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Anarchism that emphasizes the individual and his or her preferences over other considerations

Individualist anarchism refers to several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and their will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions and ideological systems. Individualist anarchism is not a single philosophy, but it refers to a group of individualistic philosophies that sometimes are in conflict. Benjamin Tucker, a famous 19th century individualist anarchist, held that "if the individual has the right to govern himself, all external government is tyranny".


Anarchism, by Voltairine de Cleyre, Free Society, 13 Oct 1901
Examines various economic propositions for anarchism (socialist, communist, individualist and mutualist) and opines that all could be tried out; reprinted in Selected Works of Voltairine de Cleyre (1914)
I pass to the extreme Individualists,–those who hold to the tradition of political economy, and are firm in the idea that the system of employer and employed, buying and selling, banking, and all the other essential institutions of Commercialism, centering upon private property, are in themselves good, and are rendered vicious merely by the interference of the State. Their chief economic propositions are: land to be held by individuals or companies for such time and in such allotments as they use only; redistribution to take place as often as the members of the community shall agree ...
Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, Part 1, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, Aug 2007
Biographical essay on Benjamin Tucker from birth to the early years of the periodical Liberty
Many of the brightest American radicals and reformers passed through [Liberty]'s pages ... [It] also hosted the best ... European voices of individualism and integrated their ideas into the uniquely American movements of labor, free thought, and free love. Through this integration, Tucker produced the rigorous system of individualist anarchism ... [He] stated the crux of his political philosophy:
The [Individualist] Anarchists are simply unterrified Jeffersonian Democrats. They believe that "the best government is that which governs least," and that which governs least is no government at all.
Benjamin Tucker, Liberty and Individualist Anarchism [PDF], by Wendy McElroy, The Independent Review, 1997
Presents a short biography of Tucker and then the history of the Liberty journal, including its major themes, the debates over Stirnerite egoism vs. natural rights and its literary and international coverage, concluding with commentary
From a later admiration of ... Spooner, Tucker's voice acquired a radical antipolitical edge as well. To these influences were added the European flavor of Herbert Spencer, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Max Stirner, and Michael Bakounin. In editing Liberty, Tucker both filtered and integrated the theories of such European thinkers with the uniquely American labor, freethought, and free-love movements to produce a rigorous system of individualist anarchism subsequently identified with him. It became known as "philosophical anarchism" or, in a phrase often applied derogatorily, "Boston anarchism."
Gertrude B. Kelly: A Forgotten Feminist, by Wendy McElroy, The Freeman, Oct 1998
Biographical essay on Dr. Gertrude B. Kelly, Irish immigrant, individualist feminist and contributor to Benjamin Tucker's Liberty
A labor radical who was deeply skeptical of unions, a medical doctor who opposed state licensing of medicine, a staunch anti-statist who broke with the most prominent individualist anarchists of her day, an ardent feminist who denied that there were "women's rights" as distinct from "human rights" ... who was Gertrude B. Kelly ...? In the opinion of Benjamin Tucker, editor of the pivotal individualist periodical Liberty, "Gertrude B. Kelly, ... by her articles in Liberty, has placed herself at a single bound among the finest writers of this or any other country."


Wendy McElroy on Sex, Rape and Libertarian Feminism, by Wendy McElroy, Anthony Wile, 11 Mar 2012
Topics discussed include McElroy's early life, two of her notable books, individualist anarchism, voluntarism, conspiracy theories, religions, banks and money, feminism, capitalism, Austrian economics, Julian Assange and the future
Wendy McElroy: I am an individualist anarchist. In the 19th century, individualist anarchism defined its political goal as a "society by contract" in which all people possessed equal rights and an equal responsibility to respect the rights of others. The only other factor that restrained the peaceful person was contract–that is, the agreement or legal commitment he or she made to another in exchange for a consideration. If someone did not live up to a contract, then the aggrieved party had a legal right to seek redress through arbitration or any other reasonable means ...


The Debates of Liberty: An Overview of Individualist Anarchism, 1881-1908, by Wendy McElroy, 17 Dec 2002
Excerpts available at; partial contents: Benjamin Tucker, Liberty, and Individualist Anarchism - On the State and Politics - On Violence - Egoism v- Natural Rights - Children's Rights - Intellectual Property - Trial by Jury
Related Topic: Benjamin Tucker

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Individualist anarchism" as of 28 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.