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Slavery and Segregation Were Federal Programs

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Americans are afflicted with a “collective amnesia” that surrounds the subject of segregation, complacently assured that it was, if anything, a “minor factor” in the striking wealth gap that today divides white from black Americans. In his book The Color of Law, the Economic Policy Institute’s Richard Rothstein argues that not only have Americans forgotten the true legacy of segregation, they have also forgotten its principal cause. Rothstein contends that the polite, embarrassedly euphemistic story we find in the mainstream’s politics of respectability has ignored or underplayed important facts. “Most segregation,” he states in the book’s introduction, “does fall into the category of open and explicit government-sponsored segregation.” To undergird his claims, Rothstein adduces an impressive body of evidence, surveying a range of government policies and court decisions that he says show the government’s official “imposition of racial segregation,” both forceful and purposeful. His thesis, then, runs quite contrary to the comfortable notion that segregation in the United States is ...

Felix Morley, Champion of the American Republic

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The American socialist Ed Sard is reported to have originated the concept of a “permanent arms economy” as a way to explain why America experienced a post–World War II boom, while World War I had been followed by recession. Sard concluded that the United States retained many of the characteristics of a war economy, including what today is called “the military-industrial complex.” Capitalism was shored up by continued military spending, he argued. Rooted in Marxism, Sard coupled keen political insight with badly flawed economics. The concept was far better enunciated by the libertarian journalist and scholar Felix Morley (1894–1982). A war economy crippled capitalism in myriad ways, Morley argued, including the public’s increased dependency on government and increased skepticism toward free-market solutions; the system war truly promoted was socialism. As an advocate of limited government, Morley believed the centralization of power during war and preparation for war was the core dynamic by which America had moved from a republic to an ...

Patriots and Protesters Should Take a Knee for the Constitution

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“Seems like in the past 15 years or so the idea of patriotism has changed some. More polarized, more tied to political or ideological views. I’ve never seen patriotism or the flag connected to either; I see the flag more as the symbol of a nation that allows the freedom to express those ideas. That alone deserves my respect.”— Macy Moore, U.S. Marine By all means, let’s talk about patriotism and President Trump’s call for “respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem.” At a time when the American flag adorns everything from men’s boxers and women’s bikinis to beer koozies, bandannas and advertising billboards (with little outcry from the American public), and the National Anthem is sung by Pepper the Parrot during the Puppy Bowl, this conveniently timed outrage over disrespect for the country’s patriotic symbols rings somewhat hollow, detracts from more serious conversations that should be taking place about critical ...

Ludwig von Mises on Collectivist Fallacies and Interventionist Follies

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For more than a century the world has been caught in the grip of social engineers and political paternalists determined to either radically remake society from top to bottom in collectivist directions, or to use various government regulatory and redistributive policies to try to modify existing society into desired “social justice” forms and shapes. Both are based on false ...

Ludwig von Mises and the Real Meaning of Liberalism

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Liberalism has become one of the most widely misused and abused words in the American political lexicon. It represents, some say, politically “progressive thought,” based on the goal of “social justice” through greater “distributive justice” for all. Others declare it represents moral relativism, political paternalism, governmental license, and just another word for “socialism.” Lost in all of this is ...