In 1988 I left the Libertarian Party. This was not a decision lightly made. For years I had watched as the LP grew less and less focused on local action and more taken up with power at the national level. The issues on self-determination, freedom, impacting my own life, and those I loved, had been dismissed by my fellow Libertarians as irrelevant, unimportant, or unnecessary.
Bringing my children with me to events and, sometimes, to meetings I recently learned opened me up for criticism and condemnation. It was Gail Lightfoot who mentioned this just a few days ago. That explained a lot. At the time I had been pondering how to bring the LP into affirmation that all of us have rights. For some reason most Libertarians ignore those issues which give women control over their own lives. I sat down to write.
This article is the outcome of these insights.
My children were the reason I had decided political action was needed. I was a full-time, hands on Mom and I wanted them to know what I was doing, and why.
While my children were growing up I was working on domestic violence, violence against children, the right of women to determine where and how they would give birth, breast feeding, and the pharmaceuticals foisted on women by their physicians which could kill them. I also answered the phone for Right to Life. While I am pro-choice life is to be honored and women should be offered real support by their community before making this choice.
This was while my children were attending meetings with me and learning to help. And they did help. They enjoyed collating newsletters and mailings and were helping with this before they started pre-school.
They also carried signs at protests, made small, just for them, and enjoyed being shackled with paper chains, which they then broke, when Walter K. Olson and I announced the founding of the first deregulation think tank, Stamp Out Unfair Regulations (SOUR). The idea came about while we were collating the local newsletter. Walter told me, 20 years later, he never really changed what he was doing. He remains a deregulation specialist today.
I was elected Southern California Vice Chairman, having already served in multiple offices, in 1978, soon after Arthur, my fourth child, was born.
Ayn, my third child, and Arthur, were both born at home, unassisted. I was then teaching Natural Childbirth, Bradley Method.
We ate food grown in our back yard and the kids did not know for many years people put sugar on cereal. What they ate was natural and organic, though few used the word in the 1970s.
When Dawn’s class in Elementary School had a Presidential Election, with members of the class speaking about their chosen candidate Dawn insisted Ed Clark be included. Dawn’s enthusiastic speech gave Ed over 20% of the vote. While they were Brownies, I was their Leader, they and their fellow Brownies were learning about typesetting and laying out newsletters, their own and for Libertarians.
I kept working on my issues outside the LP, and elections inside the LP. Since none of my LP friends were interested in my issues I stopped bringing them up but those activities were the ones which would eventually persuade me the Libertarian Party was being manipulated in exactly the same way the Republican Party had been to ignore the dividing issues between Red and Blue.
At home the kids were also learning what it is like to watch your mother being battered and then what it is like to be taken away by the police because this violence was directed against them as well. Assaulting your wife and children is not a crime, evidently.
It took a month to get them back. During that time a new learning curve started on how the system monetizes the violence perpetrated against women and children. I probably do not need to tell you Libertarians ignore these issues. Later, I would learn now and why they think so. That is a chapter for the book, which will come out. I was divorced and remarried quickly.
Let’s just say my issues were alive and well in another arena for activism, the Left. Why is it these issues, important to establishing the human rights of women, are irrelevant to Libertarians? Today, nothing has changed. Women are still not free. Instead, we have accepted an agenda useful to the corporate elite for controlling all of us. There is no Red or Blue, only a corporate elite which sees very dispassionately how human relations can be monetized.
How this is carried out far more subtle than you realize.
Watch this video by Mark Crispin Miller. Mark was the only journalist to speak out about the railroading and libeling carried out to protect John Fund from charges of domestic violence in 2003, writing an article challenging the MSM story, including the Nation Magazine, which published Miller’s dispassionate response on July 14, 2003. Titled, ‘Ugly Tactics Make for Ugly People,’ Millers article responded to one by Eric Alterman. The cooperation between ‘journalists’ supposedly in alignment with the ‘Red’ and ‘Blue is laid out in my book. Also laid out for view will be how the journalists working for Fund were compensated and why these attacks took place when they did.
This is one instance. Multiple these same abuses taking place in the lives of thousands and you begin to see why getting the truth out can be impossible. All of us, Left and Right, were being manipulated. This video puts some of the pieces together.
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Below is a section from the book I am now writing about just one of the issues which involved me over the last thirty years. What I saw and learned will be covered. No exceptions.
An Actor Enters the Scene, Stage Left
In 1960 an out of work actor was solicited by a group of Rockefeller Republicans including Joseph Coors, to join the Republican Party. He had been President of the Screen Actors Guild and very active against Communists in Hollywood. His name was Ronald Reagan.
