Was America Ever Libertarian?

IPR regulars hate when I do this, but I promise this is the last one for a while. I’m writing this to see what IPR readers (especially the libertarians) think about something that’s been bothering me.

Libertarians and anarchists often get challenged with an annoying question. If libertarianism is so great, why hasn’t any country tried it? Many struggle to answer. I’ve been stewing on it.

We have a great answer to that question. America was extremely libertarian from the founding until 1860, and still very libertarian until roughly 1930. Am I right?

Consider this graph from USGovernmentSpending.com:

That’s total spending, federal, state and local combined. Until 1860, total government spending was less than 5% of GDP. Today it’s nearly 40%. So the US was much more libertarian in its early days. It stayed mostly under 10% until World War I and close to 10% until the 1930s.

Spending is not the only way to look at it. The country was far less regulated then. Occupational licensing was trivial until maybe 1950 or later. The average individual in the early 1800s had little interaction with government on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. There was no income tax and relatively few other taxes. In some places, like the frontier, life was arguably anarchic for decades.

I’m curious what IPR readers think of this thesis – that the United States of American was extremely libertarian until 1860 and still very libertarian until roughly 1930.

Is there a good book on the subject? I haven’t found it yet. Some of the writing by Tom Woods and Tom DiLorenzo touch on it but they don’t really hit it in the way I’m thinking. Most history writing for the period seems to focus on what the federal government was doing, or not doing. I’ve seen little about state and local government.

Please let me know what you think in the comments.

This entry was posted in Libertarian Party on by .

About wredlich

Warren Redlich is CEO of SpinJ Corporation, which became owner of IPR in November 2012. He was the 2010 Libertarian candidate for Governor of New York, and has run for office as a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Liberal.

216 thoughts on “Was America Ever Libertarian?

  1. NewFederalist

    I am glad you brought this up. Hopefully regulars will weigh in and we can all learn something.

  2. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    It is the Declaration of Indepence that is Libertarian. Even the LP Platform manages to quote it… (I’d change creator to “creative evolution”.

    …We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. —

    Put DUTY in CAPS!!

  3. Richard Winger

    I don’t see how anyone can think the country was libertarian, in the past. Gene Debs was sentenced to the federal penitentiary for speaking against US involvement in World War I. During the period 1920-1933 we had prohibition of manufacturing and transporting beverage alcohol. And in the 19th century, married women were not permitted to handle their own property. And before 1865 we had legalized slavery. We had the military draft during the Civil War, World War One, World War Two, and most of the period after World War II until the early 1970’s. We had laws against oral sex in private from the 1870’s until 2003. The U.S. Supreme Court never struck down any state or federal law that violated free speech from the beginning of the Bill of Rights all the way until the mid-1930’s. Native American property rights were hugely violated from the beginning of the nation, even through the 1950’s.

  4. George Dance

    Mr. Redlich: “Libertarians and anarchists often get challenged with an annoying question. If libertarianism is so great, why hasn’t any country tried it? Many struggle to answer. I’ve been stewing on it.”

    It’s possible to phrase the question neutrally, of course, and just ask “Why are there no libertarian countries?” But of course those who ask the question add the “if” clause because of the answer they want to suggest: No country has tried libertarianism because it really isn’t that great at all.

    For example, Michael Lind, the guy most famous for asking the question, which he phrases 2 ways: (1) “If libertarians are correct in claiming that they understand how best to organize a modern society, how is it that not a single country in the world in the early twenty-first century is organized along libertarian lines?” and (2) “why isn’t libertarianism discredited by the absence of any libertarian regimes in the real world?”

    For people who ask questions like that, it’s probably necessary to point out first that (1) libertarians, unlike Mr. LInd and his ilk are not fixated on ‘organiz[ing] society,’ and it’s a deliberate misrepresentation to claim they are; and (2) the fact something hasn’t been tested does not discredit it.

    But that doesn’t answer the actual question – Why are there no libertarian countries? – so it’s also necessary to deal with that. The short answer is that political economies are not ‘organized’ from the top down, whether by libertarians, Mr. Lind’s New America Foundation, or anyone else; they’re organic growths, or spontaneous orders, that change incrementally; and as a result they’re almost all hybrids, containing libertarian and anti-libertarian (or totalitarian elements; and the most one can do, most of the time, is look at each element in turn, and see which works out the best.

    But there is a one counter-example (which is why I said ‘almost’ and ‘most of the time’), and it’s worth bringing it up, too. 20th century communism was totalitarian, or as close as one can get. Yet it was tried; and it’s still being tried, in Cuba and North Korea. So it’s worth bringing those up as well.

    A hostile questioner will probably respond that he doesn’t support either country’s political system; in which cae the best reply is to tell him he’s missing the poing, and throw his questions, rephrased, back at him? (1′) If totalitarian communists are wrong in their claim that they know best how to organize society, how is it that countries in the twenty-first century are organized along totalitarian communist lines? (2′) Why isn’t totalitarian communism vindicated, in his eyes, by the presence of totalitarian communist regimes in the real world?

    Attempting to answer those questions may get him to admit that there’s no connection between the correctness of an ideology and whether a county has tried it; in which case you can point out out that those are the answers to his questions as well. He can’t just brush those answers off, since he came up with them himself.

  5. George Dance

    Somalia may not have a central government, Robert, but that doesn’t have much, if anything, to do with the NAP. I suspect there are fewer actual NAPsters in Somalia than in Canada.

    As for your other example, I’m afraid I’m having a “Zomia moment.”

  6. wredlich Post author

    Richard Winger wrote:

    “Gene Debs was sentenced … for speaking against US involvement in World War I. During the period 1920-1933 we had prohibition of … alcohol. And in the 19th century, married women were not permitted to handle their own property. And before 1865 we had legalized slavery.”

    Your comment suggests you read only the headline and didn’t bother to read the article. You can do better than this.

  7. robert capozzi

    GD, thanks for the feedback. I would think that “hardcore,” NAPster Ls would be less interested in a populace’s predominant political views and more interested in the outcome. IIRC, much of the territory known as “Somalia” is stateless or without a monopoly government. Whether your average Somalian has read Long is certainly a question.

    As for Zomia, TK brought it to my attention. It’s a serpentine area in SE Asia where an academic claims it’s stateless.

  8. wredlich Post author

    George Dance wrote:

    “Why isn’t totalitarian communism vindicated, in his eyes, by the presence of totalitarian communist regimes in the real world?”

    That is a great response to the question. I’ll use that. Thank you.

    But still misses the point of my post.

  9. Richard Winger

    I did read the whole article. And I agree with you that the title and the article are not in sync. But the title was so provocative all by itself, I wanted to respond to it.

  10. SocraticGadfly

    No it wasn’t, unless you define libertarianism quite narrowly and fiscally.

    At 1775, every colony allowed slavery.

    Nine of the 13 had established state churches. All 13 had various sorts of religious test clauses to hold public office. Many had other penalties against Catholics, let alone Jews. All had some sort of blue laws.

    In most cases, these weren’t removed until near the Civil War if not afterward.

    Religious tests for public office at the state level were not explicitly ruled unconstitutional until 1961 in Torcaso.

    That was easy.

  11. wredlich Post author

    “No it wasn’t, unless you define libertarianism quite narrowly and fiscally.”

    First of all you’re stuck on the binary notion of “Libertarian” or “Not Libertarian”. The post talks about it in terms of degree. Think of it on a scale from 0 (anarchy) to 100 (totalitarian). Today I’d say the US is around a 50. In 1820 I’d say it was around 5.

    Second, I started with fiscal but also included other issues like occupational licensing.

    “At 1775, every colony allowed slavery.”

    Yes. Slavery sucked. It was terrible. Today there are more than twice as many people in prisons and jails in the US than there were slaves in 1800. Are today’s inmates more free than slaves were then?

    “Nine of the 13 had established state churches. All 13 had various sorts of religious test clauses to hold public office. Many had other penalties against Catholics, let alone Jews. All had some sort of blue laws.”

    Sure. It wasn’t perfect. But holding public office was far less important then. And let’s not pretend there’s no de facto religious discrimination in elections. Try running for office in most of the country and announce that you’re an atheist or Muslim.

  12. Richard Winger

    People in prison in the U.S. are generally more free than slaves were in the U.S. in the past. I had a good friend who was in prison in California for five years, and I visited him often. I know that people in prison are often mistreated. Nevertheless, they have constitutional rights and they assert them. They have access to law libraries, often. They sometimes have access to occupational training and therapy (this was certainly true in the case of my friend). They often have attorneys. By contrast, slaves had no rights at all. If their owner wanted to kill them, the owner could do that.

  13. Andy

    There were certain aspects of early American history that leaned libertarian, and there were other aspects where it was not libertarian (slavery being one big example).

  14. paulie

    Warren

    IPR regulars hate when I do this

    Not sure what you mean by “this” or which IPR regulars. Personally, the only thing I recall objecting to is a few times early on when you bought the site when you did not distinguish your own personal editorials from group editorials by the entire group of IPR writers as a whole (of the latter I recall only one, against top two). It’s your site and you can obviously post all the editorials you want, I just want it to be unmistakably clear to even the most casual reader when you are speaking solely for yourself as an individual and when we – the entire IPR team – speak as a whole. Even that is just a request, but it’s one I do stand by.

    Personally, I actually love your question posts. They get good engagement and keep the community involved, which is what we want here.

  15. dL

    Libertarians and anarchists often get challenged with an annoying question. If libertarianism is so great, why hasn’t any country tried it? Many struggle to answer. I’ve been stewing on it.

    Ah, the empirical problem. Where is libertarianism? I agree, that is a problem. Indeed, I often quip: libertarianism doesn’t have an education problem, it has an empirical problem. That being said, the empirical problem is not conclusive proof of anything, and any appeal to such as proof would be committing the status quo/appeal to tradition logical fallacy. Certainly, a 16th century scholar could have appealed to the historical pervasiveness of monarchy to disprove the possibility of “liberal democracy.” Obviously, it would have been a fallacious argument.

    So, if the empirical problem is not conclusive proof of anything, how exactly then is the empirical problem a problem? Well, it is an expression of the general public goods problem of revolution. Refer to this old essay of mine for details

    https://rulingclass.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/a-libertarian-theory-of-revolution/

    One way to summarize that essay is that any viable challenge to the state is illegal. There is a collective action problem RE: challenging the state:

    • the risk of dying or punishment exceeds the expected benefits
    • an individual’s participation is unlikely to have much influence on a successful outcome
    • the individual can free ride off of whatever successful outcome without being an active participant

    Or more simply, any alternative to the nation-state is impossible, and we have 500 police/security/intel 3-letter acronyms just to make sure.

    RE: The Warren Redlich “Solution” to the Empirical Problem. I.e, an appeal to tradition demonstrates evidence of libertarianism under certain measurement criteria.

    My response: The Redlich solution only demonstrates the incompleteness of relying on federal taxes and regulation as measurement criteria. As others have pointed out, American history is strewn with egregious counter-examples that disqualify it from libertarian consideration. Even on a sliding scale. Whether it be (i) averaging some new war every two since its founding, (ii) chattel slavery, (iii)denial of minority rights, (iv) the use of genocide as means for territorial expansion, (v) the civil war, (vi) the heavy government involvement in the railroads, (vii) the local mixture of church and state, etc, etc.

    In lieu of Redlich’s economic charts, I would instead appeal to the classic 19th libertarian political economic analysis of Benjamin Tucker: the four monopolies.

    1) The Money Monopoly
    2) The Land Monopoly
    3) The Patent Monopoly
    4) The Tariff Monopoly

    Just as the United States doesn’t pass the Tucker monopoly test today, it likewise did not pass it back then. Indeed American libertarianism, or individual anarchism, is more or less a birthed product of post civil war America. After it had become aboundingly clear that the practice of liberal democracy did not match the lip service.

  16. paulie

    Regarding early America and how libertarian it was or wasn’t, I think Roderick Long’s thoughts for July 4, 2006 are relevant:

    How should we think about the American Revolution? I suggest we should think of it as an uncompleted project. The Revolution, after all, wasn’t just about separation from Britain; it was about the right of the people to “alter or abolish” any political arrangements destructive of the “inalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” or not resting on the “consent of the governed.”

    Those were the principles on which the Revolution was based. But the political system the founders established never fully embodied those principles in practice; and its present-day successor no longer respects them even in theory. (Slogans, need I add? are not theory.)

    Over the years since 1776, the fortunes of American liberty, and indeed of liberty worldwide, have risen and fallen; most often some aspects have risen while others have fallen. But every increase in liberty has involved the logical carrying-out of the principles of ’76, while every decrease has involved their de facto repudiation. (And if the average American is on balance more free than his or her 18th-century counterpart, this is small reason for complacency when one views the matter counterfactually. To paraphrase my comments in an L&P discussion last year: “For me the point of comparison is not USA 2006 vs. USA 1776, but USA 2006 vs. the USA 2006 we would have had if the USA had stuck consistently to those principles.)

    From an establishment perspective, the Fourth of July is a day to celebrate the existing American system. But that approach to the Fourth is, I suggest, profoundly counter-revolutionary. Far better to regard Independence Day as a day to rededicate ourselves to forwarding the ongoing Revolution whose true completion, as Voltairine de Cleyre and Rose Wilder Lane argued here and here, will be libertarian anarchy.

    I agree with all the reasons pointed out by others in this thread as to why the USA in its early years was not libertarian. However, it was quite libertarian compared with other countries at the same time, which I believe had a lot to do with why it became so successful, attracted so many immigrants from so many countries and became a symbol of aspiration and liberty to many around the world. While it certainly failed to live up to its own ideals those ideals were important.

  17. paulie

    Libertarians and anarchists often get challenged with an annoying question. If libertarianism is so great, why hasn’t any country tried it?

    Go back a few hundred years and you could have asked similar questions such as “if curtailing absolute monarchy is so great why has no country tried it?” or “if getting rid of slavery is so great why has no country tried it?” etc etc. The answer now should be what it would have been then had those people had a crystal ball: We haven’t arrived there yet. It’s taking some time.

  18. dL

    While it certainly failed to live up to its own ideals those ideals were important.

    The (liberal) ideals are indeed important. Libertarianism however is that radical branch of liberalism imported largely from the French tradition that holds liberalism betrays its ideals in a rationally systematic way.

  19. dL

    “Why isn’t totalitarian communism vindicated, in his eyes, by the presence of totalitarian communist regimes in the real world?”

    Most marxists would contend that the oft cited historical examples are actually very authoritarian forms of state capitalism. Before you scoff at that characterization, consider its usefulness. Most mainstream economists accept that Hayek eventually won the original socialist calculation debate with his knowledge problem critique. However, they circumvent his conclusion by rejecting a “false dilemma” of laissez faire vs state socialism. Namely, there are other alternatives like “mixed economies.” However, if Capitalist USA, Communist Russia and Communist China are converging closer and closer to being the same thing, then the state capitalism critique appears to have merit…and you arrive at the very real dilemma of:

    laissez faire vs authoritarianism

    which was the dilemma predicted by the 19th century libertarians.

    Omnes viae Romam ducunt

  20. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Hmm, why isn’t the world libertarian. Here’s a couple wikipedia articles that will explain it for you…

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testosterone_poisoning

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militarism

    As I wrote above, what the Declaration of Independence did was set a standard for total change or abolition of government that is tyrannical – and I think we can prove adequately that most of it is.

    That’s what we must remind the world. And of course mentioning those other three issues above might help. Only therapy for those afflicted with those issues WILL end AGGRESSION… written as Trump starts to speak as he ramps up for catastrophic war vs. No Korea.

  21. Just Some Random Guy

    Yes. Slavery sucked. It was terrible. Today there are more than twice as many people in prisons and jails in the US than there were slaves in 1800. Are today’s inmates more free than slaves were then?

    Absolutely. Prisoners still retain some rights whereas slaves (at least in the United States) weren’t even regarded as human by the law. Also, except in the case of life imprisonment, prisoners are released at the end of their sentence. If you were a slave, you were that way for life unless you lucked out in your master being nice enough to free you at some point (by the way, I believe some states actually passed laws making it illegal for masters to free their slaves in their wills).

    Also, on the point of there being twice as many people in prisons and jails than there were slaves in 1800? That point collapses dramatically when you consider the fact that the population is more than 60 times as big as it was then.

    And let’s not pretend there’s no de facto religious discrimination in elections. Try running for office in most of the country and announce that you’re an atheist or Muslim.

    So? Something being de facto instead of de jure is inherently far more libertarian because it’s not done by the government.

  22. Starchild

    Was the United States ever libertarian? I agree with Warren Redlich that it’s a matter of degrees, not either/or, so really the question should have been phrased differently: Was the United States ever more libertarian than it is today?

    The answer to that question is difficult, because it involves comparing and trying to evaluate the relative importance of different types of freedom. We can dispute it if anyone cares to do so, but it seems clear as day to me that on the whole, the United States has become much less libertarian in terms of economic freedom than it was in the late 1700s, and simultaneously much more libertarian in terms of personal freedoms. Of course there are exceptions on both sides – for instance, freedom of movement today is more restricted, while the freedom of women to own and dispose of property is greatly enhanced – but broadly speaking I think significant gains have been made on one side of the Nolan Chart while there has been significant regression on the other side.

    The tendency of some people both inside and outside the libertarian movement, to promote the historically unsupported narrative that the U.S. was unequivocally much freer at some point in the past than it is now, has I believe two main causes:

    1) An understandable effort by activists to awaken the public to caring about freedoms that have been lost or are in the process of being lost; and

    2) A conservative bias in the libertarian movement (putting a higher priority, or more emphasis, on the economic side of the freedom equation than on the non-economic side)

    “Socratic Gadfly” puts it well (April 25, 2017 at 21:21) when s/he answers the original question by saying, “No it wasn’t, unless you define libertarianism quite narrowly and fiscally.” Unfortunately, some self-identified libertarians have had a tendency to give short shrift to the philosophy of liberty by defining it quite narrowly and fiscally.

    Given the history of the 20th century, when the state-socialist left was largely on the ascendancy and libertarians found themselves fighting a defensive battle alongside conservatives to preserve economic freedom while resisting the spread of tyrannical communism, the emphasis on freedom in economic terms was somewhat understandable, but the movement and the Libertarian Party that represents it in U.S. politics are poorly served by continuing that bias today.

    Among women, non-Caucasians, GLBTQ people, and others who would face a marked loss of legal freedoms if transported back in time to 18th century America, any downplaying of that stark historical reality is likely to cost the freedom movement and the LP dearly in terms of credibility and trust that we want to move forward, not turn back the clock as do many on the right.

