This is the first draft of an essay I wrote on libertarian strategies for achieving social change. A version of it, along with other notes and reflections, was turned into the Lead Essay for a Liberty Matters online discussion of “On the Spread of (Classical) Liberal Ideas” (March 2015) <http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/lm-ideas>. I then reworked it for a paper I gave at the Southern Economics Association 2015 Annual Meeting (November 21–23, 2015) on "Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Scribblers: An Austrian Analysis of the Structure of Production and Distribution of Ideas".
At the height of the war in 1944, when what had once been relatively free market societies had been turned into government planned and regulated war economies, the economist Friedrich Hayek penned a desperate warning - if such heavy planning, regulation, and taxation was not soon brought to an end England and America were well and truly “on the road to serfdom”. He followed this up 5 years later with an essay, “The Intellectuals and Socialism” which has become a kind of gospel for libertarian and free market groups ever since as they grappled with the sad fact that they were in such a small minority while all around them, other intellectuals and scholars were socialists and interventionists of various kinds. I remember vividly in the 1970s when I first became involved with these ideas, we used to wonder how to convince our friends and colleagues what a wonderful thing individual liberty really was, a veritable “liberal utopia”, as Hayek eloquently phrased it:
Does this mean that freedom is valued only when it is lost, that the world must everywhere go through a dark phase of socialist totalitarianism before the forces of freedom can gather strength anew? It may be so, but I hope it need not be. Yet, so long as the people who over longer periods determine public opinion continue to be attracted by the ideals of socialism, the trend will continue. If we are to avoid such a development, we must be able to offer a new liberal program which appeals to the imagination. We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a program which seems neither a mere defense of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism which does not spare the susceptibilities of the mighty (including the trade unions), which is not too severely practical, and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible. We need intellectual leaders who are willing to work for an ideal, however small may be the prospects of its early realization. They must be men who are willing to stick to principles and to fight for their full realization, however remote. The practical compromises they must leave to the politicians. Free trade and freedom of opportunity are ideals which still may arouse the imaginations of large numbers, but a mere “reasonable freedom of trade” or a mere “relaxation of controls” is neither intellectually respectable nor likely to inspire any enthusiasm.
The main lesson which the true liberal must learn from the success of the socialists is that it was their courage to be Utopian which gained them the support of the intellectuals and therefore an influence on public opinion which is daily making possible what only recently seemed utterly remote. Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this had rapidly become politically impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide. Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost. The intellectual revival of liberalism is already underway in many parts of the world. Will it be in time?
Nearly 70 years later, we have less reason to be as pessimistic as Hayek was then as we have witnessed in the meantime a significant growth of free market and libertarian individuals, groups, institutes, books, journals, and even rap videos. However, as historically aware individuals we know that this has not been the first time that a pro-liberty movement has emerged, that previous attempts to build a free society were attempted, were partly successful, and that many of them failed and sank into oblivion. Will this happen as well to the current movement? Can we learn from the past, both how the successes were achieved, why they failed, and what might make for another successful movement in the future.
This Liberty Matters discussion follows on from two earlier ones: one in November 2013 on “Arthur Seldon and the Institute of Economic Affairs” and another in January 2015 on “Richard Cobden: Ideas and Strategies in Organizing the Free-Trade Movement in Britain”. In those discussions we wanted to study in greater detail a couple of specific examples of how pro-liberty ideas were developed and then used to bring about political and economic change in a pro-liberty direction. The first study was how Arthur Seldon and Ralph Harris began the Institute of Economic Affairs in post-war Britain (1955), developed a research and publication program to disseminate these ideas, and how these ideas gradually came to influence politicians like Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. The second study examined how Cobden was able to organise one of the most successful single issue movements in the modern history of liberty, namely the repeal in 1846 of the protectionist Corn Laws in England. What I would like to do in the present discussion is to broaden the scope of our analysis to include other movements in the past which have sought to bring about a freer society, especially those movements which achieved this goal.
