Smith discusses why Ayn Rand believed that altruism is incompatible with benevolence and charitable actions.
Smith discusses Ayn Rand’s notion of self-sacrifice and the crucial role that duty played in her theory of altruism.
David Boaz highlights movies with strong themes of liberty.
Smith explores Ayn Rand’s contention that altruism plays an indispensable role in the justification of political collectivism.
Smith discusses one of Rand’s major objections to both altruism and the traditional concept of egoism.
Smith begins his series on Ayn Rand’s critique of altruism with a discussion of the ideas of Auguste Comte, the man who coined the word “altruism.”
George H. Smith concludes the series with a look at Roy Childs’s evolving views on anarchism.
George H. Smith turns to what may be Roy Childs’s most recognized role in the libertarian movement: book reviewer.
In this essay, written in response to J. A. Hobson, Herbert shows how socialism depends upon the illegitimate use of force.
George H. Smith tackles several misconceptions about the theory of anarchism—and contrasts it with the condition of anarchy.
Auberon Herbert defends individualism against the collectivist ideas that man exists only as part of the group and that “society” has its own wants and needs.
Herbert defends a principle of liberty which holds that “freedom in … pursuit of happiness must not interfere with the exactly corresponding freedom of others.”
Smith discusses the influence of Robert LeFevre on the developing anarchism of Roy A. Childs, Jr.
Auberon Herbert argues that politics must be based on general principles grounded in an understanding of human nature.
Smith begins his series on Roy A. Childs, Jr., with the impact Childs’s anarchism had on his own thinking.
Increasing the sphere of politics leads to bad policy and increased vice.
In this excerpt from Man Versus the State, Herbert Spencer argues that as the state tries to regulate more of our lives, it inches us closer to slavery.
Smith analyzes two kinds of freedom, pragmatic and moral, and gives examples of how this distinction has been used in the history of libertarian thought.
In this chapter from The Man versus the State, Herbert Spencer attacks the rise of paternalist politics.
George H. Smith discusses Spencer’s fear that democracy will destroy freedom in the long run.
George H. Smith discusses how Herbert Spencer’s analyses of nineteenth-century Germany and France contributed to his pessimistic outlook on the future of freedom.
George H. Smith discusses some of Spencer’s concerns about the intellectual and moral obstacles to achieving a free society.
George H. Smith discusses Spencer’s theory of social progress, while calling attention to some of its theoretical problems.
George H. Smith discusses Spencer’s opposition to the Boer War—a cause that dominated the last several years of his life.
George H. Smith discusses the controversy about Spencer’s use of opium and its possible effect on his later pessimism.