    The Non-Aggression Principle is what it is, however – there is nothing in it philosophically that elevates economic considerations over civil liberties. All we have to do as a movement is live up to it in our priorities and how we share and communicate the message of freedom, and be mindful to focus at least as much on fighting for freedoms that matter to those on the conventional political left as on the political right, in order to correct our historic imbalance and be faithful to the philosophical reality so clearly illustrated by the Nolan Chart, that libertarianism is neither conservative nor progressive, but pro-freedom and anti-authoritarian.

  23. wredlich Post author

    Richard Winger writes: “People in prison in the U.S. are generally more free than slaves were in the U.S. in the past. I had a good friend who was in prison in California for five years, and I visited him often.”

    Do you have any friends who were slaves before 1860?

    Your anecdote is not persuasive.

    As for slavery, I’m not sure the libertarian philosophy is all that clear on the subject. Would libertarians say a person can’t sell himself into indentured servitude – that government should interfere with that freedom to contract away one’s freedom? How would an anarcho-capitalist prevent or ban slavery?

    I’m sure we all agree that slavery is abhorrent and should be opposed. But what is the role of government in this situation?

    My point regarding prison is that I’m not so sure that slavery in 1850 was any worse than imprisonment in 2017. We have a lot more inmates today, especially when you include probation and parole. In some communities gangs and/or policing are oppressive.

  24. wredlich Post author

    dL writes: “The Redlich solution only demonstrates the incompleteness of relying on federal taxes and regulation as measurement criteria. As others have pointed out, American history is strewn with egregious counter-examples that disqualify it from libertarian consideration.”

    Wow I really enjoyed your response – not just the above quote but your whole comment.

    With that said, you are still looking at libertarian in a binary sense. Libertarian or not libertarian. I’m posing the question as a matter of degree. Was America MORE libertarian in 1850 than it is today? Is there a way of quantifying that? Certainly not an objective quantification we can all agree on but something?

    From your answer I suspect you’re stuck on that binary notion instead. For you there is no such thing as more libertarian or less libertarian. It’s either libertarian or it isn’t.

    This creates a serious problem among libertarians. We all have different views on what is libertarian and what isn’t. AnCaps think the rest of libertarians are statists, and they think AnCaps are psychos. 🙂 And of course there are many other variants of libertarianism.

    By your standard, anyone else’s libertarian utopia is not libertarian because it doesn’t meet one of your critieria.

  25. Andy

    WRedlich said: “As for slavery, I’m not sure the libertarian philosophy is all that clear on the subject. Would libertarians say a person can’t sell himself into indentured servitude – that government should interfere with that freedom to contract away one’s freedom? How would an anarcho-capitalist prevent or ban slavery?”

    Nobody in that situation voluntarily sold themselves into slavery, so this hypothetical you brought up does not apply.

    The only way that I could see an anarcho-capitalist society working would be if a super-majority of the population in that society wanted an anarcho-capitalist society, and they had the will to fight for it. This is why the ideology of your neighbors is so important.

    How would an anarcho-capitalist society prevent slavery? They’d probably only stand a chance at preventing it in their own society. Outside of their society, the only thing they could do is voluntarily boycott products made by slave labor.

    If there were a super-majority society made up of ancaps/voluntaryists, the people there likely would not want to own slaves (if they did, they’d wouldn’t be a voluntaryists). If anyone did, then the ancaps/voluntaryists would be morally justified to use violence against the slave owner, or they could boycott/shun the person who owns slaves and any products made by slave labor. .

  26. paulie

    Was America MORE libertarian in 1850 than it is today? Is there a way of quantifying that? Certainly not an objective quantification we can all agree on but something?

    No, there isn’t. Different aspects of liberty are more important to different people. For example, if you are gay, the freedom to not be killed, imprisoned or involuntarily imprisoned in a mental hospital due to your sexual orientation is understandably more important than if you’re not. If you are female, the right to leave an abusive husband is pretty important, and that right was far from guaranteed in 1850. And so on.

  27. paulie

    Do you have any friends who were slaves before 1860?

    We have historical records. Whipping, mutilating, raping and even killing slaves were allowed and not uncommon.

    As for slavery, I’m not sure the libertarian philosophy is all that clear on the subject.

    It’s crystal clear in regards to any actual slavery, that is as was entered into without consent.

    Would libertarians say a person can’t sell himself into indentured servitude – that government should interfere with that freedom to contract away one’s freedom?

    Not relevant to antebellum American slavery. Yes, there was indentured servitude too, but that’s a different issue.

    How would an anarcho-capitalist prevent or ban slavery?

    Same as any other violent crime.

    I’m sure we all agree that slavery is abhorrent and should be opposed. But what is the role of government in this situation?

    As long as government exists its role should be to stop it. If government ceases to exist it should be stopped by other means, just as it should when government exists and fails to stop it.

    My point regarding prison is that I’m not so sure that slavery in 1850 was any worse than imprisonment in 2017.

    That point is contradicted by historical records.

    We have a lot more inmates today, especially when you include probation and parole.

    Nowhere near as many per capita.

    In some communities gangs and/or policing are oppressive.

    Yes, but you are legally allowed to leave those and still have legal rights as a person even in those communities. I am not minimizing those issues, having spent much of my life in areas like that, but it’s not the same as chattel slavery.

  28. wredlich Post author

    I’m not really buying the criticisms about slavery and women’s rights. Of course it was horrible that these conditions existed, but that’s just taking a different narrow view of libertarianism.

    On the slavery issue, as of the 1850 census there were 18 states that had no slaves, plus Utah had a very small number of them.

    So can we say that those 18 states were more libertarian than the other states at the time? Can we compare those states with America today?

    On women’s rights things were already changing. In 1848 NY passed the Married Women’s Property Act. So does that make NY more libertarian?

    I think this gets at the root of what we mean by the word libertarian. To me it starts with freedom from government, as opposed to freedom from slaveowners or freedom from husbands and fathers.

    The underlying issue with both of those problems is that they (the “property rights”) were enforced by government. If government did not enforce the so-called property rights of slaveholders, then escaped slaves would be free. Most libertarians would like a government that goes further, protecting escaped slaves from bounty hunters. Regarding women, gays and others, the limits on their freedom were (correct me if I’m wrong) more a result of societal rules than government laws. Do libertarians oppose the right of churches to impose moral rules within their communities?

    But nevertheless I think this discussion distracts from the question I posed at the beginning. Think about various people in the US in 1850. Yes it’s true that slaves were not free. Yes it’s true that women had very limited freedom, though as mentioned above that seems less governmental.

    But take the frontiersman in Michigan; the farmer in New York; the merchant in Boston; doctors, etc.

    They paid little or no taxes. They faced little or no government regulation. They didn’t have to go to government for permits.

    What role did government play in their lives?

  29. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Andy

    How would an anarcho-capitalist society prevent slavery? They’d probably only stand a chance at preventing it in their own society. Outside of their society, the only thing they could do is voluntarily boycott products made by slave labor.

    I have seen some arguments that slavery can only function under government enforcement, because between the amount of money you’d have to pay for the slave’s living expenses (as you have to pay all of them) and the costs of security to prevent escapes, it’s cheaper to just hire someone to willingly do the job. The argument goes that the only reason slavery managed to be economically viable was that you had the government effectively subsidizing it by enforcing slavery laws, taking some of the security costs away from the slaveowner and allowing it to be profitable.

    I’m not sure I necessarily buy into it, but it is an interesting argument.

  30. paulie

    JSRG, I think that is correct. Slavery would have collapsed without fugitive slave laws.

    Warren,

    But take the frontiersman in Michigan; the farmer in New York; the merchant in Boston; doctors, etc.

    They paid little or no taxes. They faced little or no government regulation. They didn’t have to go to government for permits.

    What role did government play in their lives?

    Well, let’s see. If they were gay, they might have been killed, imprisoned, mutilated, or sent to a mental hospital. If they were atheists, they may have been run out of town. If they wanted to convert to some unusual religion or wear unconventional clothes they may also have found themselves less than free to express themselves. If they fell on hard times, they may have been locked up in a poorhouse and stripped of even their wedding rings, or forced to go “owe their life to the company store.” If they found themselves working in intolerable conditions and tried to organize a union or go on strike they may have faced the gunbarrels and billyclubs of Pinkerton guards. In some cases, if they were seen speaking a foreign language in public they may have been involuntary committed to a mental hospital as well.

    And of course that’s all if they were white males, which has always been a minority of the population, since women are slightly over 50% and not everyone is white. If they were anything else things were significantly worse. If they were Native American they faced genocide. If they were Chinese, Mexican or black they also faced significant curtailment of their rights.

  31. George Dance

    As for slavery, I’m not sure the libertarian philosophy is all that clear on the subject. Would libertarians say a person can’t sell himself into indentured servitude – that government should interfere with that freedom to contract away one’s freedom? How would an anarcho-capitalist prevent or ban slavery?

    I’m sure we all agree that slavery is abhorrent and should be opposed. But what is the role of government in this situation?

    if the two parties are willing, then indentured servitude is fine; and if they want to call it ‘slavery’, that would be fine, too. I think the government involvement should be limited to where the contract’s broken; an indentured servant should be allowed to walk away, owing nothing more than a percentage of what he was already paid (assuming he hadn’t worked off all of it). The difference with a slave would be that he wouldn’t be allowed to do that; by becoming a slave, he’d have no right to do anything by his own will. Holding someone to that would be unconscionable, and I don’t think the government should be enforcing unconscionable contracts; a court should treat him like just like the servant.

  32. Carol Moore

    Good question, Mr. Dance. And the possibility of slavery – even allegedly voluntary – is one of main things that makes me feel that at least networks or confederations of anarchist or decentralist communities may need some state powers. Even in today’s societies women and children are kept slaves in cellars by perverts, freed from time to time by chance or escape. So it could be much worse in a communities of “anarchists” who happened to be criminals and we can be sure a few of those would arise.

  33. dL

    As for slavery, I’m not sure the libertarian philosophy is all that clear on the subject. Would libertarians say a person can’t sell himself into indentured servitude

    Voluntary indentured servitude obviously would be contractually allowable, but it would also not be contractually enforceable. caveat venditor.

    Not really that hard of a question. And certainly no rationale for the State, an entity known for its precipitatory role in the enforcement of involuntary servitude.

  34. dL

    But nevertheless I think this discussion distracts from the question I posed at the beginning. Think about various people in the US in 1850. Yes it’s true that slaves were not free. Yes it’s true that women had very limited freedom, though as mentioned above that seems less governmental.

    This thread has addressed your question. The empirical problem is a problem, but it is not a “proof” in the sense that it demands historical counter-examples to avoid a logical conclusion of libertarianism==false.

    19th century America as an counter-example does not pass the libertarian test. As in: Chattel slavery, genocide, civil war, female indentured servitude notwithstanding, it is was pretty good era for a Boston banker to do business. There were plenty of reliable libertarian writers around at the time(Thoreau, Spooner, Tucker, etc) who would disagree with that assessment. Plenty of anarchist writers to digest from the latter part of the 19th century–at time when anarchism was considered a real threat to the continued existence of the monopoly state. I would lean toward what they thought of that period vs a retroactive application of something like the Cato Institute Regulatory and Prosperity Index to arrive at a contemporaneous revision of “libertarian era.”

  35. Tony From Long Island

    Warren:

    ” . . .My point regarding prison is that I’m not so sure that slavery in 1850 was any worse than imprisonment in 2017. We have a lot more inmates today, especially when you include probation and parole. In some communities gangs and/or policing are oppressive. . . . . ”

    Wow!! What a disappointing post by someone I voted for. I feel dirty just for reading it. I know a lot about Prison, especially in New York – I spent 12 years in one. It sucked but to compare it to slavery in 1850 is ludicrous! I can’t even think of a correct adjective to describe how massively stupid that statement it.

    This kind of “apologism” for such an abhorrent practice is disgusting. It’s like saying “well most slave owners didn’t whip their slaves, so it really wasn’t that bad.”

    More inmates today?? Well, have you considered the difference in overall U.S. Population now?

    I could go on but I will refrain from saying things I’ll regret.

  36. NewFederalist

    “I could go on but I will refrain from saying things I’ll regret.” – Tony From Long Island

    Probably too late for that.

  37. wredlich Post author

    Paulie wrote:
    “If they were gay, they might have been killed, imprisoned, mutilated, or sent to a mental hospital. If they were atheists, they may have been run out of town. If they wanted to convert to some unusual religion or wear unconventional clothes they may also have found themselves less than free to express themselves. If they fell on hard times, they may have been locked up in a poorhouse and stripped of even their wedding rings, or forced to go “owe their life to the company store.” If they found themselves working in intolerable conditions and tried to organize a union or go on strike they may have faced the gunbarrels and billyclubs of Pinkerton guards. In some cases, if they were seen speaking a foreign language in public they may have been involuntary committed to a mental hospital as well.”

    For one thing, Pinkerton was just established in 1850. So I don’t think Pinkerton guards were a credible threat to liberty in 1850. Similarly I don’t think the company store issue existed before 1850.

    But to your larger point Paulie, how much of your above rant relates to government oppression vs. social institutions?

    You (and others) seem to be saying that in your libertarian utopia, churches would not be able to exclude people based on criteria you don’t like. Do libertarians want government to force private property owners to let transgender people use the bathroom of their choice? Didn’t Gary Johnson catch holy hell from libertarians about gay wedding cakes?

    Also I believe that women were actually less than 50% of the population back then because of deaths in childbirth. I’ve been reading a few books on the period and just saw something about that then. Women were probably even a smaller proportion on the frontier but I’m not sure about that.

  38. wredlich Post author

    Tony from Long Island wrote:

    “What a disappointing post by someone I voted for. … I know a lot about Prison, especially in New York – I spent 12 years in one.”

    Spent 12 years in prison [Indicates felony conviction]. Voted [something felons generally can’t do]. Hmm.

    “It sucked but to compare it to slavery in 1850 is ludicrous! I can’t even think of a correct adjective to describe how massively stupid that statement it.”

    Yes, it’s ludicrous.
    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-national-strike-against-prison-slavery
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/30/us/us-prisoner-strike/
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/09/us-nationwide-prison-strike-alabama-south-carolina-texas
    https://thinkprogress.org/its-just-dressed-up-slavery-america-s-shadow-workforce-rises-up-against-prison-labor-e8ee1b5a8738

    “This kind of “apologism” for such an abhorrent practice is disgusting. It’s like saying “well most slave owners didn’t whip their slaves, so it really wasn’t that bad.”

    I’m not apologizing for slavery. I’m criticizing America’s systematic incarceration, abuse and exploitation of millions of primarily Black and Hispanic young males. You and others here should stop apologizing for that.

    Tony, I used to respect your opinion. You have lost all credibility with me in just one comment.

  39. Tony From Long Island

    Warren, You ran for Governor of New York and are an attorney but do not understand the state’s election laws.??

    Someone with a felony in New York regains the right to vote upon completing their sentence. Wow.

    Plus while incarcerated one of my parents pretty much voted for whoever my preference was.
    ——————————————————

    Warren: ” . . .Tony, I used to respect your opinion. You have lost all credibility with me in just one comment. . . .”

    I could say the same with regard to your utterly ridiculous comparison. You don’t see how that your comparison was, at least, in poor taste? Maybe we can both regain credibility. We do have much to agree on.

    We agree that America has a terrible incarceration problem. I just disagree in the most strong terms to your comparison to the “peculiar institution” that is a stain on our nation’s history.

    Thankfully, the prison population in New York has been reduced by quite a bit since Pataki left office. It is a good trend. That trend is also occurring in many other states. There is a lot of progress left to make.

  40. Tony From Long Island

    NewFed: ” . . . . “I could go on but I will refrain from saying things I’ll regret.” – Tony From Long Island

    Probably too late for that. . . . . ”

    Not even close. I don’t regret that post at all. What I would have said if I kept going however . . .

    There is certainly A LOT Warren and I agree on regarding the over-incarceration of people in this country. I just think there are better comparisons.

  41. George Dance

    GD – “Why isn’t totalitarian communism vindicated, in his eyes, by the presence of totalitarian communist regimes in the real world?”

    Most marxists would contend that the oft cited historical examples are actually very authoritarian forms of state capitalism. Before you scoff at that characterization, consider its usefulness. Most mainstream economists accept that Hayek eventually won the original socialist calculation debate with his knowledge problem critique. However, they circumvent his conclusion by rejecting a “false dilemma” of laissez faire vs state socialism. Namely, there are other alternatives like “mixed economies.” However, if Capitalist USA, Communist Russia and Communist China are converging closer and closer to being the same thing, then the state capitalism critique appears to have merit…and you arrive at the very real dilemma of:
    laissez faire vs authoritarianism
    which was the dilemma predicted by the 19th century libertarians.

    A good analysis, which I left it in to show that I don’t disagree with any of it. But it’s sideways to the point I wanted to make. The word I wanted to emphasize was totalitarian, not communist; I only included ‘communist’ to distinguish North Korea et al from non-communist totalitarianism, or fascism; but it’s not important.

    I see the alternative as “libertarian vs. totalitarian” (close enough to your “laissez faire vs. authoritarian” to make no difference). And the short answer to the original question – why are there no libertarian countries – is that there are most countries are mixed – a mix of both libertarian and totalitarian policies and trends.

    The exception to that is that there are totalitarian countries – countries purely or non-purely non-libertarian. But that’s an important part of the answer, too: actually looking at why those exist would bring a questioner to admit that the existence of a regime has little, if anything, to do with the correctness, or goodness, or credibility of its ideology; which might make him understand that the non-existence of libertarian regimes has little or nothing to do with the correctness, etc., of libertarian ideology, either.

  42. George Dance

    Tony – “Wow!! What a disappointing post by someone I voted for.”
    wredlich – “Warren: ” . . .Tony, I used to respect your opinion. You have lost all credibility….”

    Oh, stop it, both of you! There’s plenty of people who deserve to anathematized, without libertarians and ‘libertarianish’ doing it to each other.

    Of course U.S. prisons aren’t as bad as slavery at its worst. That was more like the totalitarian Gulags, and U.S. prisons, bad as they are, are nowhere near that. On top of that, there’s the injustice factor: none of the people in the slavery system deserved to be there.

    On the other hand, U.S. prisons are bad enough: there may be such a thing as a good prison, in theory, but there are none in the real world. As for injustice, as many as half of the U.S. prison population doesn’t deserve to be there, either.

    If either of you disagrees with the conjunct of both points, I’d consider that you haven’t thought it through – but I wouldn’t spend time denouncing you.

    If libertarians want to persuade the world, or any part of it, they’re going to have to get out of the habit of denouncing and demonizing potential allies. That goes for all of us, including me, as well as it does for the two of you.

  43. George Dance

    Carol – “Good question, Mr. Dance. And the possibility of slavery – even allegedly voluntary – is one of main things that makes me feel that at least networks or confederations of anarchist or decentralist communities may need some state powers. Even in today’s societies women and children are kept slaves in cellars by perverts, freed from time to time by chance or escape. So it could be much worse in a communities of “anarchists” who happened to be criminals and we can be sure a few of those would arise.”

