Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Experiment Away, Voluntaryists!

In Issue 6 of The Voluntaryist, the editors continue to find it necessary to explain basic ideas that shape their organization. Wendy McElroy writes an article titled “The Party Line on a Party Line,” and says once again that Voluntaryists are not promoting any specific strategy to reach the ultimate goal of individual liberty.

She expresses frustration at those who demand specific strategies. For her, it would not be so bad if she thought these people really wanted to see strategies so they could get out there and start experimenting with them. No, she thinks they are merely looking for another way to attack their attempt to move outside of politics.

Here’s one reason why Wendy thinks official strategy would be a mistake:
“First, nonpolitical strategy within libertarianism is largely an uncharted area which requires far more of a pioneer spirit than a doctrinaire censoring.”
So the Voluntaryists want to encourage lots of experimentation in strategy and also study past experiments. If you remember in the previous post Carl even described his current situation as his “Experiment with Truth.” They simply want the experiments in strategy to be through non-political means.

On a personal level, as one who homeschooled her kids, I can easily relate this to what I’ve seen in education outside of government control. There are and have been various groups who think that certain strategies and rules are necessary, but I have always come down on the side of encouraging experimentation and the pioneer spirit.

I personally think that homeschooling, and specifically unschooling, is the best strategy, but I also understand that there are other strategies for people to consider. I understand, as individual families experiment with what works for them, that education as a whole will improve and we’ll all benefit.

If there is one basic principle that I follow on education strategies, it’s that government should be completely out of the picture. But past that, I’m open to lots of experimentation as to what works for individual families. So in the same way, I’m open to experimentation in exploring non-political means to individual liberty as a whole.

Wendy mentions the need for flexibility in determining the paths Voluntaryist strategies can take and that can also be compared to homeschooling. I’ve said for years that one of the main reasons why homeschooling works is because of the flexibility that allows families to experiment, to see what works and what doesn’t.

We need people willing to experiment in many different ways. Then as we report and study successes and failures, we can all learn and eventually find strategies that work. Only by experimenting and studying results will we truly be able to create and develop innovative ideas in our ongoing quest for individual liberty.

So let’s get out our test tubes, beakers and goggles and experiment away!

No comments: