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Woman as a Moral Being

by Sarah Grimké in 1837

Grimké, a prominent abolitionist lecturer and early feminist, criticizes the legal status of women under English and American law.

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An Arrow Against All Tyrants

by Richard Overton in 1646

Overton was one of the Levellers who, during the English Civil War, were among the very first to articulate the early ideas of liberalism.

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Of Property and Government

by John Locke in 1689

John Locke lays out the foundational arguments of liberalism: people have rights preexisting government, and government exists to protect those rights.

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Justice and Property

by David Hume in 1739

Hume argues that rules of justice do not spring fully-formed from rational calculation but emerge from the uncoordinated actions of individuals.

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The Era of Expert Failure

by Arnold Kling on Aug 3, 2010

Diversified knowledge in the modern economy requires relying on experts, but imbuing these experts with political authority has disastrous consequences.

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Capitalism Makes Us Better People

by Will Wilkinson on May 1, 2009

Wilkinson responds to Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.

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The New Deal Made Them “Right”

by Damon W. Root on Sep 1, 2009

Root tells the tale of several noted leftists of the ’20s who found themselves marked right-wing reactionaries in the wake of FDR’s New Deal.

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The Right to Ignore the State

by Herbert Spencer in 1884

In this excerpt from *Social Statics*, Spencer makes a radical claim: that an individual may sever all connections with the state.

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The Constitution of No Authority

by Lysander Spooner in 1867

Spooner argues in this radical essay that the Constitution, which he frames as a legal contract, is not binding.

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Of Society and Civilization

by Thomas Paine in 1776

In this excerpt from The Rights of Man, here Thomas Paine argues that the order naturally observed in human society is not the result of government.

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The Man of System

by Adam Smith in 1759

Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments included this passage about spontaneous order vs planned economy.

Around the Web

From Poverty to Prosperity

featuring Arnold Kling, Brink Lindsey, Nick Schulz, & Zanny Minton-Beddoes on Feb 4, 2010

Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz discuss their book From Poverty to Prosperity.

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Government, War, and Libertarianism

by Justin Logan on May 1, 2008

Logan criticizes libertarian hawks, not only for supporting anti-libertarian policies, but also for promoting strategies which encourage terrorists.

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How Prosperity Made Us More Libertarian

by Brink Lindsey on May 1, 2007

According to Lindsey, the true character of the American electorate is not a patchwork quilt of red and blue states, but rather an increasingly purplish centrism.

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The Return of Big Government

by David Boaz on Jan 1, 2009

Boaz refutes the notion that it was libertarian laissez-faire policies that created the problems that have arisen in our society.