Caryn Ann Harlos: The 2016 LP Convention and “Taxation is Theft”


Revisionism is beginning in some circles.

“Taxation is Theft” was formally resolved by the delegates to the 2016 Libertarian Party Convention.

Jim Fulner (MI) moved that we adopt the following resolution: “Be it resolved, taxation is theft.” Following debate, the resolution was adopted by a voice vote.

Various ways have been proferred to diminish the import of this. They are ineffective.

It was only a voice vote

Any objection on this basis shows an ignorance of the convention process. Easily 90% (guesstimate but probably pretty close to spot on) of the votes were at least initially voice votes (the word “voice” appears at least seventy times in the minutes). That is how nearly every vote was done (nominations and elections excepted). It was only when there was a question as to the result that an additional standing or counting vote was done. Chair Sarwick did not stand for verbal games of obvious mis-directions of allowing a few people to simply shout louder. And nays could have forced a standing vote if it was close. It was not.

Further, resolutions require 2/3 vote pursuant to the Libertarian Party Convention Rules, not just a simple majority. This was a landslide. Additionally, a small number could have appealed to the Judicial Committee immediately if it was felt this violated the Statement of Principles.

It was not.

Resolutions are not the Platform

Some also say a resolution is not the Platform. True. It is a different kind of official statement of position of an organization but it is still such an official statement and the Bylaws-required thresholds and review are exactly the same (2/3 and must conform to the Statement of Principles–can be appealed to the Judicial Committee). And as noted above – not appealed by the delegates as contradicting the Statement of Principles. And another argument can be made that the Platform does indeed say this. But that is another day.

The delegates also gave a Liberty Outreach Award to Trump and Clinton

Humour and an actual point are not mutually exclusive. A public policy resolution is a real statement. Other delegates and the public are entitled to rely upon them. The Liberty Outreach Award actually had quite a serious point and made it well:

“For jointly guaranteeing an unprecedented wave of interest in political alternatives;

For arguably doing more to disentangle voters from deeply-held, long-standing political loyalties than we ever could on our own;

For opening minds to seek out new ideas of governance,

The Libertarian Party awards jointly Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton a Liberty Outreach Award.”

It served a valid point. If the delegates don’t take their job seriously enough to pass something that they don’t substantially mean, that is a problem with the delegates. Not with those taking public resolutions for the serious business that Party Rules take them. (The seated Libertarian National Committee can only pass them with 3/4*). One could cast the “Point of Order” circulating on YouTube with Chair Sarwark in strictly a humourous light. Not a formal resolution.

It’s Just a Saying

That is not an argument. So is “Don’t hurt people, and don’t take their stuff.” Yet we believe it.

Do not allow re-casting of narratives to serve an agenda.

One can disagree with what happened. Most people disagree with many things that happened at past conventions that is part of political life. But rewriting or distorting is not a proper means of analysis.

Only Anarchists hold to Taxation is Theft

The 1972 founding of the Party contained very explicit statements supporting the eventual repeal of all taxation. The founders and the Party were majority minarchist (Randian or otherwise) or classical liberals. Main Party found David Nolan supported the ideal position of no coercive taxation and was certainly not an anarchist. A new Facebook created for Libertarians United: Taxation is Theft (all of the Libertarian spectrum is represented) got hundreds of likes within a few hours of creation.

On a side note: One may object that this took place on Monday morning, after many delegates had left. This too is unpersuasive. The Convention was scheduled through Monday. If delegates chose to leave, they can’t take that fact to invalidate the work of those who stayed and followed through with Party elections Further this raises several interesting points. Many have alleged various flaws and issues with the 2006 Convention’s Platform revisions and mass deletion. The third day of the 2016 Convention quorum was almost the highest amount (284 v 315) of the entire delegate totals (not just quorum) for 2006. If this vote is invalid, then let’s throw out 2006 for which many allegations have been made (before this author’s time). And if this narrative is to be believed, then only some strange group of Libertarians stayed—apparently wild-eyed radicals. If only the wild-eyed radicals stayed to see things through to the end, that says a great deal about their dedication to Party elections and not just being there to do the glory work of nominating the Presidential ticket. And they didn’t seem to manage to elect all of their own number in these Party elections. Strange indeed. Or delegates didn’t take their role seriously in a formal vote. This author certainly did.

*The 3/4 vote requirement for an LNC resolution applies only to “public policy.” It can be disputed that this resolution is not “policy” – the Convention Rules require 2/3 for any Resolutions so that point is moot for the threshold here, and calling it a an “official position” rather than “public policy” does not change the point. The delegates adopted it.

Edits with additions done 1/3/17 and 1/4/17

365 thoughts on “Caryn Ann Harlos: The 2016 LP Convention and “Taxation is Theft”

  1. Steve Dasbach

    Do you have the text of the formal resolution that was adopted? This must have occurred after I left.

    What I do recall was a humorous request for a ruling from the chair that taxation was theft. Nick replied that in the opinion of the chair, taxation is theft, which was met with thunderous applause.

  2. paulie Post author

    Do you have the text of the formal resolution that was adopted?

    The way I remember it is that it was simply a resolution that taxation is theft. I don’t think there was additional text, but in a parliamentary setting, I don’t think we should presume that it was humorous. My yes vote was not meant in jest, for example. I do believe there was a vote and not just applause.

  3. paulie Post author

    The minutes also say it was a vote. I don’t see any reason why, or reason to suspect, why Alicia Mattson could have gotten that wrong.

  4. AC

    “Taxation is theft” is not a policy. It’s at best a slogan, and not a very good one at that.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos

    The text is in the article – and it happened between resolutions for pardons of Snowden and Manning.

    ==Jim Fulner (MI) moved that we adopt the following resolution: “Be it resolved, taxation is theft.” Following debate, the resolution was adopted by a voice vote.==

    The humorous aside was a point of order by Perkins which I think happened on Sat. This was a formal resolution by Fulner on Monday.

    Yes, this was on Monday, at the point in the agenda where resolutions are generally scheduled to occur (but the rules were suspended instead for several as Party elections had not finished).

  6. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Taxation is theft is a is a public policy position in the same way that the Statement of Principles is described as “policy” in our Bylaws – when in fact it is simply ideological statements. The LNC when it adopts statements affirming the libertarian principles of non-aggression and self-ownership – like they did in 2010 for example – is considered a public policy statement.

  7. paulie Post author

    Taxation is theft is a is a public policy position in the same way that the Statement of Principles is described as “policy” in our Bylaws – when in fact it is simply ideological statements. The LNC when it adopts statements affirming the libertarian principles of non-aggression and self-ownership – like they did in 2010 for example – is considered a public policy statement.

    Exactly.

  8. paulie Post author

    “Taxation is theft” is not a policy. It’s at best a slogan, and not a very good one at that.

    It was a resolution that was formally passed at the convention, so yes, it is an official policy statement of the party now whether you agree with it or not.

  9. AC

    I seriously doubt most delegates– the same ones who rejected the Radical anarchist candidate 93% to 7%– had any intention for “Taxation is theft” to supplant, replace, or otherwise trump the party’s platform, nor to prohibit the use of other messages and slogans.

    They *certainly* had no intention of wading into the anarchist vs. non-anarchist debate in favor of the anarchists. If they did, they knew how to say so, but that resolution almost certainly would not have passed.

    I don’t think all taxation is necessarily theft, and I won’t promote or endorse that message regardless of what the convention passed…. and the fact that they very same convention nominated two candidates who don’t use that slogan or promote that message, shows they were fully aware that some Libertarians might not agree with it as a tactic and that those Libertarians are still welcome in the Party.

  10. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Anticipating a new tact, I have added the following:

    On a side note: One may object that this took place on Monday morning, after many delegates had left. This too is unpersuasive. The Convention was scheduled through Monday. If delegates chose to leave, they can’t take that fact to invalidate the work of those who stayed and followed through with Party elections Further this raises several interesting points. Many have alleged various flaws and issues with the 2006 Convention’s Platform revisions and mass deletion. The third day of the 2016 Convention quorum was almost the highest amount (284 v 315) of the entire delegate totals (not just quorum) for 2006. If this vote is invalid, then let’s throw out 2006 for which many allegations have been made (before this author’s time). And if this narrative is to be believed, then only some strange group of Libertarians stayed—apparently wild-eyed radicals. If only the wild-eyed radicals stayed to see things through to the end, that says a great deal about their dedication to Party elections and not just being there to do the glory work of nominating the Presidential ticket. And they didn’t seem to manage to elect all of their own number in these Party elections. Strange indeed. Or delegates didn’t take their role seriously in a formal vote. This author certainly did.

  11. AC

    “It was a resolution that was formally passed at the convention, so yes, it is an official policy statement of the party now whether you agree with it or not.”

    It’s not a *policy* regardless of who endorsed it.

  12. Caryn Ann Harlos

    You will love reading one of my future pieces in which I believe I prove that taxation is theft is already the Party’s position and has been for over forty years. So it wasn’t anything new (the fact that resolutions can’t really make brand new ideological statements easily is the reason for the higher voting threshold) and doesn’t whatsoever require anarchism. The majority minarchist Party founders held it.

  13. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Sorry you don’t like the parliamentary procedure followed here. Call it a formal “position” if you wish, but I can assure you if this was brought to the LNC for a vote, it would be ruled a public policy statement that would require 3/4 vote. In either event, resolutions are taken seriously by the Convention Rules such that a 2/3 vote is required. I have no issue with calling it a formal “position” rather than “public policy” – arguing over semantics is usually the sign of a losing point.

  14. AC

    “The party supports the abolition of all taxation” would be a policy, and if that’s what the convention wanted then that’s what it could have said (though again it would have been less likely to pass).

    “Taxation is theft” is a sentiment and a slogan, not a policy proposal. It says nothing about what Libertarians will or won’t do if elected.

  15. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==vention wanted then that’s what it could have said (though again it would have been less likely to pass).

    “Taxation is theft” is a sentiment and a slogan, not a policy proposal. It says nothing about what Libertarians will or won’t do if elected.==

    Call it a position if you will, same as a good chunk of the statements in the Statement of Principles, which does in fact, entail taxation is theft.

    I will edit to add to stop the rabbit trail-ing that the argument remains the same if we call it a position.

  16. paulie Post author

    I seriously doubt most delegates– the same ones who rejected the Radical anarchist candidate 93% to 7%

    There are a lot of criteria on which delegates pick presidential nominees. Policy positions can easily be outweighed by other factors.

    supplant, replace, or otherwise trump the party’s platform

    As Caryn alluded to earlier, there’s a decent argument that it’s already the platform. We can discuss that if you want.

    They *certainly* had no intention of wading into the anarchist vs. non-anarchist debate in favor of the anarchists.

