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Friday, March 28, 2008

Kateb's "palpable goods"

Recently, I criticized George Kateb's anti-patriotism as utopian pacifism. Now I see Kateb has responded to similar criticisms thus:
I don’t want purity; I said I’m not a pacifist. I argue for the moral permissibility of self-defense. Self-defense, however, is rarely the issue in international politics. When it is, patriotism is unnecessary: you don’t need a false incentive to fight for palpable goods.
Actually, if "palpable goods" were what's at stake, there would be an enormous incentive not to fight, or to free-ride on someone else's willingness to do it. You can't enjoy palpable goods if you're dead.

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