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Unfortunately, capital and labor are more like Legos than Play-Doh

...meaning they aren't safe to eat??

The U.S. Constitution is just a piece of parchment. You don't have any rights protected under the whatsit amendment, article whatever, or clause this or that. The U.S. Constitution is a living document, i.e. it means whatever politicians and judges feel it ought to say. The first amendment is merely related to your right to free speech. The law, not as it is written, but as it is de facto enforced, is but an ancestor of a first amendment which long ago ceased to be law itself.

The progressives and conservatives understand this: you cannot be an originalist unless you agree with everything in the Constitution, otherwise its words must be bent to whatever one believes they ought to say.

You should call yourself a "libertarian". I like how they use "progressive" because it's easy to tell what they're talking about. Much less confusing than "liberal".

"Classical liberal" seems somewhat misleading. A lot of people consider themselves classical liberals and don't think of that as being the same thing as "libertarian".

Brilliant last line Steve! Looking forward to the response...

Legos and Play-Doh...now you're speaking in terms that Delong can understand.

Good post by Steve on the Constitution. I applaud the new-found interest in the document. I've carried a copy of Cato's pocket edition with me for years.

The Citizens United decision has been widely distorted, beginning by the President, so it is not suprising that it is unpopular. The Institute for Justice (ij.org) clarifies what the decision did and did not say.

Under Article I, Section there are 18 precise and enumerated powers of the Congress. Very precise. Congress has the power "to provide and maintain a Navy." Not so, however, to maintain a standing army.

on Legos vs PlayDoh.
"...aren't safe to eat??"
No Jasper, they crunch under your feet when you step on them.

Steve (or #28 on DeLong's Enemies/Stupid list),

The Con-job-stitution defines the executive, legislative, and judicial "powers"; the Bill of Rights was a supposedly classical liberal (or antifederalist) amendment added as a quid pro quo to get nine of the original thirteen states to ratify the thing. It didn't originate rights (they existed before it did), nor does it guarantee or protect them. If it did, how come Art. 1, section 8 is a laundry list of government monopolies, which violates lots of rights? How come all sorts of taxes (e.g. income, estate) and the Fed are "constitutional"? How are they consistent with the rights the Conjob supposedly guarantees and protects?

How about a dose of Spooner in analyzing the Conjob?

I have my own doubts about the Constitution (Spooner style), but my purpose in this piece was to point out the hypocrisy. In addition, the Freeman Online's audience isn't necessarily hard-core libertarians, so I took the importance of the Constitution as a given.


Didn't know you were a "classical liberal".

I'm a radical libertarian, which is a species of "classical liberal." My point in the Freeman piece was to be as inclusive as possible within the libertarian movement.

It is a good story. But look!*

Thanks Steven, great post !

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