    Not all non-anarchists necessarily disagree that taxation is theft. Some are in favor of a voluntarily funded monopoly government. Even many, I would say most, LP anarchists acknowledge that it will be a period of years to ween the US off coercive taxation without massive dislocation effects of the sort we would not want to be responsible for. So saying that taxation is theft doesn’t necessarily weigh in on an anarchy/minarchy debate.

    I don’t think all taxation is necessarily theft, and I won’t promote or endorse that message regardless of what the convention passed….

    I don’t think anyone has suggested that you don’t have a right to your personal opinion.

    and the fact that they very same convention nominated two candidates who don’t use that slogan or promote that message, shows they were fully aware that some Libertarians might not agree with it as a tactic and that those Libertarians are still welcome in the Party.

    Who has suggested you are not welcome in the party?

  17. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And I contend – and again the subject of a future piece – ““The party (through its Statement of Principles) supports the EVENTUAL abolition of all taxation” is in fact what our documents already reveal. Unless we are going to treat the Statement of Principles like we do the Constitution, and we had better not complain about the erosion of the first and second amendments.

  18. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==As Caryn alluded to earlier, there’s a decent argument that it’s already the platform. We can discuss that if you want.==

    I have got more than a decent argument. It is amazing what a little contextual historical analysis can do.

  19. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ===Who has suggested you are not welcome in the party?===

    Precisely. But I guess if we follow that logic, then those who would stop short of other’s final goals are saying that those who would go further are not welcome.

    But it doesn’t work like that.

    This kind of drama is not helpful.

    Anyone moving towards the Statement of Principles IS ABSOLUTELY WELCOME. That is what the creators of it intended. It is a destination statement that includes every position on the way until that stop is achieved.

    Some may think there are betters ways to organize – but the 1972 and 1974 founding conventions thought differently, and we don’t get to rewrite history. They made sure of that actually.

  20. AC

    It’s truly sad and twisted that there are members of the LNC more interested in purging the party of people “not libertarian enough,” than there are interested in doing anything to oppose the Republicans and Democrats. You want radical school choice but don’t think all teachers are useless “glorified babysitters” made obsolete by YouTube? Not welcome here, you moron! You want to radically reduce the size of government but don’t want to completely abolish it? Get out of here, we don’t want your kind! You want to abolish income taxation but think some sort of paying for a minimal government is inevitable? Be gone, heretic!

    Unfortunately, it seems very likely that the LNC will remain more interested in driving people out of the party than bringing people into it. At which point they can finally congratulate themselves on being kings of the useless, but totally pure, anthill.

    When I see the LNC spend more time castigating Republican and Democratic politicians than they do other Libertarians, I’ll know we finally have an LNC worth supporting. The current board is not one that I could, in good conscience, tell any donor their money is well-spent on. I would direct them to a PAC or encourage them to create one, or to support one of our better-run state parties, or to directly support a candidate, before throwing money down the LNC rabbit hole. When you have an organization that has no interest in being effective, it won’t be.

  21. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==I don’t think anyone has suggested that you don’t have a right to your personal opinion.===

    Indeed. I disagree on abortion. And many have made it clear I am not entitled to my personal opinion. But I have a bad habit of having it anyway and not letting it send me into hysterics. I disagree with the Party on that. The delegates disagree with me. I’ll live.

  22. paulie Post author

    It’s not a *policy* regardless of who endorsed it.

    It has policy implications, even though they are not necessarily “abolish all coercive taxation immediately.” I wouldn’t even do that (see above regarding transition). Furthermore, I don’t think any of us expect to get sole control of all branches and levels of government all at once. At best, we will have plenty of opponents to slog it out with once we start getting elected to major offices. Thus, I doubt there is any real danger that we will somehow find ourselves in a position to immediately stop all taxation merely because we establish an ideological “north star” that implies that it’s our ultimate goal in an ideal world.

    To me, the policy implication is that we are committing ourselves, again, to the ideas embodied in the statement of principles and the preamble to the platform, for anyone who didn’t know of had any doubt.

  23. paulie Post author

    You will love reading one of my future pieces in which I believe I prove that taxation is theft is already the Party’s position and has been for over forty years. So it wasn’t anything new (the fact that resolutions can’t really make brand new ideological statements easily is the reason for the higher voting threshold) and doesn’t whatsoever require anarchism. The majority minarchist Party founders held it.

    Looking forward to it.

  24. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ===It’s truly sad and twisted that there are members of the LNC more interested in purging the party of people “not libertarian enough,” than there are interested in doing anything to oppose the Republicans and Democrats. ===

    Its sad that you would misrepresent my position. That is an outright falsehood.

    ==You want radical school choice but don’t think all teachers are useless “glorified babysitters” made obsolete by YouTube? Not welcome here, you moron! ===

    That is some histrionics there. And collectivize much? I am female, and my name is not Arvin. I find the insult to schoolteachers highly regrettable, and I don’t believe it was his intention, but that is irrelevant, people took it that way, and that is not good. But this is a rabbit trail.

    ==You want to radically reduce the size of government but don’t want to completely abolish it? ==

    That’s funny, because I never said any such thing and in fact, just yesterday was working with a bunch of minarchists on unity over shared principles. I really wish you would stop misrepresenting people.

  25. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Looking forward to it.===

    It will either be part of my research piece on the Statement of Principles or a second article. We shall see how it goes.

  26. AC

    “Non-anarchist libertarians are welcome so long as their views are never honestly and accurately represented by the party.” is disingenuous.

    Moving in the direction of a libertarian limited state and moving in the direction of total abolition of the state are not the same thing and don’t lend themselves to a shared message. When you put out an abolitionist message, don’t deny that’s what it is. What we get in practice or inevitably one or the other, there is no splitting the difference and doing both.

    The basic premise that there’s some shared “direction” with anarchist libertarianism further along but on the same course as limited-government is a myth and an unhelpful pretense.

  27. paulie Post author

    It’s truly sad and twisted that there are members of the LNC more interested in purging the party of people “not libertarian enough,”

    Who are they? Please point to such calls for a purge.

    . The current board is not one that I could, in good conscience, tell any donor their money is well-spent on. I would direct them to a PAC or encourage them to create one, or to support one of our better-run state parties, or to directly support a candidate, before throwing money down the LNC rabbit hole. When you have an organization that has no interest in being effective, it won’t be.

    In what ways would you change the spending priorities?

  28. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Moving in the direction of a libertarian limited state and moving in the direction of total abolition of the state are not the same thing and don’t lend themselves to a shared message.==

    Funny, now you are sharing others are not welcome. That didn’t take long.

    I disagree with your assertion. And the 1974 amendments to the Statement of Principles do too. I am the one following the document set fort in our Bylaws as:

    “The Statement of Principles affirms that philosophy upon which the Libertarian Party is founded, by which it shall be sustained, and through which liberty shall prevail. ”

    It is now you who are saying those who are abolitionists are not welcome. I am the one saying we share a common path. I think it is clear who is by implication more inclusive in principle.

    And I repeat. The majority of party founders were not full abolitionist. They held that taxation is theft. This is not an anarchism issue no matter how hard you want to make it so.

    I am really good at keeping focus and not going off into rabbit trails.

  29. paulie Post author

    Moving in the direction of a libertarian limited state and moving in the direction of total abolition of the state are not the same thing and don’t lend themselves to a shared message

    Why not? Both are for making government much smaller across the board, both in size and scope. How far that road would take us if we start heading in that direction remains to be seen.

    The basic premise that there’s some shared “direction” with anarchist libertarianism further along but on the same course as limited-government is a myth and an unhelpful pretense.

    I disagree, and so does the LP, in light of the officially adopted and never repealed Dallas Accord.

  30. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Who are they? Please point to such calls for a purge.==

    It is slanderous. I have never ever ever said any such thing, and I frankly believe I am owed an apology.

    I hold firmly to the Dallas Accord. I hold firmly to the principle that we are all going in the same direction and that all along this path, minarchist, anarchist, classical liberal are welcome to travel as far as they wish and to enact actual measure that move us there – I am not and have never been “all or nothing.”

    My understanding is the understanding of the early Party and of the 1974 Statement of Principles.

  31. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==I disagree, and so does the LP, in light of the officially adopted and never repealed Dallas Accord.=

    Precisely. And the piece I am writing now will put to bed the idea that the Accord was never binding, is not still binding, and was never formalized.

  32. Caryn Ann Harlos

    From the 1972 Platform. At a time when Nolan said they specifically were NOT an anarchist Party though some anarchists were founders, they were apparently okay with that. The Party changed its position on that in the 1974 Statement of Principles revisions:

    Specifically, we support the eventual repeal of all taxation. (1972)

    That was written for a minarchist Party by minarchists.

    This is an irrefutable fact of Party history.

    Thus to state this is some devious anarchist item is contra-factual. Nolan for the majority of his life was most certainly NOT an anarchist. Yet he held to the abolition of all coercive taxation.

    Ayn Rand (whatever you think of her) HATED anarchists. And she held to the abolition of all coercive taxation.

    To fast forward to a modern example, former Presidential candidate Austin Petersen cannot be said to be an anarchist, in fact, he is often downright antagonist to the view. And he holds to the abolition of all coercive taxation.

    I know it is easier to paint it that way. But it has the unfortunate flaw of not being the actual state of affairs.

  33. AC

    It is a factual observation and I stand by it. Whether you consider yourself included among those members or not is up to you. The existence of such members is made plain by the public LNC email list. The intent of a purge is made plain when there are members of the LNC angrily condemning moderates and pragmatists as the cause of all the party’s woes and not-even-really Libertarians and we need rules to keep them out and messaging to drive them away. If you don’t think that describes you, don’t assume that it does.

    As for the so-called Dallas Accord, maybe it will be worth commenting on if and when the party ever nominates a national candidate who follows it. Since that hasn’t happened yet, and probably never will, it remains speculative.

    The party can put out a message and agenda that attacks the legitimacy of the state’s existence, or it can put out a message and agenda that condemns some actions as beyond the state’s purview by contrasting them with those things which are. Those are two incompatible messages. They’re not only not the same end point, neither are they the same direction.

    Does that make the premise of the Dallas Accord fundamentally invalid? Yes. All it becomes in practice is a meaningless pretense invoked when one side wants the support of the other without their input or representation.

    I also think attempts to reconcile abolition of taxation and non-abolition of the state are just so much hand-waving trying to square the circle; and in any event I do not think the Party is forever bound to blindly follow what its members thought in 1972. The allegation that something is in the By-Laws or platform or SOP (whether that’s true or not) does not make them beyond debate and permanently unquestionable. Invoking a view and saying that’s the “official” position does not preclude the possibility that it should be changed.

  34. AC

    Just to be clear, it’s certainly possible that individual anarchists and minarchists can unite behind a single message, or to form a coalition that backs shared goals.

    What isn’t possible, is to speak in a single voice that is simultaneously both. Trying to have the Party do that is what becomes a farce.

