David Ridley: A Minute in the Libertarian Party Ghetto is a Minute You’ll Never Get Back

David Ridley of the Ridley Report gives his thoughts on the Libertarian Party as well as the New Hampshire Free Staters’ half-decent treatment by the NH GOP.

Andy Craig responds:

It’s a lot easier to be dismissive of the LP if you live in the one state where the LP isn’t the only game in town for libertarians. As with so many other lowercase-l projects and institutions, the FSP probably wouldn’t even exist if the LP hadn’t existed first, and the LP is the *only* organized presence for libertarians on the ground in most of the rest of the country. And no, the RLC stumping to elect more folks like Ted Cuz doesn’t count.

It’s great that some libertarian-leaning Republicans and Democrats got elected in NH (to the easiest state legislature in the nation to get elected to, something multiple Libertarians had accomplished in NH pre-FSP), but in most states the chances of a libertarian winning a major-party primary is even less than their chance of winning as a Libertarian. And Ridley vastly overstates the degree of “success” the Paul family have had in “working within the GOP,” particularly the younger and less-successful (and less-libertarian) one. Rand is, if anything, the archetypal case against working within the GOP: he watered down his libertarianism to near-homeopathic levels in an attempt to be “acceptable” to establishment Republicans and social-conservatives, and is still poised to get a lot fewer votes than Gary Johnson did in the general election in 2012.

This entry was posted in Libertarian Party on by .

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.

116 thoughts on “David Ridley: A Minute in the Libertarian Party Ghetto is a Minute You’ll Never Get Back

  1. Andy Craig

    I didn’t know my reply was going to be included in an article. I don’t mind, but I might have taken the time to formulate it a little more carefully if I had known.

    😉

  2. Andy Craig

    For those wondering, my reference to Rand’s vote total is a calculation I’ve done before to make this point. Taking his RCP poll average (currently 2.8%) times the approximate number of GOP presidential primary voters (~20 million, generously estimating that on the high side) gets him a total nationwide vote total of about 560k votes.

    For comparisons sake, Ron got just over 1 million votes in 2008 and 2 million in 2012. Gary Johnson got 1.2 million in the 2012 general election, and Barr/Root (!) even managed a half-million in 2008. Far from being some kind of last best hope of libertarians, the amount of support he’s been able to generate and maintain isn’t even that impressive by pre-Johnson L.P. nominee standards. And yes, comparing a primary to a general is not apples-to-apples, but if the argument being made is which reaches the most people for the greatest impact (short of winning on the assumption that neither will), then that’s the relevant comparison to make.

  3. Richard Winger

    New Hampshire has the worst marijuana laws in any of the New England states. See this link:
    https://www.mpp.org/states/

    New Hampshire has the worst ballot access laws in New England. New Hampshire is one of only three states that hasn’t had any ballot-qualified parties, other than Dem or Rep, since November 1996 (the others are New Jersey and Pennsylvania). New Hampshire is one of only 5 states that had a Dem-Rep ballot monopoly for all statewide office in 2014 (the others are California, New Mexico, Alabama, and Pennsylvania; and Washington state is the only state that didn’t have any statewide offices up). What good do these Free State NH legislators do?

  4. George Phillies

    The Free State Project is a massive Libertarian failure. The LPNH is worse off than it was when the FSP started. I recently attended our fine Connecticut state convention. We had a representative of the Free Staters show up, and call on Libertarians to abandon their abortion plank. The FSP, which I support as an idea, has not turned into a plus for the Libertarian Political movement.

    With respect to Pauls, Ron Paul fundraised and TV advertised saying illegal immigration — in the TV ad, a Mexican — was an enormous threat to America. He was an antiabortionist, an opponent of equal rights for lesbians and gays, a civil war historical revisionist advocating the nonsense that the war was not about slavery, and an advocate of the racist states rights doctrine that states have rights and should not be subject to the 14th amendment and thus the rest of the bill of rights, so that states could rule that Chinese may not own property, African Americans may not go to the good schools, girls may not have abortions, wives may not vote or own property, or of course, that private citizens may not own guns,

    Rand Paul was mostly more of the same, except for his one good thing: He was entirely honest that he was no libertarian, that “Libertarian” was the albatross that the press tried to hang around his neck.

  5. Darryl W. Perry

    Ridley seems to forget that the LP did have some State Reps in the NH Legislature in the 1990’s. Also, the GOP & Dems have colluded to make it incredibly difficult for people to run for office under the banner of their choice, essentially coercing people to join one of the major parties if they want to get elected.
    Ridley also seems to perpetuate the belief that electoral success is the only way to measure political success.

  6. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy, sorry I thought you saw that on the IPR list and agreed. Do you want to edit your response?

  7. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And of course George, many agree that the LP should drop its abortion plank. Of course, I am one of them. As are multiple people here. Glad to see some of the FSP understands that position well too.

  8. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==The Free State Project is a massive Libertarian failure. The LPNH is worse off than it was when the FSP started. ==

    As far as that… that is unquestionable. But the LP isn’t the whole of libertarianism, and thus, I the FSP is merely another vehicle. If I had not moved to CO and started my libertarian journey here (i.e. if I were still in Florida when I switched political views, I definitely would have considered NH as my destination)

  9. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Darryl,

    ===Ridley also seems to perpetuate the belief that electoral success is the only way to measure political success.==

    BINGO

  10. Andy Craig

    I think the FSP has its place in the broader movement, just like the LP does, as do libertarian think-tanks, as do libertarian strategic litigators, as do libertarian publications and websites, as do libertarian academics, as do libertarian single-issue advocacy groups, etc.

    As usual, it’s the my-way-or-you’re-just-an-ineffective-loser talk that’s unsupported and unjustified. To some degree, that tension is inevitable. The whole pitch for the FSP is that libertarians in the rest of the country are ineffective and wasting their time, and as I noted libertarians in the rest of the country mostly means the Libertarian Party. But when taken to the extreme, that leads to Free Staters vastly overstating their degree of success, and making the FSP look a lot bigger in comparison to the LP than it actually is.

    And in part because of that “we’re not going to do what all those other idiots outside NH are doing” mentality, what should have been a boon for LPNH has instead left that once-successful state party decimated. Which is a real shame, even if you don’t care about the LP, because it means Free Staters have voluntarily abandoned (or even destroyed) one of their potential tools in the toolkit. Even if you grant a few libertarian major-party seats out of 400 State Representatives, that still means libertarians in NH go unrepresented in statewide races where NHGOP puts up the likes of Scott Brown. It means Republicans and Democrats don’t have to worry about chasing after election-decided “spoiler” votes. It wasn’t that long ago, well into the existence of the FSP, that NHLP was still posting relatively impressive vote %s for Governor and Congress, as Rand Paul himself noted threatening to beat the spread in close two-party races. Politically-inclined Free Staters would be wise to realize their only voice in high-profile elections is not something to just throw away lightly as if it didn’t matter. It is not a mutually exclusive option with going the major-party primary route in some lower races.

    Also, a point about scale: at the broadest generous definition, including people who already lived there, there are maybe ~3,000 Free Staters in a state with 1.3 million people. There are plenty of states that have a higher per-capita rate of registered Libertarians than that, and the LP as a whole comfortably numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Is it a good idea for movement libertarians to concentrate their efforts on an activist community in one of the smaller, more-libertarian-leaning states? Sure, I know plenty (including family) who’ve joined them, and who think it’s worthwhile (in part because of reasons they already found NH attractive, aside from FSP’s potential ability to improve on that). But at best that gets you a marginal difference of degree in how effective libertarians are in NH vs. in the rest of the nation. It doesn’t somehow get you 1 libertarian state vs. 49 non-libertarian states.

  11. Richard Winger

    The NH LP is still a potent force for getting votes, when it can get on the ballot. In November 2014 Libertarian nominee Lisa Wilber, running for state rep, got 30.77% of the vote. This is a race with multiple winners. The percentage I show is the percentage of voters who voted for her.

    In November 2012 the two Libertarian nominees for US House averaged 4.32%. They both got over 4%. If only we could get 4% for Governor or US Senator we would have party status back. There was no US Senate race in NH in 2012, and for Governor we got 2.78%. It is a mistake to say the LP is terribly weak in NH.

  12. Andy Craig

    Generally the main article is supposed to be the original content, editorializing on it goes in the comments.

  13. Andy Craig

    I appreciate that you like it. One of these days I’ll get around to writing that and other points I make often into my “Case for the Libertarian Party” and when I do I’m sure it’ll be posted here. It’s just a bit awkward to take my comments out of e-mail or the comments section and put it on the main article, as if my thoughts on Ridley’s video were more important than any of our other contributors and commenters.

    I won’t ask you to delete what you already posted, but just for future reference hold on for affirmative consent before doing that. 😉

  14. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy,

    ==One of these days I’ll get around to writing that and other points I make often into my “Case for the Libertarian Party”==

    I look forward to reading that if you do it.

