Dr. Tom Stevens: The Future Of The Libertarian Political Movement Conference In Manchester, New Hampshire Draws Few Attendees & Offers No Solutions To Revitalize The Libertarian Party

Sent to IPR by Dr. Tom Stevens:

Although I did not attend The Future of the Libertarian Political Movement conference in Manchester, New Hampshire on June 19, 2011, I compiled a few details and have written an article about the conference, which included the first Libertarian Presidential Debate:

http://drtomstevens.blogspot.com/2011/06/future-of-libertarian-political.html

In Liberty,

Dr. Tom Stevens

A one-day conference entitled The Future Of The Libertarian Political Movement was recently held on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at the Highlander Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire. George Phillies organized the conference, co-sponsored by the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire and the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts, and promised to cover any losses. He had support from his State Committee, Angela Keaton and Rich Tomasso.

The conference keynote speaker was Judge John Buttrick of Arizona who spoke at the luncheon. Other featured speakers included Angela Keaton of AntiWar.com and Outright Libertarians; Joe Kennedy, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate; Ernest Hancock, publisher of Freedom’s Phoenix; Mary Ruwart, author of “Healing our World” and member of the Libertarian National Committee, and Don Gorman, past LNC at-large representative, former Libertarian N.H. state representative and the most-elected libertarian in the country.

The conference featured the following panels and sessions, which were divided into two tracks:

■ Electronic Security and Activism in the Age of Anonymous

■ Campaigns for Congress and running large-scale campaigns

■ Future Outreach to Youth and Students

■ Future Outreach to the GLBTQ Community

■ Libertarians and the anti-war movement

■ Recruiting Candidates

■ New Hampshire Politics and the Free State Project

■ The State of the States and reviving state parties

The conference also featured the first debate of candidates seeking the Libertarian Party’s Presidential Nomination in 2012. To qualify for participation in the debate, candidates needed to prove they had an extended continuous record of Libertarian Party activism, completed their FEC filings and had a substantial campaign team in place. Three candidates qualified for participation: R. Lee Wrights of Texas, Carl Person of New York and Roger V. Gary of Texas. George Phillies moderated the debate.

The Massachusetts delegation promised to award one LPUS 2012 National Convention Delegate to the candidate who won the Straw Poll of attendees after the debate. Twenty-two people voted in the Straw Poll: 12 voted for R. Lee Wrights, 7 voted for Carl Person and 3 voted for Roger V. Gary. Wrights won the Massachusetts Delegate. The New Hampshire delegation caucused separately eventually committing one delegate to N.O.T.A. and one delegate to Albert Max Abramson, who declared his candidacy for the LP Presidential Nomination at the convention. Mr. Abramson was not permitted to participate in the debate and failed to mention to the convention attendees that he is currently a candidate running for State Representative in the Republican Primary in an upcoming Special Election.

Mary Ruwart, a member of the Libertarian National Committee, reported to conference attendees that membership in the Libertarian Party has recently been flat and only went up slightly during the past few months because Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the Libertarian National Committee, has been personally calling former members to ask them to renew. She stated most of the LNC is in denial about membership. George Phillies personally told me “a highly reliable source” told him Mark Hinkle. LP Chair, “is aware of the (membership) decline and blames it on Wayne’s (Wayne Allyn Root) bizarre and very public political stances”.

Despite the low attendance and the failure of conference attendees to offer possible solutions to address the decline in Libertarian Party membership, George Phillies was very positive about what the conference was able to accomplish. He said:

The convention was a fantastic success. We had better speeches, and more choices of panel, than you will see at any other libertarian convention this year.

Carl Person, one of the Presidential Debate Participants, had this reflection about the conference:

“George Phillies was a gracious host. He treated early-arriving participants to dinner on Saturday night and did an excellent job moderating the debate. The main point I walked away with is that the Libertarian Party must start to capture members from the ever-increasing number of voters who agree with libertarian principles and who are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the Republican and Democratic parties.”

The Future Of The Libertarian Political Movement conference was held on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at the Highlander Inn located near the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire. Registration for the conference, which included meals, cost $100.00, although a half-day fee of $50.00 was also available.

138 thoughts on “Dr. Tom Stevens: The Future Of The Libertarian Political Movement Conference In Manchester, New Hampshire Draws Few Attendees & Offers No Solutions To Revitalize The Libertarian Party

  1. Robert Milnes

    @2, no. That is not what I meant.
    I meant that a possible LP supporter would be disuaded & then fall back on politics as usual, choose between the dems & reps.

  2. George Phillies

    We had 31 or 32 people at the lunch and dinner events, various people here and there for parts of the day, with in total 45 people counting panelists and people who paid to register. We might try this again in 2011, perhaps on a different weekend.

  3. Rev. Alberto Medvedev

    Bobby Robby Dobby Lobby Milnes,

    Have you ever considered that perhaps your campaign is suffering from lack of interest since nobody knows you are running? Print yourself up some flyers and stick ’em around town. Then send a press release to a bunch of blogs. Make a YouTube video.

    XENU SKAYAAAAAA,
    -Reverend Albert Medvedev

  4. Robert Milnes

    @5, ok George, try to learn from this & we can do better.
    It wasn’t coordinated to coincide with a msm event so as to get them while they are there anyway. The republicans were in NH just before this conference & the msm were gone by the time of the conference.
    Also, lose the required time & level of party activism.
    Consider the greater New England area esp. Conn. Conn is considered part of greater NY. & Conn is close to Phila. which is not too far from D.C. All of a sudden you’ve made a New England conference fairly convenient to tens of millions more people. Including the NYC & Wash DC press corps.
    More speakers & more debaters & more guests.
    The July LP events looks pretty sparse except Nevada, Root’s homestate. How about another conference in July, Aug or Sept.? Sept, would be less oppressive heat in Conn.

  5. Robert Milnes

    Do-over in NH in July or Aug.? Kinda soon but NH is a political hot spot now & cool in summer.
    Don’t barr me from the get-go & I’ll try to make it & help with publicity & in any way I can.

  6. Kleptocracy and You

    “Mary Ruwart, a member of the Libertarian National Committee, reported to conference attendees that membership in the Libertarian Party has recently been flat and only went up slightly during the past few months because Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the Libertarian National Committee, has been personally calling former members to ask them to renew. She stated most of the LNC is in denial about membership. George Phillies personally told me “a highly reliable source” told him Mark Hinkle. LP Chair, “is aware of the (membership) decline and blames it on Wayne’s (Wayne Allyn Root) bizarre and very public political stances”.”

    The most important issue covered in this post and almost all comments are from or about Milnes ?! You, Milnes have your thread on the front page now, please take your comments and complaints about PLAS to that thread.

    Phillies uses a source to put the BLAME of membership woes entirely on Root ! Anyone wonder WHO the source might be ? Care to share Phillies ? This is “good stuff” that needs much more discussion !

    Also, why such a NEGATIVE headline from Stevens ?! I mean the article certainly doesn’t come off nearly as negative as the headline sounds (gloom and doom) !!

    If Root is being such a negative to the national Party, perhaps they should listen to some concerns others have raised as well !!! Remember ?

    Why haven’t we, as a party, asked Wayne (Root) to simply join one of the war parties? – Karen Kwiatkowski

    I have a suggestion for the LP HQ strategists. The focus on vote-getting at the national level has led the LP into precisely the situation that you are noting today (a criticism of the party within liberty circles). I would love to see the party concentrate on supporting local elections…

    I also think, that beyond the fleas the LP gets from lying down with characters like Root, and promoting him, we should be careful about our other bedfellows in DC. The Cato Institute does fine work, but it is not as effective in gaining Libertarian friendly legislation and votes as is Jim Babka’s interactive and aggressive DownsizeDC, and nothing Cato has produced on constitutional foreign or domestic policy comes even close to what is done daily over at the Bumper Hornberger’s Future of Freedom Foundation in Reston, VA. – Karen Kwiatkowski

    Because the LP has taken a very public stand that it is a party founded and based on principle, not popularity, it makes itself vulnerable to criticism for appearing unprincipled. The 2008 LP presidential nomination of well-known conservative Bob Barr, and the promotion to Chair of the LP National Congressional Committee of the rabidly pro-war Wayne Allyn Root caused people of all political stripes to look at the LP and wonder whether the principle of the party was peaceful libertarianism, or just political experimentation and number-crunching. – Karen Kwiatkowski

    Wayne Root, in particular, is allowed by the LP to speak for the party, and honest libertarians throughout the American population and within the LP are turned off. You suggest that my criticism of these anti-liberty, pro-state LP voices are the same as criticizing the GOP for being pro-life because some minority members of the GOP are pro-life. But when the GOP fields candidates and spokespersons, particularly at the national level, they toe the party line, and they don’t suggest that there is “room” at the philosophical table. Our own LP table is already small. Embracing statists and nationalists quietly within the party is one thing; making them front and center as a leading voice of recruitment and policy means that these types of unprincipled non-libertarian perspectives become the LP in the minds of everyone. – Karen Kwiatkowski

    Mark (Hinkle), my fundamental sense of betrayal and anger at the LP for its 2008 shenanigans and for its lack of creativity in the fight for freedom at home is far deeper than anyone would imagine from my limited criticism of the party, mentioned briefly in a long talk. May I take your note as an opening for real change within the LP Central Committee and a real commitment to win the battle for hearts and minds across the country? – Karen Kwiatkowski

    “Wayne (Root), you are a pig.” – Robert Milnes // May 3, 2011 at 5:31 am on IPR

  7. Concerned Chuck and Hetro Harry

    I commend Tom Steven for his continuing work in undermining the Libertarian Party and the wider libertarian movement. His hate for all things related to human freedom inspires me in my mission to destroy all things Catholic, socialist, and libertarian! God bless Tom Stevens!

