Freedom Daily Archive

Trump, Free Speech, and Libertarianism

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There is a modest amount of crossover between populism and libertarianism — as there is between libertarianism and other political philosophies — but leftists and progressives should hesitate before lumping us into the same category. For the most part populists are just big-government conservatives — which means they have more in common with the political Left than with us ... [click for more]

The Lies and Hypocrisy of the Civil War

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More than 150 years after the Civil War, the nation is engulfed in controversy over statues of people who fought for the Confederacy. Many people want the statues taken down. The statues, they say, depict men who were slaveowners, slavery proponents, and traitors. Those who want the statues to stay in place are said to be racists. The feelings ... [click for more]

Red-Green Delusions on Soviet-Bloc History

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The New York Times is running a series of “Red Century” articles extolling some of the virtues of communism on the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Last August, the Times showcased a Yale University lecturer rhapsodizing about the Soviets’ environmental record in a piece headlined, “Lenin’s Eco-Warriors.” The piece hailed Lenin as “a longtime enthusiast for hiking and ... [click for more]

Paycheck Plus Welfare

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Just as a rose by any other name would still smell just as sweet, so welfare by any other name still reeks of dependency, taxation, wealth redistribution, fraud, redundancy, inefficiency, and income- transfer payments. Yet, pleas to maintain the welfare state never cease. And some even want to expand it. Like MDRC, “a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research ... [click for more]

Limited Government and a Free Society, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Unfortunately, the classical-liberal tradition that Carl Schurz represented is almost gone today. The men and women who supported it were consistent opponents of the imperial presidency, no matter the party in power. (Schurz, for example, was a Republican who broke with the Republican Grant administration.) That’s because the ... [click for more]

The Founding Fathers’ “Great Rule” for U.S. Foreign Policy

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People who don’t get heard have a tendency to shout. Eventually they get mad. For too long, foreign-policy experts have stuck their fingers in their ears when confronted by citizens ambivalent about playing global police officer. Republican Donald Trump is channeling their voices through his electric bullhorn, whipping up the crowd and questioning the validity of institutions like NATO. Regardless ... [click for more]

“A Republic, If You Can Keep It”

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James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution, wrote that of all the enemies to liberty, war is the greatest. What he meant by that is that governments inevitably use wars and other crises and emergencies to centralize and expand their powers over the citizenry. Thus, in the process of claiming to keep the citizenry safe from external threats, ... [click for more]

Guilt by Musical Association

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Should the feds be permitted to treat anyone who is not a choirboy like a criminal suspect? Unfortunately, local, state, and federal agencies have a long history of targeting, harassing, and entrapping fans of untraditional music. Because so many innocuous activities have become criminalized in recent decades, it has never been easier for the feds to tar any group ... [click for more]

The Problem with Conservatism

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Nikolai G. Wenzel has a problem with conservatism. A libertarian, Wenzel is a Research Fellow at the University of Paris Law School’s Center for Law & Economics and the coauthor (with conservative Nathan W. Schlueter) of Selfish Libertarians and Socialist Conservatives? The Foundations of the Libertarian-Conservative Debate (Stanford Economic and Finance, 2017). This book is the only “debate book” between ... [click for more]

Smith Act Tyranny Against Communists

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When a state officially declares war on another state, it unofficially declares war on a second front: domestic dissidents. The dynamics of the latter can be seen by tracking one of the most powerful phenomena of the last century: the Red Scare(s). Anti-communist hysteria followed World War I and did not cease until the fall of the Soviet Union ... [click for more]

Limited Government and a Free Society, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Presidential use of the executive order, along with its relative, the executive agreement, has become the “very definition of tyranny.” The use of executive orders has dramatically increased over time. George Washington issued about one executive order a year. However, by the 1960s, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson ... [click for more]
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