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Libertarian philosophy that advocates non-political strategies to delegitimize the State

Voluntaryism (sometimes voluntarism) is a philosophy which holds that all forms of human association should be voluntary, a term coined in this usage by Auberon Herbert in the 19th century, and gaining renewed use since the late 20th century, especially among libertarians. Its principal beliefs stem from the non-aggression principle.


The Affordable Care Act Doesn't Go That Way, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 1 Nov 2013
Examines the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from the perspective of basic economics and its unintended consequences
So how do we assure that all people will have access to good and affordable medical care? By permitting the evolution of a purely voluntary society ... Freeing the medical and insurance markets means abolishing all privileges provided by the regulatory cartel, which protects politically connected incumbent providers ... It means no restrictions on mutual-aid societies, which long ago figured out how to provide affordable basic medical care to their working-class members through "lodge practice," a voluntary institution that state-sponsored organized medicine denigrated and destroyed.
Auberon Herbert, Part 1, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, Feb 2011
First part of biographical essay on Auberon Herbert; discusses Spencer's influence on him, his views on anarchism vs. voluntaryism, self-ownership, majority rule, war and imperialism
Today, however, [Herbert] is perhaps best remembered for popularizing Voluntaryism—a political tradition maintaining that all human interaction should be voluntary and rejecting the initiation of force. The only justification for force is self-defense, including the defense of property ... By contrast, "[in] voluntaryism the state employs force only to repel force—to protect the person and the property of the individual against force and fraud; under voluntaryism the state would defend the rights of liberty, never aggress upon them."
Conscience on the Battlefield, by Leonard E. Read, 1981
Pamphlet written in 1951, during the Korean War, revised edition in 1981; Read recalls the 1918 incident when the troopship he was on was sunk by a German submarine and wonders about his thoughts if he were dying (in 1951) on a Korean battlefield
How else could unity be achieved except by some program insuring involuntary service?
There are two kinds of unity. One kind makes for weakness. The other makes for strength ... There is strength only in that unity which results from like-mindedness. This originates with an individual's actions being in unity with his conscience. In short, the type of unity that has lasting strength is born of integrity ... The result is similarity in action–action dictated by conscience instead of by Caesars. This is the kind of unity voluntary service produces.
The Ethics of Voting: Part I [PDF], by George H. Smith, The Voluntaryist, Oct 1982
Examines libertarian and anarchist theory to provide a critique of electoral voting, i.e., voting for government officials
Voluntaryists are more than libertarians; they are libertarian anarchists. ... Libertarian theory condemns invasive (rights-violating) acts and says that all human interaction should be voluntary. ... Libertarian anarchism professes not only the nonaggression principle, but the additional view that the State is necessarily invasive and should thus stand condemned.
Related Topics: The State, Voting
In Pursuit of Liberty, by Jarret Wollstein, May 1997
Primer on liberty concepts, including voluntary vs. coercive associations, individual rights, government and possible future improvements in the status quo
We need others for most of what we want out of life: companionship, friendship, family, recreation, and wealth ... There are only two basic ways of getting what you want from others: voluntarily or coercively. When you deal with others voluntarily, others deal with you because they want to, because they receive some benefit–material or psychological–by dealing with you. The tools of voluntarism are friendship, trade, compassion, and love ... Voluntary association promotes trust and respect, and provides benefits for everyone ... A guiding principle of any free society is voluntary association.
In Search of a Word: Limited Government versus 'Anarchy', by Spencer H. MacCallum, The Voluntaryist, Oct 1996
Contrasts the positions of Hornberger, who endorses "limited government, with that of Baldy Harper, who preferred to hold "the ideal of a 'total alternative' to political government" as a guiding light towards a voluntary society
If it doesn't offend either experience or reason to contemplate altogether voluntary alternatives to the present political administration of community services at the local level, are such alternatives not conceivable at all levels of society? For those who are inclined to say categorically no, the challenge for them is to identify where the line shall be drawn. ... In principle, is there any point on a graduated scale of size that we can point to and say, at this point proprietary administration can no longer work; at this point we must embrace political administration?
Neither Bullets nor Ballots [PDF], by Wendy McElroy, The Voluntaryist, Oct 1982
First editorial, describing the two major goals of The Voluntaryist, namely, to construct a theory of voluntaryism and to examine non-political strategies
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 ... A goal of The Voluntaryist is to construct a cohesive theory of anti-political libertarianism, of Voluntaryism, which will investigate such issues as whether moral or legal liabilities adhere to the act of voting someone into power over another's life ... Those who embrace political office hinder the efforts of Voluntaryists who are attempting to throw off this institution of force.
Why Those Who Value Liberty Should Rejoice: Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize, by Peter Boettke, The Freeman, Dec 2009
Discusses Elinor Ostrom's work and viewpoints, shortly after her being awarded the Nobel Prize in economics
As my colleague Alex Tabarrok put it, Ostrom sees how, through various voluntary associations, groups transform the common-pool resource situation from a "tragedy of the commons" to an "opportunity of the commons." Traditional economic theory argues that public goods cannot be provided through the market. Traditional Public Choice theory argues that government often fails to provide solutions. Ostrom shows that decentralized groups can develop various rule systems that enable social cooperation to emerge through voluntary association.
The Wisdom of LeFevre, by Lew Rockwell, The Free Market, Jul 2001
Discusses various aspects of LeFevre's thoughts, e.g., the distinction between true and artificial government, patriotism, and includes excerpts from a draft new Declaration of Independence
[LeFevre] wanted to be remembered for what he believed. The individual actor was at the heart of his political worldview. He saw that civilization stemmed from the voluntary actions of men, not the laws of the state. Through their interactions in voluntary associations, of which the free market is only one of many, people build the structures of security and prosperity. That is the basis of cultural flourishing. Once created, civilization "breeds further desire and necessity for voluntary individual action. The one aids and abets the other."


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: The best introduction to Voluntaryism is to quote the Statement of Purpose of the newsletter "The Voluntaryist." "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 ..."


The Voluntaryist, by Carl Watner (editor)
Quarterly, since 1982
Voluntaryist - The Comic Series
Tagline: Humanity's Last Stand Against Government.
... the tale of a superhero who finds himself pitted against the government as the government tries to enslave humanity once and for all.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Voluntaryism" as of 12 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.