The Armed Libertarian Revolution in Mexico

Zach Foster

Author’s note: Mexico and Cuba have long affected each other’s history. The trade between the two colonies was frequent during the mutual government under the Spanish Empire. Mexico was later the center of recruitment, the training base, and the starting point for the July 26 guerrillas for the expedition of 1956.

The Mexican Revolution is likely the most important chain of events in the history of Mexico, perhaps more so than Mexico’s war of independence. Its crowning achievement is the 1917 Constitution, still in effect today. One of the leading attributes of the Mexican Revolution is the rise of citizen armies, what U.S. legal tradition recognizes as the ‘unorganized militia’ of able-bodied armed men organizing into military units. Though the grievances, politics, motives, and goals of the different revolutionary factions and leaders differed, there’s much about the Revolution to be seen from a libertarian point of view.

One of the central themes of libertarian political theory is that government is at best inefficient and incapable of adequately governing and providing for the people, and at worst a predatory criminal organization. This is why the minarchist libertarians believe in a very limited ‘night watchman’ government under a strict interpretation of the Constitution that favors the liberty of the people, and why anarchist libertarians prefer no government at all and all power to the individual. The minarchist grievance against the thirty-five-year Porfirio Diaz regime is the lack of free elections, repression of dissident press, and crony capitalist policies favoring well-connected big businesses over independent honest businesses.

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