Carl Watner

Carl Watner

BIO

Carl Watner (born 1948) is an American author and historian of libertarian studies, and a voluntaryist. He has written articles for Reason magazine, the Libertarian Forum, and the Journal of Libertarian Studies.

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FEATURED WORK
Dissenting Electorate: Those Who Refuse to Vote and the Legitimacy of Their Opposition

Dissenting Electorate: Those Who Refuse to Vote and the Legitimacy of Their Opposition

By Carl Watner

It’s the same message every election year: “Get out and vote–It’s your civic duty.” Those who audit the sound bites of the candidates, read headlines about the debates and finally pull the lever at their local precinct are touted as moral, upstanding citizens; those who find among the candidates no agreeable representative, no platform worthy of espousal, and who then refuse to turn out on election day, on the other hand, are labeled apathetic and the legitimacy of their opposition is denied. This book is an anthology of articles and excerpts from a variety of sources that deal with the topic of nonvoting. In presenting the minority view that important moral and political reasons abound for not voting, the book unfolds four general arguments: voting is implicitly a coercive act because it lends support to a compulsory state; voting reinforces the legitimacy of the state; and existing nonpolitical, voluntarist alternatives better serve society. Many people do not agree with the…

The Essential Voluntaryist

The Essential Voluntaryist

By Carl Watner

What does it mean to be a voluntaryist? How does voluntaryism differ from little ‘l’ libertarianism and the big ‘L’ Libertarian Party? You will find the answer to these and many other questions in Carl Watner’s anthology of essays comprising The Essential Voluntaryist. Taken from the Voluntaryist newsletter, which he has published for over thirty years, Watner discusses everything from “the major crimes of the United States government” to “marriage, and the family.” Other topics include money, treason, taxes, education, prison slavery, government identification, medicine, American history, and societal defense, all viewed from a unique and consistent voluntaryist perspective. Voluntaryist‘s statement of purpose: Voluntaryists are advocates of non-political, non-violent strategies to achieve a free society. We reject electoral politics, in theory and in practice, as incompatible with libertarian principles. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy. Voluntaryists seek instead to delegitimize the State…

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