Kn@ppster: Reasons for Radicals (to return to the Libertarian Party)

Posted by Tom Knapp:

I don’t spend a lot of time trying to convince radicals who’ve rejected (or left) the Libertarian Party to re-evaluate it (or return to it).

That’s not because I don’t want agorists, anarchists, voluntaryists, et. al in the LP. As a matter of fact, I very much do want them there.

I just figure that most radicals who’ve rejected or left the LP did so after a process of evaluation, and that they remain satisfied that the conclusions they reached are correct. If that wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t have to chase them, they’d be knocking on the door.

Just this once, though, I’m going to join in the chase.

The LP is at a critical juncture. Its national convention this May will probably be the battlefield upon which a decision is reached — does the party finish its long swirl around the drain of its “right” wing’s cargo cult fetishes and go down for good, or does its “left” retake it, revitalize it and make it into a useful instrument for the pursuit of freedom?

I expect to have more to say on this subject in March in a speech at the Free State Project’s 2010 New Hampshire Liberty Forum (hint: The title of the speech is “What Is To Be Done?”), but Morey Straus is already presenting the argument for a radical recapture of the LP at takebackthelp.info. Check it out … and if you agree that the goal is a worthy one, get involved.

138 thoughts on “Kn@ppster: Reasons for Radicals (to return to the Libertarian Party)

  1. Michael Cavlan RN

    Vaugh

    Don’t worry about the “revolutionaries” in the Green Party. They are all long gone.

    Shhhh, they were the destructo-greens that Audrey AKA VAGreen wailed about.

    It’s our fault that the GP has died, doncha know?

  2. Mik Robertson

    The LP is always at a critical juncture, just like the United States is always at a critical juncture whenever the time comes to make a choice.

    I don’t think it is necessarily helpful to look at this as “retaking” as if going back to the old ways was a good thing. There were significant problems in the past, too.

    Perhaps what we need is some new thinking that can help synthesize and coordinate different lines of thought and different approaches so that instead of antagonizing each other they can work together.

  3. Don Lake .......... More Hyperbole

    Libs after some herkie jerkie false starts [in the free lunch period] have developed world class icons. The Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty are readily recognizable symbols strongly connected to partisan ideals.

    If the Greens, on the eve of Teddy Roosevelt’s centennial of the 1912 eye popping Bull Moose effort, do not want to go with Theodore Bear stuffed toys and other conservation symbols [like the wind powered three bladed electricity producing fan peace sign] —– then they can stick with the silly, silly sun flower.

    Hey, even in Kansas, it is mega wimpy and ultra feminine and way out of step with base line American attitudes. At least it is not the ubiquitous Eagle and Eagle Head!

    (Vaughn // Jan 26, 2010:
    This isn’t Greens, it’s PSL members that are trying to hijack our party label.)

    Lake: if only, if only. Out side of Libs, most non Dem or non GOP symbols are horrible and just plain dumb, dumb, dumb!

  4. Brian Holtz

    Morey’s site defines libertarianism as anarchism, and then advocates the strategy that the LP “make libertarianism popular enough that the major parties begin to co-opt our ideas”. Now there’s a sight I’d pay to see: one of the two nanny-state parties “beginning to co-opt” the idea of anarchism. For their next trick, they could show how to be a little bit pregnant.

    Morey’s site says we need the LP to stand up for “abolition” of the state and an “uncompromising” defense of the non-aggression principle. But in his recent campaign for state legislature, he produced a warm fuzzy video that is the best Libertarian commercial that this hardcore minarchist has ever seen:

    All levity aside, I’d like to see Tom debate Maurey (or maybe Tom debate himself) over whether radicals should endorse a St. Louis Accord.

  5. Morey

    @10 Thanks for the props. It’s tough to get anything of substance across to a general audience in under :30.

    I thought reformers would be thanking me for this project. The goal of it is to grow membership and increase convention attendance. Moreover, it’s among a niche audience [insert factional joke here] that has long been neglected.

    You do want to grow the party, don’t you?

  6. Brian Holtz

    I’m against adding small-tent radicals to the LP, just like I’m against adding small-tent “reformers” to the LP. If you would follow the link above to the proposed St. Louis Accord, you’d understand more about what I mean by small-tent radicals and small-tent reformers.

    TakeBackTheLP is small-tent when it:

    • says “America needs a platform and national candidate to advocate no-compromise abolition”
    • repeats the tired canard (demolished here) about “leaders and candidates who are increasingly indistinguishable from marginally pro-freedom Republicans”
    • demands restoring personal secession to the platform

    personal secession is silly

    So Paulie, the “news” here is that Tom has disclosed the title of a talk he’s giving in March? If there’s a lede here at all, it’s Morey’s site. Or maybe it’s that Tom has stopped describing LP factionalism in terms of radicals or anarchists against the rest, and instead is talking about left vs. right. That’s a wise tactical retrenchment.

  7. Morey

    I’m against adding small-tent radicals to the LP, just like I’m against adding small-tent “reformers” to the LP

    Let’s work together on the half we agree on. The platform planks that I find most embarassing are the “balanced budget amendment” (can we set our sights any lower? How about a 2% tax increase?) the “sufficient military” to protect the state, and the border checkpoint garbage that was used to justify that press release debacle last year. These statements make me feel unwelcome. 🙁

  8. Bruce Cohen

    How about this, Morey?

    Taking out a military sufficient makes ME uncomfortable. Are you saying there is no room in the LP for both of us?

  9. Erik Geib

    Why mention a ‘military sufficient’ at all? Can’t we use language that is vague enough to allow both viewpoints?

    Mary Ruwart is an expert at this – I read her entire book and didn’t realize how ‘radical’ she was until someone told me. She (and others) is/are able to phrase things in a way that calls for moving in a libertarian direction without necessarily saying how far. That’s the kind of libertarianism I can certainly appreciate.

  10. Brian Holtz

    Morey, the St. Louis Accord contains my suggestion for the boundaries of justifiable I-feel-unwelcome complaints, whether from anarchists or from minarchists.

    If you don’t agree that there’s any such thing as a unjustified I-feel-unwelcome complaint from an anarchist, then you’re a small-tenter and I don’t see what there is for a big-tenter like me to work with you on.

    If instead you do admit that there can be an unjustified I-feel-unwelcome complaint from an anarchist, then please let us know how your perspective on that differs from that of the St. Louis Accord.

    And don’t let the word “Accord” scare you. I promise I’ve embedded no malware mind-virus in it. Just read it. Knapp has. He’s apparently none the worse for having done so, after having recovered form his initial reaction that he could agree with it. So whatever effect it has is apparently only temporary.

    Bruce, there’s plenty of room for you in Morey’s LP — at the old kiddie table for minarchists that was retired in Denver. Just remember your place, don’t speak unless spoken to, pay your dues, and meditate on your sins against your anarchist Pledge.

    Erik, contrary to Morey’s statement, the platform language doesn’t necessarily mean that the military is for defending the government of the U.S., as opposed to its territory. Nor does our advocacy of some sort of military defense imply that we agree with anything about how the U.S. military is currently funded or deployed. So I’d say we already have the ambiguity you desire.

    The platform says that budgets should be balanced “exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes”, so Morey’s talk of a 2% tax increase is simply hallucinatory.

  11. Morey

    Brian’s “demolition” of comparison to republican candidates is in his head. Johnson, for example, who is far from a pure libertarian, sounds much better than Root.

    I’m really not sure what to make of your Accord proposal, Brian. According to your statement above, we can call for all kinds of programs, because the funding is left open to interpretation. Anarchists seem to be getting the poopy end of the stick.

    Does it mean that if you suggest spending $500B on military operations, and I say that it doesn’t sound very libertarian, then I’ve violated the Accord?

  12. Robert Capozzi

    Morey, I’d say “yes, you’ve violated the Accord.” OTOH, if you said you disagree and don’t support the roughly 7% cut in military spending that $500B represents, you would NOT have violated the Accord.

    Please explain the compulsion to brand who is and who is not L, could you? I disagree with many of Brian Holtz’s views and many of Tom Knapp’s views, but I certainly feel no need to ostracize either as “not L.” Both want to roll back the State, they’re both my colleagues/comrades on the peace train.

    And if a 7% cut is L “enough” for you to be considered “L,” what is your threshold cut? Must it be 100% to be L?

    ‘Fess up 😉

  13. morey

    Brian has heard my spiel before, but for those who haven’t; this is some of my case for why moderates shouldn’t be put off by a NAP-compliant minarchist/panarchist/nonarchist platform.

    I’ll use myself as an example. For my first 14 years of voting LP, I was one of those moderates. I had not taken the time to really investigate the details of the plumbline view, and was somewhat hostile to the NAP. I would have preferred today’s platform. However, I did take solace in the fact that the message was fundamentally grounded to the philosophy. I preferred to associate with a group that took it further than me rather than a group that seemed less interested in the issues I cared about.

    Using myself as another example, I point to the Paul campaign. I did not intend to be an active supporter, until I saw him make his strong anti-war statements in the first debate. It was so refreshing to hear among mainstream outlets, that I just had to donate. As you can guess, I have significant disagreements with Paul. Did that support put me at his “kiddie table”?

    Here is one more, using a family member as an example. He still sends money to PETA, even though he abandoned veganism ages ago. He appreciates a strong commitment to the core principle, even though he personally does not fully accept it.

    During my campaign, I had several ordinary people tell me that they admired my dedication to principle, even though I never used that word or tried to draw any sort of conclusion on consistency for them. People recognize and respect principle much more than an arbitrary stack of what are usually billed as “common sense” solutions.

    I will say this for Brian’s proposal though: newcomers are generally turned off by the factionalism that both of us have engaged in. This is only a strategic consideration, of course, but I will try to keep an open mind about how we might construct and apply such a guideline in a way that is meaningful to both sides.

  14. morey

    @23 I prefer to think of the views as being libertarian, and in degrees, rather than tagging sympathetic people with a simple “no”. Sometimes I slip up.

  15. Brian Holtz

    Morey, Root ran for Vice-President on the 2008 LP Platform, and I didn’t hear him disagree with a word of it. Are you claiming that the Platform is “increasingly indistinguishable from marginally pro-freedom Republicans”?

    The St. Louis Accord says: “Principled libertarians can disagree about whether every function of government can be performed by the free market, but we are united in opposing government’s growth beyond the protection of the rights of every individual to her life, liberty and property.” Most libertarians believe that military defense of American soil is a legitimate function of government, but the Platform doesn’t strictly say that such defense should be provided by government. LP anarchists remain free to tell voters that the free market can provide America a sufficient military defense. (I bet you never dared to say this in your campaign, though. No such statement was on the 2008 campaign sites of LP anarchists Knapp, Hogarth, Grow, or Straus.) If a minarchist calls an anarchist “unlibertarian” for saying that, then that’s small-tent and violates the Accord. Similarly, if an anarchist calls a minarchist “unlibertarian” for saying that military defense is a legitimate function of government, then that too is small-tent and an Accord violation. Each side remains free to argue that the other’s approach to military defense isn’t optimally libertarian.

