The warfare state is emblematic of the corporatism that America finds herself embroiled in. What happens when politicians, instead of statesmen, make coercively binding political decisions on matters of war and diplomacy ? It’s called “foreign policy,” complete with all of its corporate trimmings.
Very similar to Eat the Rich, the author’s thesis is that so-called foreign policy, like economics, is inherently unknowable and thus confusing as hell. As the unintentional sequel to Give War a Chance (which itself was a pseudo-sequel to Holidays in Hell), O’Rourke manages to ridicule the Kuwaitis, eastern Europeans, peacenik welfare statists, and the US military while still somehow remaining a straight-ticket voter for the Republicrat Party. Methinks he should just come out of the closet as a totally unabashed libertarian (similar to how he declared government itself as immoral in Parliament of Whores), instead of dickering around with electoral war-mongering political whores.
I will admit though, that his portrayal of foreigners was pretty humourous. Israelis, Egyptians, and Kosovars are simultaneously funny yet tragic. Probably the most insightful comment O’Rourke makes about the whole mess is about how the very act of killing itself has been drastically changed:
“Killing is not as physical as it once was. It’s time for young people to be relieved of fighting duties. War should be fought by the middle-aged men who, anyway, decide that war should be fought. We don’t have our whole lives ahead of us. We’re already staring down the barrel of heart disease and SEC investigations. Being wrenched from home, family, and job wouldn’t be that wrenching for many of us.”
Perhaps there is a bucketful of wisdom in that statement, yet I wonder how the hell they would be in good enough shape to hump a pack, unless they’re assuming it’s a suicide mission in the first place, in which case my concern is moot.
P. J. O’Rourke’s Peace Kills: America’s Fun New Imperialism is a knee slapping meandering tome into the absurdity regarding the notion that governments can adequately negotiate with each other in order to solve problems without having to send innocent people to murder other innocent people, neither of whom truly have a dog in the fight. Maybe it’s high time for government to get out of the very serious business of foreign relations and leave it up to its citizens to handle that (for instance, when was the last time a non-corporate mutually beneficial contract between consenting parties gave any incentive to the State to engage in war with another State?). At the same time, the last thing that needs to happen is to abolish the warfare state in favor of a more powerful welfare state; replacing one bully with another still perpetuates statism, thereby reducing liberty for everyone.