Larry Sharpe Endorses Joshua Smith for LNC Chair

98 thoughts on “Larry Sharpe Endorses Joshua Smith for LNC Chair

  1. Paul

    Alternative title: Horribly under-qualified candidate for governor endorses horribly under-qualified candidate for party chair.

  2. dL

    We need to be talked about in the press in a positive way…

    With blood and soil? Yeah, maybe on Breitbart. Sharpe is grifting

  3. Andy

    Neither of these guys are unqualified for the positions they seek.

    I heard that Larry Sharpe has been booked to speak at the LP Mises Caucus event in New Orleans that is coinciding with the LP National Convention. I look forward to attending.

  4. Paul

    Smith has no experience leading anything comparable to LNC chair. Sharpe has no experience leading anything comparable to the state government of New York.

    I get that the LP often doesn’t generally care about experience or ability, and most votes are protest votes, but lol…

  5. Anthony Dlugos

    What is this? Part of Sharpe’s play to try and capture the 2020 presidential nomination?

  6. wolfefan

    Serious question from an outsider – how much does it matter who the LNC chair is? In many of the committees I’ve served on over the years we look for a chair to be an honest broker and a good facilitator. Impetus for growth, change, direction, etc. more typically comes from the members of that board. Is the LNC different? If Rutherford or Phillies or whomever were the current chair instead of Sarwark, would there be any noticeable difference in outcomes?

  7. Caryn Ann Harlos

    This is a big deal for Smith and solid endorsement. Congrats for him.

    Pretty sad on those trying to make it seem like it was for dishonest motives. I thought the Chair had nothing to do with the next nomination anyway?

    If it is between Weld and Sharpe, then I hope to God that Sharpe is our next nominee. However he has said he is not planning on that at this point but not ruled it out because he is focusing on his current race.

    Pathetic how we tear down those with promise when they don’t fall in line with how we would like.

    And no “side” is better. If Sharpe had endorsed Nick he would be getting attacked just in another direction. Sad all the way around.

  8. ATBAFT

    Wolfefan, the LP has not grown – in terms of membership and revenue – in ten years. Whether it is the fault of the Chair, the officers, the staff, or the LNC as a whole, the fact remains that LP is becalmed. Candidates for any of the positions need to suggest solutions (not just cliches and empty promises) because the LP cannot succeed without steady growth.

  9. Chuck Moulton

    The LP has not grown in membership. However, on the plus side this board has been much less dysfunctional than prev ious terms. They didn’t do anything super-insane — although the website transition was initially botched. The biggest positive steps forward I see are:

    1) We have a building that works for our staff and are well on our way to paying off its mortgage, which will free up money previously spent on rent/mortgage payments for other projects.

    2) We are on a more solid ballot access foundation going into 2020 than we have been in decades (perhaps ever) thanks to both the Johnson campaign’s vote totals and LNC early investments.

    3) We’ve improved our IT infratructure in terms of the website backend, email, and LPedia.

    4) It looks like we’re on a path to implementing a data solution that will work well for state and county affiliates: the CiviCRM project with LP customizations.

    5) The reach of our social media continues to expand.

    6) We now have specific staff members focused on winning elections, recruiting & supporting candidates, affiliate support, and fundraising. In the past we usually had general purpose staffers wearing many hats who were not as specialized or suited for those roles.

    7) The reach and effectiveness of our social media continues to improve — controversy hiccups aside.

    All of these improvements help lay the groundwork for future successes in membership growth and electing Libertarians.

    Through all of that Nick Sarwark has been a leader and an engaged chair. He runs meetings better than anyone I have ever seen. And he remains an eloquest spokesman for the party. It’s difficult to imagine how Nick could be doing any better.

    As I’ve said before, I enthusiastically endorse Sarwark for re-election as LNC chair. Stick with Nick!

  10. Richard Winger

    The Libertarian Party is in its best ballot access position by far, currently.

    Also Libertarian Party registration is at an all-time high, percentagewise as well as raw numbers.

    Also we have legislators in two states now. We didn’t have any legislators from 2002 through 2015.

  11. Andy

    ATFB hit the nail on the head. The LP has been stagnating for years, and by a lot of measures has declined since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

  12. Andy

    None of the current 4 Libertarian state legislators were elected as Libertarians. It has been about two decades since the LP has won a race for state legislature.

  13. Richard Winger

    Concerning whether individuals are qualified enough to be a president or a governor, Ronald Reagan was elected Governor in 1966 and he knew very little about state government. After he was elected, Assemblyman Charles Conrad spent a month with him, teaching him about the structure of state government. Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor before knowing much about state government. And Donald Trump has shown even presidents can be elected who are not knowledgable about government.

  14. robert capozzi

    RW,

    Elected? Yes.

    I’d say DJT makes the case for a Shiny Badge stronger! So far, nothing super major has gone awry, but this erratic, lazy, neophyte seems highly likely to screw the pooch during an actual crisis.

    Heaven help us!

  15. ATBAFT

    Mr. Winger’s facts regarding ballot status and registration help prove the point. Given the big successes he notes, the LP should have gained many thousands of members and lots of revenue. Why can’t the LNC turn those registrations into membership? Why don’t the millions $$ spent on ballot drives, resulting in ballot status and more candidates, turn into more members and more revenues and more active local parties? Leaders like Sarwak and Redpath work their asses off yet many measures of growth and success just haven’t materialized. It will be interesting to see if any of the candidates for Chair and LNC have any workable, doable and measurable answers.

  16. Paul

    Trump is also a celebrity billionaire. Having administrative experience and major life accomplishments generally count for something.

  17. robert capozzi

    ATBAFT,

    One hypothesis is that the institution is unwelcoming. It’s for NAPsters only. Non-NAPsters can join, but their views are effectively ruled out-of-bounds by the foundational documents written decades ago by 88 20-somethings + Hospers, protected by 7/8ths depth charges.

  18. dL

    Pathetic how we tear down those with promise when they don’t fall in line with how we would like.

    Well, that’s rich, coming from the one who spearheaded the Vohra removal campaign based on his facebook posts that you were so eagerly screen saving. On that matter, you made a big show about about what libertarianism cannot stand for. Apparently, the taint of blood and soil isn’t a problem for you in that regard.

  19. Anthony Dlugos

    ATBAFT,

    The Libertarian Party has never really grown, especially when you place our membership size/vote totals/budget, etc on a scale with the dinosaur parties.

    Gary Taubes, the science writer of The Case Against Sugar was interviewed in Reason magazine a couple months back, and made the point that, whatever is causing the obesity crisis in this country has to be something very simple, on account of the fact that the rise in obesity has been persistent and comprehensive (it isn’t localized to certain ethnic/demographic groups, areas of the country, etc).

    The point is, there has to be something very basic in the LP’s approach/messaging that explains the abject failure of this party over the 40-something years its been in operation. This is especially true when you consider the accelerating drain of support the dinosaur parties have been experiencing. The voters are desperate for an alternative, and for some reason, we have failed to connect with them.

    Leave aside philosophy and given the above facts, you should view with great skepticism anyone who suggests we should avoid learning anything from how parties who HAVE won elective office in this country win, and who argue that successful politicians from the dinosaur parties have nothing to offer us, to the laughable extent that they are derided as “shiny badge” holders to be avoided. They are winning and we are getting our ass kicked, and we’re told we’re supposed to avoid them like the plague.

    Would a cackle of losers attacking the successful fly in any other organization?

    Whatever the reason for our lack of growth one wants to propose, I am all ears. But it better be something simple, it better be a fact that has existed since the inception of the party, and the change better be something that comports with how actually successful parties operate in this country.

  20. Anthony Dlugos

    If the choice is Sarwark and Mr. “Blood and Soil” Smith, for once I am in abosulte agreement with Chuck M in his post of 6/10/2018 at 10:54.

