Critique of the State

Shedding more light where once was dark, this topic includes a wide array of critiques surrounding the function of the State, but mostly around policy critiques and warfare. As it relates to the State’s functioning, everything from central planning, coercion and government expansion through to propaganda, taxation and the act of voting are discussed.

The State apparatus and its institutions, the CIA, FBI, NSA, and other alphabet soup organizations – they are all brought to account together with their counterparts in the military-industrial complex and the deep state. The Supreme Court, criminal justice system and the prisons are not immune to critique. And the filth of politics and lobbying are described in great lengths in the books highlighted at Books of Liberty.

Policy critiques cover everything from abortion to welfare. It all starts with state intervention in the affairs of private individuals and foreign intervention (which includes the seemingly benevolent foreign aid) in the affairs of other groups of people. More specifically, US foreign policy and US military intervention are popular policies to critique.

Some of the other more common topics include: drugs, eminent domain, environmentalism, poverty, protectionism, muh roads, slavery, and other forms of public policy. Needless to say, these and other policies lead to ridiculous levels of government spending, itself a valid topic to criticize.

And of course, the most destructive activity perpetrated by the State is warfare. The wars abroad and at home are discussed at length. Of the ‘traditional’ wars, World War I and II and the so-called American ‘Civil War’ (always in quotation marks) feature in the most number of books, some of which include discussions on genocide and war crimes. But then there are also the wars on amorphous, undefined entities, such as: the war on drugs, which leads to domestic violence, militarization and a police state; and the war on terror, which brought us torture, more terror and the ever-increasing drone warfare.

With well over 500 books at the time of writing, and approval ratings of politicians and their awful policies in constant demise, there’s plenty of ammunition here for any critique of the State. Dig in! And as always, thank you for reading!

Recommended Starting Points

With the world at your fingertips, where do you start?

I’ve often found myself contemplating what book I should read next. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve read through all my books at home. Yet sometimes what you have just isn’t what you’re in the mood for. Worse still, sometimes you don’t even know what you are in the mood for.

I’ve decided to create a series of posts over the next couple of months, in which I will highlight some interesting topics that can point you in the direction of a captivating journey. Most blog posts thereafter will be about books and topics, but this series is focused on the more fundamental starting points.

Edit: This series of posts has proven so useful, I’ve decided to copy them into the main site, providing recommended starting points at Books of Liberty. Moreover, depending on the topic tags associated with the books, the relevant starting points are also copied into each book page to help you find similar books to the one you’re looking at. So if you’re reading this after May 2017 and the contents look familiar, you’ll know why.

But before we get started, a note on the default order of the topics on our main page. Books of Liberty does not categorize books within a rigid hierarchy. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I designed it such that you can choose any number of topics (regardless of whether they relate to one another) and discover books where those topics intersect.

However, much like in Animal Farm, while all topics are equal, some topics are more equal than others. After analyzing the interrelationship between the topics and books, I’ve identified the top 100 that seem to correlate with the widest range of topics (surprisingly, these aren’t the 100 most popular topics). But there is not a single book in our records or a single other topic that is not connected to one of these 100 topics. So if you sort by top 100 and scroll through them you’re bound to find an interesting starting point.

Otherwise, you can sort the list of topics by popularity to find the topics that are represented in the largest number of books. Furthermore, you can sort the topics alphabetically or simply type in the topic search bar a topic of interest. The search bar has an autocomplete function, so as you start typing you will be shown a hint of which topics are available from which you can choose.

If I had to narrow down the almost 800 topics or even the ‘Top 100’ to the ones that provide the best starting points, these would be the ones with which I would start and the ones on which I will focus in this upcoming series:

Over the next 17 blog posts I will cover each of the above bullet points in more detail. Within each blog I will further link to more topics associated with the main topic, so explore each link that tickles your fancy? And as always, thank you for reading!