Chris Cantwell Interviews Wes Benedict: Are There Anarchists in the Libertarian Party?

96 thoughts on “Chris Cantwell Interviews Wes Benedict: Are There Anarchists in the Libertarian Party?

  1. Robert Capozzi

    WB is a lessarchist! Most excellent!

    I also liked his discussion of the iterative process of developing one’s views. It seems contrary to plumblinery, though. He couldn’t say so, but the SoP all-but-forecloses the possibility of refining views. The albatross created in the early 70s has led to institutional arrested development.

  2. Mike Kane

    I listened to this whole entire interview. It’s definitely worth a listen. Wes’s book and the PAC he founded with Art DiBianca are great resources for the LP. Unfortunate it took so long for him to mention it though. I did like how he called out the ‘whiners’ at the beginning.

    All in all, a great interview.

  3. Pete Blome

    Mr. Benedict did a good interview. I liked what he said and how he said it. The reference to whiners was clear, but he must have listened to some of those past whiners because did talk with the New York Chair before going on the show. That was smart. Not only does it lead to better coordination within the Party, it also helps prevent needless gaffs. Worth a listen.

  4. Dave Terry

    Wes Benedict: “Are There Anarchists in the Libertarian Party?”

    He MUST be joking!!:

    Rob Banks, 3/14/15
    “We don’t need them (cops). At all.

    Jill Pyeatt, 3/14/15
    “Dave Terry, I don’t think we need cops at all. Is this a new idea for you? Go to a couple sites like “Copblock”, read some of the horror stories, and you just might think so, too.

    What we need are more police review boards (run by civilians) and the end of the unwritten “code of honor”.and more “Oath Keepers”

    I, for one, would not want to live in a society where laws against ‘initiation of force” were not ENFORCED. (even if this included those who job is to enforce those laws themselves.

  5. Andy

    The Libertarian Zone concept I came up with has no police and no taxes. Everyone who lives there has to sign a Libertarian Zone contract (Don’t like that? Then live elsewhere.) where they agree to not initiate force and fraud. Everyone in the Libertarian Zone is a potential contract enforcer. A system of bounties would motivate people to act as contract enforcers (everyone in the Libertarian Zone posts bond). My concept also includes a randomly selected, fully informed jury system as a part of the contract. Those who get convicted of contract violation would face penalties, which could be enforced by any members of the Zone, or the entire Zone. Penalties could include restitution, banishment from the Zone, or even death.

    The Libertarian Zone is only for rugged individualists. Weak willed wussytarians need not apply.

  6. Joshua Katz

    It’s unclear to me why the absence of police persay means that laws would not be enforced. Might the abolition of police not be accompanied by a different enforcement mechanism?

  7. Mark Axinn

    > Weak willed wussytarians need not apply.

    Andy–Great line!! Right up there with nattering nabobs of negativism.

  8. Mark Axinn

    Mike, Pete, Robert–

    I agree.

    Wes is a smart man, and a very Executive Director for the LP.

  9. Mark Axinn

    Oops–left the adjective out.
    Meant to say “very good” but “very competent” works too.

  10. Steve M

    so how do you propose to create this libertarian zone?

    If I already live there and you create it around me am I forced to sign or else move?

  11. Robert Capozzi

    A: …even death

    me: Ever provocative, A. What sort of contract violation might lead to death in the LZ?

  12. Andy

    Creating the Libertarian Zone would entail taking over somewhere politically, and/or purchasing land somewhere. Another possibility is seasteading (platforms in the ocean).

    Non-Libertarian Zone contract signers would face forcible ejection or mass shunning (nobody would trade with you).

    Your question is like what would happen if somebody built a condo complex and you were there, but did not purchase a condo.

    The Libertarian Zone is basically like a large condo association of libertarians.

  13. Steve M

    I was thinking your plan would make you one of the worst home owner associations that I have heard of. I also think that once you start using enforces some other faction will start using enforcers. I also believe that you can never get a group of poeple of any size to agree to shun some one some will agree with person you are shunning or some will see it as an advantage to barter with them because there is less compition for the shunned individuals business.

    If I own land and you bought the land around me and then you told me sign or move… I would consider that an act of aggression against me on your part.

    How about inheritance? I inherit land in this zone. To make use of my land I have to sign your contract?

    How about children born there… when do you coerce them into signing or leaving?

  14. Andy

    One of the points of the Libertarian Zone would be to drive out non-libertarians. The Libertarian Zone contract is the mechanism to weed out libertarians from fakes. The enforcement mechanisms come in when a person breaks their contract. Since there are no police in the Libertarian Zone, it would be up to Libertarian Zone members to police themselves.

    Children would be under their parents’ contract until they turn 18, at which time they can either sign the Libertarian Zone contract themselves or face banishment.

    Once again, the Libertarian Zone is only for those who sign the contract and live up to its terms.

  15. Rob Banks

    Professional police departments only date back to the 1800s. Their original purpose was to round up runaway slaves.

  16. Dave Terry

    Andy, 3/15/15

    A.”Everyone who lives there has to sign a Libertarian Zone contract….”

    “HAS” to sign??? If I refuse to sign, will someone initiate force against me to compel my
    compliance

    B “Everyone in the Libertarian Zone is a potential contract enforcer

    Does this include those who refuse to sign this “contract”? If NOT, what happened to my
    right to defend my person, property & family and respond to force with force?

    Further, what about conflict of interest? In your ZONE, are individuals allowed to act as
    enforcers in matter in which they have a personal interest?

    C. (Don’t like that? Then live elsewhere.) where they agree to not initiate force and fraud.

    1. Will “enforcers” FORCE me to move?
    2. IF so, what about my property rights?

    D. A system of bounties would motivate people to act as contract enforcers (everyone in the Libertarian Zone posts bond).

