Sir Edward Coke (1552–1634) successfully defended English liberties against the royal prerogative of the Stuart kings and virtually single-handedly established the rule of law for the English-speaking peoples. Coke’s view of English law has had a powerful influence on lawyers, judges, and politicians through the present day.
Francisco Suárez (1548–1617) was the greatest metaphysician and moral theorist of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century scholasticism. Suárez is of particular importance as a theorist of natural law and of rights, for his work combines expertise in moral theory with a mastery of civil and ecclesiastical jurisprudence and a sophisticated theory of the human person.
Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953) was one of the most respected men of his day for his learning, insight, wit, and brilliant literary style. Author of over a hundred books and articles, Belloc was a journalist, polemicist, social and political analyst, literary critic, poet, and novelist.
Divided into three books, Kames’s Sketches of the History of Man draws together the concerns of many of his earlier works. The first book considers man in the private sphere, while the second explores man in the public sphere. The final book is an account of progress in the sciences of logic, morals, and theology. Throughout the entire work, Kames expounds on his fundamental hypothesis that, at the beginning of the history of the human race, savagery was ubiquitous and that the human story is one of an emergence out of barbarism and toward maturity.
Para Michael Oakeshott (1901–1990), o desafio específico dos historiadores é deixar de lado quaisquer preocupações de ordem prática ou ideológica em sua abordagem do passado, pois uma das maiores ilusões do ser humano é a crença em sistemas que nos levarão à perfeição final numa terra prometida. Desafio extremamente difícil, porque geralmente nosso interesse predominante não está na História em si, mas na política retrospectiva, e temos a tendência a transformar sistemas filosóficos em evangelhos. Sobre a História (1983) reúne cinco ensaios do pensador inglês que abordam temas centrais da ciência política, como a natureza da História, o primado da lei e a luta pelo poder inerente à condição humana. Oakeshott se destaca entre os filósofos políticos modernos por ter levado até os limites do entendimento humano suas dúvidas quanto aos fundamentos racionais. É um equívoco, porém, classificá-lo como cético; ao contrário, sua compreensão da liberdade decorre do fato de acreditar que não estamos condenados a “obter e gastar” — à “dança macabra das necessidades e satisfações” — e que existem diferentes maneiras de respondermos ao mundo. A original abordagem histórica deste pensador inglês foi forjada pela leitura de Sócrates, Santo Agostinho, Montaigne e Hobbes, mas ele não entendia os clássicos como repositórios de conhecimentos e lições de uso prático, e sim como introduções a modos de pensar.
Social Contract, Free Ride is a cogent argument that strikes at the very foundations of traditional economic apologies for coercive action by the state to fulfill necessary public utility.
The Social Dilemma reflects Tullock’s contributions to areas of public choice that typically are ignored by mainstream scholars, who tend to focus on cooperative, democratic states. Tullock explores instead the workings of the dictatorial state and the economics of war between nations.
Anthony de Jasay is arguably one of the most influential independent thinkers and libertarian political philosophers of our time. Through his writings, he challenges the reigning paradigms justifying modern democratic government, providing an antidote to the well-intentioned yet, in Jasay’s opinion, naive expansion of state power furthered by much of modern thought today.
More than thirty years ago F. A. Hayek said of Socialism: “It was a work on political economy in the tradition of the great moral philosophers, a Montesquieu or Adam Smith, containing both acute knowledge and profound wisdom. . . . To none of us young men who read the book when it appeared was the world ever the same again.” This is a newly annotated edition of the classic first published in German in 1922. It is the definitive refutation of nearly every type of socialism ever devised. Mises presents a wide-ranging analysis of society, comparing the results of socialist planning with those of free-market capitalism in all areas of life.
In the essays in this volume Hayek contributed to economic knowledge in the context of socialism and war, while providing an intellectual defense of a free society. The connection between the two topics is illuminated through essays containing some of Hayek’s contributions to the socialist-calculation debate, writings pertaining to war, and the cult of scientific economic planning from the late 1930s and 1940s.
Richard M. Weaver (1910–1963), one of the leading figures in the post-World War II development of an intellectual, self-conscious conservatism, believed that Southern values of religion, work ethic, and family could provide a defense against the totalitarian nihilism of fascist and communist statism.