Smith explains the theory of value provided the foundation for the argument that rational economic calculation is impossible in a socialistic economy.
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.
George H. Smith explores some theoretical aspects of a rights-based conception of freedom.
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 continues his examination of the intellectual roots of state education by turning to the views of Plato’s most famous student.
Smith interrupts his usual series with a 30-question trivia quiz.
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 tells the story of how a disagreement with Roy Childs over the ideas of Irving Kristol resulted in a serious argument.
George H. Smith concludes this series with a close look at Herbert Spencer’s views on charity and the poor.
Smith discusses Jefferson’s ideas about education and his plan for a decentralized system of public schools.
George H. Smith discusses some of Spencer’s concerns about the intellectual and moral obstacles to achieving a free society.