by Richard A. Epstein
May 08, 2014
The United States Constitution must, on any neutral evaluation, count as the greatest triumph of political statecraft in history. The central mission of The Classical Liberal Constitution is to demonstrate that in most major areas of modern constitutional law, the classical liberal approach offers a coherent third alternative to the conservative and progressive traditions that dominate modern constitutional law, an alternative that avoids the pitfalls of both, while incorporating the best of each. The motivation for this argument should be apparent from the disarray that infects every area of modern American life: steady decline in living standards; uncertainty over the tax structure; massive over-regulation of health care and financial services; and runaway redistribution programs. All of these major programs could not have happened under the original constitutional structure. Rather, they are the ultimate consequence of the profound progressive break with the classical liberal tradition that guided the framing of the Constitution.