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, January 20, 2009

The Peaceful Transfer of Violent Power

At the risk of raining on the parade, I suggest that the inaugural festivities are not what they appear. Barack Obama says the pomp and circumstance are not about him but are a celebration of democracy. “For the forty-third time, we will execute the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next,” he said.

He’s right, but not quite as he meant it. The peaceful transition from the Bush to the Obama regime is indeed the occasion, but let’s focus on exactly what is being transferred. Despite the oratory about hope, change, and renewal, government — as someone, perhaps George Washington, said — “is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force.” If that is right — and I contend it is — then in the inauguration we have the irony of a peaceful transfer of something that is anything but peaceful: the legal power to use physical force.

This is something to celebrate?

The rest of my op-ed, "The Peaceful Transfer of Violent Power," is at The Future of Freedom Foundation website.


Mimi said...

Excellent post. I read it all on the Future of Freedom Foundation web site and quoted part on my blog. Thanks.

Lucy Stag said...

Thank you so much for continuing to write essays like this. I'm stuck in a unexpectedly liberal college that becomes utterly intolerable on election and inauguration days.

Add that to my mandatory class which has so far consisted of Robert Bellah's communitarian propaganda and the rest of the classes' hearty agreement (meet the new left...Love it or Leave it in fashion at last! Dodging the draft and civil disobedience violate the social contract!) and constantly being told not be such a cynic about politics, and it's lovely to remember there are people there who assume the worst about government and know its true nature.