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!

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