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Taxation as tyranny: American Progress and the ultraconservative movement

Radical Americas

UCL Press

conservatism, Liberty Amendment, libertarianism, radical right, Willis E. Stone, American Progress

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      Abstract

      Willis E. Stone watched aghast as mid-century liberals expanded the size and power of the federal government. Stone, a former industrial engineer and unbending anti-statist, believed this liberal surge obfuscated and abetted an imminent red tide of communism. He founded the American Progress Foundation and its flagship periodical, American Progress, to spread a hardline libertarian message, hoping to spark conservative resistance against federal power. In the pages of American Progress, Stone and a coterie of other right-wingers published conspiratorial, anti-statist diatribes and promoted Stone’s proposal, the Liberty Amendment, to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment. Right-wing business owners joined the fray, sponsoring American Progress through advertisements, and over time Stone’s movement expanded to form a collaborative network with other far-right groups. This article illustrates how American Progress served as an activist and ideological nexus for the broader ultraconservative movement, which helped establish a hardline brand of libertarianism that reverberated throughout the modern American Right. Furthermore, by analysing the scope and influence of radical right-wing publications, this article provides a critical counterweight to the traditional left-wing focus of periodical studies.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Houston Community College
            Author notes
            Journal
            RA
            Radical Americas
            Radic. Am.
            UCL Press
            2399-4606
            30 November 2018
            : 3
            : 1
            10.14324/111.444.ra.2018.v3.1.010
            RA-3-10
            © 2018, John S. Huntington.

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ra.2018.v3.1.010.

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            Pages: 18
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            Huntington, J. S. ‘Taxation as tyranny: American Progress and the ultraconservative movement.’ Radical Americas, 3, 1 (2018): 10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ra.2018.v3.1.010.
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