What I would like to do in this opening salvo of the discussion is to lay the groundwork in an expansive and rather open-ended way, firstly by listing a large number of general questions about how societies change, and the role which ideas and individuals play in bringing about that change; secondly, by listing the (surprisingly) large number of historical examples of radical intellectual and political change over the past 2,000 year (both in a pro-liberty and anti-liberty direction), along with some of the key individuals and events involved; and finally, a list of some of the institutions, individuals, and events which have arisen to further the cause of liberty since Hayek wrote his appeal for intellectuals to rediscover the utopian promise of liberty. I hope the other contributors to this discussion will help me flesh out these lists so they are more complete.
In the next section, I would like to offer an analysis of intellectual and social change based upon the Austrian theory of the structure of production, in which the production of ideas replaces that of the production of goods. I will argue that, just as in the real economy, a pro-liberty movement requires the creation of raw materials (liberal theory), investors who will provide funding, entrepreneurs who can identify profit opportunities and organise production, a salesforce who can persuade consumers to buy the product, and of course consumers to buy the product.
In the final section is a brief discussion of what most classical liberal and libertarian intellectuals and scholars have largely avoided thinking about in any depth, namely developing strategies for achieving radical intellectual and political change based upon their knowledge of history, economics, and the science of human action. I conclude with a half-serious, half-lighthearted list of the various strategies which have been adopted over the centuries to achieve a free society. I hope my fellow discussants will be able and willing to add to the list!
Here are a number of general questions to consider about how societies change, and the role which ideas and individuals play in bringing about that change:
Here are some historical examples of successful radical change in ideas and political/economic structures, in both a pro-liberty and anti-liberty direction. For more details see my own “Study Guides on the Classical Liberal Tradition” as well as Jim Powell’s excellent The Triumph of Liberty: A 2,000-Year History (2000) and Steve Davies’ “Introduction” to the The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism (2008). The articles in the Encyclopedia of Libertarianism on key individuals and historical movements are also essential reading (see bibliography for a full list).
I also include where appropriate the names of some key individuals, texts, and events:
Closer to our own time, we can also point to several examples of the successful spread of pro-liberty ideas in the post-Second World War period. I think we can identify four waves or generations of pro-liberty organizations and groups which were founded during this period to confront particular issues at particular times but which also shared the more general goal of spreading knowledge about individual liberty and free markets. See, Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism (2007) for details and the relevant articles in The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. These groups organised by “generations” include the following:
One might also mention here other events which were taking place at the same time which were not directly the result of libertarian initiatives:
One might also mention here other events which were taking place at the same time which were partly the result of libertarian initiatives:
There has been surprisingly little analysis by classical liberals and libertarians of past movements for intellectual and political change and what they might teach us in the present. One might well ask, where is our Gramsci? Friedrich Hayek outlined his strategy for promoting liberal and free market ideas in “The Intellectuals and Socialism” based upon his analysis of how socialism had become so successful in his lifetime. This essay has been enormously influential in guiding the activities of the Liberty Fund and the Institute for Humane Studies, amongst other institutions. It was written at a time when classical liberals ideas and movement were particularly weak following WW2 and Hayek reflects this with his short term pessimism and very long-term prognosis about the role of intellectuals in changing the climate of opinion. Remember, he had only recently published the warning The Road to Serfdom in 1944.