    I’m still waiting for you to tell us whether you disagree with anything you read in the St. Louis Accord, or whether you think there can be such a thing as an unjustified I-feel-unwelcome complaint from an anarchist. I suspect you’re still mired in the obsolete Dallas Accord, which gave minarchists the “poopy end of the stick”. Anarchists got to veto all Platform content they disagree with, while minarchists got to veto only the one statement that the empty shell of the state will be discarded once we’re done hollowing it out. Under the new de facto Denver Accord there is no “poopy end of the stick”, because our unity platform includes all and only the principles that unite the major schools of libertarianism. Neither anarchists nor minarchists are second-class libertarians, and there is no longer a kiddie table in the LP.

    For me, the plumbline is geominarchism. Our fundamental difference is not just that we have different plumblines, but also that you think the LP should officially endorse your plumbline as better than other libertarian plumblines. I have no need for such an endorsement, because I already know my plumbline is better than yours. 🙂

  16. Thomas M. Sipos

    Brian Holtz: “Neither anarchists nor minarchists are second-class libertarians, and there is no longer a kiddie table in the LP.”

    That’s fine by a minarchist like me, since both minarchists and anarchists oppose war and empire.

    But where do Big Government Libertarians (e.g., those who support war and empire) sit?

  17. Brian Holtz

    Morey says Gary Johnson “sounds much better” than Wayne Root. Let’s compare Johnson’s “Our America” platform with the LP Platform that Root ran on.

    OA on taxes: “The Initiative does not believe in raising taxes.”
    LP on taxes: “All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax.”

    OA on drugs: “Legalize marijuana. We do not advocate the legalization of any other drugs.”
    LP on drugs: “We favor the repeal of all laws creating ‘crimes’ without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes.”

    OA on health care: “The costs of health care are out of control and something needs to be done to return health care to fiscal solvency.”
    LP on health care: “We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use”.

    OA on defense: “The United State should only be involved in just causes and should not engage or risk military action except when needed to protect its specific interests. […] Our war in this region is with Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.”
    LP on defense: “defend the United States against aggression [and] abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world”.

    OA on immigration: “United States authorities do need to know who is crossing our borders and be able to prevent criminals from entering the country.”
    LP on immigration: “We support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property.”

    OA on environment: “America needs to be a land with a clean environment. We support clean-air and clean-water action and believe in conservationism.”
    LP on environment: “Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife.”

  18. Libervention Debate Club

    People who advocate empire — annexing nations or peoples through military conquest — are not libertarian, period.

    Ditto for warmongers — those who advocate war for war’s sake.

    Ditto for pacifists who oppose all war, since (as the Platform says) libertarians “recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny”.

  19. NewFederalist

    Thomas M. Sipos- Is a “Big Government Libertarian” the same as a “Small Government Socialist”? Just curious.

  20. Thomas M. Sipos

    I can’t say, because I’ve never met a Small Government Socialist.

    But I’ve met all too many Big Government Libertarian warmongers these past few years.

    Mind you, I’m not saying they shouldn’t be welcome in the LP’s Big Tent.

    I’m just saying that “war is the health of the state,” and thus is incompatible with minarchy. Warmongers are, by definition, not minarchists.

  21. Libervention Debate Club

    People who advocate war for war’s sake should not be welcome in the LP’s big tent.

    Was the American Revolutionary War a war fought for “the health of the state”? And should the U.S. have stayed out of World War II? Just how far down the rabbit hole are you willing to follow your favorite bumper sticker?

    We at the Club have a different bumper sticker: “give me liberty, or give me peace.”

  22. Bruce Cohen

    The ‘Empire’ label is baloney.

    The US has no record of taking land or resources from other countries.

    The ‘Warmonger’ label is equally dishonest.
    The United States has not gotten into wars for financial or immoral reasons.

    Whether you agree or not that it’s the right or wrong strategy to have invaded Afghanistan, for example, it’s just not warmongering to fight back against someone who hit you first.

    I’m up for all the different versions of why or why not it was a good move in the chess game of international diplomacy and security.

    People a lot better educated and informed than me come down on both sides of it, with very good cases.

    It doesn’t make anyone non-Libertarian to hold views from either sides.

    It also doesn’t make someone ‘pro-surrender’ or ‘anti-defense’, much less ‘pro-war’ to take either position.

    Let’s discuss, as political people, the best move for America in each situation.

    Never using the military for anything but passing out food after earthquakes is a pretty narrow strategy.

  23. 5stringJeff

    “The US has no record of taking land or resources from other countries.”

    Ever heard of Diego Garcia?
    ———

    Not to mention the entire SW United States, which was taken from Mexico in 1848. And Hawaii, which was a sovereign kingdom until 1898. Or the Phillipines, which was conquered in 1902 and remained an American territory until 1946.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    morey 29, so how would your “degrees” work? Would abolitionist anarchism be the first degree of L-ism? Asymptotic anarchism be second? Minarchism third? Constitutionalism fourth?

    Would you also have a speed of rolling back the State rating as well? A Constitutionalist L might want the State rolled back tomorrow to say 10% of GDP tomorrow, a rapid rate, earning him an A. Or an abolitionist anarchist might have a gradual 100 year plan, earning her a D.

    How’s it all work?

  25. Bruce Cohen

    Isn’t England really to ‘blame’ for the unsettlement of Diego Garcia Island?

    It’s not like we started a war to get the place.

    Mexico’s situation, again, it is not as simple, as calling the USA ‘Imperial Warmonger’.
    And Hawaii and the Phillipines.

    The policy may very well be bad, but it’s not ‘imperial’ or ‘warmongering’ for us to use the military how we presently are.

  26. Michael H. Wilson

    Bruce what have you been smokin’ this a.m?

    Hawaii and the Philippines were both taken over by the U.S. and let’s not forget the 200,000 or so people killed in the Philippines.

    Then there is the present issue of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    Good grief man! Wake up and smell the gun powder.

  27. Bruce Cohen

    My point is not to rehash history or even discuss Iraq or Afghanistan.

    My point is these are not signature, defining, or litmus issues.

    Libertarians can disagree on this.

  28. Robert Milnes

    Tom & I & paulie have discussed the rightist domination of the LP. When I say purge, that is my trying to express my frustration. My ctual position is that anyone can join the LP-which is of course absolute-but only a libertarian should hold lp party positions and/or be a candidate. This involves various problems which I have tried to resolve by the creation of a peer review board. Anarchists should get a pass because obviously an anarchist is by definition libertarian. The idea is to be big tent when it comes to membership, by to try to exclude various rightists from making lp party decisions and/or candidacy. as example Ron Paul, having been found to be a constitutional theocrat/dixiecrat conservative, could be a member but not a party position holder or candidate. The latterwould exclude any lp support or endorsement of his GOP candidacy. Barr/Root candidacy would have been barred. Gary Johnson, forgetaboutit. etc.

  29. Marc Montoni

    The US has no record of taking land or resources from other countries.

    Anyone who can read this and keep a straight face is smokin some serious jack.

    Besides the examples other have already provided, let’s not forget all of the AmerInd nations swallowed up whole — usually with a sprinkling of slaughter and bayonet-enforced starvation.

  30. Michael H. Wilson

    2 44 Bruce Cohen wrote; ”

    My point is not to rehash history or even discuss Iraq or Afghanistan.

    My point is these are not signature, defining, or litmus issues.

    Libertarians can disagree on this.”

    Bruce as a friend of mine points out you can put on a Celtic’s t-shirt but that doesn’t qualify you to play on the team.

  31. morey

    Pay attention, Brian. My observation was explicitly about Johnson and Root, and what they’re saying at the podium, not the platforms of the organizations with which they are affiliated. Reading the article, you’ll note that Root will acknowledge the legitimacy of MMJ, but any further mention of the drug war makes him nervous. Meanwhile, Johnson takes two steps out of that box by dropping the qualifier and mentioning some of the unmentionables.

    Nevertheless, I think your selective organizational comparison still supports my point; that the new, moderate LP has little to differentiate itself from the more enlightened faction of the GOP. And since they don’t have to contend with any of the challenges associated with third parties, those elephants are going to trample you.

    As an aside, I love their “run from President” typo. More Libertarians should be running from office.

    Re: more radical than thou: Yes, you’re correct that my campaign for STATE legislature didn’t highlight defense among my top 3 issues. Wacky cat that I am, I thought it wise to focus on issues that can be directly influenced, at least in theory, by a State Rep.

    I think I’m getting on board with all of this talk of unity and inclusiveness, but I want to make sure I’ve got it right. It sounds like this proposed accord will, for example, force striking of the clearly state-specific words “United States of” from the militarism plank, with similar effects elsewhere in the platform. The other effect is that if, say, Hillary Clinton sends in $25, I may not criticize her views as being in any way contrary to libertarian philosophy, but I may politely explain why a non-aggressive approach is superior. Are these the anticipated results? ‘Cuz I could live with that.

  32. Libertarian Peacemonger

    All Libertarians must agree that all American military actions have constituted imperialism. The only permitted exceptions are the actions of the Continental Army and the Confederate Army, because they were fighting for the right of white landholding men to life, liberty, and property e.g. in certain bipedal megafauna.

    Anyone who disagrees with this is by definition not a libertarian, and instead is an advocate of a government bigger than the size the U.S. government is today. Or tomorrow, if that’s bigger. Or whatever size is convenient for my argument.

  33. Brian Holtz

    Ah, Morey, so your point was about what one particular Libertarian says on one cherry-picked issue, in comparison to what one cherry-picked Republican said on that issue on another cherry-picked day in which he contradicted what his web site says is his policy on that issue. You’re right, I guess I wasn’t “paying attention”. OK, well, wake me when you want to defend your TakeBackTheLP site’s general complaint about Libertarian “leaders and candidates who are increasingly indistinguishable from marginally pro-freedom Republicans”. 🙂 Perhaps then it will suddenly be in bounds for me to point out that your Libertarian ran on a much more libertarian platform than the set of positions your Republican proclaims through his organization.

    Hurt me with the problem of a Republican stampede co-opting Libertarian positions. I thought I read somewhere that this would be a good thing. Hmm, was it yesterday, where your new site said Libertarians “will be happy when we’ve helped to make libertarianism popular enough that the major parties begin to co-opt our ideas”? No, it was six years ago, when I wrote:

    The more liberty-increasers that the LP can unite into a voting bloc, the more the major parties will move to co-opt the LP by adopting some of our positions. Good! We care about increasing liberty, not about donkeys vs. elephants vs. torch ladies. […]

    Game-theoretic analysis suggests that the best we can hope for is to incite one of the major parties into co-opting the large territory that we should stake out Nolan-north of the Left-Right equator. The best-case scenario for the LP is to be an electoral (or coalition) partner with a major party that has turned somewhat libertarian to counter our threat, and then to merge with that party and take it over from the inside. Some Libertarian activists are afraid of the LP losing its principles if we unite with those who love liberty a little less than we do. Who should be afraid of who here? If the principles of libertarianism can’t win a fair fight in the marketplace of ideas, then our cause is already lost and we should spare ourselves the efforts of activism. Libertarianism is not some fragile flickering candle, liable to be extinguished if impure people breathe too hard near it. Rather, true libertarianism is an intellectual firestorm, that when given half a chance will starve competing ideologies of their oxygen. True libertarianism will surely end up being the most enduringly potent political mind-virus produced in the 20th century, and true libertarians relish any opportunity to terminally infect a political organization with libertarian ideas.

