The Prince (Italian: Il Principe) is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. The descriptions within The Prince have the general theme of accepting that ends of princes, such as glory, and indeed survival, can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.
The Prince (Italian: Il Principe) is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus (About Principalities). But the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. This was done with the permission of the Medici pope Clement VII, but "long before then, in fact since the first appearance of the Prince in manuscript, controversy had swirled about his writings".
Although it was written as if it were a traditional work in the Mirror of Princes style, it is generally agreed that it was especially innovative. This is only partly because it was written in the Vernacular (Italian) rather than Latin, a practice which had become increasingly popular since the publication of Dante's Divine Comedy and other works of Renaissance literature.
The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy, especially modern political philosophy, in which the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. It was also in direct conflict with the dominant Catholic and scholastic doctrines of the time concerning how to consider politics and ethics.
This book is a five hundred year old manual for how to run a kingdom or principality. Written in 1513 but not published until 1532, "The Prince" generated controversy even before it got into print. Unlike the many previous "how-to" manuals for new rulers, "The Prince" only judged actions by their effectiveness and did not consider morals or ethics at all. Some of the suggestions were so brutal and amoral that many critics in the 18th century considered "The Prince" to be a satire, as they could not believe that any philosopher would seriously promote such actions. But perhaps the real reason for the discomfort of Machiavelli's critics is that he accurately observes and reports the actions of the most effective rulers of Renaissance Italy.
Despite questions about Machiavelli's intention, there was no question about the effectiveness of his methods. Copies of "The Prince" were owned and studied by Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII of England, the founding fathers of the American revolution, the leaders of the Parliamentarians who destroyed the Monarchy in the English Civil War, the leaders of the Glorious Revolution who restored the Monarchy twenty years later, Napoleon Bonaparte, Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini and many others. In the late 20th Century it was even considered the "Mafia Bible" by mobsters John Gotti and Ray DeMeo.
So if you have recently acquired a kingdom or suddenly become the head of an organised crime family, this is the book for you. It's interesting for the rest of us too.
In Books 3 and 4 of Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes elaborates on the political philosophy set forth in the first two books, by considering the nature of a Christian commonwealth. Book 3 begins with a wealth of biblical scholarship, directed at establishing the authority of Scripture while at the same time undermining modern claims to supernatural revelation that would subvert civil law. Hobbes concludes that we cannot be sure of anyone else's divine revelation, and that religious authority is therefore subordinate to civil power. Book 4, titled “Of the Kingdom of Darkness,” sets forth the various ways in which Scripture has been misinterpreted by the church, according to Hobbes, in mixing pagan elements with Christianity.
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist Adam Smith, published on March 9, 1776 during the Scottish Enlightenment. It is a clearly written account of political economy at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and is widely considered to be the first modern work in the field of economics.
The Communist Manifesto was conceived as an outline of the basic beliefs of the Communist movement. The authors believed that the European Powers were universally afraid of the nascent movement, and were condemning as "communist," people or activities that did not actually conform to what the Communists believed. This Manifesto, then, became a manual for their beliefs.
In it we find Marx and Engel's rehearsal of the idea that Capital has stolen away the work of the artisan and peasant by building up factories to produce goods cheaply. The efficiency of Capital depends, then, on the wage laborers who staff the factories and how little they will accept in order to have work. This concentrates power and money in a Bourgeois class that profits from the disunity of workers (Proletarians), who only receive a subsistence wage.
If workers unite in a class struggle against the bourgeois, using riot and strikes as weapons, they will eventually overthrow the bourgeois and replace them as a ruling class. Communists further believe in and lay out a system of reforms to transform into a classless, stateless society, thus distinguishing themselves from various flavors of Socialism, which would be content to have workers remain the ruling class after the revolution.
The Manifesto caused a huge amount of discussion for its support for a forcible overthrow of the existing politics and society.
Clausewitz, Carl von
A classic work on military strategy by a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars. The author's style is dialectical: he makes two strong but opposing statements and then draws them together to describe many facets of war. Free of technical jargon, and suitable for modern readers. This audiobook is based on a 1909 English translation.
Tocqueville, Alexis de
When Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s he found a thriving democracy of a kind he had not seen anywhere else. Many of his insightful observations American society and political system, found in the two volume book he published after his visit, still remain surprisingly relevant today.
The Federalist Papers (correctly known as The Federalist) are a series of 85 articles advocating the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788 . A compilation of these and eight others, called The Federalist, was published in 1788 by J. and A. M’Lean. The Federalist Papers serve as a primary source for interpretation of the Constitution, as they outline the philosophy and motivation of the proposed system of government.The authors of the Federalist Papers wanted to both influence the vote in favor of ratification and shape future interpretations of the Constitution. According to historian Richard Morris, they are an "incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer."
Thoreau, Henry David
ivil Disobedience (Resistance to Civil Government) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War.
Henry David Thoreau
"That government is best which governs least" is the famous opening line of this essay. The slavery crisis inflamed New England in the 1840s and 1850s. The environment became especially tense after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. A lifelong abolitionist, Thoreau delivered an impassioned speech which would later become Civil Disobedience in 1848, just months after leaving Walden Pond. The speech dealt with slavery, but at the same time excoriated American imperialism, particularly the Mexican–American War. Thoreau asserts that because governments are typically more harmful than helpful, they therefore cannot be justified. Democracy is no cure for this, as majorities simply by virtue of being majorities do not also gain the virtues of wisdom and justice. The judgment of an individual's conscience is not necessarily inferior to the decisions of a political body or majority, and so "[i]t is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.... Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice." He adds, "I cannot for an instant recognize as my government [that] which is the slave's government also." from Wikipedia
In this work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the fallacies of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism, and how he believes they create poverty and scarcity while promoting privilege. He goes on to propose a more decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organisation already exist, both in evolution and in human society.
John Maynard Keynes
The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919) was a best seller throughout the world, published by John Maynard Keynes. Keynes attended the Versailles Conference as a delegate of the British Treasury and argued for a much more generous peace with Germany. The book was critical in establishing a general worldwide opinion that the Versailles Treaty was a brutal and unfair peace towards Germany. It helped to consolidate American public opinion against the treaty and involvement in the League of Nations. The perception by much of the British public that Germany had been treated unfairly in turn was a crucial factor in public support for appeasement. The success of the book established Keynes' reputation as a leading economist especially on the left.
The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, and were ratified on December 15, 1791.
“(T)he past is what man should not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is what artists are.”
Published originally as “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” this is not so much a work of sober political analysis; rather it can be summed up as a rhapsodic manifesto on behalf of the Individual. Socialism having deployed technology to liberate the whole of humanity from soul-destroying labour, the State obligingly withers away to allow the free development of a joyful, anarchic hedonism...
“Is this Utopian? A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.”
Far from abandoning the epigram in favour of the slogan, Wilde wittily assails several of his favourite targets: the misguided purveyors of philanthropy; life-denying ascetics of various kinds; the army of the half-educated who constitute themselves the enemies of Art - and those venal popular journalists who cater to them...
“Behind the barricade there may be much that is noble and heroic. But what is there behind the leading-article but prejudice, stupidity, cant, and twaddle?”
Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Russia, Goldman emigrated to the US in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands. Goldman was imprisoned several times for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth. In 1910, she collected a series of speeches and items she had written for Mother Earth and published Anarchism and Other Essays. In addition to a comprehensive look at anarchism and its criticisms, the book includes essays on patriotism, women's suffrage, marriage, and prisons. (summary extracted from wikipedia)
The Polity of the Lacedaemonians talks about the laws and institutions created by Lycurgus, which train and develop Spartan citizens from birth to old age. It only because of Xenophon that we have most of our knowledge about the Spartans. Xenophon the Athenian was born 431 B.C. He was a pupil of Socrates. He marched with the Spartans, and was exiled from Athens which may explain why he is so negative and sarcastic when describing the Athenian democracy. Sparta gave him land and property in Scillus, where he lived for many years before having to move once more, to settle in Corinth. He died in 354 B.C..
