Freedom, Peace, and the State

Conference for Graduate Students – November 30 – December 2, 2018

Discussion Leader: Loren Lomasky, University of Virginia

Session I – Liberty and Force

Herbert, Auberon. The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays. Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1978. Selection from Essay Four, “The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State” (pages 123-160).

Session II – The Voluntary State

Herbert, Auberon. The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays. Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1978. Selection from Essay Four, “The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State” (pages 160-171 and 187-190), selection from Essay Eight, “Mr. Spencer and the Great Machine” (pages 311-314), and selection from Essay Ten, “The Principles of Voluntaryism and Free Life” (pages 374-379, 383-384, 389-391, and 398).

Session III – The History of Force

Payne, James L. A History of Force: Exploring the Worldwide Movement Against Habits of Coercion, Bloodshed, and Mayhem. Sandpoint, Idaho: Lytton Publishing Company, 2004. Chapter 1, “The History We Can’t Stand” (pages 1-6), Chapter 2, “The History We Can’t Believe” (pages 7-19), Chapter 3, “What History Is Up To” (pages 20-29), selections from Chapter 6, “Conquer Thy Neighbor: New Ideas about Empire, War, and Military Forces” (pages 61-62 and 65-77), selections from Chapter 7, “Beyond Political Murder” (pages 81-83 and 88-92), selection from Chapter 9, “From Hell to Hot Meals: The Evolution of Criminal Punishment” (pages 116-120), selections from Chapter 13, “The Decline of Slavery and Debt Bondage” (pages 188-189 and 197-199), selections from Chapter 14, “The Changing Face of Taxation” (pages 200-203 and 218-219), Chapter 17, “Swimming in History’s Tide: Lessons for Voluntarists” (pages 249-265), and notes (pages 267-268, 270-276, 280-283, and 285).

Session IV – The Nature and Nurture of Declining Violence

Pinker, Steven. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. New York: Viking, 2011. Selection from “Preface” (pages xxi-xxvi), selections from Chapter 2, “The Pacification Process” (pages 31-36 and 47-58), selection from Chapter 3, “The Civilizing Process” (pages 59-64), selection from Chapter 4, “The Humanitarian Revolution” (pages 158-161), selections from Chapter 5, “The Long Peace” (pages 193-199, 249-251, 264-266, and 284-288), and notes (pages 697-700, 705-707, and 710-712).

Session V – The Evolutionary Psychology of Inner Demons and Better Angels

Pinker, Steven. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. New York: Viking, 2011. Selections from Chapter 8, “Inner Demons” (pages 482-483, 506-509, 536-541, and 569-570), selections from Chapter 9, “Better Angels” (pages 620-628 and 636-670), and notes (pages 725, 727, 729, 731, and 734-737).

Session VI – The Expanding Circle of Reason and Sympathy

Pinker, Steven. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. New York: Viking, 2011. Chapter 10, “On Angels’ Wings” (pages 671-696) and notes (page 737).