The Voluntary Life: 270 Harry Browne's Article "A Gift for My Daughter"

21 November 2016

270 Harry Browne's Article "A Gift for My Daughter"

This week’s episode discusses a very thought-provoking article by the late Harry Browne, called  “A Gift for My Daughter”. It includes a recording of Harry reading his own words.

Harry’s ideas had a huge influence on me, but I don’t agree with him about everything. This article is particularly interesting because it explains an important truth, and yet I think it also demonstrates one of Harry’s most significant blindspots.

Show Notes:

Listen to Episode 270


  1. Really thoughtful as always!

    I agree with you that parents do have an obligation to their children. With that said as a parent myself personally I don't feel this difficulty. Freely and by my own will I put a high priority on my child's interests and wouldn't want to do something that makes my child unhappy. So there's no inconsistency here.

    In some sense I do feel that the ideal is enlightened selfishness. A situation where the things individuals freely want to do by their own choice is to be kind and caring to those around them. Just as as children we need parents to control our actions and then we grow up and are given freedom, perhaps today we still need some government limitations to keep basic law and order, but ideally we will as a species at some point grow up and be mature enough to not need a parent or government to force us to behave in a decent way.

  2. I quite like that bit at the end where you mentioned that you'd tell a child that they don't owe anything to their country of birth, their government and society and so on. That people are born morally free and without obligations. Can you recommend any further reading on this idea?

    1. I'll have a think about good reading recommendations and maybe do an episode on that in future!


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