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Which Way Forward for America?

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With the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, the American people brought into existence the most unusual way of life in history, one that led to the greatest economic miracle that mankind has ever seen. Americans not only discovered the solution to poverty but also experienced the greatest outburst of charity in history. Ironically, when the delegates met at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, they initially had no intention of forming a new national government. The purpose of the meeting was simply to come up with ways to amend the Articles of Confederation, which had been America’s governmental system since the time of the revolution. Problems had arisen under the articles, such as trade wars between the states, and so the initial purpose of the convention was simply to figure out ways to iron out those problems. Instead, the delegates, meeting in secret, proposed a different form of governmental structure, one that could be labeled a “limited-government republic.” Throughout history, governments had operated ...

The Case for Libertarian Internationalism

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Libertarians and conservatives share a common enemy. Whether it is described as liberalism, progressivism, collectivism, or socialism; whether its adherents term themselves liberals, progressives, Democrats, or democratic socialists — the agenda is the same: paternalism, universal health care, free college tuition, more gun-control laws, social justice, green energy, environmentalism, climate-change alarmism, affirmative action, government-mandated family leave, government-funded child care, more antidiscrimination laws, privileges for organized labor, an ever-increasing minimum wage, increased taxes on “the rich,” easier access to welfare with fewer work requirements, and abortion on demand (at taxpayer expense for low-income women). The result of all of these things is a larger and more intrusive government and increased government regulation of the economy and intervention in society. Conservatism  Although libertarians and conservatives may share a common enemy, this does not mean that the two groups are ideological cousins — no matter what President Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) thought. In a 1975 Reason magazine interview, Reagan said: “If you analyze it I ...

The Pentagon’s Killing Machine in Ukraine

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The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the Ukrainian government is lowering the draft age for Ukrainian men from 27 to 25. The measure is “part of an effort to bolster its depleted armed forces after two years of fighting Russia’s invasion and facing renewed assaults.” According to the Journal, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “said in February that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in action, but military analysts say the true total is likely far higher.” The first thought that struck me was that the Ukrainian conscription age was so high. After all, here in the United States, the U.S. government conscripts 18-year-olds to fight in its wars. It’s worth noting though that at the start of the Ukraine-Russia war, the Ukrainian government prohibited men between 18 and 60 from leaving the country, just in case the government might need to conscript them to fight in its war. The second thought that struck me was ...

America’s Forever Wars Are Not the Problem

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Ever since it became clear that the U.S. invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq were turning into disasters, a common refrain has been to end America’s “forever wars.” Politicians of all political stripes, commentators in the mainstream press, and various conservative and libertarian think tanks and educational foundations have embraced the refrain, thinking that if only America can ...

The Dangerous Pursuit of Empire: Russia, China, and the United States

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Giving up the reality, the nostalgia, or the dream of empire is very difficult for those in political power, and even for those citizens who have bought into their government’s indoctrination and propaganda. Historically, empire-builders and political leaders often seem to hold certain attitudes and ideas in common. First, they believe that they and their group or nation are on ...