Liberty Point: ‘How serious is the Libertarian Party about being taken seriously?’

Posted by Brian at Liberty Point:

That’s a good question, I’m glad you asked.

Rhys M. Blavier asks this question in an article on Liberty for All. He concludes with a positive rephrase of the oft cited Ronald Reagan quote.

“Government is not the solution. It is the problem — which we must learn to solve.”

I like his rephrase much better.

“Libertarianism must end its stunted childhood,” Rhys writes. “To become meaningful, we must move it beyond a simply philosophy into a practical vision for realistic government.”

Then he posits a serious of questions. I’ve asked myself similar questions, and that’s why I set up this website to promote practical and principled politics for libertarians.

  • There will be government, so how can we improve it?
  • There will be taxes, so how can we make them beneficial rather than draconian?
  • A movement can not succeed simply by being against things, so what are we for?
  • What is the role of government?
  • What is the purpose of laws?“
  • For whom do we speak?“
  • To whom do we speak?“
  • How do we become perceived as being inclusive and not exclusive?

Let the positive thinking begin.

via Liberty For All » Blog Archive » How serious is the Libertarian Party about being taken seriously?.

8 thoughts on “Liberty Point: ‘How serious is the Libertarian Party about being taken seriously?’

  1. Eric Sundwall

    bakatcha Rhys:

    1. How should ballot access laws be fixed ?

    2. Beyond movements and interests what role does a third party ever realistically play ?

    3. What have you run for recently or helped with ?

    4. How does ‘meaningful’ immediately parlay into practical realism ?

    5. Media expectation is driven by results which typically only fall into an either/or scenario. Will you bring in a new breed of liberty candidate who can wield this issue ?

    6. How do other debating societies around the world fare when doing things all political ?

  2. Brian Holtz

    Rhys, you’re of course not alone in wanting the LP to become a viable force for moving public policy in a libertarian direction. In fact, nearly all Libertarians want that. Some of us are online here: http://reformthelp.org

    I agree completely with your motives and goals, so (in typical Libertarian fashion) I’ll only write about a few disagreements about strategy and tactics.

    1) You say Ed Clark’s presidential candidacy turned you into a Libertarian, and then you say we shouldn’t run presidential candidates. I want more people like you in the LP, so I favor running more Ed Clarks for president.

    2) I can’t agree that the LP is perceived as being part of the “religious” right. Our positions have been consistently pro-choice and pro- personal freedom, and I’m pretty sure the LP has never invoked any deities in its publications or national meetings.

    3) Libertarian campaign resources aren’t really fungible in the way you seem to think they are. Nearly all LP campaigns are self-financed by our candidates, and there isn’t much hope in getting our candidates to stand down en masse and focus their resources on a few races. However, there is an LP organization that seeks to focus LP contributions in a similar way: http://www.lncc.org/. I hope that all Libertarians who favor your strategy will donate generously to this effort.

    4) I agree that being a swing minority voting bloc in a legislature could help us move public policy. I think the same is true for being a swing voting bloc in elections themselves. I agree with a strategy of not opposing a major-party candidate when 1) he is sufficiently better than his major-party opponent and 2) the absence of LP opposition could plausibly tip the race to him. The Republican poster child here would obviously be Ron Paul. Who would you say is the Democrat poster child?

    5) I agree that now is a great time to weaken the Republican Party and recruit from the debris, but we must do so in a way that doesn’t make us seem more conservative/Right. Our branding must always say that we are the only choice that is neither Left nor Right, neither liberal nor conservative.

    6) Deference to the LP’s anarchists prevents the LP itself from officially saying very much in response to your excellent questions about the purpose of the State, how to reform taxes, etc. However, our Platform now gives room to both minarchist and anarchist candidates to offer their own best answers to your questions. My favorite answers are to promote 1) a strict interpretation of the Constitution and 2) a Green Tax Shift: http://knowinghumans.net/2008/01/tax-bads-and-untax-goods-with-green-tax.html

  3. Michael

    In response to this post:

    “2) I can’t agree that the LP is perceived as being part of the “religious” right. Our positions have been consistently pro-choice and pro- personal freedom, and I’m pretty sure the LP has never invoked any deities in its publications or national meetings.”

    If the basis of libertarian thought is the zero aggression principle then libertarians should be pro-life. Killing a baby, no matter how old is definitely an act of agression. I’ve seen many libertarians try to argue the issue on the basis of property rights, as if the baby is a trespasser on the mother’s property (her womb) this is a fallacious argument.

    I consider myself a pretty moderate libertarian but on the issue of abortion I strongly disagree with the LP platform. The platform basically says the issue should be left up to individuals, as if they somehow have to right to kill another person merely because they’re inconveniencing them.

  4. Mik Robertson

    @3 I agree the Green Tax Shift is a positive agenda that addresses many of the same problems the D’s and R’s try to address that can be put forward as a good alternative. It also something a lot of alternative candidates from different backgrounds can get behind.

  5. MAYBE YOU SHOULD WORRY ABOUT YOUR OWN SINS

    It should be left up to the people, it is between them and G-d, for you people to judge others you will have to deal with G-d your own selves for your own sins, and I am sure you are far from clean.

  6. Noah David Simon

    there is nothing to win in Afghan. war must have goals. our goal should be setting a punitive precedent to those that attack us and should never be about rebuilding our enemies. time to leave the Afghan and bomb Iran’s nuclear capability on the same day. we don’t need ground troops to do this. as for the Ron Paul’s of the world they have no creativity. their solutions are what led us into this mess to begin with. Paul forgets that the root of the problem began because of internationalist free trade that Ron is now pushing again. the West supported the Shah because he promised to pay back debts, but it is obvious that a free market in societies that are not ready is not the solution. Capitalism can not be internationalist and can only work within Republican frameworks. when I say Republican framework… I don’t mean the party, but rather I mean the idea of checks and balances within a border. Internationalist Anarcho-Capitalism aka Libertarianism is as bad as any other Internationalist theory without limit. it is nothing but the NWO in a new guise. It is no surprise that Ron Paul is appearing on Russian television all the time. the man obviously has bias and investment in those that would benefit from monopolizing resources like natural gas to Europe. It isn’t that Libertarianism is a theory it is rather that is is deliberate bias and orchestrated prejudice against what would be good for citizens of any Republic.

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