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Nationalism and Classical Liberalism

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For forty-five years, Europe enjoyed peace. But it was in the form of an "armed truce" called the Cold War. On the one side of the Iron Curtain, the Soviet Union maintained its through the threat — and occasional use — of force, as in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. On the other side of the lron Curtain, the nations of Western Europe set aside their age-old conflicts and animosities out of fear of the Soviet Union — with America's armed presence and political paternalism serving to "keep the peace." Yet Europe's peace on the basis of a divided continent was artificial. Consequently, it required rectification at some point in time. That point arrived in November 1989, when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. In less than two years, every one of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe was gone. Every one of the republics making up the USSR declared either its independence or its sovereignty. And within ...

Crime in America

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As the English philosopher John Locke observed in his Two Treatises on Government, man's life, liberty, and property are not privileges bestowed by government. They are inherent and basic rights that preexist government. Thus, individuals have the natural or God-given right to live their lives in any way they choose, as long as they do so peacefully. Why was it necessary to institute government? Thomas Jefferson gave the answer in the Declaration of Independence: to secure the protection of these preexisting rights. And why was a Constitution needed? To place strict limitations on the powers of governmental officials. The Constitution aimed to assure the government's role as a protector, not a destroyer, of people's rights. The United States government, however, is now destructive of the very ends for which it was formed. For it no longer protects the lives, liberties, and properties of the American people. Instead, the chief ends of the U.S. government today are to direct and restrict the ...

The Causes and Consequences of World War II, Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 In 1945, Nazi totalitarianism was destroyed by the military might of the wartime allies. But within a few months of victory, our comrade-in-arms, "Uncle Joe" Stalin (as he was affectionately referred to by President Franklin Roosevelt), was making it clear that the postwar period would not be an era of global peace and international harmony. Within months of the German surrender, Stalin was tightening his grip on the Eastern European countries that had been "liberated" by the Red Army. There would be no free elections, no democratic pluralism, no market economies in the nations now in Moscow's orbit. By 1948, with the communist coup in Czechoslovakia, every one of the Eastern European countries had been turned into a socialist "People's Republic." We now know that this was Stalin's intention from the beginning, despite the promises he gave to President Roosevelt at the Yalta Conference in February 1945. In early April 1945, less ...