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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, 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!

Friday, June 08, 2018

TGIF: Separation, Not Association, Requires Force

Whenever I write about Palestine, Israel, and Zionism -- especially when I point out that American Reform Jews en masse gagged on the thought that America was not their "homeland"; they insisted they were Jewish Americans not American Jews -- I am lectured on Facebook about how "keeping to one's own kind" is a natural inclination and that inclusion, not exclusion, requires aggression. We shouldn't be surprised, then, that alt-right-types who may dislike Jews nevertheless respect their expressed desire to live among themselves in a Jewish State. Why wouldn't the alt-right take this position? Israel is a (pseudo)ethno-state. It is identitarianism run amok.
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!