Jacob G. Hornberger: There is only one libertarian position on immigration

From Jacob G. Hornberger,  who ran in 2000 for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination and as an independent in 2002 for the US Senate in Virginia:

hornberger

There is a common perception that there are two alternative libertarian positions on immigration: government-controlled borders and open borders.

Nothing could be further from the truth. There is only one libertarian position on immigration, and that position is open immigration or open borders.

After all, government-controlled borders and open borders are opposite positions. How could opposite positions on immigration both be consistent with libertarianism? That’s just not possible. One is consistent with libertarian principles and the other isn’t. If a position that purports to be libertarian isn’t consistent with libertarian principles, then as Ayn Rand would have said, “Check your premises.”

Why do many libertarians believe in government-controlled borders and oppose open borders?

For the same reason that there are many libertarians who believe in the national-security state, an enormous standing army, and selective foreign interventionism: they came into the libertarian movement as conservatives, owing primarily to an attraction to libertarian free-market economic principles, but unfortunately have been unable to let go of their conservative views on immigration (as well, for some, on foreign policy and other issues).

Read the rest of the article here…

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

152 thoughts on “Jacob G. Hornberger: There is only one libertarian position on immigration

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    I read this piece the other day and found myself wishing that Hornberger would throw in for the 2016 LP nomination.

    It seems to me that this election would be a really good one in which to feature a full-on libertarian on immigration to contrast with the authoritarian positions of the “major” parties. The most likely Libertarian nominee if he wants it, Gary Johnson, seems to have become SLIGHTLY, but ONLY slightly, less disgustingly authoritarian on the issue than he was as a Republican.

  2. Andy Craig

    The only thing I see that might be objectionable as “authoritarian” in the summary TLK links to, is that he allows that once anybody can get a visa, he would enforce the requirement that they do so.

    If that, stacked up against everything else about his position on immigration and his outspoken defense of immigration and opening up the borders to both trade and people, is “disgustingly authoritarian” – then that demonstrates nothing short of waving the black flag and smashing the state overnight would be acceptable. A standard which has not been met by any Libertarian nominee for President in the history of the party, and would also exclude 95%+ of our candidates for lower office.

  3. Andy Craig

    It is a good article by Hornberger, by the way. I want to be clear on that, it’s just calling GJ’s position on immigration and the borders “disgustingly authoritarian” that I think is absurd.

    It would be interesting to see Jacob run again as a Libertarian, either for President or other office. I don’t think he will, though.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    I’ll set aside your mischaracterization of Johnson’s position and just get straight to the point:

    Until after World War II, you didn’t need a visa or even a passport to enter the United States.

    Was pre-World War II America a black flag non-state?

  5. Andy Craig

    The visa requirement goes back to 1924, long before the era of widespread gov’t-issued IDs being standard, and I’m not defending it as per se necessary. The United States routinely waives visa under reciprocal agreement for many countries, and that could certainly be expanded. Check out this map of visa denial rates by country, and consider that Gary is saying he would reduce it to 0% for all of them:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_Waiver_Program#/media/File:US_visa_refusal_rate.png

    I’m saying calling the non-abolition of visas “disgustingly authoritarian” is ridiculous hyperbole. It’s at best the equivalent of constitutional carry vs. shall-issue, when we’re dealing with a may-issue system that denies way more than it issues. Completely abolishing visas, rather than simply not denying them on a quota basis, is a discussion so far off into hypothetical never-land that it’s entirely moot for any near-term real-world applications.

    Even if the U.S. didn’t require visas, if they were issued to those who asked for them, many would do just that so they can legally leave their country of origin. Just like Const. Carry states will still issue CCH permits to those who need them for reciprocity in other states.

  6. Robert Capozzi

    So many sleights of hand, so little time. A few for the assembled’s consideration:

    JH: For the same reason that there are many libertarians who believe in the national-security state, an enormous standing army, and selective foreign interventionism: they came into the libertarian movement as conservatives, owing primarily to an attraction to libertarian free-market economic principles, but unfortunately have been unable to let go of their conservative views on immigration (as well, for some, on foreign policy and other issues).

    me: Many liberals — probably MOST liberals — support these things, too. Some Ls may think some of those functions might be necessary for the time being.

    jh: For one thing, consider the enormous, ongoing crisis over illegal immigration. That crisis is a direct result of immigration controls, which is really nothing more than a system of socialist central planning, a system that always produces crises and chaos.

    me: Actually, I don’t find it to be a “crisis” at all. What is his “crisis” standard? None are offered. And last I checked, things are fairly chill in the socialist Scandavian countries, btw.

    jh: With open borders there is no such thing as illegal immigration because all immigration is legal.

    me: Huh?

    jh: Therefore, the crisis entailing illegal immigration stems from laws that make unrestricted migration illegal.

    me: Again, no crisis. Unrestricted migration MIGHT be a better way to go, but JH doesn’t even try to persuade us of his view. He instead offers us a construct.

    JH: Ask yourself: Can libertarianism really be a philosophy that actually produces ongoing crises and chaos?

    me: Don’t know, it’s never been tried, near as I can tell.

    jh: The core principle of libertarianism is what is known as the non-aggression principle.

    me: For JH. Others recognize the NAP as nice sentiment.

    jh: Whenever you read an article or hear a speech by a libertarian who favors government-controlled borders, you will notice something important: He never talks about enforcement. There is a simple reason for that. He’s embarrassed to talk about enforcement because he knows that immigration enforcement measures, whatever they might be, inevitably constitute violations of the libertarian non-aggression principle.

    me: The NAP is violated all the time, because the NAP is — for the foreseeable future — an unworkable construct. I’m not embarrassed at all to say that some border control makes sense to me, in concept, as a means to maintain domestic tranquility. Some enforcement is necessary to do so, like any number of laws are. Do we have WAY too many of them? Abso-freakin-lutely!

    jh: One fallacy of this thinking, of course, is the assumption that private owners of roads and bridges would bar foreigners from using them. What the libertarian border-controllers are doing is projecting their anti-immigrant prejudices by suggesting that private owners of roads and bridges would have the same prejudices.

    me: This is the stuff of Andyland, not the world as it is.

  7. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy,

    ==It is a good article by Hornberger, by the way. ==

    I thought it was very good to provoke discussion.

  8. Matt Cholko

    I’m with Hornberger.

    I, like RC above, also object to his use of the word “crisis” to describe the illegal immigration situation. I’d say its more of a fiasco. Or maybe utter stupidity.

  9. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Jed,

    I added one. Thanks so much for the suggestion… learning the ropes here. I am glad I had WordPress experience already.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    FYI, if IPR wanted to establish a style rule of including at least one image per article, at least 400 pixels wide, the site would be able to feed its content through Flipboard. That would increase its audience and its search engine penetration.

  11. Marc Allan Feldman

    Libertarian. Open borders. I am sorry, but where is this article supposed to be controversial?
    I agree that the combination of open borders and birthright citizenship would lead to the collapse of our social welfare system.
    That is why I favor a combination of open borders and birthright citizenship.

  12. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Marc,

    To some it is… I do not find it controversial to me personally. It was controversial when I shared it with my friends, and where I had originally seen it shared.

  13. Jed Ziggler

    “FYI, if IPR wanted to establish a style rule of including at least one image per article, at least 400 pixels wide, the site would be able to feed its content through Flipboard. That would increase its audience and its search engine penetration.”

    I have a hard enough time trying to find pictures for some articles, let alone trying to find big ones.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jed,

    Yeah, I did too, but I buckled down to it to get the Garrison Center on Flipboard.

    One of the easiest ways to get images is to install a browser plugin called Zemanta. When it’s active and you’re using WordPress, a little sidebar pops up that tries to find images on Wikipedia based on the text of the article. You choose an image that works for you, click on it, choose what size you want to be (I always pick “custom” and make the width 400 pixels”) and it pops it into the post where you want it. It also offers Getty Images material, but the code it uses for that is weird and I’ve never tried picking one because I’m not sure if Flipboard would detect it as an image.

    When I can’t find something I like in Zemanta, I go to a free stock art site (there are several, but the one I use is rgbstock.com), grab a free pic, resize it myself, and upload it to the WordPress media library. But I hate to do that because I always prefer to use other people’s bandwidth and storage space if I can.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp

    I understand that it’s quite popular with phone and tablet users. Not my cup of tea, but I got on it to reach additional audiences.

    Which reminds me, I still need to ask one of my kids to install iTunes on his or her Windoze box so I can add my podcast to iTunes. God, I hate Windoze, though. Maybe I’ll get my Chromebox stolen and ask you to crowdfund me a Mac 😀

  16. Jed Ziggler

    Most of the work I do for IPR is from my PC, which still uses dial-up internet. Technological advancements are out of the question. Oh the joys of living in the country.

  17. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I just got a 5K retina display 27″ iMac. You can hate me now. Squirrels though ate through my cable ….. and my modem is acting up

  18. Jed Ziggler

    I have a 2-in-1. I actually prefer the dial-up. The only places around with WiFi are fast food restaurants, and I feel like a dork typing on a laptop in there.

  19. Robert Capozzi

    Andyland is an extreme version of closed borders. By making implicit social contracts explicit, Andyland is a fortress state.

    Nonarchy Pods would be less difficult to execute.

  20. paulie

    Maybe I’ll get my Chromebox stolen and ask you to crowdfund me a Mac

    Here’s how you too can get your computer stolen! Come out to beautiful scenic Oklahoma City for a working vacation. Help the LP get on the ballot. Stay at a fabulous ghetto trash palace such as the Oak Tree Inn and Suites at 1200 S. Meridian in OKC. Fall asleep with your window cracked so you can breathe something slightly less toxic than roach spray. If you are not always a light sleeper, you, too can experience the joys of having a crackhead climb through your window and steal your computer while you sleep. With any luck you may have a roommate/coworker who will let you borrow his computer while he sleeps the following night. You may even be able to replicate these results at a shitty motel near you, without having to go all the way to Oklahoma!

    If you are even more incredibly lucky (or is it talent, not luck?) like me, you can spend the day in between waiting around for 6-8 hours for a cop to take a useless report (because they are super busy), not because you have any illusions about cops solving actual real crimes much less helping crime victims in any way, but just to have a paper trial that it was stolen in case the thief does something really horrendous with the stolen computer. Then, in the 2-5 minutes your roommate/co-worker runs up the stairs to grab a piece of paper while you wait in the car, you can have another cop run a make/harass you for the crime of sitting in the car in the parking lot of your own motel room. Because it’s important for these brave heroic crimefighters to have priorities. This will help further hone your sense of irony. Ah well, at least the second cop didn’t kill me or beat the shit out of me or arrest me on a phony charge.

    Thanks again to you and everyone else for the crowdfunding help, especially Caryn for setting it up. I’m now in a lot less of a bind as far as replacing the stolen laptop as far as the financial end of things goes. However…
    Since said roommate/coworker will probably be taking off to a different city from me today, the bigger issues now will be 1) having some access online to look over the info/advice I was given and decide which replacement laptop or netbook to get and 2) having an address I will still be at when it arrives.

