Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Book of the Month: Uncivil Liberties

Uncivil Liberties: Deconstructing Libertarianism, edited by Georgia Kelly and with a Foreword from Hazel Henderson (founder of Ethical Markets Media), is Cosimo's Book of the Month for May. Uncivil Liberties is an expansion on a pamphlet released in 2012 from Praxis Peace Institute responding to the film Thrive. Contributors* from Praxis expound on the arguments made in the pamphlet, which carefully and concisely laid out the problems inherent in libertarian philosophy and why it is so appealing to today's society. Uncivil Liberties is essential reading for those invested in modern politics, and they will find that the book makes a compelling case against the tenants of libertarianism. By demonstrating the untruths promoted within libertarian culture, they outline how concerned citizens can avoid and refute common myths spread by extreme right-wing ideologies.

Hazel Henderson writes in the Foreword, "The authors of Uncivil Liberties de-mystify the social and cultural myths and religious beliefs that underpin the still prevailing economic fundamentalism that drove corporate executives, Wall Street traders, central bankers, and compliant politicians into denial... This book and the deeply insightful perspectives of its co-authors help us understand how all these travesties could have happened and why they are still occurring... I hope Uncivil Liberties reaches the widest possible audience... The world's people await our culture's maturation from adolescence to more responsible global citizenship--beyond individual human rights to our universal human responsibilities as in the Earth Charter--matching our new challenges in this Solar Age of the Anthropocene."

Uncivil Liberties is available from most online bookstoresPraxis Peace Institute is a non-profit peace education organization based in Sonoma, California, dedicated to deep inquiry, creative problem solving, and informed civic participation. Since its founding in 2001, Praxis Peace Institute programs have addressed the most relevant social challenges of our time, from communication and conflict transformation, to politics and propaganda, to the economy.

*Ben Boyce, Nick Colby, Gus diZerega, Julianne Maurseth, and Barry Spector


  1. This book is intended as an intellectual antidote to the superficial appeal of the libertarian ideology to young people, who are attracted by the veneer of tolerance for recreational drugs and life-style diversity. What this book reveals is the bottom half of that ideological iceberg and its roots in right-wing political theory. The book lays out what the actual dire social and economic consequences of enacting this doctrine in the real world would be. We do not want to live in that kind of society, devoid of a compassionate social contract and leading inevitably to a feudal distribution of income and a huge decline in the standard of living for working class and middle-class citizens.

  2. A comment from my colleague Philip Beard:
    "This book offers trenchant insights into the Trojan-horse persona of the "Thrive" film and into libertarianisms sanctimonious, dangerous overall mindset. Congratulations to Georgia Kelly and her team for garnering Cosimo's monthly shout-out. An honor richly deserved!"