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Libertarianism in One Lesson: Why Libertarianism Is the Best Hope for America's Future Paperback – 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Wake Up America: The Nine Virtues That Made Our Nation Great--and Why We Need Them More Than Ever by Eric Bolling
"Wake Up America" by Eric Bolling
Wake Up America is a much-needed call to arms for America’s citizens to preserve and protect our country's present and future. Learn more
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Advocates for Self-Government; 9th edition (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975432648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975432648
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,350,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel R. Coats on September 12, 2008
This is a good application of the philosophy of individual human liberty & limited government to many "hot-button" issues, and presents many ideas that should be in the public discussion. When dissecting each individual issue, Bergland does well at explaining the folly of government intervention, the unintended consequences thereof, and how individual liberty would make the situation better. He is the first to say that Utopia is not an option, so his argument is that the better way is the libertarian way. This book is geared to the layperson and presents an alternative way to look at government in a moral and practical sense.

However, there are a few reasons I will not wholeheartedly recommend the 8th edition (2000) that I read. There are many grammatical and spelling errors throughout. It is hard for me to accept the ideas being presented if they are not presented in a professional and polished manner. For the 8th edition, this sloppiness is unacceptable!

Another problem I encountered with the text may have to do with the nature of the text. Since this book is an introductory look into libertarianism, it shies away from the controversial implications of the theory: if government intervention has such terrible results and unintended consequences in issues a, b, and c, then why do we trust it with the government monopoly on national defense or police? Bergland appears to be a minarchist (minimal statism), in the tradition of Ayn Rand, who believes that government should exist for two purposes: national defense and the protection of individual rights against other individuals.
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When young I first registered Democrat. After my discharge from the U.S. Army in 1970 I registered to vote as a Republican. A couple years later I met a Libertarian and from Mark Hinkle's enthusiastic talk I registered Libertarian too. After the Savings & Loan "bubble" burst I saw a copy of Libertarianism in One Lesson in a used book store, purchased it and have recommended it to many friends and relatives ever since. This copy I purchased used too after I recommended it to a co-worker but could not find mine at home. This is the ninth edition so it has been updated more than once since first I read it and David Bergland who was our Presidential candidate a couple decades ago has a good grasp on what thinking Libertarian could be. It could be that many of you could be Libertarian too once you see how the Demilcans and Repicrats are one party having "a party" while ripping off the American taxpayer. Taxpayers like you and me.
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I got this book for my father who is a stuffy, dusty, old republican who has lost heart in the political system. This book has breathed new life into his political beliefs. If you find yourself getting frustrated with politics, I highly recommend you give this book a read.
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This book should be read by the following groups:
1) High School Civic Students
2) Those Interested In Politics
3) Immigrants Becoming A U.S. Citizen
4) Anybody Not Included In The First Three Categories.

I've been familiar with Libertarianism for over two decades -- in fact, in '92 I voted for the Libertarian Candidates for President and Vice-President -- but I read this book for preparation on giving a speech on the subject for my Toastmasters Club. I'm glad I did. It helped cement the philosophy and confirmed I'm more Libertarian than either major party (though I will still identify as being conservative).

This book's organization is superb. David Bergland first defines his one lesson of Libertarianism: "You own yourself." He develops that lesson and its implications including a history of Libertarianism (which predates the party founded in '71, for which Bergland ran for president in '84) in the first six chapters. He then deals with how that philosophy impacts various aspects we face today including foreign policy, education, gun control, poverty, and the environment. He closes with a summary, including a comparison of liberal, conservative, and libertarian views.

There are two problems I have with the book. One is treating the words "conservative" and "liberal" as political terms instead of recognizing they are adjectives that can better be defined respectively as "traditional" and "progressive." The second is based on my theological views. From Biblical thinking, his premise is flawed: we don't own ourselves, but rather belong to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Psalm 24:1). Both are minor points, even the second one -- the Lord owns us, not the government.

This book is short at 176 pages, so it's not exhaustive.
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