Smith discusses the distinction between political obligation and political allegiance, and how the problem of allegiance was the major concern of John Locke.
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 the major criticism of natural rights and the consent theory of government – that these doctrines will land us in anarchy.
Smith broadens his discussion of a rights-based theory of freedom with an overview of modern political philosophy.
Smith considers the different conceptions of freedom defended by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.
Smith interrupts his usual series with a 30-question trivia quiz.
Smith discusses his ideas about “strategic Taoism.”
Smith discusses some of the problems in libertarian theory caused by the many different conceptions of liberty.
George H. Smith criticizes Jason Brennan’s defense of positive liberty and his attempt to make positive liberty an essential part of libertarian theory.
Instead of a Review: A Commentary on Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Jason Brennan, Part 2
Smith criticizes Jason Brennan’s view of the origin of “hard libertarianism” and his treatment of Ayn Rand.
Smith begins his critical examination of Jason Brennan’s recent book with a discussion of the label “libertarianism” and its relationship to classical liberalism.
George H. Smith discusses why Ayn Rand believed that altruism is incompatible with benevolence and charitable actions.
George H. Smith discusses Ayn Rand’s notion of self-sacrifice and the crucial role that duty played in her theory of altruism.
George H. Smith explores Ayn Rand’s contention that altruism plays an indispensable role in the justification of political collectivism.
George H. 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.