Book Review: The Sovereign Individual (1997)

Mastering the transition to the Information Age
by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg
Review by Brian R. Wright

sovereign_individualThis book was drawn to my attention by a fellow Free Stater—thanks, Shuvom. The title alone is compelling, and I have actually met one of the authors back in the earlier days of the Libertarian Party (LP) phenomenon. James Davidson was in Ann Arbor, as I recall, as a speaker for an LP of Michigan convention. In those days he was a fairly well known leader of the National Taxpayers Union, which he founded in 1969. Don’t know the man, Lord William Rees-Mogg, nor what percentage of the book he wrote or edited, but I consider The Sovereign Individual a fine addition to the literature of liberty. And I do rather wonder why it’s seldom mentioned as a leading work in the oeuvre.

The central idea of the book, which is consistent with my own development of the Sacred Nonaggression Principle, is there has been and continues to be a natural progression away from domination by others, or by central coercive systems, and toward the full flowering of the individual as an end in himself/herself. For such a person, the need for whatever services government has claimed a monopoly on thru the ages—protection, money, schooling, what have you—becomes a market decision that the person is qualified to make. And morally entitled to make. Continue reading