Libertarian Extraordinaire, Part 3

Smith begins his discussion of the free-market theories of Thomas Hodgskin. In 1823, Thomas Hodgskin co-founded, with his friend Joseph C. Robertson, the Mechanics’ Magazine. At that time “mechanic” referred to skilled artisans with a specialized trade, rather than to manual laborers in general, so the Mechanics’ Magazine featured articles on the latest developments in science and technology […]

Libertarian Extraordinaire, Part 2

Smith discusses Thomas Hodgskin’s most controversial work, Labour Defended Against the Claims of Capital. In Part 1 of this series, I discussed Thomas Hodgskin’s advocacy of radical individualism and laissez-faire. Hodgskin’s libertarian views were so extreme that he has frequently and understandably been called an “anarchist,” though he expressly repudiated the label. If you consult standard histories of economic […]