Smith discusses some background of the debate between Paine and Burke, and the furor created by Paine’s Rights of Man.
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 concludes this series with more observations about James Mackintosh’s defense of natural rights.
Smith explains why Edmund Burke opposed abstract rights and why James Mackintosh defended them.
Smith explains why Burke predicted that the French Revolution would end in systematic violence.
After criticizing Murray Rothbard’s interpretation of Edmund Burke’s first book, Smith summarizes Burke’s primary objections to rationalistic intellectuals.
Edmund Burke condemned the French Revolution as a “digest of anarchy.” What relevance does his critique have for the modern libertarian movement?
Smith explores Hayek’s views on intellectuals, whom Hayek called professional secondhand dealers in ideas.
Smith explains Rocker’s theory of why the ideas of classical liberalism were swamped by the rising tide of statism.
In Nationalism and Culture, a classic history of libertarian ideas, Rudolf Rocker uses the struggle of freedom against power as his theoretical framework.
The desire for power is insatiable and its corrupting influence haas been dominant themes in libertarian theory and history.
Smith, drawing from Machiavelli’s The Prince, discusses two essential ingredients of successful states.
Smith explains the meaning of “society” and “institution,” and he discusses the distinction between designed and undesigned institutions.
Smith discusses the importance of Garrison’s call for the free states to secede from the Union, and the eventual disagreement with Frederick Douglass.
Smith discusses Birney’s eventual opposition to the American Colonization Society and why he embraced abolitionism instead.
Smith discusses the interesting case of James Birney, who freed his slaves and became a prominent abolitionist.
Smith discusses some circumstances that led to the formation of the abolitionist Liberty Party in 1840.
Smith explains how some Southerners defended chattel slavery by contrasting it favorably with “wage slavery” in the North.
How was the abolitionist Moncure Conway widely criticized by other American abolitionists for his peace proposal that would end the Civil War?