Author Archive

Who Can You Trust?

Monday, December 16th, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

handshakeNot government, not financial or religious institutions, not the media, not health or educational ‘services’, not corporations, not the legal system or police, not the military, not experts or academia. After you eliminate the State, who is left? Society – the dynamic of average people who produce and trade honestly through their own efforts.

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Going Galt: Individuals Seceding

Monday, December 9th, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

objectivism“I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
–Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Everyone who produces and pays taxes is living for others to some degree. Their time, which is their life, supports the salaries of government workers and the entitlements of tax consumers.

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Non-Cooperation as a One-on-One Strategy

Monday, December 2nd, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

nonviolenceNon-cooperation is most often associated with social movements but it can function on the individual level to preserve personal freedom. A person is as free as his ability to say “no.” But criminals who would compel compliance often respond with punishment backed up by force. It is far from clear how an individual should react to the threat of force because circumstances vary from person to person. A bachelor might be willing to say “no” and be imprisoned for doing so; a family man might not be willing to deprive his children of his income. For the family man, a better alternative might be a display of consent that is backed by the reality of non-cooperation.

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Secret Radio: A Neglected Freedom Strategy

Friday, November 22nd, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

hamradioIn Part Two of the definitive 3-volume work The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Gene Sharp sketches the strategy of “alternative communication system.” Sharp writes, “Under political systems which have extensive control or monopoly over systems and media of communication, the creation by opposition groups of substitute systems of communication may constitute nonviolent intervention when they disrupt the regime’s control or monopoly over the communication of information and ideas.” That’s a dead-on description of America and the NSA, as well as a reason to review a neglected strategy.

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Blaming Foucault for Thanksgiving Woe

Monday, November 11th, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

garfieldPoised between two Thanksgivings — Canadian and American — I am indulging in a moment of annoyance directed at anyone who tells me what to think or how to feel at the privacy of my own dinner table. I am particularly annoyed at a political friend who has attacked me for celebrating the genocide of native Americans. (BTW, any link between Thanksgiving and genocide is based on utterly false history. In fact, standard accounts of Thanksgiving are flatly wrong. See “What Really Happened at Plymouth” by Murray Rothbard at the lewrockwell site.)

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The Politics of Small Houses

Monday, October 28th, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

smallIt is a new freedom strategy: liberating the human need for shelter from the state and the cronies called financial institutions. Small (or tiny) house pioneer Jay Shafer considers it to be a form of civil disobedience.

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3 Libertarian Concepts That Trouble Me

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

worryA number of libertarian concepts have troubled me for years. In at least three cases, my discomfort results from the manner in which the concept is being presented. Accordingly, I am throwing my doubts and conclusions into the movement ether in order to test them against feedback.

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The Faux Slavery Analogy to Voting

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

prohibitedI oppose electoral voting on both moral and strategic grounds.

In presenting the Voluntaryist case against electoral voting, however, I commonly encounter the slavery analogy as a counterargument in support of defensive voting. A classic formulation of it comes from Walter Block who argues, “Suppose we were slaves, and the master offered us a vote for either Overseer Baddy, who beat the crap out of us all the time, or Overseer Goody, who only beat us once in a while, and then more gently.” Block concludes that voting for Goody would be an act of self-defense and not an endorsement; voting is morally justified.

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I Never Meant to be a Feminist

Saturday, June 29th, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

feminism2A twenty-year old version of myself would laugh at anyone who suggested I would become a feminist. I was a libertarian verging on anarchism, and I thought feminism contradicted one of my core beliefs. Namely, every individual has an equal and identical claim to their own person and property, a claim that I call “individual rights.” No special or different rights could be claimed by anyone on the basis of sex, race, or any other secondary characteristic; individual rights said it all.

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Fractional-Reserve Banking: Not Fraud, Not Folly

Monday, May 13th, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

bankingFractional-reserve banking is a contentious issue within libertarian theory. This is confusing because I do not consider it to be part of libertarian theory at all.

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