America at the Point of No Return
The States: America at the Point of No Return
by Michael Anton
Regnery Publishing, 2020
Michael Anton is best known to the public through his essay “The Flight 93 Election,” published in 2016 under a pseudonym in the Claremont Review of Books. It warned of the dire consequences if Hillary Clinton were elected. Anton, an authority on Machiavelli, was long associated with the socalled West Coast Straussians of the Claremont Institute, and he was personally close to Harry Jaffa. But although Jaffa is not absent from The Stakes, the book’s presiding genius is my old friend Sam Francis. The book is excellent. It is wellwritten, thoughtful, and imaginative. It has much to teach us, and, although I disagree with a number of points in it, I’ll stress the insights.
Before proceeding, I need to allay, at least in part, one source of misgiving. Anton disparages “market fundamentalists,” and some of my readers may for this reason cast the book aside. It would be a mistake to do so. Anton writes, “Even more decisive, though, in turning finance to the left has been the adoption of government-backed central banking and fiat currency, which make private banks effectively appendages of the state. If anyone had any doubt about the truth of that observation before 2008, the TARP bailouts should have put the matter to rest for all time.” Later in the book, he wonders “whether it’s possible to maintain a fiat currency indefinitely with endless money printing and whether said currency can long maintain its global reserve status.” Dr. Ron Paul could not have said it better.
In one of the best sections of the book, Anton sets forward his understanding of the Constitution. He says, “Our founders sought to establish the weakest possible federal government capable of performing its essential functions, for three fundamental and intertwined reasons. First, government is inherently dangerous, so the less power it has, the better. Second, the states—being closer to the people and more responsive to regional differences and needs—are better equip
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