George H. Smith explores various ways in which ideas influence human action, and why ideas are essential to the success of libertarianism.
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.
George H. Smith examines the problem of whether the human sciences can be value-free, and if so in what sense.
George H. Smith explains how the insatiable desire for power and its corrupting influence have been dominant themes in libertarian theory and history.
In Nationalism and Culture, a classic history of libertarian ideas, Rudolf Rocker uses the struggle of freedom against power as his theoretical framework.
George H. Smith explains Rocker’s theory of why the ideas of classical liberalism were swamped by the rising tide of statism.
George H. Smith begins his discussion of the need for an interdisciplinary approach to liberty by noting some hazards of academic specialization.
A far-ranging discussion of the meanings of key terms in libertarianism, ideology, and the crucial elements needed for an understanding of individual freedom.
George H. Smith explores F. A. Hayek’s views on intellectuals, whom Hayek called professional secondhand dealers in ideas.
George H. 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.
George H. Smith explains why Burke predicted that the French Revolution would end in systematic violence.
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 Edmund Burke opposed abstract rights and why James Mackintosh defended them.
George H. Smith concludes this series with more observations about James Mackintosh’s defense of natural rights.
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.
In 1792, Thomas Paine was tried for seditious libel. In this essay, George H. Smith discusses the prosecution’s case.
George H. 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.