“Among the needs of man, there is one particular type which plays an immense role in the history of humanity, namely the need for security” – Gustave de Molinari
This book by Gustave de Molinari is said to have some of the seeds to modern libertarian philosophy and the author works in a very systematic, direct way in his writing – Asking questions and seeking answers within just a paragraph.
I like this style of presenting your concepts and ideas within text because there is no doubt where the question started and why the conclusion is what it is based on that train of thought – Even if you disagree with the answer, the process is laid bare in front of you. I prefer that over having to have a required reading list to understand what’s going on.
“Everywhere, men resign themselves to the most extreme sacrifices rather than do without government and hence security, without realizing that in so doing, they misjudge their alternatives.“
– Gustave de Molinari
The book is from 1849 and I like exploring the topics of these older books because they are so relatable to today’s political and economic discussions, yet worlds apart in tone. Some of Nozick’s ideas get bitten into and dismantled over 100 years before he even clarified them on paper himself, by Molinari – That is amazing to me (“But why should there be an exception relative to security? What special reason is there that the production of security cannot be relegated to free competition?“).
A truth I keep hearing in my social circles is: “The more I read, the more I realize I need to read more”, this book is a great example of one of those books I can recommend everyone to read because it will clarify some healthy thinking patterns and approaches to social interactions – Even if you disagree with the answers given, it should act as a great document to bounce your own answers off of.
There are some quick notes on Absolutism and “The Divine Right to Rule” presented in the book as well, that was curious to read, but didn’t have quite the punch the rest of the book had:
“It was free inquiry that demonetized the fiction of divine right, to the point where the subjects of monarchs or of aristocracies based on divine right obey them only insofar as they think it in their own self-interest to obey them. ”
– Gustave de Molinari
It is a short (around 60 pages with introduction), free (Get the PDF from Mises.org) and a good read, great introductory work to the Libertarian idea-world of today.
Interested in grabbing a paperback copy of the book? Get it at Amazon!