  21. Anthony Dlugos

    I’ve noted before that I think at his best, Larry Sharpe’s life story, political journey, and messaging is the best I’ve ever heard in terms of reaching out to the public at large with an accessible, welcoming offer to join the LP.

    But therein lies the problem: he seems better suited for the position of Chair himself, or some sort of public-facing spokesperson position rather than running for public office as a Libertarian. To an extent, someone running for office should have somewhat of an antagonistic position relative to the party who’s ballot access line he or she is hijacking. Their concern should not be what it takes to grow the party, outside of those things that help said candidate get elected that inadvertently grow the party.

    The point is, if I am running for Governor of New York as a Libertarian, I’m not wasting 6 minutes of my time endorsing a candidate for chair of the party. My goal is getting elected Governor, and frankly I wouldn’t give a sh*t who the chair is.

    This is to say nothing of the fact that Mr. Sharpe has all the information he needs to know there is a significant number of self-destructive lunatics with Born To Lose tattoos in this party (see Weeks, circa 2016), and there is no way I would be tying my reputation to anyone in the party running for a thankless position with no remuneration, because there is far too high a likelihood that there is something seriously mentally wrong with the person.

  22. ATBAFT

    A non-libertarian friend noted that there are over 100,000 Scout troops in the U.S. and that every town seems to have a Lions, Rotary, or other service organization . Dedicated founders and passionate leadership spread these groups to every corner of America. And that nearly everyone admires and praises the work these service organizations do. “So why hasn’t the LP spread too?” I told him these groups aren’t subjected to annual popularity contests between themselves and two or three other contenders. Nor do these groups have to face ridicule and unfavorable publicity as the result of continually losing these popularity contests by huge margins. Such rejections can burn out even the most dedicated and passionate Libertarians. Certainly, such rejections turn away potential members and those who don’t want to waste their money on lost causes. So, is it possible that the LP is permanently stuck in a rut from which it cannot get out as long as it tries to compete in the political realm?

  23. Anthony Dlugos

    “I told him these groups aren’t subjected to annual popularity contests between themselves and two or three other contenders.”

    The ignorance, or willful ignorance of this fact and how it constrains what we can accomplish is THE crux of the LP’s failure lo’ these many years.

  24. dL

    A non-libertarian friend noted that there are over 100,000 Scout troops in the U.S. and that every town seems to have a Lions, Rotary, or other service organization .

    Yeah, so? That doesn’t translate to a boy scouts political party. These days, all the crypto parties, meetings, etc worldwide puts the boy scout numbers to shame. But this too doesn’t necessarily translate to any political party success.

    #applesAndOranges

  25. Paul

    Caryn Ann does make a good point. This is a big deal for Smith. In fact, I think this is his single biggest political accomplishment to date. And despite some very troubling past remarks, Larry Sharpe is very well liked in the LP.

  26. robert capozzi

    AD,

    At one point, I sensed that if the LP would de-fringe itself, the better opportunity in most states would not be governor positions, but rather Congress (although iirc some states require state-wide office results to get/retain ballot access).

    Congressional districts are smaller areas generally, and largely are limited to one media market. A Sharpe-type might be able to breakthrough without a Shiny Badge. I do believe many MCs are non-pols, not the majority of them, of course. I suspect voters are more likely to take a chance on a Congressman who is interesting, articulate, and has a compelling story. Aside from Schwartenegger (a mega-star at the time), I don’t think voters would be inclined to take a chance on an executive position like governor.

    Could a Drew Carey win in a Cleveland-area district as an L? No cake walk, but he might have a puncher’s chance in the right district with weak opponents. Could a John Mackey win in an Austin, TX-area district? Not inconceivable.

    fwiw.

  27. Starchild

    “wolfefan” writes (June 10, 2018 at 04:12),

    “Serious question from an outsider – how much does it matter who the LNC chair is? In many of the committees I’ve served on over the years we look for a chair to be an honest broker and a good facilitator. Impetus for growth, change, direction, etc. more typically comes from the members of that board. Is the LNC different? If Rutherford or Phillies or whomever were the current chair instead of Sarwark, would there be any noticeable difference in outcomes?”

    I believe it matters greatly. The LP has too much of a “strong chair” system in my view, and consequently the chair has a great deal of control over the national party’s operations. S/he can unilaterally direct, hire, and fire staffers, and through them control what goes on the party’s website, what is put out in mailings, etc. As official spokesperson, s/he is the most prominent and identifiable public face of the party except when we have a national presidential ticket or perhaps when there are very active ex-nominees. While the LNC as a body has the ultimate power, under our current approach there is rarely a broad enough consensus on the LNC to do very much in terms of steering the party, and to the extent it does try to get involved in running operations it is typically thwarted by fears of “micromanagement”, so by default this leaves the chair with the bulk of the actual power in practical terms.

    Recent LP chairs have tended not to make major changes, and I can’t say how different things might be were any other particular person in that office other than Nick Sarwark, but any chair willing to take bold, outside-the-box stands could easily bring about major change, for better or for worse. I believe major changes are needed, but obviously not all types of change would be positive.

    If challengers’ agendas would either move things in the wrong direction, or simply tinker with improving performance on existing priorities that pretty much everyone agrees are good (e.g. candidate support, affiliate support, ballot access, speaking out promptly and often about stuff in the news, etc.), then I’m inclined to support Nick Sarwark for reelection. Overall I suspect he has done about as good a job as we’re likely to see anyone do under the current model, short of the major changes we really need, so if I’m going to endorse anyone else, I’m looking for a candidate who credibly advocates for major changes.

    What kind of major changes do I believe are needed? Here’s a short list, in no particular order:

    1) More transparency in things like committee meetings, staff salaries, contracts, leaders’ contact information, and party governance in general; make our commitment to institutional transparency much stronger and more ingrained in our structure and culture than it is now

    2) Turn LP.org into a much more interactive, participatory website (more polls, more calls to action, let LNC members blog again, let LP members comment on stories, have social media profiles, etc.)

    3) Get our conventions out of hotels and without sacrificing business sessions or speakers, make them more like festivals, with more music, art, workshops, outdoors activities, and a variety of events to attract a more diverse range of supporters and attendees, including having lots of opportunities and reasons for non-libertarians to attend and be exposed to libertarian ideas without paying

    4) Make party headquarters more of a community center and activist workspace open to everyone, so it feels less like the private domain of staff and we can get more use out of the space, and put a “mobile HQ” on the road (an RV or some similar large vehicle or vehicles emblazoned with libertarian messaging to travel around the country participating in local events, candidate rallies, affiliate support, etc.)

    5) A functional committee system (more committees staffed with more LP members doing more work in a more open, democratic, and accessible manner, with regular, detailed public reports and Q&A sessions before the entire LNC)

    6) Less of a “strong chair” system – preferably this would entail a bylaws change, but a chair could unilaterally delegate significant powers and relinquish power in practice without altering the bylaws

    7) Revamp LP News to publish monthly, and both this and other written and online communications to include more news of the broader struggle for freedom, rather than the current narrow focus on the party, with an emphasis on seeking to appeal to non-traditional libertarian constituencies and people on the left at least as much as people on the right

    8) Take a stronger line in support of Libertarians and other pro-freedom activists who really stick their necks out for the cause, e.g. suffer arrest, make major sacrifices, etc.; honor these individuals and hold them up as role models

    9) Do more coalition-building around specific pro-freedom issues, with other groups both inside and outside the libertarian movement and make more party publicity and resources available to empower victims of government aggression and small marginalized groups fighting for legitimate rights that do not enjoy much public or institutional support (their numbers add up!)

