History of Austro-Libertarian Thought: 384 BC – 2020 AD

384 – 322 B.C.

Social institutions come from human nature and man's striving for fulfillment of his needs and desires; family is established for the fulfillment of man's reproductive instincts and everyday wants; slavery is established by the basic instinct of self-preservation which causes slaves and masters to come together for the mutual benefit.

1225 – 1274

Social institutions develop as a response to men's inequality of gifts and allow men opportunities for exercising their natural talents; man is by nature a social animal and can attain his natural ends only in cooperation with others; the state is necessary for man to attain the worldly common good whereas the church is necessary to attain man's highest good (the enjoyment of God).

1632 – 1704

Social institutions are invented and consented to by free individuals to satisfy their needs and make life convenient; invention of money makes inequalities between men — especially differences in industriousness — more pronounced and multiplies problems besetting the state of nature; this leads to the creation of government via contract.

1840 – 1921

The development of social institutions, especially money, through spontaneous evolutionary forces is stressed. The notion that institutions are established through explicit agreement is rejected.

1851 – 1914

No mention.

1881 – 1973

Social cooperation through peaceful trade enables people to flourish.

1899 – 1992

The role of evolution in the development of spontaneous order is crucial. Social institutions prove themselves competitively through allowing large numbers of people to survive.

1905 – 1982

The contrast between animal instinct and human reason is stressed. Human beings do not have instincts that determine their behavior. They must choose to live.

1926 – 1995

Social Darwinism is rejected. Capitalism does not rest on the view that the strong should suppress the weak. Rather, everyone benefits through social cooperation and the division of labor.

The lndustrial Revolution stemmed from superior groups able to respond to challenges.

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