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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Holy Cow!

Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.
--Solicitor General Elena Kagan,
Argument in U.S. v. Stevens
Obama nominee for U.S. Supreme Court.

(HT: Matt Welch)

5 comments:

Andrew said...

I understand how that idea could get out of hand, but isn't that just describing the idea that its illegal to shout fire in a crowded movie theater?

Sheldon Richman said...

That is not a case of weighing societal interests in a case of free speech. That's a case of protecting a theater owner and his contractual customers from false alarms.

Adam said...

Didn't Rothbard write that that Holmes misunderstood property rights with that example?

Sheldon Richman said...

Yes, he did.

Samson said...

Sometimes, shouting fire in a crowded movie theater is an act of heroism that saves lives.

Its seems a very bad idea to ban it, as if the building is on fire I would surely appreciate someone doing just that.