In this essay, collected in What Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1911), Sumner denounces busybody social reformers who want to run other people’s lives.
In this piece, collected in Sumner argues that democracy is especially vulnerable to plutocratic influence. Originally published in The Independent.
Sumner defines and distinguishes the concepts of democracy and plutocracy. Originally published in The Independent.
Smith explains and criticizes two more of Spencer’s arguments against private property in land.
In this excerpt from an 1883 speech, Sumner discusses the nature of liberty and the implications of the transition from a status-based society to one based on contract.
Smith explains Herbert Spencer’s fundamental objection to the private ownership of land.
Smith discusses the mutual misunderstandings of Spencer and George, and George’s effective criticism of Spencer’s weak defense of private property.
Emma Goldman discusses the nature of the state as an institution and how it is fundamentally at odds with the dignity of the individual.
In this excerpt from an 1880 speech, Herbert argues that each of us is the judge of our own happiness and is entitled to the full reward of our exertions.
Burke writes in this excerpt from Reflections on the Revolution in France that good statecraft is the maintenance and refinement of inherited institutions
Smith discusses Henry George’s allegation that Spencer’s later views on land ownership were intellectually dishonest.
Benjamin Tucker praises Herbert Spencer but argues his criticism of state socialism is incomplete.
>Étienne de La Boétie, best known as the subject of Michel de Montaigne’s essay “On Friendship,” argues that political power is founded on people’s obedience.
In this excerpt from “Reflections on the Revolution in France,” Burke prefers the traditional rights of Englishmen to the French revolutionaries’ “rights of man.”
Gustave de Molinari, a contemporary of Bastiat, wonders: if markets work so well everywhere else, why not allow the market production of personal security?
Smith discusses Buckle’s claim that Adam Smith was one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers in the history of the modern world.
La Boétie identifies several ways tyrants secure the cooperation of the oppressed.
The eight books on this list offer a thorough but accessible introduction to libertarianism.
Thoreau describes his brief imprisonment and discusses the relationship between the state, his community, and his duties as an individual.
Smith explores Buckle’s claim that the “protective spirit” of governments has hindered the progress of civilization.
Thoreau develops a theory of the ethics of civil disobedience in the context of his tax resistance during the Mexican-American war.