  15. paulie

    AC

    I thought your comments were very good on the email thread and that this video could use a counterpoint in the main article. Our readership statistics indicate that a lot more people read IPR than comment here. I don’t know how many of those read the comments. I am guessing a lot of them just read the articles only. If you want to edit the wording you used that would be fine. There’s not really any reason to editorialize on the email list – it’s mainly for news tips, site policies, discussions of what should or should not be posted, technical issues and the like. So when I see a response to the substance of an article tip on the email list – especially when it seems well written and making good points, as your reply did and does – I look at it as potential article fodder. Sorry if I misunderstood your intent in making that comment on the email list rather than on the article after it was posted.

  16. Andy Craig

    No problem. I was just surprised when I brought up IPR and saw it posted. You’re right, I initially only was going to make a brief reply on the email list, but then it ballooned out into something longer. I figure’d I could post the same as a comment here if somebody else posted the video, but then Caryn beat me to it.

    Anyway, back on-topic:

    Richard is right, Libertarians who can get on the ballot still do very well at pulling in strong vote percentages in New Hampshire. That a Libertarian could get into the state legislature there is still plausible, and of any state likely to elect an LP state legislator in the near future, I think NH is comfortably in the top two or three. However, the party itself is organizationally very weak. Their website isn’t up to date, their last convention was very poorly attended, etc. They are managing to keep up their ballot access lawsuit, but since they have the ACLU with them on that I’m assuming that’s pro bono and their actual involvement could be relatively minimal. It’s possible to have a state with a lot of Libertarians – which NH is – but a have a very weakly organized state party. Which means the candidates who run, even when they do well, are probably still under-performing what they could do with a stronger party behind them, and more of them fail to complete their ballot access petitions.

  17. Andy Craig

    According to the FSP website, there 1,864 early movers already in NH, plus 2,567 “in-state friends.”

    That’s 4, 431 Free Staters. Gardner Goldsmith only needed 3,000 signatures to get on the ballot for U.S. Senate in 2014.

  18. Andy

    “Andy Craig

    October 31, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    According to the FSP website, there 1,864 early movers already in NH, plus 2,567 “in-state friends.”

    That’s 4, 431 Free Staters. Gardner Goldsmith only needed 3,000 signatures to get on the ballot for U.S. Senate in 2014.”

    The 3,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot for a statewide office in New Hampshire have to be evenly apportioned by Congressional District, and there are two districts in New Hampshire, so 1,500 valid signatures out of each of those districts.

    The 4,431 known Free Staters may not be evenly distributed between the two districts, and not all of them are registered to vote.

    There is the point with this many libertarians, even if they are not all registered voters, and even if some of the ones who do vote are the type who think you should only engage in electoral politics through the major parties, one would still think that there’d be enough libertarians left over to sign the petition themselves, and also go out collect the rest of the signatures from the public, that they should have been able to get Gardner Goldsmith on the ballot. If 100 libertarians had gotten off of their rear ends, picked up petition clip boards, petition sheets, and pens, and each gotten 50 signatures, that would have been 5,000 signatures, which probably would have been enough to successfully complete the petition drive (the extra 2,000 signatures would have been for padding to survive a validity check).

  19. Andy Craig

    Yes, that was more my point. Of course a Libertarian candidate in NH shouldn’t expect to be put on the ballot by only Free Stater signatures alone. But there are more than enough Free Staters that even a small number of them gathering signatures, and/or a somewhat larger chunk just signing themselves, would have been more than sufficient, together with what the campaign could get itself, to put a Libertarian candidate on the ballot against Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown (a GOP candidate loathed by NH libertarians), and potentially to also get the LP its party status back in NH with 4%+, and also thereby give Libertarians a presidential primary in the most highly visible state to have one in (which we had in the 1990s).

  20. Mark Axinn

    > I don’t know how many of those read the comments.

    Paul–People live for the IPR comments! How else can we fight about whether the glass is half-full or not?

  21. Mark Axinn

    Richard wrote in part:
    >New Hampshire has the worst marijuana laws in any of the New England states. See this link:
    https://www.mpp.org/states/

    And Vermont has one of the best because its Governor, Pete Shumlin (who has spoken at MPP events) has favored decrimilization for years.

    But Vermont is a socialist paradise in many other ways.

    The only way any of the New England states will be free will be to elect George Governor of Massachusetts.

  22. Andy Craig

    Maine has a big and persistent push for electoral reform, with an initiative to switch to ranked choice voting for non-Presidential elections. If that ends up passing, it could end up being the most important thing on the ballot in 2016.

    While there are lots of stupid laws in NH, just like everywhere else, I think on the whole it’s not unreasonable to judge NH, if not the most libertarian state in the nation, then definitely the most libertarian state east of the Rockies. They do have a low tax burden, they do have a stubborn resistance to a lot of nanny-state laws, and their Republicans tend to be somewhere between business-establishment and libertarian-ish-leaning, not really social conservatives or war hawks like they are so bad in so many other states. As an example, it’s been several times now, that marijuana reform of some sort has passed the GOP-majority legislature only to be vetoed by the Democratic governor. In the grand scheme of things, NH did and still does make sense as the target state for the FSP.

    But there are some comparative downsides. The property taxes are exorbitant. The state-run liquor monopoly, and a general penchant for using state monopolies as a substitute for regular tax revenue. The fact that NH is relatively socially conservative by New England, if not national, standards., leaving it lagging behind neighbors VT and MA on things like marijuana legalization and marriage equality (but also much better than them on fiscal and economic issues). Whether being the home the duopoly-focused NH primary is a good or bad thing itself is debatable, because it arguably makes NH more susceptible to both duopoly-entrenchment and national influence on its state politics.

    But even with all that, it does rank at or near the top of almost every quality of life indices and rankings of the freest states. It is an absolutely beautiful scenic state and all-around nice place to live. Not fighting for better ballot access and building a bigger LP has been one of the FSP’s strategic errors. I would say overly indulging extremist civil disobedience types and fringe attention-seekers has been another. But I don’t think the basic premise, or the selection of NH, were mistaken, and I think the FSP has contributed to the broader libertarian movement.

  23. George Phillies

    Relative to the United States as awhole, New Hampshire was reasonably advanced on marriage equality. Also, in Massachusetts marriage equality was obtained through the same process used 120 years earlier to end slavery; the Supreme Judicial Court ruled as needed. In New Hampshire, marriage equality was obtained by legislation signed by the Governor, the second Governor to sign and the first to make his signature stick.

  24. Andy Craig

    Relative to the United States as a whole, New England was on the leading edge of marriage equality. But within New England, NH was next to last (last was RI). NH is also around or slightly better than the national average on marijuana, but the worst in New England. But you’re right, it does count for something that both have been passed legislatively.

    That’s a relatively small and marginal degree of social conservatism, to trade off for a much greater degree of fiscal and economic libertarianism. That’s the logic for why NH beat VT, even though the latter has about half the population.

  25. Rebel Alliance

    It’s overly melodramatic to call the FSP a “massive Libertarian failure”. Disappointing might be a better description. Clearly things are happening in NH, but political success would show real tangeable results. If NH had, say, a dozen Libertarians in the legislature by now (actual out-of-the-closet Libertarians, not people hiding in other parties), it would be a strong indication of progress and help further accelerate the movement. But still not a single Libertarian in the legislature? It doesn’t matter how supposedly pro-liberty its legislators are, nobody is inspired to move to NH just to vote for more Democrats and Republicans. We can do that right where we are. The FSP is lagging because so far it has failed to impact the political system, which provides the most tangeable and visible indication of success.

  26. paulie

    > I don’t know how many of those read the comments.

    Paul–People live for the IPR comments! How else can we fight about whether the glass is half-full or not?

    A few people do, but I look at the stats, and we have way, way more readers than commenters.

  27. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    == I would say overly indulging extremist civil disobedience types===

    Funny, I find that one of the plusses.

  28. Andy Craig

    @ Caryn

    When you’re being made fun of by Stephen Colbert for being “that asshole who shouts at the meter maids” and known in town as “those guys who constantly graffiti the town square,” then you aren’t winning hearts and minds. Some of the tactics adopted by some of the activists, particularly some of those centered around Keene, have been, to put it mildly, counter-productive.

    You haven’t accomplished much getting a dozen or more libertarians to move somewhere, if they piss off the locals so bad they end up hating libertarians and libertarianism in a way they didn’t before. The “Robing Hooding” of parking meters is a great example– who could possibly have an objection to that? Indeed, at first, they were pretty popular, and got mostly-positive press coverage out of it. Until they started getting in the parking officer’s faces and shouting at them about being Nazis, and openly talked about how their goal was to harass them into quitting their job. All on the big libertarian principle that… people shouldn’t have to pay for parking??? Privatize the roads??? Their own message isn’t even clear about what “principle” it is they’re fighting for.

