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Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom Paperback – January 23, 2012
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About the Author
Dr. Ron Paul is a physician and twelve-term congressman from Texas who ran for president in 2008. He is the chairman of the domestic monetary policy subcommittee, and the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Revolution: A Manifesto and End The Fed. An advocate of sound money, personal liberty, free markets, and international peace, he is chairman of the FREE Foundation, founder of the Campaign for Liberty, and distinguished counselor to the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He and Carol, his wife of fifty-three years, have five children, eighteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
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“Liberty Defined” is libertarianism 101. It is an excellent way to understand basic libertarian principles from Dr. Paul’s perspective. Reading this book helped keep the libertarian in me alive and gave me more of a vivid understanding of what a truly free society is all about. That isn’t to say that it isn’t without flaws. The issues I now disagree with him on were discussed, but he didn’t do a good job of convincing as to why I am wrong on this issue. I am mainly talking about the chapter on “Empire” here and there were actually a few other sections that made me roll my eyes.
All in all, this is still an excellent and vivid read. In terms of political views now, I am like a mix of Ron Paul and Ben Shapiro. As if they merged to form one person. 90% of my political views are essentially based of them.
“Liberty Defined” is a great way to understand liberty and libertarianism, still highly recommend- 9.1/10.
One of my favorite books related to policy, history, economics, and of course what liberty means. There are many more in depth and frankly wordy treatise on different definitions of liberty. Outlines just about all of the commonly discussed hot button issues pundits generally discuss on mainstream media PLUS issues not very often discussed, or at least not very often when this book came out. Federal reserve, monetary policy, Keynesian vs. Austrian economics.
I have bought multiple copies and given my own copy away to people that I thought would understand libertarianism or classical liberalism better than it is portrayed by political hacks and partisans. The chapters are short but touch on key aspects of every issue. There are many books that dive deeper than the couple of pages devoted on each topic, and many are free on mises.org and elsewhere on the web or google books.
Even if people don't ideologically agree with Ron Paul's view on what liberty is and the role of government, he rights in layman's terms and is ideologically consistent. Modern progressives/liberals tend to be more in favor of restricting government on legislating morality but heavily involved in economic issues and infringing on property rights. Conservatives/neo-cons/republicans tend to talk about just the opposite (more about legislating morality and claim to be in favor of less government in the market) Liberty Defined consistently makes the case for liberty to include both economic freedoms as well as individual freedoms including the freedom to associate and voluntary exchange with those that consent. Anytime a a politician or political book is discussed, people will love or loath what it says.
This is for people interested in the case for liberty and why more freedom is always better than entrusting governments with the power to use force against peaceful people who each have subjective values. Individuals can make better decisions for themselves than the collective can for others. Individuals always spend their own money better than they spend other people's money precisely because value is subjective.
I'm not going to me-too the other hundred-odd reviews here singing the good doctor's praises; most everyone reading this knows where Paul's politics lie, and how enthusiastic his supporters (of which yours truly is one) can be. Instead, for those of you who dislike and/or distrust Paul's views, let me give you one good reason to read this book: History, especially that of the past decade or so, has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the man knows what he's talking about. You probably noticed that the economy went down the bowl in 2008. Dr. Paul predicted the bursting of this economic "bubble" almost a decade in advance. In this book, you will discover how and why he reached that conclusion, and you will be left wondering why practically no one else in Washington paid attention until it was too late. (If then.)
Whether you agree with him or not..._especially_ if not...read this book.