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The Jacksonian Tradition is Largely Good

This is a very good essay about the Jacksonian tradition in the USA.

Although on the whole it's good, it does have an error I'd like to complain about. Basically the author doesn't understand libertarianism. So he writes:

Jacksonians are civil libertarians

But Jacksonians are not civil libertarians, unless libertarians suddenly took a liking to MEDICARE and no one told me...

Suspicious of untrammeled federal power (Waco), skeptical about the prospects for domestic and foreign do-gooding (welfare at home, foreign aid abroad), opposed to federal taxes but obstinately fond of federal programs seen as primarily helping the middle class (Social Security and Medicare, mortgage interest subsidies), Jacksonians constitute a large political interest.

IN FAVOR OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE? GOD FUCKING DAMN THOSE COMMIES TO HELL!


Elliot Temple on January 19, 2004

Comments (7)

I think you're missing the distinction between "civil libertarian" and "libertarian".



Many people consider themselves to be "civil libertarians" (ACLU types) because they are strongly in favor of broad freedom of speech and stong due process protections, voting rights, etc.; yet, they also favor many welfare state programs. They separate "civil" rights from "economic" rights.



They're wrong to make this separation, but it's a common usage.


Gil at 9:26 AM on January 19, 2004 | #766

i thought civil was as opposed to stuff about foreign policy. (i.e. isolationist dove libertarians would concede I'm a "civil" libertarian even if not one in general)



anyhow, i maintain that someone who thinks socialists can be any sort of libertarian doesn't understand what libertarian means. if that means common usage is misconceived, fine by me.


Elliot at 9:42 AM on January 19, 2004 | #767

btw i looked up civil b4 posting. it shares a common root word with citizen. so it'd make sense if civil libertarians were libertarian WRT stuff about our citizens (like our laws), and this was as opposed to the area of stuff not directly about our citizens (i.e. foreign policy).


Elliot at 9:45 AM on January 19, 2004 | #768

The article was not perfect, you cannot sum up what he wanted to say in 47 pages. There were many contradictions. For better or worse, we Jacksonians do hold many contradictions. I always thought I was a black sheep Libertarian until I read this work. Over 75 percent of what he said pointed towards me.



Also, even before reading this article I noticed one thing about American Libertarians. They are way to ideological. Even when I thought I was a hardcore Libertarian, I realized we did not ever have a chance to come into power. To put it mildly, they eat their own. If you do not believe 100% in the total party line, they will consider you a heretic. If you believe in the majority of libertarian values but not all of them then you are persona non grata and an enemy.



That is why I believe they will never become a force in this country. The '90s were ripe for them but they blew the chance.


tim at 11:34 PM on August 10, 2004 | #769

The article was not perfect, you cannot sum up what he wanted to say in 47 pages. There were many contradictions. For better or worse, we Jacksonians do hold many contradictions. I always thought I was a black sheep Libertarian until I read this work. Over 75 percent of what he said pointed towards me.



Also, even before reading this article I noticed one thing about American Libertarians. They are way to ideological. Even when I thought I was a hardcore Libertarian, I realized we did not ever have a chance to come into power. To put it mildly, they eat their own. If you do not believe 100% in the total party line, they will consider you a heretic. If you believe in the majority of libertarian values but not all of them then you are persona non grata and an enemy.



That is why I believe they will never become a force in this country. The '90s were ripe for them but they blew the chance.


tim at 11:34 PM on August 10, 2004 | #770

Sorry for the double post. I'm a virgin, be gentle.


tim at 11:35 PM on August 10, 2004 | #771

Don't worry about it.


Elliot at 11:36 PM on August 10, 2004 | #772

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)