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For a New Liberty

For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto is a book by Murray Rothbard, first published in 1973. It presents libertarianism from both a theoretical (non-agression axiom, property rights, etc.) and practical standpoint, suggesting how to apply the theory to deal with societal and economic problems. Its second edition published in 1978, replaced the original first chapter, "The New Libertarian Movement", with a historical background titled "The Libertarian Heritage: The American Revolution and Classical Liberalism".


Foreword, by R.A. Childs, Jr., Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays, Jan 1974
Foreword to the 1974 edition, compares Rothbard to Karl Marx as a "system builder" of anarchist thought; reprinted in second edition (2000) and as "The System Builder" on 7 Nov 2008 at
[Rothbard] is stirring up more and more admirers with the publication of his latest book, For A New Liberty. While [he] has yet to have the impact of Rand, Friedman, or Hayek, his influence is rapidly growing ... Numerous works on economic history have been published, and with the publication of For A New Liberty, there is the first book-length statement of his political philosophy ... It is our purpose, in publishing this little book of some of Rothbard's greatest essays so closely on the heels of the publication of For A New Liberty, to pick up where that book left off.
UpdMurray, the LP, and Me, by David Bergland, 25 Dec 2002
Lengthy autobiographical essay, focusing on Murray Rothbard, libertarianism and the Libertarian Party; reprinted in Walter Block's I Chose Liberty (2010)
I attended my first [Libertarian Party] convention [in 1974] ... I believe it was also in 1974 that I read Rothbard's For a New Liberty. The experience was exhilarating. This is probably the one book of Murray's best suited to be read by people without much formal education in economics or political philosophy. It's a great text for LP activists who need some foundation in the freedom philosophy. It sure helped me in that way.
Ownership and Ideas, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 12 Sep 2014
Critiques some statements made by Murray Rothbard, in For a New Liberty (1973), about ownership of created products and the appropriateness of others copying such products
While rereading For a New Liberty (first published in 1973) recently, I confess I was puzzled ... Here's the passage that had me scratching my head:
Let us waive, for the moment, the question of original property rights in the clay and the sculptor's tools. The question then becomes: Who owns the work of art as it emerges from the sculptor's fashioning? ... He has placed the stamp of his person upon the raw material, by "mixing his labor" with the clay, in the phrase of ... John Locke. And the product transformed by his own energy has become the material embodiment of the sculptor's ideas and vision.
"The Police Force Is Watching the People", by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 22 Aug 2014
Argues that the facts are crucial when identifying "the agressor and victim in particular cases" such as occurred in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and separately, that the role of police forces must be re-examined
Political philosophy ... can't identify the aggressor and victim in particular cases; relevant empirical information is required. Murray Rothbard wrote in For A New Liberty:
If, for example, we see X seizing a watch in the possession of Y we cannot automatically assume that X is aggressing against Y's right of property in the watch; for may not X have been the original, "true" owner of the watch who can therefore be said to be repossessing his own legitimate property? In order to decide, we need a theory of justice in property, a theory that will tell us whether X or Y or indeed someone else is the legitimate owner.
Reading the Literature of Liberty, by Roy A. Childs, Jr., May 1987
Childs' selection of "great books" on liberty and libertarianism, including works by Hazlitt, Bastiat, Rose Wilder Lane, Nock, Ayn Rand, Friedman, Hayek, Rothbard, Mises and Nozick
[Murray Rothbard's] manifesto For a New Liberty sets out his own version of the principles of libertarianism, and proceeds to look at one problem area after another. Here you'll find suggestive answers to all those thorny problems that people keep raising: public education, the welfare state, even streets, roads, environmentalism, foreign policy, and more besides! Thousands of people have found this an excellent overview of libertarianism. If you want food for thought, here is a gourmet's delight!
Rothbard, Murray (1926-1995), by Brian Doherty, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical and bibliographical essay
In 1973, Rothbard published For a New Liberty, a manifesto of libertarianism. That book presented an overview of his complete political vision, explaining how a strictly rights-based anarchist society could function and still meet all the social needs that are now met by government, from roads to defense to justice. (Rothbard credited the 19th-century Belgian author Gustave de Molinari as the intellectual father of this individualist anarchist view, which encompassed justice and defense.) Rothbard rejected Mises's utilitarian ethics as an insufficient basis for a consistent libertarianism.
Rothbard's For a New Liberty, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 16 May 2014
Review of For a New Liberty (1973) with emphasis on Rothbard's discussion of the nonaggression axiom and natural rights
In 1973 ... Murray Rothbard issued a comprehensive popular presentation of the libertarian philosophy in For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, first published by the mainstream publisher Macmillan. The book is an excellent discussion of libertarian principles and applications ... "Emotivists," he wrote, "assert that they take liberty or nonaggression as their premise purely on subjective, emotional grounds." He was undoubtedly dissatisfied with that "foundation" ... Anyone eager to understand the rich libertarian philosophy and heritage could do no better than to begin with For a New Liberty.
Why We Consent to Oppression: Self-suppression paves the way for political suppression, by Peter Breggin, Reason, Sep 1977
Examines the questions posed by La Boétie in his "Discourse on Voluntary Servitude" from a psychological perspective, particularly how childhood self-suppression leads most adults to more easily accept government oppression
In For a New Liberty, Rothbard summarizes the natural rights position of libertarianism in a manner wholly applicable to psychology as well as to economics:
Since men can think, feel, evaluate, and act only as individuals, it becomes vitally necessary for each man's survival and prosperity that he be free to learn, choose, develop his faculties, and act upon this knowledge and values. This is the necessary path of human nature; to interfere with and cripple this process by using violence goes profoundly against what is necessary by man's nature for his life and prosperity.


For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, by Murray N. Rothbard, 1973
Partial contents: The Libertarian Heritage - Property and Exchange - The State - The Problems - Involuntary Servitude - Personal Liberty - Education - Welfare and the Welfare State - The Public Sector - War and Foreign Policy - A Strategy for Liberty
Related Topics: Libertarianism, Liberty