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Re: In Defense of Libertarianism, from HotWired's Synapse (fwd)



On Sat, 13 Sep 1997, Bill Stewart wrote:

> >clear that the founding fathers wanted the situation in the several states
> >to be quite dynamic and diverse, otherwise why "Congress shall make no
> >law..." and not something more comprehensive preventing the states from such
> >laws as well?
> 
> It's extremely clear that the Founding Finaglers had widely diverse opinions,
> some of which wanted central control and fiat currencies, others rabidly
> decentralist.  Go read the Anti-Federalist Papers.  And then, of course,
> go read the Federalist papers, and realize these were the more
> pro-big-government
> side of the bunch that overthrew their previous government.

Not that everything was wonderful under the Articles of Confederation.
For example states considered it their right to issue paper currency to
pay you, but demand specie when you paid them.  13 little tyrannies
wouldn't provide liberty, nor would it be likely that large states would
not annex the smaller states.  Some states had bills of rights in their
constitutions, and every state might have had them for a while had the
union not come to pass.  But my point is that decentralization does not
insure liberty - many eastern european countries were smaller than US
states but less free.

The Federalists tried, and to a fair extent succeeded in forming a
centralized power that didn't see its first mission as being to grab more
power.  It got around to it after a while, but it prevented the states
from doing it since you now had the federal government warring with the
states in a separation of powers just as necessary as between the
branches of government.

Even your car comes with maintainence instructions.  You need to refill
the gas tank, keep the tires in balance and at the right pressure and
change the oil.  Omit these things and eventually the car has problems.

You can condem the engineers for not producing a maintence free car, but
you wouldn't be able to afford one even if it were possible.

The founders could not create a maintainence free republic, but we have
forgotten that each generation must relearn the lessons first laid down in
the 1770's (yes - in The Declaration which listed the usurpations and the
toll in lives and treasure).  And rights reserved to the states or the
people is part of that lost lesson.

The soviet union kept their dead preserved in a shrine.  We have a similar
monument holding the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

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