Let’s face it, novels celebrating the free market and individual rights are pretty hard to come by. Most everything in the fiction section of your local bookstore is some paean to collectivism, or diatribe against the evils of capitalism and the “soul killing” nature of consumerism.
But you don’t believe that stuff.
You know capitalism, mixed with a political system that protects individual rights, has been the single greatest force for good on the planet, lifting billions out of crushing poverty. You don’t want to read all that bilge about how you’re a bad, bad person for supporting it.
So what is a wayward libertarian to do? Especially when so much of your money is stolen by the government each year that you have very little left over to buy books?
Why, turn to the free stuff on the Internet of course!
Luckily I’ve taken the time to compile a list of the 5 best libertarian novels (in no particular order) that also happen to be free. Gratis. Sin dinero. The low, low cost of nothing. Just for you.
I’ve even included links to where you can download them.
I know, right?
1. Alongside Night by J. Neil Schulman
This prophetic 1979 novel tells of a collapsing United States, plagued by hyperinflation and a weak economy, and of the professor whose offbeat ideas of parallel markets may help save it. It’s a classic, with endorsements from Milton Friedman, Ron Paul and others. It has been single-handedly credited with starting the Agorist movement, and is currently being turned into a movie starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda).
The fact that it was recently released by J. Neil Schulman as a free PDF online means you should Internet-run, not Internet-walk to Schulman’s website to join the 300,000 other people who have downloaded it so far.
2. Withur We by Matthew Alexander
Matthew Alexander’s debut novel is a rollicking, thought-provoking, inspiring, terrifying sci-fi romp through the colonized worlds of human space. It follows a young ex-marine from the planet Aldra as he returns home to find his world falling under the sway of the despotic Realist party.
What follows is revolution, setbacks, perseverance, and the type of thoughtful science fiction, especially as regards the nature of government, and even the ambiguous value of idealism, that you won’t find in most mainstream novels.
3. Time Will Run Back by Henry Hazlitt
Another classic in the liberty canon, and written by the same author as the quintessential non-fiction, free market primer, Economics in One Lesson.
Hazlitt artfully dramatizes the rediscovery of capitalism by a near future, tyrannical dictatorship. With a dedication to his mentor Ludwig Von Mises, and recently made free to download by the Mises Institute, this is one that you certainly won’t want to miss.
4. And Then There Were None by Eric Frank Russel
And Then There Were None is almost more novella than novel, clocking in at only 40-some pages. It tells the story of a military vessel from the very hierarchical Terran Empire as it arrives to the peaceful human colony of the Gands.
The Terrans want to bring the Gands into their empire, but find themselves frustrated by the free market anarchy on the Gands’ planet, where individual sovereignty is so central that they have coined the term “myob” for “mind your own business.”
5. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men by Paul A. Rosenberg
This hacker-cum-anarchocapitalist novel has been celebrated as an underground bible for how to use the Internet to create a freer society.
The second Agorist piece on this list, Lodging follows several men as they strive to build a freer society using a computer game. By creating a private market, free from taxation, they hope to allow creators and producers to unchain their creative energies and thrive. When the government gets a whiff of this scheme the race is on between the protagonists and the FBI agents tasked with bringing them in for treason.
There you go, 5 totally free, totally excellent libertarian novels.
What’s that you say? That’s not enough, you say?
Here’s a bonus libertarian short story about circumventing food prohibition laws:
…you greedy cads.
Interested in EVEN MORE libertarian novels (even if they’re not free)? Check out AGL’s Libertarian Book List for tons of great fiction.
Update: Commenters here and over at Reddit have suggested a couple additions: