The Online Library of Liberty

The aim of the OLL is to provide thousands of titles about individual liberty, limited constitutional government, and the free market, free of charge to the public, for educational purposes.

The Online Library of Liberty makes available at no charge to the public outstanding resources for teaching & learning about individual liberty. It has won a number of international awards and recognition from such bodies as the Library of Congress (we were selected for the Minerva Archiving Project), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the British Arts & Humanities Research Council.

The works of hundreds of authors from ancient Sumeria to the present are represented. They are organized by author, historical period, and schools of thought. The latter includes the French Enlightenment, the Founding Fathers, 19th century natural rights theorists, the Austrian School of Economics, and many others.

Liberty Matters

Every two months the OLL hosts an online forum for scholars to discuss the significance of some of the key works in the OLL collection. A lead article on the topic is posted, which is followed by three or more response essays and then open debate. Topics covered so far include Eric Mack on “John Locke on Property,” Geoffrey Brennan on “James Buchanan: An Assessment,” and Roderick Long on “Gustave de Molinari’s Legacy for Liberty.”

Visit the Online Library of Liberty

Recent Posts

Here are the 10 latest posts from OLL.

OLL June 17, 2019

On Temporal and Spiritual Authority (Robert Bellarmine)

Robert Bellarmine, On Temporal and Spiritual Authority: On Laymen or Secular People On the Temporal Power of the Pope. Against William Barclay On the Primary Duty of the Supreme Pontiff. Edited, Translated, and with an Introduction by Stefania Tutino (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2012).

OLL June 3, 2019

Liberty Matters: Germaine de Staël, Fanaticism, and the Spirit of Party (March 2019) (Aurelian Craiutu)

Germaine de Staël, Fanaticism, and the Spirit of Party (March 2019) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2019).

OLL June 2, 2019

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Vol. 3 (1755-1774) (Jack P. Greene)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Edited and with an Introduction by Jack P. Greene and Craig B. Yirush. Latin translations by Kathleen Alvis (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2018). Vol. 3 (1755-1774).

OLL June 2, 2019

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Vol. 2 (1734-1755) (Jack P. Greene)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Edited and with an Introduction by Jack P. Greene and Craig B. Yirush. Latin translations by Kathleen Alvis (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2018). Vol. 2 (1734-1755).

OLL June 2, 2019

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Vol. 1 (1687-1732) (Jack P. Greene)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Edited and with an Introduction by Jack P. Greene and Craig B. Yirush. Latin translations by Kathleen Alvis (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2018). Vol. 1 (1687-1732).

OLL June 2, 2019

Essay on the Nature of Trade in General (LF ed.) (Richard Cantillon)

Essay on the Nature of Trade in General. Translated, Edited, and with an Introduction by Antoin E. Murphy (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2015).

OLL June 2, 2019

The Works of William Robertson. Vol. 8. The History of America, books 9-10. An Historical Disquisition concerning Ancient India. (William Robertson)

The Works of William Robertson, D.D. To which is Prefixed, An Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, by Dugald Stewart. In Eight volumes. (London: T. Cadell, 1840). Vol. 8. The History of America, books 9-10. An Historical Disquisition concerning Ancient India.

OLL June 2, 2019

The Works of William Robertson. Vol. 7. The History of America, books 5-8. (William Robertson)

The Works of William Robertson, D.D. To which is Prefixed, An Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, by Dugald Stewart. In Eight volumes. (London: T. Cadell, 1840). Vol. 7. The History of America, books 5-8.

OLL June 2, 2019

The Works of William Robertson. Vol. 6. A Catalogue of Spanish Books and Manuscripts and The History of America, books 1-4. (William Robertson)

The Works of William Robertson, D.D. To which is Prefixed, An Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, by Dugald Stewart. In Eight volumes. (London: T. Cadell, 1840). Vol. 6. A Catalogue of Spanish Books and Manuscripts and The History of America, books 1-4.

