But what actually makes this book even more newsworthy is the fact that a major Republican Presidential candidate has endorsed it. Ron Paul's endorsement of the book, which I first noticed in this Salt Lake Independent Examiner article, is also published on Amazon:
"Connor Boyack has written a fascinating book that applies Mormon theology to the central question of statism vs. liberty that dominates our age. Latter-day Liberty provides an insightful analysis of both historical and modern political issues, and challenges the reader to reconcile religious beliefs with state actions. Not surprisingly, he finds that our federal government routinely violates the religious principles that many Mormons hold dear.
"Those who advocate limited government necessarily must advocate strong religious, civic, and social institutions. These institutions, rather than the state, should act as the central organizing mechanisms in American society. For this reason Latter-day Liberty can appeal to readers who are not Mormon, but simply recognize that their relationship with God compels them to question their relationship with the state."
Not surprisingly, the first run of 1,200 copies sold out in only two weeks; if you want a copy, you'll just have to cross your legs and wait a couple of weeks (more copies are being printed). And according to the Examiner, it's worth the wait. Jenn Morrill notes that while Latter-Day Liberty is a masterfully written book, it is not easy reading for those who have little interest in politics or philosophical/intellectual arguments. But for those who are fascinated by our current political climate and the individual liberty vs. state discussion, it is riveting. Learning what LDS prophets and apostles have said over the past two centuries regarding our nation's laws and policies is also enlightening and at times surprising. Morrill even suggests that Connor Boyack could become the next great LDS "thinker", in the same class as W. Cleon Skousen.
Still not convinced? Read Connor's Conundrums for more insight into his politics. Here are some of the more noteworthy posts (after the jump):
-- "Opposing Marijuana Criminalization", November 8th, 2011: Connor Boyack advocates decriminalization of marijuana because the so-called "War on Drugs" has cost $2.5 trillion and has been only marginally successful. He maintains that decriminalizing marijuana is not about “approving” its use, but rather defending individual life, liberty, and property by only consenting to governmental powers that are legitimately delegated from consenting individuals who themselves possess such authority. In light of the costs of the War on Drugs, it would seem like a retrenchment strategy in which we stop obsessing with potheads and redirect our enforcement efforts towards other drugs would be in order; marijuana clearly is not as dangerous and debilitating as other drugs.
-- "Seduction, Deception, Entrapment, and the FBI", November 2nd, 2011: Connor Boyack paints a portrait of a rogue FBI which has become transformed from a crime-fighting organization into a cartel which creates criminals in order to perpetuate itself and attract ever-increasing public funding. This is in keeping with the Problem-Reaction-Solution model; first, create a problem, next, troll for reaction, then, propose a solution -- to a problem artificially created in the first place. Frequently when the FBI learns of political dissidents, they'll send in corrupt snitches who endlessly harangue their targets and egg them into transforming dissidence into action, then the FBI swoops in and rolls up the target. Except -- if it hadn't been for the snitch, would the "crime" have been committed in the first place (read about the Edgar Steele case for an egregious example of this phenomena)?
-- "The Justified Breaking of Unjust Laws", June 10th, 2011: In this post, Connor Boyack discusses illegal immigration and expresses support for the milder Utah Compact rather than the more severe Arizona SB1070 approach. Boyack maintains that the Utah Compact, which incorporates the official LDS position on immigration, states that the Church is not troubled with the violation of immigration law per se, and that their position does not constitute an endorsement of identity theft, fraud, or any other actual crime committed. It is simply a statement that the violation of immigration law does not, in the Church’s view, achieve a sufficient level of severity so as to deny an individual the opportunity to join and participate in God’s kingdom. Stated more plainly, Boyack maintains that the Church has endorsed the violation of a lesser law to fulfill a higher one. This might be a worthwhile position if we didn't have 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States; the sheer volume of the problem warrants a more severe response.
While I have yet to read Latter-Day Liberty, I can recommend it based solely upon the quality of the content of his posts on Connor's Conundrums.