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, June 02, 2006

The Governmental Habit

In 1977 the late economic historian Jonathan R. T. Hughes published a book called The Governmental Habit (updated in 1991 as The Governmental Habit Redux). It showed how pervasive government intervention in the economy has been since colonial times. The title captures an important phenomenon. People are in the habit of looking to government -- the only agency that may legally wield or threaten force against non-aggressors -- to get what they want. While earlier generations of Americans were hesitant to ask the local, state, or national government to do certain things (although perhaps not as hesitant as we thought), few modern Americans have any such scruples.

Americans of all classes expect the government (translation: taxpayers) to pick up the tab for services, and the politicians and bureaucrats to compel others to do things they don't want to. Someone must be buying Matthew Lesko's books or he wouldn't keep paying for those irritating television commercials.

People even want the government to do things that are outright dumb, such as compel us to conserve energy.
Read the full article at the website of the Foundation for Economic Education.

Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.

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