For a New Liberty

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For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto
Cover of the first edition
Author Murray Rothbard
Country United States
Language English
Subject Libertarianism
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.


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.


Tom G. Palmer commented in 1997 that For a New Liberty "provides a good overview of the libertarian worldview, although the chapters on public policy issues and on the organized libertarian movement are by now somewhat dated."[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.

  • 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. ISBN 0-684-84767-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Boaz, David (1997). Libertarianism: A Primer. New York: The Free Press. p. 57. ISBN 0-684-84768-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Honderich, Ted (2005). Conservatism: Burke, Nozick, Bush, Blair?. London: Pluto Press. pp. 127–8. ISBN 0-7453-2129-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Doherty, Brian (2007). Radicals for Capitalism. pp. 378–381. ISBN 978-1-58648-350-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links