Post-Democracy


Colin Crouch - 2000
     Colin Crouch argues that the decline of those social classes which had made possible an active and critical mass politics has combined with the rise of global capitalism to produce a self-referential political class more concerned with forging links with wealthy business interests than with pursuing political programmes which meet the concerns of ordinary people. He shows how, in some respects, politics at the dawn of the twenty-first century returns us to a world familiar well before the start of the twentieth, when politics was a game played among elites. However, Crouch maintains that the experience of the twentieth century remains salient and it reminds us of possibilities for the revival of politics. This engaging book will prove challenging to all those who claim that advanced societies have reached a virtual best of all possible democratic worlds, and will be compelling reading for anyone interested in the shape of twenty-first-century politics.

The Man Versus the State: With Six Essays on Government, Society, and Freedom


Herbert Spencer - 1881
    His theme is that “there is in society . . . that beautiful self-adjusting principle which will keep all its elements in equilibrium. . . . The attempt to regulate all the actions of a community by legislation will entail little else but misery and compulsion.”Herbert Spencer joined the staff of the London and Birmingham Railway as an engineer in 1837 and in 1848 took a position as editor of The Economist.Please note: This title is available as an ebook for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes.

The Intellectuals And Socialism


Friedrich A. Hayek - 1998
    This was the warning which Friedrich Hayek, the great architect of the 20th-century revival of classical liberal ideas, issued in 1949 with this essay. Hayek described intellectuals as 'professional second-hand dealers in ideas', people who are in a position to become familiar with new ideas and to promote them through their writings and speeches.He believed the importance of this class had been ignoted by supporters of the free market, with serious consequences. For example, socialism had never, and nowhere, been at first a working-class movement. It adoption by policy makers had been preceded by a long period in which it had been of interest only to intellectuals, who had promoted it relentlessly. Hayek believe that the classical liberal ideal of liberty and free markets had lost its appeal for young, intelligent people: the challenge was to 'make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure'. Hayek ended the essay by asking: 'Will it be in time?' A foreword by Edwin J. Feulner, President of the Heritage Foundation, and an introduction by John Blundell, General Director of the IEA, testify to the impact of this essay, together with Hayek's other writings, in stimulating the backlash against socialism through the many institutes founded by those who were won over to classical liberal ideas - just in time.

Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process


Edward W. Said - 1994
    Now in this probing and impassioned book, one of our foremost Palestinian-American intellectuals explains why the much-vaunted process has yet to produce peace--and is unlikely to as presently constituted.Whether Edward Said is addressing the fatal flaws in the PLO's bargain, denouncing fundamentalists on both sides of the religious divide, or calling our attention to the distortions in official coverage of the Arab world, he offers insights beyond the conventional wisdom and a sympathy that extends to bot Israelis and Palestinians. He does so with an incisiveness, clarity, and fairness that make Peace and Its Discontents essential reading for anyonve who cares about the future of the Middle East.

The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom


James Burnham - 1943
    The book devotes a long section to Machiavelli himself as well as to such modern Machiavellians as Gaetano Mosca, Georges Sorel, Robert Michels and Vilfredo Pareto. Burnham contends that the writings of these men hold the key both to the truth about politics and to the preservation of political liberty.

The Politics of Genocide


Edward S. Herman - 2010
    Herman and David Peterson examine the uses and abuses of the word genocide. They argue persuasively that the label is highly politicized and that in the United States it is used by the government, journalists, and academics to brand as evil those nations and political movements that in one way or another interfere with the imperial interests of U.S. capitalism. Thus the word genocide is seldom applied when the perpetrators are U.S. allies (or even the United States itself), while it is used almost indiscriminately when murders are committed or are alleged to have been committed by enemies of the United States and U.S. business interests. One set of rules applies to cases such as U.S. aggression in Vietnam, Israeli oppression of Palestinians, Indonesian slaughter of so-called communists and the people of East Timor, U.S. bombings in Serbia and Kosovo, the U.S. war of liberation in Iraq, and mass murders committed by U.S. allies in Rwanda and the Republic of Congo. Another set applies to cases such as Serbian aggression in Kosovo and Bosnia, killings carried out by U.S. enemies in Rwanda and Darfur, Saddam Hussein, any and all actions by Iran, and a host of others.With its careful and voluminous documentation, close reading of the U.S. media and political and scholarly writing on the subject, and clear and incisive charts, The Politics of Genocide is both a damning condemnation and stunning expose of a deeply rooted and effective system of propaganda aimed at deceiving the population while promoting the expansion of a cruel and heartless imperial system."

The Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority


Rose Wilder Lane - 1943
    It must be read by anyone who is seriously interested in the heritage of liberty--not just in America, but the world over. And reading it is a joy. Lane, who is said to have written the book 'at white heat,' was at once a brilliant thinker and a gifted storyteller.This book is a withering attack on statism, nationalism, and what Nobel Laureate F. A. Hayek calls the 'fatal conceit' of national economic planning. It is an intellectual tour de force that stood up to the collectivist paradigm of its time and pointed the way to rediscovering the principles of the American Revolution--a true revolution unlike those of the Old World that 'are revolutions only in the sense that a wheel's turning is a revolution.' Her exciting description of the revolutionary period (you can tell she wishes she'd been there to lend a hand to Paine, Mason, Jefferson and the gang) is the best of a brilliant book.Rose Wilder Lane was a truly remarkable woman. Like Jefferson, she attacked life, living it to the fullest, as adventurer, journalist, world traveler, iconoclast, and just prior to her death, war corespondent in Vietnam. Not surprisingly, the clear-eyed determination and supercharged energy she brings to attacking the enemies of liberty in Discovery is unique among prominent pro-liberty writers. (Free download at mises.org)

50 Political Ideas You Really Need to Know


Ben Dupré - 2007
    Corruption, Spin and a suspect Political culture arouse public indignation, which is further aggravated by an array of Pressure groups and the far-from-disinterested attentions of the Mass media.In 50 Political Ideas You Really Need to Know, Ben Dupré clears away the murk that obscures key concepts that we ignore at our peril.

How to Be an Anticapitalist in the Twenty-First Century


Erik Olin Wright - 2019
    Our shared values - equality and fairness, democracy and freedom, community and solidarity - can both provide the basis for a critique of capitalism, and help to guide us towards a socialist and democratic society.In this elegant book, Erik Olin Wright has distilled decades of work into a concise and tightly argued manifesto - analyzing the varieties of anti-capitalism, assessing different strategic approaches, and laying the foundations for a society dedicated to human flourishing. How to Be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century is an urgent and powerful argument for socialism, and a unparalleled guide to help us get there. Another world is possible.

Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature, and Other Essays


Murray N. Rothbard - 2000
    Appearing first in 1974, this volume, more than any of other, came to build a generation of libertarian scholars that looked beyond the trapping of conventional left-right thinking, and hence laid the groundwork for the current intellectual revolt against centralized social and economic management. The book's title comes from the lead essay, which argues that egalitarian theory always results in politics of statist control because it is founded on revolt against the ontological structure of reality itself. It is an attempt to replace what exists with a Romantic image of an idealized primitive state of nature, an ideal which cannot and should not be achieved. The implications of this point are worked out on topics such as market economics, child rights, environmentalism, feminism, foreign policy, redistribution--and a host of other issues that are driving public debate today. As Roy Childs, Jr., writes in the introduction: "Until Rothbard's work is carefully studied by every advocate of liberty, the value of his contributions to the libertarian system cannot be fully appreciated and, moreover, the unity and true historical context of libertarianism will not even be fully grasped."

Structure and Change in Economic History


Douglass C. North - 1981
    North's investigation is the question of property rights, the arrangements individuals & groups have made thru history to deal with the fundamental economic problem of scarce resources. In six theoretical chapters, North examines the structure of economic systems, outlines an economic theory of the state & the ideologies that undergird various modes of economic organization, & then explores the dynamic forces such as new technologies that cause institutions to adapt in order to survive. With this analytical framework in place, major phases in Western history come under careful reappraisal, from the origins of agriculture & the neolithic revolution thru the political economy of the ancient & medieval worlds to the industrial revolution & the economic transformations of the 20th century. Structure & Change in Economic History is a work that will reshape many established explanations of the growth of the west.

Inventing Reality: The Politics of News Media


Michael Parenti - 1986
    Taking a critical perspective on the economics and politics of "presenting" the news, this topical supplement argues that the media systematically distorts news coverage.

Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs


Noam Chomsky - 1999
    Rogue States is the result of his tireless efforts to measure the world's superpowers by their own standards and to hold them responsible for the acts they commit in the name of their people.The United States and its allies come in for particular scrutiny for their numerous blatant violations of the very international laws they claim to uphold. With analysis of the United States's bombing campaign against Iraq, NATO'S intervention in Kosovo, US support for a regime terror in East Timor, and the political crisis in Colombia, Chomsky interrogates the rhetoric of Western foreign policy to reveal the insidious interests behind insupportable actions —from paralyzing economic sanctions to surgical military strikes.Chomsky also turns his penetrating gaze towards continuing US involvement in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America to trace the enduring combined effects of military domination and economic imperialism on these Regions.Throughout, Chomsky reveals the United States's increasingly open dismissal of United Nations resolutions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international legal precedent in justifying its motives and actions. As his analysis of US statecraft and warmongering amply reveals, the rule of law has been reduced to a mere nuisance in the United States's brazen bid for the title of "rogue state."Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a world-renowned linguist, philosopher, and political analyst. He writes extensively and lectures around the world on international affairs, US foreign policy, and human rights. He has published many books with South End Press, including Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians and Powers and Prospects: Reflections on Human Nature and the Social Order.Table of Contents 1. Rogues' Gallery: Who Qualifies? 2. Rogue States 3. Crisis in the Balkans 4. East Timor Retrospective 5. "Plan Colombia" 6. Cuba and the US Government: David vs. Goliath 7. Putting on the Pressure: Latin America 8. Jubilee 2000 9. "Recovering Rights": A Crooked Path 10. The United States and the "Challenge of Universality" 11. The Legacy of War 12. Millennium Greetings 13. Power in the Domestic Arena 14. Socioeconomic Sovereignty Notes Index An Excerpt from Rogue States by Noam ChomskyThe concept of "rogue state" plays a pre-eminent role today in policy planning and analysis. The current Iraq crisis is only the latest example. Washington and London declared Iraq a "rogue state," a threat to its neighbors and to the entire world, an "outlaw nation" led by a reincarnation of Hitler who must be contained by the guardians of world order, the United States and its British "junior partner," to adopt the term ruefully employed by the British foreign office half a century ago. The concept merits a close look. [...]A secret 1995 study of the Strategic Command, which is responsible for the strategic nuclear arsenal, outlines the basic thinking. Released through the Freedom of Information Act, the study, Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence, "shows how the United States shifted its deterrent strategy from the defunct Soviet Union to so-called rogue states such as Iraq, Libya, Cuba and North Korea," AP reports. The study advocates that the US exploit its nuclear arsenal to portray itself as "irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked." That "should be a part of the national persona we project to all adversaries," in particular the "rogue states." "It hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed," let alone committed to such silliness as international law and treaty obligations. "The fact that some elements" of the US government "may appear to be potentially 'out of control' can be beneficial to creating and reinforcing fears and doubts within the minds of an adversary's decision makers." The report resurrects Nixon's "madman theory": our enemies should recognize that we are crazed and unpredictable, with extraordin

Debunking Utopia: Exposing the Myth of Nordic Socialism


Nima Sanandaji - 2016
    The reason is simple. At first glance, Nordic countries seem to have everything liberals want to see in America: equal income distribution, good health, low levels of poverty, and thriving economies, all co-existing with big welfare states. By copying Nordic policies, many in the American left hope to transform America to a similar socialist -utopia.-In Debunking Utopia, Swedish author Nima Sanandaji explains why this is all wishful thinking. Certainly, some aspects of Nordic welfare states, such as childcare provision, merit the admiration of liberals. But overall, it is a unique culture based on hard work, healthy diets, social cohesion and high levels of trust that have made Nordic countries successful. Sanandaji explains how the Nordic people adopted this culture of success in order to survive in the unforgiving Scandinavian climate. He systematically proves that the high levels of income equality, high lifespans and other signs of social success in the Nordics all predate the expansion of the welfare state. If anything, the Nordic countries reached their peak during the mid-twentieth century, when they had low taxes and small welfare states. Perhaps most astonishing are his findings that Nordic-Americans consistently outperform their cousins who live across the ocean. People of Nordic descent who live under the American capitalist system not only enjoy higher levels of income, but also a lower level of poverty than the citizens of the Nordic countries themselves.Sanandaji's previous writings on the roots of Nordic success have gained media attention around the world and been translated into many languages. Debunking Utopia, which expands on this work, should be read by all--liberals and conservatives alike--who follow the debate over the future of American welfare. As Sanandaji shows, there is much Americans can learn from both the successes and failures of Nordic-style social democracy.

A Nation of Sheep


Andrew P. Napolitano - 2007
    Napolitano, Fox News Channel's Senior Judicial Analyst, holds a straightforward "conversation" with the American voter, in which he asks questions and gives answers that no one else will:Why do our taxes continue to rise, government services stay worse than ever, and we just pay the taxes and re-elect those who raised them?Why do people in government never acknowledge a mistake, and why do we accept that?Why does the government continue to regulate private behavior?Why do both Republicans and Democrats bring about bigger and more expensive government?Whatever happened to our individual inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that are guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence, yet ignored by the governments elected to protect them?Why does Congress keep telling the States what to do?Why does every public office holder swear allegiance to the Constitution, yet very few follow it?Why are we afraid of the governments we have hired to protect our freedoms?