Tag Archives: Freedom

Superior and Inferior

The Wright/Malcolm monarchy debate has ended. I’m late to the debate, but I’m not debating, instead I just want to comment on something Wright said and implicated a number of times:

I have never met anyone who talks like you before. Even the zany materialist Dr Andreassen, who thought himself nothing more than a meat robot, did not think himself my inferior. Quite the opposite.

Then you are a slave in spirit, if not in law. If so, there is nothing to discuss: for you are a man willing to have another decide your fate. If so again, I decree that, as a free man who outranks you, I have unilaterally decided you should enjoy, while in America, the rights for which I but not you are willing to die.

If you argue with my high handed decision, then you are either being presumptuous (as you say) or you are secretly possessed of the belief that you should be allowed to participate in the decision about your life as if you owned it, and were equal with me. But this would indicate that you believe yourself possessed of an inalienable right to equality. But If we are equals, and I am free, you are free. In which case you believe in an inalienable equality of rights. This is in directly logical conflict with the legal theory of monarchy, which holds that the civic power passes by inheritance, as a family property, down a bloodline set aside by law as superior to all others.

So merely by entering into this discussion at all, you cast doubt upon your position. Freedom is not something discussed between equals. Superiors need not discuss such matters with inferiors. The superiors merely decide. The inferiors show respect, show deference, and obey.

First, political freedom is not freedom true. Political freedom is the right of the mob to force their will upon the rest. Republicanism is only superior over democratic mob rule insofar as it is anti-democratic and explicitly hierarchical. Whether you are ruled by a king and ruled by a mob, you are still ruled, although, in the former you are ruled only by one, in the latter by all. Having laws outlining how you are ruled and a judge who “interprets” those laws, doesn’t mean you are any less ruled, it simply means you are ruled by an unelected judge rather than a king.

Second, no man is free. We are born into the world the subject of our father, become the subjects of our teachers, and are always the subject of the state, be it autocratic or democratic. “Freedom” is impersonal authority rather than personal authority. The “free man” wishes to be a servant without a master. To be ruled by a constitution (manipulated by politicians and “interpreted” by judges) is still to be ruled, only it is the rule of impersonal forces set in motion by faceless elites, rather than the personal rule of a known individual. The free republican wishes to be ruled by the Star Chamber rather than the king. Base anarchy is the only true freedom, and nobody wants to live in base anarchy because it means getting brained by the stronger man who wants to eat your venison and rape your woman. (Admittedly, the stronger man might enjoy himself, at least until he is no longer the stronger man).

Third, the consent of the governed doesn’t exist. You are born into a society and indoctrinated in its ways from before you can even speak consent, let alone meaningfully understand the concept. The ideas of your fathers control your mind before you are even capable of realizing it. The liberal may respond, ‘but I rebel against the ways of my fathers’, not knowing rebellion is the way of his fathers. The consent of the governed is the consent of a women not protesting because she has inadvertently consumed rohypnol.

Fourth, republican freedom is not a sign of superiority, but inferiority. The superior man’s superiority comes from the responsibilities for the burdens of others he bears. He is free to act only insofar as others trust him to act for them. The free republican man is free because he bears no responsibility for the burdens of others, only his own. Even the inferior man is superior to the free republican man, for the inferior man bears the burdens and responsibilities entrusted him by his superior. (Of course, it need not be said, the slave is lowest of all for he does not even bear his own burdens. Even so, a slave can still be of value and worth).

The defining feature of the free man is that he rules no one as he himself is not ruled. To call oneself superior to another is to deny one’s own freedom.

Fifth, being a subject is not being a slave. A slave obeys force. A subject obeys a man, an office, and a tradition.

Sixth, being inferior to one is not being inferior to all. Kneeling before the king does not imply kneeling before Mr. Wright. Relatedly, being inferior in one aspect does not make one inferior in all. The king may kneel before the priest come mass, but the bishop kneels before the king come court.

Order and Freedom

Freedom comes from social trust, social trust comes from order.

Formal rules are only necessary when there is a lack of social trust. When people trust each other, there is no need for an impartial mediators such as law and bureaucracy, as social norms . When I lend money to a friend, I do not make him sign a contract, because I know he will pay me back. Evolutionist X outlines this more thoroughly.

