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For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto Paperback – Large Print, January 1, 2006
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From Scientific American
Rothbard also maps out a strategy for achieving liberty, delving into ethics, tactics, education, abolitionism vs. gradualism, historical antecedents, and other crucial but generally neglected points. For A New Liberty ends on an upbeat, inspiring note, as Rothbard explains why he believes liberty will ultimately triumph over the forces of statism and collectivism.
For A New Liberty gives the reader the invigorating feeling of contact with a truly original, razor-sharp mind. It's a seminal work, rich in insights and novel arguments. And it's written in a lively, vigorous style that makes most other political writing seem dreadfully dull and stodgy by comparison.
How important is For A New Liberty? Let's put it this way: every serious libertarian--indeed, anyone who is at all interested in libertarianism--must be familiar with this book. It is that essential. If a copy of For A New Liberty--preferably worn with wear from repeated readings--is not on your bookshelf, or your friends' bookshelves, remedy that grave omission now. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
For A New Liberty is Rothbard's introduction to libertarianism, his Libertarian Manifesto. It is Rothbard in top form--a libertarian classic that for more than two decades has been hailed as the best general work on libertarianism available.
For a start, For A New Liberty is an exciting, exhilarating read. It begins with a fast overview of the historical roots of libertarianism: the Levelers, John Locke, classical liberalism, the American Revolution, and so on. Rothbard packs an extraordinary amount of history in a few pages, and establishes libertarianism as the current, and most rigorous and consistent, manifestation of a centuries-long drive for personal and economic liberty.
Rothbard then defines libertarianism. It rest, he tell us, "upon one single axiom: that no man or group of men shall aggress upon the person or property of anyone else." Having made the philosophical case for liberty, Rothbard--in one of the book's most powerful chapters--turns to a withering critique of the chief violator of liberty: the State. It is a breath-taking, impassioned demolition job. We see that not only is the emperor naked--he is a murder, tyrant, brigand, liar, and bungler.
Rothbard devotes the lengthiest section of For A New Liberty to showing how the free market and voluntary human action can do a far more efficient and fair job of supplying all the worthwhile services we have been told only government can provide. He provides penetrating libertarian solutions for many of today's most pressing problems, including pollution, poverty, war, threats to civil liberties, the education crisis, and others.
Libertarians are forever faced with a barrage of questions for the unconverted: What about roads? What about the poor? What about--ad infinitum. Here are tough, succinct, innovative, and convincing answers. -- James W. Harris --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here, free-market economist and radical for liberty Murray Newton Rothbard tackles all the major issues: the philosophical basis of libertarianism, the history of classical liberalism, the failures of government to preserve basic liberties, and the ways in which a free-market economy handily solves problems that seem forever beyond the reach of government.
Rothbard is also one of few libertarians to face the issue of pollution head-on. You'll search Ayn Rand's works in vain for any "pollution solution"; she was apparently content to believe the problem didn't really exist, a practice to some extent continued by her disciple George Reisman in his mostly brilliant treatise _Capitalism_. But Rothbard doesn't duck the issue: demonstrable pollution is an invasion of property rights and should be outlawed.
Nor is Rothbard a friend of "corporate capitalism." Again unlike Rand, who regarded "big business" as "America's most persecuted minority," Rothbard lambastes big business for its constant seeking of government favors and its use of clout to secure protectionist legislation -- including "limited liability."
All in all, this book is a treat. If you haven't read it yet, I envy you. Pick up a copy of this consistent, principled defense of liberty at once.
The radical enthusiasm of the book is so exciting, I literally read all 419 pages in a personal record of 5 days. In the book, Rothbard hones in all the pieces connecting the modern Libertarian movement (as of 1972 when the book was first published at least) to his new Anarcho-capitalist approach, and the most striking thing was the consistency of the logic. It's solid. That's not to say that it shouldn't open to scrutiny, but that's precisely what Rothbard expects, and it gets me eager to catch up on the 35+ years of scholarship that's followed his manifesto, as well as specific predecessors that he used as examples.
The most important and most amazing parts of his book are how he explains most of the aggression and economic woes that we're experiencing today. It's not that he's a magician with a window into the future. It's that he understands the ultimate unattainable utopianism of supporters of stateism. From government bailouts to war quagmires like Iraq and Afghanistan, Rothbard not only predicts them, but explains why they are occurring, and the inevitable failure that can come from them, because it's the only logical conclusion.
The concepts espoused in For a New Liberty are gathered and encapsulated in virtual perfection by Rothbard, to expose a new generation of libery-minded individuals to the world that could be. It is so fierce, unapologetic and unrelenting in its logic, that this book, more than any I've ever read, makes me want to hold it as tight to my breast as possible, while raising my other arm and proclaiming Vive La Liberte!
However, Rothbard argues that the very existence of the State violates man's rights and is incompatible with freedom, even in a democratic society. This is an problem many libertarian scholars have struggled with in attempting to justify limited government. Rothbard faces no such inconsistency.
First, Rothbard introduces the concept of man's rights, establishing that the only valid right can be the right to self-ownership and ownership of one's property. With these principles -- along with the traditional libertarian non-aggression axiom -- Rothbard offers meaningful solutions to the reams of problems in today's society. He makes a forceful case that our problems would be easily solved following principles of the free market, private property, and non-aggression. Education, welfare, free speech, pollution, crime...Rothbard tackles numerous issues with great insight and clarity. In my opinion, the only significant issue he doesn't really explore is healthcare, but hey...it's a short book. (For an excellent libertarian exploration of the healthcare issue [among MANY other things], see Dr. Mary J. Ruwart's definitive _Healing Our World_. Amazon sells it.)
Rothbard introduces many ideas in this book that would be dubbed "radical" by most -- the abolishment of government police services, courts, and national defense being the most obvious.Read more ›
All of the issues raised in "For a New Liberty" are still with us. I am saddened that the Libertarian Party no longer follows Rothbard's theoretical purity. Theories like his, if used, have real-world applications that repay the practician.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arguably the greatest book on libertarian political philosophy. I owe much of my worldview to this book.Published 7 days ago by Glenn Furton
After reading Rothbard's book, I am wondering what separates Libertarianism from Anarcho-Capitalism. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Colin P. Kelley
Here Rothbard condensates every single concept and idea of the lubertarian mind. Nowadays I'd say that free market anarchism would suit best his description of libertarianism.Published 4 months ago by Alexandre Dias de Araujo Neto
Simple.... This is a must read for liberty lovers. Whether you're fully aware of the Government's shenanigans and have long wanted genuine freedom or are new to this area of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Emily Laincz
Purist libertarianism. Way too idealistic to ever work, and much of what is recommended could never have any hope of being put into practice, but the ideals are nice, and certainly... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael Snider