...Go to Speech

About the Author

Wendy McElroy is a respected thinker, writer, editor, and advocate. She styles herself as both "Individualist Anarchist" and "Individualist Feminist" and has written extensively on both Anarchism and Feminism. At present, she is a weekly columnist for FoxNews.com, writing under the title "The ifeminist" -- a column that is widely reposted on the Internet. She is the editor of the feminist website ifeminists.com which grows by approximately 10% each month. McElroy is also a research fellow at the Independent Institute, and contributing editor to Ideas on Liberty (a publication of the Foundation for Economic Education), The New Libertarian, Free Inquiry (published by the Council for Secular Humanism), and Liberty magazines. Her writing has appeared in such diverse periodicals as National Review, Marie Claire, and Penthouse. She lives with her husband in Canada.

About the Speech

"Individualist Anarchism v. Communist Anarchism and Libertarianism" is the text of a speech given by Wendy McElroy in 1981. It is reproduced on Mondo Politico because, in a succinct and insightful way, McElroy explained to the listener the roots of Anarchism and Libertarianism, as well as the important distinctions that existed or continue to exist among Anarchists and other Libertarians today. McElroy ably demonstrates the sometimes surprising commonalities existing among those who, to this day, call themselves Anarchists or Libertarians. Drawing upon her deep understanding of the development of Anarchism and Libertarianism, she explains that the term "Libertarian" was first used by Anarchists to describe themselves. She points out that it is the Libertarian Party in the USA which has managed to obfuscate or eliminate the Libertarian Party's connection with Anarchism, thereby confusing the meaning of the term Libertarian. She condemns as unwise the ongoing involvement of some Anarchists with the Libertarian Party.

Although McElroy argues that Anarchism and Libertarianism used to be synonymous terms, the wealth of Anarchistic writings, books, journals etc. that continue to style themselves "Libertarian", and the substantial membership of Anarchists in Libertarian parties in both the USA and Canada suggest that - notwithstanding what the Libertarian Party of the USA might prefer - the term "Libertarian" has a meaning that refers to the core commonalities between Anarchism and the principles espoused by those Libertarians who advocate a government with limited powers (i.e., Minarchists). In this regard, we would refer the reader to Mondo Politico's "What is Libertarianism?" page in The Libertarian Learning Centre.

Our thanks are extended to Wendy McElroy for having permitted Mondo Politico to reproduce her speech. Should you wish to reproduce the speech yourself, you should first obtain permission from Wendy McElroy at mac@zetetics.com.

.. Go to Speech