Liberty Matters

The OLL brings people together to debate and discuss important texts and big ideas about liberty.

Systemic Racism in Crime and Housing

By: Ramon P. DeGennaro

A previous set of essays explored systemic racism as a potential cause of racial disparities in education and healthcare. This set focuses on similar disparities in housing and crime.

Liberty and Civic Education

By: David Davenport

What is civic education, and why does it matter? Further, what constitutes civic education, and whose task should it be to ensure a nation's citizens are civically literate? These are the questions this edition of Liberty Matters…

Why We Don’t Need a “New” History of Capitalism

By: Phillip W. Magness

Was a single industry – cotton – the primary driver of American economic development in the 19th century, and thus the basis of wealth today? This is the claim behind what have become known as the "New Histories of Capitalism." While…

Did the American Colonies Pay Too High a Cost for Revolution? (August/September 2023)

By: Vincent Geloso, Antoine Noël, Samuel Gregg, C Bradley Thompson, and Anthony Comegna

If one leaves out petro-nations (e.g., Qatar, United Arab Emirates) and fiscal havens (e.g., Bermuda) from international rankings of income per person, one will find the United States at or near the top of the list (depending on the…

Adam Smith’s Emergent Rules of Justice (June/July 2023)

By: Vernon L. Smith, Brianne Wolf, Leonidas Montes, Caroline Breashears, and Peter S. Onuf

June 2023 marks the 300th anniversary of Adam Smith's birth. Celebrations of this tercentenary abound, notably at our sister site, AdamSmithWorks. Most often known as the father or modern economics, OLL readers know that Smith's…

The Roman Senate in Early Modern Europe (May 2023)

By: Paulina Kewes, Ioannis D. Evrigenis, Michael Valdez Moses, and Filippo Sabetti

The rise and fall of the Roman republic continued to influence political thought for centuries after its demise. In this Liberty Matters, we invited a group of scholars, led by Paulina Kewes, to consider the influence of this history…

Did we have a Constitutional Revolution but not reconstruct the South? (April 2023)

By: Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, Orville Vernon Burton, Nicole Etcheson, and Erec Smith

Revolution (n) "a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system."
How many constitutional revolutions has America experienced? Certainly all agree on the first. Was there another constitutional…

Why Do We Need Feminist Economics? (March 2023)

By: Giandomenica Becchio, Mikayla Novak, Arnold Kling, and Jayme Lemke

What is feminist economics? Is it a complement or subsitute for standard economic analysis? Regardless, why do we need it today? These are the questions that animate this Liberty Matters symposium. Led by Professor Giandomenica…

Is there a Role for Monarchy in a Free Society (January/February 2023)

By: Stephen Davies, Elena Woodacre, Helen Dale, and Carolyn Harris

It may seem odd that the topic of monarchy has been chosen for this month’s Liberty Matters. Our stereotypical view of monarchy in the history of liberty is perhaps most often associated with the writings of someone like Sir Robert…

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,…

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…

Perspectives on Mises' Socialism After 100 Years (August 2022)

By: Virgil Henry Storr, Alberto Mingardi, Yana Chernyak, and Clemens Schneider

In 1922 Ludwig von Mises published his third book,Die Gemeinwirtschaft:Untersuchungen über den Sozialismus, translated into English in 1936 under the titleSocialism. The LibertyClassics edition was published in 1981. It seems fitting…

The Constitutional Convention and the Peculiar Institution (July 2022)

By: Dennis C. Rasmussen, Hans Eicholz, Christa Dierksheide, Jason C. Ross, and Brian Satterfield

It is easy to envision the Constitution as a document that has been so hallowed by history and by the passage of time that it can barely be discussed. It simply exists, and always has. But in recent years, the academic debates of…

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