Libertarian Presidential Hopeful Looks To Build A Bigger Tent

Declared 2012 Libertarian Party presidential hopeful Tom Knapp writes today:

[…] There are lines and limits to be drawn if the Libertarian Party’s “purists” and “pragmatists” are going to work together […].   What set of fundamental beliefs is common to the Libertarian Party’s fundamentalists and to those whom the LP hopes to lure into a “bigger tent”? […] Brian Holtz has proposed a “St. Louis Accord” which implicitly addresses that question. It’s a proposal I can endorse as is, but I’m going to tinker with it a bit:

The Party’s purpose role is to implement and give voice to the its Statement of Principles by uniting voters who want more personal and economic liberty behind the electoral choices and policy proposals that will most which move public policy in a libertarian direction. The Party’s ultimate goal is to banish force initiation and fraud from human relationships. The Party does not claim to know how close our society can come to this ideal, but we are united in our conviction that governments must never add to the amount of aggression in the world. Principled libertarians can disagree about how best to reduce aggression or even about what can count as aggression, but we are united in defending the full rights of each person to his body, labor, peaceful production, and voluntary exchanges. Principled libertarians can disagree about whether every function of government can be performed by the free market, but we are united in opposing government’s growth beyond the protection of the rights of every individual to her life, liberty and property and in supporting reduction of the size, scope and power of government to bring it within those boundaries. Principled libertarians can disagree about how best we may each serve the cause of freedom, but we are determined to build a Party that welcomes and unites all those who want more personal and economic liberty. We defenders of freedom are too few, and the enemies of freedom are too many, for us to indulge in seeking heretics in our midst, rather than awakening allies across this freedom-loving land.

Separately, Holtz (this reporter) wrote yesterday:

Factional tensions unfortunately make the LP institutionally incapable of writing detailed official party statements about specific policy issues. […] The good news is: the LP doesn’t need to write its own detailed policy proposals. The freedom movement is bountifully blessed with a dozen think tanks

that specialize in writing policy proposals for a variety of audiences. Below I link to thousands of pages of position statements that our candidates can choose from. […]

63 thoughts on “Libertarian Presidential Hopeful Looks To Build A Bigger Tent

  1. Brian Holtz

    1) Who counts as a “fundamentalist” depends on what counts as the foundation. For example, we geominarchist fundamentalists say that everybody else is weak on recognizing that pollution and appropriating ground rent are aggressions that should not be sanctioned by the absence of an adequate institutional framework to police them. Let’s not smuggle into a discussion about ecumenicism an assumption that some Pope of Libertarianism has identified the One True Fundamental Faith. 🙂 The lack of agreement about such is the very reason we’re having this discussion. Otherwise, we could have the Pope issue a detailed encyclical, and all of us libertarian sinners could redouble our efforts to conform to her infallible guidance, and Big Tent becomes just “love the sinner but hate the sin”. Of course, Pope Ruwart The First would be a cool name for a pope… 🙂

    2) Since the Bylaws already talk about “Purposes”, it’s indeed better not to use this word. “Role” seems a little vague, and while some vagueness in this text is by design, I’d be willing to rankle my pragmatist friends and use “mission” here. I don’t quite agree with my friends who say that the mission of the LP is simply to put L’s into office. That’s not the only way to use electoral politics to move public policy in a libertarian direction.

    3) Tom in fact makes the same pragmatists’ mistake back in the first paragraph of his uncut blog posting, where he says: “To give the ‘pragmatists’ their due, if the fundamental beliefs in question — and the party pitching them– can’t be sold to a plurality of voters in a given electoral contest, those beliefs and $3.49 plus tax will get you an iced latte at McDonald’s, politically speaking.” That gives away too much to the pragmatists. If LP candidates started consistenly claiming the votes of even half of the 13%-19% of Americans who poll in the libertarian quadrant, it would surely result in moving public policy in a libertarian direction. Even though I hold elective office, my plan of record for the LP is get our policies co-opted. D/R politicians love power too much to stand on their nanny-state “principles” and thus lose elections to L politicians. They will give us however much freedom they think they have to give us in order for them to stay in office. They’re not about to go down with the ship (of nanny state). They’re politicians, not ogres. This is Public Choice 101.

    4) Re: “electoral choices and policy proposals” — a bit broad. I think it was Susan Hogarth who has suggested something like “electoral and legislative choices” here, pointing out that our voting power should also be used to herd the policy-makers we elect. Any one of these three options is fine with me.

    5) I’m too much of a radical to be happy with merely rallying “behind choices which move public policy in a libertarian direction”. However, I acknowledge the epistemological problem in saying “which most move public policy”. I can live with this change if so-called radicals can, but I’d like to see something less timid.

    6) Re: size/scope/power — grafting in Tom’s World’s Smallest Political Platform here seems a bit wordy, and I don’t see how it changes the meaning. If the worry here is that it doesn’t say we want to undo the growth that happened against our opposition, I just don’t think that anybody would read it that way. But if others have that worry, then maybe instead of “united in opposing government’s growth…”, we could say “united in resisting and reversing government’s growth…”

  2. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    Now, more than ever, our enemies are the proponents of the “cult of the omnipotent state.”
    We need to stop bashing those of us who differ on six jots or three tittles of libertarian philosophy (assuming there is one true philsophy). Dammit, ever one of us who posts here will not agree 100% on anything or with everything any LP candidate decides to print in his brochure or speak from the podium. Yes, there are litmus test issues – reinstating the draft, for instance – that would put some beyond the pale and, yes, there has to be a substantial and recognizable gap between the policies advanced by Libertarians and those advanced by Republicans and Democrats.

    And, yes, as Mr. Holtz says above, I don’t care if the LP ever wins if our policies are co-opted by the other parties in an effort to win the votes of those who hold to those policies.

    We have to start achieving the balance of power in races for that to happen. We have to convince 5 or 10% of the voters that 1)the LP’s views are better for America, and 2)their vote isn’t wasted because being the balance of power is more valuable in politics than being another vote submerged in the mis-mash of statist ideas propounded by the traditional parties.

    We have to have the courage to be visibily different and we have to convince voters, who agree with us, to have the courage to vote their convictions.

    Unfortunately, over 37 years, we’ve yet to figure out how to do this.

  3. John Famularo

    “Unfortunately, over 37 years, we’ve yet to figure out how to do this.”

    Right, if you assume the LP is actually trying to do something.

    As I see it the LP is only trying to maintain its existance; and has been successful at that so far.

  4. Brian Holtz

    I totally agree that the Wasted Vote Fallacy is by far our biggest problem. We need to target that issue much more intensely.

    I started thinking about it in (what is to me) a new way this week, as I was back in touch with a friend who has pretty much burnt out on LP activism. I’m thinking of saying to him something like:

    Imagine that the Ds and Rs managed to simply outlaw all other parties. Then imagine that we Libertarians had waged a multi-decade battle to strike down or repeal that law, and just this week we were finally allowed to engage in electoral politics as Libertarians.

    How would you react to that opportunity?

    And why shouldn’t you react to THIS election season in the same way?

    Maybe similar rhetoric could work on voters, too:

    If voting Libertarian were illegal, wouldn’t you demand the right to do it? The only wasted vote is the one that says that Left and Right give you all the choice you need.

  5. Michael seebeck

    A good one from last weekend’s SoCal Conference:

    “Not left, not right–FORWARD! Vote Libertarian.”

  6. Brian Holtz

    Strangely enough, the Greens try to use this slogan too. Google searches suggest that it’s used 10X more often by Ls than Gs.

    I confess that I cannot even imagine how Greens think they are distinguishable from the Left. Here’s what I get when I plug the Green platform into a Nolan-chart quiz:

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    You write:

    “Who counts as a ‘fundamentalist’ depends on what counts as the foundation.”

    That’s true, but there’s more to it than that — like who does the counting, and how much importance they place on the counting.

    In describing the party’s Rothbardians, Objectivists, and other “non-aggression-principle-centric” types as the Libertarian Party’s “fundamentalists,” I’m not trying to advance an argument that they are correct in their assertions as to what constitutes the “foundation” of libertarianism, even though I think they largely are.

