The Impotence of the Kantian Republic

When a young man such as Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber, blows himself up, killing as many others as he can take with him, it is only natural for us to ask why he acted as he did. His behavior is so extraordinary, as well as evil, and so far beyond the range of normal,…

He Built Better Than He Knew

Peter Lawler’s passing has been quite painful to me as it has to so very many people who were his…

Amending the Constitution with Buchanan and Buckley

Along with Michael Rappaport, I participated in Michael McConnell’s “Big Fix” conference, held at Stanford Law School this past week.…

From the Blog

James R. Rogers
Texas A&M University

Trump’s Electorate: Old or New?

A lot of the discussion of President Trump’s election interprets his election as reflecting a…

Refugees and the Humanitarians’ Dilemma

The doctrine of humanity’s original, common ownership of the earth was a staple of natural…

What Do We Hold in Common?

Nineteenth-Century Americans associated with the nativist American Party (a.k.a., “Know Nothings”) proposed extended probationary periods…

John O. McGinnis
Northwestern University School of Law

Manchester by the Sea and the Decline of the Working Class

If one is interested in a counterpoint to the received wisdom about the plight of…

In Polarized Times the Administrative State Undermines Stability and Prosperity

The FCC is about to eviscerate the Obama administration’s rules on net neutrality. One of…

Improve Federalism by Rewarding Interstate Movement

One of the glories of our constitutional structure is competitive federalism. Under the original Constitution,…

Mike Rappaport
University of San Diego School of Law

Original Methods Originalism Part I: The Basic Idea and the Different Versions

One approach to constitutional originalism is called original methods originalism, which John McGinnis and I…

Investigating Illegal Government Action

The firing of James Comey and the appointment of a special counsel have once again…

Amending the Constitution Through Direct Democracy

Over the weekend, I attended a great conference at Stanford Law School entitled, A Big…

Liberty Law Forum

Businessman in elegant suit with his jacket hanging over his sho

What Is the Future of Conservatism?

In his 1936 essay “The Crack-Up,” F. Scott Fitzgerald proposed that “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined…

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Responses

Don’t Take the Benedict Option

Professor Goldman begins his Liberty Forum essay by urging a striking, but probably unworkable, reconception of the fundamental divide in conservative ranks. Rather than “the familiar distinctions between libertarianism and traditionalism, neoconservatism and paleoconservatism,” he proposes, it’s a conflict between “liberalism and reaction.” Reaction—meaning reactionary politics such as Trumpism—is, according to Goldman, not easily compatible with…

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Creative Tension, Not Crack-Up

Samuel Goldman has written a bracing Liberty Forum essay suggesting that the Right side of the political spectrum is split, perhaps hopelessly and irrevocably, between classical liberalism and reaction. The roots of the divide are deep and enduring but what brings the problem into bold relief is our political moment and, above all, the rise…

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Freedom Might Well Flourish Even If Conservatives Don’t

Samuel Goldman has written a wide-ranging and thought-provoking Liberty Forum essay on the current sorry state of American conservatism. This sorry state is especially sorry for those of us who, like Dr. Goldman, believe that classical liberalism is the best part of American conservatism. It is an assessment, he says in conclusion, which he hopes…

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Critiquing the Administrative State Is Natural

Samuel Goldman has made a stimulating contribution to our political discussions. “What is the Future of Conservatism?” is thoughtful and thought-provoking. In light of the feud between Never Trump conservatives and Trump-supporting conservatives, it is well worth pondering if Goldman is right that we are witnessing a conservative “crack up.” This concern is not new. He…

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