    I’m all for engaging in activism and protest. My thing is more electoral politics, but I get that’s not the only way nor should it be. When done smart, civ-dis can absolutely be effective too. I think it’s something state LPs elsewhere should keep handy in their toolkit, and It’s good that the FSP embraces “both sides” of that debate, with both political activists and direct-action protesters involved.

    But if somebody’s just using that as an excuse to be the center of attention and to play out their delusions of grandeur and anti-social tendencies, then they’re not accomplishing anything more than self-gratification. They certainly aren’t making anybody one iota more free with that kind of garbage, nor are they making NH any more receptive to Free Staters and their goals.

  29. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==But if somebody’s just using that as an excuse to be the center of attention and to play out their delusions of grandeur and anti-social tendencies, then they’re not accomplishing anything more than self-gratification. They certainly aren’t making anybody one iota more free with that kind of garbage, nor are they making NH any more receptive to Free Staters and their goals.==

    It is easy to psychologize and distance quarterback others though. You don’t know their motivations- you really can’t. Nearly any good CD effort can be painted in this way. I know of a bit of one of the parking meter activists and this is really unfair. And I do think the principle – in the activities I know about- are clear. To keep people from being extorted by the state, gunk up the system, and be a general thorn in the side of said system. You may disagree on wisdom or effectiveness. And this internal fight over respectability seeking is what I find a bit ineffective.

    So you may very fairly ask- why aren’t I doing it? Because I am a chicken and am not willing to risk. I admire those who do.

  30. Caryn Ann Harlos

    One thing I found surprising in the above article was the emphasis on electoral issues to begin with. My experience with FSPers and FSP-supporters is that they are mostly the “voting is violence” strict voluntaryist types. Perhaps that is just my circles though – being a voluntaryist myself (but a heretic since I am involved in the system).

    That is the one thing that kept me kinda aloof regarding the whole thing. I get tired of being harangued.

  31. Andy

    “Andy Craig

    November 1, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    @ Caryn

    When you’re being made fun of by Stephen Colbert for being “that asshole who shouts at the meter maids” and known in town as “those guys who constantly graffiti the town square,” then you aren’t winning hearts and minds. Some of the tactics adopted by some of the activists, particularly some of those centered around Keene, have been, to put it mildly, counter-productive.”

    I like the civil disobedience in Keene. They are setting an example for what the rest of the country and world should be doing when it comes to so called “authority figures”.

    This reminds me of the following quote:

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    Mahatma Gandhi

  32. Andy Craig

    “”It is easy to psychologize and distance quarterback others though. You don’t know their motivations- you really can’t. Nearly any good CD effort can be painted in this way. know of a bit of one of the parking meter activists and this is really unfair.””

    No, good CD efforts wins over the target audience with the desired message, or at the very least *try to*. If you aren’t doing that, then what you’re doing isn’t civil disobedience at all. It’s just breaking the law because you want to. There’s a difference.

    And whether it’s “fair” or not, it’s absolutely the impression they’ve given to local residents and the national media who covered their activities. That’s not just my opinion. It’s the people who actually have to deal with living in the same town as them, who’ve found their behavior obnoxious and unwanted. And I know other Free Staters who feel the same way about it, and won’t have anything to do with the Keene brigade because of it.

    That is something that has been 100% self-inflicted, that they chose to become a parody of themselves and gave up on the need to every tell one of their own “no.” And just to be clear- some of what they do is good work, but then that good work is itself undermined by their actions. The quickest way to lose an election right now in Keene, NH, is to even hint at possible affiliation with or sympathy for Free Keene et al. That’s what they’ve “accomplished”: taking libertarianism from obscurity to being hated.

    “”And I do think the principle – in the activities I know about- are clear. To keep people from being extorted by the state, gunk up the system, and be a general thorn in the side of said system.””

    Except that parking meters are about the worst possible example of somebody being ‘extorted’ by the state. It’s a direct user fee, and a practical necessity that would and could still exist even in An-Cap Libertopia. How exactly would the city be supposed to satisfy their objections? Give away free parking— is that really more libertarian? Privatize the roads? Good luck with that, though plenty of places have successfully privatized the parking meters and enforcement. The fact that the city uses the funds for other bad things? Then go protest those things, not some six-degrees-of-starve-the-beast game.

    And, like I said, the basic premise was cutesy and inoffensive. It was the “we’re going to harass low-level gov’t employees into quitting their job” junk that served no purpose, accomplished nothing, and dramatically backfired.

    “”So you may very fairly ask- why aren’t I doing it? Because I am a chicken and am not willing to risk. I admire those who do.””

    I admire Henry David Thoreau, and Martin Luther King, and Gandhi. Like I said, civil disobedience definitely has its place. We just had a sit-in protest in Madison that helped kill an anti-homeless bill being pushed by the Mayor (contrary to what some will tell you, NH isn’t the only place libertarians can do stuff.)

    What they’re doing in Keene, doesn’t belong in the same category. It’s something else entirely, and it’s neither effective nor admirable. They’re not trying to be the Libertarian Rosa Parks, they’re trying to be the Libertarian Haight Ashbury, in a small town that (quite reasonably) would rather not be some kind of mecca of left-libertarian counter-culture and attention-seeking anarchists.

  33. Andy Craig

    “My experience with FSPers and FSP-supporters is that they are mostly the “voting is violence” strict voluntaryist types. Perhaps that is just my circles though – being a voluntaryist myself (but a heretic since I am involved in the system).”

    Your experience is definitely with a minority, albeit a more-visible minority. There are Free Staters in suits and ties running for office and lobbying the state legislature and focusing on traditional political activism. The New Hampshire Liberty Alliance is mostly the locus of that wing of the Project, and those people are the ones who was the target of Ridley’s plea to stay out of the LP and instead be Republicans and Democrats. Obviously, no-voting anarchists care little for LP vs. GOP.

  34. Andy Craig

    And for what it’s worth, my knowledge of the situation doesn’t just come from when they got mainstream media coverage. I was a regular listener to Free Talk Live for years, and still occasionally tune in to listen when I have a couple of hours to kill. It’s a good talk show, without a doubt. With a family that moved to NH, I pretty eagerly followed the news out of the FSP, and when I first saw “Robin Hooding” I thought it was a great idea. So I’m not just some outsider falling for MSM spin, my disillusionment with FK et al was a good long while coming and they had to overcome a lot of built-in sympathy to get there. If that’s the effect they had on me, who came into it liking them from afar and already being a libertarian, just imagine what they must seem like to the non-libertarian and apolitical residents of Keene.

    For those who haven’t seen it, here’s the Colbert segment I was referencing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vQ5h8iWa0Q

  35. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    I appreciate your perspective and will consider it. One thing though I do not find productive and won’t do, is the what I like to call “but there are starving children in India argument.” By that I mean… oh, they shouldn’t be doing THIS because THIS is more important. Anywhere the state can be gummed up is worth doing as far as I am concerned. Not saying you are doing this…. so please understand, but I find it as usually done amongst respectability libertarians as a form of concern trolling.

    Now on this particular issue, you brought up very good points to consider.

    BTW, that is not me in the freeze frame above with pink hair walking by.

  36. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Your experience is definitely with a minority, albeit a more-visible minority. ===

    And it is the circle I run in as way I suppose. They can be quite obnoxious on the position. Though I get a bit raw around the edges from having to say with my more politically minded friends…. yes, an anarchist is a form of libertarian, thanks for trying to toss me out though… and then with my voluntaryist friends… well sorry you hate my political involvement, thanks for tossing me out.

    🙂

  37. Chuck Moulton

    paulie wrote:

    A few people do, but I look at the stats, and we have way, way more readers than commenters.

    The stats don’t distinguish between article readers and comment readers. Comment leaving stats are a poor proxy for the number of comment readers.

    There are a lot of people who read the comments without leaving comments. For example, I’ve spoken with numerous LP people who are tell me they follow IPR discussion yet I’ve never seen leave a comment.

  38. paulie

    I said that in my first comment:

    Our readership statistics indicate that a lot more people read IPR than comment here. I don’t know how many of those read the comments.

    And for all you folks on the sidelines lurking, jump in! It’s way more fun that way. First comment gets held up, after that they appear in real time if you use the same screen name and email and don’t put more than one link per comment.

  39. Chuck Moulton

    I agree completely with Andy Craig. I started out liking the Free Keene people, but later came to the conclusion that they are often jerks for no good reason and paint other libertarians in a bad light by association.

  40. Dave Terry

    George Phillies wrote:

    “With respect to Pauls, Ron Paul fundraised and TV advertised saying illegal immigration — in the TV ad, a Mexican — was an enormous threat to America. He was an antiabortionist, an opponent of equal rights for lesbians and gays, a civil war historical revisionist advocating the nonsense that the war was not about slavery, and an advocate of the racist states rights doctrine that states have rights and should not be subject to the 14th amendment and thus the rest of the bill of rights, so that states could rule that Chinese may not own property, African Americans may not go to the good schools, girls may not have abortions, wives may not vote or own property, or of course, that private citizens may not own guns,”

    Good points, with two notable exceptions.

    First of all, can you provide a URL (et al) showing Ron Paul’s pandering to Xenophobia.

    Secondly, it is no more “nonsensical” that the civil war was not ‘strictly’ about slavery than it was not about the terribly unfair and punitive protective tariffs that forced southern and to a great extent western Americans to subsidize the manufacturing classes in the north!

    Further, it is not completely, logically valid that the Fourteenth Amendment “lawfully” forbids
    the several states to restrict some citizens from participating in choosing representatives and
    electors, while simultaneously proscribing those same rights to women.

    If Congress can be forgiven the above oversight, can we not consider that an individual’s personal morals and/or religious beliefs may also qualify for such oversight?

    That I disagree with them, not withstanding.

  41. Chuck Moulton

    paulie wrote:

    Our readership statistics indicate that a lot more people read IPR than comment here. I don’t know how many of those read the comments. I am guessing a lot of them just read the articles only.

    Bad guess… at least, based on my own limited data sample having spoken to many people who read comments but don’t comment.

    I suspect IPR is much like Playboy: practically no one reads it “for the articles”.

  42. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Chuck,

    ==I suspect IPR is much like Playboy: practically no one reads it “for the articles”.===

    LOLOLOL

  43. Chuck Moulton

    Thor wrote:

    Playboy is actually doing away with the non-article feature.

    Not quite, but their pictures are getting significantly more conservative. I suspect Playboy will go bankrupt within a year… we’ll see.

  44. paulie

    I suspect IPR is much like Playboy: practically no one reads it “for the articles”.

    Lots of people read Playboy for the articles, myself included. Nude women and every type of sex act are readily available at no cost to me except my time opportunity cost and money I am already spending for other things (wifi comes with my motel room, etc). So why would I need Playboy to look at nude women? On the other hand, their articles are actually pretty good.

    I’ll also stand by my guess. Most of out traffic comes from search engines and facebook. I expect that you don’t know most of the people who just read the articles, so they’re not part of your sample.

  45. paulie

    I suspect Playboy will go bankrupt within a year… we’ll see.

    Why? No one with internet access needs Playboy to see naked women. Even someone who has no internet access or no (illusion of) privacy on their internet can find dozens of pictorial-only magazines most places Playboy is sold, getting more jerkoff material for their money. Many of the same places have DVD viewing booths as well, with lots of softcore and hardcore selections for in-store or home viewing. Playboy can’t really compete in that market. On the other hand, it could readily compete with magazines like Maxim because it has higher quality articles, but many places that stock magazines like Maxim won’t stock Playboy as long as it features full nudity. It seems like a smart decision to me.

  46. Andy Craig

    @ DT “Further, it is not completely, logically valid that the Fourteenth Amendment “lawfully” forbids
    the several states to restrict some citizens from participating in choosing representatives and
    electors, while simultaneously proscribing those same rights to women.”

    The 14th requires equal protection for “all persons” – not all men, not all citizens, all *persons*. The argument that the 14th doesn’t include women (or gays) is a classic textbook example of why textualism is superior to original-intent theorizing. It doesn’t matter whether they *intended* any given result or not, the words they put in the document are what count.

    @ Caryn “”I appreciate your perspective and will consider it. One thing though I do not find productive and won’t do, is the what I like to call “but there are starving children in India argument.” By that I mean… oh, they shouldn’t be doing THIS because THIS is more important. Anywhere the state can be gummed up is worth doing as far as I am concerned. Not saying you are doing this…. so please understand, but I find it as usually done amongst respectability libertarians as a form of concern trolling.

    Now on this particular issue, you brought up very good points to consider.

    BTW, that is not me in the freeze frame above with pink hair walking by.””

    I agree entirely on that, and indeed that was the gist of my initial objection to Ridley’s video. I’m not anti-FSP, I’m anti-anti-LP.

  47. Andy

    The Founding Fathers were not “respectable” when they engaged in the Boston Tea Party, or when they fired on the British troops in Concord and Lexington.

    It is a waste of time to worry about what statist bootlickers think, or to worry about looking “respectable” in the eyes of your conformist family members/friends/co-workers/associates. These are people who are the most likely to always support establishment Democrats and Republicans no matter what, so the heck with them.

    I applaud the efforts of the Free Keene folks for “sticking it to the man”.

  48. Andy

    I’ve talked to several people who have never been part of the Libertarian Party or movement who have seen the Free Keene 4:20 pot rallies on YouTube and they all had positive reactions, like, “Right on, man!”

    The same thing with the Free Keene Robin Hooders. They were like, “I wish those people had been around the last time I got a parking ticket for an expired meter.”

  49. Robert Capozzi

    ac: The argument that the 14th doesn’t include women (or gays) is a classic textbook example of why textualism is superior to original-intent theorizing. It doesn’t matter whether they *intended* any given result or not, the words they put in the document are what count.

    me: Amen. This is especially true because laws can be changed and the Constitution can be amended. “Person” may have only meant “white men” in the 18th and 19th (in part) centuries, but obviously it doesn’t now. Tedious rewrites of an obvious fact seems not worth the effort.

  50. Andy Craig

    It was actually a deliberate choice at the time, so the argument mostly fails even on proper originalism grounds. Elsewhere in the same amendment, “male inhabitants” is specified, so they knew full well how to do that. What’s evolved is less that women are now included in “people,” which wasn’t in doubt even then, but rather what it takes to satisfy “equal” in “equal protection of the laws.”

    Even going back to the original Constitution, it was a conscious decision to use gender-neutral language and broader terms like “person” instead of “man,” and to leave out any reference to race. Explicit limits on the basis of race and gender were present in many state constitutions at the time, and the lack of such limits in the Constitution attracted some attention during the ratification debates. In that regard, they were actually being more progressive than we give them credit for by assuming they didn’t even think about it.

    Here’s a good recent article, explaining that in the context of the assertion some make sometimes that the original Constitution’s use of “he” as a neutral pronoun implies the intention to limit the presidency to men.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/10/28/a-woman-as-president-the-gender-neutral-constitution/

  51. David Terry

    Caryn Ann, >” yes, an anarchist is a form of libertarian,

    Au contraire! comparing an anarchist to a libertarian is
    like comparing anorexia with ‘dieting’!

    C.A.>
    “thanks for trying to toss me out though….my voluntaryist friends”

    Also au contraire! You seem like a reasonably intellegent person.
    I have ‘hope’ that as you interact with Libertarians, you will see the
    errors of anarchism. Further and ironically with anarchy, all choice
    and “voluntaryism” goes out the window.

    What KIND of voluntaryism can exist WITHOUT a bill of rights AND
    someone to enforce those rights!

  52. David Terry

    Andy> “This is (one of) the ads George was referring to:

    WOW! That IS distressing!

    “The 14th requires equal protection for “all persons” – not all men, not all citizens, all *persons*. The argument that the 14th doesn’t include women (or gays) is a classic textbook example of why textualism is superior to original-intent theorizing. It doesn’t matter whether they *intended* any given result or not, the words they put in the document are what count.

    You’d better read it AGAIN!
    Amendment XIV; Section 2: “But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors
    for President and Vice President, Representative in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the legislature thereof, IS DENIED TO ANY OF THE MALE INHABITANTS OF SUCH STATE, BEING TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE, AND CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES, OR IN ANY WAY ABRIDGED, EXCEPT FOR PARTICIPATION IN REBELLION OR OTHER CRIME, THE BASIS OF REPRESENTATION
    THEREIN SHALL BE REDUCED IN THE PROPORTION WHICH THE NUMBER OF MALE CITIZENS SHALL BEAR TO THE WHOLE NUMBER OF MALE CITIZENS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE IN SUCH STATE.”

    What about FEMALE INHABITANTS AND/OR FEMALE CITIZENS??????????????

  53. Andy Craig

    Your all-caps and excessive punctuation aside, if you scroll up you’ll see I already referenced Section 2.

    What is your point? Yes, the never-used formula in Section 2 refers to only male inhabitants. So what? It’s literally never been used, and arguably the whole section (though motivated by a reasonable concern at the time) is mere redundant surplusage today, because the things it would “punish” a state for are now directly prohibited by other parts of the Constitution. It was a scheme so quickly recognized as impractical and ineffective, that the 15th Amendment was passed not even two years later, to simply ban the states outright from doing what Section 2 sought to disincentive them from doing.

