Libertarian Party Anarchist Caucus

The Libertarian Party Anarchist Caucus has been formed by Libertarian Party of West Virginia chair Matt Harris.

“We support state-neutral platform language and a big tent Libertarian Party which welcomes anarchists and other radical activists. As the party of principle, we should always stay true to the principles of less government until there is none left,” Mr. Harris proclaimed.

“This caucus will be the greatest bastion of fearless resistance to tyranny to ever exist within the Libertarian Party. While we may not all agree on what to do with our freedoms, the LPAC will always stand in opposition to any who would abridge those individual freedoms through the use of fiat authority.”

Asked whether the group has any plans to acquire private nuclear weapons in the service of individual secession, Matt said “yes, absolutely,” while brandishing a butter knife.

He went on to say that “all Libertarians regardless of their philosophical backgrounds should join together in radical opposition to the state sponsored terrorism under which we all live each day in the United States”.

The anarchist caucus endorses the 5 key points of libertarianism:

1. The right of day care owners to install crack cocaine vending machines.

2. The right of all sovereign individuals to the ownership of nuclear weapons.

3. The right of all individuals to secede from the oppression of fiat authority such as governments and parents.

4. Principled opposition to any and all forms of non-consensual slavery, such as taxation. Consensual slavery between sovereign individuals is perfectly enjoyable.

5. Fuck the government!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lpanarchists

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=100056209203

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2009/07/we-propose-to-move-immediately-upon.html

72 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Anarchist Caucus

  1. Gene Berkman

    If this is a joke, it is in very poor taste.

    I have been around serious anarchists for more than 40 years, and the goal of a free society is ill served by people making jokes about cocaine vending machines.

    Mr Harris, get a life!

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    Interesting.

    I was thinking just the other day that maybe it was time for an overt Anarchist Caucus in the LP now that the minarchists and “reformers” have shattered the Dallas Accord.

    If you’re serious, though, Matt, you should put the idea forward in a more sober way and save the comic relief for after after the thing has been seriously established.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  3. mdh

    Tom, we’ve been too sober lately. About internal squabbles that do us no real good, about people screwing one another over, about pandering to serious people seriously and about taking serious steps towards… well, nothing much, really.

    It’s hard to say if such a caucus will have any real impact. The statements attribu6ted to me are serious – those of having a big tent party with a state-neutral platform. The rest is in jest, Paulie and I having breakfast this morning and having some fun at our own expense. If you can’t make fun of yourself and your own ideals, then how will you handle it when others do?

    Gene Berkman is a good example of a stodgy old man who wants to be too serious I say they had their chance to change society through th LP. Thy failed. No3w it’s our turn.

    At the same time, freedom is freedom and to be shy about what real freedom and personal responsibility means does us no service.

    We all ought to be having more fun. And yes, I really had a butter knife It came with my toast.

  4. paulie Post author

    I think Matt’s vision does not bow to the totalitarian rules of spelling, but I fixed it anyway.

    Thanks!

  5. Michael H. Wilson

    Andrew Jackson once said something like “Its a damn poor mind that can’t think of at least two ways to spell any word”

  6. Michael Seebeck

    Matt, you got 1 and 2 wrong! It should be:

    1. The right of sovereign individual day care owners to install nuclear weapon vending machines that accept crack cocaine for payment..

    Seriously, 3-5 are OK, but 1-2 are just ludicrous.

  7. paulie Post author

    1. The right of sovereign individual day care owners to install nuclear weapon vending machines that accept crack cocaine for payment..

    Nuke ’em if they can’t take a joke

  8. Less Antman

    As former membership director of the Libertarian Party Chocolate Caucus (our motto: FUDGE THE STATE), let me offer support for the viewpoint that a sense of humor is, in fact, far more effective than anger in trying to improve the world.

  9. paulie Post author

    LOL, I was not actually trying.

    We were in a hurry and you were talking the whole time. But yes, Tom’s is better.

  10. Pingback: The Caucus Race | Austro-Athenian Empire

  11. Michael H. Wilson

    Nice piece Peter. While I am one who believes in an open society, one that has open markets, and frankly I seldom use the word capitalism I realize that it’ll take some doing to get where I want to go.

    So do we smash the state, or take it apart piece by piece and see what the results are as we go along?

  12. robert capozzi

    tk, I’m curious by what authority is the “Dallas Accord” binding on anyone? Were there signatories? And, if so, how were they representing anyone today, decades later?

  13. Michael H. Wilson

    Yea to the humor caucus! Sarcasm works wonders at getting media releases picked up.

    And I recall a Clown party from the 60’s somewhere in the midwest, maybe Wisconsin.