    1. WHO determines the size of this “bounty” and HOW is the “size” determined?
    2. Will EVERYONE pay the same bounty, without respect to the size of family or the value
    of property?
    3. Will those who cannot PAY this bounty be excluded from the benefit of “contract enforcers”?

    My concept also includes a randomly selected, fully informed jury system as a part of the contract. Those who get convicted of contract violation would face penalties, which could be enforced by any members of the Zone, or the entire Zone. Penalties could include restitution, banishment from the Zone, or even death.

    1. By “contract violations”, I presume that you include crimes of violence; What are your suggestions regarding crimes that would normally call for incarceration? Who would “guard”
    these convicts, provide their meals and treat their illnesses and injuries?

    The Libertarian Zone is only for rugged individualists. Weak willed wussytarians need not apply

    Au Contraire. It seems to me that people who are content to allow totally random law enforcement by people with personal prejudices and no formal training that determine their future and freedom are definitely are NOT what would I call rugged individualists

  17. Rob Banks

    “Wes is a smart man, and a very (good) Executive Director for the LP.”

    I agree!

  18. Dave Terry

    Rob Banks, 3/15/15: “Professional police departments only date back to the 1800s. Their original purpose was to round up runaway slaves.”

    The name Scotland Yard comes from its very earliest days, soon after the establishment of the police force in London in 1829. The first Metropolitan Police station was opened on 6 October 1829 in a street called Great Scotland Yard and was at the rear of 4 Whitehall Place which served as the office of the two newly appointed police commissioners

    To date they have never arrest a slave.

    The United States inherited England’s Anglo-Saxon common law and its system of social obligation, sheriffs, constables, watchmen, and stipendiary justice. As both societies became less rural and agrarian and more urban and industrialized, crime, riots, and other public disturbances became more common. Yet Americans, like the English, were wary of creating standing police forces. Among the first public police forces established in colonial North America were the watchmen organized in Boston in 1631 and in New Amsterdam (later New York City) in 1647.
    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/467289/police/36619/Early-police-in-the-United-States

    I DON’T think there were very many slaves in Boston and New York in the 1630s and 1640s!!!

  19. Guess what

    Why not make the entire USA a Libertarian Zone and drive out any illegal aliens who harbor Communist sympathies?

  20. Joshua Katz

    So if I’m born in an LZ, my parents die, I inherit the land, and then turn 18 – you will seize my property if I don’t sign your contract. Got it.

    In my opinion, the point of libertarianism is to build a society based on respect, trust, and freedom – not to drive out and shun the non-believer.

  21. Steven Berson

    The points in our history since industrialization where law enforcement and justice were handled by bodies that had no typical governmental authorization and accountability often did NOT end well – e.g. lynch mobs composed of vigilantes, Pinkertons beating and killing labor protestors – and as such I personally will stick towards the “wussytarians” in this regard by being one of those that demand greater public accountability from law enforcement rather than less.

  22. Rob Banks

    They have turned into a standing army, exactly what we are not supposed to have. Disband and abolish.

  23. Dave Terry

    Rob Banks, 3/15/15
    “Trying to reason with DT is just a waste of time.”

    Especially when YOU don’t have a clue WHAT reason is.

  24. Steve M

    But you might limit the market for Josh’s property and thus reduce its for sale price causing him harm.

    This isn’t all that much different that a home owners association which has rules that go along with a transfer of the property. This last year, I decided against buying a specific property because I thought the association rules were excessive. There was a very limited number of buyers for this type and price of property and thus the Association rules hurt the seller.

    One major problem with this scheme is under US and state laws contracts can be limited in what is enforceable and I am pretty sure any clause which allowed other association members confiscation powers or jailing people let alone executing them would be found to be unenforceable if not criminal.

    One right that property owners seem to have is the right to continued access to their property. If I owned property and had been allowed right of ways to come and go from my property a new owner of the property I am traversing doesn’t have the right to deprive me of my use of that right of way. This goes for utilities such as sewer, water, power, communications etc. So even if you bought up the entire town I think I could argue that I still have a right to use the roads and thus your shunning couldn’t prevent me from access to markets outside of town.

    So you plan on doing this outside the US, Andy?

  25. Dave Terry

    Rob Banks 3/15/2015

    “They have turned into a standing army, exactly what we are not supposed to have.
    Disband and abolish.”

    And DON’T forget to throw out the baby with the dirty bathwater!

  26. Joshua Katz

    I can sell my land – presumably to the limited number of those willing to agree to your terms. But, please tell me – what if I don’t? What if I just respond “I have personal autonomy and the right to be free from the initiation of force – therefore you cannot apply force to remove me from my land or to make me sign a piece of paper?” I suspect I know what you’ll do, but I’d like to be sure.

    This is how I wind up with the LP approach – approaches that are seemingly more hardcore or more libertarian often wind up sounding a lot more likely to turn into tyranny. This is the same problem I eventually found with anarcho-capitalism – it sounded a heck of a lot like building police forces and courts with less restraints than we have today, but appending the word ‘private’ to them to cover the complete denial of basic rights.

  27. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’ve read Andy’s proposal of the “Libertarian Zone”. There are some areas that I find aren’t consistent with liberianism, in my view, but I definitely appreciate the effort.

    I believe Paulie asked for this earlier, but I’d love to see some write-ups from other libertarians and/or anarchists about the world they envision. If it’s thorough enough (meaning more than a paragraph or two), I’d be happy to post it here as an article.

    Have any of our readers done enough day dreaming to be able to explain your ideal world?

  28. Robert Capozzi

    JK and A, it strikes me that if a child born in the LZ and inherits land there but refuses to sign the contract (including death clauses that A hasn’t explained), they should have the option to opt out of the LZ by creating a Nonarchy Pod within the LZ.

