Voluntaryism, like ideas about gravity, Marxism, skiing, Christianity and cooking is just that; an idea. We might also call voluntaryism a “theory” or “a way of life” or a “philosophy.” Like other things, we ought to examine voluntaryism and convince ourselves through logic, reason and evidence of it’s validity or invalidity as a way of life for ourselves.
We all have different backgrounds, some of us have spent our lifetime in left or right leaning groups. Voluntaryism is a subset of Anarcho-Capitalism, which is a subset of the freedom movement. It is an exciting journey and not for those of weak mind. It is for those with an open mind and a strong sense of morality.
There are many great people involved in the freedom movement, and there is much information available. Here at Openly Voluntary, we want to help you with your investigation! www.Mises.org, Larken Rose and www.lewrockwell.org are great sources for the “card carrying” voluntaryist, but what if you are “libertarian-leaning”, but still believe that a good small government is necessary? Following is a course of study for the curious that I hope you will find enlightening.
I suggest that you are patient with yourself and the authors/speakers/producers of the information I recommend. Some are long-winded, and like a typical book, 80% is “fluff” and 20% is the good stuff. You need not agree with each thing said. I ask that you just file it away in your brain as “undecided” and keep listening, reading or watching.
I am going to give you a lot of information and I encourage you not to push yourself too much. This journey is one that I think you will enjoy and I think your understanding and world view will improve, but it is of course, YOUR choice.
I appreciate your interest in philosophy. The path I have taken since 2008 has been a wonderful one, and I feel so much more enlightened than I did for the first 34 years of my life. I must warn you that ignorance IS bliss. While I feel far less ignorant, following an honest path free of pre-conceived notions is not popular and is not great for one’s standing in the mainstream community.
There are a number of mediums I will suggest below, from YouTube videos of lectures, animations and rants to books, articles and audio podcasts. I spent many hundreds/thousands of hours sifting through things voluntaryist, and I will share with you fewer than 80 hours of them. You are awake 5,840 hours each year, and those hours are precious. Only you can evaluate if spending 1.4% of your waking hours on philosophical exploration this year is right for you.
Not everything that every person from whom I enjoy learning from says is accurate, correct, and logical or is exactly what I believe. I like to learn from many perspectives, shake them all up, remove what looks wrong, enjoy what looks right and form my own opinions. As you explore voluntaryism, I suggest not discussing it with folks or calling it “Anarchy” until you have well over 40 hours of knowledge under your belt. 95% of arguments will go like this:
Me: “I just wonder if we might be better off without any government at all.”
Statist: “Yeah, that sounds good, but we have to have cops, military and who would build the roads? Some government is good, it just has to be constitutional. Without it the bad people would hurt the rest of us.”
Then, if you start to offer solutions to their questions about how people and free market private businesses might solve problems, defend themselves, build roads, feed the poor etc, the statist will find a tiny hole in one of your arguments and will use that as conclusive proof that anarchy is stupid and that you are naïve. It is better to say that you don’t know. This is a good sarcastic 4-minute video parable.
- Serious books about the economics and philosophy leading to peace:
- “The Law” by Frédéric Bastiat
- “Economics in One Lesson” by Henry Hazlit
- “The Most Dangerous Superstition” by Larken Rose
- “For a New Liberty” by Murray Rothbard
- “Constitution of No Authority” by Lysander Spooner
- “Everyday Anarchy” by Stef Moly, a former voluntaryist
- Novels with a strong libertarian leaning:
- “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand
- “The Iron Web” by Larken Rose
- “Speculator” by Doug Casey
Lectures and podcasts relating to the logic & peace movement:
An excellent resource is Tom Woods of the Tom Woods Show. Check out his podcasts here: http://tomwoods.com/podcast/
http://www.freedomfeens.com by Michael Dean and Neema Vedadi. (Vedadi you might recall is the rapper with the Anarcho-Capitalist hit single, “I Own Me.”
YouTube lectures and thoughts:
(I view YouTube as a way to get information. Like a post-graduate college lecture, a book or a ancient script, the information can be junk, absolute excellence or somewhere between.)
The Philosophy of Liberty:
Anatomy of the State by Murry Rothbard
Is Limited Government an Oxymoron? Doug Casey & Tom Woods
Statism is dead by former voluntaryist Stef:
Can a Christian be an Anarchist? Larken Rose interviews Dann McCreary
When Should You shoot a Cop by Larken Rose?
The Story of Your Enslavement by former voluntaryist Stef:
I suggest beginning by examining several foundational points, but first, let’s plunge into a quick ice-cold bath of a video to wake our brain up!
OK, now for the first foundational point. Collectivism -v- Individualism. While Mr. Griffin is a minarchist and comes to different conclusions than do voluntaryists, he does explain the concepts of individualism and collectivism well. Enjoy this 22 minute video:
Next, let’s consider a radical idea! The man in this video claims that he is allowed to rob you! What the heck? As you listen, please examine his logic and see if you can poke holes in it! While his title and conclusions are uncomfortable and sound silly, it does seem that he is correct, doesn’t it?
Are you beginning to wonder if maybe “government” is not a good thing, does not have rights and maybe isn’t even real? I strongly suggest that you read the book, The most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose. This is an overview:
This full book is well worth reading.
Ready for a short fun video? Try this one by Stefan Molyneux, a former Voluntaryist.
Try this video, which was one of the “final straws” for me!
And another short video from Stefan:
Walter Block is a great libertarian philosopher, and his wonderful book Defending the Undefendable is a must-read! You can either buy the book online, download it for free from mises.org or listen on YouTube, with the first chapter below. You can click on the next chapters:
You have now spent less than 12 hours opening your mind to some “new” ideas. What do you think? Can you logically argue with any of the points made? I hope so! In the above links, various leaders of thought have tossed out some ideas, and I hope you take them with a grain of salt. None of these philosophers are perfect, and I have found it wise to take the good and leave the bad. The above thought experiment introduced you to voluntaryism. I will later offer more great links to learn more, and of course I hope that you do your own poking around and share with me videos, books and articles you find worthy!
Lets now spend over 5 hours on a different topic, education. I sincerely believe it will be well worth your time. Visit this BLOG for an intro and link. Interesting, huh?
Let’s lighten up with this fun video from Larken:
Want more great reading? Investigate Carl Watner, founder of www.voluntaryist.com.
Another fun video on youtube:
Why the people calling themselves government, though small in size, seem to have ultimate control. If you vote, pay taxes and salute your country’s flag; YOU are part of the problem.
- · Larken Rose
- · Carl Watner
- · Stefan Molyneux (No longer a Voluntaryist, however his 2015 and prior work is great!)
- · Lew Rockwell – https://www.lewrockwell.com
- · Doug Casey –
- · Adam Kokesh – http://www.adamvstheman.com
- · L. Neil Smith – http://www.lneilsmith.org/
- · Marc Stevens
- · Josie The Outlaw
- · Pete Eyer
- · Bill Buppert – http://zerogov.com/
- · William Norman Grigg – http://prolibertate.us/index.php?blog=7
- · Neema Vedadi & Michael Dean http://www.freedomfeens.com/bio-for-the-feens/
- · Jim C. Babb
- · John Taylor Gatto – https://www.johntaylorgatto.com/
Books About Voluntaryism | Resources
Economics in One Lesson–Henry Hazlitt
Check out Bill Bupert’s take on an already great list! Click on Bill’s pic…
More coming About Voluntaryism | Resources ….