T Nation

American History Is Not Libertarian History?


#1

What Libertarians Get Wrong About American History -- American history is not an essentially libertarian story.� 

http://reason.com/...t-history-right� 

Thanks for the link. I think that is largely spot-on (obviously, it was written with a libertarian slant decrying, rather than praising, some of the historical trajectory, and I don't have that slant.

But I think he's dead right about libertarianism really being a creature of future tense politics, and it can't credibly root itself in calling for the good old days of the Republic when it was more of a libertarian paradise.� 

What do you think of his points?


#2

Sorry, this link should work:


#3

American history is probably the most progressive leap forward in terms of freedom, prosperity for the lower classes etc in recent history up there with the establishment of parliament, the french revolution etc. It is however correct that it is simply not what many libertarians argue it is. Saying that plenty of libertarians acknowledge this and do not pretend it is something it is not.

Almost all of the major moments are counter to libertarian values. From the establishment of voting for white property owning males 21 and over, to state warfare not the free market ending slavery. America built its capital with slavery which allowed it to industrialise without the restraints of the free market, probably the least libertarian economic system imaginable.


#4

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#5

Why don’t you just call it freedom? Is your solution to have the government decide what is good? And control anyone who does something they deem as not feeling good?

Social libertarianism sounds like letting people make their own choices to me. Your going down the road that leads to the soda tax. Why let people make their own decisions?

FWIW Thunder I can’t read the link right now because I’m at work and it is filtered. I don’t think American History is rooted in Libertarianism anyways. It’s been a slow roll away from it since the inception of this country.


#6

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
One of the worst assaults was on the institution of thw family, through the fetishization of individualism and the rise of “if it feels good, do it” social libertinism. The order once established by the family and the social network that it was a part of had to be replaced with something. Enter the welfare state.
[/quote]

Why don’t you just call it freedom? Is your solution to have the government decide what is good? And control anyone who does something they deem as not feeling good?

Social libertarianism sounds like letting people make their own choices to me. Your going down the road that leads to the soda tax. Why let people make their own decisions? [/quote]

I tend to agree with social libertarianism in theory; however, there are instances (poor health choices for example) where individual choice effects the collective and in so doing effects other peoples ability to make individual choices.

As a more moderate conservative (best way to describe me I suppose) I think there’s a balance that needs to be struck between the two and it is lacking at the moment (favors the collective to much in some ways and favors the individual to much in some ways).

My .02 cents anyway.

Edit: To clarify, In general I’d say the balance is tipped towards the collective. [/quote]

I’m much more inclined to think we may need some government involvement in the fiscal sector than I am in the social sector. Who defines poor health choices anyways? If we listen to the government our high protein intake and eating lots of eggs could be classified as poor health choices in the past decades or so. You can’t have a free country if you don’t let individuals make their own decisions.

Edit: Moved to thread for T-bolt and yes this was getting this one off topic.
[/quote]

Ya, I agree that’s true, but at the same time the individuals choice to drink 5 pepsi’s a day while washing down a Chik Fil A breakfast, Burger King lunch, and McDonald’s dinner costs everyone money in various ways.

Like, I said, I feel there just needs to be a better balancing act between the two. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on you point of view, society is intertwined more so now than ever before. The day has long past where, generally, you can live in a manor you so chose and it not affect anyone else. At what point do we say that your choices are affecting my choice too much?

And, no, I’m not for a soda tax. I don’t think that’s a solution.


#7

If freedom is bad then the answer is to not be free and get the government even more involved in personal decision making. Let’s start with banning restaurants that the government deems unhealthy, cigars, casinos, alcohol, etc.

None of this stuff is “good” for you I think we can all agree. And if “social libertarianism” (which is simply letting people make their own decisions) killed the family then the answer is to put the government in charge of these things and let it make decisions for people.

I mean we can debate the finer points if we want, but let’s call social libertarianism what it is…liberty.


#8

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

Ya, I agree that’s true, but at the same time the individuals choice to drink 5 pepsi’s a day while washing down a Chik Fil A breakfast, Burger King lunch, and McDonald’s dinner costs everyone money in various ways.
[/quote]

The above WOULDN’T be true if it wasn’t for government involvement. The reason it costs you and I more? Federal and state government meddling and redistributing money. The answer is less government, not more.


