The Digital Library of Liberty & Power
Additions in L'An II (2021)

[See the most reccent additions, those made in L'An I (2020), L'An III (2022), and the Archive of Material added 2011-2019]



December 2021

Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Goya, "The Sleep of Reason produces Monsters"

After two years of posting new material to the website I am currently reorganising the front page and the index pages. Bear with me while I complete this electronic housekeeping.

In the meantime, sit back, read some H.L. Mencken, and enjoy the circus which continues to unfold in front of our very eyes, such as this passage from chap. 13. "Women and the Emotions", In Defense of Women (1918):

Your true savage, reserved, dignified, and courteous, knows how to mask his feelings, even in the face of the most desperate assault upon them; your civilized man is forever yielding to them. Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. They are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its ferine fury. Here the effect of civilization has been to reduce the noblest of the arts, once the repository of an exalted etiquette and the chosen avocation of the very best men of the race, to the level of a riot of peasants.

Blog post:

  1. Some Thoughts on Liberal History” (29 December, 2021)

Additions to the Library:

  • I have used film in my teaching and lecturing ever since I started back in 1986. I have put online some of my courses, study guides, and papers on the relationship between film, history and political ideas. See
  • the Belgian contemporary of Gustave de Molinari, Paul-Émile De Puydt (1810-1888?), had a similar idea to Molinari's of "la liberté de gouvernement" (competing governments) in an essay "Panarchie" (1860). He meant by this "overlapping governments" since no government had a monopoly in providing its services to willing customer/citizens in any geographic area. See the French original in HTML and facs. PDF and an English transation by John Zube in HTML.
  • for ten years I taught a course at the University of Adelaide on "Liberal Europe and Social Change 1815-1914" (1987-1996) on the combined impact of the "Great Emancipation" (my term) and the "Great Enrichment" (McCloskey) which accompanied it: see the course guide for 1987 [PDF]; the course guide for 1988 [HTML]; and my extensive lecture notes for 1990 [HTML]
  • an Honours level course in 1990 on "The Enlightenment: Ideas of Criticism and Reform in an International Context". In the concluding seminar of the course we evaluated the interpretation of Peter Gay's books, especially volume two "The Science of Freedom". See the course guide.
  • a semester-length course on “Revolution(s) and the Struggle for Emancipation in Europe: The Long 19th Century, 1789-1914” (1998-99). See my Lecture Notes and Course Reading Guide.
  • a 3 week “module” on “The Old Regime, Enlightenment, and Revolution in the 18th Century” (2000). See my Lecture Notes and Course Reading Guide.


Paul-Émile De Puydt (1810-1888?)


November 2021

Blog posts:

  1. J.B. Say and the Transformation of Restoration French Liberalism” (20 November, 2021)

Recent publication:

Essays and Papers:

Additions to the Library:

  • Charles Dunoyer reviews a book by a French general Jean-Joseph Tarayre (1770-1855) on the organisation of the coercive powers of the state, both for internal policing and for external defence, which is most suitable for a free society. He is adamantly opposed to the existence of a professional army whose members come to see it as a means of advancing their careers and as an “industry” (something they do for their own profit). Dunoyer’s discussion of the self-interest of those who serve in the military, especially the senior officiers, and how this often conflicts with the needs of a free society with a low taxing and limited government, is very much in the Public Choice tradition of economic analysis. His preference is for a French version of a militia or a national guard which is staffed only by those freedom loving, tax-paying citizens who have a personal stake in protecting a free society and its institutions.
    • Charles Dunoyer, “De la force des gouvernements (On the Coercive Power of Governments)” (CE, March 1819) in HTML and facs. PDF
  • three more articles by Charles Comte from Le Censeur. While the economist J.B. Say provided a new framework for Comte and Dunoyer's liberalism, the historical writings of the counter-revolutionary defender of the old regime, François Dominique de Reynaud, comte de Montlosier (1755-1838), provided them with detailed information about the class structure of the French aristocracy and monarchy and insights into how their supporters justified their rule. The picture Montlosier paints of how the royal French political “sausage making machine” worked is not a pretty one. Comte wrote a trilogy of reviews of Montlosier’s ever expanding multi-volume book De la Monarchie française depuis son établissement jusqu’à nos jours (On the French Monarchy from its Establishment to Our Own Time). Comte is fascinated to see Montlosier add volumes to his book as Napoleon was defeated and overthrown, the monarchy briefly restored, Napoleon return briefly to power, and then the monarchy restored again.
  • More on the French classical liberals on property rights. We now add to our collection two more articles which are concise summaries of their position:
    1. Léon Faucher, “Propriété,” Dictionnaire de l’économie politique (1852), which was translated for the American Cyclopedia Political Science and Political Economy edited by Lalor (1884) [en français HTML and facs. PDF; and English HTML and facs. PDF]; and
    2. Louis Wolowski, “Propriété” in Maurice Block’s Dictionnaire générale de la politique (1864), which was also translated for Lalor’s Cyclopedia [en français HTML and facs. PDF; and English HTML and facs. PDF].
  • One of the key early works on property was Charles Comte who provided a rich history, defence, and analysis of the right to own property in his 2 volume Treatise on Property (1834) [en français in facs. PDF]. This was continued during the 1840s as socialism emerged with some strength and mounted a serious challenge to the liberal position. See my blog post: “The Socialist Critique of Private Property and Free Markets. Part I: The French" (8 Feb. 2021). We have included some of their works here:
    1. Joseph Proudhon, Qu'est-ce que la propriété? (What is Property?) (1840) [en français in HTML and facs. PDF; and in English in HTML and facs. PDF]
    2. Louis Blanc, Organisation du travail (The Organisation of Work) (1840) [en français in HTML and facs. PDF; and in English in HTML and facs. PDF]
    3. Victor Considerant, Principes du Socialisme (Principles of Socialism) (1847) [en français in HTML and facs. PDF; and English in HTML]
  • The classical liberal reply came in the form of a series of books and articles [See my blog post: “The Socialist Critique of Private Property and Free Markets and the French Political Economists’ Response” (12 May 2021)] by people like:
    1. Adolphe Thiers, De la Propriété (On Property) (1848) [en français in HTML and facs. PDF; and in English HTML and facs. PDF]
    2. Gustave de Molinari, Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare; entretiens sur les lois économiques et défense de la propriété (Evenings on the Rue Saint Lazare: Conversations on Economic Laws and the Defence of Property) (1849) [en frnçais in HTML and facs. PDF; a draft English trans. at the OLL]
    3. and the many pamphlets of Frédéric Bastiat [See my blog post: “Bastiat’s Anti-socialist Pamphlets, or “Mister Bastiat’s Little Pamphlets”” (13 May, 2021).]
  • I have frequently commented on the scandalous neglect of classical liberal sociologists in general, such as Gustave de Molinari and Herbert Spencer, and specifically their writing on class analysis (See my blog post on this from May 2021). Bastiat would also fall into this category as well, even though he is regarded as being more of an “economist” than a “sociologist”. People tend to forget that “political economy” for its first 100 years or so had a strong sociological dimension to it, which has now been replaced by mathematics. The restoration liberals Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer wrote much “sociology” as is clear from their essays in Le Censeur which I have been putting online. They also wrote multi-volume works in this area which I plan to put online, beginning with Charles Comte’s 4 volume work on “Legislation” (1826-27) - note especially Livre 5 in vol. 4 on slavery: See, vol. 1 [HTML and facs. PDF], vol. 2 [HTML and facs. PDF], vol. 3 [HTML and facs. PDF], vol. 4 [HTML and facs. PDF]; and all 4 volumes in 1 [HTML]. I have had their works online for over a decade in facs. PDF but now it is time to add HTML versions (still all in French I’m afraid - why do we need another translation of Tocqueville when all this stuff remains untranslated?)
  • another article by Dunoyer from Le Censeur européen (Mar. 1818) which shows the great impact J.B. Say had on his thinking - a long review of Say's book “Petit volume contenant quelques aperçus des hommes et de la société” (A Small Book of Brief Thoughts on Mankind and Society) [HTML and facs. PDF]. Dunoyer summarises his own view about how the state needs to be drastically limited in its power, but that changing one's rulers or introducing new political institutions is a false hope for reform unless the people (voters) change their own views about the need for liberty (they should desire it much more than they currently do) and what they expect politicians to do with their power (not much, if anything at all).
  • as I have said elsewhere, there are many bicentennial anniversaries of important French classical liberal works which appeared in the 1810s and 1820s. Here is one by Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754–1836) who wrote a four volume work on "Ideology" (1804-15), the 4th volume of which dealt with political economy. This volume was later published as a separate work Traité d'économie (1823) [facs. PDF and HTML]. Thomas Jefferson was so impressed by it that he translated it and published it in 1817 [HTML and facs. PDF].
  • another article in my Anthology of the Essays of Comte and Dunoyer from Le Censeur and Le Censeur européen (1814-1819). This one is a book review by Comte or Dunoyer (it is unsigned) of the third edition of Say's Treatise of Political Economy. It is fascinating to see the author coming to terms with the impact economics will have on his broader social and political theory: [CC?], CR “Traité d'économie politique, 3e. édit., par M. Jean-Baptiste Say,” (CE, T. 2, 27 March 1817), pp. 169-221. [facs. PDF and HTML]


Charles Dunoyer (1786-1862)

Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754–1836)

Léon Faucher (1803-54)

Louis Wolowski (1810-76)


September/October 2021


Blog posts:

  1. A list of all my recent posts on the history of the CL tradition (with an overview): “The Classical Liberal Tradition: A Four Hundred Year History of Ideas and Movements” (24 Oct. 2021)
  2. On the "Linoleum Party" (LINO = Liberal In Name Only): “The Incoherence and Contradictions inherent in Modern Liberal Parties (and one in particular)” (21 Oct. 2021)
  3. What CLs were For – Part 2: Ends and Means” (19 Oct., 2021)
  4. Classical Liberalism as the Philosophy of Emancipation II: The “True Radical Liberalism” of Peter Boettke” (17 Oct. 2021)
  5. Classical Liberalism as a Revolutionary Ideology of Emancipation” (13 Oct. 2021)
  6. Hyphenated Liberalism Part II: Utopian, Democratic, Revolutionary, and State Liberalism” (12 Oct. 2021)
  7. Classical Liberal Visions of the Future III: Liberal Experiments, Frameworks, and Archipelagos” (11 Oct. 2021)
  8. Hayek on Law, Legislation and Liberty (1973-79)” (8 Oct. 2021)
  9. Hayek and Spontaneous Order” (13 Sept. 2021)
  10. Hayek on a Liberal Utopia” (11 Sept. 2021)
  11. The Success of Liberal Ideas has led to the Decline of Radical Liberal Parties” (6 Sept. 2021)

Additions to the Library:

  • additions to the Library in the past month or so have been light due to preparations I am making for two seminars, one on
    • "The Classical Liberal Tradition: A Four Hundred Year History" (see my blog posts in August)
    • IHS Discussion Colloquia on “Hayek and Spontaneous Order” [IHS blurb] and [my blog]
  • While editing the HTML versions of Comte and Dunpyer’s articles in Le Censeur européen I discovered that Galllica had added some new editions in colour to their old B&W versions (8 of the 12). I have given them a new home here. The defence of liberty is so much better in colour!: CE-T1-1817-colour.pdf; CE-T2-1817-colour.pdf; CE-T3-1817-colour.pdf; CE-T4-1817-colour.pdf; CE-T5-1817-colour.pdf; CE-T9-1818-colour.pdf; CE-T10-1818-colour.pdf; CE-T11-1819-colour.pdf
  • The 2010s saw several important anniversaries in the history of French classical liberal thought which I tried to mark by putting some of the works of these seminal thinkers online:
    • 2001 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frédéric Bastiat;
    • 2012 was the 100th anniversary of Gustave de Molinari's death and 2019 was the 200th anniversary of his birth
    • it is also the 200th anniversary of several of Benjamin Constant’s works like “On the Spirit of Conquest and Usurpation” (1814), The Principles of Politics (1815), and “On the Liberty of the Ancients compared to that of the Moderns” (1819)
    • and in 1817 there appeared the important revised and expanded 3rd edition of Jean-Baptiste Say’s Treatise of Political Economy
    • but this month I want to mark one in particular: 2014 was the 200th anniversary of the publication of Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer's path-breaking journal Le Censeur which lasted in various forms between 1814 and 1819. So to mark this event I have compiled an anthology of their wrtitings. I have facs. PDFs of their journals and of the individual articles, and am editing an HTML version of them as well. Those in HTML are in bold.
  • In their journals Le Censeur (July/Sept. 1814 - 6 Sept. 1815) and Le Censeur européen (Jan./Feb. 1817 - 17 Apr. 1819) we can see the intellectual transformation of the lawyers Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer from fairly standard defenders of "political liberalism" (freedom of speech and association, constitutional limits on state power, and opponents of "despotism" (whether monarchical or Napoleonic), into a new kind of "social" and "economic" liberalism where matters of productive vs parasitic labour, and the exploitation of the productive "industrial" class by an unproductive parasitic class become increasingly important to them. This transition occurs under the influence of their reading of Saint-Simon and Augustin Thierry, and then most importantly Jean-Baptiste Say (the 3rd ed. of his *Traité de l’économie politique* which was published in 1817) which we can trace in their book reviews. Comte and Dunoyer then apply these ideas in a series of important and original essays of their own which we are putting online in HTML:
    • Comte, "Considerations sur l’état moral de la nation française, et sur les causes de l’instabilité de ses institutions" (Thoughts on the Moral State of the French Nation and on the Causes of the Instability of its Institutions) (Jan. 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    • Comte, "De l'organisation sociale considérée dans ses rapports avec les moyens de subsistance des peuples" (On Social Organisation and its Connection with the Way the People earn their Living) (Mar. 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    • Dunoyer, “Considérations sur l'état présent de l'Europe, sur les dangers de cet état, et sur les moyens d'en sortir” (Thoughts on the Present State of Europe, the Dangers it faces, and the Means of Escaping them) (Mar. 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    • Comte, “De la multiplication des pauvres, des gens à places, et des gens à pensions" (On the Increase in Numbers of the Poor, People with Government Jobs, and People who live off Government Pensions) (Mar. 1818) - HTML and facs. PDF
    • Dunoyer, "De l'influence qu'exercent sur le gouvernement les salaires attachés à l'exercice des fonctions publiques" (On the Influence exerted on the Government by those who earn Salaries by carrying out Public Functions) (Feb. 1819) - HTML and facs. PDF
  • Le Censeur (July/Sept. 1814 - 6 Sept. 1815) - see the updated ToC for the entire collection
    1. Charles Comte, “Lettre au ministre de l'intérieur, sur la liberté de la presse, considérée dans ses rapports avec la liberté civile et politique.” Le Censeur No. 3. (5-13 July 1814), pp. 75-110. - HTML and facs. PDF
    2. Charles Dunoyer, ”De L’esprit public en France, et particulièrement de l’esprit des fonctionnaires publics.” Le Censeur. No. 4. (33(sic)-28 July 1814), pp. 156-72. HTML and facs. PDF
    3. Charles Dunoyer, ”De L’esprit public en France, et particulièrement de l’esprit des fonctionnaires publics.” Le Censeur. No. 6. (3-14 August 1814), pp. 217-29. HTML and facs. PDF
    4. Charles Comte “Avertissement” (T.1b, Sept. 1814) - HTML and facs. PDF
    5. [CC??], “Des sectes politiques. Dialogue entre un Royaliste, un Royaliste constitutionnel, un Républicain et un Métaphysicien,” (T.1, July 1814), pp. 41-57. - HTML and facs. PDF
    6. Charles Dunoyer [CR], “Essai sur les désavantages politiques de la traite des nègres, par Clarkson” (T.2, 15 Nov. 1814) - HTML and facs. PDF
    7. [CC??], “S’il est permis de tuer un tyran, ou Observations sur l'ordonnance du la octobre 1814, qui anoblit le père de Georges Cadoudal,” pp. 267-80 (T2, Nov. 1814), pp. 267-80. - HTML and facs. PDF
    8. Anon., “Considérations sur la situation de l’Europe, sur la cause de ses guerres, et sur les moyens d’y mettre fin” (T.3, Dec. 1814) - HTML and facs. PDF
    9. Charles Dunoyer, "Des Révolutions en général, et des révolutionnaires actuel” (T.3, Dec. 1814) - HTML and facs. PDF
    10. [CC??], “De l'Autorité légitime et du gouvernement parlementaire” (T.4, March 1, 1815) - HTML and facs. PDF
    11. [G.F.=CC??] [CR], “De la Réorganisation de la société européenne, etc., par M. le comte de Saint-Simon et de Thierry” (T.4, March, 1815) - HTML and facs. PDF
    12. [CC??], [CR], “De La Traite et de l'esclavage des noirs et des blancs” (T.4, Mar. 1815, )pp. 210-30 - HTML and facs. PDF
    13. [D…..R], “De l’influence de l’opinion sur la stabilité des gouvernemens; et de la discordance qui existe entre l’esprit des peuples de l’Europe et la politique de leurs chefs,” (T.6, June 1, 1815), pp. 141-60. - HTML and facs. PDF
    14. [G.F.] (CC??) [CR], “De la Monarchie française depuis son établissement jusqu'à nos jours, par Montlosier,” (T.6, June 1, 1815) - HTML and facs. PDF
    15. [CC??] [CR]. “Traité d'économie politique par JB Say,” (T.7, Sept. 6 1815) - HTML and facs. PDF
    16. [CC], [CR] “Principes de politique applicables à tous les gouvernements représentatifs, et particulièrement à la constitution actuelle de la France; par M Benjamin Constant, conseiller d'état,” Le Censeur T. 7 (6 Sept. 1815), pp. 78-115. - HTML and facs. PDF
    17. [G.F. = CC] [CR] “De la monarchie française depuis le retour de la maison de Bourbon jusqu'au 1er.avril 1815” (C T.7, Sept. 6 1815) - HTML and facs. PDF
  • Le Censeur européen (Jan./Feb. 1817 - 17 Apr. 1819)
    1. Charles Comte et Charles Dunoyer’s “Avant-propos”, CE (T.1, Jan. 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    2. (CC?), "Considerations sur l’état moral de la nation française, et sur les causes de l’instabilité de ses institutions" (T.1, Jan. 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    3. Charles Dunoyer, “Du système de l'équilibre des puissances européennes” (T.1, Jan. 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    4. (CC??) [CR], “Traité d'économie politique, 3e. édit., par M. Jean-Baptiste Say,” (T.1, Jan. 1817?) - HTML and facs. PDF
    5. (CC?), "De l'organisation sociale considérée dans ses rapports avec les moyens de subsistance des peuples" (T.2, March 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    6. [D…..r], "Considérations sur l'état présent de l'Europe, sur les dangers de cet état, et sur les moyens d'en sortir" (T.2, March 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    7. Augustin Thierry, [CR] “Manuel électoral à l’usage de MM. les électeurs des départemens de la France, par un Électeur éligible. - Candidats présentés aux électeurs de Paris pour la session de 1817 par un Électeur du département de la Seine,” (CE, T.2, March 1817), pp. 107-68. - HTML and facs. PDF
    8. (CC??) [CR], “Traité d'économie politique, par J.-B. Say” (Part 2) (T.2, Mar. 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    9. [D…..r], [ CR] “Des Nations et de leurs rapports mutuels (Thierry)” (T2, 27 March 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    10. Augustin Thierry, “Des factions” (CE T3, May, 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    11. [CC??] [CR], “Manuscrit venu de Sainte-Hélène d'une manière inconnue” (T.3, May 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    12. [CC??] [CR], “L'Industrie, ou Discussion politiques, morales et philosophiques, dans l'intérêt de tous les hommes livrés à des travaux utiles et indépendans (par Saint-Simon), T. 2, (T.3, May 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    13. [CC??], “De la multiplication des pauvres, des gens à places, et des gens à pensions" (T.7, 28 mar. 1818) - HTML and facs. PDF
    14. Charles Dunoyer [CR], “Petit volume contenant quelques aperçus des hommes et de la société;” par J.-B. Say (T.7, Mar. 1818) - HTML and facs. PDF
    15. Augustin Thierry [CR], "Commentaire sur l'Esprit des lois de Montesquieu, suivi d'observations inédites de Condorcet, sur le vingt-neuvième livre du même ouvrage" (T.7, mars 1818) - HTML and facs. PDF
    16. [CC??] [CR], “De la Monarchie française depuis la seconde restauration jusqu'à la fin de 1816” (Montlosier) (T.9, July 1818) - HTML and facs. PDF
    17. [D…..r], "De l'influence qu'exercent sur le gouvernement les salaires attachés à l'exercice des fonctions publiques" (T.11, 15 Feb. 1819) - HTML and facs. PDF
    18. Dunoyer, [CR] “De la force des gouvernements (Tarayre)”, CE T.12, 15 March 1819) - HTML and facs. PDF


[Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992)]

[Hayek winning the Nobel Prize in 1974]


August 2021

Blog posts:

  1. Classical Liberal Visions of the Future II: The Contribution of Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)” (29 Aug. 2021)
  2. Classical Liberal Visions of the Future I” (27 August, 2021)
  3. How Modern Day CL/Libertarians Differ From “Classical” Classical Liberals” (24 Aug. 2021)
  4. Classical Liberal Movements: A Four Hundred Year History” (17 Aug. 2021)
  5. What Classical Liberals were For” (13 Aug. 2021)
  6. What Classical Liberals were Against” (12 Aug. 2021)
  7. The Conservative and Revolutionary Faces of Classical Liberalism” (11 Aug. 2021)
  8. The History of Classical Liberalism in 370 words (and one picture)” (11 Aug.2021)
  9. Classical Liberals on the Size and Functions of the State” (10 Aug. 2021)
  10. The Spectrum of State Power: or a New Way of Looking at the Political Spectrum” (10 Aug., 2021)
  11. “Hyphenated" Liberalism and the Problem of Definition (9 Aug. 2021)

Additions to the Library:


[William Shakespeare (1564-1616)]

[Jean Bodin (1529-1596)]

[Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)]

[John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)]

[James Harrington (1611–1677]

July 2021

Nicolás Maloberti (1975-2021)
In Memoriam

Blog posts:

  1. Nicolás Maloberti In Memoriam (1975-2021)” (2 July, 2021)
  2. An Allegory of War and Peace” (19 July, 2021)

Essays and papers:

Additions to the Library:

  • As a "companion" piece to Grotius we have Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831)'s famous work Vom Kriege (On War (1832) in English [HTML and facs. PDF] and German [HTML and facs. PDF]. Whereas Grotius believed that although the civil law of a state might "fall silent" when a war broke out (and thus permit vioence, killing, and the destruction of property), a higher natural law still applied to the actions of those in political and military power and which would justify the later punishment of any transgressions of peoples' natural rights.
    • In LWP Book II, CHAPTER XX. ON PUNISHMENTS. S. XLIV, p. 250 he states: "But there is a wider sphere, than the internal welfare of independent states, on which religion operates. In the separate society, which every kingdom, state, or country forms within itself, the place of religion may occasionally be supplied by the influence and execution of municipal laws. But in all the transactions of the great community at large, where civil laws are silent, and tribunals give way to the decision of the sword, the law of nature and of nations, founded upon the fear of God, and obedience to his will, is the standard of right to which Kings and Sovereign states appeal; a violation of which is regarded as a violation of the divine law."
    • Clausewitz on the other hand wrote what amounted to a "technical manual" to help military and political leaders fight a total war where necessity and expediency to protect and maintain the nation state was the highest priority. But what is interesting is his realisation that war and politics are closely related in that they both use violence to achieve their aims. In his words "War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument ("ein wahres politisches Instrument" = a real political tool), a continuation of political commerce ("des politischen Verkehrs" = of political activity), a carrying out of the same (thing) by other means."
    • The French philosopher Michel Foucault realised this close relationship in his 1975 lectures at the Collège de France where he reversed Clauswewitz's dictum and concluded that "politics is the continuation of war by other means" (p. 165). This was a key idea of classical liberal sociologists like Herbert Spencer and Gustave de Molinari who thought that states were created by the violence of war, conquest, and plunder, and which then institutionalised this violence over time into the more premanent policies of taxation, regulation, and control, or what Bastiat correctly called "la spoliation légale" (legal plunder). Thus, war and politics are just different versions of the same same violent means of acquiring wealth and controlling others.
  • Not so much a "great book" of the western tradition, but a "great legal text" which laid the foundation for political and economic liberty in England: the Magna Carta, or Great Charter of Liberties which King John was forced to sign by the nobles of England in 1215. I'm sure the nobles had no intention when they did this that "lower status" English men (and later women) would interpret the words written in this document in a more liberal, and revolutionary manner. This is an example of the "unintended consequences" of an idea which was taken up by some vigour by the Levellers in the 1640s. William McKechnie edited a bi-lingual edition with extensive commentary for the 700th anniversay of its signing in 1915 which we have in HTML and facs. PDF. We also have just the text of the document in a parallel Latin-English version in HTML.
  • the classic work on The Laws of War and Peace (based upon both the laws of nature and the customary laws of nations) by Hugo Grotius (1583-1645): De jure belli ac pacis (1825). Note the important "Prolegomena" which summarises his views. We have the 1901 translation (truncated edition) made for the 1899 International Peace Conference at The Hague [HTML and facs. PDF]; the more complete Carnedie Institution edition/translation of 1925 [facs. PDF] which contains the "Prolegomena" [HTML and facs. PDF]. And for those who read Latin, the original 1625 edition [facs. PDF]. See also the 1670 Paris edition [facs. PDF] with etchings such as the allegory [at the left and here] which I interpret as;
    • Standing on a round temple is Justice (she holds the scales of justice in her right hand) above Mars (war) who holds a sword in his right hand, next to whom is Peace or Abundance who holds a compass in her left hand (to measure out quantities), over which is draped a snake which is biting its own tail in a circle (a symbol of eternity), and who holds in her right hand the cornucopia (the horn of plenty). On either side of them and slightly behind are some shadowy figures whose meaning is not clear. Mars' sword points to the left and in the distance is Neptune with his trident and his chariot pulled by horses. Since Holland and England were both aspiring sea powers this may be a reference to this fact. At the foot of the temple at the right are two figures, a man wearing a helmet who is holding another snake over a fire with his right hand (perhaps here a symbol of evil) and with his left holding a woman around her waste; she is a peasant girl who is wearing a bonnet and a yoke around her shoulders (a symbol of submission) and in her left hand an hour glass (a symbol of the passage of time and of death). At the left is a bearded man in the shadows who is also holding a snake over a fire. At the very bottom of the picture is a dead boar (a symbol of lust and ferocity) which has been sacrificed.
  • a collection of essays by "Cato", the pseudonym of two English Commonwealthmen, John Trenchard (1662-1723) and Thomas Gordon (c. 1691–1750), who used the ideas of John Locke to expose the corruption and injustices of the British state in the 1720s and which in turn was avidly read in the North American colonies in the decades prior to the Revolution. Cato's Letters as they were known went through 6 editions. The 144 Letters make up a veritable treatise of political theory and analysis of British institutions. We have online the 6th edition of 1755 in HTML and Facs. PDF [vol. 1 | vol. 2 | vol. 3 | vol. 4 as well as the first edtion of 1723-24 [facs. PDF only].
    • It has been nearly 300 years since Trenchard warned about "the encroaching Nature of Power" (No. 115, 9 Feb. 1723) which we repeate here because of its timeless relevance: "Unlimited power is so wild and monstrous a thing, that however natural it be to desire it, it is as natural to oppose it; nor ought it to be trusted with any mortal man, be his intentions ever so upright ... We know, by infinite examples and experience, that men possessed of power, rather than part with it, will do any thing, even the worst and the blackest, to keep it; and scarce ever any man upon earth went out of it as long as he could carry every thing his own way in it; and when he could not, he resigned. I doubt that there is not one exception in the world to this rule; and that Dioclesian, Charles V, and even Sulla, laid down their power out of pique and discontent, and from opposition and disappointment. This seems certain, that the good of the world, or of their people, was not one of their motives either for continuing in power, or for quitting it. It is the nature of power to be ever encroaching, and converting every extraordinary power, granted at particular times, and upon particular occasions, into an ordinary power, to be used at all times, and when there is no occasion; nor does it ever part willingly with any advantage. From this spirit it is, that occasional commissions have grown sometimes perpetual; that three years have been improved into seven, and one into twenty; and that when the people have done with their magistrates, their magistrates will not have done with the people."
  • after Trenchard died Thomas Gordon turned to using his translations of the Roman historians Sallust (86 – c. 35 BC) and Tacitus (c. AD 56 – c.120) to indirectly criticise the corruption and tyranny of the British government and the Empire. He wrote lengthy "political discourses" as prefaces to his translations which we have comibined into one collection Tyranny, Empire, War, and Corruption: The Political Discourses on Tacitus and Sallust (1728-1744) [HTML]. For the originals see The Works of Sallust (1744) [facs. PDF and HTML] and The Works of Tacitus (1728, 1737) [facs. PDF and HTML].
  • I have added the entries on Trenchard and Gordon from the Dictionary of National Biography (1885-1900) to this page.
  • below are some examples of the images Thomas Hollis had printed to promote "Commonwealthman" ideas in the 1760s. Most were engraved by Giovanni Cipriani. They feature the laurel wreath and the Liberty Cap, and elsewhere the dagger which is a reference to the stabbing of the tyrant Julius Caesar.


June 2021

Blog posts:

  1. The Myth of a liberal ‘Australian Way of Life’” (20 June 2021)
  2. ‘God save us from the King’: or the Problem of Regal Vice” (16 June 2021)
  3. The Incarceration of Foreign Students at Parafield Airport, S.A.” (1 June, 2021)

Additions to the Library:

  • The battle of the "hyphenated liberalisms": in the late 19th century the "radical", individualist, free market liberalism of thinkers like Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was increasingly replaced by a "new," "social," interventionist form of liberalism espoused by people like Thomas Hill Green (1836-1882) at Oxford University. One could argue that this "new" liberalism was not a form of liberalism at all, but to borrow Hayek's distinction made in another context, "false liberalism." See the following by Green:
    • The Principles of Political Obligation (1879-80) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • “On the Different Senses of ‘Freedom’ as Applied to Will and the Moral Progress of Man” (1879) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • "Liberal Legislation and Freedom of Contract” (1881) [HTML and facs. PDF]
  • "Covid is the Health of the State": The American radical journalist and essayist Randolph S. Bourne (1886-1918) was a vociferous critic of America's entry into WW1 and the submissive, herd-like acceptance of this fact by the American public. This anthology, Untimely Papers (1919), put together after his death in 1918, contains the brilliant essay "The War and the Intelletuals" (1917) in which he lambasts the intellectual class for rallying around the State to support the war effort, and his unfinished essay on "The State" in which he argues that "war is the health of the state". HTML and facs. PDF. Given his use of "health" metaphors, references to "herd-mentaility" and behaviour, and the hounding of dissenters, it has considerable contemporary relevance in the current "war" against covid and the role of the state and the intellectual class in making this possible., as this quote shows;
    • "War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties, the minorities are either intimidated into silence, or brought slowly around by a subtle process of persuasion which may seem to them really to be converting them. Of course the ideal of perfect loyalty, perfect uniformity is never really attained. The classes upon whom the amateur work of coercion falls are unwearied in their zeal, but often their agitation instead of converting, merely serves to stiffen their resistance. Minorities are rendered sullen, and some intellectual opinion bitter and satirical. But in general, the nation in war-time attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could not [145] possibly be produced through any other agency than war. Other values such as artistic creation, knowledge, reason, beauty, the enhancement of life, are instantly and almost unanimously sacrificed, and the significant classes who have constituted themselves the amateur agents of the State, are engaged not only in sacrificing these values for themselves but in coercing all other persons into sacrificing them."
    • even before the war broke out in Europe Bourne wrote a pamphlet attacking The Tradition of War (June 1914) for the American Association for International Conciliation [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • shortly after the U.S. entered the war in April 1917 Bourne wrote the pamphlet The War and the Intellectuals (June 1917) was published by the American Union against Militarism. [facs. PDF and Union statement of principles]
  • Some more on "liberalism" in Australia:
    • In 1991 the Australian Liberal Party under the leadership of the "dry" economist (i.e. slightly more "free marketish" than previous neo-liberals) John Hewson introduced a policy document ahead of the 1993 election to reform the Australian economy called stirringly "Fightback!". A central plank of the policy was the introduction of a new 15 percent GST (goods and services tax), along with the abolition of tariffs, and other reforms. Needless to say the voters fought back, quite rightly refusing to support the new tax, but not appreciating the need for the many other reforms in the "Fightback!" package. The Liberal Party lost the election and the Fightback! program disappeared from sight. Nevertheless a 10% GST was introduced by the LP in 2000. See the facs. PDF and the rough, uncorrected HTML version.
    • The "neo-liberalism" which emerged out of a meeting of French and German-speaking liberal economists in Paris in 1938 (the "Colloque Walter Lippman", in 1947 at Mont Pèlerin, and the ideas of "ordoliberalism" (state ordered liberalism) by Walter Eucken at the University of Freiburg (1937-54) was an attempt to create a more electorally attractive political force which would merge some aspects of individual private property and free markets ("liberalism") with considerable paternalistic government intervention ("neo-statism") and the welfare state ("neo-socialism"), as an opposing force to the rise of fascism, socialism (labourism), and communism. In Australia it took the form of the neo-liberalism, or rather "antipodean liberalism" (my deliberate play on words - meaning both "in the southern hemisphere" as well as "the direct opposite") of Robert Menzies (1894-1978). He would play a major role in the newly formed Liberal Party of Australia (1944) and would rule as PM from 1949-1966. He outlined his political views in a seres of 37 "fire-side chats" in the second half of 1942 known as "The Forgotten People" broadcasts. These important documents are hard to find so I have assembled the complete collection here [HTML]. They should be compared to the similar ideas about "The Forgotten Man" developed by the American radical liberal William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) in 1883.
  • I came across this commemorative 20 cent coin from 2010 which was issued as part of the "celebrations" of the 100th anniversary of the Australian Taxation Office. Note the slogan: "Working for All Australians" which I would change to the more accurate "Taxing all Working Australians". I also came across the official history the ATO commissioned: Leigh Edmonds, Working for all Australians 1910-2010: A Brief History of the Australian Taxation Office (Canberra: Australian Taxation Office, 2010) which is revealing for what it doesn't say as much as it does say. PDF at ATO and here. I will discuss more informative works in a blog post.


Thomas Hill Green (1836-1882) Randolph S. Bourne (1886-1918) Robert Menzies (1894-1978) John Robert Hewson (1946- )

May 2021

Blog posts:

  1. The Scandalous Neglect of Classical Liberal Sociology” (30 May, 2021)
  2. Making and Breaking the Image of King Charles I” (27 May, 2021)
  3. Joel Barlow “God save the Guillotine”” (25 May, 2021)
  4. The Classical Liberal Tradition: A 400 Year History of Ideas and Movements. An Introductory Reading List” (20 May, 2021)
  5. From Rosé to a Sick Rose” (19 May, 2021)
  6. Bastiat’s Anti-socialist Pamphlets, or “Mister Bastiat’s Little Pamphlets”” (13 May, 2021)
  7. The Socialist Critique of Private Property and Free Markets and the French Political Economists’ Response” (12 May 2021)

Additions to the Library:

  • while in prison waiting for the verdict and then his death once he had been convicted, Charles Stuart (a.k.a. King Charles I) wrote a defense of his actions and the entire concept of the divine right of kings in a book called Eikon Basilike (The Icon or Image of the King) (1649) [HTML and facs. PDF]. Some of the editions also inlcuded a very detailed iconography of his rule in the form of a frontispiece. John Milton was asked by Parliament to write a rebuttal which turned into a devastating piece of "iconoclasm" aptly called Eikonoklastes (1649) [HTML and facs. PDF]
  • to accompany Marvell's book attacking "arbitrary government in England" we now have John Milton's The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649) written just after the execution of King Charles I to defend the actions of the regicides. He argues that individuals have rights which predate the appearance of kings or other "magistrates" and thus, if these kings and magistrates violate those pre-existing rights, the people have the right to remove them. Thus, their "tenure" in this case is quite short. [HTML of a heavily annotated 1911 edition and a facs. PDF of the 1650 ed.]
  • Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) was not a Leveller as such but he shared many of their views about the dangers of despotic government in Britain, and was a close friend and work mate of John Milton in the Republican government. I have put online two editions of his collected works (1776 and 1875) in facs. PDF as well as his best known pamphlet on The Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England (1677) in HTML and facs. PDF. The American colonial book seller Thomans Hollis made one of his iconic images of Marvell as a hero of the liberty movement and thus deserving of his laurels. And a selection of some of my favourite poems in HTML.