    Thanks, Carol. You’ve actually emboldened me to talk about something I rarely get into: interventionism.

    As I see it, non-intervention between countries is analogous to relations to neighbours; they can talk, trade, and co-operate, but they stay off each others’ property and let each other win their lives.

    But then there’s the guy in Ohio who kidnapped women and kept them (mostly) chained up in his home; and his neighbor, who went on his property, and broke his door down, to free one of those women. Was the neighbor morally wrong to violate another person’s property, not in self-defense, but simply to defend a stranger? I do believe in NAP, but as hard as I tried, I just cannot use NAP to say that he was. Nor can I just adopt an ancillary principle of ‘non-intervention’ to say that he was, either.

    Which is why I don’t believe in any ‘principle of non-intervention’, no matter what “Mr. Libertarian” says about it; and why I don’t have trouble with people like Gary Johnson talking about ‘humanitarian’ interventions, no matter who (not you, of course) calls them things like “dog shit” for talking about that.

    I recognize the slipper slope threat when talking about ‘humanitarian intervention’ – and I fully recognize the practical dangers behind foreign intervention (such as the militarization that supports it, and vice versa). But that’s different from a ‘non-interventionist’ principle. As I see it, there’s only one libertarian principle – NAP.

  44. dL

    Wow!! What a disappointing post by someone I voted for. I feel dirty just for reading it. I know a lot about Prison, especially in New York. It sucked but to compare it to slavery in 1850 is ludicrous! I can’t even think of a correct adjective to describe how massively stupid that statement it.

    I will point this out again. If you insist on using your prison experience as a source of authority, you should inform us what you went in for and some idea of the prison you were locked up at. Now, I understand why you might not want to divulge that info. Understandable. However, when you make a statement that slavery ==prison is a massively stupid statement that defies a proper adjective and impugn the motives of the person making the comparison, and you appeal to your own experience to validate your contention, you sort of force a “put up or shut up” challenge.

  45. Tony From Long Island

    To begin with, you don’t just serve a sentence at ONE prison. You are moved quite often, particularly as your security level decreases (often based on how close to release you are but other factors are involved). I “lived” at several facilities in New York.

    I think I clarified my opinion in a later post that I just think better comparisons can be made.

    As for using my experience as a “source of authority,” I do believe I have a bit of knowledge of the criminal justice system (especially in New York) that a lay person doesn’t. Other than that, my opinion is worth no more or less than anyone else on here.

    No. I will not divulge my criminal history. Nothing to be proud of. I will say only that neither violence nor drugs were involved.

    It was not my intention to “impugn” his character. I just think it was a stupid statement. People say stupid things every day – myself included.

  46. wredlich Post author

    George Dance wrote: “Oh, stop it, both of you! There’s plenty of people who deserve to anathematized, without libertarians and ‘libertarianish’ doing it to each other.”

    No. I will not tolerate Tony’s melodramatic nonsense and I will denounce him for it. I documented four examples of others comparing prison to slavery and he flatly ignored those. He has designated me as both ludicrous and evil for making the same comparison as CNN, The Guardian, ThinkProgress, The New Yorker and so many others. I started what I thought might be an intelligent conversation and he turns it into a whine-fest.

    Oh I can’t believe I voted for you. I so regret that vote. Whine Whine Whine!

    Yeah, you should’ve voted for Cuomo or Paladino instead, or maybe the Manhattan Madam. Please. But let’s be honest. You obviously did vote for Cuomo. Really, tell us more about how wonderful the NY prison system is now that Pataki is gone.

    Tony wrote: “It was not my intention to “impugn” his character.”

    Bull! That was exactly your intention.

    “I feel dirty just for reading it. … I can’t even think of a correct adjective to describe how massively stupid that statement it. This kind of “apologism” for such an abhorrent practice is disgusting.”

    If you think that doesn’t impugn someone’s character, you need to look up the word impugn. No wait, maybe it’s the word character you’re having trouble with.

    “Tony from Long Island” equals ZERO credibility for me. ZERO. Fortunately for you I’m rarely on IPR so you can continue your whiny blithering nonsense and I guess others will tolerate it.

  47. wredlich Post author

    George Dance wrote: “Was the neighbor morally wrong to violate another person’s property, not in self-defense, but simply to defend a stranger? … which is why I don’t have trouble with people like Gary Johnson talking about ‘humanitarian’ interventions”

    There’s a huge difference between a man dealing with his neighbor and a country dealing with other countries. Libertarians (or NAP believers) don’t have a problem with individuals traveling to other countries to fight injustices. We have a problem with countries robbing taxpayers, using our money, and acting in our name claiming to engage in so-called humanitarian interventions. Your illogic is easily twisted to support everything our country has been doing in over 100 countries all over the world.

  48. Tony From Long Island

    Warren – I will denounce ANYONE who makes that comparison. Not only you.

    Palladino . . .worse than Trump . . . if that’s even possible.

    Disagreeing with someone is not the same as “impugning” someone. If you want to see me impugn someone, just read any post I make in reply to Andy. You are not Andy. Thankfully, ,very few are.

    I’m just shaking my head at how someone who was a nominee for Governor from a Party I used to belong to acts like a regular every day forum poster. It’s disappointing.

    Saying how the population in NY prisons has decreased since 2009 is not really a glowing endorsement. I did not once utter the name “Cuomo.” You did. There have been three governors since George Pataki.

    While incarcerated, I was robbed, assaulted by officers and has my sphincter stared at after every visit with my family. However, I was not forcefully put there after being ripped from my home. Neither were 99% of those also incarcerated.

    I could write quite a diatribe about how the system can be reformed. You and I would probably agree on much of it. I simply think that comparing it to the forced slavery of millions of Africans is ridiculous.

    I made a peace offering a few posts back. You are clearly not interested. Another example of how you are just a regular internet poster, with silliness like “Manhattan Madame.” It’s beneath the office you sought.

  49. Ge

    “There’s a huge difference between a man dealing with his neighbor and a country dealing with other countries. Libertarians (or NAP believers) don’t have a problem with individuals traveling to other countries to fight injustices. We have a problem with countries robbing taxpayers, using our money, and acting in our name claiming to engage in so-called humanitarian interventions. Your illogic is easily twisted to support everything our country has been doing in over 100 countries all over the world.”

    I have a problem, on NAP grounds, with governments robbing taxpayers, using their money, and acting in their name to period – and I don’t think they’re one jot more worthy of doing that, now matter how strictly they follow the ‘principle of non-intervention.’ Do you really think it’s OK, or even better, for a government to do that all that as long as it stays within its own borders? That robbing the people to fund a military state to bomb and kill people is more ‘libertarian’ if it just keeps the bombing and killing within its own borders? Seriously?

  50. wredlich Post author

    Tony continues to be an apologist for the police-prison industrial complex:

    “I was not forcefully put there after being ripped from my home. Neither were 99% of those also incarcerated.”

    Yes, large numbers of inmates were in fact ripped from their homes and communities, far more than 1% of them. About half of federal inmates are in on drug laws, and a smaller but still large proportion of state inmates. Keep apologizing for the system Tony. Nice work.

  51. wredlich Post author

    Ge writes: “That robbing the people to fund a military state to bomb and kill people is more ‘libertarian’ if it just keeps the bombing and killing within its own borders?”

    Not sure who you’re arguing with. Obviously I don’t support what you describe.

  52. George Dance

    Mr. Redlich: No. I will not tolerate Tony’s melodramatic nonsense and I will denounce him for it. I documented four examples of others comparing prison to slavery and he flatly ignored those.

    Yet you also will not deal with my points: that forcing innocent people to work, and whipping and killing them if they refuse, is not ‘just as good’ as the current U.S. prison system.

    You talked about “twisting illogic” of mine in an earlier post, so let me do that to you in return. The vast majority of crime appears to be committed by African-Americans. So do you want to re-enslave them? That would lower African-American crime; and, according to you, would not be any worse than what the government does today.

  53. George Dance

    “Ge writes: “That robbing the people to fund a military state to bomb and kill people is more ‘libertarian’ if it just keeps the bombing and killing within its own borders?”

    Not sure who you’re arguing with. Obviously I don’t support what you describe.”

    I’m sure you don’t; you’re just playing ‘libertarian libertarian’ – trying to twist the point at issue – can a government militarily intervene beyond its borders – into one on a libertarian issue: the morality of a tax-funded military; somehow trying to pretend that I’m in favor of what I just described, because I disagree with your “principle” of the sanctity of borders.

    You remind me of Andy Jacobs, who can’t actually defend his ‘libertarian’ principle of closing the border, so he keeps trying to twist the discussion into a debate on welfare instead.

  54. Tony From Long Island

    While incarcerated, I never once met a person who was incarcerated solely for drug possession.

    One way to make that no longer an issue is to decriminalize drugs. You and I certainly agree on that.

    But like a typical forum poster, rather than a leader, you continue to harp on what we disagree on, rather than what we agree on.
    ——————————————–

    George Dance ” . . . . .The vast majority of crime appears to be committed by African-Americans. . . . .”

    Ugh . . . . it never ends.

  55. George Dance

    Nice snipping to distort my point, Tony. I hope you don’t mind if it comes right back at you.

    “If you want to see me impugn someone, just read any post I make”
    – Tony from Long Island

  56. dL

    However, I was not forcefully put there after being ripped from my home. Neither were 99% of those also incarcerated.

    You volunteered to go to prison? 99% of the prison population likewise volunteered? The questions of whether prison is justified or a prison sentence deserved are separate issues. But no one goes to prison willingly….

  57. wredlich Post author

    George Dance writes:

    “Yet you also will not deal with my points: that forcing innocent people to work, and whipping and killing them if they refuse, is not ‘just as good’ as the current U.S. prison system.”

    I never said it was “just as good.” For starters, neither of them is good. I don’t think any of us considers slavery to have been a good thing. The difference appears to be that I see the current system (not just prison, but the entire police-prosecutor-prison complex) as horrendous and horrid, while the two of you keep apologizing for it and saying it’s not that bad.

    “The vast majority of crime appears to be committed by African-Americans.”

    I don’t agree with that. Are you secretly trying to get me and Tony back together again? This might work. 🙂

    “So do you want to re-enslave them? That would lower African-American crime; and, according to you, would not be any worse than what the government does today.”

    Obviously my answer is no.

  58. wredlich Post author

    Meanwhile you are distracting from the question I posed in this post. This is not a post about: “Is prison as bad as slavery.” It’s a post about whether America was libertarian, at least in some ways, before 1860 (and perhaps before 1913 or 1930).

    Anyone want to get back to that or do you want to keep arguing about who is morally repugnant for not condemning slavery/prison enough?

  59. Tony From Long Island

    Jorge Danza: ” . . . .“If you want to see me impugn someone, just read any post I make”
    – Tony from Long Island . . . .”

    Come now. Let’s not deliberately misquote me. It’s Friday.

    What snipping? My quote of yours was an exact quote of a complete sentence.
    ———————————————————————————–

    dL: ” . . . .You volunteered to go to prison? . . . .”

    Committing felonies can be construed as volunteering yourself for prison. Sure there can be debates on the proper punishment for crimes are. That’s why not every felony is treated as if it were murder. There are different punishments possible for different crimes. I’m not a fan of the length of time my sentence was, but the fact that I was incarcerated was completely justified.

  60. George Dance

    Tony – “Let’s not deliberately misquote me.”

    No misquotation. Every word I quoted was one you wrote, in the exact same order.

    See, I can plead the same technicalities.

    Don’t take it personally. Occasionally my tolerance for having something I wrote cut down to misrepresent what I was saying reaches a breaking point, irrespective of who does it.

  61. dL

    Committing felonies can be construed as volunteering yourself for prison.

    No it can’t…what could be construed as yourself willfully volunteering for prison is showing up the gates and asking: “can I come in”?. In reality, you are being “volunteered” for prison by a third party under a pretense of “indebtedness to society.” Keep in mind, given that slavery was legal in the United States, slaves were being likewise “volunteered” into their condition under a rationale of “indebtedness” to either society, property owners or god’s will.

  62. dL

    Anyone want to get back to that

    I specifically have addressed your original question twice in this thread…

  63. Tony From Long island

    Sorry George, your point seemed quite clear. Maybe you should have expand upon it because I don’t believe your generality is accurate.

    George: ” . . .No misquotation. Every word I quoted was one you wrote, in the exact same order. . . .”

    Next time, how about including a full sentence like I did when quoting you?

    —————————————-
    dL . . . Thanks. I needed some twisted logic to ponder for the weekend.

    —————————————

    Everyone (except Andy) have a great weekend. . . . . .

  64. George Dance

    Mr. Redlich – “Meanwhile you are distracting from the question I posed in this post. This is not a post about: “Is prison as bad as slavery.” It’s a post about whether America was libertarian, at least in some ways, before 1860 (and perhaps before 1913 or 1930).”

    No, this is a thread about “whether America was libertarian …” You and Tony began making posts debating the proposition “prison is as bad as slavery” (which logically implies “slavery is as good as prison”) before I said a word about it. (On Usenet, that’s called either ‘changing the topic’ or ‘hijacking the thread’ depending on whether one approves or not.)

    I for one would like to get back to the topic – saving discussion of prisons and intervention for their own threads – but I’d also like to like to make metacomments, such as pointing out that even an affirmative answer won’t do anything to convince the Libertarian-bashers who ask the question, because they have a neat dodge to side-step all such evidence.

  65. Tony From Long island

    George, I admit that I have had a frustrating day and may have jumped on you a bit unfairly. . . . Hope your weekend is enjoyable.

  66. George Dance

    Tony – “Sorry George,…”

    The word “sorry” does a lot for me. In this case, it’s enough to make me stop trying to continue a verbal fight with you, and try to clarify things. But, given that we’re trying wredlich’s patience – he wants to get back to the original topic, quite rightly – I’d like to limit that to just the one post; so I’ll try to get in everything.

    “… your point seemed quite clear. Maybe you should have expand upon it because I don’t believe your generality is accurate.”

    But I did; my point was that, if someone actually believed prison and slavery were equally bad, then restoring slavery would have to be seen as a plus – it would cut crime, without any bad effects. It was actually a point defending your side of the debate, which is why I got so angry when you snipped all that out.

    Instead, what I got back from you was a statement that made it look like I was making the racist claim that African-Americans commit most crimes. Yes, I know you kept in the word “appears”, but you may not have even noticed it or what it meant: that I was referring to *appearances”, given by things like arrest statistics and public surveys, rather than reality. Just quoting that one sentence, out of context, would make it even less likely for a reader to notice I wasn’t saying anything about African-Americans actually being criminals. Maybe you thought I was; but then, anyone reading that one sentence out of context would be even more likely to do so.

    I hope that’s enough, because I do want to get back to the thread topic.

  67. George Dance

    wredlich: “This is not a post about: “Is prison as bad as slavery.” It’s a post about whether America was libertarian, at least in some ways, before 1860 (and perhaps before 1913 or 1930). Anyone want to get back that topic?

    Sure, but I have to make one more point about slavery, as a meta-comment on the question.

    That is, that for most African-Americans (being slaves), America was not more libertarian. And any attempt to argue that it was would leave them at best indifferent, at worst inclined to associate libertarianism as a whites-only thing.

    So any attempt to argue that America was more libertarian, back in the day, has to include the slavery caveat; and not just slipped in, but emphasized. Otherwise the libertarian making the case is writing off a large chunk of his audience.

    Not just African-Americans, either. We’ve seen how even a libertarian sympathizer like Tony can react to even a hint of perceived racism. Add to that the fact that there are many, many anti-Libertarians just panting for the opportunity to turn the LP into a pariah by tarring it with the racist brush, and I hope you can see why I think that acknowledging, even emphasizing the existence and non-libertarianism of slavery is essential.

  68. dL

    dL . . . Thanks. I needed some twisted logic to ponder for the weekend.

    have you ever read the justifications for American slavery? I’m merely summarizing the arguments made at the time. Arguments that we today no doubt find twisted. Likewise, a future anthropologist uncovering Tony From Long Island’s statement:

    Committing felonies can be construed as volunteering yourself for prison.

    might find such a statement equally as strange as we find the 19th century arguments rationalizing slavery. I mean no society that I’m aware of collectively shrugs:

    Yeah, we’re evil. We know what we are doing is evil. Fuck it…

  69. wredlich Post author

    “even an affirmative answer won’t do anything to convince the Libertarian-bashers who ask the question, because they have a neat dodge to side-step all such evidence.”

    True.

  70. wredlich Post author

    “So any attempt to argue that America was more libertarian, back in the day, has to include the slavery caveat; and not just slipped in, but emphasized. Otherwise the libertarian making the case is writing off a large chunk of his audience. ”

    Except that by 1850 (much less 1860 which was the end of the period I mentioned), there were no slaves in 18 of the states.

    I tried to sidestep the slavery diversion by asking about those 18 states in 1850 (plus or minus roughly 10 years). No one bit. Because no one wants to talk about the original question. Well, almost no one. Paulie and dL were pretty much on point in a genuine discussion on the issue.

  71. paulie

    Warren, how many of those states had Indian wars and massacres, forced removals and other atrocities against natives? How many had riots and massacres of free blacks (I know NY did)?

  72. paulie

    Paulie wrote:
    “If they were gay, they might have been killed, imprisoned, mutilated, or sent to a mental hospital. If they were atheists, they may have been run out of town. If they wanted to convert to some unusual religion or wear unconventional clothes they may also have found themselves less than free to express themselves. If they fell on hard times, they may have been locked up in a poorhouse and stripped of even their wedding rings, or forced to go “owe their life to the company store.” If they found themselves working in intolerable conditions and tried to organize a union or go on strike they may have faced the gunbarrels and billyclubs of Pinkerton guards. In some cases, if they were seen speaking a foreign language in public they may have been involuntary committed to a mental hospital as well.”

    For one thing, Pinkerton was just established in 1850. So I don’t think Pinkerton guards were a credible threat to liberty in 1850. Similarly I don’t think the company store issue existed before 1850.

    But to your larger point Paulie, how much of your above rant relates to government oppression vs. social institutions?

    All of it relates to government oppression. When people with unconventional religions, appearances or lifestyles were run out of town, or beaten or killed or lynched, where were the sheriffs? In most likelihood leading the charge. It’s civil authorities who returned women to abusive husbands and who committed people to mental hospitals for such things as being gay or even speaking foreign languages. They were also fully on board with the system of forcing poor people into abusive poorhouses and work farms.

    You (and others) seem to be saying that in your libertarian utopia, churches would not be able to exclude people based on criteria you don’t like.

    What?! I said nothing close to that. Churches can do what they want in their own church. What does have to do with anything I said?

    Do libertarians want government to force private property owners to let transgender people use the bathroom of their choice?

    That hasn’t been too much of an issue. Generally transgender people use the bathroom of the gender they appear to be, as has always been the case. It’s only some right wing social injustice warriors who have invented an entirely fictional epidemic of transgender women attacking cisgender women in bathrooms, and passed laws requiring people to use the bathrooms of their birth gender; leading to real attacks by cisgender men against transgender women trying to use the mens rooms, transgender women forced to soil themselves in public or avoid going in public altogether or forced to move to other cities etc.

    Didn’t Gary Johnson catch holy hell from libertarians about gay wedding cakes?

    Which relates to anything I said how exactly?

    Also I believe that women were actually less than 50% of the population back then because of deaths in childbirth.

    You may be right. They were still close to half even if that is correct. Add blacks, Mexicans, American Indians, etc, even e.g. LDS before they got to Utah. And on and on.

    Consider that the slave population alone was the majority in some states and close to it in some others.

    Women were probably even a smaller proportion on the frontier but I’m not sure about that.

    I don’t think straight white men were the majority in one single state, as far as I know. That’s before we get into any other issues that were used to turn people into second class citizens or worse.

  73. paulie

    That is, that for most African-Americans (being slaves), America was not more libertarian. And any attempt to argue that it was would leave them at best indifferent, at worst inclined to associate libertarianism as a whites-only thing.

    So any attempt to argue that America was more libertarian, back in the day, has to include the slavery caveat; and not just slipped in, but emphasized. Otherwise the libertarian making the case is writing off a large chunk of his audience.

    Not just African-Americans, either. We’ve seen how even a libertarian sympathizer like Tony can react to even a hint of perceived racism. Add to that the fact that there are many, many anti-Libertarians just panting for the opportunity to turn the LP into a pariah by tarring it with the racist brush, and I hope you can see why I think that acknowledging, even emphasizing the existence and non-libertarianism of slavery is essential.

    That is correct, and the same is true of any number of other groups which made up large parts of the population.

  74. paulie

    if someone actually believed prison and slavery were equally bad, then restoring slavery would have to be seen as a plus – it would cut crime, without any bad effects.

    I think that is a valid point.

  75. paulie

    It’s a post about whether America was libertarian, at least in some ways, before 1860 (and perhaps before 1913 or 1930).

    Yes, it was. I already said so above. In some other ways it wasn’t even as libertarian as now. That’s important to weight, too, lest we further the already all too prevalent view that we are a party and an ideology solely by and for white males, and primarily property-owning ones.

  76. paulie

    I don’t think any of us considers slavery to have been a good thing. The difference appears to be that I see the current system (not just prison, but the entire police-prosecutor-prison complex) as horrendous and horrid,

    It’s certainly horrendous and horrid.

    Slavery was worse.

    Under slavery, literally half or more of the population of some US states was slave. Under slavery, there was no crime against anyone else that even a portion of slaves were enslaved for, as with prisons today. Under slavery, the children and children’s children, and so on, of slaves were also enslaved. Under slavery, masters could and quite often did beat, rape, mutilate and kill slaves, forced pregnancies and childbearing on them, bred them to each other like farm animals, etc, etc. Slave families were frequently broken up with slaves being sold down the river. Among many other things.

  77. paulie

    You volunteered to go to prison? 99% of the prison population likewise volunteered? The questions of whether prison is justified or a prison sentence deserved are separate issues. But no one goes to prison willingly….

    Some people do want to go to prison, because it is a rite of passage to them, or because they are institutionalized and better equipped to live in prison than in an outside world they are not in sync with after a long time inside, or because that’s their retirement plan. Many other people, while they don’t want to go to prison, are relatively OK with it, as they have become adapted to that life and know how to get all the things they want while incarcerated. Others yet see it as a calculated risk and part of doing business and making the kind of money they don’t know how to make in any other way, or of satisfying their urges to hurt people. Some people do get locked up unjustly or for things which should not be crimes at all but even many of those (though certainly not all) get a chance to put their affairs in order before being incarcerated.

    But no, most prisoners did not “volunteer.” They get manipulated into an unjust system that directs them there – often from a very early age. It’s still nothing like chattel slavery, even though a system of slave labor and horrid conditions do indeed exist within the prison system.

  78. paulie

    Palladino . . .worse than Trump . . .

    Separated at birth?

    I’m just shaking my head at how someone who was a nominee for Governor from a Party I used to belong to acts like a regular every day forum poster. It’s disappointing.

    You must not have known a lot of politicians. I have. Trust me, they are not some better class of human beings than the regular person. I don’t really think of Warren as a politician, although he was a political candidate and a local elected official. But in addition to alt party candidates for all levels of office and local politicians I have also spent time around a bunch of big time politicians you may well have heard of and again I say… do not expect them to be somehow better than you, me or the average Joe. If anything, quite the opposite. Perhaps this expectation of yours is why you are more comfortable giving them the power to legislate more of our lives?

    It’s beneath the office you sought.

    No. You should get such concepts out of your head. They are steering you wrong.

  79. paulie

    No. I will not divulge my criminal history. Nothing to be proud of. I will say only that neither violence nor drugs were involved.

    Your business of course, but I personally find it to be better to not try to hide it. For one thing, other people manage to find it. Mine, likewise, did not involve violence or drugs (as far as convictions go, anyway) and was likewise nothing to be proud of. But it’s nothing to hide either. I wish it hadn’t happened but it did; why try to hide or change history?

  80. paulie

    Of course U.S. prisons aren’t as bad as slavery at its worst. That was more like the totalitarian Gulags, and U.S. prisons, bad as they are, are nowhere near that. On top of that, there’s the injustice factor: none of the people in the slavery system deserved to be there.

    On the other hand, U.S. prisons are bad enough: there may be such a thing as a good prison, in theory, but there are none in the real world. As for injustice, as many as half of the U.S. prison population doesn’t deserve to be there, either.

    I agree.

  81. paulie

    I see the alternative as “libertarian vs. totalitarian” (close enough to your “laissez faire vs. authoritarian” to make no difference). And the short answer to the original question – why are there no libertarian countries – is that there are most countries are mixed – a mix of both libertarian and totalitarian policies and trends.

    The exception to that is that there are totalitarian countries – countries purely or non-purely non-libertarian. But that’s an important part of the answer, too: actually looking at why those exist would bring a questioner to admit that the existence of a regime has little, if anything, to do with the correctness, or goodness, or credibility of its ideology; which might make him understand that the non-existence of libertarian regimes has little or nothing to do with the correctness, etc., of libertarian ideology, either.

    Exactly.

  82. George Dance

    wredlich: “Except that by 1850 (much less 1860 which was the end of the period I mentioned), there were no slaves in 18 of the states. I tried to sidestep the slavery diversion by asking about those 18 states in 1850 (plus or minus roughly 10 years). “

    I did promise to help get the discussion back on topic; so I tried to look up what Lind had to say about the periodt. He did write a follow-up to his original article “The question libertarians just can’t answer” (with a similar troll-title, “Why Libertarians Are Basically Cult Members”), in which he dealt with the 19th-century U.S.; but most of it’s about railroad subsidies, the Homestead Act and Civil War pension “welfare programs”, and other post-Civil War things. This is all I can find that looks germane to 1850:

    “Ever since colonial times, states had engaged in public poor relief and sometimes created public hospitals and asylums…. State and local licensing rules and trade laws governed economic life in detail, down to the size of spigots in wine casks, in some cases…. The 1790 Naturalization Act barred immigrants from becoming citizens unless they were “free white persons” .”

  83. paulie

    Spooner and Thoreau were among the libertarians of that era who criticized the non-libertarian aspects of the government then. There were many others.

  84. wredlich Post author

    “Warren, how many of those states had Indian wars and massacres, forced removals and other atrocities against natives? How many had riots and massacres of free blacks (I know NY did)?”

    I don’t know Paulie. I’m reading about this period now and certainly seems like there wasn’t much of that in Vermont, NH and Maine (white population > 99%).

    You still refuse to distinguish between freedom from government and freedom from non-governmental forces.

    “All of it relates to government oppression. When people with unconventional religions, appearances or lifestyles were run out of town, or beaten or killed or lynched, where were the sheriffs? In most likelihood leading the charge.”

    I don’t know that you’re wrong, but I don’t think you know that either.

    You’re avoiding the point about government oppression vs. social institutions. Government in general was too small to do all the things you’re saying.

    People lived in communities. Many of those communities were homogenous (less so on the frontier according to what I’m reading) and homogeneous communities tend to enforce homogeneity culturally and through social institutions. Still happens in Japan (an extremely homogeneous country).

    Many people in these communities were legally free to leave but couldn’t because of economic circumstances or other non-governmental issues. Does that mean it wasn’t libertarian?

    To me libertarianism is first and foremost about freedom from government. You seem to think it’s bigger than that, about freedom from social institutions as well. Or you’re ducking that point and blaming everything on government when government was only 3% of GDP.

    “I don’t think straight white men were the majority in one single state, as far as I know.”

    Maine, VT and NH were over 99% white, and probably more than half white males. All three, by the way, are still the whitest states in the union.

    Whites in states 1800s

  85. wredlich Post author

    “Under slavery, the children and children’s children, and so on, of slaves were also enslaved.”

    Not by 1850 in the northern states, no.

  86. wredlich Post author

    “lest we further the already all too prevalent view that we are a party and an ideology solely by and for white males, and primarily property-owning ones.”

    That is a trap statists will never let you dig yourself out of.

  87. wredlich Post author

    George Dance wrote: “I tried to look up what Lind had to say about the period”

    Yes, I read one of his books. After reading DiLorenzo it was like rubbing my eyes with sandpaper. Lind is completely biased in favor of big government and wears the bias on his sleeve. Any government corruption is a triviality and anything bad that happens is only because there wasn’t enough government.

    “most of it’s about railroad subsidies”

    DiLorenzo and Woods crush that nonsense.

    “Ever since colonial times, states had engaged in public poor relief and sometimes created public hospitals and asylums…. State and local licensing rules and trade laws governed economic life in detail, down to the size of spigots in wine casks, in some cases”

    Complete rubbish. Sure some of that happened, but it was small. That’s why the government spending as a percent of GDP is so relevant. If government spending was only 3% of GDP, how much could government possibly be doing? Especially when half the money went to corruption.

  88. dL

    You’re avoiding the point about government oppression vs. social institutions. Government in general was too small to do all the things you’re saying.

    Not by 1850 in the northern states, no.

    If government spending was only 3% of GDP, how much could government possibly be doing? Especially when half the money went to corruption.

    Redlich’s Thesis: Applying something like a Cato Institute Regulatory and Prosperity Index to 19th century Northern/Eastern United States, a region that had largely or outrightly banned chattel slavery by the middle part of the century, yields a (largely) libertarian result vis a vis State vs Individual Liberty. Hence, 19th America, or a fairly significant part of 19th century America, serves as a libertarian example.

    Rejoinder: I addressed this point in the first response. But I will address it again. 19th century American libertarianism, otherwise known as individual anarchism, is a late 19th century product that intellectually emerged from the very geographic areas that Redlich cites as passing the libertarian test: namely, the northeast. We can label this first iteration of American Libertarianism the Boston School. It would include the likes of Tucker, Spooner, William B. Greene and others. A simple synopsis of the Boston School is the marriage of the French Socialist Laissez Faire(==Proudhon) w/ “consistent Jeffersonianism” to produce a Machesterian free trade. The literary and propaganda components of this school were recorded in Tucker’s “Liberty” periodical. Fortunately, internet publishing has restored “Liberty” for contemporaneous consumption.

    http://travellinginliberty.blogspot.com/

    The gist of Tucker’s critique was centered around the prohibition of competition from the 4 monopolies of political economy that would invariably lead to a laissez-faire vs authoritarianism dilemma(a binary choice, not a false dilemma). What Cato Institute Regulatory and Prosperity Index labels as “libertarian,” Tucker viewed as the foundational root of authoritarianism. In a 1928 postscript to his famous essay, “State Socialism and Anarchism: HOW FAR THEY AGREE, AND WHEREIN THEY DIFFER,” penned 40 years earlier in 1888, Tucker wrote:

    Forty years ago, when the foregoing essay was written, the denial of competition had not yet effected the enormous concentration of wealth that now so gravely threatens social order. It was not yet too late to stem the current of accumulation by a reversal of the policy of monopoly. The Anarchistic remedy was still applicable.

    Today the way is not so clear. The four monopolies, unhindered, have made possible the modern development of the trust, and the trust is now a monster which I fear, even the freest banking, could it be instituted, would be unable to destroy. As long as the Standard Oil group controlled only fifty millions of dollars, the institution of free competition would have crippled it hopelessly; it needed the money monopoly for its sustenance and its growth. Now that it controls, directly and indirectly, perhaps ten thousand millions, it sees in the money monopoly a convenience, to be sure, but no longer a necessity. It can do without it. Were all restrictions upon banking to be removed, concentrated capital could meet successfully the new situation by setting aside annually for sacrifice a sum that would remove every competitor from the field.

    In other words by 1928, even before the major FDR component of the progressive period had materialized, reform was already impossible.

    Perhaps the bible of a libertarian critique contemporaneous to the so-called “libertarian era” is Lysander Spooner’s letter to Grover Cleveland. Cleveland, a Bourbon Democrat, represented the closest thing to a reign of laissez faire in American history.

    Yes, 19th century American had a less regulatory and tax burden than today’s version. That’s the extent of the measurement by degrees. You can make this statement: 19th century America had a less tax and regulatory burden than today.” But that’s it. That statement is not sufficient for a conclusion: 19th century America was a demonstration of libertarianism. From the Boston School’s analysis, clearly it was not. The Boston School analysis vis a vis “19th century libertarian era” would only inform us that libertarian reform was still possible in the 19th century. A moot point today, obviously.

  89. dL

    “I tried to look up what Lind had to say about the period”

    Michale Lind has a problem that the progressive state has produced mass inequality, a prison state and now, Donald Trump. Rather than address those existential problems, I’m sure he would like to find a convenient scapegoat as a distraction. The problem w/ proggies like Lind scapegoating libertarianism for today’s progressive paradoxes is that they have already dismissed libertarianism as never existing. Why then bail them out? Whenever they deconstruct The United States back to progressive origins, I always nod my head.

  90. paulie

    “lest we further the already all too prevalent view that we are a party and an ideology solely by and for white males, and primarily property-owning ones.”

    That is a trap statists will never let you dig yourself out of.

    Why make it easy for them by helping them set it?

  91. paulie

    Maine, VT and NH were over 99% white, and probably more than half white males.

    Awesome, let’s take that as a given. So our libertarian paradise has shrunk somewhat, from the entirety of antebellum USA to three sparsely populated north New England states where, for a brief shining few decades after the natives were exiled and slavery was outlawed and the soil was too rocky for large scale agriculture to have agricultural slavery anyway, white men were a bare majority because women died in childbirth or from injuries caused by spousal abuse etc etc.

    But wait… didn’t those states have state churches, some of them as late as the 1830s? That was oppressive to not only any and all non-Christians who lived there but even to members of any other Christian denomination other than the one in charge of their particular state or town. Didn’t those churches, in conjunction with state and local governments, pass all sort of religion-based laws against victimless crimes? How did the civil authorities in those areas treat anyone who was, say, discovered to be gay or announced their atheism? Did they have abusive poorhouses and work farms where people were confined against their will? Did they send people to asylums or exile them for any manner of nonconformity? Was civil authority used to force women to stay with abusive husbands?

    I’ve repeatedly cited how government was intertwined with the non-governmental forces that curtailed freedom back then. But let’s try that from a different angle. Suppose someone in those areas had tried to use non-governmental means to fight the non-governmental forces of oppression; which side would the government and its guns have come down on?

    I mean, yeah, women and children who are being beaten and raped by drunken patriarchs were not being beaten and raped by the government directly, but if they were to fight back or escape, they knew government would be on the side of their abusers, so few did. The oppression that government helps create, hand in hand with other social institutions and forces, often doesn’t require government to spend any money at all.

  92. paulie

    Also, didn’t government schooling originate in New England? And what about the censorship, a la “banned in Boston”?

  93. paulie

    Alcohol prohibition states: Maine 1851-1856, Vermont 1853-1902, Kansas 1880-1948, Iowa 1882-1894, North Dakota and South Dakota 1889-1932, and other states thereafter. Another not so great for liberty trend that originated in northern New England.

  94. wredlich Post author

    Maine, VT and NH were over 99% white, and probably more than half white males.

    “Awesome, let’s take that as a given. So our libertarian paradise has shrunk somewhat, from the entirety of antebellum USA to three sparsely populated north New England states”

    No, those three states are just examples. There were other states that were nearly all white. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and Michigan. Some of those had larger populations.

    “Suppose someone in those areas had tried to use non-governmental means to fight the non-governmental forces of oppression; which side would the government and its guns have come down on?”

    What government guns? There were no municipal police. There was no significant standing army. http://www.history.army.mil/html/books/075/75-1/CMH_Pub_75-1.pdf

    By 1845, the United States had about 7,300 men under arms to protect a nation of nearly 20 million people and 1.8 million square miles of territory. In contrast, Belgium’s proximity to the great powers of Europe led that country of just over 4 million people and 12,000 square miles to maintain an army of about 30,000 men. Even Mexico, a nation of 7 million people with whom the United States would soon be at war, maintained a regular army of over 18,000 men with another 10,000 militia on active duty.

    You’re making my point for me. You imagine some force of government guns that simply did not exist.

    “but if they were to fight back or escape, they knew government would be on the side of their abusers”

    No. It wasn’t government. They didn’t even think about government. It was non-governmental institutions like churches and community sentiment. Maybe you should explain what your libertarian utopia is? It sure seems like your ideal has no institutions at all and no community rules even enforced by community sentiment.

  95. wredlich Post author

    Regarding dL’s references to Benjamin Tucker, he (Tucker) appears to discredit himself by bashing Standard Oil. Tom DiLorenzo and Tom Woods successfully explained that Rockefeller and Standard Oil dramatically lowered the cost of oil and oil products, and that always faced a competitive environment.

    As for Spooner, his letter to Grover Cleveland was in the 1880s, well after the main period I’m focusing on. Interesting reading about him and his competition with the government postal monopoly.

  96. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    George Dance wrote:
    As I see it, non-intervention between countries is analogous to relations to neighbours; they can talk, trade, and co-operate, but they stay off each others’ property and let each other win their lives. …I don’t have trouble with people like Gary Johnson talking about ‘humanitarian’ interventions, no matter who (not you, of course) calls them things like “dog shit” for talking about that….I recognize the slipper slope threat when talking about ‘humanitarian intervention’ – and I fully recognize the practical dangers behind foreign intervention (such as the militarization that supports it, and vice versa). But that’s different from a ‘non-interventionist’ principle. As I see it, there’s only one libertarian principle – NAP.