  35. Scott Lieberman

    “AC
    January 3, 2017 at 17:39

    It’s truly sad and twisted that there are members of the LNC more interested in purging the party of people “not libertarian enough,” than there are interested in doing anything to oppose the Republicans and Democrats.

    Unfortunately, it seems very likely that the LNC will remain more interested in driving people out of the party than bringing people into it. At which point they can finally congratulate themselves on being kings of the useless, but totally pure, anthill.

    When I see the LNC spend more time castigating Republican and Democratic politicians than they do other Libertarians, I’ll know we finally have an LNC worth supporting. The current board is not one that I could, in good conscience, tell any donor their money is well-spent on. I would direct them to a PAC or encourage them to create one, or to support one of our better-run state parties, or to directly support a candidate, before throwing money down the LNC rabbit hole. When you have an organization that has no interest in being effective, it won’t be.”

    GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    Unfortunately, http://www.LP.org is temporarily down right now, so I can not pull up the exact number of Elected Libertarians. Nevertheless, the Libertarian Party has approximately 145 elected Libertarians out of about 500,000 elected positions nationwide. For the self-proclaimed “third-largest political party”, that minuscule number of elected officials after 45 years of trying proves that AC is totally correct. Just because the Radical Caucus tolerates electing Libertarians to public office, that does not mean that they are obeying the Purpose’s Statement in the National LP Bylaws.

    Until the Libertarian National Committee puts more time and energy into getting Libertarians elected to public office instead of worrying about getting re-elected to the LNC, the Libertarian Party will continue to be the Church of the Holier than Thou. This does not mean LNC members need to recruit candidates for Water Boards, but it does mean making sure thru words and actions that electing Libertarians to public office is the main job of our affiliates. Having a common Mission is not interfering in a state affiliate’s “autonomy”, it is just putting to use what you learn on the first day of Non-Profit Management 101.

  36. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==It is a factual observation and I stand by it. Whether you consider yourself included among those members or not is up to you. ===

    I do not. And you insinuated I did.

    ==The existence of such members is made plain by the public LNC email list. The intent of a purge is made plain when there are members of the LNC angrily condemning moderates and pragmatists as the cause of all the party’s woes and not-even-really Libertarians and we need rules to keep them out and messaging to drive them away. If you don’t think that describes you, don’t assume that it does.==

    If you don’t intend it to perhaps you shouldn’t strawman and rabbit trail on my article. And that is a misrepresentation of ANYONE there. You are being really libelous.

    ==As for the so-called Dallas Accord, maybe it will be worth commenting on if and when the party ever nominates a national candidate who follows it. Since that hasn’t happened yet, and probably never will, it remains speculative.===

    There is no “so-called” about it, and the measure of our ideology is not any particular candidate.

    ==The party can put out a message and agenda that attacks the legitimacy of the state’s existence, or it can put out a message and agenda that condemns some actions as beyond the state’s purview by contrasting them with those things which are. Those are two incompatible messages. They’re not only not the same end point, neither are they the same direction.==

    The Statement of Principles disagrees with you. What the messaging can be is that the state cannot violate rights, and it leaves the question of whether the ultimate existence of it does open. You may not like that, but that is what the Statement of Principle says. You are missing entirely the nuance of a justified use of force in defense – the state can do that – and whether it committed a separate aggression in obtaining that power, but as long as it has that power, it is the only proper role it has because it is the only way it can be done. It is simply not incompatible any more than saying if the state is licensing, then it must license all. When we ultimately oppose licensing. We do this all the time in many positions. While you may not *like* that our Statement of Principles allows BOTH as legitimate messaging it does. Until you get that changed, that is your problem with the SoP not with me. Protecting right is always a good. Pointing to those functions as a good is a separate issue.

    Not interested in a further ride on your hobby horse on my article which is about a specific event at convention.

    ==Does that make the premise of the Dallas Accord fundamentally invalid? Yes.==

    You are starting to sound like the purger not the boogeyman you have invented on the LNC (and completely falsely represented them – and this is a personal article that you are turning into a vendetta on some beef you have with the LNC). Unlike the education article you have an issue with, this was not signed with any title. It is me. As me. You are making it into something else, and I see what you are doing. Nice tactic but I am not interested.

    == Invoking a view and saying that’s the “official” position does not preclude the possibility that it should be changed.==

    You are off your game today. No one said nothing “should or should not” be changed. My piece is what about IS.

  37. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I think the Radical Caucus (which this is not about, but wow, the straw men!) must be pretty effective if it is drawing this much ink.

    ==Just because the Radical Caucus tolerates electing Libertarians to public office, that does not mean that they are obeying the Purpose’s Statement in the National LP Bylaws.===

    from the LPRC Bylaws:

    ==A. General Objectives: The LPRC Board shall have oversight of the LPRC. The work of the Board includes:

    1) Using at least 75% of its unencumbered funds towards supporting Radical Libertarian candidates.==

    They gave more to candidates than any other caucus last year. When the other caucuses start dong likewise I will be interested and applaud them.

    They are on track to double the amount they gave last time. Or triple.

    More strawmannirg however.

    When the point is avoided, it strengthens the point.

  38. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I would love to recruit people for water boards. My husband is attempting right now to get on a zoning board.

  39. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==What isn’t possible, is to speak in a single voice that is simultaneously both. Trying to have the Party do that is what becomes a farce.
    ==

    The single message is the Statement of Principles. Again, you have pretty much stated you don’t agree with it and it should change. Fair enough. That is not what IS.

    We managed to do fine uniting behind a ticket that fundamentally denied parts of our Platform. I did. I campaigned all in for our ticket. My head didn’t explode.

    The single message is that the only justified use of force is in defense of rights. The state is right now the one who wields it, they can only wield it that way. Whether they should be the one who wields it is a separate issue, and one that is far down the direction I believe we are commonly traveling.

    And I am positive, the majority of the Party agrees with me on the shared direction.

    For all the talk of purging, only one of us has come close to say any such thing.

    It wasn’t me.

  40. paulie Post author

    The existence of such members is made plain by the public LNC email list. The intent of a purge is made plain when there are members of the LNC angrily condemning moderates and pragmatists as the cause of all the party’s woes and not-even-really Libertarians and we need rules to keep them out and messaging to drive them away.

    I keep up with the LNC list and don’t remember seeing a single message like that. In fact, I’ve read every LNC message on the now-public list archived back to 2005 (it may be a different list now and I’d have to look but I had access to the messages going back to 2005 when I was an alternate). That’s 11 years of LNC emails and I am not familiar with what you are talking about. Do you have any quotes/cites?

    As for the so-called Dallas Accord, maybe it will be worth commenting on if and when the party ever nominates a national candidate who follows it. Since that hasn’t happened yet, and probably never will, it remains speculative.

    The party’s statements are not limited to candidates, and we have hundreds of candidates every cycle. Their level of adherence to libertarianism varies. As for presidential candidates, I would say that at least from 1984-2000 they were pretty solidly in compliance with the Dallas Accord. 1980 was well before my time, but I read Ed Clark’s campaign book many years later and it seemed pretty solidly libertarian to me. I haven’t read enough from/about the ’72 and ’76 campaigns to comment on those. Badnarik veered in a more constitutionalist direction, but the party was still fully welcoming to anarchists then. It was only after that the messaging drifted way off course.

    I also think attempts to reconcile abolition of taxation and non-abolition of the state are just so much hand-waving trying to square the circle

    We disagree. It’s obviously a position some people hold.

    and in any event I do not think the Party is forever bound to blindly follow what its members thought in 1972.

    When we adopt positions they remain in effect unless and until they are repealed. If you believe otherwise, when exactly do they expire and by what mechanism?

    The allegation that something is in the By-Laws or platform or SOP (whether that’s true or not) does not make them beyond debate and permanently unquestionable. Invoking a view and saying that’s the “official” position does not preclude the possibility that it should be changed.

    That is correct. If you follow the formal process for making the changes you seek and succeed in doing so that’s one thing. If you just say “oh that was a long time ago and I don’t agree with them” that’s another.

  41. Scott Lieberman

    “Caryn Ann Harlos January 3, 2017 at 18:36

    “1) Using at least 75% of its unencumbered funds towards supporting Radical Libertarian candidates.

    They gave more to candidates than any other caucus last year. When the other caucuses start dong likewise I will be interested and applaud them.

    They are on track to double the amount they gave last time. Or triple.”

    GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    Giving money to Radical candidates who almost invariably lose their election is not obeying the Purposes Statement of the Bylaws.

    How many candidates, divided into incumbents and challengers, did the RC give money to? What number of each category won their election?

    Giving money to candidates when **all of them** get less than half of the number of votes of the lowest winner is not obeying the Purposes Statement of the Bylaws. It is merely pretending that educating the public is almost as good as actually being on a City Council or in a State Legislature.

    The reason Libertarians don’t win elections is that too few of them run for winnable offices. And – the ones that do run for winnable offices either do not know how to campaign effectively, or for whatever reason they are not able to put in the time that it takes to knock on enough doors to win.

  42. paulie Post author

    Just because the Radical Caucus tolerates electing Libertarians to public office, that does not mean that they are obeying the Purpose’s Statement in the National LP Bylaws.

    Can you quote the entire purposes statement and explain how you believe the caucus violates it?

    Also, is there some misconception that radicals form the majority of the LNC, much less that they are attempting to purge non-radicals?

  43. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And Scott shifts goalposts. Basically he wants radicals to be like him. Cheeky. But I think they will pass.

    It was their first organized year. Which is more than any other caucus.

    I am happy with them.

    But I think I exposed the flaw to my satisfaction in the attack. Not going to red herring any further on my article.

  44. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Also, is there some misconception that radicals form the majority of the LNC, much less that they are attempting to purge non-radicals?===

    Proof? Who needs proof! I am too busy collecting useful information on helping my region (I would submit that my regional reports are some of the best) and doing things like challenging eternal secrecy clauses in contracts to worry about this stuff.

    Anyone who reads the list knows my concerns are transparency and member rights. Not the petty power plays.

    But far afield.

    I see how my personal opinion is trying to be silenced by having extraneous lines elephant hurled.

    I see it. And I reject it.

  45. paulie Post author

    Anyone who reads the list knows my concerns are transparency and member rights. Not the petty power plays.

    I read the list, and I’ll vouch for that.

  46. Andy

    “Giving money to Radical candidates who almost invariably lose their election is not obeying the Purposes Statement of the Bylaws.”

    Libertarian Party candidates generally do not win elections whether they are “radical” Libertarians or not. I don’t think that whether the Libertarian Party candidate is considered to be “radical” or “moderate” within the party has much of anything to do with whether or not they win in a general election.

  47. Rocky Eades

    “Invoking a view and saying that’s the “official” position does not preclude the possibility that it should be changed.” Change it then. Changing the Statement of Principles only requires a 7/8 vote of seated delegates at convention. Good luck. (NOT!)

  48. Andy

    Scott Lieberman said: “The reason Libertarians don’t win elections is that too few of them run for winnable offices. And – the ones that do run for winnable offices either do not know how to campaign effectively, or for whatever reason they are not able to put in the time that it takes to knock on enough doors to win.”

    I agree with you here.

    Another factor is that the Libertarian Party (national, state, and local) does not do enough to support Libertarians who are running in winnable races for local offices and for seats in state legislatures.

    Really, the Libertarian Party has gone downhill when it comes to actually electing people to office. We have a lot less people elected to local offices now than we did 14 years ago. We have not elected anyone to a seat in a state legislature in 16 years, and the last time we elected something to a seat in a state legislature who actually served out their term as a Libertarian was 18-20 years ago.

    This is PATHETIC.

  49. Scott Lieberman

    Andy January 3, 2017 at 19:15

    “Another factor is that the Libertarian Party (national, state, and local) does not do enough to support Libertarians who are running in winnable races for local offices and for seats in state legislatures.”

    GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    There are tens of thousands of local offices in this country that can be won with less than $2000. The National and State Libertarian Parties don’t really need to help these candidates in any way except steer them to on-line and printed resources on how to raise money and how to win elections. The local parties do need to be able to provide a few volunteers to these candidates, but mostly the local parties just need to recruit the candidates in the first place.

  50. dL

    Taxation is theft” is not a policy. It’s at best a slogan, and not a very good one at that.

    Taxation is social control…whether explicitly for such a purpose or indirectly through the enforcement of it for whatever ostensible purpose. The only policy is abolition, otherwise any said “policy” is just some form of social control. What are you going to do if someone doesn’t pay it? How are going to know if they did or didn’t pay it? Are you going to avail yourself of the current surveillance system to gain that knowledge?

    Further, given that the US now denies passports for back taxes, and given uncle sam charges a vig that would make the mob blush, one can now say taxation is slavery w/o hyperbole or hint of melodrama. For anyone chirping “sensible policy” and/or “moving in a limited government direction,” keep in mind the enforcement of such will tap into the broad surveillance system and the penalty for failure to pay likely entails a loss of one’s right to travel. A not so subtle reminder that “liberty leaning” is just a respectability politics euphemism for “bend over.”

  51. robert capozzi

    dL: A not so subtle reminder that “liberty leaning” is just a respectability politics euphemism for “bend over.”

    me: Interesting. So are we to assume that you are not “merely” liberty leaning, but some form of a state abolitionist?

    If so, have you accomplished your goal, or are you just bending over along with us liberty leaners? Are you off the grid, not paying taxes, not driving on government roads (or in the left lane, drunk, if the spirit moves you)?

    If you are touched by the State with everyone else, why are we to believe that dL-ism is superior to liberty leanerism?

  52. dL

    If so, have you accomplished your goal, or are you just bending over along with us liberty leaners? Are you off the grid, not paying taxes, not driving on government roads (or in the left lane, drunk, if the spirit moves you)?

    I see you are now borrowing your material from salon.com…not surprising

    taxes are the price pay for bob capozzi to drive the right of way…

    =F =U =C =K

  53. Just Some Random Guy

    Another factor is that the Libertarian Party (national, state, and local) does not do enough to support Libertarians who are running in winnable races for local offices and for seats in state legislatures.

    Really, the Libertarian Party has gone downhill when it comes to actually electing people to office. We have a lot less people elected to local offices now than we did 14 years ago. We have not elected anyone to a seat in a state legislature in 16 years, and the last time we elected something to a seat in a state legislature who actually served out their term as a Libertarian was 18-20 years ago.

    It always feels a little weird when I agree with Andy, but I do here. It really does feel like candidates are mostly left to their own devices. I understand the fact you can’t provide full support to everyone, but it does seem like if they had more cash and resources, at least a few of the Libertarians running for the House or state congress could’ve made it.

    Maybe the LP is providing more support than I’m giving them credit for. But I can’t help but look at how much money gets spend securing presidential ballot access and how if that money had gone to individual campaigns, they could have gotten elected. Now I’m not saying the party should slack off in regards to ballot access, because being on the ballot everywhere makes you look far more authentic and people will take you more seriously, but it does feel like there are resources that could go to winning more elections.

  54. Jim

    Smaller state parties were absolutely crushed financially when the Unified Membership Plan ended. The revenue in the few smaller states that I’ve checked, in some non-presidential years, is only 5% of what it was 15 years ago. They don’t have the ability to offer candidates assistance the way that they could have years ago. And the LNC really shouldn’t be involved in state legislature or local races.

  55. robert capozzi

    dL: …borrowing your material from salon.com…

    me: I seem to detect a pattern with you: you seem to jump to conclusions, which in this case again, is false. I don’t read Salon.com. I don’t have any idea what you are talking about.

    Perhaps you didn’t get my earlier point, so let me lay it out. You describe “respectability politics” as meaning “bend over,” a term generally used by hetero males to mean the very unpleasant experience of being screwed in the ass. Right? IOW, government victimizes us, and you disapprove of those who engage in “respectability politics” for allowing said victimization.

    Non-masochists don’t like to be victimized, so if something other than respectability politics could blunt or stop the victimization, there would be a market for such an approach. I’ve seen forms of non-respectability politics attempt to challenge any and all state victimizing, and to date I cannot cite one example where it worked.

    Can you?

    If not, then the truth is we are all just being “bent over.” No rhetoric or action has proven effective to stop it.

    Agree?

    Now, if you have a new-and-improved version of non-respectability politics that could work, we are allllllll ears…..

  56. Pingback: Rational Review News Digest, 01/04/17 - House Republicans drop plan to gut ethics office; A cheap date - Thomas L. Knapp - Liberty.me

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    “the fact that they very same convention nominated two candidates who don’t use that slogan or promote that message”

    Actually, both Johnson and Weld are on record as stating that taxation is theft.

    I agree that the statement is not a “policy.” A “policy” is some specific thing you plan to do/implement. The statement is a “public policy statement” to the extent that it RELATES to policy. And it’s a statement of positioning on an issue.

    It’s also a plain statement of irrefutable fact that shouldn’t have required a resolution. It’s not so much that if you disagree with it you’re not a libertarian as that if you disagree with it you live in a fantasy world.

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    Dr. Lieberman,

    “Giving money to Radical candidates who almost invariably lose their election is not obeying the only part of Purposes Statement of the Bylaws that I care about.”

    Fixed, no charge.

  59. Andy

    Thomas L. Knapp
    January 4, 2017 at 07:26
    ‘the fact that they very same convention nominated two candidates who don’t use that slogan or promote that message’

    Actually, both Johnson and Weld are on record as stating that taxation is theft.”

    Yes, Johnson and Weld paid lip service to “taxation is theft,” but their campaign positions were the opposite of this, as Gary Johnson promoted ending the income tax and replacing it with the Fair Tax, which is just as bad, and maybe even worse than the income tax, and Bill Weld promoted keeping the income tax as it is, but promising the public that their taxes won’t go up.

  60. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    My comment wasn’t meant to be supportive of Johnson’s or Weld’s positions — merely to point out that they DID pay the lip service “AC” says they didn’t pay.

  61. John F Kosanke

    Weld: “I sometimes say taxation is theft, because it is coercive. It’s theft by the government from the people, as far as it goes. Obviously you need some level of taxation, but I think anything that brings the level of taxation down is a good thing.”

    While reducing taxation is the correct direction, Weld’s statement is a justification of theft. Had he said, “Most people believe you need some level of taxation” instead of “Obviously you need some level of taxation”, he would not have had to do so without fearing being labeled an “anarchist”. He had already labeled Proudhon “anarchist” to deflect the label. Further, his statement would have been correct. Even “Apparently…” would have been safe.

  62. George Dance

    Andy – “Gary Johnson promoted ending the income tax and replacing it with the Fair Tax, which is just as bad, and maybe even worse than the income tax”

    What makes sales taxes “just as bad, and maybe even worse” than income taxes?

    Income taxes require not only the threat of coercion, but self-incrimination and audits. In contrast, sales taxes don’t necessarily involve coercion.

  63. George Dance

    “Any “libertarian” who supports taxation has abandoned the pledge, and must be expelled.”

    Expelled from the Libertarian Party? Or from the “community”, a la Hoppe? If the former, who does the expelling? If the latter, what happens to the expelled individual’s real property?

  64. Andy

    George Dance
    January 4, 2017 at 12:16
    Andy – ‘Gary Johnson promoted ending the income tax and replacing it with the Fair Tax, which is just as bad, and maybe even worse than the income tax’

    What makes sales taxes ‘just as bad, and maybe even worse’ than income taxes?

    Income taxes require not only the threat of coercion, but self-incrimination and audits. In contrast, sales taxes don’t necessarily involve coercion.”

    The Fair Tax is designed to be revenue neutral, which means that it is meant to bring in just as much money for the government as the present income tax system brings them. This alone should make the plan unacceptable to any libertarian, since our goal is to reduce the size of government.

    It is a 30% tax, although the people who push it (like Gary Johnson) disingenuously claim that it is a 23% tax. They do this by calculating the tax rate in a way that nobody else would do it, as in say that you buy something for $1, and with the Fair Tax, you pay $1.30. Anyone who is not being disingenuous would call that a 30% tax. Fair Taxers say that since .30 is 23% of $1.30, that this means that the Fair Tax is a 23% tax. It seems obvious to me that they are doing this to make the tax sound like it is less than it really is.

    The Fair Tax would be more difficult to avoid than the income tax, because it is much easier for the government to go after the providers of goods and services than it is to go after everyone who earns money. Sure, some people would avoid the Fair Tax by purchasing used items (although I doubt that the exemption for used items would last long as the government would probably end up closing that loophole), and some people would try to purchase items on the black market, but some items things are not practical to purchase used, and the government would also crack down on black market retailers. Most people would continue shopping at the same places they shop at now, and you know darned well that all of those established businesses would just comply with the tax (and it would be easier for the government to crack down on the few who don’t, because they’d have less people to go after than under the present income tax system).

    The Fair Tax also includes a provision for a rebate check for every American, which would be based on their income. This essentially means that everyone in the nation would be put on welfare.

    Why anyone who calls themselves a libertarian would support this plan is beyond me, unless of course the people who support this plan are lying about being libertarians, or they are confused about what it means to be a libertarian.

  65. Chuck Moulton

    AC wrote (1/3/2017 at 5:18 pm):

    I seriously doubt most delegates– the same ones who rejected the Radical anarchist candidate 93% to 7%– had any intention for “Taxation is theft” to supplant, replace, or otherwise trump the party’s platform, nor to prohibit the use of other messages and slogans.

    It is a resolution which does not “supplant, replace, or otherwise trump the party’s platform”; rather, it supplements the platform as a public policy statement.

