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For a New Liberty

For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto
Cover of the first edition
Author Murray Rothbard
Country United States
Language English
Subject Libertarianism
Genre Political philosophy
Published 1973 (Macmillan Publishers)
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 327 (first edition)
338 (second edition)
ISBN 0-02-074690-3 (second edition)
0-945466-47-1 (2006 edition)
OCLC 75961482

For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto is a 1973 (second edition 1978, third edition 1985) book by American economist and historian Murray Rothbard. The work, in which Rothbard promotes anarcho-capitalism, has been credited as an influence on the New Right.


  • Summary 1
  • Reception 2
  • Publishing history 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Rothbard advocates anarcho-capitalism, a strain of stateless libertarianism. Rothbard traces the intellectual origins of libertarianism back to classical liberal philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith and the American Revolution. He argues that modern libertarianism originated not as a response to socialism or leftism, but to conservatism. Rothbard views the right of self-ownership and the right to homestead as establishing the complete set of principles of the libertarian system.

The core of libertarianism, writes Rothbard, is the non-aggression axiom: "that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else." He points out that while this principle is almost universally applied to private individuals and institutions, the government is considered above the general moral law, and therefore does not have to abide by this axiom.

Rothbard attempts to dispel the notion that libertarianism constitutes a sect or offshoot of liberalism or conservatism, or that its seemingly right-wing opinions on economic policy and left-wing opinions on social and foreign policy are contradictory.


[1] Libertarian author David Boaz writes that For a New Liberty, together with Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974) and Ayn Rand's essays on political philosophy, "defined the 'hard-core' version of modern libertarianism, which essentially restated Spencer's law of equal freedom: Individuals have the right to do whatever they want to do, so long as they respect the equal rights of others."[2] British philosopher Ted Honderich writes that Rothbard's anarcho-libertarianism informed "one messianic part of the New Right".[3]

In Radicals for Capitalism (2007), journalist Brian Doherty writes of For a New Liberty, "This book strove to synthesize, in condensed form, the economic, historical, philosophical, and policy elements of Rothbard's vision...the book was meant as both a primer and a manifesto, so Rothbard crammed in as much of his overall theory of liberty as he could ... Rothbard hits the harder anarcho-capitalist stuff, but slips it in so smoothly that many readers might not notice that this 'libertarian manifesto' promotes anarchism."[4]

Publishing history

In 2006 the Ludwig von Mises Institute released a new hardbound edition, with a new introduction by Lew Rockwell.

  • Ludwig von Mises Institute. 2006. Hardcover. ISBN 0-945466-47-1
  • Fox & Wilkes. 1989. Paperback. ISBN 0-930073-02-9
  • University Press of America. Paperback. 1986. ISBN 0-8191-4981-0
  • Libertarian Review Foundation, New York, 1985, 1989 2nd Printing. ISBN 0-930073-02-9
  • Revised edition, Collier Books, 1978. Paperback
  • Collier Macmillan. 1973. Hardcover. ISBN 0-02-605300-4
  • Hacia una Nueva Libertad: El Manifiesto Libertario. Grito Sagrado. 2006. Paperback. ISBN 987-1239-01-7


  1. ^ Palmer, Tom G.; Boaz, David (1997). The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman. New York, New York: The Free Press. p. 417.  
  2. ^ Boaz, David (1997). Libertarianism: A Primer. New York: The Free Press. p. 57.  
  3. ^ Honderich, Ted (2005). Conservatism: Burke, Nozick, Bush, Blair?. London: Pluto Press. pp. 127–8.  
  4. ^ Doherty, Brian (2007). Radicals for Capitalism. pp. 378–381.  

External links

  • PDF of the 1978 edition (complete)
  • Review of the 2006 edition
  • Mises Institute edition, published in 2006
  • Online text of 1978 edition
  • Online Audio book
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