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.
King James’ personal vendetta against witches directly inspired England’s bloodiest persecutionist, Matthew Hopkins, who in turn inspired New England readers.
Reasonable people will accept libertarian political institutions because they let us live together in peace while pursuing our different values and lifestyles.
In the dwindling years of widespread belief in the occult, there appeared an ever starker difference between true believers and mere hucksters.
Godwin surveys the history and legend of Germany’s Dr. Faustus, the gloomy figure said to have sold his soul to the devil for earthly pleasure and power.
Our author shifts from criticizing witches to sympathizing with them in their life and death struggles against ignorance and power.
Guizot surveys the variegated, complex, and indispensible history of monarchy in the creation of western civilization.