What is Voluntaryism?

Voluntaryism is an economic and social philosophy based on two interconnected premises:

  1. Initiating aggression is always immoral.
  2. Aggressing against aggression (Retaliation) is always morally justified.

Based on these premises we can say a person who lives peacefully may justly claim:

  • the Right to live free from aggression and
  • the Right to retaliate against any aggression initiated against them

In other words, the Right to live free from aggression is undermined only by the Right of others to defend themselves against it. Logically, when others are morally justified in their aggression toward you there can be no claim to such a Right on your part.

Aggression is typically defined as an action which violates another person’s property rights. There really isn’t any difference in the meaning of the phrases “initiate aggression” and “violate property rights” in Voluntaryism. They are one and the same.

Property Rights are based on the premise that the individual has property in oneself – Self Ownership.

Voluntaryism concludes that government is illegitimate because people in government initiate aggression against others in as much as they tax, kill, and conscript members of a society perceived to be under their authority.

There are two possible ways humans can interact. Either voluntarily or cohersively. I’ve never meet anyone who prefers to have their actions dictated by force. People I know prefer others who do not aggress against them so they tend to return the favor. If you believe forcing others to act against their will is wrong; if you consider theft immoral; if you believe that voluntary interaction is the only moral option, welcome to the club. You are a voluntaryist.