The Ethics of Liberty

Overview

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This book is a masterpiece of argumentation, and shockingly radical in its conclusions. Rothbard says that the very existence of the state--the entity with a monopoly privilege to invade private property--is contrary to the ethics of liberty. A society without a state is not only viable; it is the only one consistent with natural rights.

In this volume, Rothbard first familiarizes the reader ...

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Overview

LARGE PRINT EDITION! More at LargePrintLiberty.com.

This book is a masterpiece of argumentation, and shockingly radical in its conclusions. Rothbard says that the very existence of the state--the entity with a monopoly privilege to invade private property--is contrary to the ethics of liberty. A society without a state is not only viable; it is the only one consistent with natural rights.

In this volume, Rothbard first familiarizes the reader with Natural Law theory. After this ethical introduction, he goes on to address numerous ethical issues, showing how liberty is in the right in every case. In the final two sections, Rothbard enumerates the state's role in society as inherently anti-liberty, and details the structure of alternate theories of liberty.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781500264789
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/22/2014
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 1,084,624
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book, Horrible Introduction

    <i>The Ethics of Liberty</i> by Murray N. Rothbard is a great book.

    The introduction thereto, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, however, is horrible.

    The book itself approaches libertarianism from a natural law standpoint. It holds that every thing in the universe has a nature, and that humans are not exempt from this. Since humans naturally must have a nature, it is not inappropriate to study this nature.

    Dr. Rothbard recognises that since it is within the nature of every human to be the sole controller of her or his own will, and since the will is inalienable from the human body, it stands to reason that every individual is sovereign, or, in other words, every person is a self-owner, and that ownership of humans by other humans is therefore naturally unjust. In short, slavery is unjust because it violates individual sovereignty, otherwise known as self-ownership.

    But chattel slavery is not the only violation of natural law. In fact, any action that infringes upon another person's natural right to self-ownership is necessarily unjust, including rape, murder, physical assault, and usurpation of justly-acquired property.

    Rothbard laws it all out with breathtaking clarity and reason. While I do not agree with Rothbard on every subject covered in this book, the vast, vast majority of it is, in my opinion, convincingly persuasive.

    The biggest problem with this book is the introduction by Dr. Hoppe, who, because of his more-conservative-oriented approach to libertarianism, calls Rothbard's viewpoint fundamentally conservative. Nothing could be further from the truth. I would love to see a new edition of this book published, one with an introduction by Rodick T. Long instead of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Dr. Long, I am sure, would never make the <i>faux-pas</i> of calling Rothbard, and his wonderful radicalism, "conservative."

    If you are interested in natural law philosophy or the philosophy of ethics, then I would recommend this book to you, even if you are not a libertarian. If you are a libertarian, and you wish to deepen your understanding of the philosophy, especially as it applies to just and unjust law, I would also recommend this book to you.

    If, on the other hand, you are looking for a general introduction to libertarianism or market anarchism, I would <i>not</i> recommend this to you. I would first recommend either (1) <i>Libertarianism in One Lesson</i> (tenth edition) by David Bergland, (2) <i>For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto</i> by Murray N. Rothbard, or (3) <i>The Market for Liberty</i> by Linda & Morris Tannehill.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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