The Interventionism of the Two World Wars: The Libertarian Angle

May 11, 2016—On this episode of The Libertarian Angle, Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling of the Future of Freedom Foundation, cover the history of US interventionism abroad, and how World War I and World War II normalized the alien role of the US as an intervening entity.

“The basic overall philosophy that guided America was stay out of the European wars,” Hornberger said, explaining the pre-World War I mentality of most Americans. “Europe had been besieged by war for centuries, and the founding fathers said, you know, we don’t want any part of those, we don’t want any entangling alliances with European countries, we don’t want to get involved in their forever disputes.”

A famous July 4, 1821 speech by John Quincy Adams to the House of Representatives warned against going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy,” and Ebeling explains that “one of the reasons John Quincy Adams gave that address was that in the 1820s, there were several attempts, and in the 1830s, several attempts by the Greeks to overthrow the rule of the Turks, who controlled Greece at that time, and the Hungarians who were opposing the control of their country by the Austrian emperors.”

“They came to the United States to fundraise, gain some volunteers to come to support their cause,” Ebeling continued, “but some of them had audiences, either with the presidents of the United States or cabinet ministers, thinking that America is standing for freedom, liberty, the cause of oppressed people fighting tyranny, that surely the United States would come to their aid in more than just words. But president after president, of which obviously John Quincy Adams was one, insisted that America could serve as a beacon on the hill, as an example and model for liberty, but it fell upon each peoples to find their own way to freedom and not expect America to fight their wars or battles for them.”

Will foreign interventionism be a top issue in 2016? Comment below!

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