Charles Murray believes that America's founders had it right--strict limits on the power of the central government and strict protection of the individual are the keys to a genuinely free society. In What It Means to Be a Libertarian, he proposes a government reduced to the barest essentials: an executive branch consisting only of the White House and trimmed-down departments of state, defense, justice, and environment protection; a Congress so limited in power that it meets only a few months each year; and a federal code stripped of all but a handful of regulations.
Combining the tenets of classical Libertarian philosophy with his own highly-original, always provocative thinking, Murray shows why less government advances individual happiness and promotes more vital communities and a richer culture. By applying the truths our founders held to be self-evident to today's most urgent social and political problems, he creates a clear, workable vision for the future.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: What It Means to Be a Libertarian|
|Release Date: 09-22-2010|
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|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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What It Means to Be a Libertarian
Public celebrations of freedom used to be at the heart of America's pride in itself. When we bragged about being American (and how we used to brag), it was freedom we talked about, endlessly. We loved our liberty--the God-given, inalienable, constitutionally guaranteed right of every American to live his life as he saw fit, beholden to no one, taking his own chances, pursuing happiness in his own way, doing as he damn well pleased. We celebrated that individualistic, unfettered American in our politics, literature, songs, drama, and, later, in films.
As socialism gained influence in the twentieth century, it became intellectually fashionable to mock freedom, first in Europe and eventually in the United States. What does freedom really amount to, the left asked, in a world of poverty? The equal freedom of rich and poor to sleep under bridges? As the century progressed, the same dismissiveness toward freedom, especially economic freedom, spread from intellectuals into mainstream politics. This thing called freedom, we were told, is what the rich talk about when they don't want to face their responsibilities to the poor.
In the face of such taunts American celebrations of freedom faded. We even stopped talking much about freedom. Listen carefully to today's politicians. You will hear the Democrats talk about "social justice" and "fairness." You will hear the Republicans talk about lower taxes and "getting government off our backs" in minor ways, while leaving it untouched everywhere else. But freedom? When did you last hear a leading Republican or Democratic politician argue that prese...