Libertarian History/Philosophy

Leonard Read, Modern Libertarian Founding Father, Gets His Books Fully Digitized

|

All the books written by Leonard Read, founder of the first recognizable modern libertarian educational institute, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), are now fully digitized and available at FEE's website. "The Complete Works of Leonard E. Read" project includes 36 books, including his pre-FEE first foray into free-market, anti-New Deal thought, The Romance of Reality.

This essay by Jeffrey Tucker announcing the availability of all these books (most composed of essays he wrote for FEE's flagship magazine The Freeman) is a nice introduction to where Read came from and what he tried to achieve. Links to all the individual books are also at that link.

Tucker's summation of Read's role as the apostle of libertarian thought to middle American businessmen and those who worked for them:

His works were pored over by a generation of businesspeople and professionals who so badly needed inspiration in dark times. He provided it with his continuing themes: celebrating human creativity, warning against all forms of control, calling for individual improvement as a path toward freedom, eschewing politics as a workable solution, and pursuing the path of peace in all aspects of life.

Read wrote the magisterial "I Pencil" which is to my read (and Milton Friedman's) likely the most insightful works of popular economic thinking ever written, explaining the dizzying and wild possibilities that free trade and the division of labor bring to not just fruition but profusion.

Read also came up with what I think is the best slogan-level summation of the true libertarian spirit: the acceptance and allowance of "anything that's peaceful."

Read's history and significance to the modern American libertarian movement is told at length in my book Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement

NEXT: Missouri Constitution's right to bear arms covers many nonviolent felons

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Wow thats kinda crazy dude,.

    http://www.AnonStuff.tk

    1. No you didn’t.

      1. What do you expect from pedobot?

  2. Are they free to Read or is there a nominal FEE?

    1. Bo!
      Uh, Boo!

  3. OT: Another phony scandal, and anyway, what difference at this point does it make?

    Hillary Clinton’s Use of Private Email at State Department Raises Flags

    WASHINGTON ? Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

    Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

    1. I don’t see how she walks this one off, especially since there is no question she blatantly violated Federal law.

      It only shows how weak the Democratic Party is if they can’t find a viable alternative to the Hildabeast.

      1. Well, considering the GOP’s candidates for the last two presidential elections, they won’t need much.

      2. I don’t see how she walks this one off

        I am sure there are plenty of journalists already sharpening their pencils in anticipation of walking it off for her.

        1. Yeah, but The New York Times broke the story. That should tell us something, I think.

          They’re getting pretty nervous about the prospects of a Clinton campaign.

          1. Fair point. I think that the Obama-Clinton schism will have interesting effects going forward. I’m not sure Hillary makes it to the nomination. Maybe withdraws for “health considerations” or some such.

            1. I read somewhere today (don’t know if it’s true) that the Clintons’ net worth is in the 9 figures. Why wouldn’t she just play the elder statesman role for the rest of her life? She’d still have plenty of fawning fans and fame, but without all the real life headaches.

              1. “Why wouldn’t she just play the elder statesman role for the rest of her life?”

                I’m going to claim outright that for Shrillery, money was only a path to POWER!
                If she could get power without a dime in here pocket, she wouldn’t care. If she had to spend every penny they had and auction off Chelsea beside to get power, so be it.
                If she doesn’t get to be prez, I predict she will make Bubba’s life so miserable, they won’t spend 5 minutes a day in each other’s company for the rest of their lives.
                She is that horrible hall monitor from HS who lived to bust somebody running to the next class; hated by everyone.

          2. From Benghazi to Libya, from personal email to Bill’s flight’s to Lolita Island, is it really possible for Hillary to win the Presidency. Call me an irrational optimist, but I’m starting to think that maybe, just maybe, the answer is no.

            1. Lefties have been known to ignore pretty serious transgressions.
              Teddy got elected to the Senate for years after he murdered that woman.

              1. Teddy got elected to the Senate for years after he murdered that woman.

                In fairness, Sevo, he was a Kennedy.

