A far-ranging discussion of the meanings of key terms in libertarianism, kinds of ideologues, and crucial elements needed for an understanding of individual freedom.
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 the role of modern intellectuals in government.
Edmund Burke condemned the French Revolution as a “digest of anarchy.” What relevance does his critique have for the modern libertarian movement?
After criticizing Murray Rothbard’s interpretation of Edmund Burke’s first book, Smith summarizes Burke’s primary objections to rationalistic intellectuals.
Smith explains why Burke predicted that the French Revolution would end in systematic violence.
Smith explains the defense of rights and other abstract political principles given by James Mackintosh, one of Burke’s most effective critics.
Smith explains why Edmund Burke opposed abstract rights and why James Mackintosh defended them.
Smith concludes this series with more observations about James Mackintosh’s defense of natural rights.
Smith discusses some background of the debate between Paine and Burke, and the furor created by Paine’s Rights of Man.
In 1792, Thomas Paine was tried for seditious libel. In this essay, George H. Smith discusses the prosecution’s case.
Smith discusses Thomas Erskine’s ideas on libel laws and freedom of the press, and how he incorporated those ideas during his defense of Thomas Paine.
Smith discusses Thomas Paine’s theory of rights.
Smith continues his discussion of Thomas Paine’s theory of rights and government.
How the libertarian ideas of Richard Price motivated Burke to write Reflections on the Revolution in France, and how Paine dealt with the controversy.
Smith explains Paine’s constitutional theory and why he believed that Britain had no constitution.
Smith explains some of Paine’s ideas about the nature of a republic and the benefits of a representative form of government.
The ideal of individual freedom is more than a will-o’-the-wisp. It was widely appreciated in the past and so may become widely appreciated in the future.
Smith explains Paine’s views on paper money, price controls, self-interest, and exploitative governments.