Author, individualist feminist

Reference

Wendy McElroy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Wendy McElroy (born 1951) is a Canadian individualist anarchist and individualist feminist. She was a co-founder along with Carl Watner and George H. Smith of The Voluntaryist in 1982. ..."

Images

TheAdvocates.org - Wendy McElroy
200x303 JPEG, color

Associations

Board of Advisors, Advocates for Self-Government
Advisor, Center for a Stateless Society
Research Fellow, Independent Institute
Guest lecturer, Institute for Humane Studies
Eris Society

Web Pages

Wendy McElroy - Libertarian
Advocates for Self-Government

Writings

A Clarion Call for Health Independence, 31 Jan 2007
A review of the movie Lorenzo's Oil (1992)
"On a more political level, the overriding theme is 'Question Authority.' ... It is not merely that experts are shown to be fallible and constrained by narrow thinking. It is that ordinary people are shown to be capable of realizing their own self-interest even in 'expert only' areas."
A Lesson from Vietnam, Part 1, Future of Freedom, Jan 2004
Related Topic: Vietnam
A Lesson from Vietnam, Part 2, Future of Freedom, Feb 2004
Related Topic: Vietnam
A Lesson from Vietnam, Part 3, Future of Freedom, Mar 2004
Related Topic: Vietnam
A Man's Home Is His Castle, Future of Freedom, Jul 2006
"The Castle taps into the sadness, fear, and outrage that the average person feels when confronted by big government and big business. It also resonates with a theme that is strong in the American character: resistance to unjust authority. ... This movie is a comedic treasure. It is a loving homage to the common man who loves his family and his castle, and will fight anyone who threatens either."
Background of the Middle East Conflict, Part 1, Future of Freedom, Oct 2003
Related Topic: Middle East
Background of the Middle East Conflict, Part 2, Future of Freedom, Nov 2003
Related Topic: Middle East
Background of the Middle East Conflict, Part 3, Future of Freedom, Dec 2003
Related Topic: Middle East
Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, Part 1, Future of Freedom, Aug 2007
Biographical essay on Benjamin Tucker from birth to the early years of the periodical Liberty
"The publisher and author of those words, Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (1854-1939), defined the radical extreme of American individualism from the post-Civil War era to the first decade of the 20th century. ... Through NELRL Tucker came to conclusions that would guide the rest of his career as a radical: economic change was the primary need of society; and electoral politics was not the path to freedom."
Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, Part 2, Future of Freedom, Sep 2007
Biographical essay on Benjamin Tucker from the first issue of Liberty until his death
"Tucker's economic views established him in labor ranks. He staunchly advocated strikes as a strategy as long as force was eschewed. ... His rejection of violence did not spring from a faintness of heart. ... Tucker rejected violence because, until all peaceful avenues of social change had been exhausted, violence only turned the average person away from whatever cause used it."
Benjamin Tucker, Liberty And Individualist Anarchism [PDF], 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 his involvement in the labor-reform movement, Tucker became convinced that economic reform must underlie all other steps toward freedom. From a later admiration of the radical abolitionist 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."
Benjamin Tucker, Individualism, & Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order, Literature of Liberty, 1981
Bibliographical essay covering the people and radical movements that influenced Tucker in his founding and publishing of Liberty, its major themes and contributors
"Coming from a Quaker and radical Unitarian family, Tucker grew up in an atmosphere of dissent and free inquiry. At his parents' prompting, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology for three years during which time he became involved in labor reform and convinced that economic reform must underlie all other steps toward freedom. He integrated freethought and free love with this conviction to formulate a system of individualist-anarchism which became identified with him as 'philosophical' or 'Boston Anarchism.' "
Big Pharma and Crony Capitalism, 9 Jul 2012
Examines the ways in which pharmaceutical companies influence government
"Most of the time, the state and big pharma are in an uncomfortable partnership that benefits both of them. Adversarial events occur between them, but the bottom line is a partnership. They both act to suppress any drugs or people who compete with their monopolies. Both the state and big pharma promote specific products, with the state pushing drugs through various social-services agencies and programs like Medicaid. Both of them victimize anyone who wishes to have choice over their own medical care and drug use. They also victimize those who blindly trust the almost mystical authority that the medical world creates for itself ..."
Related Topics: Corporatism, Health Care, Monopoly
Book Review: Isabel Paterson and the Ideas of America, 30 Mar 2005
Review of the book Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America: The Woman and the Dynamo by UCSD professor of literature Stephen Cox
"What a woman! Self-educated and self-made. Raised in the Wild West at the turn of the 19th century, she was ... enchanted by the age of machinery ... the book's subtitle (and subsequent text), ... accurately identifies Paterson as an embodiment of the very idea, the very spirit of America, the ideal America of freedom, individualism, and realized human potential. ... Paterson's critique of Churchill expressed a defining characteristic of the ideal American: a willingness to stand firm against the multitude when you know you’re right. In short, the radical individualism that Paterson possessed in abundance."
Related Topic: Isabel Mary Paterson
Étienne de La Boétie, Part 1, Future of Freedom, Apr 2003
Provides biographical background on La Boétie and begins examination of his "Discourse"
"La Boétie did not believe that the state ruled primarily through force. For one thing, there were many more slaves than agents of the state: if even a small percentage of the populace refused to obey a law, that law became unenforceable. Moreover, most people obeyed without being forced to do so. La Boétie evolved an alternate explanation that he called 'voluntary servitude.'"
Related Topic: Étienne de La Boétie
Étienne de La Boétie, Part 2, Future of Freedom, May 2003
Examines major themes in the "Discourse": custom (habit), control of information, buying off the people and withdrawal of consent
"If La Boétie is right, if freedom is a natural human urge, then nature itself argues the logic of not cooperating with tyranny. There is something within man and beast that resists the tension of a leash. Rather than break the tension by attacking those who hold the reigns, La Boétie told people to let the tension go slack. People should refuse either violence or submission. They should simply say No."
Related Topic: Étienne de La Boétie
Gertrude B. Kelly: A Forgotten Feminist, The Freeman, Oct 1998
Lengthy profile of Dr. Gertrude B. Kelly (1862–1934), Irish immigrant, individualist feminist and contributor to the Liberty periodical
"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' ... 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.'"
Henry David Thoreau and "Civil Disobedience," Part 1, Future of Freedom, Mar 2005
After some background and biographical material, describes the event (Thoreau's imprisonment) that led to writing "Civil Disobedience" and Thoreau's reaction to those who paid the tax on his behalf, his jailers, his neighbors and Ralph Waldo Emerson
"'Civil Disobedience' ... is one of the most influential political tracts ever written by an American. [It] is an analysis of the individual's relationship to the state that focuses on why men obey governmental law even when they believe it to be unjust. ... For Thoreau, that would have been the real cost of paying his poll tax; it would have meant quarreling with his own conscience, which was too close to quarreling with God."
Henry David Thoreau and "Civil Disobedience," Part 2, Future of Freedom, Apr 2005
Examines several of the initial themes in "Civil Disobedience", including government injustice, the individual as the source of power and authority, war and the military and the reasons why people obey the state
"... Henry David Thoreau's 'Civil Disobedience' essay is not tied to a particular religion or to a specific issue. It is a secular call for the inviolability of conscience on all issues, and this aspect may account for some of the essay's enduring legacy. ... This is the key to Thoreau's political philosophy. The individual is the final judge of right and wrong. More than this, since only individuals act, only individuals can act unjustly."
Henry David Thoreau and "Civil Disobedience," Part 3, Future of Freedom, May 2005
Further examination of themes in "Civil Disobedience", including unjust laws, politicians and reformers, voting, when to resist the state and the influence on Gandhi
"Lawyers and the courts are part of the state’s defensive machinery. ... Such courts offer no protection to Thoreau, who refuses to respect their authority. But he takes his refusal one step further. He not only rejects unjust laws but also the men who enact them. He withdraws his support from politicians who 'rarely make any moral distinctions [and] are as likely to serve the Devil, without intending it, as God.'"
Herbert Spencer, 29 Aug 2012
Review of the book Herbert Spencer (2013) by Alberto Mingardi, volume 18 of the "Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers" series
"As the book notes, Spencer (1820–1903) was 'perhaps the only philosopher to sell one million copies of his work while still alive.' Nevertheless, his work has been neglected or reviled for almost a century. ... Spencer was a prolific system-builder who wrote hundreds of articles and dozens of books, including the ten-volume Synthetic Philosophy. Wisely, Mingardi narrows his focus to what many consider to be Spencer’s most enduring work: Social Statics (1850) as informed by his Autobiography."
Related Topics: Herbert Spencer, Evolution
Libertarianism Is Not Atheist, Is Not Religious, The Daily Bell, 9 Oct 2014
Examines Rothbard's responses to Rand's atheistic views that influenced early modern libertarianism
"Thus, libertarianism is a commitment to eschew aggressive force; it is not a specific lifestyle because lifestyles result from the many peaceful choices people make after eschewing force. What a peaceful person chooses to do may be of great moral importance. ... Past the point of eschewing violence, however, his behavior is irrelevant to the question of libertarianism."
Lysander Spooner, Part 1, Future of Freedom, Oct 2005
Lengthy biographical and bibliographical essay; from Spooner's birth to 1850-1860, examining his writings on economics, money, banking, mail delivery and slavery
"At 25 ... a growing passion for legal theory led him to the law offices of John Davis and Charles Allen ... Three years later, Spooner launched his first attack on an unjust law. ... Spooner's writings became campaign material for the Liberty Party ... formed in 1840 from the memberships of the American and foreign anti-slavery societies."
Related Topics: Lysander Spooner, Banking, Rights
Lysander Spooner, Part 2, Future of Freedom, Nov 2005
Lengthy biographical and bibliographical essay; from 1852 to Spooner's death, examining An Essay on the Trial by Jury, the No Treason essays and his subsequent influence
"Spooner's legacy was preserved largely by younger radicals of the day who viewed him as a mentor, especially Benjamin Tucker. Upon Spooner's death, Tucker purchased his printed pamphlets and unpublished manuscripts from the estate. Thereafter, he offered the pamphlets for sale in his periodical Liberty (1881–1908) and donated the proceeds to the Spooner Publication Fund that he established to print and promote his Nestor's manuscripts."
Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles, 17 Mar 2012
"I am jealous of anyone who reads this book for the first time because it is a remarkable adventure that cannot quite be duplicated afterward. ... Readers are taken at a dead trot through the key economic issues that still define our society: monetary theory, antitrust, labor, the lie that is government statistics, taxation, public goods, and the welfare scam in its various manifestations."
Movie Review: The Incredibles, 2 Apr 2005
"The adults are asking whether Brad Bird, director and scriptwriter, is an Objectivist. Is the movie's aggressive defense of excellence derived from Ayn Rand and her novels? ... The answer to such questions requires us to linger temporarily in adulthood before concluding with the response that The Incredibles most deserves: childish applause."
Related Topic: The Incredibles
Murray N. Rothbard: Mr. Libertarian, 6 Jul 2000
A tribute to Rothbard as a "system builder," an integrator of multiple disciplines into a "philosophy of freedom"
"Following in the footsteps of his mentor, the pioneering Austrian Economist Ludwig von Mises, Rothbard grounded human liberty in human nature. Developing an explicit philosophy of Liberty, he drove his insights through history to re-examine the real implications and meaning of events, such as the American Revolution. He laid a moral foundation for freedom, then used it to springboard into a strategy by which to achieve it. The integration was a stunning accomplishment."
Related Topic: Murray N. Rothbard
Neither Bullets nor Ballots [PDF], The Voluntaryist, Oct 1982
First editorial, describing the two major goals of The Voluntaryist
"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."
Robert LeFevre, Paying a Debt Backward, 6 Nov 2014
A tribute to Robert LeFevre, highlighting his solution to ensuring private justice
"Lefevre's approach was different and, again, deceptively simple. He spoke in terms of individuals protecting against violence and so preventing crime before it happens. ... Moreover, LeFevre's protection system offered advantages. A major one: After a crime has occurred, it is almost impossible to make the victim whole. In fact, even in non-criminal cases of contract or straightforward torts, restitution may be impossible."
Related Topic: Robert LeFevre
Sophie Scholl: A Life of Courage, Future of Freedom, May 2007
Review of the 2005 German film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Die letzten Tage)
"Sophie and her brother, Hans, were leading members of a nonviolent resistance group called the White Rose. ... The White Rose soon became infamous for a leaflet campaign that called for the removal of Hitler from power and an end to the insanity of World War II. The group subsequently became famous as martyrs to freedom and as proof that tyranny cannot destroy man's passion for justice."
The Bathtub, Mencken, and War: How Mencken Employed a Hoax to Demonstrate Journalistic Inaccuracies, The Freeman, Sep 1999
Relates the story behind a Mencken essay, written during the First World War, to mock and show contempt for contemporary "journalists who blithely reported fiction as fact" and subsequent (eight years later) articles confessing to the hoax
"Mencken was an established and respected newspaperman. He had started his career as a reporter for the Baltimore Morning Herald in 1899, becoming city editor in 1904. In 1906 he began his long association with the Baltimore Sun. Yet during America's anti-German period, he could not get material on World War I published because of his pro-German views, which sprang from a love of the culture rather than from its politics."
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 1, Future of Freedom, May 2004
Historical account of Ireland from its earliest inhabitants, through various invaders, conflicts with the English and between Catholics and Protestants, to the mid-nineteenth century