    Section 1 of the 14th, the part that’s ever actually used. reads as follows:

    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    So there’s a pretty straightforward case that, even if you somehow repealed the 19th Amendment, the 14th would still bar states from disenfranchising women. As for why it didn’t do so pre-1920, it’s no more surprising that the 14th was widely violated and unenforced as to women for several decades, than the fact that it was widely violated and unenforced as to African Americans for several decades.

  54. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Dave,

    In with your rhetoric again. I will as usual, post the quick response and ignore all further on this thread.

    1. No need to interact etc with “Libertarians” to learn about it since I am a Libertarian— who is part of the anarchist minority. I volunteer for the National Party and my State Affiliate and am helping to start a County Affiliate.

    2. Rights exist regardless of paper. The BoR only says what the state cannot do- not what no one can’t due so irrelevant if there is no state to do them.

    Rights do not need a state to enforce. The individual is the source of guardianship of his own rights and can delegate that to cooperative organizations. As we allegedly do now that many of us vocally deny our consent to this particular organization.

    3. Is anarchy possible? Not on the foreseeable future so happy to work in whatever reductionist manner is available with the hope that such would lay the groundwork for it to be possible.

    Cue up incoherent Terry screed about how defensive violence is aggression.

    Cue up my scrolling past,

  55. Robert Capozzi

    cah: Rights exist regardless of paper.

    me: Do they? Where?

    Rights, I submit, are a great idea, but do not “exist.” They are an abstraction.

    If rights have substance, prove it!

  56. David Terry

    ac: The argument that the 14th doesn’t include women (or gays) is a classic textbook example of why textualism is superior to original-intent theorizing. It doesn’t matter whether they *intended* any given result or not, the words they put in the document are what count.

    LOL! That is pure nonsense! Apparently you ALSO need to read it again! IF, “the words they put in the document are what count”; how do YOU account for the fact that the words “when the right to vote,….is denied to any of the MALE inhabitants…being citizens of the United States
    or in any way abridged” ,the representation of those male citizens will be reduced in proportion.
    You may also wish to explain how fundamental principles that DO NOT exist a-priori, suddenly
    spring into reality, the moment they are put on paper. Is our existence nothing more than a work
    of fiction – a complete fabrication?

    rc: “Amen. This is especially true because laws can be changed and the Constitution can be amended.”

    Why would men choose to change or amend laws? Are laws simply arbtirary constucts without
    any basis in “REALITY”? OR, is it POSSIBLE that mankind is conscious of the fragility of his
    “knowledge” and realizes that his knowledge is marginally correct, and subject to modification!

    “Person” may have only meant “white men” in the 18th and 19th (in part) centuries, but obviously it doesn’t now.”

    Ironically, THIS point is also irrelevant. Whereas, the wording in the Fourteenth Ammendment does NOT specify the rights of “WHITE MEN”, it was quite easy to apply it’s provisions to
    “BLACK MEN”, without revising or ammending the Constitution. ON THE OTHER HAND, since
    it limited these rights to “MALES, the amendment excluded BLACK WOMEN, just as it had previously excluded WHITE FEMALES!!!!!

    rc; “Tedious rewrites of an obvious fact seems not worth the effort.

    Unfortunately, the lack of perception and understanding on this subject makes it mandatory!

  57. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert,

    No thank you not interested in providing an extended defense of natural rights or argumentation ethics. In the Libertarian context (presuming Dave Terry is a Libertarian) rights are a given. We may ground them differently or hold to them for different reasons, but they are a given and are not dependent on a piece of paper. And I have no interest at all in these useless wranglings on IPR. Knock yourself out if you wish, but I am not biting.

  58. Andy Craig

    Some of the same men who ratified the 1st Amendment, also passed the Alien and Sedition Acts less than a decade later. An amendment can be violated by those who wrote it, as easily as it can be by their modern successors.

    You are right, part of the 14th limited its application to men. Nobody has ever denied that. Luckily, that part that matters, the only part of that’s of any present-day application, did not. In Section 2 they chose to use the qualifier “male,” in Section 1 they didn’t, and spoke instead of “citizens” and “residents” and “persons.” To argue that Section 1 doesn’t apply to women, is to ignore both original intent *and* the text itself.

    The argument you’re looking for, that female disenfranchisement is acceptable under Section 1, is that women aren’t similarly situated to men with regards to voting, and therefore are not entitled to be similarly treated by the government (the classic formulation of what the EP clause requires). That’s the (flawed and mistaken) argument that the 19th Amendment rejected and overturned, not this ridiculous notion that women weren’t recognized as “persons” in 1868.

  59. David Terry

    CAH; “Rights exist regardless of paper.

    On THIS, we agree, but…..

    “The BoR only says what the state cannot do- not what no one can’t due so irrelevant if there is no state to do them.”

    I only WISH this were true. CLEARLY, as you state “there is no state to do them”. But WHO or WHAT is to prevent, deter and or penalize those INDIVIDUALS who may choose to violate your
    “inalienable rights”?

    THE BOTTOM LINE is that unless you actually desire a society of “all against all”, there HAS to be some agency of enforcement to protect your liberties.

    Consider that historically, man has ALWAYS chosen to allow a certain degree of
    ‘authoritarianism’ rather than fall prey to the perils of anarchy. Clearly, Libertarianism rejects
    BOTH extremes!

  60. David Terry

    CAH; “Cue up incoherent Terry screed about how defensive violence is aggression..

    I have NEVER said anything REMOTELY like that!
    Why do you suppose I have SEVERAL firearms for just such an occasion!

  61. Caryn Ann Harlos

    In a different context I seem to recall you have when yelling about anarchists. But :shrug:– just like I have little interest in anarchists who want to disfellowship minarchists, I have little interest in the opposite.

    But if you say you, you know what you have said and believe far better than I do.

  62. Robert Capozzi

    cah: No thank you not interested in providing an extended defense of natural rights or argumentation ethics. In the Libertarian context (presuming Dave Terry is a Libertarian) rights are a given.

    me: The truth needs no defense! You would need nothing “extended,” just observation: Do rights “exist” or don’t they? It’s quite straightforward and basic, actually.

    Now “given” I can work with. I can certainly stipulate that people have rights in a civil society, with or without them being written down. I do prefer clarity when clarity can be achieved, and it seems self-evidently clear that rights don’t “exist,” although they are a damn fine idea!

    If they DO exist, take a pic and post it. I love it when I am incorrect!

  63. Robert Capozzi

    cah, did you mean to link to something else? Because, for ex., the story says: “”There is some understanding of nonexistence that seems to develop naturally, but the actual use of the term ‘zero’ seems to need to be taught…” Zero non-exists, in short.

    This is not to say that abstractions have no value. Of course they do! Consciousness is not physical (near as we can tell), for ex., but all value comes from perception and assessment of stimuli. The brain is physical and does exist, but it’s not the same as “consciousness.”

    Rejection of the self evident might work. I’m open minded.

    Some might say that if enough people believe that rights “exist,” then in some sense they do. I prefer to be practical and straightforward, however, so unless someone shows me how an abstraction exists, I’ll continue to radically sort the tangible from the intangible.

  64. Robert Capozzi

    dt: Why would men choose to change or amend laws?

    me: To form a more perfect union, with any luck.

    dt: Are laws simply arbtirary constucts without any basis in “REALITY”?

    me: Yes, they are constructs. Arbitrary? Some are. Most of them are collective best-judgments to form a more perfect union or to enhance domestic tranquility. Of course, I often disagree with these best judgments.

    dt: OR, is it POSSIBLE that mankind is conscious of the fragility of his “knowledge” and realizes that his knowledge is marginally correct, and subject to modification!

    me: The truly humble and those paying attention may well recognize that, except for the “marginally correct” concept, which I simply don’t know what you mean by that. Do you mean “imperfect”?

  65. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    I reject your premise that only physical things “exist.” With that, I have no further interest.

    Robert Capozzi wrote:

    cah, did you mean to link to something else?

    I was chuckling while reading the article, having interpreted the link as her subtle way of saying “This parrot is smarter than Robert Capozzi.”

  66. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert,

    ==did you mean to link to something else?==

    Nope. That was exactly what I wanted to link to.

    And still not interested.

  67. Robert Capozzi

    dwp, interesting question. Smell is easy, since it has microscopic volume. Sound and gravity has force in the form of measurable waves, so they exist. Time doesn’t exist, near as I can tell, though we do seem to experience its passage. .Thought definitely does not exist, though it could be construed to exist in the form of synaptic firings.

    At least from my keepin’-it-real perspective.

  68. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    A “parrot” is a perfect choice. Rights exist because John Locke and Murray Rothbard said they do! 😉 Polly wanna cracker, kinda thing.

    The argument from authority seems something the parrot does. The question is: Is it true? For me, not so much, since rights are based on a construct, not something tangible.

