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, July 21, 2017

TGIF: On Property and Aggression

Some critics on the left enjoy faulting libertarians for believing that property is a bulwark against aggression. To the libertarian argument that violations of property — including trespasses on land — constitute aggression, these critics respond that property ownership itself is aggression because it limits the freedom of others. Of course, property by nature limits the non-owners’ freedom of action, but not their rights, a distinction lost of these critics. In the libertarian, or radical-liberal, view, if I own a parcel of land, I may rightfully stop others from using it, even from simply walking across it. (Justice requires that the method I use be proportional to the severity of the rights violation. I can’t justly shoot an unthreatening person who merely steps on my land.) Our critics call that aggression. Thus they conclude that libertarians don’t oppose all aggression. Those who make this argument seek to deprive libertarians of the high moral ground by showing that they too favor (certain kinds of) aggression.

I think the fundamental flaw in the argument is that it drops the context in which moral and political philosophy is pursued....

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!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Trump, Putin, Sisi, Salman, and Netanyahu

If Trump were being criticized merely for ignoring Putin's authoritarian rule when Trump speaks about him -- and not for Trump's wish for detente -- I would have no objection. Of course, to be consistent, his critics would also have to fault Trump for how he talks about Sisi, Netanyahu, and wise King Salman.

Friday, July 14, 2017

TGIF: We Are the Economy They Want to Regulate

Critics of the libertarian philosophy think they can score points by calling libertarians “market fundamentalists.” It’s supposed to conjure images of dogmatic religious fundamentalists, just like the term global warming denier is supposed to conjure images of Holocaust deniers. It’s a smear, of course, and if you think the tactic discredits those who employ it, I agree.

The fact is that libertarians cannot be market fundamentalists. Why not? Because in the libertarian worldview, the market is not fundamental. What’s fundamental is every person’s right to be free from aggressive force. So fine, I’m a freedom fundamentalist. Guilty.

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, July 07, 2017

TGIF: How to Spite Putin

I don't think the Russian government meddled in the 2016 presidential election. But maybe I'm wrong. What to do? I have an idea. It's so clever and foolproof that I'm surprised no one in the ruling elite and its mass media has thought of it.

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!