[Updated: 7 March, 2021]

 

David Hart is an historian and a libertarian with interests in the history of the classical liberal tradition (especially the Levellers and the French political economists), war and culture, libertarian class theory, and film. He has a PhD from King's College, Cambridge, a masters from Stanford University, and a BA Honours degree from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He taught in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide in South Australia for 15 years before moving to the US where he designed, built and managed the award-winning website "The Online Liberty of Liberty" for a non-profit educational foundation between 2001 and 2019. He is now an independent scholar and a keen observer of a large recreational waterway in the Northern Beaches region of Sydney (map from 1802 below).
[Brief Bio] [A Bit More] [Current CV HTML or PDF] [Areas of Expertise and Scholarly Activity (PDF)]

 

 

 


 

"Like you I love all forms of freedom; and among these, the one that is the most universally useful to mankind, the one you enjoy at each moment of the day and in all of life’s circumstances, is the freedom to work and to trade. I know that making things one’s own is the fulcrum of society and even of human life. I know that trade is intrinsic to property and that to restrict the one is to shake the foundations of the other. I approve of your devoting yourself to the defense of this freedom whose triumph will inevitably usher in the reign of international justice and consequently the extinction of hatred, prejudices between one people and another, and the wars that come in their wake."
["Draft Preface" to Economic Harmonies (1847)]
Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)  

 

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FRENCH CLASSICAL LIBERALISM | BASTIAT | COMTE & DUNOYER | MOLINARI
THE LEVELLERS | AUSTRALIAN CLASSICAL LIBERALS | WAR & PEACE
ART & PROPAGANDA | FILM & FICTION
STRATEGY

Some Recent Stuff - [see also my blog "Reflections on Liberty and Power"]

[Left: Sisyphus pushing the Boulder of Liberty up the Mountain of Statism. See blogpost on this: The Work of Sisyphus: the Urgent Need for Intellectual Change (25 April, 2020)]

See the [Archive]

[The "Liberty" or "Phrygian Cap" worn by freed slaves in ancient Rome. It became a commonly used symbol during the French Revolution.]

Additions in 2021 / L'AN II

Mar. 2021:

  • the complete 3 volume set of Karl Marx's Das Kapital in English [HTML] and German [HTML (to come)] in both HTML and facs. PDF
  • along with its comprehensive demolition in 1896 by the Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk in English [HTML] and German [HTML] (also in facs.PDF)
  • works by two leading critics of socialism in the late 19th century:
    • one of the leading French defenders of free markets and individual liberty and a critic of socialism/Marxism was Paul Leroy-Beaulieu (1843-1916): see his
    • and of course the indefatigable Herbert Spencer on "the coming slavery" of socialist interventionism in the same year as Leroy-Beaulieu's warning about the dangers of Collectivism: The Man versus the State (1884) HTML and facs. PDF.
  • the contemporary liberal counterparts of socialist theorists like Marx were John Stuart Mill and Frédéric Bastiat: see Bastiat's Harmonies économiques (1851) in English (Stirling trans.) [HTML] and French [HTML]
  • more critics of the free market and private property: Karl Marx's Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, vol. 1 (1867) [HTML] and facs. PDF] with "critics of the critics" to come
  • more in our collection of "political manifestos", this time the daddy of them all, Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) in German [facs. PDF and HTML] and English [facs. PDF and HTML]
  • copies of John Stuart Mill's Principles of Political Economy: 1st editon 1848 facs. PDF only vol. 1 and vol. 2; and the 7th edition in facs PDF vol.1 and vol.2 and in HTML.

Feb. 2021:

