Frank Dikötter, an expert on Chinese communism, joins the show to talk about the nature of dictatorships.
George H. Smith discusses Benedict Spinoza’s controversial ideas about God, religion, and his criticism of the Design Argument.
George H. Smith explains some tactics that early freethinkers used in the attempt to avoid punishment for blasphemy and other religious crimes.
Peter Goettler joins us this week to talk about his role at the Cato Institute, Cato’s history of 40 years of advancing liberty, and what’s next for public policy organizations more generally and for Cato specifically.
George H. Smith explains Paine’s views on paper money, price controls, self-interest, and exploitative governments.
George H. Smith explains some of Thomas Paine’s ideas about the nature of a republic and the benefits of a representative form of government.
George H. Smith explains Thomas Paine’s constitutional theory and why Paine believed that Britain had no constitution.
How the libertarian ideas of Richard Price motivated Burke to write Reflections on the Revolution in France, and how Paine dealt with the controversy.
In 1792, Thomas Paine was tried for seditious libel. In this essay, George H. Smith discusses the prosecution’s case.
George H. Smith discusses some background of the debate between Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke, and the furor created by Paine’s Rights of Man.
George H. Smith concludes this series with more observations about James Mackintosh’s defense of natural rights.
George H. Smith explains why Edmund Burke opposed abstract rights and why James Mackintosh defended them.
George H. Smith explains the defense of rights and other abstract political principles given by James Mackintosh, one of Burke’s most effective critics.
George H. 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?
George H. Smith explores F. A. Hayek’s views on intellectuals, whom Hayek called professional secondhand dealers in ideas.
George H. Smith explains Rocker’s theory of why the ideas of classical liberalism were swamped by the rising tide of statism.