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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.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Where Is the Constitution?

The question in the title is not like "Who's buried in Grant's tomb?" The answer isn't the National Archives. I mean the real constitution -- the set of attitudes that reflect what Americans will accept as legitimate actions by the people in government. Those tacit "rules" are the real constitution, not a piece of parchment behind glass somewhere or a booklet in someone's pocket. This real constitution more or less makes the written Constitution what it is at any given time. When Peter Finley Dunne's Mr. Dooley said that "th' Supreme Court follows th' illiction returns," he was only a little off.
Read the rest of my latest TGIF column at the Foundation for Economic Education website.

Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.


Larry Ruane said...

Very good article. Georgetown University professor John Hasnas makes a similar point in his article, "The Myth of the Rule of Law"


Besides making many excellent points, this paper is very entertaining to read.

Sheldon Richman said...

Hasnas's paper is excellent! Thanks.