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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

As Usual, Adam Smith Had It Largely Right

I'm an anarchist, but I still like this from Adam Smith (1755), a lovely man, indeed:
Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. All governments which thwart this natural course, which force things into another channel, or which endeavour to arrest the progress of society at a particular point, are unnatural, and to support themselves are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical.
By comparison with today, how nice does "peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice" sound? 


SB said...

I agree Sheldon. As some have said, we can all agree to get down to at least that point, and once there, argue about the rest.

Have you read James Otteson's books Actual Ethics and End of Socialism? He relies heavily on Smith in defense of the classical liberal position. I've always liked Smith's "man of system" quote. Lovely stuff indeed.

Sheldon Richman said...

I've not read those books, but I am familiar with Jim's interest in Adam Smith. I published Jim in The Freeman on that subject, including this.