Wells, H. G.
Wells considered this book one of his most important, a natural follow-up to such works as his Man of the Year Million and The Time Machine. His goal was to get people to think and act in new ways. The book starts with a look at how humans get along socially and how they carry out their business ventures. It then discusses how these elements influence others, such as politics, the world of work, and education. H. G. tried to make clear how the current social order was disintegrating without preparing another to take its place. He then traced the roots of democracy, which in its present state he saw as unworkable. Instead, he proposed a new republic. He also critiqued modern warfare.
This is a book by the famous 20th century British philosopher Bertrand Russell on Political Ideals. It was written during the course of World War 1 and contains a critique on the politico economic situation of then Europe. What is interesting is that some of his beliefs are still relevant today.
Common Sense, Paine's pro-independence monograph published anonymously on 10 January 1776, spread quickly among literate colonists. Within three months, 120,000 copies are alleged to have been distributed throughout the colonies, which themselves totaled only four million free inhabitants, making it the best-selling work in 18th-century America. Its total sales in both America and Europe reached 500,000 copies. It convinced many colonists, including George Washington and John Adams, to seek redress in political independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and argued strongly against any compromise short of independence.
As Russia goes to war against Japan, Tolstoy urges those at all levels of society, from the Tsar down to the common soldier, to consider their actions in the light of Christ's teaching. "However strange this may appear, the most effective and certain deliverance of men from all the calamities which they inflict upon themselves and from the most dreadful of all—war—is attainable, not by any external general measures, but merely by that simple appeal to the consciousness of each separate man which, nineteen hundred years ago, was proposed by Jesus—that every man bethink himself, and ask himself, who is he, why he lives, and what he should and should not do."
Lynch, John R.
After the American Civil War, John R. Lynch, who had been a slave in Mississippi, began his political career in 1869 by first becoming Justice of the Peace, and then Mississippi State Representative. He was only 26 when he was elected to the US Congress in 1873. There, he continued to be an activist, introducing many bills and arguing on their behalf. Perhaps his greatest effort was in the long debate supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to ban discrimination in public accommodations.
In 1884 Lynch was the first African American nominated after a moving speech by Theodore Roosevelt to the position of Temporary Chairman of the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. During the Spanish-American War of 1898, he was appointed Treasury Auditor and then Paymaster under the Republicans. In 1901, he began serving with the Regular Army with tours of duty in the United States, Cuba, and the Philippines.
Lynch retired from the Army in 1911, then married Cora Williams. They moved to Chicago, where he practiced law. He also became involved in real estate. After his death in Chicago 1939 at the age of 92, he was buried with military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. He was entitled to this as a Congressman and veteran.
After the turn of the centutry, Lynch wrote a book, The Facts of Reconstruction, and several articles criticizing the then-dominant Dunning School historiography. Dunning and followers had emphasized the views of former slave owners and routinely downplayed any positive contributions of African Americans during Reconstruction, as well as suggesting they could not manage any political power. Lynch argued that blacks had made substantial contributions during the period. Since he participated directly in Reconstruction-era governments, Lynch's book is considered a primary source in study of the period.
Alice Dunbar Nelson
It seems eminently fitting and proper in this year, the fiftieth anniversary of the Proclamation of Emancipation that the Negro should give pause and look around him at the things which he has done, those which he might have done, and those which he intends to do. We pause, just at the beginning of another half century, taking stock of past achievements, present conditions, future possibilities. (Preface)
Much of the material in the following pages has appeared in current publications. It is here presented in book form in the hope that it may prove of value to those groups of people who in many cities are making a gallant effort to minimize the dangers which surround young people and to provide them with opportunities for recreation.