    10) Stop wasting party money by flying multiple staff members to LNC meetings and paying for fancy meeting rooms and catered food for those meetings

    11) Strengthen our ties and increase our communications and collaborative efforts (e.g. joint press releases and declarations, summits etc.) with other libertarian movement organizations both in the U.S. and around the world, including student organizations – make campus outreach a much higher priority and do more to integrate student groups into the party

    12) Engage in more “guerilla activism” such as civil disobedience, unorthodox and unexpected tactics, adopt more of a “revolutionary spirit” and less of a bourgeoisie, white collar approach

    13) Mobilize the resources of our membership (e.g. tap Libertarians with knowledge and expertise in specific areas to speak out about those issues on behalf of the party, identify Libertarians who own land, commercial offices, etc., that can be used for billboards or signage to increase our visibility, host meetings, conventions and events, etc.)

    I’m aware that it would be relatively easy for a candidate for chair to pay lip service to many of the points on this list. Therefore I’ll be looking for solid commitments, in writing, to specific plans of action by which a candidate promises to implement change toward any of these points that s/he claims to support.

  28. ATBAFT

    Starchild has a number of ideas that may have potential to “build the Party”, as the cliche goes.
    Perhaps a number of Standing Committees, chaired by at-large LNC members, should be created to develop and implement actual, viable goals and strategies for his best ideas? Regional Reps need to concentrate on developing more effective state and local parties; perhaps the Vice Chair should be the Executive in charge of the Regional Reps. At Large LNC candidates could run on their experience and knowledge for specific committee assignments and delegates could more specifically choose the best person (rather than “I know her name, and she’s been a long time activist.”) There are many paths forward that need to be explored and implemented, so that the LP doesn’t keep sloshing around going nowhere.

  29. Anthony Dlugos

    RC,

    True, a Sharpe-type might be able to breakthrough without a Shiny Badge. On the other hand, a federal congressional district is probably way out of his campaign budget anyway. ($1.7 million).

    Mackey might have too strong of a resume for a congressional district, however.

  30. Anthony Dlugos

    I appreciate your creativity and marvelous vision, Starchild, but the LP is just a political party. Our job is to put people in public offices to move POLICY, not society, in a libertarian direction. Believe me, that in and of itself is a herculean task without trying to add on some sort of societal revolution.

    Guerrilla activism & civil disobedience are tremendously counterproductive ideas. People who vote have careers, mortgages, various other bills and responsibilities, 401(k’s), kids in school who will soon be in college. They are looking for candidates with a “bourgeoisie, white collar approach.” You do notice the sorts of people who get elected, correct?

    I’m not saying those are inherently bad ideas. Civil disobedience works. It doesn’t work for a political party that is trying to demonstrate fitness for office, both of our policy ideas and our candidates.

    Festival with art displays and music are fine ideas, but guess what? In order to enact policy changes in a libertarian directions, eventually some lawyers somewhere are going to have to sit down and write the bills that do that, and then talented politicians are going to shepherd such bills through a very arcane and difficult legislation process. Art and music festival can’t help us there.

  31. Anthony Dlugos

    On the other hand, some of your other ideas, like #1, #2, and #10, seem to make a lot of sense.

  32. Anon-Tipper Post author

    Starchild,

    I like #2 and #4, could help to build more of a community between libertarians/the libertarian movement.

  33. robert capozzi

    AD,

    If the cats were herd-able, I have in the past envisioned crowd sourcing an articulate L with a decent resume in a district where a lessarchist could win. Probably requires a perfect-storm situation.

    Mackey’s resume’s pretty strong, but running as a L is a countervailing factor.

  34. dL

    Guerrilla activism & civil disobedience are tremendously counterproductive ideas. People who vote have careers, mortgages, various other bills and responsibilities, 401(k’s), kids in school who will soon be in college. They are looking for candidates with a “bourgeoisie, white collar approach.” You do notice the sorts of people who get elected, correct?

    Dlugos, you know you are directly reading from the Deist “blood and soil” speech…

  35. Anthony Dlugos

    “…but running as a L is a countervailing factor.”

    That’s true…for now. But how much of the weight of that millstone is the party’s own behavior/messaging, and how much of it is the inertia of the current two-party set up?

    I’d say that, eventually, there are going to be too many independents out there. In other words, not even the LP can f*ck this up.

  36. Anthony Dlugos

    Dlugos, you know you are directly reading from the Deist “blood and soil” speech…

    I’m not, because I’ve never actually read it.

    In any case, who cares? My policies are better than Deist’s for the people we are apparently (by your telling) both trying to appeal to.

  37. robert capozzi

    AD,

    My sense is 75% two-party inertia, 15% self-marginalizing LP foundational documents, 10% fundamentalist zealotry among Ls.

    Certainly the independents trend is a real one. The LP still seems unwilling to take advantage of that fact. They “talk past the sale,” dogmatically insisting on the whole loaf.

  38. Anthony Dlugos

    “My sense is 75% two-party inertia, 15% self-marginalizing LP foundational documents, 10% fundamentalist zealotry among Ls.”

    Agreed on those proportions.

  39. Paul

    You know, if Nick Sarwark really wants to stay chair, he should quietly draft a “big threat” to get the prags to rally behind him. Maybe he could find an unstable coup-loving unemployed alcoholic deadbeat dad with ties to white supremacists to run against him. That would make for a hilarious convention.

  40. dL

    In any case, who cares? My policies are better than Deist’s for the people we are apparently (by your telling) both trying to appeal to.

    bourgeois values==white christian segregated society(that term is mostly used as a dog whistle). You may want to appeal to that. I don’t. Regardless, you ain’t going to get that vote, even if you do manage to turn the LP into a mirror of the Constitution Party.

  41. dL

    I got into a twitter exchange with Sharpe’s policy director, Siobhan Lynch, regarding this endorsement. Their take on the opposition to Joshua Smith vis a vis “blood and soil”

    (1) Godwin’s law run amuck
    (2) Smith can’t be a nazi because he is half jewish
    (3) there is no connection between LvMI and the Mises Caucus
    (4) the LP needs Smith over Sarwark b/c Sarwark let Arvin Vohra shit all over the party

    My rejoinder:

    (1) Blood and soil is a term LvMI used to describe themselves. If they complain that calling them “blood and soil”==calling them nazis, then one wonders why they chose to use that term in the first place. The snowflake defense cuts its own throat.

    (2) Claiming someone can’t possibly hold certain views b/c of family history or genetic makeup is a logical fallacy. Indeed, it is often a favorite cover for deflecting against having to defend noxious viewpoints.

    (3) There is an identifiable association/alignment between LvMI and the Mises Caucus. The matter could, of course, be put immediately to rest with the Mises Caucus issuing a statement disassociating themselves from LvMI instead of, say, linking to Jeff Deist posts from their facebook account.

    (4) Although I think the Mises Caucus has everything to do with Sarwark attacking LvMI figures RE: blood and soil in the aftermath of Charlottesville, the opposition to paleo-libertarian infiltration into the LP has nothing to with Sarwark. It is not some phony issue suddenly trumped up by the SarwarkBots to keep their man in the chairmanship.

    Take it FWIW…

  42. Andy

    The Ludwig von Mises Institute never described themselves as “blood and soil”. This was a phrase that Jeff Deist uttered in the last sentence of a speech about decentralization as a libertarian strategy. Anyone who thinks that this was a “Nazi speech” is a moron. Hitler opposed decentralization.

    Now as far as “blood and soil” goes, lots of people around the world believe in this concept (which is really just an expression of property rights). If you go to Japan, the Japanese believe that they own Japan because Japanese people have lived there for centuries, and they built a civilization there. Jews believe that they are “God’s chosen people” and that God gave them Israel, and that they have a connection to the land, and they have a Jews only immigration policy which is backed up by DNA tests (sounds like “blood and soil” to me). “Blood and soil” sentiments are actually quite common throughout the world.

  43. Seebeck

    Maybe he could find an unstable coup-loving unemployed alcoholic deadbeat dad with ties to white supremacists to run against him. That would make for a hilarious convention.

