The current incarnation of the LP radical caucus was created in 2006 by Susan Hogarth and other party members unhappy with the outcome of the 2006 party platform vote.
Radical Caucus Key Points
The Radical Caucus believes these four points are key strategic principles in furthering the work of the Libertarian Party toward, as our platform describes it, “a world set free in our lifetime”.
1. Rights Are Utilitarian The central commitment of the Libertarian Party should be to individual liberty. Our goal should be to illustrate convincingly that there is no essential separation between rights and utilitarianism – that is, the morally correct choice will always yield the most benefit for the greatest number of people.
2. Radical Abolitionism As the word radical means “going to the root” of something, radical Libertarians should not merely propose small changes to the status quo and debate the fine points of government policy with the opponents of freedom. Instead, Libertarians must always make clear that the outright removal of the injustice and interference of the State is our ultimate goal. Speaking from our basic principles avoids the quagmire of self-imposed, obligatory gradualism. Rather than offering compromise, we should demand what we really seek — a free society — and let our opponents offer the compromises.
3. Principled Populism The Libertarian Party should be a mass-participation party operating in the electoral arena and elsewhere, devoted to consistent libertarian principle, and committed to liberty and justice for all. The Libertarian Party should trust in and rely on individuals to welcome a program of liberty and justice and should always aim to convince people of the soundness of libertarian principles. Simply repeating our basic principles and not proposing transition measures is ineffective in the short run because only a small part of the populace is interested in liberty in the abstract, and hiding or abandoning our principled positions is ineffective in the long run because it fails to sustain us as a movement and attract and retain new Libertarians.
4. No Particular Order The removal of one harmful government policy should never be held hostage for the removal of another, as this throws self-imposed barriers in the path of liberty and removes potential pressures for change. For example, saying that borders may be opened only after welfare is eliminated is unacceptable; the proper position is to push for both changes. Should we succeed in achieving open borders only to find that welfare burdens are increased, this should be used as an additional argument to abolish welfare.
The LP Radical Caucus Believes
1. The Libertarian Party should support individual liberty because it’s the right thing to do, and because it’s the best way to benefit the greatest number of people.
2. The Libertarian Party is the only political party that traditionally advocates for real freedom from government interference. We should emphasize this revolutionary approach rather than watering it down with such uninspiring language as the current slogan “Smaller Government… Lower Taxes… More Freedom…” which is a de facto endorsement of the status quo.
3. Our language should inspire by reflecting our goals, not the compromises we may have to accept on the way to gaining them. The Libertarian Party should be active in all areas of the political sphere with the expectation that individuals who hear and understand our message of freedom and the steps we can take today to increase liberty will choose to join enthusiastically in our journey.
4. The Libertarian Party should always steadfastly oppose harmful government policies, regardless of any promise that supporting one bad policy will ensure that another is abolished.
The caucus maintains a members-only, moderated yahoo group. Until yesterday, the caucus also had a discussion group, meant to separate the discussion of theoretical issues of libertarian philosophy among radical libertarians away from the main list, which carries the disclaimer “This list is here to facilitate development of strategy and the accomplishing of specific tasks to strengthen the Libertarian Party as a radical political party. This is not a general discussion list about libertarianism or radicalism. If you are looking for a discussion of radical libertarianism, please join the group lpradicals-discuss.”
As of yesterday, the discuss list has been disabled: “This was the open discussion list for the LP Radical Caucus, but has been disabled due to spamming and intolerable behavior.” Less well known is that since January 2008, the radical caucus has also maintained http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LPRadicals-Debate, which is unmoderated except for new members: “This list is for open discussion between radical & reformer LP members. It is intended to be a space where the debate is unmoderated and all ideas from both camps are encouraged.” It has not been used very much, however.
Yesterday, Mike Nelson (AKA disinter) started a new, entirely unmoderated yahoo group for LP radicals (not officially endorsed by the caucus): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/radicalcaucus/, “Un-moderated discussion group for the Libertarian Caucus of the Libertarian Party.” When asked “is this a new caucus (Libertarian Caucus?) or supposed to be an unofficial space for the existing radical caucus?” Nelson replied “It is simply a place for members of the radical caucus, sometimes referred to as the libertarian caucus, and like-minded individuals to discuss issues.”
Disclosure: I am a moderator of the mostly dormant LPradicals-debate, and the only other person besides Mike Nelson to join his new yahoo group so far.