Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Palestine Lost

To appreciate the enormity of the crimes against the Palestinian people, one must understand that while persons are certainly individuals, they are something more as well. That's what we mean when we use words like society,  culture, and people. What has happened to the Palestinians is not simply that some individuals were killed and others were driven from land their families had lived on and worked for 1,500 years. Those horrible things amount to only part of the atrocity that befell them.

The other part is the cultural genocide that has been perpetrated. Palestine was a vibrant cultural and economic center, with thriving cities and lush farms. It wasn't a "land without a people" or a savage-filled desert waiting for European Jews to make it bloom. We cannot understand current events in the Middle East without understanding that the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which began before 1948, meant so much more than just driving people from their homes. It meant eradicating the record and memory of a beautiful place (where, incidentally, Jews also could and did live in peace).

This documentary shows what has been lost.

TGIF: Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses

 
The Trump administration's "Deal of the Century" for the Palestine-Israel has, predictably, gone over like a lead balloon. So it's shifting gears. The Washington Post reports, "With President Trump’s promised Middle East peace plan stalled, administration officials are focusing on improving conditions in the impoverished Gaza Strip — a move that could put political pressure on Palestinian leaders to come to the negotiating table." 
Don't hold your breath.

Read TGIF at The Libertarian Institute.

TGIF (The Goal Is Freedom) appears on Fridays. Sheldon Richman, author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute. He is also a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.

Become a Free Association patron today!

Friday, July 06, 2018

TGIF: The Trump-Kushner Delusion on Palestine

Here's a shocker: Donald Trump and his Palestine-Israel fixers think they can buy a peaceful and permanent settlement of the 70-year conflict by getting Arab governments to pressure the Palestinians into forgetting the "politicians' talking points" -- you know, superficial things like independence from the routine abuses and indignities of colonial oppression (that's right; the same trifles Americans celebrated on Wednesday) -- and focusing instead on what really matters: money, roads, and jobs.
Read TGIF at The Libertarian Institute.

TGIF (The Goal Is Freedom) appears on Fridays. Sheldon Richman, author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute. He is also a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.

Become a Free Association patron today!

Friday, June 29, 2018

TGIF: Why Palestine Matters


Why does Palestine matter? It's a question I ask myself nearly every day. Another way to put it is, "Is the devotion of major attention to the plight of the Palestinians an obsession worthy of suspicion or an appropriate response to a grave historic and continuing injustice? 
No one will be surprised when I reply that major attention is an appropriate response. Palestine matters and should matter. I will try to explain why.

Read TGIF at The Libertarian Institute.

TGIF (The Goal Is Freedom) appears on Fridays. Sheldon Richman, author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute. He is also a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.

Become a Free Association patron today!

Friday, June 22, 2018

TGIF: What Does Trump Have Against Children?

 
I hate the children being taken away.
--Donald Trump
Finally, a tweet we can believe. He does seem to hate those children. Trump does seem to hate those immigrant children; he must because they’re part of the “infestation” he’s so alarmed about.
Read TGIF at The Libertarian Institute.

TGIF (The Goal Is Freedom) appears on Fridays. Sheldon Richman, author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute. He is also a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.

Become a Free Association patron today!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fiddler on the Roof with a New Ending


Tevye the dairyman is packing his family's belongings because the tsar has just expelled the Jews from Anatevka. As he prepares to leave, a younger resident of the shtetl says, "Reb Tevye, look at the bright side. Beginning in about 50 years, our descendants will do the same thing to the people of Palestine. Won't that be wonderful?"

 Tevye smacks the kid in the face, sheds a tear, and heads for New York.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Logical Flaw in Immigration Law

Apart from the obvious rights violation, I see a serious flaw at the very root of immigration law. Let's begin with an indisputable point: no law passed by Congress and signed by a president applies to people on the far side of a US border. Logically, that must include laws against entering the US. Since the US government has no jurisdiction over people in, say, Mexico, someone who crosses the southern border cannot do so illegally because the law in question did not apply to that person when he or she was crossing. No jurisdiction, no illegal entry. That's just logic.

Well, the immigration-control enthusiast may respond, we can change the law to say that no one can stay in the US without papers signifying permission to do so from the proper authorities. (Leave aside the general question of proper authority.) Now we have a new problem. According to this position, Person A, having been born here, needs no permission, but person B, having been born elsewhere, does need permission and can be expelled without it.

But that's discrimination by the government and thus a violation of equality under the law, a core liberal value (as long there are governments making laws). On what basis is that discrimination perpetrated? On the basis of birthplace -- hardly one that can withstand rational scrutiny. No one is harmed -- in the sense of having his or her rights violated -- merely because someone who was not born here resides in the US without government permission. No harm, no foul. The policy is simply vicious discrimination.

I remind the constitutionalists that their beloved document makes no reference to birthplace in its clauses related to rights. Rights and protections against their violation are said to apply to persons, not citizens. See the Fourth Amendment. All persons, no matter their birthplace, have the same rights.

Therefore, all legislative diktats relevant to immigration control fail the test of reason and should be stricken forthwith. No US law could have been broken by the entry, and on the matter of who can stay here, the government has no good grounds to discriminate between people who were born here and people who were not.

Friday, June 15, 2018

TGIF: Trump, North Korea, and Iran

As one of the original settlers of the sparsely populated territory situated between the deranged and warring states of Antitrumplandia and Philotrumplandia, I'm breathing easier today. 
Anyone who longs for peace can only welcome what Trump and Kim did in Singapore this week. It's just the beginning, of course, and things could go south at any time, but -- and this shouldn't have to be said -- it's preferable to the other available alternatives. Trump's earlier threats were insanely reckless and risky, and I stand by that judgment. One cannot point to Tuesday as proof that Trump's initial stance was reasonable. No person with a gram of historical knowledge -- not to mention moral decency -- can think that peace-making required a threat to visit "fire and fury" on an entire society. In fact, Trump's threat did not get Kim to the table; on the contrary, Kim's nuclear tests
and South Korean President Moon got Trump to the table.
Read TGIF at The Libertarian Institute.

TGIF (The Goal Is Freedom) appears on Fridays. Sheldon Richman, author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute. He is also a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.

Become a Free Association patron today!