The libertarian economist Murray Rothbard, beginning in the mid–1970s, has given much thought to the problem of strategy but his work is not well known. His ideas need to be taken seriously because the rise of the modern libertarian movement to a large degree took place in NYC in the 1950s and 1960s (Mises seminar at NYU, the Rand salon, the Circle Bastiat, his and Liggio’s activities in the anti-Vietnam war movement, the first libertarian scholars conference, the formation of the Libertarian Party, etc) and as a participant in those events his observations should carry some weight. In an unpublished and “strictly confidential” manuscript from April 1977 he goes into some detail about the strategies used in the past to achieve radical change, ranging from libertarian movements like the American Revolution, the Philosophic Radicals around James Mill, and Garrison and the abolitionist movement; to totalitarian groups like the Lenin and the Bolsheviks, and the Nazi Party. He advises for the libertarian movement the creation of a Leninist style “cadre” of committed and knowledgeable individuals who understand both the theory of liberty as well as how it might be implemented in practice in the political world. It should be noted that Rothbard wrote this memorandum at a time when he hoped to turn the fledgling Libertarian Party into one modelled on his theory of “cadres” before he split acrimoniously with Koch and the Cato Institute and then gave up the idea of shaping the LP in his Millian-Leninist image. In spite of this political failure, his historical and theoretical reflections in my view still deserve attention by historians and political theorists. To answer the question Lenin himself asked in 1902 “What is to be done?”, we can say that we need more case studies of successful ideological movements, especially pro-liberty ones, like the ones I have listed above.
Rothbard’s writings on strategy provoked several discussions both inside and outside the Libertarian Party, such as the shortened version which was published for the “Rothbard Caucus” of the Libertarian Party “Strategies For A Libertarian Victory”, and the special edition of Libertarian Review (Aug. 1978) entitled “Toward the Second American Revolution: Libertarian Strategies for Today” which included essays on strategy by Milton Mueller, Murray Rothbard, Ed Crane, Leonard Liggio, Charles Koch, Bill Evers, and David Theroux.
Rothbard’s strategic theory might be pursued at greater length in a future post in this discussion, especially his Millian-Leninism and its appropriateness for a movement based upon individual liberty, free markets, and individual responsibility.
What I have found useful in studying this matter is Austrian capital theory developed by Hayek and Mises, in particular the notion of “the structure of production of goods” - if we understand in this context that “goods” are “intellectual goods” or ideas and not raw materials or machinery. Before we can distribute goods to consumers (first order goods) we have to have a structure of production of goods ranging from the highest order (such as raw materials), to various intermediate orders (such the production of machines for factories, the factories which produce the final goods, and the trucks and logistics to get the goods to their final destination), and then the shops on main street which sell the final order of goods to consumers. For this structure of production of goods to exist, we need investors with a low time preference who are willing to invest their capital in the various stages, we need entrepreneurs who can bring together the funds, skilled personnel, and managerial talent to produce the appropriate goods at each stage of production, and we need a sales force who can persuade consumer to buy their particular product from among all the others goods made by competitors.
When we apply this analysis to the spread of classical liberal ideas it becomes apparent that a successful movement needs all of the following types of individuals and activities:
One might ask, might the state distort this structure of the production of ideas, just as it distorts the investment of capital in the structure of production of economic goods by manipulating interest rates and the money supply? I do not have space to go into this question here, other than to suggest that the biggest distortion it creates is the supply of government schools and universities which “crowd out” both private suppliers of educational services, but perhaps more importantly, crowds out “unwelcome ideas” which support the free market and individual liberty.
From what I have said above I believe we can identify the following patterns in the way pro-liberty advocates have organised their activities in the past. Not all groups have proceeded in this way but they have used various components in their efforts and historians and social theorists might be able to construct a better model for intellectual and social change in the future by studying their activities.
The First Steps
Promote liberal scholarship (highest order production of ideas)
Create centres and institutes to disseminate liberal ideas among intellectuals, journalists, and political elites (middle/second order of production of ideas)
Create associations, organisations, parties to agitate and lobby for liberal change (first order)
I would now like to show how this “structure of the production of ideas” can be applied to a specific historical case study, namely the Anti-Corn Law League (ACLL) 1838–1846.
(Highest) Fourth Order: the intellectual groundwork for free trade was done by Adam Smith in his treatise The Wealth of Nations (1776). This theoretical work was continued by many other classical economists in the early part of the 19th century like David Ricardo, James Mill, and J.R. McCulloch where the idea of free trade became a core component of the classical school of economics.
