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  1. #31
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Question:

    I've only seen a couple of listings for most libertarian presidents. Here is one:

    http://www.xaviercromartie.com/2009/...ed-states.html

    Now, in this list, the top ten is either exclusively A) forgotten presidents who show up mid-list in most historians assessments of presidents or B) were full-on shitty (Coolidge, Harding, Grant and Johnson). Not a single president commonly considered the best ever, either Republican or Democrat, appears above "Below Average".

    On top of that, modern conservatives, like Reagan, whom modern Libertarians seem to like, fall below Democrats including every Democratic president since Reagan.

    I recently saw someone talking about a very different libertarian list on a show: while I lack access to it, Jimmy Carter was 8th, Reagan was 40th in terms of real Libertarian ideas.

    Isn't there a fundamental disconnect between the idea and practice of libertarianism today? Is there a strong President in American history who was actually libertarian?
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    "The government" is made up of people. Lots of people. Other people vote to put those people there. "The government" is not a mythological monster, nor is it some unilateral tyranny lorded over by a king or queen. People organize themselves in order to handle social and economic issues. This will happen even among libertarians, who shockingly (and hypocritically) insist upon organizing themselves into a political party.
    Yes, the government is made up of people. Fallible people who make major mistakes sometimes, elected by other people who are misinformed or uninformed. People do organize themselves all the time. The difference with the government is that it has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force in a society. Given that power, it needs to be strictly delimited. It cannot be the panacea for all of society's ills. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    I'll grant you the silliness of much of the Libertarian Party, but I don't see how a libertarian party is shocking or hypocritical at all. A group of people with a shared ideology bands together in a country with democratic elections to vote in people who espouse that ideology. What is so shocking or hypocritical about that? Explain yourself.


    Yes. Laws exist for a reason. Without the constitution even libertarian philosophy wouldn't have a leg to stand on. I cannot fathom that you do not understand that, for example, in places like Mexico the people starve not because of lack of natural resources or actual lack of money, but because of LAWS. Rape isn't a dreary fact of life in the United States for most women like it is for many women in some African countries where rape is not illegal. Laws do not completely deter undesirable behavior, but they sure to curb it and set a desirable social tone.
    OK, but what laws are you talking about here? Which laws are keeping people from eating, and which are keeping people from starving? Some on the left seriously said that welfare reform in the 1990s would mean that children would starve in the streets, but poverty levels continued to plummet in the U.S. What exactly are you getting at?


    Have you ever actually taken an American history class? The things I'm speaking of were discussed in my college text book - as well as many, many other primary sources readily available to you if you weren't in tragic denial. it's not like I made it up, or lifted it from a Marxist conspiracy site.
    Yes, I have. AP U.S. History as a high school junior, History of American Capitalism at the University of Pennsylvania, Intellectual History, loads and loads of history texts and essays. . . but I've also studied economics at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels, and there are data to back up what I am purporting. Have YOU ever read a major libertarian text? If so, which one(s)?


    Oh, but it helps. It decreases numbers of crimes significantly, whether those laws are set by religion or government.
    Yes, behaving yourself helps to prevent you from becoming a criminal. What a tremendous breakthrough. . .



    I'm not even going to dignify this madness with a response.
    That is because you don't have a worthy response. What of any of it is mad, exactly?


    [QUOTE]Do you get all of your history from libertarian authored sources? I mean really?

    I read extensively, and I compare/contrast different ideas. Please tell me why you believe the things you do. I am explaining to you why I believe what I do, and I am providing facts and figures to back them up. I know you have unfailing belief in the historical narrative you've been taught, but you still need to be able to explain WHY you think these are correct. I think maybe you should try to read a libertarian author or two. I have read plenty of writing by non-libertarian authors. Would you like to name all the libertarian authors you've read and refuted? And "some guy I work with" doesn't count.


    [QUOTE]I'm sorry - what exactly are you arguing against? Welfare state-type policies are a form of democratic socialism. I never said that capitalism wasn't helpful, I said it has to be regulated. A lot of those countries you mention have more SOCIAL FREEDOM. Canada is further away from anarcho-capitalism than the United States is.

    Well, first of all, libertarianism necessitates SOCIAL FREEDOM. That is part and parcel of the philosophy. Secondly, by most standards, Ireland and Switzerland and Estonia are all economically freer than the United States right now. The UK has some freer sectors, too, although their welfare system is more generous than ours (for now, anyway; the ruling coalition might be ending that as we speak).


