Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”     Edward Abbey

July 12, 2007

Dinesh The Gun Totin’ Libertarian Is At It Again

by Doug Mataconis

Dinesh D’Souza has a post up responding to his earlier post claiming that Ron Paul isn’t really a libertarian because he doesn’t want to conquer the world.

This time, he tries to explain away the fact that the Founding Fathers were non-interventionist:

In response to my argument, some Ron Paul supporters have noted that the American founders warned against foreign entanglements and that they generally kept American troops within the nation’s borders. So how can the ideological universalism of the founders be reconciled with their practical caution? Easy: the founders realized that America at the time had very big ideals but very little power. America in the late eighteenth century was what we would today call a “developing nation.” It was simply not in a position to promote freedom abroad. The founders had their hands full in trying to secure it at home.

This has got to be the most extreme example of historical revisionism I’ve seen in some time. D’Souza is effectively arguing that, notwithstanding clear examples to the contrary, the Founders would have been all for invading Europe and liberating the masses, if only they had the guns and the power to do it. Of course, D’Souza cites no evidence in favor of this argument and, while he is correct that protecting the young and relatively weak new Republic was a primary concern of Presidents such as Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison, his argument ignores the fact that they also spoke out against intervention because they knew the impact it would have on American liberty. And they were right.

D’Souza goes on to parrot the traditional neoconservative creed:

Today America is the world’s sole superpower, and that means that our ideals are backed up with wealth and power. True, we should use that power prudently, but we should not imagine ourselves constrained in the same way that the founders were. Might, it is sometimes said, does not make right. But neither does right by itself make might. Might is sometimes necessary to ensure that right prevails in the world.

Even if that means making the rest of the world accept our definition of what’s right at the point of a gun, right Dinesh ?

TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/07/12/dinesh-the-gun-totin-libertarian-is-at-it-again/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •

7 Comments

  1. D’Souza is falling into the same trap that pretty much every statist does. Charity can be a good thing, it doesn’t entirely wipe out poverty, therefore the government should start welfare programs and force everyone to be virtuous with their tax dollars. Medical care is expensive, not everyone can afford it, therefore the government should step in and force everyone to pay the medical bills of the poor. Same argument applies to liberty in the neo-cons’ minds…individual freedom is a good thing, not every country in the world is as free as us, therefore the United States should overthrow every country we deem as “non-free” and force everyone to comply with our form of “free” government, whether they want to or not or.

    Guys like D’Souza and Bush just don’t get what true freedom is all about. It’s why, when you dig down into it, they’re really no different than the liberals or the socialists or the fascists. At their core they don’t really believe that liberty or virtue can be generated by individual choice or action, so they’ll always push for the government to intervene and make our decisions for us.

    Comment by UCrawford — July 12, 2007 @ 12:58 pm
  2. D’Souza might be more credible if he wasn’t on record as wanting a Straussian theocratic slave state and not a free society in any event.

    Maybe he should worry more about policy debates within the theocrat community, and stop trying to tell libertarians what foreign policy their ideals should support.

    Comment by Fluffy — July 12, 2007 @ 1:41 pm
  3. That’s the thing about the rabid statists…they never get tired of telling us how we’d all be happier as slaves. There’s just no reasoning with the hardcore members of that group.

    Comment by UCrawford — July 12, 2007 @ 3:00 pm
  4. I just can’t accept that people like D’Souza don’t ‘get it’. These guys are highly educated, they HAVE to understand what is going on.

    No, I think they ‘get it’ just fine. And to my mind, the real question is why they don’t want me to ‘get it’. And then I am reminded that the boys who print dollars have an awful lot to lose if we all ‘get it’.

    Comment by JSW — July 12, 2007 @ 5:26 pm
  5. We’re not powerful. We’re addicted to power. So addicted that we would rob our own grandchildren (via longterm public debt) to demonstrate that power.

    Comment by Langston — July 12, 2007 @ 9:04 pm
  6. Dinesh’s positions are never well thought out, and often take all of 10 minutes for me to debunk. That is pretty sad, considering he thinks of himself as highly educated, and I am a college dropout. There is tons of evidence the Founding Fathers never intended for America to enforce Liberty and Republican notions of Democracy at the end of a bayonet. Yes, Jefferson, Payne, the Adams men all believed these rights were universal, but they also realized in the end each human being must decide for themselves whether they will stand up and fight for their right to be free. Dinesh is a slave, and wants all of us to accept his slave to the state mentality. The state IS NOT more important than individuals. The state only exists because individuals allow it to exist. Keep pushing us, Dinesh/Bush/Cheney/Kristol. The 2nd Amendment exists for a reason.

    Comment by Cameron — July 12, 2007 @ 10:11 pm
  7. The reason I say that D’Souza doesn’t “get it” has less to do with any lack of mental capability on D’Souza’s part and more to do with Ayn Rand’s theory that many times people will do illogical and unproductive things simply because they believe it is the right thing to do. I’d say that D’Souza honestly believes that his theocratic slave state and a perpetual state of war to promote “liberty” are morally right, so he advocates them even though neither is likely viable in the long term. Same way I think Bush honestly believes on some level that what he’s doing in Iraq is the morally right thing, so he advocates it even though it’s not going to work and a lot of people have to die in the meantime to prove it.

    For my part, I hold the theory that if a position I hold is illogical, if it is not possible to implement, and if I have to lie to, misrepresent or force other people against their will to give up their lives and freedom to make my plan come to fruition, then that would make my position morally repellant (like the war in Iraq). That’s what D’Souza and Bush don’t get. To them “liberty” and “rights” are just privileges that the government/state/authority lets us have and they should be able to be withdrawn when the leaders deem it necessary or expedient. To most libertarians I know rights are something that we possess innately and that only we as individuals have the right to give away. D’Souza apparently doesn’t accept that premise…which is why he doesn’t “get it”.

    Comment by UCrawford — July 13, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML