Applications for the LP’s Platform Committee were due two days ago, and were to include three sample planks. Several applicants have chosen to make their proposals public. Here are the ones I am aware of; please post links to others in the comments.
UPDATE: In the comments, Susan has clarified that her last plank quoted below was not actually a proposed plank, as the first three are, but is more along the lines of an idea in a formative stage.
Thus far, the discussion has been mostly about the particulars of these proposals. I had been hoping more for links to (or just posting here) of the proposals of any other applicants who want to make their proposed planks public. If any are posted here, I’ll add them to the body of the post.
National and Community Defense
A community of free people will act in their own defense and that of their neighbors without compulsion. We oppose any form of compulsory military service, including taxation to support a standing or wartime military.
It is the right and responsibility of each individual to provide for his old age as he best sees fit. We therefore support the abolition of the compulsory, burdensome, and unworkable Social Security system. Those who have been victims of the Social Security tax and who can therefore rightfully expect some compensation for their effort should have a claim against government property.
Obedience to unjust laws perpetuates injustice. Therefore, we support peaceful disobedience of all unjust laws.
Weapons which cannot be used without extensive concomitant damage to civilian populations (often called ‘weapons of mass destruction’) are – whether controlled by individuals or by states – the tools of terrorism, and as such have no place in the arsenal of a free people. We therefore support a ban on ownership of such weapons and call on the U.S. Government to divest itself of such offensive weaponry. The U.S. Government’s nuclear, chemical, and biological arsenals should be dismantled promptly, and further government research into the production of such materials should cease immediately.
1.7 The Arts [proposed new plank]
Art is a weapon against tyranny. The artistic spirit is anti-authoritarian, and stands in sharp contrast to the nature of bureaucracy, which is the nature of big government. Bureaucracy is deadening, art is enlivening. Bureaucracy upholds authority, art questions authority. Bureaucracy stands for repression, art for expression. Bureaucracy crushes the human spirit, art uplifts it. Bureaucracy is boring, art is passionate (this is reflected in the quote “boredom is counter-revolutionary — always”). Bureaucracy encourages conformity, art encourages nonconformity. The bureaucrat values law and order, the artist values freedom.
Again and again throughout history, poets, painters, musicians, sculptors, novelists, actors, and others have played key roles in motivating people to stand up for their freedom and resist government oppression. The Statue of Liberty designed by Frederic Bartholdi, and the poem by Emma Lazarus that graces its base, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” are both works of art which have inspired millions, and today Lady Liberty, the “Mother of Exiles,” serves as the unofficial symbol of our party.
To put the fate of art in the hands of bureaucrats, politicians, or tyrants, either via the power to censor controversial works such as pornographic or “politically incorrect” material, or via the power of the purse by controlling which artists receive funding, is simply wrong. We favor the widest possible application of the First Amendment in protecting creative expression, and no less ardently insist that art not be degraded and robbed of its dignity by paying for it with blood money gained through government aggression.
2.8 Education [proposed replacement plank]
Although frequently desirable, formal education is not a duty which should be imposed on the young. Made compulsory, it often does more harm than good by killing the spirit of learning in children. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” Libertarians decry laws forcing young people to spend regimented hours of the day in educational institutions as if they were prisons.
Just as we should be under no obligation to become formally educated, neither do we have a “right” to attend an educational facility at the expense of anyone else, because no legitimate right can impose a duty on another to work to achieve it. We *do* have the rights to *seek* knowledge and technical skills, and there are many ways to exercise these rights, only some of which involve enrolling in schools or programs specifically called “educational.” Writer Mark Twain wisely advised, “Never let your schooling interfere with your education.” Many accomplished leaders in science, business, art, and other areas of endeavor had little in the way of formal schooling, just as today in the United States, students who are homeschooled often outperform their peers in various measures of learning.
Unfortunately, schooling *does* appear to be greatly interfering with the education of millions of young people in U.S. government-run public schools. This is regularly revealed in news stories about high school students who cannot even find the country on a map of the world, high school graduates who cannot construct a grammatically correct sentence, and so on. Some of this, as crazy as it sounds, may have been according to plan: According to Thomas Dewey, sometimes called the “father” of the government (”public”) system of elementary education in the United States, “Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society.” Dewey, a state socialist, was an early admirer of the Soviet Union, and wanted children to be indoctrinated to serve the needs of the State. And indeed, the current school system largely modeled on the theories of Dewey and other “progressives” has been progressively “dumbing down” generations of students.
