Michael Malice‘s book The Anarchist Handbook is a collection of essays from anarchists of many varieties, each introduced by the author. Ancaps looking at the rest of the present-day anarchist movement might conclude that there is nothing to learn. However, it is instructive to see how close the idols of other anarchist philosophies came to libertarianism, and how their errors led to things like anarcho-socialism, anarcho-communism, and the like.
If you liked the portrait of Keynes on the top of page 316, you’ll love the doodles on the cover pages:
One of my favorite comments is Rothbard’s reply to Keynes when Keynes wrote, “Those who are strongly wedded to what I shall call ‘the classical theory’, will fluctuate, I expect, between a belief that I am quite wrong and a belief that I am saying nothing new.”
To see more, visit the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.
continued from the original post, these were sent along by Simon, who says he got them from Jeff Deist. If you know any of the other people in the photos, please let us know so we can update the captions.
For a Libertarian Communism is a collection of translations from the French communist writer Daniel Guerin. The title implies that the theory inside will include or at least make use of libertarianism, but this is not the case. Instead, Guerin has a slightly different flavor of communism that he is trying to sell.
Unfortunately, Guerin’s brand of communism is not novel enough that the average ancap needs to learn about it. Only those who are doing historical research are likely to benefit from reading this book. You can read the full text here.
Guerin says that, in pursuit of equality and liberty, the libertarian communist movement must resign itself to:
…imposing its will on the majority, first and preferentially through persuasion, and, if persuasion fails, by force.
“Capitalism is the fullest expression of anarchism, and anarchism is the fullest expression of capitalism. Not only are they compatible, but you can’t really have one without the other. True anarchism will be capitalism, and true capitalism will be anarchism.” – Murray Rothbard
Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do by Michael J. Sandel
Michael J. Sandel‘s book Justice, is a worthwhile read for anarcho-capitalists who have already read the greats in their own tradition: Murray Rothbard, David D. Friedman, Hans Hoppe, etc., and are ready to hone their thinking by exploring some different viewpoints. Sandel’s book is especially good for this purpose because he tries to find a theory of justice by contrasting three different perspectives: libertarianism, utilitarianism, and virtue ethics. Not only does libertarianism feature prominently in the book, it is portrayed in a reasonable way.
Sandel also makes good use of both hypotheticals and real-life examples to explore the idea of justice. Familiar ones like the Trolley Problem get a standard treatment, but less common examples like invitro fertilization and surrogacy are also explored. The real world problems are taken from present day as well as centuries ago when, for example, people who were drafted into the military could hire someone to take their place. These analyses are deep enough to be interesting, but do not drag on so long that they become a waste of time.
Although Sandel’s approach is good, he ends up with a rather confused notion of justice. This is partially due to the fact that he conflates ethics with morality. He is not simply trying to define justice as a core ethical concept, but also bolt on moral ideas about how a person should live their life. This leads him to choose virtue ethics from the three options he explores. Thus the ideas of honor and living a good life get mixed up with his view of justice, when a more focused approach would have served better.