About Alexander Salter

Alexander William Salter is Assistant Professor of Economics in the Rawls College of Business, and the Comparative Economics Research Fellow at Texas Tech University's Free Market Institute.

Why American Democracy Is Worth Defending

By |2019-11-21T19:44:19-06:00August 18th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Democracy, Government, Liberty, Politics|

What is American democracy, and why is it worth defending? The current political climate, in which democracy is increasingly (and troublingly) equated with populism, compels us to reflect on this question. Democracy is an ancient form of government, but historically, democracies that rise above mere mob rule and reflect genuine self-governance, while respecting basic rights, [...]

Constitutional Drift & the Challenge of Self-Governance

By |2018-07-29T23:08:08-05:00July 29th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Constitution, Federalist, Government, Liberty, Politics, Timeless Essays|

Self-governance requires that those in positions of authority emphasize the importance of treating the Constitution as a "living document," in that phrase’s best sense—not as a surrender to expediency, but as a recognition that no nation can govern itself that fails to meet the responsibility of perpetually renewing the Constitution by living its constitution... Today’s [...]

Should Conservatism Seek to Destroy the State?

By |2018-11-19T20:36:37-06:00October 16th, 2017|Categories: Beauty, Conservatism, History, Politics, Revolution, Russell Kirk, Truth|

For their own sake, as well as the sake of the civilization which they love, conservatives can and should deny the state’s legitimacy, on the grounds that it is destructive of the true, the good, and the beautiful… Two philosophies rarely seem as opposed as conservatism and anarchism. The Continental, Throne-and-Altar variant of conservatism obviously [...]

Free Trade, Protectionism, & the Limits of Economic Analysis

By |2019-10-24T13:35:27-05:00March 6th, 2017|Categories: Economics, Free Trade, Politics|

Economics deals with statements of “is,” not of “ought.” It can tell you the consequences of particular public policies, but it cannot itself demonstrate the rightness or wrongness of such policies… Some debates on economic matters seem destined to recur in the public square. The minimum wage is one. Rent control is another. With several [...]

“Indignation Studies”

By |2016-10-07T21:04:49-05:00October 9th, 2016|Categories: Poetry|

“There are no laws, save Want alone,” The mad professor said, “That govern the affairs of men. “So get out of your head “Archaic thoughts of Nature’s Laws. “Reactionary nonsense! “The only constant we confront “Is that there are no constants. […]

The Political Economy of “Starship Troopers”

By |2018-10-11T16:29:09-05:00August 11th, 2016|Categories: Books, Film, Politics|

Starship Troopers is perhaps the best-known novel of science fiction master Robert A. Heinlein. Unlike many science fiction novels, the longevity of Starship Troopers’ reputation has at least as much to do with controversies over its themes as the quality of the writing and storytelling. I am afraid there is no getting around using the [...]

What Brexit Teaches Us about Democracy

By |2016-07-12T13:34:02-05:00July 11th, 2016|Categories: American Founding, England, Politics|

By now, countless articles have been written on Brexit. But what implications does Brexit have for the United States? In answering this question, I do not want to focus on whether Brexit was a good idea or not. It’s far too soon to tell. Instead, I will consider whether the decision procedure for Brexit—the referendum—was [...]

Will Progressivism Win?

By |2016-08-02T18:41:46-05:00June 26th, 2016|Categories: Featured, Ideology, Ordered Liberty, Progressivism|

Understanding Progressivism and the Progressive Era is one of the most important tasks for intellectual defenders of ordered liberty. In just under two generations, Progressivism captured the minds of the American intellectual class, which then transformed traditional governance institutions into the modern bureaucratic-administrative state. As Thomas C. Leonard shows in his new book, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, [...]

Learning to Love the Liberalism of Ludwig von Mises

By |2016-05-23T16:39:00-05:00May 23rd, 2016|Categories: Conservatism, Economics, Ludwig von Mises|

What is liberalism? How ought we to understand it? Entire forests have been felled in the attempt to answer these questions. Much of the literature that undertakes a “taxonomy” of ideas has focused on whether liberalism is a single principle or a plurality of principles, or whether liberalism always contained within it the seeds of [...]

Could Adam Smith Have Loved Distributism?

By |2020-07-16T16:51:36-05:00April 24th, 2016|Categories: Adam Smith, Capitalism, Distributism, Economics, Social Order|

There are several areas in which distributists and free-market economists can find common ground, and even common ends. Both share a desire for more widespread ownership of the means of production, and a desire for a less powerful centralized state. With this essay, I am venturing into unfamiliar territory. My previous essays featured in this journal have [...]

Why American Government Has Failed

By |2016-04-19T17:20:35-05:00March 15th, 2016|Categories: Economics, Featured, Government, Philosophy|

Western social philosophy has produced many, many writings on the nature of sovereignty. Chiefly, these works are concerned with the individual or group of individuals who are entitled to rule. The medieval conception of divine right held that kings were the apex in a heavenly-ordained social order, ruling legitimately to the extent they upheld the [...]

Who Has the Right to Rule Us?

By |2019-11-08T16:03:47-06:00February 29th, 2016|Categories: Christendom, Civilization, Democracy, Featured, Monarchy, Political Philosophy|

There’s an old joke that goes, “The definition of a gentleman is someone who knows how to play the accordion, but doesn’t.” The same principle, when applied to political philosophy, contains much wisdom. The definition of a governor, whether he be a president, prime minister, or king, is someone who has the power to destroy [...]

Economic Efficiency: A Misunderstood Concept

By |2019-08-15T12:50:41-05:00February 9th, 2016|Categories: Economics, Free Markets|

Economic efficiency is one of the most important concepts economists use to classify and understand the social world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most misused. There are two aspects of economic efficiency, the positive and the normative, both of which must be understood in order to apply the concept fruitfully. The former involves [...]

Constitutional Drift and the Challenge of Self-Governance

By |2020-08-31T01:04:07-05:00December 16th, 2015|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, Constitution, Featured, Federalism|

The rise of the bureaucratic-managerial state was a de facto constitutional revision, although the Constitution was never formally amended to reflect the changing nature of American governance. The result of this "constitutional drift" was a Machiavellian illusion covering the gap between political form and political substance. There is no such thing as a finished constitution. [...]

Go to Top