Journal of Libertarian Studies

Contra Spooner

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

The inability of modern philosophers to furnish any kind of argument for the maintenance of a government is a notorious weakness. In Lysander Spooner’s writings, it becomes an odd strength. Throughout such writings as No Treason, A Letter to Thomas F. Bayard, and “Natural Law,” Spooner asks why taxation and participation in the workings of the state should be compulsory. He concludes that there is no legitimate reason, and that government is the instrument of robbery, slavery, and murder.

Volume 18, Number 3 (2004)


Williams, Colin. “Contra Spooner.” Journal of Libertarian Studies 18, No. 3 (2004): 1–9.

All Rights Reserved ©
What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. 

Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Become a Member
Mises Institute