One prominent member of the libertarian movement was Carl Watner, who died of cancer last week. He was born in 1948.
Murray Rothbard may have been “Mr. Libertarian,” but Carl Watner was “Mr. Voluntaryist,” in my opinion. All things voluntary, and views guided by the non-aggression principle.
Wendy McElroy writes:
It is with deep sorrow that I announce the death of Carl Watner, who was the primary hand in founding the modern Voluntaryist movement in the early 1980s. He worked tirelessly and without complaint, day in and day out for decades, expressing his principles through his prolific writing, his character, and his actions. I will never meet his like again. I was lucky to have known him at all.
Carl died at home on Tuesday after a long and brave fight against cancer. He was surrounded by a loving family, including his remarkable wife Julie, and he was in no pain. I asked. Carl will be cremated and laid to rest in a Baltimore cemetery that his family owned for many years and where he will be joining three generations of the Watner family.
I cannot imagine the world or the movement without Carl. He was an irreplaceable friend and colleague. Good journey, Carl.
Carl Watner’s ideas and writing had an influence on me in my own libertarian thinking, such as in my views on the immigration issue.
Carl Watner started the Voluntaryist Newsletter with Wendy McElroy and George H. Smith in 1982. Here is the Voluntaryist website, and here is the Table of Contents for the Voluntaryist Newsletter. He wrote an essay in 2014 on what Voluntaryism means to him.
And here are some of my favorite articles by Carl that I have posted links to here on this blog. I’m sure you will find them as enlightening and interesting as I did.
Besides his articles at the Voluntaryist Newsletter, here are some of his other articles and papers at the Mises Institute, and Reason magazine. And voluntaryist books are available at the Voluntaryist website, including his own book on Homeschooling (also available at Amazon).