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on November 13, 2012
Professor Gerard Casey's new book, LIBERTARIAN ANARCHY: AGAINST THE STATE, at first glance might seem like a radical incitement of chaos and senseless violence. Instead, this book is an iconoclastic view of government and law which favors basic human values while disabusing its readers of the myth that centralized monopoly of violence (the essence of government) is vital to a civil society.

For those who are inextricably (and inexplicably, in my view) married to contemporary myths of the status quo, reading LIBERTARIAN ANARCHY could be puzzling and frustrating. However, if you truly believe in human values and in critical thinking, this will be a good read.

Professor Casey clearly explains and justifies the libertarian Non-aggression Principle (NAP), based upon the Golden Rule of many religions and all civil societies. With extensive knowledge of history, particularly writings of notable economists and philosophers, he highlights both his agreement and his disagreement with other viewpoints, dissecting out key points while supporting his own persuasively. Heeding Friedrich Hayek's ( hayekcenter.org ) warning about collectivists distorting our language to meet their propaganda aims, Casey meticulously points out and rectifies many such distortions.

Just as the author's sometimes dry rhetoric becomes a bit brittle, he provides humor. Purposely brief, this book is not superficial, but pithy, provoking enlightening thought and insights.
If you think "the left" is either superior or inferior to "the right" read the book. If you think you are not a victim of "the system" read the book. If you think, read the book. I think; therefore I am Libertarian.

Lee O. Welter
SACRAMENTO CA
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on November 26, 2016
Dr. Casey is one of the most compelling and persuasive modern authors. And in this extremely well written case for voluntary associations Gerard makes very clear, in what could very well be one of the most logical books ever written, just how beneficial to all liberty is. Don't miss a chance to read it!
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on January 26, 2015
Probably the best short book (150 pages) on anarcho-capitalism that I have read so far. The biggest strengths of this book are Casey's discussion of state vs government, legality vs. morality, conservationism vs. liberalism, his examples of anarchy that are currently present in society, and how democracy is not representative. I would also recommend his lectures on the history of political thought available through Tom Wood's Liberty Classroom.
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on August 23, 2016
Well written and easy to understand. Concepts and ideas are clearly presented. But in some instances a lack of explicitness affects the logic and relevance of the arguments; opening obliterate doors to the invalid argument of a Leviathan state
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on November 14, 2014
A fantastic overview of the philosophical argument for libertarian anarchism. Although not complete in its absolute (in which a much larger book would be necessary), it reaches into almost every corner of the argument. A great refresher for the well informed as well as a very good starting place for the beginner who has an interest in its philosophical (as apposed to practical) narrative.
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on May 3, 2016
Very well done. This author does a good job of explaining/defining concepts and answering intuitive questions that the ready may have. Not dumbed down, but easy enough to read at the same time. Very interesting work.
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on June 22, 2015
Casey clearly shows how libertarian anarchy is the only possible freedom, and the only goal that can be pursued by men in order to achieve freedom.
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on February 13, 2013
Very good introductory book to what the author calls Libertarian Anarchy, or Anarcho Capitalism. Gives great analysis of the principles of Liberty and what Anarchy really is.

I would recommend this to everyone. I just wish I would have came across this sooner on my Libertarian path. Would have sped up my process of understanding the concepts of Libertarianism much sooner.
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on December 13, 2012
While I have been a libertarian anarchist for about two years now, I hadn't read any books on the subject until about a month and a half ago. In that time I first read David Friedman's "The Machinery of Freedom", then I read Gerard Casey's "Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State." I also read Gary Chartier's book "The Conscience of an Anarchist" and the first 250 pages of Murray Rothbard's "For a New Liberty."

Drawing from this experience I can say that Casey's book is quite different than the rest (in fact they are all quite different from one another). The back cover of "Libertarian Anarchy" says:

"Political philosophy is dominated by a myth, the myth of the necessity of the state. The state is considered necessary for the provision of many things, but primarily for peace and security...."

Having just read Friedman's "The Machinery of Freedom" I was expecting Casey's book to make more practical arguments for the position that the state is not necessary for the provision of peace and security than it actually did. The reality, however, is that most of the arguments in "Libertarian Anarchy" are principled libertarian arguments. Casey does makes various philosophical arguments that say that the state is not necessary. For example, in his discussion of law he argues that monopolistic states are not needed to provide law. But, he does not go into any in-depth discussions of the economics of the stateless provision of law, nor does he entertain any of the practical questions (such as, "But what about the roads?") that people often ask. This isn't necessarily a drawback of the book, but I'm mentioning it simply because I thought, judging by the statement on the back cover, that the book would have more practical arguments for a stateless society than it actually did.

Casey does a good job summarizing several historical examples of near-anarchist societies, most of which I had heard of but hadn't known as many details about. He provides a variety of reasons why we should accept libertarian principles in his chapter on libertarianism and the Non-Aggression Principle. I personally thought his chapter on Delegitimizing the State was one of the best in the book.

Casey cites many great libertarian theorists and other thinkers throughout "Libertarian Anarchy." He also, on occasion, cites people who he disagrees with and cites people who make non-libertarian anarchist arguments and other popular arguments against libertarianism and then explains why the arguments fail.

Some parts of the book were better written than others, but one of my only major criticisms of the book was that he seemingly randomly inserted a 4-page discussion on metaphysical libertarianism into the middle of his chapter on libertarianism the political philosophy (page 48-51). I am not a metaphysical libertarian myself and I think that the argument against determinism that Casey makes is false, but note that even if his argument was sound and even if I agreed with his position, it still remains that a discussion of metaphysics doesn't belong in his discussion on the political philosophy. They are both called "libertarianism" but are completely different subjects.

Overall, however, Professor Casey did a great job with the book. As a libertarian anarchist myself, I can't turn down the opportunity to recommend a book that begins with the observation that states are criminal organizations.

Here is the first paragraph of Gerard Casey's "Libertarian Anarchy":

"The criminal state

"States are criminal organizations. All states, not just the obviously totalitarian or repressive ones. The only possible exceptions to this sweeping claim are those mini-states that are, in effect, swollen bits of private property, such as the Vatican. I intend this statement to be understood literally and not as some form of rhetorical exaggeration. The argument is simple. Theft, robbery, kidnapping and murder are all crimes. Those who engage in such activities, whether on their own behalf or on behalf of others are, by definition, criminals. In taxing the people of a country, the state engages in an activity that is morally equivalent to theft or robbery; in putting some people in prison, especially those who are convicted of so-called victimless crimes or when it drafts people into the armed services, the state is guilty of kidnapping or false imprisonment; in engaging in wars that are other than purely defensive or, even if defensive, when the means of defence employed are disproportionate and indiscriminate, the state is guilty of manslaughter or murder."

For a video of Casey talking about his book, scroll to the bottom of the page at this URL (replacing "DOT" with "."):

wpDOTme/p2cdsV-fe
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on May 7, 2015
Can you possibly post a review on this book, and not wind up on the No-Fly list?
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