Graham H. Walker
| Sunday February 7, 2021 at 9:00 AM PST
At the Independent Institute, we believe that individual liberty—in the context of constitutionally limited government and free markets—produces great results. Our defense of individual liberty does not arise out of a philosophy that says to the world, “Leave me alone.” Rather, we defend liberty from a philosophy that says specifically to the government, “Leave...Read More »
David J. Theroux
| Monday September 7, 2020 at 4:39 PM PDT
In his monumental book, Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (Penguin, hardcover 2014; Harvard University Press, paperback 2017), American-born, British intellectual historian Sir Larry Siedentop (Keble College, Oxford University) argues that Western “classical liberalism” has been the child of Christianity. That is, the Judeo-Christian principles, understandings and intuitions, that evolved from the...Read More »
William J. Watkins, Jr.
| Thursday July 2, 2020 at 4:15 PM PDT
America is experiencing a revolution. But it is a far different revolution than the one we celebrate every Fourth of July. In fact, it has much more in common with the French Revolution of 1789 than the Spirit of 1776. The American Revolution is often called a lawyers’ revolution. This is based on the...Read More »
Samuel R. Staley
| Monday June 1, 2020 at 10:42 AM PDT
The death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer with a history of excessive force complaints has spurred protests, demonstrations, and riots across the nation. Peaceful protests are more than justified. However, the lawless riots are not; they are enacting the very injustices they claim to contest and on a colossal...Read More »
Randall G. Holcombe
| Thursday December 21, 2017 at 2:31 PM PST
One of the most important factors that generate prosperity is rule of law.
Lawrence J. McQuillan
| Thursday September 28, 2017 at 5:35 PM PDT
In a little-known 2006 World Bank report Where Is the Wealth of Nations? a team of economists provide a snapshot of wealth in 120 countries, and they find that governance is key. A full 46 percent of total wealth in high-income countries derives from the rule of law, the most important factor. This is an...Read More »
| Friday July 28, 2017 at 9:38 AM PDT
(continued from Part II) After the Watts riot of 1965, bureaucrats in the administrative state (e.g., EEOC, Small Business Administration) created racial preferences in employment and lending programs based on their own administrative authority, not any explicit authorization from the Congress. Indeed, the Democratic majority (and the Republican minority) were adamantly opposed to racial discrimination...Read More »
| Thursday July 27, 2017 at 1:35 PM PDT
Throughout American history, government at all levels has used race to categorize, enslave, segregate, regulate human behavior, and limit immigration with “nationality” quotas that served as substitutes for race. Categorizing by race was essential to racist agendas.
In response, classical liberal civil rights activists struggled to eliminate government-mandated racial categories. They were anything but naive: racism was real, categories or no categories, but the government stamp of approval made things worse–and caused constant mischief in the ever increasing addition of group categories in the census or in immigration statutes. The only feasible solution was the most radical one: the complete elimination of government racial categories. Individuals might discriminate but would no longer have the support of the State. With time, classical liberals felt, the irrationality of racism and xenophobia would give way to better human relations.
| Sunday July 23, 2017 at 12:53 PM PDT
Fifty years ago today (July 23, 1967), the largest urban riot of the 1960s rocked Detroit for five days (July 23-28). An encounter with the police (shutting down an illegal after-hours bar), sparked looting and arson on a scale far surpassing the riots that had burned in other American cities. While such riots often started with incidents involving law enforcement, the police were ordered—again and again—to stand down and let a small minority of African Americans loot property of small business owners (both black and white).
The Detroit Riot marked a turning point in how American policymakers dealt with race. The classical liberal tradition of civil rights, with its emphasis on rule of law and equal protection (regardless of race) gave way to policies that purposely treated minorities as “protected categories” deserving of treatment not accorded other citizens.
| Friday August 12, 2016 at 12:03 PM PDT
“Police misconduct” is a term one hears from time to time. Some people complain about it. Most, however, refer to it as simply a mistaken idea advanced by disgruntled ne’er-do-wells who refuse to accept that only a few “bad apples” among the police ever do anything wrong—and when they do it’s for altogether understandable...Read More »