Herbert Spencer, Freedom, and Empire

Mises DailyMarch 12, 2014
Spencer asked: “How could the pursuit of trade, which is voluntary, sit well with the practice of militarism?”...

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Herbert Spencer: Social Darwinist or Libertarian Prophet?

Mises DailyNovember 4, 2010
Herbert Spencer is often misrepresented in textbooks and websites as a "social Darwinist," but these claims describe a mythical Spencer that never existed. The real Spencer was quite different. The real Spencer often expressed views quite similar to modern-day libertarians...

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The New Slavery: Nock on Spencer

Mises DailyOctober 24, 2005
American essayist Albert Jay Nock celebrates the life and work of the great English sociologist and libertarian Herbert Spencer.

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Recent Literature on Interest

BooksSeptember 15, 2007
Böhm-Bawerk takes on alternatives to the Austrian theory he presents in previous books and clarifies the case.

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Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture

BooksDecember 4, 2009
In a welcome change of critical perspective, Paul Cantor and Stephen Cox give an economic interpretation of literature from a pro-market point of view, not the standard Marxism take.

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The Other War that Never Ends: A Survey of Some Recent Literature on World War I

Mises DailyApril 19, 2004
The first World War might also be called the war that never ends, writes Ralph Raico.

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Are You Authorized to Defend Yourself?

Mises DailyAugust 18, 2011
Vigilantism has deep roots in American history and culture. From tales of the Wild West to the caped-crusading Batman, the act of standing up to thugs is part of the national ethos. And the assumption of personal responsibility for self-defense is what drives the uniquely American pro-gun movement.

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Herbert Spencer as an Anthropologist

Institute Publications
Mention the name of Herbert Spencer to the average person and, if he is familiar with it at all, he is likely to say that Spencer was a political theorist who advocated laissez faire , and might even recall Spencer as a sociologist. But it is unlikely that he would identify Spencer as an...

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The Skeptical Politics of Herbert Butterfield

Mises DailyJune 20, 2012
A powerful state, Butterfield said, will endeavor to portray itself as the champion of the good, locked in battle with the forces of evil.

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Auberon Herbert on Labor and Unions

Mises DailySeptember 1, 2003
On Labor Day, Americans honor the often incredible contributions of its working men and women.

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"Socially Conscious" Literature

Mises DailyMay 3, 2011
They do not comprehend that capitalism, in engendering big-scale production for mass consumption, is essentially a system of wiping out penury as much as possible.

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Literature and the "Class War"

Mises DailyFebruary 20, 2007
The greatest danger of so-called Marxian criticism is that the critics who make a fetish or a cult of it will in time become infinitely boring.

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Herbert Spencer's Theory of Causation

Institute Publications
This paper traces Spencer's theory of causation through various disciplines, with special emphasis on Spencer's "scientific" system of ethics — something he regarded as the crowning achievement of his life's work. I shall attempt to explain Spencer rather than criticize...

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Indie Authors Shaking the Pillars of Publishing

Mises DailySeptember 8, 2011
As with the music industry in recent times, people no longer need large firms to get published.

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From Spencer's 1884 to Orwell's 1984

Mises DailyJune 20, 2013
Spencer was warning of the coming slavery in 1884, and George Orwell, in our time, has predicted that the full consummation of this slavery will be reached in 1984, exactly one century later.

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What Has Austrian Economics to Do with Literature?

Mises DailyApril 14, 2010
The world is the product not of justice or of beneficent design, but of human limitations. Out of ignorance, and in the chaos of conflict, the world is built and rebuilt.

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Preface to Literature and the Economics of Liberty

Mises DailyJanuary 15, 2010
"The Austrian School is the most humane form of economics we know, and the most philosophically informed — hence we regard it as the most relevant to humanistic studies."...

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Herbert Spencer


Herbert Spencer was one of the leading 19th-century English radical individualists. He began working as a journalist for the laissez-faire magazine The Economist in the 1850s. Much of the rest...

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The Man versus The State

Freedom must also mean freedom from the state. Download the complete audio book.

Postscript and Note on Philanthropy

From The Man versus The State. Narrated by Jock Coats.


8. John Stuart Mill, Lysander Spooner and Herbert Spencer

Audio/VideoJune 8, 2007
John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873, was the most famous classical liberal. Herbert Spencer, 1820-1903, was a prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era. Lysander Spooner, 1808-1887, was an American individualist anarchist and abolitionist.

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Herbert Spencer Essays on Militarism Available Again

BlogJuly 11, 2005

Herbert Spencer was one of the 19th century's greatest defenders of peace and freedom. I've recently posted some chapters from his book Facts and Comments, published in the penultimate year of his life, on the evils of...

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