Social trust is built through repeated positive interactions. If I’ve lent $10 to a friend before and he paid me back, I’d consider lending him $20 at later time. If he has a repeated history of paying me back and spotting me when I needed a loan, I may even lend him $1000 if he needed.

I would probably not loan $10 to someone I had never met. But, if I’ve loaned to many friends (and they’ve reciprocated) within a social circle over the years and was always paid back, and I met someone new within that social circle at dinner and they forgot their wallet, I’d likely be willing to spot him $20 for dinner. By being part of the social circle he has inherited that social trust.

Social trust is destroyed through negative interactions. If just once my friend stiffed me, I’d probably never loan to him again; it’s possible I may no longer remain his friend. I’d also be less willing to loan to other friends in the future. If I was stiffed a few times, I’d probably never loan again.

Social trust builds on itself. If I loan to a friend, he’s likely to loan to me in the future, and I in turn am then even more willing to loan to him in the future, and upwards rides the virtuous cycle. Likewise, social distrust spirals downwards. If my friends stiffs me, I refuse to loan to someone else, who in turn refuses to loan to me, which in turn makes me even less likely to loan to others, and downwards spirals the vicious circle.

Eventually, the virtuous cycle results in a social norm of lending and repaying. The vicious circle results in no social norm of lending and repaying arising. Rather, if someone ones to borrow money, legally enforced contract loans become necessary. The vicious cycle leads to law and regulation. It also leads to much higher transactions costs. In the virtuous cycle, a $1000 loan requires little more than politely asking a friend or two and providing an explanation. A $10 loan requires nothing more than a “can you spot me til payday?”  In the viscious circle, a $1000 loan requires lawyers, banks, contracts, insurance, and interest. A $10 loan is impossible because the extra costs would be worth more than the loan itself.

Those first few interactions are critical. If my first interactions are positive, the virtuous cycle will build itself and will naturally continue. Once I’m caught up in the virtuous cycle with strong social norms, even the occasional defector will be regarded as a bad apple rather than representative of the group. Only a critical mass of defections will destroy the cycle. On the other hand, if my first few interaction are negative, the vicious circle will start to decay. Once I’m trapped in the vicious circle, the positive interactions will be seen as the unrepresentative outliers. It is nigh impossible to rebuild a virtuous cycle as a critical mass of non-defectors will rarely build up as others defect on them.

Because of this, it is necessary to stop natural defectors from destroying those initial interactions. Order is what prevents defectors from defecting. If a potential defector knows he will be punished should he defect, he will not defect and will not start a viscous circle. In the loan example, if someone knows there is a social norm of shunning by the group for refusing to pay back a loan, they will likely not defect.

Because there is order in the group, we can freely loan. There is no need for laws or regulations regarding loans because we know the social norms will enforce repayment, and these social norms were originally built by the maintenance of order.

We can also see order builds upon itself. The social norm of punishing defectors, leads the the social trust virtuous cycle, which leads to the creation of the social norm of repayment.

If freedom is your goal, order will break down; if order is your goal, freedom will naturally result.

As we can see above, freedom is the natural result of order. Social norms lead to social trust which leads to further social norms which frees us from regulation and bureaucracy.

We can start this order with law as well. If the authority emplaces an authoritarian initial law that harshly punishes stiffing on a loan, people know defectors will be punished and will be willing to engage in those initial positive interactions, even with people they don’t know. The virtuous cycle builds upon this initial law.

In this situation a man’s handshake becomes his bond. When a man’s handshake is his bond, there is no need for contracts, there is no need for lawyers and no need for regulations on the minutiae of contract law. Social norms enforce the spirit of the agreement and there is freedom in loan-giving.

On the other hand, if that initial law against stiffing on a loan is not put into place, people can not trust that defectors outside their close social circles will be punished. So defectors defect. With no social norms people turn to written, enforceable contracts. As they write contracts, they will realize the letter of the agreement is enforced, the spirit is not. This leads to the necessity of lawyers to ensure the letter is correct and the need for detailed regulations to define every aspect of lending contract. With no social norm enforcing the spirit of the law, people will learn to manipulate the letter. In order to prevent the injustices of those manipulating the letter of the law, further regulations will be introduced to prevent manipulation. This will result in a bureaucracy to create these regulations, which will itself be manipulated, and so on down the vicious cycle, as more regulations are placed upon more regulations. Order and freedom break down, replaced by the letter of the law and regulation.

