The Digital Library of Liberty & Power
Recent Additions in L'An III (2022)

[See additions made in L'An I (2020), L'An II (2021), and the Archive of Material added 2011-2019]


August 2022

Blog posts:

  1. An Introduction to the Paris School of Political Economy” (7 Aug. 2022)
  2. The Guillaumin Network and the Paris School of Political Economy” (7 Aug. 2022)
  3. A Publishing History of the Guillaumin Firm (1837-1910)” (5 Aug. 2022)
  4. Some Thoughts on Editing, Translating, and Displaying online the Work of the French “Économistes”” (4 Aug. 2022)

Talks and Papers:

  • Talk on “Plotting Liberty: The Multi-Dimensionality of Classical Liberalism and the Need for a New ‘Left-Right’ Political Spectrum” - PDF of blog post: PDF of slides

Works in Progress:

  • my own editions of classic texts which will be faithful reproductions of the original and will include the original page numbers, unique IDs for each paragraph (to aid citation of the texts), and a suitable css for e-book versions (HTML and PDF)
  • completed: J.B. Say, Traité d’économie politique (1841 6th edition) - the standard HTML version; my ebook HTML, my ebook PDF
  • in progress: Bastiat, Harmonies économiques (2nd enlarged edtion of 1851)
  • in progress: Molinari, L’évolution économique du XIXe siècle (1880)
  • in progress: Molinari, L’évolution politique et la Révolution (1884)

Additions to the Library:




July 2022

Blog posts:

  1. Frédéric Bastiat’s Philosophy of Markets” (17 July, 2022)
  2. The Negative Political Party” (11 July, 2022)
  3. On Making the Argument/s for Liberty” (10 July, 2022)
  4. The “Big Picture”: Part 1" (7 July 2022)
  5. The “Big Picture”: Part 2” (7 July 2022)
  6. Liberty in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region” (5 July, 2022)
  7. The master list of posts: “A List of Posts on the Current State of Liberty and the Threats it faces” (5 July, 2022)

Talks and Papers:

  • “Vocabulary Clusters in the Thought of Frédéric Bastiat” [HTML]
  • The "slides" for my presentation on “Frédéric Bastiat’s Philosophy of Markets” at The Friedman Conference, Sydney, 17 July, 2022 [PDF]

Works in Progress:

  • another work by Bastiat: his lengthy Introduction to his first book which was on Richard Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law League (1845), which was a translation by Bastiat of many speeches, pamphlets, and articles produced by the League. It is prefaced by a lengthy Introduction by Bastiat, which we reproduce here, where he provides a brief history of the League, the strategy it used used to achieve the repeal of the protectionist Corn Laws (in 1846), his own analysis of the class structure of Britain which benefitted from these laws, and why he thought this was one of the greatest revolutions for liberty in the hitory of humanity. See the standard HTML version of the text, the facs. PDF of the Intro, the more developed eBook HTML version, the text-based PDF version, and the zipped file which contains the latter three texts
  • I am preparing my own edition of Bastiat's Harmonies économiques (2nd enlarged edtion of 1851) which is to be a faithful reproduction of the French original [see the facs. PDF] in a new HTML format with a custom css suited to the text [see the unfinished rough draft - July 2022]; it will include the original page numbering in order to aid citation of the text.
  • I have recently (June and July, 2022) done the same for
    • Gustave de Molinari, Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare (1849) [new HTML and text PDF - facs. PDF of the original edition]
    • Frédéric Bastiat, Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas (1850) [new HTML and text PDF - facs. PDF of the original edition]
    • Thomas Hodgskin, The Natural and Artificial Right of Property Contrasted (1832) [new HTML and text PDF - facs. PDF of the original edition]
    • Herbert Spencer, Social Statics (1851) [new HTML and text PDF - facs. PDF of the original edition]

Additions to the Library:

  • I have added the first edition (1798) of Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it affects the future Improvement of Society [HTML and facs. PDF].
  • This was an extended response to the more optimistic essays by the radical individualist William Godwin (1756-1836) in his The Enquirer. Reflections On Education, Manners, And Literature (1797) [HTML (to come) and facs. PDF].
  • The conversation continued in later enlarged editions of Malthus’s work in 1817 (5th ed.) and 1826 (6th ed.) - the latter in HTML (vol.1 and vol. 2) and facs. PDF (vol.1 and vol. 2), and
  • a lengthy reply by Godwin in 1820: Of Population. An Enquiry concerning the Power of Increase in the Numbers of Mankind [HTML and facs. PDF].




