New Libertarian Alliance Publications

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix…
or Did J.K. Rowling Ever Read Ayn Rand?
John Lalor
Cultural Notes No. 54

I admit it: I’m a fan. So far, I’ve read the first five books of the Harry Potter series. OK, so it’s not the most ingenious writing ever, and the concepts are hardly novel, but something that’s gotten kids reading adventure stories in such large numbers can’t be all that bad.

But there’s something more in these books. They bring kids back to a different time, in a land far, far away, where political correctness hadn’t been invented, and the health and safety industry hadn’t commenced destroying all semblance of risk, fun and excitement. Fighting, scheming and disobedience; a child having self-belief when all others take the easy option; the acknowledgement of good and evil; indeed, the mere existence of people of better and worse ability – all of these things are in serious danger of being subverted by the egalitarian, risk-free, moral-subjectivist agenda of the Nanny Statists….

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Epicurus: Father of the Enlightenment
Sean Gabb
Philosophical Notes No. 80

Epicurus (341-270 BC) was, with Plato and Aristotle, one of the three great philosophers of the ancient world. He developed an integrated system of ethics and natural philosophy that, he claimed and many accepted, showed everyone the way to a life of the greatest happiness. The school that he founded remained open for 798 years after his death. While it lost place during the last 200 of these years, his philosophy held until then a wide and often decisive hold on the ancient mind.

The revival of Epicureanism in the 17th century coincided with the growth of scientific rationalism and classical liberalism. There can be no doubt these facts are connected. It may, indeed, be argued that the first was a leading cause of the second two, and that we are now living in a world shaped, in every worthwhile sense, by the ideas of Epicurus….

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