Liberty Matters

About this Collection

The OLL brings debate to life.

Key People

Titles & Essays

A – Z List

Not Categorized

David M. Hart, “Classical Liberalism and the Problem of Class” (Nov. 2016)

David M. Hart (author)

This online discussion is part of the series “Liberty Matters: A Forum for the Discussion of Matters pertaining to Liberty.”

Liberty Matters: John Locke on Property (January, 2013)

Eric Mack (author)

This online discussion is part of the series “Liberty Matters: A Forum for the Discussion of Matters pertaining to Liberty.” Eric Mack discusses John Locke’s theory of property to which Jan Narveson, Peter Vallentyne, and Michael…

Liberty Matters: James Buchanan: An Assessment (March, 2013)

Geoffrey Brennan (author)

This online discussion is part of the series “Liberty Matters: A Forum for the Discussion of Matters pertaining to Liberty.” Geoffrey Brennan assesses the work of the Nobel Prize winning economist James Buchanan with responses and…

Liberty Matters: Gustave de Molinari’s Legacy for Liberty (May, 2013)

Roderick T. Long (author)

This online discussion is part of the series “Liberty Matters: A Forum for the Discussion of Matters pertaining to Liberty.” Roderick T. Long assesses the work of the French political economist Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) with…

Liberty Matters: Bastiat and Political Economy (July, 2013)

Robert Leroux (author)

This online discussion is part of the series “Liberty Matters: A Forum for the Discussion of Matters pertaining to Liberty.” Robert Leroux discusses the work of the French political economist Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) with…

Liberty Matters: Smith and The System of Liberty (September, 2013)

George H. Smith (author)

This online discussion engages with George Smith on his book The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism (CUP 2013). Smith describes the works of the history of political thought which inspired him, and the…

Liberty Matters: Arthur Seldon and the IEA (November, 2013)

John Blundell (author)

This online discussion addresses the contribution of Arthur Seldon ((1916-2005) to the success of the London based Institute of Economic Affairs in spreading free market ideas in Britain. Much of its success can be attributed to…

Liberty Matters: Ludwig von Mises’s The Theory of Money and Credit at 101 (January, 2014)

Lawrence H. White (author)

This online discussion is part of the series “Liberty Matters: A Forum for the Discussion of Matters pertaining to Liberty.” Lawrence H. White revisits Mises' pathbreaking 1912 book on Mises’ book The Theory of Money and Credit. The…

Liberty Matters: Hugo Grotius on War and the State (March 2014)

Fernando R. Tesón (author)

In this online discussion, Fernando R. Tesón explores what Grotius thought about the proper relationship between the laws of nature and the laws of nations, what limits (if any) can be legitimately and rightly placed on the conduct…

Liberty Matters: Tocqueville’s New Science of Politics Revisited (May 2014)

Aurelian Craiutu (author)

In this Liberty Matters discussion, Aurelian Craiutu argues that Tocqueville was not just an observer of democracy in America but also a theorist of democracy who wanted to create “a new science of politics” suitable to the new world…

Liberty Matters: Deirdre McCloskey and Economists’ Ideas about Ideas (July, 2014)

Donald J. Boudreaux (author)

The key issue of this Liberty Matters discussion is to try to explain why “the Great Enrichment” of the past 150 years occurred when and where it did. McCloskey argues that a fundamental change in ideas took place which raised the “…

Liberty Matters: James Mill on Liberty and 
Governance (Sept. 2014)

Sandra J. Peart (author)

The political thought of James Mill is not as well known as it should be. This online discussion with a lead essay by Sandra J. Peart, attempts to reassess his contribution to classical liberal political theory via his dichotomy…

Liberty Matters: Herbert Spencer’s Sociology of the State (Nov. 2014)

George H. Smith (author)

The English sociologist and individualist political philosopher Herbert Spencer has been either completely neglected or badly misinterpreted by scholars for over one hundred years. In this discussion George Smith explores an…

Liberty Matters: Richard Cobden: Ideas and Strategies in Organizing the Free-Trade Movement in Britain (Jan. 2015)

Stephen Davies (author)

This online discussion is part of the series “Liberty Matters: A Forum for the Discussion of Matters pertaining to Liberty.” Here we examine the career of Richard Cobden and in particular the way that he pioneered forms of advocacy…

Liberty Matters: On the Spread of Classical Liberal Ideas (March, 2015)

David M. Hart (author)

In this discussion David Hart surveys the field of ideological movements and present a theory of ideological production and distribution based upon Austrian capital theory as it might be applied to the production of ideas.

