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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13292/huebert-is-here/

Huebert Is Here!

July 15, 2010 by

The Mises Institute is the exclusive distributor of this paperback edition at this special price – less than half the hardback price and you can only buy it through Mises.org.

It might seem easy to write an overview of libertarianism. If so, why do so many attempts fall short? They typically leave out something important, like foreign policy, drugs, or intellectual property, or the attempts are biased this way or that.

At last, Libertarianism Today by Jacob H. Huebert has succeeded. It is comprehensive. It is truthful. It is realistic. It is analytically rigorous. It combines theory with policy with a great story about what is going on in the world today and how libertarianism addresses these problems.

The result is a fantastic successor book to Murray Rothbard’s classic For A New Liberty (1973). In 250 pages, Huebert tells you what you need to know.

{ 35 comments }

Sarah July 15, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I wouldn’t be caught dead reading a book with that cover. Are you targeting the wing nuts on the Sarah Palin side of the Tea Party?

What does that American flag/rag have to do with libertarianism?

Todd S. July 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I was initially struck by that as well, but Walter Block gave it a glowing review here: http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/19-block-review-of-hueberts-libertarianism-today/

I may have to check it out at some point.

Huebert July 15, 2010 at 10:09 pm

The publisher (which is not the Mises Institute) chose the cover. Presumably it has flag stuff on it to signal that it’s a book about political issues in the U.S. I promise there’s no “flag waving” of any kind inside. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can search and browse the contents at Amazon.com. (Then come back here if you want to buy it.)

fephisto July 16, 2010 at 6:11 am

Take a piece of paper, make it the book’s new cover.

Problem solved.

newson July 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm

huebert is very polished on tv. an excellent spokesman for libertarianism.

patrick July 17, 2010 at 1:09 am

On Tv, he looks to me like he has big bags under his eyes.

newson July 17, 2010 at 1:40 am

gravitas. an asset.

Mike July 15, 2010 at 11:24 pm

That is not a review ,it is a sentence or two. Sorry, but libertarianism today is not “rah rah sis coomba” for a political speech or a flag. I’m disappointed at the marketing.

Todd S. July 16, 2010 at 4:52 am

I didn’t want to link to the actual pdf as some people don’t like being redirected directly to a file that begins to download, but you leave me little choice…

http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-19.pdf

Art July 16, 2010 at 12:22 am

Yes, that is a review. A very good review. You probably read the 2 line abstract of the review. The actual review (open the pdf from the linked page) is 8 pages long and chock full of footnotes. No rah rah sis coomba.

Jeffrey Tucker July 16, 2010 at 5:34 am

Yes, the publisher chose the cover obviously, and by convention the author has nothing to do with it (why?), but it is certainly my view that the publisher has made a real error here. I hadn’t seen it until yesterday. Libertarians that are the likely market for this book won’t go for this – at least that’s my own view but the publisher might still be right. I don’t know. In any case, it’s not my thing or the author’s thing either.

Jack July 16, 2010 at 6:15 am

That review was absurd. Can Walter Block drool anymore? The book cover is pathetic. And, Huebert is a liar and fool. Why would any author allow the publisher such power over the initial reaction to their work?

Stephan Kinsella July 16, 2010 at 7:41 am

Don’t judge a book by its cover! The book is extremely hard-core, hard-hitting, principled, informed by Austrian and anarchist thought. It is not a flag-waving book AT ALL. It is really wonderful. The best libertarianism introduction ever, by far.

mpolzkill July 16, 2010 at 8:38 am

At any rate “hard-core, hard-hitting & principled” like this is as American as apple pie:

http://www.amazon.com/Aint-America-Conservatism-Middle-American-Anti-Imperialism/dp/0805082441/lewrockwell/

jeffrey July 16, 2010 at 7:46 am

Jack, I don’t know what to say. Authors rarely have anything to do with cover design. What’s more, it might be the right decision from a marketing angle. In any case, it is their investment so whether wrong or right, the publisher will bear the consequences. As for your insult of the author, it is a violation of the blog rules.

