Sunday, July 17, 2016

Entertaining, informative intro to libertarian ideas

An Entertaining and Informative Introduction to Libertarian Thought | Heartlander Magazine - Jay Lehr:

July 10, 2016 - "Libertarianism for Beginners is part of a series of books designed to introduce readers to complex topics, giving them a taste of a broader topic or issue of which they may not have been previously aware. As a lifelong libertarian, I can say with certainty that this book gives the reader a deep and broad grasp of the history and thought behind the libertarian political and philosophical movement....

"Seavey effectively explains the various internal disagreements among those in the movement. Libertarians, he writes, are generally socially liberal and fiscally conservative, and they wish to use government intrusion into individuals' lives as sparingly as possible.

"Envisioning a functioning libertarian society, Seavey explains, is not as hard as the reader may initially think. By imagining a world where everyone goes peacefully about his or her business, all exercising their own free will, the reader will have a good idea of what the world would look like if governments stopped their constant violations of individuals’ rights.... Resources would flow to those who provide valuable services to others, thus rewarding millions upon millions of individual contributions to peoples’ quality of life....

"Instead of objectively improving people’s quality of life, government continually prevents people from improving their lives and others’, Seavey explains. Government doesn’t merely make mistakes occasionally, nor does it just waste some money. Making mistakes, wasting money and resources, and violating rights is the natural behavior of government....

"In addition to explaining the thought behind libertarianism, Libertarianism for Beginners introduces the reader to many of its founders and greatest advocates. These brief biographies of contributors to the libertarian canon include descriptions of John Locke, Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat, Ludwig Von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Robert Nozick....

"Seavey’s explanation of the different flavors and brands of libertarianism, and the differences and similarities among those flavors, is a gold mine for readers interested in philosophy. By defining the different kinds of libertarianism and explaining how adherents might feel about common issues such as economic monopolies, cultural matters, or immigration, he highlights the defining characteristics of what could otherwise be dismissed as distinctions without differences.

"Perhaps most importantly, Seavey takes care to include an excellent glossary, further defining terms discussed in the book for the curious reader. This epilogue also includes a set of frequently asked questions, so readers’ thirst for knowledge may be sated further.

"With its thoughtful and entertaining reviews of centuries of political thought, and engaging illustrations breaking up what otherwise might be a challenging book for those not fully initiated into political thought, Libertarianism for Beginners serves as both a great introductory primer to the world of libertarian theory and an enjoyable 'refresher course' for those already convinced of the failures of government."

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