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, December 23, 2016

Transcendental Meditation

I love when dichotomies are transcended. The world abounds in false alternatives:

rationalism/empiricism
nominalism/realism
materialism/idealism
analytic/synthetic
deontology/consequentialism
dualism/reductionism

In this holiday season, may all your bogus dichotomies be transcended. (Read more here.)

Things-in-Something Else?

My newest least-favorite phrase in the English language is things-in-themselves. Oh the fallacies packed into that innocuous-looking phrase. There is no such thing as things-in-something else, and it cannot be that to have a specific method of perceiving reality ipso facto means one cannot perceive reality. (See two posts by Roderick Long here and here).

Friday, December 16, 2016

TGIF: What's a Secular Heretic to Do?

Secular and religion-based political systems can bear an uncanny resemblance. Observing their respective dogmas, catechisms, and sacraments, we might even wonder, with William Cavanaugh, whether the divide is as sharp as we commonly think. Recent events certainly call the distinction into question. We see that a secularist can be as much a fanatic who is willing to denounce heresy and impose his will through violence as any religionist.

Read the article here.

TGIF (The Goal Is Freedom) appears on Fridays. Sheldon Richman, author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute. He is also a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. Become a Free Association patron today!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ralph Raico, RIP


My old friend and mentor Ralph Raico has died. He was 80. I cannot adequately describe how much I learned from him over the years: about liberalism, about how to be a historian, about how to lecture, about how to be an honest scholar. I will miss his wisdom, his humor, his encyclopedic knowledge. I will cherish many good memories.

Several of his lectures are online. A good place to start is here:

Commerce Promotes Peace, But ...

"They who propose to influence by force the traffic of the world, forget that affairs of trade, like matters of conscience, change their very nature if touched by the hand of violence; for as faith, if forced, would no longer be religion, but hypocrisy, so commerce becomes robbery if coerced by warlike armaments."
--Richard Cobden

Friday, December 09, 2016

TGIF: Trump, Carrier, and the Corporate State

Should free-market advocates applaud the deal Donald Trump brokered to keep some Carrier jobs from being transferred to Mexico? I believe the right answer is no.

Read the rest at The Libertarian Institute.

TGIF (The Goal Is Freedom) appears on Fridays. Sheldon Richman, author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute. He is also a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. Become a Free Association patron today!

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Climate-Change Bigotry

If someone is A) skeptical about climate-change alarmist claims and B) favorable to the use of fossil fuels, why do the media and others automatically assume that B is the cause of A rather than the other way around? This is a form of bigotry: no one can doubt alarmist claims without being either corrupt or anti-science.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Trump and JFK's "Fascist New Frontier"

In his speech at Fayetteville, NC, yesterday Donald Trump said:
Our men and women in uniform represent the absolute best of us. We must follow their example working in unison toward a shared goal across every social, racial and economic line. They understand that to accomplish the mission we must all be pulling in the same direction. We have to get together.
Read that carefully and let it sink it. I'm reminded of Ayn Rand's debunking of JFK and what she called the "Fascist New Frontier." (See George Smith's "Ayn Rand on Fascism.")

Friday, December 02, 2016

TGIF: Thank You, Donald Trump

We advocates of liberty owe Donald Trump a great debt of gratitude. Thanks to Trump it is clearer than ever that most people who call themselves conservatives, and not just those who have lined up with Trump, are no cousins of ours. (There are honorable exceptions, but alas far too few.) Freedom is not on their list of priorities. Neither (of course) is free enterprise. Nor civil liberties. And I need not mention war, peace, and empire. (Trump is no dove or anti-imperialist.)

What apparently matters most is National Greatness, that is, rank nationalism -- even among many conservatives who don't like Trump and who opposed his candidacy. (They merely doubt that Trump is really one of them.) But National Greatness is simply shorthand for conservative violations of liberty. As the Jeffersonian Abraham Bishop said in 1800, after witnessing a decade of Federalist (i.e., Hamiltonian) rule: "A nation that makes greatness its polestar can never be free; beneath national greatness sink individual greatness, honor, wealth and freedom."

Read the rest at The Libertarian Institute.

TGIF (The Goal Is Freedom) appears on Fridays. Sheldon Richman, author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute. He is also a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. Become a Free Association patron today!