    CM: The slippery slope is way too slippery. The mindset that makes some people kidnap, control and use others is pretty much the same in the individual psychopath and the mutually supportive psychopaths who tend to rise to the top of the state. Even those who foolishly think the govt is going in to “rescue the children at Waco” or “rescue those oppressed by Gadafi” soon enough find out they end up supporting more death and destruction than what was going on before.

    You can’t perfect all humans or all forms of governance, but you can work to make to sure most people remain non-aggressive and most forms of governance – minimal state or anarchistic – have processes to keep them from getting oppressive. Sunset provisions and “jubilees” of the rich giving away lots of resources to the not so rich are two good types of “reset buttons” that prevent the inevitable sclerosis of social, economic and political systems. (Was listening to the second half of a Cato book forum discussing a book on that topic today, though if they discussed very specific solutions, I missed that part.)

  97. dL

    As for Spooner, his letter to Grover Cleveland was in the 1880s, well after the main period I’m focusing on. Interesting reading about him and his competition with the government postal monopoly.

    Spooner’s letter to Grover Cleveland is the last thing he wrote before died. He he died at an old age of 80. Lots of material from him during the course of his life dating from your idyllic libertarian period. Starting with setting up his own law practice in 1835 in defiance of the Massachusetts’ licensing and apprenticeship requirements. Founding the American Letter Mail Company in 1844 that challenged the monopoly of the United States Post Office, a business that would eventually be squashed by the US government. Publishing his most famous work, The Unconstitutionality of Slavery, in 1844. Published his most radical work, No Treason, in 1867 that argued the civil war ended the legitimacy of the US Constitution as a social contract.

    Besides, Spooner’s letter to Cleveland was a not specifically a diatribe against the Cleveland Administration or recent American politics, but rather a polemic against all forms of government as a corrupt usurper of liberty, penned by a libertarian who lived through your idyllic era of libertarian governance. Put differently, Spooner’s experience of your hypothesized era of libertarian government would convert him to anarchism.

    Regarding dL’s references to Benjamin Tucker, he (Tucker) appears to discredit himself by bashing Standard Oil. Tom DiLorenzo and Tom Woods successfully explained that Rockefeller and Standard Oil dramatically lowered the cost of oil and oil products, and that always faced a competitive environment.

    Benjamin Tucker vs Tom DiLorenzo or Tom Woods….hmmmm, ok….

    The obvious problem with using DiLorenzo and Tom Woods is that they are not serious historians but rather pop polemicists who say different things to different audiences at different times. In the case of Dilorenzo, I suppose you are specifically referencing “How Capitalism Saved America.” The problem is that his next book, “Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution–and What It Means for Americans Today” makes the case that Hamilton set up a permanent legacy of national glory and interventionist economics that “pushed economic policies that lined the pockets of the wealthy and created a government system built on graft, spoils, and patronage.” Hmmm, how would one reconcile these two diametric thesis points. Perhaps an examination of the preface to his “How Capitalism Saved America” gives a clue:

    Whether it’s Michael Moore or the New York Times, Hollywood or academia, a growing segment in America is waging a war on capitalism.

    This is Rush Limbaugh stuff…DiLorenzo doesn’t care to reconcile anything. He is writing this book for the Fox News crowd. It’s conservative pop revisionist history. Not to mention DiLorenzo recently wrote a preface to Phyllis Schlafly’s book, The Conservative Case for Trump,” stating that the book makes a case for Trump “saving America from socialist tyranny”. So, apparently Donald Trump is now DiLorenzo’s archetype of the “hero capitalist.”

    RE: Tom Woods. I suppose you are referring to “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.” The relevant chapter, “How Big Business made America better off” is only 17 pages. It borrows heavily from Burton Folsom’s “The myth of the Robber Barrons.” Once again, an obvious problem here is that although Woods defends Rockefeller in his book, in other contexts he often identifies “the Rockefellers” as part of global financial elite conspiracy. So, it depends on the audience what version of Rockefeller Woods is going to give you. Frankly, you should cut out Woods as the middleman and go straight to the source. “The Myth of the Robber Barrons” is a bit more subtle of a thesis than “big business saved America.” Folsom divides the robber barrons into two categories, market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. However, the revisionism of Standard Oil as a hero of market entrepreneurship is not an universally held position within the libertarian tradition. Not even within the Austrian tradition. E.g, it was not Rothbard’s position.

    More examples of counter-revisionism at Mises:
    https://mises.org/library/story-american-revisionism

  98. dL

    My newest Nolan Chart article. Please read the intro, and (if you like it) use the link to read the whole article.

    The libertarian presumption, heck even the liberal presumption, begins w/ a presumption of liberty, “do what you will,” and any contravention of liberty by authority requires demonstration. Neither libertarianism nor liberalism for that matter begins with: “how best to organize society.” That’s more along the lines of the ancients, a la Plato et al. Frankly, not even progressivism from the liberal democratic tradition begins with that presumption. Progressivism is more long the lines of a promise. In exchange for authority between supply and demand, authority between consenting adults, fraternity, equality and fairness are promised.

    Now, If the promises aren’t kept, rather than withdraw the pretext for authority, scapegoats are instead sought. Proggies are essentially “Leave it to Beaver”conservatives because the 1950s serves as their idyllic period of progressive governance. And they often appeal to that era with great fondness. Of course, by doing so, they overlook quite a bit of ugliness of that period like segregation and the cold war(hmmm, remind you of anything?). And, they have since the 60s been looking for scapegoats RE: why the 1950s is the not the endpoint of human history in eternal rerun.

    Finally, after the scapegoat option is exhausted, the last resort is to claim “no possible alternative.” Of course, this holds true only because any possible alternative is illegal under threat of imprisonment or death. Lind’s conservative construct of the good life can only be maintained by force of a massive state security apparatus, which, in the end, only serves itself.

  99. dL

    FWIW, as an addendum, if I were to defect to progressivism, I would defend Lind’s position by pulling from the libertarians. Specifically, I would refer to Cato’s “Human Progress” site and the Cato Institute Prosperity Index of “the world’s poor have never been richer” to defend progressive regulation of capitalism as delivering on it’s promises, flaws and all. Cato does a fantastic job of inadvertently defending progressive regulation(often as a response to countering socialist critiques). Now Cato would obviously say we could do much better with government deregulation, but I would then point to Hans Herman Hoppe’s trespass property rights regime to make the point that any non-trivial trade beyond an amish-like agrarian society would be impossible. Capitalism requires progressive regulation to overcome tribalistic cultural resistance to flow of capital, goods and labor. So, on the contrary, you could actually do much worse. A sort of one bird in the hand vs two in the bush defense.

    Moral: Quite a bit of the libertarian responses to progressive critiques often inadvertently make the progressive case. The converse holds true, too. Often the best case for libertarianism is made by reading the progressives.

  100. wredlich Post author

    dL wrote: “The obvious problem with using DiLorenzo and Tom Woods is that they are not serious historians but rather pop polemicists”

    Interesting. I will read more, including your link on revisionism. I see the revision in interpretation, not facts.

    I am reading other authors on the period and I find the DiLorenzo-Woods perspective from the books you mention (you are correct in which ones I read) more persuasive. For example a book I’m now reading criticizes Madison’s veto of a roads-and-canals bill and the author says how this impaired growth of the US economy. Others criticize Andrew Jackson in the same way.

    But the US economy continued to grow after Madison’s veto, and during the Jackson presidency. The economic evidence doesn’t fit the accusations.

    And isn’t it true that market entrepreneurs are rather different from political entrepreneurs? Don’t we, as libertarians (if you are one), favor market entrepreneurs and distrust government’s claim to protect us from them? Are you saying libertarians support government’s “antitrust” activism?

  101. paulie

    No, those three states are just examples. There were other states that were nearly all white. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and Michigan. Some of those had larger populations.

    Awesome, then we can find plenty more counterexamples to those states having been libertarian at the time. California had Latinos (having been part of Mexico) and Native Americans, and may have been starting to have Asian immigration by that time. And should we discuss just how exactly all those states came to be “nearly all white”? After all they must have had native populations at one time.

    What government guns? There were no municipal police. There was no significant standing army.

    Police departments were starting to form, and there was an army which among other things crushed the Whiskey and various other rebellions, fought the war of 1812 and the Mexican-American war, and which fought various Indian wars. Do you think the long death march known as the trail of tears was forced by some non-governmental organization? So yes, there were some government guns and various militias that could be called on to provide police or military functions as needed. There was some way of apprehending, prosecuting and punishing criminals, and it was not a polycentric system of justice. Whatever you want to call that force monopoly was clearly not on the side of any individuals had they used non-governmental force to fight various types of non-governmental oppression discussed above. The fugitive slave laws were after all laws, and were somehow enforced along with many other unjust laws.

    No. It wasn’t government. They didn’t even think about government. It was non-governmental institutions like churches and community sentiment.

    So it was a theocracy? Had any women or children who were being beaten and raped by the husband and father of the family fought back or escaped, they would have been brought back to the home or put on trial, convicted and punished directly by the church? If so, how was that different from a state theocracy?

    Maybe you should explain what your libertarian utopia is?

    I don’t really have one, but if I did, it would probably involve things like individual rights not being trampled.

    It sure seems like your ideal has no institutions at all and no community rules even enforced by community sentiment.

    It would have plenty of voluntary institutions and community rules.

  102. paulie

    Yes government schools started somewhere in the mid to late 19th century.

    Excerpts from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_education_in_the_United_States

    The first American schools in the thirteen original colonies opened in the 17th century. Boston Latin School was founded in 1635 and is both the first public school and oldest existing school in the United States.The first free taxpayer-supported public school in North America, the Mather School, was opened in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1639….

    By the mid-19th century, the role of the schools in New England had expanded to such an extent that they took over many of the educational tasks traditionally handled by parents.

    All the New England colonies required towns to set up schools, and many did so. In 1642 the Massachusetts Bay Colony made “proper” education compulsory; other New England colonies followed this example. Similar statutes were adopted in other colonies in the 1640s and 1650s. The schools were all male and all white, with few facilities for girls. In the 18th century, “common schools” were established; students of all ages were under the control of one teacher in one room. Although they were publicly supplied at the local (town) level, they were not free. Students’ families were charged tuition or “rate bills.”

    The larger towns in New England opened grammar schools, the forerunner of the modern high school.

    Tax-supported schooling for girls began as early as 1767 in New England. It was optional and some towns proved reluctant to support this innovation. …Northampton assessed taxes on all households, rather than only on those with children, and used the funds to support a grammar school to prepare boys for college. Not until after 1800 did Northampton educate girls with public money. In contrast, the town of Sutton, Massachusetts, was diverse in terms of social leadership and religion at an early point in its history. Sutton paid for its schools by means of taxes on households with children only, thereby creating an active constituency in favor of universal education for both boys and girls.

    After the Revolution, northern states especially emphasized education and rapidly established public schools. By the year 1870, all states had tax-subsidized elementary schools…In 1821, Boston started the first public high school in the United States. By the close of the 19th century, public secondary schools began to outnumber private ones.

    Upon becoming the secretary of education of Massachusetts in 1837, Horace Mann (1796–1859) worked to create a statewide system of professional teachers, based on the Prussian model of “common schools.” Prussia was attempting to develop a system of education by which all students were entitled to the same content in their public classes. Mann initially focused on elementary education and on training teachers. The common-school movement quickly gained strength across the North. Connecticut adopted a similar system in 1849, and Massachusetts passed a compulsory attendance law in 1852. Mann’s crusading style attracted wide middle-class support. Historian Ellwood P. Cubberley asserts:

    No one did more than he to establish in the minds of the American people the conception that education should be universal, non-sectarian, free, and that its aims should be social efficiency, civic virtue, and character, rather than mere learning or the advancement of sectarian ends.

  103. paulie

    Banned in Boston appears to have been mostly late 19th century.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banned_in_Boston

    Again, more than 5 seconds of reading the link is helpful. The term Banned in Boston became popular in the late 19th century but the phenomenon it describes is older. From your link:

    Early instances of works being “banned in Boston” extend back at least to the year 1651. That year, William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, Massachusetts—Massachusetts’ great settlement in the Connecticut River Valley—and the former treasurer of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, wrote a book criticizing Puritanism entitled, The Meritous Price of Our Redemption. Boston, founded by Puritans and, at that time, ruled as a de jure theocracy, banned Pynchon’s book and pressed him to return to England. He did so in 1652, which nearly caused Springfield to align with the nearby Connecticut Colony.

    So, it appears that the censorship which became known as “banned in Boston” was not entirely without precedent in that area.

  104. paulie

    Also from wikipedia:

    Early policing in American history was based on the ancient English common law system which relied heavily on citizen volunteers, watch groups, and a conscription system known as posse comitatus similar to the militia system, which continued until the mid-Nineteenth century.

    In British North America, policing was initially provided by local elected officials. For instance, the New York Sheriff’s Office was founded in 1626, and the Albany County Sheriff’s Department in the 1660s. In the colonial period, policing was provided by elected sheriffs and local militias.

    In 1789 the U.S. Marshals Service was established, followed by other federal services such as the U.S. Parks Police (1791)[36] and U.S. Mint Police (1792).[37] The first city police services were established in Philadelphia in 1751,[38] Richmond, Virginia in 1807,[39] Boston in 1838,[40] and New York in 1845.[41]

    So, even at the time when there were not professional police departments, there was conscription into local militias acting under the auspices of the local government, which was tied in with the local church. And full-time tax-supported police departments were starting to form, even in the “libertarian” New England area.

  105. dL

    dL wrote: “The obvious problem with using DiLorenzo and Tom Woods is that they are not serious historians but rather pop polemicists”

    you didn’t address the actual full quote:

    The obvious problem with using DiLorenzo and Tom Woods is that they are not serious historians but rather pop polemicists who say different things to different audiences at different times.

    But the US economy continued to grow after Madison’s veto, and during the Jackson presidency. The economic evidence doesn’t fit the accusations.

    What does libertarianism have to do w/ economic growth? Most regimes record economic growth. Hence, are most regimes libertarian?

    And isn’t it true that market entrepreneurs are rather different from political entrepreneurs? Don’t we, as libertarians (if you are one), favor market entrepreneurs and distrust government’s claim to protect us from them? Are you saying libertarians support government’s “antitrust” activism?

    Well, I wrote:

    However, the revisionism of Standard Oil as a hero of market entrepreneurship is not an universally held position within the libertarian tradition. Not even within the Austrian tradition. E.g, it was not Rothbard’s position.

    Which does not dismiss ME vs PE, but rather questions SO being a member of ME. Certainly questions that proposition by the year 1928, which was the year Tucker wrote his postscript referencing SO. For example, you are not going find a lot sympathy for Rockefeller in Rothbard’s work(which often relied on power elite analysis as a methodological framework). For example, Rothbard’s ” Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy.” This is where you get into trouble relying on DiLorenzo and Woods. Since they view Rothbard as a mentor, they will often reflexively regurgitate Rothbard’s power elite analysis re: the Rockefellers. However, in other contexts when they want to defend “capitalism” from Michael Moore, suddenly they adopt Rockefeller and SO as the patron saint of the free market.

  106. George Dance

    dL, thanks for your read and comment on my article; I wasn’t sure if it even belonged in this thread, but just hoped (that because it’s the origin of wredlich’s original article) it was germane.

    “The libertarian presumption, heck even the liberal presumption, begins w/ a presumption of liberty, “do what you will,” and any contravention of liberty by authority requires demonstration. Neither libertarianism nor liberalism for that matter begins with: “how best to organize society.” That’s more along the lines of the ancients, a la Plato et al. ”

    Agree with that. Lind’s just smuggling in his own progressive assumption – that a society is something to be organized by the state – by an implicit claim that everyone, even libertarians believe in it. (Maybe not dishonestly; maybe he thinks everyone believes that; but he’s of course misstating the libertarian idea.

    “Frankly, not even progressivism from the liberal democratic tradition begins with that presumption. Progressivism is more long the lines of a promise. In exchange for authority between supply and demand, authority between consenting adults, fraternity, equality and fairness are promised.”

    Well, I think progressivism, as an ideology, does begin with that assumption, sometimes called ‘science-based governance’ – that we can assemble the right experts, put them in charge of everything, and have all those nice outcomes. That it’s not what any government consistently does, is because there are no purely progressive states – as I tried to say in the article, there are no states (except North Korea) run by any pure ideology.

    “Progressivism in the liberal -democratic tradition,” which does look like the dominant consensus, is actually a coalition of 3 different ideologies; progressivism (the experts decide things, ‘scientifically’), welfare liberalism (the state leaves people free to decide things for themselves, individually, while just lending a helping hand where that doesn’t work), and democracy (the people collectively make those decisions, and the state’s job is just to do whatever it’s told. Those ideologies may end up working together, but they conflict as much as they agree; all they agree on (which is a big deal) is that it’s the government’s job to build a better society, and that such an ideal is possible.)

    “Now, If the promises aren’t kept, rather than withdraw the pretext for authority, scapegoats are instead sought. ”

    True; if the system isn’t working, it’s either because of a bad system (which the consensus cannot accept) or because of bad people corrupting it. Belief in the second option leads to the politics of today, where Republican and Democratic politicians demonize each other, while almost everyone else, from populists to non-voters, demonizes both of them.

    Proggies are essentially “Leave it to Beaver”conservatives because the 1950s serves as their idyllic period of progressive governance. And they often appeal to that era with great fondness. Of course, by doing so, they overlook quite a bit of ugliness of that period like segregation and the cold war (hmmm, remind you of anything?). And, they have since the 60s been looking for scapegoats RE: why the 1950s is the not the endpoint of human history in eternal rerun.”

    True again; if there’s one belief in the consensus, it’s that the postwar period (1950-1965 or so) was when the the progressive/liberal/democratic consensus worked, and things were great and getting better. Not really a problem for libertarians, though, as we can reply: “Do you want to go back to the level of government spending of the 50’s? Do you want to go back to the level of government regulation of the 50’s? It’s not our ideal; but is it a compromise we can agree on?” (Of course, they probably won’t agree).

    “Finally, after the scapegoat option is exhausted, the last resort is to claim “no possible alternative.” Of course, this holds true only because any possible alternative is illegal under threat of imprisonment or death. Lind’s conservative construct of the good life can only be maintained by force of a massive state security apparatus, which, in the end, only serves itself.”

    Nothing for me to disagree with there.

  107. dL

    Agree with that. Lind’s just smuggling in his own progressive assumption

    Actually, he think he is trying to bait a typical Libertarian Think Tank response, which is a checkmate move for him if you take the bait. Read my addendum comment.

  108. wredlich Post author

    Despite our disagreements I really enjoy the responses, especially the most recent comments.

    So … Paulie do you think America is more libertarian today than it was in 1850?

    Maybe I am asking the wrong question or asking it in the wrong way.