#9

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

Ya, I agree that’s true, but at the same time the individuals choice to drink 5 pepsi’s a day while washing down a Chik Fil A breakfast, Burger King lunch, and McDonald’s dinner costs everyone money in various ways.
[/quote]

The above WOULDN’T be true if it wasn’t for government involvement. The reason it costs you and I more? Federal and state government meddling and redistributing money. The answer is less government, not more. [/quote]

Lets nip this in the bud real quick. I didn’t say the answer was more government.

Now as to your point. Yes, cost would probably go down without the meddling / redistribution for people like us. I’m not arguing the contrary. I am simply acknowledging the flip side. We’d have people without healthcare using the emergency room for everything (like was the case before the AHA and probably still is), which costs you and me money.

That’s just one example. Again, it is about finding a balance between the two, imo.


#10

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

Ya, I agree that’s true, but at the same time the individuals choice to drink 5 pepsi’s a day while washing down a Chik Fil A breakfast, Burger King lunch, and McDonald’s dinner costs everyone money in various ways.
[/quote]

The above WOULDN’T be true if it wasn’t for government involvement. The reason it costs you and I more? Federal and state government meddling and redistributing money. The answer is less government, not more. [/quote]

Lets nip this in the bud real quick. I didn’t say the answer was more government.

Now as to your point. Yes, cost would probably go down without the meddling / redistribution for people like us. I’m not arguing the contrary. I am simply acknowledging the flip side. We’d have people without healthcare using the emergency room for everything (like was the case before the AHA and probably still is), which costs you and me money.

That’s just one example. Again, it is about finding a balance between the two, imo. [/quote]

I did not say you did. I simply said government is the reason why your scenario is true and government caused the problem. My initial start in this thread was directed towards Thunder anyways.


#11

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

Ya, I agree that’s true, but at the same time the individuals choice to drink 5 pepsi’s a day while washing down a Chik Fil A breakfast, Burger King lunch, and McDonald’s dinner costs everyone money in various ways.
[/quote]

The above WOULDN’T be true if it wasn’t for government involvement. The reason it costs you and I more? Federal and state government meddling and redistributing money. The answer is less government, not more. [/quote]

Lets nip this in the bud real quick. I didn’t say the answer was more government.

Now as to your point. Yes, cost would probably go down without the meddling / redistribution for people like us. I’m not arguing the contrary. I am simply acknowledging the flip side. We’d have people without healthcare using the emergency room for everything (like was the case before the AHA and probably still is), which costs you and me money.

That’s just one example. Again, it is about finding a balance between the two, imo. [/quote]

I did not say you did. [/quote]

You seemed to imply it.

[quote]
I simply said government is the reason why your scenario is true and government caused the problem. [/quote]

I agree to an extent; however, dismissing the choices people make is short sighted imo.

Ok.


#12

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

Ya, I agree that’s true, but at the same time the individuals choice to drink 5 pepsi’s a day while washing down a Chik Fil A breakfast, Burger King lunch, and McDonald’s dinner costs everyone money in various ways.
[/quote]

The above WOULDN’T be true if it wasn’t for government involvement. The reason it costs you and I more? Federal and state government meddling and redistributing money. The answer is less government, not more. [/quote]

Lets nip this in the bud real quick. I didn’t say the answer was more government.

Now as to your point. Yes, cost would probably go down without the meddling / redistribution for people like us. I’m not arguing the contrary. I am simply acknowledging the flip side. We’d have people without healthcare using the emergency room for everything (like was the case before the AHA and probably still is), which costs you and me money.

That’s just one example. Again, it is about finding a balance between the two, imo. [/quote]

I did not say you did. [/quote]

You seemed to imply it.

[quote]
I simply said government is the reason why your scenario is true and government caused the problem. [/quote]

I agree to an extent; however, dismissing the choices people make is short sighted imo.

