Thursday, April 14, 2011

Voluntaryism is Simply a Free and Unhampered Market

Issue 17’s article “Unlimited Voluntary Exchanges” gives us a nice appetizer of the thoughts and philosophy of R. C. Hoiles. Hoiles is another person who is now deceased that I wish I could have met. He founded a chain of newspapers that continues to this day, although there has been some restructuring and changes like most newspapers in our electronic age.

Three items I discovered while investigating Hoiles’ Freedom Newspaper chain connected with me personally. The first is that one newspaper currently a part of this chain is in a city less than 50 miles from me in Seymour Indiana.

The second is that Hoiles thought the editorial and opinion page of a newspaper was its heart and soul. I found this quote on in a Jeff Riggenbach piece on Hoiles:
“What this country needs as much as anything else, are newspapers that believe in moral principles and have enough courage to express these principles and point out practices and beliefs that violate moral principles. A newspaper that only tries to run editorials and columnists and news items that are popular is of mighty little value to its readers.”

Yeah, what he said. I have been very fortunate to write for a daily paper that gives me a lot of freedom to speak my mind and so I can really relate to this.

The third item I discovered is that an online friend, Kent McManigal, writes for another paper in this chain, The Clovis News Journal. Interestingly, Kent has not been as fortunate as I have and has occasionally struggled with this paper’s publisher to get his opinions printed, which are always very hard-hitting and root-striking. I find this ironic, considering Kent seems to be exactly like the type of person Hoiles would have loved to see contributing on any of his editorial pages.

Besides his views on newspaper editorial pages, another reason I feel a close affinity to Hoiles revolves around his feelings about education. I learned he was a strong believer in the separation of school and state and also that he had a policy at his papers to refer to public schools by the more specific name, “government schools.” I made a personal decision to do that on my own several years ago. Maybe I was channeling Hoiles.

Hoiles also had a standing offer of $500 to any school official in the areas where his papers were published if he or she could explain how government schools were in harmony with the Golden Rule. According to Carl, he was never seriously taken up on this offer. I’m thinking this would be a fun thing to do in one of my newspaper columns someday.

But enough about my new love for Hoiles, let me give you a little explanation about this particular article which was originally published in 1959. It is basically Hoiles giving a report of sorts about a recent visit to The Exchange Club of Santa Ana where he spoke on voluntaryism.

Hoiles describes how simple voluntary exchange between individuals is all that’s really needed for a peaceful and prosperous society. He tells us that everyone benefits when two people exchange with each other because both of them are better off than they were before the exchange and the benefits will move towards other individuals in a wide variety of ways.

During this speech, Hoiles left time for questions and he also describes his responses. Here are some of the questions he reportedly received:
  • How would you raise money to defend the nation?
  • How would the Civil War have been handled?
  • What about having to compete with the cheap labor in India and China? (Remember, this was written in 1959!)

You can go to the article and see how he answered these questions.

I know that there are more articles upcoming in The Voluntaryist that either refer to Hoiles or are reprints of Hoile’s writings and I for one am looking forward to reading them because anyone who thinks the same way I do about government schools and loves the editorial page of the newspaper is certainly my kind of guy.


Kent McManigal said...

Thanks for the mention!

Paul said...

Another great essay, Debbie!