Thursday, August 21, 2003


Charles T. Sprading was a libertarian activist and prolific writer in a number of causes, ranging from freedom and freethought advocacy, cooperativism, Irish Independence, publisher of libertarian books and periodicals, opponent of anti-blue laws, and, in his last years before his health failed him (d. approx 1960), supporter of the Bricker Amendment and strident opponent to the U.N.

Probably his best-known work outside of Liberty and the Great Libertarians (Los Angeles: The Libertarian Publishing Company, 1913, reprinted in 1978 and 1995), was The Science of Materialism (New York: The Truth Seeker Company, Inc., 1942) which ran through several reprints and one of the most popular freethought works of the 1940’s and 1950’s. He wrote freethought essays throughout his life and numerous other freethought books. Another freethought work, Science versus Dogma (Los Angeles: The Libertarian Publishing Company, 1925) is largely a defense of evolution written with the assistance of the naturalist, David Starr Jordan. Two other freethought books were American Religions (a humorous look at American religion) and Is Materialism A Science?

Sprading was a significant transitional figure in the evolution of the libertarian movement. Starting as a “plumb-line protagonist of freedom” (“plumb-line” generally referred to the Tuckerite wing of the anarchist movement. See, for example, Men Against the State by James J. Martin, who refers to Sprading as one of the Tuckerites.), he remained an anarcho-spencerian proponent of the law of equal rights throughout his life. Perhaps the most well-known proponent of this form of “rational anarchism” was Victor Yarros, particularly in his early writings in Benjamin Tucker’s periodical, Liberty (1881-1908. Yarros was co-editor of Liberty for a period of time.). Yarros was to later move from his radicalism to a form of progressive liberalism, particularly during the period writing for the socialist and freethought publisher, E. Haldeman-Julius.

As an interesting aside, one copy of Liberty and the Great Libertarians has been located with an inscription in the front to President Woodrow Wilson, "a fellow worker for a greater freedom". Sprading held high hopes for Wilson's term of office. Sprading admired Woodrow Wilson, as many radical classical liberals (i.e., libertarians--Spencer Heath is another example) did. Wilson was the author of a book entitled, The State, highly regarded by the classical liberals of the time, many of whom were to join with him in his administration. Some shed their fundamental beliefs and stayed with him in positions of power. Others, such as Albert Jay Nock (who worked under William Jennings Bryan in the State Department), left in horror over the directions that his administration was going, never to return to politics again.

As is frequently the case, alas, once in power, Acton's Disease soon becomes a permanent ailment.

It was particularly saddening to see so many single taxers (influenced by the works of Henry George and tended to be the political activists in the radical wing of the classical liberal movement) in his administration as, in many respects, they were localists in their orientation akin to modern paleolibertarianism and paleoconservativism. The single tax position (taxing only the ground rent of land) places the tax base on land and hence, the benefits from this tax, such as roads and other public services, naturally accrue to the neighboring communities. Many single taxers, including Henry George, sought a drastic reduction in the power of the federal government (contrary to Wilson's designs). George, for example, wanted the Navy entirely abolished as well as other federal departments. Others, including Nock and Chodorov, believed that the entire structure of the federal government should be limited in size to a single (albeit large) building.

Sprading began his career as a wealthy landowner in the San Francisco area until his properties were destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1906 (one of the founders of the Oakland Museum and his name remains on the building), following which he traveled to Los Angeles, where he remained until his death.

A leading figure of the Los Angeles Liberal Club, along with several other “plumb-liners”, such as Clarence Lee Swartz (author of What is Mutualism? in 1927 and editor of Benjamin Tucker’s Individual Liberty in 1926), Cassius V. Cook (Rocker Publications), Sadie Cook (Rocker Publications) and H. F. Rossner, Sprading was part of the radical wing of the organization. He formed The Libertarian League around 1920 which published a periodical called The Libertarian for several years. Its primary emphasis was opposition to the blue laws (Sunday business closure laws) and prohibition. Incidentally, this was the only organization which H.L. Mencken officially joined. The Declaration of Principles of The Libertarian League, which remains a good statement to this day, from Sprading's Freedom and Its Fundamentals (Los Angeles, Libertarian Publishing Company, 1923, pp. 9-10) expressed his position:

The Law of Equal Freedom, as Adopted by The Libertarian League

Since life itself contains the impulse of physical growth and the development of faculties and therefore needs room and freedom to function; and since liberty is necessary to the exercise of faculties; and since the exercise of faculties is essential to happiness; therefore, to attain happiness one must have liberty. And since liberty, being essential to the individual, is also necessary to the race; and since this necessitates limiting the liberty of each to the like liberty of all, we therefore arrive at the sociological Law of Equal Freedom.

Libertarian Principles

Freedom of thought is essential to the discovery of truth.
Freedom of speech is essential to the vindication of truth.
Freedom of the press is requisite for the dissemination of knowledge.
Freedom of assembly is essential for the discussion of public questions.
Freedom in education is essential to the development of correct principles of study and teaching.
Freedom in science is essential to the demonstration of fact, through investigation and experimentation.
Freedom in literature, art and music is necessary for the highest expression of conceptions and emotions.
Freedom in amusements and sports is essential to the fullest enjoyment of recreation.
Freedom in religion is necessary to avert persecution (as, e.g., for adopting and professing religious opinions, and for worshiping or not worshiping, according to the dictates of conscience).
Freedom of initiative and association is necessary for efficiency and economic in individual or co-operative enterprise.

Equal Freedom and Its Friends was written approximately 1920, between the publication of his Liberty and the Great Libertarians and Freedom and Its Fundamentals. War, Its Cause and Cure was written in the late 1930’s and continues the approach taken in Chapter XI, “Freedom and Militarism” in Freedom and Its Fundamentals. Here is an excerpt from Chapter XI (pp. 165-6, 179-182):

“Militarism is a violation of the principle of Equal Freedom. Militarism is founded on force; its method is violence; its theory is “Might is right”; its purpose is to conquer or destroy. Its greatest heroes are those who have slaughtered the greatest number of people. When differences between nations are settled by appeals to force, and not to justice, the stronger nations soon demonstrate that they are right. While the majority of men have outgrown the notion that a pugilist is in the right and an invalid is in the wrong because the former can thrash the latter, an analogous opinion is still entertained by those nations that rely solely on arms to vindicate the right.”
“The function of the militarist is war. His business is a fighting one. His teachings are to prepare the people for war and to excite other countries to war.”
“The distinguishing characteristic of the militarist is parasitism; the power and ability to destroy, and to levy tribute, to impose arbitrary restrictions and collect taxes, to take and to consume; in short, to govern…”
“Even the people in republics, who boast that “We are the Government,” have not a word to say about whether they are to be involved in war and killed. They may have something to say about whether the tariff is to be LOWERED or not, but they have nothing to say about whether they are to be LOWERED into the grave or not.”
“It is a simple matter to decide whether you want to kill or be killed. Most people have already decided in their own minds against killing, but they have no opportunity to vote against it. They should work for general disarmament.”
“(1) Those who believe in the use of the ballot should demand it in matters of life and death to themselves and their nation.”
“(2) Let those who vote for invasive war be registered as such, both male and female, so they may be called on first to face the bullets.”
“(3) Take away from the military class the power to declare war.”
“(4) Secret diplomacy should be wiped out; the people should know what is now concealed from them.”
“(5) Let an International Board of Arbitration composed of men of peace, not militarists, furnish an International Guard, composed of the navies and air fleets of all countries, and if this guard behaves itself, it will soon be seen that even it is not needed.”
“(6) Demand that the nations accept Equal Freedom (which implies equal rights and equal opportunities) as the guiding principle of nations.”
“One way to abolish invasive war, is to stop invading other countries. The way to stop bloodshed is to refuse to shed blood. The way to abolish the military class is to stop supporting it. Stop teaching war. Stop believing in war. Stop patronizing war papers. Stop teaching strife; teach mutual aid.”
“Stop teaching destruction, teach and practice co-operation.”
“Stop teaching force and murder; teach justice and liberty.”
“Instead of war mottoes like “My country, right or wrong,” let us have peace mottoes something like these:”
“It is better to work for your own country than to fight for another country.”
“It is nobler to live in peace in your own country than to die fighting in another.”
“It is finer to strive for the liberty to live, than to die in a ditch at the command of a class.”
“With proper teaching peace can be brought about, the teachers of force and murder must be replaced by teachers of truth and justice, of equal liberty, and the brotherhood of all mankind.”
“When that day comes murder will cease, for the militarist will have no way to glorify it…”

