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Habits of the Heart and Character of Mind

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In American election cycles all of the possible candidates for government office of both major political parties assure those who may vote for them in primaries and the general election that they are voices for the real or true “American values.” Voting for them is voting for what America has been, is, or should be all about. But what are “American values”? After the famous Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) visited the young United States in the 1830s, he wrote what is still considered one of the great classics of political philosophy, Democracy in America (1836; 1840). He said that what stood out most about the Americans was their “habits of the heart” and their “character of mind.” The quality of the people amazed him, with their belief in personal freedom, self-responsibility, a strong spirit of enterprise, and an attitude that social problems were not the concern of government, but could and should be effectively handled through voluntary association and local ...

Foreign Aid for Dictators

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Notice something important about the hoopla regarding President’s Trump withholding of U.S. foreign aid to Ukraine while he was requesting Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden for possible corruption: Nobody in Washington, D.C., or within the establishment press is questioning the concept of foreign aid itself. Foreign aid has become such an established and accepted way of inducing foreign regimes to comply with the dictates of U.S. officials that the thought of ending it entirely doesn’t even enter the minds of Republicans, Democrats, or member of the mainstream media. But questioning foreign aid itself is precisely what the American people should be doing. Not only does foreign aid contribute to the out-of-control federal spending and debt that is hanging over the American people (with the debt now at $22.6 trillion and climbing), it also constitutes one of the most evil and immoral practices of the U.S. ...

My Life as an Austrian Economist and a Classical Liberal

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I suppose I can date my interest in both classical liberalism and Austrian economics to the day I was born. The doctor grabbed me by my little feet, turned me upside down and spanked my tiny bottom. I began to cry out. That is when I realized the fundamental “Austrian” axiom that “man acts.” In addition, I appreciated that what the doctor had done was in violation of the “non-aggression” principle. The rest is history. Well… maybe not quite. An Inquiring Young Mind Discovers Ayn Rand For some reason, I had found history and current events interesting when I was in my early and middle teens in the 1960s. I had a part-time job at the Hollywood Public Library in Los Angeles when I was in high school. Part of my responsibilities was to maintain the magazine collections on a balcony in the building. I would finish my work, and hide up in the balcony reading new and old political and news publications. But ...

The Bill of Rights Turns 230, and What Do We Have to Show for It? Nothing Good

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“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.”—Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale It’s been 230 years since James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights—the first ...

The Secret History of the Monopolization of Welfare by the State

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The fundamental political issue always confronting society is whether human relationships shall be based on free association and voluntary choice, or on governmental compulsion and command. Of course, in most societies there are elements of both, often called the interventionist state or the “mixed economy.” But, nonetheless, the basic institutional alternatives are liberty or coercion. This often seems difficult for ...

America’s Lost Liberties, Post-9/11

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“These are the times that try men’s souls.” ― Thomas Paine, The American Crisis Take heed, America. Our losses are mounting with every passing day. What began with the post-9/11 passage of the USA Patriot Act  has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse. The citizenry’s unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants ...