For A New Liberty (Book Review)

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► For A New Liberty (Book Review) ◄

You all know I like the libertarian mindset and I’m always planning and chasing new knowledge on that subject. In this video, I’m going to review this libertarian manifesto book.

Here is the book description extracted from Amazon:
“Murray Rothbard is an economist, historian, political philosopher, iconoclast, and raconteur. He is also a masterful writer–passionate, rigorously logical, and always lively, with a special gift for making even the most complex issues understandable and interesting.

For A New Liberty is Rothbard’s introduction to libertarianism, his Libertarian Manifesto. It is Rothbard in top form–a libertarian classic that for more than two decades has been hailed as the best general work on libertarianism available.

For a start, For A New Liberty is an exciting, exhilarating read. It begins with a fast overview of the historical roots of libertarianism: the Levelers, John Locke, classical liberalism, the American Revolution, and so on. Rothbard packs an extraordinary amount of history in a few pages, and establishes libertarianism as the current, and most rigorous and consistent, manifestation of a centuries-long drive for personal and economic liberty.

Rothbard then defines libertarianism. It rest, he tell us, “upon one single axiom: that no man or group of men shall aggress upon the person or property of anyone else.” Having made the philosophical case for liberty, Rothbard–in one of the book’s most powerful chapters–turns to a withering critique of the chief violator of liberty: the State. It is a breath-taking, impassioned demolition job. We see that not only is the emperor naked–he is a murder, tyrant, brigand, liar, and bungler.

Rothbard devotes the lengthiest section of For A New Liberty to showing how the free market and voluntary human action can do a far more efficient and fair job of supplying all the worthwhile services we have been told only government can provide. He provides penetrating libertarian solutions for many of today’s most pressing problems, including pollution, poverty, war, threats to civil liberties, the education crisis, and others.”

For A New Liberty:

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Mr. Smith says:

Hey John. I am 240 with 25% bf do you think a 28 day fast would be possible?

Mitchell Toland Jr. says:

If this philosophy interests you I highly recommend you check out the Mises Institute (co-founded by Rothbard). Fantastic YouTube channel and tons of free books on the site. Jason Stapleton Program, and Tom Woods podcast also worth checking out.

FocusMrbjarke says:

Could you please do a book review on the road less traveled by scott m peck? 🙂

FDJustin says:

I’m probably closest to libertarian (from my casual understanding of the political spectrum). Don’t really have an interest in taking on the label though. Once you brand yourself, you reshape yourself to fit that brand.

Abraham says:

Simply having nukes is enough of a defense to stop other countries from nuking. Because nuclear war is a no-win situation. It will cause radiation that travels with the wind which makes it hard for everyone on earth to survive. Enough nuclear blasts will also raise earth temperature lowering rainfall which will halt crop growth, causing famine. So everyone who wants defense against the nukes can just pay a monthly insurance against it and that nuclear insurance company will have to convince the public to be worthy enough for the monthly insurance money. Its not different from health insurance, car insurance, etc. There are already some nuclear insurance companies available(they are not as good as government defense due to regulation).

The underlying issue, is T@xation is theft. No one signed up for it. Being born in a country is not a signature. If you dont pay, some thugs go to your home and if you resist, you get shot. Wtf kind of freedom is that. America started as a t@x free nation. The majority of human history had no government. And that will continue once the USD crashes due to having over $100 trillion is unfunded liabilities


Br Ba says:

Ron Swanson’s ideal government is good too

Dennis Digital says:

So happy you read the book. This book changed my life and outlook on politics. In terms of nuclear defence Stefan Molyneux address’s the issue in his book “Practical Anarchy”. You can get it here:

Alexander Engineer says:

Simple Programmer How can you support an ideology that thinks poor people and minorities are worthless and don’t believe they are worth helping?

rman27bn1 says:

I also didn’t expect to see Rothbard on your channel as well! You kind of addressed this in your video but, as a Libertarian myself, I think a better way to summarize Libertarianism is by asking “how can we solve social and societal problems without using coercion or force”? The defining principle of Libertarianism is the “Non-aggression Principle” that is no one(not even the government) has the moral right to initiate force against an otherwise peaceful person or coerce someone into doing something against their will. The anarchistic aspect you described in this video is called “Voluntaryism” which takes the Non-aggression principle to it’s logical conclusion that society should be organized on a voluntary/consensual basis.

Dejan Vukadinov says:

Cool shirt!

Aaron Gomez says:

Good stuff man. I too am a fan of Rothbardian libertarianism. You might also want to check out David Friedman’s The Machinery of Freedom, Stringham’s Anarchy and the Law, and Markets Not Capitalism by Johnson and Chartier. Each of these is a kind of different approach to market anarchism. The last being a more “left” libertarian bent.

To be fair to other libertarians though, not all are anarchists, and being libertarian doesn’t mean one has to be an anarchist. Although that does seem to be the logical conclusion of the central axioms. They are divided into the two main camps of minarchists vs anarchists. The former tend to be more like classical liberals, except that they do not accept ideas of social welfare, since that would be an infringement on personal liberty. The latter of course are of the ancap or left market anarchist variety.

Grand says:

If everyone read this book the Libertarian Party would be the largest party in the United States. Hands down.

Sabariah Abdul Mutalib says:

Its not strange. Libertarian…its me.

Tim Freebern II says:

You need to check out Plenty of free-materials on Libertarian-ism including more of Rothbard’s work.

NurturingTalents says:

John, it’s awesome to hear that you enjoyed For a New Liberty. I also recommend Democracy the God that Failed by Hans Herman Hoppe.

Jin Lee says:

just on a side note related to john’s video on “is SP a business?”; government is a business by its core as well (actually just a whole array of businesses aggregated). For privatization, I do believe that many of the sectors in governments can effectively be denationalized, but I still there are sectors that can’t be left in private hands.

If I have to categorize them, they’d be (i) industries prone to monopoly and exclusivity: eg. utilities like gas and electricity. (ii) industries geared for publicness: eg. military, public safety, prisons, etc.

I’ll summarize: industries with national significance.

I haven’t read the book, of course. but when a new idea is presented, I have learned that it is essential that I need to question the underlying belief that the idea is based on. As far as I know, the underlying assumption of privatization theory always has been that “people are ethical in and of themselves, and market will take care of the problems that arise.”

I have a very optimistic view on human nature, and even I know that is not enough to shade the faults and mistakes humans made over the last century. With a bit of skepticism comes questions.

Let’s take energy (category i) as an example. Can we really operate nuclear energy with logic of profit? Can we really manage nuclear power with market theory(supply-demand)? Is the market actually capable of handling responsibilities? Have we not seen the catastrophe in Fukushima because TEPCO (for short, Tokyo Electronics) was a privatized company? (If you want details, ask, and you shall have)

Why even look that far? You have California! screwed up a lot (in terms of price and stability in supply) because of it privatized it’s electricity. How about healthcare? why does america have so many doctors yet has such high infant mortality rate? Can market theory save this problem? Do you honestly believe that “it will balance itself out based on supply and demand”? Human lives at stake here, hello?

If you are from Australia, you’ll cheer me for saying the following: Sydney International Airport. If you don’t know what I am talking about, i’ll just give you a tip: just don’t ever park your car there for long term. The little shuttle trains between airport terminals are expensive enough (they aren’t free… and you can’t change terminals without them); the whole thing is a shitshow for money.

Military privatized? I mean, I do agree many sectors in military (such as logistics and supply) definitely should be denationalized, but I don’t want to live in a country where the soldiers refuse to fight because it’s not profitable enough. Western Roman Empire ultimately fell precisely because they relied too much on mercenaries too much, didn’t they?

I am just addressing what is in my head. Denationalization is a process that is going to happen whether we like it or not. Such new structural reorganization will be helpful to society. Success case? how about the Bahns and the Postal Service in Germany? Privatization, on the other hand, is something we have to keep our eyes open to.

For now, we think of tangible, material services and industries when we think about privatization. “The age of data technology” that Jack Ma always speaks of, like it or not, is already here. Meaningful data is going to be the key asset to any business from now on. Would I want all the data about my family and I in hands of a business organization that I don’t even have a clue what they are doing with it? Or would I want some of my crucial data protected and insured? of course the latter. Will market theory solve this problem? Impossible simple because my data has no value to me while it holds tremendous value for others; and any trade for a service or good in exchange for data (like… your phone apps with authorizations…) will always yield an unfair trade.

I went into way too much technical. Bottom line: Some industry sectors that are nationalized do need to be denationalized; but not all of them because not all industries can be operated with only profit in mind.