His views on economics, like a number of libertarians of the time, leaned toward co-operation. He wrote several books on the subject, Mutual Service and Cooperation (1930), Cooperation—The Economic Solution (1935) and Ethics of Cooperation (early 1950’s). James P. Warbasse’s book, Cooperative Peace (Cooperative Publishing Association,, 1950) explains their economic theories. You will find Cooperation, the journal of the cooperative movement, was radically antipolitical in its focus during the 1920’s.

Sprading’s Real Freedom (Wetzel Publishing Co., Inc., 1954) and The World State Craze (Wetzel Publishing Co., Inc., 1954) were his final works. Real Freedom continued the effort of Sprading to describe the general position of libertarianism and follows Liberty and The Great Libertarians, Freedom and Its Fundamentals, Equal Freedom and Its Friends and Positive and Constructive Freedom and the Struggle for Rights and Freedom (1959) in this effort.

The World State Craze was his final attack on militarist trends in the U.S. This includes his defense of the Bricker Amendment and his opposition to the United Nations treaties (which he foresaw as destroying the last constitutional protections of the American citizen), as well as his opposition to the Marshal Plan and the World Bank. By this time, he lost any of the belief of the traditional 19th century classical liberal in international agreements for peace. As he made clear (pp. 19-22):

“The talk about an “International Police Force” is a fraud. A police force belongs to a city, is governed by the city, and can be discharged and replaced by the city. This is not true of the armed force to control the world that is proposed. No city or citizens have any control of it. It is an International body, and must be controlled by an International State, and this International State supersedes all National States. It sets aside all the national sovereignties of all nations…”
“In the light of existing standards of international morality, the natural question is whether the people of the United States will consent to a military force of sufficient strength to crush the armed forces of this country?”
“American youth will be expected to join or be conscripted into a force which might be used to overwhelm the United States, and the citizens of this nation will have to pay the largest part of the expenses of that army, as it did of World War II…
“The nature of a World State is to rule the world. Its nature is to encroach upon the legal rights and activities of the national states within the federation and to effect gradually a centralized form of government under which nations’ rights disappear…”
“A World State rulership is foreign rule to all nations and no nation likes foreign rule. The English rule has been the most perfect for centuries, and yet its colonies revolted against that rule. Now how can one expect the rulership of a World State to be satisfactory to all nations?”
“The history of the past furnishes plenty of evidence of nations revolting against foreign rule. As a World State is of that nature, revolt against that rule is certain when it conflicts with the interests of some nations, and when these revolts occur, the revolting nation must be subdued. Judging from past history, there will be plenty of such revolts, which will mean perpetual war, instead of peace.”
“,,,So this International Army will have plenty to do in suppressing uprisings which will not mean “peace” that has been heralded to the world by the Internationalists, but perpetual war.”

Sprading is an important transitional figure. Not only was he one of the few classical liberal/libertarian activists spanning the period from WWI to the Cold War, but he was, along with Leonard Read and Frank Chodorov (although predating both), a leading advocate of the evolution of libertarians from their traditional nomenclature of “liberalism” into the new terminology of “libertarianism”. Beginning at the turn of the century and continuing through WWI, progressives had largely co-opted the term “liberal” from its traditional meanings of rationalism, free markets at home and abroad into almost the opposite sense--a hatred of individualism, pro-regulations, creation of an amazing array of taxes, and the imperialist Wilsonian internationalism which has dominated the last century in American liberal foreign policy.

