“We do not nowadays refute our predecessors, we pleasantly bid them good-bye.” That’s Santayana, in Character and Opinion in the United States, around 1920. Things, of course, haven’t changed in this regard. Nock pointed out that Henry George was never refuted, just ignored. A central bank was opposed by some of the most brilliant political minds of the nineteenth century, but today, those predecessors are conveniently forgotten. Isolationism in matters of war used to be taken for granted, but now the martial isolationists are seen as dangerous freaks. But they weren’t refuted intellectually.
They were merely buried at the polls.