Welcome to the Summer 2014 issue of The Objective Standard. Here’s a brief indication of the contents at hand.
For years, I have cringed every time Abraham Lincoln’s name has been mentioned on liberty-oriented television, radio, or social media—as, invariably, it was followed by a deluge of derogatory claims about Lincoln to the effect that he was a statist, a wannabe dictator, a warmonger, a racist, a pragmatist, or all of the above. The MO of the claimants was always to ignore relevant facts and context surrounding Lincoln’s era, his administration, his words, and his actions; and to focus narrowly on some isolated fact such as that Lincoln imposed a draft, or introduced an income tax, or wanted to return blacks to Africa. Well, it is time to shine some light on the essential facts of the matter; and, in “Getting Lincoln Right,” Alexander Marriott does just that.
Marriott’s essay addresses various claims of Lincoln-bashing libertarians and conservatives; presents crucial and oft-ignored facts about Lincoln, about the Founders he revered, about the state of the Union during his time, and about the Civil War; and provides the context necessary to judge Lincoln and his actions objectively. “If we care about historical truth and the ‘eternal struggle’ for liberty,” writes Marriott, “we must get Lincoln right—and we must speak up when others get him wrong.” Marriott’s essay provides the facts necessary to do both.
My article, “Purpose, Value Hierarchies, and Happiness,” zeros in on the nature and importance of purpose in good living, discusses how to organize and prioritize your values and goals with respect to their relative importance to your life and happiness, and offers tips and standing orders for making your life the best it can be. I hope you find it helpful.
Next up, Ari Armstrong interviews Timothy Sandefur about the essential purpose of the Constitution, the crucial role of the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence in understanding that purpose, Sandefur’s work at the Pacific Legal Foundation, and other matters.
The books reviewed in this issue are Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness, by Willard Spiegelman; and So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, by Cal Newport (both reviewed by Daniel Wahl).
In the section From TOS Blog, we offer a sampling of our daily commentary from the past several weeks. (If you’d like to receive our weekly blog digest, simply join our email list via the website.)
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Enjoy the issue, and have a delightful summer! —Craig Biddle