OLL June 2, 2019

The Works of William Robertson. Vol. 5. The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V, books 8-12 (William Robertson)

The Works of William Robertson, D.D. To which is Prefixed, An Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, by Dugald Stewart. In Eight volumes. (London: T. Cadell, 1840). Vol. 5. The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V, books 8-12.

Here are the 10 latest posts from OLL | Liberty Matters.

OLL | Liberty Matters September 3, 2019

Carlo Lottieri, "Exchanges, Claims, and Powers: About Bruno Leoni's Social Theory" (September, 2019)

Liberty MattersIn this discussion, Carlo Lottieri, Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University of Verona, argues that the main intellectual contribution of the Italian jurist Bruno Leoni (1913-1967) is usually connected to his analysis of the opposition between legislation and law, between the order built by lawmakers on one side and the set of norms defined by jurists (as in Roman jus civile) or courts (as in ancient English common law) on the other. But at the core of his analysis is what he wrote about individual claims: the idea that the legal order is the outcome of specific individual activity when people demand something from the other members of society. However, he argues, that two aspects of Leoni’s theory are quite problematic. First, a philosophy identifying law with the most common claims cancels the tension between legality and legitimacy, between what is and what should be. Second, from the perspective of a general theory of law, it seems reasonable that human coexistence can be better explained if we introduce something more demanding than simple exchange and at the same time something less demanding but no less important, namely the permanent presence of violent behavior. Carlo is joined in the discussion by Boudewijn Bouckaert, professor emeritus of the Ghent University Law School in Belgium; Peter T. Leeson, the Duncan Black Professor of Economics and Law at George Mason University; and Edward Peter Stringham, the Davis Professor of Economic Organizations and Innovation at Trinity College.

OLL | Liberty Matters July 9, 2019

David Womersley, "John Trenchard and the Opposition to Standing Armies" (September, 2016)

John Trenchard (1662-1723) was a radical Whig and Commonwealthman who, along with his collaborator Thomas Gordon (1692-1750), were important voices defending constitutionalism and individual liberty in the 1720s in England. Trenchard came from a prominent family, went to Trinity College, Dublin, and briefly served in the House of Commons. He worked as a journalist in the 1690s writing works criticising the idea of standing armies and the political power of the established church. Trenchard co-wrote The Independent Whig (1720-21) and Cato’s Letters (1720-23) with Gordon. He was a defender of the idea of liberty against political corruption, imperialism and militarism in the early 18th century. Their writings, especially Cato’s Letters, were also much read in the American colonies. In this Liberty Matters discussion David Womersley, the Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, revisits Trenchard’s criticisms of standing armies in the light of the continuing relevance of the question of where to locate, in whose hands to place, and how to exercise the state’s powers of deadly military force. He is joined in the discussion by Stephen P. Halbrook, an attorney in Fairfax, Virginia, the independent historian Joseph R. Stromberg, and David Wootton, the Anniversary Professor of History at the University of York.

See the archive of Liberty Matters.

OLL | Liberty Matters July 1, 2019

Phillip W. Magness, “William Leggett: Free Trade, Hard Money, and Abolitionism” (July, 2019)

Liberty MattersThe American political journalist William Leggett (1801-1839) had a short but productive period of activity between 1834-39 when he became famous, even notorious, for his opposition to slavery, tariffs, a state privileged National Bank, and government intervention in the economy to benefit special interests (like bankers, industrialists, and slave owners). Leggett's position of consistent opposition to the state interfering in the economic affairs of individuals is one that does not sit well with the new school of economic historians of "capitalism" who argue that slavery and capitalism were joined at the hip and were "symbiotic". In this discussion Phil Magness, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, argues that it is Leggett who is the consistent one and the advocates of the "New History of Capitalism" are the ones who are confused and do not seem to know about this "broader liberal political tradition" of which Leggett was a member. He is joined in the discussion by Anthony Comegna, from the Institute for Humane Studies, Brian Schoen, associate professor of history at Ohio University, and Lawrence H. White, professor of economics at George Mason University.

See the Archive of "Liberty Matters".