    Paging DOOOONDDEEERRRROOOO!

    😛

  44. Paul

    Blood and Soil is a well-known Nazi phrase, emphasizing racism (blood) and nationalism (soil).

    Perhaps Deist made a horrible mistake, and not an intentional dog whistle. I haven’t heard any response to criticism from him.

  45. Anthony Dlugos

    “bourgeois values==white christian segregated society(that term is mostly used as a dog whistle). You may want to appeal to that. I don’t. Regardless, you ain’t going to get that vote, even if you do manage to turn the LP into a mirror of the Constitution Party.”

    I’d love to know where this lunacy comes from that suggests an open-immigration, pro-choice party that supports an end to the drug war and opposition to the criminalization of sex work, along with a general predisposition to avoid legislating religious mores = white christian segregated society and a danger of turning into a mirror of the Constitution Party.

    You seem to be suggesting that understanding voters are generally opposed to turning their world over to a revolutionary political party implementing guerrilla tactics and civil disobedience equals white nationalist separatism. Are there no voters with the aforementioned careers/mortgages/kids-who-will-be-in-college that hold generally classical liberal views? Or are they all white nationalists?

  46. dL

    I’d love to know where this lunacy comes from that suggests an open-immigration, pro-choice party that supports an end to the drug war and opposition to the criminalization of sex work, along with a general predisposition to avoid legislating religious mores = white christian segregated society and a danger of turning into a mirror of the Constitution Party.

    It comes from the white identity peckerwoods who use the term “bourgeois values” as a dog whistle. It comes from the fact(which can easily be verified by a simple google search) that “bourgeois values” is a 2000s lexicon replacement for the 80s/90s term “traditional values.” No one uses the term “bourgeois values” to equate with the cosmopolitan notions of open borders, abortion rights, sex work or drug legalization. I find it difficult to believe that you don’t know that, particularly given how much time you spend on this forum and the degree with which these same arguments are rehashed here. In this case, lunacy apparently refers to anyone with a reading comprehension beyond a cement brick or someone not intentionally engaged in intellectual sabotage.

  47. Anthony Dlugos

    Dude, your tendency to hyperbole is comical.

    White identity peckerwoods? What are you blathering about?

    My argument is that suggesting guerrilla tactics, civil disobedience, and a “revolutionary spirit” are a bad idea for a political party. My argument is voters merely want competent people in office, not “burn the whole thing down” cataclysm.

    If you want to read white nationalism into that, that is your problem, evidence of your idiocy, and inevitably your marginalization.

  48. Chuck Moulton

    I agree with some of Starchild’s priorities, (such as transparency and being efficient with donor money) but I fundamentally disagree with the main thrust of his ideas, which flow from the flawed assumption that the Libertarian Party is or should be the same as the libertarian movement — we’re not and we shouldn’t be. The Libertarian Party is the small part of the libertarian movement that focuses on running candidates. That includes both candidates for winnable office (who can get elected and implement libertararian policy) and candidates for unwinnable office (who can spread libertarian positions and grow pur base). It does not include protests, festivals, and other things unrelated to elections.

  49. Anthony Dlugos

    “…but I fundamentally disagree with the main thrust of his ideas, which flow from the flawed assumption that the Libertarian Party is or should be the same as the libertarian movement — we’re not and we shouldn’t be. The Libertarian Party is the small part of the libertarian movement that focuses on running candidates. That includes both candidates for winnable office (who can get elected and implement libertararian policy) and candidates for unwinnable office (who can spread libertarian positions and grow pur base). It does not include protests, festivals, and other things unrelated to elections.“

    Well, holy crap. The end of the world is nigh. That’s the second time in less than a month I found myself in 100% agreement with Chuck M.

    If he actually starts paying attention to what voters say, and consequently comprehends where their tolerance for change ends at any particular moment in time, I sense a future Bill Weld delegate coming out of his cocoon!

  50. Eric Sundwall

    While certainly not opposed to Mr. Sharpe doing well in 2018, any talk of “winning” is Charlie Sheen cringe worthy . . . Third parties in America should be about meaningful protest until the system of single plurality districts are eliminated. It’s doubtful that will change.

    Sharpe needs to be in at least one poll soon, produce a professional commercial for upstate markets and get in the debate, if there’s any chance at 50K. Any poll inclusion will likely be after Labor Day, I hope he visited Zogby on the recent trip to Utica. While he’s demonstrated a penchant for secondary upstate new markets, do a recent GoogIe News search, we’ll see if he makes additional penetration after he’s on the ballot. I’ll be surprised if the NYGOP consents to an inclusive debate process, Cuomo will however. He loves the circus of multiple candidates.

    As usual, I’ll turn in several hundred signatures and will assist the CDLP collate the effort for the NYS BOE. Good luck LNC & LPNY.

  51. ATBAFT

    Mr. Moulton may well be correct, but the road back to a libertarian movement – that is, one visible and active in communities other than thru electioneering, probably starts with the LP. A case can be made that the LP sucked all the air out of the non-political libertarian movement sometime around 1980. Political success will follow when the public is clamoring for libertarian solutions. Is there a reason why the LP can’t prepare for political success by engaging in community activism and education? In most communities, one will see the GOP and Dems participating in parades, having speakers and seminars, joining protests, aligning themselves with groups, proposing legislation and the like. They are around and visible all the time, not just for primary and general election season.

  52. Rev. James W. Clifton

    I hope Sarwark is reelected. He’s the best LP Chair pre- or post- Alicia Clark.

    And, as long as I am endorsing, let me put in a plug for Carla Howell for our nominee in 2020. She hasn’t announced but that is whom I would like to see as our nominee.

  53. Andy

    LP membership is down. The number of elected Libertarians is down. The LP is a failing organizations by most measures. I do not see how anyone could say that the LNC is doing a good job. If the LP were a sports team, and the LNC was its coaching staff, the LNC would be fired. If the LNC were a movie production team, they would have produced box office flops and they’d canned. If the LNC were business managers, the business would be losing money and the managers would be fired.

  54. Andy

    It is not just the current LNC that is the problem, although there are people on there who should have been voted off a long time ago. The LP has been a badly run organization for a long time, which is a big reason as to why it is such s failure.

    If anyone out there thinks I am wrong about this, or anything else, I will be in New Orleans with my video camera, and I put out an open challenge to debate anyone and have the debate recorded and posted online.

    Put up or shut up.

  55. Paul

    It’s easy to make a good case against LNC leadership. It’s hard to make a good case for Josh Smith. If Smith wins, or even does very well, it will be all the evidence anyone should need against the health of the Libertarian Party and the abilities of current leadership.

  56. Starchild

    Chuck Moulton writes (June 13, 2018 at 17:51):

    “I agree with some of Starchild’s priorities, (such as transparency and being efficient with donor money) but I fundamentally disagree with the main thrust of his ideas, which flow from the flawed assumption that the Libertarian Party is or should be the same as the libertarian movement — we’re not and we shouldn’t be. The Libertarian Party is the small part of the libertarian movement that focuses on running candidates. That includes both candidates for winnable office (who can get elected and implement libertararian policy) and candidates for unwinnable office (who can spread libertarian positions and grow pur base). It does not include protests, festivals, and other things unrelated to elections.”

    Chuck, you want people to vote for us, and you want to keep the party libertarian, and you also want to grow our base, right? Think about how big the libertarian movement is, how many different groups are part of it and how many people are involved, and what could be accomplished if the bulk of those folks got involved in political activism. We got a taste of it with the Ron Paul r3VOLution.

    You’re right that the LP is just a small part of that movement. But imagine if most people in the libertarian movement saw the party as the political voice of the movement, explicitly representing the movement in the political arena – a vehicle for activism whether directly engaged with electoral politics or not. The party could potentially have a much larger base, and a base composed of strongly pro-freedom people who are motivated to stick to libertarian principles.