  21. Paul Jackson

    I believe the LP platform reads something like “peaceful and honest people should be able to cross borders freely.”

    How do we keep out the violent and dishonest without some kind of border security?

    The world Pre-WW2 had no Al Qaida, no ISIS, no dirty bombs and getting to America was much more difficult, time consuming and expensive.

    I don’t think that we should be trying to keep out hardworking people trying to find a job. But we should be doing everything that we reasonably, practically can to keep out terrorists and other criminals.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp

    “How do we keep out the violent and dishonest without some kind of border security?”

    Who’s this “we?” And what’s the whole “out” thing?

    A “border” is an imaginary line drawn on the ground to demarcate the turf claims of dominant street gangs that call themselves “governments.” If you want to “secure” it, knock yourself out, but don’t think you get to steal money or demand assistance from me to do it. And don’t try to lay the blame anyone but yourself if you get yourself shot trying to order people around.

    “The world Pre-WW2 had no Al Qaida, no ISIS, no dirty bombs and getting to America was much more difficult, time consuming and expensive.”

    The world pre-WW2 had gangs and armies and weapons just like the world does today. It was plenty dangerous.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    TK, was the history of Ellis Island a fabrication invented since WWII by the cult of the omnipotent state?

    And we are watching a very different movie if you believe that the weapons pre-WWII are “just like the (ones the) world does today.”

  24. Thomas L. Knapp

    Robert,

    I’m not sure what the reference to Ellis Island is supposed to mean. Ellis Island opened in 1892 when the federal government finally took over immigration from the states (17 years after an activist Supreme Court fantasized a federal power to regulate immigration into the Constitution). So the cult of the omnipotent state intervention fell somewhere within that time range.

    You’re correct. The old weapons did tend to be a lot uglier at point of retail sale than the stuff we use today (actually use, not just scare the shit out of each other imagining someone may use).

  25. Paul Jackson

    Who’s this “we?” And what’s the whole “out” thing?

    “We” are the peaceful, honest people who already live here. “Out” is out of the area that our forefathers fought to secure for us: a place where we wouldn’t have to bow to the king of England or the caliph of ISIS.

    A “border” is an imaginary line drawn on the ground to demarcate the turf claims of dominant street gangs that call themselves “governments.”

    Your property line is an imaginary line drawn on the ground, too. You may be firmly convinced that you have a right to keep others off of it, but I think plenty of native American indians would be able to make a pretty strong case that you’re guilty of receiving stolen property.

    If you want to “secure” it, knock yourself out, but don’t think you get to steal money or demand assistance from me to do it. And don’t try to lay the blame anyone but yourself if you get yourself shot trying to order people around.

    Funny little anarchist. I agree that government should be funded and staffed voluntarily. Don’t try to lay the blame on anyone but yourself if ISIS beheads you for refusing to convert.

    The world pre-WW2 had gangs and armies and weapons just like the world does today. It was plenty dangerous.

    Of course it was. But the dangers were different. We need to deal with the world we are living in NOW.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paul,

    OK, let’s talk about the world we are living in NOW.

    If the border — all 95,500 miles of it — could be “secured,” securing it would likely collapse the US economy. At the very least, it would make us all poorer.

    But not to worry, since even ineffectually “securing” it would eat up the entire current federal budget and the entirety of US military and police manpower. So forget about fighting ISIS and al Qaeda.

    That’s the real world we live in. In addition to being immoral, collectivist gang rituals and turf claims don’t work very well.

  27. paulie

    Which reminds me, I still need to ask one of my kids to install iTunes on his or her Windoze box so I can add my podcast to iTunes. God, I hate Windoze, though. Maybe I’ll get my Chromebox stolen and ask you to crowdfund me a Mac

    Update:

    Just moved to a motel that has computers in the lobby, but it’s a huge motel and they have two of them, so I can’t stay on here a lot like I could on my own computer. Technically it says 15 minutes, I don’t think they will be quite that strict but I do need to make sure I am not preventing other guests from using it. Still best to reach me by phone for now. Will order something soon.

    Thanks to several people here and elsewhre I have enough money to order a computer, and several good suggestions on what to get. I will try to order one in the next couple of days.

    Regarding the flipboard discussion above, I think that was Warren’s idea whern he asked us to include an image with every post. It didn’t work, though. I don’t remember the 400 pixels rule. If someone wants to go back and resize the images in all past posts – have fun. A bigger issue, though, may be all the past posts from 2008-2013 that did not have images. If I am not mistaken flipboard analyzes all of a site’s posts, not just the recent ones, when deciding wehether to include it or not. So in addition to resizing many of the 2013-15 images you would also have to add images to ~10,000 posts from the previous 5 years (very rough estimate), if I am correct about how flipboard makes it decision.

    Regarding the policy issue, don’t want to get into it too much because of limited computer time, but Gary Johnson did say that he wants to see trucks be able to pass each other at 70 MPH in both directions across the US-Mexico border. Someone else will have to find when and where he said this or I may come back to it when I get a new computer.

    Welcome on board Caryn!

  28. Andy Craig

    @paulie re: Gary’s truck comment, here’s the quote in its surrounding context. The source is from a Playboy magazine interview while about halfway through his second term as Governor. Being pro-immigration and pro-open-borders is not a new thing for him.

    http://cannabisnews.com/news/7/thread7965.shtml

    PLAYBOY: As governor of a border state, what is your view of the immigration issue?

    JOHNSON: I don’t think Easterners recognize that the Hispanics who immigrate are great people, great citizens. They care about their families like other Americans care about their families. They’re living in poverty in Mexico and can come to the United States and do a lot better.

    PLAYBOY: By–according to some–taking away jobs.

    JOHNSON: They work the lowest-paying jobs, which is a huge step up from where they come from. And they are taking jobs that other Americans don’t necessarily want. They’re hardworking people who are taking jobs that others don’t want. That’s the reality.

    PLAYBOY: Would you open the borders and make it easier to immigrate legally?

    JOHNSON: My vision of the border with Mexico is that a truck from the United States going into Mexico and a truck coming from Mexico into the United States will pass each other at the border going 60 miles an hour. Yes, we should have open borders. It will help enormously with the drug issue, too, by the way. One of the huge raps on Mexico is that it is a drug supplier, that it’s the drug corridor. But there wouldn’t be drugs coming in illegally from Mexico if there weren’t the demand in the United States. We have a militarized border with Mexico, and it’s a shame. It doesn’t work very well, either. Mexican mules get paid a king’s ransom to carry marijuana or cocaine across the border, but they are just mules. If they get caught, they’re the ones who get locked up, not the drug lords. One out of eight gets caught. Whoever’s paying them south of the border knows that equation and understands the risk.

    PLAYBOY: In California, there was a backlash against illegal immigrants. Voters passed a proposition that would have denied them medical and other services.

    JOHNSON: It wouldn’t be a problem if they were legal, so the process to make them legal should be easier.

    PLAYBOY: Many Americans fear the flood of immigrants that would follow.

    JOHNSON: Again, they would come over and take jobs that we don’t want. They would become taxpayers. They’re just pursuing dreams—the same dreams we all have. They work hard. What’s wrong with that?

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    That interview is interesting.

    It’s also from 15 years ago.

    At some point since then, he became more authoritarian on immigration, including endorsing conscription of every employer in the US as an unpaid ICE agent (“E-Verify”). Then he seemed to swing back in the other direction and get more libertarian again.

    Has he, at any point, made up his fucking mind and stuck with it for any length of time? I know it’s dangerous to rely on Wikipedia, since stuff can change, so maybe he’s decided to be libertarian this week and I just didn’t hear about it.

  30. Paul Jackson

    Mr. Knapp,

    Hyperbole will destroy the universe.

    If you’re going to make claims that securing the border will collapse the economy or use up all of the budget or the entire military plus all the police forces, you’re going to have to back that up. Explain your plan and why it’s so expensive.

    I think we put up as much triple fencing every year as we can afford. Put turrets on the interior fence that have motion activated lights, cameras and paintball guns. When people start climbing the fences, have the turret notify the border patrol agents and shoot the trespassers with paintballs. That will make it easy for the border agents to find them.

    We can even build it with volunteer labor and pay for it with voluntary contributions. I don’t see how it could be more expensive than the interstate highway system.

    There’s no way to make the border 100% secure. But we can do a lot better than we’re doing now. And we should. Because we should be trying to keep criminals out.

  31. Caryn Ann Harlos

    There’s that “we” again. *I* am not part of this mythical “we.”

    Funny little anarchist. I know. I get that a lot.

  32. langa

    Great article by Hornberger.

    Regarding Gary Johnson’s above-quoted interview, the biggest problem I see is that he frames the issue in entirely utilitarian terms. His argument is premised almost entirely on the fact that immigrants are good people who just want to work hard and contribute to society. In actuality, I have spent a lot of time living in neighborhoods with large immigrant populations, and some of them are, in fact, very polite and very hardworking. Others, however, are very rude and very lazy. Ultimately, however, that really doesn’t matter at all, as I could say the same things about native-born Americans. The bottom line is that the only way that you can support immigration restrictions is if you believe that the government is the rightful owner of all the property within its borders, and that its interest in keeping immigrants out is sufficient to justify a police state.

    Which reminds me, for those who say we have to build a fence to keep criminals and other undesirables out, should every state also build a fence to keep out all of the criminals from neighboring states? Heck, why not have every county build its own little version of the Berlin Wall? That sounds like a very libertarian idea. Or, we could try actually addressing the root causes by ending the Drug War, and ceasing our Middle East meddling. Nah, too extremist!

  33. Paul Jackson

    Langa,

    The claim that the only way one could justify immigration restrictions is to grant ownership of all land to the government and implement a police state is not correct.

    I don’t believe the government owns my house. But if someone was trying to break in I would call the police. And I would hope they would put the guy in jail – behind walls – and keep him out of my neighborhood.

    The difference between anarchists and libertarians is that we libertarians believe that government exists to defend the rights of the individual. My right to be safe in my own country from criminals, invading armies and terrorists. Just like there’s a role for the government in stopping a military invasion or a riot, there’s a role for government in border security. IMHO.

  34. Andy Craig

    “I don’t believe the government owns my house. But if someone was trying to break in I would call the police. And I would hope they would put the guy in jail – behind walls – and keep him out of my neighborhood.”

    The correct analogy here would be calling the police and demand they arrest somebody because *your neighbor* invited them into *their house*.

    The entire country is not “your house.” My house is my house. As in, not yours. As in, none of your business who I allow to enter it.

  35. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The difference between anarchists, also known as libertarians, and conservatives masquerading as libertarians is that we conservatives masquerading as libertarians believe, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that government exists to defend the rights of the individual, as long as the individual is white, male, heterosexual and speaks English.”

    There, fixed that for ya.

  36. Andy Craig

    “anarchists, also known as libertarians”

    That’s funny. Delusional, but funny.

  37. Paul Jackson

    Mr. Craig,

    Neither analogy is perfect. But I think mine is closer to the truth. People who cross the border without going through the legal process are not being “invited” by anyone. Citizens who live on the border are having their property vandalized by trespassers, NOT guests.

    Every ideology is an attempt to stretch a finite human mind over a seemingly infinite universe. Even the best ideologies are going to tear in places. I think a little humility is in order.

    Following the logic of some of you guys, it sounds like you’d be fine with the whole Chinese army “immigrating” as long as they weren’t ACTIVELY shooting while crossing the border.

    A great woman once encouraged you to check your premises.

  38. Paul Jackson

    Mr. Knapp,

    You really are a funny guy.

    I should have said that the only good reason for government to exist is to protect the rights of the individual. The founding fathers said something pretty close to that in the declaration of independence. I never meant to imply that our current government does a good job. For example… They are letting a bunch of criminals just walk right in.

  39. Caryn Ann Harlos

    False dichotomy between libertarians and anarchists. And false equivocation between the state and government. All anarchists (at least the ancap propertarian variety) are libertarians. Not all libertarians are anarchists. This – as far as the LP is concerned- was settled with the Dallas Accord.

    This anarchist fully believes in “government” to enforce rights. I reject the state. They are not the same thing.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    Mr. Jackson,

    The founding fathers also forbade Congress to regulate immigration, and instead of amending the Constitution to create such a power, they just decided, 90 years later, to start doing it without any amendment. So speaking of “a bunch of criminals …”

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    Caryn,

    “An-cap” is a contradiction in terms. Since capitalism is by definition a state-regulated mixed industrial economy, you can be an anarchist or you can be a capitalist, but you can’t be both (just as you can be a capitalist or you can favor free markets — pick one, but they’re mutually exclusive). So when I meet someone claiming to be an anarcho-capitalist, my first question is “which one?”

    It’s true that not all libertarians are anarchists, just like it’s true that not all people who do the New York Times crossword get every answer right. So with respect to borders and immigration, I guess “conservatives masquerading as libertarians” COULD be replaced by “libertarians who are having problems applying basic concepts.”

    And good catch on “government” versus “state.” Pet peeve of mine, too, but I do sometimes slip up and let that one get by.

  42. Robert Capozzi

    tk: If the border — all 95,500 miles of it — could be “secured,” securing it would likely collapse the US economy. At the very least, it would make us all poorer.

    me: This is probably true in the extreme meaning of “secure,” as in “a military base.” Some may actually want that. Some may also want a cop on every corner in America to fight and dissuade nearly every violent crime.

    But most don’t want any such thing. Intuitively, they want a semblance of domestic tranquility to live their lives in a civil manner. They probably want some reasonable checks to ensure that those residing among them are disruptive of domestic tranquility.

  43. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paul,

    Not all libertarians have a founding fathers fetish either. We can see how well their “limited government” worked out. Probably in part because from the start it claimed the power to rob.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Which contributes more to “domestic tranqulity” —

    1) People going where they want to go to accept the jobs that are available?

    or

    2) Roving gangs of armed thugs trying to stop people from going where they want to go to accept the jobs that are available?

    This does not seem to me to be an especially complicated question. I’ve never had an “illegal immigrant” stick a gun in my face and demand to see my “permission to exist in this area” papers from the state. I have had “Border Patrol” gang-bangers do that, and I did not consider it especially domestically tranquil.

  45. langa

    I don’t believe the government owns my house. But if someone was trying to break in I would call the police. And I would hope they would put the guy in jail – behind walls – and keep him out of my neighborhood.

    As far as I know, there is nothing (with the possible exception of some idiotic zoning law) that is stopping you from building your own little Berlin Wall on your own property. That would seem to solve your dilemma, without violating anyone’s rights. This is the solution of all us “anarchists” that you seem to look down upon. Instead, you would rather socialize the costs of protecting your property rights, by coercing others into funding your home defense, while simultaneously blocking access to other people’s property (which I assume you realize you have no right to do). So, Mr. Libertarian, you tell me: which is the more libertarian solution?

  46. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    We can debate on the “cap” part some time, I don’t find it contradictory. I am content here to say free-market anarchist. At present I identify as ancap. Though two years ago I was a horrific neocon so…. I keep an open mind.

    I do think anarchism is the consistent application of libertarian philosophy but not too long out of minarchism myself I understand the position, and the differences often boil down to whether there will be a monopoly or not. I can work with that:)

    Yeah, the state=/= government thing is an important distinction. All force could be legitimately used for in my world is protection of rights too. I simply deny coercion funding and monopoly.

  47. Andy Craig

    “People who cross the border without going through the legal process are not being “invited” by anyone.”

    So I guess those people who employ them on their property and rent them homes willingly and allow them into their business to buy things, must all just be figments of my imagination.

    The only actual trespassing you can point to- at the border itself (private land which would have seized to allow for border enforcement and your automated-paintball wall)- is entirely the creation of laws that ban crossing at regular points of entry like roads or airports.

    And even under the common law of trespass, there is a right of access and innocent passage that says you can’t keep somebody as a virtual prisoner just because you buy all the property surrounding theirs.

  48. Paul Jackson

    This is my last post. I got shit to do.

    Langa – I have already stated that government should be voluntarily funded. I am not trying to coerce others to pay for protecting my property right. But even if I built a wall around my property, I would still want my family to be safe when they left the house. If a bunch of ISIS supporters freely move into my neighborhood, my daughter will lose her freedom to go to school or wear a bikini to the beach. They tend to murder women who try to learn things or express their sexuality. Freedom only produces utopian results when the people respect each other’s rights. If we let a bunch of people move here that don’t believe in freedom, they’ll take what freedom we have left. I don’t look down on anarchists. My idea of a “perfect world” doesn’t include a government. But I doubt I’ll live long enough to see a perfect world, so I’m just trying to make this one better.

    Mr. Knapp – very excellent point on the need for a constitutional amendment. They did the same thing with drugs. Somehow they needed an amendment to ban booze, but not drugs… A bunch of criminals indeed.

  49. Wes Wagner

    Access controls, immigration restrictions and emigration restrictions are nationalist positions … it seems logically impossible to view them as anything but nationalist positions.

    If you want to take that position, don’t try to claim it is libertarian… it is nationalist!

  50. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paul,

    == I don’t look down on anarchists.==

    Awesome. I don’t look down on minarchists. We are very close.

    ==My idea of a “perfect world” doesn’t include a government.==

    I think you mean “state.” A world without government of any kind would be pretty brutal and lonely.

    == But I doubt I’ll live long enough to see a perfect world, so I’m just trying to make this one better.==

    As are we all, hopefully. Though I wonder at the faith to think minarchy is any more achievable. It hasn’t happened yet. Though if we had a true minarchy, I would find a new hobby.

  51. langa

    I have already stated that government should be voluntarily funded.

    I don’t really think that’s possible, if your definition of “government” is anything similar to any government that has ever actually existed. If it’s not, then perhaps our differences may be largely semantic, in which case you may be more of an anarchist than you realize!

    If a bunch of ISIS supporters freely move into my neighborhood…

    I think the whole ISIS thing is a typical example of a Statist Bogeyman: a minor problem blown way out of proportion and dramatized, for the purpose of keeping the population in enough of a state of fear that they are willing to accept draconian laws. In any case, in an anarchist society (or even one with a “voluntarily funded” government), we wouldn’t be meddling in the Middle East, and thus, we wouldn’t have too much to worry about from any of the “radical Islam” types.

    Freedom only produces utopian results when the people respect each other’s rights.

    I think utopia is, by definition, impossible. People aren’t perfect, and thus, the world can’t be, either. I certainly wouldn’t expect an anarchist society to be anything close to a utopia. I just expect that it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as the status quo is.

  52. Paul Jackson

    I couldn’t stay away. Thanks Caryn.

    Mr. Wagner, don’t put me in your little box. I heard that Hitler said that kids should eat their vegetables. Do we all have to be anti vegetables now?

    Peaceful, honest people should be able to cross borders freely. = libertarian

    We should try to keep terrorists and criminals out – does NOT conflict with the above.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    tk: 1) People going where they want to go to accept the jobs that are available? or 2) Roving gangs of armed thugs trying to stop people from going where they want to go to accept the jobs that are available? This does not seem to me to be an especially complicated question. I’ve never had an “illegal immigrant” stick a gun in my face and demand to see my “permission to exist in this area” papers from the state. I have had “Border Patrol” gang-bangers do that, and I did not consider it especially domestically tranquil.

    me: Yes, it’s not a complicated question at all. It’s not, however, a very useful framing of the issue, IMO. I respect that you believe that law enforcement are “roving gangs of armed thugs,” but there’s no evidence to suggest that that’s the perception of the vast majority of your fellow citizens.

    Most are supportive of some baseline peacekeeping mechanisms, even with the knowledge that sometimes (far too frequently, IMO) the laws and its enforcers are ill-conceived and over-zealous, even corrupt.

    Now it is possible to change generally-agreed-upon perceptions, but I submit that the construct you seem to point to requires some heroic assumptions and leaps from the current configuration.

    And I would note that your personal anecdotal evidence is highly unlikely to change these perceptions.

  54. Paul Jackson

    Langa…

    “…government should be voluntarily funded.”

    “I don’t really think that’s possible…”

    We can’t get there fast, but we can DEFINITELY get there. Pass a constitutional amendment saying that 1) senators and representatives get pay cuts for running deficits and pay raises for running surpluses. 2) the surpluses MUST be used to pay down the principle of the national debt and 3) when the debt is paid off the money has to go into a sovereign wealth fund. Eventually, the government will be able to live off the interest. Lots of other ideas about how to pull this off, but I gotta jump.

    If a bunch of ISIS supporters freely move into my neighborhood…

    Neither ISIS nor MS-13 are statist boogeymen.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yeah, a constitutional amendment will work, because they’re really careful and diligent about following the Constitution, you know.

    You’re right, neither ISIS nor MS-13 are boogeyment. They’re very real. And not nearly as dangerous as the already too-powerful state that you want to give yet more power to.

  56. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom,

    ==Yeah, a constitutional amendment will work, because they’re really careful and diligent about following the Constitution, you know.==

    Funny little anarchist:) it has worked out so well so far….

  57. langa

    We can’t get there fast, but we can DEFINITELY get there. Pass a constitutional amendment saying that 1) senators and representatives get pay cuts for running deficits and pay raises for running surpluses. 2) the surpluses MUST be used to pay down the principle of the national debt and 3) when the debt is paid off the money has to go into a sovereign wealth fund. Eventually, the government will be able to live off the interest. Lots of other ideas about how to pull this off, but I gotta jump.

