Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Hispanic libertarian tradition

Opinion: Hispanic voters and our forgotten libertarian tradition | Fox News Latino - Johnnes Schmidt:

May 19, 2015 - "The prevailing Hispanic alignment to the political left is far from set in stone.  After all, modern day libertarianism was born, in many ways, in the Iberian Peninsula and followed the conquistadors to the New World.  Although some Hispanics might not realize it, a love of liberty is very much a part of our cultural heritage....

"It is no coincidence that the first use of the word 'liberal,' the internationally accepted term for a libertarian, was first used in the 1800s in the context of the Spanish struggle for liberation from Napoleon and his absolutist rule. It is not, in fact, an 'Anglo' word like some scholars would have you believe.

"But the libertarian tradition in Spain begins much earlier than the 19th century; it predates the Enlightenment and even the signing of the Magna Carta.

The Charter of León, issued in 1020 under Alphonso V, for example, granted municipalities judicial and administrative jurisdiction and recognized individual rights.  This check of absolute monarchal power was in place 200 years before the signing of the Magna Carta and was considered a precedent for the United States Constitution by many of the Founders, including John Adams.

"Centuries later, the School of Salamanca would have similar influence and as former Mont Pelerin Society President Leonard Liggio noted in his essay Liberty and Morality: The Neglected Hispanic Tradition, 'modern economics, human rights, and international law were founded in the Iberian universities of the 16th and 17th centuries.'

"Latin America, too, played an important role in the development of libertarian thought. The debates over the humanity and rights of Native Americans (think Bartolomé de las Casas) influenced John Locke and the American Founders.

"Scholars such as Juan de Mariana, Roberto Bellarmine, and Francisco Suárez, both directly and indirectly, helped shape the minds of the fathers of modern day libertarianism. It is for good reason that F.A. Hayek believed that the Spanish Scholastics were the forerunners of the Austrian School of Economics....

"Whether we be first, second or third generation immigrants, we should recognize that we are in the United States because of a lack of political and economic freedom in our native countries. We know that authoritarianism and limited market freedom does not work. It is, without a doubt, why my parents and I left Ecuador in the 1990s.

"It is for this reason that we must be part of the movement to stop the astronomical growth of government that the Bush and Obama years brought to this country. We need to be part of the demographic that elects a politician that stands for limited government and free markets. We are, after all, the original libertarians."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment