Jeremy Purves's Reviews > Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century

Nullification by Thomas E. Woods Jr.
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May 05, 12

bookshelves: own, the-bookshelf-of-suck
Read in July, 2010 — I own a copy

Mr. Woods effectively sums up his respect for the U.S. Constitution by quoting famous American anarchist, Lysander Spooner, in the conclusion of his book on Nullification: "Lysander Spooner, abolitionist and anarchist, once said that the Constitution has either authorized the government we have now or has been helpless to prevent it. `In either case,' he starkly concluded, the Constitution `is unfit to exist.'" (pg 142)

With this book, Woods has finally just violently hurled himself out of mainstream conservatism and into the fringe. As a conservative with tea party sympathies myself, I have to warn everyone that if they follow Woods' suggestions, they are going to send the Tea Party movement down the abyss, along the way of the "birthers" and other "outside of conservatism" dingbats. It is no coincidence that Spooner was a profound influence on libertarian Murray Rothbard (who was famous for (a) arguing that the government shouldn't be allowed the power of taxation, or actually the right to exist at all, and (b) being kicked out of conservative circles by William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review, and Co.). It should come as no surprise that Woods finds it useful to quote from Rothbard in order to make the arguments in his book.

This book is based on selective and shoddily thrown together history, ignoring obvious historical facts that are inconvenient to Woods' arguments. For example, it was only Jefferson, not Madison, who supported the idea of nullification. (Madison, not Jefferson, helped write the Constitution.) The power of the states to nullify and ignore federal law was one of the huge problems under the Articles of Confederation which caused the Constitutional Convention in 1787 in the first place. In other words, the Constitution was written so that the states couldn't ignore or nullify federal law ...

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message 1: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Rice Great comment. Agree 100%.


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