≡ Menu

Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty

Murray Rothbard’s treatise, The Ethics of Liberty (New York: New York University Press, 1998) is online in a couple of obscure places, and some of its individual chapters or portions is available online in separate articles. I’ve listed below those I am aware of:

  1. The 1998 print version is missing some text on p. 139, that is present in the online version linked here. The bolded portion is the missing text:

    “Thus, if A agreed to sell a parcel of land in exchange for B’s agreed-upon payment of a money price, each would obligate himself to pay a certain sum, usually twice the value of his contractual obligation, in case of failure to pay. In the case of a money debt, called “a common money bond,” someone who owed $1000 agreed to pay $2000 to the creditor if he failed to pay $1000 by a certain date. (Or, more strictly the obligation to pay $2000 was conditional upon the debtor’s paying $1000 by a certain date. Hence the term “conditional penal bond.”) 

    It may be considered more moral to keep promises than to break them, but any coercive enforcement of such a moral code is itself an invasion of property rights and therefore impermissible in the libertarian society.

    In the above example of a contract to perform personal service, suppose that the failure of the actor to appear cost the theater owner $10,000 in damages; in that case, the actor would sign, or “execute,” a penal performance bond, agreeing to pay $20,000 to the theater owner upon failure to appear. []

{ 1 comment… add one }

Leave a Reply

© 2012-2024 StephanKinsella.com CC0 To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to material on this Site, unless indicated otherwise. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.

-- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright