Martin van Staden

Libertarian Jurisprudence & Free Market Economics



The Real Digital Divide
Igniting Liberty
The Constitution and the Rule of Law
Framework of Constitutionalism

The Real Digital Divide


South Africa has had a tumultuous history since apartheid central planning ended in 1994. Unemployment has skyrocketed and economic growth has recently come to a virtual standstill. However, one of South Africa’s few success stories has been its ICT industry, which is widely regarded as being of first world quality, with 98% mobile coverage and the recent speedy rollout of fibre. The South African government, however, with its new telecommunications policy, stands to reverse this progress, by seeking to re-introduce a monopoly into the sector and placing burdensome obligations on an industry which has only now begun to see a healthy proliferation of small and emerging service providers.

In The Real Digital Divide: South Africa’s Information and Communication Technologies Policy, the authors tell of the success of the ICT industry and how government regulations should not act as a barrier to what has become the most viable vehicle for socio-economic transformation in South Africa.

The Free Market Foundation is an independent public benefit organisation founded in 1975 to promote and foster an open society, the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic and press freedom as fundamental components of its advocacy of human rights and democracy based on classical liberal principles. It is financed by membership subscriptions, donations and sponsorships.



Despite South Africa’s troubled history and turbulent present, higher education in this country has been of a quality and standard which the rest of Africa could only hope to achieve within this century. International experts and intellectual pioneers have walked and currently walk the halls of South Africa’s universities, but with the radicalisation of campuses under the #FeesMustFall banner, this success story stands to be undone.

Fallism: One Year of Rational Commentary is an edited compilation of articles and essays written by contributors to the Rational Standard since more or less the time when the #RhodesMustFall movement sprung to life, through to the end of 2016, when #FeesMustFall managed to shut down most of South Africa’s premiere universities before the fourth quarter had truly begun. While it represents a diversity of views, the common thread throughout the text is an opposition to irrationality and the politicisation of higher education.

The Rational Standard published Fallism. African Students For Liberty generously funded the book.

Igniting Liberty

Igniting Liberty: Voices for Freedom Around the World was published by Champion Books, a publisher owned by Being Libertarian LLC, in February 2019. It is a compilation of exclusive essays from international writers on various timely libertarian topics. Larry Sharpe, the 2018 New York gubernatorial candidate for New York, wrote the foreword.

Martin was an editor, along with Adam Barsouk, and a contributor to the book, having authored two essays:

  • “The Rule of Law As Applied Libertarian Jurisprudence”
  • “The Politics of Race and Property in South Africa”

In the first essay, Martin makes an argument for why libertarians should adopt the doctrine of the Rule of Law as a distinctively-libertarian method of limiting the power of government. In the second essay, Martin explores the history of property acquisition and ownership in South Africa as well as the contemporary narrative around it, and recommends that a strict application of private property theory would go a long way to solving the problems associated with land ownership.

The Constitution and the Rule of Law

In his first law book meant for a general readership, Martin explains what ‘the Rule of Law’ is all about and how it may (and should) find expression in South Africa by operation of section 1(c) of the Constitution of South Africa. This section provides that South Africa is founded on the supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction also explores how a strict application of the Rule of Law doctrine could solve some of South Africa’s most pressing problems. The Rule of Law and its implications for South Africa’s ailing education system, the scourge of corruption, and the State’s affirmative action policies are only some of the topics Martin addresses.

The foreword to the book was written by the former Judge of the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa and author of Panic for Democracy and One Miracle is Not Enough, Rex van Schalkwyk.

“The work is also a salutary warning to aspirant law-makers,
and those who would assist in repairing a system, broken but not yet destroyed.”

– Rex van Schalkwyk, Foreword

The book was published by the Free Market Foundation in February 2019.

Framework of Constitutionalism (upcoming)