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Classics of Liberty

Lysander Spooner: No Treason, Part 2

featuring Lysander Spooner and Caleb O. Brown on Nov 7, 2016

In this episode, Caleb O. Brown reads part two of Lysander Spooner’s No Treason.

essays

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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“No Treason,” Annotated: Part I

by Lysander Spooner in 1867

Spooner begins his most important work by attacking the idea that we have consented to be governed by the United States government.

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“No Treason,” Annotated: Part II

by Lysander Spooner in 1867

Having dispensed with the idea of consent to government, Spooner pivots to ask—Whose Constitution is it, anyway?

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“No Treason,” Annotated: Part III

by Lysander Spooner in 1870

Spooner disabuses us of the notion that paying taxes or voting is equivalent to offering one’s consent to be governed.

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“No Treason,” Annotated: Part IV

by Lysander Spooner in 1870

Spooner exposes the great Government Conspiracy and seeks to assign moral responsibility for the actions of a criminal gang shielded by mythological legitimacy.

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“No Treason,” Annotated: Part V

by Lysander Spooner in 1870

In his conclusion, Spooner targets the shadow-governing class of elites who use civic religion to manipulate a public unwilling to govern themselves.

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Lysander Spooner’s Moral Theory

by George H. Smith on Jun 2, 2017

Smith discusses the influence of puritanism, the religious revival in the early 19th century, and Spooner’s disagreements with Christian ethics.

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Back to Lysander Spooner

by George H. Smith on Oct 20, 2017

Smith explains how Spooner reconciled his theory of nonvoting with his view that the Constitution is antislavery, and how he treated discussions of slavery during the Constitutional Convention.

Classics of Liberty

Lysander Spooner: No Treason, Part 1

featuring Lysander Spooner and Caleb O. Brown on Oct 20, 2016

In this episode, Caleb O. Brown reads part one of Lysander Spooner’s No Treason, in which Spooner attacks the so-called ‘social contract.’

columns

Lysander Spooner on Natural Law

by George H. Smith on Aug 18, 2017

Smith discusses Spooner’s secular theory of natural law and his belief that no legislation is valid unless it conforms to natural law.

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Lysander Spooner on Vices and Crimes

by George H. Smith on May 5, 2017

Smith begins his discussion of Lysander Spooner’s libertarian classic, “Vices are not Crimes.”

Free Thoughts

Lysander Spooner’s Letter to Grover Cleveland

featuring Matt Zwolinski, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 21, 2015

Matt Zwolinski joins us for a discussion on Lysander Spooner’s “Letter to Grover Cleveland,” which Spooner wrote in the last year of his life.