Freedom Daily Archive

A Dictionary of Libertarianism

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Libertarianism, from A to Z by Jeffrey A. Miron (New York: Basic Books, 2010); 198 pages. More and more Americans are coming to realize that the liberal/conservative paradigm is deeply flawed. Disillusionment with Washington is at an all-time high. The old adage that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties has never seemed more ... [click for more]

Misdefining Liberty

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The definitions of liberty devised in ivory towers and elsewhere have a profound impact on political and judicial thinking. Regardless of how wrongheaded some concepts of liberty prevalent early last century may now appear, America’s legal structure is now based on those ideas. And that legal structure continues binding today’s citizens to the intellectual follies of previous generations of ... [click for more]

Thank Goodness for WikiLeaks

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WikiLeaks has released close to 400,000 U.S. classified military documents relating to the Iraq war. The American people, the theoretical masters of the government, were not supposed to see them. So, just as it was when the website released 77,000 documents on the Afghan war in August, WikiLeaks was roundly condemned. Unnamed officials in the Obama administration are reported ... [click for more]

Forget Reform

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Reforming federal programs that have bestowed upon Americans a multitude of problems would seem to be a good idea, but it’s not. The problem is not only that the programs will never work no matter how much they are reformed, but also that what the programs do falls outside the legitimate functions of government. The programs need to be ... [click for more]

Where Is the Tea Party Revolution on Foreign Policy?

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America’s latest populist movement, which reaches back to revolutionary history by calling itself the “Tea Party,” helped shape the remarkable results of last November’s midterm election. Some dare to hope that candidates elected in that political uprising might help arrest America’s alarming decline. Others see the uprising as no more than a cover for the corporate power that lay ... [click for more]

How Will the Empire End?

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Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope by Chalmers Johnson (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010); 212 pages. Most Americans would very likely deny that their government is a global empire, horribly destructive to national security, liberty, and wealth. But whatever we call this U.S. system of ubiquitous military bases, satellite regimes throughout the world, ever-growing “defense” budgets, and an ... [click for more]

Natural Rights, the Declaration, and the Constitution, Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 The Bill of Rights should actually have been called the Bill of Prohibitions because it actually doesn’t give any rights to anyone. Instead, it expressly prohibits the federal government from infringing the fundamental rights of the people. Our American ancestors understood that people’s rights don’t come from the government or from ... [click for more]

The Neoconservative Obama Administration

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President Barack Obama was far from candid when he announced the end of combat operations in Iraq in August — 50,000 troops and a large number of mercenaries remain — but in his speech he did nothing to hide his neoconservative outlook on the American empire. This was not lost on leading neoconservatives, who tend to prefer Republicans. William Kristol, ... [click for more]

Defining Coercion Down

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Coercion is the essence of government in the same way that profit is the essence of private businesses. The state can impose new prohibitions and restrictions, create new penalties, or impose taxes in order to finance benefits. It is misleading to conceive of politicians as offering both carrots and sticks: Government must first use a stick to commandeer the ... [click for more]

The Physiocrats

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The Physiocrats, a group of 18th-century French economists, are often credited with founding Western political economy — the study of “laws” governing the production and distribution of wealth. The word “law” is not used in a legal sense. Rather it refers to a principle or governing rule, much as one might speak of the laws of physics. The Greek word ... [click for more]

Property Rights and the Ground Zero Mosque Debate

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Amidst all the controversy over the “Ground Zero Mosque,” the most neglected issue is the key question of property rights. The proprietors of the land where the Islamic cultural center is to be built are its rightful owners. In a free society, in a capitalistic country, people are allowed to do with their property as they see fit. When ... [click for more]

The Falling American Empire

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American Empire before the Fall by Bruce Fein (Campaign for Liberty, 2010); 219 pages. The very notion that America has an empire is most taboo. No matter the party in power, pointing out the reality of U.S. imperialism rarely wins political points. Our country, land of the free, won independence from the British Empire, defeated the Nazi empire, and ... [click for more]
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