Herbert Spencer in Arabic


Thanks to the hard work of my colleagues, Herbert Spencer’s briliantly radical essay “The Right to Ignore the State” from his book Social Statics has just appeared on Misbah al Hurriyya (the Lamp of Liberty) in Arabic….and was promptly reprinted on Libyaforum.org.

2 Responses to “Herbert Spencer in Arabic”

  1. Great! Now, I hope, some of Spencer’s better essays can be translated, such as the ones included in “The Man vs. the State.”

    After all, Spencer repudiated his own “Right to Ignore the State,” on grounds of the free rider problem.

    “From Freedom to Slavery” starts with a good attack on “common sense,” and “Patriotism” contains a now-very-relevant attack on the injustice of much warfaring. “The Ethics of Kant” is a brilliant critique of the deontological approach to ethics, and includes (an added bonus!) a very important error that Spencer himself should have caught, but didn’t.

    Learning from the mistakes of the greats is just as important as learning from their successes.

  2. Tom G. Palmer

    I don’t quite see TWV’s point, if there is a coherent point at all. Those are all interesting essays, which takes nothing away from the importance of the essay in question: the critique of conventional “consent theory” in “The Right to Ignore the State” is elegant and important. I strongly encourage anyone interested in political theory and the problem of obligation to read it and to wrestle with the problems it poses.

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