This collection is the first chosen from Albert Jay Nock’s entire work and the first new collection in nearly thirty-five years. It includes his best-known essays, some outstanding but neglected articles, and previously unpublished material.
The State is a brilliant analysis of modern political arrangements that views the state as acting in its own interest contrary to the interests of individuals and even of an entire society. As Nobel laureate James Buchanan has observed, Jasay subjects the state to a “solid, foundational analysis, grounded in an understanding of economic theory, informed by political philosophy and a deep sense of history.” The results include a “devastating critique of the absurdities of modern welfare economics.”
Written for the layman as well as the attorney, The Story of Law is the only complete outline history of the law ever published. “It is,” too, noted journalist William Allen White of the original edition, “the sort of book that any lawyer could take home and give to his children in their teens and twenties as a justification of his career.” Moreover, The Story of Law has well been termed “the perfect book for introducing the beginning law student to the origin and history of the law.” John M. Zane lucidly describes the growth and improvement of the law over thousands of years, and he points out that an increasing awareness of the individual as a person who is responsible for decision and action gradually transformed the law. The seventeen chapters include “The Physical Basis of Law,” “Law Among Primordial Men,” “Babylonian Law,” “The Jewish Law,” “Law Among the Greeks,” “The Roman Creation of Modern Law,” “Medieval Law in Europe,” “The Origins of English Law,” and “International Law.” Professor Charles J. Reid, Jr., of Emory University School of Law, has contributed an unsurpassed forty-page “Selected Bibliography on Legal History” that will be of enormous interest to academics, students, practicing attorneys, and general readers alike.
For much of Europe the seventeenth century was, as it has been termed, an “Age of Absolutism” in which single rulers held tremendous power. Yet the English in the same century succeeded in limiting the power of their monarchs. The English Civil War in midcentury and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 were the culmination of a protracted struggle between kings eager to consolidate and even extend their power and subjects who were eager to identify and defend individual liberties. The source and nature of sovereignty was of course the central issue. Did sovereignty reside solely with the Crown—as claimed theorists of “the divine right”? Or did sovereignty reside in a combination of Crown and Parliament—or perhaps in only the House of Commons—or perhaps, again, in the common law, or even in “the people”?
F. A. Hayek never published the grand project he conceived in a letter to Fritz Machlup in 1939. As described in the introduction, this work would “incorporate intellectual history, methodology, and an analysis of social problems, all aimed at shedding light on the consequences of socialism.” He told Machlup that “a series of case studies should come first, . . . leading to the fundamental scientific principles of economic policy and ultimately to the consequences of socialism,” and the work would “form the basis of a systematic intellectual historical investigation of the fundamental principles of the social development of the last hundred years.” (Introduction, p. 1)
Liberty Fund is pleased to make available in paperback eight of the original thirty-three cloth volumes of the Collected Works of John Stuart Mill that were first published by the University of Toronto Press that remain most relevant to liberty and responsibility in the twenty-first century. Born in London in 1806 and educated at the knee of his father, the Scottish philosopher James Mill, John Stuart Mill became one of the nineteenth century’s most influential writers on economics and social philosophy.
With his customary wit and grace, Dr. Barzun contrasts the ritual of education with the lost art of teaching. Twenty-one chapters deal with three major issues: the practice of teaching, the subject matter to be taught, and the institutional and cultural aspects of teaching.
Temporal and Eternal is a profound and poetic assessment of the relationship between tradition and liberty, between politics and society, and between Christianity and the modern world. This edition includes a new foreword by Pierre Manent, Professor of Political Science at the Centre de Recherches Politiques Raymond Aron in Paris.
“The Law,” “The State,” and Other Political Writings, 1843–1850, collects nineteen of Bastiat’s “pamphlets,” or articles, ranging from the theory of value and rent, public choice and collective action, government intervention and regulation, the balance of trade, education, and trade unions to price controls, capital and growth, and taxation. Many of these are topics still relevant and debated today.
Theory and History is primarily a critique of Karl Marx, his materialism, and his prediction of the inevitability of socialism. Marx attributes the creation of tools and machines, as well as the economic structure of society, to undefined “material productive forces.” Mises rejects this materialistic view; he points out that tools and machines are actually created by individuals acting on the basis of non-materialistic ideas.
The Theory of Money and Credit integrated monetary theory into the main body of economic analysis for the first time, providing fresh, new insights into the nature of money and its role in the economy and bringing Mises into the front rank of European economists.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith’s first and in his own mind most important work, outlines his view of proper conduct and the institutions and sentiments that make men virtuous. Here he develops his doctrine of the impartial spectator, whose hypothetical disinterested judgment we must use to distinguish right from wrong in any given situation. We by nature pursue our self-interest, according to Smith. This makes independence or self-command an instinctive good, and neutral rules as difficult to craft as they are necessary. But society is not held together merely by neutral rules; it is held together by sympathy. Smith argues that we naturally share the emotions and to a certain extent the physical sensations we witness in others. Sharing the sensations of our fellows, we seek to maximize their pleasures and minimize their pains so that we may share in their joys and enjoy their expressions of affection and approval.