Cato Institute's Libertarianism.org and David Boaz presents a short series of 14 lectures on Libertarianism, the philosophy of personal and economic freedom. It has deep roots in Western civilization and in American history, and it’s growing stronger. Two long wars, chronic deficits, the financial crisis, the costly drug war, the campaigns of Ron Paul and Rand Paul, the growth of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, and the revelations about NSA abuses have pushed millions more Americans in a libertarian direction. The Libertarian Mind, by David Boaz, longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, is the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of this increasingly important political movement.
Whether you’re just encountering libertarian ideas for the first time, or want to explore the tradition further but aren’t sure where to start, this Guide should help you get your footing. We’ll touch on topics in philosophy, economics, history, and political science. Below, you’ll find a short introductory essay and a series of lectures. Though they make the most sense in sequence, feel free to read and watch them in whatever order most interests you; each should stand on its own just fine. This Guide’s featured book, The Libertarian Mind, serves as a companion text to the course. It will enrich your experience with the Guide, but it’s not a prerequisite for any of the content you’ll find here.
ABOUT THE LECTURER
David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in both the Institute’s development and the growth of the American libertarian movement at large. Prior to joining Cato in 1981, he served as editor of New Guard magazine and executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy. Boaz often appears in the media to discuss such issues as education choice, the growth of government, the ownership society, drug legalization, and the rise of libertarianism. He is author of The Libertarian Mind and editor of The Libertarian Reader.
Course Introduction Video