  29. Steve M

    Jill,

    I see Libertarianism more as a path than a location. I don’t ever see any place with any sizable population being totally libertarian because there will always be people of other philosophical political leanings. You can talk and argue the conditions, merits and problems or any utopian ideal but I just don’t see them existing outside of very small communities.

    So to me libertarianism exists to provide a pull towards a more individualistic and less restrictive society. This pull is too counter other philosophies pulling in other directions such as towards more wealth redistribution on the part of the economic left and against government mandated social behaviors, such as sexual behavior, drug use etc. But these other pulls will never fully give way.

  30. paulie

    I don’t know what the future holds. I think we’ll evolve past authoritarian tendencies eventually – and I grant that this probably won’t happen without a serious evolutionary leap – and I have a hypothesis that it will be soon, i.e. within the lifetime of many people reading this.

  31. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Free market economics based on private property rights requires government coercion to work. This government 1) upholds property rights and 2) enforces contract law. If you are saying it’s possible to provide the last 2 services without government…then I’d say that’s quibbling over semantics. If it was possible to have competing private agencies providing property and contract enforcement, then there would need to be an overarching social compact (common law, bill of rights, constitution, etc) providing a framework for resolving justice disputes. The idea of an unregulated free market in security services tends to break down when libertarians underestimate how easy and efficient it is to steal stuff by pointing guns at innocent people. The notion that competition would keep these services in line hinges on the assumption that the people themselves are armed, organized, and informed enough to keep these security services from colluding together and forming a new government. Ultimately, anarchy requires alot of community organization and awareness because self-government requires more effort and organization than being the passivity of being governed.

    The difference between anarchy and people’s control of government is largely semantics. In both cases, self-government and doing away with coercive and exclusive hierarchies is the objective.

    Ultimately, private property in land, investment funds, and capital assets requires hierarchies and government and is thus not compatible with anarchism. It requires a coercive apparatus guaranteeing the exclusive control of owners/investors over the production process. It also encourages (and depends on) imperialist foreign policy in order to obtain new properties and new markets and thus accumulate more capital.

    A sane government, imho, would be something resembling a Georgist market socialism. Georgist in the sense that land, minerals, fossil fuels and other bounties from the earth are not owned by individuals. Instead, these things are controlled and managed by democratically accountable land trusts. Georgist in the sense that every individual has access to land and the capacity to use land to their own advantage and to start their own businesses free of government interference and monopoly. Georgist in the sense that everyone has ample autonomy within their own landed sphere (a condition impossible to obtain in capitalism, where most people rent property and therefore do not control it and don’t invest in it). .Market-based in the sense that every firm/enterprise would have real autonomy (a condition impossible in capitalism because of the tendency towards monopoly control of industries caused by excessive concentration of finance capital) to voluntarily associate and trade as they see fit. Socialist in the sense that people are compensated according to their contribution and/or labor. Socialist in the sense that enterprises are democratically managed and therefore accountable to the people that work there. And socialist in the sense that investments are controlled by community banks and therefore accountable to actual people..

    For provocative reading on the beliefs and traditions of classical anarchism, check out the Anarchist Faq.

  32. Dave Terry

    “Free market economics based on private property rights requires government coercion to work. This government 1) upholds property rights and 2) enforces contract law”.

    Please explain how upholding “property rights” and enforcing “contracts” can be considered coercion?

    “Instead, these things are controlled and managed by democratically accountable land trusts.”

    Please explain the difference between a “democratically accountable land trust” and a
    “democratically elected and accountable Bureau of Land Management

  33. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Sure. Property rights assumes that there is some sort of just claim to property. And in a contemporary sense, proprety rights are founded on the notion that some people start off holding property and others have no property and are forced to rent.

    It requires coercion to 1) keep unpropertied individuals from squatting on owned land 2) To assert one’s property claim over another (and this is typically how property rights used justify waging war). To say I have property rights is to assert my exclusive control and therefore my right to use coercion against you if you violate my so-called property rights. And contract enforcement is of course a coercive service in itself–if the contract had been adhered to voluntarily, then it wouldn’t require force. People call in the police when they need force to protect their “property rights”

    This way of doing things is suboptimal and unjust in alot of senses. First of all, people who do not start off with any land or resources are at a massive disadvantage that (statistically speaking) is rarely overcome. Their condition is analagous to serfs, and monopoly control of culture and education tends to keep them in whateve social strata they start out in. Second, where is the justice in some people inheriting land and wealth and others having nothing? Isn’t it rational and natural for those people with inherited land and wealth to use government force to maintain and extend their advantages and monopolies? This is why classical republican ideology is so staunchly opposed to vast inequalities of resources and property—in undermines the virtue of the republic, a virtue dependent on the industry of self-sufficient small landowners who have a vested interest in preventing the emergence of oppressive government.

    In the end, the police are a service and they serve property owners. Anytime you have vast inequalities of wealth, then owners require the police to maintain and extend these inequalities. The triumph of private mercenary armies over public armed militias (representing the small landholders and their vested interest in maintaining their liberty) is the triumph of tyranny and the road to decline for nations. As Jefferson warned us, the road to enacting this tyranny is the concentration of wealth, power, and property in the hands of the few.

  34. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Please explain the difference between a “democratically accountable land trust” and a
    “democratically elected and accountable Bureau of Land Management

    Well, a “democratically accountable land trust” bears no resemblance to an agency in a liberal democratic government because, well, the land trust practices real democracy, accountability, and transparency while liberal democratic governments are facades for polyarchic or oligiopolic rule. The land trust is a public institution that is owned and operated by the people who live within the borders of that land trust. It makes big decisions according to the principle of 1 person 1 vote. All management decisions would be subject to oversight and reversal.

    Arguably, the land trust would make better decisions about land use and investment allocation because it would be responsible to the people it serves and represents. Therefore it would be more likely to make decisions in the best interest of those people, rather than in the best interest of the billionaires and corporations control current governments.