    Well, even if it would work (which seems like a dubious assumption), it still wouldn’t constitute “voluntary” funding, since that interest would actually belong to the people from whom the money was originally (non-voluntarily) taken, i.e. the taxpayers.

    Neither ISIS nor MS-13 are statist boogeymen.

    If you think there is any significant number of people who want to destroy America for cultural reasons, religious reasons, or any other reason not directly related to our highly meddlesome foreign policy, you have likely been watching way too much Fox News.

  58. Andy Craig

    There are nations that run entirely off sovereign wealth funds without the need to tax their citizens.

    They aren’t the kind of places you’d want to live, unless theocratic absolute monarchies are your sort of thing.

  59. langa

    There are nations that run entirely off sovereign wealth funds without the need to tax their citizens.

    Be that as it may, in the hypothetical example given, the government would have to take in an enormous amount of money, namely enough to: A) Eliminate all deficit spending; B) Pay off the entire national debt; and C) Accumulate a surplus. It is this “surplus” which would then be used to make the initial investment, and that “surplus” is simply equal to the amount stolen minus the amount spent. I see no way that the accumulation of such a massive “surplus” could possibly be achieved through anything resembling “voluntary” means.

  60. Andy Craig

    I agree, it doesn’t come close to satisfying the typical NAP objections and thus not is the workaround to a “voluntarily funded state” as it seeks to be. I just wanted to point out it isn’t a good thing on pragmatic, minarchist grounds, either.

  61. Paul Jackson

    Mr. Knapp – sarcasm may be an effective way to protect your worldview, but it doesn’t help to solve problems.

    Mr. Craig – if the united states paid off its debt and started living off the interest we wouldn’t magically transform into a tyrannical theocracy. We would still be the same people with the same culture. What you said just might be the dumbest thing I have EVER read.

    All – the reason you have the luxury of thinking of ISIS and MS-13 as “nothing to worry about” is because you’re safely far away from them in your taxpayer provided bubble. Central American countries have the highest murder rates on the planet. ISIS is causing the largest refugee crisis since the second world war. Keeping your heads in your asses might keep your ears warm, but it makes it difficult to see what’s going on around you.

    So… All the money that is collected in taxes before we eliminate taxes constitutes stolen money? How do I say this?… NO SHIT. What’s the alternative? I know “anarchy”. But how do you make that happen? Do you think all the senators and nsa agents are gonna wake up one day and realize how wrong they’ve been and just decide to go home and stop bothering people? Are you proposing violent insurrection? Or are you just going to keep complaining every time you fill out your tax forms? Keep bitching every time you make a student loan payment? “I don’t like pickin’ this cotton. Don’t know why massa make me pick cotton all day.” Clean your dorm room. It smells like feet and ass.

  62. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig isn’t an anarchist. You shouldn’t assume. Only Tom, llanga, and I have identified as anarchists.

  63. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paul,

    ==Mr. Knapp – sarcasm may be an effective way to protect your worldview, but it doesn’t help to solve problems.==

    That is a soundbyte that says nothing but honestly just to put another man down in order to raise yourself.

    Sarcasm can be an effective teaching tool. It isn’t intended to solve problems, but to communicate ideas. Sarcasm broke through my thick statist head.

    “So…. We must have the state (which is bad) and not anarchy because it will lead to the state (which is bad?)…, sheesh woman, do you even listen to yourself?”

    But more to the point, your last few sentences to Andy were sheer sarcasm. I don’t mind- I like sarcasm- but you can’t skewer Tom for doing the same thing.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp

    “What’s the alternative? I know ‘anarchy’. But how do you make that happen?”

    What makes you think I need to “make that happen?”

    The United States as we know it is within a few decades, possibly even a few years, of collapse and disintegration. I don’t have to “make that happen.” It’s happening right now, and will continue to happen regardless of what I do (although I should thank you for helping to bring it to likely within my lifetime — policies like your “secure the borders” nonsense are speeding the process up).

    Overthrowing the state isn’t the problem. The state is overthrowing itself. The problem is keeping new states from taking root in the rotting corpse of the old one. That will be difficult, but probably not impossible, at least in some areas.

    “Do you think all the senators and nsa agents are gonna wake up one day and realize how wrong they’ve been and just decide to go home and stop bothering people?”

    Nope. They’re going to wake up one day and realize they need to try like hell to make it to an airport and GTFO ahead of the crowds with pitchforks and Molotov cocktails. Just like Romania’s Securitate agents did in 1989. Some of them will make it. Some of them won’t.

    “Are you proposing violent insurrection?”

    That’s already happening, and likely to escalate to Russia 1905 levels next summer.

    “Or are you just going to keep complaining every time you fill out your tax forms?”

    Check your premises 😉

  65. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I am much more optimistic than Tom, which is hard, because I am a pessimist. I do complain every time I fill out my tax forms. As to what I am going to do about it? I favour the voluntaryist/agorist approach of education and peaceful resistance. I don’t buy into the complete withdrawal from the political process. Working politically towards abolitionist ends is part of the peaceful resistance.

  66. Thomas L. Knapp

    Caryn,

    What makes you think I’m pessimistic?

    I would like to see the United States as we know it disappear. It’s in the process of doing just that, so my toes are tapping.

    Granted, some bad things will attend that dissolution, but then there are lots of bad things associated with its continued existence as well.

    I completely withdrew from the political process for awhile because I don’t think it can achieve its stated ends. I got back into the political process for two reasons.

    The main one is that I’m a politics junkie. Lots of people have hobbies that don’t return “productive” results. Politics is mine. From that perspective, it’s really no different than handicapping horse races, collecting stamps or re-enacting Civil War battles in authentic uniforms. It’s just something I really, really, really like to do.

    The secondary reason is that just because electoral politics can’t achieve ITS stated ends, that doesn’t mean it can’t achieve things conducive to MY stated ends.

    I don’t expect the LP to ever elect a president or a congressional majority and go from having done so to “fixing” the United States. But to the extent that LP campaigns tend to reveal the flaws in the system, and to the extent that the LP tends to take “smaller government” activists in the front door and send them out the back door as anarchists, I consider the LP to be very, very useful.

    Of course, it’s at its most useful when it’s at its most radical. The last two presidential campaigns have been pretty disappointing in that respect. But, being a junkie, I can’t help but keep looking for a good fix.

  67. Paul Jackson

    “…your last few sentences to Andy were sheer sarcasm. I don’t mind- I like sarcasm- but you can’t skewer Tom for doing the same thing.”…

    I only said one thing to Andy. All the sarcastic stuff at the end was addressed to “all”. It should have been addressed to “all anarchists”. I apologize for accidentally calling you an anarchist, Mr. Craig.

    “You can’t do that” sounds kinda funny coming from an anarchist.

    Mr. Knapp… The world has been through numerous plagues and genocides and two world wars… and it’s still crawling with governments. Sitting back waiting for the state to self destruct? Good luck with that. And good luck with that tax form thing. I hope the other inmates are nice.

    I kinda lost my cool over the knee jerk “that idea doesn’t sound like it will instantly produce anarchy, so I’m against it.”

    So, Caryn… Within the political process… Isn’t anything that makes government less expensive, less intrusive and/or more accountable a step in the right direction? If you somehow found yourself running for president… and you wanted to win so that you could accomplish SOMETHING rather than NOTHING … What might you propose?

    P.S. Guys, your dorm rooms really do smell like feet and ass.

  68. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The world has been through numerous plagues and genocides and two world wars… and it’s still crawling with governments.”

    I tend to think long-term.

    The Westphalian nation-state — the model your whole “borders and sovereignty” theme is based on — is less than 400 years old. I suppose there may have been a few small nation-states that have survived intact with the same internal system of government over most or all of the course of that 400 years, but I can’t think of any offhand.

    But of course that’s hard to quantify. Is the history of the United States one of a single model of government, or of three (some divide it into the First Republic, 1789-1861; the Second Republic, 1861-1933; and the Third Republic, 1933-present, claiming that there have been two substantial revolutions followed by arguably new and different regime types)?

    And aside from the difficulties of individual Westphalian nation-states, the model itself is proving increasingly brittle. That’s not just me talking. I picked up on it by reading the worried writings of a US defense establishment on the increasing role of “non-state actors” in “4th Generation Warfare.”

    As Caryn points out, there will always be (and always SHOULD be) “government.” Four people ordering a pizza together are “governing” their mutual relations.

    What I oppose, and what you and I are watching collapse (me enjoying it, you scrunching your eyes shut, putting your hands over your ears and screaming “if I don’t look or listen, it isn’t happening”) is not “government,” it’s “the state” as we’ve known it for not quite four centuries. It’s a failed experiment that’s coming to an end.

  69. Paul Jackson

    Mr. Knapp,

    Still crawling with “states” then…jesus.

    Before nation states there were city states, empires, feudal lords, warlords, tribal chiefs, etc… You’re splitting hairs, man. If the current system of nation states collapses it will almost certainly be replaced by some other form of “assholes bossing other people around”.

    You’re NOT watching anything collapse. You’re imagining that it will collapse. I would LOVE to see the state replaced by a voluntary “government as a service – I saved 20% on my police service because I bundled it with my fire service” kind of model. But that’s not going to just happen. Someone will have to DO SOMETHING to make it happen. Sounds like that someone isn’t going to be you.

  70. Thomas L. Knapp

    Mr. Jackson,

    Au contraire — lots of people, (including myself as both a provider of and customer of various non-state-regulated counter-economic enterprises) are doing lots of somethings to “make it happen.”

    Whether or not those things will be robust enough to replace the coming collapsed state by shouldering well the burdens it carries badly, and thus prevent its reincarnation, is an interesting question.

    I hope to live long enough to find out. In the meantime, I try to avoid utopian attitudes. Especially the utopian attitude that the epic fail that is the Westphalian nation-state will somehow right itself after 400 years of demonstrated complete inability to deliver the results it claims.

  71. Robert Capozzi

    tk: That’s already happening, and likely to escalate to Russia 1905 levels next summer.

    me: Provocative! Tell us more, Knappstradamus. 😉

  72. Paul Jackson

    Mr. Knapp,

    Hmmm… “Non state regulated counter economic enterprises”…

    Assuming telling me wouldn’t land you in jail (rightly or wrongly – no judgement here), if I wanted to procure your services… What are they?

  73. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Nostradamus was making predictions about the far future. I’m simply observing that we’ve already had one year of mass street demonstrations over (and accompanied by) police violence, resulting in a few piecemeal “reforms” and a lot of denial. It’s no great feat to predict that this will continue to escalate over the next year and that, as in 1905, the results will be inconclusive.

    Mr. Jackson,

    I use private arbitration instead of using the state’s court system. I provide for my home defense defense myself instead of relying on the state’s police. Those are two examples that I don’t expect negative ramifications from disclosing. There are others I don’t care to publicly disclose at this time. As far as my services are concerned, I’m primarily a writer and editor. That’s not particularly counter-economic in itself, but can be in the details, some of which fall into the “don’t care to publicly disclose” area and others which don’t (for example, all of my writing is immediately dedicated to the public domain rather than accepting the state’s “intellectual property” scheme).