Thomas Robert Malthus

William Godwin (1756-1836)


June 2022

Blog posts:

  1. The Threats to Liberty Part 1: Government Expenditure” (29 June, 2022)

Recent Publication:

Additions to the Library

  • I have added the schematic diagrammes showing the variety of terms and their interrelationships which Bastiat formulated for 6 of his key terms and concepts which he developed between 1845 and 1850. I call these “word clusters” and since many are very detailed I have provided them in a number of larger formats. I have written essays on some of these word clusters and plan more:
    1. Class - 900px - 1500px - 3000px
    2. Disturbing Factors - 900px - 1500px - 3000px
    3. Harmony and Disharmony - 900px - 1500px - 3000px
    4. Human Action - 900px - 1500px - 3000px
    5. Plunder - 900px - 1500px - 3000px
    6. The Seen and the Unseen - 900px - 1500px - 3000px
  • I have revised and updated one of my essays on the intellectual history of some of Bastiat’s key ideas - “Bastiat on the Seen and the Unseen: An Intellectual History” [HTML]. I plan to do one on each of the following : ceteris paribus, class, Crusoe economics, harmony and disharmony, human action, plunder, the ricochet effect, and the seen and the unseen; and possibly also on the apparatus of exchange, service for service, the Social Mechanism, and Sophisms, fraud, and dupes (those completed or in early draft form have links). I updated the essay to include links to what I am calling my “replica editions” of some of his key works, in this case to my new French language edition of his Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas (1850). Several of these essays are an expansion of the diagrammatic “word clusters” have have developed for some of his key ideas. See for example the ones on "Class", "Disturbing Factors", "Harmony and Disharmony", "Human Action," "Plunder," and now “The Seen and the Unseen”.
  • a revised version of Gustave de Molinari, Les Révolutions et le despotisme envisagés au point de vue des intérêts matériels (1852)
  • given the importance of Bastiat's late work, 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) (summer, 1850), it really needs its own stand alone edition in French as well as English (and probaly a bi-lingual one as well), and a "student's edition" as well as a "scholar's edition". As a first step in this direction I have produced a French language replica of the first edition of 1850, with the original page numbers included in order to aid citation of the text. It is available in my usual simplified HTML version, as well as a better formatted HTML and a text-based PDF version based upon this HTML
  • I have revised and reformatted the important work on property rights: Thomas Hodgskin, The Natural and Artificial Right to Property Contrasted (1832) [HTML]. I have added the original page numbers [in square brackets] and placed the footnotes at the end of the file. I have also created an eBook version which is formatted slightly differently. It can be read as an HTML file or a text-based PDF (A4 size page).
  • I have created my own "e-book" edition (in French) of Gustave de Molinari's important book Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare (“Evenings on Saint Lazarus Street”) (1849) which was published in the heat of the revolution and the rise of the socialist movement during the Second Republic. The subtitle is an accurate reflection of his purpose in writing the book: “entretiens sur les lois économiques et défense de la propriété” (discussions on economic laws and the defence of property). This edition is a faithful reproduction of the 1849 original including the original page numbering to make citing the text as easy and accurate as possible. I have not included any editorial comments in this version. The e-book is in HTML and a text-based PDF of this. [See the older HTML version in French (without the original page numbers).]
  • I have also found a higher quality colour version of the facs. PDF to replace the earlier rather fuzzy black and white version which I have had online for years
  • the stimulas to make my own edition was the recent Apr. 2022 publication of Institut Coppet’s second batch of four volumes (5-8) of their monumental Oeuvres complètes of Molinari [Volumes 1-4 appeared in Jan. 2020] , of which vol. 6 “La liberté des gouvernements” (on “free governments”, i.e. the private provision of government services) covered his writings of 1849, but did not include the original page numbers unfortunately. Nor are any of these important texts available in XML/HTML format so they can be searched and reformatted into different e-book formats. For example, scholars would find it very helpful to have a complete table of contents of each volume (and eventually all) with links to the relevant file. I attempted to do this with my HTML version of the 7 volume Oeuvres complètes of Frédéric Bastiat.
  • However, all these volumes are available free of charge in text PDF format, but the IC website is a bit of a jumble so here are the direct links to the relevant volume pages
  • [See my blog post on the first batch of 4 volumes “The Institut Coppet’s Collected Works of Molinari” (9 Dec. 2020).]


[Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)]

[Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)




May 2022

Blog posts:

  1. Some Thoughts on the May 2022 Federal Election in Australia” (26 May 2022).

Additions to the Library:

