In a new addition to the Mises Institute’s online media library today, part of The Libertarian Tradition podcast series, Jeff Riggenbach discusses libertarian science fiction.

Riggenbach discusses the role of science fiction in keeping individualism alive, the phenomenon of all the best known libertarian novels being science fiction novels, Eric S. Raymond’s “A Political History of SF” in which Raymond argues that science fiction has a natural affinity with libertarianism, and the importance of dramatizing our values (pdf).

Reviewed in some detail are A.E. van Vogt’s novel The Weapon Shops of Isher and Eric Frank Russell’s novel The Great Explosion.


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About the Author

Jeff Riggenbach

Jeff Riggenbach is a journalist, author, editor, broadcaster, and educator. A member of the Organization of American Historians and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, he has written for such newspapers as the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle; such magazines as Reason, Inquiry, and Liberty; and such websites as,, and Drawing on vocal skills he honed in classical and all-news radio in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston, Riggenbach has also narrated the audiobook versions of numerous libertarian works.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Konrad Graf February 2, 2011 @ 2:30 am | Link

    This is a great podcast. It fleshes out, with help from “The Political History of SF,” why there might be an inherent synergy between authoritarianism and science-hatred on the one hand and libertarianism and embrace of change agents such as science (and science fiction) on the other. The Great Explosion is also presented as a particularly worthy but neglected classic in need of rescue from obscurity.

  • Stephan Kinsella February 1, 2012 @ 10:18 am | Link

    hmm, I don’t see it on the Mises Media podcast feed. I wonder if they put it on some other feed…

    • Geoffrey Allan Plauché February 1, 2012 @ 10:27 am | Link

      I don’t know. It’s been a while since I posted these Libertarian Tradition podcasts. The links work! That’s enough for me.


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