The US Constitution Was Never Necessary for Military Defense

Before the US Constitution of 1787 was ratified, its proponents have claimed a centralized and powerful American state was necessary for the purposes of military defense. But, as the Anti-Federalists of the time pointed out, the original constitution (known as the Articles of Confederation) had already been sufficient to allow the colonies to defeat what was […]

Why James Madison Hated Democracy

Why was James Madison so critical of democracies? Moreover, why was he so concerned about them when, according to the definition he provided, “democracies” basically don’t exist anywhere, either in his time or in our own. Today, many conservatives like to claim that “the Founding Fathers” opposed democracy and supported less majoritarian republics. However, as […]

The Whiskey Rebellion: Meet The New Boss

  223 years ago today, “The Dreadful Night” occurred in Western Pennsylvania, after an uprising called The Whiskey Rebellion. The United States was brand new. Soldiers who had fought for independence from Great Britain found themselves on opposite sides of a skirmish. Some were having their rights violated practically before the ink was dry on […]

Declaration Of Secession

It’s difficult to say what most Americans commemorate or celebrate on Independence Day nowadays. Many appear to focus on some vague notion of “America.” Others even take to jingoism equating the United States government with the very notion of “freedom.” Lost in all of this is the fact that the Declaration of Independence — the […]

Refighting the ‘Civil’ War

Lincoln Statue, Fasces. Lincoln Memorial. People of sound mind and reasonable judgment in their personal lives take on characters full of unwarranted confidence and intolerant insistence in public. The couple whose son has a “drug problem” wants the government to start a nationwide treatment program. The guy who can’t get his town sanitation department to […]

Lexington and Concord: The Flame Remains Unlit

Today is the 252nd anniversary of the “shot heard ‘round the world” at Lexington and Concord. The British regulars who started the fracas were following an age old government tradition of seizing powder, munitions and property for a pretentious King who had assumed such wide distribution of the tools of resistance should be available only […]

The Republican Charade: Clyde Wilson

I want to take a look at this strange institution we know as the Republican party and the course of its peculiar history in the American regime. The peculiar history both precedes and continues after Lincoln, although Lincoln is central to the story. It is fairly easy to construct an ideological account of the Democratic […]