Montoni: Short Answers to the “Can You Win” Question

By Marc Montoni

Most of the many thousands of Libertarians who have run for office since 1972 (estimated to be in excess of 25,000) have faced the inevitable question from reporters (and voters as well, but especially reporters), “do you think you can win?”

The question itself reveals the intellectually lazy view of politics as a horse race.  There’s no room in that religion for ideology, belief, passion, or anything else of any substance.  There’s nothing in a horse race that really means anything.  Well, except winning.

Essentially, reporters asking it have reduced politics to a simple race of nothing vs. nothing.

How to get around it?

How do you lead someone with such a short attention span back to real issues?

Libertarians have come up with many ways to steer the reporter back to their reason for running.  We share them with you below so you will have them ready in your verbal arsenal.

Here is how a candidate who was professionally coached answered the question: Ed Clark, when asked if he would win, and how many votes he would get, had probably the best answer I’ve heard:

“I’m trying as hard as I can to win.  We have a serious message, we
want to address serious problems…”

Clark’s answer avoided both self-marginalization on the one hand, and overblown expectations that any moron, much less a reporter, could see right through on the other.

The essay I quote below appeared on “libernet” in the early nineties, but I did not record who wrote it:

In 1982, Ed Clark put together an audio tape of fifty questions and answers, and on this particular matter, the conversation went like this:

Question: Do you really expect to win?”

Answer: “I’m trying just as hard as I can to win.  Libertarians have the right solutions for today’s problems, they have the ethics of individual liberty–the only correct ethics for politics–and we have been gaining strength and we are going to get a lot of votes this time”.

Question: “How many votes are you going to get?”

Answer: “We are going to get a lot of votes in 1982.  More than we have had before and enough to show the public that Libertarians are a very strong alternative in American politics”.

Mr. Clark then went on to say:

“If you note the way I have answered the last two questions, these are perhaps the only two in the whole set of questions where you do not give a direct answer, because if you ever answer a question “Do you really expect to win” with a “yes”, in many cases people will discard you as somebody who is obviously not realistic in your answer.  If you answer that question with a “no” you eliminate one of the principal reasons that people are going to follow your candidacy and there is the possibility that you might win.  So these questions call for strong affirmative answers, but not to answer the question precisely”.

You are, of course, never under any obligation to give a direct answer to any question, and indeed few politicians do, often preferring to give an answer that they think will put them in the best possible light, whether it relates to the subject at hand or not.

There are sound reasons for reconsidering your answers.  You do not know for sure that you are not going to win, even if you think you might not.

Let me take a little more of your time by relating an event which occurred here in British Columbia within the last three months.  The term of our governing Social Credit (conservative) Party was drawing to a close following a five year term which had been plagued by scandal and corruption, including the resignation of the Premier under allegations of conflict of interest.

They and the New Democratic (socialist) Party both ran a full slate of candidates.  The provincial Liberal (wishy-washy) Party had been pretty well defunct for the last twenty years until recent times when a very energetic fellow started making really strenuous efforts to revive it ready for this last election.  The net result of his efforts was that he persuaded enough people to run as candidates so as to give them a full slate.  This then gave him sufficient leverage to persuade the powers that be to include him in a Party Leader’s debate on local television.  This proved to be the turning point from which they never looked back.

The final result was New Democrats 51 seats, Liberals 17 seats, and the once ruling Social Credit 6 seats.

Knowledgeable commentators forecast that at best the Liberals might take a handful of seats.  Instead, they are now the official opposition.

Here are some additional sound bite-ish answers:

“If I wanted chaos, I could sit on my couch and vote for Democrats and Republicans.”

“I want liberty.  I want freedom.  I can’t get either of those things voting for Democrats or Republicans.

“I want government to protect my rights, and get out of my wallet and my bedroom.  The other guys will give me the opposite.”

“I am running because I want liberty.  Voting for Democrats and Republicans is a lost cause; because both of them work to expand government and restrict liberty.”

“Doing the same thing over and over – in this case, voting for Democrats and Republicans – and each time, expecting the results to be different, is insanity.  These guys refuse to protect individual rights, they are taxing the middle class into bankruptcy; they’ve saddled us with hundreds of thousands of laws no single person can be expected to know; they take our homes and give them over to developers; they’ve lied us into ‘100 years of war’, and have made our money just about worthless.  Why give them a pat on the back and return them to office yet again?  I’m running because I refuse to give them that pat on the back.”

For Libertarians in my home state of Virginia, you can also make it a point to say that you’re also running because Virginia doesn’t have registration by party, and this is the only way we have to discover new Libertarians so we have a larger support base for the next election.  Along these lines, you might say:

“I’ll count my race as a ‘win’ if I can find new libertarians and get them ready to support our candidates next year.  We Libertarians believe we’re in a marathon, not a one-year sprint.”

It is important for every Libertarian to remember the following:  You’re not going to get fiscal conservatives to vote for you; at least not en masse.

You’re not going to get a mass number of liberals, either.

For that matter, winning is out of the question without a campaign war chest equal to the sum of both of your opponents.  Your campaign should pursue the swing voters who aren’t married to either camp; and it should specifically target those who are already libertarian.

Below I provide you with several more brief articles on how to address “The Question”.  Enjoy!  And above all, good luck and have fun with your race!

Donny Ferguson says:

I would respond with:

1) There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of elected Libertarian officials.

2) There have always been independent and third party members of Congress, and they all beat Republicans and Democrats to get there.  Right now we have two independ-ent U.S. Senators.

3) Any candidate can win as long as you vote for him.

James R. Stevenson says:

Start off by saying that right now you have a 33% chance of winning.  If you can get your message out and people realize they are in agreement, then you can certainly win.

I would avoid using the word ‘conservative’ in any incarnation.  Say you are trying to appeal to those people who believe in personal liberty and fiscal responsibility.  This way you can appeal to any disaffected constituent, Democrat, Republican, or independent.  If you use the word ‘conservative’ you automatically lose all Democratic tribalists.  Similarly, if you use the word ‘liberal’, you automatically lose the Republican tribalists.

It is unfortunate that Bob Barr is already campaigning as a ‘true conservative’.  He has already marginalized his campaign, just as Ron Paul did. Quite stoopid if not downright idiotic.

Probably the most important thing you can say is “If the media responsibly reports on your positions, then you have a great chance to win. If the media censors your candidacy, you will have little chance of winning”.

Steve Damerell says:

One of the best answers is to say “I’m running to win, be-cause people don’t run in elections to lose.”  Then immediately delve into WHY you’re running.

That lead-in sentence is neither defeatist nor delusional, and from there, you can bring the question back around to the issues, your strong point.

Rick Sincere says:

The classic response in this genre was, of course, William F. Buckley, Jr.,  running as a Conservative Party candidate for Mayor of New York in 1965.   Asked, “what’s the first thing you’ll do if you’re elected?,” Buckley  replied:  “Demand a recount.”

I’m not saying you should copy Buckley, but you should be prepared with  something similarly pithy and funny — something quotable that will get you noticed.

————-

Marc Montoni serves as the President of the Libertarian Practical Politics Association as well as the Chief of the Annoyance Caucus of the Libertarian Party.  A long-time resident of Virginia, primariy Richmond and Harrisonburg, Montoni has served as the Membership Chairman for the Libertarian Party of Virginia as well as many other posts over four decades of service.  He now resides in Colorado with his family.

See his blog at:

http://FreeVirginia.blogspot.com

100 thoughts on “Montoni: Short Answers to the “Can You Win” Question

  1. ATBAFT

    “I am running because I want liberty. Voting for Democrats and Republicans is a lost cause; because both of them work to expand government and restrict liberty.”

    Sadly, thirty five years later, the vast majority of voters haven’t gotten this message. Are they rejecting our compelling message OR isn’t our message compelling?

  2. dL

    Sadly, thirty five years later, the vast majority of voters haven’t gotten this message. Are they rejecting our compelling message OR isn’t our message compelling?

    Politics is a rent-seeking game. Plurality, winner-take-all voting for single-member district representation scientifically results in a two-party system. If you ask the question: “why hasn’t the Libertarian party attained equal status with the 2 major parties?,” you may as well ask: “why doesn’t gravity obey an inverse cube law instead of the inverse square one”?