Largely through the proliferation of Sprading’s writings, the term libertarian had become popularized throughout the radical classical liberal circles increasingly estranged from their traditional position on the left by a proto-fascist progressive liberalism. With the loss of the once dominating Cleveland Democrats who supported the hard gold, anti-tariff, pro-laissez-faire classical liberals, and the rise of the Wilsonian progressives, the old liberalism was supplanted by progressivism. The last great effort by the classical liberals was their anti-prohibition efforts in the 1920’s and the feeble attempts to organize (such as the Liberty League in the 1930’s) against their quisling, Franklinstein (as FDR was referred to by a libertarian radical of the time, E. C. Riegel).

The final issue which separated libertarians from the left was the growing awareness by the libertarians that the other leftist groups sanctioned a tyrannical soviet regime responsible for the murder of millions of people under Stalin. As this problem was swept under the rug or ignored by many of the leftists of the period (particularly among the communist and socialist left), the libertarian left would not condone such measures. This process continued through the 1920’s and, by the mid-30’s, was largely complete (Murray Rothbard’s classic essay, “Left and Right: Prospects for Liberty” discusses this in a different focus than the one here.

The creation of the new classical liberal paradigm, libertarianism, largely followed the personalities and philosophies identified in Sprading’s classic Liberty and the Great Libertarians. By identifying the libertarian American traditions and those elsewhere with fundamental principles of individualism and equal freedom, the radical classical liberals of the ‘20’s, and 30’s were able to clearly grasp who their friends were, and who were not. Sprading was known by many radicals throughout various anarchist and pro-freedom movements and his name would crop up in as many periodicals that he did not write for as the ones he did (Marcus Graham’s MAN! which was published part of the time in Los Angeles during the 1930’s is an example. See MAN! An Anthology of Anarchist Ideas, Essays, Poetry and Commentaries (London: Cienfuegos Press, 1974) edited by Marcus Graham) at a time when libertarian and pro-freedom periodicals and books were few and far between.

The evolution and popularity of new paradigm was to continue with the creation of the Foundation for Economic Education with Leonard Read (who had studied the missteps of The Liberty League and the Chambers of Commerce), F.A. Harper, Henry Hazlitt, Ludwig von Mises, and such independents as Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, R.C. Hoiles and Robert LeFevre with the founding of the Freedom School during the 1950’s.

By the time that Charles T. Sprading died around 1960 of pneumonia, he was little remembered by the current crop of libertarians. His old friends and colleagues were all dead and forgotten. A few people still remembered him, including Queen Silver. You can find references to Sprading in Wendy McElroy’s biography, Queen Silver: The Godless Girl (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Press, 1999), for example, and in Emma Goldman’s Living My Life, Vol. I (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1931) which mentions Sprading’s financial support for Goldman.

Just a thought.
Just Ken


There is an excellent paper by Andrei Kreptul (Seattle University School of Law) online entitled, "The Constitutional Right of Secession in Political Theory and History". The paper consists of two parts, one analyzes the political theory underlying the right of secession, and the other places the right of secession within its international historical context of present day constitutions. RECOMMENDED READING!

On a slightly different note, a new book will be published later this year which I am looking forward to, "The Myth of National Defense", and will be edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. The subject matter will be war, foreign policy and defense, with about a dozen papers published. It will cover the sacrosanct topic of public goods in national defense in a critical manner. For some interesting discussion on this subject, a revised edition of Gordon Tullock's classic, Exporations in the Theory of Anarchy is online with some valuable additional commentary. See in particular, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel's contributions.

Just a thought.
Just Ken

Friday, August 15, 2003


You probably don't know my name, but that's all right. In all of the books that I wrote, my name was almost never put on them, and never my full name. I understood many things of my time and world, including the prejudice that I would face.