Brooks Adams (1848- 1927), was an American historian and a critic of capitalism. He believed that commercial civilizations rise and fall in predictable cycles. First, masses of people draw together in large population centers and engage in commercial activities. As their desire for wealth grows, they discard spiritual and creative values. Their greed leads to distrust and dishonesty, and eventually the society crumbles. In The Law of Civilisation and Decay (1895), Adams noted that as new population centers emerged in the west, centers of world trade shifted from Constantinople to Venice to Amsterdam to London. He predicted in America’s Economic Supremacy (1900) that New York would become the centre for world trade. The Theory of Social Revolutions was written in 1913. (Wikipedia)
The Easter Rising was a rebellion staged in Ireland in Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was an attempt by militant Irish republicans to win independence from Britain by force of arms. This account was written by Irish novelist James Stephens, who lived and worked in Dublin at the time.
Potts, Eugenia Dunlap
While claiming to be historical papers on the causes of the United States Civil War, the author indulges in some Slavery Apologetics. An interesting view from a southern lady on what caused the war and why the south was the underdog.
This is not merely a book about the Russian Jews. It is a marvellous revelation of the Russian soul. It shows not only that the overwhelming majority of the Russian intellectuals, including nearly all of her brilliant literary geniuses, are opposed to the persecution of the Jews or any other race, but that they have a capacity for sympathy and understanding of humanity unequalled in any other land. I do not know of any book where the genius and heart of Russia is better displayed. Not only her leading litterateurs but also her leading statesmen and economists are represented—and all of them speak as with a single voice.
United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
This is a concise yet thorough explanation of what might happen to our world in the aftermath of a nuclear war. The myriad of potential effects will be global and wide-spread.
This address was delivered shortly after Mr. Darrow's triumphant acquittal on a charge growing out of his defense of the McNamaras at Los Angeles, California. The man, the subject and the occasion makes it one of the greatest speeches of our time. It is the hope of the publishers that this message of Mr. Darrow's may reach the millions of men, women and youth of our country, that they may see the labor problem plainer and that they may receive hope and inspiration in their efforts to make a better and juster world.
Henry Cabot Lodge
A biographical encomium delivered on the occasion of Roosevelt's death. Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr. (1858 – 1919) was an American author, naturalist, explorer, historian, and politician who served as the 26th President of the United States. He was a leader of the Republican Party (the "GOP") and founder of the Progressive Party. He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity. Henry Cabot Lodge (1850 – 1924) was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. He was also a friend and confidant of Theodore Roosevelt. He had the role (but not the official title) of the first Senate Majority Leader.
Henry Jones Ford
This next volume of the Chronicles of American series investigates Washington's development in the day to day world the various dimensions of the newly conceived Federal government with a president, a congress, a supreme court, a cabinet (his own creation), and a state department. Washington, being a man of great strength and character forged his own way, but was surrounded by all those remarkable men who had been his friends and helpers and challengers too in his past who became his colleagues in the endeavor to make the new form of government succeed against sometimes unforeseen and difficult situations.
In What Prohibition Has Done to America, Fabian Franklin presents a concise but forceful argument against the Eighteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Beginning in 1920, this Amendment prohibited the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages in the United States, until it was repealed in 1933. Franklin contends that the Amendment "is not only a crime against the Constitution of the United States, and not only a crime against the whole spirit of our Federal system, but a crime against the first principles of rational government." Writing only two years after Prohibition began, he correctly predicts many of its disastrous consequences, such as runaway bootlegging and organized crime. The book is both a passionate defense of liberty, and a reminder to Americans of the perils of surrendering it.
Nonfiction. Appalled by the savagery of World War I, Owen Wister in 1915 published an attempt to move the United States out of neutrality into joining the Allies against Germany. His aim was the quicker defeat of that nation. (Wister: “the new Trinity of German worship – the Super-man, the Super-race, and the Super-state.”) He was but one of many literary personages who joined in this effort. A moving quote: “Perhaps nothing save calamity will teach us what Europe is thankful to have learned again – that some things are worse than war, and that you can pay too high a price for peace; but that you cannot pay too high for the finding and keeping of your own soul.”