    More importantly though, I think you are all getting this wrong.

    a) AC seems to think the resolution “Taxation is theft” is incompatible with nominating Gary Johnson and assumes there must have been some sort of mistake.

    b) Many other commenters seem to think “Taxation is theft” was passed as a resolution in spite of nominating Gary Johnson and assume a lot of the Gary Johnson supporters must have left early.

    c) I think “Taxation is theft” was passed as a resolution because we nominated Gary Johnson.

    People voted to give Gary Johnson the LP’s nomination for a range of reasons (I was not among them, though I did vote for him in the general election). These included his past governing experience, his name recognition, his already ramped up campaign, his media coverage, etc. — not just his issue positions. I talked to many, many, many delegates who were frustrated with Johnson and Weld for several things, yet held their noses and voted for him anyway. One chief reason they were annoyed at Johnson was due to his support of the batshit crazy “Fair” Tax. Most of Gary Johnson’s supporters did not in fact support a 30% sales tax coupled with a big new federal welfare scheme for every man, woman, and child in the United States.

    They — along with the people who did not vote for Gary Johnson in convention — sensibly wanted to Party to distance itself from Gary Johnson’s nuts “Fair” Tax position while still running 2 somewhat credible former governors with libertarian leaning positions on many issues. Therefore they took the logical step of emphasizing through a resolution that the Libertarian Party does not support the “Fair” Tax; instead, it holds that taxation is theft. The resolution was a nicer, less confrontational way of saying “The Libertarian Party does not support the Fair Tax and disagrees with our presidential candidate Gary Johnson on that issue.”

    I don’t have the minutes in front of me; however, I seem to recall that the 1988 convention similarly emphasized that the LP is pro-choice when they nominated pro-life candidate Ron Paul. It is an eminently sensible thing to do. It was a signal to libertarians that Gary Johnson (or Ron Paul or whoever) does not unilaterally define the Libertarian Party platform, so let’s all campaign for him despite some differences on a few issues.

    With that in mind, I think people are reading too much into this when they think the LP suddenly took a left turn to anarchy with that resolution. But it does mean what it says unless and until it is repealed or replaced with a different resolution by the delegates in convention.

  66. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Chuck, very very sensibly said.

    And this statement sums up nicely the less than forthright spinning I am bucking:

    ==It is a resolution which does not “supplant, replace, or otherwise trump the party’s platform”; rather, it supplements the platform as a public policy statement.==

    THAT. IS. FACT.

  67. Chuck Moulton

    For some more historical context…

    The pre-2006 platform was explicit about “taxation is theft”.

    In the spring of 2006 I was interning at the Cato Institute. Most of the Cato folks looked down on the Libertarian Party and did not have kind things to say about it. My boss at the time was the intern coordinator. He said the Libertarian Party would never move forward unless it jettisoned its “taxation is theft” position, and he was confident that it would never take that step.

    I was active in the Libertarian Reform Caucus. I believed then (as I believe now) that we ought to have a directional platform which allows for the whole range of libertarian positions — those that move in the direction of more liberty and smaller government — while not alienating any particular libertarian position or embracing any particular libertarian position to the exclusion of all others. At the same time I was then (as I am now) an anarcho-capitalist: my preferred destination is no government at all. Despite having an explicitly anarchist platform which I entirely agreed with, I wanted a platform that could expand our tent and unite everyone on the train to more liberty and less government — they can get off the train when they want without begrudging the direction. To that end, the Libertarian Reform Caucus supported a drastic revamping of the platform and ditching the cult-like membership pledge.

    Confident that the Reform Caucus I was an active member of would prevail, I bet my boss $50 that I would be able to get the “taxation is theft” plank removed at the 2006 Portland convention. He took the bet, thinking he was making easy money.

    I realized the Reform Caucus had no clue about organization, persuasion, conventioneering, etc. So I undertook on my own — without the direction, permission, or funding of the Reform Caucus — to design and print up a lot of literature in support of ditching the platform and the pledge. This included several color flyers & stickers (in more than sufficient quantity to cover every delegate twice), and a plan of action. I didn’t tell anyone in the Reform Caucus I was doing this until I arrived at the convention and met up with them. I’m fairly confident without my efforts the “Portland Purge” would not have occurred.

    The “taxation is theft” plank was removed in Portland. I met up with my old boss in Gainesville on my way to the state chair’s conference in Orlando in 2007 (Paulie was there because I was giving him a ride from Alabama). My boss agreed that I had won the bet and paid out the $50 (which, unrelatedly, I rolled into a different venture). I was very proud of that accomplishment because heretofore, the “taxation is theft” plank had been repeatedly cited by moderates as one of the two main things making the LP an explicitly anarchist party (the other being the pledge), which they felt did not represent them.

    Unfortunately, instead of going with a directional platform, in 2008 and beyond the LP opted for a continuation of the destinational platform, but with a more moderate destination than before. As I said, I favor a big tent directional platform; however, I am an anarcho-capitalist myself. If you all won’t agree to a sensible directional platform and if you all force me to pick sides between a moderate destinational platform and an anarchist destinational platform, well then I will pick my destination. I’m an anarchist and I’ll support anarchist positions. Therefore, despite being pleased that we removed “taxation is theft” from the platform in the “Portland purge”, I voted for the “taxation is theft” resolution at the 2016 convention.

  68. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Chuck, you and I will have fun with a future article I am writing. I am disputing that taxation is theft was EVER removed from the Platform. Was certain language removed that was more explicit than the “plank” we have now? Yes. Does the plank we have now still say that? I actually argue it does, but I will get into that in more detail in the future. And worst case scenario, removing the explicit statement from the plank does NOT make the inverse true. That taxation is NOT theft. Thank you Statement of Principles!

    One thing is certain, no one appealed this resolution to the Judicial Committee. And any resolution that justified the end-game of taxation would be. I have vowed to get the signatures myself.

  69. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I disagree with Chuck. I think the alleged moderate destination statements are in fact interim steps which are de facto directional (i.e. transitional) statements (in fact the Preamble explicitly says so). We pretty permanently have a destinational platform – the Statement of Principles which is required to be in the Platform despite past attempts to bury it. That is the elephant in the room that I will also point at, and no matter how much some Party people want to be quiet, I will be there, constantly reminding them of it.

  70. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And I thank Chuck (and this is one reason I supported him so strenuous for JC at convention) for giving a clear sober analysis of the effect of the resolution – whether he think it a wise move or not.

    This “my facts depends on my opinion of the facts” revisionism in the Party has been my target.

    It was a resolution which has the same standard of review as a platform plank.
    It is an official position of the Party now (I of course will be arguing it always has been).

    Deal with it, folks.

  71. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Another point of dispute, “taxation is theft” did not and does not make the Party explicitly anarchist (I’m a Dallas Accord gal, I don’t support doing that) – the original authors of that part were minarchists. Austin Petersen supports taxation is theft, and he is a solid minarchist (and often very vitriolic towards some anarchists). If Austin, a very consciously NOT anarchist-minarchist, and I, a pretty hardcore anarchist, can lock arms on this and fight side by side, it is NOT an anarchist v minarchist issue.

    And that will be another thing I will not let go.

  72. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Jim

    Smaller state parties were absolutely crushed financially when the Unified Membership Plan ended. The revenue in the few smaller states that I’ve checked, in some non-presidential years, is only 5% of what it was 15 years ago. They don’t have the ability to offer candidates assistance the way that they could have years ago. And the LNC really shouldn’t be involved in state legislature or local races.

    Perhaps the Unified Membership Plan should be restored, then.

  73. paulie Post author

    I think “Taxation is theft” was passed as a resolution because we nominated Gary Johnson.

    It’s possible that some delegates only voted for it because Johnson was nominated, but I think the vast majority of those who voted for it would have voted the same way regardless of who the nominee was.

  74. paulie Post author

    Perhaps the Unified Membership Plan should be restored, then.

    There are legal issues with BCRA (aka McCain-Feingold). I think there’s probably a way to do it, but not the same way as before. It gets brought up every term and always gets scuttled or shelved, as there are many people who don’t like it.

  75. paulie Post author

    It’s possible that some delegates only voted for it because Johnson was nominated, but I think the vast majority of those who voted for it would have voted the same way regardless of who the nominee was.

    I should also add, I think the resolution would have been brought up regardless of who was nominated. It was brought up because of the popular social media campaign, not because of anything internal to the LP, I believe.

  76. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote (1/4/2017 at 6:56 pm):

    Another point of dispute, “taxation is theft” did not and does not make the Party explicitly anarchist (I’m a Dallas Accord gal, I don’t support doing that) – the original authors of that part were minarchists. Austin Petersen supports taxation is theft, and he is a solid minarchist (and often very vitriolic towards some anarchists). If Austin, a very consciously NOT anarchist-minarchist, and I, a pretty hardcore anarchist, can lock arms on this and fight side by side, it is NOT an anarchist v minarchist issue.

    Nice rhetorical trick…

    Even if I granted for the sake of argument that “taxation is theft” is consistent with minarchy, there are libertarians who are neither minarchist nor anarchist — and “taxation is theft” is not consistent with their ideology.

    If you want to limit the LP to minarchists and anarchists, that would be only a fraction of the coalition we could build if all libertarians were included. The notion that only anarchists or minarchists need apply is exactly why so many people feel they are not welcome in the LP.

    A lot of these discussions go something like this…

    Frustrated Moderate Libertarian: The party is alienating me! I am a libertarian, but I don’t believe we should eliminate all taxation or have no government.
    Anarchist Purist: That’s ridiculous! The party is not alienating you. We welcome all anarchists AND minarchists! By the way, my definition of minarchist requires that they reject all taxation and have a voluntary government.
    Frustrated Moderate Libertarian: Well, it’s good that you welcome minarchists too, but I am neither an anarchist or a minarchist.
    Anarchist Purist: Well, then piss off! We don’t want your kind here. Wait… wait… give us your money and your votes, but then piss off.

  77. George Phillies

    BCRA keeps state parties that are not FEC filing from sending money to national. National can send money to almost anyone it wants (exception: some 403 organizations, where life becomes complicated).

  78. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Chuck, the Statement of Principles already does that. I am following it. The end game is explicitly anarchist or minarchist. But all going in that direction are Libertarians and welcome and will get off the direction when they are satisfied.

    That was the direction set in 1974 and it remains.

    As I said, you and I will have fun. We already do 🙂

  79. paulie Post author

    BCRA keeps state parties that are not FEC filing from sending money to national. National can send money to almost anyone it wants (exception: some 403 organizations, where life becomes complicated).

    If that’s true, either there’s a lot of confusion about that on LNC or my memory is even worse than I think it is.

  80. Caryn Ann Harlos

    My definition of minarchist btw isn’t voluntary government. That is called an anarchist.