My books were very popular. My book on chemistry, for example, went through dozens of reprints in England and abroad (at least two in French and at least 16 editions in America alone) and it is estimated that there were 160,000 copies printed and was considered the most popular book on chemistry in the first part of the nineteenth century. If you count the copies that were slightly modified and put under others' names, there were many more printed. My technical drawings were printed in other books for nearly a century after my first edition in 1806. I set forth the discoveries of scientists including Lavoisier, Cavendish and Davy and provided the most modern interpretations of chemistry available. For people who wanted to learn about science, Thomas Jefferson would recommend my book on chemistry and it became one of America's most important science textbook.

Another thing that I might also mention about this book on chemistry. A young son of an out-of-work blacksmith, very poor and, to be honest, quite dyslexic, happened to become apprenticed to a bookbinder. He read it and became fascinated with science. He went on to develop the concepts of electricity that you use in your day. He would use an electric field to spin a magnet. That led to the invention of electric motors. He went on to explain induction, electrolysis, dielectric constants. He eventually set the stage for Maxwell's field theory. He would go on to say that I was "a good friend to me, as ... must have been to many of the human race... [I]t was in those books I found the beginning of my philosophy...and ... which gave me my foundation in that science...I felt that I had got hold of an ancor [sic] in chemical knowledge, and clung fast to it. Hence my deep veneration ...: first, as one able to convey the truth and principle of those boundless fields of knowledge which concern natural things, to the young, untaught, and inquiring mind."

Centered on my book on physics, I created a home liberal education course. I set the pattern for the physics courses of your day. I wrote about materials and motion; Newton's laws; hydraulics; heat, light, and electricity. Its beautiful pedagogy by any measure, as in all of my books, used a fresh narrative, a pleasing style, and beautiful drawings that were both instructional and entertaining, new editions would come out for 40 years. It was said to have been "the best introduction to science that has yet appeared." William James was one who was influenced by my exposition of physics.

I was interested in a wide range of science and, partly because of my father's involvement in banking, I wrote a popular book on economics (1816) , which also went to sixteen editions, was translated into Dutch, German and Spanish and was also published in America. Longman's, my publisher, wanted more. Again, as in all of my other books, I presented the ideas and principles of the most modern writers in the field: Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, Robert Malthus and David Ricardo (who I knew personally). The book was praised by Jean Baptiste Say, the leading 19th century economist, as the best work on political economy that he had ever read. That first book on economics was published a year before my friend, the millionaire stockbroker and entrepreneur David Ricardo brought out his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. My book contained a clear exposition of his 'Theory of Comparative Advantage', on which his great fame and influence as an economist were to rest. The theory still forms part of economic orthodoxy in your day. But the fact that I grasped the idea first and published before him has been given no credit.

I would write two more popular books on free market economics (in 1833 and 1851). My economics books inspired other popular writers in economics, who were proud to credit me with the style and structure of writing clearly and understandably and modeled their books on mine. Many of the later writers in economics, as well as in other scientific endeavors, would come to visit me first before they would pay homage to any other intellectual in London.

I was a member of Ricardo's famous and influential Political Economy Club, whose membership was restricted to 30 members. It has been said that I, "[i]n writings of political economy, mostly explained Ricardo's ideas to a lay public (with an astonishing talent) and may have been the most widely read of the classicals and most responsible for popularizing their ideas. Has since settled into nearly complete obscurity while lesser minds are remembered." I was very proud of being an individualist and free market economist--classical economist, if you will, even though you probably don't know who I am, and will seldom find my name in books on the history of any of the sciences that I popularized.

My book on science was published in 1819, on mineralogy in 1829, on botany in 1841, all of which were very popular and read throughout the world. I even wrote a book on Christianity in 1826, which focused on the credibility of the New Testament, looking at both internal and external evidence to support the text. My book on the history of England was published in 1842 and my book on language in 1844. There were many scientists and writers of my time that would never accept that my books were more popular or more easily read than theirs. It was true, nonetheless, and my strength was always to speak truly and honestly to all those who listened--and they were legion. Although I wrote no fiction, I have been compared to a woman writer of your age by the odd name of Ayn Rand.

