10: Rauch’s Kindly Inquisitors—The New Attacks on Free Thought
Freedom of speech has long been one of America’s most cherished values. Most discussions of free speech revolve around the First Amendment and its protections against government censorship. However, the principle of free speech encompasses much more than the First Amendment, and a defense of this principle requires more than just a legal argument. In Kindly Inquisitors, Jonathan Rauch provides an ethical defense of free speech, and explains why tolerance for a broad range of speech is...
9: Madison's Federalist No. 10
The United States Constitution was highly controversial when it was first proposed. The Anti-Federalists believed the framers of the Constitution wanted to usurp power from the states and give it to the federal government. The Federalists issued a series of counter-arguments. In Federalist No. 10, James Madison argued that the Constitution was the best method for controlling the effect of factions and ensuring that large groups could not infringe on the rights of minorities. Federalist No....
8: Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom
Milton Friedman was one of the most influential proponents of freedom in the 20th century. His ideas served as a foundation for economic policy in American and Great Britain during the 1980s, and he advised countless governments on how to open their markets. Friedman also found it vitally important to educate the general public on economic policy, writing several books and creating a TV series on economic subjects. Even his intellectual opponents have acknowledged his essential role in...
7: Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
Adam Smith is widely considered the father of modern capitalism. His 1776 magnum opus, The Wealth of Nations, lays out (in great detail) how a society can thrive only through free trade and voluntary exchange. This book is one of the most widely cited in all of political economy. Almost 250 years later, both supporters and critics of capitalism ignore Smith’s arguments at their own peril. P.J. O'Rourke's "On The Wealth of Nations":...
Quick Quotes 2: Major Doug Zembiec, "The Lion of Fallujah"
Major Doug Zembiec was a Marine who earned the nickname "The Lion of Fallujah" due to his heroic actions during the First Battle of Fallujah. Major Zembiec was later killed in Baghdad by enemy fire while leading a unit of Iraqi forces he had helped train. He left behind volumes of writing, including this quote, which has become a common credo among members of the U.S. military. ——— Website: https://www.ericcervone.com YouTube:...
6: Frederic Bastiat's The Law
Frederic Bastiat was a French economist, and holds a vital role in the development of thought around what constitutes a free society. While Bastiat is rarely taught in college philosophy courses—let alone high-school civics—his ideas strike at the heart of what constitutes the American Experiment. No other writer has more clearly expressed exactly what it means to have a just system of law. According to Bastiat, the role of the law is to promote justice—the defense of life, liberty, and...
5: Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Adam Smith was made famous by his book “The Wealth of Nations,” which ushered in the modern era of capitalism. But few people know about his first book, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.” In this book, Smith lays out what it means to be a virtuous, prudent person. Without these principles, a society based on individual liberty cannot succeed. By understanding Smith’s lessons in “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” we can get a fuller picture of the responsibilities we have as members of a free...
4: Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson
Bad economic policy has started wars, caused nations to collapse, and fostered depressions. The study of economics might seem to be a daunting task, but by understanding a few simple principles, you’ll be able to identify fallacies that continue to shape and distort our economic policy. Economics in One Lesson, first published in 1946, remains the gold-standard introduction to the “dismal science” of economics. ——— Website: https://www.ericcervone.com YouTube:...
3: F.A. Hayek’s The Intellectuals and Socialism
The idea of socialism has been gaining traction among young people and intellectuals. This trend isn’t new—F.A. Hayek’s “The Intellectuals and Socialism” lays out why socialism is so attractive to these groups. The essay, published in 1949, details the vital role of the “secondhand dealers in ideas,” and explains why advocates of a free society shouldn’t simply ignore them. 70 years later, Hayek’s words are still eerily relevant. "Fear the Boom and Bust" Keynes vs. Hayek Rap Battle:...
Quick Quotes 1: Albert Einstein on the Enduring Will of the Jewish People
This quote from Dr. Albert Einstein, rallying his people to fight through adversity, sits at the end of the main exhibit of the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. ——— Website: https://www.ericcervone.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realericcervone Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericcervone Twitter: https://twitter.com/ericcervone YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC13h27HBHpqpHWtzxJF4jQA
2: John Locke's Second Treatise of Government
John Locke's Second Treatise of Government was a vociferous defense of private property, representative government, and the right of revolution. Its echos can be heard throughout the Declaration of Independence and the writings of America's Founding Fathers. —— Website: https://www.ericcervone.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realericcervone Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericcervone Twitter: https://twitter.com/ericcervone YouTube:...
1: Thomas Paine's Common Sense
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense served as the intellectual ammunition for the American Revolution. Paine's pamphlet was read across the colonies, and rallied Americans to overthrow British rule. —— Website: https://www.ericcervone.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realericcervone Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericcervone Twitter: https://twitter.com/ericcervone YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC13h27HBHpqpHWtzxJF4jQA
While everyone is interested in arguing over the issue of the day, relatively few people understand the principles that serve as the foundation of our country. Honest Offense is a new podcast dedicated to talking about these principles. Each episode, we’ll discuss important ideas in American history. —— Website: https://www.ericcervone.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realericcervone Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericcervone Twitter:...