  • blog posts:
    1. James Gillray on Debt and Taxes during the War against Napoleon (23 Feb. 2021)
    2. Turning Rosé into Chardonnay via a Middleman (14 Feb. 2021)
    3. The Socialist Critique of Private Property and Free Markets. Part I: The French (8 Feb. 2021)
  • another "provocative pairing", this time of visions of a socialist future: by a true believer the American socialist Edward Bellamy in Looking Backward. 2000-1887 (1888) [HTML} and a German classical liberal critic Eugen Richter in Pictures of the Socialistic Future (1891) [HTML]
  • a collection of 17th century tracts on commerce which includes Thomas Mun's defence of mercantilist ideas on the "balance of trade" (1664) demolished by Smith in the Wealth of Nations [HTML and facs. PDF]
  • a work by the great 19thC American defender of free trade, Henry George (1839-1897), Protection or Free Trade (1886) in HTML and facs. PDF
  • more Voltaire: the Dictionnaire philosophique (1764)
    • which started off in the early editions being "portable" - French (1764) facs. PDF and English (1765) facs. PDF
    • but which had expanded into 4 large vols. by the 1878 ed. - French HTML and an English translation pubished in 1901 in HTML and PDF.
  • some "provocative pairings" of Great Books:
    • Sir Robert Filmer's defence of monarchical power Patriarcha; of the Natural Power of Kings (1680) [HTML] which inspired John Locke to reply in the Two Treatises of Government (12688) [HTML]; also his anti-Leveller tract The Anarchy of a Limited or Mixed Monarchy (1648) in which he makes the point that any limit placed on the power of the absolute monarch was a "slippery slope" argument which would result logically in no government at all; bio of Filmer
    • Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality (1755) and The Social Contract (1762) [HTML and facs. PDF] vs. Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiuments (1759) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • Voltaire's Candide, or Optimism (1759) vs. Leibniz's Theodicy: Essays on the goodness of God, the freedom of man, and the origin of evil (1710) English HTML and French facs. PDF
      • Works by Voltaire: The Manuscript version of Candide, or Optimism (1759) HTML with page images
      • The original French edition of 1759 facs. PDF
      • the 1761 edition with the spurious "Second Part" of Candide (but not by Voltaire) - vol. 1 facs. PDF and Part 2 facs. PDF
      • the 1778 edition with illustrations by Daniel Chodowiesky vol. 1 facs. PDF and vol. 2 facs. PDF
      • the 1785 edition with illustrations by Jean-Michel Moreau (the best and most political)
      • the edition of 1901 with an introduction by John Morley and wehich includes part 1 and the spurious part 2: in HTML and facs. PDF.
      • a more recent translation from 1918: in HTML and facs. PDF
  • more Leveller pamphlets, this time by John Lilburne:
    1. Englands Birth-Right Justified Against all Arbitrary Usurpation (Oct. 1645)
    2. The Free-mans Freedom Vindicated (June 1646)
    3. Liberty Vindicated against Slavery (Aug. 1646)
    4. London’s Liberty in Chains discovered (Oct. 1646)
    5. Vox Plebis, or The Peoples Out-cry Against Oppression, Injustice, and Tyranny (Nov. 1646)
    6. Regall Tyrannie discovered (Jan. 1647)
    7. The resolved mans Resolution, to maintain with the last drop of his heart blood, his civill Liberties and freedomes (Apr. 1647)
    8. Jonahs Cry out of the Whales belly (July, 1647)
    9. Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights (Dec. 1647)
    10. A Defiance to Tyrants. Or The Araignment of Two Illegall Committees (Jan. 1648)
    11. The Peoples Prerogative and Priviledges (Feb. 1648)
    12. The Prisoners Plea for a Habeas Corpus (Apr. 1648)
    13. The Oppressed Mans importunate and mournfull Cryes to be brought to the Barre of Justice (Apr. 1848)
    14. A Plea for Common-right and Freedom (Dec. 1648)
    15. Englands New Chains Discovered (Feb. 1649)
    16. The Second Part of Englands New-Chaines Discovered (Mar. 1649)
    17. The Picture of the Councel of State (Apr. 1649)
    18. The Army’s Martyr (May 1649)
    19. The Legall Fundamentall Liberties of the People of England (June 1649)
    20. As you Were (May 1652)
    21. The Upright Mans Vindication (Aug. 1653)
    22. The Just Defence of John Lilburn (Aug. 1653)
    23. An Hue-and Cry after the Fundamental Lawes and Liberties of England (Sept. 1653)
    24. The Resurrection of John Lilburne (May 1656)
  • and some interesting anonymous & other Leveller pamphlets
  • my collection of Images of Liberty and Power

Jan. 2021:

  • blog posts:
    1. Rewriting and Resinging Australia Day
      (30 Jan. 2021)
    2. Australia Day: Girted, Skirted, and Alerted” (27 Jan. 2021)
    3. Socialism is Zombie Economics” (24 Jan. 2021)
    4. Lord Acton and The Prince (1891)” (19 Jan. 2021)
    5. "One Volume Surveys of Classical Liberal Thought" (11 Jan. 2021)
  • some more classic critiques of private property and free markets by French socialists written during the 1840s (Louis Blanc, Victor Considerant, Joseph Proudhon); the latest addition is by the anarchist Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865), whose work Qu'est-ce que la propriété? (What is Property?) (1840) went through many editions before and during the 1848 Revolution [HTML and facs. PDF]; it was translated into English in 1876 by the American individualst anarchist Benjamin Tucker [HTML and facs. PDF] By the way, his answer to the question was that "(private) property is theft."
  • Lord Acton, "Introduction" to Machiavelli's The Prince (1891 ed.) in which he says that Machiavelli accurately describes the amoral and criminal behaviour of traditional leaders as well as the new leaders who were emerging in the nationalist movements in places like Italy and Germany in his own day. Acton describes this as "the emancipation of the State from the moral yoke."
  • Richard Ebeling [Mises Institute] reminds us that 2021 is the 150th anniversary of the publication by Carl Menger of one of the foundational works of the Austrian school of economics, Grundsätze der Volkswirtschaftsliche (1871). Here is our collection of his works (all in German): 3 major works and 3 important articles (only auf deutsch for copyright reasons):
  • two more editions of Algernon Sidney's Discourses concerning Government, this time a French and German translation done in the early years of the French Revolution (1793). The French translation has the following quote on the title page: “Liberty produceth Vertue, Order and Stability: Slavery is accompanied with Vice, Weakness and Misery”.
  • expanded collection of "The Great Books of Liberty" (below) with some of my favourites, such as:
    • John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (1690): a facs. PDF of the original 1690 edition and the Hollis edition of 1764 which was published for sale in the American colonies. In HTML and facs. PDF. This also includes one of Hollis's beautiful engravings [large] and [small].
    • Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) [HTML and facs. PDF] and Wealth of Nations (1776) [HTML and facs. PDF vol1 and vol2]
    • Wilhelm von Humboldt, Ideen zu einem Versuch, die Gränzen der Wirksamkeit des Staats zu bestimmen (1792, 1851) in HTML and facs. PDF. English trans. The Sphere and Duties of Government (1854) in HTML and facs. PDF.
    • William Godwin, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) in HTML and facs. PDF of vol1 and vol2.
    • Thomas Hodgskin, The Natural and Artificial Right of Property Contrasted (1832) in HTML and facs. PDF.
    • Herbert Spencer, Social Statics: or, The Conditions essential to Happiness specified, and the First of them Developed (1851). HTML and facs. PDF. And The Principles of Ethics (1879-92) HTML.
    • John Stuart Mill's On Liberty (1859) and The Subjection of Women (1869) published very suitably together in one volume in 1879. In HTML and facs. PDF.
    • Ludwig von Mises, Liberalismus (1927). (auf deutsch) HTML and facs. PDF.
  • some works by Gustave de Molinari:
    • his pathbreaking work Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare; entretiens sur les lois économiques et défense de la propriété (1849) which is one of the earliest one-volume descriptions of the classical liberal worldview, how a laissez-faire liberal society would privately provide so-called "public goods", even police and national defence (chap. 11), which makes it the first defense of anarcho-capitalism. In HTML and facs. PDF.
    • an early work on class analysis based on the idea of the conflcit between the "tax-payers" and the "tax-eaters": Les Révolutions et le despotisme envisagés au point de vue des intérêts matériels (Revolutions and Despotsism seen from the perspective of material interests) (1852) In HTML and facs. PDF (en français)
    • his treatise on economics: Cours d’économie politique (1855, 1863) in which he considerably expanded his discussion of how all public goods could be provided on the free market. Vol. 1 HTML and PDF; vol. 2 HTML and PDF (en français).
    • Notions fondamentales économie politique et programme économique (1891) is interesting because at the ripe old age of 72 he takes on the growing socialist movement with a criticism of their economic programme and provides one for radical liberals like himself. In HTML and facs. PDF.
  • a work by the conservative politician and historian Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877) defending the right to own property which was under attack during the 1848 Revolution: De la Propriété (1848) (en français) in HTML and facs. PDF; and in English with a slightly different title, The Rights of Property: A Refutation of Communism & Socialism (1848) in HTML and facs. PDF - Molinari reviewed this book and criticised Thiers for ignoring one of the main complaints of the socialists about the current distribution of property, namely, that one should not defend unjustly acquired property by means of state privileges and monopolies
  • some works by opponents of indvidual liberty, free markets, and limited government:
    • a trilogy of influential French socialists from the 1840s; they were all elected to the Chamber of Deputies during the revolution and sparred with Bastiat:
      • Louis Blanc (1811-1882) who had elaborate plans to "organise labour" with the aid of the state in 1848; we have a translation of his key pamphlet from 1840 and several editions in French; his work inspired Fréréric Bastiat and Michel Chevalier to write several important critiques of socialism which we will add later
      • one of the most influentiual French socialists Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865), whose work Qu'est-ce que la propriété? (What is Property?) (1840) went through many editions before and during the 1848 Revolution [HTML and facs. PDF]
      • Victor Considerant (1808-1893), who wrote a socialist Manifesto in 1847, one year before Marx wrote his more famous one. French HTML and facs. PDF; and an English trans. in HTML. Considerant was one of Bastiat's arch-rivals in the Chamber of Deputies during the Second Republic (1848-50)
    • the important book by L.T. Hobhouse which cemented the transition of "classical" (or radical) liberalism to what was called "new" or "social" liberalism, or what the Americans now call just "liberalism": Liberalism (1911) in HTML and facs. PDF.
    • the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) assembled an influential collection of essays advocating a non-violent form of socialism known after the Roman general Fabius, as "Fabian Socialism": Fabian Essays in Socialism (1889) in HTML and facs. PDF
    • a very influential 19th century advocate of tariffs and other forms of government subsidies to national industries: Friedrich List, The National System of Political Economy (1841) in German (HTML and facs. PDF) and English trans. (1909) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • two works by one of the leading opponents of Leveller "proto-liberal" political ideas: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill (1651) in a 1909 ed. [HTML and facs. PDF] and the facs. PDF of the original 1651 ed.; and Behemoth: The History of the Causes of the Civil Wars of England (1662)
   

Additions in 2020 / L'AN I

Dec. 2020:

Nov. 2020:

  • blog posts:
    1. The Cover Art of Voluntary Servitude (29 November, 2020)
    2. Plutology II: Disney Plutology vs. WB Bugsology (19 November, 2020)
    3. Plutology I: William Edward Hearn (1826-1888) (19 November, 2020)
    4. Rothbard on Strategy (12 November, 2020)
    5. Coding and Decoding Rothbard (6 November, 2020)
  • An eleventh version of Boétie's "Voluntary Servitude" (1835) [facs. PDF] : this one has long and very radical Preface by the Liberal Catholic Robert de Lamennais written in 1833 [Preface facs. PDF].
  • The 1735 translation by "T. Smith" of Boétie's Discourse of Voluntary Servitude. This is a good translation which captures the measured pace and rhetorical side of the "Discourse". The word "discours" in French can also mean "speech".
  • The Cover Art of the Discours: a collection of interesting covers of various editions of the "Discourse."
  • Ten different versions of Étienne de la Boétie's Discours de la servitude volontaire (1576) - Old French, modern French, and English translations - with more to come.
    • Special Note 1: a side-by-side Comparative Edition of different French and English versions of the text
    • Special note 2: the parallel edition with the illustrations by Louis Jou on one side and a modern French version (Bonnefon) on the other
  • Some more books by William Hearn:
    • The Government of England (1868) - facs. PDF
    • The Aryan Household (1878) - facs. PDF
    • The Theory of Legal Duty and Rights (1883) - facs. PDF
  • A list of the collected (complete?) works of Frédéric Bastiat with links to the texts
  • Me on strategy:
    • "An Historical Examination of Past and Present Strategies used to bring about Ideological and Political Change" (Feb. 2018; revised 13 Nov. 2020) HTML.
    • "Pierre F. Goodrich's Goals and Strategy for the Liberty Fund: A Reconstruction" (Feb. 2018, 23 June 2019). HTML.
    • "How the Online Library of Liberty follows the Strategies outlined by Pierre F. Goodrich" (Feb. 2018) HTML
    • an older paper: "Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Scribblers: An Austrian Analysis of the Structure of Production and Distribution of Ideas". A paper given at the Southern Economics Association, New Orleans, November 21-23, 2015. HTML and PDF.
  • Rothbard on Strategy for Change:
    • 1965: "Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty", Left and Right. A Journal of Libertarian Thought, Spring 1965, no. 1, pp. 4-22. Facs. PDF version; HTML version.
    • 1973: "A Strategy for Liberty" in For a New Liberty (New York: Macmillan, 1973). PDF version; HTML version (from the 2006 edition).
    • 1977: a new clean copy of Rothbard's seminal and provocative paper on "Toward a Strategy for Libertarian Social Change" (April, 1977) - PDF and HTML versions.
    • 1978: his 1977 paper was summarised and published with a collection of other essays on libertarian strategy in Libertarian Review (Aug. 1978) - "Strategies for a Libertarian Victory". HTML version; PDF version
      • see the entire issue of Libertarian Review with articles by Milton Mueller, Ed Crane, Leonard Liggio, Charles Koch, Bill Evers, and David Theroux: PDF version.
    • 1982: "Toward a Theory of Strategy for Liberty" (1982) in The Ethics of Liberty. PDF version; and HTML version.
    • 1986: "Concepts of the Role of Intellectuals in Social Change Toward Laissez Faire", The Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. IX, no. 2 (Fall 1990), pp. 43-67. Facs. PDF version.
    • 1992 Jan.: "Right-Wing Populism: A Strategy for the Paleo Movement," Rothbard-Rockwell Report (Jan. 1992) pp. 5-14. HTML version; facs. PDF version.
    • 1992 Jan.: "A Strategy for the Right," Rothbard-Rockwell Report (January 1992). HTML version.
    • 1994 Oct.: "A New Strategy for Liberty," Rothbard-Rockwell Report (October 1994).  HTML version; facs. PDF version.
  • Rothbard's complete Libertarian Forum (1969-1984) in HTML (and thus properly searchable! - I was interested in finding the first use of the term "anarcho-capitalism" and "free market anarchism")
  • Rothbard, "Economic Determinism, Ideology, And The American Revolution" (1974). A paper delivered at the Libertarian Scholars Conference, Oct. 28, 1974 in New York City. On class and ideas.

Oct. 2020:

Sept. 2020:

June 2020:

May 2020:

April 2020:

Jan. 2020:

  • blog post: Some Key Terms used by Bastiat in his Economic Theory (22 December, 2019)
  • "An Introduction to the Classical Liberal Tradition: People, Ideas, and Movements". A talk given at the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, Perth (30 January, 2020). The PDF of my overheads and some Further Reading.
  • "Understanding Class Divisions in Society: A Classical Liberal Approach". A talk organised by the Adam Smith Centre and the School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University, 20 Jan. 2020. [HTML] and [PDF]

The Great Books of Liberty

 

 

  • Here are some of the "great books" about liberty to tempt you to read further. The list below are one-volume surveys of the classical liberal position before the emergence of the modern libertarian movement in the 1970s:
    1. Wilhelm von Humboldt, Ideen zu einem Versuch, die Gränzen der Wirksamkeit des Staates zu bestimmen (1792, 1851). Trans. as The Sphere and Duties of Government (1854). German HTML and facs. PDF. English HTML and facs. PDF.
    2. Benjamin Constant, Principes de politique, applicables à tous les gouvernemens représentatifs (The Principles of Politics) (1815). English trans. at OLL. French version in facs, PDF.
    3. Gustave de Molinari, Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare (Conversations on Saint Lazarus Street) (1849), which I have edited and trans. (draft at OLL). French version in HTML and facs. PDF.
    4. Herbert Spencer, Social Statics: or, The Conditions essential to Happiness specified, and the First of them Developed (1851). HTML and facs. PDF.
    5. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859) and The Subjection of Women (1869) published very suitably together in one volume in 1879. In HTML and facs. PDF. Also 1st ed.: On Liberty in facs. PDF; Subjection in facs. PDF.
    6. Bruce Smith, Liberty and Liberalism: A Protest against the Growing Tendency toward undue Interference by the State, with Individual Liberty, Private Enterprise and the Rights of Property (1888). HTML and facs. PDF.
    7. Ludwig von Mises, Liberalismus (Liberalism) (1927). German HTML and facs. PDF; Trans. at OLL.
  • Some other great books about liberty (on more specialised topics or just personal favourites):
    1. Étienne de la Boétie, Discours de la servitude volontaire (1550s?). Various editions in English and French.
    2. Richard Overton, An Arrow against all Tyrants and Tyranny (12 October, 1646)
    3. Algernon Sidney, Discourses Concerning Government (1683). HTML and facs. PDF.
    4. John Locke, Two Treatises of Civil Government (1689): a facs. PDF of the original 1690 edition and the Hollis edition of 1764 which was published for sale in the American colonies in HTML and facs. PDF.
    5. Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiuments (1759) [HTML and facs. PDF] and Wealth of Nations (1776) [HTML and facs. PDF vol1 and vol2]
    6. William Godwin, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) in HTML and facs. PDF of vol1 and vol2.
    7. J.B. Say, Traité d'économie politique (1803) and Cours complet (1828). TEP in French in HTML and facs. PDF; English in HTML and facs. PDF (to come); Cours in HTML(to come) and facs, PDF vol. 1 and vol. 2.
    8. Thomas Hodgskin, The Natural and Artificial Right of Property Contrasted (1832) in HTML and facs. PDF.
    9. Frédéric Bastiat, The Law (1850) and Economic Harmonies (1851) in French [HTML] and English [HTML]
    10. Coquelin et al., Dictionnaire de l’économie politique (1852-53): links to French facs. PDFs.
    11. J.S. Mill, On the Subjection of Women (1869) in HTML and facs. PDF
    12. Lysander Spooner, Vices are not Crimes (1875) in HTML (to come) and facs.PDF, and The Constitution of No Authority (1867-1870) (to come)
    13. Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Ethics (1879-92) HTML and facs. PDF of vol1 and vol2; and The Principles of Sociology (1874-1896): vol.1 HTML and facs. PDF; vol.2 HTML and facs. PDF; vol.3 HTML and facs. PDF; with a combined table of contents for the set
    14. Gustave de Molinari, L’évolution économique du XIXe siècle: théorie du progrès (1880) [facs. PDF] and L’évolution politique et la Révolution (1884) [facs. PDF]
  • also within the liberal tradition there have been fundamental disagreements about the nature of liberty which have thrown up contrasting perspectives:
    1. Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution (1790) vs. Thomas Paine, Rights of Man (1791)
    2. Thomas Malthus, An Essay on Population (1798, 1826) vs. William Godwin, Of Population (1820)
    3. John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (1863) vs. Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Ethics (1879) [HTML]
    4. L.T. Hobhouse, Liberalism (1911) [HTML] vs. Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism (1927) [OLL]

The Conflicted Western Tradition

Jonathan Swift, The Battle of the Books (1704)

John Lilburne quoting Coke

  • See my paper on "The Conflicted Western Tradition: Some Provocative Pairings of Texts about Liberty and Power" for the Association of Core Texts and Courses annual conference, April 2019, Santa Fe, NM. I suggest that a profitable way to read the "great books" of the western tradition is by pairing each one with a contemporary text which takes a different view. This approach works especially well with books on political, economic and social theory. In a couple of instances I also include an Australian counterpart. It seems extraordinary to me that "the" western tradition could produce two such contrasting exemplars as Karl Marx and Herbert Spencer. See my full list of such "provocative pairings". (to come)
  • It should be noted that many of the iconic texts of "the western tradition" were burned and/or banned and their authors similarly treated by the Catholic Church and various governments. They were "indexed".
  • Here is a summary list of "great" (i.e. influential) books about political power which oppose the idea of individual liberty, free markets, and limited government which are paired with a contemporary "pro-liberty" text. Wherever possible we also link to the original language version of the texts as translations can be of variable quality:
    1. Machiavelli, The Prince (1513) vs. Desiderius Erasmus, The Education of a Christian Prince (1515)
    2. Thomas Mun, England’s Treasure by Forraign Trade (1644) [HTML] vs. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776) [HTML]
    3. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651) [HTML] vs. Richard Cumberland, A Treatise of the Laws of Nature (1672) [OLL]
    4. Sir Robert Filmer, Patriarcha, or the Natural Power of Kings (1680) [HTML] vs. John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (1688) [HTML]
    5. Leibniz, Theodicy: Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil (1710) [HTML] vs. Voltaire, Candide (159) [HTML]
    6. J.-J. Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality (1755) and The Social Contract (1762) [HTML] vs. Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) [HTML]
    7. Joseph de Maistre, Essay on the Generative Principle of Political Constitutions (1809) vs. Benjamin Constant, Principles of Politics Applicable to all Governments (1815) [OLL]
    8. Friedrich List, The National System of Political Economy (1841) [HTML] vs. Henry George, Protection or Free Trade (1886) [HTML]
    9. Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto (1848) in German HTML] and English [HTML] vs. Frédéric Bastiat's election manifestos of 1848/49 and The State (1850) [OLL]
      1. an Australian perspective (admittedly out of time and place): the Australian Labor Party "Its Time" manifesto of 1972 vs. the Workers Party Platform of 1975
    10. Karl Marx, Das Kapital, vol. 1 (1867) [HTML] vs. John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (1848) [HTML] or Frédéric Bastiat, Economic Harmonies (1851) [HTML]
      1. an Australian perspective: William Hearn, Plutology (1863) [HTML]
    11. Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward. 2000-1887 (1888) [HTML} vs. Eugen Richter, Picture of a Socialist Future (1891) [HTML]
      1. an Australian perspective: William Lane (John Millar), The Workingman’s Paradise (1892)
    12. George Bernard Shaw et al., Fabian Essays in Socialism (1889) [HTML] vs. Thomas Mackay, A Plea for Liberty: An Argument against Socialism and Socialistic Legislation (1891)
      1. an Australian perspective: Bruce Smith, Liberty and Liberalism: A Protest against the growing Tendency toward undue Interference by the State, with Individual Liberty, Private Enterprise and the Rights of Property (1887) [HTML]
    13. Karl Marx, Das Kapital, vol. 2 (1885) [HTML] and vol. 3 (1894) [HTML] vs. Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Karl Marx and the Conclusion of his System of Thought: a Criticism (1896) in English [HTML] and German [HTML]
    14. Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917) vs. Ludwig von Mises, Socialism (1922) [OLL]
    15. The Beveridge Report (1942) vs. Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (1944)
  • I also have a list of important books which deal with economic and political ideas for which I have not yet found a suitable contemporary contrasting partner:
    1. Old Testament: Genesis, The Book of Job
    2. Aesop's Fables
    3. Thomas More, Utopia (1516, 1551)
    4. William Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719)
    5. Friedrich Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820)

Some Projects I have worked on

This is a list of some of the material I have edited and put online at the OLL website:

Major Collections:

Papers

[DMH on the road]

  • April 2019: Paper on "The Conflicted Western Tradition: Some Provocative Pairings of Texts about Liberty and Power" for Association of Core Texts and Courses annual conference, April 2019, Santa Fe, NM.
  • October 2018: "Plunderers, Parasites, and Plutocrats: Some Reflections on the Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Classical Liberal Class Analysis" at the Libertarian Scholars Confrence in NYC 20 Oct. 2018.
  • March, 2018: A new paper on "The Paris School of Liberal Political Economy, 1803-1853." which explores three generations of French economists from the publication of Say's Treatise in 1803 to the publication of the monumnetal Dictionnaire de l'économie politique (1852-53).
  • Dec. 2017: My Introduction to and Translation of Frédéric Passy's speech on "The School of Liberty" (April, 1890) which will appear next year in the Acton Institute's Journal of Markets & Morality. A draft can be found here.
  • Nov. 2016: "Charles Coquelin, Gustave de Molinari, Frédéric Bastiat and the 'Austrian Moment' in French Political Economy 1845-1855: Molinari and the Private Production of Security." Paper given at the Southern Economic Association, Nov. 2016. [HTML - PDF - MS Word]
  • Nov. 2016: Liberty Matters online discussion: David M. Hart, “Classical Liberalism and the Problem of Class” (Nov. 2016)
  • 31 March, 2016: "The Struggle against Protectionism, Socialism, and the Bureaucratic State: The Economic Thought of Gustave de Molinari, 1845-1855”. A Paper given at the Austrian Economics Research Conference (31 March to 2 April 2016), The Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama. Full length paper (book-size) HTML and PDF. [Summary PDF and HTML]. Slides for Lecture [8 MB]
  • 21-23 November, 2015: "Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Scribblers: An Austrian Analysis of the Structure of Production and Distribution of Ideas". A paper given at the Southern Economics Association, New Orleans, November 21-23, 2015. HTML and PDF.
  • 2 Oct. 2015: "Reassessing Frédéric Bastiat as an Economic Theorist". A paper presented to the Free Market Institute, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, October 2, 2015. HTML and PDF.
  • 14 April, 2015: "Literature IN Economics, and Economics AS Literature I: Bastiat's use of Literature in Defense of Free Markets and his Rhetoric of Economic Liberty." A paper given at the Association of Private Enterprise Education International Conference (April 12-14, 2015) , Cancún, Mexico. HTML and PDF.
  • 14 April, 2015: "Literature IN Economics, and Economics AS Literature II: The Economics of Robinson Crusoe from Defoe to Rothbard by way of Bastiat." A paper given at the Association of Private Enterprise Education International Conference (April 12-14, 2015) , Cancún, Mexico. HTML and PDF.
  • 28 March, 2015: "The Liberal Roots of American Conservatism: Bastiat and the French Connection." A paper given to the Philadelphia Society meeting March 27-29, 2015 on "The Roots of American Conservatism - and its Future". HTML and PDF.
  • March 2015: Liberty Matters online discussion: David M. Hart, “On the Spread of (Classical) Liberal Ideas” (March 2015)

[See the archive.]

Books

  • 2017: The book I co-edited of a collection of classical texts in classical liberal and libertarian class analysis, Social Class and State Power: Exploring an Alternative Radical Tradition (Palgrave Macmillan) is now out. See <http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9783319648934> for details.
  • 2016: A revised translation of Molinari's "Eleventh Soirée" from Les Soirées de la Rue Saint-Lazare; entretiens sur les lois économiques et defense de la propriété (1849, to be published in Panarchy: Political Theories of Non-Territorial States, ed. Aviezer Tucker, Gian Piero de Bellis (Routledge, 2016).
  • 2014: Jacques Bonhomme: L’éphémère journal de Frédéric Bastiat et Gustave de Molinari (11 juin – 13 juillet 1848). Recueil de tous les articles, augmenté d’une introduction. Ed. Benoît Malbranque (Paris: Institut Coppet, 2014). Available online at the Institut Coppet. This edition was made from the original copies and scans which can be seen here.
  • 2014: L'âge d`or du libéralisme français. Anthologie. XIXe siècle. Robert Leroux et David M. Hart. Préface de Mathieu Laine (Paris: Editions Ellipses, 2014). [facs. PDFs of 41 extracts]
  • 2012: French Liberalism in the 19th Century: An Anthology. Edited by Robert Leroux and David M. Hart (London: Routledge, 2012). [facs. PDFs of 31 extacts] - the master collection [79 extracts] in French in HTML and PDF [12 MB]
  • 2011: The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat in 6 vols.
    • Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman. The Correspondence and Articles on Politics (2011) [OLL]
    • Vol. 2: "The Law," "The State," and Other Political Writings, 1843-1850 (2012) [OLL]
    • Vol. 3: Economic Sophisms and "What is Seen and What is Not Seen” (March 2017)
  • 2008: my contributions on French liberals to The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, ed. Ronald Hamowy (Los Angeles: Sage, 2008. A Project of the Cato Institute).

[See the archive.]

Talks & Lectures

 

[See the archive.]

Projects under Construction (wish list)

  • a bibliograpy of Leonard Liggio's writings.
  • to celebrate the 200th anniversary of their appearance, I am assembling a collection of articles from Comte's and Dunoyer's journal Le Censeur and Le Censeur européen [here]
  • a complete set of the Journal des Économistes (1841-1940), along with a Table of Contents
  • A collection of articles from the first 10 years of The Economist magazine (when Herbert Spencer and Thomas Hodgskin worked there as editors)

Classical Liberalism

On the Classical Liberal Tradition:

[See the archive]

Strategies for Radical Change

[Structure of Production of Ideas]

Some works about strategies for achieving radical change:

  • some of my thoughts on strategy:
    • "An Historical Examination of Past and Present Strategies used to bring about Ideological and Political Change" (Feb. 2018; revised 13 Nov. 2020) HTML.
    • "Pierre F. Goodrich's Goals and Strategy for the Liberty Fund: A Reconstruction" (Feb. 2018, 23 June 2019). HTML.
    • "How the Online Library of Liberty follows the Strategies outlined by Pierre F. Goodrich" (Feb. 2018) HTML
    • an older paper: "Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Scribblers: An Austrian Analysis of the Structure of Production and Distribution of Ideas". A paper given at the Southern Economics Association, New Orleans, November 21-23, 2015. HTML and PDF.
    • a Liberty Matters discussion I hosted on "The Spread of Classical Liberal Ideas" (March, 2015)
  • Rothbard on Strategy for Change:
    • 1965: "Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty", Left and Right. A Journal of Libertarian Thought, Spring 1965, no. 1, pp. 4-22. Facs. PDF version; HTML version.
    • 1973: "A Strategy for Liberty" in For a New Liberty (New York: Macmillan, 1973). PDF version; HTML version (from the 2006 edition).
    • 1977: Rothbard's seminal and provocative paper on "Toward a Strategy for Libertarian Social Change" (April, 1977) - PDF and HTML versions.
    • 1978: his 1977 paper was summarised and published with a collection of other essays on libertarian strategy in Libertarian Review (Aug. 1978) - "Strategies for a Libertarian Victory". HTML version; PDF version
      • see the entire issue of Libertarian Review with articles by Milton Mueller, Ed Crane, Leonard Liggio, Charles Koch, Bill Evers, and David Theroux: PDF version.
    • 1982: "Toward a Theory of Strategy for Liberty" (1982) in The Ethics of Liberty. PDF version; and HTML version.
    • 1986: "Concepts of the Role of Intellectuals in Social Change Toward Laissez Faire", The Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. IX, no. 2 (Fall 1990), pp. 43-67. Facs. PDF version.
    • 1992 Jan.: "Right-Wing Populism: A Strategy for the Paleo Movement," Rothbard-Rockwell Report (Jan. 1992) pp. 5-14. HTML version; facs. PDF version.
    • 1992 Jan.: "A Strategy for the Right," Rothbard-Rockwell Report (January 1992). HTML version.
    • 1994 Oct.: "A New Strategy for Liberty," Rothbard-Rockwell Report (October 1994).  HTML version; facs. PDF version.
   

Classical Liberal Class Analysis

There is a long tradition within classical liberalism of thinking about the state and the ruling elites which control it for their own benefit and at the expense of ordianry tax payers, or "class analysis" as it came to be known.

[See the archive]

The New Guillaumin Library of Classical Liberal and Radical Thought

  • I have named my online library of texts in honour of the 19th century bookseller and publisher Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin (1801-64) whose bookshop and publishing firm was the focal point for the liberal movement in France for nearly three quarters of a century.
  • the Guillaumin Library has material on the following schools of Classical Liberal thought:
  • as well as other radical thinkers and movements:
  • there is also a large collection on French Political Economy
  • latest additions:
    • 22 Jan. 2017: Wendell Phillips, The Disunionist, Can Abolitionists vote or take Office under the United States Constitution? (Cincinnati: Sparhawk and Lytle, Printers, 1845). [Facsimile PDF] [HTML]
    • 25 Jan. 2017: Say, Jean-Baptise, Cours complet d'économie politique pratique; ouvrage destiné à mettre sous les yeux des hommes d'état, des propriétaires fonciers et les capitalistes, des savans, des agriculteurs, des manufacturiers, des négocians, et en général de tous les citoyens, l'économie des sociétés (Paris: Rapilly, 1828-9), 6 vols. vol. 1 [13.9 MB PDF] - vol. 2 [16.5 MB PDF] - vol. 3 [23.5 MB PDF] - vol. 4 [22 MB PDF] - vol. 5 [14.7 MB PDF] - vol. 6 [21 MB PDF]

[See the archive.]

French Classical Liberal Thought

[See the archive on French CL and French Political Economy.]

Frédéric Bastiat (1810-1850)

[See the archive.]

Charles Comte (1782-1837) & Charles Dunoyer (1786-1862)

Charles Comte (1782-1837) and Charles Dunoyer (1786-1862) were lawyers and journalists in the late Napoleonic and Restoration periods who had a profound impact on the development of French classical liberal thought. My mentor Leonard Liggio wrote a never finished PhD and published an article on Dunoyer, and I wrote a PhD on both thinkers.

  • To commemorate the bicentennial of the founding of their their journals Le Censeur (1814-1815) and Le Censeur européen ((1817-1819), the motto of which was "Paix et liberté" (Peace and Liberty), I have been editing a collection of their essays
  • the full Table of Contents of Le Censeur, 7 vols. (1 July 1814 - 6 September 1815) and its sequel Le Censeur européen, 12 vols. (February 1817 - 17 April 1819). A list of articles signed by Dunoyer.
  • a revised HTML version of my book on Comte and Dunoyer's "Industrialist Theory of History.
  • Ephraim Harpaz's history of the journals [PDF 9.3 MB]

 

Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)

The life of the long-lived and prolific French journalist and political economist Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) spanned three generations of French classical liberals. He is best known for being the first anarcho-capitalist who thought the competitive free market could and should provide police and defnse services. I would also argue that he was the first person to write a one volume overview of the classical liberal/libertarian world view (along with policy recommnedations) with Les Soirées (1849). Molinari died on 28 January, 1912 which made 2012 the centennial of his death.

The Levellers

The Leveller Tracts anmd Pamphlets Project:

[See the archive.]

 

   

Australian Classical Liberals

Some works by Austrlaian classical liberals and libertarians:

[See the archive.]

 

   

Images of Liberty and Power

[See the archive.]

Film & Fiction

[See the archive.]

War & Peace

  • To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1 which, among other things, destroyed the liberal poltiical and economic order which had been built up in the second half of the 19th century, we have put online some volumes of the Journal des économistes from this period. One should note the multi-part series on the origins of the war written by the editor Yves Guyot between August 1914 and April 1915 [PDF 16MB]. This was expanded and published as a book which is also available in French [PDF 23MB] and English [PDF 8MB].
  • Journal dés économistes. Revue mensuelle de la science économique et de la statistique. Fondateur: Gilbert Guillaumin. Rédacteur en chef: Yves Guyot. (Paris: Librairie Félix Alcan. Maisons Félix Alcan et Guillaumin réunis, 108, Boulevard Saint-Germain):
    • 6e série. Tome XLIII. Juillet à sept. 1914 [PDF 30MB] [ToC]
    • 6e série. Tome XLIV. Oct. à déc. 1914 [PDF 23MB] [ToC]
    • 6e série. Tome XLV, Janvier à mars 1915 [PDF 27MB] [ToC]
    • 6e série. Tome XLVI. Avril à juin 1915 [PDF 41MB] [ToC]
  • A collection of books on war by Bloch, Hirst, Guyot, Wilfred Owen, Hasek, Friedrich, et al.
  • "War and Art" and "War Films"
  • A speech on ANZAC Day 25 April 2014, “How we Remember War” [PDF].
  • Lecture on "War and Peace in the Art of Pablo Picasso: "Guernica" (1937)"
  • Some clips from war films

[See the archive.]

Fun Stuff