Sheldon Richman's TGIF

TGIF: The State Is No Friend of the Worker

by
The election season is upon us, and we’re hearing the usual political promises about raising wages. Democrats pledge to raise the minimum wage and assure equal pay for equal work for men and women. Republicans usually oppose those things, but their explanations are typically lame. (“The burden on small business would be increased too much.”) Some Republicans endorse raising ... [click for more]

TGIF: Leonard P. Liggio (1933–2014)

by
I lost one of my favorite teachers this week, as did so many other libertarians, not to mention  the freedom movement as a whole. Leonard P. Liggio, 81, died after a period of declining health. Leonard was a major influence on my worldview during the nearly 40 years I knew him. While I had not seen him much in ... [click for more]

TGIF: A Foreign Policy By and For Knaves

by
David Hume (1711-1776) was no hardcore libertarian, but he was a provocative thinker and a key figure in the development of liberalism. Hume helped make the Scottish Enlightenment the important period it was. He also can be fun to read. Observe this from his essay “Of the Independency of Parliament”: Political writers have established it as a maxim, ... [click for more]

TGIF: The “Boomerang Effect”: How Foreign Policy Changes Domestic Policy

by
The late Chalmers Johnson, the great analyst of the American empire, warned that if Americans didn’t give up the empire, they would come to live under it. We’ve had many reasons to take his warning seriously; indeed, several important thinkers have furnished sound theoretical and empirical evidence for the proposition. Now come two scholars who advance our understanding of how ... [click for more]

TGIF: The Antimilitarist Libertarian Heritage

by
With the United States on the verge of another war in the Middle East — or is it merely the continuation of a decades-long war? — we libertarians need to reacquaint ourselves with our intellectual heritage of peace, antimilitarism, and anti-imperialism. This rich heritage is too often overlooked and frequently not appreciated at all. That is tragic. Libertarianism, to ... [click for more]

TGIF: Ownership and Ideas

by
Like many libertarians, I’ve learned a lot from Murray Rothbard on a wide variety of subjects. Of course, no one gets everything right, especially someone as intellectually ambitious, multidisciplinary, and prolific as Rothbard. Nevertheless, reading the work of the man who left such a mark on the modern libertarian movement is as profitable as it is pleasurable. While rereading [click for more]

TGIF: Does Freedom Require Empire?

by
In a startling article, Daniel McCarthy, the admirable editor of The American Conservative magazine (TAC), writes, “Successive British and American empires created and upheld the world order in which liberalism could flourish.” In other words, as he writes in “Why Liberalism Means Empire,” “Liberalism and ... [click for more]

TGIF: “The Police Force Is Watching the People”

by
Political philosophy — the libertarian philosophy included — can take you only so far. The libertarian philosophy provides grounds for condemning aggression, that is, the initiation of force, and along with some supplemental considerations, it identifies in the abstract what constitutes aggression, victimhood, and self-defense. But the philosophy can’t identify the aggressor and victim in particular cases; relevant empirical ... [click for more]

TGIF: Liberty in America during the Great War

by
There’s always plenty for libertarians to complain about in our troubled world, but in many respects, things could be much worse. I’m thinking particularly of how the U.S. government punished dissent before, during, and even after America’s participation in World War I. Although it will be a few years before we observe the centenary of Woodrow Wilson’s idiotic decision ... [click for more]

TGIF: The 100th Anniversary of the Great State Crime

by
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the four-year bloody nightmare that claimed 16 million lives — 7 million of them noncombatants — and wounded over 20 million people. That would have been bad enough, but the conflict was merely Act One in a much bigger war. The “peace” settlement vindictively branded Germany uniquely ... [click for more]

TGIF: I Can’t Help That I’m a Libertarian

by
It’s not easy being a libertarian. I am not looking for sympathy when I say that. I just mean to point out that rejecting the conventional wisdom on virtually (do I really need this adverb?) every political question, current and historical, can be wearying. Life could be so much simpler if it were otherwise. No doubt about that. I ... [click for more]

TGIF: Jane Cobden: Carrying on Her Father’s Good Work

by
Among libertarians and classical liberals, the name Richard Cobden (1804–1865) evokes admiration and applause. His activities -- and successes -- on behalf of freedom, free markets, and government retrenchment are legendary. Most famously, he cofounded — with John Bright — the Anti–Corn Law League, which successfully campaigned for repeal of the import tariffs on grain. ... [click for more]
Page 1 of 812345...Last »