Libertarian political institutions would respect people’s natural rights.
Hildreth introduces the wide variety of competing ethical theories available to nineteenth century thinkers and begins exploring his own “forensic” theory.
Learned late medieval Europeans “divided [into] Dominicans and Franciscans. And all that was most illustrious in intellect at this period belonged” to them.
Libertarian political institutions would maximize utility.
Godwin surveys the history of papal sorcery and finishes his discussion of European contacts with the Middle East during the Crusading era.
“Every valley had its fairies; and every hill its giants. No solitary dwelling…was without its ghosts; and no church-yard…could be crossed with impunity.”
Lives of the Necromancers, Part VI: Magic and Mysticism in the “East” from Zoroaster to the Arabian Nights
“Man is every where man, possessed of the same faculties, stimulated by the same passions…with similar hopes and fears, aspirations and alarms.”
The principles of liberty are not culturally bound.
“They greatly diminished the number of petty fiefs, petty domains, and petty proprietors; they concentrated property and power in a smaller number of hands.”
“Modern Europe, indeed, is born of this struggle between the different classes of society.”
“What remains of Socialism, then, when we come to close quarters with it? And what are the future prospects of this policy of spoliation and of tyranny?”
Hildreth attacks the set of social and behavioral double-standards set for men and women, concluding that more just societies respect women’s rights more fully.
“The object of all their aims…is to increase the powers of the State and to entrust it with the care of the national economic life.”
“Karl Marx is nothing but an inventor and manufacturer of myths with which he abuses the credulity of his followers.”
“Karl Marx and Engels want to convert socialism into a German monopoly, and when Marx says ‘Proletariat of all nations, unite,’ what he means is ‘Pan-Germanise.’”
Proudhon “proclaims the end of the ‘government of man by man’ and of the ‘exploitation of man by man.’ Does he desire that man should be governed by apes?”
Yves Guyot surveys the long history of utopian socialism, from Plato’s lofty speculations to the Jesuits’ brutal exploitation of Paraguay.
Godwin believed that most human beings are brute and imitative, making those precious few liberated individual minds all the more important.