The Ethics of Liberty

The Ethics of Liberty is a 1982 book by American philosopher and economist Murray N. Rothbard, in which the author expounds a libertarian political position.

The Ethics of Liberty
TheEthicsofLiberty
Paperback cover
AuthorMurray N. Rothbard
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SubjectLiberty
Published
Media typePrint (Hardcover & Paperback) & e-book, audio-CD
Pages336 (Online e–book edition)
ISBN0-391-02371-3 (Paperback edition)
OCLC7813705
323.44/01 19
LC ClassJC585 .R69 1982

Summary

Rothbard provides an exposition of the libertarian political position. He argues for the case of freedom as a concept of natural rights and applies it to a variety of practical problems.

Reception

Reception of the book has been positive in libertarian circles. Many praise the book for its incisive analysis of natural law and its practical applications. Libertarian commentator Sheldon Richman says : "The Ethics of Liberty is a great book that deserves the attention of anyone interested in the good society and human flourishing."[1]

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who wrote the introduction to later editions of the book, described The Ethics of Liberty as Murray Rothbard's second magnum opus, the other being Man, Economy, and State (1962).[2]

University of San Diego philosophy professor Matt Zwolinski criticized the book, writing that Rothbard's discussion of self-ownership in chapter six "rests on a fundamental confusion between descriptive and normative claims."[3]

Release history

References

  1. ^ "TGIF: Rothbard's The Ethics of Liberty: Still Worthy after All These Years - The Future of Freedom Foundation". fff.org. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  2. ^ kanopiadmin (2014-08-18). "The Ethics of Liberty | Murray N. Rothbard". Mises Institute. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  3. ^ Zwolinski, Matt. "rothbards-second-argument-for-self-ownership". Retrieved 26 August 2013.

External links

Air rights

Air rights are the property interest in the "space" above the earth's surface. Generally speaking, owning, or renting, land or a building includes the right to use and develop the space above the land without interference by others.

This legal concept is encoded in the Latin phrase Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos ("Whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell."), which appears in medieval Roman law and is credited to 13th-century glossator Accursius; it was notably popularized in common law in Commentaries on the Laws of England (1766) by William Blackstone; see origins of phrase for details.

Customary land

Customary land is land which is owned by indigenous communities and administered in accordance with their customs, as opposed to statutory tenure usually introduced during the colonial periods. Common ownership is one form of customary land ownership.

Since the late 20th century, statutory recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge. The gap between formally recognized and customarily held and managed land is a significant source of underdevelopment, conflict, and environmental degradation.In the Malawi Land Act of 1965, "Customary Land" is defined as "all land which is held, occupied or used under customary law, but does not include any public land". In most countries of the Pacific islands, customary land remains the dominant land tenure form. Distinct customary systems of tenure have evolved on different islands and areas within the Pacific region. In any country there may be many different types of customary tenure.The amount of customary land ownership out of the total land area of Pacific island nations is the following: 97% in Papua New Guinea, 90% in Vanuatu, 88% in Fiji, 87% in the Solomon Islands, and 81% in Samoa.

Intangible property

Intangible property, also known as incorporeal property, describes something which a person or corporation can have ownership of and can transfer ownership to another person or corporation, but has no physical substance, for example brand identity or knowledge/intellectual property. It generally refers to statutory creations such as copyright, trademarks, or patents. It excludes tangible property like real property (land, buildings, and fixtures) and personal property (ships, automobiles, tools, etc.). In some jurisdictions intangible property are referred to as choses in action. Intangible property is used in distinction to tangible property. It is useful to note that there are two forms of intangible property: legal intangible property (which is discussed here) and competitive intangible property (which is the source from which legal intangible property is created but cannot be owned, extinguished, or transferred). Competitive intangible property disobeys the intellectual property test of voluntary extinguishment and therefore results in the sources that create intellectual property (knowledge in its source form, collaboration, process-engagement, etc.) escaping quantification.

Generally, ownership of intangible property gives the owner a set of legally enforceable rights over reproduction of personal property containing certain content. For example, a copyright owner can control the reproduction of the work forming the copyright. However, the intangible property forms a set of rights separate from the tangible property that carries the rights. For example, the owner of a copyright can control the printing of books containing the content, but the book itself is personal property which can be bought and sold without concern over the rights of the copyright holder.

In English law and other Commonwealth legal systems, intangible property is traditionally divided in pure intangibles (such as debts, intellectual property rights and goodwill) and documentary intangibles, which obtain their character through the medium of a document (such as a bill of lading, promissory note or bill of exchange). The recent rise of electronic documents has blurred the distinction between pure intangibles and documentary intangibles.

