Having defined and described liberty, Hart exposes the sin of slavery, and the slaveholder’s own bondage to Satan.
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.
Common Sense: On the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution
Thomas Paine critiques and expounds upon ideas of government. Claiming it is but a “necessary evil” and distinguishing it from society at large.
Smith explores the significance of the division of labor using his example of the pin factory where specialization lets the employees increase their production.
Paine explores the distinction between society and government and the impact the latter has on the former in this selection from Common Sense.
Adam Smith explores the benefits of Free Trade.
Adam Smith argues that religious liberty tempers the nefarious effects of fanaticism and allows for rational moderation to prevail in religious societies.
Social order is often the unintended consequence of many people’s actions, rather than the intentional design of one person.
The Hartford Wits were Federalists, but their arguments against democracy may ring familiar to modern libertarians.
Old Anarch, master of chaos, marshalls his forces and rallies them for battle against Hesper, Nymph of the West.
The Wits foretell the end of Shays-ism as they look forward to the impending Constitutional Convention.
Our series climaxes with Hesper’s victory over the Anarch, published just as the Philadelphia Convention began.
Federalists didn’t respect Democrats; Democrats hated Federalists. Libertarians know neither can be trusted with power.
Anti-federalist Robert Yates (under the pseudonym Brutus) argues against the constitution, foreseeing many of the expansions of federal power that came to pass.
James Winthrop, writing under the pseudonym Agrippa, argues against the Constitution, suggesting ratification will lead inevitably to the abuse of federal power.
Madison discusses how a large, republican government can mitigate the effects of factions.
Yates (writing under the pseudonym “Brutus”) argues that the constitutional power to raise an army and borrow money will lead to an expansion of state power.
Alexander Hamilton explains the importance of the Senate’s “advise and consent” power, arguing for its necessity as a check on the executive branch.