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Author » Wendy McElroy

Wendy McElroy is an author for The Future of Freedom Foundation, a fellow of the Independent Institute, and the author of The Reasonable Woman: A Guide to Intellectual Survival (Prometheus Books, 1998).

Latest from Wendy McElroy

Étienne de La Boétie, Part 1

Part 1 | Part 2 A 16th-century essay entitled Discourse of Voluntary Servitude by the French jurist Étienne de La Boétie (1530–1563) discusses a question that haunts those who love liberty: Why do people obey unjust laws? The ...

Going Postal: A Libertarian Tradition

BENJAMIN TUCKER, editor of Liberty (1881–1908) and the prototypical 19th-century radical libertarian, constantly experimented with strategies to educate people away from government. He particularly delighted in anti-government stickers, which he declared to be “highly useful” because of their cheapness ...

World War I and the Suppression of Dissent, Part 2

Part 1 | Part 2 IN THE SUMMER OF 1905, labor radicals assembled in Chicago to found a new group the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). It operated in competition with the more conservative American Federation of Labor ...

World War I and the Suppression of Dissent, Part 1

Part 1 | Part 2 THE YEARS SURROUNDING Americas involvement in World War I were a watershed for how the United States treated foreigners within its borders during wartime. Immigrants had flooded the United States in the late 19th ...

The New England Labor Reform League

IN GRAPPLING with the same strategic questions that confront modern libertarianism, the 19th-century movement evolved a remarkable organization that engaged in both education and grassroots activism. The New England Labor Reform League ...

The Free-Soil Movement, Part 2

Part 1 |Part 2 The key issue around which the free-soil debate revolved was slavery. Specifically, the question was whether slavery would be extended into the territories that were expected to seek statehood. Both anti-slavery farmers and slave-owners had been ...

The Free-Soil Movement, Part 1

Part 1 | Part 2 In 1837, in order to encourage a westward migration of the poor and unemployed from the industrial East, the journalist Horace Greeley proclaimed, “Go West, young man, go forth into the Country.” The vast public ...

Strategies from the Past: Boycott, Part 2

Part 1 | Part 2 Why, then, does boycott in the form of strikes and blacklists elicit such public condemnation? The 19th-century libertarian Steven Byington offered an explanation: The State is afraid of it. The boycott offers a means ...

Strategies from the Past: Boycott, Part 1

Part 1 | Part 2 The current disillusionment with politicians — which may be Clinton’s true legacy — will be positive only if it becomes disillusionment with the political means itself. Otherwise, people will continue to look primarily to ...

The Contagious Disease Acts

The Contagious Disease Acts (1860s) in Britain occasioned "the western world's first feminine revolt of any stature." So wrote historian Michael Pearson in his book The Age of Consent: Victorian Prostitution and Its Enemies. The revolt was for sexual ...
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