    “War is a pimple on the pope’s pet dragon.” ~ His Holiness Captain Beefheart!

  8. NewFederalist

    KaY- Your comments are interesting but most of your quotes are attributed to Karen Kwiatkowski or Robert Milnes. Ms. Kwiatkowski is apparently running for Congress as a Republican and Mr. Milnes is running for president as an independent. I am not sure how they speak for Libertarians.

  9. Kleptocracy and You

    NF – they were the ones I had “handy”. Please don’t ask me to dig through months of IPR to find “negative” Root comments. Honestly, does anyone doubt I can find dozens if not hundreds ?!
    As far as I know Ms. KK was a LP member when those statements were made. Milnes is MILNES, he has written that he sent an open letter RECENTLY declaring his seeking the LP nomination this cycle !!

    The point is what is stated about membership woes ! Very IMPORTANT stuff !!! I mean the guy is over LP congressional strategy and he may be taking the Party under as we type…

    I can assure all Ls who frequent here the Party is in bad shape in certain places and MAJOR work must be done immediately to keep it viable for years to come. It can splintter just like the Socialist have in the U.S. very easily, especially if unity isn’t restored pronto !!!

    ~ ~ ~

    THE JUDAS GOATS: THE ENEMY WITHIN: http://shop.americanfreepress.net/store/p/60-THE-JUDAS-GOATS-THE-ENEMY-WITHIN.html

    Future Fast Forward: http://shop.americanfreepress.net/store/p/56-Future-Fast-Forward.html

    Brainwashed for War: Programmed to Kill: http://shop.americanfreepress.net/store/p/57-Brainwashed-for-War-Programmed-to-Kill.html

    JIM TUCKER’S BILDERBERG DIARY: http://shop.americanfreepress.net/store/c/6-Conspiracy.html

  10. Robert Milnes

    [edited. discussions of plas should be in plas thread. discussions of debate parameters should be in debate on debate parameters thread.]

  11. Jimmy Clifton

    When the LP stops nominating kooks and non-libertarians as its presidential candidate and stops being virutally a one-issue party (Cannabis legalization) across America in most elections it runs in, then it may be taken more seriously. Until then, the LP will be seen as a joke and the Constitution Party will eventually bury it.

  12. NY Cynic

    It seems to me that W.A.R. has been the central figure in low party membership. I mean come on, one has to be totally blind to not see that W.A.R. is nothing but a wolf in sheeps clothing wanting to make nice with neocons. He is like that other clown Eric Dondero, a neocon in a poor Libertarian disguise.

  13. Bill Wood

    Are we blaming Wayne Allen Root for the massive decline in LP Membership prior to 2008? Didn’t the LP go from 32,000 dues paying Members in 2000 to 12000 just before 2008, with a bump to about 16,000 during the Barr Root Campaign? Funny, of the former Members I have talked to no one has mentioned they left because of Barr or Root.

  14. Bill Wood

    NF- some of them had problems with the LP’s open borders policy. Some also had problems with what would be considered the “purity police”. The Ron Paul Campaign also caused some to leave the LP. Some one once told me that when you are a “Minor” Party, if people find one issue they disagree with you on they will not join you, however they will vote for the “Major” Party Candidate even if they disagree with that Candidate on most issues. I have seen this happen often. I have had “libertarians” refuse to support LP Candidates because ex: libertarians should not believe in government thus running for Office isn’t libertarian, or the LP Candidate is against people owning NBC weapons so they are against the 2nd Admendment and so on.

    NF-I wish I could come up with a solution, but I’m fresh out of ideas.

  15. Steven Wilson

    People do not follow weakness. The LP is in decline because there is no clarity. Clarity makes strength observable. When Root speaks of anything, does it sound like someone who really believes in individualism?

    To modify a mechanism knowing that it has always failed serves no purpose. The human can’t stop themselves.

    This time it will work
    This time it will work

    Root is seen as a Republican. He is seen that way because that is what he really is. If Root calls himself a Libertarian, and these new members call him a Libertarian/Tea Party/Republican, then that is their language game.

    If these new members want a part-time Libertarian party, then they can build it here. Root will not stop that motion. Root wants to be famous. In this pursuit, he will do whatever he deems necessary.

    He does not care about people. He does not care about the party. He cares about fame. That is his right.

  16. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorsement

    Jimmy Clifton // Jun 30, 2011:
    “………. LP will be seen as a joke and the Constitution Party will eventually bury it ……..”

    Item, California’s answer to Sarah Palin, Nightmare Nightingale

    Item, Dim Bulb Chuckie Baldwin

    Item, Two Legged Sand Paper as in Grundmann and Quirk

    ———- care to re-evaluate ??????????

  17. Kleptocracy and You

    @19 Where did you get the numbers ? If this is correct, it means the Ron Paul R run is the main cause of the decline. I knew it hurt, but I never realized it damage the Party by over 50 %.

    ” The conference featured the following panels and sessions, which were divided into two tracks”:

    ? Electronic Security and Activism in the Age of Anonymous

    ? Campaigns for Congress and running large-scale campaigns

    ? Future Outreach to Youth and Students

    ? Future Outreach to the GLBTQ Community

    ? Libertarians and the anti-war movement

    ? Recruiting Candidates

    ? New Hampshire Politics and the Free State Project

    ? The State of the States and reviving state parties

    These are important, at the current Party level however some are more important than others. Try to get the first 4 at full strength and then move to the others after the numbers increase seems to be a sound strategy. One and two are immediate major concerns IMO! I place anti-war movement at 4 because a majority of citizens are anti-war at heart and it is a large recruiting field.

    ? 1. The State of the States and reviving state parties

    ? 2. Future Outreach to Youth and Students

    ? 3. Recruiting Candidates

    ? 4. Libertarians and the anti-war movement

    ? 5. Campaigns for Congress and running large-scale campaigns

    ? 6. Future Outreach to the GLBTQ Community

    ? 7. Electronic Security and Activism in the Age of Anonymous

    ? 8. New Hampshire Politics and the Free State Project

    Don’t doubt for a second the Ds and Rs wish the LP would splinter into a dozen smaller pieces !

    99999999999999999999

    LISTEN 24/7 ANYTIME-3 million listeners and growing !
    http://www.infowars.com/listen.html

    99999999999999999999

    @17 I don’t know which LP POTUS nominated candidate you consider a “kook”, I can’t name one. Down ticket you do get some a little “quirky” at times, but hey some think “line holders” are important for third party politics.

    I don’t understand why the CP hasn’t made major strides among Christians. The absolute largest recruiting field in the U.S. The Rs have taken them for granted for much too long.

    I’m one of those who is pro CP, GP and LP. Both the Ds and Rs must be broken up and splint into many pieces if Liberty is ever to reign again. The GP needs to heavily pull from the DP as the CP pulls heavily from the RP, then the LP gains from both the DP and RP and Indies and WIN !!! A JOKE, maybe but I do have a strategy for victory someday.

    “Republicans don’t want anyone having more fun than they do, and the Democrats don’t want anyone making more money than they do. Libertarians want you to make money and have fun.” – Andre Marrou, 1992 LP Presidential candidate & 1988 LP VP candidate.

    “Liberals want the government to be your Mommy. Conservatives want government to be your Daddy. Libertarians want it to treat you like an adult.” – Andre Marrou

  18. LP Membership Means Nothing

    New Federalist @12: Ms. Kwiatkowski is apparently running for Congress as a Republican and Mr. Milnes is running for president as an independent. I am not sure how they speak for Libertarians.

    The issue is not whether they speak for Libertarians, but rather, do they speak truth about Libertarians.

    Karen Kwiatkowski speaks much truth about the Libertarian Party, despite running on the GOP.

    Just as Wayne Allyn Root spews much garbage, idiocy, and dishonesty about libertarianism, despite his LP titles.

    Truth does not flow from an LP membership card.

  19. Tom Blanton

    Hmmm, how to revitalize the LP?

    Several things come to mind.

    First, become more libertarian.

    Second, quit worrying about what your Republican asshole friends you signed up to the LP think about libertarianism. If they disagree, they can always go back to the GOP they allowed to become a cesspool of corrupt liars.

    Third, nominate candidates that promise to dismantle government across the board.

    Finally, give up delusional thinking. Don’t even pretend that LP candidates can win elections by mimicking Republicrats.

  20. George Phillies

    @19 The decline started a bit earlier than that. There was a large fall through 2002. Part of the issue was an unaffordable (said the then LNC Treasurer) membership recruitment via letters campaign, coupled to a lack of things that later retained those members. The 2008 Presidential campaign did very little not nothing for membership recruitment.

  21. Bill Wood

    26, The numbers come from LP HQ, via the LP News and the yearly update letters. Also one of the writers at Reason wrote articles about the membership numbers.

    Tom, Miss you at the meetings!

    George Thanks !

  22. Robert Capozzi

    28 tb: Hmmm, how to revitalize the LP?

    me: Guess it depends on what you mean by “revitalize.” If the LP holds the banner EVEN HIGHER, we’d get what you suggest: “Third, nominate candidates that promise to dismantle government across the board.”

    This sounds as if you think the LP should really be the “Anarchist Party,” Is that what you mean? If so, do you mean to suggest that explicit anarchists are so numerous that the alienation of non-anarchists would be swamped by the attraction of hundreds of thousands of true-blue Black Flag hoisters into the LP? Or do you mean that 10K anarchists is a “better” outcome than 10K lessarchists?

    tb: First, become more libertarian.

    me: Begs the question, what is your scale? Are you more L than I am, for ex.?

