Mark Hilgenberg: Why Are Libertarians Hard to Understand?

I found this posted to Facebook, and asked the author for permission to post it. Some of it might apply to other people who belong to  third parties. Those of us who don’t belong to the duopoly of the Democrats and Republicans seem to think differently, I’ve observed.
The article can be found here .

 

Why are Libertarians so hard to understand?  Why do they all sound alike?

Why do they all get into arguments over everything?

It all comes down to communication style.

Most people active in politics and the largest segment of society are concrete communicators. Here is how Dr. David Keirsey describes this type of communication. “Some people talk primarily about the external, concrete world of everyday reality: facts and figures, work and play, home and family, news, sports and weather — all the who-what-when-where-and how much’s of life.”

They are also cooperative in action, “they try to do the right thing, in keeping with agreed upon social rules, conventions, and codes of conduct, and only later do they concern themselves with the effectiveness of their actions.”

“As Concrete Cooperators, Guardians speak mostly of their duties and responsibilities, of what they can keep an eye on and take good care of, and they’re careful to obey the laws, follow the rules, and respect the rights of others.” They make up 40-45% of the population.

Most Libertarians are abstract communicators: “This group of people talk primarily about the internal, abstract world of ideas: theories and conjectures, dreams and philosophies, beliefs and fantasies –all the why’s, if’s, and what-might-be’s of life.”

They are often Utilitarian in action: “act primarily in a utilitarian or pragmatic manner, that is, they do what gets results, what achieves their objectives as effectively or efficiently as possible, and only afterwards do they check to see if they are observing the rules or going through proper channels.”

As Abstract Utilitarians, Rationals speak mostly of what new problems intrigue them and what new solutions they envision, and always pragmatic, they act as efficiently as possible to achieve their objectives, ignoring arbitrary rules and conventions if need be.

This group makes up 5-10% of the population, yet they are the vast majority of Libertarians.

How does this work out in a typical political conversation?

Libertarian: “We need to cut government by 50%”

Now in their thought process they are thinking abstract and tangentially, they see millions of forks in the road. Paths leading to various solutions, ideas abound in their vision of this simple statement. All of the benefits of the various liberty oriented ideas are wrapped up in that statement.

Guardian: “What!!? You want chaos in the streets and people dying?”

Their thought process is concrete, they “hear” cut government and they immediately envision the removal of things they feel help (police, Fire, defense, etc.). No forks, no alternative paths or solutions, just an immediate thought to the worst case scenario.

Unfortunately few rational will look into this stuff being that they think it isn’t scientific but more like astrology. It is ironic considering that for the most part “they do what gets results, what achieves their objectives as effectively or efficiently as possible.” Maybe more of them will realize that they are not being effective or getting results.

This must be why I am an idealist.

“As Abstract Cooperators, Idealists speak mostly of what they hope for and imagine might be possible for people, and they want to act in good conscience, always trying to reach their goals without compromising their personal code of ethics.”

 

Mark Hilgenberg is currently exercising his Idealist views in the Utah Libertarian Party.  He’s currently Vice Chair there.   He also spent some time previously in the California LP.

114 thoughts on “Mark Hilgenberg: Why Are Libertarians Hard to Understand?

  1. Robert Capozzi

    Helpful ideas. Another way to put this is that Ls tend to not be radical enough. Their comfort zone is to play around with a simplistic construct which allows them to sound “radical,” but which does not allow for considerations outside the small “box” they have invented.

    Think “checkers” when the rest of the world is playing “chess” or even “three dimensional chess.” The rules of checkers are VERY simple and VERY consistent…tidy. It’s a fine game as far as it goes.

  2. johnO

    I think every party has a moderate side and radical side. Why are the Socialists split so many times. There is the Socialist Equality Party. Are they more “moderate” than say Socialist Workers Party? How about the Greens? They have two different parties. Even the religious parties have conservative and ultra-conservative. CP the prior and even this party has split over Tampa issue over Abortion. Hansen wing I believe had no abortion except for rape, incest, and mothers life and the other wing said none whatsoever. So Libertarians may have different views of how to get to liberty, I just dont think Libertarians are the only group/party arguing over everything. Freedom is messy and ongoing/changing. If you want clean authority North Korea or Iran can do. Just watch your head.

  3. Starchild

    “Idealists speak mostly of what they hope for and imagine might be possible for people, and they want to act in good conscience, always trying to reach their goals without compromising their personal code of ethics.”

    This is a lovely description of idealism, and I applaud Mark Hilgenberg for appreciating it and seeing his activism in this light.

    My only concern with it in this context is that I think the Kiersey personality types are usually described and seen more as innate characteristics than as traits that people choose.

    I think that we can — and should — actively choose to be idealists!

    Idealism is too often trashed by people who lack imagination, and lack a passion for making the world a better place.

    While few things are more dangerous than misguided idealism, idealism is only bad if a person’s ideas are bad!

    If your ideas are good — and the Non-Aggression Principle is a very good idea — then being an idealist, seeing the potential of those ideas and striving to realize them, is both good and important.

  4. Starchild

    Robert @2 – Given your frequent attacks on libertarian radicalism, it’s amusing to see you arguing here that Libertarians are not radical enough. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? 🙂 Or do you simply figure you can attack radicalism more effectively by attempting to redefine it as conservatism or moderation?

  5. marzak

    IT cost so much to have the govt. up everyone ass that we find it more and more difficult to live, yeah, I can see how some people have trouble grasping that concept.

  6. johnO

    So what happens to all those “realists” if they don’t agree with “idealists”. This is the ying and the yang of the question. Some people feel tyranny when under a regime of idealism (or vice a versa). So yes idealism may have good traits but don’t count out the realists either.
    -A good example is the gun debate going on now. Some idealists want no gun violence. The theory is ban guns=less mass murder(or just gun murder). However, Nazi Germany and some other totalitarian govt’s banned the common man/women from having guns. This has led totalitarian govt’s to mass murder their own citizens. This list is long and sad. Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Cambodia, North Korea (now), Iran (now, less extreme than above countries, but still…) , Argentina’s junta in the 70’s, Armenian genocide, etc,etc, on and on. So we need a small dose of realism when striving for idealism.

  7. Starchild

    Some idealists want a world where the right to keep and bear arms is universally recognized.

    That idealistic desire is based on a realistic belief that such a world would be freer and safer.

  8. johnO

    Good points. I just think , in their point of view, a Kim jong-il, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot,etc thought they were idealists in transforming the countries they ruled. They were barbaric nihilists.

  9. Mark Hilgenberg

    Starchild, Keirsey talks mostly of communication, not how we believe, sure in life I would like to see more idealists in belief also but in communication we are rare.

    Our focus needs to be on using our positive idealist and rational traits in a way where the majority understands us. I often tell people who are stuck in the yelling mode with “statists” to try and learn to speak their language. It is as if they are yelling at a Chinese person for not understanding English, if you keep speaking English but just get louder and more confrontational, you still won’t be understood.

    So we need to differentiate between being an idealist in action and an idealist in communication. It gets back to the abstract communication vs. concrete.

  10. William Saturn

    California is spelled wrong at the bottom. I would edit it myself, but I prefer not to edit other people’s articles.

  11. Ted Brown

    The Keirsey temperament types (as discussed in the book, Please Understand Me) are important to understand. Our 1984 presidential candidate David Bergland started to promote this many years ago as a means of helping Libertarians communicate with each other and with the greater population. I agree with Mark Hilgenberg. It will be hard to succeed without understanding the people we are talking to. There are actually 4 types: Guardian, Rational, Idealist, and Artisan. I’m not going to write the definitions, but the details of each type are great to read, and then see where you fit in.

  12. paulie

    California is spelled wrong at the bottom. I would edit it myself, but I prefer not to edit other people’s articles.

    Please do make spelling corrections and other such obvious things. That’s different from editing for content, which you should clear with a post’s author. I’ll go ahead and do it this time.

  13. Mark Hilgenberg

    @ Ted #13

    I first heard about Keirsey from David Bergland back in the late 90’s, he used to give talks on the topic to the LPOC. It was really an eye opener.

    Yes, we should learn all four types but I focus on Rationals since most Libertarians are Rational and Guardians since most people active in politics fall in that quad.

    Here is a good overview of all four.

    http://keirsey.com/4temps/overview_temperaments.asp

  14. Robert Capozzi

    5 sc, I’m sorry if you find my sharings to be “attacks.” Not my intent. I consider myself to be the most radical L on Earth, actually, so I think “radical” is a virtue if we mean by that word something like getting to the root.

    I contrast RADICAL with EXTREMIST, which generally doesn’t work and is IMO counterproductive.

    Chalk it up to a different lens.

  15. Mark Hilgenberg

    Idealist in communication does not equal radical, in my opinion most “Radicals” are the worst offenders at preaching to the abstract choir and demonizing the concrete audience.

  16. paulie

    I’m both a radical (in the sense of questioning my own beliefs even at a fundamental level) and an extremist/radical (in the sense of questioning widely socially accepted beliefs and norms even at a fundamental level), but I try to keep the audience in mind when I express myself…although I fall short all too often.

  17. Mark Hilgenberg

    Paulie,

    Exactly, I feel the same way. While I agree with most “radical” ends, it is the communication I cringe at.

    For some reason I notice many radicals tend to present the issue in the most extreme and scary sounding rhetoric. This has nothing to do with the pragmatic vs. radical debate, it is ALL in how radical issue are explained.

  18. Robert Capozzi

    I would suggest that L extremism’s biggest flaw for me is that it seems unwilling/unable to take into account context and dislocation.

    As I understand (and once bought into) extremist Lism, it might go something like this: Social Security is immoral. Therefore Social Security should be abolished. And therefore we should full-throatedly advocate Social Security abolition.

    As what I consider to be a real radical, I don’t don’t “morality.” Morality to me is just another opinion. I certainly agree with extremists that SS was/is a dysfunctional idea on many levels. However, abolition of SS is nearly as dysfunctional on every level I can think of. Sunsetting/transitioning away from SS, OTOH, would be an idea that I think makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels.

  19. Robert Capozzi

    Brain shape? Ever open minded, but this sounds like an absurd idea. Witness: People change their minds about politics.

    Then again, I’m not even sure the mind is in the brain. Yes, synapse seem to fire there, but we have an unproveable correlation that does not prove causation with regard to where thought comes from. Since it is a thought to say that thought originates in the brain, the inquiry is tainted from jump.

  20. paulie

    I wonder if this makes political debate at the philosophical level, rather than on particular points of policy, pointless.

    Not pointless; it was only through this process that I changed my mind wholesale on economic issues.

    Later, I changed from minarchist to anarchist.

    Since then, I’ve had some less drastic changes in views also through discussion/debate.

  21. Warren Redlich

    From where I’m sitting, most libertarian candidates fail to get (or do not care to get) a basic principle of politics: You have to talk about stuff the voters care about.

    The typical libertarian candidate has an 8 1/2 x 14 flyer with 8-point font and 1/2″ margins, double sided, so he/she can fit in every single issue.

    What our candidates should do is find a short (less than 7 words) phrase that captures their theme. Mine is “Stop Wasting Money”. This doesn’t mean you change your views on all the issues. But it does mean you focus your message on that theme. And you repeat that theme with frequency.

    So when the voter walks in the voting booth and sees your name, he says: “Oh, he’s the XYZ guy,” instead of: “Who?”

  22. Mark Hilgenberg

    @ 27 Warren

    Very true, that is because rationals love information so they assume that everyone needs more information.

    Our local party is working with an activist who is also a pro marketer, we are trying to come up with a brand that would be consistent across our candidates and party. A logo, a saying, etc.

    At this stage recognition and not being labeled as “evil” is all we can hope for.

  23. Eric Sundwall

    Libertarians frequently distill complex concepts into catchy slogans;

    – taxation is theft
    – there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch
    – tax marijuana like wine
    – end the fed
    – freedom is that answer, what’s the question?
    – etc.

    Electoral success is the bugaboo. Once you get over that, the shining path is far easier to preach.

  24. Mark Hilgenberg

    Also, “end the Fed” is one of those concretes which are negative, people think by “Fed” it means government and by ending it we will be handing over the control of our money to Wall Street.

    Regulate MJ like wine is a good one, very concrete.

  25. Marc Montoni

    I sure wish people would stop worrying so much about being “understood by the masses”.

    All of the painful jaw-jackery about moderating our platform (in an effort to “make Libertarianism “palatable” to the average voter) hasn’t budged us in terms of how many donors we have or how much support we get at the ballot box.

    The experiment has failed and it’s time to move on.

    No Libertarian should invest too much heartache if socialists don’t understand us. Socialists are not our market.

    Socialists’ friends WHO ARE ALREADY LIBERTARIANS are our market.

    There are millions of people out there who are ALREADY BASICALLY LIBERTARIAN.

