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For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto
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For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  1,354 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
A classic that for over two decades has been hailed as the best general work on libertarianism available. Rothbard begins with a quick overview of its historical roots, and then goes on to define libertarianism as resting "upon one single axiom: that no man or group of men shall aggress upon the person or property of anyone else." He writes a withering critique of the chie ...more
Paperback, 338 pages
Published November 1st 1978 by Collier Books (first published 1973)
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Robert Taylor
Jan 06, 2009 Robert Taylor rated it it was amazing
The level of radical thought in this book is so exciting, I literally read all 419 pages in a personal record of 5 days. In the book, Rothbard hones in all the pieces connecting the modern Libertarian movement (as of 1972 when the book was first published at least) and the most striking thing was the consistency of the logic. It's solid. That's not to say that it shouldn't open to scrutiny, but that's precisely what Rothbard expects, and it gets me eager to catch up on the 35+ years of scholarsh ...more
Heather
Jun 13, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is sick of government
Wow! What an amazing book. I considered myself a "minarchist" Libertarian, with the belief that there was some use and justification for minimal government. Thanks to Rothbard's excellent treatise, I'm now reconsidering that. It's definitely thought provoking and he puts forth excellent arguments why government cannot be trusted with anything - no matter what limits are imposed on them. I'm still not sure how we can get to the full Libertarian society he envisions - or if it's even feasible - bu ...more
0spinboson
Oct 18, 2011 0spinboson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noone
Recommended to 0spinboson by: required reading
A facile argument that attempts to borrow authority from Locke and the natural rights tradition.
Interestingly, what is wrong about this book is fairly easily summarized. On p.38, he quotes from one of Locke's treatises on government:

. . . every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself. The labour of his body and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever, then, he removes out of the state that nature hath provided and left it in, he hath
...more
Jakub Maly
Jul 28, 2011 Jakub Maly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words like liberal, conservative, left and right were twisted, distorted and deformed in such a manner that their meaning is kind of lost. Rothbard explains the values of libertarianism - so in this book you will find not only Rothbard's views on money, banking, FED and gold standard - which are leading topics of the majority of his work - but also on many other fields of the organization of a human society.



Rothbard defends liberty, property rights and gives a thorough description of functionin
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Mike Fox
Jan 13, 2011 Mike Fox rated it it was amazing
Truth is a very powerful thing. Murray Rothbard is a treasure to all mankind for enshrining this truth with the logical brilliance of his words. I have little doubt that this idea will eventually be implemented although I seriously doubt it will happen in my lifetime. But I hope my progeny will one day live in such a world.

It starts with the non-aggression axiom that no person or group of people may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. All natural rights are therefore derived
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Clinton
Nov 09, 2012 Clinton rated it it was amazing
For A New Liberty systematically exemplifies the philosophical theory of libertarianism while categorically denouncing the destructive violent and coercive nature of government. The existence of government is preposterous given it is the only entity that enjoys the monopolistic legal use of violence and coercion and obtain revenue without voluntary exchange by some arbitrary decree. Rothbard brilliantly chronicles the nascent of libertarianism while in addition to explaining the philosophy of th ...more
Scott Templeman
Jan 07, 2014 Scott Templeman rated it it was amazing
Had been debating a foray into this book for a while, as I have saturated myself thoroughly with Libertarian reading the past few years and really wondered if I wasn't going to just rehash ideas I am well familiar with. That being said I was floored by this book. While I was certainly part of the choir being preached to, Rothbard has an incredible ability to make you reanalyze seemingly mundane standards and precedents and recognize now-glaring inconsistencies in logic/philosophy. His rhetoric i ...more
Void lon iXaarii
Sep 03, 2011 Void lon iXaarii rated it it was amazing
Though I was familiar with some of the libertarian views before starting the book, I had doubts about the feasibility of others... doubts which this book managed to address, and much more than that. The author describes in a rigorous and logical way a world which is even more amazing than I could imagine. I was very very impressed by this book. I also liked that the focus was not on complaining on how twisted our present state is, but on presenting the solution... and a fantastic one at that. On ...more
Sean Rosenthal
Jun 15, 2013 Sean Rosenthal rated it really liked it
Interesting Quotes:

"The libertarian insists that whether or not such practices are supported by the majority of
the population is not germane to their nature: that, regardless of popular sanction, War is Mass Murder, Conscription is Slavery, and Taxation is Robbery. The libertarian, in short, is almost completely the child in the fable, pointing out insistently that the emperor has no clothes . . . The libertarian therefore considers one of his prime educational tasks is to spread the demystific
...more
John
Oct 22, 2012 John rated it it was ok
Typical Libertarian manifesto. Though in the solutions sections he never really did tell us how libertarians will take over the government and make it into what he thinks government should be.

A couple of problems with some of his more interesting proposals.

