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News Link • Philosophy: Libertarianism

The Natural Right to Be Free

• http://www.fff.org, by Laurence M. Vance

A possible drawback to those titles is that people who have an aversion to what they think is libertarianism might not be inclined to peruse those works. Is it possible to have a book on libertarianism that doesn’t include the word in the title? Andrew Napolitano’s new book, It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom, answers that question in the affirmative. It is most definitely a book on libertarianism. Although it doesn’t contain the word in the title, has no entry for libertarianism in the index, only twice mentions libertarianism and libertarians, and rarely refers to someone (twice) or something (thrice) as being libertarian, it is nevertheless a book that espouses what is unmistakably libertarianism.

That is because libertarianism is simply the philosophy of freedom: freedom for one to do with his person and property as he chooses as long as in doing so he doesn’t aggress against the person or property of another. “The only freedom which deserves the name,” said political philosopher John Stuart Mill, “is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.” Or, in the simple words of Leonard Read, “anything that’s peaceful.”

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