Comments on: Was the American Revolution Really about Taxes? Property - Prosperity - Peace Sat, 09 May 2015 08:06:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Lorin Partain Mon, 18 Jul 2011 18:24:53 +0000 A libertarian arguing for the British Empire? Shame, Shame. The American revolution was not perfect and like any society not all the players were in it for the same or even honorable reasons, but one does not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Even Rothbard thought the revolution a justified war in the cause of liberty. I agree with Murray.

By: ashleycsmith85 Thu, 15 Apr 2010 19:47:23 +0000 I want to write a violently-worded opposing response, but sadly I too have started to realize that the founding was not near as glamorous as I was led to believe.

If you wade through the misinformation in history textbooks and Hollywood, there are small nuggets of amazing ideas that emanated from the American founding.

You’re right that the Revolution wasn’t about taxes, and for the most part it wasn’t generally supported by a great number of colonists. Atrocities were committed by both sides, the more gruesome of which were usually perpetrated by the American “patriots”, like tar and feathering tax collectors.

Just like today’s Tea Parties, the American Revolution started out as a small number of philosophically and politically conscious individuals contesting the idea of subservience to any king or government. There was general distaste and disdain for government by that group. However, just like today, with time the Revolution became infested with people who were disaffected with their present government rather than philosophically in favor of liberty. Today’s Tea Parties started as a Ron Paul liberty movement and have moved to a neoconservative push for big government defense policies and anti-democratic administration mouthpieces. With the American Revolution you had people like Jefferson, who abhorred the institution of slavery, who were overshadowed by the collective desires of the masses in the form of a Republic.

There were triumphs. The concept of self-government and liberty temporarily won over that of Monarchy and unitary government. Self-reliance temporarily won over that of welfare. Those triumphs didn’t last long, and soon after the founding there were attempts to use government for the benefit of some people at the expense of others.

Ultimately, we can chalk it to the fact that the founding wasn’t perfect. It had it’s flaws. However, what it did provide were the ideas that would later shape the later conservative movement (the Robert Tafts), and ultimately the libertarian movement. Libertarians have taken the ideas of the classical liberals, the American founders, the early 1900s conservatives, and the Austrian economists to and developed a framework for a small or no government philosophy around liberty. I prefer the no. With time the ideas of the American Founding, whether realized or not, contributed to a revival and love of liberty throughout the world until German collectivism became popular in the late 1800s.

It’s easy to look back at history, real history, and dismiss events because by today’s standards they were imperfect and in some ways even horrible.

By: Wirkman Virkkala Thu, 15 Apr 2010 18:32:06 +0000 The libertarian elements in the Declaration and (even) in the Constitution were, for most secessionists in those times, an EXCUSE. Even those who truly wanted liberty were ambivalent about it, and offset liberty for people with opportunities for ambitious men in a non-imperial government.

Over time, the ambition won out over the liberty, the reason won out over the excuse. Libertarians, today, are in the somewhat odd position of either earnestly and naively embracing the excuse, and pretending it was the reason, or else embracing the excuse as our current reason and repudiating all past and present who use it only as an excuse.

There are levels of loyalty, here, that disallow simple interpretations.

This is one reason for irony in modern times. The person who knows human nature also has learned that idealism nearly always exists as pretense for most.

It may seem a sad lesson to learn of our Forefathers that their dedication to liberty was nearly as compromised as the politicians of our day. But, at least we can learn that amazing things can be done, even with corrupt and complex men.