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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, April 21, 2017

TGIF: The Only Solution to the Trumps’ Conflicts of Interest

Pundits at CNN and other news outlets are much distressed over the report that Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories company won trademark recognition from the government of China just as that country’s president was sitting down with President Trump and the First Daughter for dinner at Mar-a-Lago.

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!

Dodd-Frank Only Makes Things Worse

My latest article at the American Institute for Economic Research is "Dodd-Frank Only Makes Things Worse."

Friday, April 14, 2017

TGIF: What a Perverse Presidential Incentive System!

All I can say is, we’ve got a hell of a political system on our hands when the surest way for a president to win the adoration of those who thought him a dangerous, ignorant, narcissistic, erratic, and bullshitting blowhard yesterday is to drop a bomb or fire a cruise missile today.

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!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Will Grigg: Principled, Committed, Indefatigable

Unfortunately, I never met Will Grigg, our managing editor at The Libertarian Institute. I will always regret that. Our only direct contact was by phone during several conference calls in which he, Scott Horton, Jared Labell, and I hatched our little conspiracy on behalf of liberty. We also had some exchanges on Facebook, long before The Libertarian Institute was a twinkle in Scott's eye. Before that, I knew of him only through Scott's interviews with him and his blog, Pro Libertate.

But despite the paucity of personal contact, Will certainly make a lasting impression on me. He had that effect on people. How could he not? His work shines forth with unrelenting research, deep understanding, immovable integrity, and precise, compelling prose. He inspired readers with every meticulously chosen noun, verb, adjective, and adverb. He enriched our lives.

Will's love of liberty, justice, and truth knew no bounds. No one exposed the outrages of the "criminal justice" (sic) system better than he. No one worked harder to uncover the facts. No one was more implacable in judging those facts in the light of the goodness of freedom and the evil of the state. He is gone now, but I will continue to learn from him and the great work he left us.

Will Grigg will be missed by many. We honor him best by continuing his work.

Goodbye, friend.

Will Grigg (1963-2017)

Will Grigg, RIP

Will Grigg, a great friend of liberty and justice, and a co-founder of The Libertarian Institute, not to mention a loving husband and father, died yesterday at 54. He will be missed.

See tributes here, here, and here.

(More to come.)

Understanding Trade

My latest article at the American Institute for Economic Research is "Understanding Trade." Please check it out.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Chesterton on the Maniac

And if great reasoners are often maniacal, it is equally true that maniacs are commonly great reasoners. When I was engaged in a controversy with the CLARION on the matter of free will, that able writer Mr. R.B.Suthers said that free will was lunacy, because it meant causeless actions, and the actions of a lunatic would be causeless. I do not dwell here upon the disastrous lapse in determinist logic. Obviously if any actions, even a lunatic's, can be causeless, determinism is done for. If the chain of causation can be broken for a madman, it can be broken for a man. But my purpose is to point out something more practical. It was natural, perhaps, that a modern Marxian Socialist should not know anything about free will. But it was certainly remarkable that a modern Marxian Socialist should not know anything about lunatics. Mr. Suthers evidently did not know anything about lunatics. The last thing that can be said of a lunatic is that his actions are causeless. If any human acts may loosely be called causeless, they are the minor acts of a healthy man; whistling as he walks; slashing the grass with a stick; kicking his heels or rubbing his hands. It is the happy man who does the useless things; the sick man is not strong enough to be idle. It is exactly such careless and causeless actions that the madman could never understand; for the madman (like the determinist) generally sees too much cause in everything. The madman would read a conspiratorial significance into those empty activities. He would think that the lopping of the grass was an attack on private property. He would think that the kicking of the heels was a signal to an accomplice. If the madman could for an instant become careless, he would become sane. Every one who has had the misfortune to talk with people in the heart or on the edge of mental disorder, knows that their most sinister quality is a horrible clarity of detail; a connecting of one thing with another in a map more elaborate than a maze. If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.
--G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy 

Friday, April 07, 2017

TGIF: The Bogosity of Trump's "America First"

It says something about the complexity of language (and me perhaps) that I took so long to realize that Donald Trump’s “America First” slogan, which I found off-putting from the start, consists of the same words as the name of the pre-World War II organization I’ve respected for decades.

The same phrase coming from Trump and John T. Flynn, author of the must-read anti-fascist work As We Go Marching, has two different meanings for me, as though the very words were different.

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, April 05, 2017

Trump Changes His Mind about Assad

In his news conference with King Abdullah of Jordan today, President Trump said that since the chemical attack in Syria, "my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much." He boasted of his "flexibility" in the face of change. All of this suggests his willingness to destroy President Bashar al-Assad's regime, something he has opposed until now. In other words, it will be war

He also bashed President Obama again for not solving this problem when Assad was believed to have crossed Obama's red line with the use of chemical weapons. Trump has yet to acknowledge that in 2013 via Twitter he warned Obama not to attack Syria because it would have disastrous consequences.

At any rate, Trump seems to have boxed himself in. If he doesn't attack, his current criticism of Obama will look ridiculous. Can he allow that?

Meanwhile, the bin Ladenites in Syria and ISIS are licking their chops.

Hey, wait a minute!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Latest Articles

My latest articles, "Separating Culture and State" and "Abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," appear at the website of the American Institute for Economic Research.

A Day that Should Live in Infamy

It's been 100 years since Woodrow Wilson committed the blunder of the 20th century by taking the United States into what was then known as the Great War in Europe. Enabling the Allies to win what would later become known as World War I, and to dictate humiliating terms to Germany at the Paris Peace Conference, set the stage for Hitler and the Nazis less than 20 years later and a new world war six years after that. It was really just one war with an intermission.

I wrote about what US entry meant domestically here.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Getting It Straight

“Production is the sole end and purpose of all consumption.”
–Donald Trump (not in so many words)

TGIF: Trump Never Was a Noninterventionist

Can Donald Trump’s foreign policy “doctrine” and presidential actions accurately be described as noninterventionist? Strangely, Glenn Greenwald thinks so. In “Trump’s War on Terror Has Quickly Become as Barbaric and Savage as He Promised,” Greenwald writes, “Trump explicitly ran as a ‘non-interventionist’ — denouncing, for instance, U.S. regime change wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria (even though he at some points expressed support for the first two). Many commentators confused ‘non-interventionism’ with ‘pacifism,’ leading many of them — to this very day — to ignorantly claim that Trump’s escalated war on terror bombing is in conflict with his advocacy of non-interventionism. It is not.”

I’m a big fan of Greenwald’s work, but I believe he is among the confused here.

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!