About the Book
Liberty and Liberalism is a big book dedicated to the defence of classical liberalism in both politics and economics. It was written at a time when liberalism was under pressure to abandon the philosophy of free market in favour of a much greater role for government in the economy. Bruce Smith wrote this erudite volume because he feared that liberalism was being perverted by the ‘new’ liberals who believed in expanding state activity. A businessman and politician with practical experience in the industrial sphere, Smith sought to defend individual freedom and the voluntary principle, and to limit the role of the state. In an age when the power of the state still threatens individual initiative, Smith’s ideas have relevance for all those who favour individual liberty as against the growing power of the State.
About the Author
Bruce Smith was one of the outstanding intellectuals of Australian history who grew up in Melbourne but spent most of his adult life in Sydney. The disinherited son of the shipping magnate, Howard Smith, and a founder of both the New South Wales and Victorian Employers’ Unions, he was a representative of the Free Trade movement for the seats of Gundagai and Glebe in the New South Wales parliament between 1882 and 1894. He won the seat of Parkes in the Federal parliament in 1901 and held it until 1919. Smith wrote Liberty and Liberalism when he was 36 years old. For such a young author, it was a remarkably erudite work, revealing a familiarity with the major classical, English, French and American liberal and conservative political philosophers and political economists.