Neither Bullets Nor Ballots: Essays on Voluntaryism


The Voluntaryists are Libertarians who have organized to promote non-political strategies to achieve a free society. We reject electoral politics, in theory and in practice as incompatible with libertarian goals. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy. Voluntarists seek instead to delegitimize the state through education, and we advocate withdrawal of the cooperation and tacit consent on which state power ultimately depends.

Homeschooling A Hope for America


AudiobookAudiobookAudiobookHOMESCHOOLING A HOPE FOR AMERICA is a collection of articles taken from The Voluntaryist, a newsletter with a libertarian outlook which has been published since 1982. The anthology has been assembled by Carl Watner (from many of his past articles, as well as those of others), and contains an original Foreword by John Taylor Gatto. This anthology argues against government education in a unique way. One who advocates voluntaryism opposes government schools, not because he opposes schooling but, because he opposes coercion, which is to be found in government taxation, compulsory attendance laws, and in the monopolization of public services. Most of us would agree that there should not be any state religion; that religion should not be supported by taxation; and that people should not be compelled to attend religious services. Why shouldn’t the principles of voluntaryism in religion apply to education? All government depends on the cooperation and/or tacit consent of the majority of its citizens. When the state could no longer use government churches to legitimize its rule of the divine right of kings, some other institution had to be found that would induce consent among the masses. Government schools became the chosen instrument to produce good citizens for the state. Indoctrinate the young: then they will support the state for the rest of their lives. America is at a cross roads of cultural and economic disintegration, yet voluntaryists believe that there is hope. It is to be found in home schooling. Rather than cursing the darkness, parents can light one small candle of wisdom and learning and pass it along to the next generation. “Ages of experience testify that the only way society can be improved is by the individualist method; … that is, the method of each one doing his best to improve one.” This is the quiet or patient way of changing society because it concentrates upon bettering the character of men and women as individuals. As the individual units change, the improvement in society will take care of itself. In other words, if one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself.

Render Not: The Case Against Taxation

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Well-known voluntaryist Carl Watner has brought together a collection of essays questioning the very morality of taxation. In this volume you will find essays by Auberon Herbert, Robert Ringer, Lysander Spooner, Frank Chodorov, FA Harper, Vivian Kellems, Robert Higgs, James Payne, Harry Browne, and others, including Watner himself. This is a radical book, in the true meaning of the term. It goes right to the root of the matter in arguing that taxation is an assault on the property and rights of others and thus immoral.

Robert LeFevre: Truth is Not a Half-way Place



It is a measure of the breadth of Robert LeFevre’s influence and character that so many will remember him for so many different reasons. Teacher. Schoolmaster. Consultant. Businessman. Philosopher. Soldier. Religionist. Social Theorist. Debater. Author. Socratic Goad. Experimenter. Maddening Demander of Consistency. Searcher. Finder. Good Friend. Implacable Foe. All of that is detailed in this book.

My special reason for remembering him is civility. His. Not mine. Being given to temper and rash actions, I always felt that Bob was a great anchor to windward, reminding me that it is possible, indeed desirable, to keep a steady helm and an even keel even in the stormiest debate of contention.

Bob’s civility was majestic. It made him seem as a great rock around which angry waves could crash, but which they could never submerge or move.

Bob actually acted as though humans, being rational, would recognize thoughts that coincided with material reality, and then act accordingly. That belief, that informed thought will move an individual – an institution – a people – to action is one of the human race’s most enduring optimisms…

The Voluntaryist - 1982-1986: Reprint Volume 1, Whole Numbers 1 to 22


Published since 1982, THE VOLUNTARYIST newsletter has been one of the leading representatives of those who reject voting and the legitimacy of the State, and who believe that a non-violent and stateless society is both moral and practical. As their Statement of Purpose puts it:
Voluntaryists are advocates of non-political, non-violent strategies to achieve a free society. We reject electoral politics, in theory and in practice, as incompatible with libertarian principles. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy. Voluntaryists seek instead to delegitimize the State through education, and we advocate withdrawal of the cooperation and tacit consent on which State power ultimately depends.
This volume should serve as rich source material for anyone interested in a fringe aspect of the late 20th Century libertarian movement. This book is a complete reprint of the first twenty-two issues of the newsletter, and includes discussions of the ethics of voting, biographies of Auberon Herbert (1838-1906, a late 19th Century disciple of voluntaryism), (R.C. Hoiles (1878-1970, publisher of The Freedom Newspapers) and Robert LeFevre (1911-1986, founder of Freedom School), a review of the history of the American Revolutionary War from a voluntaryist perspective, book reviews of two books written by Gene Sharp, the world’s leading exponent of non-violence, and commentaries on Libertarian Party politics. In addition there are articles on the history of prison slavery, the origin of time zones, the anarchist response to World War I, the history of Freedom School, and discussions of copyright and abortion.

I Must Speak Out: The Best of The Voluntaryist 1982-1999


Voluntaryists are advocates of non-political strategies to achieve a free society. We reject electoral politics, in theory and in practice, as incompatible with libertarian principles. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy. Voluntaryists seek instead to delegitimize the State through education, and we advocate withdrawal of the cooperation and tacit consent on which State power ultimately depends. This volume is a collection of essays from The Voluntaryist newsletter between the years 1982-1999.

Most Dangerous Superstition

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When someone looks out at the world and sees all manner of suffering and injustice, stretching back for thousands of years and continuing today, he invariably blames such problems on someone else’s hatred, greed, or stupidity. Rarely will someone consider the possibility that his own belief system is the cause of the pain and suffering he sees around him. But in most cases, it is. The root cause of most of society’s ills-the main source of man’s inhumanity to man-is neither malice nor negligence, but a mere superstition-an unquestioned assumption which has been accepted on faith by nearly everyone, of all ages, races, religions, education and income levels. If people were to recognize that one belief for what it is-an utterly irrational, self-contradictory, and horribly destructive myth-most of the violence, oppression and injustice in the world would cease. But that will happen only when people dare to honestly and objectively re-examine their belief systems. “The Most Dangerous Superstition” exposes the myth for what it is, showing how nearly everyone, as a result of one particular unquestioned assumption, is directly contributing to violence and oppression without even realizing it. If you imagine yourself to be a compassionate, peace-loving, civilized human being, you must read this book.

The Iron Web

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(From the back cover of the book:)

“The Great American Experiment is faltering, when a new threat arises: a domestic terrorist group calling itself ‘The Iron Web,’ a group bent on ending America as we know it. A new President Elect eagerly awaits his inauguration and his chance to bring peace and security back to the country. A rookie federal officer finds himself face to face with the terrorists. And a young woman who knows little, and cares even less, about politics and national affairs is cast into the center of the conflict by a cruel twist of fate. A new and drastically changed America is coming. Some will not want to see it. Some will not live to see it.”

No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority

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Lysander Spooner’s discontentment with the Constitution of the United States led him to publish No Treason, which revises significant parts of that document to reduce the power of the state versus individuals.

The author was an anti-authoritarian philosopher and legal theorist who had spent his earlier life vigorously campaigning against slavery. Following the American Civil War however, he became horrified at the brutality and carnage that had been unleashed. Redoubling his criticisms, Spooner asserts his dismay that the U.S. government was rendered inert by its Constitution - slavery was only abolished after a long and bloody war, whereas had it been forbade at the outset, no such conflict would have arisen.

A strong proponent of natural law - the concept that all humans had rights endowed at the point of their birth - Spooner had a sense of revulsion at how American politics had ensued in the early-to-mid 19th century. It was thus that No Treason was written in the hope of moderating the Constitution to ensure that slavery and bloody recriminations for secession would never again occur.