    If people in the movement saw the party as being essentially the same thing as the libertarian movement, they would be much more likely to join and get involved.

  57. ATBAFT

    I’d have to side with Mr. Starchild on this, not with Mr. Moulton. Sure, there are libertarian think tanks, but no libertarian activists save the LP. Cato, Reason never set up local groups. SIL,, Advocates all disappeared when activists went into the LP. SFL is great and will have some intellectual impact in ten or twenty years, but is a drop in the bucket compared to proggie presence in academia. Perhaps if LP insists on remaining strictly political, then the activists within the LP need to set up a parallel, non-political, organization to take the ideas to the community? The movement needs something like a Libertarian “Tea Party.”

  58. robert capozzi

    Around,

    An L Tea Party might be interesting and possibly helpful. The Tea Party had 2 things: A lot of people and a few issues to rally ’round. What might an L Tea Party rally millions around?

  59. ATBAFT

    “What might an L Tea Party rally millions around?” Whatever local issues come along and are deserving of a libertarian answer. Dunno, maybe new expensive rail lines, or soda taxes, or diversity/gender nonsense in the high school? Pick something that maybe a third of the folks are going to end up on your side right from the beginning.

  60. Andy

    The TEA Party movement was started by libertarians, most of whom supported Ron Paul for President. This movement scared the establishment, so they hijacked and co-opted it and rendered it into becoming useless.

  61. Anthony Dlugos

    “Perhaps if LP insists on remaining strictly political, then the activists within the LP need to set up a parallel, non-political, organization to take the ideas to the community?”

    It is definitely the case that the entire libertarian movement was…at some point, maybe even at the beginning…subsumed into the Libertarian Party. Some might say that that was an inevitable result of the “mission statement” that was created at the founding.

    In any event, its now just assumed by many that the Libertarian Party, merely a political party which has very limited power to make changes (even when IN power), should be the sole vicar of the philosophy here on earth. No political party can operate successfully under these conditions. Down through history, parties that operate as “explicitly representing a movement” are one of two things: permanently ineffectual losers or a tyranny waiting to happen.

  62. robert capozzi

    Around,

    I perceived the Tea Party as a national movement. Local activism may well be valuable, and an explicitly L approach might be worthwhile.

    But, I don’t see the national Tea Party movement as instructive for what you propose. Apples and oranges.

    Further, I can’t think of any movements that are at once “local” and yet also “national,” can you?

    The women’s and civil rights movements were national, as I recall. They may have had local flavors, but they were addressing national issues, for the most part.

  63. robert capozzi

    aj: The TEA Party movement was started by libertarians, most of whom supported Ron Paul for President.

    ME: Evidence?

    My recollection is it was started by Rick Santelli, and pushed by Glenn Beck. Paulistas were probably involved, to be sure.

    Regardless, it failed. Pretty spectacularly. Worse, it probably made the way possible for DJT and Trumpism.

    To me, L-ism is about peace. The Tea Party had an angry energy about it, which is at cross-purposes with a peaceful approach.

  64. ATBAFT

    Don’t know about other Tea Parties but the one I served with for a couple years addressed national, state, and local issues (such as School Board budget proposals). Monthly meetings featured speakers that could spend 45 minutes discussing an issue in depth. Local pols were invited, and some did show up, as did the media. Several rallies were held at the courthouse. The TP was the local voice in the community for issues of interest to libertarian-leaning conservatives. The local LP ran a few candidates during this period and their ideas were covered in the media as short sound bites and slogans with no depth to them. Electioneering once a year, with candidates who get little opportunity to articulate libertarian ideas to the general public, is just not going to cut it.

  65. robert capozzi

    Around,

    A L Tea Party would be for advocating abolishing the school boards and the schools, right? That may well be the “correct” position on some ethereal plane, but most likely most school districts have a handful of abolitionists. Without numbers, activism looks like Lone Nuttery.

    Regardless, the Tea Party failed, so I’m not sure that the activism you experienced is a useful model for Ls. It may have felt good for a while, though.

  66. Starchild

    Anthony Dlugos writes, in part, (June 14, 2018 at 15:11), “Its now just assumed by many that the Libertarian Party, merely a political party which has very limited power to make changes (even when IN power), should be the sole vicar of the philosophy here on earth.”

    “Sole vicar of the philosophy here on earth”? Not entirely sure what that even means, but I know it’s not what I was saying, if for no reason other than the simple fact that there are now dozens of libertarian political parties in different countries, each of which as far as I know operates independently.

    You go on to write, “No political party can operate successfully under these conditions. Down through history, parties that operate as ‘explicitly representing a movement’ are one of two things: permanently ineffectual losers or a tyranny waiting to happen.”

    Why, exactly, do you think a Libertarian Party explicitly identifying as part of a larger movement committed to freedom would be more likely to result in tyranny if it came to power, than would a Libertarian Party operating on its own and strictly limiting its methods to electoral politics? I think there’s very good reason to believe just the opposite. Involvement in electoral politics – going directly after the brass ring of political power – greatly increases the risks that an organization will be corrupted by that striving for power, that a party so engaged will succumb to the temptation to pander and water down what it stands for in order to attract mainstream support and votes. Maintaining close ties to other movement organizations and their supporters who are less focused on electoral success can help keep the Libertarian Party as an organization focused on the goals of the broader movement, and less likely to go off in its own power-seeking direction as the result of being subjected to the forces of the political maelstrom.

  67. Starchild

    “ATBAFT” writes (June 14, 2018 at 07:54):

    “I’d have to side with Mr. Starchild on this, not with Mr. Moulton. Sure, there are libertarian think tanks, but no libertarian activists save the LP. Cato, Reason never set up local groups. SIL,, Advocates all disappeared when activists went into the LP. SFL is great and will have some intellectual impact in ten or twenty years, but is a drop in the bucket compared to proggie presence in academia. Perhaps if LP insists on remaining strictly political, then the activists within the LP need to set up a parallel, non-political, organization to take the ideas to the community? The movement needs something like a Libertarian ‘Tea Party.'”

    Please, just “Starchild”, not “Mr. Starchild”. Except in my work as a companion, I don’t use a gender designator, and if I did, it would be something other than “mister”, because – why not? Nonconformity is the handmaid of liberty.

    But I’m glad we see eye to eye on the need for a participatory libertarian mass movement (i.e. large numbers of activists fighting for freedom). Your observation that the LP is the closest thing we have to this is spot on, and I think it is vital that large numbers of people be empowered and radicalized by having “boots on the ground” and working together in this struggle, not just sitting back and lending financial or other indirect support to a small number of insiders.

    Given our current numbers of activists, we (the movement) may not be big enough to effectively sustain multiple, separate vehicles for large-scale activism and organizing. Think local chapters and so on – how many separate monthly meetings and communication channels does the typical activist have the time/energy/bandwidth to maintain?

    Due to the recurring and inherently newsworthy nature of the electoral cycle, a political party has a natural level of built-in visibility that makes it a natural vehicle for a mass movement. As I’ve often said (including in my interview with Adam Kokesh recently posted here), mass movements have historically tended to be led by three main types of organizations: Workers movements, student movements, and political parties. Maybe four if you count religious movements. But a political party is the most broad-based and inclusionary of these four mass movement vehicles, and if a movement has one, as we do, it behooves us to harness its power to get people active and radicalized.

    We don’t know what tactic or method of achieving freedom may prove most effective, but to be sustainably effective, I think change needs to be largely bottom up. In terms of getting people fired up and committed to a cause larger than themselves, there is something about working together as part of a group, doing hands-on activities to advance a cause, that I don’t think can be matched by people working more indirectly and/or in isolation. If significant political or societal change toward freedom happens without this kind of mass participation, I believe people will lack a sense of ownership of and pride in the change, and thus be less likely to be committed to defend it and fight for it and hold it accountable so that it will be sustainable.

