Eugenics and Other Evils

Eugenics and Other Evils

G. K. Chesterton

This book targets the once-popular view that the State should regulate how (and with whom) its citizens ought to breed. Chesterton talks a lot of good sense about how morally and practically dangerous such regulatory schemes must be, and why they inevitably lead to coercive and intrusive legislation. State control of the population has been deeply discredited since Chesterton wrote but these schemes…

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The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx And Friedrich Engels

The Communist Manifesto (Das Kommunistische Manifest), originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party, has been recognized as one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the Communist League, it laid out the League’s purposes and program. It presents an analytical approach…

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Common Sense

Common Sense

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paines cry to the American people to get rid of the pesky British Rulers. Even though he was a Deist, he cleverly used Biblical references to appeal to a larger audience. It worked. Selling over half a million copies (a hell of a lot in those days), it was believed to be “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”. Basically, by writing this pamphlet, Paine spurred…

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Civil Disobedience

Civil Disobedience

Henry David Thoreau

In this essay, 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.

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The City of the Sun

The City of the Sun

Tommaso Campanella

First published in 1602, this is a philosophical work by the Italian Dominican philosopher Tommaso Campanella. The book is presented as a dialogue between ‘a Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller and a Genoese Sea-Captain’. Inspired by Plato’s Republic and the description of Atlantis in Timaeus, it describes a theocratic society where goods, women and children are held in common. It also resembles the City of Adocentyn…

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The Story of Utopias

The Story of Utopias

Lewis Mumford

This is a survey of the development of the concept of Utopia, by one of the foremost urban planning theorists of the 20th century. This was Mumford’s first book. He starts with a survey of the major utopias, some well-known, others less so. We look at Plato’s Republic, More’s Utopia, Andreæ’s Christanopolis, Bacon’s New Atlantis…

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The Kingdom of God is Within You

The Kingdom of God is Within You

Leo Tolstoy

The Kingdom of God Is Within You is the non-fiction magnum opus of Leo Tolstoy. A philosophical treatise, the book was first published in Germany in 1894 after being banned in his home country of Russia. It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy’s Christian anarchist thinking, and lays out a new organization for society based on a literal Christian interpretation.

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Wage-Labor and Capital

Wage-Labor and Capital

Karl Marx

An essay on economics, first published in articles in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in April 1849. This book has been widely acclaimed as the precursor to Marx’s important treatise Das Kapital. The ideas that are expressed in the book have a very thorough economic contemplation about them as he put aside some of his materialist conceptions of history for the time being. This book did, however, start to show an increased scientific…

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Life Without Principle

Life Without Principle

Henry David Thoreau

Life Without Principle is an essay by Henry David Thoreau that offers his program for a righteous livelihood. The focus is on Thoreau’s penetrating questions about how to live ethically and responsibly as part of nature and part of society – questions which transcend regional and national boundaries, and lead us to confront the way we live our lives.

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Politics

Politics

Aristotle

Twenty-three centuries after its compilation, ‘The Politics’ still has much to contribute to this central question of political science. Aristotle’s thorough and carefully argued analysis is based on a study of over 150 city constitutions, covering a huge range of political issues in order to establish which types of constitution are best – both ideally and in particular circumstances – and how they may be maintained.

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Areopagitica

Areopagitica

John Milton

A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England is a 1644 prose polemical tract by the English poet, scholar, and polemical author John Milton opposing licensing and censorship. Areopagitica is among history’s most influential and impassioned philosophical defences of the principle of a right to freedom of speech and expression. It is regarded as one of the most….

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Anticipations

Anticipations

H. G. Wells

In 1901, H. G. Wells attempted to predict the future in this book, a fascinating mix of accurate forecasts, (development of cars, buses and trucks, use of flying machines in combat, decline of permanent marriage), and wild misses, including the prediction that submarines will suffocate their crews at sea.

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An Essay on the Principle of Population

An Essay on the Principle of Population

Thomas Malthus

First published anonymously in 1798, this book predicted a grim future, as population increased. While it was not the first book on population, it was revised for over 28 years and has been acknowledged as the most influential work of its era. A key portion of the book was dedicated to what is now known as Malthus’ Iron Law of Population…

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Ancient Society

Ancient Society

Lewis H. Morgan

Ancient Society is a book which builds on the data about kinship and social organization presented in Morgan’s 1871 ‘Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family’. It develops his theory of the three stages of human progress, i.e., from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization. Contemporary European social theorists such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were influenced by Morgan’s work on social structure and material culture.

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Anarchism and Other Essays

Anarchism and Other Essays

Emma Goldman

Chapters include: Anarchism: What It Really Stands For; Minorities Versus Majorities; The Psychology Of Political Violence; Prisons: A Social Crime And Failure; Patriotism: A Menace To Liberty; Francisco Ferrer And The Modern School; The Hypocrisy Of Puritanism; The Traffic In Women; Woman Suffrage; The Tragedy Of Woman’s Emancipation; Marriage And Love; and, The Modern Drama: A Powerful Disseminator Of Radical Thought.

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