I lived parts of what I’m going to share with you here. My dad, Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury, got to know Ronnie when Ronnie showed up at the Republican Club at UCLA in 1960. Dad taught at UCLA and ran the Club. A Conservative, he and the family strongly supported Joe Shell in his run for Governor of California against Richard Nixon in 1962. Nixon was sent to California by the Rockefeller arm of the GOP to ensure Shell would not lead a Goldwater delegation into the 1964 GOP Convention.
Joe told me about what he had witnessed and experienced himself while I was working with him on the Dolores Bender White campaign for State Senate in the late 1980s.
Dolores’ MS was in Economics. Thomas Sowell had been her senior adviser. While she ran as a Republican she was an example of someone living what I came to think of as the ‘sweet spot,’ blending freedoms identified with either the Reds or the Blues together as natural freedoms.
Joe was a mine of history. He should have written a book just about his campaign for Governor of California in the 1962 primary against Nixon.
He survived two attempts on his life. One of these was sugar in his plane’s fuel tank. Talking to him was like hearing more of the story Dad had told me in bits and pieces over the years, but different parts.
Joe and Dad felt the same way about Ronnie. They even shook their heads with the same, sad gesture when talking about him. Ronnie was charming enough to, as they say, charm the birds out of the trees.
In those early years Ronnie had seemed like a wonderful person. He made the rounds, introducing himself, building relationships, and solidifying the trust of everyone who was a Conservative. This included United Republicans of California (UROC). Centered around Pasadena and San Marino, UROC was a hot bed of Conservative activity.
Joe Shell was one of the original founders of UROC.
Today, the organization is headed by Connie Ruffley. Connie’s parents were members of United Republicans of California when Ronnie first showed up.
In 1960 UROC had 3,000 state wide members. The Goldwater Draft, initiated and carried out by F. Clifton White, would soon start, aimed at nominating Senator Barry Goldwater as the Republican candidate for President.
At the time, Conservatives were determined to change America’s direction. WWII was over and it was time for a return to community based control, justice and individual rights. But few had seen through the use of Communism as a boogeyman covering for the corporate elite. This is not surprising, since so many still have a hard time accepting this degree of deceit, callousness and betrayal.
UROC began its campaign to return California, and America, to local government and a renewed reliance on people who understood the need for community action and individual rights in the late 1950s. They did this by going door to door in their own neighborhoods, getting to know their neighbors, talking about Conservative ideas, and selling little books.
Their work included achieving ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
The Equal Rights Amendment was in the Republican Platform through the work of women active in the National Federation of Republican Women, founded soon after women gained the right to vote, ratified on August 18, 1920. Republican women had been working on the issue since the 1870s.
The Republican Platform of 1872, said: “The Republican Party is mindful of its obligation to the loyal women of America for their noble devotion to the cause of Freedom ….”
The Equal Rights Amendment had been added to the Republican Platform in 1952. It would remain there until removed by Ronald Reagan in 1980. The site from which I copied this is Huffington Post. The citing appeared on multiple Left sites as well. All expressed astonishment at how ‘Progressive’ the Republican Platform had been.
Today, this provides a measure of how successful the corporate elite was in changing the meaning of what it means to be a Conservative.
By the early 1960s the corporate elite had begun steps to change the make up of the GOP, targeting women for elimination. Their attack started with the Equal Rights Amendment.
In 1960 there were five chapters of UROC in San Marino alone. The organization was knocking on doors, selling small books, and building community. Ronald Reagan would become a member soon after he re-registered Republican in 1960.
Ronnie targeted UROC as his avenue into the Republican Party. On the way he assisted in destroying, and redefining, the Conservative faction of the GOP.
As Conservatives, the issues UROC was working for did not include abortion or other matters of personal choice as you can see in Barry’s statements above. Goldwater had their support because he was an outspoken and unequivocal supporter of the Constitution, individual rights, and local government.
NeoConservatives are the mature form of Rockefeller Republicans.
What is a NeoConservative?
neo-conservative – relating to or denoting a return to a modified form of a traditional viewpoint, in particular a political ideology characterized by an emphasis on free-market capitalism and an interventionist foreign policy.
Irving Kristol, the Trotskyite who wrote the book on NeoConservatism, reregistered Republican in the early 70s. A NeoCon is the opposite of a Conservative. Centralized government, Control of people, and War are their goal. They dress these up in the rhetoric of freedom and patriotism.
At about the same time traditional Liberalism was also changing.
Neoliberalism, ideology and policy model that emphasizes the value of free market competition. Although there is considerable debate as to the defining features of neoliberal thought and practice, it is most commonly associated with laissez-faire economics. In particular, neoliberalism is often characterized in terms of its belief in sustained economic growth as the means to achieve human progress, its confidence in free markets as the most-efficient allocation of resources, its emphasis on minimal state intervention in economic and social affairs, and its commitment to the freedom of trade and capital.
Freedom of trade and ‘free markets’ are clearly intended to apply only to corporate persons, not to us in the world Greedville is building. Greedville’s addendum to this is that they should not be held accountable for fraud, polluting our property, causing death and loss, or other acts which are criminal when ordinary people commit them. Right now, the right to commit fraud is being defended by ExxonMobil as free speech covered by the First Amendment. Climate change denial is being defended in the same way, as covered under the First Amendment . It is not.
What is striking about these definitions is the divorce of the concept of ‘free market’ from accountability, and counting any profits as ‘good’ without reference to how they are produced. The question is never raised. This is so outrageous it defies belief.
The Goldwater Draft and Campaign for President
Goldwater’s campaign for president faced multiple problems. Goldwater did not receive the support of the Rockefeller Republican faction of the GOP. Instead, they worked for his defeat. Given what we now know it would have been unrealistic in the extreme to have expected them to act otherwise.
The media published lies about Goldwater. Again, today this is not surprising. Many of the most powerful media outlets were already owned by Greedville the corporate elite and Goldwater was running against the memory of a popular murdered president.
In addition, the Goldwater Campaign was badly organized because Goldwater changed the team for the election instead of using F. Clifton White who had launched the Goldwater Draft and gotten him the nomination. Read “Suite 3505,” by White and Gill for the story.
Given the forces they were facing, it might have been an impossible task.
Many of the young people and Conservatives whose passion for freedom, peace, justice, and individual rights, powered the Goldwater Movement left the Republican Party to become founding members of the Libertarian Party.
As the Goldwater Campaign was facing defeat Ronald Reagan was stumping in California. Two years later he would defeat a sitting, popular governor, ‘Pat’ Brown, and begin a meteoric political career, ending with two terms as the first NeoConservative President of the United States.
It is important to remember rhetoric is just words. Ronald Reagan has left a record which tells us exactly what agenda he was following. Reagan was Pro-War, a centralist, and an advocate for the corporate elite.
If you were electrified by listening to Ronnie deliver ‘The Speech’ on October 27, 1964, brace yourself. Although the convention took place in California there is no evidence Reagan even attended. Reagan gave the speech while stumping for Goldwater in late 1964. He claimed in his biography he was not interested in running for governor. The real story is very different.
The speech was written for Joe Shell, who paid a speech writer to produce it. ‘The Speech’ was to be delivered by Goldwater himself. Nancy Reagan began calling in late September or early October asking Joe to let Ronnie deliver the speech during his appearances for Goldwater.
At first Joe refused to allow it – but she called over and over again, crying and begging him to allow Ronnie to have the speech. Eventually, Joe consented. As you listen to the beginning you realize Ronnie is lying about this being his thoughts, words and ideas. He is reading the words intended for Goldwater to deliver, slightly modified. He was a polished speaker but he makes slips at the parts where Goldwater is mentioned.
This speech laid the ground for Reagan’s political career. Goldwater was defeated, as planned, leaving the field open for Reagan to move in, first to the governorship, then to the presidency.
Soon after Reagan was elected Conservatives knew he was not to be trusted.
Now, listen to Reagan’s ‘performance.’ “A Time for Choosing .”
Ronald Reagan, Stage Center
The President of UROC, Marian Hurley gave a catered dinner for 400 wealthy people at her home at the corner of St. Albans and Monterrey Road in San Marino.
UROC had provided Ronnie with their list for further fundraising and as a source for Conservatives to be appointed to reduce the size of California government. They thought Ronnie was one of them. He betrayed them without a backward glance.
It was hard for those who had come to trust and view the Reagans as their friends to believe. I understand this personally. Ronnie stayed in touch with Dad and sent small gifts to one of my kids. Looking at the facts was emotionally wrenching.
But we have to accept the truth. As Governor of California Reagan appointed not one Conservative. As his administration continued to shock them, Hurley and others wondered who had been chosen for these posts. The California Secretary of State’s office supplied the answer. The names of those appointed were the same as those who had been Rockefeller delegates to the 1964 Nominating Convention.
Reagan’s campaign against Governor ‘Pat’ Brown proved to be divisive and ugly. Ronnie used the opportunity to promote the Vietnam War and denigrate those who were protesting and the universities where protests took place. Reagan denounced support of the poor and other social programs. These themes run through his governorship and later through his presidency. This is the man who, as President, turned the mentally ill out to die on our streets.
A person of principle and conscience does not allow people to suffer.
Later, in his biography, you see Ronnie rewriting history. In his own words he asserts he never intended to run for governor when he used every opportunity, betraying everyone he met, to do just that. The result of the Reagan Campaign for Governor was to open up the divisions which still define politics.
UROC’s membership was shattered. A third of their members dropped out. As the two Reagan terms in California were coming to an end UROC passed a Resolution at their 1975 Convention begging Americans not to vote for Ronnie if he ran either for President or Vice President. Connie sent me the only remaining copy. I rekeyed it and put it online on October 4, 2007.
In 1966, after Ronnie was elected governor. He called to ask Dad to accept an appointment. Dad refused. He would not discuss why this was at the time, now I understand. Ronnie asked again when he was elected president. Again, Dad refused. He could not work for a man he could not trust.
I had become active as a Libertarian in 1973. A number of Libertarians I knew had supported Ronnie instead of the Libertarian candidate, Ed Clark, because of the rhetoric Ronnie used during his campaign. Most of these had returned home by 1984.
It was a friend from Business and Professional Women who told me about how and why Ronnie took the ERA out of the Republican Platform. It happened during the 1980 campaign at the request of Joseph Coors. Maureen Reagan begged her father on her knees not to do this. Thousands of women, women who had poured their lives into the GOP, walked away from the Republican Party opening the door for further manipulation by those now identifying themselves as NeoCons. Karl Rove, Dick Cheney – fill in appointments made by Bush Senior and Bush Junior.
The GOP you see today became populated by low end evangelical Christians through these manipulations. When I was researching how this took place we used the term, ‘TheoCons’ to describe them. Now, these people think they can be Libertarians and can use the law to control other people’s private behavior.
In 1999 I founded a think tank and wrote a book. Titled, “The Great Experiment Revisited.”
It was sort of stodgy and heavy-texted, no pictures, but it reflected how the LP could succeed. My experiences in activism had taught me women do most of the work, caring less about getting credit than getting the job done.
‘Women’s issues’ are issues of individual autonomy, the right to control our own lives. If you were going into a partnership, or other business, does the State have a right to mandate the shares or obligations between partners? No, they do not – except in the instance of marriage. My experience in helping women escape domestic violence in marriage included the ramifications of a state which controlled, limited, and enforced, a contract which ignored the issue of violence along with their private agreements if there had been a license issued.
A private contract, enforcable through the court system is the solution. This is one of my goals, not for myself, but for all of us. We have to be our word and not use the state to steal, manipulate and threaten.
Over the years I’ve listened countless times to men who have grumbled women do not understand what freedom means. But women know all too well, I can tell you that from the memory of concussions, contusions, and terror. Those are just some of the reasons women leave the Libertarian Party.
For the purposes of bringing Red and Blue together these are good issues because women are generally reliable and have better skills for cooperation than most men.
But there are other reasons as well, and many of them involve both women and men.
You were sold a bill of goods when you accepted the Kochs as ‘Libertarians.’ I knew this from watching them mercilessly lie to us before, during, and after the Clark Campaign. This never stopped. Their attempt to take over the LP failed, but they kept trying, pouring hundreds of millions into various attempts to own a movement, finally succeeding with the Tea Party.
Through the 1980s Exxon was lying to Americans about Climate Change, confirmed from their own studies. After they decided to lie, as a matter of policy, their campaign for Climate Change Denial began. They have now admitted this. All of the oil companies follow the same business strategy. How do I know this? I have been researching and writing on this issue for the the last 16 years with one of my partners, Dave Lincoln. Dave’s degree in Petroleum Geology is from USC and he spent over 25 years of his career working for nearly all of the major oil companies within the US and around the world.
His last position was with Enron and he worked directly with Ken Lay. Dave left the industry in 1996 after Lay demanded he drive a pipeline across a pristine forest Malaysia instead of a route which could cause no harm to the environment.
Right now we are finishing up a series on one of the covert manipulations used by Exxon which routinely, and intentionally, puts people, their property and the air, water and land they own at risk to increase their profits.
If you want to see how the Kochs, and all of their associates, evade accountability, read The Four Dog Defense. Dave was the expert witness in the Chevron v Ecuador Case.
After you understand the impact of petroleum on the body and watch people dying slowly of its impact politics as a game loses its charm. I’ve done that now and the evasions of accountability, for profit, are not something anyone who understands the NAP should tolerate.
Even Ayn Rand said something about that, didn’t she? Murray sure did.
