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.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One Down, Thousands to Go

Jack Abramoff, the high-powered Republican lobbyist, has pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy to bribe public officials. (He also pleaded to tax evasion; I'll let that one go.) Okay, fine. But what bugs me about this kind of story is that there's a implied standard of conduct that the illegal activity has supposedly deviated from. The scale of Abramoff's activities might have been extraordinary and his e-mail trail unusually contemptuous of the clients he was bilking. But when you consider that the state exists precisely to transfer wealth from producers to nonproducers, what did Abramoff actually do that was unusual besides grab too much too brazenly? As Michael Kinsley once said, it's not the illegal activity in Washington that is so shocking. It's the legal activity.

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