            2. She’s a political catastrophe on two legs (three if she has to use a cane by 2016). It’s unfathomable that a mainstream political party would choose her to run in a presidential election, as everything about her is grating.

              Biden and Bill are wormy little schlubs who have some personal appeal for Ma and Pa Kettle-Voter, but Hillary is the sort of candidate who, in a recorded interview, remarks about the sodomized-and-murdered Gaddafi, “We came, we saw, he died (cackle).”

              I know libertarians are supposed to have a tin ear for politics and all, but this woman might as well be the anti-Obama for her lack of charisma and glamour.

          3. I’m thinking they might be breaking now so they can play the “old news, nobody cares, no big deal” game.

            I vaguely remember the newsies doing the same shit with White Water before the ’92 campaign.

            Still, I don’t think she’ll win the nom this time for the same reason she didn’t get it in 2008, lots of Dems hate her more than they hate Republicans. They rallied around the empty suit with practically zero legislative or executive (or, God forbid, private/military leadership) experience rather than granting the Queen her long expected coronation.

    2. …”Possibly breaking *rules*”…

      Doesn’t the NYT know how to spell “laws”?

    3. “Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department.”

      Sounds about right. IF YOU DON’T WANT ANYONE, EVER, TO KNOW WHAT YOU THOUGHT OR DID DURING THOSE FOUR YEARS.

    4. Refresh, how does it fucking work? :/

      1. Hey, you added the ‘accepting bribes’ angle; good work!

    1. Uh, 53 minutes of vid?
      How about a hint?

      1. Three female libertarians…about as likely as unicorns?

        1. That’s what I get for not speaking Spanish…
          Thx.

        2. Unicorn, the illusive female libertarian. I like that.

          Apparently there’s one in El Salvador, Guatemala and Ecuador.

          1. I meant *elusive*

            1. I started with my online business I earn $58 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.
              For information check this site. ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

            2. I started with my online business I earn $58 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.
              For information check this site. ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

          2. Aren’t unicorns a symbol of male virility? The homosexual varieties of virility add another layer of connotation to your proposed symbol of the slippery female libertarian – who really seems so close during the more intimate moments of the circle jerk.

  4. I am starting to wonder if Hillary is actually gonna make it to the Dem nomination.

    The State Department is stepping back from a spokeswoman’s comment last week suggesting that the agency’s ethics lawyers signed off on donations to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
    Asked at a daily briefing Thursday about the foundation’s failure to submit a $500,000 donation from the country of Algeria for a conflict of interest review in 2010, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that the department did such reviews whenever the non-profit founded by former President Bill Clinton sent in information about a potential gift.

    “We like to review — and we have reviewed every donation that was submitted,” Psaki said.

    However, there are no indications any Clinton Foundation donations were ever sent to the State Department for approval.

    and

    Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.
    Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act

  5. BTW, I just re-read the “I, Pencil” essay. It’s a bit stilted, but there is no denying the points it makes.
    Next time some lefty claims ‘faith-based’ WRT the ‘invisible hand’, s/he needs to have the essay imprinted on the corneas.

    1. There’s also Read’s video “How To Advance Liberty” if you’re interested:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56WsSpjPA80

  6. Exciting stuff on the Read front.

    When I was a pup, I was basically limited to the couple of Ayn Rand books I found in my school or local library, which, where I grew up, meant that you could be a slightly confused Objectivist or a completely confused “conservative” in the WFB mold. With the web (and Amazon’s infinite number of $.01 books, which characterizes the market demand for obscure libertarian tomes from the 70s and 80s), the question of what libertarians should read is more an issue of time triage than anything else.

    It’ll be great once all of the old libertarian/Old Right documents are available in digitized form. LVMI is the gold standard there, but it’d be cool if we could get more populist stuff like Read to complement Mises, Hayek, and co.

    1. The OLL challenges LvMI for title of “gold standard.” I think the OLL has more content, though much of it is from 100+ years ago. Still, more people should read Benjamin Constant than Joseph Salerno.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.