Articles

Excerpts from past issues of The Voluntaryist

Against Woman Suffrage

Lysander Spooner   Benjamin Tucker (editor), Liberty (Boston: Vol. I, No. 22. June 10, 1882, p. 4). Reprinted in “Radical Periodicals in the United States,” Second Series 1881-1961 by Greenwood Reprint Corporation, Westport, Connecticut (1970). This article originally appeared February 24, 1877, in “New Age, J.M.L. Babcock’s journal.” Women are human beings, and consequently have …

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Ethics of Voting, Part I

 by George H. Smith 1.Introduction A detailed libertarian critique of electoral voting is long overdue. Political libertarians (i.e., those who support the effort to elect libertarians to political office) are usually silent on the moral implications of electoral voting. When challenged, they typically dismiss moral objections out of hand, as if the voluntaryist (i.e., anti-voting) …

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Neither Ballots Nor Bullets

by Wendy McElroy Number 1     The Voluntaryist seeks to reclaim the anti-political heritage of libertarianism. It seeks to reestablish the clear, clean difference between the economic and the political means of changing society. This difference was well perceived by the forerunners of contemporary libertarianism who tore the veil of legitimacy away from government …

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Ethics of Voting Part III

 by George H. Smith  7. Recapitulation In Part Two of this article I sketched a theory of institutional analysis whereby individuals, filling institutional roles, contribute unintentionally to the goals of an association (i.e., a designed institution). Institutional analysis does not violate the principles of methodological individualism. On the contrary, anarchist theory relies on institutional analysis …

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The Ethics of Voting – Part II

by George H. Smith 3. Institutional Analysis I have argued that institutional analysis is essential not only to the voluntaryist critique of electoral voting, but to anarchist theory generally. Anarchism combines the nonaggression principle with an institutional view of the State, resulting in the principled rejection of the State on libertarian grounds. For the concept …

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To Thine Own Self Be True

The Story of Raymond Cyrus Hoiles and his Freedom Newspapers by Carl Watner From Volume 3 Number 18 – May 1986 In 1964, an article appearing in The New York Times newspaper described Raymond Cyrus (R.C.) Hoiles as “slight of build, hawk-nosed toothy, bespectacled, with a fringe of still dark hair around his other-wise bald …

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Copywrongs

by Samuel Edward Konklin III From Volume 3 Number 20 – July 1986 Having done every step of production in the publishing industry, both for myself and others, I have one irrefutable empirical conclusion about the economic effect of copyrights on prices and wages: nada. Zero. Nihil. So negligible you’d need a geiger counter to …

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What Is Our Plan?

At a recent one day seminar at Freedom Country, the question was asked: “What can a person do to make this world a better place?” Mo single answer was articulated, but two different conceptual approaches were apparent. The responses of the participants could be categorized according to whether or not they believed a. a better …

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Make Money, Not War!

by Lorne Strider From Number 32 – June 1988 I have argued that business people, those who create and produce wealth, are acting morally, and that people who pretend to act in the public interest, i.e., government people, are the bad guys whose actions not only create no wealth, but actually destroy wealth that others …

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Freedom Works Both Ways

by Dean Russell From Number 38 – June 1989 Everybody says he’s in favor of freedom. Even the Soviet leaders claim to be fighting for freedom. So did Hitler. Our own leaders are also for freedom. So was my slave-owning grandfather. But my grandfather failed to understand the fact that freedom is a mutual relationship; …

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Freer is Safer

by John Semmens From Number 42 – February 1990 One of the most common delusions of our age is that government is enforcing regulations that will actually help improve safety. In the wave of deregulation that hit the economy in the last decade, many obsevers have found comfort in the knowledge that safety was not …

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Some FREE LIFE Sayings

by Auberon Herbert From Number 45 – August 1990 [The Free Life was an English journal edited by Auberon Herbert from the late 1880’s till the early 1900’s. This excerpt is from the issue of May, 1893.] Free Life has scanty reverence for Crowns, Governments, official departments, Members of Parliament, County councillors, Party caucuses, or …

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Personal Anarchy

by Michael Ziesing From Number 51 – August 1991 Tell people you’re an anarchist and you’ll probably get a reaction. Maybe they’ll back away and/or run in sheer terror. (You may have a bomb and know how to use it, after all!) Or maybe they’ll spit in your eye and/or try to lock you up. …

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Chaos In The Air: Voluntaryism or Statism in the Early Radio Industry?

by Carl Watner From Number 51 – August 1991 Historical Overview In the history of technology in the 20th Century, one of the most rapidly developed and marketed scientific advances was the radio, or the wireless, as it was originally called. Invented by Guglielmo Marconi in the late 1890s, the commercial value of wireless telegraphy …

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Persuasion versus Force

by Mark Skousen From Number 54 – February 1992 This essay originally from the September, 1991, issue of Liberty magazine. See Editor’s note below. Sometimes a single book or even a short cogent essay can change an individual’s entire outlook on life. For Christians, it is the New Testament. For radical socialists, Karl Marx’ and …

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Drawing The Line

by Blair Adams From Number 59 – December 1992 (from Who Owns the Children? (1991) p. 292) It certainly appears, on the surface and in the short run, easier to come to some sort of compromise with the State and allow it to have some say in the education of our children. Yet such a …

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Philosophy of Immunization

by Mark Moyers, D.C From Number 59 – December 1992 By the time that the year 1984 came and went, the powers that be had convinced the “masses” that George Orwell’s prediction of “Big Brother” had been nothing but fantasy. Orwell had said that the State would control people by controlling their thoughts-by way of …

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Flint and Steel: The Memoirs of a Superfluous Spark

by Kevin Cullinane From Number 59 – December 1992 The other day I received an intellectual newsletter, of the small “l” (i.e. traditional) libertarian persuasion, in which the publisher invited subscribers to submit occasional columns. The invitation pushed my vanity button; I began to daydream: “Yes they say that this year’s Nobel selection was first …

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In All But Name

by Carl Watner The International Society for Individual Liberty (1800 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102) published a three-fold brochure entitled: “Red Alert: The Rising American Police State.” The author, Jarret Wollstein, argued that “a tidal wave of authoritarian legislation has been battering America.” While I highly recommend this article to readers of THE VOLUNTARYIST, …

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Early Government Legislation in the United States

The Constitution, Direct Taxation, and Seamen by David McKells From Number 71 – December 1994 Editor’s Note: The following excerpts are taken from pages 232-234 of Chapter XVIII, “The Insurance of Seamen Against Illness,” appearing in Henry W. Farnam, CHAPTERS IN THE HISTORY OF SOCIAL LEGISLATION IN THE UNITED STATES TO 1860 (Washington: Carnegie Institution …

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On States of Mind

by David McKells From Number 71 – December 1994 Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the Spring 1991 issue of SMALL FARMER’S JOURNAL (Box 1627, Sisters, OR 97759), a publication which advocates horse-powered, family farming. Although the topics of voluntaryism and the survival of small farming may seem miles apart, in fact, there …

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Quotes

From Number 71 – December 1994 “Again and again in history, we can trace the workings of the law that one who has appealed to force must use force to the bitter end, and one who has established a reign of terror must intensify terror to frightfulness.” Stefan Zweig THE RIGHT TO HERESY, 1951, p. …

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“We Never called Him “Andy” My Recollections of the Person and Philosophy of the Earlier Joseph A. Galambos Alias Andrew Joseph Galambos— The Liberal”

  by Charles R. Estes From Issue 78 – February, 1996 My first meeting with Joe Galambos hinted at, but did not foretell, the influence he would later have on me and on the libertarian movement. Galambos sought me out at a meeting held in Los Angeles as part of the early promotion of Barry …

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The Defacto Bill of Rights

Number 79 – April 1996 The Radical Individualist Jeffrey Deboo, Editor/Publisher 1442-A Walnut Street #64 Berkeley, California 94709 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, except to mandate explicit reference to the Christian God on the currency; or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, aside from oddball cults – whom the Attorney General …

