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, September 27, 2011

The Purpose of Government

I pause when people write, "The purpose of government is to protect life, liberty, and property." What are those words worth? If we judge by history, it appears that the purpose of government is exploitation of the industrious classes for the benefit of some ruling class. The root of the confusion is that governments traditionally have accorded some measure of protection for life, liberty, and property through police, courts, and defense against invaders. But this is perfectly consistent with the exploitation theory. Why wouldn't the ruling class want the industrious classes to be dependent on government for protection against criminals and for peaceful resolution of disputes? And why wouldn't it want to keep out invaders so that it may have unrivaled access to the revenue extracted from the subjugated population?

So why overlook the fundamental and seek government's purpose in secondary things?


MarkZ said...

It's even worse than that. These services are a mirage. The poor don't have (realistic) access to the court system; are usually the victims of the police, not the recipients of their services; and are usually the ones killed or maimed in wars, and not the ones who profit from them. It'd be one thing if these "protections" were even offered to the rest of us. But, in fact, we're less safe because of them.

Anonymous said...

It's not exactly that, they are terribly afraid that a fair and impartial arbiter would consistently rule against them. They are terribly afraid that people might figure out to to defend themselves from criminal in any form.

Kevin said...

Doesn't bureaucracy usually create the problems it claims to want to fix? Like the dog that can never catch its tail, bureaucracy is continually getting bigger and bigger to fix the problem of more bureaucracy, which was created to fix the problem of more bureaucracy, which was created to fix the problem of more bureaucracy...

Kevin said...

Senator William Borah :
Bureaucracy. "I do not call this Naziism. God forbid! I do not claim it is Fascism or Communism. It is none of these. It is simply that meddlesome, irritating, confusing, undermining, destructive thing called bureaucracy. It is that form of government which steals away man's rights in the name of the public interests and taxes him to death in the name of recovery.
"Of all forms of government which has ever been permitted to torture the human family, the most burdensome, the most expensive, the most demoralizing, the most devastating to human happiness and the most destructive of human values is a bureaucracy. It has destroyed every civilization upon which it has fastened its lecherous grip."
Time Magazine July 16, 1934