Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century

Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century

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In this collection of seven essays, Donald Livingston presents the arguments of scholars who suggest that the country is simply too big for one central government. Coming from a wide range of backgrounds, these experts explore such complex issues as government by judiciary and a reconsideration of nationalistic government. They address the sources of nationalism and the influence of early political leaders, while discussing the continuing struggle between federal and local governments. The debate culminates in an analysis paralleling the disintegration of the Soviet Union with the current situation in the United States and urges readers to preserve the sovereignty of individual state governments.

The collection is an outgrowth of the Abbeville Conference, held in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2010 and features arguments by Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, Yuri Maltsev, Donald W. Livingston, Kent Masterson Brown, Marshall DeRosa, Kirkpatrick Sale, and Rob Williams. The essays present challenging ideas on issues that have remained current since the birth of the American nation.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 27.94mm | 544.31g
  • Gretna, LA, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 1589809572
  • 9781589809574
  • 2,107,063

Flap copy

In this thought-provoking collection, editor Donald Livingston presents seven essays addressing the modern paradigm of centralization. An outgrowth of the Abbeville Institute Scholars' Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina in February of 2010, this collection presents an exploration of state nullification, secession, and the human scale of political order. Scholars from a variety of backgrounds delve into such complex issues as nationalism, government by judiciary, the effects of size on the republican tradition, and natural progressions in rethinking nationalistic government.

By returning to original source materials, including the Constitution, the essayists clarify topics as diverse as the source of nationalism and influences of early political figures, the role of size in government, and the disintegration of the Soviet Union with parallels evident in the United States.
The essays provide clear evidence of the centralized government's ongoing power struggle with individual states. They offer concise justification for immediate action to preserve the sovereignty of member states while protecting all citizens from the ever-expanding federal government and restrictions on freedoms. As a collective, they provide a modern cautionary tale for the twenty-first century.
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Back cover copy

Is the United States simply too big to govern? These essays begin the discussion.

In 2003 Donald Livingston and a group of academics formed the Abbeville Institute, an organization of higher learning dedicated to a scholarly study of what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition. In 2010 the Institute sponsored a conference to focus on "State Nullification, Secession and the Human Scale of Political Order." Scholars from across the political spectrum came together to examine the unwieldy political strategy of centralization and the resultant expanding scale of government. This collection of essays grew out of that discourse, providing fresh insights at a time when the nineteenth-century nationalistic language of "one and indivisible" is losing its salience.

Kent Masterson Brown demonstrates that the Constitution ratified in 1789 was, and is, a compact between distinct political societies.
Marshall DeRosa reviews the current revival of states' rights in the Tea Party movement.
Thomas DiLorenzo examines the transformation of a federative constitution grounded in state sovereignty into a nationalist constitution in which the central government defines the limits of its own power through judicial review.
Donald Livingston explores the question of size, scale, and true republican government in historic context.
Yuri Maltsev brings forth the modern secessionist example, discussing in depth the peaceful separation of fifteen states from the Soviet Union and the lessons to be learned by thoughtful Americans.
Kirkpatrick Sale seeks to raise awareness that the republican values of self-government and rule of law cannot exist unless certain conditions of size and scale are satisfied, while questioning what the optimum size should be.
Rob Williams examines secession as it exists today, providing a substantive history of the movement and its introduction into the mainstream discussion of runaway centralization.
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36 ratings
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4 33% (12)
3 11% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 6% (2)
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