Grouping of individuals interacting with each other
  • Societal Solutions - Solutions to problems that are agreed upon voluntarily by the individuals involved


Society - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent members. In the social sciences, a larger society often evinces stratification and/or dominance patterns in subgroups. ..."


The Open Society and Its Worst Enemies, by Sheldon Richman, 16 Jan 2015
Considers the January 2015 events in France and contrasts the choice between an open, free society and imperialistic, militaristic foreign intervention
"If even a full-blown police state could not prevent all such plots, what chance does a society with a vestige of regard for civil liberties have? ... That is why it is imperative for societies wishing to remain more or less open to not let their rulers make enemies by conducting a militarist foreign policy. ... It really does come down to a stark choice between full freedom and empire."
Claiming Paine, by Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason, Jul 2007
Review of the book Thomas Paine and the Promise of America by Harvey J. Kaye
"And it was Paine, in Common Sense, who declared: 'Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.'"
Complex Societies Need Simple Laws: We need to end the orgy of rule-making at once and embrace the simple rules that true liberals like America's founders envisioned, by John Stossel, 15 Mar 2012
Reflects on the "uncountable" number of laws and regulations in the United States as well as Britain, and elicits the views of Laozi, Hayek, Buchanan and Mises in favor of ending "the orgy of rule-making"
"Big-government advocates will say that as society grows more complex, laws must multiply to keep up. The opposite is true. It is precisely because society is unfathomably complex that laws must be kept simple. No legislature can possibly prescribe rules for the complex network of uncountable transactions and acts of cooperation that take place every day. ... Any attempt to manage a modern society is more like a bull in a darkened china shop than a finely tuned machine. No wonder the schemes of politicians go awry."
Related Topics: Law, Economics, Laozi
Conscience on the Battlefield, by Leonard E. Read, 1981
Pamphlet written in 1951, during the Korean War, updated with prologue in 1981; Read recalls the 1918 incident when the troopship he was on was sunk by a German submarine and wonders about his thoughts if he were dying (in 1951) on a Korean battlefield
"Man, in spite of his individuality, lives with others. And having chosen to live with others, he cannot escape an accountability for his part of any collective action of society in which he participates. As part of the warp and woof of society, he is committed to some responsibility for its collective misdeeds, either by commission or omission. ... While bearing his share of society's sins he can at least refuse to be a sponsor of them; indeed, he can use suasion to spread the truth as he sees it."
Herbert Spencer as an Anthropologist [PDF], by Robert L. Carneiro, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1981
Traces Spencer's contributions to the fields now known as anthropology and sociology and how his concept of cultural evolution was developed
"Thus, when he was ready to give his study of society a name, he chose 'sociology.' ... Years later, in the preface to Volume 1 of The Principles of Sociology, he gave his reasons for adopting the term: 'For the Science of Society, the name "Sociology" was introduced by M. Comte. ...' ... But regardless of labels, Spencer devoted enormous thought and effort to erecting a comparative science of society of the most general kind, and his work gave a powerful impetus to the anthropology that came after him."
If the State Falls, Does Society Crumble?, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 25 Jan 2007
Discusses the situation in Iraq four years after the 2003 invasion and evaluates the question of "just how integral is the state to society?"
"Which raises the question: just how integral is the state to society? Is it the case that we can expect every society that loses its state to fall into chaos such as Iraq is doing today? ... On the face of it, the role of the state – the legal monopolist on the use of aggressive force against person and property – is absurdly implausible. There is no obvious reason why any society should put up with it."
Related Topics: The State, Iraq, Iraq War (2003)
Individual Liberty and Civil Society, by Richard M. Ebeling, Feb 1993
Reflects on Benjamin Constant's lecture on what liberty meant to the ancient Greeks vs. the 19th century Europeans and Americans and the 20th century reversion to statism
"In civil society there is no longer a single focal point in the social order, as in the politicized society in which the state, designs, directs and imposes an agenda to which all must conform and within which all are confined. Rather, in civil society there are as many focal points as individuals, who all design, shape and direct their own lives, guided by their own interests, ideals and passions."
Liberty Defined, by Floyd A. 'Baldy' Harper, 4 Sep 1957
