Liberty Fund

Liberty Fund was founded in 1960 by Pierre F. Goodrich, an Indianapolis lawyer and businessman, to the end that some hopeful contribution may be made to the preservation, restoration, and development of individual liberty through investigation, research, and educational activity.


Great books are the repository of knowledge and experience. Liberty Fund seeks to preserve the wisdom and learning of the ages and to strengthen our understanding and appreciation of individual liberty and responsibility.

For over four decades, Liberty Fund has made available some of the finest books in history, politics, philosophy, law, education, and economics—books of enduring value that have helped to shape ideas and events in man’s quest for liberty, order, and justice.

Featured Book Reflections on Ethics, Freedom, Welfare Economics, Policy, and the Legacy of Austrian Economics

By Israel M. Kirzner
Edited and with an Introduction by Peter J. Boettke and Frédéric Sautet

Reflections on Ethics, Freedom, Welfare Economics, Policy, and the Legacy of Austrian Economics comprises a variety of Kirzner’s essays on social thought. Kirzner’s intellectual interest and theories go beyond market process and entrepreneurship: they encompass several important topics that are vital to the existence of human societies.


Reflections on Ethics, Freedom, Welfare Economics, Policy, and the Legacy of Austrian Economics


These resources are designed to further Liberty Fund’s educational activities. They include classic works in the tradition of limited government, as well as lively current discussions of how classical-liberal principles apply in today’s world.

Law & Liberty April 19, 2019

Everybody Counts or Nobody Does

Bosch's manliness and stoic sense of duty combine with the absence of faith to make him serve those who need him without hoping for a just order.

Law & Liberty April 19, 2019

Paul Hollander, In Memoriam

Fascinated by the Western intellectuals’ fascination with communism, Hollander was able to explain it to us.

OLL November 21, 2011

The Works of Epictetus. Consisting of His Discourses, in Four Books (Epictetus)

EpictetusThe Works of Epictetus. Consisting of His Discourses, in Four Books, The Enchiridion, and Fragments. A Translation from the Greek based on that of Elizabeth Carter, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1865).

Law & Liberty April 19, 2019

Good Riddance to Cultural Christianity

The problem with the Christian Right is not that it’s too Christian, but rather that it’s not Christian enough.

EconLog April 18, 2019

Governing Least: A Litany of Insight, by Bryan Caplan

Dan Moller’s Governing Least is packed with random insights and philosophic wit.  Some highlights:

Why so much political philosophy sounds desperate:

Only those already unsympathetic to utilitarianism are likely to be swayed by Rawls’s brief observations. Those who begin their political philosophy by defending the morality of rights don’t so much preach to the choir as exorcize the elect.

Why so much political philosophy sounds so blind:

The reason France does not require aid is not because some external group took pity on the French, but that they were able to generate exponential economic growth themselves. This makes it puzzling that philosophers write long books about aid without mentioning economic growth, and generally seem to imply that the path to escaping poverty lies through individual altruism. Why ignore the only mechanism that has ever succeeded in lifting millions of people out of poverty when thinking about poverty?

Law & Liberty April 17, 2019

The United States, Balancer of First Resort?

The tragic sensibility shows statesmen what course to follow as the international liberal order frays under the assaults of revisionist powers.

OLL | Liberty Matters March 4, 2019

Aurelian Craiutu, “How to Combat Fanaticism and the Spirit of Party: Germaine de Staël’s Lesson"

Liberty MattersThe year 2017 marked the bicentenary of Germaine de Staël's death (1766-1817). Although her name almost never appears in textbooks or histories of political thought in the English-speaking world her political thought is undeniably rich and brilliant. The recent revival of interest in French political thought, as manifested by the publication of many works by and about Constant, Tocqueville, or Guizot, has not extended to Madame de Staël. Therefore, it is high time for her to finally receive the place that she deserves in the history of political thought. This would be an overdue act of justice for a woman who defied many conventions of her time and made a name for herself in a highly competitive and male-dominated world. But there is a second reason why the rediscovery of Madame de Staël's political thought and the publication of her political works should be a priority today. Having lived in revolutionary times, she had a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the importance of ideas and the power of passions in society and political life. In this month's Liberty Matters discussion Aurelian Craiutu, professor of political science at Indiana University, will present arguments why she should no longer remain a neglected political thinker. He is joined in the dicussion by Benjamin Hoffmann, assistant professor of early modern French Studies at The Ohio State University; Catriona Seth, the Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature at the University of Oxford; and Steven Vincent, professor of history at North Carolina State University.