  23. AroundtheblockAFT

    Enough. Enough. Enough.
    I doubt there are more than a hundred LPers who are clued in to the “Root controversy” and at all moved to decline renewal of membership or whatever. It seems to me a tempest in the leadership teapot, not something broad numbers of LPers are waiting on tenterhooks to thrash out in their local and state meetings.
    The LP membership is those who joined for broad ideological reasons and stay because of ideological reasons irrespective of the (non)effectiveness of the LP. It will be difficult – as we have seen in 40 yeaars – to expand this group very much. (When we did through Project Archimedes, the non-renewal rate was huge, because the LP was not meeting the expectations of those persuaded to join for a trial period.) One of the few options left is to see if the LP can grow by actually being relevant in communities on a basis other than running a few sacrificial candidates for office. That’s what other groups offer: you don’t join Boy Scouts because you like the training they give young men in another state; you join because there is a troop in your neighborhood. You
    don’t decide to start attending the Methodist Church because you’ve studied their doctrines and think they have great divinity schools; you join because the local Methodist Church has important and fun things to do in one’s community and the folks are friendly and bear witness to Christ in a fashion that appeals to you.
    Time to go local or go home.

  24. Marc Montoni

    Bill @ 19 said:

    …with a bump to about 16,000 during the Barr Root Campaign?

    According to LPHQ membership reports:

    2008-04 13,579
    2008-05 13,382 << Barr nominated at end of May
    2008-06 14,121
    2008-07 14,581
    2008-08 14,970
    2008-09 15,378
    2008-10 16,099 << Peak of membership during Barr campaign
    2008-11 16,079 << End of Barr campaign
    2008-12 15,358

    However, I have my doubts about how meaningful the Barr campaign’s “bump” really was, given the aftermath.

  25. Marc Montoni

    I agree with you, ATBAFT; with the exception that running candidates still has value, even at the P level — IF DONE CORRECTLY TO BUILD THE LP.

    If the campaign is about building personal fame (someone comes to mind), then I’m simply not interested.

  26. Rev. Alberto Medvedev

    July 4st, 2011

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    CONTACT:
    Rev Alberto Medvedev
    Church of Xenu
    (973) 304-0808
    ChurchofXenu@hotmail.com
    http://

    Rev Alberto Medvedev Demands That The Libertarian Party Change Name to “Third Party of Power” to Secure Electoral Success

    (Tinton Falls, NJ, 7/01/11) Famed and controversial Reverend Alberto Medvedev called a press conference this morning in which he demanded the Libertarian Party change it’s legal name to the “Third Party of Power” to secure electoral victory in the upcoming 2012 presidential election.

    “This is a grand opportunity for the Libertarian Party to not only secure the presidency for its candidate but also to win at least forty-seven seats in the United States House of Representatives,” said Reverend Medvedev.

    “I am immediatly calling upon Wayne Allyn Root, the leader of the Libertarian Party, to officially change the pary’s name to the ‘Third Party of Power!'”

    Medvedev believes that if voters saw the name “Third Party of Power” on the ballot they would be unable to restrain themselves for voting for that candidate.

    “Had that been the party’s name during the 2008 presidential election,” Reverend Medvedev notes, “a recent study shows that Bob Barr would have recieved approximately 25.7 percent of the vote.”

    Medevedev believes that Wayne Root, the leader of the Libertarian Party, will agree with his startegy. Reverend Medvedev also suggested, while a member of the highly successful US Labor Party, that the organization change it’s name to the “Winning Party,” a move that was seriously considered by the Labor Party leadership.

    Last fall, Medevedev tries unsuccessfully to file paperwork to rename the defunct New Jersey Natural Law Party to “Ice Cream Party,” a move which he believed would recitalize the failing organization. The NJ Secretary of State denied his request, citing the fact the party had not held a convention and voted on the name-change. He later unsuccessfully attempted to file paperwork to again change the name to the “Om nom nom Ice Cream Party.”

    Medvedev, who was widely speculated to be the Ice Cream Party’s presidential candidate, withdrew from the Natural Law Party shortly thereafter, condemning it as “being lonely…since I was the only member.”

    Activists urged Medvedev to join the Libertarian Party, and several prominent figures asked his advice on how to garner more votes. His suggestion, to change the name to the “Third Party of Power,” has been VERY well recieved by several Libertarian National Committee members.

    Medvedev has threatened to contact Constitution Party or Reform Party leadership tp pitch his idea if the Libertarian fail to abide by his suggestion.

    ###

  27. Steven R Linnabary

    When the LP stops nominating kooks and non-libertarians as its presidential candidate and stops being virutally a one-issue party (Cannabis legalization) across America in most elections it runs in, then it may be taken more seriously. Until then, the LP will be seen as a joke and the Constitution Party will eventually bury it.

    Puhleeze…

    The LP POTUS candidates have all been solid “libertarians”…albeit some were not as strident as I might have liked.

    And I have YET to see ANY LP candidate, for ANY office run on a cannabis legalization platform. Perhaps somebody should, since we seem to be identified with the issue.

    And I seriously doubt the Constitution Party will ever surpass the LP, except in State’s where they hide behind the “independent” label. There really isn’t much market for theocracy in the US.

    PEACE

  28. George Phillies

    National Party membership

    January 2008 14 171
    January 2009 15 178

    A modest increase. The Badnarik campaign was little more effective:

    January 2004 19 084
    January 2005 20 299

    Note a loss of a quarter from 2004 to 2008.

    And now we (February) are down at 13807, with Mary Ruwart warning that the schema that was use to enhance membership numbers last year has reached its natural limit.

    There is a precipitous drop from November to January reflecting e.g. 1285 lapsing members in December and only 412 renewing; these are people who would have renewed or joined the previous year.

  29. George Phillies

    @19 I have met a quite adequate number of members who have quit because of Barr. Running for President the Congressman who tried to organize a purge of Neopagans from the army, in a party with a substantial Neopagan membership, is not necessarily well-advised.

  30. Michael H. Wilson

    The state parties need to get active and reach out to those who have left and ask why. At the same time and effort by the state parties in states where the voters register by party needs to be started to reach out to those people as well.

    We cannot expect the national party to do it all. National should be providing training, ideas and decent materials to hand out. Other than that it should be up to the state parties.

  31. Deran

    #32!! I’m not a libertarian capitalist, but you are so right abt party building, for any new or third party.

  32. Marc Montoni

    Steven R Linnabary said:

    And I have YET to see ANY LP candidate, for ANY office run on a cannabis legalization platform. Perhaps somebody should, since we seem to be identified with the issue.

    You should look up Gary Reams, who ran for Lt. Governor of Virginia in 2001. He called his campaign “The Reams Reeferendum”, and he ran it entirely as a single-issue campaign:

    http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/one-statewide-candidate-has-a-single-goal-to-legalize-pot/Content?oid=1386144

    His election results were consistent with other Libertarian candidates for a similar office.

    See: http://lpva.com/Elections/campaign08.asp?campaignID=10

    Reams ran a perfectly fine single-issue campaign about medical marijuana that was 100% consistent with the platform (both then and now). You wouldn’t have known that from the reception he got from the Lite Purity Police, however. He was rather viciously attacked for his campaign strategy — by a then-leader of the LP. Below is a conversation taken verbatim from some LPVA Forum email list traffic in 2004:

    Medicinal marijuana is legal in nine states and it’s one of the few core
    Libertarian issues that most voters support.

    Try running a medical marijuana platform in Virginia and you’ll be a laughingstock. Just ask Mr. Reams. We are still trying to recover from the damage he did down here in Tidewater.

    Not sure where you’re getting your info, but most voters don’t support legalizing marijuana. For the most part, they either don’t care as it doesn’t pertain to them or they are vehemenently against the idea due to the years of brainwashing. It is a small minority that understand the consequences of criminalizing it.

    We would be better served to get people elected without that issue and then, once in office we can start doing something about it.

    Keep in mind that the 2nd person writing was an officer in the LP who was talking about a volunteer candidate who had chosen an issue to promote that *actually was* part of the platform.

    This same person would have been pleased had the campaign theme been “reduce state taxes!!” or something else the Republiboobs are already saying. The LP is not just the “taxes and guns” party, but sometimes I see evidence that some think otherwise.

    I have heard candidates espouse continuing public education, who supported zoning, the government’s space program, public transportation, gun control, and new taxes — and their reception in some quarters of the LP was warmer than the reception to which our Mr. Reams was treated.

  33. Michael H. Wilson

    Marc writes; “I have heard candidates espouse continuing public education, who supported zoning, the government’s space program, public transportation, gun control, and new taxes — and their reception in some quarters of the LP was warmer than the reception to which our Mr. Reams was treated.”

    Damn Marc you are on the Eastcoast and I’m on the Westcoast and we know the same people. They do get around. 😉

  34. Steven R Linnabary

    Thanks, Marc. I had totally forgotten Gary Reams campaign.

    PEACE

  35. Robert Capozzi

    I’d think the point is that a third party adopting a single, lifestyle issue as its lead and only issue is narrowcasting marketing. It doesn’t seem like a good idea IF the idea is to build a broad coalition party. It might be a good idea is the idea is to raise the exposure of the single issue.

    Being the “anti-Prohibition” party seems like a waste of time, unless the goal is merely to raise the profile of a single issue.

  36. Tom Blanton

    I’ll take the bait, Bubby

    Guess it depends on what you mean by “revitalize.”

    I mean restore vitality. By vitality I mean excitement, liveliness, animated, growing, and alive!

    Vitality does not mean old boring middle-class suburban white farts obsessed with proving how reasonable and moderate they are to other old boring middle-class suburban white farts hoping for a tiny tax cut.

    tb: First, become more libertarian.

    me: Begs the question, what is your scale? Are you more L than I am, for ex.?

    My “scale” is irrelevant. Let’s simply assume, for argument’s sake, that there is actually a difference between libertarianism, conservatism, and liberalism. Let’s also assume that this difference can be defined, however imperfectly.
    Now, to become more libertarian could simply mean to become less conservative or less liberal, or it could mean to become more of whatever it is that defines libertarianism, assuming, of course, that the LP is to represent libertarians as opposed to “true conservatives” or people who are a little bit liberal and a little bit conservative.

    Whether or not I am “more libertarian” than someone else is also irrelevant. I’ve found that many libertarians, especially of the “true conservative” mindset seem to think I don’t actually believe what I say I believe and that I am merely adopting a position to compete with them on who is “more libertarian” – almost as if there is some sort of contest going on. Perhaps they played “who’s got the biggest penis” in a drunken stupor too often at their frat parties.

    The LP might increase it’s vitality by setting aside the sophomoric strategies, political posturing, and disingenuous pandering to single-issue groups. It might also increase vitality by developing rhetoric which does not parrot right-wing or left-wing rhetoric.

    It might increase vitality by focusing on reducing the size, scope and power of government instead of proposing slight tweaks such as small tax cuts instead of large spending cuts.

    The LP might also increase vitality by re-examining the social culture of the LP. There is too much of a cult-like feel to it that most LP members fail to comprehend. The constant push to recruit new members is understandable, but trying too hard may turn people off – especially those who are individualistic.

    Reducing the size, scope, and power of government REQUIRES dismantling the government. Period. Whether government is dismantled partially or entirely, the dismantling must begin – even if you claim to be a minarchist or lessarchist or whatever.

    I would prefer that the federal government be dismantled immediately, but that’s just me.

    There’s a good chance the federal government will collapse in the future. Would you rather see a society made up of peaceful anarchists or a society made up of confused, angry, and angry statists, if there is a collapse of government?

    But, all that said, the electoral politics of third parties has not done much in the way of societal change. You change politics by changing people. You don’t change people through politics – not in any positive sense, anyway.

  37. Don Wills

    The only sentences in all 50 or so posts so far that even comes close to describing the “why” of LP irrelevance written by Steven Wilson @23:

    “People do not follow weakness. The LP is in decline because there is no clarity. Clarity makes strength observable.”

    Is the LP the party of anarchists?
    Or is the LP the party of constitutionalists?

    It can’t be both, since these are diametrically opposed fundamental principles.

    LPers: choose one or the other and go with it. Fence straddling will get you nowhere.

  38. Michael H. Wilson

    One of the best things the LP could do is to quit expecting the national office to do it all. The state and local parties need to do more in the areas of outreach and public involvement. With maybe ten people in that office we are expecting them to do too much. It is simply not possible for that office in Washington D.C. to do what needs to be done. The work needs to be done at the state and local level, and the people who run for offices in the party at the state and local level need to get off their butts and get to work.

  39. NewFederalist

    Why can’t the LP be the party of libertarians AND constitutionalists? Please note lower case on both.

  40. Robert Milnes

    @53, I submit the case of one Ron Paul in arguendo, that he is a constitutionalist by various determinations and self description and NOT a libertarian by other determinations.

  41. NewFederalist

    True… he was also a Libertarian presidential nominee once and could probably have both the LP and the CP nominations for the asking if he so desired.

  42. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorsement

    Michael H. Wilson / Marc Montoni / Jul 1, 2011:
    “I have heard candidates espouse continuing public education, who supported zoning, the government’s space program, public transportation, gun control, and new taxes —

    [Lake: NASA, one sorry, sorry episode of American Life. Not due to the second rate engineers, but the third rate administrators / politicians! ]

  43. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorsement

    Michael H. Wilson // Jul 2, 2011:

    “…….. people who run for offices in the party at the state and local level need to get off their butts and get to work.”

    [a] hopefully in a non detrimental / counter productive way

    [b] says the guy whom requests information and does not even respond like California Libs Bruce Cohen, or San Diego County’s Ed Tessiler and Richard ‘Sand Paper’ Rider

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    NewFederalist @ 53,

    You write:

    “Why can’t the LP be the party of libertarians AND constitutionalists?”

    It quite possibly could be, if both groups were willing to accommodate each other.

    Constitutionalism isn’t a political principle, it’s a method. If constitutionalists are willing to accommodate libertarians who consider the end state of constitutionalism insufficient — a waypoint on the journey somewhere further — then those libertarians might be comfortable in the LP.

    Libertarianism a specific direction/orientation, not a method. If libertarians who consider the constitutionalist method only one of a number of methods, and possibly a defective one, are willing to accommodate constitutionalists who seem sincere in their desire to use the constitution to move things in that direction/orientation, those constitutionalists might be comfortable in the LP.

    It probably wouldn’t make the LP any more successful than it is now, but it would at least make it less like a hockey match and more like a Rotary meeting.

  45. Humongous Fungus

    I’d think the point is that a third party adopting a single, lifestyle issue as its lead and only issue is narrowcasting marketing. It doesn’t seem like a good idea IF the idea is to build a broad coalition party. It might be a good idea is the idea is to raise the exposure of the single issue.

    The LP should not be a single issue party. Nor has it ever been one. However, it can run some single issue candidates as long as those candidates run on a pro-liberty issue. If at all possible, if and when asked their opinion on other issues, they should have libertarian views on a large majority of issues, and point out that their views differ from the party’s if and when they do.

  46. Michael H. Wilson

    re RC @ 46. How a candidate addresses the drug war is a big factor. You can do the civil liberties issue that a person has the right to do to their body what they want. A candidate could also talk about the fact that many people have been killed who were innocent by standers, that the courts have been loaded down with drug war complaints, that the prison population has exploded because of this, that police corruption has grown, that much of this has damaged the black community.

    Ah hell that’s just a single issue problem anyone who runs a campaign on that is nuts. (sarcasm intended)

  47. Robert Capozzi

    60 tk: If libertarians who consider the constitutionalist method only one of a number of methods, and possibly a defective one, are willing to accommodate constitutionalists who seem sincere in their desire to use the constitution to move things in that direction/orientation, those constitutionalists might be comfortable in the LP.

    me: I agree. However, the question is what form the “accommodation” takes. The question is how the accommodation is done in practice. Some pro-choice Ls are willing to accommodate “violations”; others will only accommodate a few violations, such as the life/choice issue.

    Personally, I accommodate net lessarchists as a general rule…I’m quite liberal in this regard.

    The SoP was a tortured attempt to accommodate anarchists, with language like “governments, when instituted….” The LP has been struggling ever since.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    64 mhw, hmm, I don’t think that’s “nuts,” I agree.

    Whether such a single-issue campaign is wise, I’m not seeing it. Have they been effective?

  49. Keith R Deschler

    why not use constitutionalism as a gradiant toward at least a minarchist form of government at all levels, with a high level of “self-governance” beyond the basic principle of civil law as common law, with little or no need for legislatures, and the state serving as a “referee” to prosecute violations of life, liberty, and property by force, theft, or fraud. The Constitution is our main increment to get the ball rolling away from the growth of state power and tyranny from the “power parties” and their corporate cronies.

  50. Robert Capozzi

    67 krd, I agree. However, there are challenges there. Anarchists, for ex., roundly object to the Constitution for things like jury duty. For them, a jury of peers => involuntary servitude. They have a point, but I don’t see any neat alternatives on the horizon. For some anarchists, the Constitution is just as flawed as the current configuration. Their political-expression satisfaction seems to come from taking what they consider to be principled stands about statelessness regardless of context and the current flow of history. Anarchists will sometimes articulate what they consider to be half-measures, but they seem to be only half serious when they do so. They view the Abolitionists as a kind of strategic model. Staking out an extreme position could pull the center toward them. Anarchists do so despite the unpleasant history of Abolitionism, which led to much carnage.

    Many constitutionalists have some interesting interpretations of, for ex., the 9th and 10th amendments. They emphasize ideas about nullification and secession that are easily associated with a pre-1861 interpretation of the Constitution. Such associative perceptions signal a tolerance for illiberal behavior, even a wholesale denial of rights by the “referee.” The attempt to rollback the State to a referee status is attractive to me, and could be attractive to large numbers, but making theoretical claims similar to Jefferson Davis’s is bad politics, IMO.

  51. NewFederalist

    #67… exactly. It has been my experience that many if not most libertarians would rather debate their differences that accept the responsibility for doing something that might succeed. Using a return to the Constitution would be a great first step and would probably be popular with most voters. Instead debates about how many angels can dance on the head of a tax collector will ensue. Pointless but entertaining.

  52. George Phillies

    @69

    Most voters are not interested in the Constitution. Most of the ones who are interested have noticed that people who rant about the Constitution make totally whacko claims that are not consistent with existing reality or the opinions of most people who have actually studied the matter carefully. It’s a completely losing issue, for the most part.

  53. Don Wills

    George writes “Most voters are not interested in the Constitution.”

    Wow George, did you miss the Tea Party movement that elected more than 50 new House members who happen to be very vocal about the Constitution?

    And to posters here who think Constitutionalists believe that the Constitution is only a stepping stone to anarchist utopia – you are simply wrong. Almost all who believe that the Constitution, while not perfect, is a valid approach to implementing limited government have no interest in anarchism.

    The idea that Constitutionalists and anarchists are somehow on the same page philosophically is simply wishful thinking by the anarchists. To the contrary, they have very little in common except that they want less government than we have now. Beyond that almost empty meme, they are polar opposites on how society should be organized.

  54. Limousine

    Don,

    There are over 400 Congressmen. 50 Congressmen is a tiny minority.

