Tibor R. Machan

Biography: 

Tibor R. Machan was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a professor emeritus of philosophy at Auburn University and holds the R. C. Hoiles Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University.

He lectures regularly on political philosophy and business ethics in Europe, Latin America, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States.

Machan is the author and editor of several books, including Liberty and Culture: Essays on the Idea of a Free Society (1989) and Revisiting Marxism: A Bourgeois Reassessment (2006). His most recent books are The Normative Defense of Free Market Capitalism: Did the Free Market Cause the Financial Fiasco? (Addelton Academic Publishers, 2011) and Why Everyone Else Is Wrong (Springer, 2011).

He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals, including American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy of Science, International Journal of Social Economics, and others.

He has written columns for several national newspapers including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He was a regular columnist, beginning in 1966, for the Orange County Register. His essays have appeared in various publications including National Review, Policy Review, Free Inquiry, American Scholar, World and I, and Reason Magazine, which Machan cofounded.

Machan is on the advisory boards for several foundations and think tanks and has also served on the founding board of the Jacob J. Javits Graduate Fellowship Program of the US Department of Education.

Machan was a guest on Firing Line and numerous other interview programs. He cohosted, with the late Sidney Hook, the television program For the Love of Work, on the ideas of Karl Marx. He was featured on C-Span 2's three-hour In Depth book program on May 1, 2011.

In 1999, Machan was appointed editor for the Hoover Institution Press series Philosophical Reflections on the Free Society, which has published all ten volumes that were planned.

Machan was the 2003 president of the American Society for Value Inquiry.

Machan earned BA (Claremont McKenna College), MA (New York University), and PhD (University of California at Santa Barbara) degrees in philosophy.

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Recent Commentary

When Business Don't Get No Respect

by Tibor R. Machanvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, October 30, 1997

Now that communism has fallen, why hasn't Eastern Europe embraced capitalism more wholeheartedly? Hoover fellow Tibor R. Machan explains.

Why Freedom Must Be First

by Tibor R. Machanvia Analysis
Tuesday, October 14, 1997

Despite repeated criticisms, the political ideal of individual rights--to life, liberty, and property--is very relevant in our time. Although officially affirmed only a couple of centuries ago, the idea has ancient roots and continues to deserve support. It is morally sound and makes possible the most peaceful and prosperous community life for human beings anywhere.

Yet the view that government ought first and foremost protect our right to freedom is under constant attack, belittlement, and ridicule among many intellectuals, politicians, and the even members of the general population. Despite the miserable failure of collectivist alternatives, many still cling to the vain hope that some version of collectivism--communitarianism, market socialism, economic democracy, and so on--will solve all our problems.

This essay argues against this misplaced hope and suggests that it is more promising for us to work out the implications of the individualist alternative than to stick to utopian collectivist dreams. Indeed, this is borne out by the fact that many who attack individualism seem to need to distort it first to make their attack carry some measure of plausibility. But such a tactic is duplicitous and should be resisted.

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