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French Revolution

by David Hart

Despite its devastating consequences, the French Revolution (1789-1799) was a major event in the spread of democratic ideals.

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Fusionism

by George Carey

The fusionist platform advocated by Frank S. Meyer attempted to combine traditional values of conservatism with individual liberties and limited government.

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Glorious Revolution

by Ronald Hamowy

The Glorious Revolution brought Mary II and William III of Orange to the English throne and soothed the religious and political conflict of the English Civil Wars.

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Government

by Jan Narveson and David Trenchard

In this entry, Jan Narveson and David Trenchard outline the major theories of government and critique how modern governments fail in their basic functions.

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Great Depression

by Robert Whaples

The Great Depression, fueled by a chain of bank failures and poor policy decisions, ushered in a permanently larger and more spendthrift government.

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Humanism

by Antony Flew

Originally referring to renaissance thinkers and scholars emphasizing human possibility and achievement, the word “humanist” has taken on other meanings.

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Imperialism

by Stephen Davies

Many nations have built themselves into empires. American imperalism has often been presented as a debate between values and territorial expansion.

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Individual Rights

by Eric Mack

Individual rights function as guarantees of protection and entitlement to a morally granted domain, principally that of self-ownership and choice.

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Individualism, Methodological

by George H. Smith

Methodological individualism is the methodological framework wherein individuals are seen as the agents of actions and values that form social phenomena.

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Individualism, Political and Ethical

by Timothy Sandefur

Instead of focusing on groups and society, individualism places the individual as the focus of ethical discussion and political agency.

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Individualist Anarchism

by Aeon Skoble

Individualist anarchism holds that government does not offer any service that the market could not, making the state unnecessary and disruptive.

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Industrial Revolution

by Deirdre McCloskey

The industrial revolution improved not only production, but standards of living, political and economic freedom, and the spread of ideas and culture.

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Islam

by Imad-ad-Dean Ahmed

Islamic teachings contribute to or are consistent with many libertarian principles, such as tolerance, property rights, and the strength of individuals.

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Italian Fiscal Theorists

by James M. Buchanan

Italian scholars’ contributions to politics and economics include critical theoretical work on tax analysis, state authority, and public spending.

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Kleptocracy

by Tibor Machan

Kleptocracies are those governments that enact policies which take resources from citizens simply for government gain or gain of select individuals and parties.

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Law Merchant

by Bruce Benson

The Law Merchant was the common law of merchants in the 11th and 12th century, a good example of laws not imposed by the state.

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Left Libertarianism

by Jan Narveson and David Trenchard

Left libertarians, while supporters of some personal freedoms, are often proponents of a socialist or communal view on natural resources and property.

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Levellers

by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard

The Levellers was a loosely organized group of radicals who fought both the rule of the English monarchy and Cromwell’s commonwealth during the English Civil War.