Jan 19

Lysander Spooner


Born on January 19th, 1808, Lysander Spooner, is recognized as one of the first Americans to embrace the concept of individual sovereignty. Spooner, is also known for his ideas on Natural Law, sometimes called the “Science of Justice”. He was a contemporary of Thoreau and other intellectuals of the 19th Century who had early influence on the “Individualist anarchism” philosophy. Here is a list of notable, American individualist anarchists.

You may go here for an online collection his works.

These notions of self ownership and freedom from the burdens of government interference are distinctly America. We are a practical and independent lot. America has worked best when individuals are recognized as the makers of their own destiny. When people are free to experiment, create, and engage in unhindered commerce supported by the free exchange of ideas, their ability to solve problems and create wealth is unparallelled. As a Natural Born American Citizen, these are among the things I cherish about my homeland. Sadly, these are the very things that are under perpetual assault from those who work toward the statist-collectivist agenda of the modern era. Where are the radical individualists of today?

So, to you Lysander, you radical, on the anniversary of your birth, I say THANK YOU & HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I have recently shared with some of my students an interesting article from Forbes Magazine about the “Shadow Economy”. As governments exceed the limits of their legitimate authority, individuals will find ways to circumvent the revenuers. Lysander Spooner would be proud to know that men and women assert their rightful place as self-governors and choose to live a life of self-ownership.

From the article; “Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman once commented, “The black market was a way of getting around government controls. It was a way of enabling the free market to work. It was a way of opening up, enabling people.” Friedman criticized government intervention, price-controls, and occupational licensure. Such government involvement in the market is what creates the black market in the first place. In some ways, the black market is the free market. Understanding this principle helps us to put into focus the proper role of government as discussed by philosopher Ayn Rand. Governments around the world that want to prosper should take heed.”



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