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Sociology and Libertarianism

Sociology, properly defined, is the analytical, comparative, and historical study of societies. As such, it is an essential part of a libertarian's education because it can provide an empirical basis for assessing the kinds of institutional arrangements that allow liberty to flourish in contrast to those institutions that are inimical to its development. Whereas an economist or a philosopher might reasonably predict on a priori grounds that liberty is not going to thrive in a socialist society where all productive property is owned collectively (whether by the state or cooperatives), a sociologist can confirm that by direct observation of a large number of socialist and capitalist societies. “Compare, compare, compare”—that is the basis of a sound sociology.

It is immediately evident that capitalism is a necessary, ...

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