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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, January 13, 2017

TGIF: The Man Behind the Curtain


Although the Grateful Dead told us that "every silver lining's got a touch of grey" (lyric by Robert Hunter), it's my nature to look for one anyway. At the risk of being accused of gross naivete, I'd like to hope that the Trump presidency (I still can't believe I have to type those words) will once and for all sour people on government and politics.

Read the full article at The Libertarian Institute.

Or they won't. Maybe the libertarian movement can make a difference.
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, January 12, 2017

US Created Cyberwarfare

One can reasonably argue that Washington started the practice of cyber-warfare and has been a long-time practitioner of both regime change and election tampering in its relationship with much of the world…. Stepping back a bit, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that anything Russia did or is suspected of doing in 2016 pales in comparison to what the United States has been doing for much longer and on a much wider scale.”

Your Tax Dollars at Work

“Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.” — “Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” Annex B, Estimative Language

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Batchelor and Cohen Counter Anti-Russian Hysteria

Hats off to John Batchelor, the radio talk-show host and podcaster, who has countered the raging Russophobia and Cold War revival by regularly interviewing the eminent Russian scholar Stephen F. Cohen. (Links to the podcasts are here.) Cohen, who taught Russian history and politics for many years at Princeton and New York universities and who is affiliated with the pro-detente American Committee on East-West Accord, is a rare voice of calm good sense on Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta email accounts. Batchelor is a hero for having Cohen on his program about once a week.

Friday, January 06, 2017

TGIF: NPR Blows a Chance to Teach Sound Economics

This week, thanks to the Independent Institute (which lists me as a research fellow), I was interviewed by NPR's Marketplace for a piece on Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on goods that come from China. (It's the first story for the January 3 show here at 2:44.) The interviewer wanted to look back at the effects of the Reagan administration's protectionist policies against Japan. (In 1988 I wrote a paper for the Cato Institute on Reagan's appalling protectionism.)

I've done many media interviews, but this one really drove home the media's lack of interest in informing their listeners and viewers on important economic topics. Of course, the producers of the show would themselves have to understand economics in order separate what's important from what's unimportant. This may be a case of the blind leading the blind. At any rate, what follows is a lightly edited transcript of the interview and what was aired from the interview.

Read the full article at The Libertarian Institute. It's also posted at the Independent 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!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Prof. Wittgenstein, Please Call Your Office

President-elect Trump complains that trade with China is "one-sided." Does he speak English or what? One-sided trade is like one-sided triangle: you can say it, but you can't mean (think) it. Chinese folks deliver goods to Americans (through Walmart, etc.), and we willingly buy them. The Chinese then invest some of their proceeds in the United States. Well, I guess that is one-sided -- but wait! They later reap rewards from their successful investments.

It's two-sided after all, isn't it?

Perhaps Trump means that the United States has fewer barriers to Chinese goods than China has to American goods, i.e., American consumers' freedom to buy is better respected than Chinese consumers' freedom to buy. Since Trump favors tariffs (which would raise prices to Americans and push Chinese goods out of our market), I guess he thinks respect for our freedom is bad and the denial of their freedom is good.

(Cross-posted at The Libertarian Institute. Check it out!)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Transcendental Meditation

I love when dichotomies are transcended. The world abounds in false alternatives:

rationalism/empiricism
nominalism/realism
materialism/idealism
analytic/synthetic
deontology/consequentialism
dualism/reductionism

In this holiday season, may all your bogus dichotomies be transcended. (Read more here.)

Things-in-Something Else?

My newest least-favorite phrase in the English language is things-in-themselves. Oh the fallacies packed into that innocuous-looking phrase. There is no such thing as things-in-something else, and it cannot be that to have a specific method of perceiving reality ipso facto means one cannot perceive reality. (See two posts by Roderick Long here and here).