The nature and use of power by some over others in human affairs has been analyzed and debated for millennia. Yet, confusion, discord, and conflict remain commonplace in international and domestic affairs. What is power, and what are its effects regarding individual liberty, war and peace, the rule of law, and economic and social welfare?
Unfortunately, serious contemporary discussion of such seminal matters is too often uninformed and politicized. Most scholars and policy analysts seldom venture beyond their own fields of specialization. Too many journalists primarily focus on the minutiae and shallowness of day-by-day politics. And popular culture is largely dominated by a blind nationalism, the trendy cult of celebrity, and a profound ignorance of history, economics, and philosophy.
Sponsored by The Independent Institute, OnPower.org is hence an Internet project deliberately aimed at redressing this void. As such, the site is one continually updated as new and important examinations of power become known, and classic works once again become available.
Organized by David J. Theroux, this site is the work of many people, but we especially wish to thank Ivan Eland, Alvaro Vargas Llosa, J. Victor Marshall, and Sheldon Richman for their insightful work in authoring material for OnPower.org and for assembling important references. Robert Higgs, Carl Close, and Alexander Tabarrok have provided incisive comments in our refining the sites focus and content. And, we are most grateful to Paul J. Theroux for his superb help in designing, implementing and maintaining the site. But most of all, we are particularly indebted for the many pathbreaking contributions by scholars, writers, and thinkers over many generations who have probed these profound issues.