  69. NewFederalist

    “Time doesn’t exist…” – Robert Capozzi

    True, but only on the other side of the doorway.

  70. Robert Capozzi

    When you dream, do you believe that your dreamworld exists? If yes, does that mean it actually does exist?

  71. Robert Capozzi

    “[T]he separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.” — Albert Einstein

  72. Starchild

    Andy Craig writes (November 1, 2015 at 1:04 pm), “What they’re doing in Keene, doesn’t belong in the same category [as Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King, and Gandhi]. It’s something else entirely, and it’s neither effective nor admirable. They’re not trying to be the Libertarian Rosa Parks, they’re trying to be the Libertarian Haight Ashbury, in a small town that (quite reasonably) would rather not be some kind of mecca of left-libertarian counter-culture and attention-seeking anarchists.”

    Andy, you express some excellent insights elsewhere in this thread, but this is wrong on so many levels! I am reminded of a Mark Twain quote:

    “Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.”
    – Mark Twain

    [While hating on the radicals who walk among us today, Twain might have added!]

    It is always saddening to see anyone in the movement spending their time and energy tearing down some of the bravest, most idealistic, and most admirable people among us.

    Is it “quite reasonable” to oppose freedom, if it comes with some counter-cultural trappings? That’s the implied message.

    This is the spirit of “The Shire”, Keene, New Hampshire:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU-b5hDJpCo

    The cultural wave that people indirectly reference when they refer to “the ’60s”, a wave which crested in the legendary “Summer of Love” in the Haight-Ashbury in 1967, changed the world. The ripple effects are still being felt half a century later. May libertarianism per se be fortunate enough to generate such a historical moment! Any libertarians engaged in activism that brings such a comparison to mind are doing something right.

    “They talk and talk about individual freedom, but when they see a real free individual, it scares them.”
    — from the film “Easy Rider”

    Attention-seeking? For heaven’s sake! Every time the LP puts out a press release, or a Libertarian candidate runs for office, what do you think we are doing, but seeking attention?

    When you talk as if anarchists are part of the problem, you are part of the problem. Don’t put energy into arguing with and denigrating people who want more freedom than you do, or who are going about pursuing it in a bolder, more direct manner! If each of us seeks out forums, issues, etc., where we will be arguing and working for freedom, and not against it, or giving aid and comfort to its enemies, our movement will be much more effective.

  73. Starchild

    P.S. – I’d like to hear more about your activism in opposing anti-homeless legislation in Madison, Andy. That sounds very worthwhile.

    Further thought: Carrying on the kind of activism that Keene, New Hampshire, has witnessed on a sustained basis, over a period of time, isn’t easy. It may be a labor of love, but everyone has times when they are not at their best. For the 99% of us who aren’t fortunate enough to live in a place where we have sufficient critical mass to generate that level of activity, let’s give these heroes a break, and instead of dismissing them as a-holes if/when they understandably lose their patience from time to time or say/do something that may come across unsympathetically to people who don’t get it, contribute positive energy and be supportive.

  74. Starchild

    Robert Capozzi writes (November 2, 2015 at 7:35 pm), “Time doesn’t exist, near as I can tell, though we do seem to experience its passage.”

    Robert, if you think rights do not exist, then I encourage you to treat what you see as their non-existence the same way you presumably treat what you evidently believe to be the non-existence of time.

    When you notice someone wearing a watch, making some reference to the calendar, asking what time it is, or saying how long something took, do you typically argue to them that time does not exist, or reproach them for parroting the views of historians or others who presume the reality of time and write about it as such?

    No? Then please try a similar approach with regard to rights.

  75. Caryn Ann Harlos

    He can’t Starchild. Those thoughts about time and rights don’t exist either.

  76. Andy

    Starchild said: “For the 99% of us who aren’t fortunate enough to live in a place where we have sufficient critical mass to generate that level of activity, let’s give these heroes a break, and instead of dismissing them as a-holes if/when they understandably lose their patience from time to time or say/do something that may come across unsympathetically to people who don’t get it, contribute positive energy and be supportive.”

    This leads to a point of something I have said over and over here, and that is that libertarians are too spread out, and are surrounded by too many people who do not really want to be free, and this is why we do not really have freedom in this country. How can you expect to be free when the majority of your neighbors do not want freedom?

    Just imagine if a majority of your neighbors wanted freedom as badly as the folks in Free Keene do.

    There are too many libertarians who will sit around and pontificate about freedom in an online message board that hardly anyone reads, or at their monthly Libertarian Supper Club, but they do little or nothing to actually achieve more freedom.

    I applaud the folks in Free Keene for being doers, not just talkers and/or arm chair key board warriors.

  77. Robert Capozzi

    starchild: Robert, if you think rights do not exist, then I encourage you to treat what you see as their non-existence the same way you presumably treat what you evidently believe to be the non-existence of time.

    me: Rights and time don’t exist in that they are intangible. I wear a watch and I respect rights as best I can, likely in ways similar to what you do. I simply recognize that both are contrivances, serviceable ones, IMO.

    If they are MORE than that, prove it!

    I’m just observing the universe, asking basic, radical questions that I’ve yet to hear an actual response. Most walk about this Strawberry Field assuming that the assumptions we are taught are the truth.

    Surely you see that just because there are clocks and calendars doesn’t prove the existence of time!

    You could take it up with Einstein, but, sadly, he’s long dead. 🙁

  78. JT

    “This leads to a point of something I have said over and over here, and that is that libertarians are too spread out, and are surrounded by too many people who do not really want to be free, and this is why we do not really have freedom in this country. How can you expect to be free when the majority of your neighbors do not want freedom?”

    Great point, Andy Jacobs! And as you yourself posted on another recent thread here, native born White Americans are more predisposed to liberty than other people. Therefore, the Libertarian Zone should only welcome those who have a genetic predisposition to liberty, to preserve the White Race from being blended out of existence in future generations even if the individual non-Whites moving in claim to be pro-liberty in this generation. Personally I think the great Pacific Northwest would be the best place for this, but New Hampshire is also a very White state, so it is not surprising that Libertarians are congregating there and leaving behind the multiracialist, cultural Marxist ghetto of the Libertarian Party. A few of them are even starting to openly embrace racial realism, such as Christopher Cantwell, who has recently come out as a proud White racialist.

  79. David Terry

    RC> “You could take it up with Einstein, but, sadly, he’s long dead. :(”

    “Einstein” never existed! Can you ‘prove’ that he did?
    What is “dead”? Is it something like transubstantiation?

  80. Andy Craig

    “Is it “quite reasonable” to oppose freedom, if it comes with some counter-cultural trappings? That’s the implied message.”

    Counter-cultural or not is orthogonal to libertarianism and freedom. So yes, it’s perfectly possible to support freedom, but not want to live in the type of community the FK folks embrace.

    “The cultural wave that people indirectly reference when they refer to “the ’60s”, a wave which crested in the legendary “Summer of Love” in the Haight-Ashbury in 1967, changed the world. The ripple effects are still being felt half a century later.”

    Haight-Ashbury also brought drug overdoses, homelessness, crime, etc. Just ask any of the people that lived there *before* the Summer of Love. Sure, there might have been some broader cultural impact that was mostly positive in the rest of the country (I’m not some prude opposes to the sexual revolution, etc.) But there’s nothing wrong with people saying they don’t want to live in a place like Haight-Ashbury. I would not over-romanticize it and insist there were no negative side effects and no locals had any cause to object, and I would say the same thing about Keene.

    “Attention-seeking? For heaven’s sake! Every time the LP puts out a press release, or a Libertarian candidate runs for office, what do you think we are doing, but seeking attention?”

    That I will grant as fair enough, but few people are pissed off enough by a press release to start organizing counter-protests and a dedicated opposition. If that was the response I was getting to our LP stuff, it would be time to have a careful reconsideration of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. But then again, the LP tends not to yell at meter maids or vandalize war memorials.

    “When you talk as if anarchists are part of the problem, you are part of the problem.”

    I don’t think that anarchists in general are part of the problem, I think those who care more about being anarchists than being libertarians are missing the boat, but just to clarify there are plenty of AnCaps, and plenty of activists, who don’t engage in the type of behavior that has turned so many people (including myself) against the FK-ers . Even though I’m not one of them, there are plenty of AnCaps that have and will continue to do great work. My objection is much, much narrower than that.

    “Don’t put energy into arguing with and denigrating people who want more freedom than you do, or who are going about pursuing it in a bolder, more direct manner”

    That is neither an accurate description of their goals nor their methods. As I pointed out above, what huge libertarian principle was at stake in getting rid of parking meters? In covering the town square with chalk messages? These are hardly obvious cases that the state was even doing anything wrong (other than existing), much less that these are some kind of top-ticket important-issue fights for “more freedom.”