  81. Caryn Ann Harlos

    EVERYONE in the Libertarian quadrant is a Libertarian. We have had this discussion. And I am sure we will again, but please NO TRIANGLES! And I still point to the north star.

  82. robert capozzi

    cm: Anarchist Purist: Well, then piss off! We don’t want your kind here. Wait… wait… give us your money and your votes, but then piss off.

    cah: But all going in that direction are Libertarians and welcome and will get off the direction when they are satisfied.

    me: It’s hard to believe that anyone seriously believes that the current direction is lessarchy. Relegation to second-class status is unattractive to most Ls who don’t buy either the anarcho or minarcho construct, particularly when both have failed and neither stands up to much scrutiny in the here and now. This is not to say that they cannot stand up to scrutiny, but with government as large as it is, that assessment would best be handled if the State were shrunk to near-minarcho levels.

    Until then, such discussion is idle speculation.

  83. Just Some Random Guy

    Well, it just seems to me that if the state parties have only a fraction of the money they used to because the LNC isn’t providing them with it (as Jim claimed), that seems like it they’d have much more trouble assisting their candidates and people would have more trouble getting elected as a result. If the BCRA forbids that (I’m not sure if it does, especially after some comments here), it would be nice if there was some way for the donations to the LNC to better aid the state parties.

    Perhaps the idea is that people will just send their money to the state parties, but I don’t think people do that much because they tend to prefer a central place to send it with the presumption that it will be doled out as needed to the various subgroups in the organization you are donating to (state parties in this case). In fact, I would expect most people who donate to the national party would simply assume that a reasonable amount of the donations would be going to the state parties. That’s what I just assumed for a while.

  84. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Just to be nitpicky, obviously state taxation is theft. But people have a right to form a community and charge fees as a condition of membership. They even can decide to call it a “tax”. Of course, like all human structures, even such communities can become oppressive and become a state. And the fee can become a nasty tax.

  85. john F Kosanke

    George Dance, Regarding expelling libertarians who abandon the pledge, I’m referring to politicians. Anyone can say whatever they want, but to legislatively support public actions that violate NAP is a cardinal sin. Any tax increase is grounds for expulsion from the party.

  86. George Dance

    George Phillies: “‘anarchists AND minarchists’
    More Rothbardian gobbledigook.”

    No, Rothbard didn’t use those terms, at least in FANL. His term for a libertarian anarchist was “libertarian”. His terms for libertarian advocates of limited government were “classical liberal” or “conservative”.

  87. George Dance

    john F Kosanke “George Dance, Regarding expelling libertarians who abandon the pledge, I’m referring to politicians. Anyone can say whatever they want, but to legislatively support public actions that violate NAP is a cardinal sin. Any tax increase is grounds for expulsion from the party.”

    Thanks for the clarification. But I’m not sure that there’s a mechanism to do so. Up here in Canada, the Ethics Committee can expel a member for violating his or her membership oath; but I don’t think the US party’s Judicial Committee has that power.

  88. dL

    Most of the Cato folks looked down on the Libertarian Party and did not have kind things to say about it. My boss at the time was the intern coordinator. He said the Libertarian Party would never move forward unless it jettisoned its “taxation is theft” position, and he was confident that it would never take that step.

    So? Cato is by and large and a GOP think tank in practice. The degree of success they have had in influencing the GOP in a libertarian direction and policy toward reducing the “size and scope” of government during their 30+ year residency in DC suggests no one should pay much attention to what they have to say on the matter of the LP.

    Beyond me how an American libertarian party could ever have a problem with “taxation is theft.” The position can certainly hold its own in a serious political science debate. If you can’t make that translate into the pages of the Washington Post or the studio halls of CNN, then that’s a failure of imagination, not the position.

    What taxation is IS social control. The implications of that is theft…theft of liberty. Most of the time redistributive taxation is portrayed as taking from X to give to Y. But, in reality, that’s very small part of it. What it mostly is IS taking from X to control X.

    Rothbard famously equated the State to an organized crime gang. But that’s not accurate. You pay the mafia to leave you alone. You pay the state to harass you. The state is more like a highly armed Vatican. And paying an entity at the point of a gun to control you is theft of liberty.

    “Taxation is theft” is a conclusion, not a premise.

  89. dL

    me: I seem to detect a pattern with you: you seem to jump to conclusions, which in this case again, is false. I don’t read Salon.com. I don’t have any idea what you are talking about.

    Borrowing from salon.com is figurative statement about borrowing from progressive boilerplate. Which you are.

    You describe “respectability politics” as meaning “bend over,”

    Actually, I equated terms like “libertarian leaning” == “bend over.” Respectability politics is defined as policing members of a group to show conformity and compatibility with “mainstream values,” establishment political parties and establishment media. Two problems with that:
    (1) those things deserve no respect.
    (2) scientifically, third parties in plurality/winner take all system can never gain traction by appealing to the margins of respectability.

    From the public choice literature, one can understand the base careerist incentives of some to be promoting respectability politics. It’s harder to see why that would ever infect the rank and file. Other than perhaps they watch too much cable/satellite news and have no life outside of not being dismissed by the likes of Anderson Cooper.

    Non-masochists don’t like to be victimized, so if something other than respectability politics could blunt or stop the victimization, there would be a market for such an approach. . I’ve seen forms of non-respectability politics attempt to challenge any and all state victimizing, and to date I cannot cite one example where it worked.

    Can you?

    Politics is not a market. At least not in the common meaning of the term.. In the public choice literature, you might say politics is a Tullock All-pay auction bidding out economic rents. Markets for evading victimization of the state are NOT bid out in the halls of congress or the corridors of the white house. Those only exist in the realm of counter-economics. And an easy contemporaneous example is bitcoin.

    Respectability politics, at best, only offers lip service. And lip service is the poor man’s vaseline.

    Now, if you have a new-and-improved version of non-respectability politics that could work, we are allllllll ears…..

    The burden is on those who advocate contravening libertarian principles in the name of political and policy success. Absence of success w/ re: to that “strategy” is not a charter to demand proof of others to retain fidelity to principle. Nice try, though.

    Respectability politics offers no present and no future. And that’s it’s best features. It’s worst features is that actively undermines effective radical prescriptions by trying to expropriate them into the political and legal apparatus. For example: “bitcoin needs to be regulated like money.” aka Jerry Brito. In the worst instance, respectability politics is an enterprising enemy of liberty.

  90. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Chuck, FYI, while I do not agree with a sheerly directional platform, I agree with the premise that there *is* a common direction. Some of the people to whom my criticisms in my article refer to deny that there is a common direction and oddly, considering the false allegations here of alleged purge-mentality (very Alinsky), have called for the Party to explicitly repudiate any anarchist destination. That is what is going on.

    I utterly reject that as has the Party for over forty years. Radical doesn’t refer only to ideological leanings. Trying to “radically redefine” the foundations of the SoP is a radical position. And not in a good way IMHO.

  91. John

    It’s a radically reactionary position. And no examples of the anarchist purge mentality ever were cited. My guess is because there are none.

  92. Thomas L. Knapp

    At the “national party” level, purges are impossible. There are no mechanisms for expelling a member. If you’ve signed the pledge, you’re a member, period, end of story (and if you pop $25 a year for a newsletter subscription, you become part of the formula for national convention delegate allocation as well).

  93. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    Robert’s is only applicable in cases where it is consistent with the bylaws. The bylaws say:

    “Members of the Party shall be those persons who have certified in writing that they oppose the
    initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.”

    Note the period, rather than comma followed by “unless,” at the end.

    You don’t have to like the fact that national can’t expel members. National can’t expel members whether you like it or not.

  94. robert capozzi

    dL: The burden is on those who advocate contravening libertarian principles in the name of political and policy success. Absence of success w/ re: to that “strategy” is not a charter to demand proof of others to retain fidelity to principle. Nice try, though.

    me: I don’t “contravene” the NAP, I just look at it differently than most NAPsters do. I love the NAP’s sentiment. I just don’t find the idea of applying the notion of non-aggression realistic or actionable, and I find it dangerous to life on the planet if it were to be applied too rashly and without care. I don’t “demand,” as I find the practice to be childish. I do invite others, especially those who believe maximizing peace and liberty would be a very helpful development.

    I’m not suggesting you cheat on the NAP. Instead, speaking as a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery, I invite you to look at it with fresh eyes.

    dL: Respectability politics offers no present and no future. And that’s it’s best features. It’s worst features is that actively undermines effective radical prescriptions by trying to expropriate them into the political and legal apparatus. For example: “bitcoin needs to be regulated like money.” aka Jerry Brito. In the worst instance, respectability politics is an enterprising enemy of liberty.

    me: I’m sorry you feel that way. My sense is Johnson-style respectability L-ism advanced the prospects for the cause of lessarchy far more than anything since Hayek published THE ROAD TO SERFDOM. J/W 16 feels like a significant positive inflection point from the largely unproductive turn in the cause of lessarchy marked by, I’d say, the publishing of ATLAS SHRUGGED, which the open-minded now recognize to be a dead end.

  95. Thomas L. Knapp

    Actually, Johnson/Weld 2016 seems to have been relegated to “historical footnote of, at most, mild interest” status in the public mind in record time. Johnson’s still getting a LITTLE more public mention than Ayn Rand but is fading fast (and she’s getting, and is likely to continue getting, the same ongoing level of interest she’s had for a decade or so now in her posthumous renaissance).

    I predict that by November 8, 2017, what few public mentions there are of Johnson will nearly unanimously center around three words — “what’s a leppo?” — as a way of dismissing Libertarian candidates as non-credible lightweights.

    Even at this early date, it’s hard to characterize Johnson as having had, or expecting to have, as much lasting positive impact as, say, Harry Browne. With a straight face, anyway.

  96. robert capozzi

    tk, “mentions” is entirely not my point. The point is that many/most those who were attracted to GJ because they were predisposed to lessarchism AND they saw a lessarchist ticket that COULD actually run the country…theory matched with practice, reasonably well so.

    To be clear, I don’t see a cult of Johnson springing up. He as a personality will likely fade into the woodwork, mountain climb, and go back to his edibles habit. Good for him! He did his job as best he could. I appreciate his effort.

    (I understand that GJ was himself influenced by AR, btw, but I note that being influenced by is VERY DIFFERENT from buying into the whole dogmatic deontological NAPster program. )

    We’ll still see AR pop up, probably MORE than GJ at some point in the next few years. Heck, I saw a story on CNBC that TRUMP and some of his cabinet are semi-Randroids! She was an effective-albeit-deeply-confused pundit.

    Mostly, my point about ATLAS SHRUGGED was I mark that as the beginning of the Randian/Rothbardian strain of L-ism, not dissimilar to the Neanderthal strain…an offshoot that eventually ended without a succeeding evolutionary step. I have no investment in that book being the pivotal wrong-turn in the road of L-ism. If you have a more appropriate choice, I’m open to a friendly amendment. I suspect MNR and the 89 20-something Founders virtually all (or even all) read it, so that’s why I chose it as the unfortunate 50-year detour from the broader, Hayekian thought movement.

