Christopher Cook
Christopher Cook
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients. Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to

Stories by Christopher Cook

By Christopher Cook | June 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
pay money index

Rather enlightening graphs from AEI:

It’s one thing when a company generates profits from creating value. That’s a beautiful thing. But how about when the profit comes from manipulating the political system? If that latter situation is commonplace, then rising profits might show something is deeply wrong with an economy.

Such a situation could, as James Bessen writes in Harvard Business Review, “represent …

By Christopher Cook | June 2, 2016 | 0 Comments
arizona state

Last week, we posted a 2010 video of education expert Matthew Ladner debating a representative of an Arizona teacher’s union. Part of the discussion focused on education reforms made in Florida that bore fruit in that state—reforms that Arizona subsequently enacted. Now, Ladner has an article looking at how those have reforms worked, six years later.

The news is good:

So let’s check the …

By Christopher Cook | May 14, 2016 | 0 Comments
immigration illegal border patrol  amnesty

Throughout American history, there have been periods where the subject of immigration has risen in importance to voters. We are in just such a time today, especially when it comes to illegal immigration across our southern border. The issue has become a source of great political ferment.

Generally speaking, conservatives tend to be more uniformly concerned about, and opposed to, illegal immigration, focusing on the impact it can have to our economy, culture, national security, and electoral politics . . . and even, for some, …

By Christopher Cook | May 7, 2016 | 0 Comments
Video: WATCH THIS:  A Millennial Anthem

Sorry for all the millennial bashing, but . . . well, I don’t really have an end to that sentence.

Warning:  Video Contains Mildly Foul Language 

By Christopher Cook | May 1, 2016 | 0 Comments
Categories of Force

This morning, I joked with a colleague about how most of the human population would find the kind of political philosophy about which I am so passionate to be a crashing bore. And yet, so little do people realize how much they owe to political philosophers!

Nations are moved primarily by two things: persuasion by words and coercion by force of arms. The military success of the American Revolution was entirely undergirded by the political philosophies of the founding generation and the Enlightenment-era thinkers …

By Christopher Cook | May 1, 2016 | 2 Comments
Video: Video: IDF Band Does ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen

A fantastic version of one of my favorite songs, by people who love life. The voice on the first singer . . . wow!

By Christopher Cook | April 26, 2016 | 2 Comments
three kinds of state

A few days ago, I was sitting on my patio working on the premises of a philosophical argument. My purpose was to defend, via logical syllogism, the notion that those of us who wish to consent to a government that protects our rights should not be subjected to a government that exceeds that purpose. In the course of thinking it through, however, I made an even broader realization. Excited, I quickly ran inside and penned an article describing that realization. I would now like …

By Christopher Cook | April 23, 2016 | 7 Comments
three states of the social contract

I have more than once seen a meme or bumpersticker that says something like, “I Was a Minarchist, But I Ran out of Excuses.” It’s humorous, but only to a small subset of people—a more inside-baseball sentiment would be hard to find! Basically, it’s a statement by serious anarchists (not goofball kids drawing anarchy symbols on their math books, but actual serious anarcho-capitalists and anarcho-indiviualists): If you follow libertarian principles to their logical conclusion, you must …

By Christopher Cook | April 23, 2016 | 0 Comments
Video: Popeyes CEO on $15 Minimum Wage: Something’s Got to Give

Jobs will go away, prices will go up, and/or profits will go down. That is the only way this can play out.

And let me tell you—profit margins on restaurants are not always as high as you might imagine. If being a franchisee ceases to be worth the heartache, the endless hours, the time away from family, and the stress, they’ll just pack it in and put their efforts elsewhere.

And then . . . ALL the jobs in that restaurant are …

By Christopher Cook | April 22, 2016 | 5 Comments
statists-statism-coercive force

Whatever one’s political persuasion, I hold out hope that we all agree to the proposition that . . .

Coercive force is, generally speaking, undesirable in human relations and thus should be used as little as possible.

(In order to be clear, we must distinguish between types of force. Coercive force is force that is initiated by one party against another in order to achieve an aim: to make someone do something or relinquish something against his or her will; to prevent …