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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

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 ...

In Praise of Working People

A prominent difference between the 19th-century libertarian movement and the contemporary one lies in their attitudes toward working people. These are people who are not primarily interested in reading economic or political theory but who focus their energies instead ...

Contra Gradualism

It is 1858 and you are living in a Northern town. A man has arrived at your door with papers documenting his ownership of a runaway slave whom you are sheltering. The slave ...

Demystifying the State

Mystification is the process by which the commonplace is elevated to the level of the divine by those who have a vested interest in its unassailability. Government is a perfect example of mystification ...
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