Sheldon Richman Articles

TGIF: Licensing the Fringe

Big Tech's incredible promise to rid its platforms of "misinformation and disinformation" is not only a chimera that will harm the most gullible, but it is also an unwitting grant of power and credibility to some of the dodgiest elements online. That claim might sound...

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TGIF: More Voices, Please

If the social media and other high-tech companies, whether under pressure from the state or not, were to lead people to believe that, starting today, only accurate information will get through their gatekeepers, would the public, especially the most gullible, really...

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TGIF: Disagreement without Conflict

I'll admit it: I'm a natural-rights guy. I think you can get to individual rights, including the right to property, from within the ancient Greek eudaimonist (virtue ethics) and Spinozist tradition. But here's a separate point: rights-talk may not be the best way to...

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TGIF: Anti-Woke Isn’t Necessarily Pro-Liberty

I had a reminder this week that those who oppose fashionable postmodernist-style attacks on reason and objectivity, such as "critical" race and gender theories, are not necessarily consistent friends of liberty and the free society. That reminder came in a recent...

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TGIF: Easy Cases May Make Bad Rules

Hard cases make bad law, an adage apparently coined before 1837 tells us. In other words, "an extreme case is a poor basis for a general law that would cover a wider range of less extreme cases." Not everyone has agreed that this is the case, but we'll let that go. I...

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TGIF: Utopianism May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Beware those who claim to have a detailed blueprint for the ideal society. If such a person thinks you stand in the way, you may get run over. That's how it is with utopians. They want everything just so, and woe betide those who disagree. The repeated attempts at...

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TGIF: Pursue Your Happiness and Forget the Rest

How about we do something novel in the new year? Let's stop worrying about the stuff most politicians, pundits, and activists want us to worry about and instead think about ourselves, our families, our friends, and whatever communities we choose to be part of. Let's...

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TGIF: Double-Rigging of the Auto Market

U.S. government interference with our lives often resembles a Russian matryoshka doll: regulation is nested in more regulation. Take the provision of Biden's pending Build Back Better bill that would create a big tax credit for people who buy U.S.-built electric...

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TGIF: Joe Biden, Let’s Not Go to War

Here's a good idea: let's not go to war against Russia. Let's not even rattle a saber at Russia (or China, for that matter) because even wars that no one really wants can be blundered into. Many losers would be left in the aftermath, even if nuclear weapons were kept...

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TGIF: Safety in Freedom

With the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, renewed restrictions on liberty or calls for their reinstatement have broken out around the world. The new wave is probably only beginning, and with it will surely come sermons on how we must face trade-offs between...

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TGIF: Racial Polarization Is Poison

Be they "left" or "right," those who agitate for racial polarization seem to have no sense of the harm they could do to everyone in our society. As the wise Glenn Loury would say, they are playing with fire. By polarization, of any kind, I mean more than merely a...

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TGIF: Rigged Political Language

It's an old trick: gain advantage over others by hiding one's meaning behind euphemisms and other forms of linguistic camouflage and misdirection. People do this in all walks of life, but politicians make careers of it. If they engage in straight talk at all, it is by...

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TGIF: Equal Rights Now!

A pet peeve of mine is the distinction, drawn even by some market enthusiasts, between so-called personal liberty (or civil liberties) and economic liberty. The former, which usually includes freedom of conscience and religion, speech, and press, is thought to be...

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TGIF: Another Climate Conference

Sometimes we've got to be grateful for hypocrisy. If those who pretend to be world leaders actually delivered a fraction of what they promise in Glasgow, Scotland, where the UN's COP26 (Conference of Parties) Conference on Climate Change runs through Nov. 12, we'd be...

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What Social Animal's Owe to Each Other

by Sheldon Richman

Book Animalssm

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 Antiwar.com. 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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