Liberty Matters

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

Peter Boettke, “Gordon Tullock and the Rational Choice Commitment” (November 2017)

By: Peter J. Boettke

This month's discussion looks at the work of the political economist Gordon Tullock who saw himself very much in the tradition of Mises – a praxeologist who from a methodologically individualistic perspective would study human action…

Peter Boettke, “Hayek’s Epistemic Liberalism” (September 2017)

By: Peter J. Boettke, Steven Horwitz, Roger Koppl, and Adam G. Martin

Peter J. Boettke, Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University, argues that is a common trope to claim that F. A. Hayek experienced a crushing defeat in technical economics during the 1930s. At the beginning of…

Matt Zwolinski, “William Graham Sumner – Liberty’s Forgotten Man” (July 2017)

By: Matt Zwolinski, Phillip W. Magness, Robert Leroux, Fabio Rojas, and David M. Hart

History has not been kind to the legacy of William Graham Sumner. In his time (1840-1910), Sumner was one of the most prestigious and widely read libertarian intellectuals in the United States. Beyond his more technical academic work…

Nicholas Buccola, “Frederick Douglass on the Right and Duty to Resist” (May 2017)

By: Nicholas Buccola, Helen J. Knowles, Peter C. Myers, and George H. Smith

Nicolas Buccola, a professor of political Science at Linfield College, discusses the moral problem Frederick Douglass raised in the 1850s about the justice of using violence to resist the evil of slavery. Douglass was radicalized…

Peter J. Boettke, “Israel M. Kirzner on Competitive Behavior, Industrial Structure, and the Entrepreneurial Market Process” (March 2017)

By: Peter J. Boettke, Peter G. Klein, Mario J. Rizzo, and Frédéric Sautet

In this Liberty Matters online discussion Peter Boettke of George Mason University examines Israel Kirzner’s insights into the rivalrous nature of competitive behavior and the market process, his analysis of market theory and the…

Knud Haakonssen, “Pufendorf on Power and Liberty” (January 2017)

By: Knud Haakonssen, Aaron Garrett, Ian Hunter, and Michael P. Zuckert

Knud Haakonssen, of the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural & Social Studies, University of Erfurt, examines the political thought of the German protestant theorist of natural law, Samuel von Pufendorf (1632-1694). Pufendorf…