    If you think of libertarianism as a political innovation analogous to photosynthesis in the biological world, then consider that today’s photosynthetic organisms are not really descended from the organisms that invented photosynthesis. Instead, the chloroplast precursors that invented photosynthesis became endosymbiotic organelles inside organisms that themselves had made their living from energy sources other than sunlight. The containing organisms became so dependent on the innovation of photosynthesis that they came to be defined by — and completely dependent on — this ability. If America is ever ruled by a libertarian party, it will probably be a major party that had no choice but to swallow the LP and then became what it ate.

    Yes, you’ve produced a fine rationalization for why in your 2008 campaign you ignored your own TakeBackTheLP advice that campaigns should educate about non-aggression and “no-compromise abolition”. If that one ever stops working, contact me for more. I’ve got a whole list of reasons why Libertarian candidates shouldn’t advocate anarchism. 🙂

    Regarding the military, you haven’t answered anything from my second paragraph @30 except for its parenthetical aside. Please try again.

    You’re confused if you think that the St. Louis Accord says that what makes someone libertarian is their payment of LP dues. Please try reading it again.

  34. Morey

    I’m taking the words highlighted in the article, against what I see coming directly from Root. It’s not that complicated.

    Where did I say that more freedom coming from the majors was a negative? I didn’t. I only claimed that it makes a moderate LP irrelevant.

    I never claimed to have invented the “co-opt” strategy, and I hope you’re not either. I’m pretty sure it predates both of us. :p

    Now you’re reaching. I certainly did advocate abolition and voluntary alternatives in the issues I addressed. That is all I’m asking of our platform and candidate. No anarchy required!

    Re: 30, my answer is ‘yes’. I ignored it because I think it’s a dumb question that doesn’t demonstrate anything that isn’t already obvious.

    I still read it the same way. My version of a small state includes health care for all, and monthly check for those who live inland. That’s all. Why is my version unlibertarian?

  35. Robert Capozzi

    Morey, we may be watching a VERY different movie, but Gary Johnson is a big-time outlier in the GOP. It’d be FANTASTIC if he draws large numbers of Rs in an L direction, but I ain’t holding my breath.

    The LP is VERY differentiated from the Rs and Ds, IMO. If we differentiate any more, we’ll be the political equivalent of the Shakers! 😉 When we differentiated least — the Clark campaign — we got the most votes and experienced the most growth.

  36. Brian Holtz

    You apparently think that if the GOP adopted the 2008 LP Platform as its own, and worked as hard at implementing it as it has at implementing the nanny/chaperone state, then that would be bad for the separate institutional existence of the LP. I agree — but I would nevertheless be happy with that result, and I feel no need to insure against it by making the LP explicitly anarchistic. I’m pro-freedom, not pro-iconoclasm or pro-nonconformity.

    If your campaign was built around educating voters about the non-aggression principle and “no-compromise abolition”, I must have missed it on your campaign site and video. I too can fill a site and a video with specific programs to abolish — and in fact have done so here and here. But I didn’t think your “no-compromise abolition” point at TakeBackTheLP is just that we need to run more Holtz-ish campaigns. I’d be happy to be corrected on this point.

    The point @30’s second paragraph about the military isn’t a question, so I don’t know what you think your “yes” means. If you don’t want to be serious about platform exegesis, just say so. As for dumb questions, I’m not the one here asking whether $25 in dues could make Hilary Clinton a libertarian.

    Your question about “healthcare for all” isn’t much smarter. The Accord says: “Principled libertarians can disagree about whether every function of government can be performed by the free market, but we are united in opposing government’s growth beyond the protection of the rights of every individual to her life, liberty and property.” If you’re going to pretend you don’t know that libertarian rights are negative rights, and that the “right to life” here isn’t a right to free provision of anything that can sustain or extend life, then this charade has exhausted my time budget for turning it into a serious discussion.

  37. Just something to add

    LET
    >ME SEE IF I GOT THIS RIGHT……..
    >> IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.
    >>
    >> IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY.
    >>
    >> IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY, YOU GET SHOT.
    >>
    >> IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED.
    >>
    >> IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM
    >>AGAIN.
    >>
    >> IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY >>AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED.
    >>
    >> IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL >>PRISON TO ROT.
    >>
    >>IF YOU CROSS THE U.S. BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET:
    >>
    >>1. A JOB,
    >>
    >>2. A DRIVERS LICENSE,
    >>
    >> 3. SOCIAL SECURITY CARD,
    >>
    >>4. WELFARE,
    >>
    >>5. FOOD STAMPS,
    >>
    >>6. CREDIT CARDS,
    >>
    >>7. SUBSIDIZED RENT OR A LOAN TO BUY A HO– USE,
    >>
    >>8. FREE EDUCATION,
    >>
    >>9. FREE HEALTHCARE,
    >>
    >>10. A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON
    >>
    >>11. BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE
    >>
    >>12. THE RIGHT TO CARRY YOUR COUNTRY’S FLAG WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT YOU >>DON’T GET ENOUGH RESPECT

    >>

    >>AND YOU CAN VOTE DEMOCRAT.
    >>
    >>I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE I HAD A FIRM GRASP ON THE SITUATION…

  38. Morey

    I’m sorry, Brian. I missed the “second paragraph” bit and skimmed to a question.

    I don’t think it sounds credible for me to to tell people that “we are calling for the market to provide military defense within the US borders.” without another plank allowing for such competition. Need I elaborate?

    I went out of my way on the drug issue to make sure readers knew that I was talking about complete abolition of all drug laws. On the main issues page, I made a general statement about non-aggression. If you’re suggesting that I’m misrepresenting myself, you’ll have to show me the evidence.

    Let’s not pretend that you’re only trying to protect negative rights. A reasonable definition of the right to life, liberty and property simply doesn’t include border checkpoints.

    You’re free to go whenever you want. I’m happy to let the record thus far speak for itself. 🙂

  39. Morey

    I’ll try to make this my last comment.

    During the course of this debate, the co-opt theory was emphasized. For the record, I have no crystal ball, and I don’t know how liberty will be achieved. I’ve heard it suggested that a large minority could simply ignore the state (stop paying taxes) and that also sounds reasonable to me. I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime. I do, however, feel confident that education needs to come before any lasting results.

  40. Someone Who Knows

    Just something to add,

    Yes, by all means, the USA should be more like North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Venezuela, and Cuba. Take your hatred elsewhere, bigot.

  41. Brian Holtz

    Morey, I have to stop you at your first word: “we”. It’s not the place of anarchists to speak for the entire LP on the question of whether national defense should be provided by markets vs. government. Nor is it the place of minarchists. And that’s why the platform doesn’t actually take either position. That “sufficient military” language was in every LP platform from 1972 to 1986. It doesn’t say what you think it says. If you disagree, then can I propose language to make this more explicit, and have you vouch that I’m not proposing a substantive platform change? 🙂

    I’ll have to take your word for it that your site mentioned non-aggression at some point. The text I saved from Sep 20 2008 didn’t, and gave no hint of “no-compromise abolition” of government. Unlike the other anarchists I mentioned, your site at least suggested you oppose all taxes. But as you say, you weren’t running for federal office, so a reader might have thought you were talking only about state taxes.

    As a radical geolibertarian, I’m opposed in principle to arbitrary checkpoints not only at borders, but also at so-called property lines. The underlying geolibertarian theory here is summarized at http://knowinghumans.net/2008/11/appropriating-ground-rent-is-aggression.html. However, I’m not opposed to checkpoints that police the aggression that migrants can cause by congesting or depleting a commons, just as I’m not opposed to property-line measures for policing the aggression that trespassers can cause if the landholder is paying the community for the ground rent he is appropriating from them.

    Again, I consider radical geominarchism to be the plumbline, but I don’t need the LP to endorse my plumbline as better than yours.

  42. Libervention Is Not Minarchist

    Brian Holtz: “It’s not the place of anarchists to speak for the entire LP on the question of whether national defense should be provided by markets vs. government. Nor is it the place of minarchists.

    You, sir, are no minarchist.

  43. paulie Post author

    So Paulie, the “news” here is that Tom has disclosed the title of a talk he’s giving in March? If there’s a lede here at all, it’s Morey’s site.

    News value here is IMO

    1) Morey’s effort
    2) Commentary by a declared candidate for the 2012 presidential nomination on LP matters.


    Or maybe it’s that Tom has stopped describing LP factionalism in terms of radicals or anarchists against the rest, and instead is talking about left vs. right. That’s a wise tactical retrenchment.

    Tom has used left vs, right terminology for years.

  44. paulie Post author

    Also – not all IPR articles are always news. Some are party controversy comment fodder. This one seems to be more successful than average 🙂

  45. paulie Post author

    BTW, speaking of small tents and big tents, I’m a big tent libertarian – both figuratively and literally. One of these days we just have to have a national convention under a big tent. We must have enough clowns and elephants by now…lol

  46. paulie Post author

    “How can you abolish the state without aggression?”’

    Mass non-violent action, civil disobedience, education, social and technological evolution, or else wait for it to overreach and collapse = the ways are many.

  47. paulie Post author

    People who advocate empire — annexing nations or peoples through military conquest — are not libertarian, period.

    Ditto for warmongers — those who advocate war for war’s sake.

    Ditto for pacifists who oppose all war, since (as the Platform says) libertarians “recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny”.

    right =/= obligation.

    Pacifists can be libertarian (LeFevre comes to mind).

    The term pacifism is overused. I’m not one, for instance.

    Pacifists are those who would personally not resist aggression. By definition, they would not prevent anyone else from resisting aggression.

    The non-initiation principle is to not initiate aggression; it can unite those would fight back against it (vast majority) w/ those who would neither use initiation of force nor retaliatory force.

  48. paulie Post author

    Is a “Big Government Libertarian” the same as a “Small Government Socialist”?

    There can certainly be (and are) small and even no government socialists. Socialism is control by workers over means of production; the state is sometimes mistakenly believed to be a means to and proxy thereof.

  49. paulie Post author

    The ‘Empire’ label is baloney.

    The US has no record of taking land or resources from other countries.

    The ‘Warmonger’ label is equally dishonest.
    The United States has not gotten into wars for financial or immoral reasons.

    I’d suggest a more careful reading of history. For starters, the Mexican-American or Spanish-American wars.

  50. paulie Post author

    Yes, by all means, the USA should be more like North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Venezuela, and Cuba. Take your hatred elsewhere, bigot.

    Amen.

  51. paulie Post author

    My version of a small state includes health care for all, and monthly check for those who live inland. That’s all. Why is my version unlibertarian?

    It isn’t.

    After all, you did not say that either the health care or the checks will be provided by involuntary means.

  52. paulie Post author

    Whether you agree or not that it’s the right or wrong strategy to have invaded Afghanistan, for example, it’s just not warmongering to fight back against someone who hit you first.

    1. Afghanistan =/= Al Qaida

    2. Al Qaida considered US bombing/embargo of Iraq, US support for Israel, and US infidel troops in their holy land of Arabia to be acts of aggression, which would have made their terror retaliatory – except that those acts were not perpetrated by the victims of their terror. But then, neither was Al Qaida terror perpetrated by Afghani civilians.

  53. paulie Post author

    phrase things in a way that calls for moving in a libertarian direction without necessarily saying how far. That’s the kind of libertarianism I can certainly appreciate.

    exactly.

  54. Brian Holtz

    @62, a minarchist is one who advocates a state with only the authority to protect each individual’s right to his life, liberty, and property. That’s what I advocate. To say I’m not a minarchist is to reveal the depths of the pathological mendacity of those not equipped to dispute my judgments about how life and liberty should be protected.

    Paulie @73, what counts is whether the means are non-aggressive, not whether they are voluntary. For example, taxing aggression is itself non-aggressive, even if the aggressors don’t volunteer to be taxed.

    Speaking of which, I’m even more minarchist than Sipos and his alter ego, because I oppose all taxation on anything that isn’t aggression. Sipos doesn’t seem to care what or how much the government taxes, so long as the revenue isn’t spent on “war”.

  55. Chemical Ali

    What, no eulogies from my fellow minarchists here over my martyrdom three days ago to our sacred cause of minarchism?

    I was just trying to reduce the size of the government required to protect the Kurdish population, by reducing the size of the Kurdish population. Then those awful American maxarchists came over here and killed my minarchist cousin Saddam, his minarchist sons Uday and Qusay, and now me. The Americans must have spent some extra government funds on their efforts, so by definition they are advocates of increasing the total amount of government in the world.

    War may be the health of the state, but it turned out not to be so good for the health of our state’s Defense/Interior Minister (me) and our state’s President (Saddam).

  56. Liberventionst Chickenhawk

    In defense of us minarchist chickenhawks, we were helping Saddam to shrink the size of government during the 1980s, when he was our friend and ally in liberty.

    Only later did we switch sides.

    That’s the neat thing about libervention. You can switch from side to side, killing people on all sides, thereby shrinking all foreign governments.

    (I only hope Chinese liberventionists don’t try to liberate me — we chickenhawks don’t like to be on the receiving end of our policies.)

  57. Bruce Cohen

    Yeah it’s meant as a derogatory insult for anyone they disagree with on foreign policy.

    Just like calling Tea Party folks ‘teabaggers’.

    Rules for Radicals…
    Rothbard stuff.

    Yeah, they have to call names.

  58. 200,000 Dead Kurds

    Thanks LC, we now understand why the minarchist Chemical Ali should have had a free pass from evil maxarchists angry at how Ali heroically reduced the size of the government required to “take care of” us. It is indeed a good thing that those American maxarchists didn’t try in the 1980s to depose Saddam’s minarchist regime, and instead only tried to use him as a pawn to resist Iranian minarchist efforts to reduce the size of America’s government by taking U.S. government employees hostage.

  59. michael H.Wilson

    In response to Obama’s state of the union be sure to write your congress critters today and tell them to bring the troops home. That will surely cut costs.

  60. Don Lake .......... More

    michael H.Wilson // Jan 28, 2010:
    “In response to Obama’s [my Yokohama Momma] astate of the union be sure to write your congress critters today and tell them to bring the troops home. That will surely cut costs.”

    Amen Brother, like LBJ’s ‘hand off’ of Viet Nam to Trickie Dick, it has been more than a year and it is now Obama’s War. Support our troops! Out, out, out!

  61. paulie Post author

    Paulie @73, what counts is whether the means are non-aggressive, not whether they are voluntary. For example, taxing aggression is itself non-aggressive, even if the aggressors don’t volunteer to be taxed.

    Thanks, that was what I meant by shorthand voluntary. Sorry it wasn’t clear.

  62. Austin Battenberg

    @38 Bruce Cohen

    You said:
    “The ‘Empire’ label is baloney.

    The US has no record of taking land or resources from other countries.

    The ‘Warmonger’ label is equally dishonest.
    The United States has not gotten into wars for financial or immoral reasons.”

    I completly disagree with that statement. America at its present IS an Empire.

    You say that we do not take other peoples land. I disagree. When a country occupies a portion of another country within a military base, that is occupying their land. Considering we have military bases in more then 100 countries, (including Germany, Japan, and South Korea…all of which are our allies and having troops in those bases have no strategic intrest in defending our country), I would argue that we ARE an Empire. We are stretching our military thin by spreading them around the globe, essentially occupying their territory.

    And, lets be honest, Iraq was definetly started for either financial or immoral reasons. Hell, our government admited it when they proclaimed that the war would pay for itself by all the oil we would get. Hmmmm….that sounds very warmongerish to me.

    Attacking those who attacked us on 9/11 is certainly justifyable, but we waited way too long for our counterstrike, and the war in Afganistan is merely a drawn out occupation. What the hell are we still doing there? What is our goal? Our mission?

    And how about the fact that Obama frequently bombs Pakistan by targeting terrorists, but killing civilians as well…all of this in the name of national security.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not afraid of terrorists, I’m not afraid of the fearmongers and the warmongers in government who tell me I have to be afraid of these terrorists and that I need to hand the government more power to protect me. I don’t want their security. I have my own. I want my freedom. I want my liberty. I am tired of our tyranical government. I’m tired of being in a country that is proud of being an Empire…who believes that intervention is the only means to protect ourselves. I take no part and I cannot support anyone who belives in such.

  63. Libertarian Peacemonger

    The U.S. in 2010 obviously counts as an “empire”, because its wars cost so much and result in zero plunder, and its bases abroad are such a big subsidy to the nations it occupies.

  64. Austin Battenberg

    Lets not forget that the US spends almost as much on foreign entanglements then every other country combined.

  65. Bruce Cohen

    Austin @ 88:
    Very well reasoned, I don’t find a lot of fault with your conclusion or how you get there.

    I disagree with you, but I can live with it.

    I don’t mind having a few forward bases.

    I think we are safer with radar and planes in Japan. Japan likes it, so we aren’t exactly hurting their feelings.

    Maybe we ought to charge them.
    That’s a discussion right there.

    But, when I’m moving the chess pieces around, I think most military folks would agree, given X number of troops, x% of them should be overseas.

    Sometimes that’s prevention, sometimes that’s early warning, sometimes that’s a buffer, there are many reasons we might be better off with forward bases.

    It’s not anti-freedom to think it or say it.
    It’s not anti-freedom to want it.

    It’s a discussion about the best use of our military force to protect our freedom.

    I’m cook with talking about which bases where, how, when, why, how much, how often.

    But I’m not taking it off the Libertarian Foreign Policy table, no I am not.

    I won’t let you.

    I’m still here, at the table, and so are other folks who are just as Libertarian as you.

    So thanks for your well thought out missive, but it’s not going to define the LP or my view of the world, or let anyone chase me or my ideas out of the LP.

    Go volunteer for a candidate.
    This is old stuff.

    Nobody is going to change their mind.

    Vote Libertarian!

  66. Bruce Cohen

    cooL with.
    Cool cool cool places.
    I wanna go to cool places with you!

    I wanna go to cool places tonight.

    Who did that song?

  67. Robert Capozzi

    ab 90, hmm, you have a source for that? I’ve seen the US military spending equals the ROW’s spending. I certainly agree that a lot — possibly most — US military spending is spent on alliances, but not all.

    Care to elaborate?

  68. Andy

    “I think we are safer with radar and planes in Japan. Japan likes it, so we aren’t exactly hurting their feelings.”

    I don’t think it makes me any safer. Also, not everyone in Japan likes it.

  69. Susan Hogarth

    Bruce @91 If no one’s going to change their minds, why work at the persuasive art of politics at all? It seems like we would all be operating under the premise that indeed we CAN see – and help – other people change their minds.

  70. Bruce Cohen

    Susan, you trouble maker and kidder!

    Nobody at this discussion is going to change their minds about this facet of Foreign Policy.

    And for you and people like you to suggest that me, and folks that think like me, should be kicked out or ostracized, or aren’t ‘real’ Libertarians is bull.

    You have done it.
    Tons.

    Stop it and stop pretending to be all nicey-nicey diplomatic.

    The names you call me and others who are pro-defense are just fully uncool, man.

    You need to mellow out and be chill.

    We don’t hassle you and call you names because we disagree with you on platform.

    We aren’t the group who runs purges.
    And makes up stories.

    Just look at it all unfold in California.
    Where the chickens of your buddies are all coming home to roost.

    All over your BS.

    I’m talking about this specific matter and these specific people talking, not as if I am saying no person on the planet ever listens to new ideas.

    What is this black/white semantical silliness you extremists have going on?

    And why are you afraid of different ideas so much, you ban and censor people and messages on your discussion group LiberhooliganExtremists on Yahoo?

    OH you are so nicey nicey, touchie feelie to me, Susan and I’m heartwarmed.

    How about you say the truth about me, how you really feel?

    Or knock it off, and let’s work together.

    Sheesh.

  71. Austin Battenberg

    Bruce,

    I apologize for my rant. Those are my personal feelings, but you will find that I will be the last person to attack you or others with your viewpoint personally. From reading some of your comments, I would like you to know that I am not one of those who believes you should not be in the party or you should be “ostracized, or aren’t ‘real’ Libertarians”.

    Every party has people with disagreements. The Libertarian Party is no exception. I do believe that you have every right to be in the party and pool your thoughts and ideas into the public debate. Debate is important…it’s something that our elected officials hardly ever do.

    I might not activelly support someone like you if there is an anti-war candidate available (who would also have to be libertarian…I am not a single issue voter), but you have the same right as everyone else to campaign your beliefs, speak out your ideas and try to earn as many votes possible.

    Not all of us are hard headed. I might be considered a radical, but I don’t necessarily see the point in trying to “purge” anyone who doesn’t see it my way.

  72. Brian Holtz

    Bruce, if you’re so confident that Susan is going to be uncivil, why don’t you just wait until it actually happens before accusing her of it?

    If you can quote her ever saying you should be “kicked out” of the LP, I’d love to see the cite. But I bet you don’t have it, because she would never give it to you.

    Saying you’re not a libertarian, maaaaybe. But I’d be surprised if she gave you even that quote without some exculpatory context.

    Don’t write polemical checks that your evidence can’t cash.

  73. David F. Nolan

    For what it’s worth (maybe not much) I told Brian Holtz in Denver that the 2008 LP platform constituted “about 2/3 of a good document.” What it lacks is SPECIFICS: an enumeration of policies, programs and agencies that should be terminated. It’s all just generalities. And I hoped that the 2010 PlatCom would set about to remedy this deficiency. But they haven’t; instead, they propose a series of micro-tweaks to the 2008 language. I, for one, would favor tabling the worthless PlatCom report in St. Louis and proceeding directly to resolutions that address specific issues of the day.