"The island of Ireland lies at the extreme western edge of Europe, separated from England by the narrow Irish Sea. Today, it is divided into two parts: 6 northern counties called Northern Ireland are a part of the United Kingdom; 26 other counties form a self-governing republic that has been known by different names but is commonly referred to as Ireland. ... On January 1, 1801, an Act of Union joined Ireland and England under a single Parliament in London. The Union would last 120 years."
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 2, Future of Freedom, Jun 2004
Historical account of Ireland from 1840 to the early years of the twentieth century, including the Young Irelanders, the famines, the Irish in North America, Captain Boycott, the demand for home rule, the Gaelic League and the emergence of Sinn Fein
"By 1841, Ireland had a population of more than eight million. The potato had become the basis of the Irish diet because it was cheap, easy to cultivate, and nutritious. In 1845, 'The Great Hunger' came when a potato blight severely damaged that crop. During the famine years of 1845 to 1851, more than a million people died of starvation or of opportunistic diseases. ... The famine hardened Irish hatred for Britain whose mercantilist policies they blamed for starvation."
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 3, Future of Freedom, Jul 2004
Historical account of Ireland from 1912 to 1921, including the formation of the Irish Assembly, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty that concluded the Irish War of Independence
"The newly elected Sinn Féiners formed the Dáil Éireann — the Irish Assembly — and held their first parliament on January 21, 1919 in Dublin. The Dáil, with its own courts and using its own funds, was declared to be Ireland's rightful government, deriving its authority from the Easter Rebellion. The British raided the Dáil and arrested its democratically elected leadership. One leader, Éamon de Valera, was deported to England and prison but he returned to Ireland."
Related Topics: Ireland, Terrorism, World War I
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 4, Future of Freedom, Aug 2004
Historical account of the partitioned Ireland from 1922 to the 1970's, including Éamon de Valera, the creation of the Republic of Ireland, the conflicts with and eventual split up of the IRA, and civil rights marches and riots in the North
"Many observers contend that if the British were to leave Northern Ireland, blood would flow in Northern streets and the South might erupt in civil war. They argue that centuries of differing development have made the North and South into truly separate entities. Others contend the opposite, arguing that the complete withdrawal of the British from the North is the only hope for Ireland. These two positions — and those in-between — constitute the ongoing debate and dilemma that is Ireland."
The Great Lie of Modern Unions, 31 Oct 2013
Details the history of labor organizing, from the Knights of Labor in 1869 to the 1935 Wagner Act
"Big business applauded the Wagner Act because it eliminated the need to negotiate contracts with multiple groups or individuals. The monopoly union also acted as an enforcement arm, which ensured that its members complied with contracts. The union prevented the wildcat strikes which were a significant problem; it punished unsanctioned boycotts, work slowdowns and the other labor tactics that had proven so effective in the past."
Related Topic: Labor
The Great Writ Then and Now, The Freeman, Nov 2009
Chronicles the history of the writ of habeas corpus from the Magna Carta through the American Civil War to Guantanamo Bay and "enemy combatants"
"The key theoretical debate concerns whether habeas corpus is an inalienable natural right that preceded the State or a privilege granted by government. ... If any right can be called 'inalienable,' habeas corpus must be included on that list. As noted earlier, the right not to be imprisoned unjustly is the foundation on which all others rest."
Related Topic: Writ of Habeas Corpus
The Post Office as a Violation of Constitutional Rights, The Freeman, May 2001
Prompted by the announcement of the U.S. Postal Service eBillPay service (now discontinued), surveys the history of mail service vis-à-vis civil rights, from colonial days to the present
"The USPS is a government monopoly accustomed to operating at public expense. ... The history of the USPS suggests something different, however. It chronicles centuries of civil-rights violations that began at the very birth of a national postal system and that have nothing to do with providing a service. Rather, the USPS promoted and protected the interests of those in power. In asserting the monopoly that allows it to do so, it has been indifferent or hostile to providing the best service at the lowest price."
The Roots of Individualist Feminism in 19th-Century America
Excerpted from Freedom, Feminism, and the State
V for Vendetta, 31 Jul 2010
"Since V was presented both as a movie and as a political statement, it is appropriate to address its artistic value and its politics separately. For me, the dual approach is doubly important because I enjoyed V the movie and disliked V the political statement. As a movie, I found V to be engaging, often original, visually stunning but ultimately flawed; it was a good ride that could have been great one if the scripting had been better. As a political statement, I thought V was not at all libertarian, as so many have claimed."
Related Topic: V for Vendetta