  74. Andy Craig

    Correct, I’m not an anarchist.

    Since the point apparently needs further elucidation: governments that aren’t paid for by the people are not responsible to the people. That’s a pretty common and relatively uncontroversial observation in the world of poli-sci and comparative gov’t. See: Saudi Arabia, Brunei, UAE, Venezuela, etc.- so called “trust fund states.” One of the worst things you can do to a country, is give its government a revenue source not dependent on its people. Foreign aid, as an aside, has the same effect.

    Governments that can entirely fund themselves that way, e.g. with oil, are universally despotic and tyrannical. The end result is a government that uses more force more freely against its citizens, not a reduction in either the amount of force used or the size of the government. There are a few freer nations that have such funds, but they are only a minority of state revenue, and/or are dedicated to only funding certain programs like old-age pensions.

    Put another way: some governments see “no taxation without representation” and respond by not having either. That probably isn’t a satisfactory answer to those who insist all taxation and governments must be abolished completely, but it isn’t intended to be.

  75. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Andy,

    ===Correct, I’m not an anarchist.===

    See? I was defending your minarchist honour:)

    ===That probably isn’t a satisfactory answer to those who insist all taxation and governments must be abolished completely, but it isn’t intended to be.===

    And who here (if you are referring to here) says that governments must be abolished completely?

  76. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paul,

    You seemed to have avoided my point, but no matter. I like sarcasm.

    ==All the sarcastic stuff at the end was addressed to “all”. It should have been addressed to “all anarchists”. ===

    So my point about your exposition on how sarcasm was bad, then you shouldn’t do it, is cured by the fact that it was the funny little anarchists that were the subject? It’s okay for you do it to “those guys…”—who gives a shit about the anarchists. They aren’t people like everyone else. Remember, I like sarcasm, and I am your funny little anarchist friend. I don’t declare war on minarchists, we are kissing cousins and co-conspirators in this battle for liberty. Pucker up.

    ===You can’t do that sounds kinda funny coming from an anarchist.==

    And why would that be? Do you think that pointing out inconsistencies is somehow not anarchist? Or were you taking me hyper-literally to mean there ought to be a law or something? When I say “you can’t do that”— in normal conversation the implied “and be taken as consistent” is understood. How is that a problem with anarchy?

    ==So, Caryn… Within the political process… Isn’t anything that makes government less expensive, less intrusive and/or more accountable a step in the right direction?===

    You are conflating participants here. I never made any critiques or suggestions that if something didn’t lead to directly to anarchy, that I would have a meltdown. My interest is in philosophy not pragmatics. I have little talent for it. If I find a candidate that I believe has a good pragmatic yet consistently libertarian approach, I will be an enthusiastic volunteer.

    == If you somehow found yourself running for president… and you wanted to win so that you could accomplish SOMETHING rather than NOTHING … What might you propose?==

    I don’t intend upon ever running for public office. Not my talent. And I think it is delusional for a Libertarian qua libertarian to think they can win the presidency right now so they might as well focus on what they can do. Promote a consistent libertarian ideal and step on a few third rails in the process to shift the public conversation in a more consistently libertarian direction… so that the 4th guy after that might have a shot. If on the chance, a Libertarian is in office, anything that actually reduces government and doesn’t just shift it is a win. Move in a consistently abolitionist direction—and doggedly hold to “no particular orderism” rather than being paralyzed by self-imposed orderly gradualism that turns out in practice to be nothingism. Not my interest here in debating any specific policy implementation. My interest is in determining the consistent libertarian end game goals.

    Also, our views of SOMETHING and NOTHING are vastly different. IF I were to find myself in some office and the votes come down 15 to 1 on everything, that 1 would mean I was doing SOMETHING.

    Further, my anarchist views are from an ethical, not pragmatic, standpoint. It is morally irrelevant to me if anarchy is impossible. I happen to think minarchy has about the same chance.

    ==P.S. Guys, your dorm rooms really do smell like feet and ass.==

    Mine smells like vanilla. And cognac.

  77. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paul,

    ==Assuming telling me wouldn’t land you in jail (rightly or wrongly – no judgement here), if I wanted to procure your services… What are they?==

    You forgot the first rule of Fight Club.

  78. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom,

    ==What makes you think I’m pessimistic?==

    Because you see collapse so imminent. I don’t…. the Roman Empire limped along for a long period of time after it was already mortally wounded. And I don’t see us as mortally wounded. I also am a deeply committed pacificist at this point, so I see any idea of potentially violent unrest deeply pessimistic. I still hope for a some kind of peaceful turnaround. I have to. And that is what I am committed to.

    I really agree with what you had to say here

    ==The secondary reason is that just because electoral politics can’t achieve ITS stated ends, that doesn’t mean it can’t achieve things conducive to MY stated ends.
    I don’t expect the LP to ever elect a president or a congressional majority and go from having done so to “fixing” the United States. But to the extent that LP campaigns tend to reveal the flaws in the system, and to the extent that the LP tends to take “smaller government” activists in the front door and send them out the back door as anarchists, I consider the LP to be very, very useful.==

    Yessss…. And that is what happened to me as you know. The LP took me from apathetic Constitutional neocon of fifteen years to anarchist in ten months—hopefully I don’t get sent out the back door anytime soon.

  79. Paul Jackson

    Caryn,

    It seemed like you were being very protective of Andy.

    “…who gives a shit about the anarchists. They aren’t people like everyone else…”

    Wow. Never said anything remotely like that.

    “…Or were you taking me hyper-literally to mean there ought to be a law or something?…”

    Uh… The premise of the joke requires a literal interpretation. But I wasn’t being serious. Have another sip of that cognac and take a breath.

    When I used sarcasm against “the anarchists” I was “fighting fire with fire.” If a policy proposal (good or bad) is going to be met with sarcasm and ridicule rather than debate, what’s the point in trying to have a conversation about policy?

    Your refusal to offer any policy ideas is an example of what frustrates me about anarchists (as a group – totally generalizing here). “I insist on complaining forever and improving things never.”

    If candidate A wants to turn us into North Korea and candidate B wants to cut taxes 10%, calling them both evil statists and refusing to vote could get us all put in prison camps. Anarchists take “making the best the enemy of the good” to its logical extreme.

    Dr. Evil WANTED sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads. But he had to settle for mutated, ill tempered sea bass.

    Andy, I understand the point you’re making about the trust fund countries. But they were old school monarchies before they had the money. We would still be able to vote. I think your concerns are not realistic. I mean, I think America is inching toward dictatorship already. But finding a way to eliminate taxes won’t be the thing that pushes us over the edge. At least I don’t think so.

  80. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paul,

    ==It seemed like you were being very protective of Andy.===

    I was totally white-knighting Andy.

    ==Wow. Never said anything remotely like that.==

    LOL I was joking Paul. I love sarcasm, remember?

    ===Uh… The premise of the joke requires a literal interpretation. But I wasn’t being serious. Have another sip of that cognac and take a breath.===

    Will do:)

    I joust… please don’t take my joking seriously.

  81. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paul,

    ==When I used sarcasm against “the anarchists” I was “fighting fire with fire.” If a policy proposal (good or bad) is going to be met with sarcasm and ridicule rather than debate, what’s the point in trying to have a conversation about policy?==

    You are conflating participants again… I only talked end-game philosophy.

    ==Your refusal to offer any policy ideas is an example of what frustrates me about anarchists (as a group – totally generalizing here). “I insist on complaining forever and improving things never.”==

    I think once again — conflation. Saying I have no talent for that isn’t a refusal, it is a confession of lack of ability. I do not oppose steps that actual reduce government and not just shift it. I said that pretty clearly. When people propose plans that I can get behind, I do. I am simply not a strategist. Different roles for different people. No shame in that.

  82. Paul Jackson

    Caryn,

    Actually, I am not conflating participants. I was not referring to you. The second point I stated that I was generalizing. The first point (about sarcasm and ridicule) was actually pointed at Mr. Knapp and Langa. Mr. Knapp uses sarcasm and hyperbole like a painter uses pastels. Langa made some crack about me watching too much Fox News. Not that it matters (and that might have been a joke too) but I haven’t watched Fox in at least two years. We decided that cable wasn’t worth the money a couple of years ago.

    Anarchists – as a group – frustrate me because they don’t participate in the political process. We may never get the state as small as any of us want it, but it’s not going to wither and die because we give it the silent treatment.

    The political process can be used to increase our freedom and reduce the power of the state. Look at the incremental progress being made on gay marriage and marijuana legalization. We can make similar progress on other issues if we roll up our sleeves and get to work. But if everyone just waits for the state to self destruct we won’t.

  83. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paul,

    ==If candidate A wants to turn us into North Korea and candidate B wants to cut taxes 10%, calling them both evil statists and refusing to vote could get us all put in prison camps. ==

    And you know no one here did that. Cutting taxes by 10% is a good step… as long as the ultimate step of eliminating them is not buried. I don’t oppose increments…. true increments. That work towards abolitionist goals.

  84. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paul,

    ==Actually, I am not conflating participants. I was not referring to you.==

    You mean the world doesn’t revolve around me? Ouch.

    ==Anarchists – as a group – frustrate me because they don’t participate in the political process.===

    I get the generalization…. but you have some real live anarchists right here in front of you and each of us are activists within…. a political party.

    ==The political process can be used to increase our freedom and reduce the power of the state. Look at the incremental progress being made on gay marriage==

    I don’t agree that the gay marriage issue was in fact incremental progress. A lateral move perhaps… and due to the that the state mucks up everything, perhaps the best that could have been done (and certainly a win in removing govt discrimination— but poly couples are still discriminated against). But the only Libertarian answer there is to get the state out of licensing personal relationships entirely. One it gets its tentacles in something, it rarely lets go.

    ==and marijuana legalization. We can make similar progress on other issues if we roll up our sleeves and get to work. But if everyone just waits for the state to self destruct we won’t.==

    Yet no one here is doing that. I am sorry Paul but you seem to have this nice image of anarchists set up and don’t wish to see it undone. And perhaps we don’t agree with your particular approach that must mean we just are sitting in our bug-out shacks waiting for the world to go boom.

  85. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    and LOL @ the vision of giving the state the silent treatment. That struck me as funny. A good description of most voluntaryists

  86. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Anarchists – as a group – frustrate me because they don’t participate in the political process.”

    Well, I’m an anarchist, and I do participate in the political process. I did take a three-year break from actually voting, but even during that break I worked for a couple of candidates.

    Prior to and after that break, I’ve worked on numerous political campaigns (including a few winners), run for office myself (five times, the first time of which I polled 20% in a three-way race for city council in a city of 100,000 — that city has since elected two Libertarian council members — and the last time of which I got the largest vote total of any third party candidate or combination of third party candidates for that congressional district since Missouri’s Secretary of State started putting election results online). I also served as a federal appointee (draft board) from 2004-2012.

