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Nock Collection

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Aristocrat. Anarchist. Genius. All of Nock's book together with a 15% discount.
Price: $122.00
Nock Collection
  • Freeman Book, The
  • Jefferson
  • Memoirs of a Superfluous Man
  • On Doing the Right Thing
  • Snoring as a Fine Art
  • State of the Union, The
  • Theory of Education in the United States
  • Our Enemy, the State
  • Myth of a Guilty Nation

Description  more details

If there were literary justice in this world, Albert Jay Nock (1870–1945) would be considered alongside the great men of letters of the twentieth century. His Memoirs of a Superfluous Man (1943) is a magnificent biographical achievement that leaves a permanent impression on readers. His Our Enemy, the State (1935) is a major contribution to political theory that remains the classic and essential delineation of society and state.

His biography Jefferson (1926) is regarded by scholars as among the finest ever written, providing special insight into the radical world of the eighteenth century. His hundreds of essays, collected in books such as On Doing the Right Thing (1928) and Snoring as a Fine Art (1958), sparkle with original style and wisdom.

Why is he not widely known? The answer can only be due to his political and economic thought, which was radically antistatist in a century when the state aspired to omnipotence and omniscience. Nock’s vision of the social order was blessedly free of such foolishness. He saw society as the product of exchange, cooperation, and the individual working his way through the great problem of scarcity, and while the results are not perfect, there is nothing the state can do to improve society; indeed, the state distorts and finally strangles every bit of civilization it touches.

In a society without the state, for example, the “court of tastes and manners” would be the thing that guides the operation of society, and this “court” would have a much larger role in society than law, legislation, or religion. If such a court were not in operation, because people are too uncivilized or too ill-educated to maintain it, there was nothing the state could do to uplift people. No matter how low a civilization is, it can only be made to go lower through state activity.

Unlike his former friends on the Left, Nock understood that there can be no freedom without economic freedom and that the state is the enemy of economic freedom: "In a spirit of sheer conscious fraud, the State will at any time offer its people four freedoms, or six, or any number; but it will never let them have economic freedom. If it did, it would be signing its own death warrant."

It is remarkable to think that a man with these views would be invited to give a series of high-prestige lectures on education at the University of Virginia. But that is what he did in 1932. His book The Theory of Education in the United States created a sensation by condemning the effects of government intervention on education. It has vastly increased the number of people enrolled in school, he said, but it has demolished the structure of education as it was once known. And truly, his presentation of the difference between true education and mere training is an eye opener for any modern American.

Nock was a passionate opponent of war, and, in fact, his first book was an attack on World War I. He saw it in the same way he saw economic intervention, as an attack on civilization itself, which has a hard enough time sustaining itself in absence of totalitarian control. He opposed the second world war for the same reason.

Nock was not optimistic about the prospects of liberty but he saw a way out for the individual. The answer is to surround yourself by great ideas and a community of people who share them, and work toward preservation of all that is good and great. “As a general principle, I should put it that a man’s country is where the things he loves are most respected. Circumstances may have prevented his ever setting foot there, but it remains his country.”

Nock fought against the state with the most powerful weapons he had, his mind and his pen. Pass the works of Nock on to a 20-year-old student and you stand a good chance of arming him against a lifetime of nonsense, whether it comes from the tedious Left that loves redistribution and collectivism or the fraudulent Right that is completely blind to the impossibility of reconciling war and nationalism with the true American spirit of freedom.

Buy all the fabulous and classic books by Albert Jay Nock and save money.

* Freeman Book, The - ($20.00 USD)

* Jefferson - ($22.00 USD)

* Memoirs of a Superfluous Man - ($25.00 USD)

* On Doing the Right Thing - ($10.00 USD)

* Snoring as a Fine Art, and Twelve Other Essays - ($18.00 USD)

* State of the Union, The - ($10.00 USD)

* Theory of Education in the United States, The - ($17.00 USD)

* Our Enemy, the State - ($13.00 USD)

* Myth of a Guilty Nation ($9.00 USD)

Purchased separately total = $ 144.00


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