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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.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What Do You Mean "We"?

To say the least, there is tension between the ideas that we live in a free society and that government may determine whom we may sell to, rent to, and hire. This is the real heart of the immigration debate. Who should decide such things, free individuals or the state?

This question is obscured by the democratic myth. People often say, “We as a nation have the right to decide who comes here and who doesn’t. So we must get control of our borders.” The problem with this is that “we as a nation” don’t do anything. Individuals act, sometimes in concert with other individuals, but collectives do nothing. When we say “the nation does such and such,” we mean a group of politicians calling themselves “the government” and claiming to act for the nation do such and such. It’s true that in a society such as ours people vote for officeholders. But the connection between punching out a chad in a polling station and politicians’ making immigration policy is, shall we say, roundabout. It is so roundabout that it makes no sense at all to say that punching out a chad is the same as determining immigration policy. That’s a fairy tale. It’s time we became men and women and put away childish things.
The rest of my op-ed, "What Do You Mean 'We'?," is here at The Future of Freedom Foundation website.

Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.


Libertarian Jason said...

Great article....or, rather, ANOTHER great article.

I excerpted it on my own blog.

Sheldon Richman said...