An introduction to WAL Reader, Issue I.
By Ryan Lindsey
“Whatever you think may be of value to your community, to the libertarian community – use my platform to do it… the more people that participate in We Are Libertarians, the more value they get out of it.”
So said Chris Spangle when he laid out the goals of We Are Libertarians for 2019. In an effort to maximize the value of the organization he founded (and to make deplatforming We Are Libertarians (WAL) more difficult via proliferation of creative and distributive efforts), Spangle presented an open invitation to produce content under the well-known We Are Libertarians banner.
This is an incredibly gracious offer on Spangle’s part – the amount of time, money, and personal commitment he has put into building the WAL brand since founding the organization in 2012 has been tremendous. To let anyone with a desire to contribute to the political/social/cultural conversation essentially piggyback of off his years of work is a godsend to new content creators like myself.
I am writer by profession and hobby – naturally, when I heard this invitation to produce under the We Are Libertarians label, my first ideas for how I could contribute involved writing, and due to being a serious fan of journalistic magazines (I cannot recommend subscribing to Reason and The Atlantic enough) I gravitated towards the idea of a magazine format. And thus, the idea for the WAL Reader was born.
I’m excited to embark on this new project, and am looking forward to seeing it (hopefully) progress. Like Chris Spangle, I deeply believe that the world needs more reading – and not of clickbait news articles from your newsfeed.
While I’m under no illusion that the writings in this magazine will be an adequate substitute for the great works of Goldman, Hayek, Spooner, etc., I do hope that they will make you think about events and issues with either a new information or a different perspective (or maybe even both). Above all, I hope the WAL Reader helps you to think more than many sources of news and talking heads do, and to help you think more empathetically. While doing this, I will always strive to ensure that the WAL Reader stays aligned with the ten key principles of We Are Libertarians – I do not intend to disparage the brand that Chris Spangle and so many others have worked to establish as a premier source of content in the Libertarian community.
WAL Reader‘s Values
I believe that the advancement of the human condition is a worthwhile and important goal – working to limit human suffering while respecting the inherent rights of all individuals is the entire point of my libertarian philosophy.
I am willing to embrace almost any-one and any idea that is also working towards this central aim (whether intentionally or not). It does not matter to me if you subscribe more to the teachings/ideologies of Bill Weld or Murray Rothbard, the Cato or Mises Institute, Milton or David Friedman – if you support bettering human life while also advancing liberty, you’re an ally of the WAL Reader. I am all for “big-tent” libertarianism, and this magazine will be as well.
If you do not consider yourself to be a part of the political or social movement centered around human progress and liberty, I believe that this magazine is still for you and has values you can appreciate. For those of you who identify as more progressive, I share with you a deep concern for justice, social and criminal. For anyone who considers their self to be more of a conservative, I share with you a desire for social tranquility and fiscal prudence.
I believe that most people want the same things I previously mentioned (human advancement and liberties). If you believe that too, there’s something here for you.
The First Issue
This issue of the WAL Reader is different that what I plan to do with future issues, largely due to the nature of this being the first issue. This first issue will be very introductory – hopefully this issue will give you an idea of what this magazine is about, what We Are Libertarians is, and what kind of content the WAL Reader will have.
When reading through this first issue, please keep in mind that I am brand new at this – I have never tried writing and publishing anything on my own before and it’s been years since I have written any sort of serious journalistic content.
(That is not to say that I do not want feedback and criticism – I definitely do seeing as how I don’t know how I’ll improve this magazine without them. I fully expect there will be plenty of rough edges in this issue (and the next, and the next as well). All I ask is that while you find those imperfections, please don’t let them discourage you from reading the content, but rather look forward to the quality improving as I gain more experience and respond to feedback.)
I also feel obligated to tell you that I cannot promise when the second issue of WAL Reader will be available. While I would like to be able to guarantee a regular monthly release, the reality is that I cannot do that. This is a project for me to do when I am able to and one that I do not foresee making any monetary profit one, so unfortunately it cannot take the priority in my life that my full-time job and family do, and I do not want to sacrifice quality for quantity. I cannot promise you when the next issue will be available, just that there will be one. My gut feeling is that the next issue will be available in two to three months.
I have a lot of ideas for what WAL Reader can be in the future. Three of these ideas that am wholly committed to are as follows:
1. Multiple Contributors in Each Issue
I think that I have valid opinions on many issues, but I’m sure that you all would benefit more from reading more voices than just mine in this magazine. Besides, the more voices contribute to this, the quicker content is accumulated, which means issues can be produced faster.
2. Specific Focus for Each Issue
In future issues, I plan to revolve a majority of the articles around one central theme or issue. Of course, this means that the content will not always be especially timely, but it will be relevant and applicable in one way or another.
3. Regular Release Schedule
Once I have released three to four is-sues, hopefully I will have a fairly clear idea of how long each issue will take to make. Once I have an idea of this, I’ll have a regular schedule for WAL Reader.
Again, thank you very much for taking the time to look at this first issue – I truly appreciate it. I hope that you find this content both enjoyable to read and beneficial.
“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in the minds of men.”
– Samuel Adams