Latter-day Liberty

By Connor Boyack

Synposis: This book discusses the proper approach to government and politics in light of the teachings of the Gospel. Drawing on the scriptures, the prophets, and corroborating views from Austrian economists and libertarians, this book promotes libertarianism as the logical and consistent political ideology for members of the Church.

Strong Points: Boyack is a talented writer and makes a strong case for libertarianism as the only consistent approach to government within the context of the Gospel (or at all, for that matter). His arguments are solid and logical. He also provides a good mix of sources: appealing to the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets, as well as secular sources that are in line with the truth (viz. Austrian economists and other libertarians, Founders such as Jefferson and Madison, as well as great thinkers such as Bastiat and Locke). One of things that impressed me most, was the astounding list of libertarian thinkers that endorsed his book: Rep. Ron Paul, and Thomas E. Woods, Jr. and Doug French of the Ludwig von Mises Institute being among them. Very impressive for a book written by and addressed to Latter-day Saints. And their high praise was not misplaced.

Weak Points: The author had some difficulty navigating the Church's vocal support for Prohibition in the '30s, but managed to come off fine anyway. Kudos to him for laying everything out there. What almost ruined things entirely for me, however, was the inclusion of Mark Skousen's Persuasion vs. Force pamphlet at the end of the book. This pamphlet had some great ideas, but it advocated legalizing (without condoning) abortion. You lost me there. Libertarians believe that the legitimate role of government is to protect individuals' rights to Life, Liberty, and Property. Legalizing abortion is neglect of the very central reason for government - to protect the right to Life. A consistent libertarian would reject legalizing abortion. If, according to Natural Law and the Rule of Law, I have no right to murder my neighbor because it makes my life more convenient, then neither do I have the legal right to end the life of a child for the same reason. Were it not for this regretful inclusion literally at the end of the book, I would have recommended the book highly.

Interesting: 4/5

Must Read: 3.9/5

Overall: 3.9/5

 
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