Radicals for Capitalism

So you’ve probably read a dozen reviews of this book by now, but here’s one more brief comment. I heard Brian give a presentation at the Public Choice seminar yesterday and have read only a couple of chunks out of the book in the past two days but here’s what I’m liking about it.
I’ve been involved with libertarians and libertarian ideas going on 6 or 7 years now. In that time, I’ve amassed dozens of anecdotes and stories that you hear about the big figures in their hay days. Rothbard broke with Rand or Mises calling the Mt. Pelerons socialist, etc. As silly or dare I say cultish as these parables are the learning process they accomplish is still extremely useful and interesting. I’m more than willing to accept that people like Mises, Rand, Hayek and Rothbard were all smarter than me and I value information that communicates the way they thought about issues and dealt with opposing ideas in their times.
Doherty’s book seems to accomplish an immense degree of this proverbial learning in a single read. I’m willing to award it the title of “The first 700 page book on libertarianism that you should read.” In other words, I’d highly recommend it to people new to the ideas of liberty or even “on the fence” people, because it can accomplish the same feel and familiarity with the major thinkers that usually takes many years of casual conversations.
This book is important for young generation econo-austro-libertarians. It was most refreshing to hear Doherty comment about how traditional rivalries between many of the core libertarian institutions don’t seem to be carrying over to the younger generations. I applaud this phenomenon and agree with Brian’s assessment. Buy and start reading the book today.

2 thoughts on “Radicals for Capitalism

  1. I’m into the sixth chapter, now, and I agree with your assessment. It’s a fun, fun book. And no doubt useful.
    For what it’s worth, I’ve been involved with libertarians since 1980.
    Doherty has repeatedly argued that (1) the morality/rights-based approach and (2) the consequentialist/general happiness approach, though they’ve demarcated wars in the past, are compatible. Doherty is surely right, to some degree.
    There’s more to be said on the subject, of course, but more heat than light usually leaks out of the disputes. It’s nice to hear that younger people aren’t getting too caught up in it.

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