Reply To: Most Convincing Book on Liberty


I’m 18 years old right now. At first (about 3 years ago) I was actually interested in Islam and terrorism and I read books of neocon authors like David Horowitz and Robert Spencer. This got me interested in politics in general and I read typical rightwing websites. Unfortunately I bought into the idea that the US Govenment was spreading freedom around the globe. Fortunately this led me also to free market economics and authors like Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell (of whom I read ‘Basic Economics’). For a while I called myself a neocon but I’ve already felt that an interventionist foreign policy would be in contradiction with libertarian principles…
When the first debates started back in 2011I came across of Ron Paul and liked him despite his call for a non-interventionist foreign policy. However, conservatives, especially the neocons, hated him and I encountered Tom Woods through the Peter Schiff Show. He finally convinced me that war and big government cannot get along with liberty. I dumped all the conservative websites and became a limited government libertarian. I started to read the books of Steve Forbes, Tom Woods, Tom Dilorenzo etc. ‘The Law’ of Frédéric Bastiat was an importent book on my intellectual journey. The Mises Institute led me to Murray Rothbard who was of course an Anarcho-Capitalist. After having read lots of books on history, war, economics etc. I finally read ‘For A New Liberty’ and immediately therafter ‘Ethics of Liberty’. These books really got me thinking but did no convince me right away. Stefan Molyneux was important as well. ‘The Market for Liberty’ by Linda and Morris Tannehill pushed me finally over the edge and I considered myself an Anarchist after that read. While I did not have a job this summer I educated myself a lot and made perhaps the most important intellectual transformation of my lifetime…

I do not think that there’s one single book that would convert someone to Anarcho-Capitalism but a collection of different books. I’m currently reading ‘The Conscience of an Anarchist’ by Gary Chartier who calls himself a leftwing or market Anarchist. He focuses a lot about how the government hurts the poor and supports big corporations etc. A liberal might favor Gary’s approach to some others which may appear elitist or pro business.