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.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Cure for Governmment Failure? More Government

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the following today:
Despite 70 years of federal effort to address the imbalance, rural America remains significantly less prosperous than urban America, prompting new thinking about how to stem its decline.

The "new thinking" is entirely about how government might finally get it right.

Maybe it's me, but if private-sector efforts had failed at something for 70 years (or a lot less time than that), we'd be flooded with demands for the government to do something. But here we have a case where governments have failed miserably after all that time and what we're flooded with is . . . demands that government do something.

As Albert Jay Nock wrote in Our Enemy, the State (1935), "It is a curious anomaly. State power has an unbroken record of inability to do anything efficiently, economically, disinterestedly or honestly; yet when the slightest dissatisfaction arises over any exercise of social power, the aid of the agent least qualified to give aid is immediately called for."

Of course the case at hand is worse than the kind Nock alludes to because the failure is clearly government's.

(Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.)

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