    Why is it that you do not see economic power as "lots of power" and it can be equally as damaging as legal power?
    Economic power would be more decentralized in a free market economy, not centralized. More regulation = more consolidation = less competition, in almost all cases. A true government-sanctioned monopoly would need regulation so it wouldn't charge monopoly prices, but that is pretty much it.


    It's about balance. The interest of one group should not outweigh the other. Giving too much power to business is just as much of a mistake as giving too much power to government, hence why Libertarianism is the same epic fail as Communism.
    Why would libertarianism (it's a lower-case l unless you are talking about the Libertarian Party, as I keep telling everyone here), "give too much power" to business? Did you ever stop to think that government and business aren't oppositional? I mean, look at Obama's Cabinet and economic advisers. It's pretty much all Wall Street insiders. Your "government vs. business" balance idea is quite naive if you look at the way power is entrenched in this country.
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  3. #33
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    Grover Cleveland was pretty awesome. Not perfectly libertarian, but he was a good one. Calvin Coolidge was pretty good, actually. Thomas Jefferson gets a bad rap from some really hardcore or paleolibertarians, but he was pretty good, too. Historians always go for the guys who "did something big." Of course, the "something big" could be something like locking up innocent Japanese-Americans or dropping atomic bombs on people. This is your "strong" president, which is usually a terrible thing. Look at Woodrow Wilson or LBJ. And libertarians were very disappointed with Reagan. For a guy talking about Hayek and reading The Freeman, he quadrupled the budget and loved to intervene in foreign policy. Which libertarians do you think are big Reagan fans?

    EDIT: I just went down the entire list, and Lincoln, overrated as he is by most, was CLEARLY not the second-least libertarian president of all time. Lower than FDR, Wilson, and LBJ? Bullshit.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  4. #34
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Yeah, when I think FDR I know that Japanese internment was the only thing that anyone remembers him for. The New Deal? The majority of World War II? Ending the Great Depression (brought on by Libertarian greats like Coolidge)? Unlike the much more Libertarian Jackson, whom oversaw the Trail of Tears.

    Truman. Of course, I remember that the nuclear bomb fiasco was totally non-controversial. It's not like it may have saved lives. (although, I do think the second was wrong)

    Wilson was President when we won WWI, looked to a kinder treaty with the losers that may have prevented the economic catastophe that was WWII (the 14 points) and basically started the UN. LBJ did some bad things with Vietnam (of course, to stop Socialism, which I know libertarians love) but was also our single best Civil Rights president in the last 100 years (something, I didn't know Libertarians hated!).
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    Yeah, when I think FDR I know that Japanese internment was the only thing that anyone remembers him for. The New Deal? The majority of World War II? Ending the Great Depression? Unlike the much more Libertarian Jackson, whom oversaw the Trail of Tears.





    Truman. Of course, I remember that the nuclear bomb fiasco was totally non-controversial. It's not like it may have saved lives. (although, I do think the second was wrong)

    Wilson was President when we won WWI, looked to a kinder treaty with the losers that may have prevented the economic catastophe that was WWII (the 14 points) and basically started the UN. LBJ did some bad things with Vietnam (of course, to stop Socialism, which I know libertarians love) but was also our single best Civil Rights president in the last 100 years (something, I didn't know Libertarians hated!).
    Yeah, the New Deal, which people are now positing actually lengthened the Great Depression.

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla...sion-5409.aspx

    And the internment camps were so atrocious that it really makes him look awful. That shit was going on while my grandparents were in high school.

    As for Truman, killing civilians purposefully is tantamount to manslaughter. It's just wrong.

    Wilson was a virulent racist who greatly expanded the power of the executive. He also was stupid about world government. Have you noticed that most of these things are actually bad, not good?

    And LBJ was a nightmare. Warmongering, government-expanding, Constitution-trampling asshole. Just an awful, awful man.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  6. #36
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Yeah, the New Deal, which people are now positing actually lengthened the Great Depression.
    As opposed to the Harding/Coolidge policies, which have been credited with CAUSING the Depression by many more people for far longer? If government spending didn't stop the Great Depression, what did? The miracle of the Nazis? Cause spending only went up in wartime. People even paid for war bonds. That's money they willingly gave to the government without even being taxed.

    And the internment camps were so atrocious that it really makes him look awful. That shit was going on while my grandparents were in high school.
    Not defending those. It was bad. The single largest mar on an otherwise great Presidency. But, no one died. If death of or persecution of minority individuals were such a big deal to Libertarians, why do they like Jackson more than Roosevelt?