    Libertarian politics exists at the margins. A well functioning libertarian politics is predictive. It’s a harbinger of what will be “mainstream” issues tomorrow and what will have seriously bad consequences tomorrow(e.g, Patriot Act, DHS, ICE). For example, the LP stood at the margins for legalization of gay marriage and pot. Well, those are mainstream issues today. But they weren’t made legal by electing politicians. Instead they were made legal by direct democracy. But it didn’t happen overnight.

    Today, unfortunately, the LP on issues like free migration and speech no longer exists at the margins. Instead, it exists dab smack in the middle of today’s authoritarianism. All in the name of “being taking seriously” or “lest we offend someone’s purported constituency.” But today’s “seriousness” is tomorrow’s no credibility. And that will happen more or less overnight.

  3. George Phillies

    So in Massachusetts, which effectively only has one party except for the Governor position, we are just fine. Ditto in many other states.

    This question is why I advocate for issues advertising, especially in off years, namely to move the Overton window.

  4. robert capozzi

    dL: Libertarian politics exists at the margins. …For example, the LP stood at the margins for legalization of gay marriage and pot. Well, those are mainstream issues today.

    me: “Margins” = “fringes” for me, although the former is a bit less charged.

    The real question is whether the LP’s stance on marriage equality was consequential in its mainstreaming. I’ve seen no evidence that it is the case. We’ve discussed this before on IPR, and the research indicates it was driven by gay activists, progressives, and some Ds. Ls were bit players at best.

    The LP has long advocated legalizing all drugs, not just pot. NORML and other single-issue groups spearheaded cannabis legalization for decades. Again, political Ls were bit players in that effort, near as I can tell.

    It’s delusional for ZAPsters and other extremist-Ls to be taking a bow for developments they did not cause. Their Leninist Strategy has not worked.

  5. D Frank Robinson

    Whether or not Duverger’s Law is really a scientific law, it is clear that ballot censorship by force of law can entrench two particular parties in control of government for at least a century.
    Perhaps the structure of a “republican form of government” as envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution does bias the electoral system toward two dominant parties – but which two parties?
    Before the adoption of the compulsory secret ballot after 1888 and all the regulatory censorship of which citizens may appear on the state-monopoly ballot, there were alternative parties electing people to legislatures – after 1910 not so much, and finally no third-party has elected a person to the U S House in several decades. This suggest that ballot law rather than first past the post in single member districts is the controlling element in the present political system.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    So now your imaginary ZAPsters are strategic Leninists too?

    There was a brief period where Rothbard advocated for a Leninist strategic model for the LP, but I don’t recall that it was ever adopted, or enjoyed significant support. It’s pretty much the opposite of what the closest analogs to your “ZAPsters” actually practice and advocate today.

  7. dL

    Whether or not Duverger’s Law is really a scientific law

    https://ballotpedia.org/Partisan_composition_of_state_houses

    probably a better empirical confirmation than least squares fitting Boyle’s Law in physics class,

    This suggest that ballot law rather than first past the post in single member districts is the controlling element in the present political system.

    An Interesting hypothesis that is unfortunately belied by the fact that not all states have onerous ballot access restrictions. Google informs me that Arizona is the easiest state with the only requirement being the candidate’s own notarized signature. Yet there is no third party presence in the Arizona state legislature.

    From the above ballotpedia link, there are only two minor anomalies, Vermont and New Hampshire. And I don’t think ballot access has anything to do with explaining it. Instead, the anomaly is explained by two small states with highly motivated activist movements, the Vermont Bernie Sanders progressive movement and the Free State project, respectively.

  8. Lance Brown

    You could try something like:

    “I’m already winning, by speaking to voters about the issues that matter to them, and moving the needle toward liberty in a political climate that is often hostile to protecting people from government intrusions in their lives.”

  9. dL

    The real question is whether the LP’s stance on marriage equality was consequential in its mainstreaming. I’ve seen no evidence that it is the case. We’ve discussed this before on IPR, and the research indicates it was driven by gay activists, progressives, and some Ds. Ls were bit players at best.

    Well, I attributed the credit to direct democracy, a phenomenon that has an amalgamation of influential factors at play. A friend of libertarianism would look for the libertarian influences. An enemy of libertarianism would be quick to dismiss any contribution whatsoever. Quack! Quack!

    Their Leninist Strategy has not worked.

    The only “Leninist strategy” I see on this forum is your strategy for border control, a strategy shared by a few numbnutz here and the republicans in the US House of Representatives…

  10. Richard Winger

    The comment above on Arizona ballot access laws is inaccurate. Arizona has one of the worst ballot access laws in the nation for both new parties and independent candidates. It is one of 6 states in which the Constitution Party has never been able to place its presidential nominee on the ballot.

  11. dL

    The comment above on Arizona ballot access laws is inaccurate. Arizona has one of the worst ballot access laws in the nation for both new parties and independent candidates. It is one of 6 states in which the Constitution Party has never been able to place its presidential nominee on the ballot.

    Thanks , Richard. In this case, google incorrectly informed me(i.e, I neglected to verify first results from a google search). Using Ballotpedia as a source, it looks like the easiest would be Tennessee. Is that accurate?

  12. paulie Post author

    Tennessee is easy with no party label. It’s very difficult to qualify a party in Tennessee. As a result, what you typically get is a long list of independents, none of whom the vast majority of voters have ever heard of and no ballot label to provide even a minimal clue as to what sorts of policies any of these unfamiliar names represent. As a result they do not get a lot of votes.

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie and/or Richard,

    I seem to recall some recent action on making access by party name easier in Tennessee. A Johnson/Weld lawsuit, perhaps? Any news on whatever it was — e.g. if it is still in process or there’s been a decision?

  14. paulie Post author

    There is a lawsuit and a bill in the legislature. I can’t remember whether either one has been completely shut down yet (Richard would know) but I do know that neither one has succeeded yet. LP is currently petitioning up there as well and needs 33k and change valid or about 50k or so raw.

  15. robert capozzi

    tk: It’s pretty much the opposite of what the closest analogs to your “ZAPsters” actually practice and advocate today.

    me: I don’t see it that way. Little has changed from 1984, from my perspective.

    dL: …an amalgamation of influential factors at play.

    me: True. Agreed. I suspect the LP’s influence was tiny, probably roughly in the vote-percentages-achieved (i.e., single digits) range.

    For me, grandiosity is a dysfunction to be especially mindful of.

  16. paulie Post author

    I think we had a sowing seeds, ripple sort of effect that was instrumental in later victories. If you only look at the later stages of who jumped in front of the parades we started to lead them across the finish line you miss the most important part.

  17. dL

    Tennessee is easy with no party label. It’s very difficult to qualify a party in Tennessee.

    So, what is the easiest state? If there are no easy states today, how do the ballot access laws today compare to a generation(or two) ago?

  18. paulie Post author

    There are a lot of nuances to ballot access laws. Generally, it is pretty easy to establish a party in Colorado, Vermont, Louisiana, Mississippi….those are the ones which come to mind off the top of my head. A few other states make it pretty easy for candidates to get on for a particular office, in some with a party label and in some without; in some only for president, in some for any office. Some states have primary petitioning requirements, some have top two…it’s such a patchwork of laws that it’s a full time effort to even track the comparisons and changes.

    Overall the laws are somewhat easier than a generation or two ago but in some states such as Alabama they have become a lot harder.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    It may be that little has changed since 1984.

    But in 1984, the LP was not a vanguardist party with democratic centralism — in other words, a Leninist party. If you’re looking for a Russian revolutionary analog, it was (and the people who most closely resemble your fantasy “ZAPsters” are) a lot more like Zemlya i Volya than like Lenin’s RSDLP.

  20. robert capozzi

    anon,

    TK and dL have objected to my use of the word NAPster, which is shorthand for “NAP adherent,” or something like that. They’ve been unwilling to offer a better term, so I’ve floated ZAPster as an alternative. Some — like L Neil Smith — use the term “Zero Aggression Principle,” which is roughly the same as the NAP, it seems.

    TK objects to ZAPster as well, near as I can tell. He remains unwilling to offer me a better term.

  21. robert capozzi

    TK,

    Thanks for your technical feedback. My overarching view is MNR’s approach to politics and political philosophy dominates the LP to this day. It’s a NAP/ZAP party, meaning that it’s all based on a construct, not political reality.

