Spooner exposes the great Government Conspiracy and seeks to assign moral responsibility for the actions of a criminal gang shielded by mythological legitimacy.
Spooner disabuses us of the notion that paying taxes or voting is equivalent to offering one’s consent to be governed.
Having dispensed with the idea of consent to government, Spooner pivots to ask—Whose Constitution is it, anyway?
Spooner begins his most important work by attacking the idea that we have consented to be governed by the United States government.
Godwin’s next “thought on man” examines the origins of mental atrophy and urges readers to exercise their minds with steady and vigorous Socratic discussion.
The justification of libertarian political institutions follows logically from relatively uncontroversial moral intuitions held by a broad range of reasonable people.
Finding himself insufficiently able to defend the property rights of authors, Leggett begins to argue that property rights are utilitarian conventions.
In our final portion from Melville’s “Encantada Sketches,” we examine examples of perfect liberty on Barrington Isle and total tyranny under the Dog King.
In his literary sketches of the Galapagos Islands, Melville sees a lens through which individuals can fully explore existence, power, liberty, and responsibility.
If we don’t have free will, could we know it? William Godwin offers some speculative answers and discusses the implications of free will.
In this duo, Leggett gives his most powerful and elegant expressions of the Classical Liberal theory of class conflict in the “exceptional” United States.
After having detailed a thousand years of failures in centralization, our author surveys the rise of modern nation-states in Europe.
The famous writer’s once-famous brother shows us the dangers of investing society’s hopes in a program of political reform.
Guizot surveys the seemingly endless array of would-be, failed archons—the long list of kings, conquerors, emperors, popes, and tyrants seeking total power.
In our final portion from “Bartleby,” we probe Melville’s relationship to Young America and Bartleby’s relationship to our modern world.
In our second portion of “Bartleby,” we ask why exactly his simple expression of preference remains so troubling and meaningful to the present day.
In which a perfectly normal law firm is unexpectedly disrupted by one of modernity’s strangest byproducts: a copyist named Bartleby.
Godwin takes us from Sweden to Massachusetts to conclude his discussion of the persecutionists. Modern technologies call his conclusions into question.