  97. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The point is that many/most those who were attracted to GJ because they were predisposed to lessarchism AND they saw a lessarchist ticket that COULD actually run the country…theory matched with practice, reasonably well so.”

    OK, all you had to say was “the point is that I live in an alternate universe in which people were attracted to GJ, who grew government hand over fist when in power, because they mistakenly thought that he was a lessarchist, rather than because he was neither Trump nor Clinton.”

  98. robert capozzi

    btw, if Harlos Nonarchy Pods were an option, a case could be made that taxation is not theft, not coercion. If anyone is given the choice of opting out of civil society, opting to stay in feels like a form of consent to me.

  99. robert capozzi

    tk, ADR, no, I don’t have to say that. That’s your take. Mine is that GJ was a lessarchist as guv and ran as a lessarchist.

  100. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Mine is that GJ was a lessarchist as guv and ran as a lessarchist.”

    Exactly. You live in an alternate universe in which Gary Johnson did not grow state spending and state debt faster than Barack Obama grew federal spending and federal debt, in which he did not ask the state legislature to let him kill 13-year-olds, in which he was not the first governor of New Mexico in more than 40 years to order an execution (right before announcing he opposed the death penalty), in which he did not attempt to rule by decree when the legislature wouldn’t give him what he wanted (which led to him being the only governor of New Mexico ever held in contempt by the state court), in which he did not attempt to extend New Mexico’s taxing authority to foreign nations (“Indian reservations”), etc.

    If Gary Johnson is a lessarchist, so was FDR.

  101. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “You don’t have to like the fact that national can’t expel members. National can’t expel members whether you like it or not.”

    If there is not a process to expel members, maybe there ought to be one.

  102. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    January 5, 2017 at 08:16
    ‘Mine is that GJ was a lessarchist as guv and ran as a lessarchist.’

    Exactly. You live in an alternate universe in which Gary Johnson did not grow state spending and state debt faster than Barack Obama grew federal spending and federal debt, in which he did not ask the state legislature to let him kill 13-year-olds, in which he was not the first governor of New Mexico in more than 40 years to order an execution (right before announcing he opposed the death penalty), in which he did not attempt to rule by decree when the legislature wouldn’t give him what he wanted (which led to him being the only governor of New Mexico ever held in contempt by the state court), in which he did not attempt to extend New Mexico’s taxing authority to foreign nations (‘Indian reservations’), etc.”

    If this information had been widely distributed in early 2012 when Gary Johnson entered the LP, or even while he was running in the Republican presidential primaries in 2011, it is possible that he never would have been nominated to run for President by the Libertarian Party.

  103. Darcy G Richardson

    “Or it would have been debunked as largely out-of-context propaganda.” — Robert Capozzi

    Out of context? You can’t be serious, Bob. What, exactly, did Tom Knapp say that is out of context? Everything he stated was certainly in context, and a matter of public record.

    It appears that the country’s current fact-free political environment isn’t limited to Donald Trump’s pea-brained supporters. Gary Johnson’s diehard admirers, arguably the least astute and poorly-informed of all, apparently know even less about their golden boy — a guy who blew the political opportunity of a lifetime because he was too intellectually lazy to read a newspaper or watch the evening news — than Trump’s scary and ill-informed followers know about their dangerously charismatic leader.

  104. John F Kosanke

    George Dance
    “Thanks for the clarification. But I’m not sure that there’s a mechanism to do so. Up here in Canada, the Ethics Committee can expel a member for violating his or her membership oath; but I don’t think the US party’s Judicial Committee has that power.”

    Thomas L. Knapp
    “At the “national party” level, purges are impossible. There are no mechanisms for expelling a member. If you’ve signed the pledge, you’re a member, period, end of story (and if you pop $25 a year for a newsletter subscription, you become part of the formula for national convention delegate allocation as well).”

    So a mechanism needs to be added in to the bylaws, if necessary, to categorically register and de-register signatories in public trust positions (to include any official who is publicly elected and/or tax-financed, religious leaders, statutory law enforcement officers, statutory law judges, and other elected and/or tax-financed officials, as well as jurors), and must be disclosed at time of signature and updated at time of change. This could be done cryptographically via Ethereum.

  105. Thomas L. Knapp

    “So a mechanism needs to be added in to the bylaws”

    Any such mechanism would run through the LNC. I’m about as likely to trust that board with that power as I am to leave my wallet and my daughter alone in a room with Willie Sutton and Ted Bundy.

  106. robert capozzi

    dgr: What, exactly, did Tom Knapp say that is out of context?

    tk: ou live in an alternate universe in which Gary Johnson did not grow state spending and state debt faster than Barack Obama grew federal spending and federal debt,…

    me: That is out of context. I’d need to check if it’s factual, though I assume it is.

    I seem to recall that Andy C. has debunked this fact…something to do with federal functions being returned to the states in the timeframe. GJ got high marks among his peers by Cato, as I recall, which I also assume was for valid reasons.

    If I was all that interested, I could do my own research, but it’s my practice to discount the value of cherry-picked data points that miss the bigger picture. Forest and trees and all that.

    In the Johnson Forest, I’m sure there are some trees that I don’t care for. I think J/W 16 was not optimized, as I said before. Then again, few things in life are optimized, especially politics. Overall, my impression is that GJ was a reasonably good guv, maybe an A-. As a candidate in 16, he got some As and Bs, and a few important Ds.

    My impression is he did his best, which is all we can ask of anyone. I don’t subscribe to the conspiracy theories that he was a Trojan Horse plant, designed to damage the cause of lessarchy. Given his vote totals, by all indications many times more voters liked him over previous L prez candidates, so if he actually WAS a Trojan Horse, he was bad at it.

    I stipulate that he could have been better and more effective in advancing the cause of lessarchy and demonstrating the counter-productive nature of dogmatic NAPsterism.

  107. George Dance

    “Or it would have been debunked as largely out-of-context propaganda.” — Robert Capozzi

    Some of that debunking is already out there. Here’s a treatment of Spiller’s National Review’s hit piece on how “Johnson grew state spending and debt”, for example:
    http://reason.com/blog/2016/05/25/gary-johnsons-new-mexico-fiscal-record-d

    As for the “Johnson wanted to kill 13-year-olds” story, the truth is that Johnson did propose, at one time, that 13-year-olds who commit murder be tried as adults. Since he also supported capital punishment at the time, that would mean… (See how it works?)

    Since the election’s over, (for all but the “libertarian Libertarians” still campaigning against Bob Barr [!]), I don’t think there’ll be much more of that. But with the Libertarian Party, one never knows.

  108. George Dance

    JFK – “So a mechanism needs to be added in to the bylaws”
    TK – Any such mechanism would run through the LNC

    Why not through the Judicial Committee?

  109. George Phillies

    Tom, You are welcome to argue with the Roberts loons. I was once threatened with expulsion. Someone must decide if the certified is valid and if it has been revoked.

    I am inclined to suggest that doing so under most circumstances ould lead to negative consequences.

  110. robert capozzi

    gd, thanks. In such matters, Gessing is most insightful for me in that REASON piece.

    tk seems unwilling to let that bone go.

  111. George Dance

    Darcy – “It appears that the country’s current fact-free political environment isn’t limited to Donald Trump’s pea-brained supporters. Gary Johnson’s diehard admirers, arguably the least astute and poorly-informed of all, apparently know even less about their golden boy — a guy who blew the political opportunity of a lifetime because he was too intellectually lazy to read a newspaper or watch the evening news — than Trump’s scary and ill-informed followers know about their dangerously charismatic leader.”

    Oh, here we go again. “The Libertarians could have won if they’d run someone other than Gary Johnson. If only they’d run someone who’d recognized the soundbite “Aleppo”, or who had a favourite ‘world leader’, he’d be President.”

    The problem with that is that there were several other candidates who weren’t Clinton, Trump, or Johnson running as well. There was Jill, whose ‘Green machine’ was supposed to leave the Libertarians in the dust; and Rocky, who was supposed to win the state of Nevada. And guess what? Even after the recounts they demanded, neither one of them is President, either.

  112. Thomas L. Knapp

    —–
    “The Libertarians could have won if they’d run someone other than Gary Johnson. If only they’d run someone who’d recognized the soundbite “Aleppo”, or who had a favourite ‘world leader’, he’d be President.”
    —–

    Number of people I’ve ever heard or seen seriously suggesting that: Zero.

  113. Andy

    Nobody in their right mind thought that Rocky was going to win Nevada or anything else. Rocky barely registered as blip on the radar screen.

  114. George Dance

    Andy – “Nobody in their right mind thought that Rocky was going to win Nevada or anything else. ”

    As I remember, it was Darcy arguing for that. Not that I’m disagreeing with you.

  115. Thomas L. Knapp

    I don’t recall Darcy predicting that Rocky would carry Nevada.

    Rocky got about 33 times as many votes as the last Reform Party presidential candidate. That’s a nice gain, especially if the RP can find a way to hold on to it and build on it.

  116. George Dance

    —–
    GD – “The Libertarians could have won if they’d run someone other than Gary Johnson. If only they’d run someone who’d recognized the soundbite “Aleppo”, or who had a favourite ‘world leader’, he’d be President.”
    —–
    TK – “Number of people I’ve ever heard or seen seriously suggesting that: Zero.”

    I’m not sure what part of my sentence ‘that’ refers to. It’s true none of the Johnson-bashers I’ve been reading on facebook et al bother to spell out what the Libertarians had a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to do (which led me to believe they’re suggesting precisely what I said); while virtually all of them blame those 2 non-incidents for the party’s not achieving whatever-it-was.

  117. robert capozzi

    gd, yes, that’s exasperating. Innuendo without specifics.

    And when NAPsters make claims that are subsequently debunked, there’s a tremendous propensity to deflect, avoid, or change the subject.

  118. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    The only people I know who thought that the LP had any chance at all of electing a president this year were a handful of Johnson supporters. We get a few of those every four years. I knew people who were utterly convinced that Harry Browne would win in 1996.

    Personally — and I know that few will agree with me — I suspect that “what is Aleppo” gained rather than lost votes for Johnson. It put him back in the spotlight a little when he was fading fast. The people who turned it into snark were never going to vote for him anyway, but some of the people who noticed, who didn’t know anything about Aleppo themselves, and who actually looked into it presumably empathized with him and liked what they heard from him on other things.

    As far as the “once in a lifetime opportunity” is concerned, I don’t know anyone who lives in the real world who thought that the opportunity was to win the election. The opportunity was to get lots of spotlight on a candidate who advanced the party’s mission, which is to “implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles.”

