I actually found your site [The Voluntaryist] a few months back. I have been working my way through “I Must Speak Out” and am enjoying it immensely. I can’t remember exactly how I found the Voluntaryist, but I do remember that the first article I read was Wendy McElroy’s “Why I Would Not Vote Against Hitler.” I must have followed a link. At the time, that essay shocked me. But I also could not refute its logic or moral consistency. It encouraged me to read on.
I am coming to you as fallout from the Ron Paul presidential campaign. I was apolitical for most of my life. But like a lot of people, I felt a certain civic duty to educate myself and participate in the last election. In short, that was the beginning of some serious study and soul-searching. I didn’t anticipate where it would take me, but I had to be honest with myself as I realized that political parties contradict their own messages and use immoral methods to achieve self-serving ends.
It took me some time to get here, but once I did, Voluntaryism resonated with me instantly because it is aligned with my own natural moral compass. I have always struggled with collectivist ideology. I have never had any interest in dictating how someone else should live his or her life. Likewise, I have never felt entitled to anything that belonged to someone else - I just want the opportunity to work peacefully and keep the fruits of my labor. To me, these things seemed at once self-evident but also completely foreign to modern society. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I think that my frustration with politics resulted from my subconscious understanding that true freedom cannot come from political institutions and is, in fact, not even the goal of those institutions.
I’m very grateful for your work on the Voluntaryist. As I discuss the things that I am learning with my friends and family, I am being confronted with fear, ignorance and, at times, scorn. It makes me appreciate, all the more, the work that you do in what feels like an uphill battle most of the time. Thanks very much for your diligence and bravery!