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.

Now available: On Executive Power in Great States, by Jacques Necker. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Aurelian Craiutu.


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 On Executive Power in Great States

By Jacques Necker
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Aurelian Craiutu

Jacques Necker (1732–1804) was a Swiss statesman and financier who played a crucial role in French political life from 1776 to 1789. Born in Geneva, he was a devout Protestant who amassed considerable wealth as a successful banker. In October 1776, he was appointed as director of the Royal Treasury and, later, in June 1777, as director general of finances of France under Louis XVI. While in charge of the finances of the kingdom, his most famous decision, in 1781, was to make public the budget of France for the first time, a novel practice in an absolute monarchy.


On Executive Power in Great States


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.

AdamSmithWorks July 8, 2020

The Regularity of Irregularity

Daniel B. Klein for AdamSmithWorks

Law & Liberty July 10, 2020

Religious Schools and the Freedom of the Church

Wednesday’s ruling was a significant and welcome re-affirmation of a principle that, we should hope, is firmly entrenched in American constitutional law.

OLL | Liberty Fund Books November 21, 2011

Hobbes on Civil Association (Michael Oakeshott)

Oakeshott HobbesHobbes on Civil Association consists of Oakeshott’s four principal essays on Hobbes and on the nature of civil association as civil association pertains to ordered liberty. The essays are “Introduction to Leviathan” (1946); “The Moral Life in the Writings of Thomas Hobbes” (1960); “Dr. Leo Strauss on Hobbes” (1937); and, “Leviathan : A Myth” (1947). The foreword remarks the place of these essays within Oakeshott’s entire corpus.

Law & Liberty July 10, 2020

Understanding Dictatorship

Dictators used sycophantic biographers, influential artists, and press agents to spread their cults and create the illusion of invincibility.

AdamSmithWorks August 9, 2018


EconLog July 9, 2020

The start of a new month means new articles at Econlib!

Gina Miller Johnson warns of the Danger of Benevolent Paternalism. Concerned by the increase in calls from her students and from the population as a whole for “The government to do something” almost regardless of what the “something” might be, Miller Johnson observes that this rapidly leads to government overreach. 

In a crisis like a pandemic, these dangers are heightened. “Whatever one’s view of the proper role of government as it relates to public health, another question must be posed: when, if ever, does public health provision as a public good supersede the protection of civil liberties as a fundamental role of the state? The initial wake of the pandemic saw disturbing support for sacrificing civil liberties in the name of public health.’

Michael L. Davis asks How Can Economists Help? “The question of whether economists help people has been on my mind a lot lately. This is an extraordinary time. People need help and, as Russ [Roberts] likes to remind us, one of Adam Smith’s most important insights is that “man naturally desires not only to be loved but to be lovely.” Most of us genuinely want to help. But we don’t know how to hook up a ventilator, we don’t have the local knowledge necessary to deliver fresh milk to the store and most of us wouldn’t even be very good at stocking the cooler once the milk arrives. Do economists have anything to offer?”

Don’t worry! Davis has nine suggestions for economists who want to use their skills to help out right now.

Arnold Kling reviews Mending America’s Political Divide by René H. Levy. The book offers “a neuroscientist’s perspective on the phenomenon of political polarization. Our politics is stimulating our tribal instincts, which lead us to lose empathy with the other side. This lack of empathy has dangerous consequences.” While Kling feels that the book “offers a sound diagnosis of our political ills. It offers a prescription that I wish more people would take to heart” he has some concerns about a lack of balance in Levy’s arguments.

Law & Liberty July 10, 2020

Bob Dylan’s Back Pages

For shallow souls who never experience the virtue that grows out of inner turbulence, Dylan’s confession may be inscrutable.

Law & Liberty July 10, 2020

Is Kant a Friend of Jerusalem?

No polity, whether Israel or America, will be healthy if it blurs together God and nation.

EconTalk July 6, 2020

Robert Lerman on Apprenticeships

apprenticeship.jpg Economist Robert Lerman of the Urban Institute talks about apprenticeships with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Lerman argues that apprenticeships–a combination of work experience and classroom learning–have the potential to expand opportunities for young people who don’t want to attend college.

OLL | Liberty Matters May 4, 2020

Sarah Morgan Smith, ““To Covenant and Combine Ourselves into a Civil Body Politic”: The Mayflower Compact @ 400 Years” (May 2020)

Liberty MattersIn this edition of Liberty Matters, Sarah Morgan Smith, an Ashbrook Center Fellow, General Editor of Ashbrook’s Core Documents Collections, and co-director of the Center’s Religion in American History and Politics project, helps the Online Library of Liberty to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact by considering its significance —and that of related documents from the same year— in the history of republican self-government and American religious tolerance. Morgan Smith argues that the Mayflower Compact was not just a natural outgrowth of the Separatists’ religious beliefs. Instead it contains the seeds of some of America’s most important political principles.

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