    It is probably no exaggeration to say that the most difficult work will come after we really win, not before! Look how many revolutions have “succeeded” only to be hijacked by small groups of individuals who’ve betrayed the goals and hopes of the masses. I think this fate can be avoided, but I think it will take a large number of educated, committed, activists who have felt the power that comes with participating in a successful mass action, and having felt it, have grown comfortable with the masses having such power, and feel less inclined to give it up.

    I note here the vital quote, “The most common way that people give up power is by assuming they don’t have any.” A society in which the masses don’t feel they have any power, and thus allow whatever power they do have to be gradually ceded to those who would rule, is precisely the society we do not want! We want the people to be perpetually ready to rise up and alter or abolish the centers of power whenever they perceive that power is becoming injurious to their lives, liberty, and justly acquired property. We want a society filled with individuals who are determined to remain empowered, and vigilant, for the long haul.

    Bottom line: Being the best (only?) vehicle for large-scale participatory activism makes the LP too important to the freedom movement to limit its role to working on a narrow set of goals that reflect only one of the many tactics and methods that our movement has at its disposal.

  68. robert capozzi

    Starchild: Nonconformity is the handmaid of liberty.

    Me: Is this a serious point, or a joke? I don’t believe even NAPsters would suggest this, particularly in the cultural context you are using it in. Liberty is neutral on such questions, as I understand it. There’s no requirement to conform or not to conform.

    Per the NAPster, all political questions come down to determining whether harm is caused. Neither conformity nor non-conformity cause harm that I can discern.

  69. Chuck Moulton

    ABTAFT wrote:

    Perhaps if LP insists on remaining strictly political, then the activists within the LP need to set up a parallel, non-political, organization to take the ideas to the community? The movement needs something like a Libertarian “Tea Party”.

    They absolutely should!

    It would be a mistake to assume my opposition to having the LP subsume the libertarian movement means I am against those other outreach methods happening at all. (This is similar to the canard that opposing the government doing something is the same as opposing that thing happening at all.)

    The LP is ill-suited to other types of outreach given our financial reporting requirements, inability to accept tax deductible contributions, and hierarchical organization. It would be far more efficient and effective to setup separate organizations outside the umbrella of the LP. Indeed, several such organizations have been setup and they have been very effective over the years (e.g., all the think tanks like Cato and Mises, student groups like SFL and YAL, single issue advocacy groups like NORML, festivals like PorcFest and Freedom Fest, etc.).

    I find it very strage that activists who claim
    to support decentralization want a central plan for liberty.

  70. Starchild

    Chuck,

    Are you under the impression I want to have the LP subsume the libertarian movement? That’s not at all what I’m seeking. More like the other way around. To assume that because I would like to see the Libertarian Party be more activist, have more of a revolutionary spirit, be more diverse in its methods, means that I want other libertarian organizations to stop doing what they’re doing, or refrain from doing themselves the things I’d like to see the LP doing, would be as much of a canard as the ones you mention.

    But because the Libertarian Party is uniquely positioned to be an effective conduit for participatory, bottom-up, pro-freedom activism and organizing, I think it would be a mistake for the party to try to limit the fruits of its network to electoral politics.

  71. Starchild

    Robert,

    Surely you don’t imagine that the difficulty in herding cats is only a liability to the cause of freedom? Surely you can’t be unaware of the history and methods of institutions like government schools and government military forces as they pertain to instilling regimentation, uniformity, obeying orders, etc.?

    If you were an aspiring tyrant, which group of people would you prefer to try to rule, a bunch of conformists or a bunch of non-conformists?

    “(Horace) Mann… credited as the father of the American public school system… researched a selection of educational models before being enamored with and installing the Prussian system. King Fredrick the Great, designed the Prussian system to instill obedience, basic skills, and conformity. [emphasis added] He wanted to gain and keep control over his people, and the idea of indoctrinating the populus at a young age was his intent.”

    From https://www.dontcomply.com/the-true-roots-of-the-american-public-school-system-were-grown-for-citizen-control/

  72. Starchild

    P.S. to Chuck Moulton – A “central plan for liberty”? Good heavens, no! I’m not one of those who insists the Libertarian Party must focus only on electing people to office to the exclusion of all other activities.

    So long as the means are ethical, in compliance with the Non-Aggression Principle, and do not interfere with further progress toward freedom, I say let a thousand flowers bloom!

  73. robert capozzi

    D J,

    Feels about right to me. Control freak-ism IS an impulse, near as I can tell.

  74. DJ

    Robert, sometimes sure, but for the most part it’s nefarious which requires thought through. But, I was speaking more to “think, reason, respond” which I used to think libertarians did vs react which can be learned but is also inherent (usually observed in animals) and “impulsive” . And yes I realize we’re not that far removed from not talking or thinking which is apparent everywhere- even in, if not especially, political discussion. Your link is from a Libertarian (which I equate to think, reason, respond) site which is why I said “strange” choice of word.

  75. robert capozzi

    Starchild: If you were an aspiring tyrant, which group of people would you prefer to try to rule, a bunch of conformists or a bunch of non-conformists?

    Me: Not sure. Ineffective non-conformists might be easier to control than effective conformists, for ex.

    But that’s beside the point I was making. Some Ls are conformists and some are non-conformists, and most Ls I know do not require one or another type to be in the L club, particularly in a cultural context, as you initially used it.

  76. robert capozzi

    DJ: I was speaking more to “think, reason, respond” which I used to think libertarians did

    ME: Yes, that’s the story they tend to tell. Consciously, I suspect that MNR and the LP’s founders probably felt that they were thinking, reasoning, and responding in an “objective” manner. They tended to think of themselves as “Objectivists,” and that they were immune from unconscious psychological influences and subconscious biases and assumptions.

    The upshot, however, were grandiose stances from unconscious control freaks. Rothbard’s cadre theory and the 88-20-something LP Founders attempted to impose their peculiar brands of L theory on all lessarchists in perpetuity.

  77. Andy

    The people who founded the Libertarian Party did not impose anything on anyone. Joining and/or voting for the LP is voluntary. If you do not like the party they formed, do not join it and do not vote for its candidates.

  78. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    Kinda true. Yes, the LP is voluntary, that’s true. They did, however, make their handiwork a requirement IF one wants to be politically active under the name, “Libertarian.” The Founders were grandiose in their belief their founding documents were effectively untouchable, protecting it as they did with depth charges. I can voluntarily assert that that was highly arrogant on their part.

    A condo association can — I guess — require that individual owners listen to Rachmaninoff all day long, but I’d say that’s a foolish rule. I might want to listen to Mozart or REM sometimes, and I suspect most would like more latitude in their musical consumption. The market for Rachmaninoff-only listeners is pretty freakin’ small. Ditto the LP, as structured!

    Such control-freak-ism seems doomed to either failure or attract a very small universe of supporters. Based on results, I’d suggest my perspective has been validated.

    I beg your pardon, but I’ll vote as I want to.

  79. ATBAFT

    “their founding documents were effectively untouchable, ”
    No doubt they thought that, out of an abundance of caution, fearing the LP could become an attractive takeover target for non-libertarians (however you want to define that). But they aren’t “untouchable.”
    Should they so desire, a majority of the LNC, backed by a majority of delegates, could simply stop making any use of the founding documents in print, on website, etc. This majority could come up with some new sort of “mission statement” and use it exclusively. What enforcement mechanism could the minority use to prohibit such an action, except threaten to and/or quit the LP?

  80. robert capozzi

    Around,

    Please note I said “effectively untouchable.”

    Workarounds are possible. They require a concerted effort to workaround the Great Tablets, which would take quite a lot of work.

