Culture & the Libertarian Heritage

In Praise of Working People

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A prominent difference between the 19th-century libertarian movement and the contemporary one lies in their attitudes toward working people. These are people who are not primarily interested in reading economic or political theory but who focus their energies instead on making a decent living or raising a healthy family. These are intelligent people who understand the impact of laws ... [click for more]

A Libertarian Visits Costa Rica

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Last spring, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation of Fairfax, Virginia, invited me to participate in two conferences in Costa Rica. One conference was to celebrate the inauguration of a new Costa Rican libertarian think tank named INLAP. The other was a conference of 1,000 international business people who were gathering to make free-market recommendations to the international negotiators of ... [click for more]

Who Is an Extremist?

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Libertarians are often hit with the accusation "You are an extremist." What the accuser means is that the libertarian holds political and economic beliefs that are at the outermost fringes of American society. The term is customarily used in an insulting or derogatory sense. But isn't "extremist" a relative term? That is, doesn't being extreme depend, in large part, on ... [click for more]

Drawing the Line

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Socialism and communism have collapsed so completely that only a few holdouts refuse to acknowledge the rubble before their eyes. We've apparently reached "the end of history," as Francis Fukyama labeled the post-Cold War era a few years ago. But appearances can deceive. Some people are clearly uncomfortable with the ... [click for more]

Compromise and Concealment-The Road to Defeat, Part 4

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 Libertarians believe that individuals should be free to engage in any peaceful activity without governmental permission or interference. It is one of the duties of government, libertarians hold, to protect, not regulate or obstruct, peaceful activities. Thus, libertarians ... [click for more]

Neglected Fortieth Anniversary

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A remarkable event occurred 40 years ago this month. Not the launching of Sputnik, which in retrospect, considering the collapse of the Soviet Union, had much less significance than people suspected at the time. Ironically, the event I am thinking of involved a woman who understood from the ... [click for more]

Contra Gradualism

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It is 1858 and you are living in a Northern town. A man has arrived at your door with papers documenting his ownership of a runaway slave whom you are sheltering. The slave throws himself at your feet, begging to stay while the slaveowner reasons with you. Being philosophically inclined, he ... [click for more]
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