Monday, August 09, 2010

Liberty Studies Course

This blog will now be used for my course "Liberty Studies" being offered in the fall of 2010.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Locke and the State of Nature

John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, Book II, Chapter II, section 4

"To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature; without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man."

Accessed from on 2009-09-03

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hobbes on Civil Disobedience?

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Part I, Chapter XIV

A covenant to accuse oneself, without assurance of pardon, is
likewise invalid. For in the condition of nature, where every man
is judge, there is no place for accusation: and in the civil state,
the accusation is followed with punishment; which being force, a man is not obliged not to resist. ... Also accusations upon torture, are not to be reputed as testimonies. For torture is to be used but as means of conjecture, and light, in the further examination, and search of truth: and what is in that case confessed, tendeth to the ease of him that is tortured; not to the informing of the torturers: and therefore ought not to have the credit of a sufficient testimony: for whether he deliver himself by true, or false accusation, he does it by the right of preserving his own life.

Accessed from on 2009-08-21

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hobbes on Rights and Liberty

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Part I, Chapter XIV

The right of nature, which writers commonly call jus naturale, is
the liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature; that is to say, of his own life; and consequently, of doing any thing, which in his own judgment, and reason, he shall conceive to be the aptest means thereunto.

By liberty, is understood, according to the proper signification of the word, the absence of external impediments: which
impediments, may oft take away part of a man’s power to do what he would; but cannot hinder him from using the power left him, according as his judgment, and reason shall dictate to him.

Source: Online Library of Liberty, Liberty Fund, Inc.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Locke on Liberty

Second Treatise, Book II, Chapter IV, Section 22:

The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of nature for his rule. The liberty of man, in society, is to be under no other legislative power, but that established, by consent, in the commonwealth; nor under the dominion of any will, or restraint of any law, but what that legislative shall enact, according to the trust put in it. Freedom then is not what sir Robert Filmer tells us, O, A. 55. “a liberty for every one to do what he lists, to live as he pleases, and not to be tied by any laws:” but freedom of men under government is, to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power erected in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, where the rule prescribes not; and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man: as freedom of nature is, to be under no other restraint but the law of nature.

Taken from Online Library of Liberty, Liberty Fund, Inc.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fee Man's Library

The complete Free Man's Library, by Henry Hazlitt, can now be found on the website. The exact address for the book is


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bohm-Bawerk, Eugen von

Bohm-Bawerk, Eugen von. The Positive Theory of Capital. 1888. (Macmillan. 1891.) 428 pp.

One of the most brilliant and original contributions - if not the most brilliant and original - ever made to the theory of capital and interest. Bohm-Bawerk, declares the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, "was at a very early age one of the first to accept the teaching of Karl Menger, giving all his powers to the development and the defense of the subjective theory of value: it is to him that both the success and the formulation og the theory are largely due." According to Frank W. Taussig, The Positive Theory of Capital "is a landmark in the development of thought. As an intellectual performance, there are few books on economics in any language that can be ranked with it. One may not agree with all that is said, but the book bears the unmistakable impression of a great mind."