David Boaz has written a pathetically stupid piece for Reason Magazine, "Up from Slavery."
In a nutshell, he says if you advocate for a constitutionally limited government, you therefore advocate for slavery.
Yes, it's that dumb. But some people love it!
Let's look at it.
Has there ever been a golden age of liberty? No, and there never will be. There will always be people who want to live their lives in peace, and there will always be people who want to exploit them or impose their own ideas on others. If we look at the long term—from a past that includes despotism, feudalism, absolutism, fascism, and communism—we’re clearly better off.
Here, "golden age" is used to imply some sort of utopia. Other than Leftists, I've never met anyone who ever thought utopia existed, or ever will. Utopian dreams are for children.
But what I do know is, Americans were a lot freer than we are today prior to the Progressive Era of the early 20th century. You know, when Uncle Sam didn't steal any of your income, and licensing and regulations didn't make it next to impossible for the common man to open his own store.
Does TARP and "stimulus" make you free? Or a debtor (enslaved) to Uncle Sam?
Only a naive person couldn't admit we're heading in the direction of "despotism, feudalism, absolutism, fascism, and communism" today. And fast!
I am particularly struck by libertarians and conservatives who celebrate the freedom of early America, and deplore our decline from those halcyon days ... dreams of being a slave-owner. Because as he certainly knows, most of the people in those tobacco fields were slaves.
You see, if you "celebrate the freedom of early America," you wish to be a slave owner!
Where have I heard this argument before? Oh yeah, from the progressive left.
But wait. Did "early Americans consider themselves free"? White Americans probably did. But what about black Americans, and especially the 90 percent of black Americans who were slaves?
Once again, advocate for our original limited government, and you're advocating 90% of blacks be put in chains. Sad. Pathetic. Delusionary.
But too many of us who extol the Founders and deplore the growth of the American state forget that that state held millions of people in chains.
Maybe those of us who "deplore the growth of the American state," do so because "that state held millions of people in chains" despite of our declaration that "all men are created equal."
But Boaz's DC-centric brain can't wrap his head around that.
Seriously, does anyone believe that the income tax, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, economic regulations, licensure laws, drug laws, immigration controls, coercive transfer programs, the federal department of labor, agriculture, commerce, education, energy, health and human services, or homeland security has anything to do with freeing people? Any people?
If you had to choose, would you rather live in a country with a department of labor and even an income tax or a Dred Scott decision and a Fugitive Slave Act?
Yeah, as if those are our only 2 choices. Ignorance is strength.
No doubt one of the reasons that libertarians haven't persuaded as many people as we'd like is that a lot of Americans don't think we're on the road to serfdom, don't feel that we've lost all our freedoms.
Tell that to the crowd at the next Tea Party you attend (though I doubt you'll attend any).
Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. offers this challenge to advocates of “smaller government”: Imagine a choice between “a dictatorship in which the government provides no social security, health, welfare, or pension programs of any kind” and “levies relatively low taxes that go almost entirely toward the support of large military and secret police forces that regularly kill or jail people for their political or religious views” and “a democracy with open elections and full freedom of speech and religion [which] levies higher taxes than the dictatorship to support an extensive welfare state.” “The first country might technically have a ‘smaller government,’” Dionne writes, “but it undoubtedly is not a free society. The second country would have a ‘bigger government,’ but it is indeed a free society.”
Again, another false argument. And we're supposed to take this article seriously?
There you have it, according to "libertarian" David Boaz, limited government = slavery. So just shut your mouths about Big Government and excessive taxation, you know-nothings!
This is nothing more than the class warfare drivel that's accepted as legitimate political discourse these days. I know 3rd graders who can give a better argument than this "libertarian" version of Cultural Marxism.
In case you may think David Boaz's recent attack on Jacob Hornberger is anything other than evidence of a recurring pattern in which he exhibits a full-fledged subscription to the intellectually slothful doctrine of Political Correctness, he has now joined the cadre of usual suspects in denouncing Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's proclamation of "Confederate History Month" for failing to include a hollow "feel good" apology for slavery.
Writes Stephan Kinsella:
The attack on the great Jacob Hornberger reminds me of the amazing brou-haha at FEE a decade ago b/c Hoppe didn’t include the phrase, “I disapprove of Hitler” in a Freeman book review — see Day of the Long Knives.
Stephan, all this attempted enforcement of the regime moral code, by the warmongers, looters, and police statists calling themselves libertarians, is backfiring. Outside of the DC axis of evil, who even pays attention to such charges, designed solely to silence opponents without an argument?
Read the whole thing. I’ve had this argument, too. And I think this sort of despairing, reverse-Whig view of history also discourages people from fighting for liberty. But we’ve recovered before, and we’ll recover again — if we want to.