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The classic work on this is “Feudalism” by Francois Louis Ganshof.
Hi Sean, and sorry for the long delay in answering this question.
It’s true that some of the accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement came in the form of legislation that mandated racial integration on private property. This is a problem from a libertarian perspective because it impinges on the rights of property owners. Figures like Barry Goldwater protested the Civil Rights Act even though he had already desegregated his businesses.
So the standard libertarian response to this was to favor abolition of the state laws that mandated segregation in public and/or private spaces, and oppose laws that mandated racial integration.
I can’t speak for random libertarians off the street, but it’s certainly not the case that the leading theorists of anarchocapitalism (or market anarchism, if you prefer) are utopian thinkers.
These writers are of the moral conviction that voluntary social interactions are preferable to coerced social interactions. So they think that if there are methods of accomplishing an essential social function in a voluntary way, that’s preferable to the state’s handling of that function.
In any event, I don’t think it’s true that “the majority of modern-day libertarians” are anarchists. I’m willing to be proven wrong, though.
I work with mostly graduate students now, and it has been some time since I have seen the latest edition of a high-school or undergraduate survey text. So I do not have any direct examples to share with you.
What I would look for in deciding whether a textbook was skewed in this case would be an exaggerated account of how rosy pre-Columbian life was in the Americas, or an account that only discussed the negative impact of the exchange on the Americas. These are narratives that would play up the victim status of the peoples the Europeans encountered.
Unfortunately, IMO no one has done a very good job translating Homer to the big screen. There was a mini-series on the Odyssey produced some years ago, but I found it lacking. National Geographic has done an OK documentary on historic Troy.
Todd, sorry for the very slow reply. I have been locked out of the forums until this past week.
Elizabeth Vandiver has good lecture series to accompany both of these works. You can get them through the Great Courses website.
I’m not certain what you mean by “the correct view.” Certainly there was a long-term impact on both sides of the Atlantic as the result of the transfer of people, various plant and animal species, microbes, etc. Beyond that, I’m not sure what you are asking. Would you mind elaborating on the question?
There are several example of federated structures throughout European history. The Netherlands and Switzerland are just two contemporary examples with which English, French, and German settlers in North America would have been very familiar.
As for the term “federalism,” pretty much every word ending in “ism” is of French derivation dating from the 18th or 19th centuries. However, “federal” was originally a theological term in use in the early 17th century (before the Pilgrims) in England.
I hope this helps.March 30, 2017 at 5:31 pm in reply to: Decentralization as a weapon against totalitarianism #16907
The basic idea is that small jurisdictions provide ample opportunities for oppressed people to “vote with their feet.” But I think you may be wondering more about the role of mediating institutions in protecting individuals from the state. Robert Nisbet’s works, especially the “Quest for Community,” would be helpful here. Alexis de Tocqueville also discusses this idea in “Democracy in America.”
See Connor Boyack’s discussion of mediating institutions here: http://www.connorboyack.com/blog/mediating-institutions-a-remedy-to-political-indifference
James, sorry for the slow reply. The key point in the discussion is that senatorial families were restricted from various forms of commercial activity in the late Republic. This included contracts to provide the Roman state with various goods and provisions. Since they were shut out, non-senatorial families (members of the equites class) moved into the gap, and many became very wealthy. This was what I meant in that portion of the lecture you’re asking about.
I hope this helps.
I’m not too familiar with the book, but on the basis of what I have read, I think it misses the mark by a bit. I think the main thesis is something about modern economic institutions turning people into utility maximizers as opposed to being more cooperative. Austrian thinkers and more recent readers of Adam Smith simply explain this by pointing to the obvious fact that trade conducted at a distance minimizes personal connections between the parties to the trade, and that this will lead to more weight being placed on purely economic considerations.
Is this answer helpful, or are you getting at something else with your question?May 9, 2016 at 11:44 am in reply to: The Pyramids of Giza & the Sphinx preceding the Egyptians #16903
All I really know about this is what I saw in a documentary on the Smithsonian Channel called “Secrets of the Sphinx” or something like that. It rehearsed different theories, including the one about the water erosion. Apparently only a very few amateur archaeologists hold to this position; they believe the sphinx was originally a representation of a lion that later got re-carved into a human face.
As for lining up the pyramids with constellations, I think that is pretty speculative but not out of the question.March 30, 2016 at 6:50 pm in reply to: Public works, art, and classical liberal Austrian economists #16653
The point about pre-modern government being essentially private is an important one. And if the taxation is assumed, obviously it’s better to spend the money on good things than on bad things. Of course, none of this is an argument for taxation.
AJP Taylor’s The Causes of the Second World War is pretty provocative: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014013672X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=014013672X&linkCode=as2&tag=thewesttrad-20&linkId=6KUHCYCGJDZGLSKQ
I think you are probably right, although he’s not even really being prescriptive in that article on abortion in “Prejudices.” He explicitly says that the “woman’s right to choose” is not the thing under attack by anti-abortion advocates, but rather the autonomy of the family. The historical examples he uses are patriarchal; it’s the paterfamilias who decides whether the abortion takes place. That certainly won’t win him any friends among modern abortion-rights people.