  22. Michael Wilson

    George Phillies wrote, “This question is why I advocate for issues advertising, especially in off years, namely to move the Overton window.”

    This is possibly the smartest thing I have heard in months.

  23. dL

    TK and dL have objected to my use of the word NAPster, which is shorthand for “NAP adherent,” or something like that. They’ve been unwilling to offer a better term

    libertarian

  24. robert capozzi

    dL,

    L for NAP/ZAPster doesn’t work. It’s too vague, since there are Ls who recognize that the NAP is a nice sentiment, but politically all-but-unworkable. “NAP Adherent” could work, although it’s long and clunky, and lacks NAPster’s flow.

    I seem to recall that you yourself are not a NAP Adherent, yes? According the many NAPsters, if one doesn’t buy into the NAP Dogma, one is not L.

  25. DJ

    MW: George Phillies wrote, “This question is why I advocate for issues advertising, <<<<<<<< (somebody gets it) especially in off years, namely to move the Overton window.”

    This is possibly the smartest thing I have heard in months.

    Me: Pool your resources advertise (full page ads) in local news papers. Display The Declaration of Independence, and/or quotes from founders and sign it The Libertarian Party.

  26. robert capozzi

    dL,

    Thanks for the link.

    On reflection, Asperger cases among Ls is probably high and disproportionate.

    There may be a higher incidence of sociopathy, too, given the emotional coldness of many Ls.

  27. George Phillies

    Actually winning. Jones winning Alabama Senate has an interesting lesson
    In short, tons of lawns signs, to convince Alabama Democratic voters that they were not each alone.

    How yard signs helped beat Roy Moore, and could elect red-state Dems

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article199865299.html?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTXpNNU1EUTRPVFZqTjJRNCIsInQiOiJyc0YxRlZ3clpGNmJMRzBXUHFwN2srTUpWcGVQTTd0TXA0bEozaVp5WVNcL2dLdnZaT1ljWFwvNTE0RjZvXC9CYTJ2dDVXSEtBVDBWRHdmZ0c2UG9sbVdmbmIwZ1ZFVnMzeXQxVVJXcTlMUnJJZURYb3N1TGNEXC83NmZ0T09YUmlyaEEifQ%3D%3D#storylink=cpy

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    I don’t object to your use of “ZAPster” or “NAPster” or any other term for figments of your imagination. I’m just not going to pretend that those figments exist in reality.

    As far as Rothbard is concerned, I’ve noticed that some Libertarian Party members still admire him. But his approach to politics, and especially strategy/organization, was basically the equivalent of deciding which stocks to buy by having a monkey throw a dart at the market page.

    The LP is currently trying to fend off an attack by entryists who support the monkey-throw (“paleoconservatism”) that he was enthralled with when he died. I’m unaware that any of his previous strategic/organizational ideas have “dominated” the LP or, frankly, even enjoyed a great deal of support in the LP.

  29. paulie Post author

    Actually winning. Jones winning Alabama Senate has an interesting lesson
    In short, tons of lawns signs, to convince Alabama Democratic voters that they were not each alone.

    There was also blanket media coverage and a huge get out the vote effort. I wouldn’t say yard signs were the most important part of that, and certainly not the only part to be copied by anyone seeking to reproduce such success. Of course unless you are in one of the few states remaining with a straight ticket voting device and in a one on one matchup with a scandal-ridden opponent who’s been removed from the bench twice, narrowly won his primary and only then become embroiled in a sex scandal, which then becomes the single focus of national political attention in a way that nothing since a presidential race has, it would be pretty hard to copy.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    I would say that signs played a larger than usual role in Jones v. Moore for one reason: People who were on the fence, or a little scared to not vote Republican for the first time, saw those signs in the yards of people they knew, and that made them feel like it was OK to vote for Jones. Maybe not a game-changer. Then again, as close as it went, maybe a game-changer: “I didn’t feel like I could support Moore, but the idea of voting Democrat just stuck in my craw. I was going to just stay home. Then I saw that Bob down the street, who I NEVER thought would vote Democrat, had a Jones sign in his yard.”

  31. dL

    On reflection, Asperger cases among Ls is probably high and disproportionate

    actual audible chuckle out loud…Apparently, including sarcasm tags still not enough of a hint to turn on that ole light bulb. I’m being facetious.

    There may be a higher incidence of sociopathy, too, given the emotional coldness of many Ls.

    This from the guy who wants to round up the immigrants in the name of the condo home association. lulz

    Unlike psychopathy, which is a complete feigned(masking a complete lack of) empathy for others(a trait best exhibited by politicians), sociopathy is a learned anti-social behavior best exhibited by partisan, tribalistic politics. American democracy is nothing more than sociopaths electing psychopaths.

  32. dL

    Hi Nancy MacLean!

    yes, but, unlike the moral outrage peddler at Reason, Robby Soave, I don’t care if some Duke hack called me autistic. However, I did roll my eyes a bit at Mike Munger using that old Jonathan Haidt study to more or less back her up. IIRC, that study showed libertarians had little regard for authority, sanctity, loyalty and were more prone to use reason over knee-jerk emotionalism RE: ethics for things like selling one’s body for money or selling one’s kidney for money or preferring restitution over retribution. That’s not autism.

    Personally, I’m very much a bleeding heart.

  33. paulie Post author

    I would say that signs played a larger than usual role in Jones v. Moore for one reason: People who were on the fence, or a little scared to not vote Republican for the first time, saw those signs in the yards of people they knew, and that made them feel like it was OK to vote for Jones. Maybe not a game-changer. Then again, as close as it went, maybe a game-changer: “I didn’t feel like I could support Moore, but the idea of voting Democrat just stuck in my craw. I was going to just stay home. Then I saw that Bob down the street, who I NEVER thought would vote Democrat, had a Jones sign in his yard.”

    It absolutely did play a role. But anyone who thinks that would have put Jones over the top without blanket media/ad coverage, massive get out the vote efforts, phonebanking, door knocking, etc., a) wasn’t in Alabama during the last couple of weeks of the campaign and b) just wrong.

  34. robert capozzi

    dL: This from the guy who wants to round up the immigrants in the name of the condo home association.

    me: Have you no sense of decency? I’ve never suggested “rounding up” anyone.

    This is just a comment thread on an obscure blog. Why not stick to pursuing truth wherever it may lead rather than trying to score debate points with patently false charges? It gains you nothing except possibly a smug sense of superiority. Misrepresenting my views — or LACK of views — should be obviously counter-productive, and yet you persist in doing so.

  35. dL

    me: Have you no sense of decency? I’ve never suggested “rounding up” anyone.

    This is just a comment thread on an obscure blog. Why not stick to pursuing truth wherever it may lead rather than trying to score debate points with patently false charges? It gains you nothing except possibly a smug sense of superiority. Misrepresenting my views — or LACK of views — should be obviously counter-productive, and yet you persist in doing so.

    Bob, you write stuff like this
    http://independentpoliticalreport.com/2018/01/lnc-vice-chair-arvin-vohra-once-again-stirs-controversy-calls-for-removal-with-age-of-consent-comments/#comment-1732709

    and then whine about being taken literally. If you ascribe to the position that there a millions here “illegally”, what else are you going to do with them but round them up?

    US Immigration IEC Detention Centers

    Bob, perhaps you prefer the kinder and gentler term “evacuation,” which is what the Nazis used? Or maybe just go with the preferred American vernacular, “detention”?

  36. robert capozzi

    dL,

    Neither. I don’t advocate rounding up or evacuating anyone.

    You may not like the QUESTIONS I ask. You may not accept the metaphor of a nation being like a condo association, though it sure looks like one to me. You may believe — as I don’t — that anyone can go anywhere anytime, and anyone who disagrees with you is Hitler.

    The fair-minded will see that you are demonizing me and spinning out massive tall tales based on almost no facts. Such wild overreactions feels like McCarthyism and Salem Witch Trial-type behavior.

    Ultimately, I could care less what a pseudonym editor of a blog thinks, but I do wonder whether you have any actual interest in truth, honor, or integrity.

  37. Anon-Tipper

    dL: “yes, but, unlike the moral outrage peddler at Reason, Robby Soave, I don’t care if some Duke hack called me autistic. However, I did roll my eyes a bit at Mike Munger using that old Jonathan Haidt study to more or less back her up….”

