Aggression vs. Pacifism vs. Self Defense

By conflating Japan’s right to self-defense with pacifism (“The Limits of ‘Self-Defense’,” October 1) the New York Post creates a false alternative (aggression vs. pacifism) while obliterating the concept of a proper military policy.

Just as it is the essence of a statist country’s military policy to use its military to initiate war, it is the essence of a free country’s military policy to use its military to defend itself against the aggression, or the objective threat of aggression, from such countries. As Ayn Rand once wrote, “All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.”

As such, the retaliatory use of physical force is the moral opposite of both aggression (the initiation of physical force) and pacifism (the renunciation of physical force). Does Japan, then, have the right to amend its constitution so as to be able re-form its military, as the Post suggests? Yes, but only as a means to the end which the Post disavows: its own self-defense.

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