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.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Republican Albatross

At lunch I watched Jonathan Alter of Newsweek interviewed on MSNBC about his latest column in which he writes a near-obituary for the McCain campaign. He attributes the state of the campaign to McCain's failure to "break not just from Bush, but from the rotting corpse of his party." Instead, Alter says, he's fighting the last war, which won't work because, among other reasons, "the free-market party of Reagan is dead (thanks to the financial crisis)."

Free-market party? A free-market party would have abolished Fannie and Freddie. It would have renounced the "too big to fail" doctrine. It would have ended all business privileges, along with the regulations (which the GOP left untouched). It would have at least begun to cut spending and borrowing. It would have stopped the deep economic distortion wrought by the military-industrial complex and its war-based imperial foreign policy. Has there been even a tiny movement in these directions?

This is why radical free-market advocates must hope that a Republican never is elected president. The party is an albatross for any champion of individual liberty because no matter what it does to increase the size of the state, its occasional mild lip-service to freedom is all that counts for most people. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did some deregulating, but they are never called laissez-faire advocates.

The bigger the loss for McCain-Palin, the better.


Rorshak (1313) said...

I keep hearing this nonsense that the crisis was caused by the free market we don't have. It's rather annoying.

Joe said...

I still think the best possible election result would be for Obama to get under 50% and McCain under 45% and for third parties to get close to 10%, and best of all, for vote totals to be under 100 million (but that I'm afraid is just wishful thinking).

Lysander Spooner said...

I think the best possible election result would be for Obama to get 50% and McCain to get 50% and for vote totals to be exactly 2 (but I am afraid that is just wishful thinking).

liberranter said...

Would anyone care to wager on whether there will actually be an election?

Bob Murphy said...

Yep, you nailed it Sheldon. Someone should start a magazine devoted to the spread of liberty.

steven said...

Don't the libertarians have an albatross too? Yeah, Butler Shaffer wrote about them - the objectivists. You reminded me of them, Sheldon.

Sheldon Richman said...

How so, Steven?

Liberranter, you're willing to bet there will be no election? You must be wealthy.

Capital idea, Bob. Would you write for it?

steven said...

Butler Shaffer's article is titled "The Libertarian's Albatross", which is very similar to the title of your posting here, Sheldon. And Butler's article is very interesting and thought provoking, as is your posting here.