    Since moving to Florida at the beginning of 2013, my political involvement has been back, minimal but increasing.

    I enjoy electoral politics. I just don’t delude myself into thinking that electoral politics will, in and of itself, get me where I want to go. So I try to use it to accomplish other things.

    I don’t see any point in the LP running a presidential candidate if that candidate isn’t going to stand for a fairly hardcore set of principles and positions. If there was a chance in hell of that candidate winning, I might understand the propensity to moderation.

    But there is no such chance, so the primary function of the LP presidential campaign is to very loudly communicate the message THIS IS WHAT WE STAND FOR. And if what the candidate stands for is “well, uh … [stares at the ground, shuffles feet] … kinda sorta Republican, but they didn’t really buy what I was selling so I came over here …” communicating that message doesn’t accomplish anything I’m interested in accomplishing.

  87. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom,

    ==I don’t see any point in the LP running a presidential candidate if that candidate isn’t going to stand for a fairly hardcore set of principles and positions. If there was a chance in hell of that candidate winning, I might understand the propensity to moderation.

    But there is no such chance, so the primary function of the LP presidential campaign is to very loudly communicate the message THIS IS WHAT WE STAND FOR. And if what the candidate stands for is “well, uh … [stares at the ground, shuffles feet] … kinda sorta Republican, but they didn’t really buy what I was selling so I came over here …” communicating that message doesn’t accomplish anything I’m interested in accomplishing.==

    ^^^^ I certainly don’t bust my hump for a weak message.

  88. Paul Jackson

    Tom,

    I read your article and enjoyed it very much. It was well written. But, I still disagree with the premise. During the first hundred years of this country’s existence, there were no terrorist organizations whose stated goals included conquering the entire planet and forcing everyone on Earth to convert to Islam or be executed. I think that justifies a fence and some people to watch it.

  89. Thomas L. Knapp

    “During the first hundred years of this country’s existence, there were no terrorist organizations whose stated goals included conquering the entire planet and forcing everyone on Earth to convert to Islam or be executed.”

    Actually, the particular school of Islam you’re referring to (Wahabbism) has been around since the 17th century. And the world-conquering bug has been up Islam’s ass from the beginning (they conquered Spain once, but came to grief in France; they reached the gates of Vienna once, too, before being turned back).

    There have ALWAYS been “threats to the security of the United States.” The 60-year experiment of “securing the border” seems to have had no impact whatsoever on those threats.

    If you think your fear of Osama bin Laden hiding under your bed justifies a fence and some people to watch it, feel free to build such a fence around your house and contract with Pinkerton or whoever to watch it. It’s neither practical nor moral to try to impose the costs of your paranoia on everyone else.

  90. Paul Jackson

    Tom, I agree that Gary Johnson would not make a perfect president or presidential candidate. But having a vote getter at the top of the ticket helps with ballot access and party growth. Ballot access and party growth could lead to local electoral victories which could lead to real reductions in state power.

  91. Paul Jackson

    Tom, if Osama Bin Laden was hiding under my bed, that would be pretty freakin scary, considering the fact that he’s dead.

    They hijacked planes and flew them into buildings. Do you not remember that? It’s not paranoia to notice a threat AFTER the attack happens. It is a lot easier for them to get here now. It’s a legitimate danger now. It wasn’t a hundred years ago.

  92. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paul,

    Yes, more than 40 years after the US government imposed regularized immigration restrictions, 9/11 proved that such restrictions do nothing to prevent terror attacks.

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

    As far as dangers a hundred years ago are concerned, it was 99.5 years ago that Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico.

  93. Robert Capozzi

    pj: Anarchists – as a group – frustrate me because they don’t participate in the political process. We may never get the state as small as any of us want it, but it’s not going to wither and die because we give it the silent treatment.

    me: As a theoretical asymptotic anarchist/applied lessarchist, I see some advantages to unmodified anarchists not participating in the political process. Unmodified anarchists — God love ’em — have a propensity to say some rather outrageous things in the Public Square, things that IMO damage the cause of lessarchism. Silence could well be golden in this case, since the extremism that some anarchists advocate can hurt lessarchism by association.

  94. Robert Capozzi

    tk’s article: There is no smaller form of government than anarchy, and anarchy worked when it came to immigration.

    me: The first clause is true. The second clause, however, IMO misuses the word “anarchy,” which means “no rulers.” Anarchy does not mean “aspects of human behavior is unregulated by a state.” It means NO aspect of human behavior is regulated by a state in a stateless society.

    It’s coherent to say “society should be stateless, therefore borders should not exist, therefore ‘immigration’ is a meaningless term.” But we have to buy into the premise, far fetched as it is. A compelling case would have to be made that statelessness is workable and just.

    I haven’t heard the case yet.

  95. langa

    I kinda lost my cool over the knee jerk “that idea doesn’t sound like it will instantly produce anarchy, so I’m against it.”

    I assume this is directed to me (since Andy is not an anarchist, and I don’t remember Caryn or Tom saying anything about your sovereign wealth fund plan). If so, I think you are seriously mischaracterizing what I said. To recap, you said that you supported “voluntarily funded” government. I replied that I didn’t think such a thing was possible (at least not if “government” refers to anything close to the modern nation-state). You then proposed the sovereign wealth fund plan as an example of “voluntarily funded” government. I then responded by pointing out that such a plan does not constitute voluntary funding, since it involves government stealing massive amounts of money in order to set up the fund in the first place. In other words, I simply pointed out that your plan would not do what you said it would. How is that in any way similar to saying, “That idea doesn’t sound like it will instantly produce anarchy, so I’m against it”?

    And by the way, I have no idea how often you watch Fox News, or even whether you have ever watched it. It’s just that the claim that “the terrorists hate us for our freedom [and not for our meddlesome foreign policy]” sounds exactly like the sort of thing one often hears on Fox News.

  96. langa

    I don’t agree that the gay marriage issue was in fact incremental progress. A lateral move perhaps… and due to the that the state mucks up everything, perhaps the best that could have been done (and certainly a win in removing govt discrimination— but poly couples are still discriminated against). But the only Libertarian answer there is to get the state out of licensing personal relationships entirely. One it gets its tentacles in something, it rarely lets go.

    I fully agree with every word of this, but be warned, it’s a pretty controversial opinion around here. It seems a lot of people at IPR think that the Supreme Court handing down a statist “solution” to a statist problem somehow constitutes the crowning achievement of libertarianism.

  97. langa

    But there is no such chance, so the primary function of the LP presidential campaign is to very loudly communicate the message THIS IS WHAT WE STAND FOR.

    Exactly, which is why I think it is a major mistake to measure the effectiveness of LP campaigns by vote totals. I would much rather a candidate get, say, 0.9% while espousing a hardcore libertarian message than to get, say, 1.5% with a watered-down, “Overton window” platform.

  98. Robert Capozzi

    tk: If you’re just refusing to listen, that’s on you.

    me: I’ve heard CASES certainly, just not COMPELLING ones.

    L: I would much rather a candidate get, say, 0.9% while espousing a hardcore libertarian message than to get, say, 1.5% with a watered-down, “Overton window” platform.

    me: OK, how about 0.1% vs 1.5%? Even 50 votes vs 1.5%

    I’m just trying to understand whether there is ANY trade-off in your mind.

    I suspect that there is a fairly solid base in the tenths of percents, made up of L and protest voters. I’m not sure what that number is, but it might be about 0.4%-ish. Effectiveness, then, might be better looked at based on performance above the base.

    Of course, we are only talking about tenths of percentages, none of which is statistically significant.

  99. Thomas L. Knapp

    I might pay you $50 to stand on a street corner holding a sign advertising my business.

    I’m not going to pay you even $5 to stand on a street corner holding a sign advertising my competitor’s business.

    Comparing LP presidential candidate vote totals is only interesting to the extent that the candidates being compared are actually advertising the libertarian message instead of some other message.

  100. Robert Capozzi

    tk, makes sense, as far as it goes. The question is: What is “the” L message, according to you?

    I would say all LP prez candidates have been lessarchists, advocating on net less government. There have been issues where I have disagreed with them on some issues.

    In fact, the data set is uninteresting/insignificant, since the variability is microscopic.

  101. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I apologize — I should have said “a” libertarian position, not “the” libertarian position.

    Libertarianism is the non-aggression principle. That’s all it is. Any number of political ideologies or platforms might flow out of that principle. An ideology or platform which agrees with that principle is “libertarian.” An ideology or platform which does not agree with that principle isn’t “libertarian.”

    Choosing a Libertarian presidential candidate from among several contenders might well turn into a matter of personal preference as to which candidate’s ideology or platform best addresses various issues of current interest and so forth.

    But the litmus test SHOULD be that no candidate whose ideology or platform ISN’T libertarian — that is any candidate whose ideology or platform discards the non-aggression principle — is worth nominating or supporting. If I’m promoting Coke, I don’t buy billboards that advertise Pepsi.

  102. George Phillies

    “The world Pre-WW2 had no Al Qaida, no ISIS, no dirty bombs and getting to America was much more difficult, time consuming and expensive.”

    No, it had Stalinist Russia, Hitlerite Germany, and imperial Japan, not to mention Italy. On the other hand, we had pre-WW2 press saying Russia and Germany were non-issues, as opposed to modern press selling fearmongering fairy tales about Iran, isis, al Qaeda, Saddamite Iraq, et tedious cetera in best yellow press style.

    However, it matters extremely little which sort of candidate we run for President if almost all the campaign money is again swallowed by the campaign staff salaries and such not.

  103. Robert Capozzi

    tk: But the litmus test SHOULD be that no candidate whose ideology or platform ISN’T libertarian — that is any candidate whose ideology or platform discards the non-aggression principle — is worth nominating or supporting.

    me: Right, so while I don’t find the NAP all that useful a philosophical tool, I’ll play. By your standard, then, a Bergland candidate who uses the NAP to get to support NAMBLA is OK, but a Johnson who advocates a NAP-violating FAIR tax with big budget cuts is not OK.

    This is one of the many reasons why I find the NAPsolutist approach unworkable.

  104. Thomas L. Knapp

    “By your standard, then, a Bergland candidate who uses the NAP to get to support NAMBLA is OK”

    I’m not sure what the hell you’re trying to say there. Care to try again?

    “but a Johnson who advocates a NAP-violating FAIR tax with big budget cuts is not OK.”

    Correct.

    It would be best if an LP presidential candidate could take a libertarian position on all issues. If he or she can’t, then he or she should, at the very least, try to avoid publicly addressing the issues he or she is anti-libertarian on.

  105. Robert Capozzi

    Sure. If a L candidate uses the NAP to justify publicly man-boy-love as a consensual relationship that the law should not prohibit, that candidate is worthy of support, in your view. Or, at least, that’s not a disqualifier, as you see it, yes?

