Some Advice Needed
Suppose you had some high schoolers who were self-proclaimed Republicans. What would you give them to read to introduce them to libertarianism that would emphasize its differences from conservatism? (And no, Hayek's "Why I'm Not a Conservative," though wonderful, is not appropriate.)
Suggestions happily received in the comments or by email.
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Steven Horwitz - 6/28/2009
I think it's located too much in the context of his writing CofL and particular debates/issues at the time, including a very British understanding of conservatism that's different from how American high schoolers might understand it.
Don't get me wrong - I love that essay. I just think the intellectual context requires too much introduction for high schoolers to get a lot out of it.
Mill's *On Liberty* is more timeless, though harder to read I think.
Jeff Riggenbach - 6/28/2009
"Hayek's 'Why I'm Not a Conservative,' though wonderful, is not appropriate."
Why not? (Just curious.)
Jonathan Dresner - 6/28/2009
The only identifiably libertarian thing I recall reading in high school was L. Neil Smith's Probability Broach. But then, I'm not a libertarian, so clearly it didn't have the desired effect. You might get into a little trouble with the whole "South won" thing, but it does raise a whole host of other typical issues in a fashion that HS students would find quite provocative.
I don't know why excerpts from Adam Smith and JS Mills wouldn't get the discussion started, though.
Less Antman - 6/28/2009
To lure a young Republican I'd go with David Friedman's THE MACHINERY OF FREEDOM. Short, thought provoking chapters that extend laissez fair arguments into areas where conservatives fear to tread.
Mike - 6/28/2009
When I was in high school, a teacher gave me Rand's Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal and Nock's Our Enemy the State. Those along with Rothbard's For a New Liberty, really impressed me. Of course, each of those works carries some baggage that a large part of the libertarian world would take serious issue with.
I can't really think of a good intro text that wouldn't contain anything too controversial among libertarians.
Maybe Read's Anything That's Peaceful.
Neal W. - 6/27/2009
Are these kids exceptional bright (valedictorian types), or average high schoolers?
If the latter, I would suggest John Stossels "Give Me a Break" or Robert Murphey's "Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism" for economics, and Napolitano's "A Nation of Sleep" for civil liberties. On foreign policy I'm not too sure.
Aeon J. Skoble - 6/27/2009
Mill, On Liberty
Bastiat, The Law
I'll see if I can think of some others.
- The Capture of the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapper, 80 Years Ago
- Coming Soon, a Century Late: A Black Film Gem
- The discovery that complicated the history of sex change operations
- NYT identifies the person who exposed Gary Hart's philandering
- Decades After Trinity Nuclear Test in New Mexico, U.S. Studies Cancer Fallout