Philosophy, Nonfiction, History
This is just a small collection of works I've read which helped me understand and get to the point where I could write Liberty Defined and Morality Defined. I didn't get to reading anything in depth by individuals such as Murray Rothbard, Mises, or Molynuex until a few years after I published Liberty Defined. I hope this short list will help you as much as it inspired me.
If you're already an advocate of Voluntaryism or still on the journey to something other than advocacy of government, be patient with the reading list I present. If an author I share disgusts you, consider the authors you may have read and how others have shamed them while you explore new ideas. No one is competing with you in your own head except you, who you were the day before.
AC DC The Savage tale of the first standards war
Arguing with Idiots
Black Rednecks and White Liberals
Cavalryman of the Lost Cause
-Jeffry D. Wert
Crazies to the left of me, Wimps to the right
End the Fed
How the South Could have won the Civil War
In the footsteps of Robert E. Lee
Lies Across America
-James W. Loewen
Lies my Teacher Told Me
-James W. Loewen
Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney
-James F. Simon
Men in Black
-Mark R. Levin
Myths of American Slavery
-Walter D Kennedy
New Deal or Raw Deal?
-Burton Folsom, Jr.
110 People who are screwing up America
(Politically Incorrect Guide to)
-Robert P. Murphy
PIG The Founding Fathers
PIG Global Warming and Environmentalism
-Christopher C. Horner
PIG The Constitution
-Kevin R. C. Gutzman
PIG The Great Depression and the New Deal
-Robert P. Murphy
PIG Women, Sex, and Feminism
-Carrie L. Lukas
PIG The South
PIG American History
-Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
-Kevin D. Williamson
33 questions about American History you’re not supposed to ask
-Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Rediscovering God in America
Somebody’s Gotta Say it
Stand for Something
The FairTax Book
The FairTax Book: The Truth
1001 Things Everyone Should Know about the Civil War
-Frank E. Vandiver
The Forgotten Man
This is one book that I can't praise enough. It won't be everyone's cup of tea. I know. What it is to me is special because it answered a question that I had wanted to ask for a very long time but didn't know how to phrase it.
The equation of The Forgotten Man explains how man A sees a troubled soul, man C. Man A then goes to Man B, who is in government, to help man C.
Both men A and B decide to help man C. Man A doesn't have to help man C directly so much because he pointed out that man C was in trouble and that was his part. Man B is in government and doesn't have to help man C directly because he is organizing and legislating the aid for man C. So where does the aid for man C come from?
It comes from man X. This man is doing only well enough to support himself. The burden of additional legislation via taxes and regulations and fees and permits designed to earn revenue to help man c end up putting man X in the position that man C was previous in before the aid; thus man X is the forgotten man.
Like me as a worker with little to spare, regardless of my own faults, I am put into a lesser position of command over my own life because others choose to intervene and coerce me to do what I don't, can't or won't do to help others. I am being held back by the system and its extortion style practices that don't heed the laws of unintended consequences.
This was one of those history books written as if it was a play by play dime novel. I could not put this book down. It was among the first books I picked up that did not have a centralized political theme matching the information I was seeking at the time.
Set in Ancient Rome, Augustus details the life of a particular Caesar and his exploits with political rule. The parallels with modern political tales as well as bloody conquest of the industrial age is incredibly easy to see in this work.
While not so direct in terms of trying to make a statement, if the author intended to make any at all about modern day, I found so many interesting philosophical points to explore during my multiple reads. If you're interested in something worth taking notes to research later on, this is one of them!
Democracy in America
-Alexis de Tocqueville
Not an easy read, for me anyway. I found so much information in this work that I was constantly having to look things up to ensure I understand what I was reading. I should note that I read this book before I was prepared to truly commit.
This book is packed full of philosophy, history, and intellectual challenges that I could not fathom during my first two reads. It wasn't until I picked it back up again after five years of heavy reading that I found the value of it.
I learned to understand the importance of how taxation creates unintended consequences through de Tocquevill's perspective. I couldn't wrap my head around this idea until years later. But without a doubt I learned how much more I still had to learn with this work.
The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings
I've read these stories so many times. There is so much wisdom hidden away in each page. Everything from death, pity, and love to faith, hope, and courage is covered between the pages of these books and more.
Real emotional and intellectual conflict is portrayed in these fictional works but it reads like history that is happening now!
People who get to know me a little will recognize many tidbits of information from these stories. I fuel my inspiration tremendously with these tales and am not certain I can see a day when I will no longer reap any benefit of inspiration from them. Many hold the bible to be their most important book.
I hold these tales by J. R. R. Tolkien as my most important books.
Star wars Expanded Universe novels
These are some of the first books that I read. I wasn't a very big reader when I was a child. Movies and television were my form of entertainment when video games were taken from me or I couldn't play outside.
But by the time I reached high school I began taking an interest in reading for pleasure. The first book I read for this reason, apart from science magazines, was The Black Fleet Crisis. This story took place shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi.
This series is significant because it was the first time I realized the rotation of power that happens concerning government. This series highlighted some negative aspects of the New Republic founded on the ashes of the Empire. Politics! Nasty, nasty politics! Always someone is being treated as unfair and always others not part of that negativity are made to pay for it.
This would be remembered more than a decade later when I read another book, The Forgotten Man.
Guns of the South
By the time I turned twenty-five I was reading more and more. While I don't remember how I came across this book, I remember the effect it had on me.
For most of my younger years I held a long standing debate with my oldest and best friend. He held the view that the War of Federal Aggression (American Civil War) was about slavery, African slavery. I was told by my parents and my father's best friend who was a huge history buff that the war was entirely about States' Rights.
It wouldn't be until a few years after reading this book that I would discover the truth. This book, apart from really capturing the reader and placing him or her into the 1860s, got me so interested in looking up history that I started craving more and more information to fill in the gaps of what I thought I knew.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that both sides were wrong but if one was a lesser evil than the other then the South would be it. They may have perpetuated the practice of African slavery but if allowed to peacefully secede then such a precedent would have been set that in a matter of just a few generations the individual might well be able to secede from even the most local of governments without packing his bags to leave in order to escape persecution and tyranny.
World of Warcraft (Lore)
While not typical all books, this lore helped me construct in an abstract way my definition of liberty. I began to see more and more reasons why government is wrong, why people are so susceptible to fear and despair.
The story of Thrall being born and raised in a human controlled internment camp to be a gladiator for entertainment helped spin the wheels of my mine even faster.
This story was about the children of captured invading and marauding orcs that were controlled by an alien demonic deity that sought to wipe out and make dark the entirety of the universe. The humans didn't know that Thralls parents' generation was under the influence of a wicked spell.
The humans only saw a reason to kill because they were killed so mercilessly when caught off guard. Eventually in his early twenties, Thrall escaped with the help of a kind young human woman. Thrall rallied a few of the others and they set out to escape the Eastern Kingdoms.
Later it would be revealed that another alien race that shared the orcs' home world knew of this wicked spell; yet they did nothing to convince the humans that the orcs beneath the command of Thrall were not their enemies by choice. They were the enemies of the humans because the humans persecuted them unfairly as innocent children.
These new alien allies, the Draenei, proceeded to maintain an alliance with the human kingdoms despite the fact that they brought the darkness upon the orcs by settling on their home world in an attempt to hide from the evil which afflicted the orcs.
Yet, so many people considered the orcs to be evil simply because humans said they were. The truth is that those who make war against innocents are misguided; or evil when they do so knowing what their victims are.
The Great War Series
This series is written by Harry Turtledove, author of alternate history. I read these books around 2007.
They caught my attention because I previous read Guns of the South by the same author. In these books he further detailed the gruesome and awful scenes of war. One part in particular was about invading Northern troops across the Ohio into Kentucky from Indiana, not far from where I lived at the time I read them.
It was about a fired shell that had ripped through the abdominal cavity of a soldier. The way it was described stuck with me and made me realize that nothing should be worth that suffer unless in defense of your own life. I remember thinking back to the weeks after the 2001 September 11th trade tower attacks.
I was going to join the Marines but didn't because I was made fun of by the recruiting officer. I don't know why he poked fun at me. But because he did I chose to leave. He called me a chicken as I left or something along those lines.
I'm glad I didn't because the fate of that soldier in the great War Series with his insides hanging out and him grabbing his own intestines wondering why he can't feel them before he blacked out and died made me realize what a blessing that day was for me.
Harry Potter series
This series did for me what I wished I had learned fifteen years before I read it. Around 2008 I read this series. While the story was great that is not what helped with anything in particular.
The gem about this series for me is that it was written so well that the words flowed into my mind and allowed me to instantly transfer them into images and audio; into television in my head.
I read this series twice, and faster the second time. I began to re-read so many other books and then I began the real first steps towards independence; towards being free in my own mind. Over the course of the next five or six years I read an average of 70 books a year.
Most of these books were political or historical in nature. Because I finally found a way to just grasp the information in the pages of a book so quickly I was able to exponentially increase my ability to think critically.
The Wizard of Oz (bks 1 & 2)
After doing a quick search on the internet for information regarding some historical project I was doing a around 2010, I came across a video titled the Secrets of Oz.
This video discussed the hidden meanings of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz. I thought I knew the story of the Wizard of Oz but was sadly mistaken. What was portrayed in the blockbuster hit with Judy Garland was hardly comparable to the written words of L. Frank Baum.
After reading the first book I discovered in the back pages of it that there were more than a few books in the Wizard of Oz series. I was fascinated with these stories and by the time I finished the second was thrilled to know something important.
If you share too much of your imagination with the world you will be condemned. If you don't share enough you will be condemned. But if you share just enough to get the attention of the world, it will beg you for more and you can command such terrible power.
The Politically Incorrect Guides
I cannot say enough about these books. These were invaluable to me in my journey to understand the ideas I would later formulate to write Liberty Defined and Morality Defined. While not typically dealing with philosophy, how to ask question, or how to answer questions, the PIG series of books pointed out contradictions in what I was taught.
These contradictions encouraged me to do additional research which led to me scouring many local and state archives for information over much of my twenties. I later returned to the history based books in the series and combed through easily 90% of the sources.
Thomas Woods, Clint Johnson, Robert P. Murphy, Kevin Gutzman all did amazing work. I went through their sources and was able to find even more in depth information to add even more clarity to the subject matter. This series of books is one that I will never let go of.