Edward Feser replies to a reply from David Gordon on the subject of just war. For background, read my earlier post about the Feser-Gordon exchange, and follow the links therein. Feser's latest is here.
John Stuart Mill opined that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." But who determines whether an act is harmful or harmless? Acts deemed harmless by an individual are not harmless if they subvert the societal bonds of trust and self-restraint upon which liberty itself depends. Which is not to say that all social regimes are regimes of liberty. Liberty requires voice -- the freedom to dissent -- and exit -- the freedom to choose one's neighbors and associates. Voice and exit depend, in turn, on the rule of law under a minimal central government, such as the one envisioned by the Framers of our Constitution. Liberty, because it is a social phenomenon and not an innate condition of humanity, must be won and preserved by staunchly and unflinchingly defending the nation and through the swift and certain administration of justice.