    I forget what CLOWN stood for and it doesn’t appear on a quick check of Google. ,maybe someone else knows

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “tk, I’m curious by what authority is the ‘Dallas Accord’ binding on anyone?”

    Binding? I guess that depends on whether or not one’s word is one’s bond (with respect to those who hammered it out), and on whether or not one considers the ground rules of a situation one enters in mid-stream to be at least nominally authoritative (with respect to those who came to the party later).

    It was never enforceable, if that’s what you’re getting at. It was definitely on the honor system.

    If there’s ever to be a new version of the Accord, it’s going to have to be incorporated into the bylaws so that it IS enforceable (like, for example, the section on appeal from the floor to the Judicial Committee to enforce the SoP).

  15. mdh

    I’ve also thought about starting the Libertine Party Caucus for fun at conventions. The LPAC definitely endorses BDSM activities though. See principle #4.

  16. jason

    Ugh, when will Libertarians realize that they cannot call what they believe “anarchy.” Anarchy is a political theory that espouses a complete rejection of capitalism in all of its forms and embraces a communal lifestyle in which everybody helps support everybody. “Anarcho-capitalism” is a fraud that cannot work, because under capitalism, whether the Libertarian “free market” wet dream or the neoliberal “Third Way” disaster, people are always exploited, and monopolies easily develop (see the Gilded Age of American history). In addition, true anarchists reject being on any part of the political spectrum, including joining political parties.

    For more info on REAL anarchism, see the writings of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Proudhon’s earlier writings, or Emma Goldman.

  17. mdh

    Jason, you clearly disagree with us. You would initiate force to have people live communallyand am disturbed by that. We advocate non-initiation of force.

    An anarchist is on who advocates abolition of the state. End of story.

  18. paulie Post author

    Peter – I think you emailed us that but I can’t find the email. If I post it here, do you want me to post the whole thing, excerpt or just a link?

  19. Michael Seebeck

    Matt @28:

    I’ve also thought about starting the Libertine Party Caucus for fun at conventions. The LPAC definitely endorses BDSM activities though. See principle #4.

    Ditto #5, because you have to be some sort of sadist to fuck the government, and a masochist to allow it to fuck you back. 🙂

  20. Pingback: Libertarian Party Anarchist Caucus « Anarchy Without Bombs

  21. Robert Capozzi

    tk: …and on whether or not one considers the ground rules of a situation one enters in mid-stream to be at least nominally authoritative (with respect to those who came to the party later).

    bc: I joined the LP in 1980, and NEVER heard of a “Dallas Accord” until recent years…from you.

    Seems to me my experience illustrates a third POV. When I joined the LP, I was a Rothbardian. On reflection, I don’t find anarchocapitalism appealing on a theoretical level. And I believe the Dallas Accord rules were tortured and ill-advised for a political party.

    I advocated and helped to change the platform…unabashedly. I was and am quite upfront about it, since I believe L-ism needs to evolve IF Ls want to have any influence in rolling back the State.

  22. Eric Sundwall

    The concept of liberty should be an unbound exercise in the possible. Unfortunately too many consider that exercise a breach of social decorum when incorporated in the seemingly contradictory pursuit of power through a ‘political’ party.

    I think the key is not to let expectations in a third party effort go unchecked. Those seeking or promising some kind of victory will also seek to lead others down a path of practicality and reasonableness. This invariably leads to a compromise in libertarian principle as the cultural effect of the two party reality tends towards good old fashioned milquetoast American centrism.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    es: Those seeking or promising some kind of victory will also seek to lead others down a path of practicality and reasonableness. This invariably leads to a compromise in libertarian principle…

    me: In my case, I “promise” nothing. I DO “seek” to roll back the State, and I advocate the LP be an effective force in reducing the net incidence of coercion. No, that is not a “compromise” of THIS L’s principles. It may well be a compromise for anarchocapitalists who wish to hold high the banner of no State. That seems inherent in a political party. For ex., I know anarchocapitalists who are pro-life, though most I know are pro-choice.

    It seems obvious that the human condition and collective action invariably leads to at least SOME disagreement…guess we all just have to deal with it.

  24. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    “I advocate the LP be an effective force in reducing the net incidence of coercion.”

    I do admire the ballsiness of that claim.

    Modern “liberals” wave their good intentions around as exculpation for their failure to achieve their stated goals.

    “Reform libertarians” take it a step further by announcing a goal that’s impossible to calculate/quantify. That way they never have to explain failure, because it can never be identified as failure.

    Of course, success is equally impossible to quantify … but that problem can be referred to the Department of Making Shit Up for appropriate action.

