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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, June 15, 2018

TGIF: Trump, North Korea, and Iran

As one of the original settlers of the sparsely populated territory situated between the deranged and warring states of Antitrumplandia and Philotrumplandia, I'm breathing easier today. 
Anyone who longs for peace can only welcome what Trump and Kim did in Singapore this week. It's just the beginning, of course, and things could go south at any time, but -- and this shouldn't have to be said -- it's preferable to the other available alternatives. Trump's earlier threats were insanely reckless and risky, and I stand by that judgment. One cannot point to Tuesday as proof that Trump's initial stance was reasonable. No person with a gram of historical knowledge -- not to mention moral decency -- can think that peace-making required a threat to visit "fire and fury" on an entire society. In fact, Trump's threat did not get Kim to the table; on the contrary, Kim's nuclear tests
and South Korean President Moon got Trump to the table.
Read TGIF 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!

Friday, June 08, 2018

TGIF: Separation, Not Association, Requires Force

Whenever I write about Palestine, Israel, and Zionism -- especially when I point out that American Reform Jews en masse gagged on the thought that America was not their "homeland"; they insisted they were Jewish Americans not American Jews -- I am lectured on Facebook about how "keeping to one's own kind" is a natural inclination and that inclusion, not exclusion, requires aggression. We shouldn't be surprised, then, that alt-right-types who may dislike Jews nevertheless respect their expressed desire to live among themselves in a Jewish State. Why wouldn't the alt-right take this position? Israel is a (pseudo)ethno-state. It is identitarianism run amok.
Read TGIF 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!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

51 Years of Israeli Occupation


This is the 51st anniversary of Israel's 1967 war against Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and the Palestinians. The so-called Six-Day War began the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and Sinai peninsula, which was eventually relinquished by Israel. It also continued the ethnic cleansing of Palestine that began around 1948.

After more than half a century, should we continue to call this an occupation? Israel has annexed the West Bank, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem for those the state regards as Jews. The Gaza Strip is a prison camp into the which the guards do not go, preferring to gun down protesting prisoners and medics from a safe distance outside the fence while the authorities fully control the ingress and egress of people and goods like building materials, medicines, and other vital things. Every so often the Israeli Air Force bombs Gaza to smithereens.

Contrary to popular myth, it was not a defensive war on Israel's part. The top Israeli political and military leaders knew there was no existential threat to the country. For one thing, the leading Arab power, Egypt under President Nasser, was embroiled in a civil war in Yemen, not an opportune time to start a war with Israel.

But rather than rehearse the facts, I list here some pertinent articles I published in the early 1990s.

"Israel's 1967 Attack Was Aggression; Israel's Current Occupation Is Illegal"

 "The Golan Heights: A History of Israeli Aggression"

"US Journalists Consistently Ignore Israeli State Terrorism"

"'Who is a Jew' Matters in Israel"

 Here's a more recent account from Zena Tahhan, "The Naksa: How Israel Occupied the Whole of Palestine in 1967." See also Ramzy Baroud, "The Colonization of Palestine: Rethinking the Term 'Israeli Occupation.'"

Saturday, June 02, 2018

The Decent Must Weep

Razan al-Najjar, 21
Razan al-Najjar, 21, a paramedic helping injured protesters in the Gaza Strip, was murdered by what Benjamin Netanyahu insists the Palestinians recognize as the State of the Jewish People.
How, in these conditions, can individuals who are not religious believers but simply humanists, democrats and liberals, and endowed with a minimum of honesty, continue to define themselves as Jews? 
--Shlomo Sand, How I Stopped Being a Jew
Let us not cast the blame on the murderers today. Why should we deplore their burning hatred for us? For eight years they have been sitting in the refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we have been transforming the lands and the villages, where they and their fathers dwelt, into our estate.
--Israeli Gen. Moshe Dayan

Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu'a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population. 
--Israeli Gen. Moshe Dayan

Friday, June 01, 2018

TGIF: How the US Created Israel and a Whole Lot of Trouble

Calvin Coolidge Signs Bigoted Immigration Act of 1924

Shlomo Sand, a remarkable scholar who studies how "peoples," including the Jewish people, have been invented through myths propagated by court historians and politicians, makes a startling yet obvious connection in his book The Invention of the Land of Israel (2014):

In fact, it was the United States' refusal, between the anti-immigration legislation of 1924 and the year 1948, to accept the victims of European Judeophobic persecution that enabled decision makers to channel somewhat more significant numbers of Jews toward the Middle East. Absent this stern anti-immigration policy, it is doubtful whether the State of Israel could have been established. [Emphasis added.]

Read TGIF 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!