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The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State

Auberon Herbert

Publication Year: 2012

Auberon Herbert (1838–1906) is an eloquent, forceful, and uncompromising defender of liberty—indeed, in the judgment of Richard M. Ebeling he is "one of the most important and articulate advocates of liberty in the last two hundred years." Herbert was a major participant in the profound and wide-ranging intellectual ferment of the late Victorian age. He formulated a system of "thorough" individualism that he described as "voluntaryism." To Herbert, "you will not make people wiser and better by taking liberty of action from them. A man can learn only when he is free to act." As Eric Mack writes, "Carrying natural rights theory to its logical limits, Herbert demanded complete social and economic freedom for all noncoercive individuals and the radical restriction of the use of force to the role of protecting those freedoms—including the freedom of peaceful persons to withhold support from any or all state activities." There are ten essays.

Published by: Liberty Fund

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Table of Contents

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pp. 9-10

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pp. 11-27

This collection of essays makes available the major and representative writings in political philosophy of one of the distinctive figures in the profound and wideranging intellectual debate which took place during the late Victorian age. It was...

Selective Bibliography

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pp. 27-32

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Essay One. The Choices Between Personal Freedom and State Protection

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pp. 33-52

In the midst of much that is written and said about progress and improvement, it is seldom perceived how disorderly are our usual habits of political thinking. Those who are engaged in political work usually reject any kind of systematic thought...

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Essay Two. State Education: A Help or Hindrance?

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pp. 53-80

For ten years we have been busy organizing national education. A vigorous use of bricks and mortar is not generally accompanied by a careful examination of first principles/ but now...

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Essay Three. A Politician In Sight of Haven

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pp. 81-122

In a small but cheerful lodging overlooking the Thames, Angus found Markham. After a few words he began to pour out his old troubles. Was it possible to act honestly with party? Did it not lead to a constant sacrifice of convictions, or, indeed...

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Essay Four. The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State, p. 123

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pp. 123-190

We need not look for better words, than those used by Mr. Herbert Spencer,* to describe the aim which we place before ourselves, as the party of individual liberty. That aim is to secure "the liberty of each, limited alone by the...

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Essay Five. The Ethics of Dynamite

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pp. 191-226

I hasten to reassure Mrs. Grundy as regards all her anxieties. I am happy to say, even at the cost of a dull article, that I am wholly orthodox on this question of villainous dynamite. I detest dynamite, my dear madam, for your own excellent reasons, because it is most treacherous, cruel...

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Essay Six. Salvation by Force, p. 227

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pp. 227-240

My criticism upon Mr. Hobson's recent paper in defense of socialism must be that he takes much trouble to prove that which is not in dispute, that which almost all of us, I presume, are ready to admit, and which, when admitted, can be of...

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Essay Seven. Lost in the Region of Phrases

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pp. 241-258

I owe many apologies both to the editor and to Mr. Hobson for the long delay which has taken place as regards this discussion. I can only hope they may both be willing to forgive me. And now to our business in hand. I tried in my last...

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Essay Eight. Mr. Spencer and the Great Machine

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pp. 259-314

I began my lecture at Oxford by expressing my sense of the debt that we owed to Mr. Spencer for his splendid attempt to show us the great meanings that underlie all things-the order, the intelligibility, the coherence, that exist in this...

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Essay Nine. A Plea For Voluntaryism

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pp. 315-368

We, who call ourselves voluntaryists, appeal to you to free yourselves from these many systems of state force, which are rendering imposible the true and happy life of the nations of today. This ceaseless effort to compel each other, in turn for each...

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Essay Ten. The Principles of Voluntaryism and Free Life

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pp. 369-416

We voluntaryists believe that no true progress can be made until we frankly recognize the great truth that every individual, who lives within the sphere of his own rights, as a self-owner, and has not himself first aggressed upon others by employing...


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pp. 417-425

Publication Information

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p. 427-427

E-ISBN-13: 9781614878094
E-ISBN-10: 1614878099
Print-ISBN-13: 9780913966426

Page Count: 426
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: None