  35. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    I finally watched “They Live” last summer…twas awesome…. Incredible that Hollywood produced that movie!

    Another surprisingly contemporary film from wayback…..Robocop. The portrayal of the future of Detriot in that movie turns out to be surprisingly prophetic.

  36. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Thomas Jefferson in 1785, in a letter to James Madison. He’s talking about France.

    “The property of this country is absolutely concentered in a very few hands, having revenues of from half a million of guineas a year downwards. These employ the flower of the country as servants, some of them having as many as 200 domestics, not labouring. They employ also a great number of manufacturers, and tradesmen, and lastly the class of labouring husbandmen. But after all these comes the most numerous of all the classes, that is, the poor who cannot find work. I asked myself what could be the reason that so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work, in a country where there is a very considerable proportion of uncultivated lands? These lands are kept idle mostly for the aske of game. It should seem then that it must be because of the enormous wealth of the proprietors which places them above attention to the increase of their revenues by permitting these lands to be laboured. I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree is a politic measure, and a practicable one. Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. [b]Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If, for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be furnished to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not the fundamental right to labour the earth returns to the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.[/b]”

  37. Andy

    “Green_w_o_Adjectives

    March 15, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Free market economics based on private property rights requires government coercion to work.”

    The Libertarian Zone contract signers would be the defacto government, it just would not be a coercive government as we know it.

    I would encourage people who want to live under other systems for form their own zones or countries. Green Party types could have a Green Zone, etc… There could even be competing Libertarian Zones.

  38. Steve M

    The consequences of “evenly” or “fairly” splitting the “national” wealth is to eliminate the incentive for individuals to create new wealth. I would rather see effort put into helping the masses have the means and opportunity to create new wealth.

    In a few words, affordable education and removing barriers to creating new businesses.

  39. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt Post author

    March 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I’ve read Andy’s proposal of the ‘Libertarian Zone’. There are some areas that I find aren’t consistent with liberianism, in my view, but I definitely appreciate the effort.”

    What area is not consistent? It is not as if the Libertarian Zone would take up the entire planet. It would probably be a relatively small place at best. Nobody would be force to live there, so those who don’t like it could not move there, or if they do move there and do not like it they’d be free to leave.

    I basically came up with a way for libertarians to live in a community that has a defense mechanism/immune system, but that does so without taxation and without any rulers.

    Why have a defense mechanism/immune system? Because I think that reality is that many people in this world are not libertarians, and if they were in a libertarian society, they’d destroy it.

    Look at the US Constitution. It sounds like a nice idea (for the most part), but it really has not worked that well at preserving liberty. This is because it allows for taxation and a ruling class. The US Constitution also does not really have an immune system to ward off people who are anti-liberty.

  40. Andy

    The Libertarian Zone contract is sort of like the pledge to join the Libertarian Party. Do you want to join the Libertarian Party? Then sign the Libertarian Party pledge.

    Do some of you people out there think that non-pledge signers should be able to vote in Libertarian Party conventions? I would hope not.

    If a person wants to live in the Libertarian Zone, they need to sign the Libertarian Zone contract, and if they break it, there needs to be a system of penalties. Since there’d be no taxes and no police as we know them, there’d need to be a way to enforce the contracts. It would be up to the people who live in the Libertarian Zone to take an active role in contract enforcement.

    I have yet to see anyone else come up with a better proposal. If somebody out there thinks that they can create a better concept for a Libertarian Zone, go for it.

  41. Andy

    What would happen if a bunch of big government types showed up at Porcfest? Let’s say so many big government types attended Porcfest that they outnumbered the libertarians there. Do you think that Porcfest would remain a libertarian event if most of the people there were not libertarians?

    The reason we do not really have freedom in the USA is because a good 2/3 of the population does not want to be free.

    Think of the Libertarian Zone as Porcfest year round with a defense mechanism.

  42. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    “The Libertarian Zone contract signers would be the defacto government, it just would not be a coercive government as we know it.

    I would encourage people who want to live under other systems for form their own zones or countries. Green Party types could have a Green Zone, etc… There could even be competing Libertarian Zones.”

    So you are advocating panarchism? I have zero objection to this kind of thing in principle and opening up space for these kinds of experiments is a big part of why I’m interested in 3rd party politics. However, practically speaking there would need to be common law commitments to the protection of individual rights within the zones (here I mean pretty much the basics–life, liberty, and labor compensation (unless the “Zone” contract stipulates that all labor value goes into a common pot or all labor value is appropriated by a boss). This would limit injustice insofar as the people living in other Zones would have incentive to intervene in another Zone if fundamental liberties are being violated since these kinds of violations have a way of spreading out into other zones. Slavery in Kazakhstan may not be a huge threat to my freedom but a slavery in Texas probably is.

    Ultimately, it’s hard to tolerate zones where there is either 1) militarism 2) heavy weapons production 3) unsustainable exploitation of natural resources or other problems that create a threat to the safety of the other zones. In capitalism as we know it (ie a government that privileges landed property and capital asset rights over labor’s self-ownership and/or the health of communities/ecosystems) it’s very difficult to avoid any of these activities, given how mad profitable these activities happen to be.

    So I think a sustainable panarchism would need a framework that promoting basic standards of liberty, security, and sustainability for the citizens that live within it. Perhaps over time that framework could dissolve if the principles within it became a type of common law or folk religion that was passed down from father to son rather than via federalist institutions.

  43. Steve M

    If the LZ is an entity within the US it is going to have to respect the laws of the US and the state in which it exists. I don’t think that contracts can be made legal that transfer binding authority to another organiozation without the approval of the existing government. So, executing someone whould be considered murder by the existing state and would quikly end the LZ.

    So again I ask, do you see this happening with the US?

