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.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Limited Government

Can a polity bind itself with a knot so complex that it can't untie it? I've long wondered about that. The theory of the state offers many puzzles that can fascinate but that in the end are insoluable. Here's one from James Madison, Federalist 51:
You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
Well, good luck. Anthony de Jasay has devoted his scholarly career to showing that, logically, this is a lost cause. Madison was supposed to be a pretty smart fellow. Why didn't he realize that his maxim is hopeless?

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