OLL | Liberty Matters June 4, 2019

Liberty Matters discussions listed by Subject Areas

As of June 2019 there have been 40 “Liberty Matters” online discussions. The HTML versions are listed here and many are available in various eBook formats as well.

The discussions cover the disciplines of economics (16), political thought (16), history (3), law (2), and sociology (3) which are listed below:

OLL | Liberty Matters May 1, 2019

David M. Hart, "Reassessing Bastiat's *Economic Harmonies* after 160 Years" (May, 2019)

Liberty MattersWith the completion of a draft of Liberty Fund's new translation of Frédéric Bastiat's economic treatise on Economic Harmonies we have invited a group of scholars who know Bastiat and his work to reassess his contributions to economic theory some 160 years after the book's first appearance in 1850-51. Bastiat is widely known for his brilliant economic journalism (the series of Economic Harmonies) but less so for his contributions to economic theory. As an economic theorist, Bastiat has suffered from being misunderstood (even by his colleagues and contemporaries), neglected and forgotten (by most economists since his death), being subjected to abusive or dismissive criticism (Marx and Schumpeter), and being damned with faint praise (Hayek). David Hart, the Academic Editor of Liberty Fund's Bastiat translation project, argues that out of a list of 18 or so key economic ideas Bastiat can be said to have made significant contributions to 11 of them, and so must be considered a serious economic theorist. He is joined in the discussion by Donald J. Boudreaux, professor of economics at George Mason University; Jörg Guido Hülsmann, professor of economics at the University of Angers in France; and Joseph T. Salerno, academic vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and the editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and professor emeritus of economics in the Lubin School of Business of Pace University in New York City.

See the Archive of "Liberty Matters".

OLL | Liberty Matters March 25, 2019

Aurelian Craiutu, “How to Combat Fanaticism and the Spirit of Party: Germaine de Staël’s Lesson"

The year 2017 marked the bicentenary of Germaine de Staël's death (1766-1817). Although her name almost never appears in textbooks or histories of political thought in the English-speaking world her political thought is undeniably rich and brilliant. The recent revival of interest in French political thought, as manifested by the publication of many works by and about Constant, Tocqueville, or Guizot, has not extended to Madame de Staël. Therefore, it is high time for her to finally receive the place that she deserves in the history of political thought. This would be an overdue act of justice for a woman who defied many conventions of her time and made a name for herself in a highly competitive and male-dominated world. But there is a second reason why the rediscovery of Madame de Staël's political thought and the publication of her political works should be a priority today. Having lived in revolutionary times, she had a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the importance of ideas and the power of passions in society and political life. In this month's Liberty Matters discussion Aurelian Craiutu, professor of political science at Indiana University, will present arguments why she should no longer remain a neglected political thinker. He is joined in the discussion by Benjamin Hoffmann, assistant professor of early modern French Studies at The Ohio State University; Catriona Seth, the Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature at the University of Oxford; and Steven Vincent, professor of history at North Carolina State University.

See the Archive of "Liberty Matters".

OLL | Liberty Matters January 2, 2019

Matthew McCaffrey, “Frank Fetter and the Austrian Tradition in the United States” (January, 2019)

Liberty MattersMatthew McCaffrey, assistant professor of enterprise at the University of Manchester, explores the economic and political work of the "forgotten giant" of economics, the Indiana-born Frank Fetter. At the height of his career in the early 20th century, Fetter was one of the most respected, cited, and debated economists in the United States. He taught for over 40 years at prestigious universities, including Stanford, Cornell, and Princeton, and his research appeared in practically every major publication in economics and political science. yet today he is virtually forgotten outside a small group of Austrian economists. In his opening essay, McCaffrey explores two aspects of his thought in particular: his contributions to theoretical economics and their relationship to Austrian ideas, and his political views as they relate to the philosophy of classical liberalism. He is joined in the discussion by Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Research Professor of Business Studies in the University of Hertfordshire, Peter Lewin is Clinical Professor in the Jindal School of Management, University of Texas, Dallas, and Joseph T. Salerno, professor of economics in the Finance and Graduate Economics Department in the Lubin School of Business of Pace University in New York.

See the Archive of "Liberty Matters".

OLL | Liberty Matters November 30, 2018

Alberto Mingardi, “Liberty and Cynicism: Was Vilfredo Pareto a Liberal?” (November, 2018)

Alberto Mingardi, an assistant professor of the history of political thought at IULM University in Milan, Italy and director general of the free-market think tank Istituto Bruno Leoni, asks if Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) should belong in the history of classical liberalism? His answer is that Pareto’s drastic political realism—his ambition to look at politics for what it is—is not incompatible with a classical-liberal worldview, but it is incompatible with a classical-liberal program. He is joined in this discussion by Giandomenica Becchio, an assistant professor at the University of Torino; Rosolino Candela, a Senior Fellow with the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; and Richard E. Wagner is Holbert Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University.

OLL | Liberty Matters October 31, 2018

Virgil Storr, "Marx and the Morality of Capitalism" (October, 2018)

This year is the bicentennial of the birth of Karl Marx (1818-1883) and in this month's Liberty Matters online discussion we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of Marx's political, economic, and social thought. The lead essay is by Virgil Storr, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and a professor of economics at George Mason University, where he explores Marx's "moral critique of capitalism" which he argues underlies his economic and social critiques of capitalism. He is joined in this discussion by Pete Boettke, Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University; Steve Horwitz, Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in the department of economics at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana; David Prychitko, professor of economics at Northern Michigan University; and David Hart, the Director of Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty Project.

See the Archive of "Liberty Matters".

OLL | Liberty Matters August 2, 2018

Peter Lewin, "Ludwig Lachmann – Enigmatic and Controversial Austrian Economist" (July, 2018)

This month’s Liberty Matters discusses the work of the Austrian economist Ludwig M. Lachmann (1906 - 1990). All his whole professional life Lachmann considered himself an "Austrian" economist, a soldier dedicated to fostering an appreciation of Austrian insights and to developing those insights beyond the initial contributions of Carl Menger. So Lachmann saw it as his mission to advance among the Austrians a heightened appreciation of the importance of the subjective and autonomous nature of expectations. Lachmann’s most significant contribution to economic theory was to the theory of capital. These contributions can be found in numerous articles in the 1940s, during the LSE period, culminating in his book Capital and its Structure (1956), and in various articles subsequently right up until his death, and also in his final full length work, The Market as an Economic Process (1986). Lachmann’s capital theory is a logical outgrowth of his methodological and epistemological views. In other words, it reflects his thoroughgoing subjectivism. The topic is introduced by Peter Lewin, Clinical Professor in the Jindal School of Management, University of Texas, Dallas, and is joined in the discussion by Hans Eicholz, Senior Fellow at Liberty Fund; Paul Lewis, Reader in Economics and Public Policy at King’s College London; Mario J. Rizzo, professor of economics at NYU, and Bill Tulloh is a cofounder and economist at Agoric.

See the Archive of "Liberty Matters".

Here are the 10 latest posts from OLL | Images of Liberty.

OLL | Images of Liberty January 16, 2018

Algernon Sidney (1622-1683) and the Thomas Hollis Library of Liberty

| AlgernonSidney_Hollis_facingL300-medium | AlgernonSidney_Hollis-facingR300 | | Algernon Sidney (1622-1683) (facing left) | Algernon Sidney (1622-1683) (facing right) [higher resolution image 3.8 MB 2234x3021 px] |

Thomas Hollis's Library of Liberty

This is part of an ongoing series which will examine the imagery created by the English publisher Thomas Hollis (1720-1774) to embellish and advertise his reissue of classic works by 17th century republicans and radicals who were active during the English Revolution and its aftermath. He called this series his "Library of Liberty" and volumes began to appear in the 1760s and were sent to libraries and individuals in Europe and the American colonies. The volumes were beautifully bound in red leather and had liberty symbols embossed on them (such as the phrygian or liberty cap and a dagger (in reference to Brutus' slaying of the tyrant Julius Caesar)). It was Hollis' intention to make these books, which he thought were so important to the understanding of liberty, catch the attention of the eye as well as the mind. As he said in a letter in June 1765:

The bindings of Books are little regarded by me for my own proper library; but by long experience I have found it necessary to attend to them for other libraries; having thereby often drawn notice, with preservation, on many excellent books or curious, which it is probable, would else have passed unheeded or neglected.