Ok. [/quote]

Was not my intention to imply it nor am I dismissing the choices people make. People ARE responsible for their own choices which is what freedom is all about. The guy who snarfs down shit 24 hours a day should pay more than you for health care. He is a bigger risk than someone who is physically fit.

Freedom doesn’t dismiss the choices people make. It makes the individual responsible for those choices and not people who did not make such poor choices.


#13

[quote]H factor wrote:
If freedom is bad then the answer is to not be free and get the government even more involved in personal decision making. Let’s start with banning restaurants that the government deems unhealthy, cigars, casinos, alcohol, etc.
[/quote]

H, it’s like the United States can read your mind! It already regulates(For those who don’t understand what that means-it means that the government allows those things only when they’re safe. #landofthefree) all of those things!


#14

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

Ya, I agree that’s true, but at the same time the individuals choice to drink 5 pepsi’s a day while washing down a Chik Fil A breakfast, Burger King lunch, and McDonald’s dinner costs everyone money in various ways.
[/quote]

The above WOULDN’T be true if it wasn’t for government involvement. The reason it costs you and I more? Federal and state government meddling and redistributing money. The answer is less government, not more. [/quote]

Lets nip this in the bud real quick. I didn’t say the answer was more government.

Now as to your point. Yes, cost would probably go down without the meddling / redistribution for people like us. I’m not arguing the contrary. I am simply acknowledging the flip side. We’d have people without healthcare using the emergency room for everything (like was the case before the AHA and probably still is), which costs you and me money.

That’s just one example. Again, it is about finding a balance between the two, imo. [/quote]

I did not say you did. [/quote]

You seemed to imply it.

[quote]
I simply said government is the reason why your scenario is true and government caused the problem. [/quote]

I agree to an extent; however, dismissing the choices people make is short sighted imo.

Ok. [/quote]

Was not my intention to imply it nor am I dismissing the choices people make. People ARE responsible for their own choices which is what freedom is all about. The guy who snarfs down shit 24 hours a day should pay more than you for health care. He is a bigger risk than someone who is physically fit.

Freedom doesn’t dismiss the choices people make. It makes the individual responsible for those choices and not people who did not make such poor choices. [/quote]

Agreed. Assuming government is shrunk, what unintended consequences do you foresee and how do you plan to address them?


#15

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Agreed. Assuming government is shrunk, what unintended consequences do you foresee and how do you plan to address them? [/quote]

The unintended consequences would be huge. Personal responsibility would probably lead to riots as we take away entitlements people now depend on and are used to. It’s why neither big party plans on doing anything to shrink the size of the government. They just pay lip service to the areas some people don’t like. A politician that actually shrinks the government won’t be a politician for long.


#16

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Agreed. Assuming government is shrunk, what unintended consequences do you foresee and how do you plan to address them? [/quote]
I don’t even like to think about the dire consequences of shrinking the United States’s government. Imagine life without the African Development Foundation, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Commission of Fine Arts, Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the Weights and Measures Division.


#17

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Agreed. Assuming government is shrunk, what unintended consequences do you foresee and how do you plan to address them? [/quote]

I don’t even like to think about the dire consequences of shrinking the United States’s government. Imagine life without the African Development Foundation, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Commission of Fine Arts, Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the Weights and Measures Division.[/quote]

I was talking about much bigger fish like social security… By all means abolish the Commission of Fine Arts for all I care. That’ll save me, what, $0.02 on my annual tax bill.


#18

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
I was talking about much bigger fish like social security… By all means abolish the Commission of Fine Arts for all I care. That’ll save me, what, $0.02 on my annual tax bill. [/quote]
Social Security isn’t a tax, it’s a service.


#19

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
I was talking about much bigger fish like social security… By all means abolish the Commission of Fine Arts for all I care. That’ll save me, what, $0.02 on my annual tax bill. [/quote]
Social Security isn’t a tax, it’s a service. [/quote]

Lol, whut?


#20

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
I was talking about much bigger fish like social security… By all means abolish the Commission of Fine Arts for all I care. That’ll save me, what, $0.02 on my annual tax bill. [/quote]
Social Security isn’t a tax, it’s a service. [/quote]

Lol, whut?[/quote]

Dude, social security is just an investment.