I have written these essays and delivered these speeches over many years without any thought that they would someday be a book. In some cases I don't remember exactly when or where they were distributed.
Updated for 1995 edition: introduction, Libertarianism and Humanism, Soundbites, Paranoia, Libertarian Paradoxy.
Fire in the House
Written in 1993, this vivid image communicates the libertarian vision of limited government contrasted with our present situation.
Libertarianism and Nonviolence
This is my personal favorite. It was written around 1987 and handed out extensively ever since with minor modifications. Jim Ray and Susan Debusk, activists in the Miami area, changed the wording somewhat and distributed this along with responses to key values of the greens in early 1993. The first quote is from Ludwig Von Mises "Omnipotent Government" Arlington House, New York, 1966, p 46 and the second is from Lanza del Vasto "Warriors of Peace" Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1974, p 53-4
The most dangerous drug
Written in early 1994, this focuses on what I feel is a key feature of all oppression. The example is from "Communicating Libertarianism".
Libertarian Duality Symbol
This was created during the 1991 National Libertarian Party Convention.
Roots of Socialism
I usually avoid going on the offensive but here I make an exception. Written in 1993.
A recurring theme I have used often. Probably written in 1989.
One of the most recent works, this was written in early 1993 although I had used it in talks up to a year earlier. Originally I had included an example of auto mechanics but dropped it when I heard a rumor that legislation was proposed to regulate them!
Libertarians and Vegetarians
I had little faith in this approach until I described it to Dick Boddie and he liked it. Written during lunch breaks while working at a dental clinic in 1991. Jim Ray has distributed this with "Libertarianism and Nonviolence".
This was written in January 1994. Reactions range from confusion to anger. Be warned.
Libertarian or Anarchist?
Every libertarian has to deal with questions about anarchy and it is good to have a menu of answers to fit the audience. Fear of anarchy is also mentioned in "Communicating Libertarianism". I have received morefeedback on this piece than all the others combined. Anarchists feel thatI accuse them of being violent and that is not what I meant. I intend to write further on this question.
This is a grab bag of short libertarian quips and come backs. Updated for 1995
This was published in a Southwest Florida regional newspaper called the Suncoast News around 1985.
The Water Crisis
I sent this letter to four different newspapers and three of them published it around 1986. It is an example of promoting libertarian ideas without directly referring to the libertarian party.
A letter to the editor from January 1994. Media laments about price gouging will never end and neither will price gouging.
Another successful letter to the editor published in two papers also around 1986.
To Feminist writer Sonia Johnson
I was fortunate to meet Sonia Johnson and thoroughly enjoyed her book "Going Out of Our Minds". She did not agree with the letter but her response was well thought out and well written. I regret that I have lost it. I continue to believe that the techniques of the women's liberation movement, such as consciousness raising, hold much potential for the libertarian movement.
Although I have always had good relations with the humanists and they consider me one of them, they generally don't like this letter and don't want to discuss it.
To New Age Healers
This was written around 1986 as a handout at a new age health fair.
Easy Things to do for Libertarianism
This list should be modified to meet the needs of the local organization. It is for those people who become enthusiastic about libertarianism and ask "What can I do?".
Written in 1992.
Probably written in 1988.
Keep the Pledge
Written in 1993 as my input into a debate within the Libertarian Party about dropping the pledge.
Awareness of Ignorance
Part of the 1986 Libertarian Party of Florida convention speech.
The Invisible Hand
Written in 1988 following the National convention in Seattle.
This is also from the 1986 Libertarian Party of Florida convention speech.
Libertarianism and Humanism
Written in 1992. Updated for 1995.
Libertarian Responses to Ten Key Green Values
I had been trying to communicate libertarianism to the greens for some time when I received their ten key values in a handout. I was amazed and delighted to find that they were all expressed as questions so I immediately set to work developing libertarian answers. The original short answers were written in 1990 and the expanded answers in 1992-3. Jim Ray has handed out the short answers, with some modification, in the Miami area in 1993.
This goes slightly beyond politics but it shows a common pattern that is at the root of much confusion about political power. Written in mid 1994.
This is one of my favorite pieces that seems only to draw a luke warm response, oh well. It comes from the 1986 Libertarian Party of Florida convention talk.
This is the introduction to the 1986 Libertarian Party of Florida talk. Parts of this are repeated in some other essays.
What are Rights?
I have spent days arguing this with objectivists and others obsessed with the idea of rights. The lack of progress is part of why I generally avoid referring to rights when talking about libertarianism. This first appeared in the 1986 Libertarian Party of Florida convention talk.
The Ferengi Phenomenon
This was written in early 1993.
New for 1995.
Libertarianism From the Heart
An early work from around 1983. Still one of my favorites although a little long.
The keynote speaker at the 1984 Libertarian Party of Florida convention was Jim Lewis, the vice presidential candidate. I followed him in the program and began my speech with a Monty Python quote "and now for something completely different." This is where I first introduced one of my favorite slogans "peaceful honest people don't belong in jail".
Freedom is for Everyone (1987 National LP Convention)
This was a unique experience in many ways. Not only did I get to meet Russel Means and a number of other exceptional people but for several weeks I was possessed by the ideas embodied in FIFE. Most of these were written for the short lived newsletter "Sound of the FIFE".
Written in 1993. I saved this for last because I wanted readers to be prepared by the time they reached it. Unfortunately it will probably be a source of quotes out of context by enemies of liberty.Updated for 1995.
In addition to the books listed in the appendixes I have a few favorites of my own.
I recommend anything by Ludwig von Mises, several of his works are in the suggested readings. "America's Great Depression" by Murray Rothbard overcame my initial skepticism about free market economics. For a different view of anarchy vs government in the third world read "The Other Path" by Hernando De Soto. This is described in the article "Deregulation Examples". "The Ego and His Own" by Max Stirner is radical individualist anarchist writing for those who find libertarianism too tame. My favorite science fiction novel is "The Time Machine", a classic by H. G. Wells. It is short, full of action, highly political, and completely unlike the movie.
As a source of books I recommend:
The Philosophy StoreP. O. Box 13736Gainesville, FL 32604Telephone (904) 378-6370
This is small book store with a big selection of libertarian, free market, and related books. John Asfour will special order titles he doesn't stock.
I hope you enjoy reading these essays as much as I enjoyed writing them.