The library included works by his favourite John Milton, Andrew Marvell, Marchamont Nedham, Edmund Ludlow, John Locke, Algernon Sidney, and others. As a frontispiece for each book Hollis included an image of the author, designed under his direction by Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1727-1785), surrounded by a wreath and with a phrygian cap and suitable quotation below.

 

OLL | Images of Liberty September 18, 2017

Encyclopedic Liberty and Industry

EncyclopedieThis illustrated essay explores some images of "liberty" and "industry" from Diderot’s Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (Encyclopaedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts) (1751-1772). They have been taken from Liberty Fund’s anthology of articles, Encyclopedic Liberty: Political Articles in the Dictionary of Diderot and D'Alembert (2016) and the supplementary volumes of illustrations from the original 18th century edition.

Mises on Gresham’s Law and Ancient Greek Silver Coins

Mises ancient coinsIn an Appendix to his The Theory of Money and Credit (1912) the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) discussed the value of a silver coin issued by Gelon the King of Syracuse in 480 BC. A picture of the coin was used on the original cover of the book. Mises was interested in these coins because he believed that sound currency emerged in the ancient world as a result of the productive economic activity which went on in places such as Lydia (Turkey) and Athens. These places remained economically powerful only so long as they retained a sound currency, which he believed Athens did and the other Greek city states did not. The Appendix about this coin is included below along with the illustration.

OLL | Images of Liberty December 4, 2016

Ngrams and the Changing Vocabulary of Class Analysis in 19th Century Classical Liberal Thought

Honoré Daumier, "The Army Hierarchy" (1850s) [See higher resolution image]

What are Ngrams?

According to the Wikipedia article on The Google Ngram Viewer:

The Google Ngram Viewer or Google Books Ngram Viewer is an online search engine that charts frequencies of any set of comma-delimited search strings using a yearly count of n-grams found in sources printed between 1500 and 2008 in Google's text corpora in American English, British English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, or Chinese, generated in either 2008 or 2012; there are also some specialized English-language corpora, such as English Fiction. ...

The program can search for a single word or a phrase, including misspellings or gibberish. The n-grams are matched with the text within the selected corpus, optionally using case-sensitive spelling (which compares the exact use of uppercase letters), and, if found in 40 or more books, are then plotted on a graph.

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Ngram_Viewer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoogleNgramViewer)\

Art of the Levellers

Art.of.LevellersIn the course of putting together a multi-volume collection of over 240 Leveller Tracts I came across some very interesting title pages which used typography and occasionally woodcuts to add graphical force to the political and economic arguments being made by the authors. The pamphlets were published in their thousands during the 1640s and 1650s - the London bookseller George Thomason collected 23,000 of them over a period of twenty years and these comprise a major collection which is held by the British Library.

OLL | Images of Liberty April 13, 2016

Samuel warns the Israelites of the Dangers of Kings

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| | "Saul is ordered to destroy all the Amalekites and their livestock," [page 24 verso, lower panel] The Morgan Picture Bible (c. 1250)

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Many Christians in 17th century England and 17th and 18th century North America were struck by some passages in I Samuel in which the prophet Samuel warned about the dangers a King would pose to the liberties of the Israelite people. This struck a chord with those who were fighting the growing power of the Stuart monarchy or the efforts of the British Empire to exert its power over the North American colonies. The art we have chosen to illustrate these passages come from the Illustrated Bible commissioned by King Louis IX (1214-1270) of France in the mid-13th century. They provide a stark contrast to the anti-monarchical sentiment of 17th and 18th century Englishmen. Louis IX arranged for these illustrations to be made because he wanted to assert his divine right to rule France and saw in the commands of Samuel and the actions of King Saul both historical and theological precedent upon which he could draw to justify his own behavior. [More]

