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Healing Our World: The Other Piece of the Puzzle Paperback – 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
Dr. Mary Ruwart's _Healing Our World_ is in some ways a better general introduction suitable for a broader audience, in large measure because it appeals to the better nature of everybody from conservative Christians to hippie mystics: she really _does_ mean, and quite rightly, that libertarian principles are the means for healing our world. Her essential point is that, _whatever_ our goals and beliefs, we can best serve them by honoring our neighbors' choices so long as they aren't threatening our lives or property. For when we do so, everybody wins; my gains aren't your losses, and there really is a common good at which we can both aim.
Moreover, Ruwart carefully and compassionately explains why the libertarian approach is a better way to bring about the (entirely legitimate) goals of the more modern sort of liberal: for example, improving the quality and availability of medical care (including alternative medicines), reducing pollution, saving the environment, and so forth. Readers of, say, the Objectivist/Randian literature might come away with the impression that concern for the well-being of persons other than oneself (let alone the "environment"!) is just incompatible with libertarianism. Ruwart argues that in fact libertarianism offers not only the best way to _promote_ such concern but the only viable way to put it into practice. (On this ground alone, there are probably lots of _libertarians_ who could profit from a close reading of Ruwart's book just to pick up its tone and tenor.Read more ›
Dr. Ruwart's political philosophy's foundation is about non-aggression. This is nothing new in the libertarian creed, and the difference is that instead of concentrating on arguments of property rights, she really drives home with the non-aggression principle. She avers that by using aggression (i.e. force) to solve our problems, we end up only worsening our lives. We create a world of zero-sum games instead of a system that respects individual choices so long as they do not harm our person or property.
What also makes this book a pleasure to read is that it its tone is very friendly and accommodating. Many people (rightly) expect books on political philosophy to be badgering or aggressively written, so I like that Dr. Ruwart ditched the popular approach. Plus, her compassionate way of writing makes it difficult to call her a bloodthirsty free-market fan -- she does care about matters like helping the poor and making healthcare accessible.
Every issue she looks at shows the failures of aggression (i.e. government) to be effective, and conversely non-aggression (i.e. voluntary, private cooperation) has been more successful. Healthcare intervention? It's aggression, and it's bad for our health (and our wallet). The Federal Reserve? Central banking is aggression that monopolizes the money supply and creates the "boom & bust" cycle. The public school system? It might be obvious that the Department of Education doesn't actually educate anyone, but the whole setup is aggressive too, and children suffer because of it.
The principle of non-aggression is also applied to pollution, crime & punishment, the FDA, gun ownership, and -- the one especially important these days -- foreign policy. Non-aggression wins every time, and very few issues go untouched.Read more ›
Ruwart explores the key missing ingredient to our societal struggle for mutual understanding: The idea that aggression never becomes acceptable merely because the majority ask for it. All people, as represented by the smallest minority, the minority of the individual, will be best protected when people are willing to honor their neighbors' choices in life.
Please read this book if you have not. It may change your perspective fundamentally and permanently.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book in the mid-90's when I had just discovered libertarianism. Seeing this here after so many years, I think I might pick it up and read it again! Read morePublished on December 12, 2011 by Sui Juris
It's been a few years since I read this book, but I remember feeling gipped after reading it the first time.
The concepts and examples are very simplistic. Read more
This book was mindblowing to read. The ideas presented in this book feel like logic that should be taught in schools, but sadly its not. Read morePublished on August 3, 2007 by D. Muya
First of all, I'll concede that it's tough to find someone who argues better for libertarianism in practical, understandable terms than Mary Ruark. Read morePublished on July 1, 2003 by Juris Imprudence
Well, maybe just the young idealistic legislators. The career legislators will probably pooh pooh the idea that we might be alright making our own decisions.Published on January 4, 2002 by Carol L. Smith
If your wondering how we got into the difficulties we face in America today and how we could make things better, then Healing Our World is the book for you. Read morePublished on March 1, 2000 by David J Gorman
The only political party that REALLY believes in private people making their own decisions any more (that believes in genuine FREEDOM) is the Libertarian Party. Read morePublished on February 28, 2000 by Titus Stauffer