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.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Constitution or Liberty

If the foundation of our case for liberty is nothing more than the Constitution -- rather than natural-law justice -- we will continue to be trumped by our opponents. After all, the Constitution was in effect all during the time the national government expanded and liberty shrank. As Lysander Spooner wrote, the Constitution "has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it." Liberty's champions have to come to terms with that logic.
The rest of the newest TGIF, "The Constitution or Liberty," is at the Foundation for Economic Foundation website.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The constitution was a compomise, no doubt, between some who wanted a far stronger government and others who were wary of such a government. Nevertheless, as the Ron Paul campaign shows, the constitution is a great political stick to use, at least with the masses. And it may be the ONLY perceived common ground we have to rally others to our cause. Whether his position carries any weight in the academic world, I have no idea.

Sheldon Richman said...

Anon: The Constitution is just as easily used by the advocates of big government. No one ever says, "Ignore the Constitution." He or she claims the Constitution for support. Weak arguments get us nowhere. Why shouldn't the masses believe that the "general welfare" includes assistance in getting health insurance?

Jimi G said...

"No one ever says, "Ignore the Constitution." He or she claims the Constitution for support.

Just as no Christian ever says, "Ignore the Bible." The Bible is used for support.

Politics = Religion

Atheists and Anarchists Untie!

D. Saul Weiner said...

People (laymen and intellectuals) can always rationalize what they want to believe, but those who are concerned with what is going on in this country and are open-minded are taking Ron Paul's message to heart. Consider this post from the LRC Blog in response to remarks made by Jonah Goldberg and Tucker Carlson about supporters who allegedly do not support or appreciate many of Paul's positions:

December 11, 2007
Ron Paul Democrats and the Constitution
Posted by Lew Rockwell at December 11, 2007 08:58 PM

Writes Luis Almeida: "I wanted to share my thoughts on Jonah Goldberg's article in the National Review. I think Goldberg highly underestimates 'the left's' support of Dr. Paul.

"Mr. Goldberg implies that the left is supporting Ron Paul merely because his anti-war positions are convenient. He is mistaken. Ron Paul Democrats have come to a crystal clear understanding that the Constitution must be defended at all costs. We now truly understand that the Constitution grants and protects our Civil Liberties. Ron Paul has made us into defenders of the Constitution. Even at the cost of changing our view on roe v. wade or the right to bear arms.

"Ron Paul is the first conservative that rings true to a whole generation of 'liberals'. He has dug up and shown us the root problem with America. What ails us is a blatant disregard for the Constitution. We can see that now. Sure, there are probably "liberal" Ron Paul supporters that are uncomfortable with a person's right to bear arms, but that Ron Paul supporter now understands that the right to bear arms is protected by the Constitution. We understand that to erode that right is to erode the very document that grants us all our rights. We are now prepared to accept the responsibility of having to amend the constitution in order to change what we don't like. At least Mr. Goldberg does not accuse us of being stupid, as Tucker Carlson recently did when he stated Dr. Paul's support from the left is based on ignorance. We are neither ignorant nor looking for a candidate of convenience. We have digested Dr. Paul's positions. We've adopted them and we are now staunch defenders of the Constitution.

"It is also very comforting to see Mr. Goldberg move on and defend war and deny the American empire. It reminds us Democrats of how sickened we were by people we thought were 'republicans'. It reminds us that there are people still inside the bubble that are willing to argue that our Civil Liberties have not been eroded. People that are willing to bring up the Corn Laws of 1846 and forget to mention the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This nonsenses girds the loins of every revolutionary."

Charles Johnson (Rad Geek) said...

Sheldon: The Constitution is just as easily used by the advocates of big government. No one ever says, "Ignore the Constitution."

Well, I do. And now you can too, for just $17.99.