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, April 04, 2014

TGIF: In Praise of "Thick" Libertarianism

I continue to have trouble believing that the libertarian philosophy is concerned only with the proper and improper uses of force.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

thombrogan said...

Dear Mr. Richman,

My arrogant opinion is that you associate Libertarianism with anti-authoritarianism and I suspect you do so precisely because anti-authoritarianism rejects the violence (physical, mental, and spiritual) that authoritarianism needs to exist.

If there was no negative consequence for ignoring authority (no police dogs and fire hoses to abuse anti-segregationists; no torture chambers for anti-monarchists), authority would be ignored.

To an extent, a group of bigots could theoretically obtain enough pieces of contiguous property in a freed market to form an oasis of ignorance in the desert sandstorms of change, but how long would it last? It's not unlikely that a large group of bigots would like to live together with others of their kind, but it is unlikely that all would remain the same sorts of bigots they were at their commune's founding and even more unlikely they would ever be able to produce enough goods and services to satisfy their commune's ceaseless list of desires without trading with people outside the commune.

Some members of the bigot commune may feel resentful that they have to exchange their group's priceless lucre for necessities supplied by outsiders, but others may feel astonished and amazed by how those others produced the needed goods and services so well and at such affordable rates. A psychic tide of xenophobia and xenophilia would likely ebb, flow, and erode the shoreline of the group's original beliefs. Of course, we are talking about humans, so even worse beliefs can replace the original bad beliefs, but so can better beliefs.

As you and your friends remind us in so many ways in so many essays: Markets Undermine Privilege I believe that principle would work even quicker against bigotry in a freed market.