Public Opinion (1922), by Walter Lippman, is a critical assessment of functional democratic government, especially the irrational, and often self-serving, social perceptions that influence individual behavior, and prevent optimal societal cohesion.
The book is not a discussion of measures or of programs. It is an attempt to express the new spirit of our politics and to set forth, in large terms which may stick in the imagination, what it is that must be done if we are to restore our politics to their full spiritual vigor again, and our national life, whether in trade, in industry, or in what concerns us only as families and individuals, to its purity, its self-respect, and its pristine strength and freedom. (From the Preface)
This is an account of Nellie Bly's travels through Mexico in 1885. The book was originally a series of individual articles that she submitted to the Pittsburgh Dispatch newspaper for publication. In them she described the conditions of the people and the political system she found in Mexico. Her narratives focused mostly on the impoverished and disadvantaged in a country whose government was extremely corrupt.
Bly was perhaps what we now term a feminist, striving for the empowerment and independence of women. She certainly pioneered the field of investigative reporting. Nevertheless, Bly's journalistic objectivity is often tainted by an uninformed, 19th-century, "gringo" world view.
Bly's travels in Mexico ended abruptly after the Dispatch published an article she wrote exposing that government's ill treatment of another journalist who criticized the regime of President Porfirio Diaz. Bly's Mexico articles were later published in book form in 1888.
Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.
Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people. He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity. Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as "the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era".(from Wikipedia)
Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil, commonly called Leviathan, is a book written in 1651 by Thomas Hobbes. It is titled after the biblical Leviathan. The book concerns the structure of society (as represented figuratively by the frontispiece, showing the state giant made up of individuals), as is evidenced by the full title. In the book, Thomas Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by a sovereign. Influenced by the English Civil War, Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war - situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes ("the war of all against all") - could only be averted by strong central government. He thus denied any right of rebellion toward the social contract. However, Hobbes did discuss the possible dissolution of the State. Since the social contract was made to institute a state that would provide for the "peace and defense" of the people, the contract would become void as soon as the government no longer protected its citizens. By virtue of this fact, man would automatically return to the state of nature until a new contract is made.
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936) has been called the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction.
The title of Chesteron’s 1910 collection of essays was inspired by a title given to him two years earlier by The Times newspaper, which had asked a number of authors to write on the topic: “What’s wrong with the world?”. Chesterton’s answer at that time was the shortest of those submitted - he simply wrote: “Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G.K. Chesterton”. In this collection he gives a fuller treatment of the question, with his characteristic conservative wit.
Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman, economist, and philosopher. Born in Dublin, he moved to London in 1750 and later served as a member of parliament between 1766 and 1794 in the House of Commons of Great Britain. He belonged to the Whig Party.
Burke favored underpinning virtues with manners in society and stressed the importance of religious institutions for the moral stability and good of the state. He was an opponent to slavery and expressed appreciation for the complaints of the colonists in America before the outbreak of Revolution.
This collection of his writings is the first of twelve available online at Project Gutenberg. (Adapted from Wikipedia by KevinS)
Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America was published in two volumes, the first in 1835 and the second in 1840. It is a classic work on the United States in the 1830s and its strengths and weaknesses as seen from a European point of view. It is also regarded as a pioneering work of sociology. (Summary based on Wikipedia)
Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish essayist, philosopher, and historian, wrote this three-volume work, first published in 1837 (with a revised edition in print by 1857), which charts the course of the French Revolution from 1789 to the height of the Reign of Terror (1793–94) and culminates in 1795. A massive undertaking which draws together a wide variety of sources, Carlyle's history—despite the unusual style in which it is written—is considered to be an authoritative account of the early course of the Revolution.