    As for takeovers, I can understand the concern. In some ways, the last 3 prez nominating conventions WERE takeovers, in that the last 3 nominees were not NAPsters. They were clearly the stronger candidates, however, as the convention determined them to be.

    In the grand scheme of things, is it better to guard against a future takeover, or is it better to approach politics in a more realistic and flexible way, with some hope of actually being involved in making political change? The paranoia mixed with NAPster dogmatism and youthful exuberance seems to have led the Founders to address the former.

    That, I submit, was an unfortunate decision.

  81. Starchild

    robert capozzi writes (in part), June 16, 2018 at 15:30, “Some Ls are conformists and some are non-conformists, and most Ls I know do not require one or another type to be in the L club…”

    I think conformity is a matter of degrees. Just as no one is entirely libertarian or entirely un-libertarian, no one is entirely conformist or entirely non-conformist. Each of us can choose how conformist we will be.

    “Ineffective non-conformists might be easier to control than effective conformists.”

    Reading between the lines, that seems to point toward a conclusion that we should seek to promote and encourage effective non-conformity.

    Suggesting that the founders of the LP were “control freaks” seems really over the top to me, not to mention perverse from someone who claims to support freedom. I think they simply sought to make the organization they were creating sustainably libertarian, as the secessionists who won American independence from the British monarchy did to a lesser degree with the U.S. Constitution.

    I am appreciative of the efforts of both groups, but more so the Libertarian founders since they were not replacing an existing document that was more libertarian (the Articles of Confederation).

  82. robert capozzi

    Starchild: …we should seek to promote and encourage effective non-conformity.

    ME: Could be. Again, you were talking about SOCIAL non-conformity, not POLITICAL non-conformity. My sense is mixing the social with the political is unwise, mostly because most people are more conformist than non-conformist on the social spectrum, is my sense. “Colorful” can work, though. A touch of the rebel, if you will.

    Single-issue movements can sometimes involve SOCIAL non-conformists who make POLITICAL change. But broad-based political change agents are usually conformists, is my sense. Even someone like Gandhi struck the pose of Hindu renunciant.

    Starchild: Suggesting that the founders of the LP were “control freaks” seems really over the top to me, not to mention perverse from someone who claims to support freedom.

    Me: Recall the oft-quoted Whitaker Chambers comment about Ayn Rand’s ATLAS SHRUGGED: “To a gas chamber — go.” The Founders were reportedly all/almost all Randians, and heavily immersed in her thought system. For them, there was a tone if not an explicit view that anyone who doesn’t buy into the Objectivist worldview is either evil or stupid or both. This sort of sanctimony leads directly to control-freak-ism, even while advocating maximal individual freedom.

    Starchild: I think they simply sought to make the organization they were creating sustainably libertarian, as the secessionists who won American independence from the British monarchy did to a lesser degree with the U.S. Constitution.

    Me: I wish that were so! There was a range of thought among the American Revolutionaries.

    Note that I also used the term “unconscious control freaks.” I agree that their motive was more or less as you say. Installing the 7/8ths depth charges probably made perfect sense to them, since they were — in their minds — virtuous and uber-brilliant, unlike the unwashed they walked among. But now nearly 50 years later, the depth charges have worked to exclude non-NAPsters; kept the organization small; had very few electoral successes.

    How long does the experiment need to run before it’s deemed to be not working?

  83. DJ

    Me: How long does the experiment need to run before it’s deemed to be not working?

    Me: Think, reason, respond- result; The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution = an experiment. I use these as they are the ones I’m familiar with and offers a like situation, albeit on a smaller, narrower scale.

    Has the experiment failed? I’d say the result is not as envisioned. However, the US still exists- at least on paper. The experiment had parameters- the parameters were ignored, yet, here we are. So, did the experiment fail? Were the parameters intentionally ignored (thought, reasoned, responded) ,or ere they impulsive? Who ignored the parameters? Objectivist acting impulsively or those acting with an objective whose goals are achieved through, think, reason, respond. The human element exercises/practices with altruism creating an objective- documents state an altruistic endeavor, objectively, IF adhered to would, in the document writers view, would produce the desired result of think, reason, respond- impulsive implies reaction- for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, usually with a time line assigned using the parameters as the gauge. Unintended consequences. That catches a lot of blame and describes the end result of impulsive- here we are. However, had those acting to achieve an objective used think, reason, respond would they have gone forward with their impulsive reaction? The experiment was to allow people to self-govern. We do- just not as was envisioned (as best we can tell). So, do we say the experiment has failed, after 200 plus years of impulsive objective achievement? Or, has it just failed to result as envisioned?

  84. robert capozzi

    DJ,

    I’m really not sure what you are trying to say here. The Declaration and Constitution were not one thing. In a sense, the Constitution was an adjustment to the second experiment, the Articles of Confederation. The combined experiment led to mixed results, as I see it. Some believe that the Articles were the superior arrangement; others don’t. Some even suggest that the adoption of the Constitution itself were dubious.

    I’d make the case that the ability to amend the Constitution was TOO difficult. It made it easier for future generations to DISREGARD a plain-language reading of it, as it was inconvenient in times of perceived crisis.

    I suspect we’d probably have a Balanced Budget Amendment had the constitutional amendment process not been so onerous. There was a time when the idea was quite popular.

    My view is that the LP’s foundational documents were even MORE difficult to amend it, rendering it a quirky millstone.

    It’s important to note that it’s a false analogy, anyway, since the LP is not a law-making entity. It’s a political party, not a government. The Nolan & Co may well have been a gathering of youthful Randian geniuses, but I’ve seen no evidence that they were at Jefferson’s and Madison’s level of wisdom.

  85. DJ

    Robert, you’re calling the parameters laws- the Party calls them rules. Either way, IF adhered to it is perceived as a successful experiment IF the desired result is achieved. If the desired result isn’t achieved the experiment is a failure when (to the best of a given amount of knowledge) the parameters directed the avenues to achieve a particular effect. But, to experiment is to try something- It doesn’t really matter what the parameters defined are called, gov’t or Party. But, impulse can change the direction whereas think, reason, respond will maintain direction resulting in a success. But, when the direction is changed, impulsively, that is a human acting with altruism where a document, or set of documents, is altruistic- altruistic is objective, altruism is subjective- the Founders apparently believed people people could self-govern- the problem is, as I see it, the word govern is misunderstood either unintentionally or intentionally and “rules” or “laws” are governing parameters agreed to by document writers- sadly, IMO, as knowledge has evolved rule/law benders have learned they, (through an assumed authority), can tell people it’s raining while pissing down our back and we will believe it. So, in effect, the experiment didn’t fail, its executors (or executioners) did, which is not surprising as we are our own worse enemy. Our tendency to self-destruct at all cost is obvious because- altruism/impulsive, both of which are human nature and cannot be held accountable in the collective, even though History is replete with the failures. All this because you used the word “impulsive”- LOL.

  86. Starchild

    Robert,

    What you have to say about the Libertarian Party’s founders conveys (to use your words) “a tone if not an explicit view” that you think they, and Rand and Rothbard, are either evil, stupid, or both, and in my view that tone does them an injustice. Quoting Whitaker Chambers’ unjustified smear of Ayn Rand equating her with people like the Nazis, as if it tells us something useful about her and her adherents, says a lot.

    A group of people achieving enough consensus amongst them to come up with a strong declaration for liberty for the organization they were creating, and seeking to make it sustainable, just isn’t good enough evidence in my view to justify accusing those people – who were among the very few at the time to believe in an integrated “live and let live” approach to life – of being “unconscious control freaks”. It was, and still is, the bulk of the populace, with their passive acceptance of governments initiating force on their supposed behalf, which much better fits that description.

    The Libertarian Party is one of the most successful alternative parties in U.S. history, and has in all likelihood been much more successful than it would have been if it had not adhered as much to hardcore libertarian principles as it has. Indeed I believe it could be more successful still if it more consistently evoked both ideological and methodological radicalism in defense of freedom.

    While I was speaking directly of social conformity when I referred to non-conformity as the handmaid of liberty, I think conformity in one area of life makes conformity in other areas more likely. Someone who is a free thinker to a high degree is unlikely to simply accept dictates without question regardless of whether those dictates take the shape of formal laws or of often largely unspoken cultural habits and norms. In this sense I appreciate your willingness to question the “received wisdom” of people like Rand and Rothbard – cults of personality and unquestioned doctrine are not healthy or helpful to the freedom movement – but when I look at what you appear to be doing overall, from what I can see of it, it seems to me that you spend more time/energy arguing against freedom than for it. How much time do you spend, online or offline, advocating for greater freedom and choice, and how much time do you spend arguing against the views of those who are more uncompromisingly pro-freedom and in support of a society based on non-aggression than yourself?

    Bringing the social into the political may be part of the answer precisely because, contrary to what you seem to be implying, there tends to be more diversity in the social realm, where there are an endless and ever-growing number of cultural subgroups, lifestyles, etc. in which people are freely pursuing cultural actualization and change in their own ways with others of like minds or interests, than there are in the political realm, where a large percentage of those who are occupationally or by avocation engaged in the question of how society is organized, still tend to think and act in accordance with the left/right, liberal/conservative, Republican/Democrat paradigm.

    But I’ve seen enough of your comments over a long enough stretch of time on here to suspect that you will not get any of this, but continue to argue as you have been, and I am confident enough in the value of radical ideology and methodology that you shouldn’t expect to persuade me either. C’est la vie. If you do not/will not see the value in what I write here, hopefully others do or will.

  87. Andy

    Starchild said: “While I was speaking directly of social conformity when I referred to non-conformity as the handmaid of liberty, I think conformity in one area of life makes conformity in other areas more likely.”

    Conformity and non-conformity can manifest itself in different ways. Given that libertarianism is not the status quo for the society in which we live, the type of people who are most attracted to the libertarian movement tend to be non-conformist types to one degree or another, but there are obviously different kinds of non-conformists within the movement. Being a non-conformist just for the sake of being a non-conformist does not make one a libertarian, nor does being a non-conformist in ways that violate libertarian principles make one a libertarian.

    The people who are into libertarianism now are the early adopters. Early adopters are more likely to be non-conformist types (and, like I said above, non-conformity can manifest itself in different ways). If libertarianism ever achieves mass adoption, or at least much wider adoption than it has now, it will likely start to include more conformist oriented people as libertarianism starts to become the new normal. I do not know how far we will ever make it in that direction, but we can certainly try to go as far as we can with it.

    I am a bit skeptical about getting a majority of the population to accept libertarianism, which is why I have proposed that libertarians break off from the rest of society and form libertarian communities/zones ( http://independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/07/andy-jacobs-the-libertarian-zone/ ).

  88. DJ

    I’ve always been a non-conformist- but it wasn’t until I was introduced? to the alternative of libertarian did I realize there was such a thing, 15 years ago, IMS. The only other person who recognized my libertarian traits was my brother. Others just called me a trouble maker, and, I was, because I refused to conform. I determined early on (Goldwater campaign) that I was a Republican. My Southern Democrat Grandmother nearly had a stroke LOL. My brother, a couple of buddy’s on a message board and my oldest son influenced me to listen to Ron Paul (better than 40 years after my personal declaration) who I didn’t like because of his foreign policy, non-conformist, beliefs- but, I started paying attention to the truth and realized that there wasn’t a dimes worth of difference in D and R politicians- I discovered they had conformed (outside their rhetoric) to the same policy’s that count- the R’s and D’s I know, at times, make fun of me but can’t argue against me, politically- they shut down or get the glassy eyed deer in the head lights look- it’s then that my lifetime of Natural non-conformity comes in handy because I am used to the indifference.

    My political conversion? has led me to look at things differently- everything. And has led me to being even stronger in my non-conformity. My youngest son calls me a free spirit- as we all should be. However, if we all were non-conformist (free spirits) then wouldn’t that be a form of conformity? I’ve never been a joiner. But, in order to be a part of a bigger, more powerful movement?, regardless of it’s goals, that requires a conformity to the groups beliefs/guidance acquiescing etc. I won’t, under any circumstances. But, I will strive to leave my space a little better than I found it. Will that ever lead others to a utopian society? LOL. I hope not- ultimately that is a conformity as well as an impossibility, even and maybe especially politically.

    I think being libertarian is enough. Demanding is demanding no matter what the desired outcome. The Libertarian Movement is a flash in the pan- just like any group. The Individual will survive- groups not so much. That’s not to say preaching, even to the choir, isn’t a good thing- but I’d not pin any hopes on it accomplishing mass conversion(s)- which is the why I learned to be an advocate of the Individual. The Individual chooses his direction based on his desires and perceived needs- groups, by definition are the antithesis of Individual and will at some point, likely sooner rather than later, abuse or disrespect the Individual because groups are part and parcel to conformity.

    But, carry on guys and gals. I enjoy the different presentations and realize education is not biased in it’s origin and will evolve (or manifest itself) in ways unimaginable- (I learned that from Rush Limbaugh) LOL.

  89. robert capozzi

    Starchild: you think they, and Rand and Rothbard, are either evil, stupid, or both, and in my view that tone does them an injustice.

    Me: As a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery myself, I’m sorry it comes across to you that way since it’s not my view. My perspective is the Founders were well-intentioned and bright. Rand herself made some key mistakes in her philosophy, and the excesses in the Foundational Documents are manifestations of those mistakes.

    Starchild: Quoting Whitaker Chambers’ unjustified smear of Ayn Rand equating her with people like the Nazis, as if it tells us something useful about her and her adherents, says a lot.

    Me: It’s overwrought and hyperbolic, yes, but there is a heavy judgmentalism throughout her writings. There are other ways of being virtuous that involve forgiveness and open-mindedness that are more aligned with peace and liberty.

    Starchild: it seems to me that you spend more time/energy arguing against freedom than for it.

    Me: In recent years, my only political expression is here on IPR in the commentariat. Of that time, nearly 100% is spent arguing for lessarchism. Advocating for edgy-not-fringy positions is not “against” freedom. Rather, I’m suggesting a more viable approach in terms of strategy and marketing.

    As for persuading you, I only wish the best for you. I have no expectations one way or another. I think I may well “get” your perspective far more than may seem apparent to you, and you sometimes do see to “get” mine to some degree, and that I greatly appreciate. Some NAPsters don’t, as they tend to parrot back the NAPster line without at least acknowledging another possible way forward.

    I will say that in my case by questioning the premises of NAPsterism, I broke the chains of that thought system. It’s quite liberating, in my experience. I do enjoy sharing that liberation with those still imprisoned.

    To be clear, it’s possible that it’s I who’ve made the mistake. It’s possible that NAPsterism is the optimal political thought system. I’ve just seen no evidence for it.

  90. DJ

    RC: Rand herself made some key mistakes in her philosophy, and the excesses in the Foundational Documents are manifestations of those mistakes.

    It’s overwrought and hyperbolic, yes, but there is a heavy judgmentalism throughout her writings.

    Me: Introspection- a wonderful word.

  91. DJ

    Robert, you’re way too high brow. This is a fucking message board dude, not an essay writing contest grading eloquence- lighten up.
    Your commentary in the commentariat doesn’t advocate what you claim. As Starchild said you mostly argue against -albeit with 25cent words. You put yourself on a pedestal using inflammatory ism’s and sters pejoratively which is a negative and not at all persuasive, In fact I’d wager it has the opposite effect- now, that may be your desire. If so, congratulations. Otherwise- introspection.

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