    The LP’s primary function is to “gather the troops”. The prime directive for the organization is to become more effective at getting those who are already convinced, signed up, organized, and active.

    Right now we do a horrid job at it.

    When was the last time you picked up the phone and called the day’s new inquiry from LPHQ and arranged to meet them at a coffee shop near them, so you could provide a handshake, and a libertarian book &/or DVD and handful of LP flyers?

    [LPHQ sends your state chair new inquiries as they come in — I bet the state chair would *love* to find a few volunteers to help follow-up with them!]

    We don’t need expend any effort to help any socialists understand us. We need to find the Mark Hilgenbergs, get them signed up, and let them work their magic on their own friends.

    Politicians convince no one of anything. They just “harvest” the people who already agree with them, and allow them to work.

  26. Marc Montoni

    Mark I didn’t say you were; I was using that experiment to illustrate the point I was making. There was supposed to be a “likewise,” in there somewhere but I accidentally hit “submit” in the middle of composing and now I forget what the segue was supposed to be.

    Since we have people calling, writing, and emailing LPHQ for more information every day, it would make a lot more sense to skip everything else (like psych quizzes) until every one of those new people gets contacted by someone nearby within an hour of filling out the form at http://www.lp.org/request-info.

    We lose many more new prospects *every day* than either you or I bring in in a month — because our follow-up rate with people who have already decided they’re interested is so freaking atrocious.

  27. Dave Terry

    Hilgenberg wrote:

    Why are Libertarians so hard to understand? Why do they all sound alike?

    What idiot pronounced the judgement that we all sound alike? That is moronic! The PROBLEM is that, if you speak to 5 libertarians you will get 5 DIFFERENT takes on what is essentially libertarian.

  28. Dave Terry

    Starchild (4)

    > “Idealism is too often trashed by people who lack imagination, and lack a passion for making the world a better place.

    While few things are more dangerous than misguided idealism, idealism is only bad if a person’s ideas are bad!

    If your ideas are good — and the Non-Aggression Principle is a very good idea — then being an idealist, seeing the potential of those ideas and striving to realize them, is both good and important.

    With all due respect, Starchild, I don’t find this to be true. MOST of the trashing of radicals is
    done PRIMARILY by those of use who have been engaged in the REAL (ie. non-idealized)
    world and have either witnessed or experienced to abject failure of tilting at windmills.

    My experience has also shown that realists are generally more tolerant of radicals than vise versa. It is apparently MORE distressing to have one’s dreams and ideals disparaged than one’s facts.

  29. Michael H. Wilson

    Mark I think it is fairly easy to take a radical stand and do so in words that get the point across to the average voter. The problems is the LP doesn’t try very hard to communicate so that the average person understands what is being said. Lot’s of people in this party don’t seem to have the necessary people skills.

  30. paulie

    Dave Terry

    If you don’t know and don’t feel like learning basic HTML tags please “put anything you are quoting to reply to it in quotes, like this”

    And then separate your reply, so it is obvious where the quote ends and your reply starts.

  31. Mark Hilgenberg

    @36 Dave

    My post started as answer to several people in a political group I post on. Libertarians were being accused of all sounding like cloned angry right wingers, I was the lone exception. Hence my start to the blog.

    I know we can “hear” the difference but to the average person we all sound like Charlie Browns teachers.

  32. paulie

    The PROBLEM is that, if you speak to 5 libertarians you will get 5 DIFFERENT takes on what is essentially libertarian.

    Individualists being individualistic…shocking!

  33. Wes Wagner

    MHW @43

    Critical to that is that we must change the minds of other people. If we change our own principles to match that of the general population in order to “win elections”* — we will not have changed the general population to be more libertarian.

    (*notwithstanding that change our platform to be more “mainstream” is not a viable winning strategy since everyone else has first-mover advantage)

  34. paulie

    Marc and Mark are both right. We need to make the LP and libertarianism more welcoming (not by changing what we believe, but how we all too often present it) and by getting a lot better at following up with existing inquiries.

    In many cases, I think our failure at both are two different symptoms of the same underlying problem.

  35. paulie

    Critical to that is that we must change the minds of other people. If we change our own principles to match that of the general population in order to “win elections”* — we will not have changed the general population to be more libertarian.

    Knowing MHW, and having read plenty of Rothbard, I don’t think either one is suggesting changing our principles.

  36. Mark Hilgenberg

    @44 Wes, That is always the fear when some of us present the idea of communicating in a different way. Please re-read my OP, read up on communication styles, nothing I have said remotely talks about changing our views, just how they are presented.

    Libertarians like hearing their views preached back to them in the way which appeals to them the most, as I posted, very few people communicate our way and it is if we are speaking a different language. All I am asking is we learn to speak other languages.

  37. Jill Pyeatt

    FYI–I’m a salesperson for my livelihood. Trying to quickly understand who you’re talking to and how they learn things is part of the program and should be somewhat instinctive. Libertarians–like insurance salespersons –are selling something people can’t see. As silly as it might seem, there are people in this world, perfectly intelligent and well-educated people, who have trouble understanding things they can’t see. These are people who need to have proof sources, diagrams, or literature to help prove a point. Basic understanding of the personality types– and Kiersey’s program is a good one–is something I’d recommend to anyone in any field.

  38. Michael H. Wilson

    Jill get’s it.

    I had a previous LPO Chair tell me that isolationism was a good thing, or words to that effect.

    I prefer to tell people we need to bring the troops home because the American workers are subsidizing their global competition.

    And thanks to Paulie at 46.

  39. Michael H. Wilson

    Let me clear up what I just wrote. A previous chair of the LPO once used the word isolationism to describe the Libertarian party’s foreign policy. I tried to suggest to him that another word or better phrasing would make the message more acceptable. He basically told me to forget it. He wasn’t going to phrase it differently.

  40. Wes Wagner

    MHW @50 Re Paulie @46

    I did not intend to imply that MHW believed that way, I added it because it was missing from the statement, some may not know MHW well, and may not otherwise connect the dots of the implication.

  41. Dave Terry

    Paulie (42)
    “Individualists being individualistic…shocking!”

    WOW! And all this time I thought we were all members of the “Libertarian” Party, NOT the “Individualist Party”.

    And YES, I realize that Libertarianism extolls the virtues of individualism, but we also accept certain tenets that define us as an “organized” political movement.

    Without a specific set of fundamental premises
    in common we are wasting our time. If each of us lists the 6 issues of greatest importance to us
    and our position on those issue and there is not
    more than 60% overlap than than we seriously need to rethink the existence of the Libertarian
    Party

  42. Starchild

    Robert @16 – I see “radical” and “extremist” as essentially synonyms, although I recognize that the word “extremist” probably has more negative connotations for most people.

