Civil Society, the Third Sector and Emergent Order

Cornuelle, Richard. The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought, Critical Review, 6:1, Winter, 1992. 1-10.

Cornuelle argues that libertarian theory has done a good job making the case for a market order rather than central planning or extensive intervention. In many ways it has won this battle both intellectually and politically. But the general lack of a compelling vision of community or freedom in the workplace hinders its capacity to challenge government social legislation. Nevertheless the extent of voluntary nonmarket social processes is enormous, and needs theoretical attention.

Cornuelle, Richard. Reclaiming the American Dream: The Role of Private Uindividuals and Voluntary Associations, New York, 1965. 199 pp.

A seminal description of the “independent sector” which is neither government nor economic in the usual senses of those terms. Cornuelle argues that this sector is capable of performing most public functions better than either government or profit-oriented enterprises. A pioneering study of this issue.

diZerega, Gus. Part III: A Theory of Contractual Federalism, of Persuasion, Power and Polity: A Theory of Democratic Self-Organization, Hampton Press, 2000. pp. 249-357

DiZerega argues that the institutional framework of coercive democratic bodies tends to undermine democratic values. Adapting property rights theory to the analysis of democratic and public values, he argues that decentralized citizens’ cooperatives rooted that now are allocated to traditional democratic polities.

Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America, vol. I., New York: Schocken Books, 1961.

Volume one of Democracy in America contains several descriptions of Tocqueville’s finding order where initially chaos and confusion abound in a political and social system without over arching control, as “The appearance of disorder which prevails on the surface, leads him [a European visitor] at first to imagine society is in a state of anarchy; nor does he perceive his mistake until he has gone deeper into the subject.” (p. 89) It also teems with descriptions of how voluntary cooperation, and not just in economics, creates more than attempts to order and control human affairs.

Titles not yet annotated:

Bates, Robert H. Prosperity and Violence: The Political economy of Development, New York: W. W. Norton, 2001. 128 pp.

Cornuelle, Richard. Healing America. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1983.

Hayek, F. A.

Marty, Martin E. Association over Community, The One and the Many: America’s Struggle for the Common Good, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Oakshott, Michael.

Smith, David Horton. Grassroots Association.


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