Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law

Article excerpt

Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law BY RICHARD A. EPSTEIN, HARVARD, Z48 PAGES, $2.9.95

Richard Epstein, professor of law at New York University and one of America's foremost right-leaning legal scholars, clarifies which economic rights we possess and how best to protect them in his new book, Design for Liberty. Epstein's thesis about "the current world malaise" is that "the protections of private property have eroded. The massive expansion of the public sector has in turn placed heavy demands on public administration, which can be met only by widespread disregard of the rule of law," which demands "neutrality, generality, clarity, consistency, and prospectivity."

Defending a classically liberal conception of the state that is neither dogmatically libertarian nor a stepping stone to the progressive welfare state, he explains the problems as results of the progressive movement's opposition to "theories of government that stressed the dominance of private property, individual liberty, and limited government." State regulators exercising too much arbitrary discretion directly violates individual rights and undermines the stable expectations necessary for private economic actors - businesses - to grow. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.