Liberty Matters: Assessing Böhm-Bawerk’s Contribution to Economics after a Hundred Years (April, 2015)

Richard Ebeling (author)

This online discussion is part of the series “Liberty Matters: A Forum for the Discussion of Matters pertaining to Liberty.” In this discussion the contributors evaluate the contributions of Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (1851-1914) who was…

Liberty Matters: Magna Carta after 800 Years: From liber homo to modern freedom (May, 2015)

Justin Champion (author)

This Liberty Matters discussion invited four leading historians to explain what Magna Carta was, why it has appealed to so many people over the years, the impact it has had on the development of Anglo-American legal and political…

Liberty Matters: Reassessing the Political Economy of John Stuart Mill (July 2015)

Steven Kates (author)

In this month’s Liberty Matters online discussion we reassess the economic ideas of John Stuart Mill as found in his classic work Principles of Political Economy and other writings. The Lead Essay by Steven Kates argues that in the…

Liberty Matters: Anthony de Jasay and the Political Economy of the State (Sept. 2015)

Hartmut Kliemt (author)

The Anglo-Hungarian economist Anthony de Jasay turned 90 in 2015. To celebrate this event Liberty Fund organized a Liberty Matters discussion of his work as an economic and political theorist which came to public attention with the…

Liberty Matters: Montesquieu on Liberty and Sumptuary Law (Nov. 2015)

Henry C. Clark (author)

In this discussion of Montesquieu’s economic thought, in particular his ideas about the need for sumptuary laws in republics, Henry Clark of Dartmouth College investigates this little appreciated aspect of Montesquieu’s thinking and…

Liberty Matters: The Significance of Lysander Spooner (Jan. 2016)

Randy E. Barnett (author)

In this discussion Randy Barnett explores the political thought and constitutional theories of the 19th century American individualist, anarchist, and abolitionist Lysander Spooner (1808-1887). He concludes that “Spooner’s approach…

Liberty Matters: Ludwig von Mises and the Theory of Interventionism (March, 2016)

Sanford Ikeda (author)

ty.” In this discussion Sanford Ikeda returns to the original theory of interventionism posed by Mises in 1940 to examine it in the light of the work done in Austrian economic theory since then.

Liberty Matters: Rationalism, Pluralism, and the History of Liberal Ideas (May 2016)

Jacob T. Levy (author)

Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom (2014), argues that there is a tension within liberal theories of freedom, between views concerned with the risk of tyranny posed by the modern, centralized and centralizing, Weberian state and…

Liberty Matters: Israel M. Kirzner and the Entrepreneurial Market Process (March 2017)

Peter J. Boettke (author)

This Liberty Matters online discussion examines Israel Kirzner’s insights into the rivalrous nature of competitive behavior and the market process, his analysis of market theory and the operation of the price system, the…

Liberty Matters: Germaine de Staël, Fanaticism, and the Spirit of Party (March 2019)

Aurelian Craiutu (author)

The year 2017 marked the bicentenary of Germaine de Staël’s death (1766-1817). Although her name almost never appears in textbooks or histories of political thought in the English-speaking world her political thought is undeniably…

LIBERTY MATTERS

Systemic Racism in Education and Healthcare (October 2022)

Ramon P. DeGennaro (contributor)

At best, healthcare and education in the United States are suboptimal. At worst, they are a national disgrace. Any disagreements over how best to improve each institution concern more narrowly focused issues, such as...

LIBERTY MATTERS

Systemic Racism in Education and Healthcare (October 2022)

By: Ramon P. DeGennaro, Robert F. Graboyes, Darcy Nikol Bryan, Harold A. Black, and John Sibley Butler

At best, healthcare and education in the United States are suboptimal. At worst, they are a national disgrace. Any disagreements over how best to improve each institution concern more narrowly focused issues, such as racial…

LIBERTY MATTERS

Why Read the Ancients Today? (November/December 2022)

Roosevelt Montás (contributor)

Why have ancient texts fallen out of favor today? Once read widely- both in homes and schools- texts by "dead white men" are looked upon today with disfavor. Yet some scholars- and readers- insist upon their enduring...

LIBERTY MATTERS

Why Read the Ancients Today? (November/December 2022)

By: Roosevelt Montás, Anika Prather, Aeon J. Skoble, and Jennifer A. Frey

Why have ancient texts fallen out of favor today? Once read widely- both in homes and schools- texts by "dead white men" are looked upon today with disfavor. Yet some scholars- and readers- insist upon their enduring significance,…

Notes About This Collection

Our Liberty Matters feature is devoted to the discussion of ideas about liberty. We ask leading scholars and invited guest commenters for their thoughts on the ways in which OLL authors have defended individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace over the centuries.