Order is freedom, chaos is tyranny.

As above, we see that order leads to freedom. In a ordered community, strong social norms make intrusive, detailed regulation or bureaucracy unnecessary. The social norms uphold themselves while allowing freedom.

On the other hand, where there is no order, where there is chaos, laws and regulations become necessary. If you can’t trust your neighbour not to defect, not  to violate the spirit of any agreements, you need laws and regulations to enforce agreements make up for the lack of social trust.

Increased regulation is a sign that your community is becoming more chaotic and more disordered. Increased tyranny is a result of disorder.

As well, tyranny creates chaos. As shown, as regulations increase the letter of the law and of the agreement becomes more important than the spirit. When the letter become more important, people stop simply not defecting. Instead, people try to defect as much as possible on the spirit while still holding to the letter. Trust breaks down, and chaos reigns.

Increased regulation leads to more chaos, which leads to more regulation. Tyranny is not order, tyranny is chaos and chaos is tyranny.

Order is freedom.

If you desire freedom, order should be your primary goal.

A Respectful Response: Rights Don’t Exist

Ballista has responded to one of my more recent posts:

Related to this matter is the blog post here. While men need their gardens to tend and need them to bear fruit, the problem with Free Northerner’s premise is that it is couched in terms of responsibilities and not rights. Any responsibility undertaken without the complete freedom of choice (a right) amounts to slavery. This is the usual mistake of frame that the feminist man-hating traditionalist “Christians” make to justify their warped and twisted profane view of marriage. It is these same people who are producing the man-up rants when their man-slaves run off the plantation and deprive a woman of her rightful divorce and fabulous cash and prizes. As Antz writes (the first comment):

Ballista’s mistake here is simple, there is no discussion of rights without responsibilities.

Contrary to popular mythology, there is no such thing as a natural right. God does not grant anyone a right to freedom, a right to life, a right to happiness, or any other such silly thing. The existence of natural rights is simply the delusion of the liberal. On the other hand, the legal fiction of natural rights is a useful political tool, as it establishes a basis for a free society, the most effective form of social organization man has yet attained, but it is still extra-biblical.

True rights come from responsibilities. A right to something comes from man’s earning it. He who works not, eats not.

The delinking of the rights and responsibilities is one of the largest causes of societal dysfunction. From it flows the entitlement society.

True freedom is responsibility is simply the absolute responsibility for self. Man is only truly free when given the absolute responsibility to act for himself and bear the consequences and reap the rewards of said actions.

That being said, Ballista is right in this:

The lack of the freedom to choose (i.e. “you MUST marry, and I don’t care if it’s a land whale, slut, womyn, boy claiming to be a woman or otherwise, you WILL man-up and marry it you piece of scum”) – and yes it’s Scriptural, is the essence of the definition of slavery.

The ultimate end of the issue is that men need to be freed to undertake what is good, beneficial and right before them and before God.

Marriage is not a command, it is a gift from God. Men should be wise in choosing a wife and anyone who tries to pressure a man to marry, especially to a women in rebellion of the natural order, is to be condemned.

Also, men do need to be freed, but not because they have some natural right to it, but because only in their freedom can they find true responsibility. Only a man free to find his own way will find what he truly should be responsible for.

Ballista, if you reply to this, I’m busy and won’t be able to reply for a few days at least.

The Problem of Natural Slaves

The problem with libertarianism is that most people don’t care about freedom. In fact, I would go farther: most people aren’t just apathetic about freedom but actively hate and/or fear it.

Freedom is naturally frightening. It is inherently risky and a free man’s actions will have consequences. The freedom to choose is the freedom to choose poorly.

A free man will face this fear, accept the risk, and live with those consequences, for good or ill.

Libertarianism and English liberalism are based around the concept of the free man and made for the free man.

Even right-wing ideologies that eschew freedom and abhor libertarianism still require the free man. Personal responsibility is an aspect of every right-wing ideology and only the man free to act, can be responsible for those actions. Organic community can only grow through free interactions, it can not be forced by the state. Even will-to-power fascism and related ideologies require free men, in the form of Nietzchian ubermensch and Platonic philosopher-kings, at the top to lead the natural slaves.