    Yeah, some of the reactions were over the top, imo, there’s no need to respond to everything she writes/says, she proves her own incompetency with the bizarre conspiracy stories over her book reviews (and the book itself). There was a student from YAL passing around a petition that she be punished for her statements, get real.

  38. dL

    Neither. I don’t advocate rounding up or evacuating anyone.

    No, you just avail yourself of every opportunity to attack the open border position and write drivel like this:

    Tell us why it’s xenophobic in your mind to acknowledge that the US has $20T in debt and that it cannot afford open borders at this time? Why is it xenophobic in your mind to screen for tourists with communicable diseases or criminal intent and/or backgrounds?

    and then pretend that doesn’t entail BCP/ICE going around and rounding people up.

    and anyone who disagrees with you is Hitler.

    well, if you are going to whine about truth, honor, or integrity, it would help if you practiced it. No, your argument is not quite the nazi one. The nazis used lebensraum to justify deportation; they used the fact that Europe and the United States wouldn’t accept the deported jews to justify detention. They then used the welfare state argument to justify extermination.

    Ultimately, I could care less what a pseudonym editor of a blog thinks

    I’m not an editor of anything. I merely moderate the impersonation spam, which, to a large degree, has now subsided.

  39. dL

    Yeah, some of the reactions were over the top, imo, there’s no need to respond to everything she writes/says, she proves her own incompetency with the bizarre conspiracy stories over her book reviews (and the book itself). There was a student from YAL passing around a petition that she be punished for her statements, get real.

    While there is a valid argument to be made vis a vis the bed libertarianism has made with conservatism, MacLean’s book wasn’t it. Her wild-eyed ranting is basically the proggie analogue to the right-wing nutjob squawking about Soros(koch) and godless atheists(libertarians) undermining America(democracy).

  40. robert capozzi

    dL,

    Maybe you didn’t notice the ? marks in the passages of mine you quoted. Did you?

    I bracket issues, narrowing them down by identifying falsehoods and opinions I don’t agree with. Apparently, you DO think anyone should be able to go anywhere, any time. Is that right?

    I don’t. I agree with the LP’s plank.

    Now, if there’s a compelling, air-tight case that anyone should be able to go anywhere, anytime, I’d like to hear it.

    To me, “round up” or “evacuation” are different from security checks at the border.

    I wonder if a fine would be the fairest and most reasonable solution to the illegal immigrant situation. Then again, as I’ve established, I don’t agree that anyone should be able to go anywhere, anytime. So you and I are apparently working from entirely different paradigms.

  41. DJ

    RC: Now, if there’s a compelling, air-tight case that anyone should be able to go anywhere, anytime, I’d like to hear it.

    Me: the right to Life, Liberty and the ‘pursuit’ of Happiness.

    There are no caveats.

  42. robert capozzi

    DJ,

    RLLPH is not in the Constitution, it’s in the Declaration. On one level, it’s “self evident,” but it does require context. And that context involves the rule of law and property rights. For ex., we can say that dL has the “right” to liberty, but that doesn’t mean he has the liberty to take DJ’s car. dL may want to drive in the left lane with his own or DJ’s car, but I maintain he does not have that liberty.

  43. George Phillies

    As I said “helped beat”. that six letter word was a strain for some commenters. And the source was the folks who did the campaign, indirectly, not some armchair noseguards.

  44. dL

    Apparently, you DO think anyone should be able to go anywhere, any time. Is that right?

    Absolutely. Even for you, Bob, notwithstanding the fact there apparently places in the world where you yourself don’t think you should be able to go.

    I don’t. I agree with the LP’s plank.

    The LP immigration plank is a conflicted statement. The original statement, the libertarian statement,

    Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.

    You don’t agree with. The authoritarian add-on statement, which you apparently had something to do with, is a poison pill. When you write:

    Yes, when capital crosses a national border, I can’t think of any attendant risks to the citizenry of the invested country. I can think of attendant risks to the citizenry from excessive or unchecked immigration. I don’t see them as equivalent, at least not in the context of nations and the rule of law.

    and then justify it by citing the LP plank add-on–which I’m guessing wasn’t sold the way you are now selling it–demonstrates that.

    So, that LP plank ends up reading like:
    2 + 2=4. However, 2 +2 =5.

    Now, if there’s a compelling, air-tight case that anyone should be able to go anywhere, anytime, I’d like to hear it.

    I’m a libertarian; I hold to a default presumption of liberty. That is, the burden is on you to justify why people’s freedom of movement and association should be controlled by the state. You’ve tried to make that argument. I’ll give you that. You’ve exhausted the right-wing noise machine talking points why people shouldn’t be able to do so. But the only thing you convinced me of is that you are a xenophobe.

    To me, “round up” or “evacuation” are different from security checks at the border.

    BCP, ICE, Customs are not barney fife checking passports at an imaginary line. The imaginary line around the US is 5000+ miles. Not enough Barney fifes in the world to “guard” that. Border control is mass population surveillance, border control is manufacturing a multitude of crimes against the state to deny passports, border control is rounding people up.

  45. dL

    For ex., we can say that dL has the “right” to liberty, but that doesn’t mean he has the liberty to take DJ’s car.

    For exa, we can say Bob has the right to liberty, but that doesn’t mean Bob has the liberty to tell DJ where he can drive his car

    dL may want to drive in the left lane with his own or DJ’s car, but I maintain he does not have that liberty.

    if dL was in Europe, yes he would have the liberty to drive in the left lane. Nonetheless, whatever road conventions dL would follow in going from A to B is a red herring to the fact of going from A to B. The silliness of this objection is about as silly as claiming one does not have the right to use the internet freely w/o government censorship because one is not at liberty to choose their own willy nilly made up protocol(say, Zttps) to access a web page.

  46. robert capozzi

    dL: there apparently places in the world where you yourself don’t think you should be able to go.

    me: “Spectrum” thinking here. Here’s a different way of looking at this: There ARE places that I cannot go. That’s a fact. I’d like to think that anywhere I go the place would benefit from my company, but OTOH I can understand why I would not be welcome. I can’t waltz onto a Chinese air force base, for example. The Swiss may check my passport when I land at the Geneva airport They’ve carved out a pretty good deal for themselves in the middle of war-prone Europe for centuries, and I respect that they want to keep it that way.

    In this world, “it is what it is” is a helpful mantra. Resistance is futile and generally counterproductive.

    dL: and then justify it by citing the LP plank add-on–which I’m guessing wasn’t sold the way you are now selling it–demonstrates that.

    me: It was sold in the drafting session something like this: It’s a check-in, mostly for security. Spectrum thinkers tend to be hyper-literal, technical, and legalistic, even about obscure abstractions.

    I’m not selling anything. I’m trying to understand the world and bouncing around ideas for the best way forward from where we are. Feeling moral outrage when I stand in line at the passport check-in at the Geneva airport is just not something I experience. I might be annoyed if the lines were long and slow, but that’s about it. Given the Swiss experience as I understand it, their policies strike me as reasonable, actually.

    If I want to immigrate to Switzerland, I imagine I might have to deal with further checks. That too might be mildly annoying, but I more or less grok their rationale there as well.

    dL: So, that LP plank ends up reading like:
    2 + 2=4. However, 2 +2 =5.

    me: I respect that it reads that way to you. There was a time when it would read that way to me as well. I now recognize that the world is a place filled with paradoxes and inconsistencies. Try as Ls might, applying abstract constructs to the is-ness doesn’t work.

    To me, the plank is roughly talking about the default maximum liberty lean along with a recognition that that is bounded by a host of practical considerations in the near to intermediate term.

    dL: I’m a libertarian; I hold to a default presumption of liberty. That is, the burden is on you to justify why people’s freedom of movement and association should be controlled by the state.

    me: Right. I’m wondering how this burden is demonstrated to your mind. Would you default your way onto a Chinese air force base? Wander into the Situation Room in the White House? 😉

    If security stops you, do you go all BRAVEHEART, intoning “freeeeeedom” as you are run through or otherwise pacified?

    dL: BCP, ICE, Customs are not barney fife checking passports at an imaginary line. The imaginary line around the US is 5000+ miles. Not enough Barney fifes in the world to “guard” that.

    me: More spectrum thinking. Or excluded middle thinking. You are asking us to buy, it seems:

    a) Borders cannot be 100% secured, therefore
    b) There should be no borders.

