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Production of Security, The

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The introduction to this stunning work is by Murray Rothbard, who calls French radical Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) the great innovator in the market provision of security. Indeed, he might be regarded as the first proponent of what is called anarcho-capitalism.
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The introduction to this stunning work is by Murray Rothbard, who calls French radical Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) the great innovator in the market provision of security. Indeed, he might be regarded as the first proponent of what is called anarcho-capitalism.

Molinari was steeped in the old liberal worldview of Bastiat and hence was a dedicated champion of private property and free markets. But Molinari took matters further to argue that markets were also better at providing the service that the state claimed was its monopoly privilege: the provision of security itself.

His singular contribution, then, was to lead us away from the false assumption of Hobbes that somehow the state was necessary to keep society from devolving into chaos. On the contrary, argued Molinari, the voluntary society is the source of order that comes from freedom itself. There is no contradiction or even tension between liberty and security. If free enterprise works well in one sector, it can work well in other sectors too.

Molinari was indeed a radical but in the sense that foreshadowed the development of American libertarian thought: a radical for capitalism in all areas of life, which is another way of saying that he was a consistent champion of the fully free society.

Perhaps there was a time when people could regard the government monopoly on police and courts as benign, part of the "night watchman" state advocated by the old-time classical liberals. But the march of the police state has changed that: we are more likely to understand that the state's "security" services are the gravest threat to liberty we face.

In that sense, Molinari is the man of the hour.

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(based on 3 reviews)

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by Adam
on 5/22/2010
Changed my entire perspective
This book is really what convinced me that Anarcho-Capitalism is the only truly 'moral' method of society. Even after reading various Austrian authors and agreeing on most of the political and economic theories they teach, I had serious reservations about the ability of society to function without government. This book changed all that for me. Despite it's meager size, its pages carry a great intellectual weight. A must read.
by Michael
on 12/8/2009
Good, but short work
This is probably a reprint of the 1977 work done by the Center for Libertarian Studies as part of their "Occasional Papers" series (#2 to be exact).
by Marxist
on 10/29/2009
Quality work, worthless purchase
I'm very happy to see Molinari's work available for purchase here on Mises. However, The Production of Security, although a historic work, is also far too short a work. What Gustave needs is the same treatment Bastiat and Spooner got with their collections. Especially since some of Molinari's work hasn't even been translated into English as far as I know. The Production of Security is an obvious must-read, but its even quicker to read than Bastiat's The Law. I can't justify the purchase, but I am very very excited to see Molinari published once more. If you want to own The Production of Security, you may be better off buying Anarchy and the Law.
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ISBN 9781933550572
Publisher Ludwig von Mises Institute
Publication Date 2009
Binding PB
Page Length 64
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