    No one serious advocates a return to slavery, misogynistic and racist laws, nor genocide. Outside of those things – yes they’re important, but outside of them – was America more libertarian then?

    The point of the original question is that’s where we want to go. We advocate for a more libertarian society, with a much smaller government and far less regulation. For decades early America had strong economic growth and also strong positive social trends (such as the abolition and suffrage movements).

    Big government inhibits economic growth and social progress. We support liberty on principle, but also because it’s better for all on a practical level. We won’t win elections on principle alone (or at all). We will win them if we can show people that freedom will make their lives better.

  109. wredlich Post author

    dL wrote:

    ” –But the US economy continued to grow after Madison’s veto, and during the Jackson presidency. The economic evidence doesn’t fit the accusations. —

    What does libertarianism have to do w/ economic growth?”

    I was responding in particular to a book I read and another one I’m reading. One (Lind I think) asserts that Jackson’s opposition to a central bank and “internal improvements” inhibited economic growth. In the one I’m reading now (Howe?) I just read a bit where he claims Madison’s veto of the Bonus Bill inhibited economic growth.

    They’re both wrong. Economic growth was strong regardless of government follies and the actions of Madison and Jackson certainly didn’t reduce growth if you look at the annual figures for GDP.

  110. George Dance

    dL – “Read my addendum.”

    I did; it had nothing at all to do with any libertarians (even Cato libertarians) thinking government can or should ‘organize a modern society’.

    “I were to defect to progressivism, I would defend Lind’s position by pulling from the libertarians. Specifically, I would refer to Cato’s “Human Progress” site and the Cato Institute Prosperity Index of “the world’s poor have never been richer” to defend progressive regulation of capitalism as delivering on it’s promises, flaws and all. Cato does a fantastic job of inadvertently defending progressive regulation”

    That’s hardly a ‘checkmate’ argument for progressives: How does ‘progressive regulation of capitalism’ in a country like the U.S. or Europe have anything to do with ‘Human Progress’ in other countries?

    The only connection I can see is that progressive regulation of business in the U.S. and Western Europe has led to businesses in those countries moving their manufacturing to Asia, which has raised living standards there; but I can’t see any progressives even making that argument, much less considering it a winner. “We’re helping the world by outsourcing your jobs” doesn’t sound like something calculated to win the hearts and minds of American or European voters.

  111. paulie

    So … Paulie do you think America is more libertarian today than it was in 1850?

    In some ways yes, in some ways no. I’m not sure if I can really assess whether it’s more libertarian overall.

    No one serious advocates a return to slavery, misogynistic and racist laws, nor genocide. Outside of those things – yes they’re important, but outside of them – was America more libertarian then?

    Yes, I would say it was. But regardless of whether any significant numbers of people are calling for a return to those policies today, it’s important to note that we are not calling for that when we are calling for a return to relatively more laissez-faire economic policies. After all, outside of libertarians and a few on the far right, no one is calling for a massive rollback of taxes, regulations and government spending to 19th century levels either, so some people can be forgiven for mistakenly drawing the conclusion that we are looking to turn the clock back a couple of hundred years in other respects as well when we do, especially if we don’t make much effort to actively assert otherwise.

    For decades early America had strong economic growth and also strong positive social trends (such as the abolition and suffrage movements).

    Yes, it did. And I point those out as good historic examples all the time. But I temper it by acknowledge that we have made a lot of social progress since then which I do agree with and have no desire to roll back.

    Big government inhibits economic growth and social progress. We support liberty on principle, but also because it’s better for all on a practical level. We won’t win elections on principle alone (or at all). We will win them if we can show people that freedom will make their lives better.

    I agree.

  112. dL

    I did; it had nothing at all to do with any libertarians (even Cato libertarians) thinking government can or should ‘organize a modern society’.

    Because “never been richer/freer” has happened under the regulatory auspices of “how best to organize a modern society.”

    That’s hardly a ‘checkmate’ argument for progressives: How does ‘progressive regulation of capitalism’ in a country like the U.S. or Europe have anything to do with ‘Human Progress’ in other countries?

    Because global capitalism abides by a global international “progressive” framework. From Post WW II to late 70s, Bretton Woods, followed then by the “Washington Consensus.”

    The only connection I can see is that progressive regulation of business in the U.S. and Western Europe has led to businesses in those countries moving their manufacturing to Asia, which has raised living standards there…

    Lots of things, e.g, merely following the principle of comparative advantage, can be at the root of production relocation. Besides, most progressives would view ease of relocation being one of the warts of the progressive regulatory framework that should be “remedied.”

    Obviously, I don’t ascribe to what I am writing here; but if i was getting paid to argue the other side, this is what I say. Noting: when you make prosperity a chief justification of liberty(i.e, ends justify the means), you are essentially defaulting to a primary argument of capitalism as the best way to organize a modern society. Checkmate is two moves away if you rely on that opening gambit.

  113. dL

    Paulie do you think America is more libertarian today than it was in 1850?

    A primary distinction between the 19th century and today vis a vis libertarianism is that the the injustices of the former era would have been more easily reversed by libertarian reform, and a new course more easily set. In other words, real libertarian reform was much more of a possibility back then.

  114. Tony From Long Island

    Paulie:

    ” . . . . But no, most prisoners did not “volunteer.” They get manipulated into an unjust system that directs them there – often from a very early age. It’s still nothing like chattel slavery, even though a system of slave labor and horrid conditions do indeed exist within the prison system. . . . . ”

    I pretty much agree. Although I might have been a bit cranky on Friday, this is the point I was generally trying to make.

    Although, I didn’t personally get manipulated into the system. I broke the law and paid dearly for it.

  115. JT

    What the PC liberaltarian snowflakes won’t tell you is that the reason the USA was more free before the War of Northern Aggression, and to a lesser extent for several decades afterwards, was precisely because White men were so firmly in charge. Allowing women and non-Whites to rule has resulted in the gradual loss of liberty and if allowed to continue will soon mean we will have no more liberty or prosperity than the overflowing third world open air sewers that we are currently “culturally enriching” ourselves from.

  116. Andy

    JT is a government troll because he makes the message sound bad, but if you get past the emotional language, he is basically correct here. What we need to do is to restore the demographic balance that the USA enjoyed during this golden era of freedom, liberty and economic growth and give more power to Men and less to women and children.

  117. Tony From Long Island

    Anyone using the word “snowflake” will be ignored . . . . . .but of course Andy agrees with his xenophobic nonsense. . . .

    He can try to rationalize his way around it, but he agrees with someone who said “War of Northern Aggression.”

    #sad!

  118. Andy

    The Confederacy had every right to secede from the USA just like the 13 colonies did from Britain during the Revolutionary War. You can’t logically say that one was OK and the other one was not. The colonists also owned slaves so don’t give me that phony excuse. The Confederate soldiers were fighting for freedom and liberty, just the same as their grandfathers in the Revolutionary war, and the North launched a war of aggression against them to deny them the very self-government spoken of in the Declaration of Independence by its slave-owning author. Now keep sticking your fingers in your ears and autistically screeching “xenophobic” like a good little PC parrot.

  119. wredlich Post author

    “JT is a government troll”

    JT seems to post from multiple IP addresses in very different locations (most recently the UK and Canada). The latest IP used was also used by commenters with different names (most recently Nate and Great Ideas) and e-mail addresses. The most recent comment certainly adds to the appearance of trolling.

  120. JT

    I’m posting from commonly used IP anonymizers which are used by millions of other people to comment on many different sites all over the internet, including apparently some of the other commenters on this site. How is that trolling? Privacy protection isn’t trolling. Neither is being politically incorrect, yet factually accurate.

  121. wredlich Post author

    Andy – You have to stop letting actual history interfere with government propaganda.

    Tony – Do you believe states have no right to secede?

  122. Tony From Long Island

    Andy: ” . . . .You can’t logically say that one was OK and the other one was not. . . . ”

    One was a group of people who were not a nation. One was.

    Andy is the last person who should speak about “logic.” His belief that brown people can’t possibly understand liberty belies any sense of logic.

  123. JT

    Instead of falsely accusing me of trolling can you explain how or why you believe I am wrong?

  124. wredlich Post author

    “commonly used IP anonymizers which are used by millions of other people”

    Not sure about “millions”.

    “Privacy protection isn’t trolling.”

    Not necessarily, but it is an indicator in some situations. Like this one.

    “Instead of falsely accusing me of trolling can you explain how or why you believe I am wrong?”

    Unnecessary. It’s obvious to anyone who read your comment.

  125. JT

    “One was a group of people who were not a nation. One was.”

    False. The colonies were not a nation before they seceded, they were in fact colonies and part of a nation of the United Kingdom. If anything, the Confederate States had more implicit right to secede since they entered the Union which was formed under the principles of the Declaration of Independence which was written by a slaveowning White man, and included the 9th and 10th amendments to the Constitution which implied that the right to secede remained with the States and the people thereof. In the case of, at least, Virginia and Texas, the right to leave the Union was explicitly part of their compact for joining it. No such right to secede was ever legally spelled out or implied when Britain formed colonies in North America.

  126. wredlich Post author

    Very interesting that Andy and JT (or his alternate personas Nate and Great, etc) have at times posted from the same IP addresses, and they’re both commenting around the same time.

    I’m not saying they’re the same person. No really, I’m not. Or am I? This is hilarious.

  127. Tony From Long Island

    Warren , No. If I am recalling correctly, there is no mechanism in the Constitution to allow a state to leave the union.

    There is a clause for partitioning a state, but not secession.

    I do not believe that “all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states or the people” supports the right to secede.

  128. Tony From Long Island

    JT, Andy, Great Ideas . .

    Members of a Colony are not part of a nation. They were not part of Great Britain. They were not seceding from Great Britain.

  129. George Dance

    “The Confederacy had every right to secede from the USA just like the 13 colonies did from Britain during the Revolutionary War. You can’t logically say that one was OK and the other one was not.”

    Actually, you can when you focus on the principle that rights belong to individuals rather than states. That leads to the conclusion that secession of an area is OK if it increases the liberty of the people in it, and not OK if it decreases their liberty. It’s only the “libertarian libertarian” premise that states have rights, too, that leads to your ‘logical’ conclusion.

  130. JT

    “His belief that brown people can’t possibly understand liberty belies any sense of logic.”

    Which “brown” countries (or even cities or counties in the US) are paragons of liberty?

    “Unnecessary. It’s obvious to anyone who read your comment.”

    I take it that you have no counter-argument and the only way to prevent yourself from having cognitive dissonance is to attack me as a “troll,” proclaiming that my viewpoint can’t possibly be correct or even sincerely held without even thinking about it.

  131. Tony From Long Island

    Puerto Rico is not a state. They can vote to become an independent nation if they choose. Same with Guam, the Virgin Islands and American Somoa. Texas, on the other hand, can not.

  132. wredlich Post author

    –Which “brown” countries (or even cities or counties in the US) are paragons of liberty? —

    Quite ironic that you went there considering what the original post is about.

    Which, by the way, is another indicator you’re trolling – that your comments have little or nothing to do with the original post and appear designed to distract from a good conversation about that topic.

  133. Tony From Long Island

    Warren, I had a strong feeling you would have that response 🙂

    Since it’s not clearly prohibited you seem to think it would fall under the “implied powers,” which I do not personally feel give a state the right to secede

    I read your link. My opinion is that those “ratification claims” have as much authority as a Presidential Signing Statement.

  134. wredlich Post author

    “which I do not personally feel give a state the right to secede”

    Well I’m glad we’ve resolved that issue under the “Tony’s personal feelings” analysis.

  135. JT

    “I do not believe that “all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states or the people” supports the right to secede.”

    Why not?

    “I’m not saying they’re the same person. No really, I’m not. Or am I? This is hilarious.”

    You’re driving yourself batty with this nonsense. Try posting from vpnbook.com or any of a number of other anonymizers and see what IPs it assigns you. If you do it a few dozen times, chances are it will assign you some of the same IPs it assigns me and some of the other commenters on your site who you falsely think are me based on IP addresses from the same commonly used free services.

    “Members of a Colony are not part of a nation. They were not part of Great Britain. They were not seceding from Great Britain.”

    Of course they were part of Britain. Neither they nor Britain said otherwise. The difference of opinion was whether they should be allowed to leave the UK, not whether they were subjects thereof.

    “That leads to the conclusion that secession of an area is OK if it increases the liberty of the people in it, and not OK if it decreases their liberty. ”

    Then the secession of the Confederacy was OK, as it increased their freedom from crushing tariffs. But, if you want to use the excuse that they also owned slaves – so did several Union states which did not secede; the emancipation did not take place until several years into the war and at the outset Lincoln denied that he aimed to end slavery, and in fact proposed a constitutional amendment to make it perpetual; and, the UK was outlawing slavery right around the time of the American Revolution.

  136. Tony From Long Island

    I’m not sure what the snarky response was for. Every post on every forum or board is the personal opinion or “feeling” of the poster.

    So I guess on the same level, we have resolved the issue under “Warren’s Personal Feelings” analysis? There is no definitive answer on this question.

  137. George Dance

    “Andy – The Confederate soldiers were fighting for freedom and liberty”

    Actually, they were fighting for ‘property’ (over other people).

    “For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.” (S. Carolina)

    Want more?

  138. JT

    “Quite ironic that you went there considering what the original post is about.

    Which, by the way, is another indicator you’re trolling – that your comments have little or nothing to do with the original post and appear designed to distract from a good conversation about that topic.”

    On the contrary, I am addressing what has been discussed throughout this comment thread. Your other readers seem to think that the greater liberty that the USA had before 1865 had nothing to do with its demographic balance, that putting power in the hands of women and non-Whites was the right and proper thing to do, and that we can restore the liberty that we had in circa 1780-1860 while continuing on a path to amazonian mistresshood and importing mass amounts of third world immigrants. I am arguing that, on the contrary, the very things your readers are decrying about that period are what made that greater liberty possible, and that will always be impossible without them. I still await counterexamples patiently.

  139. JT

    “Puerto Rico is not a state. They can vote to become an independent nation if they choose. Same with Guam, the Virgin Islands and American Somoa. Texas, on the other hand, can not.”

    That’s not what the terms under which Texas agreed to enter the USA said. But it’s interesting that you believe any territory would be allowed to secede at any time. I venture that if Guam or American Samoa announced it was seceding today the US government would not allow it. Indeed, what were then territories, not states, which are now Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and southern Nevada also seceded on the side of the Confederacy, a fact ommitted from most modern maps of the CSA because they were not states. According to Tony’s analysis, then, they should have been allowed to secede. Yet they were not.

  140. George Dance

    “Then the secession of the Confederacy was OK, as it increased their freedom from crushing tariffs.

    Oh, it did? The enslaved people had more freedom because they were free from paying ‘crushing tafirrs on the things they weren’t legally allowed to buy, anyway?

    But, if you want to use the excuse that they also owned slaves – so did several Union states which did not secede; the emancipation did not take place until several years into the war and at the outset Lincoln denied that he aimed to end slavery.

    So? That wasn’t the southern states’ complaint. Their complaint was that the federal government was not enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, or allowing the ‘liberty’ to own other people as slaves in the western territories.

    “Lincoln denied that he aimed to end slavery, and in fact proposed a constitutional amendment to make it perpetual; ”

    – in order to appease the slave states (which didn’t work). But, as you know, constitutional amendments weren’t up to Lincoln: he couldn’t have even got his own party to support it, much less 3/4 of the states.

    and, the UK was outlawing slavery right around the time of the American Revolution.”

  141. wredlich Post author

    “Try posting from vpnbook.com or any of a number of other anonymizers and see what IPs it assigns you. If you do it a few dozen times, chances are it will assign you some of the same IPs it assigns me and some of the other commenters on your site who you falsely think are me based on IP addresses from the same commonly used free services.”

    Yep. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe.

  142. George Dance

    “and, the UK was outlawing slavery right around the time of the American Revolution.”

    Historically wrong: slavery was outlawed in the UK (by the courts) in 1772, and (in the British Empire) in the 1830’s.

    (Which may be one reason you guys kept trying to invade Canada so often in the 1830-1860 period).

  143. JT

    George Dance,

    Your reply is a mess both stylistically and logically.

    “Then the secession of the Confederacy was OK, as it increased their freedom from crushing tariffs.

    Oh, it did? The enslaved people had more freedom because they were free from paying ‘crushing tafirrs on the things they weren’t legally allowed to buy, anyway?

    Then the same could be said of the American Revolutionaries, as their slaves did not gain more freedom as a result of the American revolution. Indeed, had the UK won, they may have been teaching us today that they put down a slaveowners rebellion that took place just at the time that Britain was outlawing slavery.

  144. JT

    “Yep. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe.”

    Try it yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

  145. JT

    “and, the UK was outlawing slavery right around the time of the American Revolution.”

    Historically wrong: slavery was outlawed in the UK (by the courts) in 1772, and (in the British Empire) in the 1830’s.

    1772 was, in fact, shortly before the American Revolution started, and while slavery was not immediately outlawed in the colonies, it’s certainly reasonable to believe that slaveowning colonists were worried that it soon would be.

  146. George Dance

    “Your reply is a mess both stylistically and logically.”

    As we say in writing: show don’t tell.

    “Then the same could be said of the American Revolutionaries, as their slaves did not gain more freedom as a result of the American revolution.”

    If you want to make that claim, go right ahead; but don’t put it in my mouth.

    The American states seceded from the UK because Americans were being taxed, and subjected to other laws (such as gun control) without having any say in the matter.

    The southern states seceding was that some slaves were gaining their freedom, and (some) southerners were losing their ‘property’ as an result.

    “Indeed, had the UK won, they may have been teaching us today that they put down a slaveowners rebellion that took place just at the time that Britain was outlawing slavery.”

    Maybe, though that would be historically wrong, as I just told you. Britain wouldn’t outlaw slavery in its colonies for another 60 years.

  147. George Dance

    “1772 was, in fact, shortly before the American Revolution started, and while slavery was not immediately outlawed in the colonies, it’s certainly reasonable to believe that slaveowning colonists were worried that it soon would be.”

    Maybe that is why some of the southern states wanted to secede from Britain; but it is not ‘reasonable’ to think so without any evidence that anyone thought so.

    That’s like your argument that the U.S. became less libertarians because blacks and women got the vote; you don’t rationally support arguments like that just by calling them ‘reasonable’. That is not how ‘reason’ works.

  148. George Dance

    “Which “brown” countries (or even cities or counties in the US) are paragons of liberty?”

    Which ‘white’ countries (or even cities or counties in the US) are paragons of liberty?

    White males, as a ‘collective’, are no more libertarian than any other collective group. There’s no ‘libertarian’ gene.

  149. Tony From Long Island

    George, I’m going to ignore anonymous racists. We should all do the same . . . While at it, we should ignore Andy . . but I derive much pleasure from attacking him.

