Explore

essays

Property

by James Madison on Mar 29, 1792

Narrowly, we have property rights to things, but in the broader, more correct sense, all the rights we posses are property rights.

essays

The Subjugation of Women

by Mary Wollstonecraft in 1792

Wollstonecraft argues the case for women’s rights entirely in libertarian terms of equal and natural rights.

essays

Introducing Philosophical History

by Condorcet in 1795

Condorcet was simultaneously one of the most significant Enlightenment thinkers, proto-libertarians, and philosophical historians of progress.

essays

Progress and Perspective

by Condorcet in 1795

Our author covers barbarian hordes and pastoral-nomadism and we recall that the past is a place historians interpret into existence.

essays

The Writing Revolution

by Condorcet in 1795

The invention of agriculture was certainly epochal and revolutionary, but writing dramatically sped up the course of progress.

essays

The Greek Republic of Letters

by Condorcet in 1795

Condorcet surveys the widely-distributed, decentralized, yet deeply interconnected ancient Greek ‘Republic of Letters.’

essays

The Decline and Fall of Ancient Empiricism

by Condorcet in 1795

Condorcet believed secular sectarianism was the primary cause of ancient philosophy’s decline, but Christian dogmatism sure didn’t help.

essays

“Amidst the Universal Darkness”

by Condorcet in 1795

Condorcet surveys the dismal feudal era, but highlights its greatest triumph—the libertarian moment when slavery disappeared across Europe.

essays

Crusaders, Inventors, and Classicists

by Condorcet in 1795

While Renaissance artists and intellectuals rediscovered, revived, and revered, tinkering inventors drove progress into its next epochal period. 

essays

The Print Revolution

by Condorcet in 1795

No mere whig historian, Condorcet recognized that alongside wonderful, liberty-maximizing inventions like printing came modern states and global slavery.

essays

The Rise of Modern States

by Condorcet in 1795

For our author, the print revolution ushered in both an unstoppable flood of progress and the massive, abosolute, bureaucratic central state.

essays

Modernizing Philosophy

by Condorcet in 1795

Whether rationalists or empiricists, the first modern philosophers gave us all good reasons to doubt the dictates of either kings or priests.

essays

Modern Philosophy, Modern Liberty

by Condorcet in 1795

Rounding out his history of the Early Modern period, Condorcet explains the linkages between philosophy and politics on both ends of the Atlantic.

essays

The Highs and Lows of Enlightenment

by Condorcet in 1795

Like many of us, Condorcet got a bit carried away with praise for the Enlightenment. Unlike many of us, he tempered it with a dose of realism.

essays

The Unlimited Tenth Epoch

by Condorcet in 1795

Though our author wrote in hiding from a terroristic regime, his saw unlimited potential for human accomplishment.

essays

Progress, Guaranteed

by Condorcet in 1795

Condorcet ends his greatest work with the confident assertion that progress cannot be stopped.

essays

Agrarian Justice: Excerpt

by Thomas Paine in 1797

In this excerpt from his pamphlet Agrarian Justice, Thomas Paine argues for using land taxes to fund what we would today call a universal basic income.