Boaz rails against the “cartoonish misrepresentation” of libertarianism in pop culture promoted not just by its opponents, but also by those who are friendly to the ideas of liberty but want to present themselves as a more palatable option for the mainstream. According to Boaz, libertarianism is much less radical than it is purported to be and it should be discussed accordingly.
Boaz combats the pessimistic view that our freedom is declining, arguing that, in many ways, we are more free, and inciting libertarians to continue the struggle for even greater freedoms.
Caplan debunks the widely accepted myth of the rational voter, arguing instead that voters are rationally irrational and vote economically. In doing so, he identifies four biases—anti-market bias, anti-foreign bias, make-work bias, and pessimistic bias—that he believes skew economic policies that are decided by a democratic majority.
According to Lindsey and to the chagrin of both radical rightists and leftists, free-market prosperity and social liberalism are inextricably tied. The true character of the American electorate, Lindsey says, is not a patchwork quilt of red and blue states, but rather an increasingly purplish centrism.
Doherty traces the global history of American libertarianism from ancient times to the modern era, paying particular attention to how America has been influenced by foreign traditions and how it has, in turn, influenced the global culture of liberty.
In an attempt to reclaim the term “bourgeois” from its Marxist detractors, McCloskey examines the dual (and contradictory) myths of the innate virtues and the innate evil of capitalism, arguing that neither are truly inherent.
Affluence is not an evil to be belittled or taken for granted, according to North, but it is a hard-won good that the West is fortunate to have attained, and that is increasingly benefiting the rest of the world.