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.
This famed Payne edition of Select Works of Edmund Burke is universally revered by students of English history and political thought.
Liberty Fund is pleased to present this single-volume collection of Gouverneur Morris’s writings. This edition will be a welcome addition to scholars of American and French history as the volume contains many writings that have never before been published.
Tocqueville’s Voyages is a collection of newly written essays by some of the most well-known Tocquevillian scholars today. The essays in the first part of the volume explore the development of Tocqueville’s thought, his intellectual voyage, during his trip to America and while writing Democracy in America. The second part of the book focuses on the dissemination of Tocqueville’s ideas beyond the Franco-American context of 1835–1840 in places such as Argentina, Japan, and Eastern Europe.
A Treatise of the Laws of Nature, originally titled De Legibus Naturae, first appeared in 1672 as a theoretical response to a range of issues that came together during the late 1660s. It conveyed a conviction that science might offer a more effective means of demonstrating both the contents and the obligatory force of the law of nature.
A Treatise on Political Economy by Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy (1754–1836) is a foundational text of nineteenth-century, free-market economic thought and remains one of the classics of nineteenth-century French economic liberalism. Destutt de Tracy was one of the founders of the classical liberal republican group known as the Idéologues, which included Jean-Baptiste Say, Marquis de Condorcet, and Pierre Cabanis.
In The Trend of Economic Thinking Hayek presents many of the figures that influenced the development of his economic thought. The articles range from well-known economists such as Mandeville, Hume, Smith, and Bastiat, to lesser-known figures such as Dupuit and Gossen, showing the breadth of Hayek’s study of the history of economic thought.
Grotius’s The Truth of the Christian Religion was first published in Leiden in 1627 in Latin. Written in plain and direct language for his countrymen, this short work aimed to show those who would encounter pagans, Muslims, and Jews that the Christian religion was the true revealed religion. In addition to “fortifying” the beliefs of his fellow Christians, the treatise intended to convince non-Christians of “the reasonableness of believing and embracing the Christian Religion above any other.”
“We had thought, or our forefathers had, that modern liberal democracy would be spared the kind of erosion and decay that both Plato and Aristotle declared endemic in all forms of state. Now we are not so sure.” So wrote Robert Nisbet in the first edition of Twilight of Authority, published by Oxford University Press in 1975. “The centralization and, increasingly, individualization of power is matched in the social and cultural spheres by a combined hedonism and egalitarianism, each in its own way a reflection of the destructive impact of power on the hierarchy that is native to the social bond,” he writes.
Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence was Pufendorf’s first work, published in 1660. Its appearance effectively inaugurated the modern natural-law movement in the German-speaking world, establishing Pufendorf as a key figure and laying the foundations for his later major works.