    You knock down the strawman with aplomb, but I don’t think anyone would think that the Swiss border (or any border) can be 100% secured. Then again most adults, reviewing the history of laws against murder, recognize that that law is also not 100% effective. There is no constituency for abolishing murder laws, now is there? 😉

  47. DJ

    RC: RLLPH is not in the Constitution, it’s in the Declaration. On one level, it’s “self evident,” but it does require context. And that context involves the rule of law and property rights. For ex., we can say that dL has the “right” to liberty, but that doesn’t mean he has the liberty to take DJ’s car. dL may want to drive in the left lane with his own or DJ’s car, but I maintain he does not have that liberty.

    Me: I have never and I didn’t this time confuse a philosophy and law. You asked for concrete evidence I gave a philosophical reason as evidence. There are/were no caveats in the philosophy. Law is pure caveat. Historically, man has migrated since he discovered putting one foot in front of the other took him elsewhere and his “right” was recognized in philosophy as a founding document of a country founded by migrants. As long as dl doesn’t harm another he can drive however he wants and if I loan him my car (I have a pick up btw) no harm, no foul. If he takes my pick up w/o my permission he has harmed me. In this case the caveat of law says there is to be punishment meted out from an outsider and I am to be content with that decision- created caveats, not self-evident truths.
    Truth is constant, knowledge evolves. Rights are inherent, and constant. Laws are caveats that change with time and preference and knowledge creating chaotic situations which then allows more laws restricting someone/something-caveats-after the fact, in this case “migration”, a self-evident (constant)Truth that predates The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence (knowledge).
    “Context” = an evolution of knowledge. Knowledge not founded in Truth demands caveats/context. Truth is self-evident, and constant.
    Truth; We are not other countries. We are a country of migrants founded after migrating elsewhere. Our make up is by definition diverse, not ethnic (Chinese air base) nor protectionist (Switzerland).

    In this world, the one we live in, the one we helped create is full of caveats that contradict rights. That equates to knowledge trumping truth which cannot last at any level, because, “I” will survive- “I”ndividual, “I”ndependent. Truth is constant. Knowledge evolves. Sometimes a devolution is necessary to progress.

    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  48. Michael Wilson

    On 2/15 Dj wrote;” Pool your resources advertise (full page ads) in local news papers. Display The Declaration of Independence, and/or quotes from founders and sign it The Libertarian Party.”

    Nice idea Dj, but you are a day late. I’ve done advertising for the local LP. What we need is an effort to get into some of the bigger papers, television (late night maybe) and a few other places.

  49. dL

    “Spectrum” thinking here. Here’s a different way of looking at this: There ARE places that I cannot go. That’s a fact.

    You are conflating open borders with right to trespass. Typically, one encounters this denseness with the HoppeBots. True, one doesn’t have the right to barge into your house to raid your refrigerator. But your right to your refrigerator is not an argument to declare an imaginary border of X radius around your house to prevent anyone from outside the line to dine at a restaurant that is open for business down the street from your house.

    Spectrum thinkers tend to be hyper-literal, technical, and legalistic, even about obscure abstractions.

    “Spectrum thinkers.” lol. Dude, you are the proverbial pot when it comes to obscure abstractions.

    me: More spectrum thinking. Or excluded middle thinking. You are asking us to buy, it seems:

    a) Borders cannot be 100% secured, therefore
    b) There should be no borders.

    Bob, before you insult others for committing logical fallacies, you might want to get your fallacies correct. The above would be an example of the nirvana fallacy, not the fallacy of the excluded middle. That aside, my position is not there should be no borders because borders cannot be secured. My position is that borders is an imaginary abstraction that authoritarians use for the maximization of social control. And as a liberal, the liberty to travel trumps any “common interest” arguments for prior restraint of such travel. My argument was that since imaginary lines cannot be secured, those who support border control necessarily must support mass population surveillance and “rounding people up.” It was a rebuttal to your petulant whine of “who me?” re: supporting border control and rounding them up.

    *** color coding is used so the adults could follow along

  50. DJ

    RC:

    DJ: Rights are inherent, and constant.

    me: OK, prove it. Show me.

    Me: History. Or do you believe rights are granted?

  51. DJ

    GP: Ads showing declaration of independence.

    You could also run ads presenting apple pie recipes.

    Me: Your point?

  52. DJ

    MW: On 2/15 Dj wrote;” Pool your resources advertise (full page ads) in local news papers. Display The Declaration of Independence, and/or quotes from founders and sign it The Libertarian Party.”

    Nice idea Dj, but you are a day late. I’ve done advertising for the local LP. What we need is an effort to get into some of the bigger papers, television (late night maybe) and a few other places.

    Me: Local advertising in what manner? Words mean things even in advertising, and I did say “pool your resources”, and I was specific in what to advertise. My original thought was major newspapers but is probably cost prohibitive, so I scaled it back to local. I see George Phillies believes the Declaration of Independence = apple pie recipe’s. Both require follow up so maybe that’s what he means, but, apple pie requires physical effort where just reading requires only word comprehension. Apple pie is also considered all American, maybe because everyone has been told it is. I prefer peach cobbler myself.
    Running the ad more than once would at least sow seeds. Maybe you’d harvest apples, but you’d also have a presence no other Party has by offering a recognition I’ve not heard others talk about, never mind advertising it. Of course as an outsider (non-party) reader I realize people like Phillies won’t accept something not thought of by an insider- he’d rather ridicule while eating apple pie, but, it worked for the Founders- nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  53. paulie Post author

    As I said “helped beat”. that six letter word was a strain for some commenters. And the source was the folks who did the campaign, indirectly, not some armchair noseguards.

    Of course it helped. Campaigns would not keep spending money on yard signs if they served no purpose. Did it help more than usual? Yes, as (iirc) Knapp pointed out, it helped a lot of normally Republican voters see that people in their area – people like them – people that they either know or assume are otherwise always or almost always Republican voters – were going Democratic this time, so it would be OK for them to do the same. But for the same reason, it’s a lesson that can’t be extrapolated to other campaigns with more normal circumstances. Yes, yard signs still help with those too, but not nearly as much as in this unusual case.

  54. dL

    Me: History. Or do you believe rights are granted?

    well, the theory is that rights are self-evident, and constitutions are drawn to secure the blessings of that which is self-evident. Libertarians may deny the second part of that statement. Authoritarians deny the first.

  55. robert capozzi

    dL: You are conflating open borders with right to trespass.

    Me: Nope, I make a different point than the Hoppebots. I cannot enter a Chinese air force base, Switzerland, or the Situation Room, and my guess is, you can’t, either. Nor can either of us travel to any number of other nations (perhaps all of them?) without being checked. You’re talking theory; I’m talking reality. Do we agree on the reality?

    dL: Bob, before you insult others for committing logical fallacies, you might want to get your fallacies correct. The above would be an example of the nirvana fallacy, not the fallacy of the excluded middle.

    Me: Yes, the nirvana fallacy is better still, thank you. Your thinking does sound black-and-white to me, but, yes, you are comparing the world as it is to an idealized construct.

    dL: My position is that borders is an imaginary abstraction that authoritarians use for the maximization of social control.

    Me: I’m concerned about that tendency as well. Whether there’s an Alex Jones-ish cabal of globalists bent on world domination, I cannot say. I’ve seen no evidence that everyone in government or even some subset of them consciously seek to maximize social control, again, I’ve seen no evidence for it.

    I don’t view borders as you do. Rather, they are lines of demarcation where the set of laws change that govern a territory. This signals things like: It’s legal to possess small amount of weed in CA but not in AZ. Or, the rules change if one commits a murder in Vermont or Quebec.

    dL: And as a liberal, the liberty to travel trumps any “common interest” arguments for prior restraint of such travel. My argument was that since imaginary lines cannot be secured, those who support border control necessarily must support mass population surveillance and “rounding people up.” It was a rebuttal to your petulant whine of “who me?” re: supporting border control and rounding them up.

    Me: Why does the liberty to travel trump *all* common interests? Are you saying a murderer from Canada has the right to travel to VT?

    Note that I can imagine that at some point there may be a technological solution that does secure imaginary lines, btw. Whether that would be desirable is a separate question.

    It’s true on one level that borders are “imaginary,” but not if we look at them as rule-of-law demarcations. You seem to be implying that there are NO cases where a deportation would be justified, is that right?

