The State is Turning You into a Child and a Savage


Yesterday, a statist said to me “…but, the state is what makes us all civilised! We’d all be children or savages if it weren’t for a government that preserved the rule of law.” Needless to say, I found this even funnier than “who will build the roads?” Nevertheless, I will write now, for the benefit of all statists who share this mistaken belief, on why this is incorrect and why, in fact, the reverse of this is true.

Continue reading

Murray Rothbard in 10 Great Quotes


The ‘Great Authors in 10 Quotes’ is an ongoing series meant to expose libertarian-leaning readership with some of the most noteworthy thinkers in the classical liberal, libertarian, and anarchist traditions.  The challenge is finding material deep enough to reflect an author’s thought, while still being accessible for a brand new reader.  We encourage readers to leave comments linking to other written works and videos by the author.

Murray Newton Rothbard (1926 -1995) was the single most influential figure of the post-WWII American libertarian movement.  Rothbard synthesized concepts from Austrian economics, classical liberalism, individualist anarchism, and other sources to codify much of the thought underlying contemporary libertarianism.  Rothbard was a student of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises and former associate of libertarian intellectuals such as Ayn Rand and Karl Hess.  Rothbard published more than 20 works on libertarian topics ranging from economics, to history, to proposals for social activism.

Continue reading

Non-state Alternatives to Nozick’s Night-Watchman


By Jock Coats

In the nearly four decades since Harvard University Professor Robert Nozick wrote what is probably his best known work, “Anarchy, State and Utopia [ASU]” (1974), much of the academic debate it has generated has focussed on its role as a response to fellow Harvard political philosopher John Rawls’s “A Theory of Justice” (1971).  This debate, therefore has concentrated on the second of the three distinct parts of ASU in which Nozick advances his own libertarian theory of distributive justice (Vallentyne, 2011) and on his critique of Rawls’s influential liberal, redistributive version (Meadowcroft, 2011). Continue reading

What Libertarianism Is


Stephan Kinsella is an attorney in Houston, director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, and editor of Libertarian Papers. See his blog. Send him mail. See Stephan Kinsella’s article archives. This article is adapted from “What Libertarianism Is,” in Jörg Guido Hülsmann & Stephan Kinsella, eds., Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Continue reading

Molyneux or Rand (or Long)?


I’d like to try to spark some sort of debate or discussion, whether on the comments below this or on the Facebook page. My question is: UPB or Objectivist ethics?

Both are to be commended; they are both libertarian in their flavour. The former is the brainchild of Stefan Molyneux of freedomainradio and the latter is Ayn Rand’s system of ethics, part of the larger philosophy of Objectivism (with the other categories of Objectivism being Aristotelian epistemology, capitalist politics and romantic aesthetics).

Continue reading

How to Think About Magic Tricks and Economics

By Christopher Zimny

If you have ever seen something that defied explanation, did you think it to be something you merely couldn’t explain, or that perhaps it was actually was pure magic? Perhaps you have seen David Blaine’s street magic specials and saw something like this. Magicians gain fame and reputation by performing illusions for eager spectators who wish to be fooled. In this case, a glimpse at the unknown is a tantalizing bit to savor. When someone sees such a trick, they are baffled, but because of this they usually try to figure out how it was done.

Continue reading

Sign up for The Libertarian Newsletter

* = required field