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, March 11, 2012

The Purpose of Government

The idea that "the purpose" of government  is or ever was the protection of rights is a fetter on the libertarian mind, holding it back from embracing the full logical implications of its premises. As earlier libertarians understood, the purpose of the State was/is the exploitation of honest labor (including that performed by entrepreneurs).

4 comments:

shemsky said...

That James Madison quote you site above and your response to it pretty much says it all, Sheldon.

Anonymous said...

despite the apparent obviousness of this claim to you and the first commenter, some elaboration would be nice for others...

MarkZ said...

On a related note, I guess the SOPA protests didn't matter after all. Now the companies are being shaken down behind the scenes, and are "voluntarily" implementing the same thing.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/03/15/american-isps-to-launch-massive-copyright-spying-scheme-on-july-12

When people say they need government to prevent collusion, I wonder if they ever considered government-sanctioned collusion like this?

Sheldon Richman said...

Anon, I was responding to the libertarian cliche that "the purpose of government is the protection of individual rights." Where is that purpose recorded? Is has not been the case historically, so what does the statement mean?