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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, February 24, 2017

TGIF: In Defense of Extreme Cosmopolitanism

Cosmopolitanism is under assault from across the political spectrum, both in the United States and abroad. Just yesterday President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, alt-right leader and self-described economic nationalist Steve Bannon, told the Conservative Political Action Conference that “the center core of what we believe [is] that we’re a nation with an economy, not an economy in some global marketplace with open borders, but we’re a nation with a culture and a reason for being,” This is a false alternative of course, but Bannon’s preference for nationalist tribalism is revealing.

The rejection of cosmopolitanism is bad for liberty, peace, and prosperity because they all go hand in hand.

Read the rest 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, February 10, 2017

TGIF: "Isolationist" Trump Rattles His Saber

A few libertarians and other principled opponents of the warfare state assured us we likely would sleep easier with Donald Trump, rather than any neoconservative or humanitarian interventionist, in the White House. How's that working out? Not so well. I'm hoarding melatonin and buying stock in Lunesta.

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, February 03, 2017

TGIF: Trump's Blueprint for More Government

Donald Trump remains blinded -- willfully or not I cannot say -- by his absurd narrative of America as an aggrieved nation. It's a narrative that will stimulate the growth, rather than the diminution, of government power.

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!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Nationalism and Religion

Nationalism is religion -- or, to put it in a less-biased form, nationalism and religion are two members of the same family. Is there reason to prefer violence in the name of the former over violence in the name of the latter? (See William Cavanaugh's The Myth of Religion Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict.)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Podcast Interview

Liam Cardenas interviewed me for his podcast. Watch it here.

Friday, January 27, 2017

TGIF: Trump Nation

Did Donald Trump on Inauguration Day intend to remind us of the European despotisms of the last century?

Who could miss signs? They adorned from the speech from brim to dottle with its invocations of solidarity, unity of purpose, devotion, patriotism, "loyalty to our country ... and to each other," "total allegiance," national striving, nationalism, and assurances that the state would protect us from enemies -- including even those would bestow low-priced goods on us. Then, to boot, he followed it all up with a decree that the day be known as the “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.”

Where the hell are we? And what year is it?

Read the full 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, January 26, 2017

Trump's Wall and the Assault on Private Property

The Washington Post's article on Donald Trump's border wall does something unusual: it takes into account Trump's planned assault on property owners along the Mexican border. Note:
In Texas, almost all of the land along the border is privately owned. When former President George W. Bush tried to build border fencing starting in 2006 he faced stiff opposition from local ranchers and farmers, many of whom took the government to court on plans to use their land.   
In many areas along the Rio Grande the fencing is built well inside the United States, as far as a mile north of the Rio Grande, to ensure that the structure doesn’t interfere with the flow of the river or is built on solid ground.... [Emphasis added.] 
A popular golf course near the border in Brownsville was cut off from the rest of the city by border fencing and was forced to close in 2015.
Trump's wall will face the same facts, but Trump doesn't regard this as an obstacle. Let's remember that he has tried to use eminent domain for his own projects, and he praised the Kelo case, when the U.S Supreme Court said government's may take private property to benefit private companies. The article quotes Republican Rep. Will Hurd, "whose sprawling West Texas swing district encompasses more than 800 miles of the border. 'Many areas in my district are perfect examples of where a wall is unnecessary and would negatively impact the environment, private property rights and economy.'" (Emphasis added.)

 Trump is a nationalist -- and therefore no friend of liberty.

 See John Oliver's deconstruction of Trump's proposal.