See the Archive of "Liberty Matters".

Law & Liberty April 17, 2019

It’s Not Too Big to Work: In Praise of NATO

McDougall overlooks the alliance’s tremendous success over the last seven decades, and its progress both in burden-sharing and rearmament.

Liberty Law Talk April 15, 2019

Fear God. Honor the Emperor. A Conversation with Robert Louis Wilken

Robert Louis Wilken discusses his new book Liberty in the Things of God.

AdamSmithWorks August 9, 2018

The Theory of Moral Sentiments: Part I, Section I, Chapter IV

The same subject continued

OLL | Quotations April 17, 2005

John Milton believes men live under a "double tyranny" within (the tyranny of custom and passions) which makes them blind to the tyranny of government without (1649)

John Milton

Law & Liberty April 18, 2019

Fukuyama’s Hollow Nation-State

There is no guarantee that science, technology, liberal democracy, commercial greatness, or military strength will go on much longer in a liberal regime.

EconTalk April 15, 2019

Jill Lepore on Nationalism, Populism, and the State of America

amber-waves.jpg Historian and author Jill Lepore talks about nationalism, populism, and the state of America with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Lepore argues that we need a new Americanism, a common story we share and tell ourselves. Along the way, topics in the conversation include populism, the rise of globalization, and the challenge of knowing what is […]

The post Jill Lepore on Nationalism, Populism, and the State of America appeared first on Econlib.

OLL | Quotations February 24, 2007

Herbert Spencer takes "philosophical politicians" to task for claiming that government promotes the "public good" when in fact they are seeking "party aggrandisement" (1843)

Herbert Spencer

EconLog April 18, 2019

Rate My Professors as Evidence for Education Signaling, by David Henderson

Often, when I get curious about an economist I hear about or who asks me to friend him (I’ll use “him” to stand for “him/her”) on Facebook, I do a Google search and his ratings on “Rate My Professor” show up. So I often go to the ratings to see what students say. I know I’m getting a biased sample for which the particular biases are unknown but, still, it’s some information.

OLL June 9, 2013

James Madison, “The Utility of the Union As a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection” (1788) (James Madison)

James MadisonThe Best of the OLL No. 35: James Madison, “The Utility of the Union As a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection” (1788) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2013).

OLL | Quotations August 7, 2005

Edward Gibbon reveals the reasons why he wrote on the decline of the Roman Empire, "the greatest, perhaps, and most awful scene in the history of mankind" (1776)

Edward Gibbon

Econlib April 1, 2019

Contemporary Society’s Crumbling Pillar


  • Once we understand that community matters, then it becomes clear why it is not enough for a country to experience strong economic growth… How that growth is distributed across communities in the country matters immensely.

  • What then is the source of today’s problems? In one word, imbalance! When the three pillars of society are appropriately balanced, society has the best chance of providing for the well-being of its people.

  • —Raghuram Rajan, The Third Pillar, page xvii.1

In his recent book, economist Raghuram Rajan argues that a well-balanced society rests on three pillars. One pillar is competitive markets. Another pillar is an effective but limited state (by which he means central government). A third pillar is vibrant local communities. The thesis of The Third Pillar is that contemporary society suffers a weakness in the third pillar of community.

OLL | Liberty Fund Books November 21, 2011

The American Republic: Primary Sources (Bruce Frohnen)

American RepublicThe American Republic is an excellent textbook for classroom use which provides, in a single volume, critical, original documents revealing the character of American discourse on the nature and importance of local government, the purposes of federal union, and the role of religion and tradition in forming America’s drive for liberty.

Law & Liberty April 19, 2019

Justice Kagan Recognizes Legal Meaning as the Proper Object of Interpretation

Justice Kagan often asks just the right question in statutory construction cases, and she should carry her logic over to constitutional questions as well.

OLL November 21, 2011

Construction Construed and Constitutions Vindicated (John Taylor)

construed.vindicatedConstruction Construed and Constitutions Vindicated (Richmond: Shepherd and Pollard, 1820).

CEE February 4, 2018

Empirics of Economic Growth

CEE.economic.growthWhy are some countries rich and others poor? Why do some countries experience sustained levels of high growth that propel them into the ranks of the rich while others stagnate, seemingly in perpetuity? These are perhaps the most fascinating and important questions in all of economics.

Since the late 1980s, economists have done extensive work on the determinants of economic growth. As yet, however, there are few widely agreed-on results. The lack of consensus is unfortunate because increasing the growth rates of the world’s many poor countries is a primary global policy goal. We do have at least two natural experiments in which a single nation was bisected by very different forms of governments: the two Germanys from the end of World War II to reunification in 1991, and the two Koreas. In both cases, the government that allowed private property and free (at least compared with its counterpart government) enterprise oversaw an economic “miracle,” while the more totalitarian governments in the pairings each produced decades of stagnation and poverty. Because, in each case, the people and their situations were so similar before the change that split them up, we get as close as we can ever get in the real world to a laboratory experiment without a laboratory—a fact that makes these findings significant. Economists know that there is some level of government intervention so great that it stifles economic growth, causing economies under it to do poorly.

OLL | Quotations March 10, 2014

Benjamin Franklin on the "superstructure" of Good Government (1736)


EconLog April 18, 2019

Shoot to kill: Power, precision, sufficiency and the appropriate target, by Scott Sumner

Over at MoneyIllusion I have a new post advocating reforms that would boost the power of monetary policy. Here I’d like to put this in context, especially given that the Fed is planning to revisit its policy strategy this summer. A successful monetary policy has four elements:

  1. An appropriate target: I favor NGDP level targeting, but the Fed’s current target (AD set at a level that leads to 2% PCE inflation and minimizes the employment/output gap) is not that bad, if done right.

  2. Power: The Fed needs policy tools that they are comfortable using, and that are powerful enough to hit the target. There are many possible reforms, some of which I’ve discussed in other posts. In a technical sense, it’s an easy problem. The Fed needs to decide which among the many feasible options it prefers, to insure that it never runs out of ammunition. Options include a higher inflation target, level targeting, allowing the Fed to buy any asset, negative IOR, having the Treasury take over the Fed’s balance sheet, etc. At MoneyIllusion I offer another possible reform to give the Fed more power.

  3. Precision: I’ve previously mentioned numerous possible reforms to boost precision. Within the current discretionary framework, you could have the fed funds target adjusted daily, set at the median vote of the FOMC. Changes would be to the nearest basis point, with no presumption as to direction of change.

Law & Liberty April 17, 2019

Sweet Irony: Illinois Legislature Needs Trump Judges to Require Release of Trump’s Income Tax Returns

It is Trump judges who would allow states to do just what the Illinois Senate wants to do in SB0145 as it seeks to prevent Trump’s reelection.

Liberty Forum April 1, 2019

NATO at Three Score and Ten: An Anticipatory Elegy

Dues payments are the last of NATO’s worries. More importantly, now that it’s so big, how can it defend its far-flung borders against Russia?

OLL | Images of Liberty April 12, 2016

Engraving of John Toland

toland.engravingengraving (scroll to bottom of the page). It shows a seated figure with a sceptre under pictures of important law givers and defenders of liberty (from top left to right): Moses,  Solon, Confucius, Lycurgus, Numa, Brutus and Gulielmus.

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