Yay Kay says:

In a libertarian state you force people to give their best to compete in the market.
Like in the usa and most capitalist states
People are not free, the economy is free.
When you are poor, got a child at 16, are on drugs, or have any kind of disability etc. you can’t compete and you have a hard live.
There has to be a strong social intitutions called state. We should work for our future together not on our own.
A person is free when he has the right to be lazy and participate in the society. Especially in our rich world.

Also goal of our society should be to enable every human to have a good life, not to make profit.

Przemysław says:

I completely didn’t expected Rothbard on your channel 😀
Greetings from Polish libertarian 🙂

smonkey001 says:

Don’t get caught with the defends problem, it’s for academy debate bs. If we keep our government part of defends unchanged, and abolish the rest. We just solved the debt problem. If we get rid of Fed, we solved our low GDP growths problem. And the world will know what’s the right way to go.

Michael Van Dyk says:

Dear John, when I first read your comment saying you would look into Rothbard, I got super excited! And Oh Boy, am I glad you did! The two topics you claim weren’t sufficiently addressed (getting from here to there and defense) are both major fault lines among Libertarians. Here’s my two cents, in the hopes you may find it useful: Regarding the first: a number of other thinkers promoted strategies for increasing freedom within the individual’s life, most notably 5 flag theory (or perpetual traveler theory), Vonu by Reyo, and Agorism/Counter-Economics by Konkin. The only strategy i think could scale is Agorism, but I think you would enjoy learning about the other strategies as well (even if you never intend to employ them). If you want to see a no-holds-barred intellectual battle between two major libertarian thinkers, you should definitely check out Rothbard’s review of “An agorist primer” by Konkin and Konkin’s response to said review. Regarding your point about defense, you mentioned India. John, did you know that roughly 1/3 of India’s territory is controlled by Maoists? They have managed to take on a government many times their power by means of 4th generation warfare, as was originally (paradoxically enough) described by Mao Zedong. I recently found an article arguing that 4th generation is the only decent strategy in the 21st century, lest a government bankrupt itself fighting the old way. Here’s a link to the article, on the off chance you have time to read it:

DevinBigSeven says:

I would suggest “Chaos Theory” (chapter “Private Defense”) by Robert Murphy for a hypothetical solution.

john2knj says:

John, I’m glad to see you going in this direction with libertarianism. Although, hopefully you did not give too many people the wrong idea that libertarianism = anarchy, which is not the case at all. And national defense can be made even stronger with it. But be careful about getting too interested in all this stuff, because as one thing leads to another you’ll often end up truly shocked at what you learn. The ‘rabbit hole’ is really deep and after falling in some people have a difficult time getting out, partly because the stuff is so shocking that it’s hard to turn away from and for others what they learn is too much and messes them up for a while. Stay on course with Libertarianism, I think that’s the right way to go.

João Farias says:

Government is not necessarily a State. Your building has a government.
The difference is that on this one nobody points guns on your head in order to make it work.

Br Ba says:

Wild west would be 1000X better than Brazil anyway

Maple Flavor says:

i’m a rothbardian. this was a pleasant surprise.

Edward Hamilton says:

Libertarians are the only true liberals, in the classical sense of that word. It’s strange that those who respect individual liberty are considered far right, by modern progressives, and neoliberals.

Basically, I believe all individuals are born with the natural, and inaliable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, so long as their exercise of those rights don’t infringe upon another individual’s rights to do the same. ….pretty basic, and common sense really.

dovh49 says:

Although I like a lot of Rothbard’s work. I disagree with the idea natural rights. I guess in that way I’m more of a Misesian.

Amar Khaira says:

I think you should run for some public office, may be start with becoming mayor of your city.

Algo+codehawk says:

Awesome that you read this book! This is a fabulous book. But the “public goods” you mention have been addressed and debunked on many avenues- COUNTLESS times. I would suggest for the next step to get a better grasp of basic economics. And you can read “Man, Economy, and state with Power and Markets” by rothbard. And you should also see the classic work of Franz Oppenheimer “The State”, Nock’s “Our Enemy: the state”. And on warlords, you can see Robert murphy “But Wouldn’t warlords take over”

7:30 the libertarian ethics is well based on ethics formulated on private property norms. You can see a more in depth formulation by hoppe in his work “The ethics and economics of private property”

Fabio Stapait says:

John, if you are interested in reading more about libertarian I recommend Ludwig von Mises

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