    As for Truman, killing civilians purposefully is tantamount to manslaughter. It's just wrong.
    Moral question. Are the lives of thousands of Japanese and American soldiers worth less than civilians in smaller numbers? Again, Jackson is more well liked vis the Libertarian than Truman, but by all accounts is responsible for more civilian deaths in a more torturous way.

    Wilson was a virulent racist who greatly expanded the power of the executive. He also was stupid about world government. Have you noticed that most of these things are actually bad, not good?
    No, but I have noticed a lack of examples. I do know Wilson was a proponent of women's rights (controversial for his time, and women gained the right to vote while he was in office). I also know he extended an idea of economic care to Germany that was struck down by other nations when the Treaty of Versailles was finalized. I know this economic "self-sustainment" and apathy was a major aspect of Hitler's rise to power and his claim that covetist Jews were taking the nation's wealth.

    And LBJ was a nightmare. Warmongering, government-expanding, Constitution-trampling asshole. Just an awful, awful man.
    Again, it would be lovely if your claims had citations. Vietnam was a full-on mistake. What of the Civil Rights Act the LBJ pushed forward? Voting Rights Act? Programs like Medicare are still very popular, if there are a few problems with their administration, but even died in the wool right-wingers like Medicare.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Yes, the government is made up of people. Fallible people who make major mistakes sometimes, elected by other people who are misinformed or uninformed. People do organize themselves all the time. The difference with the government is that it has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force in a society. Given that power, it needs to be strictly delimited. It cannot be the panacea for all of society's ills. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    I'll grant you the silliness of much of the Libertarian Party, but I don't see how a libertarian party is shocking or hypocritical at all. A group of people with a shared ideology bands together in a country with democratic elections to vote in people who espouse that ideology. What is so shocking or hypocritical about that? Explain yourself.
    Because you guys want power for YOUR ideology. You guys have your own falliable agenda too. There's no way to get around the necessisity for organized government.


    That is because you don't have a worthy response. What of any of it is mad, exactly?
    The madness is that you think extension of human life span will occur because of libertarian political power and not because of genetic engineering.


    Do you get all of your history from libertarian authored sources? I mean really?

    I read extensively, and I compare/contrast different ideas. Please tell me why you believe the things you do. I am explaining to you why I believe what I do, and I am providing facts and figures to back them up. I know you have unfailing belief in the historical narrative you've been taught, but you still need to be able to explain WHY you think these are correct. I think maybe you should try to read a libertarian author or two. I have read plenty of writing by non-libertarian authors. Would you like to name all the libertarian authors you've read and refuted? And "some guy I work with" doesn't count.
    Your libertarian authors have a libertarian agenda. Do you really think I've never read libertarian books? I gave it a fair shake at one point. I wrote a ten page research paper on Ron Paul for a political science class and made an A. During that time I read other libertarian texts which had nothing to do with Ron Paul. Their revisionist history is a bunch of crap designed to support their own agenda. There is loads and loads of evidence for the horrendous working conditions of the 19th and early 20th centuries...including photographs, not just narratives. Why do you doubt the existence of the phenomenon...and not say the existence of the Civil War or the Holocaust? You're saying that something that obviously happened (to as much as 80% of the population, since the working class was much larger at that time!) didn't happen because it doesn't suit your world view.



    I'm sorry - what exactly are you arguing against? Welfare state-type policies are a form of democratic socialism. I never said that capitalism wasn't helpful, I said it has to be regulated. A lot of those countries you mention have more SOCIAL FREEDOM. Canada is further away from anarcho-capitalism than the United States is.

    Well, first of all, libertarianism necessitates SOCIAL FREEDOM. That is part and parcel of the philosophy. Secondly, by most standards, Ireland and Switzerland and Estonia are all economically freer than the United States right now. The UK has some freer sectors, too, although their welfare system is more generous than ours (for now, anyway; the ruling coalition might be ending that as we speak).
    Yes. It's called being "liberal." Emphasizing social freedom while having a generous welfare sector has nothing to do with free market anarcho-capitalism libertarianism, and in fact mirrors my own beliefs, so I'm still not sure what you're arguing against.