  150. Carol Moore

    Geez, I can’t believe the Neanderthal Males who infect this list like Andy and JT who think women/people of color/kids have “too much power.” What a joke.

    EVERYONE who uses the state has too much power! White males have had it for centuries. Women/people of color/a few kids are organizing enough to get some now. And both groups are abusing it. Of course, it’s white males who are paying for Identity Politics to rule on campus because they sure wouldn’t want to see all those women/people of color/kids become LIBERTARIAN!!!

    Social security and later medicare just bought off the public with economic promises that will soon prove worthless. (Good riddance social security payroll tax for starters?) And what did the white males get? Control of the military/industrial/media/etc. establishment that lets in just enough females and people of color to keep the vast majority ignorant and placid.

    Now let’s see if ANDY and JT will tell us – what relations, if any, do they actually have with women? Do they ever get any sex? Or do they have to beat or pay their women for it? I think that will answer questions about the “psychology” of their political pathology.

  151. JT

    “As we say in writing: show don’t tell.”

    I did show, and continue to, as far as your “logic” goes. And stylistically, try taking a look at your 09:27 again. “Mess” is charitable.


    “Then the same could be said of the American Revolutionaries, as their slaves did not gain more freedom as a result of the American revolution.”

    If you want to make that claim, go right ahead; but don’t put it in my mouth.

    I did make that claim (and still do; are you disputing it? If so, on what basis?) and did not put words in your mouth. You seem to be having problems distinguishing quotes from responses both in writing (again see 09:27 above) and in reading. When I qoute something it is either in quotes or italics; when I quote you quoting me, both.

    With that out of the way, I am again making the claim that slaves of colonists did not generally gain freedom as a result of the American revolution, a direct parallel to your stated reason for opposing the freedom of Confederates to secede. If you dispute that claim, on what basis do you dispute it?

    “The American states seceded from the UK because Americans were being taxed, and subjected to other laws (such as gun control) without having any say in the matter.”

    Likewise, the Southern States were being subjected to heavy tariffs imposed by the federal government on behalf of northern textile manufacturers who wanted to have exclusive control of the cotton that was picked by slaves, as opposed to competing for it on the open market against British and other industrialists.

    “Maybe, though that would be historically wrong, as I just told you. Britain wouldn’t outlaw slavery in its colonies for another 60 years.”

    And had the Confederates staid put, perhaps the USA would not have outlawed slavery for some additional decades either, but neither the slave owning colonists in the 1770s nor the slave owning Southerners in 1860 could have known one way or the other. They could certainly have suspected otherwise and it wouldn’t have been an unreasonable fear on their part, whether or not it would have come to pass without revolution/secession.

    “That’s like your argument that the U.S. became less libertarians because blacks and women got the vote; you don’t rationally support arguments like that just by calling them ‘reasonable’. That is not how ‘reason’ works.”

    We can begin with the empirical fact that the US has indeed become less free, as the original post above demonstrates. We can then proceed to analyze which groups vote in greater proportion for policies such as higher spending, higher taxes, more regulation, more gun control, and so on. Additionally, it is useful to compare the tax, spending, welfare and gun control levels in US cities and counties which have non-White majorities with those that are overwhelmingly White, or to make such comparisons internationally.

    “Which “brown” countries (or even cities or counties in the US) are paragons of liberty?”

    Which ‘white’ countries (or even cities or counties in the US) are paragons of liberty?

    As the original post demonstrates, the US was a far greater paragon of liberty when it was ruled overwhelmingly by White men. Even today, majority White countries tend to have far more economic and social liberty and far more prosperity than non-White countries. Civil liberties are virtually unknown in any non-White nation, and most of them are Marxist or semi-Marxist economic basketcases as well. A few East Asian nations are relatively free economically, but not in any way bastions of social freedom, and they tend to be far more exclusionary against third world immigration than White-majority nations are allowed to be these days. A few Arab oil kingdoms have prosperity on that basis alone, but virtually no freedom of any kind. Aside from that, economic freedom and prosperity are scarcely found in any corner of the world not run by Whites, and social freedom even more so.

  152. dL

    On the contrary, I am addressing what has been discussed throughout this comment thread. Your other readers seem to think that the greater liberty that the USA had before 1865

    Actually, if you have read the thread, “greater liberty” < 1865 is a point of contention. What is not debatable is that both the 16th(income tax) and 18th amendments(prohibition) were passed before the 19th amendment(women's suffrage). Both the income tax and prohibition were voted in by predominately white christian males.

     
    White demographics=liberty is a nonsensical position held by emasculated people grasping onto an inferior culture too weak to compete. Today, the demographic most likely to be on permanent government welfare is old white people(social security and medicare). The cultural demographic most prone to authoritarian politics is white evangelical. I know pointing this out is (right wing) politically incorrect, but it is true.

  153. JT

    “Actually, if you have read the thread, “greater liberty” < 1865 is a point of contention."

    The basis on which it was disputed falls apart if you don't presume the superiority of egalitarianism a priori.

    "What is not debatable is that both the 16th(income tax) and 18th amendments(prohibition) were passed before the 19th amendment(women's suffrage). Both the income tax and prohibition were voted in by predominately white christian males."

    The prohibitionist movement was famously lead mainly by women, and passed at almost the exact same time as womens suffrage. Both were at the time concessions to the growing political power of women. The income tax was also championed by progressives, and women were prominent among the progressives. We see the same thing today, as men vote conservative in greater proportion than women. The income tax was originally sold as a wealth tax on the super-rich, and did not apply to average workers (or get withheld from paychecks) until decades later.

    "White demographics=liberty is…"

    …factual, and supported by overwhelming mountains of evidence as well.

    "… emasculated people grasping onto an inferior culture too weak to compete."

    Those would be the Whites who are ashamed of their race, not the ones who are proud of it.

  154. dL

    I’m posting from commonly used IP anonymizers which are used by millions of other people to comment on many different sites all over the internet, including apparently some of the other commenters on this site. How is that trolling? Privacy protection isn’t trolling. Neither is being politically incorrect, yet factually accurate.

    The use of an IP anonymizer is not trolling. Indeed, it is recommended practice. What is not recommended is spouting stormfront talking points w/o linking your posting handle to an online identity of some sort. 9 times out of 10 that will get your comment removed if I’m moderating.

  155. Tony From Long Island

    JT, or whoever he is ” . . . . .As the original post demonstrates, the US was a far greater paragon of liberty when it was ruled overwhelmingly by White men. . . . . ”

    Yes, Massa, that’s true! You are always right massa ! There is liberty everywhere here.. . . said the millions with chains on their ankles.

  156. dL

    The basis on which it was disputed falls apart if you don’t presume the superiority of egalitarianism a priori.

    Nope. If you cared to read the thread, my point of contention was rooted in the political economic analyses of Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner.

    The prohibitionist movement was famously lead mainly by women

    No, it wasn’t. The “Women’s Christian Temperance Union” was an important grass roots element of the movement, but WCTU was not the political leadership element of the progressive movement. Gender was not the common attribute of the progressive temperance movement. The common attribute was Christianity, or a belief in applied Christianity.

    The income tax was also championed by progressives, and women were prominent among the progressives.

    White males voted it in. Btw, the republicans were the “progressives” during that era. And your rhetoric today sounds an awful lot like the original progressive republican rhetoric.

  157. JT

    Tony from Long Island, Paulie from Brooklyn, Petey from Atlantic City, or whoever he is…

    “Yes, Massa, that’s true! You are always right massa ! There is liberty everywhere here.. . . said the millions with chains on their ankles.”

    You have a good point. As we all know, blacks in America today are far worse off than blacks in Africa. Therefore, I will drop my general opposition to government taxes and spending and propose that the White people of the USA make up for it by paying for free passage for American blacks to go back to the Motherland, and even throw in some money for them to start a new life as well as towards the African nations where they would arrive to accept them. No less than the Greater Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, favored a similar policy; as did the famous and beloved African-American leader Marcus Garvey.

  158. dL

    Now let’s see if ANDY and JT will tell us – what relations, if any, do they actually have with women? Do they ever get any sex? Or do they have to beat or pay their women for it? I think that will answer questions about the “psychology” of their political pathology.

    I proceed w/ an assumption that the rank and file of the alt-right are bad w/ women. Creeps. It explains quite a bit. Back in the day, their social organization was congregating at the end of the bar or the back of the club.

  159. JT

    “Btw, the republicans were the “progressives” during that era. And your rhetoric today sounds an awful lot like the original progressive republican rhetoric.”

    Interesting. I see myself aligned more with the Jefferson-Jackson Southern Conservative Democrats of the time, and marginally more in line with Reagan/Trump Republicans today.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_in_the_United_States

    “It gained a national grass roots base through the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union….”

    ….” The words of Rush and other early temperance reformers served to dichotomize the use of alcohol for men and women. While men enjoyed drinking and often considered it vital to their health, women who began to embrace the ideology of “true motherhood” refrained from consumption of alcohol. Middle-class women, who were considered the moral authorities of their households, consequently rejected the drinking of alcohol, which they believed to be a threat to the home.”

    dL: “Nope. If you cared to read the thread, my point of contention was rooted in the political economic analyses of Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner.”

    So your point is that the US even then fell short of perfect anarcho-libertarian utopia? You are correct, and as far as I know neither Redlich nor anyone else argued otherwise.

  160. Tony From Long Island

    Why are allowing this Knights of the White Order disgrace for an American . . . or whatever they want to call themselves now . . to post here?

    It’s sad just knowing that shit like this still exists . . . but knowing that with each generation the human filth like this clown dwindles in number is heartening. They just have a larger shouting platform now.

  161. dL

    Interesting. I see myself aligned more with the Jefferson-Jackson Southern Conservative Democrats of the time

    Let’s see, Jackson: Genocidal mass murderer and to the victor belongs the spoils. Perhaps your panic of brown people having political power is that you fear they will do to you what your heroes did to them?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_in_the_United_States

    And? The Wikipedia entry reinforces my point.

    Promoted by the “dry” crusaders, the movement was led by pietistic Protestants and social Progressives in the Prohibition, Democratic, and Republican parties. It gained a national grass roots base through the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. After 1900 it was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League. Opposition from the beer industry, mobilized “wet” supporters from the Catholic and German Lutheran communities. They had funding to fight back but by 1917-18 The German community had been marginalized by the nation’s war against Germany, and the brewing industry was shut down in state after state by the legislatures. Finally nationwide under the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920. Enabling legislation, known as the Volstead Act, set down the rules for enforcing the federal ban and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that were prohibited. For example, religious uses of wine were allowed. Private ownership and consumption of alcohol were not made illegal under federal law, but local laws were stricter in many areas, with some states banning possession outright.

    So your point is that the US even then fell short of perfect anarcho-libertarian utopia?

    No, The Tucker-Spooner point was that the US fell way short of the liberal ideal of self-government. The state is basically the organization of monopoly and exploitation.

  162. Andy

    dL said: “The cultural demographic most prone to authoritarian politics is white evangelical.”

    So Muslims from the Middle East and Africa are not prone toward authoritarianism? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes, some older white Christian Americans have some stupid, authoritarian political views, but they are not the worst when examining demographic political trends. Look at attitudes on the right to keep and bear arms. The most pro-gun rights people in the country are white people who live in rural areas, and many of these people are older (the average gun rights supporter in this country is a 55 year old white male), and many of them identify as Christian.

  163. Tony From Long Island

    Atheism = the fastest growing “religion” in our great nation. Come join reality!! We welcome you . . . well not Andy . . . he’s not welcome in many places.

  164. Andy

    “Tony From Long Island
    May 1, 2017 at 13:38
    Atheism = the fastest growing ‘religion’ in our great nation. Come join reality!! We welcome you . . . well not Andy . . . he’s not welcome in many places.”

    I do not subscribe to any religion.

  165. Tony From Long island

    Good! Neither do I. Is it possible for us to have something in common? Well, I am a “Devout Atheist,” so does that count?

    There is hope for you yet (maybe)

  166. George Dance

    GD -“As we say in writing: show don’t tell.”

    JT – “I did show, and continue to, as far as your “logic” goes. And stylistically, try taking a look at your 09:27 again. “Mess” is charitable.””

    Whine about it all you want, if you think it’s a distraction.

    JT – “Then the same could be said of the American Revolutionaries, as their slaves did not gain more freedom as a result of the American revolution.”

    GD – If you want to make that claim, go right ahead; but don’t put it in my mouth.

    JT – “I did make that claim”

    Oh, it was you who claimed the southern states’ insurrection was wrong because slaves weren’t generally freed by it? That’s fine, as long as you admit it’s your claim.

    JT – “(and still do; are you disputing it? If so, on what basis?)”

    I don’t see any reason to dispute that that claim came from you; what I disputed was your attributing it to me.

    JT – “and did not put words in your mouth. You seem to be having problems distinguishing quotes from responses both in writing (again see 09:27 above) and in reading. When I qoute something it is either in quotes or italics; when I quote you quoting me, both.”

    JT – “With that out of the way, I am again making the claim that slaves of colonists did not generally gain freedom as a result of the American revolution, a direct parallel to your stated reason for opposing the freedom of Confederates to secede.”

    Once again you attribute something you made up to me (that is what “your reason” means). My stated reason for opposing Confederate secession, as I told you (and you know, since you’ve snipped it out of the thread) was for the reason the southern states seceded: because they thought that more slaves would gain their freedom under a Republicans adminstration. They seceded to deny their slaves liberty, and protect their own ‘property.’

    JT – “If you dispute that claim, on what basis do you dispute it?”

    I dispute your attribution of that claim, that’s all: your pretence that I opposed Southern secession because “slaves … did not generally gain their own freedom”, followed by your pretence you didn’t do that because you didn’t use “quotes or italics”.

    Once again: the Southern states seceded because they were afraid that more slaves would gain their freedom. The purpose of Southern secession was to deny people liberty. That’s what made it wrong. Now, will you stop snipping and lying about that claim of mine, and try dealing with it in an honest fashion?

    “The American states seceded from the UK because Americans were being taxed, and subjected to other laws (such as gun control) without having any say in the matter.”

    Likewise, the Southern States were being subjected to heavy tariffs imposed by the federal government on behalf of northern textile manufacturers who wanted to have exclusive control of the cotton that was picked by slaves, as opposed to competing for it on the open market against British and other industrialists.

    That doesn’t even make sense – the tariffs were placed on imports; they didn’t stop the South from exporting cotton to Britain.

    But leave that aside. You’ve shown no evidence that the southern states’ reason for their insurrection was low tariffs; nor have you dealt with the evidence I provided that they seceded because slavery laws were not being enforced (enough) in the north, beyond snipping it.

  167. dL

    So Muslims from the Middle East and Africa are not prone toward authoritarianism? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well, I was referring to US politics. Here in the US, I would certainly consider them likely to be less authoritarian than you.

    The most pro-gun rights people in the country are white people who live in rural areas

    they are are pro gun privileges, not pro gun rights. They by and large don’t support gun ownership as a negative right. For example, just like free speech, a criminal record shouldn’t preclude one from being to exercise a negative right, which in this instance==right to self-defense. Conservatives overwhelmingly support arming the state and the police. The latter position position cancels out the pro-gun privileges position in terms being any implied friend of liberty. The NRA itself is certainly not laissez faire when it comes to gun ownership rights. And unlike, say, the ACLU or the EFF, the NRA is a partisan lobbying group.

  168. Tony From Long island

    Jorge Danza, I give you credit to actually try to reason with a racist.

    All you are doing is giving your fingers exercise. This guy has no redeeming value.

  169. George Dance

    Tony – “Jorge Danza, I give you credit to actually try to reason with a racist.”

    If he was just a racist, I probably wouldn’t bother. Unfortunately, he and his arguments are all too familiar. One of the largest groups of “libertarian libertarians”, or “anti-Libertarians” (take your pick) is the paleolibertarian group clustered around Lew Rockwell.com. Liberty Hangout , another of the key anti-Johnson sites last election, is another strong pro-Confederate site.

    “Why libertarians should support the confederacy”
    http://libertyhangout.org/2016/02/why-libertarians-should-support-the-confederacy/

    So it’s easy to deal with someone like JT – all their talking points are the same. On the other hand, it’s necessary: the way they string facts together (such as that Lincoln and Congress weren’t planning to abolish slavery in 1861) to support untrue conclusions (that slavery wasn’t an issue at all) is something they’ve been at for a long time, and they’ve gotten good at it. Unfortunately for them, some of us have read their stuff, and know the holes in it. So I argue, probably pointlessly in terms of convincing anyone; but at least I can get my own case in order.

  170. Andy

    Excellent history on the true history of slavery. Sowell knocks the ball out of the park here. Excellent.

    Thomas Sowell – Misconceptions About Slavery

  171. Just Some Random Guy

    This Tom had nothing but good things to say about slavery, too:

    The video Andy posted isn’t pro slavery and makes some decent points. However, the points it makes are completely irrelevant to the discussion here, leading me confused as to why he posted it.

  172. dL

    Thomas Sowell – Misconceptions About Slavery

    The only misconception I detected was the misconception perpetuated that most people apparently think that “slavery” means white ppl enslaving black ppl in North America during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

  173. dL

    leading me confused as to why he posted it.

    He posted it b/c it is supposed to reveal the most people have been brainwashed by leftists to think slavery only happened in the United States, and b/c slavery has been endemic throughout human history, American history is somehow excused or less guilty.

  174. Andy

    “Just Some Random Guy
    May 1, 2017 at 22:20
    ‘This Tom had nothing but good things to say about slavery, too:’

    The video Andy posted isn’t pro slavery and makes some decent points.”

    Wow, there are some real idiots who post here. Some fool jumped to the conclusion that a video debate I posted from the Tom Woods Show between Walter Block and Robert Wenzel over the first 100 days of the Donald Trump presidency was pro-Trump, and meant that I, and Tom Woods were pro-Trump, none of which is true. Reality is that it is Walter Block who endorsed Trump, in large part because he thought Trump was less bad than Hillary Clinton, but now even he has some regrets about it (Block disagreed with Trump on the Syria attack).

    Now somebody thinks that the Thomas Sowell video (note that Sowell is a black guy) I posted above is pro-slavery. Talk about jumping to conclusions without any facts.

    “However, the points it makes are completely irrelevant to the discussion here, leading me confused as to why he posted it.”

    The talk here about slavery is what caused me to do a search and find that video. I thought that it was an interesting presentation so I posted it.

  175. Tony FromLong Island

    dL ” . . . . .He posted it b/c it is supposed to reveal the most people have been brainwashed by leftists to think slavery only happened in the United States, and b/c slavery has been endemic throughout human history, American history is somehow excused or less guilty. . . . .

    Umm I know of no person (other than some Trump-Ade cultists) who would even POSSIBLY think that.