  74. Austin Battenberg

    If it’s too specific, then won’t it be harder for people who disagree to join the libertarian party?

    I don’t really know anything about the platforms…since I’m rather new to the LP.

  75. Erik Geib

    The idea that one would be turned off to the party because of platform specifics is partly absurd. I know many Republican and Democratic friends who don’t fully agree with their parties’ platforms.

    Ultimately, people weigh lots of issues when voting or casting support for a party, and rarelý is a candidate or party ever a perfect fit.

    I agree with David that outlining specific proposals would actually be beneficial. One of the first things people ask me when I crusade against government expansion is what *specificall* I would change, how I would change those things, etc. Having a realistic plan of action in place puts us credibly into such conversations.

  76. Brian Holtz

    For timely practical near- and medium- term libertarian policy proposals, see the 670-page Cato Handbook For Policymakers, updated biannually for each term of Congress. (And then imagine if the Cato people had never been hounded out of the LP…)

    Another indispensable libertarian policy reference tool is the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, edited by LPCA member Prof. David Henderson. For an annotated guide to over a dozen other libertarian policy resources, see here.

    LP presidential candidates used to be expected to propose a National Campaign Platform. The last one, Harry Browne’s from 2000, is still pretty good. In 2008, the Root campaign pulled together a very good list of government agencies and laws to abolish. I’ve expanded it into a convention-ready resolution at http://libertarianmajority.net/realizing-liberty.

  77. Thomas M. Sipos

    Bruce Cohen has a guilty conscience. He hears accusations that were never made.

    I first met Bruce at the 2004 LP national convention.

    Believe it or not, I supported Bruce when he ran for LPC Southern Vice Chair in 2005, despite my disagreement with his foreign policy, because I mistakenly thought he was a nice guy. I wore his button, which he saw me doing.

    Then later in 2005, I announced at the Karl Hess Club that I was an antiwar libertarian speaker at an antiwar play in Los Angeles, What I Heard About Iraq.

    Bruce was at the KHC, and became hysterical. He rushed up to me, accusing me of saying that libertarians who supported the Iraq War were not real libertarians. I’d never said that, one way or the other.

    Bruce also accused me of misrepresenting the LP in claiming that libertarians were antiwar, when really (according to him at the time), libertarians were 50/50 on the Iraq War.

    So I invited Bruce to come and speak at the play, where we gave opposing pro- and antiwar libertarian positions on Iraq.

    But ever since, Bruce has been ballistic over me. When I was appointed editor of California Freedom, he began sending me foul hate mail every few months, which I ignored.

    He’d completely forgotten that I’d overlooked his pro-war stance in 2005 and supported him for LPC office.

    Of course, after receiving all of Bruce Cohen’s hate mail, I’d sooner vote Demopublican than for Bruce.

    People don’t pick on Bruce. Bruce lashes out when someone disagrees with him, creating a feud. Whereupon Bruce claims that he’s the victim.

  78. Someone Who Knows

    Contrary to Brian’s assertions, the Cato people were never hounded out of the LP. They left voluntarily with their tails between their legs after their attempt for total control blew up in their face in ’83. Brian claims Rothbard was venomous in his essay concerning the matter “Total Victory,” but this is untrue. He was merely celebrating the departure of a group unwilling to work with his own. Yes, Murray could be mean, but Rothbard’s flaws were not the reason for Crane and company’s departure. Crane and his allies were and are control freaks. If you think Rothbardians are dogmatic, try popping into Cato and having a conversation with Ed Crane sometime.

    Crane said he wanted unity, but he was only for unity if he led it. If he didn’t, there was no unity to be had. Crane said he could raise money for the LP, but him and the Kochtopus fled elsewhere when they didn’t get to make EVERY decision.

    Brian will tell you 1980 was our best year, and that it was because of Crane and his cronies. Unfortunately, this is a half-truth. Yes, we did well, but it was mainly thanks to Koch family money, not some superior Crane-led organization. I’ll give Crane credit for being a well-connected man, but never a clever one. Brian constantly fellates Cato, but I should think many capable others could do as well or better if they had the financial resources the Koch family has continually donated.
    Don’t be fooled by this silly revisionism. And no, I’m not a Rothbardian – I just won’t stand for this public Crane love affair.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    Someone, since “you know,” I can only suggest to others that they read the Lib. Forum from 1980-83 and draw their own conclusions. They’re all available on the von Mises Institute site.

    While they are at it, I’d suggest that they read the Cato donor list through the past 3 decades. The Koch’s were very generous seed donors, but Ed’s team at Cato has become very effective fundraisers. Over time, contributors reward effectiveness, and Cato has become an effective, competent voice for libertarian policy thought. Their work may not be some people’s cup of tea, so some may choose to not read or contribute to them.

  80. paulie Post author

    Yes, by all means, the USA should be more like North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Venezuela, and Cuba. Take your hatred elsewhere, bigot.

    Amen.

    Elaborating:

    Anyone who thinks it is easy to be an undocumented worker in the US should try it themselves.

    Here is what you do.

    If you own or rent any property, give it away, including vehicle, bank account(s), credit card(s), house/apartment, except perhaps a few items of clothing and toiletries that can fit in a backpack and which you can easily carry for miles over rough terrain.

    Get rid of any computers and phones you have, and any lists of phone numbers, addresses or emails.

    Lose your wallet, all cash and all forms of ID.

    Go to Mexico.

    Cross the border back into the US on foot without going through a checkpoint.

    Do not attempt to contact any friends or relatives whose address, phone or email you have memorized,

    Do not attempt to get a copy of a birth certificate or other identifying document.

    Please tell me how it went.

    And if you don’t think it will be to your advantage to try this, thank the next undocumented worker you see for coming to this country and improving our standard of living. Which they most certainly do (see Julian Simon’s writings on this).

    Remember, too, that a wall can keep Americans fenced in at least as well as it can keep anyone else out.

  81. paulie Post author

    For bonus points, if you are not a French speaker, try sneaking into Quebec. That will give you a slightly better sense of what it’s like.

    Luckily for me, I was considered a refugee due to Cold War propaganda (although many people who are not considered refugees have a much more legitimate claim to the status), or I would have had to grow up in Israel or worse yet Russia.

    The best way to stop “illegal” immigration is to legalize it, and remember that no human being is illegal.

  82. paulie Post author

    http://www.freedom2008.com/bootboortz/archives/002590.html

    (and see the other articles on Boot Boortz Blog http://www.freedom2008.com/bootboortz/


    ATLANTA NEWSPAPER BLASTS BOORTZ
    The senior editor of Atlanta’s Creative Loafing newspaper has authored this substantial piece, which gives a lot of information and insight into Boortz and his views. Apparently the author is responsible for “outing” Boortz as a chickenhawk, having revealed what is known about Boortz’ evasion of service during the Vietnam War.

    The piece also discusses the LP National Convention situation in depth, and even plugs the petition.

    I’ve copied the entire piece into the extended entry section.

    ——————————————————————–

    http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/2003-12-18/fishwrapper.html

    Neal Boortz is no John Galt

    Libertarians will ensure their irrelevance if they embrace radio ignoramus

    BY JOHN F. SUGG

    Atlanta’s radio offerings are so, so, so very awful that, yes, on my drive to the office, in desperation I am forced to tune in to the city’s pinnacle (or is it pit?) of know-nothingness, Neal Boortz. But I have a rule. At his first lie, gross misrepresentation of the truth, or race baiting, I go to a book on tape. Often, I don’t make it out of the driveway. Seldom do I travel the five miles to I-85, and never have I completed the 30-minute drive to the Loaf without Boortz bellowing some deceitful absurdity.

    Neal dissembles, John hits the off button.

    For example, just last week Boortz proclaimed that the Bushies told no fibs to con Americans into supporting the war. Huh? I paused for a minute before switching on my current recorded book to make sure Boortz wouldn’t qualify that astounding fiction or giggle and say, “Just kidding,” since all the world now knows George Bush lied. So did Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the contemptible gang. They politicized and distorted intelligence, and when that didn’t work, they fabricated and uttered gross untruths. They have even admitted it, but now claim it doesn’t matter.

    I sometimes jot down Boortz’s lamest deceits. It’s a long list. Ranking at the top was his hysterical claim, in the days before Bush’s invasion of Iraq, that Saddam Hussein’s military might surpass that of Nazi Germany. I slapped my forehead at that one — the claim went beyond mere bad information and makes me wonder if there isn’t serious impairment of Boortz’s reasoning capacity. The fellow needs a 12-step program for the chronically dishonest and incorrigibly stupid.

    The truth, by the way, was that in 1939 Adolf Hitler boasted 98 divisions, with 1.5 million well-trained men, for the invasion of Poland. For the Western offensive, Germany had 2.5 million men, and 2,500 tanks. In June 1941, Hitler had available 3 million men and 4,000 tanks to invade the Soviet Union. Saddam, prior to our invasion, never had more than 400,000 troops and 2,200 tanks, and the demoralized and largely broken-down Iraqi military was never in the same universe as the Wehrmacht.

    In other words, Boortz equals bullshit.

    I don’t want to argue the war here, but it was just so Boortzian for him to proclaim that pure lunacy as truth. And the sheep that follow him bleat their belief that they are actually getting “information.”

    That Boortz struts about touting himself as a libertarian would make his daily mission of mendacity a good laugh — except for one thing: For Big Brother to win, the Bush regime needs to bovine-ize America. Ignorance and the Orwellian capacity to simultaneously believe glaring contradictions are the essential intellectual diet of the Bushies. Force feeding America the swill are Faux News and the phalanx of talk show screechers, of which Boortz is, to his chagrin, merely a farm team lightweight.

    (In October a University of Maryland survey measured how much false information — such as that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq — people believed and whether they primarily relied on Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN or print. Those relying on Fox were far less likely to know the truth about critical world and national issues, and far more likely to believe distortions of the truth. Boortz, of course, gets it wrong more often than the heavy-hitting propagandists he worships on Fox.)

    America needs real libertarians, whose origins are firmly rooted in the Bill of Rights. The Libertarian Party (libertarians with a big “L”) is holding its national convention in Atlanta in May, and the party has invited Boortz to be a speaker.

    I’m told by Libertarian activists the decision was rooted in the group’s cheapness — they didn’t want to foot the freight for major talent.

    Well, you get what you pay for — free traders such as the Libertarians should understand that. In lib — or Lib — ertarian land, there has been a howl of protest over the invitation to Boortz.

    One of the few points on which Boortz’s rants coincide with the Libertarians is ending the Drug War. Hell, there are a lot of tokers out there who can’t even spell Libertarian who are in tune with the party on that point.
    Boortz is no libertarian. He is a sorry shill for the Bush big-government, interventionist, xenophobic, authoritarian regime. Imposing our will on the world, looting resources and guaranteeing Halliburton billions in profits — that isn’t free trade; it’s empire. Gutting the Bill of Rights, spying on law-abiding citizens, manipulation through agitprop — that isn’t freedom; it’s slavery.