Daniel Coleman July 16, 2010 at 8:21 am

I am amazed that Huebert is catching flak, and being called a liar, over something that is almost universal in the industry: the publishers (and especially their marketing team) selecting the cover. How sad.

Let’s think rationally about this for a minute: so there’s an American flag on the cover; who is it going to hurt? Maybe a Glenn Beck fan or two will decide to pick it up — all the better. I approached libertarianism from the right, with Rothbard’s classic introduction to libertarianism influencing me the most. Surely Huebert’s book will find sympathetic ears among those who have libertarian leanings but have not yet thought it through.

In the meantime, anarcho-libertarians should be able to look past whatever offense the cover causes them (though I honestly don’t see why it does) to the substance of the work, which is excellent.

Stephan Kinsella July 16, 2010 at 8:22 am
Jeffrey Tucker July 16, 2010 at 8:37 am

Yes, as T Woods pointed out to me, only at Mises.org are freedom loving people going to be disgusted by the American flag. ha ha .

mpolzkill July 16, 2010 at 9:00 am

Well, I bet there are a few in Afghanistan, too (sardonic haha)

- – - – - – - – - – -

Mrhuh,

Right, and just as important as keeping Palin’s zombies at an arm’s length is keeping Noam Chomsky’s.

Daniel July 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Well, people usually confuse their country (a territory) with their government (a kleptocracy), so it really is no surprise when libertarians reject these kind of symbols

Mrhuh July 16, 2010 at 8:46 am

Good point. Considering that much of the Tea Party crowd is split between either Palin or Ron Paul, why not an American Flag on the book. Did Rothbard himself not claim that The American Revolution was informed by libertarian principles.

mikey July 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm

If its as good as ‘Libertarianism’ by John Hospers then its a great book.

Stephen Smith July 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I am almost finished with Tom Woods’s “Nullification” and am still having a little trouble with its cover. Is it trying to convey that federal tyranny crossed over the line from bearable to unbearable only with the advent of Obama, Pelosi, et al? Is it trying to appeal to conservatives and tea partiers while writing off liberals/progressives as unpersuadable on the topic of nullification? Who chose that cover, and did Tom have any say in it?

And by the way, “Nullification” itself is excellent. Powerful in its argument, perfect in its length.

Don’t judge a book …

patrick July 17, 2010 at 1:11 am

I emailed Woods about that…he didn’t choose the cover…the publisher did.

Lew's Ghost July 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I love the reviews and ads for these books on LewRockwell.com. How One-Thought can they be?

“You MUST buy this book. The Fed people are shaking in their boots>.”

“What???It’s only at #250 on Amazon? That’s not good enough for our hive-think. BUY BUY BUY OR YOU ARE SPITTING ON ROTHBARD’s GRAVE!!”

“Whew….its at #57. But that’s not GOOD ENOUGH. DO IT NOW!!!”

Jeezus, it’s like a cult over there with Lew telling people what to buy and his little minions eagerly lapping it up. You guys are becoming more and more like mere caricatures of libertarianism every day. It really is sad.

Look at how the site trashed that Bruno movie or anyone who looks at Ron Paul in the wrong way. Way to deify someone. lololol

patrick July 17, 2010 at 1:14 am

Bruno? That movie was great. And the Ron Paul scene was hilarious. Ron Paul pwned that scene…”queer as blazes!” lmao.

mpolzkill July 17, 2010 at 5:07 am

I liked it too, especially the way the “terrorist” was staring at Cohen, hating him for his freedoms.

Alexander S. Peak July 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm

My first thought, too, was that I didn’t like the cover.

That’s not to say that I plan to not read the book because of its cover, of course. Rather, I simply don’t like that state-worshipping I associate with that image. And, I especially doubt that non-Americans will be attracted to it. From a marketing standpoint, I have to suspect that it might have been a poor decision.