    Both words, by definition, are relative — something which is “radical” or “extreme” in one time, place, or context may be ordinary or normal in other times, places, or contexts.

    It’s always worth remembering what Martin Luther King had to say (in “Letter From A Birmingham Jail”) about “extremism”:

    “Though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’… Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”

    If I am an idealist, and the ideals I favor differ greatly from the status quo, then I am a radical and an extremist. This is nothing to hide or be ashamed of, imho.

    I do agree with Mark @11 that when we can communicate radical libertarian ideals in ways that sound less “scary”, without in any way compromising or undermining our message, this is generally a good thing.

    For instance, rather than talking about “eliminating taxation”, I like to talk about “making taxation voluntary”.

    Rather than saying socialism is bad, I like to talk about how socialism is bad when it is coercively imposed by government.

    Rather than talking about getting rid of public schools, I like to talk about having independently run public schools (i.e. schools open to the public, in the manner of a public restaurant or public movie theater) that are not controlled or operated by government.

    But in considering how our messaging may be received by those with whom we communicate, it’s good to be cautious about thinking too much in “marketing paradigm” terms and viewing them as “demographic segments”, “target audiences”, “Guardian types”, etc. in ways that devalue their individual dignity and treat them primarily as members of groups.

    And let’s also not forget that righteous anger is a legitimate, and eminently forgivable and understandable, human reaction to government oppression, and cut libertarians whose gut reaction to the violence and harm of statism is to do the equivalent of yelling, “STOP IT NOW!” some slack. More than that, let’s recognize the value of a well-delivered rant.

    Consider the famous speech by Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio, which he made while standing on top of a police car during a student protest at UC Berkeley in 1963:

    I’ve seen a feminist bumper sticker that says something like, “Polite women rarely make history.” While I think that somewhat overstates the case, as there is definitely a place in our movement for calm, empathetic dialogue, I think there is also a place for forceful, angry rhetoric that some people who don’t agree with us may find scary.

    In the future, when there is widespread understanding of truths that today are understood only by a small libertarian minority, I believe that some of those who spoke out forcefully and sharply for freedom today will be remembered with reverence, and that their words will inspire future generations to uphold the pro-freedom legacy they have inherited, and to fight their own battles that need to be fought, just as those of us who fight for freedom today can be inspired by the words of Mario Savio.

  43. paulie

    WOW! And all this time I thought we were all members of the “Libertarian” Party, NOT the “Individualist Party”.

    Two different ways of expressing the same basic concept.

  44. paulie

    If each of us lists the 6 issues of greatest importance to us
    and our position on those issue and there is not
    more than 60% overlap than than we seriously need to rethink the existence of the Libertarian
    Party

    Not IMO, nor do I think that is in any way likely. If that is your standard, you are going to be perpetually frustrated with the LP. We all have different priorities, but as long as we all want to move from less freedom to more it’s all good.

    If that’s not specific enough for you, you might be happier working with the Ayn Rand Institute or some other top down lockstep organization.

  45. Robert Capozzi

    56 SC, yes, extremists can seem to be consequential, curve-bending figures. Interestingly, you cite all NON-politicians.

    I would strongly suggest that you are mixing apples and oranges. If you want to be a rabble-rouser for liberty, the next MLK Jr. in the cause of human liberation, I am wildly supportive of your efforts.

    If, however, you wish to apply that approach to elective politics, via in this case the LP, I retract my support and encourage you to think it through. Extremist POLITICIANS are generally figures whom I suspect we both agree are dysfunctional and consequential only in the sense that they bend the curve toward tyranny, not liberty. Often, in fact, they are fear-mongering haters.

    To be clear, though, while I’d be inclined to support your single-issue, extra-political efforts, I am not writing you a blank check in that regard. I happen to disagree with you on your recent interpretation of “property rights”– where, iirc, you claim there’s a “right” to perform sex acts on public property. I’d like to think that I’m not a prude, but OTOH such extremism strikes me as counter-productive.

  46. paulie

    Depends on what direction the extremism is in.

    Ron Paul’s extremism (relative to most elected politicians) is in a good direction on most issues. The US founders, whatever their faults, were good on many things – and they were certainly extreme, since they initiated a secessionist revolution. There’s certainly no shortage of toxic extremists of various stripes as well.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    60 p, yes, I’d say RP was an “outlier” among his MC peers. To the extent he’s an actual “extremist” in the general population, he was skillful at immunizing himself by wrapping himself in (his interpretation of) the Constitution. At most, he was a very careful extremist. IMO.

  48. Mark Hilgenberg

    @ Starchild 56,

    Good points, I do agree.

    “But in considering how our messaging may be received by those with whom we communicate, it’s good to be cautious about thinking too much in “marketing paradigm” terms and viewing them as “demographic segments”, “target audiences”, “Guardian types”, etc. in ways that devalue their individual dignity and treat them primarily as members of groups.”

    Even though it may be used in marketing it shouldn’t be dismissed, we just need to communicate in a way where people understand us.

    Concrete vs. abstract isn’t marketing, it is communication just like speaking English to Spanish speakers.

    “Consider the famous speech by Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio, which he made while standing on top of a police car during a student protest at UC Berkeley in 1963:”

    Anger is fine but listen to his speech, it is a very good speech, he leads people down a path, he isn’t speaking in metaphors and abstract theories, he walks the audience down a path of understanding his anger.

  49. David Terry

    Re: ““Libertarian” Party, NOT the “Individualist Party

    Paulie (57) wrote: “Two different ways of expressing the same basic concept.”

    Absolute NONSENSE! Human beings are NOT
    sheep, that require a shepherd to guide them to the pasture land (and ultimately to slaughter) NOR are they totally disoriented “individuals”
    with no common destination, goal or purpose.

    Libertarians ARE individualist, no doubt, BUT, Individualists are NOT necessarily libertarians, with a common moral or rational compass to help guide their POLITICAL activities.

    Paulie (58) wrote: ” We all have different priorities, but as long as we all want to move from less freedom to more it’s all good.”

    WRONG AGAIN! We are NOT monodirectional automatons. We ALL have a number of priorities
    and if we cannot isolate at least 2,3 or 4 that we can all agree on, There cannot be a UNIFIED
    effort and NO Chance of success!

