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Defending the Undefendable Paperback – May 1, 2008
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male chauvinist pig
slanderer and libeler
denier of academic freedom
someone who yells fire in a crowded theater
gypsy cab driver
noncontributor to charity
capiltalist pig employer
employer of child labor
Originally written in 1976, this book IS originally writeen. Enough to drive do-gooder coercive control freaks nuts.
After all, the pimp, drug dealer, and prostitute provide their valuable services in the face of universal scorn and worse, persecution.
He also wisely points out that just because some pimps are abusive, for example, that we can't condemn the entire field of pimping, since being abusive isn't part of the job requirement, and there are lots of businesspeople in all kinds of businesses who abuse their fellow beings, but we don't go banning their whole business over it.
The book has a great message - judge these things based on whether they are coercive or voluntary. Coercion is an ethical failing, morals are for each person to decide, not to legislate.
In my opinion, it's one of the greatest libertarian works, in addition to being accessible and a fun read, full of assumption-questioning ideas.
In this book he goes through a number of case studies in certain "fringe cases" to show libertarian philosophy in action with regards to unpopular characters. If you've read his works before, some of it will seem a little familiar, but he can be very witty in certain parts. After a while the book tends to drag on, but that might be because I've read a lot of his articles, and start to feel like I have a sense where he's going before he gets there.
That said, it is an enjoyable read, and an excellent intro to libertarian philosophy.
I would leave it around to be read, and hope it might influence some re-thinking by people who who never otherwise see some of these bit of unconventional thinking, but I think that while some of the individual essays are great, A+ worthy, I'd call the book itself no more than a B-.