    Rather, I am arguing that the set of things which constitute “fundamental beliefs” for a political party isn’t necessarily the full set of beliefs which constitute “fundamental beliefs” for one of that party’s ideological sects, even if that sect happens to be the most loudly “fundamentalist” in attitude in the party.

    I hate to resort to analogy to religion — especially since I know that someone will pipe up with assertions as to elitism, etc., when I’m just trying to point out a differentiation of belief rather than of status — but try this on for size:

    There are probably significant differences between the “fundamental beliefs” of a member of the Catholic Worker movement on one hand and a member of Opus Dei on the other, and just a plain old local parishioner on a third hand. But their beliefs overlap to a significant enough extent to allow them all to be functional members of a third group (the Holy Roman Catholic Church), because that third group embodies a smaller set of beliefs they all hold in common. Can you identify the one who’d most frequently be labeled “fundamentalist” in that analogy? I think you can, even if you don’t agree that that person’s beliefs are fundamental to the concept of catholicism.

  8. Bill Wood

    I feel the factions with in the LP will never come together, as witnessed by the actions of some when Bob Barr won the nomination and the actions of some regarding people like Wayne Allen Root. We can not work together, which is sad . We saw some walk away from the LP, partly due to Ron Paul, and also with the Bob Barr nomiation. Those who failed to support the LP Candidate or the Party I think made a big mistake. If those folks regain control of the LP, I think 60 to 70 % of the Membership will leave.

  9. Vaughn

    Where are they going to leave to? People haven’t been able to embrace 3rd parties BECA– USE of factionalism within the 3rd parties.

  10. Bill Wood

    Many will just give up, some might go to the Rep/Dem, some to another third Party, some might even try to form another party, lile some of the anti-Barr LP people did. I’m finding playing Mafia Wars probably geting more done than staying with the LP.

  11. Richard Winger

    comment #4 seems to be disdainful of the Libertarian Party having survived and continuously run candidates for 37 years. But in all U.S. history, the only nationally-organized political parties that ran candidates for as long as 37 years have been the Democratic, Republican, Prohibition, Socialist Labor, Socialist, Communist, Socialist Workers, and Libertarian Parties, only 8 parties in a national history of over 200 years. The Libertarian Party is the only one on that list that was formed since World War II.

  12. ANOTHER GOOD SLOGAN

    ONLY YOU CAN CHANGE THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM: STOP THE ADDICTION!

    VOTE ALLYN WAYNE ROOT

  13. Don Lake, late at night

    Fifty One choices for Miss America
    Only Two choices for President ?????

    Fascists and Communists
    One less choice than USA!

    Follow the Establishment Duopoly
    They’re right behind us ………..

  14. TiredOfTheSOLPBullshit

    On a sort of related note, Steve Gordon’s new company seems to be starting off with a medium bang. They (http://www.forwardfocusmedia.com) seem to be working for the (local Libertarian favorite at the moment) presumptive new Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. Loretta Nall says this is the best shot to take out the current pervo in office. Rumors suggest they are working for Joe Scarborough, too. They have at least 6/7 state legislative races right now, most of which will win mostly because Libertarians are not talking about them. I hear (but have no evidence) that they are behind a bunch (on the internet and some DC media), at least) of the GOP candidates taking over Blue Dog districts for 2010.

    I was told by a friend they were involved in getting Fox News to work with John Stossel and Judge Napalitano and to start marketing to Libertarians. THE Babe Shana is his business partner and she’s pushing a conservative book which is a friendly to homeschoolers rag. He just won a Birmingham City Council race with sort of an undercover Dr. Jimmy Blake candidate (http://www.bhamweekly.com/2009/10/07/birmingham-city-council-runoff-rundown/) and he contacted me about a new libertarian organization fighting Medicare in the federal courts. According to local papers, he beat a 2-time incumbent bigtime in his hometown.

    I’m also hearing from a bunch of states that he wrote or had some role in writing their legislation for RealID, Medical Marijuana, state/individuals opting out of ObamaCare, a 2A issue that I don’t know the details about, and the right of people to keep and bear sex toys.