    I think there are other problems that such a society would have. One major isue is that contracts are often not complete or are “unfairly” written. For example, two people get married, they sign a very simple agreement which states that they will live together forever…. but then they decide to end the marriage. This isn’t a case of deception but now you have property division and child issues. Under the existing system, there are laws (as imperfect as they may be) which become the fall back position. How do such fall back positions get implemented in a LZ.

    Green_w_o_Adjectives, add to you list water rights issues, does a zone upstream have a right to build a dam and severly restrict the availability of water downstream? Similarily does a zone upstream have a right to dump its waste into a stream just as it leaves its zone.

  44. Andy

    “Steve M

    March 15, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    If the LZ is an entity within the US it is going to have to respect the laws of the US and the state in which it exists. I don’t think that contracts can be made legal that transfer binding authority to another organiozation without the approval of the existing government. So, executing someone whould be considered murder by the existing state and would quikly end the LZ.

    So again I ask, do you see this happening with the US?”

    The present USA may not be the best place for the Libertarian Zone, unless maybe libertarians could take over some area like say New Hampshire, or part of New Hampshire, and or Wyoming (see the novel, “Molon Labe” by Kenneth Royce, aka-“Boson T Party”), but even then libertarians would have to have enough fire power to keep the feds out (Kenneth Royce came up with a creative way to do this in Molon Labe).

    Maybe a Libertarian Zone could spring up in the USA after an economic collapse, or something like that.

    Purchasing some land outside the USA, or seasteading, may be better options than doing this in the present day USA.

  45. Andy

    Here is a problem with New Hampshire, or any state or US territory. Libertarians move to New Hampshire (or wherever else in the USA), but an equal or greater number of big government types move there at the same time, thus drowning out the libertarians.

    New Hampshire has over 1.2 million people. I do not know what percentage of them are self identified libertarians, but I imagine that they are a minority.

    How can you expect to have a libertarian society when libertarians are greatly outnumbered?

    Most welfare statists, government employees, warmongers, police worshippers, etc…, will never change their ways.

    So how do fellow libertarians out there ever expect to achieve freedom?

    The election system is basically rigged against us. The government has the police and military. Most people value their government welfare check or their paycheck from the government or their government protected occupation more than they value individual freedom. Lots of people like to be able to use government to punish people whose lifestyles they do not like.

    The education system in this country indoctrinates people to be statists. The mainstream media is for the most part in bed with the government.

    So fellow libertarians, given these realities, how do you expect to achieve freedom in the present day USA?

  46. Steve M

    No you really can’t take a section out of the US… The south tried that in the 1860’s.

    So the constitution and state laws will still apply. I think if you hold your breath waiting for the US economy to collapse enough to allow it in the US you will be holding your breath a long time.

    So have at it. I won’t be investing in such an enterprise. There has been an attempt down in Chile known as Galt’s Gulch. But that seems to be pretty much a failure.

  47. Andy

    Like I said, outside the USA may be the best bet.

    I like the idea of the Free State Project in New Hampshire, but I see problems with the prospect of achieving a large degree of success there.

    Maybe the best we may hope for in the USA is a bastardized, watered down version of freedom, and even this will take a lot of hard work and some luck.

  48. Steve M

    “Maybe the best we may hope for in the USA is a bastardized, watered down version of freedom, and even this will take a lot of hard work and some luck.”

    This is realistic…

    I have argued before that in specific areas we are more free now then before… civil rights for non-whites, gay rights, 4 states abandoning the war on Pot with more to come. We have a lot of work to do but we have made a lot of progress.

    If I had to pick the next set of targets it would include legalizing recreational use of pot and commuting the sentences of all people jailed for possesion or selling of pot. Limiting the effect of pattents of existing companies from keeping new companies out of the market. Getting the federal government out of education, getting state governments out of k-12 education. Push education towards those whom it directly effects.

  49. Andy

    “Steve M

    March 16, 2015 at 12:02 am

    “Maybe the best we may hope for in the USA is a bastardized, watered down version of freedom, and even this will take a lot of hard work and some luck.”

    This is realistic…

    I have argued before that in specific areas we are more free now then before… civil rights for non-whites, gay rights, 4 states abandoning the war on Pot with more to come. We have a lot of work to do but we have made a lot of progress.”

    None of these things are going to stop the police state. Ending marijuana prohibition is nice, but it is also turning into a new cash cow for the government. More money for the government just means that they will be able to mess with us more in other areas.

    “Getting the federal government out of education, getting state governments out of k-12 education. ”

    Good luck battling the teachers union. Even if you were to somehow get the federal government out of education, you’d still have the state and local with which to contend. Education in this country will never be “right” as long as government is involved with it.

  50. Andy

    How about this? Libertarians start pooling money together in a fund. The fund could be in US dollars, gold, silver, cryptocurrencies, or some combination thereof. The purpose of the fund would be to purchase land somewhere in the world (perhaps by paying off some third world country, say we want full ownership of this land and we pay you $5 billion or something like that), or to manufacture floating platforms to put in the ocean out of the jurisdiction of any government.

    We write a Libertarian Zone charter, on which the Libertarian Zone contract would stem, and then after we purchase the land or the floating platforms, we move there.

    Once we were there we would no longer have to worry about elections, because everyone there would be a libertarian, and under my proposal, there would not be anything to run for anyway, because it would be a voluntary, self governing society, with no rulers.

    Having a Libertarian Zone outside the jurisdiction of any government would be a way to achieve real freedom in our life times, rather than trying to compete in the rigged system here in the USA, which is turning into more and more of a police state everyday, and where a good 2/3 of the population does not even want freedom.

  51. Steve M

    pooling our money? as in investing money.. I already said no to that… look at Galt’s Gulch what a valuable investment that has become.. so no.. good investments expect a return on the investment. Building sophisticated economies that can globally compete are not easily done. Buying real estate in a community which excludes most buyers for philosophical reasons is not wise.

