The Myth of Natural Rights: The Portable L.A. Rollins
George H. Smith once described The Myth of Natural Rights as "a scathing, all-out attack." This was not hyperbole. First published in 1983 by Loompanics Unlimited, L.A. Rollins' incisive monograph sought not merely to dethrone the doctrine of natural law that had come to dominate libertarian discourse, but to upend the very foundations of moral philosophy. Describing himself as an "amoralist" and an "egoist of sorts," Rollins echoed Stirner alone in his insouciant refusal to genuflect before the pieties of intellectual fashion.
While few readers would embrace Rollins' intractable moral skepticism, his short book struck a powerful chord. As the text was discussed in marginal periodicals, it gathered an almost scandalous aura, eliciting both approbation and excoriation for its lacerating critique of natural rights theory--particularly as exposited by such libertarian luminaries as Murray Rothbard, Tibor Machan and Ayn Rand.
In 1985, The Myth of Natural Rights would become a central exhibit in a spirited debate that spanned several issues of Samuel Edward Konkin III's New Libertarian magazine. The forum included contributions by Robert LeFevre, Murray Rothbard, Sidney E. Parker and Robert Anton Wilson, along with a reply by L.A. Rollins himself. Although Rollins' engagement with the libertarian cognoscenti would soon come to an end, the dam had broken.
This definitive reissue features a new publishers preface and has been supplemented to include all of the relevant essays that originally appeared in New Libertarian, along with extant commentaries and rejoinders by L.A. Rollins.
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