Third Order: Other classical economists and intellectuals gave lectures and wrote books and pamphlets on free trade; People like Thomas Hodgskin gave lectures to popular audiences at Mechanics Institutes and published books; Thomas Peronnet Thompson wrote books and pamphlets for middle brow audiences.
Second Order: Members of the Board of Trade had become influenced by Smithian free market ideas, there were sympathetic MPs in the Conservative Party who were prepared to argue in favour of free trade in the House of Commons and to vote for the repeal of the Corn laws, the Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel was won over to the free trade cause and organised a vote on it. Wilson started The Economist magazine to promote free trade ideas.
First Order: Cobden’s and the ACLL’s genius was to see how ordinary people could be organised to put pressure on the government. The ACLL realised that the recent dramatic drop in the price of postage (the Penny Mail) meant that they could distribute their printed material at a much lower cost than previously. He created membership cards for the ACLL so people could show their allegiance; envelopes for personal letters with ACLL designs and slogans were sold (merchandising); bazaars were held to sell other ACLL merchandise; signature drives were orgnised to demonstrate the scale of public support to MPs; large public meetings were held; there was wide distribution of magazine and pamphlets. 
I do not believe that this structure of production of ideas was a deliberate creation of any one of the individuals involved in the free trade movement. It seemed to have evolved without a great deal of conscious strategic planning. According to my schema we can identify the following key roles:
The question we might ask ourselves, is whether or not a structure of the production of ideas like this is necessary for any significant intellectual and social/political/economic change to occur? How many examples can we find from history where something like this structure appeared, and how many took place without this kind of structure? If we can, how do explain the creation, dissemination, and impact of ideas in those cases?
A further question to consider is how long it takes for ideas to move from the Highest Fourth Order or stage of high theory production to the First Order or stage where the ideas get put into practice and pro-liberty reforms are enacted? In the case of free trade there was a 70 year period between the publication of Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) and the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. Is this a typical time frame? What other examples can historians find?
One might get depressed if one counted the years since the appearance of Mises’ Human Action in 1949 and the current state of monetary and banking policy in the West - some 65 years. On the other hand, the appearance of Rothbard’s For a New Liberty in 1974 and the ensuing growth of the modern libertarian movement over the following 40 years might give one cause to be more optimistic.
A final question to consider is to compare the success of classical liberals in England in abolishing slavery (1808 and 1833) and repealing the protectionist Corn Laws (1846) with the failure of liberals to do the same in the United States. There, the slave trade was ended but slavery itself proved to be a much harder nut to crack and the sad conclusion one might have to make is that ideological and political agitation was not enough to overcome the vested interests of the slaveowners and the apathy of the voting public, and that slavery only ended as a result of a very violent and destructive war. The failure of the American free traders is another example which needs to be studied in greater detail. Jean-Baptiste Say’s free trade ideas in his Treatise (English translation 1821) were taught in American colleges for decades but this did not produce a broadly based free trade movement (although there was an American Free Trade Association with branches in Chicago and New York which republished many of Bastiat’s free trade writings) and the U.S. remained a protectionist nation for the entire 19th century with some of the highest rates of tariffs in the world. So on two counts, on issues which practically defined what it meant to be a classical liberal at this time - free trade and opposition to slavery - the U.S. liberals were found wanting and failed.
In this section I want to pull out some of the best examples I know of each of the key types of figures involved in the process I have described above:
magazines (two of the longest lived magazines)
I will conclude by listing some of the main strategies which have been adopted by classical liberals/libertarians over the years in the hope that it may provoke further thought and discussion:
Taoist Retreatism - the Taoists of ancient China realised they had no chance of changing the world so they decided to live good personal lives, retreat from the world, and watch it go by towards inevitable decline.
Nockian preservation of The Remnant - in the 1920s and 1920s older style American conservatives like Albert Jay Nock thought there was only “The Remnant” left and that they were writing for them almost exclusively while they waited for the movement to revive sometime in the distant future.
