Syllabus on LRC

My libertarian syllabus draft is going up on LRC tonight (I think). So to anyone visiting here for the first time via LRC, welcome! Feel free to leave feedback about the syllabus in the comments section on this post, or go here for the original post.


6 thoughts on “Syllabus on LRC

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  2. Jack March 18, 2008 / 6:03 pm

    A great list of books. What about Harry Browne’s “Why Government Does Not Work”
    or my favorite Libertarian ‘why’ book, “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do; the Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society” ???

  3. Gary March 20, 2008 / 8:01 am


    I’m glad to see you’re writing and doing so about politics. I’ve browsed a couple of your articles. I enjoy your writing. My knowledge about politics and history is cursory and scant, which is why my reply here isn’t on history or politics. Likewise, my ignorance in those categories were why my replies at the Daily Dose were about ideas, concepts, abstractions or cursory comments. Perhaps that was and is for the best.

    I write, too. Rather, I did write. I’ve had a few writing positions in the last several years. Two were in college and one was after it. I enjoyed writing and still do; I like words, for they are pieces to a puzzle — a coherent message. My perspective about writing has changed, however. What has changed is my interpretation about it, news mostly. I think most news is false. Because in the past two or so years, especially the latest one, I have learned more about the world, becoming scared about it. What has contributed mostly to my perspective is Ron Paul’s campaign, the media’s treatment to him. I’ve come to learn why that is so. Hence my comments about being scared and news false.

    When I think about news and life, mine, my parents, my friends, everyone’s, I am disappointed in journalism but hopeful it will improve. What I’ve learned about how our country and world work, I can see why journalism’s credibility and what it is — writing — has diminished. Despite my absence in journalism, I read using an editor’s eyes. Grammar, spelling and punctuation is sinking — quickly. Subjectivity is beating objectivity. Sources that once constructed clean cut, balanced, factual articles now exude opinion. From my local paper to the Associated Press, journalism’s skill level is low.

    Although I’m glad I have learned what I have, there is a sliver of me that wishes I had not learnt what I had, because in a way I can’t go back to living how I did. Then again, I’m glad I have because in a way I won’t go back to living how I did, thinking, Why is turmoil throughout the world constantly increasing, why can’t ideas and concepts with and without facts be discussed, why is the world not in peace? For many years I had those thoughts but this one, too: There has to be a reason, a rationale, why all that is so. Ron Paul’s campaign, my knowledge and my thinking have shown me the answer. One that feels surreal, movielike, even nightmarish.

    Then I think, My interpretation of reality is that way because actions by things outside myself have made it so, because my psychology is how it has been — seeking what is, truth, questioning myself and what is outside it, enabling my belief in my interpretations to be confident. One of those things is people. Some people have performed actions that have led to particular consequences. I’m a person and I have actions so perhaps I can do actions that counter what has made our country how it is.

    I think a lot of people in our country and around the world have the same conclusion. What’s neat is that I came to my conclusion almost by myself. I read this and that, reflected and abruptly the puzzle, the picture, stared at me. All over the place comprehension about What Is is occurring. And I think much comprehension is found in people who support Ron Paul, whose audience is growing daily, which I’m elated about.

    I’ve not read enough articles on here to encounter one on Ron Paul. My guess is there are some here. [There are, right? :-p If not, write some! ;-)] If not or if you need help with ideas, check your old stamping, yes, stamping, not stomping, grounds. You’ll find an idea there, even though the quarrelsome behavior hedge recently has grown tall and is becoming dense, beginning to block access to the lake, decent replies to Daily Dose posts. If you can or want, return to the Daily Dose. It’s not been the same since your departure. Matt Hawes opines too much. Today, or is it yesterday, he used personal pronoun “I” in an article. 😐 Rar. But overall his work has improved. The other two writers, Bydlak and Semmens, left. I recall them being cheerleaderish.

    Looks as though you’re doing well, Dan. I look forward to reading your blogs and the recommended version of the Federalist Papers and anti-Federalist Papers you e-mailed me. I’ll check out books on the list you compiled, too. Take care, Dan. Catch ya later.


  4. Colin Duffy May 28, 2008 / 9:49 am

    Hey Dan,

    Its Colin, I’ve been following some of your writing lately, and this topic was an issue I have been considering at length for an early/inaugural post to a potential blog. I liked a lot of what you incorporated in the syllabus, but I personally thought the listing took too much of a professorial position, ranking the importance or modern relevance of various works rather than providing a comprehensive libertarian education from the ground up.

    I like seeing Goldwater in the first phase, but to ignore the fundamental establishment of the public/private sector and the justification for government force laid out in Mill’s “On Liberty,” or to leave out the early realization of the importantance of fundamental rights and consent to governance and from John Locke seemed to remove the ideas from their appicability in our society. Also, I think that some of the economic thought should be presented in logical order rather than in order of relevance, importance, simplicity, or any other standard.

    Furthermore, I think you need to consider adding Robert Nozick’s “Anarchy, State, and Utopia” as fundamental philosophical reading material.

  5. Colin Duffy May 28, 2008 / 9:58 am

    Reading back, I realize my point about the logical progression of economic thought is unclear. Frankly, I don’t think leading off with Rothbard, as accessible and relevant as his stuff may be, is the best educational approach. If you want to teach Austian economics, I think you’ve gotta bump “The Road to Serfdom” or von Mises up to front and center. And I’m assuming you don’t want to make people read all of “The Wealth of Nations” or “The Principles of Economics,” which may be good foundation-laying reads for some.

  6. Daniel McCarthy May 28, 2008 / 1:32 pm

    Thanks, Colin. I kept the original syllabus fairly bare bones, with an eye toward developing it for campus activists, which is why I left off most of the serious philosophy. But I should definitely put together a supplemental list or two that covers that ground and a few other areas under-served by the original syllabus. Thanks for your input.

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