  8. #38
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    FDR's handling of foreign affairs during WWII is not something to really brag about, especially when we turn to how he dealt with Stalin. A rough summary:
    Roosevelt's flaw, born of his own optimistic nature, was in believing that Stalin was at heart a politician like himself, abeit a harsh one. What he never understood, or perhaps chose not to understand as the consequences would have been too discomforting, was that deep inside Stalin lurked a combination, equaled only by Hitler, of cruelty, paranoia, ideology, and greed for power.
    --Simon Berthon and Joanna Potts, Warlords: An Extraordinary Re-creation of World War II through the Eyes and Minds of Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin pg.308

    More info:
    [youtube="1c-o8xxYiic"]FDR vs Stalin 1[/youtube]
    [youtube="7qpesb8Bix8"]FDR v Stalin 2[/youtube]
    [youtube="O2MjxHOso44"]FDR v Stalin 3[/youtube]
    [youtube="vKgWsNoa580"]FDR v Stalin 4[/youtube]
    [youtube="wGzi-gICch0"]FDR v Stalin 5[/youtube]

  9. #39
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Peguy, maybe, but I think your point pertains more towards what FDR would have done at the advent of the Cold War (perhaps a sense of mutual admiration would have even lessened tensions!), but as my immediately previous parenthetical notes, it is speculative. FDR's fight against Hitler was well advised, including D-Day. Indeed, the Russians are commonly cited, not foolishly, as the greatest reason the Axis powers failed. Alliances with Stalin against the fascist threat were very important. Maybe he would have fucked up when Stalin became the apparent foe, but maybe Lincoln would have made Asians the new slaves. Fact is important. Speculation is useless.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    As opposed to the Harding/Coolidge policies, which have been credited with CAUSING the Depression by many more people for far longer? If government spending didn't stop the Great Depression, what did? The miracle of the Nazis? Cause spending only went up in wartime. People even paid for war bonds. That's money they willingly gave to the government without even being taxed.
    Which policies did Harding and Coolidge have that caused the Great Depression? Harding kept a very hard laissez-faire line during the Depression of 1920-21, and it ended up being intense, but less than two years long.


    Not defending those. It was bad. The single largest mar on an otherwise great Presidency. But, no one died. If death of or persecution of minority individuals were such a big deal to Libertarians, why do they like Jackson more than Roosevelt?
    Jackson isn't the most popular president among libertarians (small-l libertarians, please). I think he gets outsized credit for fighting the Second Bank of the United States. Rather esoteric issue, IMHO. But FDR did a lot of terrible things. New Deal, expanding the executive, trying to pack the Supreme Court, creating an awfully-designed public pension scheme, practically nationalizing entire sectors of the economy. . . It's almost all bad. And the recession at the end of his first time/beginning of his second was pretty brutal.


    Moral question. Are the lives of thousands of Japanese and American soldiers worth less than civilians in smaller numbers? Again, Jackson is more well liked vis the Libertarian than Truman, but by all accounts is responsible for more civilian deaths in a more torturous way.
    More civilian deaths than WWII? Definitely not. Several times more Japanese were vaporized in a second than died in the entire Trail of Tears. They are both horrific. I think the libertarian bias here is that the government was much smaller and less outrageously non-libertarian in the early-19th Century than the mid-20th Century and that people should have "known better" about atrocities by then. I am not excusing Jackson's Indian policies in any way, though.


    No, but I have noticed a lack of examples. I do know Wilson was a proponent of women's rights (controversial for his time, and women gained the right to vote while he was in office). I also know he extended an idea of economic care to Germany that was struck down by other nations when the Treaty of Versailles was finalized. I know this economic "self-sustainment" and apathy was a major aspect of Hitler's rise to power and his claim that covetist Jews were taking the nation's wealth.
    Women did gain the right to vote, but that was from a constitutional amendment that had been in the works for a long time at that point (women could vote in Wyoming back in 1890, I believe). WWI was such a terrible event, though. He didn't start it, but he sure didn't help, either.


    Again, it would be lovely if your claims had citations. Vietnam was a full-on mistake. What of the Civil Rights Act the LBJ pushed forward? Voting Rights Act? Programs like Medicare are still very popular, if there are a few problems with their administration, but even died in the wool right-wingers like Medicare.
    I don't, nor do I like Medicaid. The Civil Rights Act had some very good parts, although I would oppose the parts eliminating private discrimination on freedom of association grounds. In the end, LBJ is almost the same guy as George W. Bush. Seriously, no two POTUS's were more alike in American history. And the "daisy ad" against Goldwater was one of the most despicable election moves in history. I really have no idea where the guy that made Vietnam a bloody reality got the stones to suggest his opponent was a warmongerer.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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