Government schooling is also a source of conflict in society, as factions of the public fight over how these schools use their stolen tax dollars. Today we see the cherished tradition of Separation of Church and State under new assault, with some on the religious right attempting to substitute the teaching of Creationism for evolution, replace sex education with abstinence propaganda, and sneak organized prayer into the classroom. Meanwhile, others on the far left use their control of many government-run universities to further an agenda of “political correctness” under which speech codes are used to criminalize dissenting points of view, school resources are used to lobby for yet more government funding, and educators who do not conform to the dominant mindset often have difficulty getting hired or promoted.
Libertarians believe that choices of which school to attend, whether to pursue academic or vocational learning, or whether to attend an organized school at all, should be made at the family level, by students and parents, according to their wishes and budgets. We urge private industry and charity to be generous in supporting these choices with scholarships and other educational offerings. Society desperately needs Separation of School and State for the same reason Separation of Church and State is so important — it is dangerous to allow those who make and enforce the laws to be involved in telling people what to think and believe. And how much more true when those being so indoctrinated are among the youngest and most impressionable members of society.
3.4 Freedom of Movement [proposed replacement plank for “Free Trade and Migration”]
Freedom of movement, when not infringing on the private property rights of others, is a fundamental human right which should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality. Countries are not private property, and governments have no legitimate authority to limit who may enter and leave these usually vast areas. Detaining people at national borders without probable cause is just as wrong as detaining them in similar unprovoked fashion at their homes or in the streets.
This is a pressing human rights issue. Border controls enforced by governments of wealthy countries have created black markets in human smuggling, with tragic and deadly consequences. Each year, numerous migrants seeking to cross the border unmolested die in the deserts of the southwestern United States or in overheated vehicles without adequate food and water, while others are trafficked into the country as virtual slaves, forced to work in exploitative, sub-market conditions in order to pay off their smugglers, and afraid to leave these workplaces lest they be deported.
We strongly condemn the construction of the walls and fences which are slowly turning the United States, home to about five percent of the world’s population, into the equivalent of a wealthy, gated community. Such barriers are also the silent killers of millions who never attempt to migrate, taking years off their lives by denying them the opportunity to relocate in places where their life expectancy would have been extended through access to cleaner drinking water, better health care, etc. Equally ominously, with the United States in danger of becoming a police state, the militarization of the border represents a potential “Berlin Wall” which could be used to prevent people from *leaving* the country as well as entering it.
While we understand the concerns of those who resent migrants as an added drain on taxpayer-funded government services, and would like to see the welfare state ended before opening the borders, basic rights are not conditional. If we were not allowed to own guns until there were no shootings, or free speech were put on hold until it was no longer used to express bigoted views, we would wait forever. There is no justice in criminalizing whole groups of people because some
members of those groups take advantage of government largess. Per capita, immigrants to the United States actually receive less in total government benefits than do U.S. residents born in the country. The promise of freedom must be extended to all peaceful refugees and migrants to the United States, whether they come to escape tyranny or poverty. Toward this end, we call for the elimination of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, an end to the massive roundups of Hispanic Americans and others by the federal government in its hunt for individuals not possessing certain government documents, and the repeal of laws punishing employers who hire undocumented workers. Such laws hurt the economy and systematically discourage employers from hiring Hispanics. Finally, we demand a declaration of full amnesty for all people who have entered the country without government approval, except in cases where such entry was in furtherance of committing an actual crime.
UPDATE 2, Nov. 20
James, AKA VirtualGalt (submitted existing planks, with added language in bold)
1.3 Personal Relationships
Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. We specifically call for the repeal of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.
2.0 Economic Liberty
A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society. Because of our belief in a free and competitive market, we are opposed to efforts by governments to protect businesses from the consequences of their poor decisions.
2.4 Government Finance and Spending
All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We support the passage of a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes.
We call for the gradual retirement of all governmental indebtedness over a 50-year period.