Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Let's Get Started: Genesis of The Voluntaryist

Okay I think I need to begin by explaining the the last several days because it will help you understand how I do things.

After announcing this new project, I had to decide what to do first and here's what I came up with: get the hell out of town for a few days. See, I had to spend some time with my husband since I realized how much work I just set up for myself and I figured I probably won't be seeing him for about, oh, I don't know, maybe 3 or 4 years.

Now since I've returned, I had to write my column for the paper. And then the grass needed cutting. Finally, I ran out of ways to procrastinate so here I am.

In a recent correspondence with Carl, he sent me a little tidbit about the genesis of The Voluntaryist and I wanted to share it with you.

(By the way, for those of you who don't know what genesis means, you need to stop right now and go see that Star Trek movie, the one with the buff Ricardo Montalban sporting a 1980s mullet, which I guess we have to assume comes back sometime in the future. Genesis means the beginning, or origin and in this movie there is a product called the Genesis device that can create an entire new planet when detonated. It is so cool. For anyone reading this who still hasn't found their own personal voluntaryist project let me suggest right now that some of you start to work on developing one of those so we can create a planet for the voluntaryist society.)

Anyway, back to the topic. Here is what Carl sent me as to the origin of The Voluntaryist publication:

Genesis of The Voluntaryist

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Libertarian Party was getting lots of attentions from libertarians. George Smith and Wendy McElroy realized that electoral activity by little ‘l’ libertarians was inconsistent with their ultimate goal of abandoning the State. How could you do away with the State by taking over the reins of power? They had the idea of starting a newsletter and organization to promote non-political ways of agitating against the idea that “society needs a state.”

I met George at a libertarian scholars’ conference and he enlisted me in the program. Our first publication was NEITHER BULLETS NOR BALLOTS, and the first issue of THE VOLUNTARYIST appeared in October 1982. George and Wendy helped edit and publish a number of issues, but they dropped by the wayside after a couple of years. I continued THE VOLUNTARYIST as an outlet for myself and others of like-mind.

Now, I knew that Mr. Smith and Ms. McElroy were involved with this publication because I had read several articles from both of them. I mentioned Mr. Smith's LP Dialogue in my Self-Educated Chicken personal history.

In my internet travels, I've passed through Wendy's site over the last few years and have since corresponded with Wendy after Carl sent my article to her and she posted it on her site. But I do not know much at all about Mr. Smith. I'm sure I will learn more when I actually start reading the issues.

Which I'm going to start doing right now. Well, it is close to lunch so maybe after that. But then I'll start. Really. And then I will return with what I'm sure will be the most profound blog post ever written on that issue. Because it will probably be the first one.

In the meantime, go watch that Star Trek movie and check out the scene where the new planet is created.

(Photo courtesy Wikimedia)


Jim Wetzel said...

"Finally, I ran out of ways to procrastinate so here I am."

I think you may have channelled me. (Scary thought.)

I'm about to follow your links. Thanks for starting this project! Like any good parasite, I intend to see how much learning I can do at your expense.

Joe said...

If you'll allow me a plug, you can start to learn about George here:

MamaLiberty said...

The original, very campy "Star Trek" is one of the few things I've
missed in the 15 years since I've watched TV. Yes, the "Federation" was
totalitarian for the most part, but Kirk and his bunch were usually in
trouble with their independent antics. Anyway, it was fun - and I'm sure
the re-runs are still going on at least one of the 1,000 channels now

The best episode, however, has to be "A Piece of the Action" where the
planet is run according to a book about the Chicago mob. Would have new
meaning these days...