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Voluntaryism was a political creed developed by the British political philosopher and writer Auberon Herbert (1838-1906). Herbert had been greatly influenced by the theories of Herbert Spencer concerning Individualism, and refined these into his own code of Voluntaryism, based on the belief that the power of the State was the source of evil in society and that human beings were sovereign over themselves. He believed that State compulsory powers were illegitimate (including in the sphere of education), and that taxation should be on a strictly voluntary basis. His extreme libertarian views have been likened to anarchism.


S. Hutchinson Harris, Auberon Herbert: Crusader for Liberty (London 1943)