Political Thought

Our titles in political thought encompass the ideals of the classical liberal tradition, such as self-government, the rule of law, and constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press. The collection includes foundational writings from such thinkers as John Locke, David Hume, Bernard Mandeville, and Alexis de Tocqueville, as well as twentieth-century perspectives from writers like Michael Oakeshott and Bertrand de Jouvenel. These titles represent thinkers from different times and contexts, offering the reader a variety of texts that have helped shape the ideas of liberty in today’s society.

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  • The Sacred Rights of Conscience

    by Daniel L. Dreisbach and Mark David Hall

    The Sacred Rights of Conscience contains original documents from both public and private papers, such as constitutions, statutes, legislative resolutions, speeches, sermons, newspapers, letters, and diaries. These documents provide a vivid reminder that religion was a dynamic factor in shaping American social, legal, and political culture and that there has been a struggle since the inception of the Republic to…

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  • Scholasticism and Politics

    by Jacques Maritain

    Scholasticism and Politics, first published in 1940, is a collection of nine lectures Maritain delivered at the University of Chicago in 1938. Maritain championed the cause of what he called personalist democracy—a regime committed to popular sovereignty, constitutionalism, limited government, and individual freedom. He believed a personalist democracy offered the modern world the possibility of a political order most in…

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  • Select Works of Edmund Burke

    by Edmund Burke

    This famed Payne edition of Select Works of Edmund Burke is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. Volume 1, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents and The Two Speeches on America, contains Burke’s brilliant defense of the American colonists’ complaints of British policy, including “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents” (1770), “Speech…

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  • Selected Writings of Lord Acton

    by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

    Lord Acton was among the most illustrious historians of nineteenth-century England, a man of great learning with a deep devotion to individual liberty and a profound understanding of history. Liberty Fund is proud to offer the most complete collection of Acton essays ever published. Volume I: Essays in the History of Liberty Included are his two famous essays on the…

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  • The Servile State

    by Hilaire Belloc

    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. The Servile State has endured as his most important political work. The effect of socialist doctrine…

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  • Social Contract, Free Ride

    by Anthony de Jasay

    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. Anthony de Jasay is an independent theorist living in France.

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  • Social Justice and the Indian Rope Trick

    by Anthony de Jasay

    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. In this collection of witty and compelling…

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  • Socialism

    by Ludwig von Mises

    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…

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  • The Southern Essays of Richard M. Weaver

    by Richard M. Weaver

    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. George M. Curtis, III, is a Professor of American History at Hanover College. James J. Thompson, Jr.,

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  • Sovereignty

    by Bertrand de Jouvenel

    Who decides? Who is the Sovereign? What is a good act? In quest of answers to these vitally important questions, Bertrand de Jouvenel examines successively the nature and history of authority, the political good, the sovereign, and liberty. His concern is with “the prospects for individual liberty in democratic societies in which sovereignty purportedly resides in the whole people of…

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  • The State of the Union

    by Albert Jay Nock

    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.

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  • The State

    by Anthony de Jasay

    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…

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