  • the Scottish moral philosopher and teacher of Adam Smith, Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746), wrote a widely read and influential work on natural rights Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725). Note in particular the final section on "alienable" and "unalienable" rights which influenced Thomas Jefferson's thinking on this: “Sect. VII. A Deduction of some complex moral Ideas, viz. of Obligation, and Right, Perfect, Imperfect, and External; Alienable and Unalienable from this moral Sense” in TREATISE II. An Inquiry concerning Mortal Good and Evil. [HTML and facs. PDF].
  • The German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) left his great work on Economics and Society unfinished at his death: Grundriss der Sozialökonomik: Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (1922) in HTML and facs. PDF.
  • The libertarian philosopher and historian of ideas George Smith died recently (1949- April 2022). See this obituary by David Boaz from the Cato Institute which supported Smith in the writing of his last book The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism (Cambridge University Press, 2013). The numerous essays he wrote for Cato's <> website are listed here. I had the pleasure of lecturing alongside Smith at a number of IHS Summer Seminars and learnt a great deal from him. His interest in the works of the natural rights philosophers such as William Wallaston and Thomas Hodgskin encouraged me to read them. The latter in particular became a favorite of mine - his defence of Lockean natural rights against Benthamite utilitarianism is essential reading for radical liberals. George was also a passionate defender of Herbert Spencer and he encouraged me to read him more closely and look at him in another light. Spencer’s early work on Social Statics (1851) was a favorite of his and it has become one of mine. I have put many of their works online in tribute to George, most recently this one by Hodgskin on Naval Discipline (1813). Hodgskin’s outrage at the way “impressed” (i.e. conscripted) seamen in the British Navy were treated started him on his exploration and defence of individual liberty.
    • William Wollaston, The Religion of Nature delineated (1722) [HTML and PDF]
    • Thomas Hodgskin, An Essay on Naval Discipline (1813) [HTML and PDF]
    • Thomas Hodgskin, The Natural and Artificial Right of Property Contrasted (1832) [HTML and PDF]
    • Herbert Spencer, Social Statics (1851) [HTML and PDF]
  • the Cato Institute "published" in 2017 a book of 10 esssays George Smith wrote for <> Self Interest and Social Order in Classical Liberalism (Cato, 2017). I hope they do some more. I have it online here in text PDF. Or from the Cato Institute website. Its contents are:
    1. Political Philosophy and Justice
    2. David Hume
    3. David Hume on Justice
    4. Thomas Hobbes
    5. The Selfish System
    6. Joseph Butler
    7. Joseph Butler, Continued
    8. BernardMandeville
    9. Mandeville on the Benefits of Vice
    10. Bernard Mandeville vs. Francis Hutcheson
  • Jean de Bloch's magnum opus Будущая война и её экономические последствия (Future War and its Economic Consequences) (1898) is a late 19th century counterpart to Carl von Clausewitz much more famous Vom Kriege (1832). While the generals went off to war in 1914 with their heads full of Clausewitzian ideas about the "Hauptschlacht" (the decisive battle) which would defeat the enemy quickly, economists like Bloch and Molinari predicted massive economic destruction, loss of life, and an end to the liberal order. The pairing of Clausewitz and Bloch, although not contemporaries, is another example of the "contested western tradition." [See Molinari's Grandeur et decadence de la guerre (1898) as well.].
  • I have added a French edition of Jean de Bloch's prophetic and thus largely ignored 6 volume work on La Guerre (War) (1899) to the German language edition which I put online in 2014 as part of my commemoration of the start of WW1. Jean de Bloch (1836-1902) was a Polish born banker and railway financier who lived and worked in Russia. The quick Prussian defeat of France in 1870 led him to pursue a scientific study of what a modern war might look like in the near future. This 6 volume work is remarkably prescient in many of his predictions of what actually transpired in WW1 The graphs and statistical tables about the destructiveness of modern weaponry, the economic impact of modern warfare, and his predicted death rates are especially interesting and frightening. A summary of his views also in French appeared in 1899 and again in 1900 [PDF] and a 1 vol. abridgement was published in English, The Future of War (1903) [PDF], extracts of which can be found here [HTML]. Unfortunately, the PDFs I got from the Gallica website are in "colour" and thus very large. It is interesting to note that the 6 volume French edition was published by Guillaumin which was the leading publisher of French classical liberal and economic works in the second half of the 19th century.
  • material I used for my lecture/seminar on "The History of the Classical Liberal Tradition" given at the CIS "Liberty and Society Seminar": a PDF of the slides I showed in the presentation; and a text version of the lecture outline (with links to further reading)
  • a new colour version of Frédéric Bastiat's treatise on economics Harmonies économiques [PDF]. It is the 2nd enlarged edition of 1851 published 6 months after his death and twice the length of the edition which he published 12 months before he died. This edition should be issued in a critical, scholar's bi-lingual edition which clearly indicates the evolution of his thinking over the four years between 1847, when he started lecturing on political economy, and 1850 when he was frantically trying to write as much as he could before he died on Christmas Eve 1850.


[Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)]

[Jean de Bloch (1836-1902) ]

[George H. Smith (1949-2022)]


April 2022

Blog posts:

  1. Liberty as the Sum of All Freedoms” (26 April, 2022)
  2. Twelve Key Concepts of Liberty” (25 Apr., 2022)
  3. A Balance Sheet of the Success and Failures of Classical Liberalism" (21 Apr. 2022)
  4. On the (im)Possibility of finding a “Third Way” between Liberalism and Socialism” (19 April, 2022)
  5. The Multi-Dimensionality of Classical Liberalism” (19 April, 2022)
  6. “Plotting Liberty: The Multi-Dimensionality of Classical Liberalism and the Need for a New ‘Left-Right’ Political Spectrum” (17 April, 2022)
  7. an updated version of my “History of the Classical Liberal Tradition in a Nutshell” (or in this version, 1,730 words): “The History of Classical Liberalism in 1730 words (and one picture)” [originally posted Aug. 2021]

Additions to the Library:

  • a list of my collection of 600 Quotations about Liberty and Power organised by topic. I compiled this collection over a 14 period 2004-2018 for the Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty of which I was the founding Director. It was designed to show the range of thinking about 30 or so key topics. I wrote all the comments which accompany the quotes. This list is of the titles of the quotes only. To read the full quotation and my comments follow the link provided back to the OLL website.
  • my lecture for the Centre for Independent Studies "Liberty and Society" Conference (6-8 May, 2022) on "The Classical Liberal Tradition: A Four Hundred Year History of Ideas and Movements"
    • lecture slides [PDF]
    • lecture summary (text format) here and at my blog here
    • with about 30 blog posts of supporting material and short essays listed below.

“The Classical Liberal Tradition: A Four Hundred Year History of Ideas and Movements” here

An Overview

  1. “The History of Classical Liberalism in 1,730 words (and one picture)” (11 Aug. 2021) here. [Revised 12 Apr. 2022.]
  2. “The Classical Liberal Tradition – A 400 Year History Of Ideas And Movements: Lecture/Seminar Outline” (22 Apr. 2022) here
  3. “Twelve Key Concepts of Liberty” (25 Apr. 2022) here
  4. “Liberty as the Sum of All Freedoms” (26 April, 2022) here

Recommended Reading

  1. “The Classical Liberal Tradition: A 400 Year History of Ideas and Movements. An Introductory Reading List” (20 May, 2021) here [Updated: 22 Apr. 2022]
  2. “One Volume Surveys of Classical Liberal Thought” (11 Jan. 2021) here

The Many Faces of Liberalism:

  1. “The Multi-Dimensionality of Classical Liberalism” (19 April, 2022) here
  2. “Plotting Liberty: The Multi-Dimensionality of Classical Liberalism and the Need for a New ‘Left-Right’ Political Spectrum” Reflections on Liberty and Power (17 April, 2022) here
  3. “ ‘Hyphenated’ Liberalism and the Problem of Definition” (9 Aug. 2021) here
  4. “Hyphenated Liberalism Part II: Utopian, Democratic, Revolutionary, and State Liberalism” (12 Oct. 2021) here
  5. “The Conservative and Revolutionary Faces of Classical Liberalism” (11 Aug. 2021) here
  6. “How Modern Day CL/Libertarians Differ From “Classical” Classical Liberals” (24 Aug. 2021) here
  7. “The Incoherence and Contradictions inherent in Modern Liberal Parties (and one in particular)” (21 Oct. 2021) here
  8. “The Myth of a liberal ‘Australian Way of Life’” (20 June 2021) here
  9. “On the (im)Possibility of finding a “Third Way” between Liberalism and Socialism” (19 Apr. 2022) here

Classical Liberals on the Role and Power of the State:

  1. “The Spectrum of State Power: or a New Way of Looking at the Political Spectrum” (10 Aug., 2021) here. [Updated: 25 Apr. 2022.]
  2. “Classical Liberals on the Size and Functions of the State” (10 Aug. 2021) here. [Updated: 25 Apr. 2022.]

What CLs were FOR and AGAINST:

  1. “What Classical Liberals were Against” (12 Aug. 2021) here
  2. “The Key Ideas of Classical Liberalism: Foundations, Processes, Liberties” (23 June, 2015) here - revised version 26 Apr. 2022 here).
  3. “What Classical Liberals were For” (13 Aug. 2021) here
  4. “What CLs were For – Part 2: Ends and Means” (19 Oct., 2021) here

CL Visions of the Future Free Society:

  1. “Classical Liberal Visions of the Future I” (27 August, 2021) here
  2. “Classical Liberal Visions of the Future II: The Contribution of Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)” (29 Aug. 2021) here
  3. “Classical Liberal Visions of the Future III: Liberal Experiments, Frameworks, and Archipelagos” (11 Oct. 2021) here
  4. “Hayek on a Liberal Utopia” (11 Sept. 2021) here

CL Movements and Crusades for Liberty:

  1. “Classical Liberal Movements: A Four Hundred Year History” (17 Aug. 2021) here
  2. “Classical Liberalism as a Revolutionary Ideology of Emancipation” (13 Oct. 2021) here
  3. “Classical Liberalism as the Philosophy of Emancipation II: The “True Radical Liberalism” of Peter Boettke” (17 Oct. 2021) here

CL’s Successes and Failures:

