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.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Time for a new one?


Just Ken said...

It's a good habit for everyone to remember the Declaration of Independence today. I've been reading the Declaration of Independence aloud every 4th of July. It's such a powerful document. The first paragraphs are the clearest compressed statements of libertarian political theory and strategy in print, and are so completelly modern in thinking that it should be read by everyone on this planet.

Jefferson's First Inaugural Address is another of his fine expressions, too, but nothing can compare to the Declaration. There are at least fifty "Declarations" (and probably many more which I am unfamiliar with) which mimic the language, changing this and that to emphasize specific concerns (women's rights, antislavery, etc., etc.) and it is understandable why the Declaration of Independence was used as the model.

As long as people yearn for freedom, the Declaration of Independence will be remembered.

Best to you,
Just Ken

Sheldon Richman said...

True, Ken. Roderick Long has done much to flesh out the "all men are created equal" phrase here.

Todd Andrew Barnett said...

Excellent blog on Independence Day...or what passes as Independence Day these days, Sheldon.

Come to my blog sometime. In fact, you're free to link your blog to mine. I'm updating my blog with entries from July 1 up to today, in fact.

You're more than welcome to post, my friend. Take care. :)

Yours in Liberty,

Todd Andrew Barnett

Sheldon Richman said...

Thanks, Todd. I'll pay a visit.