- Paperback: 169 pages
- Publisher: Fox & Wilkes (December 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0930073088
- ISBN-13: 978-0930073084
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,592,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Market for Liberty
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
The fundamental question of politics has always been whether there should be politics. Morris and Linda Tannehill, in this book, which has become something of a classic even while being (until now) out of print, answer that politics is not necessary, that the ancient and ongoing contrivance of the marketplace can be substituted for it with ennobling results. -- Karl Hess, author of Capitalism for Kids
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The following is the Foreword by Karl Hess.
The most interesting political questions throughout history have been whether or not humans will be ruled or free, whether they will be responsible for their actions as individuals or left irresponsible as members of society, and whether they can live in peace by volitional agreements alone.
The fundamental question of politics has always been whether there should be politics.
Morris and Linda Tannehill, in this book, which has become something of a classic even while being (until now) out of print, answer that politics is not necessary, that the ancient and ongoing contrivance of the marketplace can be substituted for it with ennobling results.
Advocates of state power will of course recoil from the idea and point out that it is all idle dreaming, that the state has always existed and must always exist lest brutal humans descend into, horrors, anarchy. They are correct, of course. Without the state there would be anarchy for that is, despite all of the perfervid ravings of the Marxist Left and statist Right, all that anarchy means--the absence of the state, the opportunity for liberty.
As for the direction that a world headed for liberty would be taking (descending or ascending) the Tannehills and many others have reviewed the record of the nation state and have discovered a curiously powerful fact. The nation state has never been associated with peace on earth. Its most powerful recommendation and record is, as a matter of fact, as a wager of war. The history of nation states is written around the dates of wars, not peace, around arms and not arts. The organization of warfare without the coercive power of the nation state is simply unimaginable at the scale with which we have become familiar.
Having shown no capacity whatsoever to bring peace to earth, then what is the claim of the state on our allegiance? In closely reasoned arguments, the Tannehills maintain that there should be no claim at all; that the state is not needed at any point in our lives and that other, volitional, arrangements can be substituted for every single state function. They see these arrangements operating in the framework of a truly free market and they carefully explain them.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Opponents of anarchocapitalism (including those who, like our apparently Randian friend below, speak Objectivese rather than English) have never come satisfactorily to grips with the fact that market-based law not only is possible but has actually existed. In order for anarchocapitalism to work, what is required is that objective "natural" law be permitted to affect the preferences of "consumers of law," so that the legal system consumers tend to prefer is one that is aligned with the nature of reality. That system _is_ the libertarian system of individual rights and private property. There is no need to impose it from the "top down," because it is what consumers would generate from the "bottom up" precisely in order to secure the conditions for the best and most efficient fulfillment of their "subjective" wants.
Morris and Linda Tannehill provide here an imaginative account of how various "State" functions might actually be fulfilled by the free market, and indeed fulfilled _better_ than any State could do. Ignore the opinions of people who don't know what they're talking about and consider their case on its own merits.
When examined closely, business thrives when there is peace, by catering to peoples differences just as much as their commonalities. No one makes a fortune by selling 500 very expensive refrigerators to the nobility. No, they get rich by selling 500,000,000 inexpensive refrigerators, to living and productive customers.
It's easy to say that one's particular special interest can only be provided by government: some would consider private roads but not "national defense"; others would consider private law enforcement but not private health care.
But all that ignores the fact that every service at one time or another through history has been provided privately. There are many times more private security agents in the US than there are government police. Private business and even employment contracts increasingly stipulate private arbitration as their recourse in disputes rather than law suits in government courts.
Why? Because of cost. Private security, private arbitration, are demonstrably more efficient than government police and government courts.
Tannehill has taken the efficiency of market competition and extended it to many aspects of what are usually considered "public goods", and done it in one volume. As the other reviewers have said, it is not a requirement to be convinced on each and every specific application of market competition to "public goods" in order to accept the general axiom that market competition creates more efficient answers that benefit more people than central planning and coercion can.
This is true if for no other reason than that private efforts tolerate competition itself. If I don't like the same product or service as the majority, I can still buy that product or service. Pepsi doesn't strafe the villages of Coke drinkers.