Speech to the Mont Pelerin Society; Harper first offers his definition of liberty, then explores "adulterated" definitions, its relation to morals, moral law and basic humans rights, ending with his hope for the cause of liberty
"To begin with, liberty seems to me to be a word having to do with matters of personal conduct in relation to other persons in society. Or to put it another way, it relates to limitations of action one person may or may not suffer at the hands of another person. It is in that sense a word focused on matters of individual conduct in a social setting."
On Evil Acts, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 19 Apr 2007
In the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, contrasts the typical mainstream and conservative responses to such acts of violence and suggests a third way
"The part that impacts on politics and economics is the second consideration: how can we as a society best deal with the problem of evil? ... With the market, there are many decisions that we as a society do not have to make collectively but instead we make them individually as buyers. ... We do not have to decide collectively what cars to drive, what websites to visit, or what food to eat. So it is with security. And so it is with the problem of human evil."
Robert Nozick, Philosopher of Liberty, by Roderick Long, The Freeman, Sep 2002
Focuses mainly on Nozick's contributions in Anarchy, State, and Utopia, with brief reference to his later works and his death earlier in 2002
"Nozick argued that because there is 'no social entity' but only 'different individual people, with their own individual lives,' it makes no sense to describe the sacrifice of an individual's rights as being made up for by an 'overbalancing good' to society as a whole; a human being 'may not be used or sacrificed for the benefit of others,' because doing so would 'not sufficiently respect' the fact that 'he is a separate person' whose life is 'the only life he has' ..."
The Idea of a Private Law Society, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Mises Daily, 28 Jul 2006
Discusses the problem of social order, i.e., rules to regulate the use of "everything scarce so that all possible conflicts can be ruled out"
"In light of the multiple errors of classical liberalism, then, how is law and order vis-à-vis actual and potential lawbreakers maintained? The solution lies in a private law society — a society where every individual and institution is subject to one and the same set of laws! No public law granting privileges to specific persons of functions (and no public property) exists in this society. There is only private law (and private property), equally applicable to each and everyone."
The Production of Security, by Gustave de Molinari, Journal des économistes, Feb 1849
Questions whether the provision of security to citizens should be an exception to the economic principle of free competition, delving into arguments favoring monopolistic and communistic government and concluding with a hypothetical free market example
"The instinct of sociability brings him together with similar persons, and drives him into communication with them. Therefore, impelled by the self-interest of the individuals thus brought together, a certain division of labor is established, necessarily followed by exchanges. In brief, we see an organization emerge, by means of which man can more completely satisfy his needs than he could living in isolation. This natural organization is called society."
Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?, by Robert Nozick, Cato Policy Report, Jan 1998
Posits that "wordsmith" (as opposed to "numbersmith") intellectuals often resent capitalism because the market society does not reward them as their schooling did
"It is not surprising that those successful by the norms of a school system should resent a society, adhering to different norms, which does not grant them the same success. ... If you were designing a society, you would not seek to design it so that the wordsmiths, with all their influence, were schooled into animus against the norms of the society."
Related Topics: Capitalism, Free Market
Why the Republicans Are Doomed, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 21 Feb 2007
Discusses recent Republican behavior at both the presidential (George W. Bush) and grassroots level, arguing that they take their societal view from Hobbes
"Elsewhere we discussed how the Democrats believe in a conflict-based model of society, with their imagined society consisting of groups of warring tribes (men v. women, blacks v. whites, etc.). In the same way, the Republicans imagine that the social order is rife with conflict, but a conflict of a different sort. Republicans believe that all of society, whether your town, the nation, or the whole world, is divided between those who adhere to the law and those who are inclined to break it."


The Society of To-morrow: A Forecast of Its Political and Economic Organisation, by Gustave de Molinari, 1899
Partial contents: Formation of Primitive Communities and the Conditions Necessary to Their Existence - Competition Between Primitive Communities and Its Results - Competition Between States in Process of Civilisation - Decline of Destructive Competition