    I was, however, delighted to watch the tea partiers cost the Republicans Senators in Nevada, Delaware, and Congressional seats elsewhere, by running candidates who were totally unelectable.

    Furthermore, most of those people who were elected ran on the national debt and taxes, and against the Constitution. Against? For example, they want to make abortion illegal in the face of Constitutional protections.

    The tea party folks are not even a majority in their own party, a party which has the solid support of only 25% of the electorate.

    Most voters are not interested in the Constitution.

    While there are vast numbers of Americans who support the Constitution, as witness their support for the ACLU and the litigation efforts of groups close to Planned Parenthood, they have nothing much to do with the Tea Partiers. Not to mention all to many of them have noticed that when an American starts ranting about the Constitution, he is apt to spout really crazy stuff about paper money being illegal or the South having seceded successfully.

  55. George Phillies

    Don,

    Having said that, I think you are completely right that Tea party constitutionalists are an opposite of anarchists and all other parts of the freedom movement.

    George

  56. Don Wills

    Perspective, perspective. Boy, 50 US House members sure is insignificant. Umm. Let’s see. LP: 40 years: ZERO.

    Limousine and George denigrate a significant movement in the history of the United States. For what purpose? To stand out in right field pounding their gloves shouting “hit it to me”? Sad.

    Anarchism, and the LP by connection, is absolutely irrelevant in the political landscape of 21st century North America.

  57. Michael H. Wilson

    For what it is worth, the LP should put some focus on the Bill of Rights. I think there is much to be said for being loud and proud about supporting those ten amendments.

  58. NewFederalist

    I reiterate what I said in #69. Many libertarians and most Libertarians will debate endlessly and accomplish little.

  59. Michael H. Wilson

    NF @ 77. I can’t speak for everyone, but many of us on here are actually doing other things. For the most part this is more entertainment than anything else.

  60. Robert Capozzi

    “The Constitution” as an issue is clearly on the march. How one INTERPRETS the Constitution is another matter.

    I can’t for the life of me imagine how someone could suggest that the Tea Party isn’t significant in today’s political climate. Again, the MEANING of the TP is not obvious in specificity.

  61. johncjackson

    I am glad that someone mentioned that “Constitutionalists” and Libertarians are not philosophically compatible. That’s ( just one reason) why I can’t support certain “libertarian” candidates and their wacko supporters who have no interested in supporting liberty but claim to advocate “Constitutionalism” while also (closely) palling around with nutjobs like white supremacists and Reconstructionists who seek to institute theocracy. So, I don’t know if I can really share a train ride with a bunch of different small government-types, many of whom who seek to use violence against me whenever the train stops or we get where we are going and want to depart. I’m not interested in small government or “Constitutionalism”. I am a pro-liberty Libertarian. Just because some other groups also seek to reduce the size of government ( even though many of them support government expansion to enforce their religious beliefs and bigotry) does not mean we have anything in common. I support human beings and liberty against tyranny. Take your constitutionalism and pro-state bullshit and shove it somewhere.

  62. Robert Capozzi

    48 tb: It might also increase vitality by developing rhetoric which does not parrot right-wing or left-wing rhetoric.

    me: There’s “parroting” and then there’s “bridging.” I believe bridging language that attracts those who associate with right or left is a good idea. Using bracing language like “dismantling” seems designed to shock.

    tb: The constant push to recruit new members is understandable, but trying too hard may turn people off – especially those who are individualistic.

    me: Yes, well, we share a familiarity with the Tao, so we know that flow/pull works better than insist/push.

    tb: Reducing the size, scope, and power of government REQUIRES dismantling the government. Period.

    me: I respect your opinion, but I simply have a different one. “Dismantle” connotes “destroy.” It’s slightly less threatening than destroy, but only slightly. There’s little room for “dismantling” a thing down to a more serviceable level. I sometimes get the sense that you get a charge out of striking a radical pose for the shock value, hoping that those of us still asleep in our Matrix pods will wake up one day and exclaim “Smash the State!” Thank you for playing Morpheus a certain way, by my Morpheus is more chill.

    tb: There’s a good chance the federal government will collapse in the future. Would you rather see a society made up of peaceful anarchists or a society made up of confused, angry, and angry statists, if there is a collapse of government?

    me: Peaceful anarchists. But I don’t agree that the FedGov will collapse. Nor would I like to see that happen. They’ve got too many weapons.

    tb: But, all that said, the electoral politics of third parties has not done much in the way of societal change. You change politics by changing people. You don’t change people through politics – not in any positive sense, anyway.

    me: IYO, you mean, I suspect. People change their thought systems over time through reflection and an assessment of what works, generally, IMO. (Occasionally, someone gets “radicalized” overnight.) I suspect very, very few think an immediate dismantling of the State would work, me included.

  63. George Phillies

    @75

    My originally claim was was that appealing to Constitutionalism was not going to work with many voters, though it would work with some.

    You then brought up the tea party people, who are demonstrably a minority in their own party, though sometimes not at their own party primaries.

    You appear to be claiming that the tea party movement is based on support for the Constitution, which is demonstrably at variance with their actual very wide range of motives, including concern about the national debt, distaste for the Obama health care initiative, and taxes.

    However, tea parties are noteworthy for their opposition to our Constitution, as witness

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-partiers-fairly-mainstream-demographics.aspx

    To summarize that poll, tea parties are conservative, but not complete, slightly more white, male, and well to do than the general population, much like other Americans in their age, educational background, employment status, and race, but when it comes to the Constitution, not so much; two thirds of them reject the Constitutional position on abortion.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp

    “two thirds of them reject the Constitutional position on abortion.”

    That would be difficult to do, since there is no such constitutional position.

  65. Michael H. Wilson

    It would be interesting to know what percent regularly attend religious services and what sections of the nation do we see Tea Party folks in. Are most in and around Boston? Or are the spread out around Salt Lake City?

  66. NewFederalist

    #81- “I am glad that someone mentioned that “Constitutionalists” and Libertarians are not philosophically compatible.”

    Why stop there? Hell many “Libertarians” are not philosophically compatible with other Libertarians or libertarians. The more we focus on our differences the less chance there is to work together on issues on which we can agree. Fighting each other is pointless as the government just continues to grow.

  67. Don Wills

    NF@87 – your hope for libertarian-anarchists to get along with libertarian-constitutionalists in a magical organization called the Libertarian Party is fantasy. 40 years of infighting with no tangible results is proof of that fact that such a state of affairs is not possible.

    The word “libertarian” has been so abused as to be almost useless any more. The LP hangs onto the word hoping to be noticed. Sorry, it’s not going to happen until the LP decides which road to take: anarchism or constitutionalism. It really is a fork in the road. To move forward, the party must choose one path. Until it does, it will continue to languish.

  68. NewFederalist

    Don @ #88- The only thing in error about your observation is that I do not expect libertarian anythings to get along with other libertarian anythings. Whether it is left-libertarians or right-libertarians or anarcho-capitalist libertarians or constitutional libertarians or anarchist libertarians or minarchist libertarians… it is always the same. They seem to hate each other more than they hate Demorepublicrats. Toss CP theocrats in the mix and… oh, boy watch the fun. I have given up. I quit over 30 years ago. I just watch this for amusement.

  69. Michael H. Wilson

    re NF @ 70. I work with a group of Libertarians and no one goes around questioning anyone about the details of the beliefs. We do manage to work and get a few things accomplished.

    Getting along with others isn’t difficult.

  70. Marc Montoni

    me: I respect your opinion, but I simply have a different one. “Dismantle” connotes “destroy.” It’s slightly less threatening than destroy, but only slightly. There’s little room for “dismantling” a thing down to a more serviceable level. I sometimes get the sense that you get a charge out of striking a radical pose for the shock value, hoping that those of us still asleep in our Matrix pods will wake up one day and exclaim “Smash the State!” Thank you for playing Morpheus a certain way, by my Morpheus is more chill…. I suspect very, very few think an immediate dismantling of the State would work, me included.

    But then, someone else said:

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ­ That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    To me, it is truly strange that people think of governments being somehow sacred, that they must be protected from alteration or abolishment. I think it’s a fundamental failure of education (or perhaps the education system has ben wildly successful at it’s clandestine purpose) in this country that has led people to believe that once a government has been established, it must remain established forever. In all other areas of our lives, things are “altered and abolished” at a steady pace. Just as you stop using one brand of soap and start using an entirely different one, just as you stop shopping at one store and start shopping at a different one, and just as the job you hold changes over your lifetime, just as millions of Americans have started and ended businesses every year, these geopolitical corporations called ‘governments’ should also change over your lifetime, as their usefulness waxes and wanes.

    Meanwhile someone on the LPTN list just mentioned a city that the citizens were trying to abolish:

    Durbin WV
    http://www.pocahontastimes.com/news/story/durbin-in-danger-of-charter-forfeiture/204552

    In the comments, another one has already been approved for dissolution:

    Lakewood TN
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2462087/posts

    Personally I’m all in favor of self-determination. There should be an easy procedure to abolish any government, no matter if local, regional, state, or federal. Secession also should always be on the table. If neither condition is true, then the citizens are not living under a legitimate government.

  71. Marc Montoni

    Don Wills @88:

    NF@87 – your hope for libertarian-anarchists to get along with libertarian-constitutionalists in a magical organization called the Libertarian Party is fantasy. 40 years of infighting with no tangible results is proof of that fact that such a state of affairs is not possible.

    Well, I must be fighting within myself, then, because I consider myself a consistent libertarian (what you and others refer to as “anarchists”), but I also consider myself something of a Constitutionalist, with the ability to recite much of the Bill of Rights, and having often written articles calling for the abolition for various government enterprises citing their illegality under the Constitution.