    “The Libertarian Party is so desperate, it has led them to abandon their issues in favor of seeking popularity,” says Eric Garris, who helps run a libertarian website, antiwar.com, and who has long been involved with the party at the national and state (California) levels.

    On the key issues confronting America, Boortz clearly stands on the side of those who attack freedom, and those who want to turn Big Government into Gargantuan Government (as long as someone besides rich people and corporations pay for it).

    Examples: He applauds the FBI investigating anti-war demonstrators, making a broad smear recently on his website (that could have been authored by Karl Rove, and maybe was) that activists should be hounded by the feds because they are “pro-Saddam and anti-U.S.,” and that they are “largely anti-American communists and Islamic radicals.”

    Likewise, in the same epistle, he applauded the police riot last month against trade demonstrators in Miami. I never met someone who claimed to be a libertarian but was so antagonistic toward the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendments. It just doesn’t compute.

    In Boortz’s best imitation of Joe McCarthy, he has insinuated that Justin Raimondo — a nationally prominent Libertarian since the 1970s and the prolific editor of anti-war.com — is a red. Raimondo “doesn’t like me,” Boortz huffed on his website last week, “because I approve of our actions in Iraq. Fair enough. Do you know who else doesn’t like our Iraqi actions? Well, communists, for one.”

    Slimey, slimey, slimey.

    On economics, Boortz worships Ronald Reagan — ignoring the fact that government grew much faster under the Gipper than under, say, Bill Clinton, who the talk show host blames for just about every ill that has ever happened (another script line from Karl Rove). And, of course, Boortz has nothing but gushing praise for Bush’s economics, somehow equating fiscal responsibility with pumping up government spending to $21,000 per American household, compared with $16,000 during the Clinton administration — the biggest increase in more than 50 years.

    That remarkably un-libertarian accomplishment, coupled with Bush’s tax cuts for the plutocrats, has created record deficits that will indenture our children and grandchildren — hardly what Ayn Rand, the spiritual guru for Libertarians, had in mind in Atlas Shrugged.

    It’s the war, however, that has real libertarians frothing at the invitation to Boortz. The Libertarian Party platform is decidedly anti-war, stating: “We call for the withdrawal of all American military personnel stationed abroad. … There is no current or foreseeable risk of any conventional military attack on the American people, particularly from long distances. We call for the withdrawal of the U.S. from commitments to engage in war on behalf of other governments and for abandonment of doctrines supporting military intervention such as the Monroe Doctrine.”

    Pretty clear writing, and it’s at the heart of Libertarian thought. An irony is that since Boortz is peachy happy with the FBI snooping on anti-war activists, and since most Libertarians are anti-war, the radio blowhard is all in favor of the government investigating the very people who invited him to address their convention. And, in the witch-hunting delusions that substitute for thought in Boortz’s diseased mind, it’s quite likely all those Libertarians are really either commies or radical Islamists.

    Boortz doesn’t like me. I outed him as a chickenhawk. He keeps changing the story about how he evaded military service during Vietnam (was it the asthma or your eyesight, Neal?). Last week, he was claiming the military wouldn’t take him. More precisely, when he couldn’t get a relatively cushy job as a pilot, he wasn’t about to get dirty (or dead) crawling through rice paddies. It’s so easy to be bellicose when it’s the other guy — probably an oh-so-expendable member of the working class and a minority — who is getting shot.

    But that’s Neal Boortz, the apotheosis of cowardice. He doesn’t like to debate when he can’t be in control. He keeps his finger on the disconnect button so that when callers start to score points, he can quickly cut them off.

    If that’s who the Libertarians want to hear, the party — already victim to several internal scuffles — might as well admit that it’s history. If its program is to imitate the Democrats’ emulation of the Republicans, the Libertarian Party stands for nothing.

    Neal Boortz was offered space for his unedited remarks on libertarians’ “boot Boortz” efforts. Boortz apparently preferred to pout in silence. For those who would like to sign the petition to give Boortz the heave-ho from the Libertarian convention: http://www.petitiononline.com/noboortz/petition.html.

    Senior Editor John Sugg — who says, “Neal, you gutless bag of wind, this is a challenge to a smackdown” — can be reached at john.sugg@creativeloafing.com or at 404-614-1241.

    12.18.03

  83. paulie Post author

    People who advocate war for war’s sake should not be welcome in the LP’s big tent.

    For example, see

    http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2009/05/22/mancow-gets-waterboarded-absolutely-torture-absolutely-thats-drowning/#comment-67027

    “It’s about both: obtaining information and vengeance.

    They inflict their wrath on us, we need to hit them back 10 times fucking harder.

    You know when Russian KBG Agents were caught by Radical Islamists in Lebanon, Iran and Afghanistan in the 1980s, and killed and tortured, you know what the Ruskies did? They’d come in to the village of those who killed their Agent, and killed every member of the offenders family.

    They’d even sometimes cut off the genitals of Terrorists they caught who had killed and tortured their men, and sent the genitals in a package back home to their families.

    We need a little more Masculinity in our culture, and a little less Girlie-manism.

    Old Mafia saying: “You fucka widt me, I fucka widt you, your family, and every one in your village.”

    Comment by Eric Dondero — May 24, 2009 @ 4:13 pm”

    The idea that war is necessary to make American men more masculine has been posted by ED all over the internet.

    Was the American Revolutionary War a war fought for “the health of the state”?

    In a sense, yes. I forget the origin of the quote or exact wording, but is it really better to get rid of one tyrant a thousand miles away only to be ruled by a thousand tyrants one mile away?

    However, it was a conflict between those who wanted more local autonomy versus being ruled by a heavy handed giant far away government not in tune with local concerns.

    Generally speaking, that is the most justifiable reason for war.

    Decentralizing government power to the local level makes it easier to “vote with your feet” and hold rulers accountable, have some say in your government, and removes extra layers of bureaucracy.

    It was only a first step towards individual autonomy, and there was much inconsistency among the US founders (Slavery, suppression of whiskey rebellion, Indian wars, etc), but they made some contributions on the path to freedom.

    As Roderick Long puts it (see original for links), http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/27638.html


    How should we think about the American Revolution? I suggest we should think of it as an uncompleted project. The Revolution, after all, wasn’t just about separation from Britain; it was about the right of the people to “alter or abolish” any political arrangements destructive of the “inalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” or not resting on the “consent of the governed.”

    Those were the principles on which the Revolution was based. But the political system the founders established never fully embodied those principles in practice; and its present-day successor no longer respects them even in theory. (Slogans, need I add? are not theory.)

    Over the years since 1776, the fortunes of American liberty, and indeed of liberty worldwide, have risen and fallen; most often some aspects have risen while others have fallen. But every increase in liberty has involved the logical carrying-out of the principles of ’76, while every decrease has involved their de facto repudiation. (And if the average American is on balance more free than his or her 18th-century counterpart, this is small reason for complacency when one views the matter counterfactually. To paraphrase my comments in an L&P discussion last year: “For me the point of comparison is not USA 2006 vs. USA 1776, but USA 2006 vs. the USA 2006 we would have had if the USA had stuck consistently to those principles.)

    From an establishment perspective, the Fourth of July is a day to celebrate the existing American system. But that approach to the Fourth is, I suggest, profoundly counter-revolutionary. Far better to regard Independence Day as a day to rededicate ourselves to forwarding the ongoing Revolution whose true completion, as Voltairine de Cleyre and Rose Wilder Lane argued here and here, will be libertarian anarchy.



    And should the U.S. have stayed out of World War II? Just how far down the rabbit hole are you willing to follow your favorite bumper sticker?

    Certainly the US should have stayed out of WWII. US entry into WWII was caused by the US provoking a Japanese attack through a trade embargo.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_Deceit

    A very good case has been made that the US government knew the Pearl Harbor attack would happen, and purposely let it happen to convince the American public to support entering the war.

    While the defeat of Hitler and Mussolini was good, the victory of Stalin and expansion of Soviet communism was horrible. It is likely that the outcome would have been better if Stalin and Hitler had been left alone to destroy each other, and the world would have been better off without certain WWII inventions such as the atomic bomb.

    Domestically, the war was an excuse for expanding government greatly, and many of those expansions stuck. For instance, much that is wrong with “health care” policy – and is likely about to become worse – has its origins in tying medical insurance to employment, which became widespread during WWII because wages were frozen and benefits took the place of wage increases. There are many other examples.

    Additionally, there would never have been a WWII, Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany had the US stayed out of WWI – just one of the many examples of (hopefully) unintended consequences of interventionist foreign policy.

  84. Bruce Cohen

    I don’t remember Sipos supporting me.

    I do remember the Karl Hess Club event.

    Mister Sipos actually stated to the crowd that he’d told the play audience he was “the Official Representative of the Libertarian Party”.

    Several other people were shocked by this.
    I quietly and nicely approached Mister Sipos about this matter and asked him how he could make such a statement, as he did not hold any LP post at any level, elected or appointed, at that time.

    He was embarrassed and said words to the effect that his position ‘ought’ to be the official one.

    Then he snarkily suggested I should speak after the anti-war play, clearly thinking I would shirk from such an offer.

    To Mister Sipos’ credit, he did make the call and both he and I did appear before that audience.

    As far as the so-called ‘hate mail’, Thomas is welcome to release any and all email I have sent to him at any time. I give him permission to share any personal email he has from me.

    I have it all saved.

    All I did was give him heck for doing a poor job as Editor of California Freedom Magazine.

    And for Breaking the Mission Statement, and the
    committment he made to me, in front of Ted Brown and others.

    Mister Sipos did say he would not turn California Freedom into his own soapbox, nor would he have it be an ‘anti-war’ paper.

    Finally, I am not ‘pro-war’.
    I am anti-war.
    I hate war.

    I also am not a foolish pacifist masquerading as a Libertarian.

    I hope this correction has helped people understand this matter.

    Thomas Sipos, hand-picked by Kevin Takenaga.
    Another winner.

  85. Bruce Cohen

    Oh: event notes on the anti-war play.

    The audience was very responsive to my message and their heads kept nodding to my words and I finished to nice applause.

    Mister Sipos got none of that.

    After the event was over, I was stage rushed by the audence and Thomas was ignored.

    Why?

    Because I am ‘pro-war’?

    (I am not, by the way…)

    No, because I had a good message and delivered it in a positive fashion.

    I bet Thomas doesn’t remember what I even said.

    But, Thomas’ problem here, is I had friends in the audience, both at the Karl Hess Club, and at the play.

    Including my acting/stage coach.

    Whoops.

    Thomas, when you lie, be sure someone can’t prove your untruths.

    Try again.

  86. Brian Holtz

    @113 : 27 paragraphs, and precisely one in-context quotation of Boortz.

    FAIL.

    The only other attempt to quote Boortz is blatantly out-of-context. Here’s the actual clause from which it was wrenched: “the organizers of the demonstrations last week in London were largely anti-American communists and Islamic radicals”.

    Slimey, slimey, slimey.

    It would be interesting to read a fact-based critique of Boortz’s libertarian credentials. Got one?

  87. Bruce Cohen

    This is all emotional claptrap about Boortz by emotional single-issue litmus test Libertarians.

