Title page from The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays (1978 ed.)

The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays (1978 ed.)

A collection of essays by a leading late-19th century radical individualist and follower of the ideas of Herbert Spencer. Herbert discusses the moral problems of state coercion, especially when applied to state education, and outlines the principles of “voluntaryism”.

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Key Quotes

Parties & Elections

We live in an age of active evolution, and the art of government is evolving like everything else round us. Dynamite is its latest and least comfortable development. It is a purer essence of government, more concentrated and intensified, than has ever yet been employed. It is government in a…

Property Rights

If you surround property with state restrictions, interfere with free trade and any part of the open market, interfere with free contract, make compulsory arrangements for tenant and landowner, allow the present burdens of rate and tax to discourage ownership and penalize improvements, you will…

Rhetoric of Liberty

What is the work of the voluntaryist? It is to destroy the love of power; to destroy alike in himself and in his fellow-men the desire to force opinions or interests—whatever they may be—upon others; to be content to be a self-ruler, not a ruler of others; to strengthen belief in the moral weapons…