Libertarian Monasticism - The strategy is to keep the old texts alive for another generation who might eventually do something with them. Thus, classic texts are brought back into print or put online. Similar to Nockian Remnantism.
Civil Disobedience - the 16th century French magistrate Etienne de la Boétie thought that if one could convert a sufficient number of people to voluntarily withdraw their support for the coercive state, then it would inevitably collapse. A version of this was actually put into practice by the Indian lawyer Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian independence movement in the 1940s.
Converting the Monarch - also known as “enlightened despotism”, the French Physiocrats in the 18thC took the “reform from the top down” approach whereby they attempted to convert the ruling monarch of the day to adopt liberal reforms. For example, Turgot and his edicts of 1774–76. They ran into problems when the king died or changed his mind. “Thatcherism” might be included in this category as well, with Keith Joseph reprising the role of Turgot and Thatcher that of Louis XVI.
Converting the Senior Bureaucrats - free market inspired bureaucrats advise the ruler to introduce economic reforms in order to make the state/military stronger or to avoid revolution from below. Examples include the Austria-Hungary Emperor deciding to abolish serfdom in 1848; and the Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishing serfdom in 1861; and the Chinese communist leader Deng Xiaoping who introduced sweeping market reforms in China in 1978.
Millian Leninism - James Mill organised the Philosophic Radicals like Lenin did the Bolshevik Party (according to Rothbard). He was quite ruthless in his campaign to introduce electoral reform and end the power of the “sinister interests” in 1832.
Rothbardian Leninism - Rothbard was inspired by Mill and Lenin to introduce his own theory of “building cadres” within the Libertarian Party in the late 1970s.
Hayekian Educationism - Liberty Fund and other non-profit groups have been inspired by Hayek’s “The Intellectuals and Socialism”. The strategy is not to engage politicians and voters directly but to influence others (intellectuals, scholars, judges, teachers) who will in turn eventually influence the direction of political and economic reform.
Gramscian war against ideological hegemony - follow the Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci’s strategy of undermining the “cultural hegemony” of the ruling class by exposing its criminality and ridiculing it, and creating an alternative “culture” for ordinary people outside of the state
Third Partydom - e.g. the Libertarian Party. Since the other 2 major parties are so solidly statist, a new third party must be created in order to agitate for more free market reforms from within the existing party controlled Legislature.
Reverse Fabianism - Policy groups such as IEA and the Cato Institute attempt to influence the policies of the existing parties. Part of the strategy is to move close to London/Washington in order to hold conferences, book launches, write op ed pieces for the key newspapers read by the political elites, and to participate in Congressional briefings in order to persuade members of the existing parties and their lobbyists to adopt a more libertarian line.
Younger Generationism - the IHS and FEE and Students for Liberty. IHS has designed educational programs for young would-be scholars, journalists, filmmakers, think-tankers who will go out into the world and begin changing it from within. FEE has aimed its magazine, pamphlets and conferences at high school and early college students.
Daddy Warbucks - seek out a very wealthy man to fund institutes and centres, such as Cato, the William Volker Fund, and Liberty Fund.
Brownian Martyrdom - Algernon Sidney’s republicanism and John Brown’s abolitionism. Confront the unjust and coercive state and throw yourself under the tracks of its tanks. Maybe someone will learn from your heroic act.
Single Causism - such as Abolitionism - Wilberforce and Clarkson, and the English abolition of the slave trade; and Cobden/Bright and the Anti-Corn Law League. Cobden’s idea was to create a broad coalition of groups who could all agree on one thing (free trade) and then dissolve the organisation once that had been achieved.
Of course, the world being a complex and messy place, there is probably no one strategy which will be successful in all places and all times. As Mao said in a different context - “let a thousand flowers bloom” - and it looks as though it has if one looks at the history of the classical liberal movement.
John Blundell, Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady (New York: Algora Publishing, 2008).
John Blundell, Waging the War of Ideas (London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 2007).
[Blundell], Remembering Margaret Thatcher: Commemorations, Tributes and Assessments. Edited and Annotated by John Blundell. Introduction by the Rt. Hon. David David M.P. (New York: Algora Publishing, 2013).
John Blundell, “Arthur Seldon and the Institute of Economic Affairs” (November, 2013) http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/seldon-and-the-iea.
Stephen Davies, “Richard Cobden: Ideas and Strategies in Organizing the Free-Trade Movement in Britain” (January 2015) http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/lm-cobden.
Stephen Davies, “Comment” on the Libertarian Alliance edition of Rothbard’s “Four Strategies for Libertarian Change,” Tactical Notes No. 6, (Libertarian Alliance, 1989). http://www.libertarian.co.uk/sites/default/lanotepdf/tactn006.pdf, pp. 12–14.
Brian Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (New York: Public Affairs, Perseus Books Group, 2007).
Alan Ebenstein, Friedrich Hayek: A Biography (New York: Palgrave, 2001).
Gerald Frost, Antony Fisher: Champion of Liberty (London: Profile Books, 2002).
[Hamowy], The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, ed. Ronald Hamowy (Los Angeles: Sage, 2008. A Project of the Cato Institute). Editor-in-Chief, Ronald Hamowy; Assistant Editors, Jason Kuznicki and Aaron Steelman; Consulting Editor, Deirdre McCloskey. Founding and Consulting Editor, Jeffrey D. Schultz. (See below for details).
David M. Hart, “Study Guides on the Classical Liberal Tradition” (2011) http://davidmhart.com/liberty/ClassicalLiberalism/index.html. It consists of:
David M. Hart, “The Liberal Roots of American Conservatism: Bastiat and the French Connection,” a paper given to the Philadelphia Society meeting March 27–29, 2015.
R.M. Hartwell, A History of the Mont Pelerin Society (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1995).
Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (The University of Chicago Press, 1944, 1976).
Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, with The Intellectuals and Socialism. The Condensed Version of The Road to Serfdom as it appeared in the April 1945 edition of Reader’s Digest (London: The Institute of Economic Affairs, 2005). With “The Road to Serfdom in Cartoons”. Originally published in Look magazine.
F.A. Hayek, “The Intellectuals and Socialism” (1949) in Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967), pp. 178–94.
F.A. Hayek, The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek. Volume 12, The Pure Theory of Capital (1941), edited by Lawrence H. White (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007).
Aileen S. Kraditor, Means and Ends in American Abolitionism: Garrison and his Critics on Strategy and Tactics, 1834–1850 New York: Pantheon Books, 1969).
Joseph Hamburger, Intellectuals in Politics: John Stuart Mill and the Philosophic Radicals (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965).
Vladimir Lenin, What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement (1901, 1902). Lenin’s Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961, Moscow, Volume 5, pp. 347–530. https://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1901/witbd/index.htm or PDF https://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/download/what-itd.pdf.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, in 4 vols., ed. Bettina Bien Greaves (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007). http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1892.
Mueller, Rothbard, Crane, Liggio, Koch, Evers, Theroux, in Libertarian Review, Special Issue on “Toward the Second American Revolution: Libertarian Strategies for Today”, Aug. 1978, vol. 7, no.7, http://www.libertarianism.org/lr/LR788.pdf.
Jim Powell, The Triumph of Liberty: A 2,000-Year History, told through the Lives’ of Freedom’s Greatest Champions New York: The Free Press, 2000).
Murray N. Rothbard, Toward a Strategy for Libertarian Social Change (April, 1977). <davidmhart.com/liberty/AmericanLibertarians/Rothbard/Rothbard_1977TowardStrategy.pdf> [PDF 6.9 MB]
Murray Rothbard, “Strategies for a Libertarian Victory,” Libertarian Review, Special Issue on “Strategies for Achieving Liberty” Aug. 1978, vol. 7, no.7, pp. 18–24, 34. http://www.libertarianism.org/lr/LR788.pdf
Murray N. Rothbard, Part V: “Toward A Theory of Strategy for Liberty.” in The Ethics of Liberty With a New Introduction by Hans-Hermann Hoppe (New York: New York University Press, 1998). 1st published (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1982), pp. 257–273. <davidmhart.com/liberty/AmericanLibertarians/Rothbard/Rothbard_1998TheoryStrategy.pdf> [PDF 438 KB]
Murray N. Rothbard, “Concepts of the Role of Intellectuals in Social Change Toward Laissez-Faire,” The Journal of libertarian Studies, vol. IX, no. 2 (Fall 1990), pp. 43–67.
Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy; or the production, distribution, and consumption of wealth. Translated from the 4th ed. of the French by C.R. Prinsep. To which is added, a translation of the introduction and additional notes, by Clement C. Biddle (Boston, Wells and Lilly, 1821).
Arthur Seldon, The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon, 7 vols., ed. and with Introductions by Colin Robinson (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004–5). Vol. 7. PDF only http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1456.
Dane Starbuck, The Goodriches: An American Family (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001). http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1065.
The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism provides an excellent survey of the key movements, individuals, and events in the evolution of the classical liberal movement.
[Hamowy], The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, ed. Ronald Hamowy (Los Angeles: Sage, 2008. A Project of the Cato Institute). Editor-in-Chief, Ronald Hamowy; Assistant Editors, Jason Kuznicki and Aaron Steelman; Consulting Editor, Deirdre McCloskey. Founding and Consulting Editor, Jeffrey D. Schultz. (See below for details).
One should begin with Steve Davies’ “General Introduction,” pp. xxv-xxxvii, which is an excellent survey of the ideas, movements, and key events in the development of liberty, then read some of the articles on specific historical periods, movements, schools of thought, and individuals. Items in quotes are entries in the Encyclopedia.
Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (The University of Chicago Press, 1944, 1976). Also Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, with The Intellectuals and Socialism. The Condensed Version of The Road to Serfdom as it appeared in the April 1945 edition of Reader’s Digest (London: The Institute of Economic Affairs, 2005). With “The Road to Serfdom in Cartoons”. Originally published in Look magazine. See, Alan Ebenstein, Friedrich Hayek: A Biography (New York: Palgrave, 2001). ↩
F.A. Hayek , “The Intellectuals and Socialism” in Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (The University of Chicago Press, 1967), pp. 178–94. Quote from p. 194. Online at at mises.org http://mises.org/etexts/hayekintellectuals.pdf. ↩
John Blundell, “Arthur Seldon and the Institute of Economic Affairs” (November, 2013) http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/seldon-and-the-iea; Stephen Davies, “Richard Cobden: Ideas and Strategies in Organizing the Free-Trade Movement in Britain” (January 2015) http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/lm-cobden. ↩
My own efforts to list some of these movements can be found at my personal website. See, David M. Hart, “Study Guides on the Classical Liberal Tradition” http://davidmhart.com/liberty/ClassicalLiberalism/index.html. These include a concept map showing the key ideas of the classical liberal tradition, and A History of Classical Liberalism in Three Parts: Part 1: Twelve Keys Concepts of the Classical Liberal Tradition; Part 2: Ideological Movements and Key Political Events; Part 3: Quotations from Key Texts Illustrating Classical Liberal Ideas. ↩
Jim Powell, The Triumph of Liberty: A 2,000-Year History, told through the Lives’ of Freedom’s Greatest Champions New York: The Free Press, 2000). Steve Davies’ “General Introduction,” The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, pp. xxv-xxxvii, which is an excellent survey of the ideas, movements, and key events in the development of liberty. ↩
The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, ed. Ronald Hamowy (Los Angeles: Sage, 2008. A Project of the Cato Institute). Most of the key articles are listed in my “Study Guides on the Classical Liberal Tradition”. ↩
Brian Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (New York: Public Affairs, Perseus Books Group, 2007). ↩
R.M. Hartwell, A History of the Mont Pelerin Society (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1995). ↩
See, Arthur Seldon, The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon, 7 vols., ed. and with Introductions by Colin Robinson (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004–5). Vol. 7. PDF only http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1456; John Blundell, Waging the War of Ideas (London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 2007). ↩
