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Defending The Undefendable

Defending The Undefendable

Professor Block's book is in a new edition from the Mises Institute, completely reset and beautifully laid out in an edition worthy of its contents. 

It is among the most famous of the great defenses of victimless crimes and controversial economic practices, from profiteering and gouging to bribery and blackmail. However, beneath the surface, this book is also an outstanding work of microeconomic theory that explains the workings of economic forces in everyday events and affairs. 

Murray Rothbard explains why: 

"Defending the Undefendable performs the service of highlighting, the fullest and starkest terms, the essential nature of the productive services performed by all people in the free market. By taking the most extreme examples and showing how the Smithian principles work even in these cases, the book does far more to demonstrate the workability and morality of the free market than a dozen sober tomes on more respectable industries and activities. By testing and proving the extreme cases, he all the more illustrates and vindicates the theory." 

F.A. Hayek agreed, writing the author as follows: "Looking through Defending the Undefendable made me feel that I was once more exposed to the shock therapy by which, more than fifty years ago, the late Ludwig von Mises converted me to a consistent free market position. … Some may find it too strong a medicine, but it will still do them good even if they hate it. A real understanding of economics demands that one disabuses oneself of many dear prejudices and illusions. Popular fallacies in economic frequently express themselves in unfounded prejudices against other occupations, and showing the falsity of these stereotypes you are doing a real services, although you will not make yourself more popular with the majority."
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Bob Swarup
Money Mania
Money Mania
Money Mania is a sweeping account of financial speculation and its consequences, from ancient Rome to the Meltdown of 2008. Acclaimed journalist and investor Bob Swarup tracks the history of speculative fevers caused by the appearance of new profitable investment opportunities; the new assets created and the increasing self-congratulatory euphoria that drives them to unsustainable highs, all fed by an illusion of insight and newly minted experts; the unexpected catalysts that eventually lead to panic; the inevitable crash as investors scramble to withdraw their funds from the original market and any other that might resemble it; and finally, the brevity of financial memory that allows us to repeat the cycle without ever critically evaluating the drivers of this endless cycle.

In short, it is the story of what makes us human.
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Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Democracy The God That Failed
Democracy The God That Failed

The core of this book is a systematic treatment of the historic transformation of the West from monarchy to democracy. Revisionist in nature, it reaches the conclusion that monarchy is a lesser evil than democracy, but outlines deficiencies in both. Its methodology is axiomatic-deductive, allowing the writer to derive economic and sociological theorems, and then apply them to interpret historical events.


A compelling chapter on time preference describes the progress of civilization as lowering time preferences as capital structure is built, and explains how the interaction between people can lower time all around, with interesting parallels to the Ricardian Law of Association. By focusing on this transformation, the author is able to interpret many historical phenomena, such as rising levels of crime, degeneration of standards of conduct and morality, and the growth of the mega-state. In underscoring the deficiencies of both monarchy and democracy, the author demonstrates how these systems are both inferior to a natural order based on private-property.


Hoppe deconstructs the classical liberal belief in the possibility of limited government and calls for an alignment of conservatism and libertarianism as natural allies with common goals. He defends the proper role of the production of defense as undertaken by insurance companies on a free market, and describes the emergence of private law among competing insurers. Having established a natural order as superior on utilitarian grounds, the author goes on to assess the prospects for achieving a natural order. Informed by his analysis of the deficiencies of social democracy, and armed with the social theory of legitimation, he forsees secession as the likely future of the US and Europe, resulting in a multitude of region and city-states. This book complements the author's previous work defending the ethics of private property and natural order. DemocracyThe God that Failed will be of interest to scholars and students of history, political economy, and political philosophy.

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Mark Skousen
A Viennese Waltz Down Wall Street
A Viennese Waltz Down Wall Street
This book is written for investors but any liberty-minded reader should appreciate Dr. Skousen's excellent chapters covering the major contributors of the Austrian school of economics.  


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