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Recently, in media, there has been talk about how U.S violated Pakistan's sovereignty in going in, and killing Osama. My question is, how does a nation get this 'sovereignty'? As far as I know, there are only individual rights, and this seems to imply more. So, is this even a concept?

asked May 12 '11 at 17:17

rational_vision's gravatar image


edited May 12 '11 at 23:48

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

I think it's a valid concept. Properly, the government of a nation has exclusive right to the use of force in its jurisdiction. That's the purpose of government, in the most broad sense.

A criminal forefeits his individual rights when he commits a crime. Likewise, a nation forefeits its sovereignty when it improperly attacks other nations, or harbors those that attack other nations, whether willingly or through some sort of incompetance or malfeasance.

Reportedly, the US had found that any time an attempt was made to cooperate with the Pakistani government in the arrest of Bin Laden, he was alerted to the impending arrest and escaped, so Pakistan had effectively forefeited its sovereignty, at least in that matter.

Note that this is just my take on the matter. I believe it to be consistent with Objectivism, but I'm not sure if Ayn Rand addressed this particular issue.

answered May 13 '11 at 04:48

javert's gravatar image

javert ♦

I believe Ayn Rand spoke close to this issue when she said that: "Dictatorship nations are outlaws. Any free nation had the right to invade Nazi Germany and, today, has the right to invade Soviet Russia, Cuba or any other slave pen. Whether a free nation chooses to do so or not is a matter of its own self-interest, not of respect for the non-existent "rights" of gang rulers." [The Virtue of Selfishness] -- Of course there is a bit of a discussion warranted here on what is proper self-interest (eg: "We just want the dictatorship's oil" vs "let's trade with the natives of the slave pen").

(May 13 '11 at 08:57) Danneskjold_repo Danneskjold_repo's gravatar image

Thanks for the answer. The matter of self-interest as posted above is relevant to U.S. foreign affairs today, e.g. applying military force on Libya vs. inaction on Iran(self-interest would dictate the opposite).

(May 13 '11 at 11:43) rational_vision rational_vision's gravatar image

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Asked: May 12 '11 at 17:17

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Last updated: May 13 '11 at 11:43