Sheldon Richman Articles

TGIF: Limited Government’s Bait and Switch

In a fundamental respect, libertarian minarchism (minimal, or limited, government) and market anarchism (or anarcho-capitalism) have something important in common: neither can guarantee individual rights. But there's a big difference: unlike market anarchism,...

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TGIF: Hurrah for Real Globalization!

Globalization, like the free market and classical liberalism generally, isn't wildly popular these days, is it? People blame globalization for all sorts of bad things, and the raps are usually bum. In truth, to the extent that governments keep out so-called foreign...

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TGIF: Free Speech Affirmed — Pretty Much

[Updated Sept. 16] The preliminary injunction against federal censorship of social-media users has survived the Biden administration's appeal. However, it remains on hold until Sept. 22 while the Supreme Court considers the matter. The latest ruling, 78 pages long, by...

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TGIF: Who Rules? That Is Not the Question

Today's two major contenders for political power seem to be elitists and populists. Funnily enough, both types are present in each of the big tribes known as progressive/liberal and conservatism, left and right, or Democratic and Republican. (Here's the lowdown on...

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TGIF: Why the State Is Corrupt

Why is government corrupt? You'll notice that I did not ask, "Is government corrupt." We've had enough experience to go right to the main question. I might have softened it with the phrase tends to be to acknowledge that not everyone in government is corrupt, at least...

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TGIF: On “Giving Back”

P&G, the maker of popular household brands like Tide and Downy laundry products, is giving away $10,000 in college scholarships. That's $1.5 million and 150 scholarships in all. My problem, aside from its encouraging college attendance, is with how the company is...

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TGIF: Why Liberty Matters

Why does liberty matter? It’s a fair question because, after all, not everyone thinks it matters very much, perhaps beyond some very basic point. If that’s an overstatement, we can safely say that for many people on the left and right, liberty is a lower priority than...

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TGIF: Shame on Government for Censoring Us

Alas, federal District Judge Terry A. Doughty's preliminary injunction against government censorship of us on social media has been put on hold. So rules three members of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. But this stay of the injunction in State of Missouri et al....

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TGIF: What about Politicians?

The best-selling social scientist and, it so happens, libertarian Bryan Caplan thinks politicians are immoral. Sounds promising. He's discussed this online and in one of his published blog-post collections, How Evil Are Politicians?: Essays on Demagoguery. What are we...

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TGIF: Paternalists Cross the Free-Speech Line

Some pundits are puzzled that respectable mainstream Democrats and  "progressives" are no longer free-speech absolutists but rather are enthusiastic defenders of the government's massive effort to squelch expression on the social media platforms. (Glenn Greenwald is...

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TGIF: Free Speech Upsets Powers that Be

The Biden administration, along with mainstream politicians and journalists, are really upset that U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty has forbidden the executive branch of the central government from communicating with social-media platforms for the purpose of...

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TGIF: Good News on Free Speech — for Now

Occasionally, the news makes one cheer. That's the case with a preliminary injunction granted this week (July 4) to stop the federal government from suppressing lawful speech on social media. U.S. District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty took the action in the case of...

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TGIF: “America First” Need Not Be Antiwar

Today's Trump-inspired "America First" faction cannot be counted on to be consistently noninterventionist and antiwar. That it may lean that way because its chief rival faction is so enthusiastic about foreign adventurism is hardly a firm assurance that it will remain...

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TGIF: Foreign Policy Matters

In an extra special way, foreign policy matters crucially to champions of individual liberty. Not that it doesn't matter to other people too -- just not in all the same ways. Anyone who understands the importance of keeping government power strictly limited in...

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What Social Animal's Owe to Each Other

by Sheldon Richman

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These essays, written over the past 20 years, have a single underlying theme: namely, that we human beings, as social animals, need individual freedom to fully flourish.

Coming to Palestine

by Sheldon Richman

In this incredible volume of essays, collected over 30 years, Sheldon Richman exposes the true history of Israeli dispossession of the Palestinians.

Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute and a contributing editor at He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies; former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education; and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest books are Coming to Palestine and What Social Animals Owe to Each Other.

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