George Smith discusses Adam Smith’s views on a standing army and his arguments for competition in education.
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 Smith explores Adam Smith’s views on Columbus, smuggling, and education.
George Smith discusses Adam Smith’s views on sin taxes and slavery.
George Smith discusses some of Adam Smith’s social, political, and moral objections to governmental interference in the economy, as found in the Wealth of Nations.
Smith explains what Adam Smith meant by the “invisible hand” and how he used this explanatory method throughout his writings.
Smith discusses the significant role played by John Chapman in the lives of Herbert Spencer, George Eliot, and G. H. Lewes.
Smith criticizes an influential book by Mark Francis, Herbert Spencer and the Invention of Modern Life.
Smith discusses the complex personal relationships among three leading classical liberals in Victorian England.
Smith compares the positions of Hodgskin and Smith on the history of landownership, and their opposition to the political power of the landed aristocracy.
Smith continues his series on the thought of Thomas Hodgskin by explaining his belief in natural property rights.
Smith discusses the common allegation that Spencer took many of his ideas from Hodgskin without acknowledging their source.
Smith concludes his in-depth examination of Spencer’s fundamental objection to the private ownership of land.
Smith discusses some criticisms by Auberon Herbert and Thomas Hodgskin of Spencer’s position on land.
Smith explains and criticizes two more of Spencer’s arguments against private property in land.
Smith explains Herbert Spencer’s fundamental objection to the private ownership of land.
Smith discusses the mutual misunderstandings of Spencer and George, and George’s effective criticism of Spencer’s weak defense of private property.
Smith discusses Henry George’s allegation that Spencer’s later views on land ownership were intellectually dishonest.
Smith discusses Buckle’s claim that Adam Smith was one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers in the history of the modern world.