Freedom Daily Archive

America as the Neo-British Empire

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Foreign-policy realists and relative noninterventionists, among others, want to commit Americans to offshore balancing, an idea drawn from various English political-economic sources. After the Glorious Revolution (1688) securing the Protestant succession, influential English statesmen sought to make European balance-keeping central to their foreign strategy. Another view, deducible from 19th-century British practice (and formally called Hegemonic Stability Theory), wants the ... [click for more]

Government versus Progress

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Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good by Tom W. Bell (Mercatus Center 2014), 238 pages. Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom by Adam Thierer (Mercatus Center 2014), 1089 pages. These books cover two different aspects of the same phenomenon — how laws and regulations obstruct progress. Tom Bell’s Intellectual Privilege examines copyright law, which ... [click for more]

How Technology Can Create Political Change

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Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World by Jeffrey Tucker (Liberty.me 2015), Kindle, 130 pages (estimated). Jeffrey Tucker opens with the story of Fereshteh Forough, who set up a chain of clinics in Afghanistan to empower women by teaching them coding, design, and other computer skills that they could market directly on the web. The problem they ... [click for more]

Iraq and American Sniper

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Last January the movie American Sniper was breaking box-office records and generating a national debate over the nature of war and how the movie depicts war. The movie revolved around Chris Kyle, a real-life U.S. soldier who had four tours in Iraq as a sniper and, in the process, set a record for the number of people killed by ... [click for more]

Monopoly and Aggression

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The concepts monopoly and aggression are intimately related, like lock and key, or mother and child. You cannot fully understand the first without understanding the second. Most of us are taught to think of a monopoly as simply any lone seller of a good or service, but that definition is fraught with problems, as Murray Rothbard, Austrian economists generally, and ... [click for more]

Cops and Donuts Don’t Mix

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On a Sunday morning early last summer, I was driving south across the Potomac River to a hike in Fairfax County, Virginia. The previous night the hike leader posted online a map of the jaunt. It looked like a typical suburban stroll until I saw a Dunkin’ Donuts marked near the start point. As the Food and Drug Administration ... [click for more]

Realism versus Nonintervention

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Foreign-policy realists have been around for time out of memory, but the unbearable follies of post–9/11 U.S. foreign policy have dramatically increased their prestige. A current short list of realists would include Andrew Bacevich, Steven Walt, Ivan Eland, and Ted Galen Carpenter (perhaps also Daniel Larison of American Conservative). These realists seem like sanity itself compared to our entrenched, ... [click for more]

Rule by Illusion

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National Security and Double Government by Michael J. Glennon (Oxford University Press 2014), 272 pages. Americans have been taken in by an illusion, complacently believing that they live in a constitutional republic in which the rule of law is paramount and public officials are answerable to the electorate. In reality, however, an ascendant technocratic class of experts governs ... [click for more]

Global Thug State

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Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World by Tom Engelhardt (Haymarket Books 2014), 200 pages. “A shadow government has conquered twenty-first-century Washington. We have the makings of a thug state of the first order.” No two sentences more clearly and disturbingly summarize what Tom Engelhardt’s Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a ... [click for more]

The Cuban Embargo and the Perversion of American Values

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It would be difficult to find a better example of how the adoption of America’s post–World War II national-security state perverted the morals, principles, and values of the American people than the 54-year-old U.S. embargo against Cuba. Now that the issue of lifting the embargo has fully erupted into the political sphere, Americans have an opportunity to question not ... [click for more]

“And the Pursuit of Happiness”: Nathaniel Branden, RIP

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Libertarians and others have wondered why Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of In-dependence concludes its explicitly incomplete list of unalienable rights with the pursuit of happiness rather than property. The website Monticello.org states, Unfortunately, Thomas Jefferson himself never explained his use of the phrase “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. However, he was almost certainly influenced by George Mason’s Virginia ... [click for more]

Know-Nothing Democracy on Capitol Hill

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“You can lead a man to Congress but you can’t make him think,” quipped Milton Berle in 1950. Last December’s congressional approval of the 1,603-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus bill (known as “Cromnibus,” because it was also a Continuing Resolution) also shows you cannot make congressmen read. Unfortunately, as usual, politicians refused to let their ignorance restrain their power over ... [click for more]
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