[See other works by Samuel]

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OLL | Images of Liberty April 13, 2016

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

declaration.rights.droitsDéclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen de 1789 by Jean-Jacques François Le Barbier (1738-1826)

To celebrate Bastille Day this year we have a beautiful poster which was printed at the time of the issuing of the Declaration to spread its message throughout the country. It was designed to be hung in public places so that ordinary people could see what the Assembly was doing in their name. George Jellinek in his study of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens (1895, English trans. by Max Farand 1901) argues that the French were strongly influenced by the precedents of the American states' constitutions and bill of rights which were developed during the American Revolution.

OLL | Images of Liberty April 13, 2016

Adam Smith and J.B. Say on the Division of Labour

Pin FactoryAdam Smith and the Pin-Maker; J.B. Say and the Playing Card Manufacturer

One of the most famous stories in economics is Adam Smith's story of the pin-maker. It has been repeated endlessly by other economists as it encapsulates quite nicely one of the key insights of economic analysis, namely the benefits of the division of labor. It would have to rank alongside Frédéric Bastiat's story of the broken window in popularity. The purpose of the story is to illustrate how much greater output could be achieved if numerous workers cooperated by taking one small task each in building a complex good like a pin or a nail. Adam Smith developed his ideas about the division of labour in the 1760s and 1770 as he was giving lectures and writing the Wealth of Nations (1776). At the same time Denis Diderot in France was compiling the famous Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers which appeared between 1751 and 1772. The articles in the Encyclopédie were accompanied by beautifully drawn illustrations, such as the ones we include below of a pin factory. Members of both the Scottish and French enlightenments were facsinated by the opportunities offered by technological and economic change in such things as seemingly "very trifling" as the making of a pin.

OLL | Images of Liberty April 13, 2016

Ludwig von Mises on Rationing in WW2

Monday 13 February 2012

During the war years the Austrian-American free market economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) wrote a number of books which criticised government intervention and control of the economy, especially price controls, rationing, policies of economic autarchy, the diversion of labor and other resources to war production, and the financing of the war through loans, confiscation, and inflation. While Mises was living and working in the U.S. he would have seen the propaganda produced by the American government encouraging U.S. citizens to make sacrifices for the war effort, such as the use of "ration books" and price controls in order to allocate resources away from consumers and towards war industries, to seek work in "essential" war industries and the transport of munitions, and to forgo the use of certain products essential to the war effort such as fats and rubber. We reproduce some of these imageshere.

 

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Herbert Roese, "Rationing means a fair share for all of us" (American Office of Price Administration, 1943)

OLL | Images of Liberty April 13, 2016

New Picture of Tocqueville in 1848

Friday 10 February 2012 While putting Tocqueville's "Recollections" online I found this lovely "photogravure" picture of him here which I compare to a contemporary picture of Bastiat, both of whom served in the Chamber of Deputies during the 1848 Revolution. Tocqueville_Recollections1600-portrait400.jpg

 

 

Here are the 10 latest posts from OLL | Quotations.

OLL | Quotations June 17, 2019

The Jesuit priest and political philosopher Edward Bellarmine grapples with the problem of a subject’s obedience to kings or popes (1610)

Bellarmine

OLL | Quotations December 17, 2018

Molinari on mankind’s never-ending struggle for liberty (1849)

Molinari on mankind’s never-ending struggle for liberty (1849)

OLL | Quotations December 17, 2018

Herbert Spencer on the right of political and economic “dissenters” to have their different beliefs and practices respected by the state (1842)

Herbert Spencer

OLL | Quotations December 17, 2018

Auberon Herbert’s aim is to destroy the love of power and the desire to use force against others (1897)

Auberon Herbert

OLL | Quotations December 16, 2018

Thomas Hodgskin on the futility of politicians tinkering with bad laws when the whole political system needed to be changed (1832)