    I bring this up because Gordon is one of the few people in the LP (like Knapp and Holtz and Phillies on medication days) who seem to get the big picture. Aside from LibertyMix, Gordon usually accomplishes things, too.

    Is there some way you all can get together? If not, I’ll hide in my hole for another decade or so.

  15. paulie

    @23 Who is “you all” in your last paragraph?

    I’d be happy to hear your ideas and help in what ways I can.

    I know Steve and Shana and the other people you mentioned and I could probably get some things done if someone bothered to tell me what they want me to do. I can be a business partner, independent contractor, idea bouncing board, gofer/grunt, or cash-only off the books employee. I don’t do resumes; give me a call and let me know what needs doing, and there’s a fair chance I can get it done or know someone who can.

    BTW thanks for reminding me, I need to give Steve another call about the Other Joe Kennedy campaign in Mass.

    http://joekennedyforsenate.com/

    I haven’t been online the last few weeks and still need to minimize my internet time for the next few weeks as well. Best to reach me by phone:

    415-690-6352.

    -p

  16. paulie

    Brian,

    I confess that I cannot even imagine how Greens think they are distinguishable from the Left. Here’s what I get when I plug the Green platform into a Nolan-chart quiz….

    We’ve had this discussion before, and I don’t have time now, but very briefly, A) your quiz (or David’s) is only one of many ways to model the political landscape, B) It covers and emphasizes some issues but not many others and does not weigh issue importance, C) There are many more conceptions of “green” than GPUS, and under some of them you or I or both are also greens, D) “Left” and “right” are variable terms with different meanings to different people.

    As for greens being neither left nor right, this can certainly be true. There are people who consider environmental issues to be some of or the most important issues there are all over your (or Nolan’s) chart, from liberals to socialists to libertarians to fascists and even some conservatives and centrists.

    The platform of the GPUS is not the entire GPUS by any stretch, and the GPUS is far from being the whole of the worldwide green movement. Your chart cherry-picks a selection of a few issues and frames them in a certain way.

    Bottom line, it is no more true that all greens are on the left than that all libertarians are on the right (or left).

    No time to follow up any time soon; I was only able to leave this comment due to severe insomnia and a lack of desire to ask people for signatures or count and sort signatures at 4-something AM. Sorry for the hit and run.

    -p

  17. Don Lake, late at night

    Oh, my experience with Mister Gordon, he is one of the LAST folks to have a glimpse of the so called big picture! I know he has a legion of loyal friends, but I regard his behavior, time after time, as that of a mental midget!

  18. JT

    Re Post #2: You say Libertarians have to stop arguing for agreement on the proper role of government. Then you say there are “litmus test” issues, including the draft. Why is this a litmus test issue? Why not the Drug War? Why not the Income Tax? Why not the Patriot Act? Why not “preemptive” (i.e. aggressive) War? By what objective standard do you decide which are litmus test issues and which are just secondary matters of opinion?

    Many other Libertarians, including LP founder David Nolan, have tried to do that in the past. But all of their justifications have amounted to saying, “This is a litmus test issue because I think it’s vitally important and care about it more than other issue.” There might issues beyond which Libertarians should agree to disagree, but there must be some *objective reason* given as to why certain positions are essential and others aren’t. If you can’t provide that, then you have no logical basis to declare that there are any litmus test issues whatsoever.

  19. Can't believe some of this

    I love how people praise what you call Medical Marijuana, same sex marriages, gay rights. OH YEAAA this is going to get us votes. Oh yea the people going to notice us. How about some real issues here. Like property taxes, freedom, stop the illegals. Some people who praise on the soddem and gommorrah stuff is expecting to get a majority to vote for them, yeah right.

  20. Tom Blanton

    Is post @ 31 supposed to be funny?

    If not, then the circus tent may already be too big and the LP should start concentrating on acquiring clown shoes and more red noses.

    If #31 is supposed to be funny, it is a brilliant parody of the red-state fascist.

  21. Susan Hogarth

    Bill Wood writes:

    Those who failed to support the LP Candidate or the Party I think made a big mistake. If those folks regain control of the LP, I think 60 to 70 % of the Membership will leave.

    Bill, are you saying that if people who failed to support the LP come back and DO support it, 2/3 of the membership will … well, fail to support the Party? Wouldn’t that be a ‘big mistake’?

  22. Brian Holtz

    http://www.365gay.com/news/pew-research-poll-majority-supports-civil-unions-same-sex-marriage/

    A new report based on a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that a clear majority of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples, a status commonly known as civil unions.

    Conducted Aug. 11-27 among 4,013 adults, the poll also finds that 53% oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, compared with 39% who support same-sex marriage.

    Gay marriage polls way higher than many of the LP’s positions. This is a parade — no, a steamroller — that we need to be well out in front of, even as we remind people that our ultimate goal is separation of marriage and state (i.e. making marriage just another kind of contract).

  23. Bill Wood

    Yes Susan , but it is difficult to mend fences with those who “stabb” you in the back.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    Regarding the “litmus test” issue of the draft, consider this:

    I cannot imagine a conventional situation in which I could support the draft. But, even on that one, my view is it’s unwise to make an absolutist statement about it.

    Say, for example, Susan Hogarth were President. Marc Montoni, Secretary of Defense. Tom Blanton, Secretary of State. I’m Susan’s Axelrod. The Earth is being attacked by aliens. Near as we can tell as we’re meeting in the bunker under the White House, they are on the march, wiping out the human population. The only hope for any of us to survive is to marshal all resources, including drafting all able-bodied citizens, to stop the onslaught. The Joint Chiefs have a long-shot plan that just might save us, but it requires millions of people.

    Blanton pounds the table against the draft. Red-faced, veins bulging from his neck, he makes an impassioned case that a draft violates the NAP.

    When my turn came to speak, I’d say there is no NAP with no people. In this situation, the principle of survival trumps even the involuntary servitude of the draft.

    …OK, OK, I’ll report now to the LeFevre Re-Education Camp and A Priori Praxeology Center to get my head right… 😉

  25. Michael H. Wilson

    Robert given the U.S. history of involving this country in the domestic affairs of other nations and the emphasis on manifest destiny we are more likely to see a U.S. invasion of their planet.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Your first mistake is thinking of people as “resources” for you to “marshal.” They aren’t. Their lives belong to them, not to you. No amount of thumping the table and insisting that your superior mind or your possession of superior information entitles you to enslave them will change that.

    Your second mistake is in assuming that conscription is a more feasible option from your hypothetical bunker in your hypothetical situation than calling for volunteers is.

  27. Tom Blanton

    Bob, when the aliens come, I hope you would be out there with your homemade nuclear device and your secret ray gun fighting the evil bastards voluntarily, without being drafted.

    I would be very disappointed if you and Mr. Holtz were trying to negotiate some sort of deal to save your own butts with some kind of anal probes for peace scheme at the expense of the human race.

    When Pearl Harbor was bombed, kids were lying about their age in order to sign up for military duty. They didn’t even have to be asked to volunteer.

    Oh, by the way, I assume you are talking about evil space aliens attacking the “Earth” as opposed to Mexican folks “attacking” American soil. If you’re talking about Mexicans, you need to get with the guy who posted @ #31

  28. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, your comment reminds me why I recommended you as Attorney General to President-Elect Hogarth during the transition. Your legalistic precision has been useful in undoing much of the USG during the Hogarth Administration.

    However, in this case, the only relevant issue is whether the President will call up the militia in force to repel the invaders from another planet. Secretary Montoni and Homeland Security Secretary Sipos have not come up with a better plan than the Joint Chiefs’s Project Expunge.

    Whether we call it a “draft” or something else, we need most able-bodied adults to have a chance at repelling the Zarconians. Even if we call it a “draft,” we don’t expect every single person to show up at their state and county armories.

    Only President Hogarth can make this call. If she refuses the “draft,” we’re all dead, that’s for sure.

    That is, unless Governor Milnes has some secret Mystical PLAS Powers that can send the Zarconians back to Zarconia 😉

  29. Tom Blanton

    “Whether we call it a “draft” or something else, we need most able-bodied adults to have a chance at repelling the Zarconians. Even if we call it a “draft,” we don’t expect every single person to show up at their state and county armories.”

    I think what Bob is saying is that even though he is calling for a draft (but maybe calling it something else), he won’t be showing up.

    I believe the correct label for this would be neoconservatism. Some might call it Chickenhawkachist.

  30. Robert Capozzi

    tb: When Pearl Harbor was bombed, kids were lying about their age in order to sign up for military duty. They didn’t even have to be asked to volunteer.

    me: Atomistic, absolutist Ls often use this sort of argumentation. It is filled with holes. First, there actually WAS a draft for WWII. Second, yes, there is anecdotal evidence that a draft is not required to raise an army.

    As I’ve indicated, I don’t support a draft. Somehow or other, you seem unable to grasp that. Under extreme circumstances, my strong opposition to X might be trumped by condition Y.

    But this is why I recommended you to President Elect Hogarth. Your inscrutable negotiating style has served the Hogarth Administration well. Your ability to reign confusion and misdirection has bought us time to undo large swaths of the State.

  31. Michael H. Wilson

    RC you need to take a position grounded in reality. Just bring all the troops home and maybe if we had not tried to annex your favorite planet they would not have felt compelled to attack. After all we just wanted to convert them to Christianity and open the door to trade, or so the politicians told the nation in the prior adminstration and the press bought that story hook, line and sinker. Now the new administration has to deal with the problem.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    mhw, thanks. I DO take that position of bringing the troops home.

    However, I don’t have a problem with a small squad of Marines posted to embassies. Speaking of which, I don’t have a problem with embassies!

    Now, I’m open to the possibility that there may be a day when embassies are unneeded and indeed unwise. Some day before that joyous day, perhaps embassies could be funded by the sale of national parks or somesuch.

    The thrust of my comment is to suggest Ls get MORE real. Absolutist application of the NAP opens Ls and L-ism up to ridicule by taking absolutist positions in a relativistic world.

    IMO.

  33. Susan Hogarth

    First, there actually WAS a draft for WWII.

    Sure, they had to dig out the people who realized it little nothing more than a colossal colonial-war clusterfuck. When people thought it was about defending their home, no draft needed. When they realized they’d been played for suckers yet again, back to slavery.

  34. Susan Hogarth

    The thrust of my comment is to suggest Ls get MORE real.

    Umm, wait. The guys talking about space invasions is the one who thinks he’s making the conversation ‘more real’? wtf?

    Absolutist application of the NAP opens Ls and L-ism up to ridicule by taking absolutist positions in a relativistic world.

    Are you sure of that?

  35. Robert Capozzi

    sh, Einstein put it well: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

    I used a most far-fetched fantasy at another level to illustrate the challenge of applying NAP absolutism to all situations. That, and I enjoyed immensely to idea of a President Hogarth!

    You are quite correct, though, that NAP-ism doesn’t necessarily lead to ridicule and discreditation among The Normals. It’s certainly been my general experience, although there are exceptions. Occasionally one meets someone who’s open to and buys into NAP absolutism. Again, very rare in my experience. Heck, I bought it for a while!

  36. Susan Hogarth

    I used a most far-fetched fantasy at another level to illustrate the challenge of applying NAP absolutism to all situations.

    Oh, please. A fantasy that consists of “In this situation nothing but a draft will work. Would you favor a draft then?”, constitutes neither a thought experiment nor an illustration, only a refusal to grapple with reality.

    Here’s the logic fail you’re experiencing, in case you care to know:

    1) You imagine a situation in which voluntary labor does not always accomplish what you want accomplished.

    2) You imagine that if you enslaved people, then the thing would get accomplished (you don’t know how, but hey, that’s not your problem).

    3) Therefore you suggest that slavery should be kept around as a possible tool ‘just in case’.

    That works for ANYthing. It’s a total underpants-gnome thing:

    1) Capozzi agrees (reluctantly) to employ slave labor to get something he really wants but can’t think of another way to get.
    2) ????
    3) Capozzi gets what he wants!!

