Lew Rockwell's new manifesto is a clarion
call—creative and thought-provoking on every page—for a principled
liberty in our time. There are very few books in which you can open up
any page and immediately find a quotable and inspiring passage that will
make you think hard, laugh out loud, or see things a completely new
way. This is certainly one of them.
He covers every topic related to economics and politics, from the
business cycle, to trade, to the drug war, to environmentalism. His
central thesis is that the threat to liberty comes from both the Left
and the Right, and that neither really offers a consistent way out. The
real problem is much deeper than either the Right or the Left
recognizes. It is the institution of the state itself, which everyone
seems to want to use to his own philosophical advantage.
The problem, he writes, is not that we have chosen the wrong flavor
of public policy but that we have public policy at all. All forms of
policy—decisions made by state institutions that affect the uses of
private property according to political priorities—amount to invasions
of liberty. Relentlessly moving from left-wing to right-wing and back to
left-wing policy is not progress; it means continued movement down the
road to serfdom.
Beautifully edited and pristinely argued, this is a work in applied
Austro-libertarian theory, tracking issues and headlines as they occur
and bringing the light of logic and evidence to bear on the question at
hand. The articles collected can be read in a matter of five minutes
each, and they are organized along topical lines.
He is especially good in dealing with issues of national crisis, such
as weather disasters, terrorist attacks, and economic downturns. He
shows that liberty is more important in these times than any other. And
while others back away during these times, he has consistently been out
front, calling for peace when the masses are screaming for war, calling
for freedom when the politicians demand a crackdown, and urging a free
market when everyone else seems to be clamoring for state solutions.
If you have read Lew Rockwell's articles and speeches over the years
and wished for a single collection, it has finally arrived in a
beautifully bound hardback that is a real treasure to own and study. It
makes a lasting impact.
Rockwell is the founder and president of the Mises Institute, and the
editor of his own site LewRockwell.com. He has played an important role
in the shaping of libertarian theory for a quarter of a century. This
book shows how and why. Subtle, radical, and compelling, Rockwell's book
is a great addition to the legendary literature of political