Writer, author of Why Atheism?


Senior Research Fellow, 1977-1994, Institute for Humane Studies

Web Pages

George Smith - Libertarian
Advocates for Self-Government


Ayn Rand on Aristotle, 4 Mar 2016
Examines Rand's appreciative view of Aristotle based on his epistemological theories while disregarding his comments on slavery, racism and coercive government laws
"Thus, if Aristotle's rational epistemology did not prevent him from defending racism, slavery, and statism, this could only be because Aristotle himself did not understand the logical implications of his own epistemology. And if later defenders of racism, slavery, and statism were profoundly influenced by Aristotle's theories, this was only because they, too, did not appreciate that such theories were inconsistent with Aristotle's theory of knowledge."
Herbert Spencer's Theory of Causation [PDF], The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1981
Discusses Spencer's epistemology, his views on causation and how it affects social interactions, concluding with his ethical theory and concept of justice
"What are the social conditions best suited for the development of the justice sentiment? A free 'industrial' society, answers Spencer. An authoritarian 'militant' society, on the other hand, discourages this sentiment. ... This rather prosaic summary of Spencer's theory of justice ... points out the central role that the conduct/consequence doctrine plays in his theory of justice."
Objectivism as a Religion, The Daily Objectivist, 30 Mar 2000
Six essays, previously published in Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies
"Considering that Rand's philosophy of Objectivism is diametrically opposed to religion in letter and spirit, a 'religious' adherence to Objectivism itself may appear paradoxical. But the phenomenon of religious Objectivism is fairly common, as anyone familiar with Rand's more ardent followers can attest."
Related Topic: Objectivism
Spencer, Herbert (1820-1903) | Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"Although Herbert Spencer has been rightly regarded as the most influential libertarian theoretician of the 19th century, he was much more than that. He also was a founding father of modern sociology, a pioneer in the theory of evolution—his theories were developed prior to those of Charles Darwin—an important figure in progressive education ...—and a philosopher of distinction whose work in ethics and epistemology gained the respect of J. S. Mill and other notable contemporaries. He was, moreover, an early proponent of the rights of children, of equal rights for women, and of other civil liberties that have since gained widespread acceptance in Western democracies."
The Case Against God Sequel, 31 Jul 1999
Speech given at the Freedom From Religion Foundation mini-convention in San Francisco
Related Topic: Atheism
The Ethics of Voting: Part I [PDF], The Voluntaryist, Oct 1982
Examines libertarian and anarchist theory to provide a critique of electoral voting, i.e., voting for government officials
"I shall accept vicarious liability as a given within libertarian theory and proceed from this foundation. ... Given this fact, it follows that voters, in some cases at least, are deemed accountable by libertarians for the results of their votes (e.g., legislators who vote for victimless crime laws)."
Related Topics: The State, Voluntaryism, Voting
The Ethics of Voting: Part Three [PDF], The Voluntaryist, Apr 1983
Examines, among other things, whether a libertarian can be employed by or hold office in a State entity
"A particular Senator (e.g., a libertarian) may never actually vote for a tax bill, but he has the legal right nonetheless. The privilege resides in the office. A person elected to high political office allies himself with the power of leviathan. He voluntarily seeks and successfully achieves the privileges of political office which permit him to aggress against his neighbors — privileges enforced by the State."
The Ethics of Voting: Part Two [PDF], The Voluntaryist, Dec 1982
An analysis of the State as an institution ("method of pursuing a social activity")
"The State is a designed institution, forcibly imposed. State-builders had specific objectives in mind, foremost of which was to secure territorial sovereignty. ... Virtually all functions of government ... may be seen as supports for the monopolization of power. ... Sovereignty is the 'product' of this association (or the most fundamental among many); a monopoly on legitimized coercion is the 'process.'"

Books Authored

Atheism: The Case Against God, 1973
Related Topic: Atheism
Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies, Apr 1991
Partial contents: The Meaning of Heresy - My Path to Atheism - Atheism and the Virtue of Reasonableness - Defining Atheism - Atheism and Objectivism - Ayn Rand: Philosophy and Controversy - The Righteous Persecution of Drug Consumers and Other Heretics
Related Topics: Atheism, Ayn Rand
The Lysander Spooner Reader:
    by George H. Smith (Introduction), Lysander Spooner, 1992
Contents: Editorial Preface (Jeffrey Tucker) - Foreword (Sheldon Richman) - Introduction (George H. Smith) - Our Nestor (Benjamin Tucker) - Natural Law - Vices Are Not Crimes - No Treason - Letter to Thomas F. Bayard - Trial by Jury
Why Atheism?, 2000
Related Topic: Atheism


George H. Smith Gives Qualified Endorsement of Ron Paul 2008, 30 Dec 2007
Related Topic: Ron Paul

George H. Smith on the Moral Right to Resist Authority, 1996
Talk given at conference of the International Society of Individual Liberty
Related Topic: Nonviolent resistance