Sociology inspired by classical liberalism isn’t as far fetched as the profession’s current leftward tilt might suggest. In addition to developing the social insights of Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner, and F. A. Hayek, a classical liberal sociology might take up such topics as the differences between cooperation and coercion; the interrelations between commerce and community; the role of privilege, prestige, status, and power in “rent seeking”; and the social mechanisms that foster and reinforce statism.

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