The free man is whom right-wing ideology is geared towards.

On the other hand, many, if not most, people are natural slaves. A natural slave is not capable of freedom, in fact, the natural slave loathes freedom.

Aristotle was the first to write on the natural slave in his Politics:

For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.

For the words slavery and slave are used in two senses. There is a slave or slavery by law as well as by nature. The law of which I speak is a sort of convention- the law by which whatever is taken in war is supposed to belong to the victors.

for it must be admitted that some are slaves everywhere, others nowhere.

We see then that there is some foundation for this difference of opinion, and that all are not either slaves by nature or freemen by nature, and also that there is in some cases a marked distinction between the two classes, rendering it expedient and right for the one to be slaves and the others to be masters: the one practicing obedience, the others exercising the authority and lordship which nature intended them to have. The abuse of this authority is injurious to both; for the interests of part and whole, of body and soul, are the same, and the slave is a part of the master, a living but separated part of his bodily frame. Hence, where the relation of master and slave between them is natural they are friends and have a common interest, but where it rests merely on law and force the reverse is true.

For there is one rule exercised over subjects who are by nature free, another over subjects who are by nature slaves. The rule of a household is a monarchy, for every house is under one head: whereas constitutional rule is a government of freemen and equals. The master is not called a master because he has science, but because he is of a certain character, and the same remark applies to the slave and the freeman.

Essentially, some are slaves of circumstance but not of soul, while others born to subjection and will be slaves no matter the circumstance. The latter are called natural slaves, the former we will refer to as circumstantial slaves.

What makes a slave?

For that which can foresee by the exercise of mind is by nature intended to be lord and master, and that which can with its body give effect to such foresight is a subject, and by nature a slave; hence master and slave have the same interest.

Hence we see what is the nature and office of a slave; he who is by nature not his own but another’s man, is by nature a slave; and he may be said to be another’s man who, being a human being, is also a possession. And a possession may be defined as an instrument of action, separable from the possessor.

Some are so afraid of acting self-destructively or choosing poorly as they are incapable or unwilling of choosing that they would rather have someone exercise their mind and foresight for them than to have to exercise their own mind in freedom. These people are naturally another man’s as they are incapable or unwilling to be their own man.

These are the natural slaves.

****

In Western society, direct slavery is mostly extinct (barring some illegal sex slavery) and even when it did exist it was slavery by law and by war, circumstantial slavery, rather than natural slavery.

Natural slavery on the other hand is a dominant political thought-stream throughout the west.

The natural slaves continually beg for their own disarmament. They plead for themselves to be left at the mercy of predators and their masters.

Half of the US population is on government benefits while the government controls 41% of the economy, and still the natural slaves demand more government and more dependence. While the US is self-destructing, the natural slaves debate frivolities. Most of the rest of the West is as bad or worse.

Feminists, and women in general, get on their knees begging for the state to control their bodies and provide them with choice at the expense of freedom. They believe themselves entitled to the enslaved labour of men.

We already see the end result of the natural slavery mindset in Black Americans. A group that whole-heartedly supports the political party that dedicated itself to their slavery. The party that continues to purposely force dependence and weakness on them, enslaving them through the welfare state.

White society is following rapidly behind.

Westerners are becoming so afraid of freedom, that they are willingly and purposely selling themselves into dependence and slavery.

****

Now, admittedly, many modern people with servile minds may not be natural born slaves. The state indoctrination system has had a large hand in training modern society to a mind state of servility, and so many of the people who may appear natural slaves, may simply be circumstantial slaves who have been trained that way. But having been indoctrinated so thoroughly in the servile mindset, I fear many, if not most of them, will not become free men any time soon, so I will, for the purposes of this post, count them as natural slaves.

****

The problem is, how should a free society do with natural slaves?

The will-to-power right-wing ideologies can answer this question easily, have the ubermensch be their masters.

But freedom-oriented right-wing ideologies have a conundrum: how can the natural slave be integrated into a society created for free men?

It is cruel to oppress free men with a slave society, but is it not also cruel to impose a free society on those whose very natures revolt against against it?

How can a society oriented around exercising freedom be anything but oppressive for those incapable of exercising freedom?

Even if the natural slaves are integrated into a free society, given sufficient time, won’t their natural hostility to freedom assert itself, leading to the decline of freedom in that society, as is currently occurring throughout the English-speaking nations?

I don’t really have answers to this.

The existence of natural slaves poses the probably the greatest ideological conundrum for the libertarian.

****

That’s not to say I don’t have any ideas, but I’m not sure if any will suffice as an answer.

Could children are educated as free men from an early age, could we not make circumstantial free men, just as a slave-mentality oriented education produces circumstantial slaves? Is that possible? I don’t know, but it seemed to work, somewhat, for English-speaking countries prior to the mid-1900’s.

We could create a voluntary program, where natural slaves can contract away their freedom to the government or to other individuals in exchange for the protection and provision of the government. It’s a possibility, but it seems prima facie unworkable and impractical.

The best bet is probably subsidiarity; we could concentrate power locally. This way natural slaves and free men could self-segregate. Free men could live in municipalities and states/provinces where freedom was valued, while natural slaves could live in municipalities which took freedom away in exchange for comfort. The US and Canadian federal systems could, with some tweaking, provides a good backbone for this sort of system. but how long could this last until the natural slaves envy and hatred of free men and their masters’ lust for power led them to try to re-assert centralized authority?

Maybe free men could simply create their own country and refuse natural slaves entrance? But how would you test for natural slaves and keep them from the country? Who’s to say they wouldn’t invade out of their hatred for freedom?

I’m not sure what the proper response to natural slaves it. What do you think of the problem posed by the natural slave?

A Simple Truth of Libertarianism

If a nation has a strong, moral culture and a strong, moral people the state is unnecessary, the culture of the people is enough, but the state can destroy the culture, civil society, and the people that makes the nation great.

If a nation has a weak, immoral culture and a weak immoral people, the state will inevitably be corrupt, and will destroy those few strong, moral people left.

The state is at best unnecessary, at worst, a corrupt, mass-murdering destroyer of culture, morality, civil society, and people.

Update to the Free Man’s Reading List

Based on recommendations I have added a section to the Free Man’s Reading List on moral philosophy. While creating the list, I ended up starting, then removing a section on moral philosophy a number of times. In the end I decided not to keep it. I was hesitant to add moral philosophy to the list, as the purpose was to help a free man build himself, not to dictate a man’s values or life philosophy to him. I was worried adding moral philosophy would conflate being a good man and being good at being a man,to paraphrase Jack Donovan.

Upon reconsideration, Chevalier de Johnstone convinced me. I realize that no free man can be complete without some moral purpose. So, here’s a list that hopefully will allow for free men a broad sampling of moral philosophies.

The Bible – Is already in the list, now it has a proper home.

Marcus Aurelius – Meditations is a classic of stoic philosophy.

Plato – The Republic is a classic book on justice and the cardinal virtues.

Aristotle – Nicomachean Ethics is the classic books on virtue ethics (my preferred type of ethics/morality; I will probably write more on virtue ethics at a later time). Read it with Acquinas’ commentary.

Thomas Acquinas – Summa Theologica is the classic on Christian theology and morality.

Adam Smith – Moral Sentiments creates a moral foundation for capitalist action.

GK Chesteron – Everlasting Man is a Christian apologetics books.

CS Lewis –  Mere Christianity is another Christian apologetics book. Along with Chesterton, is among the greatest Christian writers of the 20th century.

Friedrich Nietzsche – On the Genealogy of Morality and the Antichrist present an anti-Christian moral framework.

Alasdair MacIntyre – After Virtue is a modern book arguing for the revival of virtue ethics.

John Stuart Mill – Utilitarianism is a defence of utilitarian ethics.

Immanuel Kant – Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals introduces the categorical imperative as opposed to deontology, virtue, or utilitarian ethics.

Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching is fundamental to much of oriental philosophy and religion.

Confuscious – Analects is another fundamental book in oriental philsophy.

I also added some other works elsewhere:

Mortimor Adler – How to Read a Book

GK Chesteron – What’s Wrong with the World

Ron Paul – Liberty Defined

Nassim Talib’s 3 books are added.

