View Poll Results: Do You Believe Our Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

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Thread: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

  1. #31
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    freedom scares the crap out of alot of sheeple
    Actually analyzing the issues, instead of shrieking "let the market decide" as the solution to any given problem, scares the crap out of a lot of people.
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  2. #32
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Um... why? Slave owners can't be libertarians?
    Not really. It's difficult to believe in freedom from government coercion if you own another human being (with the government's blessing). Jefferson was pretty hypocritical in that regard.
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  3. #33
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Not really. It's difficult to believe in freedom from government coercion if you own another human being (with the government's blessing). Jefferson was pretty hypocritical in that regard.
    He was hypocritical in many regards when it comes to slavery, but libertarianism isn't one of them. He didn't own slaves "with the government's blessing", he owned slaves without the government involvement necessary to tell him not to. In that sense slave owning is completely compatible with slavery; it takes government expansion into his private life to tell him not to own slaves. However, when it comes to his belief in fundamental rights, his slave owning made him hypocritical.

    I frankly think it says a lot about your perspective of things if you think that something not being illegal means it is done "with the government's blessing", and acts of individual coercion not banned by the government is somehow an act of government coercion.
    Last edited by Dav; 05-24-10 at 12:51 AM.

  4. #34
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    He was hypocritical in many regards when it comes to slavery, but libertarianism isn't one of them. He didn't own slaves "with the government's blessing", he owned slaves without the government involvement necessary to tell him not to. In that sense slave owning is completely compatible with slavery; it takes government expansion into his private life to tell him not to own slaves. However, when it comes to his belief in fundamental rights, his slave owning made him hypocritical.

    I frankly think it says a lot about your perspective of things if you think that something not being illegal means it is done "with the government's blessing", and acts of individual coercion not banned by the government is somehow an act of government coercion.
    I'm under the impression that protecting people from force is one of the few things that libertarians DO want the government to do. A truly libertarian government would be more concerned about protecting Sally Hemings' right to not be raped on a daily basis than it would with protecting Thomas Jefferson's "right" to own slaves.
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  5. #35
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm under the impression that protecting people from force is one of the few things that libertarians DO want the government to do. A truly libertarian government would be more concerned about protecting Sally Hemings' right to not be raped on a daily basis than it would with protecting Thomas Jefferson's "right" to own slaves.
    But that's not a libertarian thing. Libertarians aren't exactly the only ones who want the government to protect people from force; pretty much only anarchists don't. Again, Jefferson was hypocritical in many ways, but not in his libertarianism.

    Not sure why you felt the need to bring the subject up in the first place. Do you just automatically associate Thomas Jefferson with slaves? That's the only explanation I can think of for dedicating a post to bringing such a loosely related subject into this.

    And I maintain what you ignored, which was your complete mis-characterization in saying that he owned slaves "with the government's blessing" and that for some reason legal individual coercion is synonymous with government coercion, and that this probably says something about your perspective. Your argument seemed to change pretty quickly from that to the above post.
    Last edited by Dav; 05-24-10 at 01:14 AM.

  6. #36
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    But that's not a libertarian thing. Libertarians aren't exactly the only ones who want the government to protect people from force; pretty much only anarchists don't. Again, Jefferson was hypocritical in many ways, but not in his libertarianism.
    The whole focus of libertarianism is an emphasis on personal freedom, and having a government that allows individuals to pursue whatever they want. That is incompatible with slavery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    Not sure why you felt the need to bring the subject up in the first place. Do you just automatically associate Thomas Jefferson with slaves? That's the only explanation I can think of for dedicating a post to bringing such a loosely related subject into this.
    It's certainly one of the first things that comes to mind, yes. Especially when people say that Jefferson was a libertarian. Maybe in the government-stay-out-of-my-business sense, but certainly not in the government-protect-liberty sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    And I maintain what you ignored, which was your complete mis-characterization in saying that he owned slaves "with the government's blessing" and that for some reason legal individual coercion is synonymous with government coercion, and that this probably says something about your perspective.
    If the government allows people to blatantly infringe on one another's rights, then it is essentially government coercion. For example, Hugo Chavez probably doesn't directly ORDER his supporters to rough up journalists and vandalize newspapers who criticize him...but he allows it to happen, thus it's government coercion.
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  7. #37
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The whole focus of libertarianism is an emphasis on personal freedom, and having a government that allows individuals to pursue whatever they want. That is incompatible with slavery.
    No, the focus of libertarianism is having a government that doesn't infringe on personal liberty, which is not the least bit incompatible with slavery, since it is individual citizens who own the slaves. Again, you are proving the top-down lens through which you look in which the government is responsible for all legal actions.


    It's certainly one of the first things that comes to mind, yes. Especially when people say that Jefferson was a libertarian. Maybe in the government-stay-out-of-my-business sense, but certainly not in the government-protect-liberty sense.
    Libertarianism in general places far more emphasis on the former than the latter. Government-protect-liberty is not a libertarian thing, since almost everyone else wants that too. Ideologies are defined by how they differ from the rest; libertarianism differs from the rest in the government-stay-out sense, not the government-protect-liberty sense. Hence, Jefferson may have been hypocritical, but not as a libertarian.


    If the government allows people to blatantly infringe on one another's rights, then it is essentially government coercion. For example, Hugo Chavez probably doesn't directly ORDER his supporters to rough up journalists and vandalize newspapers who criticize him...but he allows it to happen, thus it's government coercion.
    That is not government coercion in any way shape or form. Again you are showing your inclination to tie everything in with the government.

  8. #38
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If the government allows people to blatantly infringe on one another's rights, then it is essentially government coercion. For example, Hugo Chavez probably doesn't directly ORDER his supporters to rough up journalists and vandalize newspapers who criticize him...but he allows it to happen, thus it's government coercion.
    If I allow my kids to bully other kids at school, despite not explicitly ordering them to do so, am I coercing those kids that are getting bullied into giving me their lunch money?

  9. #39
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Not really. Not like it matters in the grand plan anyway.
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  10. #40
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    Re: The Founding Fathers Were Libertarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
    If I allow my kids to bully other kids at school, despite not explicitly ordering them to do so, am I coercing those kids that are getting bullied into giving me their lunch money?
    Yes
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