See, John Blundell, Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady (New York: Algora Publishing, 2008); Remembering Margaret Thatcher: Commemorations, Tributes and Assessments. Edited and Annotated by John Blundell. Introduction by the Rt. Hon. David David M.P. (New York: Algora Publishing, 2013). ↩
Murray N. Rothbard, Toward a Strategy for Libertarian Social Change (April, 1977), available on my website <davidmhart.com/liberty/AmericanLibertarians/Rothbard/Rothbard_1977TowardStrategy.pdf> [PDF 6.9 MB]. See also, Murray N. Rothbard, “Concepts of the Role of Intellectuals in Social Change Toward Laissez-Faire,” The Journal of libertarian Studies, vol. IX, no. 2 (Fall 1990), pp. 43–67, <davidmhart.com/liberty/AmericanLibertarians/Rothbard/Rothbard_1990IntellectualsSocialChange.pdf> [PDF 1.3 MB]; Rothbard also condensed some of these ideas into Part V: “Toward A Theory of Strategy for Liberty.” “30. Toward A Theory of Strategy for Liberty” in The Ethics of Liberty, pp. 257–273. <davidmhart.com/liberty/AmericanLibertarians/Rothbard/Rothbard_1998TheoryStrategy.pdf> [PDF 438 KB] From, Murray N. Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty. With a New Introduction by Hans-Hermann Hoppe (New York: New York University Press, 1998). 1st published (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1982). ↩
See, Joseph Hamburger, Intellectuals in Politics: John Stuart Mill and the Philosophic Radicals (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965). ↩
See, Aileen S. Kraditor, Means and Ends in American Abolitionism: Garrison and his Critics on Strategy and Tactics, 1834–1850 New York: Pantheon Books, 1969). ↩
Vladimir Lenin, What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement (1901, 1902). Lenin’s Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961, Moscow, Volume 5, pp. 347–530. https://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1901/witbd/index.htm or PDF https://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/download/what-itd.pdf. ↩
Murray N. Rothbard, “Strategies For A Libertarian Victory” (Libertarian Party. Rothbard Caucus) (February 2004) http://www.lprc.org/strategies.html. This is an online version of Rothbard’s essay which first appeared in Libertarian Review (August, 1978). With an epilog dated July, 1982. ↩
Libertarian Review, Special Issue entitled “Toward the Second American Revolution: Libertarian Strategies for Today,” Aug. 1978, vol. 7, no.7, Murray Rothbard, “Strategies for a Libertarian Victory,” pp. 18–24, 34. http://www.libertarianism.org/lr/LR788.pdf. ↩
Hayek, The Pure Theory of Capital (1941)in The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek. Volume 12, The Pure Theory of Capital (1941), edited by Lawrence H. White (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007). Ludwig von Mises, “Part I. Human Action. CHAPTER 4: A First Analysis of the Category of Action” in Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, in 4 vols., ed. Bettina Bien Greaves (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007). Vol. 1. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1893#Mises_3843-01_388. ↩
See the Liberty Matters discussion, Stephen Davies, “Richard Cobden: Ideas and Strategies in Organizing the Free-Trade Movement in Britain” (January 2015) http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/lm-cobden. ↩
See the illustrated essay “Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law League” http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/cobden-and-the-anti-corn-law-league. ↩
Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy; or the production, distribution, and consumption of wealth. Translated from the 4th ed. of the French by C.R. Prinsep. To which is added, a translation of the introduction and additional notes, by Clement C. Biddle (Boston, Wells and Lilly, 1821). Also see my paper, “The Liberal Roots of American Conservatism: Bastiat and the French Connection,” given to the Philadelphia Society meeting March 27–29, 2015. ↩
Gerald Frost, Antony Fisher: Champion of Liberty (London: Profile Books, 2002). ↩