Libertarianism—the philosophy of personal and economic freedom—has deep roots in Western civilization and in American history, and it’s growing stronger. Two long wars, chronic deficits, the financial crisis, the costly drug war, the campaigns of Ron Paul and Rand Paul, the growth of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, and the revelations about NSA abuses have pushed millions more Americans in a libertarian direction. Libertarianism: A Primer, by David Boaz, the longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, continues to be the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of this increasingly important political movement—and now it has been updated throughout and with a new title: The Libertarian Mind.
Boaz has updated the book with new information on the threat of government surveillance; the policies that led up to and stemmed from the 2008 financial crisis; corruption in Washington; and the unsustainable welfare state. The Libertarian Mind is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement.
Libertarianism is hardly new, but its framework for liberty under law and economic progress makes it especially suited for the dynamic new era we are now entering. In the United States, the bureaucratic leviathan is newly threatened by a resurgence of the libertarian ideas upon which the country was founded. We are witnessing a breakdown of all the cherished beliefs of the welfare-warfare state. Americans have seen the failure of big government. Now, in the 1990s, we are ready to apply the lessons of this century to make the next one the century not of the state but of the free individual.
David Boaz presents the essential guidebook to the libertarian perspective, detailing its roots, central tenets, solutions to contemporary policy dilemmas, and future in American politics. He confronts head-on the tough questions frequently posed to libertarians: What about inequality? Who protects the environment? What ties people together if they are essentially self-interested? A concluding section, "Are You a Libertarian?" gives readers a chance to explore the substance of their own beliefs. Libertarianism is must reading for understanding one of the most exciting and hopeful movements of our time.
Writing in 1995 about the large numbers of Americans who say they'd welcome a third party, David Broder of The Washington Post commented, "The distinguishing characteristic of these potential independent voters—aside from their disillusionment with Washington politicians of both parties—is their libertarian streak. They are skeptical of the Democrats because they identify them with big government. They are wary of the Republicans because of the growing influence within the GOP of the religious right."
In The Libertarian Reader, David Boaz has gathered the writers and works that represent the building blocks of libertarianism. These individuals have spoken out for the basic freedoms that have made possible the flowering of spiritual, moral, and economic life. For all independent thinkers, this unique sourcebook will stand as a classic reference for years to come, and a reminder that libertarianism is one of our oldest and most venerable American traditions.
For nearly 30 years, David Boaz has been speaking directly to the large and growing number of Americans who are fed up with politics as usual. His articles speak to the perspectives and values Americans have always held privately and more and more are coming to embrace openly. Now, for the first time, his best writings are gathered in one collection. A recent survey found that 59 percent of respondents described themselves as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal." Boaz shows that majority that their fundamental political value is freedom. Whether it’s the freedom to choose a church, a school, or a lifestyle, The Politics of Freedom gives voice to a value most Americans embrace. For the millions of Americans who don’t neatly fit into the red or blue, who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, who reject big-government conservatism and nanny-state liberalism, this book offers a new politics of freedom.
Problems such as the burgeoning federal deficit indicate that careerism and legislative "experience" may not be all they are cracked up to be. Proponents of term limits argue that abolishing careerism would open the political process to a new type of candidate - the aspiring citizen legislator - who wishes to take a brief time out from his or her work to make a contribution to society. But opponents of term limits counter that such a change would induce an unhealthy dependence on congressional aides and professional lobbyists. Who is correct? You decide.