    When Bergland ran, I didn’t agree with him on everything, but I helped and supported.

    Clark before him, too.

    I’ve never voted against a Libertarian in my life, unlike Mister Sipos, who promoted Obama as the best choice in the second largest circulation Party Newspaper in the USA.

    The fact of the matter is for many extremists, no we can’t get along, because they won’t allow it.

  88. Thomas M. Sipos

    I don’t remember Sipos supporting me.

    Really? I was on the platform committee. You came in for some reason, saw me with your button, and patted me on the back.

    Mark Selzer (your opponent) saw me wearing your button. We discussed you, since he tried to sway me. Perhaps he remembers?

    I quietly and nicely approached Mister Sipos about this matter …

    You looked distraught to me.

    and asked him how he could make such a statement, as he did not hold any LP post at any level, elected or appointed, at that time.

    Wrong. You said that since I was an officer of the LP, I had an obligation to present the proper LP position, which you claimed was not antiwar.

    I did hold an elected position at that time. Vice Chair of Region 62/West L.A. You even knew it at the time. (I still hold that position).

    He was embarrassed

    I wasn’t.

    Then he snarkily suggested I should speak after the anti-war play, clearly thinking I would shirk from such an offer.

    I wasn’t snarky. And I didn’t think you’re “shirk” from the offer.

    Mister Sipos did say he would not turn California Freedom into his own soapbox, nor would he have it be an ‘anti-war’ paper.

    I told everyone I’d make the war a flagship issue, from the start.

    Thomas Sipos, hand-picked by Kevin Takenaga. Another winner.

    Wrong again. Ted Brown picked me. He was in charge of finding a new editor. Ted suggested me to Excom, which approved me.

    on the anti-war play…. The audience was very responsive to my message and their heads kept nodding to my words and I finished to nice applause. Mister Sipos got none of that.

    It was a polite crowd. To both of us.

    And a largely antiwar crowd, whom you didn’t sway. I stayed for the after-play party. You didn’t stay for that.

    After the event was over, I was stage rushed by the audence and Thomas was ignored.

    Curious. I remember it differently.

    I bet Thomas doesn’t remember what I even said.

    I do. You said, “I think we all really believe the same thing.” You tried to find a middle ground, saying we were all antiwar, and all pro-security.

  89. Thomas M. Sipos

    Bruce Cohen: I’ve never voted against a Libertarian in my life, unlike Mister Sipos, who promoted Obama as the best choice in the second largest circulation Party Newspaper in the USA.

    Huh? When did I “promote Obama as the best choice” in any newspaper?

    Can you cite the issue, and page number?

    After the election, I wrote in my CF editorial that I had voted for Ron Paul.

    I also ran some positive news pieces on Ron Paul in several articles prior to the election (at least one written by Lawrence K. Samuels), and I published some pro-Ron Paul letters to the editor.

    Many LPC members — and officers — liked, supported, and voted for Ron Paul.

  90. Brian Holtz

    Sipos never “promoted Obama as the best choice” for 2008 in California Freedom — or anywhere else, as far as I know.

    It was Ted that picked Sipos, not Kevin. There weren’t exactly a lot of options at the time.

    Bruce, I repeat: don’t write polemical checks that your evidence can’t cash.

  91. paulie Post author

    27 paragraphs, and precisely one in-context quotation of Boortz.

    There are plenty of statements that Boortz has made over the years referenced in the article. None of the characterizations regarding Boortz are inaccurate, although some points about other libertarians are incorrect (Garris and Raimondo are characterized as active LP members as of 2003, and Ayn Rand is certainly not the “spiritual guru” of all libertarians – a statement she would be mortified at on several levels).

    It would be interesting to read a fact-based critique of Boortz’s libertarian credentials. Got one?

    Sure, there are plenty of them at http://www.freedom2008.com/bootboortz/.

    I need to make this quick, so I’ll suggest starting with the quotes at http://www.freedom2008.com/bootboortz/archives/002691.html

    such as

    http://boortz.com/nuze/200311/11242003.html

    “The FBI is investigating the backgrounds and organizational methods of antiwar demonstrators in the US. Hopefully that doesn’t come as a surprise to you. It is safe to assume that a large number of these demonstrators are out there in the streets because they want America to fail in its efforts to fight terrorism and its efforts to bring secular representative governments to Iraq and Afghanistan. ”

    Translated: Many of these demonstrators are pro-Saddam and anti-US. So, who wouldn’t want them investigated by the FBI?

    …and others in that article.

    Many more articles at Boot Boortz Blog quote Boortz.

    BTW, this is in the wrong thread.

  92. Brian Holtz

    Paulie, I’m not going to do your research for you. Instead, I’ll just challenge you to show how much you can lower Boortz’s libertarian score by posting in-context quotes from him here. I’ll be generous to you, and score him at zero on freedom from government monitoring. That takes his potential libertarian score to 90/100. How much further can you lower it?

  93. Bruce Cohen

    My mistake.
    I was under the impression Sipos voted for Obama instead of Barr.
    I’ll have to find out where I got that impression.

    As far as who ‘picked’ Sipos, the buck stops with the Chair.

    Sipos used to be proud of being Kevin’s choice.

    So, who DID you vote for in the 2008 Presidential race? Ron Paul wasn’t on the ballot, Thomas.

  94. paulie Post author

    This is all emotional claptrap about Boortz by emotional single-issue litmus test Libertarians.

    No, they aren’t. I don’t have any single issue litmus test, for instance. There is not any one issue than by itself would cause me to say someone is non-libertarian.

    The arguments are that Boortz diverges from Libertarian positions on a significant number of issues that are prominent in the national debate.

    It is true that there is significant dissent in the party over some of these issues (military spending/foreign policy and immigration, for instance), but that is only because what little recruiting the LP does has been aimed largely at the right. If the LP’s recruiting was more balanced, there would be just as much dissent on, for example, economic planks.

    Furthermore, Boortz not only disagrees with LP positions on these issues, but does so in a highly polarizing and extreme way. I doubt many LP members would agree with his support for the “patriot” act or with using the FBI to spy on peace protesters.

    His frequent racial innuendo, while not necessarily unlibertarian, is reprehensible. Nothing he says these days is nearly as extreme as the speeches he used to write for die-hard segregationist Lester Maddox, but much of it still appeals to racist sensibilities.

    Sugg’s article also details significant problems with Boortz’s economic views as well. I’ll also grant that these mistakes are prevalent in many LP members – but again, that is only because we have been off balance. The source of this right-bias in the way libertarianism is usually presented, and what is wrong with it, is explained in http://mises.org/story/2099

  95. Brian Holtz

    He said in CF that he wrote-in Ron Paul.

    Pay attention, please.

    “Hand-picked by Kevin Takenaga” remains utterly false. Do you have the character to admit it, or not?

  96. paulie Post author

    Paulie, I’m not going to do your research for you.

    It is neither “my research” nor yours. I’ve posted opinions that I largely agree with, and links to more. Interested readers can pursue the links further.

    Instead, I’ll just challenge you to show how much you can lower Boortz’s libertarian score by posting in-context quotes from him here. I’ll be generous to you, and score him at zero on freedom from government monitoring. That takes his potential libertarian score to 90/100. How much further can you lower it?

    As I’ve stated before, I don’t consider your modified Nolan Quiz, the original Nolan quiz, or any other modified Nolan quiz to be the be-all and end-all measure of libertarianism.

    The biggest drawback is that the Nolan-style quizes have IMO is entirely ignoring one of the three main areas of government policy. They cover domestic spending and social regulation, but not foreign policy/military spending. I, and many others, whether libertarian or not, and whether they agree with me on those issues or not, consider foreign policy issues and military spending to be just as important or more than domestic spending/economic issues or social issues. Boortz is (or was – it’s been a long time since I actually listened to him) among those who agree with me that foreign policy and related issues are very important. International interventionism is just as much a big government policy as economic interventionism or social interventionism by the government. I suspect that one major reason this policy dimension is generally excluded is because it is harder to model three dimensions than two.

    (Im)migration is another huge issue that is bypassed by your quiz, and by the new version of the standard WSPQ. I suspect this is because it’s a hot button issue among the conservatives that both the LP and (to a lesser extent) the advocates want to appeal to. As the issue became a hot button in the last decade, I would have preferred to have seen the LP and the libertarian movement put migration freedom front and center and make sure the socialists were not the only ones visible and recruiting at migrants rights marches. Instead, it was removed altogether to appease the right wing.

    There are numerous other issues that, of necessity, are excluded from any such quiz.

    Beyond issue selection, there is issue weighing/emphasis, issue framing, and numerous other aspects to policy than the WSPQ style quizes demonstrate.

    I have neither the time nor the interest to find quotes to match each one of a select subset of issues, and I’m not too sure that they would be easy to find or even necessarily available in print for each one of your issues. However, if you would prefer not to start with an assumption of 100/100 – you could equally start with an assumption of 50/50 or even 0/0 – and wish to find quotes, feel free. I’m not too interested in devoting a lot of time to such a pursuit.

  97. Bruce Cohen

    If the words “hand-picked” are over the top according to Brian, so be it.

    Mister Sipos was very smug and pleased with himself that Kevin had chosen him, and if it was Ted that got Kevin to ok it, fine.

    As far as I’m concerned, Kevin was Chair all through this time, and he signed off on all the content and the staff of one.

    So can I say ‘Takenaga approved’?

    How would the Holtz state it?

  98. Brian Holtz

    People are claiming that the self-identified libertarian Boortz is insufficiently libertarian. I’m just asking for in-context quotes to back up that claim. If you don’t want to provide them, I’m OK with that.

    Yes, I know you don’t like the world-famous WSPQ or the world-famous Nolan Chart, because they don’t reflect your ideological priorities. And yes, I know you don’t like my attempt to double the precision of the WSPQ using more topics from the LP Platform, because it still doesn’t reflect your ideological priorities.

    Well, then, how about using the LP platform itself? Unfortunately, only 3 out of its 27 planks — 11% — deal with your priorities of foreign policy and migration. Even the much-vaunted radical 2004 platform only devoted 16% of its planks to your top-priority issues.

    If it looks, walks, and quacks like a litmus test, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that it’s a litmus test.

    Yes, we’ve all heard your arguments that intervention against aggression/aggressors abroad is always maxarchist in its effect. Many libertarians argue the other way. But don’t insult our intelligence by trying to claim such intervention is inherently maxarchist, in the same way as government intervention in one’s personal and economic choices about one’s own life. That’s as tendentious as saying that government intervention against street crime is inherently maxarchist. You as an anarchist might believe that, but don’t pretend such an argument should carry any weight with us non-anarchists.

    The reason for LP schisms on immigration, abortion, and foreign policy isn’t because the LP recruiting has been unbalanced. It’s because each of these are franchise issues — questions of whether the government should treat certain entities the way it should treat its adult residents. We could in principle have franchise schisms over animal rights, children’s rights, women’s rights, the rights of the mentally incompetent, etc.

    Enfranchisement of entities is orthogonal the the libertarian thesis that all enfranchised entities deserve certain rights and protections. There is no set of answers to such franchise questions that is inherently the libertarian set of answers to them.

