Arts and Culture
More from Google
Get the Android app
Get the iOS app
Portraits of Liberty
Portraits of Liberty investigates the lives and philosophies of thinkers throughout history who argued in favor of a freer world. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jul 2, 2020
Libertarianism at School: Maria Montessori
From a young age, Maria Montessori defied the conventions and standards of her time studying engineering a field dominated by men and moving on to medicine, becoming the first degreed female physician in Italy. Through her work in medicine treating children, Maria began to study the education of children. She realized that the standard methods of educating children were failing abysmally. She created her own system, which treated children as spontaneous, creative, and, most importantly, autonomous individuals. The end goal education for Maria was making a child independent and self-sufficient. Her methods were highly effective, and she became a figure of international renown establishing schools across the globe throughout her busy internationally-focused life. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jun 18, 2020
Dismantling the State with Étienne De La Boétie
While in college at the young age of eighteen, Étienne De La Boétie wrote a Discourse on Voluntary Servitude a book which attempted to explain why people obey tyrants despite their better judgement. Étienne explains how tyranny endures through the powers of habit, trickery, and patronage. But by far, Étienne’s most unique view is that the state must be dismantled by simple acts of mass civil disobedience reminding rulers we can always choose not to obey. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jun 4, 2020
The Founding Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft had a tough life, her father was an abusive drunk and her families’ economic fortunes were ever worsening. Tired of the oppressive nature of home life Mary left and attempted to become an independent woman something that was extremely uncommon in the 18th-century. Despite the challenges in here way Mary became a respected public intellectual in her day writing two Vindications of the rights of men and women in which she discusses how to achieve a more equal and virtuous society that takes into account both men and women’s rights and progress. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 21, 2020
Auberon Herbert and Voluntaryism
Auberon Herbert was born into a wealthy English aristocratic family and started his political career. But after witnessing the horrors of war through Europe and America and witnessing the incompetence of parliament, he lost faith in the abilities of the state. Inspired by the writing of Herbert Spencer Auberon set out to articulate a political philosophy emphasizing the importance of consent and the voluntary state, which is strictly limited to the protection of our natural and self-evident rights. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 7, 2020
Taking the King to Court, John Cooke
Despite being born into poverty John Cooke attained an education as a lawyer. While practicing law he realized the unfairness of the current legal system and wrote about how it ought to be reformed to be a system where a crime is a crime no matter who commits it. After the English Civil War King Charles I was put on trial for his heinous crimes, Cooke was the only lawyer in London brave enough to prosecute the king of the country. Despite his obscurity, John Cooke was a remarkable figure who ultimately led to way in articulating why even heads of state should be answerable to the law. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 23, 2020
Rehabilitating Democracy, George Grote
For a long time, the word democracy was synonymous with anarchy due to the horror stories of ancient Athenian democracy. The self-taught polymath and enthusiastic democrat George Grote rehabilitated democracy by arguing that Athens, the birthplace of democracy, was a vibrant and liberal society. Grote was no mere academic; he was also on the frontline for the fight for democratic rights such as the secret ballot and a more inclusive voting system. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 9, 2020
Separating the Church and State, Marsilius of Padua
Discussions of monarchy and hierarchy usually dominate medieval political thought. The 14-century thinker Marsilius of Padua breaks with his contemporaries arguing the church and state should be separate entities and that laws should be based on the consent and common good of all. Despite being a medieval mind, Marsilius has a distinctly modern voice. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Mar 26, 2020
Poullain and Equality
Despite his obscurity, François Poullain de la Barre is a philosopher who thought beyond the constraints of his time. In 17th-century France Poullain articulated a case for gender equality. His proposal was so radical few took it seriously at the time. Poullain is still relevant today for his analysis of how oppression is “justified” and how to unlearn prejudices. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Mar 12, 2020
Beccaria Modernized Criminal Law
Before the 18th-century, European criminal law was unpredictable, repressive, and punitive. Judges had an abundance of discretionary power, and harsh punishments were doled out inconsistently. Cesare Beccaria, in his famous essay On Crimes and Punishment articulated a system of law based upon deterring crimes and using punishment only when it was necessary to detain current criminals and deter future offenders. To this end, he was against the death penalty, which he believed was counter-productive and barbaric. Following its publication in 1764, On Crimes and Punishments became not only popular reading, but also a catalyst for reform in Europe, Russia, and America. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Mar 12, 2020
Between 1720-1723 in England, a popular weekly pamphlet became a thorn in the government's side for viciously criticizing the corruption and greed of politicians. This pamphlet was known as Cato's Letters, written by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon consisted of over a hundred "letters" on topics such as freedom of speech, religious toleration, the benefits of liberty, and the right to resist tyrannical governments. Their writings became extremely popular not only in England but also in America. Throughout the American Revolution Cato's Letters were quoted as an esteemed authority of the nature of freedom and the nightmare of tyranny. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Mar 12, 2020
The First Western Feminist
Medieval feminism sounds like an oxymoron. The medieval ages inherited a caustic tradition of misogyny from the ancient world. The 15th-century writer Christine de Pisan argued in her work The City of Ladies that the ideas of both her predecessors and contemporaries were delusional. Pisan explained the inherent equality between men and women. For Pisan, both sexes had a capacity for virtue, and both ought to be educated in the same manner. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.