  25. Pingback: The LP Anarchist Caucus’s “5 key points of libertarianism”

  26. mdh

    I believe that the LP will see the maximum electoral success by implementing three key points:

    1> Being radically libertarian.

    2> Being fun and likeable.

    3> Developing good strategies and competently implementing them.

    The LP’s past failures are not because we DID do 1, but because we’ve NEVER done 3.

  27. robert capozzi

    tk, given the choice between being a ballsy soapbox lunatic and an effective force for progress, I choose the latter. macho flash bad-boy-isms may feel personally satisfying, but I prefer the path more likely to lead to ACTUAL quantative (and qualitative) improvement.

  28. robert capozzi

    mdh, wow! Help us understand how your 5 points are “fun and likeable.” Do you mean “fun and likeable to a few thousand nihilists”? “Fun and likeable in the psych wards across America?”

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “given the choice between being a ballsy soapbox lunatic and an effective force for progress, I choose the latter.”

    Not visibly, you don’t. You immediately consign anything which might conceivably offend anyone (except anarchists, who are apparently okay to offend) to a box labeled “contra-indicated.”

    I’m not trying to be ideological here. I’m trying to get your attention from the practical side. In the REAL WORLD, in REAL ELECTIONS and in controversies on REAL ISSUES, the closest synonym for “moderate” is “loser.”

  30. Robert Milnes

    LPAC, prove you are not worthless. Pass a resolution that there is not enough anarchists in high level LP positions. & protest the hiring of Wes Benedict LPHQ on that ground.

  31. paulie Post author

    Consensual slavery wouldn’t be slavery.

    Definitional. 24/7 employment with very strict conditions, no time off, no pay above cage and feed, whips and chains, sexual torture, beatings, and so forth, would be considered slavery by many, but can be consensual. In some cases this may involve the right of the owner to kill the slave at will.

    A more controversial long standing problem in libertarian contract theory is whether someone may sell or place him or herself into slavery perpetually or for a fixed period of time without the right to change his or her mind later. Suppose such an initially voluntary slave later asks to be released and is denied, and escapes or tries to escape, perhaps aided by others: who is initiating force?

  32. Robert Milnes

    3. Developing good strategies and competently implementing them. The Progressive Libertarian Alliance Strategy could lead to electoral victory for an all anarchist ticket See: Benedict to head LPHQ comment 86.

  33. paulie Post author

    bc

    Help us understand how your 5 points are “fun and likeable.” Do you mean “fun and likeable to a few thousand nihilists”? “Fun and likeable in the psych wards across America?”

    The humor should be self-evident.

  34. paulie Post author

    Pass a resolution that there is not enough anarchists in high level LP positions. & protest the hiring of Wes Benedict LPHQ on that ground.

    discussion thus far on facebook:

    Less: Personally, I’m pleased by the hiring of Wes Benedict. He was one of the people who pressed for Ruwart to run for the nomination, he has said that he is comfortable with members running AS anarchists, and whatever his personal views, he is both a big tent guy and someone who is favorable to internal debate on the issues. Moreover, it is nice to have a committed libertarian as the ED for a change!

    me: Best thing the LP national has done in years. Operational incompetence after 2002 paved the way for the watering down and rightward drift in the LP….Wes is one of the very few to show operational competence during this period on the state level as ED in Texas, and I hope he can bring the same to DC. Incidentally, Texas was in much the same dire straits before Wes came on board there.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=100056209203&ref=mf

  35. robert capozzi

    tk, I guess we’re watching a different movie, then, since Obama, Biden, all MCs, all governors, and all state legislators are more moderate than virtually all Ls, by my estimation.

    Since I advocate many, many things that offend many non-Ls, I guess I don’t understand your perspective. I call for lower taxes and spending, and that offends liberals. I call for bringing US troops home as quickly as possible, and that offends hawks. I call for medical marijuana’s legalization, and that offends drug warriors. And I do support a smaller national defense, cops and courts for the foreseeable future, offending anarchists.

    You seem to be confusing L moderates with R and D moderates. (I note that LOTS of R and D moderates get elected year in and year out…Specter, Snowe, Collins, Nunn etc.) L moderates are pretty darned “radical” in the wider world.

  36. paulie Post author

    Ugh, when will Libertarians realize that they cannot call what they believe “anarchy.” Anarchy is a political theory that espouses a complete rejection of capitalism in all of its forms

    That depends on what you mean by capitalism. See http://mises.org/story/2099#6 for disambiguation. See also Matt’s article and discussion at http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/07/matt-harris-libertarian-party-of-west-virginia-chairman-why-the-free-market-is-our-best-weapon-in-the-class-warfare-struggle/

    and embraces a communal lifestyle in which everybody helps support everybody.

