Tag: Nationalism

The Veterans’ Administration Has Been a Disaster Since Its Inception »

In her modern, exceptional biography of President Calvin Coolidge, Amity Shlaes (Coolidge, HarperCollins, 2013) documents the very blemished history of today’s U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), illustrating the trite, but nevertheless very true old saw that the more things change the more they remain the same. That department of the federal government, now...
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Speak Loudly and Carry a Small Stick »

At the beginning of the twentieth century, President Teddy Roosevelt’s foreign policy was, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” At the beginning of the twenty-first, President Obama’s policy appears to the the opposite: “Speak loudly and carry a small stick.” President Obama threatened Syria not to step over a “red line” by using...
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Crisis of Political Authority? I Wish! »

In my capacity as the longtime editor of The Independent Review (reduced earlier this year to the harmless status of Editor at Large), I have often received unsolicited copies of recently published books from the publishers, who hope to obtain reviews that will help them drum up sales. Today’s mail delivery brought me such an unrequested...
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When Extremism Is Seen as Moderate... »

France’s National Front, the far-right organization that has become a symbol of the xenophobic, Euroskeptic, nationalist reaction against the prevailing problems in Europe, has sent ripples across the world by topping the latest polls and winning a significant by-election. Marine Le Pen, its leader, is busy giving birth to a continent-wide movement of like-minded...
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Bismarck and Healthcare Insurance: DeLong and DeShort of It »

Brad DeLong at The Health Care blog makes these assertions: Bismarck created the world’s first national health insurance system 130 years ago because he wanted to make the German people healthier. The rationale for national health insurance in the U.S. today is the same as it was for Bismarck. People can’t pay for expensive...
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Not Even Achieving an Impossible Libertarian Dream Will Suffice »

Libertarians dream of cutting back the bloated Leviathan under whose weight people now struggle simply to catch their breath—breathing freely being almost beyond imagination. A few of us dream of eliminating the state altogether, however much we recognize the impossibility of doing so. Many more libertarians, however, believe that in propitious circumstances, the state...
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Why Fight for King and Country? »

There is something monstrously out of whack about going to war for a large nation state. I can understand why a man might take up arms in defense of himself, his family, his friends, perhaps even his neighborhood or his town. But once we get past the lived-in milieu, a man’s risking his life,...
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State Power and How It Might Be Undermined »

State power is the most dangerous force in modern life. State rulers, seeking their own aggrandizement and enrichment, employ this power systematically to plunder and abuse their subjects. Of course, they cannot act in this way without the assistance of many others, among whom some assist willingly, some in return for adequate compensation, and...
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Classical Liberalism’s Impossible Dream »

I can understand why someone might embrace classical liberalism. I did so myself more than forty years ago. People become classical liberals for two main reasons, which are interrelated: first, because they come to understand that free markets “work” better than government-controlled economic systems in providing prosperity and domestic peace; second, because people come...
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The Power of the State versus the Power of Love »

For thousands of years, philosophers have argued that society must invest great power in the rulers because only great power can hold back the forces of evil—violence, plunder, and disorder. They have often conceded, of course, that this solution does have an unfortunate aspect, namely, that with great power, the rulers themselves may resort...
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