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.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Minarchists Are Ultimately Hobbesians

In the Hobbesian tradition of political thought, the likelihood that conventions of property and contract will spontaneously emerge and be protected by the voluntary defensive action of those benefiting from the conventions is never envisaged, and the task is entrusted to Leviathan, despite ample evidence that such conventions have since time immemorial been deeply anchored in people’s consciousness and conduct. Hume, I believe, was the first to recognise that conventions, including those regarding property and the keeping of reciprocal promises (i.e. contracts), exist and are the outcome of spontaneous rational conduct. He implicitly but clearly scotches the Hobbesian idea of a need for Leviathan when he says “…the stability of possession, its translation by consent and the performance of promises. These are…antecedent to government.”

The complete set of conventional rules banning torts against life, limb and property, nuisances, and incivilities is neither imposed nor sponsored by authority. Nor is it the outcome of bargaining. It constitutes ordered anarchy.

No comments: