Smith discusses Henry George’s allegation that Spencer’s later views on land ownership were intellectually dishonest.
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
George H. Smith was formerly Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Humane Studies, a lecturer on American History for Cato Summer Seminars, and Executive Editor of Knowledge Products. Smith's fourth and most recent book, The System of Liberty, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.
Smith discusses Buckle’s claim that Adam Smith was one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers in the history of the modern world.
Smith explores Buckle’s claim that the “protective spirit” of governments has hindered the progress of civilization.
Smith discusses Acton’s thesis that the conflict between church and state in medieval Europe was vital to the progress of freedom.
George H. Smith discusses some common criticisms of Lord Acton and other classical liberal historians.
George H. Smith discusses the controversy about Spencer’s use of opium and its possible effect on his later pessimism.
Smith continues his discussion of Hodgskin by exploring some of the key arguments in his neglected book on economics, Popular Political Economy.
George H. Smith begins his discussion of the free-market theories of Thomas Hodgskin.
George H. Smith discusses Thomas Hodgskin’s most controversial work, Labour Defended Against the Claims of Capital.
Smith explores the ideas of Irving Kristol and Robert Bork on culture. He begins with a discussion of the anti-jazz crusade of the 1920s.
Smith explores Thomas Jefferson’s belief in the value of history, and his plan for public universities.
George H. Smith explores the Voluntaryist critique of those who support free trade in religion and commerce but advocate state interference in education.
Smith explores some more Voluntaryist arguments against state education.
Smith begins his series on the critics of state education with a discussion of Joseph Priestley, the Englishman who discovered oxygen.
History’s first great philosopher wasn’t a fan of educational freedom.
George H. Smith discusses how the educational system of Sparta influenced later advocates of state education.
The Coercive Acts led Americans to blame the king for the conspiracy to strip them of their rights and liberties.
The British response to the Boston Tea Party and the revolution-sparking Coercive Acts.