  52. Andy

    I had an idea a while ago to come up with a list of things that doomed the prospects for freedom in the USA.

    The list could include:

    1) Government involvement in education.

    2) Getting rid of fair jury trials, that is jurors who were truly selected at random and were fully informed of their right to judge not only the facts of a case, but the validity of the law or laws in questions themselves.

    3) Professional, government run police departments as we know them today, and which did not exist in early American history.

    4) The Federal Reserve System.

    5) The IRS and the Social Security Administration (income tax and a fraudulent “retirement” scheme, complete with numbers to track everyone).

    6) Allowing government employees to unionize (Really, I do not think that government employees should be able to vote or to donate to political campaigns, and the same goes to government contractors. This is one of the big reasons that the servant has turned into the master.).

    7) The creation of the CIA, and other police state agencies like the FBI, the NSA, and the DHS.

    I could come up with some others, but those are some of the big ones.

  53. Andy


    Steve M

    March 16, 2015 at 12:27 am

    pooling our money? as in investing money.. I already said no to that… look at Galt’s Gulch what a valuable investment that has become.. so no.. good investments expect a return on the investment.”

    Then you do not have to contribute to the project. Stay here and continue fighting losing battles.

    The Libertarian Zone is not meant for weak willed or delusional libertarians.

    “Building sophisticated economies that can globally compete are not easily done.”

    I just want a free society. I believe that there are more than enough libertarians in the USA to build one right now. The problem is that we are outnumbered by sociopath control freaks and their brain dead followers.

    “Buying real estate in a community which excludes most buyers for philosophical reasons is not wise.”

    Excluding non-libertarians is the entire point of the idea. There are enough libertarians on this planet who can do all the jobs that need to be done (remember, the Libertarian Zone will be open to libertarians from around the world). We don’t need everyone else. Sure, we can trade with non-libertarians, as in importing and exporting goods and services, but I damn sure do not want any of these people as my neighbors, and I do not want to live under their “rules” or deal with their cops or their politicians.

  54. Andy

    “Steve M

    March 16, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Andy, did you just argue against legalizing pot?”

    Uuuugggggggg!!!! Where did I argue against legalizing pot? I never said such a thing. I think that marijuana, cocaine, crack, meth, heroine, etc…, should all be legal.

    My point was that legalizing marijuana, particularly the way that it is being done in this country right now, with the government taxing and regulating it, IS NOT GOING TO STOP THE POLICE STATE.

    I read an article online a few months ago about marijuana being legal in North Korea, or if not outright legal, laws against marijuana are not enforced against marijuana. So that’s right, in North Korea, the most oppressive regime on the planet, one can openly purchase marijuana at a grocery store, or whatever passes for a grocery store in North Korea. So the North Korean people live in a tyrannical dictatorship, but gosh darn it they can light up a joint and smoke it.

    I consider legalizing marijuana, only to tax and regulate it, to be a minor step toward freedom. Sure, it would be nice to not have the cops arresting people for pot (as much, since they can still arrest people who don’t follow all of the regulations or pay the taxes on it), but this really does not stop the country from turning into a police state.

    Remember, the Soviet Union had legal alcohol. People in the Soviet Union had the freedom to consume large amounts of vodka, yet they still lived in an oppressive state.

  55. Steve M

    “Ending marijuana prohibition is nice, but it is also turning into a new cash cow for the government. More money for the government just means that they will be able to mess with us more in other areas. “

  56. Andy


    Steve M

    March 16, 2015 at 1:24 am

    “Ending marijuana prohibition is nice, but it is also turning into a new cash cow for the government. More money for the government just means that they will be able to mess with us more in other areas. “

    This was an argument against TAXING AND REGULATING marijuana, not legalizing it.

    I do think that taxing and regulating it is better than putting people in jail/prison, however, it also opens up a new can of worms for the government to exploit.

    If we had real freedom, marijuana would be legal and there’d be no taxes on it, and people could grow as much as they wanted.

    Taxing and regulating marijuana just means more money for the state and more political cronyism.

  57. Steve M

    my point still stands… not arresting 693,000 people per year (these are NORML’s numbers) is a big step towards freedom. A worthwhile goal.

  58. Andy

    “Steve M

    March 16, 2015 at 2:27 am

    my point still stands… not arresting 693,000 people per year (these are NORML’s numbers) is a big step towards freedom. A worthwhile goal.”

    It is a step, but at the same time, the government is making a bunch of money off of taxing marijuana. What do you think that they are going to do with all of this tax money?

    Also, this does nothing to stop the DHS, the NSA. the CIA, FEMA, etc…

    Don’t get me wrong, it is better than nothing, but it is not stopping the relentless growth of the state.

  59. Steve M

    Not only does it stop the 690,000 arrests and probably few million harasements to make those arrests, it elimates a major excuse for the confescation of peoples property under the asset seizure laws.

  60. John Saddleback

    Andy

    March 15, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    “The reason we do not really have freedom in the USA is because a good 2/3 of the population does not want to be free. ”

    Sorry Andy, I respectfully disagree. I would be more inclined to believe the reason we do not have freedom in the USA is because a bunch of war mongering profiteers want to take it away from us, bit by bit, while watching us and controlling us to some extent. nwo

    Re: Libertarian Zone

    What is your idea of due process and process of formation of the LZ. How would you actually create it? Very interesting idea but I don’t think I could commit.

  61. Andy

    “John Saddleback

    March 16, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Andy

    March 15, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    “The reason we do not really have freedom in the USA is because a good 2/3 of the population does not want to be free. ”

    Sorry Andy, I respectfully disagree. I would be more inclined to believe the reason we do not have freedom in the USA is because a bunch of war mongering profiteers want to take it away from us, bit by bit, while watching us and controlling us to some extent. now”

    If a majority of the population really wanted to be free, then we’d have freedom right now.

