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on 31 December 2012
Casey takes issue with the belief that anarchy would lead to chaos. He makes a good attempt to show how better alternatives to the State would arise. Not entirely convincing for me (I believe in the minimal State although I would like to believe in Casey's view} but well worth a read for those who consider the State to have grown far too big.
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on 11 September 2012
This book, 'Libertarian Anarchy' by Professor Casey, is an excellent way of bringing together lots of different philosophical threads into a single clear focus based around the ideas of total freedom, personal secession from the state, and the totally voluntary society.

The alternative route to the same destination would normally involve tackling a combination of the Rothbardian and Hoppeian canons, both of which are superb, of course, in scope and execution, but which require much more effort on the part of the reader. And who has time for deep effort any more in this rush, rush, rush world, where surviving the economic 'solutions' of 'our leaders', since 2008, has drawn out more and more individual energy, from all of us here in productive land, just to stand still?

If you want the movie of the book first, with all the best bits left in, then 'Libertarian Anarchy' is going to form an excellent taster for those mightier libertarian works in your future.

Accessing the Rothbard canon has always involved tackling the major asteroid of 'Man, Economy, and State', along perhaps with the smaller comets of 'Power and Market', 'The Ethics of Liberty', and 'For a New Liberty'. To that, you probably need to add Hoppe's three key works, of 'A Theory of Capitalism & Socialism', 'The Economics and Ethics of Private Property', and 'Democracy, The God That Failed'. Perhaps to round out the set, you would need to add Bruce Benson's 'The Enterprise of Law, Justice Without the State', and Rothbard's superb 'Egalitarianism As a Revolt Against Nature'.

And then we could talk about Oppenheimer, Hazlitt, Hayek, Mises, and Kinsella.

For faster access, however, to the universe of ultimate freedom and the 'totally voluntary society' of Ralph Raico, you might find this shooting star of a book, Libertarian Anarchy, a lot more time efficient. It's also written in the sparkling prose of someone who has swallowed not just one individual Blarney stone, but perhaps seven, maybe even being the seventh son of a seventh son to boot. This liquid prose style enhances the flow of the complex ideas through the book's swift pages, breaking them down neatly, and thus providing a quicker wormhole route through to the vaster hyperverse of Rothbard and Hoppe, without getting stuck in a time continuum loop within a lost fifth dimension.

For instance, the book opens as it means to go on, with a section on 'the criminal state'. Other excellent sections include 'The state - necessary and legitimate?', 'The non-aggression principle', 'Libertarianism and conservatism', 'Is libertarianism utopian?', and 'Where does the law come from?'.

You will still have to read the other major works afterwards, such as the indispensable 'Man, Economy, and State', for a more thorough and complete treatment. However, I think you will find such pivotal works much more digestible and accessible if you use this book first, as an aperitif, before wading manfully, or even womanfully, into the front line. If I'd had this book myself five years ago, it would have made the writing of my own novel, Sword of Marathon, a much quicker experience, as I wrestled with the ideas of my own fictional Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus, one of the central characters of the book.

So if Professor Casey is reading this, and he's engaged in writing a follow-up, would he mind finishing this next book quickly, so any fictional philosopher in my own 'Book Beta', can draw upon rock-solid Aristotelian ideas, as my Greeks fight the tyranny of the Persians in Fifth Century B.C. Sparta and Athens. Anything on the nature of Helotian slavery and Messenian serfdom in Sparta, would be particularly excellent! :-)
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on 27 March 2013
This book is slightly less academic (for want of a better word) than some and everyone should read it. Whether you are a Libertarian or not (and if not, why not?) this book will really make you think about a situation which most people think is the norm and there is no other choice. Wrong!
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