    Anarchy means without rulers. By what means is everyone compelled to support everyone? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for volunteering and cooperation. I do a lot of it myself, for example my writing here. On a very limited population basis, communes can actually work fairly well; I’ve participated in communal living myself, with varying levels of success. But cooperative models tend to work far less well when scaled up beyond the point where all participants all know each other well. What agency has the authority to decide what resources go where, and to tell people they must comply?

    The same, in fairness, is true of business enterprises. No anarchist can still claim to be such and claim to possess some authority to tell another person he can’t trade his own labor or what he produces with it for what someone else does with hers. Yet, it is a far step from that simple, organic market economy to large corporations with absentee owners, noncontractual limited liability and state-ordained corporate personhood.

    I’m not sure to what extent either system can – or should – survive at the scale of large enterprises or large collectives of people.

    people are always exploited,

    No less so by free riders and busybodies in cooperative settings.

    and monopolies easily develop

    If these monopolies are artificially backed by the force of the state, they are certainly bad. If some group in your ambiguous “share all” system monopolizes distribution and allocation mechanisms, it is no less a state for not calling itself one – the ultimate monopoly.

    see the Gilded Age of American history

    In no way analogous to a real free market, unless you consider a Khmer Rouge collective farm to be analogous to your idealized cooperative.

    In addition, true anarchists reject being on any part of the political spectrum, including joining political parties.

    Not necessarily. The political system is an empirical fact of life, as is the present economic system. Both of us would like to do away with both of these systems. You’ve expressed an opposition to participating in the political process in the meantime; do you also refuse to participate in the economic system and condemn all who do?

    For more info on REAL anarchism, see the writings of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Proudhon’s earlier writings, or Emma Goldman.

    There are many flavors of anarchism. A pretty good collection is at http://praxeology.net/anarcres.htm including Molinari, Warren, Garrison, Proudhon, Stirner, Spencer, Spooner, Tucker, Sumner, Thoreau, and many others.

  37. Back In Business

    I was a minarchist until I ran out of excuses. Eliminate the State and Be FREE!

  38. paulie Post author

    @61 I’ll sign up too.

    @58 If these monopolies are artificially backed by the force of the state, they are certainly bad. If some group in your ambiguous “share all” system monopolizes distribution and allocation mechanisms, it is no less a state for not calling itself one – the ultimate monopoly. I meant to include this point: if you create a new invention, you have a monopoly unless and until someone actually wants to compete with you and can be effective. Not all monopolies are always artificial or bad.

  39. Jim Davidson

    Peter Orvetti, I didn’t comment on your Liberty for All post because I couldn’t find a way to post there. (Apparently, “for all” is something of a false claim. lol)

    But I did comment on Tom Knapp’s blog. Here are those thoughts.

    I don’t believe minarchists are clueless, I believe they have always been insincere and at heart evil. The minarchist wants a boot stomping a human face, forever. If he wants a little less government than the other statists, it is only that he wants that boot to be shined and the stomper to be polite while stomping the human face into a mess of gore.

    The treatment of the Dallas Accord by the minarchists is indicative of their insincerity and unwillingness to actually limit the government, or even pretend to agree that government has become tyranny. They like a lot of wars, because they think there are profits in it – ask Rick Maybury why he has chaostan.com subscribers investing in defense companies.

    They like a big state because they have ambition to control it. They want to seize the reins of the state, liquidate the anarchists, and have the power and glory they think are held by Democrats and Republicans. In other words, moderate libertarians are evil, statist, imperialist scum. If they are not yet corrupted by the power they seek, they really want the opportunity to have the power to become corrupt.

    There is no room for moderation in the libertarian movement. There is no virtue in moderation in the defense of justice, and no vice in extremism in defense of liberty. Rather, there is only the cowardice of those not willing to take bold measures and the dishonesty of those willing to sell out the rest of us for a mess of pottage.

  40. Gene Berkman

    Just to be evenhanded, let me say this: If Mr Davidson’s post is a joke, it is in very poor taste.

    Referring to people you disagree with as “evil” and “scum” is not likely to be persuasive. And to think that limited government libertarians are the main reason we have statism and imperialism is a vast over estimate of the power of limited government libertarians.

    Mr Davidson, get a life!

  41. mdh

    It could be said that Bob Barr is a part of the reason we have extreme statism. He was an elected Republican who voted for a lot of that, after all…?

    John Hospers also endorsed George W. Bush in 2004. I don’t think anyone would disagree that Bush is a big part of the statism problem!

    So I suppose there is at least some evidence that some non-anarchist libertarians – prominent ones, no less – are a part of the problem or even a part of the cause of the problem or the machinery of the problem.

