The Right to Ignore the State

by Herbert Spencer This essay is taken from chapter 19 of Spencer’s first major work of political philosophy — Social Statics: or, The Conditions essential to Happiness specified, and the First of them Developed (1851) — in which his first principle is that of Equal Liberty: “that every man may claim the fullest liberty to exercise his faculties […]

Justice and Beneficence

In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith’s first book, he explored human motivation and morality—with conclusions that contradict the common but unfair characterization of him as a cold-hearted economist. In this excerpt, Smith explains why benevolence is desirable but justice is essential not just to to civil society but also to how we measure our behavior […]