The police officers and the streets would be a disaster if people were allowed to each own their own street and their own police and their own courts and their own bridges...I'm a republican and happy that we have government to handle things
...more
J
Jul 28, 2013 J rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in anything related to politics
Pretty good as far as manifestos go. It felt really formulaic and dry, but managed to avoid that nagging, almost cultish creepiness that most manifestos seem to radiate. All things considered, I'd say it's a great introduction to Rothbardian libertarianism, or in other words, the "controversial" """""""anarcho""""""-capitalism". While I have my reservations of it's practicality and possibility here and there, the scorn and blind hatred levied against it by advocates of other political philosophi ...more
Daniel
Jan 03, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
An ideal read for the minarchist, or for those who have begun to consider the questions of principle addressed in other works of libertarianism and anarchism and would like a picture of the broad implications of such ideas. Rothbard is comprehensive, and the chapters devoted to particular issues are especially valuable for both those who feel vaguely uncertain of the feasibility of real freedom, and for those who consider any of these areas—roads, police, warfare, welfare—as sticking points for ...more
Ron C
Jun 06, 2014 Ron C rated it really liked it
If you're interested in Libertarianism, or in Libertarian thought, you do yourself a disservice by not reading this. While I don't agree with every word uttered by Rothbard, he makes a compelling and incisive argument against big government.

For me, this book gave me a lot to think on and evaluate within my own views. He paints a picture of a purely Libertarian society, which allows the reader to understand the virtues and challenges it would face. The passion which he feels for liberty is tangib
...more
Heather
Jun 06, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a MUST-READ! This book explains the only way to have a TRULY free society without the contradictions and hypocrisy of both the right and the left. I've said for years that the only real difference between the Republicans and Democrats is WHICH big corporations they are in bed with and WHICH of our liberties they want to strip from us. This book details the reasons for this.
The book was written in the late '70's, so some of the examples area dated, but the concepts still hold true. The o
...more
Jeremy
Jul 08, 2011 Jeremy rated it it was amazing


This book is mind-blowing. It’s like reading something completely, refreshingly new and yet innately familiar and comfortable. Rothbard is an expansively knowledgeable historian, a clear and concise economist, and a hopeful yet practical political philosopher. As I read, I was conflicted because half of me wanted to read slowly and savor each page, but the other half wanted to rush through and devour all the exciting information. This is one of those rare books you come across that just might ch
...more
Kashiari
That was a great read. I really liked things like pleasant style, clarity and solid and coherent logical arguments that were not limited to abstract thesis, but were elegantly supported by contemporary and historical facts. Things like system of private roads, large stateless societies and other libertarian wishes (which I thought that are supported by anarcho-capitalits, because of a priori assumption that they will be good) apparently did exist in a past, working well. I was already a minarchi ...more
Alex
Jun 02, 2012 Alex rated it it was amazing
For a New Liberty is the most deliberately apologetic libertarian literature I've encountered. Rothbard encourages a radical approach to living. One that casts aside violent, indoctrinating, enslaving, sacrosanct state worship and instead relies on the axiomatic libertarian ideals of self-ownership. He beautifully illustrates property rights and the importance of reputation in a free society. In one excruciatingly relevant chapter Rothbard discuses fiat currencies and their pitfalls and goes on ...more
John Boettcher
Aug 05, 2013 John Boettcher rated it it was amazing
One of the best, all-time books on the malevolence of the state, the government, what it stands for, and what it takes away from our freedom. It is extremely hard to argue with any of the thoughts and logic laid out in this book. No matter what your political stance is, this book will challenge those ideas in a fundamental way.

The book is not easy to read in that it makes you ask the hard questions about your own belief systems, perhaps those very systems your parents have and you inherited fro
...more
Robert
Jun 14, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing
The best book on Individual liberty I have ever read...It finally cleared up the nature of government, its role in the destruction of human happiness, and why thinking government can help us solve our problems is magical thinking akin to believing in fairies, Gods, or that we can fly by standing in a bucket and pulling really hard on the handle. When we finally understand this, we start to see every action taken by government at any point in time to be the actions of a lunatic giving tugs on tha ...more
Alan Hughes
May 27, 2015 Alan Hughes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, politics
I found this book quite a surprise. Usually I have found libertarian texts difficult to engage with and too American for a European reader. However, this text is quite different, lively and engaging, and very informative. Though still having an American focus when discussing current issues of state involvement in personal liberty this seems reasonable given the history described and the origin of the author. However, this is nicely counterbalanced by the description of the debt to the European t ...more
George Pickering
Oct 18, 2016 George Pickering rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! The perfect introduction to libertarianism. Light and readable enough to be enjoyable for anyone, but with enough nuance and uniqueness to be a revelation even to long-time libertarians. Rothbard was truly a genius. Can't recommend highly enough!
Kosmatos
Apr 11, 2015 Kosmatos rated it it was amazing
Excellent. I wouldn't say it contains big ideas, it just tries to show how one small idea has been trampled on from all directions, but continues to survive, and is still well alive.
ziombel
Aug 10, 2015 ziombel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libertarianism
Rothbard wrote a brilliant critique of the government, but weaker proposals to remedy these problems. For now, I don't want to translate reviews into English, because it is long and I would have to rewrite part about "peaceful" Communism (Poland was enslaved by the Soviet Union and average Pole have much greater knowledge than average human about this shit. Also I recommended some additional materials about this and they are in Polish, so I must find something different.