Interviews

8 marzo: ripensare il femminismo/.1 Intervista a Wendy McElroy, by Marco Faraci, 8 Mar 2012
"Il femminismo individualista era inascoltato nelle università quando ho cominciato a scrivere, ma adesso gode di un riconoscimento generale. Spero di aver contribuito anch'io a questa evoluzione. In secondo luogo, mi piace fare parte della tradizione che risale al liberalismo classico di Mary Wollstonecraft. E poi, sono testarda."
8 marzo: ripensare il femminismo/.2 "My body, my choice", by Marco Faraci, 8 Mar 2012
"Ci sono temi specifici ed importanti nei quali mi distinguo in modo netto da Ron Paul; tra questi l'immigrazione, l'aborto ed alcune sue votazioni al Congresso. Tuttavia la vera questione è se la libertà può essere davvero raggiunta attraverso la politica elettorale. Io vedo la politica elettorale come il problema, non come la soluzione - come la malattia, non come la cura. [There are specific and important topics on which I have clear differences of opinion from Ron Paul, among them immigration, abortion, and some of his votes in Congress. But the real question is whether freedom can be truly achieved through electoral politics. I see electoral politics as the problem, not the solution - as the disease, not as the cure.]"
Faculty Spotlight Interview: Wendy McElroy, 3 Feb 2011
"What drew you to the Austrian school and to the Ludwig von Mises Institute? I was drawn to both by the inimitable economist and historian Murray Rothbard. ... I read Murray and, then, I met him. He sparkled. He made economics sparkle. More importantly, his arguments were a perfect marriage of civil rights and economic liberty so that it has become impossible for me to divorce the two from any issue I now examine."
Related Topic: Benjamin Tucker
Interview with Wendy McElroy on feminism in America, by Marco Faraci, 8 Mar 2012
Translation of Libertiami.it interviews dated 8 Mar 2012, except for last question (regarding Ron Paul)
"Individualist feminism was unheard of in academia when I started to write but it is now generally recognized. I hope I have contributed to this evolution. Second, I like being part of a tradition that dates back to the classical liberalism of Mary Wollstonecraft. Third, I'm stubborn."
Wendy McElroy on Sex, Rape and Libertarian Feminism, by Anthony Wile, 11 Mar 2012
"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."

Books Authored

Liberty, 1881-1908: A Comprehensive Index, 1982
Electronic text available at The Memory Hole; contents: How To Use This Index - Part I: Titles and Periodicals - Part II: Individuals - Part III: Subjects
Related Topic: Benjamin Tucker
The Art of Being Free: Politics versus the Everyman and Woman, 2012
Sections: The Theoretical Footing of Freedom - Applying Theory to Issues - Principles Work People - Getting There from Here - Conclusion
Related Topic: Liberty
The Debates of Liberty: An Overview of Individualist Anarchism, 1881-1908, 17 Dec 2002
Excerpts available at WendyMcElroy.com; 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
XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography, 1997
Electronic text available at wendymcelroy.com
Related Topic: Sexual Pleasure

Videos


The Anarchist Roundtable #1: Ron Paul, 6 Jan 2008
Stefan Molyneux hosts Wendy McElroy and Brad Spangler, over the phone, to discuss the Ron Paul Revolution
Related Topic: Ron Paul