Individualist Anarchism


Vyvyan: [takes part of his sleeve, sticks it in the top of the vodka bottle] It's funny, but being ill makes me lose my usual tolerant and easy-going approach to communal living.
[lights the Molotov cocktail, throws it across the hall, where it explodes]
[The wall between Neil and Rick is mostly gone. Vyvyan walks in.]
Rick: Oh, well, how ruddy considerate, Vyvyan. Thank you very much!
Neil: Yeah, thanks, Vyv. That petrol bomb's really cleared my sinuses.
Vyvyan: Why aren't you dead?
Rick: I'm not prepared to discuss it with you, Vyvyan. You will be hearing from my solicitors in the morning. I'm going to write to my MP.
[takes out paper and pencil]
Neil: You haven't got an MP, Rick. You're an anarchist.
Rick: Oh. Well, then I shall write to the lead singer of Echo and the Bunnymen! (...)
[writing] Dear Mr. Echo....
Vyvyan: Why'd I do that?
Rick: Ah, Vyvyan, beginning to regret it now, are you?
Vyvyan: Of course I'm beginning to regret it. That was nearly a full bottle of vodka! That's £7.99 you owe me, ploppy pants.
Rick: Oh, stop being so blinking bourgeoisie! All property is theft, Vyvyan.
Vyvyan: All right, then. Where's your girlie purse? (...)
[takes Rick's coin purse, removes some money] Ha ha! Found it!
Rick: You put that back! That's my personal property!
Neil: You just said all property is theft, Rick.
Rick: Well, yes, it is.
Vyvyan: Yeah, so I'm nicking it.
Rick: Stop! Thief! Thief!

The Young Ones, Sick [opening scene]

Manifesto [A Rare And Interesting Document]

Josiah Warren, thought of as the first individualist anarchist in America, provides a statement outlining his philosophy of individual sovereignty and the practical implications of that philosophy compared to what one faces within an "artificial combination"—i.e., a society or state—which presumes to deny individual sovereignty ultimately at the expense of everyone. This version of Warren's Manifesto is from a 1952 private printing and includes an introductory comment by Joseph Ishill.

Equitable Commerce

The multifarious implications of cost as the basis of price are explored systematically in this thoughtful and highly original treatise by Josiah Warren. His observations on the State and combinations, division of labor, women's position in society, and the education of children are quite advanced and certainly ahead of our time as well as his own.

Heralds of the Transition to Philosophical Egoism I

Chapter 5 of James J. Martin's Men Against the State. The American Civil War's aftermath gave rise to a new breed of radical thinker with ties to early practical efforts in individualist anarchism of a distinctly American flavor (notably those of Josiah Warren), but heavily influenced by European anarchists of a philosophical bent (e.g., Proudhon). Their literature is the lasting legacy of a watershed period in the history of native American anarchism. The focus here is on Ezra Heywood, pamphleteer, and Stephen B. Greene, money reformer.

Heralds of the Transition to Philosophical Egoism II

Chapter 6 of James J. Martin's Men Against the State. The preceding narrative continues here, highlighting the contributions of Joshua K. Ingalls and Stephen Pearl Andrews, two very important influences in the development of native-American anarchism who themselves had common ties with individualist anarchist Josiah Warren.

Mutual Banking by W. B. Greene

In this book, William B. Greene presents his philosophy of banking, extending Josiah Warren's ideas of mutualism into the sphere of finance. Its exposition began with a series of newspaper articles in the Worcester (Mass.) Palladium in 1849 under the pseudonym "Omega." Gathered together and expanded with unpublished material, the collection was issued, under the title Equality, in the same year, and reissued under the current title the following year. It became part of the canon of native American anarchism produced with the help of Ezra Heywood. In furtherance of its status as the most widely reprinted anarchist financial publication written by a native American, it is herewith propagated on the world wide web for your reading pleasure (at a remote site).

Rogues Gallery: American Individualist Anarchists

Portraits of Josiah Warren, Lysander Spooner, Ezra Heywood, and Benjamin R. Tucker. These reproductions came from a copy of the aforementioned book by James J. Martin.

Liberty Index compiled by Wendy McElroy

This is the Index to Benjamin Tucker's venerable broadsheet, Liberty, published from 1881-1908, in Boston and New York. Tucker was an exponent of a brand of philosophical egoism associated with Max Stirner. In addition to the Greenwood Introduction below, one might also read, by way of introduction, McElroy's Benjamin Tucker and Liberty, Part I and Part II.

The Introduction to Greenwood's Liberty Reprint

A former history professor at SUNY Rochester provided this introduction taken from Greenwood Press' own facsimile reproduction of Benjamin Tucker's Liberty broadsheet. Briefly reviews Tucker's publishing career as well as provides some biographical information.

Radical Review Index compiled by Wendy McElroy

The short-lived periodical, Radical Review, was Benjamin Tucker's first publishing venture bringing together “prominent pioneer expositors of American anarchism.” It is available on microfiche from Libertarian Microfiche Publishing, POB 52 Berrima, NSW 2577, Australia.

Liberty's Library

Over the course of Benjamin Tucker's periodical Liberty, (1881-1908), the subscribers were often regaled with 'recommended readings' -- in essence, the 'must' titles for a discriminating individualist anarchist to have on his or her bookshelf. Herewith is the list compiled by Wendy McElroy.

Bibliographical Essay

Appended to James J. Martin's tour de force contribution to the literature of anarchist intellectual history, titled, Men Against the State: The Expositors of Individualist Anarchism in America, 1827-1908, this essay is an excellent reference.

Anarchism: What It Is and What It Is Not

Joseph A. Labadie, who donated the original collection of radical literature to the University of Michigan, holds forth on an ancient idea.

Objections to Anarchism

Originally published in serial form in the dandelion between Summer 1977 and Summer 1979, Michael E. Coughlin fields predictable objections to a world without the State.

New England Anarchism in Germany

This piece by Thomas Riley, published in the New England Quarterly, Volume XVIII, (March 1945) is largely about the individualist anarchist impulse in Germany contrary to the widely held and/or cultivated belief that such impulses are innately alien to the German psyche such as it exists.

Forced Consent

Lysander Spooner summarizes for the reader his principal case against the American government in the wake of the Civil War reviewing the implications as well as the consequences of actions that establish beyond a shadow of a doubt its close kinship to the worst examples in history of despotism.

Appendix to No Treason

Natural lawyer, Lysander Spooner, offers his closing arguments on the value and validity of the U.S. Constitution in his case against authority.

1965 Introduction to No Treason

James J. Martin's pithy introduction to a 1966 printing of Lysander Spooner's pamphlet, No Treason

No Treason

This is the complete essay in its sixth incarnation by a contributor to Benjamin Tucker's publication, Liberty, Lysander Spooner. This is part of the Libertarian Broadsides Series published by Ralph Myles.

American Anarchism Revisited

James J. Martin's review of The American as Anarchist: Reflections on Indigenous Radicalism by David DeLeon. The review was originally published in the December 1979 issue of The Libertarian Review, a small magazine (eventually absorbed by Inquiry) in its heyday at the time under the editorship of Roy A. Childs, Jr. with the able assistance of Jeff Riggenbach from its headquarters in San Francisco.

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