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“Beyond the Wit of Man to Foresee”: Voluntaryism and Land Use Controls

by Carl Watner Number 80 – June 1996   Introduction The impetus for the research behind this article was a Spartanburg, S.C. HERALD-JOURNAL editorial of June 25, 1995 (p. A15) headlined “Zoning isn’t a loss of rights: zoning is a protection rather than an elimination of property rights.” In “double-think” language right out of 1984, …

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In Search of a Word : Limited Government versus ‘Anarchy’

by Spencer H. MacCallum Number 82 – Oct 1996 Bumper Hornberger, once remarked in a letter to me that in early life he had called himself an “anarchist” but that now he endorsed the concept of “limited government.” He indicated he’d had many discussions leading to his change of mind, discussions that had pretty thoroughly …

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Pursuing Justice in a Free Society : Part I The Power Principle

  by Randy E. Barnett Number 82 – Oct 1996 [Editor’s Note: Because of its length, the second part of this article will appear in the next issue. The following excerpts were taken from the author’s “Pursuing Justice in a Free Society: Part I, Power vs. Liberty,” 4 Criminal Justice Ethics, Summer/Fall 1985, pp. 50-72. …

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Pursuing Justice in a Free Society: Part II The Liberty Approach

  by Randy E. Barnett Number 83 – Oct 1996 [Editor’s Note: Excerpts from Part I of this article appeared in the prior issue of The Voluntaryist. The following excerpts were taken from the author’s “Pursuing Justice in a Free Society: Part II Crime Prevention and the Legal Order,” 5 Criminal Justice Ethics, Winter/Spring 1986, …

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Harry Browne — Have You Forgotten?: “The Lesser of Two Evils is Still Evil”

  by Carl Watner Number 85 – Apr 1997 Opening a recent Laissez Faire Book catalog, I found two diametrically opposed headlines on face-to-face book reviews: “Ridicules the mystique of government,” and “A libertarian manifesto for political action.” The first book surveyed was the revised, second edition of Sy Leon’s None of the Above, originally …

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Challenge or Tragedy : A Government Raid at Sublimity, Oregon

  by Carl Watner Number 94 – Oct 1998 Government protection (alleged) of property rights is one of those political myths which our government uses quite effectively to legitimize its conquest over us. In reality, governments can only negate property rights, not protect them. This is true for a number of reasons, both theoretical and …

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“The Illusion Is Liberty – The Reality Is Leviathan”: A Voluntaryist Perspective on the Bill of Rights

  by Carl Watner Number 101 – Dec 1999 Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia began their deliberations on May 25, 1787. During the hot summer months when their arguments seemed to extend interminably, Benjamin Franklin observed that life went on around them despite their debates. At one point, he “is said to have …

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Count Me Out!

 By Carl Watner   History detectives unite! What is the common element in these episodes in American history? On his march through Georgia, near the end of the Civil War, General William T. Sherman used a map annotated with county-by- county livestock and crop information “to help his troops ‘live off the land’;” During World …

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Just say “No!”

  by Carl Watner Number 111 – 4th Quarter 2001   Ronald Neff, the author of the following article, “I’m Spartacus,” sent me this article in October 2000. I apologize to him and my readers for delaying its publication. The subject of his article is the American citizen’s rejection of his or her Social Security …

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The Plunderers

by Michael Coughlin Number 112 – 1st Quarter 2002 The other day there was a news broadcast in which a couple women wondered aloud why politicians were doing nothing to help solve the “crisis” in medical care facing people in the United States, particularly older Americans. One was practically crying when she talked about the …

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Legislating Morality

 by Carl Watner Number 115 – 4th Quarter 2002   [Editor’s Note: I first read about Legistlating Morality an offering of the Conservative Book Club. After looking at the book I was intrigued by the authors’ defense of their thesis, which they summarized as: “(1) Legislating morality is literally unavoidable (morality is always legislated), and …

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History Assumed!

 By Carl Watner Number 115   Here is a history test. Can you find any error(s) of historical fact in the following paragraph taken from Chapter 17 of Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics (New York: Basic Books, 2000)? For centuries governments have set standards of measurement or prescribed certain measurements, such as the width of rails …

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A Monopoly on the Means of Identification: The Evolution of the Compulsory State Birth and Death Certificate

by Carl Watner Number 118   Introduction When the Constitution of the United States was finally adopted by the thirteen states of the Articles of Confederation, the new federal government had no power to collect direct personal income taxes from each citizen or to record their births and deaths except once every ten years (in …

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The Precursor of National Identification Cards in the U.S.: Drivers Licenses and Vehicle Registration in Historical Perspective

By Carl Watner Introduction: Why? Most of us living in the United States are accustomed to calling this country the most important bastion of the “free” world. If that is so, why is it that we now hear increased demands for national identification cards which would allow our government to number us like slaves and …

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“Your Papers, Please!” The Origin and Evolution of Official Identity in the United States

  By Carl Watner From Issue Number 121   The chief principle of a well-regulated police state is this: That each citizen shall be at all times and places … recognized as this or that particular person. No one must remain unknown to the police. This can be attained with certainty only in the following …

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My Route to Voluntaria

 By James L. Payne From Issue 122   [Editor’s Note: Political scientist James Payne has taught at Yale, Wesleyan, Johns Hopkins, and Texas A&M. He wrote his first book (published by Yale University Press) while an undergraduate at Oberlin College and now has over a dozen books and monographs to his credit.. Disappointed with the …

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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 …

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The Voluntaryist Spirit

 by Carl Watner From Issue 124 – 1st Quarter, 2005     [Author’s Introduction of February 2004: This hitherto unpublished essay was first written in June 1983, and then revised in August of that same year. It sat for two decades (receiving only limited private circulation) until it was read by Peter Ragnar of Avalon …

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The Culture of Force

by Carl Watner From Number 127 I recently had occasion to explain to a customer that very few people understand how the stealing commandment (“Thou shalt not steal”) applies to taxes. Since our “contributions” to government are not voluntary, that means they are coerced. If they are coerced, that means that taxes are a forcible …

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Without Firing A Single Shot: Voluntaryist Resistance and Societal Defense

by Carl Watner From Number 128 [Author’s Note: This is not the original version of this article that appeared in Issue 128. What appears here was published in Volume 20, Number 3 of THE JOURNAL OF LIBERTARIAN STUDIES (Summer 2006).] IN HIS BOOK REVIEW, “Security Without a State,” David Gordon concluded that “The notion that …

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If they [the South Carolina backcountry folk] had had their druthers, they would just like to have been left alone

  by Carl Watner From Issue 128 – 1st Quarter, 2006   At the conclusion of my article on voluntaryism and the American Revolution, I wrote that a consistent voluntaryist would have been inclined to take a position of strict neutrality with respect to both the American and British sides, and would have refused to …

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Remarks on the Graduation of William Watner, Homeschooler June 4, 2005:

by Carl Watner from Number 129   I’d like to begin my remarks this afternoon by giving a little historical perspective to homeschooling. I think we often forget that parent-directed education of children was the norm throughout most of American history. In the days before mass public schooling, a large percentage of this country’s children …

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Violence and the Lie:

By Alexander Solzhenitsyn From Number 129 We shall be told: what can literature possibly do against the ruthless onslaught of open violence? But let us not forget that violence does not live alone and is not capable of living alone: it is necessarily interwoven with THE LIE. Between them exists the most intimate, the deepest …

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The Unconquered Remnant: The Hopis and Voluntaryism

By Peter Spotswood Dillard From Number 129 What is the oldest voluntaryist society existing in the continental United States? The answer may surprise you. Perched atop three mighty mesas in northeastern Arizona, the Hopi Indians have developed a peaceful, nonviolent, and anarchistic society that has endured for at least a millennium. Archaeologists believe that the …

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