  • I have another very interesting piece by the American jurist James C. Carter entitled The Ideal and the Actual in the Law (1890) [HTML] to add to his The Provinces of the Written and the Unwritten Law (1889) [HTML]. Carter argues for the idea that judges do not "make the law" but rather "discover" it by observing common practice and custom around them. Legal change occurs at the margin when judges adapt or slightly modify current jural practice. The role of the legislature in reforming the law is thus minimal at best.
  • 27 years after Bastiat's death, his close friend Hortense Cheuvreux (1808-1893), the wife of the wealthy industrialist and supporter of the liberal political economists Casimir Cheuvreux, published anonymously a collection of her letters from Bastiat. This suggests more than just a passing acquaintance in my view but this is hard to prove. These letters reveal another more personal side to Bastiat which does not come out in Paillottet's heavily edited (and redacted) collection: Lettres d’un habitant des Landes (1877) [HTML and facs. PDF (en français)]
  • Since there is no good HTML version of the works of Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) online in French I decided to do one myself. There are 7 volumes in the 2nd 1864 edition done by Paillottet. The two collections of his Economic Sophisms and pamphlets in vol. 4 and vol. 5 are the first cabs off the rank. Those available in HTML are in bold. The complete table of contents of the set (with links) can be found here:
    • 1. Correspondance et mélanges (1862) - HTML and facs. PDF.
    • 2. Le Libre-Échange (1862) - HTML and facs. PDF.
    • 3. Cobden et la Ligue ou L'agitation anglaise pour la Liberté des Échange (1864) - HTML and facs. PDF.
    • 4. Sophismes économiques. Petits pamphlets I (1863) - HTML and facs. PDF.
    • 5. Sophismes économiques. Petits pamphlets II (1863) - HTML and facs. PDF.
    • 6. Harmonies économiques (1864) - only in facs. PDF. We have a version of this work from the 6th edition of 1870 in HTML and facs. PDF.
    • 7. Essais, Ébauches, Correspondance (1864) - HTML and facs. PDF.
  • as an historian I much prefer to see an author's works listed chronologically rather than "thematically". I have created such a list of nearly 300 items Bastiat published with links to the relevant texts.
  • Here are some of Bastiat's major works (en français) in a single file - HTML (from the OC) and facs. PDF (published book, article, or pamphlet). He devoted the first part of his life to opposing protectionism (1844 - Feb. 1848) and the second to opposing socialism (Feb. 1848-1850):
    • on protectionism and free trade:
      • Bastiat's long introduction to his 1st book on Cobden et la ligue, ou l’Agitation anglaise pour la liberté du commerce (Cobden and the (Anti-Corn Law) League, or the English Free Trade Movement) (1845) [HTML and facs. PDF]
      • Sophismes économiques (1846) (the "first series") [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL]
      • Sophismes économiques. Deuxième série. (1848) [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL]
    • His anti-socialist pamphlets from Feb. 1848-50:
      1. "Du Communisme," Libre-Échange (27 juin, 1847) - technically not part of the anti-socialist campaign during the Second Republic but an early piece attacking the socialist ideas of Philippe Buchez who edited the workers' magazine L'Atelier (the Workshop) and became the first President of the Republic [HTML and facs. PDF]
      2. the first article he wrote after the Feb. Revolution was "Funestes illusions" (Disastrous Illusions) JDE (mars, 1848) in which he urged the people to abolish all political and economic privileges and not to replace the old group of "plunderers" with a new group as the socialists were urging them to do [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL]
      3. "Propriété et loi" (Property and Law) JDE (mai, 1848) - a defence of property rights against the criticism of socialists like Louis Blanc and others [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL]
      4. "Justice et fraternité" (Justice and Fraternity) JDE (juin, 1848) - a response to the socialist Pierre Leroux [HTML and facs.PDF] [English at OLL]
      5. "Individualisme et fraternité" (Individualism and Fraternity) (c. June 1848) - an unpublished paper also written to refute the socialist's claim (esp. by Louis Blanc) that free markets led to ruinous individualism and competition while socialism led to fraternity and brotherhood for the workers. [HTML] [English at OLL] This is a a topic he would return to in several chapters of Economic Harmonies such as chap. X “Concurrence” (Competition) [HTML] and XXI “Solidarité” (Solidarity) [HTML]
      6. "L'État" (June, Sept. 1848 and early 1849): there were three versions of this famous essay -the 1st in June before the June Days riots in Paris which was short and written for the ordinary worker in the streets [English at OLL]; the 2nd longer version was written for a high-brow magazine in Sept. 1848); and the 3rd longest version was written as a pamphlet and gave a detailed critique of Ledru-Rollin's socialist (Montagnard) party platform. [HTML and PDF] [English at OLL].
      7. "Propriété et spoliation" (Property and Plunder) JDD (juli 1848) [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL] - a defence of property, especially of land, against the criticism of Victor Considerant
      8. Capitale et rente (Capital and Rent) (1849) [HTML and facs. PDF] - in opposition to the criticisms of Proudhon and others on the legitimacy of rent
      9. Protectionisme et Communisme (Protectionism and Communism) Jan. 1849) - addressed to the conservative politician Adolphe Thiers pointing our the similarities between conservative and socialist policies, namely their use of state coercion to give privileges to some members of society at the expence of others [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL]
      10. Maudit argent! (Damned Money!) (1849) [HTML and facs. PDF] - in opposition to socialist misconceptions about money, banking, and debt
      11. Spoliation et Loi (Plunder and Law) (1850) [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL] - written to oppose the ideas of Louis Blanc, the Luxembourg Commission, and the National Workshops program
      12. Gratuité du crédit. Discussion entre M. Fr. Bastiat et M. Proudhon (Free Credit. A Discussion between M. Fr. Bastiat and M. Proudhon) (1850) [HTML and facs. PDF] - an extended debate with Proudhon over the legitimacy of profit, interest and rent.
      13. Baccalauréate et socialisme (The Baccalaureat and Socialism) (1850) [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL] - written to oppose the teaching of interventionist and statist ideas ("socialism") in government schools by means of the teaching of the Latin language which was supported by conservatives like Adolphe
      14. La Loi (The Law) (June 1850) - one of the last things Bastiat wrote before his death; a lengthy critique of the ideas of Louis Blanc and the 18th century predecessors of socialist ideas, most notably Rousseau and Robespierre [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL]
      15. in "Propriété, Communauté" (Private and Communal/Community Property) (chap. VIII of Harmonies Économiques 1850) Bastiat attempts to answer the socialist critique of private property by showing that a system based on private property actually increases the amount of "communal" property to the enormous benefit of all members of the community. [HTML] [English here]
      16. "Liberté, Égalité" (Liberty anThiersd Equality) (1850) - a draft of a chapter for the Harmonies Économies which was never published. He attempts to explain how the liberal understanding of "equality" differs from that of the socialists'. [HTML] [English at OLL]
    • in the last months of his life he wrote on more general economic matters:
      • Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas, ou l'Économie politique en une leçon (What is Seen and What is Not Seen, or Political Economy in One Lesson (1850) [HTML and facs. PDF] [English at OLL]
      • his unfinished treatise on economic theory Harmonies Économiques (Economic Harmonies) : the first half published in his lifetime (10 chaps in early 1850) in facs. PDF; and a partly "completed" posthumous edition in 1851 (with an additional 15 chapters or sketches of chaps, and an outline of a much larger future work on economic "harmony" and "disharmony") in HTML and facs. PDF [English here]


