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Healing Our World: The Other Piece of the Puzzle Paperback – 1993

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary J. Ruwart, Ph.D. (MJRuwart@Ruwart.com) is a former pharmaceutical research scientist and Assistant Professor of Surgery. She has worked extensively with the disadvantaged in low-income housing and was a contender for the 1992 Libertarian Party Vice-Presidential nomination. Her scientific, political, and community activities have been profiled in several prestigious biographical works, including American Men and Women of Sciences, World's Who's Who of Women, International Leaders in Achievement, and Community Leaders of America.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: SunStar Press; Revised edition (1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963233629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963233622
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,379,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are two books I recommend as introductions to libertarian thought. One of them is Murray Rothbard's _For A New Liberty_. This is the other.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book. Really.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Ruwart explains with simple examples how all of our good intentions with legislation end up hurting us all instead of solving society's problems. A must read if you want to understand how we got into this mess and how we can get out of it.
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By A Customer on June 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
Healing Our World has a bold beginning -- that we rely on threats and force in our everyday lives. Her offer of peaceful solutions -- instead of coercive ones -- makes sense and, morally, is the only choice. This book is easy to read and gets right to the point, bringing a fresh outlook to the many problems facing society today.
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Format: Paperback
"Honoring our neighbors' choice is the political manifestation of universal love."
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.
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I read this when I was 14 over 40 years ago and still love it. Instead of focusing on property as the source of Liberty as Jefferson does, it focuses on the non aggression principle. There is a truncated version for free on the Internet if you are interested.
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Format: Paperback
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! I loved it, and it had a monumental, paradigm-changing effect. Those were heady times, when I knew I'd finally found my political/moral bearings, and was voraciously reading everything I could find that touched upon Constitutional history, American Revolutionary history, Federalism, libertarianism, free-market economics, objectivism, etc. I've always thought of this book as the "moral reasons" for libertarianism, and while effective in persuading all types, it would be most effective in eroding the calcified stubborness of neo-liberals; it might resonate most with them, and speak to their "good intentions matter" philosophy. (but I truly don't know anymore. In the past 15 years, the landscape has changed...political typecasts don't fit so well anymore... "conservatives" agitate for empire and hegemony in the spirit of Truman Democrats, and progressive-liberals too rally around Obama's wars...no body is anti-war or anti-force anymore it seems. Things are scary polarized...). I've always thought that one should be armed with a good "moral reasons" book for libertarianism, for loaning-out to open-minded thinkers, who show the barest inclination to assess and possibly embrace the libertarian philosophy/legal arguments. This is that book. It is a "kinder, gentler" philosophical approach than, say, Ayn Rand (not to in any way compare the two! It's just that for beginners, being loaned a book by Ayn Rand---e.g., "The Virtue of Selfishness" or "Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal" would be misunderstood and turn them off.).Read more ›
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