Auberon Herbert: Selected Writings from a Reluctant Anarchist Kindle Edition
by Auberon Herbert (Author), Wendy McElroy (Introduction)
Auberon Herbert (1838–1906), born into the British nobility, was one of the power voice of his day for individualism and the working man. Published by mainstream periodicals such as Nineteenth Century, The Humanitarian, and Fortnightly Review, Herbert became the most influential British libertarian of his time. Today, however, he is perhaps best remembered for popularizing Voluntaryism — a political tradition maintaining that all human interaction should be voluntary and rejecting the initiation of force. The only justification for force is self-defense, including the defense of property.
Herbert argued with particular vigor against the idea of majority rule, saying that “what one man cannot morally do, a million men cannot morally do, and government, representing many millions of men, cannot do.” War was the pure expression of “the way of force and strife.” Herbert’s anti-war sentiments had a long history. Like many British aristocrats, he had held commissions in the army and served in India; in letters home, he criticized the British occupation. During the Prusso-Danish war (1864), he spent time observing action near the front line and was subsequently decorated by the Danish government for rendering aid to the wounded. He also directly observed the American Civil War (1861–1865), of which he wrote, “I am very glad that slavery is done away with, but I think the manner is very bad and wrong.”
In the 1870s, “jingoism” swept England in reaction to the Russo-Turkish War.
When the jingoists organized anti-Russia rallies in Hyde Park, Herbert became a driving force in organizing anti-jingoist ones
In his periodical Liberty, (May 23, 1885), the quintessential American individualist-anarchist Benjamin Tucker wrote of his British counterpart Auberon Herbert, “I know of no more inspiring spectacle in England than that of this man of exceptionally high social position doing battle almost single-handed with the giant monster, government, and showing in it a mental rigor and vigor and a wealth of moral fervor rarely equaled in any cause.”
This book offers Herbert’s finest essays and constitutes a representative overview of his work, for example, through the inclusion of excerpts from his periodical The Free Life. An introduction by Wendy McElroy places Herbert the man and his political philosophy in context.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION TO AUBERON HERBERT
by Wendy McElroy
THE RIGHT AND WRONG OF COMPULSION BY THE STATE
THE VOLUNTARYIST CREED BEING THE HERBERT SPENCER LECTURE DELIVERED AT OXFORD, JUNE 7, 1906 AND A PLEA FOR VOLUNTARYISM
A PLEA FOR VOLUNTARYISM
THE PRINCIPLES OF VOLUNTARYISM AND FREE LIFE
A POLITICIAN IN SIGHT OF HAVEN
TAXATION AND ANARCHISM; A DISCUSSION BETWEEN THE HON. AUBERON HERBERT AND J.H. LEVY 
THE CHOICES BETWEEN PERSONAL FREEDOM AND STATE PROTECTION
STATE EDUCATION: A HELP OR HINDRANCE?
THE ETHICS OF DYNAMITE
SALVATION BY FORCE
EXCERPTS FROM THE FREE LIFE
Auberon Herbert on the Absurdity of Government
Should We Wait for a Perfect World to Get Rid of Force?
Is the Voluntaryist Appeal Illogical?
Force is Brutish
Realizing your Principles Now
Georgism and the Single-Tax
AUBERON HERBERT IN BENJAMIN TUCKER’S LIBERTY
An Unwarranted Question
An Alleged Flaw in Anarchy
Property Under Anarchism
Auberon Herbert and his Work