Herbert Spencer

Spencer, Herbert

  • The Man Versus the State

    by Herbert Spencer

    Spencer develops various specific disastrous ramifications of the wholesale substitution of the principle of compulsory cooperation—the statist principle—for the individualist principle of voluntary cooperation. His theme is that “there is in society . . . that beautiful self-adjusting principle which will keep all its elements in equilibrium. . . . The attempt to regulate all the actions of a community…

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  • A Plea for Liberty

    by Thomas Mackay

    This collection of essays was originally published in 1891, at a time when the modern welfare state was first taking shape. The theoretical and empirical contributions are fine examples of the classical liberal tradition in British thought.

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  • The Principles of Ethics

    by Herbert Spencer

    Though almost forgotten today, Herbert Spencer ranks as one of the foremost individualist philosophers. His influence in the latter half of the nineteenth century was immense. Spencer’s name is usually linked with Darwin’s, for it was he who penned the phrase, “survival of the fittest.” Today in America he is most often admired for his trenchant essays in The Man

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