  106. Andy

    “Robert Capozzi

    September 2, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Sure. If a L candidate uses the NAP to justify publicly man-boy-love as a consensual relationship that the law should not prohibit, that candidate is worthy of support, in your view.”

    I don’t think that this is something that most libertarians support, because a child can’t give informed consent on this.

  107. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Nice try. Let me take my Bic to your strawman, though.

    First, my litmus test was not that a Libertarian presidential candidate must proclaim a libertarian position on every issue. My litmus test was that a Libertarian candidate must not proclaim an anti-libertarian position on any issue. There’s a difference.

    Secondly, I pointed out that above and beyond that litmus test, “choosing a Libertarian presidential candidate from among several contenders might well turn into a matter of personal preference as to which candidate’s ideology or platform best addresses various issues of current interest and so forth.”

    Now, it is true that I am not able to read every presidential candidate’s campaign book, watch every presidential candidate’s ads and interviews, etc. I do try to catch all the televised presidential campaign debates and to keep track of controversial statements in candidate ads and campaign books and so forth, though, and the next time I see a “man-boy-love as a consensual relationship” presented as an issue in a presidential campaign will be the first time.

    Should I happen to see a Libertarian presidential candidate pre-emptively featuring that issue in his or her campaign platform, it’s unlikely that I will support that candidate for the party’s nomination.

    Should it come to light that a Libertarian presidential candidate has written on the subject in the past and/or is asked about the subject in the course of his or her campaign, I’ll be interested in the candidate’s views on the subject and how he or she presents them, and those things will, of course, inform my decision as to whether or not to support that candidate.

  108. Robert Capozzi

    tk: First, my litmus test was not that a Libertarian presidential candidate must proclaim a libertarian position on every issue. My litmus test was that a Libertarian candidate must not proclaim an anti-libertarian position on any issue. There’s a difference.

    me: And the difference would be…what?

    I’d note that some in the Rockwell crowd (Kinsella comes to mind) who proclaim that “open borders” is not the KL (Korrect Line). That said, then, would your litmus test be that a L candidate proclaiming against an open border policy is articulating an “anti-L” position?

    tk: Should I happen to see a Libertarian presidential candidate pre-emptively featuring that issue [the NAMBLA position] in his or her campaign platform, it’s unlikely that I will support that candidate for the party’s nomination.

    me: I like that you lean in a sensible direction on this, and yet you don’t definitively make it a disqualification.

    I’m pretty sure I didn’t vote for Bergland (or anyone) in 1984, although his NAMBLA position iirc only validated my concerns about his approach to L politics. He was certainly a lessarchist, but I found his extremist positioning damaging to the cause of lessarchy. He was, however, a NAP purist, iirc.

    OTOH, if GJ were a NAMBLA-friendly sort, I’d not vote for him myself, even if he were to, say, lose the FAIR tax as an issue he promoted.

    To me, there are definitely non-starter positions both within the NAP-osphere and outside it. NAMBLA-friendliness is one such non-starter.

  109. Robert Capozzi

    a: I don’t think that this is something that most libertarians support, because a child can’t give informed consent on this.

    me: Yes, I agree, it’s a minority position. It IS, however, a view that one can arrive mechanistically employing the NAP.

  110. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    The difference between “must do X on every issue” and “must not do the opposite of X on any issue,” seems pretty clear to me, but I guess I’ll try:

    If I am interviewing people who are bidding on food concession slots at a venue I run, I won’t necessarily reject someone who ISN’T proposing to sell ice cream. However, I will almost certainly reject anyone who IS proposing to sell dog feces on a stick.

    A libertarian presidential candidate can probably get my support without including the Lunar Treaty and private nukes in his or her platform (in fact, I’d probably prefer that those subjects weren’t addressed unless asked about, since nobody gives a shit about them). But that candidate can forget my support if he or she includes gun control and conscription in his or her platform.

    Clearer now?

    Now, as to your “NAMBLA position” concern:

    I’m not sure what NAMBLA’s position is. I suppose it could run the gamut from, at one end, “adults should be free to have sex with children” to, at the other end, “age of consent laws are a bad thing and in prosecutions of alleged rape or child molestation, consent should be an allowed affirmative defense with a jury determining whether or not the alleged victim was able or unable to, and did or did not, consent rather than the state drawing a number out of a hat and demanding that the jury just rubber stamp that number.”

    I would consider the former position to be non-libertarian because sex without consent — real consent, which a child may not be able to render — is an initiation of force.

    I would consider the latter position to be libertarian.

    But I have trouble envisioning any situation in which that question would be relevant to a presidential campaign, especially in terms of a Libertarian presidential candidate intentionally MAKING it an issue in a presidential election. If a candidate’s play for the nomination included putting that issue front and center, I would consider that candidate’s strategy unsound and hope for another candidate, at least as libertarian, to offer a better marketing strategy.

    Back to immigration. You write:

    “I’d note that some in the Rockwell crowd (Kinsella comes to mind) who proclaim that ‘open borders’ is not the KL (Korrect Line). That said, then, would your litmus test be that a L candidate proclaiming against an open border policy is articulating an ‘anti-L’ position?”

    I’ve never noticed Kinsella saying that. He’s a big fan of Hans-Hermann Hoppe in general, but my sense is that he shies away from defending that particular Hoppe line. I could be wrong, though.

    My position is that the Hoppe line on borders and immigration is anti-libertarian. Obviously, within a group as large as the Libertarian Party, there are going to be people who disagree. I would expect each of those people to demand THEIR IDEA of libertarian positions, or at least abstension from anti-libertarian positions, from candidates seeking their support. And after the dust settles and one candidate or another is the nominee, I would expect anyone who believes that the nominee is damaging the cause by promoting anti-libertarian positions to refrain from supporting the campaign. This happens in all parties, in every election cycle. People who believe their party is on the wrong course stay at home or find another party/candidate to support.

    Finally, of course, “necessary” is not the same thing as “sufficient.” I consider it necessary to have an actual libertarian candidate, promoting actual libertarian positions (and not promoting anti-libertarian positions). That’s the BASELINE REQUIREMENT for a successful Libertarian campaign. But it’s just the baseline. As Mr. Phillies points out, there’s also the necessity of running a competent campaign instead of just using the word “campaign” to describe an orgy of raising funds and handing them out to your friends.

  111. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “me: Yes, I agree, it’s a minority position. It IS, however, a view that one can arrive mechanistically employing the NAP.”

    I’d say by misapplying the NAP.

  112. Andy Craig

    That “report” is from the notorious anti-immigrant group C.I.S. Their methodology is about as bogus as a three-dollar bill, and they churn out “studies” on a regular basis that were written around their desired headline.

    In this particular case, first they deliberately exclude child-less households, and then they include things like the free/reduced school lunch program which (in addition to being trivial) is just a way to get around the fact that most people don’t consider mere public school attendance “being on welfare.”

  113. langa

    OK, how about 0.1% vs 1.5%? Even 50 votes vs 1.5%

    I’m just trying to understand whether there is ANY trade-off in your mind.

    Anything in the 1-2% range might as well be zero, as far as I’m concerned. I would have to believe a candidate who significantly deviated from the NAP was realistically capable of getting a minimum of 5% to even consider supporting them for the nomination, and even then, they would still have to be pretty libertarian (i.e. within the libertarian quadrant of the Nolan Chart).

    Also, as far as the argument you are having with TK about taking non-libertarian positions, I’m with Tom on that one. For example, I am of the opinion that abortion is a violation of the NAP, and therefore, being against abortion is the proper libertarian position. However, I would still consider supporting a candidate who was for abortion, as long as they didn’t make it one of their main issues. For example, I’m pretty sure Mary Ruwart is pro-abortion (or, to use the euphemism, “pro-choice”), yet I still supported her for the LP nomination in ’08, and if she were to decide to run again this year, I would probably support her again. The reason is that she rarely, if ever, seems to bring up abortion, unless she is directly asked about it. On the other hand, I could never support someone like George Phillies, who not only supports the right to abortion, but treats it as an issue about which libertarians should be shouting from the rooftops.

    Oh, and give the red herring about NAMBLA a rest, would you?

  114. Robert Capozzi

    L thanks for clearing that up. That’s actually a helpful summary.

    I thought there was a general understanding among NAPsolutists that abortion is a gray area for NAP application…could go either way. As you are anti-abortion, you are not offering much in the way of flexibility by being willing to support anti-abortion-prohibitionists if they don’t emphasize the issue ONLY because abortion is and has been legal for decades. It’s fairly settled, although still controversial.

    It shows more flexibility if one is anti-abortion-prohibition but one will support an L who is an abortion prohibitionist, e.g., RP1 in 1988.

    The breakthrough here is your 5% standard for non-NAPsolutists in the L quadrant.

    Are there any deviationists that you think might stand a realistic chance to get 5%?

    Personally, with great strategy and execution, I’d think GJ could meet that test.

    I use a few “red herrings” that some NAPsolutists and other extremist Ls have used as a means to illustrate the extremism and non-viability of L-ism as still advocated in the US. I try to keep it real.

  115. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    langa doesn’t really come off as anything close to a “NAP-solutist” there. You seem to be re-defining the term in real time. It’s stretching the term beyond recognition to call someone who would consider compromise/moderation at the 5% vote level a “NAP-solutist.”

    Here, let me give you a real “NAP-solutist” position:

    I could UNDERSTAND a candidate taking anti-libertarian positions if he was at 29% and he thought that the compromise might put him over the 34% mark that, if distributed equally over the states and compared to two other candidates pulling 33%, would make the difference between winning the election and not winning the election.

    I could probably even UNDERSTAND a candidate doing that if he thought that doing so stood a good chance of moving the LP into position to get there next time.

    Note that I said UNDERSTAND, not SUPPORT.

    But the idea that the difference between 0.4% of the vote and 1.1% of the vote or even 5% of the vote is so important that it’s worth reversing the message and giving up on the primary purpose of low-vote-total campaigns — that purpose being to build the party by spreading that message — is a fuck-silly proposition.

  116. Robert Capozzi

    TK, yes, what Langa says here suggests something other than NAPsolutism…exactly! I applaud that!

    So does your 34% standard for “understanding, if not supporting” an “anti” L candidate. I applaud that, too!

    I would suggest that a lessarchistic approach will look at the totality of a candidate, not just having a complex web of litmus tests on most if not all issues. In getting from here to there (less government, more liberty), sometimes you have to give to get.

  117. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I don’t have “a complex web of litmus tests.” I have one “litmus test” — that the candidate be libertarian rather than anti-libertarian in the conduct of his campaign.

    And I’m a libertarian, not a lessarchist.

  118. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    I am totally with you on this. There is no purpose to an ideologically driven third party that drops its drawers at the mere suggestion of a few extra (and still losing) percentage points.