  62. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    “If a majority of the population really wanted to be free, then we’d have freedom right now.”

    The majority of people think they are “free”. Dearth of liberty is more of a knowledge (and consequently institution/tradition) problem than a motivation problem.

  63. Seymour Results

    “Why not make the entire USA a Libertarian Zone and drive out any illegal aliens who harbor Communist sympathies?”

    –You can find them all in congress, police departments, the courts(judges + prosecutors = “persecutors”), governors’ mansions, and state legislatures. Get started. All of the prior titles of nobility” not only harbor communist sympathies, they are communists (totalitarian is a better word, since it makes no distinction between the various shitty “flavors” of totalitarianism which are all roughly the same).

    NOTE: If someone calls themselves a libertarian, that’s a good sign that they are delusional, and you should not tell them any portion of your plan, nor include them in any way. If you call yourself a libertarian, then, at this point, you should seriously question what you intend to accomplish.

  64. Seymour Results

    If you want real freedom, study engineering and robotics, and be a part of the Drexlerian “leading force” technology development team. If you want to waste a bunch of time and money, and accomplish NOTHING, then get involved with libertarians who run for offices higher than state legislature with wildly unrealistic plans for winning (or no plan to win at all). Or, sit back and watch the sociopaths who currently govern us turn the future into an impoverished despotism.

  65. Seymour Results

    Human being.

    Small-L libertarian (then quickly explain that I’m not delusional, and provide specific examples of the fact that I understand basic, elementary, ground-floor, Political Science 101 political strategy, and all the dumb mistakes made by 40 years of passionless losertarians).

    Here are some good alternatives, depending on the possibility of the listener to understand them: Hayekian liberal. Capitalist. Minarchist (if they’ve read too much bullshit and think anarchy v. minarchy is a legitimate argument). Anarchist (if they’re a soul-less “young republican” who wants 5% less government, just so I don’t have to talk to them).

    But all of this is a waste, whenever I call myself the above things. It is far better to call oneself a beer-lover, and change the subject, because the people of the USA want to be slaves, they have a slave mentality, and they do not want freedom, even if they call themselves “libertarians.” They want to be seen as people who want freedom, but that’s just a time-waster for everyone. The very instant you reference material reality, and talk to them about winning an election, their eyes glaze over. You have found the one thing they know nothing about, and they are not even well-formed enough to admit it. So, you have to realize that they are cowards who will slink away from any actionable commitment of any kind, anything that could possibly result in an increase in support from the electorate.

    If you say “OK, that means we have to walk 10,000 houses. Which ones are you going to walk? How many others are there? What’s the message? How many votes were cast in the prior election? How many votes did the incumbent win by?”

    I’ve never met a Libertarian that wanted freedom. If they wanted it, they’d have it, or be on their way to having it. Instead, they talk about what the best way to present yourself on TV is. Really? You’re gonna try to train people who have no business speaking in public to win office by polishing the delivery of lines that can’t impact the election? That’s your plan? That’s clueless and “not long of this Earth.”

    Those who can speak well to large crowds already know it. They are “candidate material.” They are also egomaniacs. If you can instill in them some respect for freedom, you might be able to get them elected to SL. There are only a few such libertarians in any state, at any time. They all run for Governor, US Senate, etc., marking themselves as perhaps talented speakers, but delusional. (They’re all going up against people who can spend whatever it takes to defeat them, and such people can raise that much from the party structures, from individuals, if need be. Therefore, the idiots who say “get the money out of politics” will only allow the FEC to destroy all minor parties if they get their way.) If you can get 10% of the vote for governor, run for State House and win. This should have been the message at the LP National, 20 years ago. The fact that it’s going on 15 years, and the same people at National control the ballot access money (and waste it) is an indication that the LP has been neutralized.

    There are ways to make it democratic, and to make it libertarian. But those ways take control away from the “self-conscious” “failing strategy” architects at National, and give it to a totally uncertain set of State memberships. The instant result of allocating money to the States would be for most of them to fall off the ballot, wasting 20 years or so of work.

    I don’t see much of a “cure” possible, other than to build intelligent strategy into the LP platform. Of course, this would require libertarians to educate themselves about strategy, and to admit that certain portions of their philosophy are in egregious error. (ie: Claiming that you can’t be a libertarian unless you’re an anarchist, etc. This is toxic idiocy. If the IRS, compulsory taxation, the DEA, the federal reserve, the FDA, ICE, ATF, ONDCP, DOE, were all eliminated, I could live with a state that size. And this isn’t suggesting that the state is “limiting itself” or any other stupid, uninformed, “anarchist” blather. This is suggesting that it is physically possible to abolish state apparatus, much as the slavery system was abolished, by getting serious about attacking the system using democratic processes, including elections, civil disobedience, and jury rights activism.)

    The Libertarian Party has slowly changed the meaning of the term for “classical liberal” into “someone who wants to be dominated.” Libertarians can’t seem to win! No matter how much money they throw at the problems, they can’t seem to make anything happen! (And they keep financing attempts to climb mount Everest before climbing the sledding hill in their back yards! To do this, they allocate 1/4 the amount of money it takes to climb Mount Everest, and then brag that “they raised more than any other libertarian ever raised for this race” or other non-relative measures that only an idiot would proudly claim.)

    …Can’t seem to run for offices like State Legislature that only take 10,000 votes to win, and make it happen! It never seems to occur to them that they aren’t allocating the money in an even slightly intelligent way. They lack the capacity to win. If you lack the capacity to win, but you have the resources to win, then you don’t care about winning.

