Filling the Gap in Colonial Political Thought

Filling the Gap in Colonial Political Thought

When we think of the origins of the American tradition of political liberty, we think of the American Founding—the extraordinary era of political creativity that began with resistance to Britain and culminated in the ratification of the Constitution and the creation of a new republican nation. But where did those …

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Judge Kavanaugh’s Judicial Temperament

Judge Kavanaugh’s Judicial Temperament

The newest attack on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is that he behaved with a lack of judicial temperament when questioned by the Senate about the allegations from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Of course, the obvious counter is that Kavanaugh was entitled to be upset – to …

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Searching for the Prehistory of American Constitutionalism

Searching for the Prehistory of American Constitutionalism

In some respects, the selection of Edward S. Corwin’s 1955 book The “Higher Law” Background of American Constitutional Law for inclusion in Liberty Fund’s catalogue of reprint classics on liberty is an unusual one. The catalogue as a whole may be said to incline to the Right, broadly speaking—though there …

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A Response to Greg Weiner

A Response to Greg Weiner

It is a rare day I find myself disagreeing with my friend and colleague, Greg Weiner. It is even more unusual that I would take to this space—where he is a contributing editor—to respond to him. But I find his take on the Kavanaugh hearings so out of step with …

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Originalism Contributes to Legal Stability as Much as Precedent

Originalism Contributes to Legal Stability as Much as Precedent

As originalism gains favor in the courts and in the academy no question about this theory of interpretation is of more practical importance than the relation between original meaning and the large amount of non-originalist precedent. In my previous posts on precedent, I argued that because of the likely beneficence …

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Economic Factors That Shook Modern Marriage

Economic Factors That Shook Modern Marriage

I mused in Wednesday’s post about movement in the seam of family make-or-buy decisions over the last 200 years. As a result of the increasing scope of markets, and decreasing market prices for many goods and services as a result of technological and industrial changes, people and families substituted “buy” …

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Beauty and Politics

Beauty and Politics

Lately on the morning drive, my toddler and I have been listening to songs from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Fred Rogers’ welcome song caught my attention on what must have been my thousandth listen: It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood A beautiful day for a neighbor Would you be mine? …

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Dear Avengers of the Free Market . . .

Dear Avengers of the Free Market . . .

Beyond the snarky attacks on me personally and insinuations of my “racism”—cut-and-paste obligatory for the “Right” these days—the responses by James Pethokoukis and (especially) John Tamny to my Liberty Forum essay on Silicon Valley are the usual sorts of press releases that are written to butter up the industry and …

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Is the Political Leader Teachable?

Is the Political Leader Teachable?

The intense friendship between Socrates and Alcibiades must have struck many Athenians as odd. A generation separated them in age; then, too, they were a study in contrasts. While Alcibiades charmed, Socrates irritated. Alcibiades’ beauty led those around him to swoon, whereas Socrates’ bulging eyes invited comparisons to a torpedo …

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China, Model of the Modern Digital Dictatorship

China, Model of the Modern Digital Dictatorship

Western governments’ suspicions of Huawei Technologies have been heating up, with Poland arresting its sales director on a charge of espionage last week. Weijing Wang was summarily fired from his job—a contrast with the shrill protestations from Beijing last month upon the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, …

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