    I subscribe to the old maxim that “The Constitution may not be perfect, but it’s better than what we have now.”

    Were I to wake up someday to discover:

    – all foreign entanglements not authorized by congress had been suddenly ended;

    – several hundred federal agencies had been shuttered due to noncompliance with the Constitution;

    – drug prohibition had finally been repealed and several million current and former drug felons had been released or pardoned;

    – all federal firearms laws had been voided;

    – all protectionism had been repealed except for the authorized Tariffs,

    … and so on, believe me, I’d take a long vacation with a whole bunch of other people to celebrate. Afterwards, I’d begin working to eliminate the remainder. Nevertheless, I would celebrate a return to Constitutional basics.

    The word “libertarian” has been so abused as to be almost useless any more. The LP hangs onto the word hoping to be noticed. Sorry, it’s not going to happen until the LP decides which road to take: anarchism or constitutionalism. It really is a fork in the road. To move forward, the party must choose one path. Until it does, it will continue to languish.

    I disagree. I think the fork in the road for the LP is this: If those who spend all of their elective time chatting on blogs about what’s wrong with the LP would spend a few hours a week organizing their precinct and their county, that would definitely move the LP forward. Choose the other fork — spending all available free time chatting on blogs and theorizing — and the LP will continue to languish. The LP’s main problem is not radicals, anarchists, etc., but simply that most of those who profess to be ‘libertarian’ refuse invest a few hours’ earnings on a ‘precinct captain’ sign (Design 1, Design 2 with space to stick on local info) and some time to go out and walk their own precinct once or twice a month — with something as simple & effective as Wes Benedict’s “Quiz Across America” doorhangers.

  72. Robert Capozzi

    92 MM: To me, it is truly strange that people think of governments being somehow sacred, that they must be protected from alteration or abolishment.

    me: Since you quote me, I assume this statement is somehow your interpretation of my words. I don’t see how you could leap to the conclusion. To clarify, I don’t think a government is “sacred.” You certainly know that I advocate MANY alterations to the existing government. I am OK with abolishing the existing government if feasible, as the Dec. of Ind. signers, who said, as you quoted: “…to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    I would say things have changed rather dramatically since 1776. Then, sparsely populated colonies had no real plausible enemies anywhere in the vicinity…travel from Europe took weeks and months. Nowadays, as I’m sure you know, weapons can be launched from thousands of miles away that can strike in an hour.

    Perhaps you don’t find that salient.

    I do.

    Pitchforks, sidearms, and even machine guns are no match for ICBMs. I guess that’s only my opinion, but I think it’s very close to fact.

  73. Marc Montoni

    You certainly know that I advocate MANY alterations to the existing government.

    To be honest, you’ve defended so many government activities, that I can’t recall any you advocate altering in an identifiably libertarian / free market direction. “Altering” and “altering in a libertarian direction” are not necessarily congruent wordings. Yeah, I’ve heard you call for altering things, but what, specifically, do you call for the government to do less of? Specifics, please. Not generalities. Pick an agency or federal department and describe what it would be left doing after Bob Capozzi finishes reforming it.

    I would say things have changed rather dramatically since 1776.

    Technology, yes. Living conditions (due to technology and cheap energy), yes. People, not so much. The same anger, joy, love, hate, avarice, generosity, and all those other things that make us human were part of us in 1776 as much as now. We also have tyrants and the benevolent now, just as then.

    Then, sparsely populated colonies had no real plausible enemies anywhere in the vicinity… travel from Europe took weeks and months.

    You’re kidding, right?

    Highway robbery was all over the place. We still have it now, except the state monopolizes the crime and calls it ‘revenue enhancement’. From the colonists’ perspective, there was the threat of raids by the anti-immigration natives. From the AmerIndians’ perspective, it was the threat of immigrants moving in and stealing the land they considered their own. Massacres were commonplace especially on the frontier. Raids along the coast or against merchant vessels by the Spanish or pirates were still common.

    Maybe war came to you in a more leisurely fashion, but eventually it did come to you, and when you were on the receiving end of a bayonet, cannonball, or stone axe, it didn’t feel any more pleasant than watching a drone coming at your family home with you and yours in it.

    Nowadays, as I’m sure you know, weapons can be launched from thousands of miles away that can strike in an hour.

    Yes, and the only proven way to minimize the likelihood of one or more of those being sent your way is to live at peace with the world, remove all troops from foreign soil, and tend to making things people all over the planet want to buy.

    Pitchforks, sidearms, and even machine guns are no match for ICBMs. I guess that’s only my opinion, but I think it’s very close to fact.

    Seems to me you’re forgetting some extremely recent history, where expensive heavy weapons supplied by the USG, Russians, and Chinese failed miserably — or do you deny that pitchforks, sidearms, and a few household AK-47’s, along with huge rallies of mostly unarmed protestors, pretty much beat the missiles, tanks, heavy guns, planes, rockets, grenades that “should” have carried the day in Tunisia and Egypt?

    As another example, the US government is getting all of our butts kicked economically even though right now (and for some time in the near future) it enjoys a near-monopoly on force projection.

    Looks to me like people power and economic energy have proven far more valuable than all that expensive military hardware and all those highly trained state assassins.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    95 mm: what, specifically, do you call for the government to do less of? Specifics, please.

    Me: I advocate that all government functions be lessened. I can’t think of an exception.

    Mm: Pick an agency or federal department and describe what it would be left doing after Bob Capozzi finishes reforming it.

    Me: You’re making this too easy! There are several I’d like to see abolished tomorrow. Commerce would be the easiest is my gut take. But such thought experiments are not IMO helpful to the cause of liberty. I find it more useful to consider PLAUSIBLE paths to liberty, not Ivory Tower constructs, which can be fun, but disconnecting from reality doesn’t seem to be productive to me. Gillespie/de Rugy’s idea of doing a 3+% per year, across-the-board cut for 10 years sound a bit more realistic. I’d leave room for netting that out, cutting some programs faster, others more slowly. How the Gillespie/de Rugy Plan might be negotiated is interesting to me.

    Mm: Technology [change], yes. Living conditions (due to technology and cheap energy), yes. People, not so much.

    Me: Wow, do I EVER agree with that!

    Mm: [In 1776, h]ighway robbery was all over the place.

    Me: I’ve not seen estimates of crime rates in 1776 vs. today. But I find the analogy weak. There was crime at some level pre-1776 and after, and now. Crime of this sort is isolated and individualized. I see that as different than what the basic ground rules for social interaction are. To have social intercourse, the fabric of such interaction depends on how the (evolving!) rule of law is established and enforced. One such configuration would be tribal. Another might be the Anglo-American property model. Another might be the Somalian Nihilist model. From that set of rules, commerce and other forms of social interaction are structured and bounded. The intent of a highway robber and a tax collector are different. I suppose I might agree that the effect can sort of be the same, although highway robbers take ALL you money, near as I can tell. As a rule, tax collectors take the money with the purpose of establishing and maintaining a rule of law in which most/all can operate in a reasonable level of domestic tranquility. Policing highway robbery takes resources, after all! I don’t advocate the Somalian Nihilist Model, or its variant, the Hoppe insurance companies as uber-yet-competing peacekeeping institutions.

    Mm: From the colonists’ perspective, there was the threat of raids by the anti-immigration natives. From the AmerIndians’ perspective, it was the threat of immigrants moving in and stealing the land they considered their own. Massacres were commonplace especially on the frontier. Raids along the coast or against merchant vessels by the Spanish or pirates were still common.

    Mm: Yes, on the margin, there are always threats. Politics is an asymptotic business, ever seeking to create a more perfect union. More properly, we are always seeking to tweak civil society’s institutions to maximize the “good” and minimize the “bad.” Sometimes, the tweaks need to be more substantial; other times, less so. IMO, of course.

    Mm: Maybe war came to you in a more leisurely fashion, but eventually it did come to you, and when you were on the receiving end of a bayonet, cannonball, or stone axe, it didn’t feel any more pleasant than watching a drone coming at your family home with you and yours in it.

    Me: True, atomistically speaking. How an individual body dies matters not to the body, or the body’s friends and family. The question is what civil social order and set of institutions will maximize peace and prosperity and minimize unjust death and coercion? In concept, I don’t see statelessness as the way to structure things, in my judgment. Apparently, you do. That’s OK, we disagree on that one. I would assert that neither of us can PROVE that statelessness would or would not maximize peace and minimize coercion. Politics is not physics. If it is IS physics, prove it!

    MM: Yes, and the only proven way to minimize the likelihood of one or more of those being sent your way is to live at peace with the world, remove all troops from foreign soil, and tend to making things people all over the planet want to buy.

    Me: Proven? No, see my last passage. Nevertheless, I agree with your opinion here.

    MM: Seems to me you’re forgetting some extremely recent history, where expensive heavy weapons supplied by the USG, Russians, and Chinese failed miserably — or do you deny that pitchforks, sidearms, and a few household AK-47?s, along with huge rallies of mostly unarmed protestors, pretty much beat the missiles, tanks, heavy guns, planes, rockets, grenades that “should” have carried the day in Tunisia and Egypt?

    Me: No, I didn’t forget. The street didn’t beat the military in out and out combat. Near as I can tell, the government was unwilling to use its full military response for a variety of reasons. An internal revolution in a second or third world nation is quite a bit different than the US. And those internal revolutions were NOT revolutions against ALL government, just the government in power. I trust you see the difference. And I note that you avoid entirely the matter of WMD and ICBMs. If I have your model somewhat understood, you want an internal revolution in the US in which all government is abolished and replaced with nothing. Fair? Close to accurate? I can’t go there. The nation is too wealthy to not experience that vacuum being filled by another aggressive nation-state. The risk of one with ICBMs using them to extract compliance is a chilling notion for me. The idea is simply a non-starter FOR ME.