    ” If each of us seeks out forums, issues, etc., where we will be arguing and working for freedom, and not against it, or giving aid and comfort to its enemies, our movement will be much more effective”

    A good point to be made to Ridley, whose attack on Libertarians in the rest of the country is what started this whole conversation. I never set out to discuss it, and as I said above I’m not anti-FSP. I was just unwittingly quoted in the original post with my off-the-cuff response. I did not go out of my way to criticize FK (I only mentioned them as an aside originally), and I’m more than happy to let them go on their way. But I won’t hesitate to state my opinion: that the antics of Free Keene have not made anybody in Keene any freer, nor have they helped the FSP achieve its broader goals of influencing NH public policy in a libertarian direction. I say that as somebody who does support the FSP, and who wants them to have the utmost success, and who used to be an uncritical fan of FK as well.

    Just because they really believe in what they’re doing and are trying really hard, doesn’t mean they’re making anybody more free. And if they aren’t making anybody more free, what are they accomplishing? Like I said, in one small town they’ve taken libertarianism from obscurity to being hated. That’s some big victory that we should all be falling over ourselves to commend? To emulate elsewhere? I don’t think so.

  81. Andy

    JT is likely one of the people who has been trolling here for years, and is spinning/twisting comments I made In another thread to suit an agenda, which is meant to sabotage the libertarian party/movement. This person is likely a government plant posting under a fake name and using an IP anonymizer.

  82. David Terry

    Andy> ” libertarians are, …surrounded by too many people who do not really want to be free, and this is why we do not really have freedom in this country. How can you expect to be free when the majority of your neighbors do not want freedom? ”

    Andy, it may APPEAR that way, but it’s because you are only looking a ONE side of a two-sided coin. Just about everyone WANTS to have “freedom”; but many, if not most of those same folks DON’T want to accept the “responsibility” for the results of their choices.
    In my, not so humble opinion, the definition of a “LIBERTARIAN” includes responsibility
    for their actions and choices. THEREFORE, that is the primary reason we are so invested in
    keeping our principles pure and uncompromised.
    This would explain our relatively NEGATIVE reaction to “ANARCHISM”, a bogus philosophy that requires that we throw out the baby with the bathwater.
    We simply CAN’T even appear to be “soft” on irresponsibility. BTW are you (or anyone else
    who reads this) familiar with “The World’s Shortest Political Quiz”???

    respectfully,
    Dave Terry,
    “Libertarian” since 1972

  83. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==These are hardly obvious cases that the state was even doing anything wrong (other than existing===

    Well there is THAT 🙂

    But arguing the rest of the point seems counter-productive at this point.

  84. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    BTW are you (or anyone else
    who reads this) familiar with ?The World?s Shortest Smallest Political Quiz????

    Nope. Never heard of it. Anarchists don’t do crap. We just run around and cause mayhem and scare people.

  85. David Terry

    Swell! The more RELEVENT Question is;

    How were you able to answer even ONE of those questions?
    Every single one specifically presupposes the acceptance of
    “government”!!!!!!!!1
    (A considerably abreviated and reduced government, but still
    an agency that establishes “justice, provides for the common
    defense, promotes the general (universal) welfare (i.e. NOT
    a dole) and secure the ‘advantages’ of individual freedom
    for ourselves and those who come after us)

    You left out (in addition to causing mayhem and scaring people)
    shaking your fists at tornedos and cursing the floods and in
    general, making libertarianism appear to be some form of mental
    illness!

    Salude!

  86. JT

    Mr. Jacobs; why the hostility and ad hominems? All I was doing was agreeing with you!

    Did you or did you not, on that other thread, say that native born rural White Americans are more predisposed to liberty than other people? I can pull up specific citations if you need me to. Did you or did you not cite Mr. Cantwell’s arguments? Again, I can pull up the reference where you did. I happen to agree with you on all this, and I also cite Mr. Cantwell in further explanation of why:

    http://christophercantwell.com/2015/09/28/open-borders-or-market-immigration/

    The whole article is well worth reading, and I encourage you and everyone else here to read it and the other ones I linked above and explain what if anything you disagree with and why. However, for the moment, I would like to especially highlight the following from this latest citation by Mr. Cantwell, who is at the very least a high level genius:

    ” Migrants respond to the market signal of high wages. They migrate, and some find jobs, and others do not. Those who do not find jobs end up on welfare rolls. Wages do not fall, and the market signal telling migrants to keep coming remains broadcasted to the world. More and more migrants come, the job market is saturated, they end up on the welfare rolls, and or involved in crime, and still the signal is broadcast to the world “Come here! Come here! Come here!” The welfare and crime burden increase in perpetuity. To meet the increased burden on public resources, money is printed. Money being printed causes prices to increase, but the steady supply of willing workers means wages do not rise with the prices of scarcer resources. Everybody in the society becomes increasingly miserable, and in their ignorance of economics they do not blame the minimum wage and welfare system, but rather demand their expansion. At this point, the misery of the society suggests to smart and productive people that this is not a good place to live, and the only migrants who continue to flow into the place are the lowest of the low. They breed, not only with each other, but with the natives – thereby irreparably lowering the genetic quality of the people in the society. The migrants, readily identified by their skin color, language, and culture, rightly become seen as a scourge on the society.

    Emphasis added.

  87. JT

    Mr. Frankel, thank you for the video at 2:54 pm highlighting the apex of the intellectual, artistic, musical and cultural achievements of African-Americans, African-Europeans and Indigenous Americans. Here is an older ditty offering a European-American perspective on the same issues and phenomena:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4fxwLrIvBc

  88. Caryn Ann Harlos

    David Terry,

    Settle down Beavis.

    ===You left out (in addition to causing mayhem and scaring people)
    shaking your fists at tornedos and cursing the floods and in
    general, making libertarianism appear to be some form of mental
    illness!===

    Because I thought that was obvious.

  89. Robert Capozzi

    dt: “Einstein” never existed! Can you ‘prove’ that he did?

    me: You might be correct about.

  90. Motherhood; Apple Pie, Fireworks on 4th of July

    NOTE: The primary thing that the average voter does not want is to be embarrassed by his political choice. Nothing is more embarrassing than the silly intro to every single one of Ridley’s videos. It’s almost exactly like “Mr Derp” from SouthPark. It’s a caricature of what mainstream voters imagine the LP to be: a silly bunch of ineffectual idiots. Politics determines whether the government will murder your sons and daughters. Politics determines whether your house will be confiscated using eminent domain, or whether your farm will be seized by the EPA. The idea of associating with a political movement that is “silly” and doesn’t take itself seriously, and thus risks retaliation from local political incumbents with no benefit, is anathema to voters who take politics seriously.

    So, Ridley is part of the problem, while accurately calling attention to the problem. This makes him suspect in my mind, but having seen his videos for years, I admit that the videos themselves, including this one, are often substantive and well-done. (He could double their impact by dispensing with the silly intros and ads, as those are pure poison to the libertarian movement. I’m told by numerous people that he’s received and ignored this advice many times, so perhaps there’s some psychological quirk of his that mandates them. It’s also possible that he knows this, and works for the incumbent state to drive away support from libertarianism. It’s also possible that he’s right and I’m wrong and silly ads stay in people’s heads more, generating more ad revenue.)

    …That said, Ridley is semi-correct, Craig is semi-correct, and Winger is more correct. When it comes to Economics, libertarians are great at math. When it comes to politics, their dedication to “anarchy” (as a mistaken means of proving how radically libertarian they are) typically clouds their vision, and they throw math out the window. This is pathetic, since cybernetic (self-maintaining; often self-protecting) systems can be overcome using reason, logic, and simple math. More complex math (network centrality measures; complex network models; statistical analysis based on single-issue support and overlap) can be employed once simple election math begins yielding returns.

    Yet, even though the prior is true, one almost never even sees the most basic and obvious math employed in libertarian election attempts.

    In order to win a simple majority on the NH State Legislature, the LP has to win 202 seats. In order to win a (“non-infiltratable” or “incorruptible”) simple majority on the NH State Legislature, the LP has to win over 250 seats. In order to win a “supermajority,” they have to win over 300 seats.

    At best, they have won 15 seats. Since winning 15 seats was difficult for them, to be logical, we must assume that “electable libertarians” are the limiting agent in this equation. We must also consider the fact that the equation can balance on paper, but turning it into a real-world chemical reaction may often prove more difficult. Why? Because the enemy adapts and responds.

    The FSP was warned about this before choosing NH. However, due to a mental weakness of desiring the job to be easier than it is in reality, the FSP chose NH anyway. They ignored the advice of those speaking mathematical reality in doing so, and chose comfort and convenience.

