Smith interrupts his usual series with a 30-question trivia quiz.
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.
George H. Smith discusses Buckle’s stress on the importance of ideas in the progress of civilization.
Smith continues his series on the thought of Thomas Hodgskin by explaining his belief in natural property rights.
Smith discusses the major criticism of natural rights and the consent theory of government – that these doctrines will land us in anarchy.
George H. Smith turns to what may be Roy Childs’s most recognized role in the libertarian movement: book reviewer.
George H. Smith concludes this series with a close look at Herbert Spencer’s views on charity and the poor.
Smith tells the story of how a disagreement with Roy Childs over the ideas of Irving Kristol resulted in a serious argument.
George H. Smith discusses some of Spencer’s concerns about the intellectual and moral obstacles to achieving a free society.
George H. Smith discusses the meaning of “natural rights” and some historical aspects of this theory.
George H. Smith presents the rudiments of a theory of children’s rights.
George H. Smith discusses various formulations of the non-aggression principle and concludes with some remarks about the problem of pollution.
Smith discusses Jefferson’s ideas about education and his plan for a decentralized system of public schools.
George H. Smith criticizes Zwolinski’s discussions of risk, fraud, and the relationship between aggression and property rights.
George H. Smith explores some theoretical aspects of a rights-based conception of freedom.
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.”
Smith explains why Mises predicted that “planned chaos” would emerge in a socialist economy and how F.A. Hayek elaborated on that insight.
Smith explains the theory of value provided the foundation for the argument that rational economic calculation is impossible in a socialistic economy.
George Smith discusses Adam Smith’s views on a standing army and his arguments for competition in education.