OLL | Quotations December 16, 2018

William Paley dismisses as a fiction the idea that there ever was a binding contract by which citizens consented to be ruled by their government (1785)

William Paley dismisses as a fiction the idea that there ever was a binding contract by which citizens consented to be ruled by their government (1785)

OLL | Quotations December 16, 2018

Bastiat criticizes the socialists of wanting to be the “Great Mechanic” who would run the “social machine” in which ordinary people were merely so many lifeless cogs and wheels (1848)

Bastiat

OLL | Quotations December 16, 2018

Frédéric Bastiat argues that socialism hides its true plunderous nature under a facade of nice sounding words like “fraternity” and “equality” (1850)

Frédéric Bastiat argues that socialism hides its true plunderous nature under a facade of nice sounding words like “fraternity” and “equality” (1850)

OLL | Quotations December 16, 2018

Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk argues that Marx ignored the fact that the same amount of labor time should be rewarded differently depending upon where along the structure of production it took place (1898)

Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk

OLL | Quotations December 16, 2018

Karl Marx on the necessary task the “bourgeoisie” was doing in putting an end to “feudal and patriarchal relations” (1848)

Karl Marx

Here are the 10 latest posts from OLL | Liberty Fund Books.

OLL | Liberty Fund Books June 17, 2019

On Temporal and Spiritual Authority (Robert Bellarmine)

Robert Bellarmine was one of the most original and influential political theorists of his time. He participated in several of the political debates that agitated early modern Europe, such as the controversy over the Oath of Allegiance in England. Bellarmine presents one of the clearest and most coherent definitions of the nature and aim of temporal authority and its relationship to spiritual authority. The king has jurisdiction over the body, the pope over the conscience. This distinction was crucial for the history of early modern monarchies: the conflict between state and church ceased to be concerned with physical persons and was no longer a contest for the consciences of subjects.

The political thought of Bellarmine was at the center of post-Reformation debates on the relationship between state and church; on the nature, aim, and limits of temporal government; and on the relation between religion and natural law. He posed in a novel, controversial manner the relationship between public and private spheres, thus opening up questions central to what we consider “modernity.” This accessible edition of some of Bellarmine’s most important works in fresh translations will be interesting for a wide readership of both scholars of political thought and the educated general public.

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Vol. 3 (1755-1774) (Jack P. Greene)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty is a 3 vol. collection which presents a rich and extensive selection of the political literature produced in and about colonial British America during the century before the American Revolution (1687-1774). Vol. 3: 53. [William Livingston], An Address to His Excellency Sir Charles Hardy (New York, 1755) to 75. Anonymous, Considerations on the Imposition of 4 Per Cent; Collected on Grenada, Without Grant of Parliament (London, 1774).

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Vol. 2 (1734-1755) (Jack P. Greene)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty is a 3 vol. collection which presents a rich and extensive selection of the political literature produced in and about colonial British America during the century before the American Revolution (1687-1774). Vol. 2: 29. William Smith, Mr. Smith’s Opinion Humbly Offered to the General Assembly of the Colony of New-York (New York, 1734) to 52. “Veridicus” [Thomas Frearon], The Merchants, Factors, and Agents Residing at Kingston, Complainants, Against the Inhabitants of Spanish-Town (London, 1755).

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Vol. 1 (1687-1732) (Jack P. Greene)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty is a 3 vol. collection which presents a rich and extensive selection of the political literature produced in and about colonial British America during the century before the American Revolution (1687-1774). Vol. 1: 1. William Penn, The Excellent Priviledge of Liberty and Property (Philadelphia, 1687) to 28. “A Sincere Lover of Virginia” [Sir William Gooch], A Dialogue (Williamsburg, 1732).

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution (Jack P. Greene)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty is a 3 vol. collection which presents a rich and extensive selection of the political literature produced in and about colonial British America during the century before the American Revolution. Most colonial political pamphlets and broadsides were printed in London, but even in the mid-seventeenth century some writings were published in New England, which then had the only printing presses in British America. With the expansion of printing to most of the colonies during the last decade of the seventeenth and the first three decades of the eighteenth century, however, the number of political polemical publications increased exponentially throughout colonial British America, from Barbados to Nova Scotia. The number of publications dealing with political questions increased in every decade after 1710, to become a veritable flood by the 1750s.

