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.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Freeman, November

The November Freeman is now online. The table of contents is here.


Joel Schlosberg said...

Between this issue and the new blog, FEE is really on a roll!

I've only had the chance to start reading the issue, but I see that it has a lot of good stuff. Concerning Marshall Fritz's article, I'm saddened to be reminded of his passing (the fact that the article still contains Fritz's email address is a reminder of just how recent our loss was), but also pleased that he got the chance for one last salvo against the school system. And I see that Kevin Carson is again going toe-to-toe with his critics in the letters section, following his exchange with Bettina Bien Greaves in September's issue. Weingarten might want to read David Gordon's article from last November's Freeman, in which he lays out the case for land reform on orthodox Rothbardian grounds, specifically taking into account the arguments that such restitution would lead to chaos in practice, and that claims to stolen land would almost all be moot due to lack of specific proof:

"We may imagine another objection at this point.... Is not the system, however logical, of no practical relevance? Most property titles today do not stem by a clear line of transmission from a Lockean first owner. On the contrary, would we not find that many land titles go back to acts of violent dispossession? Would not an attempt to put Rothbard’s system into practice quickly lead to a war of conflicting claims to property?

As usual, Rothbard has thought of the objection himself. He answers that the burden of proof lies on someone who disputes a land title. If he cannot make good his claim, the present possessor owns his land legitimately. If land titles cannot be traced back to an original act of legitimate appropriation, speculation about an original owner and his present descendants is idle.

But what if the objector can make good his claim? Then Rothbard is entirely prepared to follow out the implications of his system. Many landowners in Latin America and elsewhere would in a Rothbardian world find themselves in very much reduced circumstances: '[A] truly free market, a truly libertarian society devoted to justice and property rights, can only be established there [in the underdeveloped world] by ending unjust feudal claims to property. But utilitarian economists, grounded on no ethical theory of property rights, can only fall back on defending whatever status quo happens to exist,' Rothbard writes in Ethics of Liberty."

MZ said...

I'm glad to see an article on the "student loan crisis" and the facade that the college industry hides behind. I only wish the author made a stronger point about the subsidy serving to squash alternative forms of "higher education", which once upon a time included something called "on the job training". Instead it's become a weeding-out system designed to promote the caste system that the state relies so heavily upon.