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05 August 2013

Eric Daniels on Why Small Government Isn't the Answer: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I interviewed historian Eric Daniels about "Why Small Government Isn't the Answer." It's not directly related to the cause of secular government, but it's useful to anyone interested in political activism for individual rights. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading. You'll find it on the episode's archive page, as well as below.

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Podcast: Eric Daniels about "Why Small Government Isn't the Answer"

Is "big government" the fundamental problem of American politics? Historian Eric Daniels will explain why this common formulation is misleading, wrong, and even dangerous to liberty.

Dr. Eric Daniels teaches history and works on curriculum development at the LePort Schools in Irvine, California. He has previously taught at Clemson, Georgetown, and Duke Universities. He has a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin.

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Topics:
  • The problem with "big government" versus "small government"
  • The proper debate: individual rights
  • The two axes of size versus rights
  • Big government like judicial activism
  • Three categories of government action
  • Violating rights versus failing to protect rights
  • The Founders' view: not size but the proper ends of government
  • The failure of the Articles of Confederation
  • 19th century rights violations
  • The rights of women
  • Violations of rights by local governments, particularly based on race
  • The real-life effects of failing to protect rights
  • Judges riding the circuit, too small criminal justice system
  • Measuring the size of government
  • Measuring the growth of government
  • The problem of the inessential
  • Skewing the political debate toward anarchism
  • The appeal to Somalia
  • The terms "limited government" and "minarchism"
  • Advice for activists
  • Eric's new job at LePort Schools

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