Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: History

Greenspan

I am reading an excellent biography of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby titled The Man Who Knew.  I recommend it as much for its illumination of the economy, the Fed’s role, and political decisions as for its portrayal of Mr.…

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Thoughts on the Electoral College

The Electoral College was carefully designed to fulfill a similar purpose of the constitution, to apply a break on majoritarian tyranny.  The framers understood that democracy and demagogue had the same root. To the greatly disappointed Democrats who lament the…

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Eisenhower’s Footprint in The Middle East

Ike’s Gamble by Michael Doran is an account of the 1956 Suez Crisis with a perspective different from many previous ones which were directed from narratives from CIA players at the time. The United States under Eisenhower supported the rise…

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Redefining Liberty

I attended a Hillsdale College Free Market Forum in Atlanta last week. I was able to meet Don Boudreaux from Café Hayek, one of my daily go to blogs, and Ronald Pestritto, a history professor at Hillsdale. Ron authored three…

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When Democracy Trumps Liberty

George Will wrote an excellent piece in National Affairs, The Limits of Majority Rule.  My very brief summary and a few comments: The Progressive pivot of about 1890- but reached in full bore under FDR  is when democracy superseded liberty…

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Will Liberty Control Factions ?

from Roger Kimball at The Wall Street Journal. Since Men Aren’t Angels: Madison, Hamilton and other supporters of the Constitution worried about the potential incursions of federal power just as much as did the anti-Federalists, who opposed adopting the Constitution…

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Democracy and Liberty

From National Affairs George Will writes The Limits of Majority Rule.  It is an excellent summary of the history of the court as it has moved from judicial review to activism.  The success of Progressivism has hinged on the court shifting from…

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The Great Irony of Majoritarianism

From National Affairs George Will writes The Limits of Majority Rule.  I strongly recommend you read the entire essay. an excerpt: So, we must ask: How aberrant, or how frequent, are abusive majorities? A related but different question is: When legislatures, which…

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The Essence of Restraint

From National Affairs George Will writes The Limits of Majority Rule. : an excerpt: If the sole, or overriding, goal of the Constitution can be reduced to establishing democracy, and if the distilled essence of democracy is that majorities shall rule in…

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The Conscience of the Constitution

From National Affairs George Will writes The Limits of Majority Rule.  I strongly recommend you read the entire essay. an excerpt: Another reason many conservatives favor judicial deference and restraint is what can be called the conservative populist temptation. Conservatives are hardly…

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More Than a Democracy

From National Affairs George Will writes The Limits of Majority Rule.  It is an excellent summary of the history of the court as it has moved from judicial review to activism.  The success of Progressivism has hinged on the court…

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Soft Tyranny

From Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America  (published in 1840): Thus, after taking each individual by turns in its powerful hands and kneading him as it likes, the sovereign extends its arms over society as a whole; it covers its…

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Sharp Decline in Historical Consciousness

From The Transformation of Economics by Richard Vedder in The Wall Street Journal: Economics as ideology in camouflage. Economists who achieve fame for genuine intellectual insights, like Paul Krugman, sometimes then morph into ideologues—predominantly although not exclusively on the left. The leftish domination…

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Doomed Forever to Be Free

“That the American Revolution and the American people –of all the world’s peoples the most materialistic and most vulgar and least disciplined- should have produced a governmental system adequate to check the very forces they unleashed; this was the miracle…

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What About Gandhi ?

from National Review,Liberals Rewrite History, Make a Few Mistakes by Josh Gelernter “The white race of South Africa should be the predominating race,” said Mahatma Gandhi. He also said, of himself and his followers, “We believe as much in the…

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Circumventing Congress

from Charles C.W. Cooke in The National Review, Our Presidents Are Beginning to Act Like Kings Most important of all, why are we not up in arms when the president openly abuses his position as the head of the bureaucracy in…

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A Poor Guide to The Future

A NYT article, The Debate About America’s Best Days  about Robert Gordon’s The Rise and Fall of American Growth sounds like another academic pontificating how our best days are behind us.  Reminds me of economists from the 1970s and early…

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Pre-Progressivism

Henry Oliner 2016 01 21 In the campaign leading up to William McKinley’s campaign of 1896 the two hottest topics in political debate was tariffs and currency.  Consider them as prominent as health care and immigration are today. Tariffs and…

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Invitations to Executive Caprice

from Charles C.W. Cooke in The National Review, Our Presidents Are Beginning to Act Like Kings At best, Wilson’s argument is a good-faith but terribly naïve attempt to make government “work.” When the Supreme Court rules, as it did in 1989,…

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Children of Legislatures

from Charles C.W. Cooke in The National Review, Our Presidents Are Beginning to Act Like Kings As Thomas Jefferson had it, “the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” There are no new…

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