    A lot of it is the fact that they’re a bunch of “slightly better educated” Republicans who run on “economic issues” that nobody understands, and wouldn’t care about if they did understand. They lack passion, and they lack a knowledge regarding what other people are passionate about. They have seen mainstream politicians say a bunch of passionless things, and imitate them, without realizing that the default is for the mainstream to retain power, so they’re trying to be as inoffensive as possible, whereas the default is for libertarians to retain a lack of power. Thus, the one avenue for success that’s possible, libertarians “rule out.”

    And then, they fail to run an efficient, intelligent ship on top of that.

    So yes, I’m a libertarian, but don’t let that fool you: I’m also capable of asking a rational series of questions, and forming a viable plan.

  66. Andy

    There are two good reasons for Libertarians to run for high level offices:

    1) These are the offices that to which the highest percentage of the public actually pay attention, which means that Libertarians can reach the most people by running for these offices.

    2) A lot of states have a vote test for ballot access that is attached to state wide offices, usually President and/or Governor, so these offices can get the LP ballot access in future elections in these states.

    Running for state legislature is great, however, it should be pointed out that unless Libertarians can elect a majority in a state legislature, or at least become a significant voting block in a state legislature, that Libertarians would be very limited in what they could accomplish in a state legislature where they were outvoted.

    I think a better strategy is for Libertarians to move to a small town and/or county and take it over. Get a majority on the town council and/or county comission (aka-county board of supervisors), and most importantly, elect a Libertarian Sheriff and appoint Libertarians as deputies.

  67. Rob Banks

    Agreed with all but your last paragraph.

    There have been quite a few efforts to get libertarians to move somewhere and take it over; so far they have all been failures or scams. The only exception to that to date, FSP NH, might yet get something good done, but they are also still a long way from taking anything over, much less all of NH.

  68. Andy

    Thomas Edison failed multiple times while trying to invent the light bulb, but eventually he got it right.

    Just because the (very) few times libertarians have put in a half assed effort to take over a locality it did not up happening it does not mean it is not worth pursuing or that it can’t work.

  69. Mark Axinn

    >The reason we do not really have freedom in the USA is because a good 2/3 of the population does not want to be free.

    No way. That figure is much too low. On my little island of 2,500,000 people, it’s much more like 95%. Maybe it’s a tad lower in rural parts of Montana or Wyoming, but not in any metropolis in the USA.

    Nor in the mid-west or the rest of the country where they love their government handouts and statist protectionism.

  70. Rob Banks

    “Thomas Edison failed multiple times while trying to invent the light bulb, but eventually he got it right.”

    Yes, by all means, beat your head against a wall repeatedly and tell yourself you are Edison on the verge of a breakthrough.

  71. Robert Capozzi

    Quixote was probably not really honest with himself. Edison, by all indications, was.

    The FSP was not honest with itself, IMO. It used obviously flawed data in picking NH, and the leadership denied it was flawed.

    Andy could set up Andyland as an LZ tomorrow in some remote ghost town. The problem is: It’s a ghost town for a reason.

  72. paulie

    I prefer the approach of engaging libertarians everywhere rather than moving somewhere and trying to take it over, but if anyone ever succeeds with that approach, more power to them.

  73. Andy

    The fact of the matter is that libertarians are outnumbered everywhere. Libertarians will not “run” anything unless libertarians become the majority some place. I do not see this as being realistic by converting a majority of a local population to libertarianism, so having libertarians move to a locality with the intention of becoming the majority and “taking over” is likely the only plan that could actually work.

    The alternative is to stay where you are outnumbered and continue to face a series of losing battles.

  74. paulie

    People don’t generally like outsider moving in to take them over, unless you want to move somewhere where few people want to live at all, in which case it will be hard to get people to move there, which is harder than you may think to begin with.

    I also disagree with the idea that we have to convert a majority. A well organized 10% can effect real change. We already have 10%+ as soft libertarians now, but far from well organized. The share is growing. Hardcore libertarians are a smaller peercent, but alwso growing. Organizatin is the biggest thing lacking.

  75. Andy

    It would not matter what local big government types thought once libertarians outnumbered them. There are plenty of small towns and low populations counties where libertarians could become the majority and “take over” the local government.

    Don’t want to move to a small town / low population county? Nobody said you had to live there full time. Set up a cheap 2nd residence, and use that as your voting address. You could be a part time resident who only pops up once in a while. I’m sure there are other libertarians who’d want to live in said town / county on a full time basis, especially if it meant they could actually “win” something for a change.

    The best you could hope for being surrounded by big government types is a bastardized, watered down version of freedom, and even the prospects for this are not good. If you want real freedom, you need a libertarian majority.

  76. paulie

    “It would not matter what local big government types thought once libertarians outnumbered them. ”

    A lot of people may not necessarily be big government types, but may bristle at *anyone* coming in from outside in an organized effort to take over *their* community.

    And they may take countermeasures such as growth limiting initiatives, or even in some cases armed defnse against what they see as an invasion. If your zone will be outside the US that may be literally true, or if it involves the US breaking up, etc.

    “There are plenty of small towns and low populations counties where libertarians could become the majority and “take over” the local government. ”

    Yes, and they tend to be places a lot of people don’t want to live. Or if they are not they may have very limited autonomy from the state and feds, or both, etc.

    Also, a lot of people just don’t want to move just because of ideology, or have other things like jobs and family dictating not moving or where they move.

    Getting large numbers to move for ideological reasons is not at all as easy as you seem to think.

    “Don’t want to move to a small town / low population county? Nobody said you had to live there full time. Set up a cheap 2nd residence, and use that as your voting address.

    And the jurisdiction may pass laws against that and rule that people have to live there at least say 9 months a year or they won’t register them.

    “The best you could hope for being surrounded by big government types is a bastardized, watered down version of freedom, and even the prospects for this are not good.”

    I am more optimistic than you are.

    ” If you want real freedom, you need a libertarian majority.”

    Learn to become more persuasive. It’s a slow process, but it’s happening.

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