Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) and Voluntary Servitude

Reading James Bovard’s excellent Freedom in Chains (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999) forcefully reminded me of the importance of Étienne de la Boétie. Bovard quotes La Boétie here and there and it dawned on me that the latter’s Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, written in 1552 or ’53 and not published until after his death,1 … Continue reading “Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) and Voluntary Servitude”

‘Srebrenica’– Code Word to Silence Critics of US Policy in the Balkans

The Bosnian Serb military stands accused of committing some of the worst human rights crimes since World War II during and following the battle for Srebrenica in 1995. HOLOCAUST! GENOCIDE! ETHNIC CLEANSING! Claims of 7,000 (or 8,000, or 10,000, or whatever figure is needed to elicit the desired response) Muslim men and boys slaughtered and … Continue reading “‘Srebrenica’– Code Word to Silence Critics of US Policy in the Balkans”

Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense

Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) was born in Belgium but spent much of his life in France as a member of the French laissez faire liberal school of economists. This school, which dominated economics in France during the 19th century, built upon the work of Jean-Baptiste Say, a far better economist than Adam Smith and a … Continue reading “Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense”

The Future of States and Wars: On State-Strengthening Wars, Part III

I conclude here my look at Martin Van Creveld’s analysis of the relationships between states and war in The Rise and Decline of the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). ENTER THE AMERICANS Van Creveld’s views on the rise of the American (federal) state are quite interesting. The American Revolution saw the rise of "a … Continue reading “The Future of States and Wars: On State-Strengthening Wars, Part III”

The Twilight of Sovereignty in Azerbaijan

It’s January 2001, and George "Dubya" Bush has just been sworn in as president. The neocons are in charge of foreign policy, and one of the top items on their agenda is in the war-torn, ex-Soviet region of the Caucasus, where the Russians are resurgent. The situation in the Republic of Azerbaijan creates the most … Continue reading “The Twilight of Sovereignty in Azerbaijan”

An Insider’s View of the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague

There follows extracts from a conversation with someone who has recently observed the Hague Tribunal at close quarters. The person’s name and the proceedings observed have not been revealed. As the following article makes clear, no one who has had any dealings with the tribunal can feel entirely sure that its tentacles will not wrap … Continue reading “An Insider’s View of the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague”

New World Order: The Bosnian Model

Congress flirted earlier this year with taking a more assertive role in determining U.S. policy in Kosovo and the other countries in the Balkans, but ultimately chose to stick with the pattern that has characterized most of the last several decades: Congress grumps and grouses from time to time but essentially leaves foreign policy to … Continue reading “New World Order: The Bosnian Model”