//polish
Dostępna za darmo
...more
Benjaminwornell
Nov 28, 2016 Benjaminwornell rated it really liked it
A supreme and unapologetic presentation of unalloyed libertarian ideology. Rotherbard applies the foundational principles of libertarianism, nonaggression and private property, with uncompromising consistency and ruthlessness.

Progressives and conservatives are likely to oscillate between hardy agreement and outright indignation within a few sentences or even within the same sentence. Self-described libertarians will also find themselves surprised at times where Rothbard's analysis leads.

While t
...more
Abraham Arslan
Feb 20, 2017 Abraham Arslan rated it it was amazing
Rothbard was the pioneer of liberty - in every sense. His ideas zero into concept of self-ownership. The narrative is logical and profound. This book will act as a manifesto on ideas of liberty. You can read and re-read this and confirm the bleak prophecies of big government that Rothbard wrote about.
Tvrtko Balić
Feb 13, 2017 Tvrtko Balić rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics
Worst collection of straw men, oversimplifications, misinterpretation and hypocrisy I have ever read that isn't even good for advocating libertarianism because the author is even hostile to libertarians he doesn't like. Read it to understand how dumb libertarians can be or if you are libertarian to figuratively jerk off to your ideology and fool yourself that you are morally superior.
Yogy TheBear
Sep 23, 2015 Yogy TheBear rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the start I will say that any person who wants a truly free society and wants to have the arguments and ideology for such a position should read this book.
It dose not matter if you would not agree 100% with everything because there is enough good ideas and points in this book anyway.
I personally am and still remain a libertarian for miniarhist guv and Austrian economics view on economy, just like the founding fathers and the people of America from that time (which were not quite so radical
...more
Petko Bossakov
Mar 23, 2011 Petko Bossakov rated it really liked it
In this book, Murray Rothbard successfully busts the common myths about the legitimacy and necessity of the State. However, there are some points where I find that his extreme stances are weakly supported by logic.

He attempts to define all human relationships based on a single axiom: voluntary, non-violent interaction. While in the general case that's perfectly valid, Rothbard is sometimes taking this to unhealthy extremes. For example, when discussing abortion, he puts the relationship between
...more
Chad Perrin
May 12, 2013 Chad Perrin rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, politics
This book begins with a philosophical analysis of property, ethics, and political science. It uses this as the justification and basis of the rest of the book, which breaks down many of the major areas of our lives where our centralized governments (at least nominally) provide services and organize society. For each of those areas, it points out where government either does more harm than good or, at best, seems to come out benefit-neutral, but does so only at the cost of violated individual rig ...more
Josh
Dec 09, 2015 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential reading for every Libertarian!

This book is absolutely a must read for every Libertarian, new or old. Murray Rothbard was one of the primary contributors to Libertarian philosophy from 1949 to his passing in the 90's. Rothbard starts the book with three primary topics: the history of libertarianism, why it's not conservatism or progressivism, and individualism. From there, Rothbard offers Libertarian solutions to current problems of today: individual liberty, education, foreign policy,
...more
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Abortion 2 12 May 28, 2015 02:21AM  
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  • Our Enemy, the State
  • The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism
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  • Libertarianism: A Primer
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  • Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement
  • Against Intellectual Property
  • Bastiat Collection
  • What It Means to Be a Libertarian: A Personal Interpretation
  • The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism
  • The Failure of the New Economics
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Murray Newton Rothbard was an influential American historian, natural law theorist and economist of the Austrian School who helped define modern libertarianism. Rothbard took the Austrian School's emphasis on spontaneous order and condemnation of central planning to an individualist anarchist conclusion, which he termed "anarcho-capitalism".

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“And, indeed, what is the State anyway but organized banditry? What is taxation but theft on a gigantic, unchecked, scale? What is war but mass murder on a scale impossible by private police forces? What is conscription but mass enslavement? Can anyone envision a private police force getting away with a tiny fraction of what States get away with, and do habitually, year after year, century after century?” 14 likes
“It is infinitely better to rely on the pursuit of economic interest by landowners or street companies than to depend on the dubious “altruism” of bureaucrats and government officials.” 5 likes
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