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"Must-reads" of libertarianism.

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nibbler491 Posted: Sun, Apr 19 2009 1:20 AM

I realize that there are already threads with reading lists, but I think it would be MUCH more helpful if we hammered out a list of 10-20 books that make up the core of libertarianism. The problem with the current lists is that they are just WAY too long. Anyone who comes on here and is looking for literature is going to be completely bogged down by those lists. Where should they start? Are some books repetitive/cover the same ideas/topics?

I think a concise, eclectic list will be a very nice resource for those who are trying to sink their teeth into the philosophy and economics of libertarianism.

I'll start:

Man, Economy, and State

Human Action

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Sukrit replied on Sun, Apr 19 2009 2:07 AM

1. Man, Economy & State (with Power and Market)

2. Human Action

3. Capitalism and Freedom

4. The Machinery of Freedom

5. The Ethics of Liberty

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Cork replied on Sun, Apr 19 2009 3:30 AM

For a New Liberty has to be the definitive work.  It's a must-own if you're an individualist anarchist.  I'm proud to have the hard-cover mere feet away from me. Big Smile

Also: Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.  Also mere feet away from me as I type.

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nibbler491 replied on Mon, Apr 20 2009 12:38 AM

Cork:

For a New Liberty has to be the definitive work.  It's a must-own if you're an individualist anarchist.  I'm proud to have the hard-cover mere feet away from me. Big Smile

Also: Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.  Also mere feet away from me as I type.

Eh, I don't see Atlas Shrugged as a must read. I'm thinking of books that more directly discuss and argue for the philosophy of libertarianism.

 

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I tend to thinkt he best arguments for libertarianism are simply negative arguments for socialism.  Show how central planning does not work and free-markets naturally pop out.  This works because almost everyone is already a libertarian and just doesn't know it.  There is no logically consistent way to oppose liberty.

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nazgulnarsil:

I tend to thinkt he best arguments for libertarianism are simply negative arguments for socialism.  Show how central planning does not work and free-markets naturally pop out.  This works because almost everyone is already a libertarian and just doesn't know it.  There is no logically consistent way to oppose liberty.

Frédéric Bastiat anyone? The Frédéric Bastiat Collection.

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Sukrit replied on Mon, Apr 20 2009 4:23 AM

Ayn Rand wasn't really a libertarian. She despised calling herself that. And thank goodness, because most of her followers are warmongers.

However, her book Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal is a must-read because it has Alan Greenspan arguing for a gold standard.

 

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Sukrit replied on Mon, Apr 20 2009 4:27 AM

This is getting to be quite a good list. Can anyone recommend 3 more books?

1. Murray Rothbard, Man, Economy and State (with Power and Market)

2. Ludwig von Mises, Human Action

3. Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom

4. David Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom

5. Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty

6. Frederic Bastiat, The Law

7. Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal


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The Ethics of Redistribution by Bertrand DeJouvenal provides a basic analysis of why taking money doesn't accomplish anything.

 

I think that the first 2 on the list are too heavy for a newbie.  I'd much rather recommend a book that addresses common newbie concerns like "what about roads healthcare schools and police?"

I like to reccommend short books (the ethics of redist is only a little over 100 pages IIRC)

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Sukrit replied on Mon, Apr 20 2009 8:38 AM

Sure, but this isn't a list for newbies. It's a list about the 10 "definitive" works in libertarianism.

These are the books every libertarian should know intimately, and without which he/she can't claim to fully understand libertarianism.

For a newbie list, check out this thread.

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Conza88 replied on Mon, Apr 20 2009 9:09 AM

Well you want to build a list that is the core of Libertarianism? And not Austrian Economics?

Then we should probably outline what makes up the core of Libertarianism. Or the areas that consistently need addressing.

Non Aggression Axiom (Principle) and Lockean / Rothbardian Homesteading rights.

 

Homesteading: ?

The Philosophy of Ownership by Robert LeFerve

Austrian Economics:

Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises

Man, Economy and State by Murray N. Rothbard

The Failure of the New Economics by Henry Hazlitt

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

Concise Guide to Economics by Jim Cox

Welfare State:

Man vs the Welfare State by Henry Hazlitt

Warfare State:

Crisis and Leviathan by Robert Higgs

Socialism:

Socialism by Ludwig Von Mises

Banking / Fractional Reserve Banking:

Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles by De Soto

Roads:

Privatization of Roads and Highways

Intellectual Property... meh, I'll come back and review this later.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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  • Henry Hazlitt - Economics in One Lesson
  • Gene Callahan - Economics for  Real People
  • Ludwig von  Mises - Liberalism
  • Carl Menger - Principles of Economics
  • Murray Rothbard - Man, Economy and State with Power and Market
  • Hans-Hermann Hoppe - A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism
  • Hans-Hermann Hoppe - Democracy: The  God That Failed
  • The Tannehils - The Market for Liberty
  • Jesus Huerta de Soto - Money, Bank Credit and Economic Cycles
  • Ludwig von Mises - Socialism
  • Robert Nisbet - The Present Age.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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