    I sincerely believe that libertarians do not HAVE
    to be a bunch of stray cats fighting over territory

    Paulie wrote (58) “If that’s not specific enough for you, you might be happier working with the Ayn Rand Institute or some other top down lockstep organization.

    SO! Your view of optionss for libertarians is to either except NO direction OR the direction of a meglomaniac?

  50. Paulie

    If some libertarians only care about economic issues, and some others only care about civil liberties issues, etc., but are not trying to make things worse on the issues they care less about and not trying to chase off the other people or change the party’s positions on those issues why do we all need to agree on what our priority issues are?

    I didn’t say we should accept no direction. We should all be trying to move towards more freedom. Not all people care about all issues – there are people who really only care about one issue, or only about a few. That’s perfectly fine if we are all working towards more liberty, less tyranny.

    By individualists I don’t just mean those who like to have things their own way for themselves, but also only those who are willing to extend that mutual courtesy to others, treating them all as individuals with rights rather than cogs of collectives.

  51. Dave Terry

    paulie (64) “If some libertarians only care about economic issues, and some others only care about civil liberties issues, etc” ” That’s perfectly fine if we are all working towards more liberty, less tyranny.”<

    WHY would they join libertarians to do that? They can remain in the Republican Party and advance to cause of "economic freedom" or in the Democratic Party to advance civil liberties;
    and NOT have to contend with others berating them for their inconsistencies.

  52. Paulie

    Because they may have come to realize that, for example, the Democrats will never end the drug war, the war on our civil liberties or the wars overseas, the Republicans will never really cut taxes and spending, and neither of those parties will pay down the debt or end corporate-government collusion.

    Even if only one or two of those issues matter to you, and you realize the Democrats and Republicans are both only going to make things worse, you may seek out an alternative.

  53. Pingback: Do Libertarians Think Women Are People Too? | Independent Political Report: Third Party News

  54. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    The thread above lists another personality-typing program called Myers-Briggs. I believe that method to be an effective tool which can help us communicate, also.

  55. Dave Terry

    paulie (66) “Even if only one or two of those issues matter to you, and you realize the Democrats and Republicans are both only going to make things worse, you may seek out an alternative.”

    ALL of which begs the question; “WHY the L.P.?
    If ONLY one or two issues matter to you, why would you pick the most diverse and wide based political party?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to join one of the narrower minor parties where their specific cause has greater priority?

  56. paulie

    If ONLY one or two issues matter to you, why would you pick the most diverse and wide based political party?

    Democrats and Republicans are large coalitions of people, some of whom only care about one or two issues, some of whom care about many different issues. They agree enough to come together and work as a team. Fighting back against them requires that we assemble enough people to gain some traction.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to join one of the narrower minor parties where their specific cause has greater priority?

    Not necessarily, if such a party can’t get enough people, money or any other resources together to get much of anything done.

    There are different strategies someone can pursue when they care about one issue, two issues or twenty issues, or care about twenty issues but differ as to which two or three or five or six are the most important.

    One strategy that makes perfect sense is to assemble a fairly large coalition that pushes in the same basic direction.

  57. paulie

    How does Paulie’s statement beg the question?

    It doesn’t.

    If anything, the idea that we should have a top-down dictated list of priorities begs a bunch of questions, which I don’t even feel like going into.

    Suffice it to say it’s not likely to happen.

  58. Michael H. Wilson

    Come on paulie I wanted Dave to try and answer that. You spoiled all my fun 🙁 pout!

  59. Dave Terry

    paulie (74) > “Oh, I don’t think that will keep him from responding.””One strategy that makes perfect sense is to assemble a fairly large coalition that pushes in the same basic direction.”<

    EXACTLY! Which leaves OUT the Libertarian Party! And PLEASE don't respond with the usual inanity that we are ALL working for more "liberty".

    There are MANY facets to liberty and although all of the minor parties advance SOME degree of liberty, in certain directions, ONLY the LP
    advance the cause of freedom in MANY vectors.

    THIS is its strength AND its WEAKNESS!

    Its strength is in the demonstration that ALL freedoms are related and interconnected. Its
    weakness is that until this truth is generally accepted and understood by the greater number
    of people, it APPEARS as if we are working at cross purposes.

    How else does one explain the difficulty with which the larger population cannot reconcile personal freedoms with economic freedoms?

    Has ANYONE ever solicited views on which of the many liberties so far denied and those that are currently at risk are deemed MOST important to "libertarians"

    ALL noble causes are not necessarily equally NOBEL!

  60. Michael H. Wilson

    But you failed to answer the question Dave. How does Paulie’s statement beg the question?

  61. Dave Terry

    MHW (76)

    But I DID, Michael! Perhaps your response simply demonstrates this thread’s title: “why-are-libertarians-hard-to-understand/” :>)

    I would have thought that you would be the LAST person to question the need for “PRIORITIES”!

    “Goals without a plan are simply wishes”

  62. paulie

    Which leaves OUT the Libertarian Party!

    No, I think that is exactly what we should be.

    There are MANY facets to liberty and although all of the minor parties advance SOME degree of liberty, in certain directions, ONLY the LP
    advance the cause of freedom in MANY vectors.

    THIS is its strength AND its WEAKNESS!

    Its strength is in the demonstration that ALL freedoms are related and interconnected. Its
    weakness is that until this truth is generally accepted and understood by the greater number
    of people, it APPEARS as if we are working at cross purposes.

    I’d say that’s mostly a strength. The weakness is outweighed.

    How else does one explain the difficulty with which the larger population cannot reconcile personal freedoms with economic freedoms?

    The fact that we are heavily outspent and “outgunned” in getting the message out, although we are slowly crashing through that barrier.

    Has ANYONE ever solicited views on which of the many liberties so far denied and those that are currently at risk are deemed MOST important to “libertarians”

    I think I’ve seen surveys, but I don’t remember where.

    Doesn’t matter though – if I tried to dictate to other libertarians that my top issues should be their top issues, they would simply tell me to go screw myself, and if I somehow won control of the LP with that idea, many of them would just leave the LP or stop being active.

    I’d rather they remain involved and active.

    ALL noble causes are not necessarily equally NOBEL!

  63. Mark Hilgenberg

    The key to understand is nothing I am writting about has anything to do with which issues to discuss and which to ignore. The take away should be that every issue we discuss needs to be presented in a concrete, positive, leading way.

    This is how we will reach the majority.

  64. paulie

    Yeah, that’s really more of a tangent from Dave Terry saying it’s a “problem” that different libertarians have different priorities.

