The purpose of these Excursions is to explore the fascinating and complex history of libertarian ideas. Over four decades of reading, writing, and lecturing on the history of libertarianism have taught Smith an important lesson, namely, that the theories of some early libertarian thinkers were sometimes better and more sophisticated than the theories we take for granted today.
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.
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.
George H. Smith tackles several misconceptions about the theory of anarchism—and contrasts it with the condition of anarchy.
Smith discusses the influence of Robert LeFevre on the developing anarchism of Roy A. Childs, Jr.
Smith begins his series on Roy A. Childs, Jr., with the impact Childs’s anarchism had on his own thinking. Excerpted from Anarchism & Justice, published by Libertarianism.org Press.
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.
Smith discusses Spencer’s fear that democracy will destroy freedom in the long run.