Now, Who Am I? Do you know? Here is a hint. These are the names of some of my books:

Conversations on Chemistry, 1806.
Conversations on Political Economy, in which the elements of the science are familiarly explained, 1816.
Conversations on Natural Philosophy, an exposition of the first elements of science for very young children, 1819.
Conversations on Evidences of Christianity, 1826.
Conversations on Vegetable Physiology, 1829.
Bertha's Visit to Her Uncle in England, 1830.
Essays, 1831.
John Hopkins's Notions of Political Economy, 1833.
The Ladies' companion to the Flower Garden, 1841.
Conversations on the History of England, 1842.
Conversations on Language for Children, 1844.
Rich and Poor, 1851.

Now do you know? If not, try these links to various websites that discuss my life:

1 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,
13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Direct Democracy—Initiative & Referendum websites

For your edification, if you are interested in different states' interpretations of direct democracy procedures, such as the Initiative process and the Referendum process, here are a number of websites that will help you to learn about the procedures. I am somewhat distrustful of the procedures for reasons that I won’t go into right now (I have a fairly long and developed argumentation against these) but will make them available at one time or another. If not on the CLASSicalLiberalism, then I’ll put a link to it on this site.

Initiative & Referendum Institute
Initiative & Referendum Institute Europe
Direct Democracy League
NCSL: Initiative & Referendum Information on the Web
I&R Map ( has a number of other useful sites as well)
I&R msn group
I&R History (mentions the great father of the I&R movement, William S. U’Ren)
Frederick J. Dixon and the Direct Legislation League
Direct Legislation in California
Direct Democracy: The Initiative and Referendum Process In Washington
Direct Democracy webring
Are Initiatives and Referenda Contrary…

From an historical standpoint, the papers and interpretations that are in the above sites (which are some of the main sites on the World Wide Web), leave me with a realization that most researchers are unaware of the financial backing behind the I&R process and the goals of the leaders that promoted the activists in each of the states where I&R legislation was attempted (not solely the states and localities that passed the legislation) and why.

What was the grand goal in mind? Who financed these efforts? Therein lies the most interesting aspect of the story of the origins of I&R. It is the story of one of the great failed efforts of a cadre of wealthy classical liberal financiers led by one of America’s great entrepreneurs.

Do any of you know who I’m talking about? I’ll put it in a later blog entry. Let me know if you suspect and the group of people that provided much of the labor-intensive legwork.

Just a thought.
Just Ken

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

In addition to Sic Itur Ad Astra by Andrew Galambos (vol.I--and I suspect the only volume which will be issued), may I suggest some additional summer reading? A brilliant thinker who lived a century before Galambos developed a theory of intellectual property which, in many ways, was quite similar to his. He worked out many of the "chinks" in the armour of property in ideas and suggested strategies for protection of intellectual property. He remains known mostly for his abolitionist writings and his battle against the Post Office, but within libertarian circles he is known primarily for his connections with Benjamin Tucker's periodical, Liberty (part of which is now available online and here is the complete index to Liberty compiled by Wendy McElroy) and for his authorship of a highly regarded series of essays questioning the validity of the American Constitution (and much of constitutional theory): No Treason. No. I (1867). No Treason. No. II, The Constitution (1867). and No Treason. No. VI, The Constitution of No Authority (1870).

Randy Barnett has taken onto himself the task of publishing all of Lysander Spooner's works online and has all of his remaining books, essays and (I think) letters on his website. [One note: Many of Spooner's writings were destroyed in a fire in the early 1900's and have been forever lost.] Spooner was a proponent of intellectual property and wrote a book developing the theoretical foundations, applications and methods of protecting intellectual property: The Law of Intellectual Property (1855). What I have found most important is that this work outlines the basis of property in general, not just intellectual property, in a sophisticated manner reminiscent of the Scottish philosopher, Thomas Reid , and his "common sense philosophy" school and the great natural law libertarian thinker, Thomas Hodgskin (see, e.g., Nature and Artifice: The Life and Thought of Thomas Hodgskin by David Stack (Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 1998).

Spooner's shorter essay, A Letter to Scientists and Inventors, on the Science of Justice, and Their Right of Perpetual Property in Their Disclosures and Inventions (1884). covers much the same ground as the larger work and you might want to read this first.

A caveat: Spooner's works are mostly legal briefs and not essays on his intellectual history. The notations in his writings are legal references common to legal papers and do not, unfortunately, denote where he got his ideas on intellectual property. As such, I do not know for certain whether Spooner considered himself within the common sense school of philosophy or whether he read Thomas Hodgskin. I suspect that he did, but am not sure. Mark Rose's Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993) is a good place to start if you are interested in reading up on the history of intellectual property.

Dr. David Hart moved to work at the Liberty Fund and has been doing a lot of excellent work there. You can reach him at I have had contact with him recently and he is quite a good person to contact on libertarian history (a subject which he and I have in common).

There is a lot of good material on Hart's Classical Liberalism webpage which remains available and I highly recommend the discussions on the French liberal thinkers, Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer on property theory herein.

An additional thought: Spencer Heath MacCallum pointed out an interesting thought to me once. Spencer has done extensive research on the Indians of the Pacific Northwest and noted that they were strongly private-property oriented; they believed in ownership of land (unlike other indian tribes), physical and even intellectual property. When many of the tribes were dying out, the last of the Indians refused to tell the stories of their tribes because they respected the beliefs of the other members of the tribes, which included nondisclosure of those stories to non-members of the tribes. Many stories of the tribes were never told to others and lost forever.

Was this good? Was it the right thing to do? To them it was. Their choice. Their right.
Just a thought.
Just Ken

This is on Francois-Rene Rideau's "Liberty, as it is" website. He now has the following there: To All Innocent Fifth Columnists, by Ayn Rand (1941), The Death of Politics by Karl Hess (1969), From Far Right To Far Left — And Farther — With Karl Hess by James Boyd (1970), The New Right Credo — Libertarianism by Stan Lehr and Louis Rossetto Jr. (1971). I'm pretty sure that he did not get the authorization to print any of these essays. ARI will probably be sending him a notice about the Rand essay to take it off as soon as they discover that it's online.

All of these are great classic essays on libertarianism--glad to see them available
Just a thought.
Just Ken

I recommend the online writings of the Australian historian, Dr. Bob James for an understanding of the history of the meaning of mutualism and cooperation and perhaps help in the process of moving beyond a somewhat interminable (and potentially endless) discussion of the meaning of socialism. For reasons which I won't go into here, most "Third Way" approaches take on a socialist tinge, which is not correct in terms of the sense in which socialism is used today.

There are several essays here which you will find quite valuable: "Craft, Trade or Mystery...", "Secret Handshakes and Healthcare in Australia", "Secret Societies and the Labour Movement...", and "The Tragedy of Labour History in Australia". James' position is similar to that of Dr. David Beito's in his published papers and books (I highly recommend his "From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State").

These essays by James are on Takver's (an Aussie Anarchist who has taken his name from the Ursula K. LeGuin novel, The Dispossessed) website which is an excellent source of all things anarchistically Australian. The section listed as Radical Tradition has a wide range of biographies of Anarchist Aussies and Kiwis, including David Andrade and Arthur Desmond (aka the infamous Ragnar Redbeard) with links to articles of theirs and many others. It's rather fun running through the essays here.

Also, there is the Colin Ward essay on his website, "The Case Against Voting" (1987).
Just a thought.
Just Ken
Welcome to CLASSicalLiberalism web log!

I intend to focus on the history of Classical Liberalism with an emphasis on the more radical libertarian aspects within the "Big Tent" of Classical Liberalism. As such, I am going to touch on the background of many people, generally not well-known, but who I have found are important for an analysis of the history of this movement.

This has been a project of mine for many years and endless hours of research. It has been a true joy to discover the independent thinkers and activists who have made up important elements of Classical Liberalism.

I hope to bring to you some of my own enthusiasm for the subject, and introduce you to like-minded historians as well. One of the sites that I recommend is the newly beefed-up weblog for libertarians on the History News Network website: LIBERTY & POWER.

If you have any questions, contact me at:
Yours in liberty,
Ken Gregg