    And that’s the case no matter how passionate you happen to be about some of these questions.

  99. Brian Holtz

    Takenaga presumably approved, and certainly didn’t object. I didn’t either, because we had no alternative. Does that mean I “hand-picked” Sipos? “Hand-picked” wasn’t “over the top”, it was

    simply

    false.

  100. paulie Post author

    People are claiming that the self-identified libertarian Boortz is insufficiently libertarian. I’m just asking for in-context quotes to back up that claim. If you don’t want to provide them, I’m OK with that.

    Anyone can claim to be a libertarian – Boortz, Gravel, Bill Clinton…that doesn’t mean I need to spend a great deal of time to find quotes on a select set of issues to prove or disprove the claim. I believe the material at the Boot Boortz Blog makes at least as compelling a case as any such research, and it includes plenty of quotes from the man himself. Any readers who wish to investigate further can draw their own conclusions.

    Yes, I know you don’t like the world-famous WSPQ or the world-famous Nolan Chart, because they don’t reflect your ideological priorities.

    Not to dismiss Nolan’s achievement. I think it has some limited use as a model, and represents a step forward from the simple left-right scale, but also has some drawbacks – chief among them, IMO, ignoring foreign policy/military spending, a major category of government policy that does not fit neatly into social or economic issues. The removal of immigration as an issue is a hint of ideological priorities – it certainly was not done because the issue became less prominent in public policy discussions. I’d caution against over-reliance on the quiz, or any variant thereof. Any such model, aside from limited issue selection, necessarily ignores issue framing and issue weighing – both that of the quiz taker and that of the general public.

    Well, then, how about using the LP platform itself? Unfortunately, only 3 out of its 27 planks — 11% — deal with your priorities of foreign policy and migration. Even the much-vaunted radical 2004 platform only devoted 16% of its planks to your top-priority issues.

    I don’t claim that they are the only top priority issues, just what I have identified as the top issues missing from both the standard WSQP and your version. My other top priority issues include drug policy, tax policy (I happen to think the so-called “fair tax” Boortz pushes would actually make things significantly worse, not better), self-defense, sexual freedom…more importantly, I’m wary of anyone who pushes to make government bigger on any issue, as the nature of government is such that they are far more likely to succeed in that pursuit even if they want to make government smaller on many more issues than they want to make it bigger on. I’m doubly wary if they say that the issue(s) they want to make government bigger on are the most important issues to them, and triply wary if those issues happen to be at the forefront of the national debate at that time.

    Neither the amount of words any year’s LP platform devote to any given issue, nor any version of the quiz, paints a complete picture.

    If it looks, walks, and quacks like a litmus test, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that it’s a litmus test.

    Again…I don’t reject anyone as non-libertarian over any one issue, whether it’s the war, “health care”, gun ownership, or anything else.

    Several important issues combined, their own weighing of those issues, their framing of issues, and the prominence of those issues in the national debate contribute to such an assessment.

    Yes, we’ve all heard your arguments that intervention against aggression/aggressors abroad is always maxarchist in its effect.

    I’ve made no such claim.

    However, I do believe the maintenance of a large standing military, military-industrial complex, “homeland security” apparatus, and overseas adventurism at great cost in mandatory taxation, American and foreign lives, terrorist blowback, and unintended consequences of interventionism contribute greatly to maxarchism. So do their spinoff effects, which include but are not limited to curtailment of domestic civil liberties and steps towards economic nationalization in the name of war efforts which often long outlast any war. In sum, I think the costs and risks of libervention efforts — including secondary, tertiary, etc., have to be considered, not just the benefits.

    I have no objection to Americans voluntarily organizing to “liberate” foreign nations on their own time and their own dime, but I am highly skeptical that the government bureaucracy can successfully manage to make the world more (rather than less) free through its bumbling interventionism, any more than I trust it to make us more prosperous or more moral.

    Libervention often has worthy goals – removing evil foreign dictators. But then so do many government policies, whether it be the “war on poverty” or the “war on drugs.” I don’t trust the government to make any of these problems better through its interventionism, and I expect chances to be better than even that government intervention – economic, social, domestic or foreign – will make things worse, whether through direct or indirect effects.

    But don’t insult our intelligence by trying to claim such intervention is inherently maxarchist, in the same way as government intervention in one’s personal and economic choices about one’s own life. That’s as tendentious as saying that government intervention against street crime is inherently maxarchist. You as an anarchist might believe that, but don’t pretend such an argument should carry any weight with us non-anarchists.

    I don’t think a “world policeman” role for any government is minarchist. Minarchist foreign policy would be an unorganized militia of the people, with a monopoly government raising armies in times of war. Slightly less minarchist foreign policy would be maintaining a permanent military for national defense, but not going to war unless directly attacked. There are many grades of archism in foreign policy, just as there are in fighting street crime or any other area of government policy.

    However, the direct comparison fails unless you claim that policing the entire world is the jurisdiction of the US government. I disagree with any such claim, as do minarchists. Anarchy is a red herring here.

    Also, in any world other than the theoretical, any government big enough to play world policeman will have significant interventionist economic and social policies at home. To believe otherwise is, IMO, naive. Growth in one sphere of government goes hand in hand with growth in other spheres of government/policy.

    The reason for LP schisms on immigration, abortion, and foreign policy isn’t because the LP recruiting has been unbalanced. It’s because each of these are franchise issues — questions of whether the government should treat certain entities the way it should treat its adult residents. We could in principle have franchise schisms over animal rights, children’s rights, women’s rights, the rights of the mentally incompetent, etc.

    You can find “franchise arguments” for any issue if you try. Someone might claim that drug users are not competent to make their own decisions, just like children. Someone else may claim the same about women, or men, or some “race” or religion. Radical feminists claim both women and men are powerless over the effects of pornography and prostitution.

    It isn’t just coincidental that those schisms encompass issues that straddle the right/libertarian boundary and none that straddle the left/libertarian boundary, although I understand your argument here – I don’t agree with it.

    Enfranchisement of entities is orthogonal the the libertarian thesis that all enfranchised entities deserve certain rights and protections.

    Beyond that is the question of who is obligated to provide those protections.

    And that’s the case no matter how passionate you happen to be about some of these questions.

    That’s certainly fair enough. But I’m not arguing on the basis of passion here – not that I find anything wrong in being passionate about issues.

  101. Erik Geib

    While I generally agree with Paulie that these quizzes shouldn’t claim “to be the be-all and end-all measure of libertarianism,” I thought I would enter a different version into the forum.

    It’s hard to project foreign policy and/or immigration on the traditional Nolan Chart. Thus, it is essential that adjustments to the WSPQ are made to project such issues as matters of personal or economic freedom.

    I also assert that Holtz’s quiz possesses a bias in the way that its questions are framed and the topics it has selected.

    Sure, my version may not nudge as many people into believing they are libertarian philosophically, but it’s much more likely to produce an honest representation of their values. Thus, I propose a quiz by the following standards:

    ————————————————–

    Should the government have the right to…?
    0 = Yes 5 = Maybe 10 = No

    PERSONAL
    Censor materials you find offensive?
    Monitor citizens through wiretapping or surveillance?
    Favor religious values over secular values?
    Limit who individuals from marrying the same gender?
    Make decisions on procreation for women?
    Stop citizens from possessing firearms for their protection?
    Jail or fine adults for victimless crimes such as drug use?
    Limit where individuals may or may not live?
    Draft citizens into public or military service?
    Curb speech or protests that criticize government action?

    ECONOMIC
    Prevent foreign products from freely entering the country?
    Subsidize corporations, farms, or other industries?
    Withhold portions of your income for your own retirement?
    Limit your educational opportunities by your zip code?
    Decide what health care you have access to?
    Set minimum and maximum wages?
    Tax the wealthy disproportionately?
    Protect jobs from foreign individuals?
    Confiscate land for private or public works projects?
    Fund wars of foreign intervention with taxpayer dollars?

    ————————————————–

    Yes, obviously mine probably has some bias as well (particularly my use of rhetoric on “Limit your educational opportunities by your zip code?” but I couldn’t figure out a better way to phrase it off the top of my head this past half-hour). However, I think it makes an attempt to address more issues, and reduces what I perceive as the redundant nudging towards libertarianism Holtz’s chart possesses.

  102. Bruce Cohen

    Come to think of it, I don’t think ‘hand-picked’ was over the top one bit. He was very enthusiastic and supportive of the whole thing, was he not? He even paid him, something that everyone objected to happening with me.

    Kevin also signed off on all the content.

    I guess if you are defending Kevin against him having ‘hand-picked’ Sipos, then it’s a black mark to be associated with him?

    Well the two produced a whole slug of magazines together, now didn’t they?

    Just like Aaron and I.

    I was Aaron’s hand-picked choice and I betcha he’s not ashamed of it.

  103. Brian Holtz

    Once again, people who read Cohen uncritically will get a distorted version of reality.

    I don’t recall Kevin being any more enthusiastic or supportive than one would expect of a brand-new Chair who had been able to secure a linguistically competent editor. (Bruce, care to tell us why our previous paid editor quit while you were managing her? She was more competent than you, me, and Sipos, whether separately or combined.)

    “[Kevin] even paid him” is misleading. The position of CF editor had long been a (relatively well-)paid position, so long as the editor was not on ExCom (as Cohen was) and thus did not appear to be self-dealing. (We may at some point have even given Sipos a pay cut relative to the previous paid editor, but I don’t have the data handy. And now, of course, Sipos gets paid nothing, and a new online incarnation of CF is produced by me for free at http://www.calfreedom.net/.)

    It’s hardly news that I considered Sipos’s work product to be deeply flawed:

    http://libertarianintelligence.com/2009/04/transparent-straw-men-in-california.html
    http://knowinghumans.net/2007/08/cfs-new-antiwar-obsession-still-wont.html

  104. Tom Blanton

    Radical libertarians from all over America could join the LPCA and try to bring some sanity to this organization.

    I’m sure Mr. Holtz would have no objection to people from other states joining since he believes borders are just lines drawn on maps by statists, at least for purposes of initiating aggression.

    It seems to me that the LPCA has lost its way and I’m wondering if all the neoconservatives, neolibertarians, objectivists, and geo-whatevers drove out all the actual libertarians.

    This seems to be happening all over America, which leads to the obvious question:

    Why would radical libertarians that left the LP want anything to do with the organization that the LP has become? Especially when the leadership of the LP seems to insist on recruiting neoconservatives and conservatives to the exclusion of all others including libertarians, despite the fact that this failed strategy has resulted in fewer members, less in donations, and confusion over what a libertarian is.

  105. Michael H. Wilson

    re Tom @ 136. There are apparently some Libs who belong to more than one state party. Why is beyond me.

  106. d.eris

    @50: “Robert Milnes // Jan 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm d.eris @19, the withering away of the state is classic soviet socialism theory.”

    I’m aware, RM. It was meant as a joke, given the present context. To continue in that vein, given that the Soviet state no longer exists, does that mean Engels’ prediction concerning the “withering away of the state” was correct?

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