National Security Cannot Be Achieved By Eroding Property Rights

The term “national security” is something of a misnomer. The safety of all lies in the securing of the safety of one. In other words, individual cases matter. This is nowhere so well evidenced as in cases where the media and certain pandering partisans condemn the brutal criminal behavior of a single illegal immigrant (as is proper) and extrapolate it to paint immigrants with a broad-brush as some sort of invading mercenary force (as is…

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Defining “National Security”: A Trip Down the Linguistic Rabbit Hole

Given the centrality of national security to the rationale advanced by the Trump administration in justifying the recently levied tariffs against steel and aluminum, you might think this term might be defined somewhere, either in the relevant legislation or sections of the U.S. Code from which the president is drawing his authority to act. And you would be wrong. The same administration officials—namely Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross, both of whom are trade-nativists, labeling concerns…

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Is National Security Replacing the Commerce Clause as the Basis for Sweeping Federal Power?

The falling away of federalistic principles from government is often linked to the increasingly nationalistic scope of politics. Under the auspices of the commerce clause and the “necessary and proper” clause, federal government officials have been able to rationalize their claim to final regulatory authority over an increasingly wide swathe of issues. The commerce clause gives Congress power to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States”. The necessary and proper clause is…

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The Rise of Economics as an Element of National Security: Part 2: Not All Forms of Production Are Created Equal

Read Part I: The Inequity Engendered by Protectionism National security, as it has been traditionally understood, defends against war and other forms of destructive treachery posed by hard power. The rise of economic security nominally does the same, though it is the hemorrhaging of money, not blood, which is of concern. Marketplaces become metaphorical battlefields, the size of which is determined by the amount of money and number of transactions involved. The government, when it…

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The Rise of Economics as an Element of National Security: Part I: The Inequity Engendered by Protectionism

National security has become the catchall justification for government inserting itself into matters which are beyond the purview given it by the Constitution. The definition of what constitutes a threat has expanded to a point where all manner of things are now regulated under the guise of protecting the people. Security is no longer simply about protection from physical harm, but also a function of stability and prosperity; it is not about the largely passive…

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