When was the last time you opened a book by a contemporary politician — or more accurately, his ghostwriter — to see Lysander Spooner mentioned, much less discussed, and intelligently so? If you crave so exceedingly rare and rarified a pleasure, treat yourself to Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) newest effort, Liberty Defined.
Tom DeWeese is among the unsung heroes of the real conservative activist movement, the one that focuses on individual (as opposed to collective) liberty, free enterprise (sans the uber-regulations aimed at paring it down), private property rights and personal privacy (under unprecedented assault since 2001), and U.S. sovereignty (instead of global governance). He is founder and president of the Washington, DC-Metro-based American Policy Center, a privately funded think tank founded in 1988.
When an Indian-born man I knew a couple of decades ago expressed an intense dislike for Mohandas Gandhi, I found it a bit surprising. Wasn’t the “Great Soul,” that quintessential 20th-century icon, India’s George Washington?
Recently, a friend of mine, an antiquarian book dealer, bought a box of early 19th century pamphlets at a book auction, among which was an 1828 catalogue of Dartmouth College. I had an opportunity to examine this fragile 24-page catalogue and was quite intrigued by the Course of Study students were required to take in those days.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities," Mark Twain said. Obviously, when conspiracy and deception are involved, the truth can be particularly strange — and it can also be particularly hard to unearth and then make widely known. Such is the case regarding the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
Some of us remember our first reading of Atlas Shrugged like our first time behind the wheel of a car: intoxicating but inexplicably discomforting in spots. The 1,000-plus pages of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus positively pulse with the sorts of stuff that those of us in the freedom camp embrace: heroic capitalists, a strident anti-collectivist cant, and the unapologetic championing of individual rights.
Something is terribly wrong. The Dow has dropped below 4,000, gasoline (when available) costs $37.50 a gallon, the nation's infrastructure is deteriorating, businessmen are wearing sandwich boards asking for work. Government's response to the enervated economy is to impose even more regulations and forced wealth-redistribution on already-highly regulated business and industry. A gray palpable pall hangs over the land. Meanwhile, the nation's most productive citizens begin to disappear voluntarily, one by one. But why? The question is answered by another question as mysterious as the disappearances themselves: "Who is John Galt?"