  119. Robert Capozzi

    tk, another way to put it is you have one test — the NAP — on every single issue. It gets complex and complicated because the one test applied universally is because so many matters are difficult to boil down to a simple NAP/anti-NAP formula.

    For me, all Ls are lessarchists. You I believe maintain that those who don’t use the NAP as an analytical tool are not L, which is certainly your right.

    CAH, taking into consideration that which is feasible may = “dropping its drawers,” that too is your right. I see it differently. Do you acknowledge that to be MY right?

  120. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Robert,

    You seem really eager for validation. I do not interact with you much because we come from radically different places, and that isn’t my interest to play the little tit for tats. OF COURSE it is your right. Do you think I want to FORCE you? smh

    Losing without dignity and principles is certainly feasible. I prefer to keep my pants up, thanks.

  121. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    On FB, something I have said was meme-ified, and I will repeat it here. There is something wrong with treating libertarian principles like a cheap whore to be sold for fickle votes.

    Ergo, I don’t. When that happens, I prefer going back to my happy apathy.

  122. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I have one test on every issue. You different tests for every issue. And yet, strangely, you’re the one complaining about complexity.

    If its guns, my test is “does the candidate want to initiate force or not?” If it’s guns, you have several tests involving bazookas, Uzis on subways, privaate nukes, etc.

    If it’s sex, my test is “does the candidate want to initiate force or not?” I’m not sure how many tests you have on that, but the one that comes immediately to mind is your weird NAMBLA fixation.

    My test isn’t really a test, it’s a constraint.

    There’s one, and only one, very simple, easy thing to avoid that a candidate absolutely, positively must avoid if he wants my support — and that thing is “advocating violent thuggery.”

    How many hoops does a candidate have to jump through to possibly get yours?

  123. Robert Capozzi

    cah: You seem really eager for validation.

    me: It’s been said that projection makes perception, and that makes sense to me. 😉

    I can’t say I am not 100% without the desire for validation, but then again I suspect that that’s pretty much the human condition.

    Some seek “validation” by shocking others. Others want others to agree with them. Validation can take many forms.

    As a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery, though, I do offer another way of looking at things. Whether anyone else chooses to really check their premises is certainly on them!

    tk: How many hoops does a candidate have to jump through to possibly get yours?

    me: My test is more intuitive. All things considered, do I think a candidate will be an effective exponent of lessarchism? Is he or she pointing in more or less a positive direction? Can he or she do the job competently? Is he or she a compelling communicator? Is this candidate embarrassing, likely to say outrageous things that will likely alienate most voters?

    Things like that. These are the simple, imprecise sorts of things that make up my process. Other processes can work of course for others.

    On the question of advocating violent thuggery, surely you see that that’s like asking when did you stop beating your wife?! 😉

    But such inquiry misses the forest for the trees for me. Social Security is “thuggery,” in a sense. But abolishing it might be worse, all things considered, in the short term. I probably wouldn’t support a candidate who advocated abolishing Social Security, but I would like to see a day come when the program as structured is ended as unnecessary and counterproductive.

  124. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I was only speaking to your odd claim of complexity on my part. A single, fairly simple, constraint is obviously less complex than a multi-variant sieve of various “intuitions.” That in itself doesn’t make one better and the other worse, but your claim of complexity on my part and simplicity on yours is just absurd on its face.

    And the thing is, all the variables you mention — “do I think a candidate will be an effective exponent of lessarchism? Is he or she pointing in more or less a positive direction? Can he or she do the job competently? Is he or she a compelling communicator? Is this candidate embarrassing, likely to say outrageous things that will likely alienate most voters?” — were never at issue. “NAP-solutists” also take those things into account, when choosing fromamong the candidates who remain after we’ve eliminated the ones who consider the initial, simple, basic barrier too high to get over.

    “On the question of advocating violent thuggery, surely you see that that’s like asking when did you stop beating your wife?!”

    Not even a little.

  125. Robert Capozzi

    tk, perhaps a better word than “complexity” is “tortured.” You and other NAPsters often attempt to take multi-variable world, boil it all down to a simple NAP test employing deontological means, and then build that back up into an alternative construct.

    It part of a mindset that leads some Ls to conspiracy theories, utopian dreams like Andyland, and other angels-dancing-on-a-pin type mind games.

    Perhaps paradoxically, oversimplifying complexity leads to a different form of complexity.

    Gotta scoot. This comment probably is insufficient…might pick it up later….

  126. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom,

    ==And the thing is, all the variables you mention — “do I think a candidate will be an effective exponent of lessarchism? Is he or she pointing in more or less a positive direction? Can he or she do the job competently? Is he or she a compelling communicator? Is this candidate embarrassing, likely to say outrageous things that will likely alienate most voters?” — were never at issue. “NAP-solutists” also take those things into account, when choosing fromamong the candidates who remain after we’ve eliminated the ones who consider the initial, simple, basic barrier too high to get over.==

    Precisely. That is the biggest strawman I consistently have to correct (on FB, where I spend the majority of my time), primarily with other Libertarians who just cannot seem to “get” the idea that a commitment to certain fundamental principles does not mean those other things are not a factor. If you don’t want to play hide the ball with them, you must be some fire-breathing reactionary who has no other goal than to torch society overnight for the sheer deontological pleasure of it. Or something.

  127. langa

    I thought there was a general understanding among NAPsolutists that abortion is a gray area for NAP application…could go either way. As you are anti-abortion, you are not offering much in the way of flexibility by being willing to support anti-abortion-prohibitionists if they don’t emphasize the issue ONLY because abortion is and has been legal for decades. It’s fairly settled, although still controversial.

    Whether or not abortion is a “gray area” depends on how you are using that term. It is not a gray area in the sense of there being no right or wrong position, but it is a gray area in the sense of reasonable people having sincere disagreements as to which position is the right one. But simply being sincere and reasonable does not make one’s position correct.

    As for the point about the abortion issue being “settled” by the law, that seems irrelevant. The Drug War has also been “settled” for decades. Does that mean “libertarians” who support drug prohibition should be given a pass? The legal status of an action has absolutely no bearing on whether it violates the NAP.

    Are there any deviationists that you think might stand a realistic chance to get 5%?

    Personally, with great strategy and execution, I’d think GJ could meet that test.

    Based on 2012, no, I don’t think GJ stands a chance in hell of getting 5% in 2016. As for who might, it would have to be some sort of mega-celebrity who could get lots of free publicity, like perhaps Clint Eastwood (though I’m not sure whether he falls in the libertarian quadrant). Also, bear in mind I said that I would “consider” supporting such a person. I might still reject them if there were another candidate that would do a better job converting people to the libertarian philosophy, which, in my opinion, is by far the most important purpose of an LP campaign.

  128. Robert Capozzi

    cah, no straw man here, actually. I never suggested the deontological NAPsters DO NOT use other considerations.

    My sense is that there aren’t that many deontologists generally, and that very few of them are willing to run for office, esp. prez.

    I’m committed to lessarchy as being the best direction to go in. I’m flexible and holistic in how I view any particular approach or campaign, willing to overlook areas of disagreement.

    TK has been promoting NOTA for prez because, IIRC, the LP has had 2 successive standardbearers who are NAP violators. I think I’ve seen him say that Perry is the only fully NAP-compliant wanna be for ’16.

    I understand the approach, I do. I just find it rigid and dogmatic, and not likely to work, given how the world works.

  129. Robert Capozzi

    L: But simply being sincere and reasonable does not make one’s position correct.

    me: Sure. But you seem to assume there is such a thing as right and wrong.

    Do you have any evidence that there are such things? Shakespeare felt otherwise! 😉

    I’m tepidly pro-choice, supporting basically the status quo, where late term abortions should be outlawed except in the life of the mother. But I don’t fool myself…my position is not “right.” It’s just my judgment, all things considered.

    L: As for the point about the abortion issue being “settled” by the law, that seems irrelevant.

    me: I was making a narrow point there. It’s easy for a pro-choice L to have abortion be non-issue for campaigns, since that is the current law. It’s a bit tougher for an abortion prohibitionist L candidate, I’d say, since he or she objects to standing law, and presumably the prohibitionist believes abortion to be murder or something close to murder.

    I can understand why it would be difficult to hold back on such a life-and-death matter for the prohibitionist.

    Hope that’s clearer…

  130. langa

    you seem to assume there is such a thing as right and wrong.

    Do you have any evidence that there are such things?

    I don’t know what kind of “evidence” that you are looking for, but I will boldly assert that, for example, breaking into someone’s house, killing them, raping their wife, and torturing their children is, in fact (not opinion), wrong. Period. No ifs, no ands, no buts. If you disagree, that’s your right, just as it’s your right to argue that 2 + 2 = 5, and my right to question your sanity!

    I can understand why it would be difficult to hold back on such a life-and-death matter for the prohibitionist.

    Well, I’ve never run for office (and have no plans to do so), but, as an anti-abortion libertarian, I rarely bring up the issue, except perhaps, as I did here, to illustrate a point. I certainly don’t go around trying to convince other libertarians to change their mind on the issue, as it’s a waste of time. Similarly, I prefer (L)ibertarian candidates to do the same. Ron Paul is a good example of an anti-abortion libertarian who rarely, if ever, really campaigned on the issue.

  131. Robert Capozzi

    L: Based on 2012, no, I don’t think GJ stands a chance in hell of getting 5% in 2016.

    me: I see that Trump has now pledged he won’t run as an independent. That may change GJ’s chances of showing higher numbers, though I can’t say whether it helps or hurts. Probably hurts, as I was envisioning a R/D/Trump even R/D/Trump/Bloomberg contest, one where voters might be more inclined to vote their conscience more than just lesser of 2 “evils.”

    I do tend to agree that GJ is capped more at something like 2%, not so much because of the hasty 12 effort, but more because I don’t feel he’s as charismatic as would be necessary for him to really catch fire (meaning deeply into the single digits). If he had a Koch-type VP, willing to fund the effort, I still think he could show up on radar, but it is still highly unlikely.

    L: I might still reject them if there were another candidate that would do a better job converting people to the libertarian philosophy, which, in my opinion, is by far the most important purpose of an LP campaign.

    me: “Converting”? Hoo boy, care to offer another word?

  132. Thomas L. Knapp

    “TK has been promoting NOTA for prez because, IIRC, the LP has had 2 successive standardbearers who are NAP violators.”

    You do not recall correctly.

    “I think”

    Apparently not.

  133. Robert Capozzi

    L, 2+2 could equal 5, depending on what you want numbers to represent. They are mostly just squiggles on a screen until we infuse them with meaning.

    But I certainly agree that hurting others is not virtuous…quite the opposite. Everyone seems to know this, and yet some continue to do so.

    Quite the sorry state of affairs.

  134. Robert Capozzi

    L: Ron Paul is a good example of an anti-abortion libertarian who rarely, if ever, really campaigned on the issue.

    me: And yes of course it can be done. I’ve not suggested otherwise.

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