Philosophy

Norman Barry, R.I.P.

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The great British scholar of classical liberalism and libertarianism has died.

I was especially inspired and educated, both as a college student and then later while writing my own book on libertarianism, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by his excellent 1987 book On Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism. This was one of the first books by a serious, trained, learned political theorist surveying with intelligence and sympathy, but without the movement activist's fervor and special pleading, the whole range of political and economic ideas in the West that fed in to modern libertarianism.

You can watch a 40-minute video interview with Barry here. See a nifty 1982 review essay on the history of the idea of spontaneous order from Barry here.