Continuing his review of Gray’s Seven Types of Atheism, Smith explains how Gray greatly exaggerates Nietzsche’s influence on Rand, and he criticizes Gray’s misstatements about Rand’s notion of sacrifice.
John Gray’s discussion of Objectivism in Seven Types of Atheism, which is egregiously and inexcusably bad, relies on portraying Ayn Rand as a cult leader.
Smith discusses the importance of Garrison’s call for the free states to secede from the Union, and the eventual disagreement with Frederick Douglass.
Smith interviews the spirit of Adam Smith, soliciting his opinion of David Hume and other matters.
Smith reviews Sandefur’s biography, Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man, published by the Cato Institute in 2018.
Did Johnson betray his own principle that writers who accept a pension from the King are merely “state hirelings”?
This is the second part of Smith’s discussion of how Samuel Johnson made a living as a free-lance writer in 18th century London.
Part one of a lengthy article on Samuel Johnson, originally written in 2001, is a result of my interest in freelance, or market, intellectuals.
Smith explains the thinking of James Birney when he liberated his slaves.
Smith discusses Birney’s eventual opposition to the American Colonization Society and why he embraced abolitionism instead.
Smith discusses the interesting case of James Birney, who freed his slaves and became a prominent abolitionist.
Smith explains the crucial role of rights in political theory.
Smith discusses the common argument that natural rights will lead inevitably to anarchism.
Smith continues his brief discussion of how to justify natural rights.
Smith interrupts his series on abolitionism to present a barebones defense of natural rights.
Smith discusses some circumstances that led to the formation of the abolitionist Liberty Party in 1840.
Smith explains how George Fitzhugh defended slavery on the grounds that it provides an ideal system of socialism.
Smith explains how some Southerners defended chattel slavery by contrasting it favorably with “wage slavery” in the North.