The discovery of philosophy in ancient Greece was spurred on by a “marketplace of ideas” where rational justification trumped doctrinal authority.
George H. Smith discusses some of the problems in libertarian theory caused by the many different conceptions of liberty.
Imagining ourselves in the position of an impartial spectator can help us hone our sympathetic emotions and ethical reasoning.
This episode features excerpts from Benjamin Tucker’s 1890 speech on the parasitic and inherently agressive nature of the state.
Tucker addresses the Unitarian Ministers’ Institute in 1890.
Christopher A. Preble joins us for a discussion on American foreign policy. We examine ways in which an aggressive foreign policy aids the growth of government.
When so much of what you own comes with extensive strings attached, do you really own your property, or are you merely a feudal tenant?
George H. Smith criticizes Jason Brennan’s defense of positive liberty and his attempt to make positive liberty an essential part of libertarian theory.
Hesiod thought that doing injustice could bring down the wrath of the gods, even in the chaotic, violent “Age of Iron.”
Adam Smith’s ethical system is centered around the human capacity to put ourselves in another’s place.
Smith critically examines the claim that Meslier was a communist anarchist.
Matt Zwolinski joins us for a discussion on Lysander Spooner’s “Letter to Grover Cleveland,” which Spooner wrote in the last year of his life.
Instead of a Review: A Commentary on Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Jason Brennan, Part 2
George H. Smith criticizes Jason Brennan’s view of the origin of “hard libertarianism” and his treatment of Ayn Rand.
Hesiod distinguished between market competition and war, saying “The two Strifes have separate natures.”
In this episode of Classics of Liberty, Caleb O. Brown reads selections from Henry David Thoreau’s subversive essay Civil Disobedience.
Smith explains Meslier’s three major objections to Christian morality, as taught by Jesus.
Jason Kuznicki joins us to discuss the left-leaning tendencies of public intellectuals. We examine an essay by Robert Nozick that proposes a cause for this trend.
Mueller begins a series of posts about Adam Smith’s ethical system as laid out in The Theory of Moral Sentiments.
When laws are based on the esoteric lore of specialized experts rather than custom and common sense, the rule of law becomes a Kafkaesque farce.
We can best understand modern America by looking at the ways fascism and socialism are kin.
Smith begins his critical examination of Jason Brennan’s recent book with a discussion of the label “libertarianism” and its relationship to classical liberalism.
Left and right both want to control others through the state; libertarianism, says Hess, is anti-political because it seeks to dismantle state control.
The ancient Greek poet Hesiod favored productive work over violent expropriation.
Plato and Aristotle both embraced a vision of the good life which saw commercial activity as necessarily beneath political, academic, and artistic life.
Smith explains the role of the Catholic Church in the French government, and how Meslier reconciled his atheism with his role as a priest.
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