    Mm: As another example, the US government is getting all of our butts kicked economically even though right now (and for some time in the near future) it enjoys a near-monopoly on force projection. Looks to me like people power and economic energy have proven far more valuable than all that expensive military hardware and all those highly trained state assassins.

    Me: I really have no idea what this means. Can you clarify?

  75. George Phillies

    We also had descend on the Conference Mr. Max Abramson. Abramson represented to the conference that he was running for our Party’s Presidential nomination. He has also represented to the Republican Party that he is a Republican, and is running in a Republican Primary for State Representative. If he wins the nomination, he will be running against a*real* Libertarian, Brendan Kelly.

    The member of the LPMass State Committee who interacted with him and others about his campaign were left with the impression that he was running to disrupt Libertarian Presidential campaigns in favor of running candidates for local office.

    He has been covered on Blue Hampshire Group http://www.bluehampshire.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=13008. He neglected to mention or deny the criticisms therein of his candidacy, which read “Seabrook Budget Committee member Albert “Max” Abramson moved to New Hampshire with the Free State Project and is active on the Free State Project discussion board. He has been endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus. Abramson is facing charges of felony reckless conduct following his arrest for an incident involving gunfire at his home.”

  76. Robert Capozzi

    93 mm: …spend a few hours a week organizing their precinct and their county, that would definitely move the LP forward.

    me: We all appreciate your time management counsel. From what I gather, you do what you advise. Question: In the years you’ve been doing so, has the LP moved forward? If it has, which metric do you use to measure forward progress? Generally, by most measures, it seems to be at the same level as it was in the 80s. Indeed, if we look at the elected Ls, it seems less effective since more moderate Ls were more prominent. (Recall that in that decade 3 Ls were elected to the AK state legislature, the highest office attained so far by a L candidate.)

  77. Michael H. Wilson

    Robert I would guess that the word Libertarian is much more accepted today than it was in 1980, but what it means is not so clear, which is our own fault. The problem is caused by people coming and going trying different things in order to get elected, or get the numbers up. Most of these people don’t seem to have much in the way of sales skills.

  78. Robert Capozzi

    99 mhw, yes, great point. L is known now far more than in the 30 years ago, I agree. As for L’s precise meaning, I also agree that one doesn’t exist. Of course, that’s the nature of words — meanings are fluid and based on subjective understanding. If it’s any consolation, “conservative,” “liberal,” “socialist,” etc. are also not precise.

    So, I can’t say I agree with your diagnosis of why a word (or any word) lack a universally agreed on meaning.

    Persuasive sales skills can always improve. So, too, can our deepest understanding of theory.

    IMO.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    99 mhw: The problem is caused by people coming and going….

    me: There are no “problems,” only opportunities. But, OK, what’s the “correct” definition?

  80. Don Wills

    TK@89 – There you go again defining libertarianism as equivalent to anarchism/agorism/voluntarism and as the opposite of constitutionalism! My point is made again.

  81. Thomas L. Knapp

    DW @ 102,

    “There you go again defining libertarianism as equivalent to anarchism/agorism/voluntarism and as the opposite of constitutionalism!”

    In your imagination, perhaps. In the real world, no.

    It’s apples and oranges. Libertarianism is a political ideology, constitutionalism is a political method.

    I’ve been looking for your “point” for years, but the only place I ever find it is on top of your head.

  82. JT

    Gotta agree with Knapp’s point about libertarianism and constitutionalism (but not about libertarianism necessarily meaning anarchism, post 89).

    How could “libertarianism” mean “constitutionalism”? That would mean on the state level that libertarianism is whatever is in each state’s constitution, and in another country that libertarianism is whatever is in that country’s constitution.

    If the U.S. government were reduced to only the functions specified in the U.S. Constitution, greatly decentralizing political power, would that mean all of the remaining functions are consistent with libertarianism?

  83. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT @ 105,

    Libertarianism does not necessarily mean anarchism — but anarchism does necessarily mean libertarianism.

    Smiliarly, a libertarian might be a methodological constitutionalist, but a methodological constitutionalist is not necessarily a libertarian.

    NewFederalist,

    For years upon years, Wills’s schtick has been that the only thing holding the LP back from national political success is that those damn inconvenient libertarians won’t sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and let him re-define their beliefs for them. If pointing out that that’s a monumentally fucking stupid approach in every way imaginable is “attacking” him, mea culpa.

  84. Don Wills

    TK – you’re quite a jokester.

    ————————————
    From dictionary.com:

    con·sti·tu·tion·al·ism? ?

    [kon-sti-too-shuh-nl-iz-uhm, -tyoo-]

    –noun

    1. the principles of constitutional government or adherence to them.
    2. constitutional rule or authority.
    ————————————

    Inherent in believing in the “the principles of a constitutional government” is the assumption that “government” is legitimate. Anarchists do not accept that assumption.

    Understanding my argument is no more complicated than answering the fundamental question:

    Do you accept a Constitutional Republic as a legitimate form of government?

    Anarchist-libertarians would answer no.

    Constitutionalists would answer yes.

    How does the LP answer that question?

  85. Don Wills

    TK – I left the LP just because they can’t answer the question in @107. I asked the question many times to many Libertarians, and never got anything close to a consensus on the answers I received.

  86. JT

    Knapp in post 106, agreed.

    Wills, you want answers, but you didn’t answer my post 105.

  87. Michael H. Wilson

    Robert at one time the LP used the phrase “Peace, Prosperity and Freedom”. Later some used “Socially Tolerant and Fiscally Conservative”. Personally I think that was way off the mark. Today the website has “Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom”. Perhaps there have been other slogans used over the years, but the point is doing so leads to confusion about how the LP is defined. Noam Chomsky defines Libertarian different than we do as I recall (I am not going to look into that one now). It might be interesting for others to understand what he is talking about. For example I know lots of Libertarians who talk about capitalism. I have tried to avoid using that word for the last twenty years since, in my opinion; it does not describe free markets. In using words it is important to know the origin of the word as well as to understand its current usage. Then be consistent. Something the LP has avoided.

    Second problem is that too much has been expected of the national office and not enough of the state and local affiliates. Person X runs for chair of some state party and then they do little or nothing to grow the organization. Then when it is time for re-election they have a boat load of excuses and want to be re-elected.

  88. Don Wills

    I use the word “constitutionalist” to imply support for the form of government envisioned by the founding fathers and written on paper in the Constitution of the United States. Most readers understand that such a reference refers to a constitutional republic with powers delegated to the federal government and other powers remaining with the states, and not some other type of government.

    Again, the LP leaders I’ve bumped into are all over the place on the fundamental question –

    Do you accept a Constitutional Republic as a legitimate form of government?

    With regard to the what-if questions directed to me here – my answers are irrelevant. I don’t speak for the LP, never did, and never will.

    How can the LP expect to have members, followers and supporters who have even a bit of allegiance to the party if there is no agreement on what the party stands for?

  89. NewFederalist

    Well, well, well… we are right back to #67 and #69 above. As usual nothing has changed.

  90. Gene Berkman

    “…but anarchism does necessarily mean libertarianism.” TK @ 106

    Tom, you must lead a very sheltered existence. I have met so-called “anarchists” who advocate socialized medicine, the violent destruction of private property, and “denounce” the government because “it is not doing enough.”

    “Anarchism” developed some popularity among a minority of so-called radicals in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Many who adopted the label just used it to mean “socialism” – the anti-social doctrine that “freedom” can only come with the disposession of the capitalists and destruction of the concept of private property.

    It was a struggle then to separate libertarians – including free market anarchists – from such pro-state “anarcho-leftists” at the time.

    It appears that since then, the few left radicals who continue to claim to be anarchists have adopted an even worse doctrine of abolishing industrial society in a neo-primativist version of unrestrained freedom.

  91. Steven Wilson

    Libertarian in America does not mean the same as Libertarian in the European model. If Nolan and the others “used” a pre-existing naming device, then it should only be natural that the convention goers take that attitude about the book club (LP platform).

    Their perspective is based on “their” reading of that naming device.

    The constitution party is identified as a paradox, because they force an open living document closed and want a sequence based on “their” reading of the naming device constitution. From theory to application, the constitution party contradicts itself. Open is not closed.

    The Libertarian party does not know itself, and that is different than deceiving oneself.

    Bob Barr called himself a Libertarian and no one said anything about it. Wayne Root called himself a Libertarian and no one said anything about it.

    Words have meaning, but if you don’t apply them as defined, the truth proposition is invalid. The usage of the naming device is relative.

    You don’t manage chaos. You don’t central plan freedom.

  92. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorsement

    The name game, look no further than the postal letter my sweat heart has from the [so called] National Independent American Party, via an attempt to connect with the [BALLOT ACCESSED] California American Independent Party.

    Huh ?????????? Which IAP, the CP bound Nevada, with wonderful AND horrible members and activists ??????????

    Notice that the National IAP claims a powerful core of activists. Ya also notice that they have never responded in pretty much ANY blog, including IPR.

    What the …………..

  93. Robert Capozzi

    116 sw: You don’t manage chaos. You don’t central plan freedom.

    me: And yet you DO want to centrally plan the meaning of words? Good luck with that!

  94. Robert Capozzi

    110 mhw: Second problem is that too much has been expected of the national office and not enough of the state and local affiliates. Person X runs for chair of some state party and then they do little or nothing to grow the organization.

    me: There are, again, no “problems,” only opportunities. In my case, I have NO expectations, as a practice. I’m not surprised that some state parties lack critical mass to be effective. I’d rather see national efforts lead the way until states are big enough to have scale to be effective.

