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Manhattan Institute

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There’s More to Life Than Liberty and Robbery

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There’s More to Life Than Liberty and Robbery

National Review Online November 20, 2019
EconomicsOther

Senator Rubio is exploring how levers of policy affect market conditions and behaviors, a discussion that is stretching the Right’s traditional vocabulary.

Deep in the bowels of the National Archives, I gather, lie America’s true founding documents. On display for the public are namby-pamby versions spouting hokey pablum about “the People . . . institut[ing] new Government . . . to effect their Safety and Happiness” and adopting a Constitution to “promote the general Welfare.” Those are the fakes that Nicolas Cage gets conned into stealing.

Kevin D. Williamson is not so easily fooled. In his two–part reply to Senator Marco Rubio’s remarkable speech and subsequent National Review essay on “common-good capitalism,” Williamson explains, “The U.S. government exists to see to the liberty of the American people. That is it. That is its only reason for being.” He avers, “This account isn’t fringe libertarianism — it’s right there in the founding documents.”

Extraordinary that Thomas Jefferson wrote prose so clunky as “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men . . . are endowed by their creator with just one unalienable Right, liberty, that’s it,” and that the framers of the Constitution thought sufficient a preamble reading simply, “We the People of the United States, in Order to protect liberty, and nothing else whatsoever, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.” Extraordinary, too, that this reality has been hidden from historians and legal scholars for so long. Someone should alert our courts that the framers were just kidding about clauses 4 and 8 of Article I, Section 8. Bankruptcies require the seizure and reallocation of private property, after all, while patents obstruct transactions between consenting adults.

Continue reading the entire piece here at National Review Online.

Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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