  1. “The Success of Liberal Ideas has led to the Decline of Radical Liberal Parties” (6 Sept. 2021) here
  2. “A Balance Sheet of the Success and Failures of Classical Liberalism” (21 Apr. 2022) here


[Australian Four Way Political Matrix]

[Simplified Nolan Chart]

[Political Spectrum - CL State]

[Political Spectrum - New "Left-Right"]

[See a larger image] [See a larger image] [See a larger image] [See a larger image]

March 2022

Blog posts:

Additions to the Library:

  • the "conflicted" western tradition: I have added to my list of 26 texts in this collection Kant's Zum ewigen Frieden (On Perpetual Peace) (1795) to be paired with some of Hegel's writings such as Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1821). Whereas Kant saw war as a major threat to the limited constitutional republican state with its duty to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens, Hegel saw war as an essential means by which the state could reach its ultimate purpose and ideal form
  • an early Christian advocate of peace was the Dutch theologian Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536) who wrote several pieces in the early 1500s which have been translated and republished several times during later wars, such as the 30 Years War (1618-48), the Napoleonic Wars (1790s), and WW1. I first began putting his work online just after the invasion of Afghanistan and Irag in the early 2000s. These works inlcude (the link is to the English version, which is turn has links to other editions):
    • "Enchiridion militis Christiani" (The Handbook of the Christian Soldier) (1501) - HTML and facs. PDF
    • "Dulce bellum inexpertis" (War is sweet to those who have not experienced it) (1515) - HTML and facs. PDF
    • "Querelus pacis" (The Complaint of Peace) (1518) - HTML and facs. PDF
  • one of the great calls for peace written in the middle of war was Immanuel Kant's Zum ewigen Frieden (On Perpetual Peace) (1795). He was inspired by the idea of extending a treaty like the Treaty of Basel (1795) into a network of interlocking peace treaties between belligerent powers which would reduce the risks of war. He also thought the gradual spread of republican political ideas would lessen the chances of kings and emperors engaging in wars for their personal benefit and glorification. I have put online the German original in HTML and facs PDF; as well as an English translation published in the middle of yet another war (1917) in HTML and facs. PDF
  • In my "illustrated essay" on “Jacques Callot and Hugo Grotius on Crime and Punishment in a time of War” I explore the problem of war in 17th century Europe by juxtaposing an image from the series of 18 etchings made by Jacques Callot (1592-1635) called "The Miseries of War" (1633) which graphically show the ravages of war in his native Lorraine during the Thirty Years War (1618-48), with passages from Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace (1625) which is a foundation stone of the modern understanding of the laws of war.
  • another edition of Hugo Grotius's magisterial The Laws of War and Peace (1625), this time the authoritative 18th century edition produced by Jean Barbeyrac, Professor of Law at Groningen, with copious notes. This edition was translated into English in 1738: Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace, in Three Books. Wherein are explained, the Law of Nature and Nations, and the Principal Points relating to Government - HTML and facs. PDF
  • further additions to my anthology of essays from Le Censeur (with 16 items) and Le Censeur européen (with 18 items):
    • Dunoyer, “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. In this essay Dunoyer takes up some ideas about the power of ideas and public opinion expressed by Benjamin Constant in De l'esprit de conquête et de l'usurpation (1814) where he argues that the ideas held by the ruling elite are based upon war, conquest, monopoly and depotism; while those of ordinary people are increasingly based upon peace, industry, trade, and liberfty. This conclict of ideas led to the emergence of pro-liberty movements which reached a peak with the American and French Rvolutions and will continue into the coming century.
    • An early work by Dunoyer in which he lays out his class theory of history. There is a two way struggle between the ruled and the rulers, and at the same time within the class of rulers, a three or even four way struggle between the king, the nobility, the clergy, and later the lawyers in the Parlements. Throughout the centuries of these struggles the ordinary people of France have been kept in a state of subjection and have thus not been able to develop what he calls “pubic spirit”, by which he means a sense of their own identity, patriotic feelings towards a broader community with common goals, and a sense of individual liberty. See ”De L’esprit public en France, et particulièrement de l’esprit des fonctionnaires publics” (July 1814) - Part 1 [HTML and facs. PDF] and Part 2 [HTML and facs. PDF].
