“When democracy turns, as it often does, into a corrupt plutocracy, both national decadence and social revolution are being prepared.” So wrote the Irish-born historian W. E. H. Lecky (1838–1903) in this devastating assault on mass democracy.
In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and his friend Gustave de Beaumont visited the United States. From Tocqueville’s copious notes of what he had seen and heard came the classic text De la Démocratie en Amérique, published in two large volumes, the first in 1835, the second in 1840. The first volume focused primarily on political society; the second, on civil society.
In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont spent nine months in the U.S. studying American prisons on behalf of the French government. They investigated not just the prison system but indeed every aspect of American public and private life—the political, economic, religious, cultural, and above all the social life of the young nation. From Tocqueville’s copious notes came Democracy in America.
Democracy in Deficit is one of the early comprehensive attempts to apply the basic principles of public-choice analysis to macroeconomic theory and policy.
In one volume, Democracy, Liberty, and Property provides an overview of the state constitutional conventions held in the 1820s. With topics as relevant today as they were then, this collection of essential primary sources sheds light on many of the enduring issues of liberty. Emphasizing the connection between federalism and liberty, the debates that took place at these conventions show how questions of liberty were central to the formation of state government, allowing students and scholars to discover important insights into liberty and to develop a better understanding of U.S. history.
William Leggett (1801–1839) was the intellectual leader of the laissez-faire wing of Jacksonian democracy. His diverse writings applied the principle of equal rights to liberty and property. These editorials maintain a historical and contemporary relevance.
This DVD, using pictures and quotations from the Founding period of the United States, discusses the idea of liberty as it was understood by the revolutionary generation and how the concern for the preservation of liberty culminated in the writing of the Constitution in 1787. The DVD brings the story to life and introduces the viewer to the sights of eighteenth-century America.
Written in response to Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha (1680), the Discourses Concerning Government by Algernon Sidney (1623–1683) has been treasured for more than three centuries as a classic defense of republicanism and popular government.
Discovery, Capitalism, and Distributive Justice makes Kirzner’s case for the idea that entrepreneurial profit is both essential for an economy and profoundly just. Asserting that the problem with standard criticism of capitalist income distribution is a failure to see capitalism as a “discovery procedure,” Kirzner argues that production and subsequent profit are neither automatic nor guaranteed.
The Divine Feudal Law sets forth Pufendorf’s basis for the reunion of the Lutheran and Calvinist confessions. This attempt to seek a “conciliation” between the confessions complements the concept of toleration discussed in Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion in Reference to Civil Society.
Having won independence from England, America faced a new question: Would this be politically one nation, or would it not? E Pluribus Unum is a spirited look at how that question came to be answered.