A complete ToC with links:

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty Vol. 1 (1687-1732)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty Vol. 2 (1734-1755).

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty Vol. 3 (1755-1774).

Essay on the Nature of Trade in General (LF ed.) (Richard Cantillon)

The Liberty Fund edition is a modernized translation of Richard Cantillon’s Essai sur la nature du commerce en général (1755) with a new introduction by Antoin E. Murphy. In the Essay, Cantillon outlined an extraordinary model-building approach showing how the economy could be built up, through progressive stages, from a command, barter, closed economy to a market economy, which uses money and is open. Though written in the eighteenth century, the Essay has a considerable resonance for a twenty-first century audience.

OLL | Liberty Fund Books November 13, 2018

Universal Economics (Armen A. Alchian)

Universal Economics shows the critical importance of property rights to the existence and success of market economies. The authors explain the interconnection between goods prices and productive-asset prices and how market-determined interest rates bring about the allocation of resources toward the satisfaction of consumption demands versus saving/investment priorities. They show how the crucial role of prices in a market economy cannot be well understood without a firm grasp of the role of money in the modern world. The Alchian and Allen application of information and search-cost analysis to the subject of money, price determination, and inflation is unique in the teaching of economic principles.

The Crisis: A British Defense of American Rights, 1775–1776 (Neil L. York)

YorkCrisisThe Crisis was a London weekly published between January 1775 and October 1776. It was the longest-running weekly pamphlet series printed in the British Atlantic world during those years, and it used unusually bold, pithy language. Neither the longevity of the effort nor the colorful language employed would be reason enough to collect and print all ninety-two issues under one cover in a modern edition. The Crisis lays claim to our attention because of its place in the rise of freedom of the press, its self-conscious attempt to create a transatlantic community of protest, and its targeting of the king as the source of political problems—but without attacking the institution of monarchy itself.

On Religion Considered in Its Source, Its Forms, and Its Developments (Benjamin Constant)

Constant worked on this study of humanity’s religious forms and development throughout his life, eventually publishing five volumes between 1824 and 1831. His aims were to relate religious forms to their historical contexts and civilizational developments, to show partisans of the new post-revolutionary order that the religious impulse was natural to the human heart, and to show religious reactionaries that history had left them behind and that the natural state of the religious sentiment was an unfettered “spirituality” left free to find new forms of expression.

OLL | Liberty Fund Books January 4, 2018

Selections from Three Works (Francisco Suárez)

The bulk of the selections in this volume are from A Treatise on Laws and God the Lawgiver (1612), “one of the major works of scholastic moral and legal theory,” writes volume editor Thomas Pink. In the Treatise, working within the framework originally elaborated by Thomas Aquinas, Suárez presented a systematic account of human moral activity in all its dimensions, synthesizing the entire scholastic heritage of thinking on this topic and identifying the key issues of debate and the key authors who had formulated the different positions most incisively. Then he went beyond this heritage of authorities to present a new account of human moral action and its relationship to the law.

The second selection is from A Defence of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith (1613), a treatise on the errors of Anglicanism and, in particular, on the errors of King James I in relation to the power of the king in temporal matters and the power of the pope to intervene in the cause of religion. The selections in the final section, A Work on the Three Theological Virtues (1621), are taken from Suárez’s accounts of faith and love, and they concern the conversion of unbelievers and the conditions of a just war.

The translations in this volume were originally published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Now republished with a new introduction, revisions to some of the existing notes, and additional notes, these selections are again available in English for those interested in the ethical and metaphysical foundations of political authority and the right to liberty. The texts are of special interest to historians of religious liberty, toleration, and coercion as a classic account of the coercive authority in matters of faith and religious practice of the Catholic church.

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