    It’s easier to not fight the state seriously. When you fight the state unseriously, the state actually appreciates your efforts: you are simply delegitimizing the liberty movement, and providing a home for your easily-identifiable idiotic opposition. When elections take place, you can point to this disorganized and inept opposition as evidence that the liberty movement is not serious, or organized, and therefore need not be listened to. Bill Clinton did this, and every intelligent mainstream politician since has emulated him.

    They typically don’t bother to acknowledge us or fight us. As Gandhi said: “First they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    Well, they’re still ignoring us, and occasionally “fighting us (and quickly and totally defeating us) outside the public eye.”

    The solution is to do everything smart. To do everything our enemies don’t want us to do.

    If we had as many elected libertarian state legislators in Alaska or DE as we now have in NH, we’d now control the state house. The state house can make initiative and referenda petitions into easy victories by suggesting that their constituents sign them. They can also tell their constituents not to trust politicians, and to trust the common citizens instead.

    That would be a strong, badass, take-no-prisoners, highly-effective strategy. The “average voter” would instantly respect the LP, because they only look at how serious someone appears, they don’t care how nice the philosophy sounds. Correspondingly, right away, the state would fight those involved. It would claim that libertarians had not lived in Alaska for the required 2 years. It would dig up dirt on libertarians running for office. It would pay to ship in Democrats to overwhelm our meager efforts. …It would have the full cooperation of Bill Redpath at the National LNC, who would hire Democrats to disseminate LP material, in exchance for (?, $?, noone knows how the establishment gets Bill Redpath to take stupid unstrategic actions –we just know that it does. Bill Redpath and the LNC are a “black box” system).

    Everything I’ve just said is the 100% truth.

    But libertarians are good abstract thinkers who have a very hard time mapping those ideas to reality. In fact, they are self-selecting as people who don’t care whether the ideas have been mapped to reality: if success and implementation were important to them, they’d have already won office as Ds and Rs.

    So what’s the answer?

    I suggest we write known strategic rules into the philosophy of the National LP platform.

    Here’s an example:

    1) Being that it is possible to infiltrate political parties, and the LP may well be so-infiltrated, the arguments that oppose known strategically-intelligent pathways to elected office should be viewed as “suspect.”

    (continued)

  91. Motherhood; Apple Pie, Fireworks on 4th of July

    (…continuation…)

    2) No big-L libertarian has ever been elected to Congress. If and when this happens, there may be people who now view it as “possible.” However, though possible, it would be very stupid to pursue, because there is so little chance of getting to 51% control of U.S. congress. To elect 51% of congress would not even obtain a 2/3 supermajority necessary to call a constitutional convention, etc. Moreover, each congressional race costs millions of dollars. Therefore, given that even long-term control of Congress is virtually impossible, it makes sense for any elected libertarian to proceed to the “next rung on the ladder” rather than trying to instantly leap to the top of the ladder (and thereby actually landing crotch-first on his own petard).

    3) All libertarians running for unwinnable offices should be viewed with suspicion, if they are running as anything other than “placeholders for the purpose of possible expanded ballot access.” Ie: We definitely lose ballot access if we don’t run someone, we possibly save ourselves money if we do, and we’ve found a willing paper candidate who could not be a successful State Legislative candidate. Sadly, such “paper candidates” often claim they believe they will win, making them look delusional. Every serious libertarian should run for 1) State legislator or Sheriff or 2) City Council (which wins us less, and which fewer voters care about, but which may be more “winnable”).

    4) There is no pathway to libertarian victory which does not pass through a period of State Nullification. THEREFORE: All libertarians should run on platforms of State Nullification, and Jury Nullification. If they don’t do this, then they are not even as radical as the constitution allows for, nor are they aware of how to map the libertarian philosophy onto the average voter’s “sense of legitimacy.” These two platform planks unite philosophy with strategy on all issues, and can always be related to whatever issue any voter is inquiring about. This makes them vastly more effective than “single issue X” unless that “single issue X” is gun rights or tax-opposition in a “right wing” state where those issues are very popular, or marijuana legalization in a state where that is popular. Other than such popular issues, the LP should present a cogent view of HOW they intend to restore liberty, even as an initial minority. Ie: We should always be a minority with a legitimate plan for success, or noone will support us.

    5) All libertarians running for State Legislature should place winning office above all other concerns, during the campaign period. Those who don’t win have near-zero gain, as electoral power is a zero-sum game. (NOTE: Taking careful notes about supporters and donors and giving them to successors makes the electoral participation a non-zero-sum game, and should be done as much as possible.) Since being philosophically-consistent assists in winning office, there is no contradiction here, unless it’s a contradiction held by the voters. Thus, there is no shame in sounding non-libertarian on one or two issues, if it’s a necessary precondition of being elected. (For example, this is likely why Gary Johnson didn’t come out as a guns-blazing libertarian in 2000. It would simply have hurt his chances of being elected. It’s also why Ron Paul didn’t run as a Libertarian in 2008.)

    6) If you cannot afford to personally talk with AT LEAST 10,000 people in the campaign period, don’t run, and send your campaign resources to someone who can. This 10,000 should be applied winningly to State Legislative races, not losingly to enormous statewide races like US Senate, or Governor, or worse Federal races.

    All of the prior would all be being done, if Libertarians were serious. However, Bill Redpath sends workers out of small districts, if and when they are doing the prior. (And he never causes them to be sent into those small districts. Instead, he “blows the job out of the water” in one week using non-libertarian mercenaries if and when this is happening. Non-libertarian mercenaries don’t complain about weak strategy: they just love the paychecks and preferential treatment.)

    Because all of the prior intelligent strategy is not being pursued, the system knows the LP is not serious. If and when we begin pursuing this strategy, they will begin to fight us.

    The state is ruthless and shitty, right now. The State put Irwin Schiff and Ross Ulbricht in prison. They are unfair, and their ballot access requirements are unfair. Because this is true, most Libertarians are cowards, who prefer that the state not have any reason to seriously fight them.

    Until this changes, the LP will be the best friend the American Police State ever had.

    You can change it, by running for State Legislature and knocking on 10,000 doors (50 doors per night, handing out website information with your fundraising page on it = 18,200 doors per year), or you can acquiesce to tyranny.

    Those are your only two options.

    If you, as a big-L Libertarian are not willing to do the former, and not willing to MAKE GODDAMNED SURE YOU ARE A MEMBER OF A PARTY WILLING TO DO THE FORMER, then you are just jerking off. You are masturbating, pure and simple, but unlike George Carlin, you will have nothing to show for your masturbation. If this is the case, you should limit this kind of passive support to libertarian-leaning Dem and GOP candidates, because they are, at least sometimes, not masturbating. At least sometimes, as in the rare case of people like Dick Randolph, they are serious enough to win office.

    All other candidates are what is known as “controlled opposition.”

    The really sad part is that most of them don’t even know it. They are dim-witted strategists who then take a jugular dose of bad advice from the National LP, if they even bother to seek any advice at all.

    I’d like the LP to be a serious political movement, but right now, it’s not, and it’s not even close.

    “It is unforgivable to back away from a scientific question because you believe the results are going to be unpalatable or unpleasant.” -Greg Adamson summarizing the core problem of “Cybernetics and Society” by Norbert Wiener

    This is also the core problem of politics, especially Libertarian politics. Said another way: “Does our current situation, where the government controls communication technology, mean that the future of humanity is enslavement?” That’s a serious question! Right now, Libertarians don’t want to really fight the incumbent government, because they know the government will attempt (possibly successfully) to read their emails, publicly embarrass them, then track them down and kill them if they persist.

    However, I propose that the cost of jacking off while pretending to accomplish something, is even higher.

    Continuous political pressure and adaptation yields continuous results. Nothing else yields results.

    Cybernetics is “the science of good government.” (…Of a single body, or a society, or a computer network.) Cybernetics unites politics, philosophy, computer science, economics, and psychology into one super-discipline. Cybernetics “unites the no-man’s land between other scientific fields, by recognizing that all discoveries and sciences obey the cybernetic laws of communication.”

    The internet is cybernetic system. Where it’s smart, it follows secure protocols (https; encryption; TAILS).

    A Society is also a cybernetic system. A hypothetical smart society closely follows the tool known as the American “Bill of Rights.”

    Every human brain and body is also a set of competing cybernetic systems, moderated by the Thalamus. A smart human brain studies History, Economics, Law, and Philosophy, ultimately uniting them under the banner of “intelligent systems” or “cybernetics.”

    Intelligent systems tend to protect themselves with immune systems, in nature. The Libertarian Party has no immune system, or it was too weak to last. (The platform might be an attempt, but there have been non-libertarians who have learned our platform, and subverted it, wittingly or otherwise.)

    A few small-L libertarians may be smart enough to win, but the Libertarian Party is not directed by libertarians. That’s the first step: retaking the LP. The second step is inserting serious strategy into the Platform, so that unserious strategy is opposed even by those who know nothing of strategy.

Leave a Reply

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