In 1920-21 Bertrand Russell lived and taught in Peking (Beijing), publishing this book on his return to England. In 1920 he had visited Bolshevik Russia, talked to Lenin, and was unimpressed by what he had seen. China, however, was another matter. Like many travelers, he often saw what he wanted to see, and after Europe’s Great War, he found many signs of hope in China. In that country, he was welcomed by the young intellectuals who saw him as a representative of modern and scientific thought. They, however, were trying to cast off much of the old tradition that they thought held China back, and they were often opposed to Russell’s urging that they hold on to much of their own tradition, which he saw as superior to that of Europe, particularly after the terrible slaughter of 1914-18 on the continent. His work is very much a product of its time, and today, almost a century later, many are still trying to explain China -- a very different China from Russell's -- to an outside world. (Nicholas Clifford)
What Is Property?: or, An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government (French: Qu'est-ce que la propriété ? ou Recherche sur le principe du Droit et du Gouvernment) is an influential work of nonfiction on the concept of property and its relation to anarchist philosophy by the French anarchist and mutualist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, first published in 1840.
In the book, Proudhon most famously declared that “property is theft”. Proudhon believed that the common conception of property conflated two distinct components which, once identified, demonstrated the difference between property used to further tyranny and property used to protect liberty. He argued that the result of an individual's labor which is currently occupied or used is a legitimate form of property. Thus, he opposed unused land being regarded as property, believing that land can only be rightfully possessed by use or occupation (which he called "possession"). As an extension of his belief that legitimate property (possession) was the result of labor and occupation, he argued against such institutions as interest on loans and rent.
A prose tract or polemic by John Milton, published November 23, 1644, at the height of the English Civil War... Milton, though a supporter of the Parliament, argued forcefully against the Licensing Order of 1643, noting that such censorship had never been a part of classical Greek and Roman society. The tract is full of biblical and classical references which Milton uses to strengthen his argument. The issue was personal for Milton as he had suffered censorship himself in his efforts to publish several tracts defending divorce (a radical stance at the time and one which met with no favor from the censors)... Areopagitica is among history's most influential and impassioned philosophical defences of the principle of a right to free speech.
The noblest and most extensive defense of freedom of the press in English. Although Milton was sufficiently practical to serve as a censor of books himself when his opposition to this practice was ignored by the government, he never lost his conviction that the best way to battle falsehood was to let it have its say and be defeated by the superior power of truth. Strangling infants in the cradle was simply not his style. In this long essay, in the form of a five-part Classical oration addressed to Parliament (the counterpart of the Areopagus or council of elders in ancient Athens), he brings to bear on this subject a wide variety of arguments, including antique precedents, philosophical and religious considerations, and his own experience as a published author. The document presents the portrait of the idealistic core of the British republic struggling against the political expediency that upholds the government.
Emma Goldman, the most famous anarchist in American history, shows the whole range of her iconoclastic thought in this collection of essays. Drawing from a wealth of illustrative material, including the examples of fellow anarchists and radicals of her own acquaintance, modern martyrs, dissident playwrights, poets, and authors, etc., she delineates the main themes of her philosophy with incisiveness and evangelical passion. Included among these themes are: a definition of decentralized anarchism itself; the ambiguous morality of direct action; the curse of modern patriotism; the horrors of early twentieth-century prisons; the need for an entirely new kind of education; the relationship of legal marriage to true love; the insidious danger of Puritanical thought within feminism itself; the deadly spread of sex trafficking; the limitations or even undesirability of woman suffrage; and the extraordinary revolutionary potential of modern theatre. Sadly, none of these themes seem obsolete even to a modern reader; every one of them has direct application to twenty-first century society.
Reflections on the Revolution in France is a 1790 book by Edmund Burke, one of the best-known intellectual attacks against the (then-infant) French Revolution. In the twentieth century, it much influenced conservative and classical liberal intellectuals, who recast Burke's Whig arguments as a critique of Communism and Socialist revolutionary programmes.
John Stuart Mill
Mill's volume was published in 1861 as an argument favoring this form of governance. Mill covers what forms of government work best, including when representative government is applicable and when not. He details appropriate functions of representative bodies and warns of problems to avoid. He distinguishes between true and false democracy. Other areas covered include how voting is carried out, the role of a second chamber in Parliament, and how an executive branch might function.