  95. Michael H. Wilson

    Robert you may be correct, but I will disagree with you.

    There have been people in management roles in the LP who couldn’t give cold water away to a thirsty man in the desert and that is a problem!

  96. Robert Capozzi

    112 dw: How can the LP expect to have members, followers and supporters who have even a bit of allegiance to the party if there is no agreement on what the party stands for?

    me: I’m not sure “allegiance” is all that important. A political party is a platform for like-minded folk to express their political views. Can the LP “deal with” differences of opinion, that is the question? I’d say that’s difficult to impossible if some believe their opinions are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and all others are poseurs.

  97. Don Wills

    @122 – “allegiance” is the difference between winning and losing. A political party is a team. For any team to be successful, the team members must all be pulling in generally the same direction, each person dutifully playing his rule in the workings of the team to attain its goals. The “allegiance” of party members to “the cause” of the party is a prerequisite for success.

    @123 – The Dems from 1932 to 1964 were the party of war and the party of social justice (i.e. redistribution of wealth). The Democratic Party stayed focused on its goals of transforming American society from a laissez faire capitalist system to the system we have now. To do that, the Dems had to obtain and hold power. And to do that they had to win elections. That they did, and quite successfully.

    To all who for some reason believe that the LP is anything like the Ds or Rs – please reconsider. The similarities are nil. The LP is a debating society, fragmented between the anarchists and the constitutionalists. Its leaders believe the LP should be about education, electoral reform, winning local elections, having a strong presidential candidate, or just showing up with paper candidates. Until the LP fully embraces a well-defined philosophy and realistic objectives, and puts in place leaders who support the party’s philosophy and who will work tireless to accomplish the objectives, the LP will continue to thrash around, full of sound and fury, accomplishing nothing.

    Yes, TK, that’s my shtick. And I’m sticking to it.

  98. NOTHING Can Help the LP

    Until the LP … blah, blah, blah.

    No, you’re wrong. You have no solutions. There are no solutions.

    The LP will remain in the electoral toilet because the U.S. electoral system is structured to support two, philosophically ambiguous parties.

    Even if the LP did everything you suggest — or if it did the exact opposite — or if it did anything else — the LP will never pull itself out of the gutter.

    The same goes for every other third party.

    It’s been 150 years since the GOP attained major party status. It’s not gonna happen again your our lifetime, to any third party.

    2012 is not 1860.

  99. Michael H. Wilson

    re Don Wills @24; While I agree with some of what you say I will strongly disagree with this comment; “The Democratic Party stayed focused on its goals of transforming American society from a laissez faire capitalist… “.

    American society has never come close to being a laissez faire society. From the days of slavery thru today there have always been some groups excluded, numerous tariff for protection or a significant amount of regulation. And let me point out that until the late 1960s married women had to get their husbands permission to do almost anything in the world regarding trade. They could not sign a contract to buy a kitchen appliance in most states and any property they owned was subject to control of their husbands.

    Blacks, married women and other groups were and remain in some cases restricted in what they can do.

  100. Andy

    “Its leaders believe the LP should be about education, electoral reform, winning local elections, having a strong presidential candidate, or just showing up with paper candidates.”

    I think that the Libertarian Party would be more effective if it spent more time promoting jury nullification activism ( http://www.FIJA.org ) as well as teaching people to drop out of the Social(ist) (In)Security System and how to defend themselves in court.

  101. Thomas L. Knapp

    DW @ 124,

    Regarding your “schtick,” you write:

    “Until the LP fully embraces a well-defined philosophy and realistic objectives, and puts in place leaders who support the party’s philosophy and who will work tireless to accomplish the objectives, the LP will continue to thrash around, full of sound and fury, accomplishing nothing.”

    The LP was founded on a well-defined philosophy and realistic objectives.

    That philosophy and those objectives tend to subsume, but are not identical with, your “constitutionalism” fetish.

    Your objection is not that the LP lacks a well-defined philosophy or realistic objectives. Your objection is that the LP declines to abandon its well-defined philosophy and realistic objectives in favor of your preferred philosophy and objectives.

    Just to be clear, though, neither the LP’s existing philosophy/objectives nor your preferred replacements for them are sufficient to make the LP successful either in fulfilling its objectives (they’re listed in Article 1 of the party’s bylaws) or in making it competitive in America’s existing electoral politics, for several reasons including those mentioned by “NOTHING Can Help the LP” @ 125.

  102. Robert Capozzi

    124 dw: “allegiance” is the difference between winning and losing. A political party is a team. For any team to be successful, the team members must all be pulling in generally the same direction, each person dutifully playing his rule in the workings of the team to attain its goals.

    me: Ya know, your view may be optimal. And certainly a certain amount of comraderie and discipline seems necessary in any collective endeavor, including a political party.

    I can imagine a “Liberty Party” that is dedicated to advancing peace at home and abroad and undoing coercion at home and abroad could have a more adult, more tolerant, internal way of being.

    As for winning and losing, outcomes will be what they will be. Playing the game well, come what may, seems the more appropriate approach. Do the right thing, and you win every time.

  103. Robert Capozzi

    125 Nothing: It’s been 150 years since the GOP attained major party status. It’s not gonna happen again your our lifetime, to any third party. 2012 is not 1860.

    me: How do you KNOW this? As Gillespie and Welch are pointing out, the Independent vote is growing; party loyalty is waning. Perot was leading in the polls at one point.

    The R/D curtain is being pulled back, and we are collectively seeing the two-headed wizard for what he is.

  104. Steven Wilson

    @rc

    In group dynamics, you “central Plan” language through mutualism. Linguistics is a sequence from which all game players can use as a reference. It aids in communication, which in turn, will aid in group function. Words have meaning.

    If there is no mutualism in a group dynamic, then all game players speak gibberish.

    You cannot manage chaos because it is the child of gibberish.

  105. Robert Capozzi

    131 sw, there is certainly some “mutualism” in language usage. Most times, we get the general idea when we use words, especially for concrete, material things. This is less the case for abstract ideas.

    The meaning of words evolve/change over time, especially for words that represent abstract concepts.

    Managing chaos does sound like a fool’s errand. Yet we all deal with a certain amount of chaos all the time, even the control freaks and statists among us.

    “That’s how they do,” as was oft repeated in THE WIRE. Deal with it.

  106. Don Wills

    TK@128 – on the contrary, I couldn’t care less which philosophy the LP embraces. I’m done with the LP, even if it eschews anarchism.

    I offer my observations because I can’t stand the GOP, and the more opposition there is to the GOP, the better.

    One final time: the LP needs to declare it is either

    a) the party of anarchism, promoting a methodical movement to abolish government, or

    b) the party of limited government, supporting the separation of powers between the branches of the federal government, and supporting a relinquishing of power to the states and to the people, as outlined in the Constitution.

    FWIW, I believe that The Pledge and the Statement of Principles are in conflict with b). Assuming those won’t be changed, then the only philosophically consistent option for the LP to move forward is to announce that it is re-focusing its efforts to promote the abolition of government. That will drive out the Wayne Root faction, and maybe, just maybe, the LP will become a functional organization.

  107. Robert Capozzi

    133 dw: I believe that The Pledge and the Statement of Principles are in conflict with b).

    me: I’d amend that to say that the Pledge and SoP were deviously written to mollify anarchists and non-anarchist Ls. From that foundation of sand sprung a wobbly edifice.

    Any progress reports on the Country Party?

  108. Don Wills

    RC@134 – “Any progress reports on the Country Party?”

    The Wyoming Country Party was in founded in convention, bylaws were adopted, and the state executive committee was formed with 8 members. Volunteers have recently started gathering signatures for ballot access. 100 signatures gathered so far, 3650 valid signatures to go. The deadline for petitions is April 2012.

  109. JT

    Wills: “I use the word “constitutionalist” to imply support for the form of government envisioned by the founding fathers and written on paper in the Constitution of the United States. Most readers understand that such a reference refers to a constitutional republic with powers delegated to the federal government and other powers remaining with the states, and not some other type of government.”

    What you’re saying here is that by the term “constitutionalism” you’re referring to the form of government (i.e., constitutional republic) and not the function of government. I’m also one who endorses a constitutional republic as a form of government, but that’s not dictated by libertarianism, which applies to social *action*. So the statement that the LP has to choose between “constitutionalism and anarchism” is misplaced.

    Wills: “100 signatures gathered so far, 3650 valid signatures to go. The deadline for petitions is April 2012.”

    Good luck.

  110. Steven Wilson

    I don’t deal with it, because I won’t argue with fools. If the people here argue over a naming device then that is their right. But I don’t deal with it. The issue was why the party fails at gathering strength.

    Because there is no clarity. Stating a party platform or roberts rules or cartoon saturday doesn’t take away from what I know about group dynamics.

    You have feelings, and that is great. I have empirical data. The terms listed here don’t offer clarity to the listener, therefore the speaker is using gibberish.

    If you or anyone here cannot understand that, then this posting is gibberish. And that is fine.

    The truth proposition is still valid. If there is no clarity, there is no strength. If there is no strength, there is no leadership.

    You argue over a naming device like constitution, anarchy, libertarian, and others and end up in the same spot. That is your life. Not mine.

  111. Robert Capozzi

    137 sw: If there is no clarity, there is no strength. If there is no strength, there is no leadership.

    me: I’d submit that it’s VERY CLEAR that words are symbols of symbols, made up and highly elastic. Fool yourself into believing that words are real at your own peril.

    If words are more than symbols twice removed, prove it! Is the word, say, “LIBERTY,” a real thing or a concept?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *