Personal Rights Association

This schematic comes from an Appendix on political terminology written by Joseph Levy as part of his debate with Auberon Herbert, under the auspices of the "Personal Rights Association" (founded 1871), over the merits of "voluntary taxation."

Source: Taxation and Anarchism: A Discussion between the Hon. Auberon Herbert and J.H. Levy (London: The Personal Rights Association, 1912). Chapter: APPENDIX. By J. H. LEVY.

Levy took the position of "Individualism" whilst Herbert was an "Individualist Anarchist". At the back of the book is a Pamphlet of the Personal Rights Association which we include here.


FOUNDED 14th MARCH, 1871.



Mr. Franklin Thomasson, J.P., Ex-M.P.


Professor W. Steadman Aldis.

Alderman W. L. Beurle.

Mr. J. T. Biggs, J.P.

Mrs. Mona Caird.

Mr. Thomas Colby, J.P.

Mr. Josiah Mentor Gimson.

Councillor Sydney A. Gimson.

Miss Annie Goff.

M. Yves Guyot, late Minister of Public Works of France.

Walter R. Hadwen, J.P., M.D., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S., etc.

Dr. Frances E. Hoggan.

Mr. Arnold Lupton, Ex-M.P.

Mr. Walter McLaren, M.P.

Mr. Alfred Milnes, M.A.

Signor Ernesto Nathan, Syndic of Rome.

Mrs. Elinor F. Richards.

Mr. H. C. Stephens, Ex-M.P.

Mr. William Tebb.

Mrs. John P. Thomasson.

Mr. S. Van Houten, late Minister of the Interior, Holland.

Hon. Solicitor:

Mr. W. P. W. Phillimore, M.A., B.C.L. Oxon.

Hon. Sec. and Treasurer: Mr. J. H. Levy.

Assistant Secretary: Mrs. Lorenza Garreau.


Parr’s Bank (Charing Cross Branch), Limited.


The object of the Association is to uphold the principle of the perfect equality of all persons before the law in the exercise and enjoyment of their Individual Liberty within the widest practicable limits.

It seeks the attainment of this object—

  • I.—By labouring to effect the repeal of all existing laws which directly or indirectly violate the aforesaid principle.
  • II.—By opposing the enactment of all new laws which violate the said principle.
  • III.—By promoting such amendments of the law and its administration as are necessary for giving practical effect to that principle.
  • IV.—By watching over the execution of the laws so as to guard the maintenance of that principle, in so far as it has already received legislative sanction, and to show the evil results of its violation when laws or administrative methods are carried out in disregard of it.
  • V.—By spreading among the people a knowledge of the rights and liberties to which they are or ought to be legally entitled, and of the moral grounds on which those legal rights and liberties are founded.


  • 1.—Because it has, throughout its existence of over forty years, consistently maintained the principle of the equality of all citizens before the law, without regard to wealth, birth, sex, culture, race, religious belief, or any other circumstance whatever save the responsibilities which are implied in respect for the rights of others.
  • 2.—Because it would maintain government just so far as, but no farther than, is necessary for the maintenance of the largest freedom; and, in applying this, would have equal regard to the liberty of all citizens.
  • 3.—Because, therefore, it is equally opposed to the tyranny of the Few over the Many and the tyranny of the Many over the Few—to the use of all force in our intercourse with our fellows, men and women, save that minimum which is required in order to maintain freedom at the maximum.
  • 4.—Because it disregards the empty catchwords of party, and desires to unite justice-loving women and men in opposition to encroachments on the domain of individual rights, from whatever quarter these encroachments may come.
  • 5.—Because it watches over legislation and the administration of the laws, in order—so far as its means allow—to guard this principle, and to prevent or rectify miscarriages of justice. It took an important part in the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts; it advocates entire freedom of choice in the matter of Vaccination and all other medical prescriptions and practices; it regards with grave disapproval the present state of the Lunacy Laws; it denies that Scientific Motive justifies Vivisectional Cruelty, or any conduct to be condemned as morally wrong.
  • 6.—Because it is opposed to all obstacles placed in the way of the Freedom of Industry and Trade, whether external or internal—by Protective Tariffs, Bounties, Socialism, Limitations of the Right to Work, Close Corporations, Licensing Restrictions, Pseudo-Hygiene, or enforced Professional Etiquette.
  • 7.—Because it condemns all interference of the State in the matter of Religion.
  • 8.—Because, in Taxation, it holds that no more should be taken from citizens than the amount necessary for the maintenance of the largest amount of freedom, for any other object, however good.
  • 9.—Because it would break down all obstacles to the Economic Freedom of Women, and would recognize in parents equal rights in their children and equal duties to them.
  • 10.—Because, in Parliamentary Reform, it would fully enfranchise all fully responsible citizens, whether rich or poor, male or female; and would make representative government a reality by some efficient system of Total and Proportional Representation.
  • 11.—Because, in Penal and Judicial Reform, it has worked for the establishment of a Court of Criminal Appeal, and is working for the Abolition of Penal Torture, the keeping of Repressive Methods down to the minimum required for the checking of crime, the gradual elimination of the Death Penalty, and the Humanization of Penal Treatment.
  • 12.—Because its journal, the Individualist, discusses fearlessly all questions of political theory, and criticizes the political expedients of the hour, from the point of view of the principle here set forth and illustrated.

If you wish to join in this work, send a subscription to the Treasurer of the Association, at the above address; and the Individualist and a copy of each of the pamphlets and leaflets issued by the Association will be sent to you, as issued, by post. Do not miss the opportunity of co-operating in this work—the breaking of the chains of oppression and the liberation of all the forces which work for happiness and human dignity.

Cheques and Postal Orders should be crossed Parr’s Bank, Charing Cross Branch.

Further information with regard to the Association may be obtained from

Assistant Secretary.