Voluntaryism Blog

Breaking Some Ice

Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is James Wagner, and I’m an Anarchist.

Well, if I have your attention because you’re afraid I’m going to toss a Molotov cocktail your way, there is no need to worry. All that I mean when I say that I’m an anarchist is that I think that all human interactions should be voluntary. I stand against the initiation of the use of force, or any type of coercion, for that matter. The meaning of the word Anarchist is synonymous with Voluntaryist and represents the thought that nobody should rule over anyone else. In other words, nobody has a legitimate right to initiate force or otherwise coerce others to do anything.

I grew up in the suburbs of the Capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. As a child, like many other children, I was always asking “Why?”. “Why?” is still my favorite question. But back then I was asking those almost unanswerable questions that children are so good at asking. “Why is the sky blue?”; “Why are you sending me to piano lessons?”; “Why did you sign me up for every sport and activity available for children my age?” I’m not sure my parents ever fully explained but eventually I figured out they needed something for me to do, to keep me out of trouble and I’m very glad they did all of those things for me.

I’m really looking forward to my two year old son asking me about the sky being blue. You don’t hear about many parents answering with theories about the diffraction of light and wavelengths. I’m sure I’ll bore him and maybe he’ll stop asking. Perhaps I’ll just tell him to Google it, or use whatever knowledge transferring technology exists by the time he’s really ready to know.

But, I also grew up loving airplanes and was always asking my parents why they wouldn’t buy me more books about airplanes. It’s not that I liked to read then, they were usually books with lots of pictures of airplanes. I was always fascinated by airplanes, but not reading necessarily. Perhaps that is why they didn’t buy me more of those books. I did learn to enjoy reading after I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering.

And after working for a small military contractor for five years I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work for a commercial aircraft manufacturer doing research and development as a Mechanical Engineer/Scientist. The combination of two things that have always fascinated me; science and flying. Since then I’ve worked on many exciting projects, completed my Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Wichita State and have most recently been given the opportunity to provide my services on the A350-1000 Program as a Project Engineer.

The second best part about coming to Wichita was that the company I work for paid for my ground school and Wichita is easily one of the best places to learn to fly. Seriously, if you are afraid of what happens in the unlikely event of loss of power. There are many options for emergency landing spots in this town.

However, the best part about my move to Wichita has been meeting my wife and having a family. We’re expecting another son in a little over a month from now. I am very much looking forward to trying to answer his questions too.

So, why am I here? Everything that’s ever happened in my life has led me here. Many things have happened to me during my time on this earth, but I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could figure out how to travel the other direction in time. But, one of the things I insinuated when I made the statement that I value voluntary interaction, is that I value honesty. I’m here because I’m human, and like all humans, I have flaws. But I also have something that is invaluable: hope. And I truly want your honest feedback. So that, I can fix some of those flaws, and ultimately, like most of you, I hope to become a better person.

You see, when I was back in high school and applying to colleges, one of the applications had an essay question about, “If you were a fly on the wall, where would you like to be?” I said I’d like to be in the room where my friends were talking about me. That is all to say that I value constructive criticism. I understand that if I don’t know what is wrong, I can’t fix it. I’m hoping all of this will help open up more opportunities for me to provide my services on more exciting projects and programs. So, I’d like to ask for your help, in fixing the things that are keeping me from being the best communicator I can be.