I can think of only one book I own currently that has red, white, and blue on the cover. It’s a book containing some of Jefferson’s letters and other writings, and titled Michael Hardt presents Thomas Jefferson: The Declaration of Independence. It appears to be part of some sort of series on revolutionary figures. The front colour has an explosion of red, white, and blue, and is quite beautiful to look upon. When I look at it, I don’t see state-worship, but rather revolution. But this is a subjective interpretation, of course.

Anywho, since the publishing company chose the cover to Libertarianism Today, is there someone to whom we can write to express our dismay? Something like: “To whom it may concern, I am a libertarian writing to you to express my dismay at the tasteless cover you chose to slap on to the otherwise good book titled Libertarianism Today. In the future, please choose a cover that more appropriately reflects our hostility toward big government and our appreciation for the peaceful, spontaneous order of market society. Thanks, signature.”

Alex

Stephan Kinsella July 19, 2010 at 9:36 am

Just imagine if some Tea Party type buys the book b/c they like the cover. Then they are exposed to Huebert’s very clear, explicit, hard-core libertarian ideas. Why is that bad?

Sam July 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm

It saddens me that Huebert mentions Leonard Read’s “anything that’s peaceful” and the non-aggression principle as the basis for libertarianism and yet every chapter begins as a “fight” for or against something. The notion of a “Fight for Peace” is particularly abhorrent. Libertarianism isn’t a fight it is a peaceful evolution toward a voluntary society.

Huebert July 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Sorry, I’m with Hayek and Rothbard: “We need intellectual leaders who are prepared to resist the blandishments of power and influence and who are willing to work for an ideal, however small may be the prospects of its early realization. They must be men who are willing to stick to principles and to fight for their full realization, however remote. . . .”

Sam July 22, 2010 at 1:40 am

Uh, you missed the point entirely and because Hayek uses the word “fight” in one sentence does not make it right. Nothing in that Rothbard article negates my critique it actually makes my point even more eloquently, as Murray usually did.

Ball July 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm
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bernhard pieper March 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

Dear Jacob,
thank you for this comprehensive exposition of anti IP arguments. This is a very interesting topic, indeed, and you offer a very good survey of the discussion. However, I find neither your arguments nor your examples very convincing at all, I am sorry to say.
Let me begin with your examples on copyright: Shakespeare and Beethoven. I agree that a real artist will always “produce” his art no matter whether this is protected by copyright or not. But is it not obvious that publishers endowed with a copyright monopoly can pay artists a better price for their works? This should be expected, at least, when there is competition among publishers. Without being an expert on Shakespeare I would bet that he was unable to earn his living on publishing his plays. He did so rather by running his theatre (for which he wrote his plays). One could well argue that this management task absorbed a lot of time which prevented him from writing more plays for the benefit of later generations.
Similar reasoning holds true for Beethoven. At least for the time roughly after 1808 when he was too deaf to perform as a pianist anymore he would have had an extremely hard time earning his living on selling his compositions. A number of Vienna aristocrats helped him out granting him a solid rent. Again, had the publishers been able to pay him better being protected from “copy-competition” he might have had been able to stand completely on his own legs.
You yourself give a strong argument in favour of IP protection dealing with the pharmaceutical industry. You mention that a lot of R&E is directed into areas with patent protection instead of the searching other areas like natural substances. Doesn’t this phenomenon clearly demonstrate that invention efforts are directed to areas in which you can earn big money? This is exactly the argument in favour of IP, q.e.d.
Let me end with an own example. Let us assume that you spent a lot of time thinking on how to solve the current economic crisis in the US. After a lot of heavy thinking you came up with a brilliant idea, absolutely new, nobody ever thought of that, just great. Now you intend to tour the country holding lectures and cashing in. Unfortunately you forget your manuscript in the library. An honest man brings it back to you but not before having copied the manuscript (really that honest?). Now he tours the country, as well, skimming at least 50% of your market. What do you think of that? According to your reasoning everything is fine. You have your manuscript back. After all, tangible property is the only thing that counts, and ideas are for free as one can reproduce them a no costs. I doubt your comfort with this solution.
Best regards,
Bernhard

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