    • when Le Censeur was first published as a bi-weekly short news magazine Charles Comte wrote a very forthright and rather cheeky letter to the Minister of the Interior explaining why he supported freedom of speech. This was rather prescient as Comte and Dunoyer would run afoul of the censors repeatedly during the course of its history, having volumes consificated and being brought before the courts and even spending time in prison for what they had written. See “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
    • Dunoyer (??), [CR], “De La Traite et de l'esclavage des noirs et des blancs” (T.4, Mar. 1815, )pp. 210-30 - HTML and facs. PDF In this review (unsigned but probably by Dunoyer) Dunoyer debunks some of the economic reasons used to justify slavery, shows that Haitians were just as passionate about liberty as white Europeans, and likens Napoleon to a slave owner whose slaves are white and not black, where his slaves are French citizens who were conscripted into the army or were taxpayers who were forced to pay for the wars.
    • Charles Dunoyer [CR], “Essai sur les désavantages politiques de la traite des nègres, par Clarkson” (T.2, 15 Nov. 1814) - HTML and facs. PDF. In this review of a book by the English abolitionist Thomas Clarkson, Dunoyer vehemently denounces the immorality of slavery and argues that the "political" opportunities which existed in Britain to argue for the abolition of slavery on other than moral grounds did not yet exist in the France. Nevertheless Dunoyer argues that the only way to increase the prosperity of the colonies and compete with Britain was to free the French slaves.
    • Charles Comte, “S’il est permis de tuer un tyran” (T2, Nov. 1814), pp. 267-80. - HTML and facs. PDF. Comte discusses the ancient Greek and Roman belief that it is legitimate for a private citizen to kill a tyrant. Whether the principle applies to his own time is a matter of dispute: yes when Napoleon first came to powerand was clearly a usurper; no when Emperors or Kings lived under a constitution and there were elections.
    • Charles Comte, [CR]. “Traité d'économie politique par JB Say,” (T.7, Sept. 6 1815) - HTML and facs. PDF. The economic treatise by JB Say was a revelation for Comte and Dunoyer and his free market ideas changed their entire view of what classical liberalism was. This was the first review. A second one of the revised 3rd edition came after the journal was closed down by the censors and reopened again in Jan. 1817. [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • Charles Dunoyer, "Des Révolutions en général, et des révolutionnaires actuel” (T.3, Dec. 1814) - HTML and facs. PDF. Here Dunoyer argues that as societies evolve they are in a state of "permanent revolution" which wise governments have to learn to manage if they wish to avoid a violent revolutionary explosion of political and economic reforms
  • I have updated the table of contents page of Comte and Dunoyer's journal Le Cesuer européen (1817-1819) with more information about author's name, page numbers, and other details.
  • the work of the English political and legal theorist Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) is notoriously hard to read because of his convoluted and pedantic style of writing, but hidden away in the verbiage, sometimes  embedded in footnotes to footnotes, are gems of radical liberal insight, as in this neglected piece Plan of Parliamentary Reform: in the form of a Catechism (1817). In typical fashion the "introduction" is longer (at over 330 pages) than the main piece (at 52 pages) but almost lost amongst the jargon are some very insightful observations about how "the ruling few" use the corrupt parliamentary system to rule "the subject many". [HTML and facs. PDF]
  • Bentham identified one important way the "ruling few" were able to control the tax-paying "subject-many" and get them to submit to political authority was the use of "political fallacies", by which he meant false, "fallacious", and sophistical arguments. In The Book of Fallacies (1824) [HTML and facs. PDF] he discusses the following kinds of "fallacies" (or in modern terminology "fear, uncertainty, and doubt"):
    • fallacies of authority, the subject of which is authority in various shapes, and the object to repress all exercise of the reasoning faculty.
    • fallacies of danger, the subject-matter of which is danger in various shapes, and the object to repress discussion altogether, by exciting alarm.
    • fallacies of delay, the subject-matter of which is delay in various shapes—and the object, to postpone discussion, with a view of eluding it.
    • fallacies of confusion, the object of which is, to perplex, when discussion can no longer be avoided.


Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

Charles Dunoyer (1786-1862)

Hugo Grotius (1583-1645)

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536)


February 2022

[illustration for the story of the Wolf and the Lamb]

Blog posts:

    1. [to come]

Additions to the Library:

  • I have updated the Table of Contents for the 7 volumes of Le Censeur (1814-15) to include page numbers for each article and the name or initial of the authors (where known)
  • then of course there is Constant's best known essay “De la liberté des anciens comparée à celle des modernes" (On the Liberty of the Ancient World compared to that of Today) which was a public lecture he have at the Athénée royal de Paris in 1819. He argued that the "liberty" to participate in politics was only a small part of what it meant to be free, and that the freedom to act, think, speak, and trade were more important. In French [HTML and facs. PDF] and an unknown English translation [HTML]
  • putting online Dunoyer's essay “Du système de l'équilibre des puissances européennes” (Jan. 1817) with its critique of Benjamin Constant reminded me to put the latter's essay De l’esprit de conquête et de l’usurpation dans leur rapports avec la civilisation européenne (1814) online as well:
    • we have the 1st ed. from Jan. 1814 in HTML and facs. PDF
    • and the extensively revised 4th ed. (also from 1814) with 2 additional chapters in facs. PD (whole book and just the additional chapters) and HTML (to come)
  • the English theologian and philosopher William Wollaston (1659-1724) wrote a secular (deist) defence of natural rights in The Religion of Nature delineated (1722) which went through many editions in the 18thC. His Lockean theory of property rights is a powerful one much admired by the contemporary libertarian philosopher George Smith. See especially section "VI. Truths Respecting Mankind in General, Antecedent to All Human Laws". [HTML and facs. PDF]
  • towards the end of his life the left-anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) wrote Du principe Fédératif (On the Principle of Federation) (1863) in which he argued that the best way to reduce the oppressive power of the state was to break it up into smaller and smaller self-governing pieces which would join a "federation" if they thought it would be in their interests. [HTML and facs. PDF]. It has been only partially translated into English by Richard Vernon in 1979.
  • back to my anthology of articles by Comte and Dunoyer in Le Censeur which I began working on last September. Here are some new ones:
    • Charles Comte et Charles Dunoyer’s “Avant-propos”, (CE T.1, Jan. 1817) - [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • Charles Dunoyer, “Du système de l'équilibre des puissances européennes” (T.1, Jan. 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF. This has a very interesting critique of Benjamin Constant's essay De l’esprit de conquête et de l’usurpation (1814). CD argues that it is too soon to say that "the spirit of industry" has become more widespread let alone predominant over "the spirit of war and conquest" which BC was arguing.
    • Comte's review of “Manuscrit venu de Sainte-Hélène d'une manière inconnue” (T.3, May 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF which is an analysis of Napoleon's political and economc views as expressed in interviews with his captors
    • Dunoyer's review of Augustin Thierry's “Des Nations et de leurs rapports mutuels” (CE T2, Mar. 1817) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • Comte's review of Saint-Simon's “L'Industrie, ou Discussion politiques, morales et philosophiques, dans l'intérêt de tous les hommes livrés à des travaux utiles et indépendans" (T.3, May 1817) - HTML and facs. PDF
    • Augustin Thierry, “Des factions” (CE T3, May, 1817) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • Augustin Thierry's review of "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
    • [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 - written while the Concert of Vienna was discussing the future political shape of the European system of states, Comte argues that something similar to the American federation of states would be the best way to solve Europe's political problems.
    • [CC??], “De l'Autorité légitime et du gouvernement parlementaire” (T.4, March 1, 1815) - HTML and facs. PDF
    • 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 - another essay which advocates a federation of constitutional monarchies in Europe based jupon the American model in order to bring an end to war between European states
    • [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. Comte critically reviews a work on consitutional government by Constant, who decided to work for Napoleon after he returned temprarily to power and was criticised by some radical liberals for "selling out" to power. CC notes in particular BC's support for some censorship of political dicsussion and his view that owners of landed property but not "industrial" property should have the right to vote.
    • Charles Comte “Avertissement” (T.1b, Sept. 1814) - HTML and facs. PDF
    • Augustin Thierry, [CR] “Manuel électoral à l’usage de MM. les électeurs des départemens de la France” (T.2, March 1817), pp. 107-68. - HTML and facs. PDF - Thierry applies his theory of "industrialism" to argue that only those who are engaged in productive economic activiity (the "industrial class") should be allowed to stand for election.
    • [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. Here Comte tries his hand at a "dialogue" between representatives of three political points of view, with the "metaphysician" (CC) getting the upper hand and the last word.
  • another radical Whig was the legal theorist and Member of Parliament James Mackintosh (1765–1832). He defended natural rights and the French Revolution which placed him in opposition to the "establishment Whigs" like Edmund Burke.
    • Vindiciæ Gallicæ: A Defence of the French Revolution and its English admirers against the accusations of the Right Hon. Edmund Burke (1791) - [facs. PDF of the 1792 ed; HTML from an 1871 ed.]]
    • A Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations (1799) - [facs. PDF of the 2nd ed. of 1799; HTML from the 1828 ed.]
  • several works by the radical Irish Whig and freethinker John Toland (1670-1722) who opposed the corruption within the British Parliament and state (using a theory of "interests" and "partys" which is a form of classical liberal class analysis), the idea of standing armies, and edited the works of some of the leading republicans of the Civil War and Revolution period, such as James Harrington, Algernon Sidney, Edmund Ludlow, and John Milton.
    • The Danger of Mercenary Parliaments (1698) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • The Art of Governing by Partys (1701) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • The State-Anatomy of Great Britain. Containing A Particular Account of its several Interests and Parties (1717) [facs. PDF]
    • Hypatia (1753) [facs. PDF] - his account of the female Greek philosopher who was murdered by a Christian mob in the city of Alexandria in 415 AD. This was the subject of Alejandro Amenábar's film Agora (2009) nwith Rachel Weisz as Hypatia.
  • yet more Aesop: another radical Whig reading by Samuel Croxall (c. 1690 – 1752) whose many comments were more like sermons: Fables of Aesop and Others (1st ed. 1722, used here 1863), profusely illustrated with wood cuts from the original mid-18th century editions. [HTML and facs. PDF]. I have collected his 37 most political fables (out of 196) here.
  • since I put online Ambrose Bierce's Fantastic Fables (1899), his reworking of Aesop's Fables, I also had to put online his cynical, witty, sometimes absurd, and very libertarian The Devil's Dictionary (1911), which is the literary equivalent of William Graham Sumner's scathing critic of "plutocracy" and the corruption of America during the "Progressive" era. [HTML and facs. PDF].


