Peter Mentzel

Peter Mentzel is a historian and a Liberty Fund Senior Fellow.

Happy Birthday Lysander Spooner!

Everyone interested in individual freedom, should take a moment on Sunday, January 19th, to remember the birth of entrepreneur, lawyer, abolitionist, and scholar Lysander Spooner, born in 1808 in Athol, MA. In his prodigious corpus of work, Spooner emerges as an uncompromising champion of individual freedom, which he grounds in a robust understanding of Natural Law, what he came to call the "Science of Justice." His strong belief in the liberty of the individual manifested itself in a number of ways. Spooner operated a highly successful private postal service (soon shut down by the Federal Government). He developed a startlingly original…

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The Weight of Totalitarian Ideology


Twenty years have passed since the downfall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its satellites in Eastern and Central Europe.  Most of those countries are now members of the European Union and NATO, and the half century of “Really Existing Socialism” has already been relegated by the region’s young people to the realm of ancient history, the subject of memorials, museums, and school curricula, but of little apparent relevance to their own lives.  Anne Applebaum’s book is an important, if not crucial, reminder of just how devastating those years were.  The history she recounts, though filled with appalling…

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