The Libertarian Party will continue to be an adjunct to the GOP until it accepts it has been manicured for this role by the Kochs, who fund all of our think tanks.
Read this charming article from Alternet about Charles Koch titled, “Charles Koch’s Disturbing High School Economics Project Teaches ‘Sacrificing Lives for Profits’”
“Under “Readings Reflective of Common Sense” on the “Fun Readings” page of the Common Sense Economics website, one probably not-so-fun selection sticks out. “Sacrificing Lives for Profits,” written by Common Sense Economics coauthor Dwight Lee, actually argues that we’d all be better off if companies cut corners, even risking customers’ lives, in the name of profit:
“The charge that sways juries and offends public sensitivities … is that greedy corporations sacrifice human lives to increase their profits. Is this charge true? Of course it is. But this isn’t a criticism of corporations; rather it is a reflection of the proper functioning of a market economy. Corporations routinely sacrifice the lives of some of their customers to increase profits, and we are all better off because they do. That’s right, we are lucky to live in an economy that allows corporations to increase profits by intentionally selling products less safe than could be produced. The desirability of sacrificing lives for profits may not be as comforting as milk, cookies and a bedtime story, but it follows directly from a reality we cannot wish away.””
Here is the National LP Platform statement on Pollution from the 1974
“We support the development of an objective system defining individual property rights to air and water. We hold that ambi- guities in the area of these rights (e.g., concepts such as “public property”) are a primary cause of our deteriorating environment. Whereas we maintain that no one has the right to violate the legitimate property rights of others by pollution, we shall strenu- ously oppose all attempts to transform the defense of such rights into any restriction of the efforts of individuals to advance technology, to expand production, or to use their property peacefully.”
National LP statement on Monopolies from the 2000 Platform
We condemn all coercive monopolies. We recognize that government is the source of monopoly, through its grants of legal privilege to special interests in the economy. In order to abolish monopolies, we advocate a strict separation of business and State.
“Anti-trust” laws do not prevent monopoly, but foster it by limiting competition. We therefore call for the repeal of all “anti-trust” laws, including the Robinson-Patman Act which restricts price discounts, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and the Clayton Anti-Trust Act. We further call for the abolition of the Federal Trade Commission and the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice.
We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives, and other types of companies based on voluntary association. Laws of incorporation should not include grants of monopoly privilege. In particular, we oppose special limits on the liability of corporations for damages caused in noncontractual transactions. We also oppose state or federal limits on the size of private companies and on the right of companies to merge. We further oppose efforts, in the name of social responsibility, or any other reason, to expand federal chartering of corporations into a pretext for government control of business.
And here is what Barry Goldwater said on the subject:
– “While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am
an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free
environment.” ~Barry Goldwater
The Environmental Protection Agency takes its orders from corporations. It should be abolished along with the limitations of liability accorded to polluters and other corporations which pay for these as part of their business strategy.
If you accept the NAP, you cannot take money from Big Oil.
These two issues are the ones which matter the most to the Blues. This is why the NAP matters and should be applied to every issue. The “Non Aggression Principle” (or NAP) is an ethical doctrine that states that aggression is wrong, aggression being defined as the initiation of physical force or fraud against persons or property, or the threat of the same.
The reason Libertarians do not generally know about these facts is because of the Red – Blue divide, which today creates what Bernays saw as essential to corporate hegemony. This is manufacturing separate cultures, including what we think is true on both sides of the divide. This is why it is essential we meet at point purple, not as envisioned by Ed Crane, but as defined by our original mandate inherited from Barry Goldwater through the actions of David Nolan.
If ever there was a moment in time, this is it. But we need to come together past our illusions and agree, with reason not emotion, to a common set of facts for this to happen.
Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is the Founder and President of the Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation, dedicated to the legacy of her grandfather, Arthur C. Pillsbury. Pillsbury used the technology of photography to instill in the public an understanding of nature. To quote him, ““To see a flower blossoming, its life so like our own, awakens in us a love for the flower, its life so like our own, and the wish to preserve it.” Pillsbury invented the first circuit Panorama Camera (1897), made the first nature movie (1909), built the first Lapse-time motion picture camera to reveal the motions of flowers (1912), the first Microscopic Motion Picture Camera (1926), the first X-Ray Motion Picture Camera (1929), and the first Underwater Motion Picture Camera (1930).
Her first book, titled, “GREED: The NeoConning of America,” was published in September of 2004 and tells a fictionalized version of the years opening into the second Bush term of office. At the time Pillsbury-Foster was advised of the danger of telling the story without changing the names of the NeoCons involved. Pillsbury-Foster is now finishing a book about her years in politics and for social justice issues.