Tag: Civil Society

What Memorial Day Should Mean »

This Memorial Day we remember and honor our fellow citizens who were willing to defend our American liberties to the death. Nobel Prize–winning economist Milton Friedman was a leading proponent of ending military conscription, or the draft, because forced military service is incompatible with a free society. Thanks in no small part to his…
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“Rape Culture” and the Implications for Liberty on College Campuses »

College campuses are placing a stronger emphasis on reducing sexual assault. Unfortunately, universities and colleges often adopt heavy-handed policies to punish alleged offenders based on abstractions or simplistic understandings of college student attitudes and behavior. One of the more problematic overgeneralizations is the concept of the “rape culture”, and the pervasive use of the…
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Another Urban Legend? The Middle Ages Were the “Dark Ages” »

As the culture wars intensify in America, let’s consider some of the roots of these contentious conflicts. With the “Age of Enlightenment” of the 17th and 18th centuries, a “modern” narrative was invented to explain the history of the West, the wider world, and humankind’s place in the universe. This narrative claimed that liberty,…
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‘The Hunting Ground,’ Sexual Assault, and the Failure of Civil Society »

The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses, opened recently across the country. I saw the film in a commercial theater on opening weekend in Tallahassee. Alone. At least at the beginning. I was joined by one other woman and a couple by the time the opening credits flashed on the…
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50 Shades of Predatory Abuse: The Role of Civil Society »

The movie adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey by author E.L. James swept its opening weekend competition and has generated blockbuster revenues of over $133 million, making it the top grossing movie of 2015. Controversy has come with it, as would be expected from any movie breaking through traditional cultural taboos. Combine that with…
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Modern Tech Suggests Government Data on Police-Related Homicides Flawed »

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes statistics on police-involved homicides, while on duty, of civilians. Its system relies on voluntary self-reporting by the nation’s more than 18,000 local and state police agencies. Self-reporting works well when there is an incentive to report and an incentive to report accurately. But police departments have no…
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The Fall of Liberty and Human Dignity in American Sniper »

Given the buzz from conservatives touting the film American Sniper‘s homage to Christopher Kyle as a war hero, libertarians may be tempted to sit this movie out. I think they should resist that temptation. This is not a typical “war movie.” In fact, I would argue it’s not a war movie at all: it’s…
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One Benefit of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press… »

… is that you know who your enemies and opponents are. They will speak out against your ideas, your actions, or maybe just you on a personal level. One reason we value these freedoms is that they help make those in power accountable. Those who disagree with particular policies or actions can say so…
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Katniss Everdeen and the Paradox of Revolution »

“Historically, the common form of revolution has been a not-too-efficient despotism which is overthrown by another not-too-efficient despotism with little or no effect on the public good. Indeed, except for the change in the names of the ruling circles, it would be hard to distinguish one from the other.” —Gordon Tullock For the past…
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The Long Road Back from Torture »

If it’s true that the first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem, then last week’s release of the report detailing the CIA’s torturing of prisoners can at least hopefully provide the impetus for Americans to disavow such methods and begin to rein in the out-of-control security state that has grown especially…
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