July 30, 2007

WITHOUT A MONOPOLY ON FORCE THERE CAN BE NO SOVEREIGN:

Haiti debates a homegrown army: The country today is patrolled by U.N. troops. 'We should be doing this for ourselves,' some say. (Carol J. Williams, July 30, 2007, LA Times)

"In this land, we are the only masters," the Haitian national anthem proudly boasts of this country that in 1804 overthrew slavery and colonization.

But for more than a dozen years, Haiti has been without an army, dependent on a politicized national police force and foreign troops of the United Nations who protect its leaders, respond to natural disasters and quell violence in some of the hemisphere's most wretched slums.

That galls Joseph Alexandre, a 49-year-old lawyer who saw his military career and family heritage of service abruptly end in 1995 when then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded the army that had been complicit in his 1991 ouster.

"We should be doing this for ourselves," Alexandre, who holds the rank of major, said of patrols here by U.N. military units from Nepal, Croatia, Bolivia and more than a dozen other countries.


The Revolution secured independence, but it was Shays' Rebellion that created the nation. The one directed centralized force outwards, the other inwards.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 30, 2007 9:27 AM
Comments

And there you have America's secret, our Philosopher's Stone.

For us, the people are sovereign, and civil society reserves the right to use force.

This principle is in the Second Amendment, but not only there. It is preserved also by the right to trial by jury.

In regimes where the peole are not sovereign, is is common for victims of crime who defend themselves to be treated much more harshly than the robbers or burglars they had resisted.

I go back to my time in a county prosecutor's office. We declined prosecution again and again in cases of maggots shot by solid citizens, not because the shootings was clearly technicaly justified (often they were not), but because we knew from experience that our juries never convicted in cases like that.

Without a doubt, those regimes of which I wrote above consider their way more "democratic" than ours. They wish lo Stato to be able to force the will of a bare parlimentary majority upon civil society itself. Most fortunately, that is not our way.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 31, 2007 8:33 AM
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