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

James Mackintosh (1765–1832)

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)

William Wollaston (1659-1724)

Benjamin Constant de Rebecque (1767-1830)


January 2022

Blog posts:

  1. The Fading of Pierre Goodrich’s Dream to Spread the Word about Liberty” (27 Jan. 2022)
  2. Film and the Teaching of History” (16 Jan. 2022)
  3. David Hart’s “ABC of ANZAC History” (6 Jan. 2022)
  4. The History of the “Great Liberal Emancipation” 1750-1914” (5 January, 2022)

Additions to the Library:

  • This month I have been editing my collection of Aesop's Fables to go online. The basic stories appear quite innocuous on the surface but many of them - the "political fables" - contain a thinly disguised critique of political and social injustices which editors over the centuries have seized upon for their editorial "Comments" which are attached to each story. Thus we have conservative monarchist readings of Aesop, a French Humanist reading, a Whig reading, and a Commonwealthman reading, along with several homiletic Christian readings. Several also have wonderful etchings which accompany the stories. One of the themes in the stories of interest to libertarians is the problem of predators (foxes, wolves, lions) and how ordinary people can either outwit them or avoid them (i.e. being eaten, or being "fleeced" by them). More to come.
    • a French humanist reading which is quite radical in its critique of political abuses of the time: Jean Baudoin, Les Fables d’Esope Phrygien (1660) in HTML; and the 1665 edition in facs. PDF with its excellent collection of illustrations (listed here).
    • a monarchist reading: Roger L'Estrange, Fables of Æsop and other eminent Mythologists with Morals and Reflexions (London: 1692) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • John Locke's strangely a-political reading: Æsop’s Fables in English and Latin, Interlineary, for the Benefit of those who not having a Master, would Learn either of these Tongues. With Sculptures. (London, 1703) [facs. PDF]
    • a moderate Whig reading: Bernard Mandeville, Aesop Dress’d; Or, A Collection of Fables Writ in Familiar Verse (London, 1704) [HTML and facs. PDF]. This book must be compared to Mandeville's famous "Fable of the Bees" (1705)
    • another radical Whig reading by Samuel Croxall (c. 1690 – 1752) whose many comments were more like sermons: Fables of Aesop and Others (1st ed. 1722, used here 1863), profusely illustrated with wood cuts from the original mid-18th century editions. [HTML and facs. PDF]. I have collected his 37 most political fables (out of 196) here.
    • a radical Whig and Commonwealthman reading which translated the Baudoin commentary: John Toland's edition of The Fables of Aesop. With the Moral Reflections of Monsieur Baudoin [facs. PDF]
    • an Enlightened reading in the form of playing cards: Aesop's Fables by J Kirk (London 1756-65) [HTML]
    • another strangely a-political reading by a radical individualist and anarchist William Godwin: Edward Baldwin [William Godwin], Fables Ancient and Modern. Adapted for the Use of Children from Three to Eight Years of Age (London, 1805) [HTML and facs. PDF]
    • a "modern" American "libertarian" version by Ambrose Bierce with his typical cynical view of politics and politicians: Fantastic Fables (1899) [HTML and facs. PDF]. It consists of three groups of fables: new ones by Bierce; “Aesopus Emendatus” which are his version of Aesop’s fables; and “Old Saws With New Teeth. Certain Ancient Fables applied to the life of our times”. Here is his version of the Frogs and Jupiter:
      • "King Log and King Stork: The People being dissatisfied with a Democratic Legislature, which stole no more than they had, elected a Republican one, which not only stole all they had but exacted a promissory note for the balance due, secured by a mortgage upon their hope of death."
  • a list of the many war films I showed "Films Shown in the Course "Responses to War" 1989-1995" especially the two week long film festival I organised in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of WW2
  • some "Further Thoughts on War Films and the Study of History"
  • The Reading Guide for my semester-length course "Respnses to War: An Intellectual History of War from Machiavelli to Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket" from 1990, in both HTML and facs. PDF.
  • a short essy on "Reading and Writing the War" as a text, and
  • a list of some of the "responses" which were discussed in my lectures and in the Seminars, such as art, film, music, literature, religion, political thought, along with some of the specific groups of poeple who "responded" in interesting and moving ways - casualties and hospital staff, war correspondents, and of course some rank and file soldiers
  • a longer list of "War and Music"


Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733)

William Godwin (1756-1836)