Peter Lawler has written a strange, disjointed post at Postmodern Conservative in which he makes the following bizarre claims:
Thinking in terms of nations and wars and all that is part of getting over the postpolitical fantasy characteristic of contemporary elites, especially in Europe. A variant of that fantasy seems present in the resurgence of Midwestern isolationism on the “American conservative” right. Wars, that isolationist thought is, is [sic] caused by greedy capitalists, and so no more greedy capitalism, no more war [bold mine-DL]. There’s also the libertarian (Ron Paul) variant of that theory: War is caused by people who want to be more than greedy capitalists by intervening politically in the affairs of others. As long as we don’t bother them, they won’t bother us. But we postmodern conservatives who think politically–although not only politically–believe that it’s always prudent to be ready for war.
As a representative of what I suppose must be called Midwestern isolationism, I have to say that I have no idea what Lawler is talking about. The idea that the central complaint among non-interventionists on the right is that U.S. wars are driven by anything so rational as pursuit of new markets is just hilariously wrong. Many non-interventionists may also be critical of corporate power and influence, but perhaps aside from a very few firms the only ones profiting or gaining from war are governments, and they typically start or enter into wars to pursue state interests. As for Ron Paul, he can speak for himself, but my guess is that he thinks that wars are caused by governments that start wars to increase the power of the state, control more territory and resources or project power over and against rivals.
Some “postmodern conservatives” (I suppose we can all use scare quotes) may not be interested in opposing aggressive warfare and empire, but they could at least make some minimal effort to understand the positions of those who do. If they bothered to make that effort, they would understand that non-interventionists are quite interested in being prepared for wars that provide for the common defense of this country, which will normally mean not preparing to fight wars in territories on the other side of the planet where no American interests are at stake. In other words, we think that the military should be concerned primarily with American defense, which will likely never have anything to do with going to war against China.