Walter Block writes:
A federal judge today rejected President Trump’s order stopping the enlistment of transgendered people into the American military. Posit that this will make the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines less efficient. Is this something to be welcomed by the libertarian?
He answers yes, since the military is being used for evil purposes.
Now let Smith be a murderer and thief. At one point he becomes mentally ill and starts cutting his own body brutally. We might argue that this is all to the good, since Smith’s illness reduces his efficiency as a criminal and may even make society better off on the whole.
And yet we would also naturally consider Smith’s mental illness to be an evil in itself, a corruption of something good. He now falls short of perfection both by being morally wicked and mentally ill. Restoring him to normalcy would now require both curing him of his sickness and improving him morally which is harder than doing either of these alone.
It is true that the US military is being viciously abused. It is also true that it consumes — and therefore misallocates — an enormous amount of scarce resources, impoverishing society. But letting in transsexuals or putting women on the front lines to me seems like an extra depraved perversion. Block might argue that in this case, two wrongs will make a right. Society and individuals are at war with the state, and anything that weakens the latter strengthens the former. It’s a defensible view, but we should be very careful in this “war” that in fighting the state we do not harm ourselves, as well. The corruption of the state military may infect society though bad ideas and ideologies, too, and spread to it.
In other words, the libertarian struggle against the state is less a literal boxing match than a battle of ideas. We should not support bad ideas which will weaken us intellectually even if they also weaken the state physically.