Libertarianism is hardly new, but its framework for liberty under law and economic progress makes it especially suited for the dynamic new era we are now entering. In the United States, the bureaucratic leviathan is newly threatened by a resurgence of the libertarian ideas upon which the country was founded. We are witnessing a breakdown of all the cherished beliefs of the welfare-warfare state. David Boaz presents the essential guidebook to the libertarian perspective, detailing its roots, central tenets, solutions to contemporary policy dilemmas, and future in American politics. He confronts head-on the tough questions frequently posed to libertarians: What about inequality? Who protects the environment? What ties people together if they are essentially self-interested?
©1997 by David Boaz; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks
This book does a good job of describing the Libertarian platform based on personal freedom, respect for the rights of others, and small government. It despises the big government social programs of the Democrats and the conservative attack on personal freedoms of the Republicans so it is not left or right leaning by definition. It builds on the Objectivism ideas proposed by Ann Rand and the policy stances of Milton Freedom to build the historical beginnings of the party.
Someone already convinced of a libertarian view.
More in depth knowledge of competing views. More knowledge of US history. Libertarianism was not the founding idea of the US, as Boaz says. What we had then and continue to have today is an essential and healthy tension between libertarianism (Jefferson, republicanism) and Hamiltonian Federalism. How much and what kind of government has always been a pertinent question.
None - very good
I am giving this three stars because it is a good, useful overview of the tenets of Libertarianism or Marketism, which has become the standard dogma and pseudo-science of the American right. I hope young people will listen to it and recognize it for the pernicious twaddle that it is. Like most Libertarians, Boaz concocts an Orwellian mishmash of half truths, selective readings, simplifications, and outright fairy tales. Even Locke and Adam Smith must be twisted to fit the party line. Locke's assumptions of biblical precedent, utopian abundance, his versions of eminent domain (or highest use), and his ambiguous allowance of slavery are all conveniently overlooked, as is Smith's clear distrust of the limited liability corporation, the very basis of modern capitalism. The classical labor theory of value which both thinkers shared with Marx is buried. Weirdest of all is the up-side-down Libertarian view of American history, where such a clear record of evolving property rights exists. Sheltering in their dark think tanks, Libertarians avoid research libraries as vampires avoid sunshine. Indian treaties, seizures of loyalist properties, the Dawes Act, the Homestead Acts, the Mexican War, Texas annexation, the patent monopolies, the bank trusts, the Hamiltonian system, the infant industries theory, and Calhoun's "libertarian" defense of slave markets...these are only a tiny sampling of the historical realities Libertarians must cover up in their "Little House on the Prairie" version of American property rights. In the modern era the enormous state foundations of scientific research, the state securing of agricultural production, the role of national currencies, and military industrial planning are likewise stinted. The think tank Libertarian is a paid propagandist pure and simple. They could never survive real academic scrutiny. Popularizing this dogma by means of Fox News and the Tea Party fosters not "liberty" but a political power vacuum waiting to be filled.
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