The Forgotten Man and Other Essays
'The Forgotten Man and Other Essays' Summary
"The Forgotten Man and Other Essays" is a thought-provoking and influential book by the renowned American social scientist, historian, and educator, William Graham Sumner. The book is a collection of essays that touch on various topics such as economics, politics, and social issues.
One of the most famous essays in the book, and the one from which the title of the book was derived, is "The Forgotten Man." In this essay, Sumner defines the forgotten man as the individual who is forced to bear the cost of government policies and programs that benefit some at the expense of others. Sumner argues that the forgotten man is often left out of the discussion when it comes to government policies, even though they bear the unintended consequences of such policies.
Throughout the book, Sumner advocates for individualism, free-market capitalism, and limited government. He believes that government intervention in the economy is often detrimental to economic growth and individual liberty. He argues that the role of the government should be limited to maintaining law and order, protecting property rights, and providing a basic safety net for those who are truly in need.
In addition to "The Forgotten Man," the book contains other essays that are just as relevant today as they were when Sumner wrote them. For example, in "The Conquest of the United States by Spain," Sumner warns against the dangers of empire building and argues that the United States should not get involved in overseas conflicts that do not directly threaten its national security.
In "The Absurd Effort to Make the World Over," Sumner critiques the idea that the government can solve all of society's problems through legislation and regulation. He argues that human nature cannot be changed through government intervention and that individuals must take responsibility for their own lives and the consequences of their actions.
"The Forgotten Man and Other Essays" is a classic of American political philosophy and continues to be widely read and studied today. Its relevance to contemporary debates about the role of government in society, the nature of individual rights and responsibilities, and the importance of free markets and economic freedom, make it a must-read for anyone interested in political philosophy and the history of ideas. Sumner's clear and lucid writing style, coupled with his commitment to individual liberty and limited government, make this book a timeless classic.
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