's only remaining legal use would be as a museum.

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Malachi replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:17 PM
Posession of a nuclear device confers on one de facto sovereignty on the international political stage. Surely that is worth something, Clayton.
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Clayton replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:22 PM

@Malachi: Yes, it's valuable to imposing a coercive, tax-funded regime onto a subject populace. After all, that's what sovereignty really means.

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Merlin replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:25 PM

 

 

It is my firm belief that if we somehow achieved anarchy tomorrow (say Jesus, Buddha, Mohamed and Confucius all descend again and make us all into anarchist) and we also somehow lost the know-how to make nukes, we’d be back with states in a few generations. Defense is subject to huge economies of scale. Right now, no country smaller than Germany, Iran or Turkey is truly sovereign for it cannot defend itself conventionally. Of course I may be wrong, but perhaps the day will come when we’ll see nukes for what they are: what really turned the high tide of statism in 1945.  

As for the thread, perhaps the position that nukes, dams, chemical factories and such objects constitute threats in the radius of danger can be the best way to deal with such issues. The owner would have to buy wavers of liability form the guys around him (or bring his nuke there before anyone else settles) or his nuke would be subject to seizure with impunity.   

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MaikU replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:48 PM

Merlin:

MaikU:

Because nuclear weapons (weapons, not technology, that can someday explode, like plants etc.) are with the sole porpuse to destroy things, and because it's near impossible to "defend" onself with atomic bomb and not kill simple "bystander" in a process it's hard to maintain an explosion radius), I think, that they should be outlawed in Libertopia.

 
 

 

 

Ah, so these things are the same but one is called a weapon and the others are not. Sorry but  I myself am not convinced at all. 

 

 

my reasoning is that if someone wanted to make a nuclear power plant, then one had to prove so to speak to the community living around the location, that his business is safe and won't commit any harm. But the atomic bombs, which work quite diffeently than NPP, are seperate matter.  It's a WMD, simply. Why would you like to confuse the both, I don't know. I only agree, that both things are potentially dangerous to community, but WMD are specifically designed to destroy, not to create power.

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MaikU replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 6:53 PM

Merlin:

 

But you completely miss out the real service that nukes provide. Nukes where not build to kill billions, but to deter conventional warfare that could kill hundreds of millions.

 

That's ridiculous. nukes are statist invention. It would be hard to believe, that people in Libertopia would created atomic bombs. I personally wouldn't sign a contract with a DRO having an atomic bomb. But we are talking about completely different mindset. People were hungry for power and demolition (those, who created the atomic bombs designed to be used in warfare). It's not about atomic energy, but atomic demolition.

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Clayton replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 7:35 PM

Defense is subject to huge economies of scale.

I don't see that at all. If you look at what constitutes the vast majority of a military's activities (training and logistics), these are very mundane sorts of tasks that are also produced in the private sector and almost always at dramatically lower cost.

My brother-in-law is in the Marines and he is currently on recruiting assignment - he got sent on a medium-distance trip to meet several recruiters in his local area and transport a few materials. They sent him in their duty pickup with an extra-heavy rear-axle, full time 4WD, etc. etc. a real gas-guzzler. He spent about $4k in fuel for a trip that would have cost me about $250 in gas, round trip. That's 16x base cost, and that just for a handful of recruiters to meet and transport some items from one recruiting station to another.

What does the military do that is so expensive that the private sector could not do it, at a profit? Operate ships? Private sector operates the largest ships on the planet. Operate aircraft? Ditto. Shoot lots of ammo? It's all manufactured in the private sector, anyway. And so on.

I see no reason to believe that the extreme specs of current military aircraft (in terms of flight-ceilings, operational radius, speeds, etc.) are actually demanded by anything but the uniquely militaristic urge to win every pissing contest. Relax the specs a bit and you could have 10x as much equipment or the same equipment at 1/10th the cost. The outcome of war is first and foremost determined by economic factors. The Third Reich collapsed due to economic weakness brought on by Hitler's maniacal economic policies.

In another thread discussing the potential that the US government will succeed in its bid to start war with Iran, I pointed out that our "enemies" - Iran, China, Russia, etc. - are thinking economically where we are not. They're thinking about getting the biggest bang for their buck. We're just thinking about the biggest bang at any price. If we do go up against Russia-China-Iran, we will get our ass whipped. "But the US has never been beat!" Not true, and even if it were true, there's a first time for everything.

I think the "economies of scale" in the production of defense are exaggerated by the apologists of the status quo.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 8:18 PM

Nukes have already been covered on here. Here is the link to my response:

http://mises.org/Community/forums/p/26111/436702.aspx#436702

And here is the relevant text:

 

A gun is legal. Pointing it at a random person is illegal. Why? Pointing it is a threat. What constitutes a threat? A reasonable realistic 3D scenario which endangers others.

Thus, pointing a gun at the sky and shooting is generally not a threat. Hence, the use of a gun is inherently not illegitimate.

Now consider nuclear weapons. What is a reasonable realistic 3D scenario which would constitute a threat? Anything. There is no “pointing” of nuclear weapons.

If you are in the middle of a mall with a gun and you want to threaten others you can 1) whip it out and point it 2) Yell “I will kill you all”

We all know scenario 2 is illegal anyway.

Scenario 1: How would this apply with nuclear weapons? It can’t. There is no whipping out of a nuclear weapon. Because with guns, to create a threat you aim. With nuclear weapons, there is no aiming.

The reasonable 3D idea of a threat flies out of the window with nuclear weapons, because their existence is a threat due to their nature of not being able to be contained. It’s like carrying a gun sphere, where there is a gun pointing out at every direction. By carrying it around in public, you are inherently aiming at everyone you walk by.

Thus, the existence of a nuclear weapon such that people involuntarily live within its blast radius is illegal. This means that you can own nuclear weapons on Mars if you’d like, or on the Moon, or in Australia if you own all of it. Yet as soon as you bring it within blast radius of people, it becomes a threat and is illegal.

 

and also

 

"a nuclear weapon is like walking through a mall with a sphere made of guns pointing in all directions. It's like constantly pointing a gun at someone's head. Now, if you can find a way to contain the explosion in nuclear facilities, power to you, you can have one. If you want to have one 500 miles away from all other living beings, have it. If you homestead a piece of land with no one in the blast radius and then people settle, their problem. If the people within the blast radius authorize you to have the bomb, glory to you. But you can't simply waltz into any city with a bomb."

 

Tl; dr - a nuke is like a sphere made of 1000 guns pointing out of the center. It is always a threat to those around you in the blast radius, and hence (typically) illegal. You cannot join a new community and carry in a nuke unless literally everyone allows it. You can have a nuke when all civilization is outside the blast radius, however, and if you're the first person to settle in an area which is otherwise uninhabited in the blast radius, then anyone who settled later is the one who has to deal with your homesteading of the blast radius.

 

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 8:19 PM

Also, I must add that being Bulgarian and knowing what Bulgaria is like, this video is shameful to me.

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Groucho replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 9:15 PM

"Dirty" bombs are a joke.  Some wiseguy just has to sell a bomb lined with  241Am and everybody can "ooh" and "ahh" like they are at the State fair when the Geiger counter clicks and pops. But the government is interested in it because of what new things they can try to do if you believe in the threat of The DIrty Bomb.

Same with the whole "Global Warming" debate - government's interests are heavily weighed by the obvious new revenue sources that will come with regulations. It even comes with the same promise of being a *tiny* tax... just like the Income Tax (only 1-7% in 1913).

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Autolykos replied on Mon, Jan 23 2012 7:49 AM

Malachi:
Shaped charges do focus a significant portion of the energy in specific directions. However, the destructive force of a bomb is not limited to the initial blast. Nuclear weapons cause fallout, even if the charge is directed 180 degrees from you, you can still be exposed to the radiation. Unless the owner/detonator has an easement on noise pollution, radiation proliferation, and waves of hot gas and debris, this would be an issue.

Good point. I was only thinking about the immediate danger.

Malachi:
as has been observed in other threads on this subject, libertarians could find utility in the ownership and use of nukes in the service of territorial defense, somewhat like the "family atomics" in Frank Herbert's Dune. I am extremely interested in observing the variety of security arrangements that wold likely emerge in a private law society.

I personally doubt there would be single families owning entire planets - but I could be wrong. Or else I'm not quite sure what you mean here.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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