  42. mdh

    The LPAC advocates a big-tent Libertarian Party and a state-neutral platform. We believe the only way to achieve this goal is through direct action in a similar fashion as the minarchist faction has perpetrated against us over the past decades. Thus, we plan to promote the Libertarian Party as explicitly anarchist, and to advocate internally for explicitly anti-state language. Equal and opposite pressure seems the only way to drive things back to the sane middle ground.

    We are the anarcho-libertarians. We fly the black and blue – black for anarchism, and blue for libertarianism. It’s also a symbol of every bruise inflicted in a police beating, every bruise to our freedoms by statism, every bruise taken by every young mind from public schools, and the list goes on and on. Statism hurts, and statism kills. We can only end statism by ending the state!

    Remember also what anarcho-libertarianism means.

    Anarchism – the ideology around existence in a stateless society, without fiat authorities.

    Libertarianism – adherance to the non-aggression principle, and a desire not to initiate force.

    Put together, these things are a big part of who we are and what we desire for the future of humanity.

  43. Michael Seebeck

    Gene B, Jim Davidson’s post is not a joke. He really is that much of a bipolar lunatic.

    Hey, Jim, how’s that Facebook blocking thing doing, anyway?

  44. paulie Post author

    JD

    I don’t believe minarchists are clueless, I believe they have always been insincere and at heart evil. The minarchist wants a boot stomping a human face, forever. If he wants a little less government than the other statists, it is only that he wants that boot to be shined and the stomper to be polite while stomping the human face into a mess of gore.

    I’m an anarchist now. But I was a minarchist in the 1990s. I don’t think that was a good description of me then. I’d answer more to Less Antman’s description in Kn@ppster blog comments:

    Another reason to stay is that the minarchists in the LP include a large number who are open to the anarchist case if it is presented to them, and discussing it with them (something we have generally failed to do) is a valuable activity. I’m not willing to give up on them, since most anarchists were minarchists at one time, and most of the minarchists I’ve met in the LP are intelligent people who are relying on popular biases about the meaning of anarchy rather than the reality of market-created law and security.

    Most minarchists in the party at least recognize the irony of thinking the best way to protect free market capitalism is with a socialist monopoly, and are open to persuasion. Usually, their objection to anarchy is “pragmatic,” either believing some institutionalized aggression is necessary or believing the public can never be persuaded to support a complete free market, including law and security. Pragmatic arguments can sway them.

    Most, for instance, are unaware that the bulk of laws they respect in the US today were developed under anarchy, including the commercial code that was developed voluntarily by merchants in Europe when international trade had no protection from governments, and the common law that emerged as customary rules of conduct backed by reciprocal agreements, restitution, and the threat of ostracism in pre-Norman England. The laws they hate were all created by government officials, not to mention the complete perversion of justice that substitutes fines paid to the state for restitution to the victim.

    Which is why the dead Dallas Accord should not just be replaced with a carbon copy, but with a renewed commitment to alliance and friendship between anarchists and minarchists that INCLUDES the right of both to internally and externally advocate for their particular brand under the auspices of the LP.

    and

    I don’t think minarchists are clueless: I think it is primarily a matter of having not been exposed to the extensive empirical literature. They see institutionalized aggression as a necessary evil, so they’re halfway there already: they just needed to review the “necessary” part.

  45. paulie Post author

    bc

    the 5 points are amusing to me, too. “Fun and likeable,” especially likeable, seems to be a huge stretch.

    Your mileage may vary. I like to think of Matt and myself as fun and likable.

  46. Donald Raymond Lake

    robert capozzi : you need to realize that the Libertarian activists credo is ‘follow me folks, I am right behind you!’

    Welcome to our smaller government club, now bend down as we beat the stuffings out of you!

    Paulie and Matt as ‘fun and likable’ [Room Temperature IQs and an STD rash]? I just do not get it —– as with Scientology ‘missionaries’ on a modern campus! [Is Ron L. Hubbard working at the same gasoline station as Elvis the Pelvis and Micheal Jackson ?????? Inquiring minds want to know!]

  47. paulie Post author

    Don, there’s a lot of things you don’t get, but that’s OK. We think you should get better care….we really do.

  48. Donald Raymond Lake

    paulie: no you don’t! You and Matt and _____ and _____ and ______ can’t be full time Kinder garten play mates and then successfully fake sincerity. Thoughtfulness, once you can crank that sucker out at the drop of a hat, you’ve got it made!

  49. paulie Post author

    No, really, honestly, I hope you and Milnes get all the psych meds you need. It doesn’t matter whether you believe me.

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