Noted political scientist speaks on government's intrusions

Noted political scientist Charles Murray was the keynote at a Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism event.
Image Credit: Craig Mahaffey

CLEMSON, S.C. — American freedom is under siege by a federal government intent on sidestepping the Constitution and as a result ordinary people are being senselessly harassed, an acclaimed political scientist said Thursday at a Clemson University conference on capitalism.

Charles Murray, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and best-selling author, was the keynote speaker at the 10th annual Moral Foundations of Capitalism Conference hosted by the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism.

“Government is infringing on virtually every aspect of Americans’ lives. Whether you run a business, practice a vocation, raise your families, cooperate with your neighbors or follow your religious beliefs, we run afoul of the government,” Murray said. “And it isn’t because we are doing anything wrong, it’s because the government has decided it knows better.”

As stated in his most recent book, “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty without Permission,” the biggest government harassment arms are the regulatory agencies. Specifically, Murray called out the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as the biggest culprits.

In his talk, Murray highlighted “systematic civil disobedience” as potentially the only recourse for Americans who want to go about their lives – and businesses – undisturbed.

“There are ways to bring back our traditional freedoms and in the process put government back in its proper box, and it can be done in a civil way,” he said. “It can be done by we the people by simply ignoring so many of these regulations that are pointless and tyrannical.”

To protect those who fail to tolerate the regulations, Murray proposes setting up occupational defense funds that essentially insure those who rebel against fines that are levied and provides them with legal defense. He said by engaging in costly and time-consuming litigation on behalf of clients who challenge the status quo, “the fund drains the government’s enforcement resources. Essentially, it’s like pouring sugar in the government’s gas tank.”

Bradley Thompson, executive director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism, said the organization believes the health and preservation of free societies requires that scholars, students and citizens understand the underlying principles and institutions that distinguish free from unfree societies.

“To help foster that understanding the institute engages with diverse viewpoints in order to provide an intellectual forum that encourages and values honest and rigorous conversation and debate,” he said. “So we support scholarship that examines how certain moral, political and economic ideas actually work in practice and whether those ideas produce freedom, opportunity and prosperity for the citizens of the societies that affirm them.”

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Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism
The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism was founded in 2005 with a mission of increasing public awareness of the moral foundations of capitalism. America’s first and only university teaching and research center dedicated to exploring the moral foundations of capitalism, the Institute is entirely privately funded.