Anything That's Peaceful by Leonard E. Read

JULY 29, 2009 by LEONARD E. READ

The title of this book has become one of the most recognizable shorthand expressions for the fundamental ideas of classical liberalism and free markets. Read, the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, wrote a number of books and essays over his career, but this is in many ways his summation of his beliefs. He lays out a defense of the free market against all forms of interventionism and socialism, defending the proposition in the title that humans should be free to engage in anything that is peaceful. Read’s analysis of the way the state is the source of, and not the solution to, social strife is particularly important and very relevant to our own time in which debates over what government should do have become even more feverish. It also contains a version of Read’s classic essay “I, Pencil,” which illustrates the power of markets to create undesigned order.


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April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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Which Way Do You Lean on Economic Theory?

Whose approach do you find yourself taking more often, Mises's or Friedman's? Read both quotes and choose the one that aligns with your opinion of what makes for good economics.