    You like these fantasies? Imagine one where ‘President Capozzi’ needs to rape two men, a woman, and a child of either sex in order to stave off a a giant nuke-equipped trolley heading into downtown Hiroshima, set in motion by the Evil Genius, who has rigged up a switch that will stop the trolley on your actions. Will he do it? Does he care enough about the tens of thousands of peeps in Hiroshima to save them at great personal cost to a few?

    I mean, if you’re going to fantasize, make it something interesting. Me in a bunker with Marc and Tom sounds fine enough to me, but it’s a situation with limited commercial possibilities, if you get my meaning. Let’s spice it up a bit.

  37. Robert Capozzi

    sh, I’ve not suggested keeping anything “around,” per se. I’m acknowledging that exigent circumstances challenge pre-conceived constructs.

    But, now I WILL suggest “keeping the State around” for a while. Not because I approve of the State per se, but because the alternative in the short run would, in my judgment, be worse. Yes, I suppose that’s a function of “what I want,” but it’s also a function of what, near as I can tell, virtually all citizens want.

    I seem to recall that from an atomistic, absolutist NAP perspective, the State itself is slavery, since a monopoly force of any sort is slavery, yes? We’ve a history of “slavery,” since virtually all of history involve state’s and subjugation, viewed through the NAP prism.

    That’s certainly A way to perceive the world. Whether it’s the ONLY way to perceive the world is false.

    A may well = A, but what about the other 25 letters? 😉

  38. Susan Hogarth

    I can act presidential:

    Montoni, throw this bum Capozzi out of the bunker. Give him a pistol – *after* he’s out.

    Blanton, where’s my goddamn skateboard!? And my P90?

    Boys, let’s get the hell out of this tomb that’s painted “shoot me” and do some shooting ourselves!

  39. Susan Hogarth

    Bob, after you concoct a plausible scenario whereby a draft can ‘save us from the Zarconians,’ I’ll concoct one in which rape serves the same function.

    You first.

  40. Michael H. Wilson

    The button to save the world from the Zarconians is at the bottom of an overflowing septic tank. That button must be located in five minutes and only Robert Capozzi is in the location near enough to get to the button. There is no scuba equipment nearby. Does Robert jump into the pool sans equipment filled with human waste to find the button and save the world?

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    “First, there actually WAS a draft for WWII.”

    Yes, there was — but at least during the early part of the war, the draft wasn’t due to a dearth of recruits, it was due to the government’s desire to impose a certain form of organization on enlistments.

    Read Frederick Pohl’s autobiography, The Way the Future Was. He started trying to enlist in December of 1941, and was only able to finally get in in 1943 … by receiving a draft notice. There were more people trying to get into the military through that period than there were facilities to accommodate them, train them, etc., and the government resorted to using the draft mechanism to simplify the logistics.

    Later in the war — when both the Third Reich and the Empire of Japan were putting out peace feelers and being told no, only unconditional surrender would work — the military seems to have started running up against more people who didn’t want to go and fewer people who were waiting to go but had been told “we’ll send you a draft notice when we want you.”

  42. Tom Blanton

    Evil Vampire Zombies have taken over the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. Many Americans have fallen victim to the mysterious mind control techniques used by the powerful Vampires.

    The evil ones have wrought death, destruction and despair across the entire globe. Millions of people suffer from depression. Although nearly drowned out by the happy talk gibberish of moderate Zombies, some are talking about abolishing this hideous nightmare they are calling a government.

    Will Robert Capozzi take a stand against the horrifying spector of the undead government or will he merely drool and babble zombie platitudes? Will he stand with those who insist that the madness stop, or will he wimper and join forces with the blood-sucking parasites that seek to destroy humanity, shamelessly seeking their approval for a handful of dead flies?

  43. Robert Capozzi

    I suspect anyone would tolerate unpleasantness to save the world, including me.

    So, the more interesting response is from the person who’d NOT do it. That’d be tantamount to a genocide/suicide. I’d be curious to find out what makes THAT person tick.

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