The story of a man who showed the world how a peaceful, non-governmental system can flourish.
This is a story about a philosopher, entrepreneur, lawyer, economist, abolitionist, anarchist—the list goes on. As his obituary summarizes, “To destroy tyranny, root and branch, was the great object of his life.” Although he is rarely included in mainstream history, Lysander Spooner was an anarchist who didn’t merely preach about his ideas: He lived them. No example illustrates this better than Spooner’s legal battle against the US postal monopoly.
Born in 1808 in Athol, Massachusetts, Lysander Spooner was raised on his parent’s farm and later moved to Worcester to practice law. Eventually, he found himself in New York City, where business was booming—but not for the Post Office.
The Postal System of the 1840s
In Spooner’s day, government subsidized the cost of building infrastructure used for mail routes. Postage rates paid for these subsidies, which in turn made the rates expensive. For example, in 1840 it cost 18.75 cents, over a quarter of a day’s wages, to send a letter from Baltimore to New York….Read More