Smith discusses what Mandeville meant in saying that private vices produce public benefits, and how Hutcheson criticized that theory.
Smith discusses Mandeville’s defense of legal prostitution and other vices.
Stressing the anti-centralization impulse in libertarianism, D’Amato envisions a future without bureaucratic central planners—socialist or corporate.
Smith explains why Mandeville’s ideas about vice made him one of the most notorious writers of his time.
There are many different branches of feminism. Libertarian feminism is distinguished most importantly by its suspicion of the state.
Legal and cultural changes allowing women to own property and participate in the market as entrepreneurs contributed to the Great Enrichment.
Dale argues that wonkish modern politics fails to interest people because political debate isn’t easily turned into narrative.
Three distinctly libertarian takes on war and the state.
Smith continues his discussion of Butler’s theory of moral psychology, and summarizes his ideas about conscience and rational self-interest.
The philosophical principles underpinning rape law have changed over time. What’s the next step in our understanding of the issue?
An intellectual portrait of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, an early anarchist who had a profound influence on libertarianism and socialism as we know them today.
Smith discusses Butler’s influential theory of psychology and his ideas about self-interest and benevolence.
Smith discusses various objections to the claim that all actions are necessarily self-interested.
A brief history of the libertarian roots of feminism, and an introduction to a rotating column discussing libertarian feminism.
Smith explains Burke’s argument against majority rule and a constitution based on the consent of the governed.
Smith discusses the Hobbesian theory of self-interest and why classical liberals were so intent on refuting it.
The libertarian alliance with conservatism is called “fusionism.” It needs to end.
The Austrian and feminist critiques of mainstream economics are compatible in surprising ways.
Libertarian ethics is best grounded in a commitment to radical equality, not in trying to optimize preference satisfaction. Some preferences are bad.
Smith marks three years of his essays with some thoughts about the importance of libertarian theory and history.
A brief history of modern libertarian engagement with the study and practice of nonviolent action.
Economics is an excellent tool for judging policies, but economic theory alone is a highly impoverished lens through which to view morality.
Smith explains Hume’s theory of the social evolution of our ideas about justice.
Removing yourself from the election process eliminates the largest incentive for politicians to care what you and those like you believe.
The democratic process can’t transform immoral acts into moral ones. Therefore, participating in elections entails signing your name to countless misdeeds.