Dave is a libertarian commentator, covering the globe. Libertarians believe in limited­­ — or no — government. Dave now favors anarchy (“no ruler”) as the ideal. His many other interests include leadership, entrepreneurship, and animal welfare.

Free the Education Market

by David E. Shellenberger on June 20, 2015

I appreciated the opportunity to share observations for Rebeca Morla’s May 15, 2015 article for the PanAm Post, “Washington State’s School Officials Pocket More than the Governor.” The article discusses the Washington Policy Center’s recent report, “Where the Money Goes in Public Education.”

The center found that “only 60 cents of every school dollar actually reaches school classrooms” and that school superintendents receive lavish salaries. My comments advocated a free market in education and the end of compulsory education laws. My conclusion: “Rather than trying to reform a system that is inherently flawed, I recommend freeing education from the clutches of the government.”

Since education is one of the most pernicious activities of government, I offer further observations. While the focus is on the United States, the principles are applicable to any country. I am grateful for the resources on the website of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, an excellent institution.

As an anarchist, I support the end of government and all its functions. However, even people who believe in government may find that a free market in education is an attractive idea. Some of these people may ultimately find that freedom from government itself is an even more attractive idea.
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Art for Compassion: Wolves and Coyotes

by David E. Shellenberger on May 6, 2015

Nature photographer and filmmaker Jim Brandenburg’s new project, “Nature 365,” presents daily, one-minute videos from footage that Mr. Brandenburg filmed over the years in Minnesota. On the project’s website, Mr. Brandenburg observes,

There were themes that kept presenting themselves to me – like the resident wolf pack that over the years learned to trust my presence. The wolf is a recurring subject, perhaps more than any other. In their trust, secrets were revealed to my camera that were not known, even to science.

In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Mr. Brandenburg suggested his hope for the project:

I’ve always really believed — when it comes to the environment which I feel very strongly about — it’s pretty hard to preach it and hit people over the head,’ he said. ‘They need to have their own self-transformation. I’m thinking little projects like this can make a difference… Maybe someone that never gets into nature will see something and feel something.’

Art is one of the best ways to reach hearts, encouraging compassion. See my “Songs of Wolves, Poems of Man” and “Wolf OR-7 Continues to Inspire Art — You Can Help.” [click to continue…]

Appearance on Libertas Media, March 20, 2015

April 26, 2015

It was a pleasure again being a guest on Brian Wilson’s Libertas Media Project podcast. Brian is a veteran radio talk show host. He regularly interviews Judge Andrew Napolitano; his other guests include luminaries such as Walter Williams and James Bovard. I was delayed in linking the podcast, but the topics we discussed are timeless. These include anarchism; the […]

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Politics Is Not the Path to Liberty

April 7, 2015

The campaign for the United States 2016 presidential election is now underway. Here are two predictions. First, all of the candidates will be unprincipled, untrustworthy, and hypocritical. Second, many of the victor’s actual policies will be the opposite of those promised. If one’s goal is liberty, then involvement in politics is worse than a waste […]

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Come Over to the Bright Side

March 17, 2015

Wake up. Sleepwalk no longer. Come over to the bright side. Seek a world with liberty, a world without rulers. It takes courage to acknowledge truth. It takes strength to reject conformity. And it takes toughness to decline surrender. But we live fully when our eyes are open. We live honestly when we are true […]

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Please Remember Not to Vote

November 4, 2014

The United States holds midterm elections today, November 4th; hence the mania of the media and the frenzy of fools. As I wrote two years ago, in “If You Need Me On Election Day…,” “The best vote is the one uncast.” Refusing to vote is an exercise of intelligence and conscience. It means recognizing that the state […]

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Open the Borders Pending the End of Borders

July 21, 2014

Free immigration, like free trade, is a moral issue. Government’s restriction of immigration violates natural rights, creates immoral results, and deprives us of morally positive benefits. States draw borders to define the territory they claim to control. Since states are criminal enterprises, the lines they draw, and the restrictions on immigration they impose, are illegitimate. […]

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The Absurdity of Tolerating the State

May 18, 2014

Advocates for liberty confront issue after issue, day after day. This is like shooing angry wasps. The problem is the nest. We can tolerate the nest and continue to be stung, or we can solve the problem. It is necessary to deal with the problem of the state, and not merely the endless symptoms of […]

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Appearance on Libertas Media, April 18, 2014

April 22, 2014

I enjoyed being a guest on Brian Wilson’s Libertas Media Project podcast. We discussed anarchism, the nature of government, the economy, thriving in a dangerous world, investing, the state’s theft of our dignity, and security as liberty. My related articles include: “Financial Reform Bill: Don’t Bank on Government Regulation” “Invitation to Liberty“ “The Gift of Truth” […]

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Only When We Are Free of Rulers Will We Live with Dignity

April 15, 2014

Dignity requires liberty. Only when we are truly free — free of rulers — will we live with dignity. The state steals our dignity. It imposes authority, exploits fear, compels collectivism, enforces conformity, and demands capitulation. It denies respect for individual rights and responsibilities, the essence of human dignity. A victim might have to obey […]

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