In life, many of Spooner’s actions versus authority were successful; his abolitionism consisted of circulating pamphlets including those suggesting guerrilla warfare by slaves, and prefaced the Civil War. Later in life his challenge to the postal monopolies successfully resulted in such monopolies being regulated to the point where mailing became much cheaper for all. Furthermore he advanced a cogent theory of self-employment, believing it a way to laborers avoiding or reducing their exploitation by employers.

The Voluntaryist Creed; Being the Herbert Spencer Lecture Delivered at Oxford June 7, 1906; And a Plea for voluntarism


Leopold Classic Library is delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive collection. As part of our on-going commitment to delivering value to the reader, we have also provided you with a link to a website, where you may download a digital version of this work for free. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. Whilst the books in this collection have not been hand curated, an aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature. As a result of this book being first published many decades ago, it may have occasional imperfections. These imperfections may include poor picture quality, blurred or missing text. While some of these imperfections may have appeared in the original work, others may have resulted from the scanning process that has been applied. However, our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. While some publishers have applied optical character recognition (OCR), this approach has its own drawbacks, which include formatting errors, misspelt words, or the presence of inappropriate characters. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with an experience that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic book, and that the occasional imperfection that it might contain will not detract from the experience.

Right to Ignore the State

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“It is a mistake to assume that government must necessarily last forever.” The Right to Ignore the State is one of the most spirited attacks on statism ever written.

A Voluntary Political Government: Letters from Charles Lane

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This is a series of letters written by to William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator in 1843. Carl Watner’s extensive introduction puts the letters into historical perspective. The letters are a lively defense of individualist thought and offer insights into how the world can be changed from one that is rooted in violence to one that flourishes in freedom.

According to Wikipedia: Charles Lane (1800–1870) was an English-American transcendentalist, abolitionist and early voluntaryist. Along with Amos Bronson Alcott, he was one of the main founders of Fruitlands….Charles Lane was probably the most consistent voluntaryist of the abolitionist era. He was friendly with Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Thoreau. Between January and June 1843 a series of nine letters he penned were published in such abolitionist’s papers as The Liberator and The Herald of Freedom. The title under which they were published was “A Voluntary Political Government,” and in them Lane described the state in terms of institutionalized violence and referred to its “club law, its mere brigand right of a strong arm, [supported] by guns and bayonets.” He saw the coercive state on par with “forced” Christianity. “Everyone can see that the church is wrong when it comes to men with the [B]ible in one hand, and the sword in the other.” “Is it not equally diabolical for the state to do so?” Lane believed that governmental rule was only tolerated by public opinion because the fact was not yet recognized that all the true purposes of the state could be carried out on the voluntary principle, just as churches could be sustained voluntarily. Reliance on the voluntary principle could only come about through “kind, orderly, and moral means” that were consistent with the totally voluntary society he was advocating. “Let us have a voluntary State as well as a voluntary Church, and we may possibly then have some claim to the appeallation of free men.

The Lysander Spooner Reader

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Lawyer, abolitionist, radical; Spooner was one of the most fascinating figures in American history and a champion of individualism. This selection includes “Vices Are Not Crimes,” “Natural Law,” “Trial by Jury,” “No Treason, the Constitution of No Authority,” “Letter to Thomas Bayard,” and Benjamin Tucker’s eulogy.

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience: By Henry David Thoreau - Illustrated

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Discourse on Voluntary Servitude (Hackett Classics)

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Drawn from James B. Atkinson and David Sices’ Montaigne: Selected Essays, this annotated translation of Étienne de La Boétie’s political masterpiece offers an ideal opportunity to become acquainted with the thought of a brilliant though short-lived sixteenth-century French thinker known for “his mortal and sworn hatred for all vice,” as his friend Michel de Montaigne put it, “but particularly for that sordid traffic concocted under the honorable title of justice.” Atkinson’s Introduction fleshes out a portrait of the life and work of this Renaissance poet, scholar, and magistrate whose insistence on viewing customary practices with a cold eye made him a beacon of conscience not only for Montaigne but for such later readers of him as Emerson, Thoreau, Tolstoy, and Gandhi.

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