Liberty at Risk: Tackling Today’s Political Problems is a compilation of twenty-three commentaries on current affairs from a libertarian perspective.
It is a companion to Peter Fenwick’s previous work - The Fragility of Freedom: Why Subsidiarity Matters.
Libertarianism is the political philosophy of individual liberty. It is based on the principle of private property and founded on natural rights theory as expounded by John Locke in the seventeenth century. The essential elements of the libertarian creed are self-ownership, private property and the free market. In practice, this leads to a society of co-operation, tolerance and mutual respect; a preference for voluntary organisations; and a minimal role for the state.
Wherever this ideology has been tried, mankind has flourished. Per capita incomes have risen multiple times; longevity has increased by many years; education has become universally available; women have been treated equally; there has been more time devoted to culture and the arts; and there has been noticeable increases in civility. Elsewhere, throughout history, only small ruling elites led the good life; the majority led a precarious and unpleasant existence.
Unfortunately, over the past hundred years the social democratic welfare state has inhibited progress in the West, and now theocratic Islamists are creating mayhem in the Middle East.
Our wonderful, free and prosperous society is being threatened by ideologies, from within and without, that compromise the reasons for its success. If we are to succeed in our battle with competing ideologies, then we need to acquire an appreciation of the legacy of our Western Civilization and be determined to live up to its ideals.
“Peter Fenwick challenges our perception of society’s status quo. He does not espouse a new age philosophy, but uses the philosophies of the 18th and 19th century libertarians whose thinking influenced our democracies in their infancy.
He questions the distortions of their ideals that are now causing rifts and failures in our modern day world.
While our current politicians, bureaucrats and business leaders maybe beyond change, these essays provide food for thought to stimulate the next generation to change our world for a better future.
Topics such as the role and responsibilities of government, the distortion of crony capitalism, the rights of lobby groups to peddle self-interest, tolerance, entrepreneurs, caliphates, the role of the family, accepting responsibility……the list goes on. But in itself it provides a curriculum for any University, year 11 or year 12 current affairs or philosophy program that all of us would love to join.”
Dr Hugh Seward
CEO, AFL Medical Officers Association
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University
Chairman of the Council of Geelong College
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
"Never has a book been more timely and welcomed than Liberty at Risk: Tackling Today’s Political Problems. Australian Peter Fenwick addresses some of the most important and vexing problems of today in 23 short chapters. The answers rest on the foundations of Classical Liberalism and Austrian free market economics and the reader will be reminded of work of the great Henry Hazlitt. An excellent introduction for the uninitiated."
Dr. Mark Thornton
Senior Fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute
Book Review Editor, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Auburn, Alabama, USA