  65. Dave Terry

    Paulie (74) >”One strategy that makes perfect sense is to assemble a fairly large coalition that pushes in the same basic direction.”<

    To which I responded: EXACTLY! Which leaves OUT the Libertarian Party!

    To which, Paulie (78) said; "No, I think that is exactly what we should be.

    Is it YOUR position that the LP should be, as you stated, a " fairly large coalition that pushes in the same basic direction"?

    If this is so, WHICH basic direction IS that?
    There are already coalitions devoted to various
    economic liberties AND there are also coalitions
    devoted to expanding the civil liberties for gays,
    drug users, pregnant women, immigrants, etc.

    Which "basic direction" should the LP choose?

    The principle reason "The Tea Party" never gained any traction was there was no consistent
    direction or message. The ONLY thing members had was that they were against the status quo.

    The factor that you are not considering is the fact that the PERCEPTIONS of the general public is that, not only are these "directions"
    are not only very different, but antithetical.

    THAT is the reason for my statement regarding
    being at "cross purposes". ONLY Libertarians
    view personal liberties and economic freedom as completely compatible.

    I don't know HOW it came about, but amongst the liberals, they STILL consider free-market economics as apologia for capitalist/corporate exploitation, and the L.P. Defense Caucus does nothing to alter this.

    While on the opposite pole those who identify with conservatism see most proponents of civil liberties as soft on socialism, which for the most part the majority of "liberals" ARE!

    And, for the most part LP Radicals merely aggravate this issue, OR fail to differentiate themselves from them.

    THAT is the reason that I maintain that the LP MUST have a "soft sell' approach on the three MOST important issues from the two opposite
    wings.

    We have to get them in the door before we start throwing the more contentious items at them.

  66. Dave Terry

    MH (83) “Many Libertarians tend to need to hear liberty recited back to them in the way they were converted. Any other way is unacceptable to them.

    Mark, I’ve been a libertarian for 40 years. I voted for Hospers and my friend Tonie Nathan

    I”M not the issue or the point of concern. I’ve heard libertarianism defended AND attacked in just about EVERY way possible.

    I recall an old quote from Nathaniel Brandon:
    “In order to attack Ayn Rand, it is first necessary to misquote her.”

    People who are ALREADY Libertarians are NOT primarily my concern. I am MOST concerned about those “cusp” libertarians who are still unsure of all the ramifications of being a (L)ibertarian.

    The LAST thing we need to reach these folks is to listen to some Defense Caucus Libertarian rant about the need to support Israel at ALL costs and neutralize Iran.

    The NEXT to the last thing we need to reach out to these folks is to listen to a libertarian radical Anarchist spout off about abolishing all government.

    I guarantee that in BOTH cases, we WON’T get a second chance to turn them.

  67. Mark Hilgenberg

    @ Dave 87

    I still think you are missing the point of the OP. People are not going to be persuaded by the current left/right or economic/social paradigms.

    They are going to be persuaded to liberty by first speaking a passionate, articulate message of total, well rounded, unique liberty, in a language they understand.

    Libertarianism is not a set of issues, it is an amazing way of life which will bring about the best way of life for the most amount of people.

  68. Robert Capozzi

    88 mh: Libertarianism is not a set of issues, it is an amazing way of life which will bring about the best way of life for the most amount of people.

    me: A way of life? Please expand. My draft def. of L-ism is “The invitation to respect the peaceful behavior of others.” In many ways, then, I think I agree that L-ism is a kind of philosophical attitude rather than a political dogma. But a way of life seems to point to a cultural MO, which I’m not sure I buy. It strikes me that Ls can be culturally quite different from one another.

  69. paulie

    If this is so, WHICH basic direction IS that?
    There are already coalitions devoted to various
    economic liberties AND there are also coalitions
    devoted to expanding the civil liberties for gays,
    drug users, pregnant women, immigrants, etc.

    Which “basic direction” should the LP choose?

    Movements towards finding initiation of force by government as unacceptable as when it is done by those outside of government. That encompasses both civil and economic liberties, as well as a foreign policy of peace.

    The factor that you are not considering is the fact that the PERCEPTIONS of the general public is that, not only are these “directions”
    are not only very different, but antithetical.

    That’s increasingly changing, and we should continue to work to change that perception, but more importantly we should work to organize the people who have already broken through that false perception – there are a lot more people who want to move in a libertarian direction, broadly defined, across the board than there are LP voters, much less LP members, even much less active LP members.

    THAT is the reason for my statement regarding
    being at “cross purposes”. ONLY Libertarians
    view personal liberties and economic freedom as completely compatible.

    As someone who has been around the party and movement for a long time, you would know the difference between big and small L, so I take it that you capitalized that intentionally. That’s completely untrue – there are far, far more libertarians than there are Libertarians. And although the concept is becoming much more well known in the last few years, it’s still true that there are a lot more people who view personal liberties and economic freedom as completely compatible than there are people who know the term libertarian, know what it means and apply it to themselves.

    So, our purposes should include:

    * Teaching that personal and economic liberties are completely compatible
    * Getting those who already agree with that to vote for us
    * Getting those who vote for us to become members
    * Getting members to be active in various ways

    I don’t know HOW it came about, but amongst the liberals, they STILL consider free-market economics as apologia for capitalist/corporate exploitation, and the L.P.

    To learn how it came about read http://mises.org/daily/2099

    And, for the most part LP Radicals merely aggravate this issue, OR fail to differentiate themselves from them.

    Um what?

    THAT is the reason that I maintain that the LP MUST have a “soft sell’ approach on the three MOST important issues from the two opposite
    wings.

    People don’t agree on what the most important issues are. If someone tried to dictate it, they would just lose interest and walk away. Let everyone pick for themselves how many and which issues they find most important as long as they want to move things in our direction across the board.

    People are not going to be persuaded by the current left/right or economic/social paradigms.

    They are going to be persuaded to liberty by first speaking a passionate, articulate message of total, well rounded, unique liberty, in a language they understand.

    Exactly!

    My draft def. of L-ism is “The invitation to respect the peaceful behavior of others.” In many ways, then, I think I agree that L-ism is a kind of philosophical attitude rather than a political dogma. But a way of life seems to point to a cultural MO, which I’m not sure I buy. It strikes me that Ls can be culturally quite different from one another.

    That in itself is a way of life. “Way of life” doesn’t have to be all-encompassing. Letting others do things their own way so long as they extend that same courtesy to you and everyone else is in itself a way of life.

  70. Robert Capozzi

    p, the biggest shift in my def. of L-ism is the word “invitation.” Rothbard, for ex., often used the word “demand.” This is the inception of the “angrytarian” mindset…set an absolutist construct, then demand it of others, often with neck veins bulging.

