Dialog:Is a libertarian Nuremberg tribunal a good idea?

From Mises Wiki, the global repository of classical-liberal thought
Jump to: navigation, search
Essay.svg This debate contains the opinions of one or more authors and does not necessarily represent the views of Mises Wiki or the Mises Institute. Mises Wiki debates may sometimes contain opinions that are not widely accepted by Austrian school thinkers, but nonetheless reside on the site to help stimulate critical thinking, constructive dialog, and an open-minded process of creative problem-solving furthering the growth of the body of Austrian school thought.
Walter Block writes, in Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, that there should be a libertarian Nuremberg tribunal. Would this be a good idea?

Possible advantages might be that it would deter current statist aggression, if the practitioners of it were to believe that there was a significant possibility that they would be held to account in the future. Of course, time preference would work against us, if the statists believed that such retribution would be far in the future.

A disadvantage would be that it would provide another incentive for statists to fight against reform. Also, there are costs to retribution. This would be especially true if we were to not only seek vengeance against the leaders but also against the henchmen. There are, after all, quite a lot of henchmen. But even many of the leaders might be intelligent people whose services might be useful in a capitalist society, if they were willing to quit being aggressors.

Perhaps this is not the best example, but after the Iraq War, the process of deBaathization tended to make ineligible for future service many people who, it was said, could have been useful in the reconstruction of Iraqi society. The reason it might not be the best example is that they tended to be people whose specialty was government rather than the private sector. Perhaps the skills of our current politicians and bureaucrats would not be all that useful in a future libertarian society. A better example might be the police officers who have often served as private police and security officers after giving up their government careers. Nathan Larson (talk) 02:47, 3 November 2012 (MSK)