Well, technically, Anarchy 100, a seminar at Lebanon Valley College. I was alerted by a friend to this interesting course by Michael Kitchens, an Assistant Professor of Psychology. The reading materials include many articles and books from Austro-anarchists such as Roderick Long, Bob Murphy, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Walter Block, Anthony Gregory, Tom DiLorenzo, Lew Rockwell, Rothbard, and myself. This is cool. The reading list would make a good book. From the course page:
Introductory Essays on Anarchy
The State & Anarchy
Defense & Security
Roads & Highways
Civilization, Culture, & Life
“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” ~ Clay Shirky
You know the slavery Kool-Aid is working well when those who are oppressed petition their oppressors for more of that which helps keep them oppressed.
For instance, public education is a tool that was designed–specifically and directly–as a means of controlling the hoi polloi. The educational system of compulsory public education championed by Horace Mann, chock-full of multiple-choice testing perfected by Frederick J. Kelly, feeding into statistical models based upon the work of (eugenicist) Sir Francis Galton, was (and is) designed to fulfill the need for employees who are primed and ready to inhabit factories where efficiency can be measured in ways developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor. (The fact that so few of such factories currently exist in America should also be telling, but that’s a different discussion.) Mann believed “universal public education was the best way to turn the nation’s unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens.” The whole thing was designed to produce a seething throng of people ready to take orders, stand in line, ask few questions, and install bumpers all day–accepting the interminable boredom of such a life–while their over-lords made a ton of money. Free and compulsory public education was never intended to create inquisitive, risk-taking, leaders. Or entrepreneurs and/or business owners. Or frankly, owners of anything! Yet, people clamor that “education is a right” and “we need more funding for our schools” despite the inescapable fact that these same crap holes are doing their best at producing children incapable of independent thought and unable to read a book (or a blueprint), solve a simple mathematics problem, or devise a new strategy. It’s damned sad, really.
My friend Paul Vahur has just announced the formation of the Mises Institute Estonia. As their introductory notes explains:
We are glad to announce about the creation of Mises Institute Estonia (in Estonian: Misese Instituut). The founders were 10 members of Mises Circle Tallinn which was created in 2009. Mises Institute Estonia is politically independent and funded only by private donations.The purpose of the Institute is to promote and advance in Estonia the theories of Austrian School of Economics and classical liberal and libertarian political theories. To achieve these goals, the Institute will regularly publish articles on its website Mises.ee, it will also hold conferences, educational courses and lectures. The Institute publishes books in Estonian popularizing economic science and libertarian political theory.
The Institue will be headed by Paul Vahur. The members of supervisory board are Risto Sverdlik, Urmas Järve and Paul Keres.
Mises Institute Estonia is named after Ludwig von Mises, a renowned Austrian economist whose biggest contribution was to explain the cause of economic crises and why state’s economic intervention is doomed to failure. First Mises Institute was founded in 1982 in USA. Thanks to their great success many other Mises Institutes have been founded in recent years in other countries such as Poland, Brazil, Sweden and Canada.
It is heartening to see the growing ranks of counterparts to the US Mises Institute or others similar or related to or inspired by same, such as the Cobden Centre in the UK and others, to help spread the message of private property, individual liberty and Austrian economics.
There are several useful bibliographies and recommended reading lists out there. See, e.g.:
I also published my own list, The Greatest Libertarian Books, a few years ago, and expanded on it in the post Top Ten Books of Liberty and Other Top Ten Lists of Libertarian Books..
Of the books I’ve read, I’d have to say the most important, significant, and influential one I’ve ever read is Hans-Hermann Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism. As I wrote in my LRC piece:
Topping my list is A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, as well as a host of other works, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, our greatest living intellectual. Hoppe’s other influential works include Democracy: The God That Failed, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, and Economic Science and the Austrian Method. Sure, Hoppe stands on the shoulders of giants — primarily Mises and Rothbard — but to my mind his edifice of thought is the pinnacle of Austro-libertarian thinking. Somewhat sobering is the realization that Hoppe was only forty when he wrote Capitalism. Gulp.
This is one reason I did an extensive review essay of the The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, in 1994. And used it for my own theories, e.g. on rights, contract, IP, and the like. And conducted a whole Mises Academy course around Hoppe’s thought. TSC is systematic, lucid, dense, stimulating, and solidly anchored in Misesian praxeology and economics and Rothbardian political radicalism, while extending both. My copy is peppered with marginalia and notes. Such an amazing book. If you can only read part: Chapters 1, 2, and 7. But you must read the whole thing.
What are your favorites, more important, most influential?
A new book has just been released, Everything Voluntary: From Politics to Parenting. Edited by Skyler Collins, it’s also free on Scribd and for PDF download. Here’s my back-cover blurb:
This book contains a very useful, well-organized, and carefully selected set of essays centered around the idea of human liberty, what Hazlitt called “cooperatism” [Foundations of Morality, p. xii] and what the editor calls “voluntaryism.” In addition to covering the basics of politics and economics, the book contains a large number of essays devoted to education and parenting. This decision makes pertect sense, when we realize that our children and the ideas they are exposed to are the greatest hope for liberty in generations to come. I highly recommend this excellent volume, for beginners, activists, and seasoned libertarians.