Ronald Reagan – Time for Choosing (Speech)

Here are some other notes based on reader responses:

The list is heavily libertarian and firmly planted in the English liberal (classical liberal, not the modern welfare state liberalism) tradition. The list is designed to help men make themselves free in the English tradition of freedom. This is not a reading list for re-establishing traditional culture, for building a reactionary society, or any other such end. It is a list to help a man learn what makes him free, how to think like a free man, and how to be a free man within the English liberal tradition. (I might further discuss freedom within the English liberal tradition and other concepts of liberty at a later time). The inclusion of other reactionary or conservative material would be outside the scope of the list.

Outside of violence and social skills, I tried to avoid adding books on learning specific skills out of the list. Again, the purpose is to let a free man to develop himself so he can be free, not to dictate what a free man should do and learn with his freedom. Outside a few very general, all-purpose skills (such as rational thought, leadership, and ability to react in a crisis), a free man should be able to figure out what specific skills (such as hunting or plumbing) he needs for his life. I will continue to leave what skills to develop out of the list at this time, but reserve the right to add one or two books outlining the general skills “every man should know” in the future should I come across them.

While I have been reading on the Dark Enlightenment, as people have taken to calling it, I did not include information on the DE for two reasons:
1) They did not fit the purpose of the list; while learning uncomfortable truths about forgotten and newly (re-)discovered realities is important, they are not necessary to being a free man.
2) The DE is primarily an internet phenomenon at this time, there is no standard canon for it, and few books, so making a reading guide is not quite so simple. You could point to some books on genetics, evolutionary psychology, the bell curve, etc. and then point people towards Moldbug, Sailer, La Griffe du Lion, et al., but that would require compiling a lot of blog posts.
I think it would be good to make such a reading list, but if I do, it will be in the future.

I considered adding some game resources, in particular Day Bang, but mostly decided against it, Athol’s book being the exception. This was again for two reasons:
1) The narrowness of game. Game literature, particularly the books, are generally aimed at a PUA life-style. While free men may choose to follow this lifestyle, the PUA lifestyle is one of narrow appeal, while this list was meant for all men wanting to be free. Athol’s book was included because it was as much a men’s self-improvement book as it was a game book, and the usefulness of it was much broader. Between MMSL and Greene’s Art of Seduction, I believe the topic of romantic success is covered.
2) Is much the same as #2 for the DE. Most of the “canon” is on the internet and it would require some work compiling the must-read blog posts.
3) Game, outside of the generalizable skills outlined in MMSL and Seduction, is a specific skill set (faking socio-sexual desirability) created for a specific goal (attracting women). I think it would fall into the category of specific skills I was trying to avoid loading the list with.
Same as with the DE, I think a game reading list would be good, but if I make one, it will be in the future.

A reading list has to be manageable. Even before adding the moral philosophy section it was already over 60 books. That’s over a whole year’s worth of reading if you read a book a week (and a lot of these books are heavy material). I want to avoid overloading the list as much as possible to make it possible to actually accomplish. That means a lot of good books will not be on the list. For example, however much I liked O’Rourke’s Eat the Rich (or any of his books/articles, he’s a great author/humourist/commentator), it is not an essential read. In addition, books that will more or less argue what is already contained in other books will not be added further.

The Free Man’s Reading List

Cogitans asks the question:

What should a person, if he wishes to think of himself as a free man of the republic, absolutely must read?

I’m a free man of the dominion and a monarchist myself, but even so, it is still important for a free man to know the basics of freedom. I think building a reading list for free men is an excellent idea, I will create one and try to compile and update it over time as a reference. The permanent list to be updated can be found here. For right now, here’s the books I’ve put on the original list and an explanation. Please feel free to add your input.

Note: I have not read all, or even most of these yet; I’ve maybe read a quarter of them. Those I have read are personally recommended, those I have not are either classics in their field or have been recommended by others and I plan to read in the future.
Another Note: I do not necessarily either endorse or oppose anything expressed in these books. Just because something should be read does not mean it should be followed.

Being a free man is made of two parts: being a man and being free. This reading list will address both parts. Being only a man makes you someone else’s developed slave, being only free leaves you a weak hedonist. The goal is to be both.

The first three writers on the list establish the philosophical basis of freedom, a concept that I think is unique to the English. The fourth, Machiavelli, gives a view of liberty, a more universal concept.

John Locke – His Second Treatise of Government is the philosophical basis of English liberalism. It is a must-read for any free man.

Edmund Burke – Burke is the originator of modern conservatism (also called liberal-conservatism). His Reflection on the Revolution in France is a must-read and his A Vindication of Natural Society would also be important.

Thomas Paine – As a republican counterpoint to Burke’s monarchist liberalism, read Paine’s The Rights of Man and Common Sense. Together Burke and Paine will display the difference between monarchic freedom and republican freedom.

Nicollo Machiavelli –  The Prince is important to understand the nature of power in government, the Discourses are an important work on republicanism and freedom.

Having established the philosophical basis of freedom, we can turn to more modern pro-freedom works:

Barry Goldwater – The Conscience of a Conservative is the classic manifesto of modern American conservatism.

Robert Nozick – Anarchy, State, and Utopia is a strong moral defence for freedom which also fights the anarcho-capitalism of Rothbard.

FA Hayek – The Road to Serfdom in which Hayek argues that socialism leads to tyranny.

Isabel Paterson – The God of the Machine surveys history through a pro-freedom lens.

Having knowledge of societal freedom, we now turn to personal freedom. You might not be able to free society, but you can free yourself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Self-Reliance is an essay on your own self-worth and against conforming to the world.

Freidrech Nietszche – Thus Spake Zarathustra focuses on the concept of the Ubermensch, a self-mastered individual, while On the Geneology of Morality outlines the concept of the slave morality.

Harry Browne – How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World is a book on steps towards finding personal freedom.

Economics is the study of the free interaction of free men, it is the study of the workings of freedom, and having a a base knowledge of economics is essential for a free man. Most of the basics economics books are somewhat interchangeable, but the recommended pro-freedom books to learn the basics of economics are:

Henry Hazlitt – Economics in One Lesson will teach you basic economics.

Thomas Sowell – Basic Economics is a more expansive book on basic economics.

Milton Friedman – Capitalism and Freedom is a classic book asserting the good of the free-market from the leader of the Chicago school.

Knowing basic economics, we can then turn to Austrian economics, which pushes even more strongly for economic freedom and rejects mainstream economists’ attempts to control the market.

Frederic Bastiat – That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen. This was the original work that Austrians built upon.

Gene Callahan – Economics for Real People. In itself not important, but it’s said to be a good, simple introduction to Austrian economics. Any other introduction will do, or you can skip it and go straight to the next two books.

Murray Rothbard – Man, Economy, and State is his major work. The most important work of the originator of anarcho-capitalism and a major contributor to Austrian theory.

Ludwig von Mises – Human Action. The magnum opus of the man who really grew modern Austrian economics.

Now that we know what freedom is and how it works, we now must have the ability to be a free man. The first ability is a capacity for violence. Freedom comes from power and strength, as does masculinity, and power and strength come from a capacity for violence, so a knowledge of violence is essential. In addition to all these, you should probably pick up the defining book(s) (if there is one) of whatever martial art you choose to participate in (and every free man should be learning a martial art).

Boston T. Party – Boston’s Gun Bible is the book on firearm use and firearms freedom. Firearms are the modern tool of violence and this will introduce them to you thoroughly.

Improvised Munitions Handbook – The US Army’s guide to improvising weapons; a man should have the ability to get weapons when necessary.

Sun Tzu – The Art of War is the basic guidebook to war and to violence in general. It’s fairly simple and a lot of it is common sense, but it’s common sense for a reason. Read it.

Miyamoto Musashi – The Book of Five Rings is a classic Japanese text on martial arts, strategy, and philosophy.

Dave Grossman – On Killing, On Combat, and the Warrior Mindset are a trilogy on the psychology of violence. Knowing how to commit violence is an entirely different kettle of fish from being able to actually engaging in violence. These books will teach you how to keep your head when the SHTF.

Rory Miller – Meditations on Violence and Facing Violence help you prepare for violence in the real world. Lawrence Kane’s Little Black Book of Violence does much the same. All three will help you be prepared when the SHTF.

A man should have a mission and should have virtues he holds dear. He should be competent enough to be successful and have a diverse array of skills to promote independence. These will help you accomplish your mission (choosing your mission is up to you):

Jack Donovan – The Way of Men is a relatively short book outlining the virtues that make a man a man.

Roy Baumeister – Willpower is a guide to harnessing your willpower based upon modern science so you can better meet your goals.

Robert Greene – Mastery is a book about how to gain mastery (really?) and take control of your life.

Jim Rohn – 5 Major Pieces of the Life Puzzle
Napolean Hill – Think and Grow Rich and the Law of Success
Stephen Covey – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

These last three are a few of the classics in the motivational self-help books. Danger & Play has outlined here why you should read them. Essentially, they outline the virtues you need to accomplish your mission.

A free man should be healthy and strong of body. These books aren’t must reads and aren’t irreplaceable, dozens of other books would likely work just as well, but information on nutrition and health is a must. If you don’t read these specific books, read others that fulfill a similar function.

Mark Sisson – The Primal Blueprint and the Primal Connection. These two books are guides to getting healthy in our modern world through lessons from our primal ancestors. The former is about physical health (ie. the primal/paleo diet), the latter is about mental health.

Mark Rippetoe – Starting Strength and Practical Programming are highly recommended guides to physical training and weight-lifting.

A man should be able to lead others (even if he chooses not to) and interact with others. Here’s some books on leadership and interpersonal communication:

U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual – This book is mandatory for all officers in training in the US Army. That should tell you something.

Robert Greene – The 48 Laws of Power, the 33 Strategies of War, and the Art of Seduction are brutally honest and straight-forward guides to obtaining what you desire in the social arena.

Dale Carnegie – How to Make Friends and Influence People and The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Public Speaking. The classic guides to interacting with others; a must read.

Allan Pease – The Definitive Book of Body Language is a good guide to body language. Reading this particular book is not necessary, but read a book on body language, as it makes up a large portion of human communication.

Athol Kay – Married Man sex Life Primer 2011 is essential if you have or plan to have a wife or long-term relationship. It will teach you how keep her and not have her dominate you. It will also introduce you to game.

Robert Glover – No More Mr. Nice Guy is about manning up (in the good way) and get what you want in life and relationships.

Isaac Asimov – Treasury of Humour goes goes through the various types of humour, analyzes them, providing examples, and explains how to tell jokes. Humour is an important part of socializing,a man should know how it works.

One part of being a free man is learning how you’ve been lied to you’re whole life. Now most of the above books will expose the lies you’ve been told, but these will teach you how to think and how they lie to you:

Darrell Huff – How to Lie with Statistics is a short simple guide to how people manipulate numbers to lie to you.

Miriam Joseph – The Trivium outlines the use of classical logic, grammar, and rhetoric.

This hasn’t fit in any of the other categories but I think it is essential:

The Bible –  Regardless of your religious beliefs, one can not deny that the Bible is the fundament upon which Western culture has been built. Western philosophy and civilization, upon which English freedom is built, can not be understood apart from the Bible. I don’t think any man can interact meaningfully with Western culture without having read the Bible.

The prior books have all been non-fiction, but here’s some fiction that should be read:

Robert Heinlein – Starship Troopers. Other books by Heinlein, such as the Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Glory Road, and Farnham’s Freehold, are strongly pro-freedom and make excellent reads , but Starship Troopers is an essential book on freedom, responsibility, and republicanism, plus it has tons of violence. What’s not to love?

Jack London – His two classic books Call of the Wild and White Fang form a companion set exploring individualism, primitivism vs. civilization, freedom, and violence.

George Orwell – 1984 and Animal Farm are his two classic works on totalitarianism and must be read. You’ve probably already read them, if not, do so.

Aldous Huxley – Brave New World is based on a totalitarianism more familiar to us; one of pleasure, hedonism, and distraction.

Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451 is a classic about the dangers of an entertainment society.

Kurt Vonnegut – Harrison Bergeron is a classic short story about the failures of equality.

Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead are two pro-freedom fiction books that have had massive influence on the freedom movement.

While created this list I realized I have a lot yet to read, and I’m already almost two dozen books behind in my reading list even before this list. It’s something to work towards though.

Here’s a couple of other reading lists I came across while writing this post if you want more to read:

Ron Paul’s freedom reading list.
Francis’ reading list.
Art of Manliness’ The Man’s Essential Library.
Art of Manliness’ 34 Books About Being a Man.
Learn Economics.