My Reaction to Voluntaria

By Charles Gutierrez
From Issue 122

Sometimes I am asked, “… but if we didn’t have government, who would provide defense and police services and the utilities and the roads…and early childhood education?” My questioners usually conclude, ” If everyone believed like you we’d have ANARCHY!” I usually answer by referring to some of Carl Watner’s articles in his anthology, I Must Speak Out. Carl’s book is filled with real life stories of how man in this world has provided for himself without the “charitable” help of coercive government; but it is long and takes careful reading. What is available for a child or for those grownups whose interest in liberty is still young and timid? Princess Navina Visits Voluntaryia is perfect. It is an entertaining and effective story that makes one wonder if a voluntary society without government is possible. My children sat enthralled as they listened to their daily chapter; and my wife and I were engrossed as well. It is easy and attractive reading.

Princess Navina, in her exploration of world cultures, discovers Voluntaria. She searches high and low for any traces of government, but all she finds is a people who mind their own affairs, who meet the common needs of life, including justice and utilities and public order, by creative free enterprise in a fertile free market. This little book has renewed my belief that a just society is possible, and is a lot easier than reading than Ayn Rand or Carl Watner. Is it as big or filled with educational details as these other books? No. Is it as inspiring as Atlas Shrugged? Yes, in its own simple way. Will this book garner a Caldecott Medal? Is it great literature by New York or Parisian or Cuban standards? Probably not: but it is great storytelling, and a delightful read for lovers of liberty. It is my new answer to those who say “If everyone believed like you we’d have ANARCHY!” I say, “No, if everyone believed like I do we’d have VOLUNTARIA!”

Princess Navina Visits Voluntaryia comes off as a “harmless” little book which could begin a beautiful revolution in the hearts of all, both young and old. I highly recommend it.

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