Libertarian Christianity

Libertarian Christianity is a variant of Reformed Christian theology. This type of libertarianism derives from a specific blending of systematic theology and biblical theology. Advocates claim to be Christians first, and libertarians second. As libertarians they believe that all secular governments exist to protect natural rights, and only to protect natural rights; and they believe that natural rights are necessarily defined in terms of private property, at least in the legal and political arena. --- Although they readily acknowledge the distinction between their legal / political philosophy and the rest of their theology, they are suspicious of any attempt at separating the two, on the grounds that separating the two leaves the visible Church without a viable, Bible-based legal philosophy.

Libertarian Christians claim to be distinct from secular libertarians and Christian libertarians. They claim to be distinct from secular libertarians by deriving their libertarian legal and political philosophy from the Bible, rather than from secular sources. They claim to be distinct from Christian libertarians through their derivation of Bible-based legal philosophy using biblical hermeneutics that are different from those used by Christian libertarians.Despite their claim to being different from secular libertarians and Christian libertarians, libertarian Christians readily acknowledge large areas of agreement with other kinds of libertarianism with regard to legal and political concerns, and they readily work in concert with people from these other schools with regard to their common concerns. More specifically, they find large areas of agreement with categories of libertarianism and anarchism that generally espouse private property and natural rights. These include anarcho-capitalism, minarchism, paleolibertarianism, left-libertarianism, and Christian libertarianism.

Libertarian perspectives on abortion

Libertarians promote individual liberty and seek to minimize the role of the state. The abortion debate is mainly within right-libertarianism between cultural liberals and cultural conservatives as left-libertarians generally see it as a non-issue as they support legal access to abortion as part of their general support for individual rights, especially in regard to what they consider to be a woman's right to control her body. Religious right and intellectual conservatives have attacked such libertarians for supporting abortion rights, especially since the demise of the Soviet Union. Libertarian conservatives claim libertarian principles such as the non-aggression principle apply to human beings from conception and that the universal right to life applies to fetuses in the womb. Thus, some of those individuals express opposition to legal abortion.

Libertarian theories of law

Libertarian theories of law build upon classical liberal and individualist doctrines.

The defining characteristics of libertarian legal theory are its insistence that the amount of governmental intervention should be kept to a minimum and the primary functions of law should be enforcement of contracts and social order, though social order is often seen as a desirable side effect of a free market rather than a philosophical necessity.

Historically, the Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek is the most important libertarian legal theorist. Another important predecessor was Lysander Spooner, a 19th-century American individualist anarchist and lawyer. John Locke was also an influence on libertarian legal theory (see Two Treatises of Government).

Ideas range from anarcho-capitalism to a minimal state providing physical protection and enforcement of contracts. Some advocate regulation, including the existence of a police force, military, public land and public infrastructure. Geolibertarians oppose absolute ownership of land on Georgist grounds.

List of types of formally designated forests

This is a list of types of formally designated forests, as used in various places around the world. It is organized in three sublists: by forest ownership, protection status, and designated use.

Lockean proviso

The Lockean proviso is a feature of John Locke's labour theory of property which states that whilst individuals have a right to homestead private property from nature by working on it, they can do so only "at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others."

Murray Rothbard

Murray Newton Rothbard (; March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995) was an American heterodox economist of the Austrian School, historian, and a political theorist whose writings and personal influence played a seminal role in the development of modern right-libertarianism. Rothbard was the founder and leading theoretician of anarcho-capitalism, a staunch advocate of historical revisionism and a central figure in the 20th-century American libertarian movement. He wrote over twenty books on political theory, revisionist history, economics and other subjects. Rothbard asserted that all services provided by the "monopoly system of the corporate state" could be provided more efficiently by the private sector and wrote that the state is "the organization of robbery systematized and writ large". He called fractional-reserve banking a form of fraud and opposed central banking. He categorically opposed all military, political and economic interventionism in the affairs of other nations. According to his protégé Hans-Hermann Hoppe, "[t]here would be no anarcho-capitalist movement to speak of without Rothbard".Economist Jeffrey Herbener, who calls Rothbard his friend and "intellectual mentor", wrote that Rothbard received "only ostracism" from mainstream academia. Rothbard rejected mainstream economic methodologies and instead embraced the praxeology of his most important intellectual precursor, Ludwig von Mises. To promote his economic and political ideas, Rothbard joined Llewellyn H. "Lew" Rockwell, Jr. and Burton Blumert in 1982 to establish the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Alabama.

Natural-rights libertarianism

Natural-rights libertarianism, also known as deontological libertarianism, philosophical libertarianism, deontological liberalism, rights-theorist libertarianism, natural rights-based libertarianism, or libertarian moralism, refers to the view that all individuals possess certain natural or moral rights, mainly a right of individual sovereignty and that therefore acts of initiation of force and fraud are rights-violations and that is sufficient reason to oppose those acts. This is one of the two ethical view points within right-libertarianism, the other being consequentialist libertarianism which only takes into account the consequences of actions and rules when judging them and holds that free markets and strong private property rights have good consequences.Deontological libertarianism is based on the non-aggression principle which states that no human being holds the right to initate force or fraud against the person or property of another human being under any circumstances. Deontological libertarians consider this principle to be the basis of all morality and therefore believe that any violation of the principle is immoral, no matter what other arguments may be invoked to justify that violation.

Non-aggression principle

The non-aggression principle (or NAP; also called the non-aggression axiom, the anti-coercion, zero aggression principle or non-initiation of force) is an ethical stance asserting that aggression is inherently wrong. In this context, "aggression" is defined as initiating or threatening any forceful interference with an individual or their property. In contrast to pacifism, it does not forbid forceful defense.

The NAP is considered by some to be a defining principle of libertarianism, especially natural-rights libertarianism. It is also a prominent idea in anarcho-capitalism, classical liberalism, and minarchism.

Property rights (economics)

Property rights are theoretical socially-enforced constructs in economics for determining how a resource or economic good is used and owned. Resources can be owned by (and hence be the property of) individuals, associations or governments. Property rights can be viewed as an attribute of an economic good. This attribute has four broad components and is often referred to as a bundle of rights:

the right to use the good

the right to earn income from the good

the right to transfer the good to others

the right to enforce property rightsIn economics, property is usually considered to be ownership (rights to the proceeds generated by the property) and control over a resource or good. Many economists effectively argue that property rights need to be fixed and need to portray the relationships among other parties in order to be more effective.

Prosecutor

A prosecutor is a legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system. The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case in a criminal trial against an individual accused of breaking the law. Typically, the prosecutor represents the government in the case brought against the accused person.

Self-ownership

Self-ownership (also known as sovereignty of the individual or individual sovereignty) is the concept of property in one's own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to have bodily integrity and be the exclusive controller of one's own body and life. Self-ownership is a central idea in several political philosophies that emphasize individualism, such as liberalism and anarchism.

Tangible property

Tangible property in law is, literally, anything which can be touched, and includes both real property and personal property (or moveable property), and stands in distinction to intangible property.In English law and some Commonwealth legal systems, items of tangible property are referred to as choses in possession (or a chose in possession in the singular). However, some property, despite being physical in nature, is classified in many legal systems as intangible property rather than tangible property because the rights associated with the physical item are of far greater significance than the physical properties. Principally, these are documentary intangibles. For example, a promissory note is a piece of paper that can be touched, but the real significance is not the physical paper, but the legal rights which the paper confers, and hence the promissory note is defined by the legal debt rather than the physical attributes.A unique category of property is money, which in some legal systems is treated as tangible property and in others as intangible property. Whilst most countries legal tender is expressed in the form of intangible property ("The Treasury of Country X hereby promises to pay to the bearer on demand...."), in practice banknotes are now rarely ever redeemed in any country, which has led to banknotes and coins being classified as tangible property in most modern legal systems.

Taxation as theft

The position that taxation is immoral because it is a form of theft is a viewpoint found in a number of newer radical political philosophies, such as American libertarianism, and marks a radical departure from conservatism and classical liberalism. Voluntaryists, anarcho-capitalists, as well as Objectivists and most minarchists and libertarians see taxation as a clear violation of the non-aggression principle.Under this view, government transgresses property rights by enforcing compulsory tax collection, regardless of what the amount may be. Some defenders of taxation argue, on the other hand, that the notion of legal private property rights only exists within the legal framework of the state. Without a source of income, the state would be unable to enforce property law, and legal concepts such as theft and property rights, would essentially be rendered meaningless. Therefore it can be argued that the "taxation is theft" view is self-defeating unless the state can generate income through other means than taxation, such as state-owned business enterprises, or if the state is wholly paid for and operated by volunteers. Many opponents of taxation, like Michael Huemer, would respond to this by suggesting that private property rights exist independently of the state, and that it would be morally wrong to steal whether the state exists or not. He also points out that this principle would lead to the conclusion that slave owners had legitimate property rights over their slaves in the early nineteenth century.

The Libertarian Forum

The Libertarian Forum was a market anarchist magazine published about twice a month from 1969 to 1984. Its editor and chief author was Murray Rothbard; initially, Karl Hess also served as Washington editor. Currently all the issues are available in the recopilatory book The Complete Libertarian Forum 1969–1984.

Title-transfer theory of contract

The title-transfer theory of contract (TTToC) is a legal interpretation of contracts developed by economist Murray Rothbard and jurist Williamson Evers. The theory interprets all contractual obligations in terms of property rights, viewing a contract as a bundle of title transfers. The TTToC stands in oppositions to most mainstream contract theories which view contractual obligations as the result of a binding promise. Proponents of the approach often claim it is superior on grounds of both consistency and ethical considerations. The TTToC is often supported by libertarians.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.