by Carl Watner
Number 94 – Oct 1998
For almost a year now, I have had the idea of publishing an anthology containing the best articles from the first 100 issues of The Voluntaryist. I have mentioned it to a number of friends and long-time subscribers, and each one has thought it a worthwhile idea. Tentatively the anthology will consist of articles categorized into the following topics: Statement of Purpose; Voting, Strategy, and Non-violent; Personal; Voluntaryist Solutions to social and Economic Problems of the Past; Robert LeFevre – Freedom School; Money and Economics; Voluntaryist Critiques of Government; Book Reviews: Schooling and Children; Anarcho-Capitalism; Miscellaneous; a complete Table of Contents for the first 100 issues; and possibly a Topical Index.
The beauty of the anthology is that the most important and significant articles appearing in The Voluntaryist over the last sixteen years would be bound together in one volume. This collection would be unique in may ways. First of all, there is no other body of literature that embraces the methods and strategy of The Voluntaryist. Voluntaryists are the only ones who reject electoral politics and voting – on the grounds that such activities support the legitimacy of the State. Whether you embrace nonviolent strategies on moral or practical grounds, the ideas of Thoreau, Gandhi, And Robert LeFevre certainly offer an alternative to “politics as usual.” The historical articles that have appeared in The Voluntaryist deal mostly with examples of how people have lived without the State at various times in history. Many of the critiques of the American government can be found nowhere else, because few libertarians have analysed the legitimacy of American government. Another reason that the anthology will be unique is that over time, as editor of The Voluntaryist, I have tried to choose and publish classic essays in voluntaryist thought. Many of these, such as John Pugsley’s “The Case Against T-Bills and Other Thoughts on Theft,” Harry Browne’s “A Visit to Rhinegold,” and Randy Barnett’s “Pursuing Justice in a Free Society,” will be preserved in this anthology. In book form those ideas will be more usable and accessible to individuals than in the single issue format in which they originally appeared. In short, I believe the anthology is a valuable expenditure of time and money.
Readers may be familiar with similar publishing projects that I have engaged in over the years. Both A Voluntary Political Government: Letters from Charles Lane, and Truth is not a Half-Way Place: A biography of Robert LeFevre were self-published with assistance of friends and subscribers. My hope is to repeat these efforts by raising enough money to typeset and print The Voluntaryist anthology. Unfortunately, most of the articles have not been saved on disk, so they must be scanned or re- typed. Perhaps, a small commercial publishing house might be found to print and market the book. Failing that, my intention would be to self-publish the book, market it to libraries, individual subscribers, and libertarian booksellers. From this vantage point, it is impossible to know the total amount needed, but from past experience I estimate costs for both typesetting and printing to be in the range of US $3000 to US $5000, depending on the number of copies actually printed.
If you are interested in this project, please support it by sending a donation. Those who contribute U$50 or more will receive an autographed copy of the finished book, at no further cost to them. If any funds are left over they will be used, pro rata, to extend the subscriptions of those making donations. Those wanting to see the titles of articles chosen for the anthology, may obtain the complete list by sending US $2 cash and a No. 10 self-addressed envelope. Input from readers and subscribers is certainly welcome.