King Charles I (1600–1649) John Milton (1608-1674) Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) James C. Carter

April 2021

Additions to the Library:

  • Condy Raguet (1784-1842) was also a staunch critic of government fiat paper money in his Treatise on Currency and Banking (1839).
  • We now have a third representative of the 19th century American free trade movement online to add to Henry George (1839-1897) and William Graham Sumner (1840-1910), namely Condy Raguet (1784-1842). Their arch intellectual foe was Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) who defended government funded infra-structure projects and high tariffs (the so-called "American System") in his Report on Manufactures (1791) and whose ideas dominated American economic policy for over a century. Why hasn't anybody made a musical about Condy Raguet? I wrote a screenplay about the life and times of Fréréric Bastiat. (with images)
    1. Condy Raguet, The Principles of Free Trade (1835)
    2. William Graham Sumner, Protectionism. The -Ism which Teaches that Waste makes Wealth (1885)
    3. Henry George, Protection or Free Trade (1886)
  • William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) spent much of his life attacking the fallacies and sophisms of tariffs and the system of protectionism in the United States. He was active in the rather small American free trade movement for whom he gave lectures and wrote pamphlets. In his approach and his rhetoric he was very much in the tradition of Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) referring to the “sophisms” of protectionism and the “plunder” which benefited some vested interests at the expense of ordinary consumers and tax-payers (his “forgotten” men and women). See his Lectures on the History of Protection in the United States (1877), Protectionism. The -Ism which Teaches that Waste makes Wealth (1885), and his overview of free trade “Liberté des Échanges” (1891) which was never translated into English.
  • Ever since Marcus Junius Brutus (88-42 BC) stabbed Julius Caesar to death in 44 BC, people have been asking is it right to kill a tyrant and, if so, when and by whom. The question was especially important for the Levellers who participated in the trial and execution of King Charles I in 1649 and who also opposed the growing powers of the “Protector” Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) who replaced him. The radical Leveller “agitator” Edward Sexby (ft. 1642–1667) defended the right of the people to assassinate a tyrant in 1657 in the pamphlet “Killing, no Murder” (in which he had Cromwell in mind). We have put this pamphlet online, along with some other pamphlets by him and his contribution to the Putney Debates in Oct/Nov. 1647 where he defended the rights of the ordinary soliders, as well as two critics of him, an anonymous author and Michael Hawke, both of whom agreed that killing a king, even a bad one, was murder. Here Sexby is very much in the tradition of the French “monarchomach” theorists (from the Greek μόναρχος and μάχομαι, meaning “those who fight against monarchs”) who emerged during the French Wars of Religion in the late 16th century, such as François Hotman (1524–1590), Théodore de Bèze (1519–1605), Simon Goulart (1543–1628), Nicolas Barnaud (1538–1604), Hubert Languet (1518–1581), Philippe de Mornay (1549–1623) and George Buchanan (1506–1582). See:
  • England had Herbert Spencer (1820-1903); France had Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912); and America had William Graham Sumner (1840-1910). All three did pioneering work in the emerging discipline of “sociology”, were radical classical liberals (libertarians), and were active in popularizing their ideas via journalism. Sumner was a professor of sociology at Yale University who wrote on free trade and protection, sound money and banking, and was an outspoken member of the American Anti-Imperialist League. His work on classical liberal class analysis should also be mentioned, where he championed the interests of “The Forgotten Man and Woman” who paid the taxes which made it possible for the various vested interest groups, both large (plutocrats and party bosses) and small (those who sought government jobs), to enjoy their privileged position. Sumner also wrote several works against the theory and practice of socialism. In his view the great clash of the future would be between socialists from below and plutocrats from above, with the “forgotten” man and woman caught in the middle.We have online four volumes of his collected essays, his major treatise on sociology, and several other works:
  • some more Leveller pamphlets (29 items), this time by William Walwyn (c.1600-1680), to add to our collection of works by John Lilburne (24 items) and Richard Overton (23)
  • A good counterpoint to Mises' theoretical critique of Socialism (1922) is the work of the Scottish economist and poet Alexander Gray (1882-1968) The Socialist Tradition: Moses To Lenin (1946). He provides a comprehensive history of socialism which is peppered with his great insight, deep learning, and sceptical and witty observations. See for example his chapter on Fichte.
  • German “idealism” could produce a liberal like Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) or authoritarian statists like Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) and Georg Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). It seemed that the “absolute idealism” of the latter two thinkers resulted in a new form of “absolute government” rule. In the case of Fichte he wrote the little known Der geschlossene Handelsstaat (The Closed Commercial State) (1800) in which he argued for a centrally planned economy one hundred years ahead of its time [auf deutsch in HTML and facs. PDF]. He was reacting to the economic impact of the Napoleonic Wars on the fragmented German states and the rise of England as an industrial and commercial power. In France, the same concerns led the liberal Jean-Baptiste Say to write his Treatise on Political Economy (1803) [HTML] in which he advocated the exact opposite, the most “open commercial state” imaginable.
  • 100 years ago Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) demolished the very foundations upon which socialism rested. In 1920 he wrote an essay on the difficulties (or indeed impossibility) of rational "Economic Calculation" in a socialist economy [English and German] and in 1922 a large book on Socialism in which he broadened his critique of socialism into the most devastating one ever written. We are putting the later online (or rather the 2nd. edition of 1932) in German in HTML and facs. PDF
  • By the mid-1920s Mises had expanded his critique of Bolshevik central planning into a more general theory of "Interventionismus" or "interventionism" by which he meant any large-scale government intervention in the economy without the direct ownership by the state of all private property and the means of production (such as factories and farms). He began with an article on “Interventionismus” (1926) [HTML auf deutsch] which he expanded and developed over the years in a series of further articles and books. He had in mind (in chronological order) the policy of "Kriegssozialismus" (war socialism) pursued in Germany during WW1, the policy of economic "autarchy" (national self-sufficiency) pursued by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s, and the policies of most western nations after WW2, namely Keynesian inspired interventionism concerning interest rates and the supply of money, as well as the interventionism and redistribution of wealth required to build the welfare state.
  • as part of my ongoing commemoration of Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)'s bicentennial, I have added HTML versions of his three major sociological works (and one later summary volume) which we already have in facs. PDF. They make a very interesting parallel intellectual achievement to rival that of his contempory radical English liberal Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) and his Principles of Sociology (1874-96). What makes Molinari very unusual is his economic analysis of literally "everything" including marriage and having a family, art, urban development, the behaviour of politicians and bureraucrats (so early public choice theory), why governments often fail in managing economic resources and services like the police and the military, the rise of market institutions over the centuries, the role of war in economic development and the rise of states, and very interesting from my perspective, the emergence of political classes and how they organise and use the state for their own purposes and benefit (he made a fundamental distinction between "les mangeurs des taxes" (the tax eaters) and the tax papyers. He began doing this in his articles for the Dictionnaire de l'économie politique (1852) and later returned to it some 30 years later in the following works:
    • L’évolution économique du XIXe siècle: théorie du progrès (Economic Evolution in the 19th Century: A Theory of Progress) (1880) [HTML] and [facs. PDF]
    • L’évolution politique et la révolution (Political Evolution and the Revolution) (1884) [HTML] and [facs. PDF]
    • Grandeur et decadence de la guerre (The Rise and Fall of War) (1898) [HTML] and [facs. PDF]
    • and a final fourth volume which summarises his life's work on this topic: Économie de l’histoire: Théorie de l’Évolution (The Economics of History: A Theory of Evolution) (1908) [HTML] and [facs. PDF]
  • the English radical individualist and advocate of "voluntaryism" Auberon Herbert (1838-1906) presented some of the most eloquent visions of what a free society might look like and the moral reasons for rejecting state compulsion in all its forms, in:
    • The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State: A Statement of the Moral Principles of the Party of Individual Liberty (1885) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • “The Ethics of Dynamite,” Contemporary Review (May 1894) [HTML and facs, PDF]
    • The Principles of Voluntaryism and Free Life (1897) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • The Voluntaryist Creed and A Plea For Voluntaryism (1908) [HTML and facs. PDF]
  • Burke's attack on the principles of the French Revolution was quickly responded to by Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) who wrote not one but two "Vindications" - one vindicating the rights of men (1790) [HTML] and the other extending her response to include the rights of women (1792) [HTML].
  • A youthful radical indiscretion or an attempt at satire of an opposing view? The 26 year old Edmund Burke (1729-1797) may have made the same mistake as the 20-something Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) in his Vindication of Natural Society (1756) in which he, perhaps too cleverly, criticises government or "artificial society" and pushes "logic" to an "unacceptable" extreme (i.e. unacceptable to the ruling elites who might employ him later). We have three editions of this work to help you make up your own mind: 1756, 1757, and 1858 [HTML]. Is this an example of the "battle of the Prefaces"?


Condy Raguet (1784-1842) William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) William Walwyn (c.1600-1680) Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)

March 2021




Blog posts:

  1. The State of the Libertarian Movement after 50 Years (1970-2020): Some Observations (25 March, 2021)
  2. The Great Books of Liberty I (25 March, 2021)

Additions to the Library:

  • another serious rift both within the liberal movement and between liberals and their socialist critics was over the impact of population growth and the expansion of industrial activity on the supply of resources, especially food supplies. Optimists like Condorcet, William Godwin, and Bastiat were aligned against the pessimistic "Malthusians" who thought the human race was headed towards destruction. See
    • Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (1789, 1826) [HTML] for the negative side of the debate, and
    • Condorcet, Outlines of an Historical View of the progress of the Human Mind (1795) for the optomistic side in English [HTML] and French [HTML]
  • the French Revolution exposed a large rift within the liberal tradition, with conservative "aristocratic" liberals like Edmund Burke (1729-1797) supporting free trade and the American Revolution but not the French Revolution, and radical democratic liberals supporting the violent overthrow of despotic regimes like the French monarchy but not the violent and anti-liberal Jacobin regime. Burke's major writings opposing the French Revolution are Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) [HTML} and the Letters on a Regicide Peace (1795) [HTML]. Thomas Paine's immediate response to defend the revolution and the ideas of natural rights which justified it was two pamphlets Rights of Man Parts I and II (1791, 1792) [HTML]
  • a speech given at Oxford in 1906 and a statement of the "voluntaryist creed" by the English political theorist Auberon Herbert (1838-1906). The latter is one of the most eloquent defences of liberty and the non-aggression principle (“voluntarism”) ever penned. His "creed" can be summarised as the use State force only to protect ourselves against those who would employ force or fraud; and to end every form of compulsory taxation and replace it with “a system of voluntary giving”. The Voluntaryist Creed (1908) in HTML and facs. PDF
  • two speeches by the late 19th century New York legal theorist James Coolidge Carter, (1827-1905) who was a strong defender of private, judge-made law (often "unwritten") vs. state-made legislation and codes of law:
    • The Provinces of the Written and the Unwritten Law (1889) in HTML and facs. PDF
    • The Ideal and the Actual in the Law (1890) in HTML and facs. PDF
  • there was a group of four radical English individualists writing in the late 19th century who opposed the increasing power of the state and the rise of socialism, and were members of the Liberty and Property Defence League - Herbert Spencer (1820–1903), Auberon Herbert (1838-1906), Wordsworth Donisthorpe (1847-1914), and Thomas Mackay (1849–1912). They were the British counterpart of the French group of anti-socialist writers whose work we have added recently, namely Paul Leroy-Beaulieu (1843-1916), Yves Guyot (1843-1928), and Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912). The latest addition of the British school is:
    • Wordsworth Donisthorpe, Individualism: A System of Politics (1889) in HTML and facs. PDF
    • Wordsworth Donisthorpe, Law in a Free State (1895) in HTML and facs. PDF
  • one of the great defences of religious toleration is Voltaire's A Treatise of Toleration (1763) which attacked the persecution and death of Jean Calas. He had to publish it outside France and the title page lacks the name of the publisher and the place and date in order to avoid persecution himself. See the French HTML and facs PDF; and the English HTML and facs. PDF
  • the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) wrote Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670) [HTML] to defend the right of religious toleration in a society which had been torn apart by religious persection. This tolertion was part of a defence of the more general rights of individuals under their sovereign. He was naturally accused of "atheism" and republicanism so he and his books were "indexed".
  • The Selected Works of Lysander Spooner (1850-1886) consists of 14 pamphlets and essays Spooner wrote on the burning issues of slavery and its abolition and to what extent an individual owed allegiance to the constitution which was a document which no living person had agreed to and signed. It also includes his chapter on "Vices are not Crimes" (1875) which is a radical critique of so-called "victimless crime" laws
  • Machiavelli on how to get political power and keep it once you have it.
  • 20 years after Lenin, the English economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) wrote one of the most influentiual economics books ever written (alongside Marx's Das Kapital) which justified massive government intervention in the economy to manage the "failures" of unregulated capitalism - The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936) [interestingly, the only online copy I could find was on a Marxist website]. The refutations which quickly followed were ignored at the time and continue to this day. One of the quickest off the mark and best is William H. Hutt, The Theory of Idle Resources (1939) [HTML]
  • if theorists in the 19th century imagined the socialist society of the future, then politicians and activists attempted to put it into pracice in the 20th, like Vladimir Lenin in Russia and Mao in China. Lenin put his ideas on paper only on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution in The State and Revolution (Oct. 1917) [HTML] which was immediately rebutted by economists like Ludwig von Mises [HTML].
  • in the 16th century it became fashionable for authors to give "advice" to princes on how best to rule "their flock". Machiavelli's was ruthless in telling Princes how to get and stay in power (although some suggest he was being ironic or even satirical), Erasmus thought that Princes should behave like sheep dogs guarding the flock not like wolves, while La Boétie thought the flock should just turn their backs and say "no" to "The One" who ruled them. See Desiderius Erasmus "The Education of a Christian Prince" (1516) in HTML and facs. PDF.
  • more "great books" by authors who are hostile to natural rights, individual liberty, and limited constitutional government:
    • the conservative French Catholic Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821), Essay on the Generative Principle of Political Constitutions (1809) - English HTML and French facs. PDF
    • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts (Elements of the Philosophy of Right) (1821) - English HTML ; German facs. PDF (for the very brave!)
  • more on state socialism in the Antipodes, this time in New Zealand but in favour of it: Rossignal and Steward, State Socialism in New Zealand (1910) facs. PDF.
  • to counter the growth of socialism in France in the 1840s and 1880s French political economists were particularly active, such as Bastiat and the contributors to the Dictionnaire de l'économie politique (1852-53) in the first period, and Leroy-Beaulieu (see below) and the contributors to the Nouveau dictionnaire d'économie politique (1891) in the second. See
    • 1840s/50s: Louis Reybaud's article “Socialistes, Socialisme” in the DEP (en français) HTML and facs. PDF; which was translated and published 40 years later in Lalor's Cyclopedia (1881) along with dozens of other articles from the DEP [HTML and facs. PDF]; Reybaud also wrote a 2 vol. history and critique of socialism in 1849, Les Études sur les réformateurs contemporains, ou socialistes modernes vol.1 facs. PDF and vol. 2 facs. PDF.
    • also the article on "Communism" by the economist Henri Baudrillart in the DEP [HTML and facs. PDF] and the trans. in Lalor [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • 1890s; the Nouveau DEP also included three articles on socialism (only in French):
      • a long article by Eugène d’Eichthal, “Socialisme,” NDEP, T. 1, pp. 815-860 [facs. PDF]
      • a short article by Urbain Guérin, “Socialisme Chrétien,” NDEP, T. 1, pp. 860-67. [facs. PDF]
      • and another long article by Ludwig Bamberger attacking the newest version of socialism known as “Socialisme d’état” (state socialism), NDEP, T. 1, pp. 867-82 [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • one of the last members of the radical "Paris School" of political economy, the politician, political economist, and radical indivdualist Yves Guyot (1843-1928), took on the socialists in many works in the 1890s and early 1900s, such as
      • La Tyrannie Socialiste (1893) [HTML and facs. PDF] trans. as The Tyranny of Socialism [HTML and facs. PDF]
      • Les Principes de 89 et le Socialisme (1894) (en français) in HTML and facs. PDF
      • La Comédie socialiste (1897) - facs. PDF
      • Les travaux publics (1897) - drawing upon his experience as Minister for Public Works (1889-92) - facs. PDF
      • Le collectivisme futur et le socialisme présent (1906) - a short speech or essay attacking socialist plans before the Chambre (en français) HTML and facs. PDF.
      • La Démocratie individualiste (1907) in which he shows his endebtedness to the ideas of Herbert Spencer and the Liberty and Property Defence League - facs. PDF
      • Sophismes socialistes et faits économiques (1908) [HTML and facs. PDF] trans. as Socialistic Fallacies [HTML and facs. PDF] - better trans. as "Socialist Sophisms and Economic Facts".
      • La Gestion par l’État et les Municipalités (1913) [HTML and facs. PDF] trans. as Where and Why Public Ownership has failed [HTML and facs. PDF] - better trans. as "The State and Municipal Administration (of public works)"
  • two collections of essays edited by Thomas Mackay on behalf of the British "Liberty and Property Defense League" (founded 1882) to combat the rise of socialism, especially the Fabian Socialists:
    • A Plea for Liberty: An Argument Against Socialism and Socialistic Legislation (1891) [HTML] and
    • A Policy Of Free Exchange: the Economical and Social Aspects (1894) [HTML]
    • Australians should note the essays by Charles Fairfield on “State Socialism in the Antipodes” and J.W. Fortescue “State Socialism and the Collapse in Australia” since this new form of socialism was much admired by the British socialists of the day and seen as the path for the future. The pioneers of "state socialism" were Bismarck in the new German Reich after 1871 and the Australian colonies in the last decades of the 19th century
    • also in New Zealand: Rossignal and Steward, State socialism in New Zealand (1910) facs. PDF.
  • the complete 3 volume set of Karl Marx's Das Kapital in English and German in both HTML and facs. PDF. Most people never get beyound the first volume (nor should they!): see Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, vol. 1 (1867) in German [HTML and facs. PDF] and English [HTML and facs. PDF]
  • along with its comprehensive demolition in 1896 by the Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk in English [HTML and facs.PDF] and German [HTML and facs.PDF)
  • works by two other 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 economic theorists like Marx were John Stuart Mill and Frédéric Bastiat. It is interesting to speculate how the world would have been different had Bastiat's economic treatise (1850) been as influential as Mill's (1848):
    • see John Stuart Mill's Principles of Political Economy: 1st edition 1848 facs. PDF only vol. 1 and vol. 2; and the 7th edition in facs PDF vol.1 and vol.2 and in HTML. and
    • Bastiat's Harmonies économiques (1851) in English (Stirling trans.) [HTML] and French [HTML]
  • 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]


Yves Guyot (1843-1928) Paul Leroy-Beaulieu (1843-1916) Auberon Herbert (1838-1906) Lysander Spooner (1808-1887)

February 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)

Additions to the Library:

  • 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 (1688) [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
      • Filmer's insight was: "Since nature hath not distinguished the habitable world into Kingdomes, nor determined what part of a people shall belong to one Kingdome, and what to another, it follows that the originall freedome of mankind being supposed, every man is at liberty to be of what Kingdome he please, and so every petty company hath a right to make a Kingdome by it self, and not only every City, but every Village, and every Family; nay, and every particular man a liberty to chuse himself to be his owne King if he please, and he were a mad man that being by nature free would chuse any man but himself to be his own Governour. Thus to avoid the having but of one King of the whole world, we shall run into a liberty of having as many Kings as there be men in the world, which upon the matter, is to have no King at all, but to leave all men to their naturall liberty, which is the mischief the Pleaders for naturall liberty do pretend they would most avoid. ... Such a conclusion fits well with Anarchy, for he that takes away all Government, and leaves every man to his owne conscience, and so makes him an Independent in State"
    • 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


Eugen Richter (1838-1906) Henry George (1839-1897) Voltaire (1694-1778) Robert Filmer (1588-1653)

January 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)

Additions to the Library:

  • 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 individualist 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”.
  • an expanded collection of "The Great Books of Liberty" 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 Despotism 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 Frédéric Bastiat and Michel Chevalier to write several important critiques of socialism which we will add later
      • one of the most influential 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)


Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877) Carl Menger (1841-1921) Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) John Locke (1632-1704)