    It seems highly impractical to “round up” the 10MM+ illegal immigrants currently estimated to be in the US. I’ve taken no position on what to do about that. I’m inclined to consider a fine and perhaps other steps to cure the specific situation. I’m also inclined to grant outright amnesty to the DACA class.

    As for new entrants, I’m inclined to making it easier to immigrate to the US but to also protect the security and financial risks to citizens that a subset of new entrants might pose in the form of things like health and education services. That’s as far as I go on the matter.

  56. DJ

    RC: Are you saying a murderer from Canada has the right to travel to VT?
    Me: First, how do you know a murder was committed? Second, are you saying Canadians don’t punish murderers? Third, the crime is murder, not crossing an arbitrary boundary.

  57. robert capozzi

    DJ: Me: History. Or do you believe rights are granted?

    Me: I absolutely love the idea of “rights.” However, I don’t see them as obviously self-evident. The Unabomber thought that his actions were justified and possibly self-evident, but I suspect most share my view that he was sadly mistaken.

    We desperately want to find an authority to certify our behavior as at least acceptable. Most Ls believe that authority is the individual, yet I’d think all Ls would recognize that virtually all individuals harm other individuals at times.

    The problem is: Define harm. Further complicating the matter: How do we remedy harms?

    In theory, there’s a myriad of answers to these questions. I don’t see how we can even hope for unanimity on the answers, which makes the NAPster L worldview utterly impractical.

    The lessarchist maximize liberty/minimize coercion model is more flexible and maps onto current realities more seamlessly. It’s not perfect, of course, and it is itself open to a wide variety of interpretations. Its biggest strength is that it lacks the grandiosity of NAPsterism.

  58. DJ

    RC: As for new entrants, I’m inclined to making it easier to immigrate to the US but to also protect the security and financial risks to citizens that a subset of new entrants might pose in the form of things like health and education services. That’s as far as I go on the matter.
    Me: Might pose. Thought policing.

    Free markets would insure and help insure neither happened. Free markets can’t impose thought policing but can be influenced by supply and demand vs being controlled by arbitrary borders.

  59. robert capozzi

    DJ: First, how do you know a murder was committed?

    me: For purposes of this exercise, I simply stipulate it.

    DJ: Second, are you saying Canadians don’t punish murderers?

    me: No.

    DJ: Third, the crime is murder, not crossing an arbitrary boundary.

    me: The first part is true. It’s a felony. Illegal entry feels more like a misdemeanor to me. I would think that the good people of VT would not want a murderer roaming their state.

    Do you blame them?

  60. robert capozzi

    DJ: Thought policing.

    me: Huh? It’s a fact that a subset of illegal aliens use public health services and public education. I’m pretty sure it’s a fairly big number, in aggregate. Given the financial exposures to taxpayers, it strikes me as reasonable that taxpayers would seek to limit their financial risks.

    Don’t you?

  61. DJ

    RC: Me: I absolutely love the idea of “rights.” However, I don’t see them as obviously self-evident. The Unabomber thought that his actions were justified and possibly self-evident, but I suspect most share my view that he was sadly mistaken.
    Me: Truth is constant. The Unabomber was operating under a fallacy of belief (knowledge not founded in Truth)

    RC: We desperately want to find an authority to certify our behavior as at least acceptable. Most Ls believe that authority is the individual, yet I’d think all Ls would recognize that virtually all individuals harm other individuals at times.
    Me: We? Do you have a frog in your pocket? I’ve found an authority- me. I don’t need or want an outsider demanding I see things his way. Pragmatism is a strong deterrent. Define pragmatic you say. Easy; Concerned with the consequences of thoughts and actions. Easy is not spelled simple, nor is simple spelled easy.

    RC: The problem is: Define harm. Further complicating the matter: How do we remedy harms?
    Me: physical injury, especially that which is deliberately inflicted. Physical injury is also applicable to property. There are no remedies, only retribution. *punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong or criminal act.*

    RC: In theory, there’s a myriad of answers to these questions. I don’t see how we can even hope for unanimity on the answers, which makes the NAPster L worldview utterly impractical.

    The lessarchist maximize liberty/minimize coercion model is more flexible and maps onto current realities more seamlessly. It’s not perfect, of course, and it is itself open to a wide variety of interpretations. Its biggest strength is that it lacks the grandiosity of NAPsterism.

    Me: Factions are THE problem, as “I”, an outsider sees it. Each faction believes (apparently) that a magic pill will fix everything- it won’t. There is NO fixing everything. Everyone is wired different. However, IF our early education focused on “why we are”- The Declaration of Independence- and the philosophy it sets forth there would be little or no need for factions or even a Libertarian Party for that matter, or other Party’s which are, at this point, only factions of the same authoritarian belief system whose early education, middle education and higher education missed the boat, entirely IF freedom is the quest. Thus, my belief, sow seeds- they will bear fruit. Instant gratification is what “factions” strive for. Instant gratification isn’t the answer- we’re living the results of that mind set.

  62. DJ

    DJ: Thought policing.

    me: Huh? It’s a fact that a subset of illegal aliens use public health services and public education. I’m pretty sure it’s a fairly big number, in aggregate. Given the financial exposures to taxpayers, it strikes me as reasonable that taxpayers would seek to limit their financial risks.

    Don’t you?

    Me: I used your words *might pose*- that is thought policing. Free markets will ensure and help insure long term stability, in any arena. Instant gratification, in any arena, is a fallacy and requires thought policing. Some *authoritarians* demand thought policing as a deterrent to *might pose*. In fact our most egregious gov’t actions are based on thought policing from simple misdemeanors to “high crimes” which is ironic in a nation state (<<<<which is a fallacy of what was originally intended) whose very foundation is a philosophy of inherent rights.

  63. DJ

    Robert, and any others reading this back and forth. One believes in freedom and liberty or one doesn’t.
    Caveats restrict, impede and impair- regardless of their intent. This country (now a nation State) was founded on a philosophical belief- all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights, Endowed. In fact, The Constitution was crafted to help ensure those rights were not restricted, impeded or impaired by a tyrannical oppressor that/who controlled (granted) rights (which would render them entitlements) only to certain Individuals or ‘groups’ who accepted and wanted intentional misinterpretation to gain a legal advantage (entitlement)- thus a republican form of governance. Central “control” was what the document was about- impede it, restrict it, impair it- keep it small intentionally and arm the citizens to thwart a physical event. Yet, here we are over 200 years later having our inherent freedom and liberty, in a country founded on those principles, taken from us though “might pose”. Fear. Of what? Freedom? Liberty? “Liberty and Justice FOR ALL”- no caveats. That was supposed to be here! In the confines of the US. Yes, confines, since we are bordered by water on both sides and established nations on the other two sides. That doesn’t mean that caveats are to impede, restrict or impair migration, which is a Natural event that has been happening since man has been.

    Rules are made to be broken. Some live for that very reason. Some come by it naturally, some come by it through learning, some just because, but, they will be broken. You cannot legislate (caveat) freedom and liberty. It has to come Naturally. That will create the greater good, Naturally. Sow seeds, they will produce fruit.

  64. robert capozzi

    DJ,

    Yes, I understood your point on “might pose.” I worded it that way because there are probably some illegal aliens who use little-to-no public services, ie, never go to an emergency room or other public health facility and have no children attending public schools. Many do, though.

    The class of illegal immigrants does represent a financial exposure to taxpayers. It’s also the case that that class adds value to our society.

    Markets are the long-term best way to determine what works best for us all, I agree. However, markets are always distorted to some extent by governments.

    Markets also almost always exist inside a rule-of-law structure (exceptions include pockets in Somalia and southeast Asia).

    The current rule of law in the US involves immigration regulation. These regulations may be unwise…I’m inclined to think they are so. However, it does not necessarily follow that because the current set of immigration laws and regs are flawed that they should be abolished. And that’s in the abstract. The constituency for complete abolition is minuscule, as I perceive it.

    We don’t know the counter-factual…what would the population of the US look like if there were NO immigration laws, NO public health, and NO public education. Let’s be honest about that.

    Politically, advocating for abolition is wildly alienating, and therefore poor politics. Politics is played on a much shorter time horizon than philosophy.

  65. DJ

    Robert, the “illegality” of migration pales in comparison to the actual theft that takes place to ‘give’ the services you “fear” which “might pose” a threat.

    The timeline of politics demands instant gratification. That isn’t philosophical, that’s a fact, it’s also a fact that instant gratification results in fallacy being made truth- when in reality that is impossible.

    It appears you want to, or already do, feel responsible for….. something and believe it’s in the best interest of all involved who want instant gratification to fix what instant gratification created with caveats. Long term interests best serve ALL. Immediate results don’t. They serve only a few, typically politicians, who use any and every tool they can devise to divide and conquer, and that isn’t philosophical.
    Altruism is not altruistic. The former is filtered through the prism of human emotion, the latter is based on a desire to accomplish what is factually best for all, which requires a philosophical bent. Politics be damned. They will take care of themselves- then, when, and only when, Truth is the foundation of education will a difference be noted, and that takes time. You cannot change the direction of a dynamic w/o catastrophic results (see the Civil War for reference). The catastrophe can be minimized through “knowledge” founded in Truth, but it cannot be avoided. The direction of a dynamic has to be changed a little at a time to minimize the catastrophe. That will occur Naturally when seeds are sown.

    As for market distortion by gov’t- that is a Keynesian prerequisite. Free markets are “influenced” by private transactions, even with gov’t spending. Influence directs costs in a supply vs demand arena. Distortion is just what it says (the action of giving a misleading account or impression). It distorts with “intended consequences”- undue influence.

    Look, I get where you’re coming from- been there done that, until I saw the light (so to speak) that all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights, Endowed- with a Constitution (rules) to prevent (help ensure) those rights were not infringed by a tyrannical, legal force. There can be no such thing as freedom as long as “groups” (political Party’s) dictate disrespect for Individual rights, which is what caveats do as well as most “laws” which soon become simple revenue generators. The majority will always have the clout, but, with that clout comes a responsibility- respect is earned, not legislated and until Individual rights are respected by caveat makers and supporters there will be no discernible change.

  66. dL

    Nor can either of us travel to any number of other nations (perhaps all of them?) without being checked. You’re talking theory; I’m talking reality. Do we agree on the reality?

    Appeal to the status quo as an argument is a logical fallacy. You’re favorite one. However, in this instance, the status quo isn’t even what you claim it to be.

    {As part of the Schengen agreement, Switzerland has done away with the systematic control of passports at border points]
    https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/customs/29031030

  67. robert capozzi

    dL,

    Reread your own link. We are both non-Europeans, yes? On its face, we are non-Schengen-area folks, “meaning passport and customs controls may take place.”

    Did you miss that, or was this an attempt at duplicity?

    I’m also not “appealing to the status quo.” My sense is that the status quo is pretty broken. I do take into account the current configuration into account. Without is, there is no ought, after all.

  68. dL

    Reread your own link. We are both non-Europeans, yes? On its face, we are non-Schengen-area folks, “meaning passport and customs controls may take place.”

    Did you miss that, or was this an attempt at duplicity?

    On its face, Americans can enter Switzerland without a visa check(visa==permission to enter granted by the destination country) . If one was to fly into, say, France, then one could probably cross the Swiss border without a passport check(passport==permission to travel granted by one’s home country) . If you have a problem with the Swiss policy, take it up with the Swiss

    [swiss government contact form]
    https://www.swissinfo.ch/contact/eng/42718412?contactRedirectId=29031030

    i’m also not “appealing to the status quo.”

    I don’t think you understand the status quo, or even understands the difference between a travel visa and a passport. Unfortunately, immigration(long term residence) control does work by visa controls, but mere travel itself works by passport, meaning you don’t need the permission of, say, the Swiss government to enter Switzerland to dine at a Swiss restaurant. The permission to travel is granted by one’s home country, not the destination country.

  69. DJ

    GP: Support for Apple pie and the Declaration of indeopendence provide, equally, no reason to vote Libertarian.
    Me: I didn’t say anything about voting for Libertarians. My contention is to sow seeds- they will bear fruit. You’re another one who wants instant gratification. Good luck. It’s working out so well now. Right?!
    Corruption will corrupt until respect is earned, which will never happen w/o self respect which can’t happen w/o respecting others. Respecting others is sowing seeds- being the change you want. Win hearts and minds will follow. Simple, but not spelled easy. Long term not instant. The future, not the present.
    The Declaration of Independence brings awareness to those who have forgotten or never knew. Apple pie is as common as the day is long.

  70. robert capozzi

    dL,

    So, you are doubling down on your duplicity, it seems.

    On the positive side, I can say that I’ve crossed between Switzerland and France and back and was barely checked. They did stop me and ask why I was crossing, as I recall.

    Now, to set the stage, I could have picked pretty much any city and country when I wrote this:

    “Feeling moral outrage when I stand in line at the passport check-in at the Geneva airport is just not something I experience. I might be annoyed if the lines were long and slow, but that’s about it. Given the Swiss experience as I understand it, their policies strike me as reasonable, actually.
    If I want to immigrate to Switzerland, I imagine I might have to deal with further checks.”

    You seem to want to go into the weeds of minutiae, but doing so takes us away from the broader point, which is that most countries require some sort of check-in when crossing their border. Are there exceptions? Yes. Is the scrutiny stricter in some countries than others? That’s my understanding, but I don’t pretend to be an expert on the matter.

    In my experience, I DID have to show my PASSPORT when I visited several European nations, including Switzerland when I entered via the Geneva airport. And that’s my point. Technicalities (which you seem to shift in apparent attempts to “score” debating points) are distractions from the main point.

    Should we live in a world with NO passports? I dunno, maybe. I’m not seeing passport abolition happening anytime soon. I don’t think that some form of check-in is so intrusive when considered in light of the amount of travel that’s done in modern times and the potential security risks we see in this age of terrorism.

    If that makes me a “xenophobe” in your eyes, so be it. I’ve got a LOT of company! Perhaps as high as 98% of the population. That doesn’t make us “right” and dL, noted pseudonym on IPR, “wrong,” but when you are THAT out-of-touch, consider employing quite a bit more tact. It comes across very “spectrum” otherwise.

  71. dL

    On the positive side, I can say that I’ve crossed between Switzerland and France and back and was barely checked. They did stop me and ask why I was crossing, as I recall.

    Thanx for confirming my point. And thanx for playing.

  72. dL

    Support for Apple pie and the Declaration of indeopendence provide, equally, no reason to vote Libertarian.

    On the other hand, equal support for beer and free rights could take you a long way…

  73. robert capozzi

    dL,

    You’re welcome.

    Curious: If the situation were reversed, would you find your communications approach as credible and forthcoming?

  74. DJ

    I guess I’m not smart enough to understand the argument about traveling ‘to’ Switzerland when the original concern was traveling ‘to’ the country/Nation State whose pledge of allegiance proclaims “with Liberty and Justice for all”. Not that I’m a fan of pledging allegiance to a hypocrite- but, I thought it worth noting in this back and forth. At the same time it makes me think of the Berlin Wall. If a comparison is to be made I’d think that should be at the top of the list.
    Those same entry requirements can be (as we already see) forced on citizens by over zealous border protection agents “just doing their job”. Citizens who, btw, are supposed to be free but seem to have to spend an inordinate amount of time convincing (with papers) that they are in fact entitled to Liberty and Justice…. with caveats geared to the few- though I haven’t seen them in the official allegiance pledge. They are now officially inferred, just not in writing, which is just as well since the written word has no bearing, or effect, on what politicians will do to retain an ill perceived authority and will not hesitate to impose a mandate because “the will of the people” trumps Individual rights- though for political expedience only.
    SMH-

  75. dL

    Curious: If the situation were reversed, would you find your communications approach as credible and forthcoming?

    As credible? yes, my attempt would be as credible as yours…zero credibility. But mine would have at least tried to be more clever, in that I would have avoided using the United States,Switzerland and passports as a demonstration of invitation-only travel in the real world.

  76. robert capozzi

    DJ: will not hesitate to impose a mandate because “the will of the people” trumps Individual rights

    me: My solution to this conundrum is to create Harlos Nonarchy Pods, where anyone can opt out of civil society by seceding onto their own property. The rule of law would then only be instituted by the individual for the individual.

  77. DJ

    RC: me: My solution to this conundrum is to create Harlos Nonarchy Pods, where anyone can opt out of civil society by seceding onto their own property. The rule of law would then only be instituted by the individual for the individual.

    Me: DJ: Good luck with completely rearranging society. = immediately changing the direction of a dynamic resulting in a catastrophe

  78. robert capozzi

    DJ,

    While I’d spend no time on implementing Harlos Nonarchy Pods, I don’t see them as any more “rearranging” than declaring a Native American Reservation as not part of the US. Pods would typically be much smaller. Think tiny reservations.

  79. DJ

    Robert, the result of reservations have been catastrophic. Also, reservations are/were intended to ‘stop’ one from leaving an area en”forced” by outsiders (fed gov’t). I think your idea would be more like what Indians enjoyed prior to civilization(?) infringing on their rights forcing them onto reservations. They went where they wanted though not always welcomed by the occupying people and both usually paid a price, but the boundaries were respected and all knew what could result when encroached.

  80. robert capozzi

    dj,

    Yes, I think VERY few would actually want to secede into an individual pod, true.

    With the ability to opt out of society onto one’s own Pod, the vast majority who chose to stay in society would be consenting to the rule of law. (This addresses Spoonerite Ls who are technically correct that there is no consent to be governed by a prevailing rule of law.)

    As a matter of compassion and hyper-technical objections to the rule of law, I offered the HNP to the thought-stream. Some IPR anarchists have accepted its validity, in concept. More properly, they don’t object to it as an option, and they apparently see benefits from the HNP.

  81. DJ

    Robert, I don’t think opting out of society is an option. There are too many people and too much reliance on what society has come to offer, wanted or not. There are a few places where one or a few (James Jones and David Koresch come to mind) could attempt it but the conditions are too harsh (environmentally and societally) for it to last very long, not to mention too many nanny-statist in society who would never allow it to go uncontested because- civilization- they believe they know best, especially if kids were involved (see Waco for reference). It’s sad but true none the less. Mountain Men, hermits etc. are a thing of the past, much to my chagrin I assure you.

    So what are we to do? My conclusion: It’s not what can “we” do, but what can “I” do? Individual effort will perpetuate freedom and Liberty for all. Leave your space a little better than you found it and you have succeeded. Just think about it; ALL stories (real and fiction) are about an Individual- some are good some are bad, but Individual effort is what opportunes success and success is defined by the Individual. Sometimes that success benefits many (society) sometimes it benefits the few, sometimes it cost lives, but, it is the Individual effort of a singular, an Individual, that is remembered, not the group. A group is ancillary to, not the focus of- ‘your’ story. It’s your life, an Individual, not a groups life. You’re the writer, the director and the main character with ancillary actors who may or may not do as directed in your story. If they don’t, fire them. Maybe they’ll learn, eventually, to write their own story and stop trying to dictate somebody else’s- if not that isn’t your fault, or problem.

    Sadly it’s taken me a life time to learn the above. Had I known at a younger age what I know now I’d have grown older a lot sooner 😉

  82. robert capozzi

    DJ,

    I offered the Nonarchy Pods idea to address the “consent” issue that drives so much of our anarcho-brethren’s thinking. If it was an option to opt out, NOT opting out means consent to the prevailing “condo rules,” aka, the rule of law.

    I agree with you on the spiritual level about our lives. We ARE the director and lead actor in our own drama. On the political level, I can’t say I agree. Yes, there are notable leaders of movements, but those movements need at least a critical mass of support. Politics is a numbers game.

    Our NAPster brethren seem to believe — consciously or unconsciously — that political morality is something that can be divined, and that those who don’t agree with some NAPster’s divinations are somehow inferior to them. They are RIGHT and others are WRONG.

    I submit that this sanctimonious approach is not working and is unlikely to work. It’s prone to dogmatism, inflexibility, and comes across as highly offputting.

  83. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Capozzi strikes me as someone who would go to a synagogue, endlessly insist all the Jewish there are Christian, and try to get them all to convert to Islam.

  84. dL

    Robert Capozzi strikes me as someone who would go to a synagogue, endlessly insist all the Jewish there are Christian, and try to get them all to convert to Islam.

    There is a certain similarity here to former religious fundamentalists turned atheist or smokers turned rabid anti-smokers.It happens. But they typically stop hanging out in the pews or in the smokey bars.

  85. robert capozzi

    cm and dL,

    Yes, that’s both amusing and somewhat fair. I cop to being a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery. Not that both were wrong about everything. In a sense, I’m following Rand’s command of “checking one’s premises.”

    Theoretic asymptotic anarchism/applied lessarchism is probably almost as futile as NAPsterism, but my assessment is that it stands a better chance of opening the Overton window than NAPsterism. Increasingly, I’m finding that NAPsters are stylistically quite similar to Marxists I’ve encountered over the years. I don’t especially want or expect NAPsters to become TAAALists, but my sense is they’d be more effective if they loosened up their NAPsterism. It’s more like the orthodox might consider conservative shules for Passover, and conservatives might try out a reformed temple. Even if they stay orthodox, perhaps their worldview might broaden a bit.

  86. DJ

    Robert, ‘my’ “spiritual beliefs” are a positive mind set. Labeling with a ridiculing and condescending oratory invokes a negative mind set. Negative begets negative.
    “Respect” is the key- for Individual rights. Once obtained then labeling/factioning can proceed. Respect is earned by having self respect which cannot be had without giving respect. Period. Spiritual? Perhaps. So is sowing seeds expecting to harvest fruit. But, the results speak for themselves. Sow seeds- there is fruit to be harvested. Not all seeds bear fruit, true enough, but, “many” will- some will be “granny smith” some will be “green” some will be just apples- but all are consumable and do multiply because they also produce seeds.

    Yes, the “many” are a requirement in politics simply because not all are leaders (everyone is wired different), but, ‘each’ is an “Individual” who can/could change the tide with his Individual effort. And the many aren’t the story, the Individual who ‘unites’ the many behind a common cause is the “one” remembered, and, in our form of governance (republican, which historically had some major failings also) presented a unique opportunity to self-govern by electing an “Individual” to re-present the interests of “the many”, which is not spiritual, necessarily, but is factual even so.

    This is (sadly, but at the same time fortunately), a monkey see monkey do world. Follower monkeys will emulate the lead monkeys. If the lead monkey acts out good behavior, many will emulate and vice versa.

    It’s simple (not spelled easy or instant) but the results are more rewarding and longer lasting. Lead by example. Those so inclined will follow. Those not so inclined will at least be exposed (to, and for) what is possible. That is all you can do- and it is enough. Leave your space a little better than you found it and that is success. Trying to force (negative and condescending oratory/action) with labels results in force against the label de jour.

    The word ‘l’ibertarian, not Libertarian represents freedom for the Individual, which should/could attract the “many”, but, when labeling begins minds tune out. Win hearts- minds will follow.

  87. DJ

    To: All readers,
    If I come across as authoritarian I apologize. But, as has been pointed out to me (and I agree) I am entitled= I’ve earned it.
    I turned 70 this past December. I’ve learned more in the last 15 years than I did the entire previous 55.
    I am, un-apologetically, an advocate of Individual rights, brought about by my belief in the philosophy of The Declaration of Independence- all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights, Endowed- there are no caveats (labels).

    That philosophy has become my agenda.
    My “anthem” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM_223ngKys

    My “religion” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyot2S8yN7w

    I also (through retrospect and introspect) figured out “my” problem with society in general and groups (which ‘require’ labeling) in particular and paid for dearly, personally and professionally. But, no, I’m not bitter- just learn-ed. I question (introspectively) everything I do and say and call myself pragmatic (concerned with the consequences of thoughts and actions).
    I truly and firmly believe that ALL I say and do (at this point in time and for the past several years since I reached my conclusions) that I am “leaving my space a little better than I found it” x 2 because I helped raise 2 sons whom I do have a good relationship with and what I see makes me realize they will carry on as I’ve laid out in my ramblings. I’ve sown seeds (and still do) and they will bear fruit.

    So, my authoritarian ‘tone’, while not intentional, is honest, and the kicker- I don’t care whether anyone else agrees with me or not- I know I’m right, and time will tell.
    I’ve expressed quite often; Truth is constant, knowledge evolves. I am an evolution of knowledge gained by observation of facts. All the facts I can gather, personally and observationally have led to this point in a life that has very little consequence in the scheme of things- but has helped a few along the way- leave their space a little better than they found it.

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