    The construct has a lot of holes, and this is exacerbated by sanctimonious demands. The combination > the fringes.

  71. paulie

    I’m OK with your shift by way of transition. In the long run, I demand not to be robbed, raped, enslaved, tortured, mutilated (except by choice), assaulted or murdered, and that others not be robbed, raped, enslaved, tortured, mutilated (except by choice), assaulted or murdered, even by people with uniforms, special hats and/or badges. But in the short run, I don’t want demanding it to get in the way of incremental progress in the direction of doing less of those things and finding them less acceptable.

    I accept all progress in the direction I want as a good thing. But I don’t accept partial progress as being good enough in itself.

    I’m also trying to be less angry as well. I feel I still have a lot of work to do, but I’ve gotten complements on my progress.

  72. Robert Capozzi

    p, I didn’t intend for my post to be personal, though I admit to be recovering from angrytarianism, too.

    More broadly, I simply don’t see the value of “demanding” anything. If it works, I guess I’m for it, but everything tells me that resistance is futile. It is what it is, is true. Inviting others to see that aggression is dysfunctional has an entirely different tone, one of attraction over stridency.

    This is why I find that the Rose “cold dead hands” rhetoric rings so hollow. If the dude wants to defend himself, that’s all good, but dying to defend himself is…ummm…confusing to me. Dying to prove a point? Dunno. But, then, it does take all kinds.

  73. paulie

    Well, some people would rather die on their feet than live on their knees, while other people would prefer it the other way around.

    I can see demanding, rather than just inviting, the attacker to stop if you are being penetrated against your will, or if you see an attacker penetrating someone against her or his will. Resistance may or may not be futile, and may or may not be worthwhile even if it is futile.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    Yes, I guess so. Seems like since Adam and Eve, virtually everyone has, in a sense, been “living on their knees,” in that coercive states are almost always at play in people’s lives. Yes, if someone wants to die because of that reality, that is his or her prerogative.

    And, yes, I see your point in a kinetic, unfolding situation, a firm “Stop” would often seem indicated, and would more likely be effective. “Standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’ ” is fine for reactionaries, but it’s certainly not for me, at least.

    If, however, you mean to equilibrate rape with the existence of a coercive state, my feedback is that sounds histrionical to me, and probably most. Whether it’s persuasive or not, count me as skeptical. To exist in a constant state of being raped throughout history seems like a bummer to me.

  75. Starchild

    Robert @59 – “All” the people I cited? I only mentioned two people in that message you were responding to @56, MLK and Mario Savio.

    You describe them as “non-politicians”, which is technically true insofar as neither of them ever ran for or served in public office that I know of, but both of them were nevertheless actively engaged in fighting for political change.

    The Libertarian Party isn’t strictly about electoral politics anyway, as you should know. It’s about achieving a free world.

    You write, “Extremist POLITICIANS are generally figures whom I suspect we both agree are dysfunctional and consequential only in the sense that they bend the curve toward tyranny, not liberty. Often, in fact, they are fear-mongering haters.

    What makes you think I would agree with that? As I’ve tried to communicate, “extremist” simply indicates someone who wants something that is very different from what the status quo is or what the majority wants. It sounds like you’re still mistaking it as a synonym for “bad”. Did the MLK quote go in one ear and out the other?

    Galileo was an extremist who subscribed to and fought to promote the shocking (at the time) idea that the earth revolved around the sun. If he had campaigned for public office on that belief, would this have made it likely, in your opinion, that instead of a courageous, groundbreaking scientist, he was a “dysfunctional” figure and “fear-mongering hater” who was “consequential only in the sense that (he bent) the curve toward tyranny, not liberty”?

    I do appreciate your generous (not!) acknowledgement that extremists can “seem to be” consequential figures!

    On another topic, you write, “I happen to disagree with you on your recent interpretation of ‘property rights’– where, iirc, you claim there’s a ‘right’ to perform sex acts on public property. I’d like to think that I’m not a prude, but OTOH such extremism strikes me as counter-productive.”

    People have the right to do many things which are not necessarily good ideas. Non-libertarians have trouble with this distinction, but you should understand it. Whether a fact is “counter-productive” in a narrow, political sense is totally irrelevant to whether or not it is true.

  76. Robert Capozzi

    Starchild 96, thanks for the feedback, and the acknowledgement that my statement is true. It’s also true that I agree with Shakespeare – an extremist if there ever was one — when he wrote, When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I don’t agree with your opinion that the LP is or should be serving two masters. Near as I can tell, a political party should seek to make/influence social change through electoral means. The best way to teach is to demonstrate, to walk one’s talk. In this example, the best the LM has for this is Ron Paul. The LP, sadly, has yet to break through aside from a few state legislators decades ago.

    If some Ls – like yourself – believe there’s a right to commit consensual sex acts in public, then I would suggest a specialized, non-political, educational organization to advocate for that view. A day may come when the social mores are such that public sex is acceptable and commonplace, and the Why Don’t We Do It In The Road League might be the inspiration for such a social change.

    To be clear, I simply don’t believe there’s a right to schtupp in public. It seems I must respectfully disagree with novel view.

    For a time in the last nominating cycle, we also had a candidate who – for a time – was advocating for the right to engage in bestiality. The body had the good sense not to nominate this candidate, as this too was an extremist view.

    I have great admiration for some extremists, both for their courage and sometimes for their POVs. I just don’t think they should run for office.

    The extremist pols I was referring to would be people like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and perhaps Huey Long.

  77. Be Rational

    This seems to be related to how people “understand” what it means to be a …

    “Glenn Beck recently announced that he wanted to “go Galt” and create a self-sustaining community, inspired by the philosophy of Ayn Rand’s character John Galt from “Atlas Shrugged.”

    The community will be known as Independence, USA. If and when it is completed, Independence will produce its own food and TV and film content. There will be homes, baseball fields and a theme park. Think: Small Town, USA, but with a Beckish vibe.”

  78. Dave Terry

    MH (88)
    “People are not going to be persuaded by the current left/right or economic/social paradigms.”

    NO? Please explain why the rhetoric of the two MAJOR parties invariably degenerates into shrill denunciations of “Corporate Shills” or “Lackeys of Wall Street” one hand and “Marxist dupes” and “pinko” ???

    The FACE is: the American political spectrum has been polarized since the 1930s.

    (M>”They are going to be persuaded to liberty by first speaking a passionate, articulate message of total, well rounded, unique liberty, in a language they understand.

