on March 18, 1999
If you're looking for an introduction to libertarian thought, this is THE book to read.
Here, free-market economist and radical for liberty Murray Newton Rothbard tackles all the major issues: the philosophical basis of libertarianism, the history of classical liberalism, the failures of government to preserve basic liberties, and the ways in which a free-market economy handily solves problems that seem forever beyond the reach of government.
Rothbard is also one of few libertarians to face the issue of pollution head-on. You'll search Ayn Rand's works in vain for any "pollution solution"; she was apparently content to believe the problem didn't really exist, a practice to some extent continued by her disciple George Reisman in his mostly brilliant treatise _Capitalism_. But Rothbard doesn't duck the issue: demonstrable pollution is an invasion of property rights and should be outlawed.
Nor is Rothbard a friend of "corporate capitalism." Again unlike Rand, who regarded "big business" as "America's most persecuted minority," Rothbard lambastes big business for its constant seeking of government favors and its use of clout to secure protectionist legislation -- including "limited liability."
All in all, this book is a treat. If you haven't read it yet, I envy you. Pick up a copy of this consistent, principled defense of liberty at once.
on January 18, 2009
I'd been starting up my reading habits again in the past few months, but two of the books I had started were put on hold this week, when on Sunday the 4th, I picked up a book by Murray N. Rothbard entitled For a New Liberty.
The radical enthusiasm of the book is so exciting, I literally read all 419 pages in a personal record of 5 days. In the book, Rothbard hones in all the pieces connecting the modern Libertarian movement (as of 1972 when the book was first published at least) to his new Anarcho-capitalist approach, and the most striking thing was the consistency of the logic. It's solid. That's not to say that it shouldn't open to scrutiny, but that's precisely what Rothbard expects, and it gets me eager to catch up on the 35+ years of scholarship that's followed his manifesto, as well as specific predecessors that he used as examples.
The most important and most amazing parts of his book are how he explains most of the aggression and economic woes that we're experiencing today. It's not that he's a magician with a window into the future. It's that he understands the ultimate unattainable utopianism of supporters of stateism. From government bailouts to war quagmires like Iraq and Afghanistan, Rothbard not only predicts them, but explains why they are occurring, and the inevitable failure that can come from them, because it's the only logical conclusion.
The concepts espoused in For a New Liberty are gathered and encapsulated in virtual perfection by Rothbard, to expose a new generation of libery-minded individuals to the world that could be. It is so fierce, unapologetic and unrelenting in its logic, that this book, more than any I've ever read, makes me want to hold it as tight to my breast as possible, while raising my other arm and proclaiming Vive La Liberte!
on January 29, 2003
Among all the available introductions to libertarian thought, I think Murray Rothbard's _For a New Liberty_ is the best. In it, Rothbard sets out the principles of anarchocapitalism, a system of political-economy where property rights are sacrosanct and no government exists. This is important because most libertarians support some degree of government is necessary in order to preserve a person's right to self-ownership and property.
However, Rothbard argues that the very existence of the State violates man's rights and is incompatible with freedom, even in a democratic society. This is an problem many libertarian scholars have struggled with in attempting to justify limited government. Rothbard faces no such inconsistency.
First, Rothbard introduces the concept of man's rights, establishing that the only valid right can be the right to self-ownership and ownership of one's property. With these principles -- along with the traditional libertarian non-aggression axiom -- Rothbard offers meaningful solutions to the reams of problems in today's society. He makes a forceful case that our problems would be easily solved following principles of the free market, private property, and non-aggression. Education, welfare, free speech, pollution, crime...Rothbard tackles numerous issues with great insight and clarity. In my opinion, the only significant issue he doesn't really explore is healthcare, but hey...it's a short book. (For an excellent libertarian exploration of the healthcare issue [among MANY other things], see Dr. Mary J. Ruwart's definitive _Healing Our World_. Amazon sells it.)
Rothbard introduces many ideas in this book that would be dubbed "radical" by most -- the abolishment of government police services, courts, and national defense being the most obvious. But he also believes in unlimited free speech -- this means there would be nothing illegal about blackmail or libel in a libertarian society. To most, many libertarians included, these ideas are difficult to get one's head around.
Large chapters are devoted to education, welfare, private roads, crime & private security, ecology, conservation of resources, and national defense. Some have accused Rothbard of skipping out on the private police/courts system, but this book is not a 1000-page treatise. He offers theory and historical evidence to support his ideas, but truthfully such a topic requires many books on its own. A good and short adjunct to Rothbard's ideas here is Hans-Hermann Hoppe's brilliant article "The Private Production of Defense", from the Journal of Libertarian Studies. Some good books on the issue are _The Enterprise of Law_ and _To Serve and Protect_, both by Bruce Benson, and _The Structure of Liberty_ by Randy Barnett. I believe Amazon sells all of them.
I've read this book around ten times. Worth owning if you care about where the world is headed.
on July 3, 2008
You can't go wrong with Murray Rothbard but this book is just slightly dated. The Ethics of Liberty is timeless and fundamental. It can radically shake you into a stronger foundation for your advocacy of Freedom.
All of the issues raised in "For a New Liberty" are still with us. I am saddened that the Libertarian Party no longer follows Rothbard's theoretical purity. Theories like his, if used, have real-world applications that repay the practician.
on January 3, 2004
I've long had somewhat of a libertarian streak in my thinking (one of the few A's I managed to get in high school was for a 15-page paper defending Dr. Kevorkian), but before reading this book I could scarcely have imagined that there existed such a systematic and comprehensive treatise in support of liberty. In "For A New Liberty," the late Murray Rothbard makes a powerful case for abolishing the state and allowing individualism to reign. Rothbard's ideology exists completely outside the tired rhetoric of this country's "left" and "right," instead laying out a new course in line with the classical liberalism that came to prominence around the eighteenth century. If you never vote in elections because you think the major-party candidates are all basically the same, this book may well provide the alternative you've been looking for.
Dispensing with such ideologies as democracy, fascism, and communism, Rothbard reaches back to the tradition of the early American Republic to find support for his views. The American Revolution, he writes, "resulted in governments unprecedented in restrictions placed on their power," and the forces of big government triumphed only when the libertarian Democratic party was split over slavery. Rothbard is not at all ambiguous about what the post-Civil War statist order has brought: war, militarism, protectionism, and government-sponsored corporate monopoly, none of which benefit the great mass of people. While it may seem odd to see the son of Jewish immigrants championing the unfashionable ideals of our Founding Fathers, Rothbard makes a powerful case for a return to our country's roots.
In place of a tax-financed government parcelling out benefits to its subjects, Rothbard advocates a free and voluntary society based on individual property rights. The right of property, whether in one's person or in material objects, is the right from which all other rights proceed: freedom of speech, of religion, of assemly, of the press, and any other right you can think of. If the state can abridge property rights, by extension it can abridge any other right. Rejecting the idea that a government can be a guarantor of liberty and security, Rothbard substitutes an axiom of nonaggression, claiming that property rights are of necessity inviolable and violence, theft, and coercion of any kind are inherently criminal. Rather than utilitarian concerns, Rothbard's belief in nonaggression is grounded in his perception of morality, making it perhaps the only consistent, workable moral absolute that mankind has yet developed. However, Rothbard hastens to point out that his doctrines would advance the material as well as the moral well-being of society, and comes up with plenty of evidence to back up his claim.
In his early section on the State, Rothbard provides the reader with the ultimate devastation of the view of government as a force for good. His chief target is the double standard by which governments routinely get away with doing things that would be roundly condemned if private individuals or groups were to commit them. In Rothbard's view, any aggression against the person or property of another is immoral and illegal, and he sees the state as the ultimate aggressor against property rights. Only the State is allowed to trample on the rights of individuals, which it justifies with euphemisms like "war," "taxation," and "consciption." For these terms, Rothbard substitutes, respectively, "mass murder," "robbery," and "slavery." And given the fact that governments the world over (ours included, though communist systems are of course much worse) spent the twentieth century engaging in activities that made the September 11 attacks look like a street mugging, Rothbard's thesis bears contemplating whether you agree or not.
So, what exactly are the implications of the libertarian anti-state, free market ethos? Well, Rothbard thought of several, and much of the book is devoted to an application of his ideals of individual liberty and absolute property rights for a free society. Education, crime, monetary policy, eduation, pollution, and on into infinity: Rothbard claims these have become problematic issues because of government involvement, and only the libertarian principles of voluntarism and free trade can fix them. Rothbard argues that the free market has worked so well because it encourages competition, which gives those who provide any service an incentive to consistently please their customers, a motivation that a government monopoly lacks. No reasonable person would conclude that the provision of food and clothing should be nationalized; so why, Rothbard begs the question, is the State allowed to exert so much control over education, police protection, roads, or anything else for that matter? Rothbard can't think of a reason, and argues that government should never be allowed to interfere with the genius of the market.
Running through Rothbard's thesis is one nagging question: are his ideas workable? He claims that they have worked (see his discussion of Ireland's libertarian history prior to its conquest by Britain), and they can work again. Rothbard also hastens to point out that even if they're not perfect, libertarian societies would hardly be capable of the massive levels of violence and oppression that governments carry out on a regular basis. Rothbard's tour of American foreign policy and its imperialist bent over the past century is especially sobering and enlightening for his discussion of the destructive potential of ANY state, "democratic" or otherwise. Admittedly, many of the ideas contained in this book could be considered "radical," but far more pernicious ideas have come to dominate large parts of the world (Communism, anyone?). Considering some of the truly wacky ideas out there, Rothbard at least deserves to be heard. So read, and decide for yourself. Even if you're not converted to libertarianism, I can offer a virtual guarantee that your outlook on the world will be reoriented.
on May 24, 2012
This is the book that helped push me over the edge into becoming a full blown market-anarchist libertarian!
Love, love, LOVE this book!
Rothbard combines his vast knowledge of economics, history, and political philosophy, grounded in appeals to basic morality and deductive logic to deliver the most convincing case for a pure libertarian society!
He shows that not only can such a society exist, but that human justice demands nothing less. Bravo!
I've been waiting for a less expensive, paperback version like this for some time. I suggest people take this opportunity to buy up multiple copies and give them out to friends!
And to think, I used to be your typical neoconservative republican...
on August 29, 2013
Murray N. Rothbard is consistent, logical, and thorough. "For a New Liberty" has it all - History, Politics, Economics, and Philosophy. The consistency in his logic provides a stable foundation from which to formulate perspectives on most any question to applied political philosophy. This book is full of originality and thought-provoking ideas, which are sure to stir convictions and emotions from most any reader. Writing a review of such a comprehensive work in a concise paragraph seems an arduous task. So I will get to the point before I venture into the weeds - For those curious enough to be reading the reviews, "For a New Liberty" will provide an interesting intellectual journey well worth the investment of time and money.
Today's pundits continually inundate us with the charges that the United States has become so viciously politically divided. The media perpetually question "Why are we so politically divisive?" as if the problem were somehow with the citizens themselves. They then purport to provide a plethora of explanations for this divisiveness, to which they accuse prevent us from moving forward and getting things done (by which they really mean prevent us from moving in their preferred direction of more and more government control). "For a New Liberty" may have been written in the 1970's, but Rothbard was way ahead of the current media's "divisiveness" accusation, as he explores this concept and clearly details the reasons for it (and why it can only get worse on our current path). As Rothbard details, once government (the state) takes over a sector of society, then it becomes a zero sum game in which free choice has been removed and citizens are forced to fight in the political arena for their rights and views. For the pundits continually cry for compromise, but there is no true compromise because government's monopoly ensures that one group or the other must compromise their own rights (and usually not to the supposed benefit of another group of individuals, but always in effect to the benefit of government itself). He provides a great example of this phenomenon in the education system. For when education is non-compulsory and provided by free individuals, then citizens may freely choose to send their children to learn and study as they see fit. Even when education is provided by the state, but is done so in a non-compulsory, decentralized manner strictly at the local level, citizens retain some remnants of choice to affect the conduct of the administrators and their curriculum. But Rothbard shows that once government controls the education system and furthermore makes education compulsory, then the resulting battles over curriculum and administrators are inevitable. For even in today's private schools, ultimately the state must certify and dictate their curriculum effectively negating a private system as a true viable alternative of choice to government education. Hence, the battle for the hearts and minds of a nation's youth is literally transformed beyond metaphor to an all-out struggle by parents to retain traditions and culture dear to them.
Government education is by no means the only example of this zero sum political game that government intervention creates. As government takes over healthcare and finance, continues to provide ever more barriers to economic freedom, and tramples individual property rights; it is obvious why the political debate must be increasingly divisive with the outcomes being so absolute and personal to those concerned. Further tearing down the insidious nature of supposedly moderate alternative of compromise is the example of war. It is hard to see how one could demonstrate an acceptable "compromise" to the question of whether or not to forcibly send our sons and daughters to another land to either kill the inhabitants of that land or be killed in the process. Either warfare is done in defense of ourselves, or it cannot be reasonably justified. In the end, Rothbard's perspective clearly indicates that contrary to popular assertions, the "divisiveness" is not an indication of some perceived denigration of civil discourse, but is instead an expected consequence that is an indictment of government's monopolistic, coercive nature.
For those unfamiliar with libertarianism in general, this book provides an eye opening perspective that shatters the mainstream's version of the political debate. Rothbard provides a scathing indictment of the state that can neither be viewed as left or right wing in the current use of the terms. I would recommend this book to individuals of all political stripes - for even the most committed Marxist needs to hear Rothbard's perspective of the individual. For if one is to defend their advocacy of statist political stances, then they need to be able to answer Rothbard's indictment of the horrendous record of government compared to the lofty social goals the promoters of these politics espouse.
Rothbard's demonstration of human rights stemming from the right to self-ownership (and by extension property rights to the fruits of one's labor) debunks the "exceptions to the rule" qualifiers that often must accompany discussions of civil rights. For example, often even the most dependable defenders of liberty will caveat the right to free speech with the qualifier that free speech does not guarantee the right to falsely yell fire in a crowded theatre. The qualifier that there are exceptions to a right undermines the concept of a right, and provides the opening for those that would continually encroach on that right by chipping away it - utilizing the ambiguity of the concept of exceptions as their tool. Rothbard postulates that these exceptions are not exceptions at all. Instead, he shows that by viewing rights through the prism of Natural Rights that instead of being an exception, quite the contrary, falsely yelling fire in a crowded theatre is an encroachment on the property rights of other individuals (namely the owner of theatre and the patrons who paid for admission to the theatre). Rothbard's explanation of Natural Rights effectively debunks any supposed inconsistencies to the theory of individual rights, and instead shows Natural Rights to be entirely consistent with the nature of man.
Those that criticize that he does not explain the origination of property rights, and that he has a logical gap that must be taken on faith, simply did not read the book. Although, MNR does not go into the depth of the concept that he does in other works, he absolutely lays the foundation of a consistent definition and origin of property rights. His logic regarding property rights is as sound as it simple, but in no way does its simplicity detract from its thoroughness. And, yes, he does explain the absolute origin of property rights in his treatment of the homesteading concept, and of a man's labor as an extension of his right to self-ownership.
On the other hand, criticisms of Rothbard's treatment of the Soviets regarding foreign policy may have some validity. In my view, although the criticisms regarding his interpretation of certain events may be questionable, these misinterpretations do not detract from his ultimate viewpoint and conclusion. In trying to make a point regarding the true danger posed by the Soviets with regard to their military capability and intention (which was that they did not pose a tremendous threat to the U.S. mainland and were instead focused inward on struggling to maintain the empire they had), he does come off as almost treating the Soviet Union as benign. Although, not his intention as obviously a lover of liberty would be no friend of the Bolsheviks, he does at times seem to try to push the edge too far in proving a point. In my view he was simply approaching the concept from the standpoint that most readers would view democratically elected governments in a benign sense (regarding their aggressiveness), and most already intuitively fear the intentions of totalitarian regimes. Therefore, in his attempts to show that democratically elected nations can be viciously aggressive, it almost makes him appear sympathetic to the totalitarians. He is also attempting to demonstrate that totalitarianism by its own nature must eventually turn its aggression inward to maintain the power it has gained. This being said, I do think he overstated the case regarding a few particular situations, and was probably incorrect in his assesment of the Soviet's intent toward Finland during the Second World War. That does not take away from the fact that Murray Rothbard had a tremendous knowledge of world history, and his insights into the lessons of history are nothing short of brilliant. Most readers will come away with a very different view of at least one formerly accepted tenant of twentieth century events.
Beyond his thorough indictment of government's historical record, he touches on plethora of subjects in which he extolls the potential benefit to humanity that freedom would produce. He touches on poverty, education, and the environment among many others. Rothbard, though, is not content to stay within the easy land where he could find much support on issues of economic freedom. He instead goes much further and tackles the areas in which very few question government's role. That is, he questions the government's necessity in the court system and in matters of defense. Rothbard's attack on the nature of the modern American justice system is eye opening. He correctly demonstrates that instead of the system retaining any shred of the common law's original intent of compensating victims, that the court system now ignores victims, does nothing to attempt compensation, and even many times denigrates victims. He also shreds the myth of the justice system's effectiveness in protecting society, and shows that true justice would instead have the victim at the center of outcomes. His historical examples of the practice of compensating victims through methods such as forcing convicts to work off their debt through servitude to the victim, will leave practical minds scratching their heads as to why this practice was ever abandoned. He even questions why adequately compensating jurors is supposedly so unacceptable, and demonstrates that one could expect much better outcomes from competition to serve on juries. For libertarians, MNR's discussion of victimless "crimes" will be intuitive, but for those more accustomed to mainstream thoughts on crime his indictment will at least provoke some reevaluation. MNR paints a vivid picture of the scope of issues which arise from the persecution of individuals who have neither injured nor defrauded others, and completely destroys the moralistic argument of protecting people from themselves. He also points out the destruction caused to individuals, families, and communities when all of the sudden formerly law abiding people are transformed in to criminals simply because government changed the rules. Readers should remember that MNR was pointing out these evils in the 1970's, which was before the U.S. had the prize of attaining the highest per capita prison population in the world - a statistic which is fatally incompatible with the notion of a free country.
On the matter of defense, one could certainly question what MNR's world would look like (since none of us have experienced anything resembling a stateless society), but it is hard to contradict his assesment that even when armed conflicts inevitably occur, within this society there is no doubt they will pale in comparative scale to the murderous warfare of the nation state. It is within the context of foreign policy in which MNR argues his most serious charge to the state, showing that warfare is the health of the state and exposes its ultimate parasitic nature. MNR also points out the insidiousness of the guilt by association nature of modern warfare. To demonstrate his point, he discusses that in medieval times warfare was primarily a matter between the ruling elite and their mercenary forces of knights and soldiers. Often the peasantry would watch opposing armies face off, viewing the macabre reality theatre from a safe distance and relatively unaffected by the conduct of the battle. The 20th century has seen the disappearance of separating the actions of rulers from civilians themselves, which has also been accompanied by an exponential increase in the lethality of weaponry. The end result of this blurring of lines between the nation state's rulers and the people is of course the mass murder on a monumental scale that was witnessed throughout 20th Century warfare. Even for those who dismiss all of MNR's logic for how a free society would ultimately be a more peaceful society, it is almost impossible to debate his assertion that skirmishes between small private forces could never achieve the total destruction that has been witnessed on behalf of the nation state.
My original review of this work read very differently than the one I now compose. There is a quip among Rothbard's intellectual descendants that poses the question "What is the difference between a minarchist and an anarchist?". (Minarchist referring to Jeffersonian style classical liberalism). Punch line "Six months". Well, by the time of my second reading, my six months are up. That is not to say that this book really changed my conclusions regarding political philosophy, but it certainly changed my frame of reference from which I arrive at the conclusion of liberty. Quite possibly the greatest asset of this work is his argument for liberty from the moral perspective versus his reasoning against arguing for liberty on a strictly utilitarian perspective. Summed up in his basic assertion that although free markets happen to be superior to other systems as judged by the outcomes, if one only argued for liberty on this basis, then one would be implying a change in philosophy were they to suddenly judge the outcomes better from (for example) totalitarianism. By making the argument for liberty on a moral basis, then the philosophy of liberty is shown to be an entirely consistent one.
Originally, I had trouble overcoming Rothbard's attacks on Milton Friedman which obscured his point (from me) regarding utilitarianism, and therefore I did not fully grasp his contention regarding the implications of a strictly utilitarian philosophy. I must say that by the time of my second reading, though, that understanding Rothbard's argument provides for a new perspective that is reassuringly consistent throughout. I still, however, have a high regard for Milton Friedman and his contributions to liberty through his non-academic literature ("Capitalism and Freedom", "Free to Choose"); and would have personally preferred that Rothbard make his philosophical point without singling out Friedman. Furthermore, I do not feel the need to drive a wedge within libertarianism, effectively requiring those desiring liberty to choose sides. It does seem that in a book where Rothbard maintained a very positive tone, he seemed to most rigorously pursue those closest to his philosophy but not quite accepting of the full scope. I personally do not feel any contradiction in accepting Rothbard's core concepts, while continuing to push for a small decentralized government as Friedman advocated. For even if Rothbard is correct in his assertion that small government is not a feasibly stable outcome (because it will always grow at the expense of liberty), then achieving greater liberty for even a short time will still provide a far greater benefit to humanity than the status quo could ever hope to achieve. That being said, none of this takes away from the overall effect of this tremendous work of literature.
Those that find this book fascinating would be well served to continue their research at the website for the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, where they will find a wealth of information on economics, politics, and history. Admittedly, "For a New Liberty" covers an enormous spectrum, so for those interested in specific aspects they can find exhaustive scholarship in many of these areas provided by the Mises Institute.
on July 29, 2012
(Note, this review is a copy of the one I did for an older edition. The new paperback edition appears unchanged, but is now available for a much lower price. It's a timeless classic.)
Although I've considered myself a libertarian since the mid 90's, I've only recently gotten excited to study Murray Rothbard in depth, and was uncertain if this book or his The Ethics of Liberty was the best place to start. I chose this based on the excellent reviews and comments posted here despite the caveat that it is somewhat dated (as it came out 10 years before his more philosophical Ethics).
Immediately I'm impressed by Rothbard's sweeping synthesis of history from a libertarian perspective. You may need to take his zealotry with a grain of salt (America's past is clearly NOT all a manifest destiny leading to a Libertarian paradise), but his conviction, consistency and clarity of thought is at least easy to follow. What I especially appreciate about this text is how it was his first opportunity to state the libertarian position (hence "manifesto") to a wider audience, and so it has a definitive air to it; clear and concise. What could be seen as "dated" as far as public issues/policies of the time it was written (early 70's), is just a good example of the application of basic, timeless libertarian ideals. It's really the same situation today, just a different debt crisis and different war... Rothbard's radical, uncompromising libertarian vision may not seem practical in today's America, but as a set of principled ideals it is meant to inform and inspire not micro-manage.
This book is essential for libertarians of all persuasion (while it specifically espouses a narrower purist idealistic form at the anarchic end of the libertarian spectrum), and helpful for others who want to know what the roots and implications of libertarianism are all about. Rothbard as an economist brings a sharp analytical skill to unearthing these basic principles and their consequences in practice. And it's refreshing to see his vision for a positive and orderly market-based, government-free anarchy.
"While opposing any and all private or group aggression against the rights of person and property, the libertarian sees that throughout history and into the present day, there has been one central, dominant and overriding aggressor upon all of these rights: the State. In contrast to all other thinkers, left, right or in-between, the libertarian refuses to give the state the moral sanction to commit actions that almost everyone agrees would be immoral, illegal, and criminal if committed by any person or group in society." (M.R., pg. 28)
(I'm amazed this isn't yet classified as treasonous!)
"The central core of the libertarian creed, then, is to establish the absolute right to private property of every man: first, in his own body, and second, in the previously unused natural resources which he first transforms by his labor. These two axioms, the right to self ownership and the right to "homestead", establish the complete set of principles of the libertarian system. The entire libertarian doctrine then becomes the spinning out and the application of all the implications of this central doctrine." (M.R., pg.47-48)
(Warning; this book will change how you see your world!)
on April 17, 2012
The Mises Institute has done a great job with the new paperback edition of this classic work. For people already inclined towards the libertarian point of view, reading this book makes everything click. Rothbard destroys all of the common arguments as to why a stateless society could not "work". The information in the book is deep, which will satisfy the more intellectual readers, and yet it is still accessible for the casual reader who is serious about understanding libertarianism. It is not just the definitive introductory book on libertarianism, but the only one you would need if it was the only book you could have on the subject.
on December 17, 1999
I was first introduced to this book by an open minded Political Economy professor, and I always come back to it whenever I need a refresher on strong rights based arguments for libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism.
Rothbard explains, defends, and expounds upon the non-aggression axiom giving his readers a framework from which to deconstruct the state. On a more concrete level, Rothbard shows how the state is damaging of individual in all of activities, from involuntary servitude to the welfare state. All of this adds up to a nicely constructed libertarian lexicon.