Archive | September 9, 2007

War Spin

I’m a fan of Donald Kagan’s four-volume study (1, 2, 3, 4) of the Peloponnesian War, which includes some important information you won’t get from Thucydides and Xenophon, as well as a relief from their anti-democratic bias. Anyone with a interest in Greek history will read it with profit.

Unfortunately, along with Kagan’s appreciation for Athens’ democratic institutions (for my own defense of which see here and here) comes a tendency to gloss over or justify Athens’ imperialist foreign policy. I haven’t read Kagan’s condensed one-volume version, but this review of it strikes me as a fair assessment of that aspect of the longer version too. Kagan is right, of course, that Sparta was not the innocent victim that Thucydides sometimes suggests. But Kagan leans too far in the other direction. (It’s no coincidence that Kagan is also one of the signatories of this neocon screed.)

One thing I think Hans Hoppe is right about is that domestically liberal societies often tend to have aggressive foreign policies simply because economic freedom makes them wealthy enough to afford such policies. (I actually said this before I read Hoppe, here for example.) Athens seems like a good example of this phenomenon.

JLS 21.2: What Lies Within?

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

Journal of Libertarian Studies The latest issue (21.2) of the Journal of Libertarian Studies features James R. Edwards on the advantages of private charity over government welfare; Brian Smith on the implications of Tocqueville’s ideas for the prospects of free-market anarchy in a democratic culture; Raymond J. Krohn on the contrast between the genuine libertarianism of Lysander Spooner and the pseudo-libertarianism of the Jacksonian Democrats; Laurence Vance on the federalist case for the Kelo decision; David Gold on the origins of laissez-faire constitutionalism in resistance to pro-business legislation; Dan D’Amico on Alex Tabarrok’s anthology on private prisons; and Norbert Lennartz on Michael van Notten’s and Spencer MacCallum’s defense of Somali customary law.

Read a fuller summary of 21.2’s contents here.

Read summaries of previous issues under my editorship here.

Read back issues online here.

Subscribe here.

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