Throughout history, kings and emperors have promised "freedoms" to their people. Yet these freedoms were really only permissions handed down from on high. The American Revolution inaugurated a new vision: people have basic rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and government must ask permission from them. Sadly, today's increasingly bureaucratic society is beginning to turn back the clock and to transform America into a nation where our freedoms--the right to speak freely, to earn a living, to own a gun, to use private property, even the right to take medicine to save one's own life--are again treated as privileges the government may grant or withhold at will. Timothy Sandefur examines the history of the distinction between rights and privileges that played such an important role in the American experiment, and how we can fight to retain our freedoms against the growing power of government. Illustrated with dozens of real-life examples--including many cases he litigated himself--Sandefur shows how treating freedoms as government-created privileges undermines our Constitution and betrays the basic principles of human dignity.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note
Charters of liberty granted by power The free society versus the permission society Prior restraint of speech Economics and prior restraint The competitor's veto The right to use private property Guns, drugs, and sex The future of permission.
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Digital File Characteristics
Source of Description
Print version record.
Available in Other Form
Print version: Sandefur, Timothy. Permission society. First American edition. New York : Encounter Books, 2016