    NOT if you are not speaking the same language that they are. The principal problem with this
    approach is that most people have their own “connotations” of these terms despite the literal
    dictionary denotation.

    Often the dictionary adds to the confusion by using multiple and contradictory definitions.
    I recall the quote by Socrates; ” “if you would speak with me – you must define your terms”.
    (also attributed to Voltaire)

    MY experience “hath shewn” that those who
    Proselytize political ideas more often than not,
    do NOT do this and we all wind up talking AT each other, NO TO each other

  79. Andy

    Starchild said: “The Libertarian Party isn’t strictly about electoral politics anyway, as you should know. It’s about achieving a free world.”

    I agree, and I’ve been saying for a long time that the Libertarian Party needs to put a much bigger focus on promoting alternative methods for expanding liberty outside of electoral politics. I’m not saying that the party should promote abandoning electoral politics, I’m talking about things that it should promote as things to do in addition to electoral politics.

    Here are two of the best outside-of-electoral politics that I believe the Libertarian Party ought to promote:

    1) Jury nullification. If more people knew about their right as juries to judge not only the facts in a case, but the validity of the law or laws in question, then I think that the government would have a far more difficult time in convicting people for victimless “crimes” such as non-violent drug “offenses” and non-violent gun control “offenses” as well as for other things which would not be crimes in a libertarian society.

    2) The use of alternate currencies. The Libertarian Party ought to promote the trading of forms of currency other than Federal Reserve Notes. It could be trading precious metals such as gold & silver (check out http://www.opencurrency.com/ ) or it could be Bitcoins ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin ) or it could be something else. This is something that will benefit people as Federal Reserve Notes continue to lose value, and it is also a less risky way for people to avoid the tax system.

    I think that it still makes strategic sense for libertarians to engage in electoral politics for two reasons:

    1) It is a good way to get the message out and to educate people about libertarian issues,

    2) Sometimes libertarians do get elected, and once elected libertarians can effect positive change.

    Having said this, I believe that it is delusional for libertarians to only rely on electoral politics. It is not only delusional, it is just plain foolish.

  80. Mark Hilgenberg

    @ Dave 99.

    “NO? Please explain why the rhetoric of the two MAJOR parties invariably degenerates into shrill denunciations of “Corporate Shills” or “Lackeys of Wall Street” one hand and “Marxist dupes” and “pinko” ???”

    Again, because most people involved in politics are concrete communicators. Those are leading concrete examples, it helps the person hearing them to visualize what the problems are.

    People who are are locked in teams are not good prospects, our best bet are the youth who aren’t locked in but may be leaning a certain way.

    “NOT if you are not speaking the same language that they are. The principal problem with this
    approach is that most people have their own “connotations” of these terms despite the literal
    dictionary denotation.”

    Again, you are confusing rhetoric with communication styles. We need to speak concretes with concretes, most libertarians are abstract. I saw a friend post that he is an ENTP (rational), his friends who posted were also, I checked and they were all libertarians.

    If we don’t learn to speak how most people speak, we will just keep spinning our wheels.

  81. Andy

    Here’s another outside-of-politics method of fighting for liberty which the Libertarian Party ought to get behind, supporting those who engage in acts of civil disobedience.

    There’s a group in New Hampshire called the Civil Disobedience Evolution Fund which raises money to assist those who who engage in acts of civil disobedience with legal help.

    Here’s their website:

    http://cdevolution.org/

  82. Mark Hilgenberg

    @ Andy 100.

    “1) Jury nullification.”

    “2) The use of alternate currencies. ”

    Back to my OP, all of these ideas are great but if we keep explaining them in abstract ways, we won’t make any traction.

  83. paulie

    “People are not going to be persuaded by the current left/right or economic/social paradigms.”

    NO? Please explain why the rhetoric of the two MAJOR parties invariably degenerates into shrill denunciations of “Corporate Shills” or “Lackeys of Wall Street” one hand and “Marxist dupes” and “pinko” ???

    Not going to be persuaded to become libertarians. I would have thought that would be implicitly understood?

  84. Rachel Burger

    Ha! After reading through your article, I think you’d enjoy my writing on libertarians and MBTI.

    http://thoughtsonliberty.com/three-common-ways-libertarians-misuse-myers-briggs-part-1-intuitive-elitism
    http://thoughtsonliberty.com/three-common-ways-libertarians-misuse-myers-briggs-part-2-misunderstanding-the-feeling-preference
    http://thoughtsonliberty.com/three-common-ways-libertarians-misuse-myers-briggs-part-3-using-mbti-as-a-prescriptive-instead-of-a-descriptive-theory

  85. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Rachel, I love your site, and check it every day. I’ve posted several pieces, although they’re usually on our open thread for small “L” libertarians, Our emphasis is on third parties, and most of the fine articles in TOL are about the libertarian phiiosophy. I’ll go through all your links..

  86. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I just took the Myers-Briggs test. I am ENFJ. I was all happy about that (only 2 % of us are), until I read about who some other ENFJs are. They include Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, Ben Affleck, and Oprah Winfrey–

    Actually, I found the description of ENFJ to be remarkably accurate.

  87. Mark Herd

    Thank you Mark, that was a very interesting post.

    Dave Terry wrote in regards to the Libertarian party:

    Its strength is in the demonstration that ALL freedoms are related and interconnected. Its
    weakness is that until this truth is generally accepted and understood by the greater number
    of people, it APPEARS as if we are working at cross purposes.

    Response: Its strengths, in additiion to what you post, are far more, google: Libertarian National Platform.

    One of it’s weaknesses is that some internal members seem to fight more for internal positions of power than towards growing the party. As a result you get people at the top and middle who are good at gaining positions of power but incapable of growing the party and functioning successfully. For example the California 2015 convention is in Nevada. Yes fyi the 2015 California Libertarian convention is in Nevada, not California, even though the vast majority of Libertarians polled (80%) wanted it in their home state. This is just one example, censorship on fb of electeds is another.

    Lastly the New Official Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County Website template is up and we are constantly seeking feedback on ways to improve the site so please chime in.

    http://www.lplac.info

    All of us in LA put a lot of effort and info into this website. I am happy to show other Libertarian chapters how to build one of these awesome sites on google for FREE! Email me if you would like one built for your county party too, happy to do it.

    Mark M.Herd
    Libertarian
    VeniceBeachNews@gmail.com

  88. paulie

    I’ll have to remember to take a look, as the internet has been better at the motel lately (fingers crossed)…

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