Free Society

The Democratic Way of Killing: The President as Judge, Jury, and Executioner

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One wonders whether Americans felt pride when they discovered that, according to the New York Times, their president was “a student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.” As a result, Barack Oba-ma believes that “he should take moral responsibility” for U.S. policy, including killing anyone and everyone seen as a terrorist threat to the United States. ... [click for more]

The Calling: I Have Seen the Future of Freedom

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Even before I started writing regularly for The Future of Freedom Foundation, I had thought a lot about the future of freedom and how those of us who care deeply about liberty in all its dimensions are going to bring about the world we want to see. For the over 30 years I’ve been involved in the libertarian movement, ... [click for more]

Discounts and a Free Society

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We have all been there: a nice restaurant, a quiet evening, a companion of the opposite sex — only to have the experience shattered by loud, ill-mannered, or unruly kids. From coast to coast, some restaurants have begun placing signs on their doors and menus saying things such as, “We love children, especially when they are tucked in ... [click for more]

TGIF: Government Undermines Social Cooperation

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I should know better than to take seriously the insipid words of presidential speechwriters, especially those who composed an inaugural address. Still, I can’t let some of the words President Obama read at Monday’s inauguration pass without comment. For example, Obama said this: Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet ... [click for more]

TGIF: What’s Need Got to Do with It?

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Recent public-policy debates have taken an ominous turn. Proponents of new government impositions increasingly justify their proposals by asserting that the individuals who would be adversely affected should not complain because they do not need whatever the government action would deny them. We've heard this during debates over both higher taxes on upper-income people and gun control. Those favoring higher ... [click for more]

The Heroism of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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A destructive myth hangs over the history of World War II. It is that a flaw within the German character allowed the rise of Hitler and Nazism. How else can you explain the coming of the Holocaust from one of the world’s most cultured nations? Oddly, no one seems to consider Mussolini as indicating a flaw in Italians or ... [click for more]

Charity, Not Welfare

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As long as human beings have gathered together in society, provisions have been made for the aid of the poor. In Europe, it was the church that came to shoulder most of this burden, granting a percentage of its income to those in need. In their excellent work, Life in a Medieval Castle, Joseph and Frances Gies ... [click for more]

TGIF: The Year That Was

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The year coming to an end has hardly been a banner one in the cause of liberty. Once again, high points are tough to find, but low points abound. In mainstream public discussion, freedom counted for nothing, if it wasn’t ridiculed outright. The presidential election saw the marginalizing (again) of the only figure in the race — Ron Paul — ... [click for more]

Holding “Public Servants” Accountable

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Most would agree that if we must suffer the impositions of government, it would be wise to subordinate it to the rule of law. As Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” This is what the Founding ... [click for more]

The Fight over Right-to-Work

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The “right-to-work” issue is back. When a state passes a right-to-work law, as Michigan did this month, employers in that state can no longer agree to require workers to pay union fees as a condition of employment. Supporters of right-to-work see it as a way to protect workers from being forced to support unions against their will. Many opponents of ... [click for more]

The Calling: Risk, Tradeoffs, and Freedom

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In the wake of the Newtown massacre, people from all over the political spectrum are chiming in with their own recommendations of what should be done to prevent this kind of horrific tragedy. For my purposes here, I want to put aside two rather obvious points in order to explore some more subtle ones. First, for American politicians, especially President ... [click for more]
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