If I seem grumpy about the Kinsella article, I am, and here is part of the reason. Kinsella quotes Wendy's "Retrospective," an article in which Wendy has conveniently and drastically understated my role in the anti-LP movement in the mid-1970s. I cannot cover all of her misrepresentations here. Instead, I will present some documentary background and then explain its significance in a subsequent post.
Let's begin with with Wendy's highly selective account, as quoted by Kinsella:
...And, then, Carl Watner, George H. Smith and I established our own unique circle by creating The Voluntaryist newsletter and re-introducing the term Voluntaryist back into the libertarian mainstream. A libertarian used book store named Lysander's Books that I co-owned became the center of Voluntaryism.
This is a good example of how Wendy distorts history in order to exaggerate her own importance, even in regard to insignificant matters. Does it ultimately matter who came up with "Voluntaryist" as the name for a libertarian periodical that few libertarians have read or ever will read? Or does it ultimately matter who introduced the label "voluntaryism" into the modern movement? No, not really, but here is the true story that you will never hear from Wendy.
The first issue of The Voluntaryist
appeared in October, 1982. Not coincidentally, earlier in 1982 an anthology was published by Ballinger titled The Public School Monopoly; A Criticial Analysis of Education and the State in American Society
, edited by Robert B. Everhart. Chapter 3 of this book (pp. 109-44) is an article written by me, "Nineteenth-Century Opponents of State Education: Prophets of Modern Revisionism."
I researched this highly original article -- probably the most important historical article I will ever write -- for a solid year, mainly by spending countless hours in the UCLA Research Library, and I meticulously documented my research with 133 detailed endnotes, most of which cite 19th century journals, pamphlets, and books that few historians, including specialists in the history of education, knew anything about.
It was while researching this article that I encountered the terms "voluntaryists" and "voluntaryism," for these were the terms used by the British opponents of state education during the mid-19th century. These terms appear many times in my 1982 article, e.g.:
On my use of the term "voluntaryism," see some of the references here:http://books.google....&q=voluntaryism
On my use of the term "voluntaryists, see some of the references here:http://books.google....q=voluntaryists
When I thought of the idea of starting a non-political libertarian newsletter, one that would explore alternative strategies, I naturally suggested the title "The Voluntaryist," and I suggested that we use the label "voluntaryism," given that I had just finished and published an article in which those labels played prominent roles. Why? Well, for the simple reason that the terms were not already in use, and they had something of a libertarian pedigree. Contrary to Wendy's dumb assertion, however, the terms were never part of the "libertarian mainstream."
As I said before, this stuff is pretty minor -- and is precisely because it is so minor that Wendy's fuzzy and deceptive account is so petty. Why didn't she simply say that I suggested the labels "voluntaryism" and "voluntaryist," and that she and Carl agreed? But, no....Wendy had to steal even a meagar morsel of fame, giving herself credit for "re-introducing the term Voluntaryist back into the libertarian mainstream."
What a sleazebucket this woman is.