The Lucifer Effect

Have you ever wondered why otherwise good people end up doing bad things? I’m not talking about telling white lies or eating grapes out of the bag in the grocery store. I’m talking about whole nations swept up in a Nazi stupor. I’m talking about Guantánamo Bay, Abu Graib, and drone bombing of wedding parties and hospitals. On home ground, I’m talking about police brutality. And, to a lesser extent, I’m also talking about college kids who mentally and physically abuse their peers in psychological experiments or, more commonly, in hazing rituals. Regardless of the degree, I’m talking about acts of evil.

There is an easy answer that comes to those who have not taken the time to contemplate this issue or to those who would rather not find out what human nature is actually like. Continue reading “The Lucifer Effect”

Anti-individualism

Sadly, where there is light, there must be shadow and the topics you’d find in this category pertain to the darker parts of human existence. I’ve included some books that espouse such ideals, for instance various communist treatises, books that advocate various forms of socialism, or those that hail democracy as some crowning achievement of mankind.

I, for one, feel that it is important to know the arguments of the opposing side to strengthen your understanding of your own position. There is much in favor of purposefully exposing yourself to material with which you viscerally and intellectually disagree. But if you do buy these books and enrich the authors or their publishers, please use our affiliate links so that at least a liberty-loving outfit such as mine would gain a buck or two out of this deal…

Aside from a few books that support such views, the majority of the titles tagged with the above topics are there to shine light on, and provide a critique of these views.

Other anti-individualist topics include: the seemingly benign bureaucracy that makes the State inefficient; the deceptive egalitarianism and the nanny state, a path paved with good intentions that we all know where it leads (hint: may include redistribution of wealth and slavery); the outright evil in ideologies such as Fascism and Marxism that lead to despotism, dictatorship, tyranny and totalitarianism; and crony capitalism (corporatism) and its predecessor mercantilism, which masquerades as capitalism in most people’s minds and leads to anti-capitalist views.

So what say you? Are you ready for the dark side? Browse through the books on both sides of the argument and you will increase your chances of either finding common ground or predicting your opponents’ objections. And as always, thank you for reading!

Philosophy of Freedom

Within this topic you’ll find a wide variety of books, many of which we hold in the highest regard. These books are also associated with other topics, such as anarchist traditions and practical liberty. All your great libertarian manifestos, books that discuss individual liberty, the non-aggression principle, laissez faire, objectivism, etc. are found within.

Anarchist traditions would be a great shortcut to find books specifically calling out anarchist principles. The name “anarchist traditions” is purposefully broad, because in addition to anarcho-capitalism and voluntaryism (with which I associate), there are books on anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-communism or other forms of collectivist anarchism, as well as egoism and other schools of thought (with which I don’t).

Practical liberty has a hodge-podge of awesome content, from the great anti-war and abolitionist books to theoretical treatises on private defense and private law; from whistleblowing and WikiLeaks to other forms of activism and civil disobedience; from secession to jury nullification and describing revolution and resistance. We’ve even thrown in some interesting “how to” books on affecting change to further one’s activist ends.

The topic of philosophy is closely associated, as many of the books tagged to the philosophy of freedom contain deep philosophical arguments from ethics and epistemology to political theory and religion. A wide variety of ideologies are represented and critiqued within the pages of the books linked here, covering the full political spectrum: whether it is Fascism versus Communism; Neoconservatism versus Progressivism or Liberalism; Nationalism and Nazism versus International Socialism and everything in between.

Do any of these topics spark your curiosity? This is the ‘bread and butter’ of Books of Liberty. While it’s not the most popular tag, it’s first on my Top 100 for good reason. Have a look for yourself. And as always, thank you for reading!