  176. Tony FromLong Island

    Billy Sats: ” . . . . . Why do you change people’s first names into Spanish? Is that supposed to be demeaning? . . . . ”

    Umm no. Have I ever changed your name to Spanish? I change last names too! “Jorge Danza” flies off the tongue. Spanish and Italian (and French for that matter) are beautiful languages. I wish I was more fluent! I used to sing in Italian, French & German all the time during my undergrad years but was never able to truly know what I was singing 🙁

  177. Great ideas

    The views expressed by JT in this thread are racist, bigoted and reprehensible. I agree with virtually nothing that he says other than the defense of internet privacy. It’s very unfortunate that the owner/webmaster of this site does not understand the most basic concepts of how IP anonymizers work. Once again, I am absolutely not JT/Nate and I have nothing to do with the twisted trash he/she/it/they are posting.

  178. Great ideas

    While slavery was commonplace throughout the world over the course of many centuries, much of it was not the extreme form of chattel slavery as was practiced in the US South.

  179. George Dance

    Andy – “The talk here about slavery is what caused me to do a search and find that video. I thought that it was an interesting presentation so I posted it.”

    In other words, it had nothing to do with the topic under discussion – whether the Confederate state governments had a libertarian “right” to secede from the U.S. systems in order to keep people living there enslaved – and you just threw it in to divert attention because your pro-Confederate side was losing.

    Look, here’s an article on why it’s healthy to pick your nose! I think it’s an interesting presentation, so I’m going to post it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/04/26/kid-pick-nose_n_16259854.html

  180. George Dance

    Now that the neo-confederates seem to abandoned the attempt to push their pet issue, perhaps we can get back to wredclich’s topic: Was America ever libertarian?

    Here’s something relevant from today’s “Federalist”:

    Thus Mark Kann writes in “Taming Passion for the Public Good” that “the state’s right to regulate sexual practices…was undisputed” in early America, and Wilson notes bigamy, prostitution, and indecency as offenses subject to punishment on Founding political theory. Similarly, in “Federalist” 12, Alexander Hamilton cites the beneficial impact on morals as a justification for federal taxation of alcoholic imports.

    The Founders used government to discourage other noncoercive activities, as well. In 1778, Congress recommended to the states “suppressing theatrical entertainments, horse-racing, gambling, and such other diversions as are productive of idleness, dissipation, and a general depravity of principles and manners.” In his book, “The People’s Welfare,” William Novak details the extensive regulation of everything from lotteries and usury to Sunday travel, coarse language, and poor relief that was the norm during the Founding Era.

  181. Luke

    If the confederates had a right to secede from the USA then it should at the very least logically follow that pro-union counties had a right to secede from confederate states and slaves had a right to “secede” from plantations where they were held captive and forced to work for the benefit of others against their will. I’m all for secession down to the individual level, and the vast majority of secessions/wars of independence throughout the world have not been in defense of slavery. The smaller the nation, state or regime, the easier it is for people to vote with their feet (provided of course that freedom of migration is respected). The easier it is for people to vote with their feet, the more incentive regimes/nations/state have to be minimally burdensome to those living there.

  182. Luke

    I should add though that if heavy restrictions on trade, migration and travel become the norm, the opposite becomes the case and the cause of liberty becomes best served by nation-states that are as vast in territory as possible. Otherwise, their subjects are reduced to the status of medieval serfs with no ability to go anywhere, few goods or services available to buy or barter for, little choice in mating or entertainment, and poverty and illness widespread as skills, capital and goods are kept from reaching those who could put them to use.

    Taken to its extreme, imagine if the goods and services you had available to you were confined to those that could be produced and provided in your own household. Or, to be just a bit less extreme, to only those which could be produced and provided within your immediate neighborhood. How many of the things you take for granted would you have to live without if that were to happen? The same is true, albeit in not quite an extreme a form, when restriction on migration and trade are placed on the international level, and it becomes more onerous as those nations become smaller.

  183. Andy

    “George Dance
    May 2, 2017 at 11:28
    ‘Andy – “The talk here about slavery is what caused me to do a search and find that video. I thought that it was an interesting presentation so I posted it.’

    In other words, it had nothing to do with the topic under discussion – whether the Confederate state governments had a libertarian “right” to secede from the U.S. systems in order to keep people living there enslaved – and you just threw it in to divert attention because your pro-Confederate side was losing.”

    Wow, more idiotic jumping to conclusions.

    Where did I say that I was pro-Confederate? I do believe in the right of secession, but this does not mean that I endorse everything that the Confederacy did was wonderful.

    I do think that there is a very distorted view of slavery, in that it was just evil white Americans, particularly from Southern states, who are guilty of practicing slavery, which is put forth in the “education” system and the mainstream media in order to push a political agenda.

    Reality is that all cultures practiced slavery. Whites enslaved whites. Black enslaved blacks. Muslims enslaved whites and blacks. Jews enslaved blacks. American Indians enslaved American Indians. Etc….

    There was white slavery in early American history. There was in fact slavery in northern states, although some of them ended slavery earlier than the rest of the country (which was in part because they had less of a need for slave labor). There were slave states in the union during the Civil War. Also, only a small percentage of white Americans, even in the Southern states, owned slaves.

    Was slavery libertarian? No. I don’t buy the argument posted above that said that because private individuals owned slaves, that government should not be blamed for slavery, because the government SANCTIONED slavery. Also, if you are a slave, you aren’t going to care much if your master is a private slave owner or a government, as the end result for you is the same (as in you are a slave either way).

    One can argue that we are all slaves today to government, with all of the taxes and regulations, and I’d agree with this argument.

  184. George Dance

    ”I’m all for secession down to the individual level, and the vast majority of secessions/wars of independence throughout the world have not been in defense of slavery.”

    I have few problems with secession at the individual level, or (what’s the same thing) by unanimous consent on a group level. As a minarchist, I think government should enforce only the NAP, and I have a problem with the idea of seceding from the NAP, but I recognize that no governments are so limited.

    On the other hand, seceding governments are no more likely to be limited than what they’re seceding from; the only way to decide whether to support or oppose a particular secession is by comparing both sides’ goals and actions on the basis of the NAP.

    “The smaller the nation, state or regime, the easier it is for people to vote with their feet (provided of course that freedom of migration is respected). The easier it is for people to vote with their feet, the more incentive regimes/nations/state have to be minimally burdensome to those living there.”

    I’ve heard that, and I don’t disagree. Secession + open borders does look like a practical way to limit government; one being as necessary as the other. In fact, libertarian support for secession seems to come, logically, from their support of the idea of open borders: Why should a person have to give up their real property in order to secure their liberty?

    Leon Louw came up with an idea along those lines that he called ‘nominative boundaries’. He proposed dividing South Africa into Swiss-style cantons. But the borders between the cantons would not be fixed; landowners on a boundary between 2 cantons would have the choice to belong to either. Sure, other landowners wouldn’t have that right; but that would change as boundaries shifted.

  185. Luke

    When a nation state governs a larger number of people, it requires additional levels of bureaucracy to administer that state. All of those additional levels have to be paid for, and require not just people but buildings, equipment, provisions, etc. The decisionmaking process, whether legislative or bureaucratic, becomes further removed from the situations it is meant to address and the people it claims to serve. As the machinery of government becomes larger and more complex, oversight and accountability over it becomes more difficult.

    I do like Leon Louw’s idea that you mentioned and obviously, individual secession would still have to come with a prediction of being bound by non-initiation of force to be in line with the principles of liberty, although enforcement would not have to have a territorial monopoly.

  186. JT

    “Unfortunately for them, some of us have read their stuff, and know the holes in it. So I argue, probably pointlessly in terms of convincing anyone; but at least I can get my own case in order.”

    You have much work yet to do on that account.

    “Now that the neo-confederates seem to abandoned the attempt to push their pet issue, ”

    Don’t flatter yourself. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the concept of having other things to do, but I’m rather busy and spent entirely too much time with your poorly formulated arguments yesterday. It may be a while before I have time to spend that much time on dealing with them again, and I may or may not decide it is worth the time when I have it, but I’ve abandoned nothing and will return to the subject when I have the time to do so and if the mood strikes me.

  187. George Dance

    George – “In other words, it had nothing to do with the topic under discussion – whether the Confederate state governments had a libertarian “right” to secede from the U.S. systems in order to keep people living there enslaved – and you just threw it in to divert attention because your pro-Confederate side was losing.”
    Andy – “Wow, more idiotic jumping to conclusions. Where did I say that I was pro-Confederate?”

    Earlier in the thread, of course; you were the one who advanced the claim:

    “The Confederacy had every right to secede from the USA just like the 13 colonies did from Britain during the Revolutionary War. You can’t logically say that one was OK and the other one was not. The colonists also owned slaves so don’t give me that phony excuse. The Confederate soldiers were fighting for freedom and liberty, just the same as their grandfathers in the Revolutionary war, and the North launched a war of aggression against them to deny them the very self-government spoken of in the Declaration of Independence by its slave-owning author.”

    Have you changed your mind?

    “I do think that there is a very distorted view of slavery, in that it was just evil white Americans, particularly from Southern states, who are guilty of practicing slavery, which is put forth in the “education” system and the mainstream media in order to push a political agenda.”

    Once again you try the very same attempt to divert attention away from your defense of the Confederate insurrection.

    Are you sure you don’t want to talk about picking your nose, too?

  188. JT

    As for “pushing my pet issue” I mentioned the War of Northern Aggression in passing, as a demarcator suggested in the article we are commenting on. It was others here who took issue with me accurately referring to it as the War of Northern Aggression, and I defended that reference against several hostile but poorly argued lines of attack. It was certainly not a “civil war” since there was never any attempt by the South to take control of and rule the north. Some people here certainly do seem to have some pet issues, but I’m not one of them.

  189. Tony From Long Island

    JT: ” . . . . .I mentioned the War of Northern Aggression in passing, as a demarcator suggested in the article we are commenting on . . . . ”

    No, you mentioned it to express your racism bona fides. Don’t worry your racism was very clear either way.

  190. Jill Pyeatt

    Look, here’s an article on why it’s healthy to pick your nose! I think it’s an interesting presentation, so I’m going to post it.

    Thanks, George! That’s the best laugh I’ve had on IPR in a while!

  191. JT

    OK, last one for today and then I am done with my lunch break.

    What do you call that war, Tony? Or anyone else who takes issue with calling it the War of Northern Aggression, which it was. Ft. Sumter was a customs house, charged with enforcing the tariff, btw.

    For those of you who think it was a civil war…please define “civil war.” What distinguishes civil wars from wars of independence or secession?

  192. Tony From Long island

    It’s gotta take a special kind of persistence to keep clinging to racism. Do you have a special mirror that makes it easier to look at yourself?

    Who fired that shot? The union or the traitors at Fort Sumpter? I think I’ll call it the War of Southern Aggression . . . Sounds just as dumb when I say it, though a bit less racist . . .

    It’s more and more embarrassing each day that filth like you continues to exist in this great nation.

  193. Tony From Long island

    Jill, I’m pretty sure that’s not true. Otherwise, I’d be in perfect health!

  194. Nate

    JT did get one thing wrong.

    JT: Likewise, the Southern States were being subjected to heavy tariffs imposed by the federal government on behalf of northern textile manufacturers who wanted to have exclusive control of the cotton that was picked by slaves, as opposed to competing for it on the open market against British and other industrialists.

    GD: That doesn’t even make sense – the tariffs were placed on imports; they didn’t stop the South from exporting cotton to Britain.

    Nate: Dancin’ Boy George gets this one right. The reason why northerners wanted heavy tariffs that punished the south was so that Southerners would buy clothes and other manufactured products from northern factories, as opposed to buying them from Britain and other countries. On the larger point, however, JT is still correct: both the American revolutionaries and the Confederates were being taxed by a country that they were forced to be part of or subjected to; both owned slaves; both had a right to secede.

  195. Nate

    “Who fired that shot? The union or the traitors at Fort Sumpter? (sic)”

    Federal troops were being moved into Confederate territory, which amounted to an invasion of the CSA by the USA. And any attempt to enforce the federal tariff constituted northern aggression. The South fired in self-defense, much as one would against a home invader in one’s own home.

  196. Nate

    You’re confused. I’m responding to other people. Using the same privacy protection systems that are commonly available and used by many different people to comment on many different sites does not make me the same person as those other people. And, contrary to what Redlich baselessly speculates above, yes, literally millions of people use these services.

    torrentfreak.com:

    “Millions of people use a VPN service to browse the Internet securely and anonymously. …”

    Do a search for the phrase to find the article.

    Oh yeah….and millions of people are waaaaaaycist. Most of them, justifiably, won’t tell you that unless they are being anonymous. But without us, Crooked Hillary Clinton would be our president today.

    So… there are millions of waaaaaycists. And millions of people using IP anonymizers, VPNs and web proxies. Many of them are the same people due to the undeserved social stigma of waaaaycism. Don’t be so surprised if a few of us stumble across this website and leave comments and don’t jump to the conclusion that we are the same person. Viewpoints like ours are a lot more common than you may assume since most people don’t discuss those views in public.

  197. Nate

    Someone apprears to have removed this comment. “nose picker” is not an insult, as earlier Tony responded “Jill, I’m pretty sure that’s not true. Otherwise, I’d be in perfect health!” in reply to the suggestion that nose-picking has health benefits.

    Quoth Tony the nose picker from Long Island:

    “It’s more and more embarrassing each day that filth like you continues to exist in this great nation.”

    Waaaaycist “filth” like us is who founded and built this once-great nation, snowflake.

  198. George Dance

    Nate: “Dancin’ Boy George gets this one right.”

    Funny, then, that (just like your ally) your only response was to snip and ignore it:

    “You’ve shown no evidence that the southern states’ reason for their insurrection was low tariffs; nor have you dealt with the evidence I provided that they seceded because slavery laws were not being enforced (enough) in the north, beyond snipping it.”

  199. George Dance

    “Nathan – both the American revolutionaries and the Confederates were being taxed by a country that they were forced to be part of or subjected to; both owned slaves; both had a right to secede.”

    One big difference, of course, being that the Slavers ran the United States government, up until Lincoln’s election; and only decided they didn’t want to be a part of it only when they lost their control.

  200. Jill Pyeatt

    What are these many issues where you and I disagree these days? Can you provide a list of these issues?

    Sure, Andy! Here’s a short list:

    1. Your continued insistence that immigrants are going to destroy this country by coming here to live off our entitlements, then registering to vote Democrat so they can continue the sinister plan to destroy the US, was understood the very first time you said it. Paulie patiently posted lots of proof sources showing another point of view, one that I happen to agree with, that the net contribution of immigrants is far greater than the loss, but it doesn’t appear you’ve even read them. It’s your right not to read them, but then you’ve repeated your non-Libertarian immigration crap at least a hundred times, including on many threads, and over and over again on the same day and on the same thread. We understand what you’re saying. Please stop taking up comment space about it. I doubt anyone reads your comments about immigrants anymore. I certainly don’t.

    2. You have some strange views about women. A particular one that sticks with me was from a year or two back on an abortion thread. You apparently believe women’s bodies are an “airplane” or a “boat” whose jobs are to carry a pregnancy to its destination at the end of the term. ?????? That analogy was nothing short of bizarre, and certainly doesn’t make it appear that you understand that each women is an individual with different views and priorities in life (you know, like men).

    Oh, and not all women vote Democrat and wish to be cared for their entire lives. FYI.

    3 Re: the issue of your behavior at IPR:

    A. Paulie has given you the privilege of posting here, yet you stubbornly refused to follow basic journalistic standards at Paulie’s request by pointing out how your video fit in with the blog’s theme of covering third party politics. That’s disrespectful.

    B. Along with the privilege to post articles comes the ability to edit comments. When you make an error or typo, it’s very easy to go into the comment and correct. You have been asked to do this several times, yet you choose to take up commenting space by pointing out the error and what it should have said, as if none of us hadn’t figured what you meant.

    4. My biggest issue with you is personal, and that is your continual posting of Truther info here. No one reads it or wants it here. We’ve asked you nicely to please stop, yet you stubbornly post whatever you feel like, whether it’s appropriate to what we do here or not.

    YOU ARE HURTING THE TRUTH COMMUNITY. PLEASE STOP IT. You’re so good at discrediting our movement that even I suspect you’re a troll.

    ————————————–

    I’m sorry to subject everyone else to this, but personal emails to Andy haven’t worked. I believe the above behavior is harming our site here.

  201. Nate

    GD

    “You’ve shown no evidence that the southern states’ reason for their insurrection was low tariffs; nor have you dealt with the evidence I provided that they seceded because slavery laws were not being enforced (enough) in the north, beyond snipping it.”

    That’s because I never said, implied or thought such a thing. Of course, having their slaves taken away was something they feared. Slaves were a major investment, beyond the means of the average person to own even one. Many major plantations relied on slave labor and of course their owners were afraid of what the slaves would do to them once freed. In the only other country in the Americas where the end of slavery was marked by war and violence, Haiti, freed slaves massacred their former masters. So, yes, you are correct: slavery was one of the causes of the war. Fear of slavery being perhaps outlawed soon may have also been on the minds of the American colonial slaveowners in the years right after slavery was banned in the UK itself. And in both cases there were taxes or tariffs, a form of tax, which also formed part of the reasons underlying separation.

    Earlier dL said: “Perhaps your panic of brown people having political power is that you fear they will do to you what your heroes did to them?”

    Perhaps, and if so, that fear would be justifiable. After all, conquest, and the rape, looting, massacring and enslaving of the conquered, has been the norm throughout history and all over the world. Here are a few search terms you may wish to use to see what I mean, and to assure you that it’s not something about human nature that has suddenly changed just because a few – almost all white, and almost all ashamed of it – people think we are living in some kind of new and more enlightened age all of a sudden.

    Look up:

    South African genocide

    Whites in Zimbabwe

    Haitian revolution

    On the other hand, slavery was ended without violence in many other countries. The slaveowners were compensated for the loss of their property. That may strike you as unjust, but slaveowners were not doing anything that was illegal – or considered by most people at that time to be immoral, whatever people think about it now. Was it really worth all the costs in both money and lives to make sure there was no compensation for the loss of slave property?

  202. dL

    Earlier dL said: “Perhaps your panic of brown people having political power is that you fear they will do to you what your heroes did to them?”

    Perhaps, and if so, that fear would be justifiable.

    Of course, “fear of them doing to us what we did to them” is not an argument for cultural superiority vis a vis liberty. Rather it is a fear argument that “they” will be as bad as “we” are. It’s a self-admission of absolute suckitude. And a state acting on the behalf of protecting “suckitude” precipitates the very thing you fear-monger against.

  203. Tony From Long Island

    Jill, I am giving you a standing ovation. Everything you said was spot on!!!

    Now if we can only stop the racist garbage we have to deal with now. Anyone who uses the word “snowflake” should be banned! 🙂

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