    To break it down for the nth time:

    Winning elections, or even just maximizing non-winning vote totals, are a means, not an end.

    If we nominate a candidate who promises that the government will give everyone a pony, the party loses no matter what.

    If he loses, all he did was misinform voters as to what the Libertarian Party wants to do by giving voice to the opposite of the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles.

    If he wins, then either:

    1) He admits that he’s not going to have the government give everyone a pony, in which case all he’s done is ensure that future Libertarian candidates will be assumed to be lying sacks of shit while giving voice to the opposite of the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles; or

    2) He has the government give everyone a pony, which is implementing the opposite of the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles.

    Obviously opinions will vary on whether or not Johnson/Weld gave voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles. In my view, they failed to do so in significant areas and in some cases gave voice to the opposite.

    Obviously opinions will vary on whether or not some other candidate might have given BETTER or MORE voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles. In my view, all of Johnson and Weld’s major opponents would have given BETTER voice, and all of them would have had the opportunity to give MORE VOICE THAN USUAL, to the principles in question.

    Any Libertarian presidential ticket would have enjoyed more voice than usual because of the major party train wrecks this year.

    Johnson/Weld had one advantage over other plausible Libertarian tickets in terms of getting voice. That advantage was that they were former governors and therefore enjoyed some advance assumption of their credibility as regards respectability politics.

    On the other hand, if Johnson/Weld had been defeated in Orlando, THAT would have been an instant big news story and it’s quite possible that Perry, McAfee or Petersen could (with the help of Coley or Sharpe as VP) have parlayed the initial coverage into continuing coverage. While I was a Perry supporter, I consider it quite likely that Petersen would have received much more coverage precisely because he would be perceived as hurting Trump by major media who were in the tank for Clinton. One reason Johnson/Weld’s coverage slid seems to have been that the Anderson Cooper types started noticing that they were hurting Clinton, not Trump, with their coverage of Johnson.

    Winning the election was not a real world possibility this year.

    Giving king-hell loud and proud voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles WAS a real world possibility this year.

    And in the opinion of some, including me, Johnson/Weld blew that opportunity right out their asses at nearly every juncture, when one or more of the other possible tickets would have made the most of it.

  119. dL

    My sense is Johnson-style respectability L-ism advanced the prospects for the cause of lessarchy far more than anything since Hayek published THE ROAD TO SERFDOM.

    Since “lessanarchy” is your own mental construction with exactly one adherent, namely you, I will take you at your own word here.

    J/W 16 feels like a significant positive inflection point from the largely unproductive turn in the cause of lessarchy marked by, I’d say, the publishing of ATLAS SHRUGGED, which the open-minded now recognize to be a dead end.

    My reading of Rand(the political/philosophical stuff, not her novels) pegs you as retaining her style of exaggerated self-importance combined with a peculiar habit of self-confirmation. In her philosophic/political writings she would often quote her fictional characters as confirmation of an argument. Of course, she is quoting herself. The difference between you and her is that while Rand’s work sold millions and her Objectivist movement claimed thousands, you conversely have not managed to extend LessAnarchy beyond your own mental constructs. A movement of one erstwhile Randian epitomized by a similar habit of self-referral as confirmation. Without the book sales and the accompanying movement, however.

  120. John F. Kosanke

    JFK – “So a mechanism needs to be added in to the bylaws”
    TK – “Any such mechanism would run through the LNC”
    GD – “Why not through the Judicial Committee?”

    Or the Ethics Committee as in Canada. Definitely worth a debate. Again, increasing taxes is grounds for expulsion. A pledge is useless without consequences for breaking it – especially for officeholders.

  121. Thomas L. Knapp

    The US LP has no ethics committee.

    While the membership certification is sometimes referred to as “the pledge,” it is not a pledge to take, or abstain from taking, any course of action. It is merely a certificate of subjectively defined belief.

    If the LP decides to enable a purge mechanism, it won’t have to purge me. I won’t let the door hit me in the ass.

  122. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    January 5, 2017 at 14:01
    ‘I don’t recall Darcy predicting that Rocky would carry Nevada.’

    Rocky got about 33 times as many votes as the last Reform Party presidential candidate. That’s a nice gain, especially if the RP can find a way to hold on to it and build on it.”

    Rocky was only on the ballot under the Reform Party banner in 2 or 3 states. He was on the ballot in other states under the American Delta Party candidate (a party he started), or as an independent.

  123. Jim

    Thomas L. Knapp “I don’t recall Darcy predicting that Rocky would carry Nevada.”

    Correct. Darcy only predicted that Rocky would outpoll Johnson in Nevada. This was based on the fact that Stein was not on the ballot, Rocky was spending money to appeal to the potential support Stein might have gotten, and that Bernie voters would find Rocky more appealing than an “austerity monger and fiscal extremist like Gary Johnson,” which seems to have been Darcy’s primary reason for disliking Johnson, along with “Johnson’s almost casual use of his veto powers.”

    Darcy also, several times, predicted that Stein would finish ahead of Johnson and ultimately get around 4.7 million votes nationwide.

  124. robert capozzi

    tk: The opportunity was to get lots of spotlight on a candidate who advanced the party’s mission, which is to “implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles.”

    me: Consider the insight of Peter Thiel regarding Trump: “I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously, but it always takes him literally. … I think a lot of voters who vote for Trump take Trump seriously but not literally,”

    Politics is a game of signaling and narratives, not a literal, rigid, dogmatic application of “principled” words brought into action, e.g., giving ponies.

    You may not have liked J/W 16’s narrative. You may not like the way the game is played.

    There are aspects of the J/W narrative that I still don’t get. I simply don’t get why they had such a hard time suggesting the HRC’s policies were a continuation of BHO’s dysfunctional policies.

  125. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    It’s not about whether or not I liked their narrative. Or about how the game is played.

    It’s about whether or not they even tried to move the ball down the field for the team they claimed to be playing for. I don’t think they did.

  126. robert capozzi

    TK, if you take the SoP literally, yes.

    It’s hiding in plain sight that it should not be.

  127. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I don’t think that one has to take the SoP “literally” to understand “fuck the 1st Amendment, bake the goddamn cake” or “fuck the 2nd and 5th Amendments no guns for people on secret government enemies lists” as giving voice to its opposite.

  128. Robert Capozzi

    TK, I missed those quotes from GJ or WW.

    Oh, wait, is it your intention to not be taken literally?

  129. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Paraphrasing in essentials is a lot easier than quoting those two windbags. For professional politicians, they strangely seem to have missed the class on “be able to say what the hell you mean in less than a minute tops, 30 seconds is better.”

  130. Robert Capozzi

    TK, yes, they were imperfect vessels.

    Some issues get a bit complex and/or ugly sounding, especially when it goes to gotcha places. Sometimes, in the haste of the moment, nice-sounding dilatory answers that maintained a non-threatening tone took the place of thought-through responses.

    Is there a fraud case option for you? Knapp v Johnson?

  131. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I don’t see how a fraud case could be made.

    1) In order for Johnson and Weld to have defrauded me as an individual, I would have had to been fooled by something they said and have given them what they wanted. I wasn’t and didn’t.

    2) Johnson and Weld didn’t really defraud the LP, either. They were pretty clear up front that their interest in the LP had to do with ballot access and that they would be running as independent “moderate Republicans.” Which is what they did. They didn’t fool the LP’s convention delegates. The LP’s convention delegates fooled themselves.

  132. dL

    If anyone is given the choice of opting out of civil society, opting to stay in feels like a form of consent to me.

    Hell, even liberals don’t equate civil society w/ the state. To equate one with the other is the very definition of a statist. And what I like to say to statists is that I’ll quit driving on government roads when you quit talking, because language certainly doesn’t originate from the bowels of the state. It be quite amusing to observe humans trying to communicate with a government-invented language. Or should I say it would be doubleplusgood!!!

  133. dL

    The LP’s convention delegates fooled themselves.

    I don’t think anyone is fooling themselves. I just think you have a lot minor-league repubs in the LP delegations.

  134. John F. Kosanke

    Thomas L. Knapp

    “While the membership certification is sometimes referred to as “the pledge,” it is not a pledge to take, or abstain from taking, any course of action. It is merely a certificate of subjectively defined belief.”

    Beliefs are certified through actions and abstentions. If the statement is fuzzy, it needs to be clarified. Else it is meaningless. http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Civil_Order_Pact

    “If the LP decides to enable a purge mechanism, it won’t have to purge me. I won’t let the door hit me in the ass.”

    I don’t suspect that you’d have any reason to fear being purged for violation of NAP, Mr. Knapp.

  135. Thomas L. Knapp

    John,

    It’s not about any fear I have of being purged, although any power of purge would immediately come under the control of and be abused by people who don’t give a tinker’s damn about the non-aggression principle.

    After 45 years as an open door party with an unenforced and unenforceable pledge, switching tracks to purging people over that pledge would be dysfunctional. It would also violate the Dallas Accord, since only anarchists can take the pledge both honestly and competently.

  136. John F. Kosanke

    Believe me, I know how politics works. I wrote the book on politics, you might recall. My point is that the line must be drawn somewhere, and I think taxation is that line. AnCaps, minarchists, and lessarchists will all agree that tax increases are verboten. Any politician, claiming to be a libertarian, who crosses that line is not worth supporting. Let him be a Republican. But don’t contaminate libertarianism by letting him carry its flag.

    The pact doesn’t have to be enforced through the party. I am exploring other approaches.
    http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Las_Portadas
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Libertarian/comments/5k4ud1/libertarian_cryptocurrency/

    But by simply pointing this detail out to Libertarians, who tend to be thinkers, I am making a valid point. No?

  137. John F. Kosanke

    The Libertarian party wants to have a tent big enough for a 34% majority (for a 3rd party win). Including lessarchists in this tent is clearly required in order to do so. But in including centrists it risks becoming another big government party. Unless it sticks to its guns on “less” such a fate will be inevitable. The required challenge is thus to devise a workable “purge” mechanism. If this can be done from within the party, now would be the time to do so.

  138. Pro-Choice Libertarians

    John, et al: The line is the abortion plank. How many times have I read on FB Ron Paul and Republicans lite write “If it wasn’t for the abortion plank, I’d join the party!” I haven’t read that yet on “taxation is theft”, though I agree that ALSO is a very good line.

    Republicans (Christian and secular) have turned abortion prohibitionism into a religion. Get rid of the plank and their lobbyists on will get busy on other social issues like freedom to engage in homosexual relations and freedom to use drugs. And of course they will NEED taxation to enforce abortion laws – and any and all other laws some of them are drooling to put into effect.

    So be REALLY clear where the line is…

  139. Pro-Choice Libertarians

    For those who may not know, the plank reads:

    1.5 Abortion

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

    http://www.lp.org/platform

  140. robert capozzi

    dL: Hell, even liberals don’t equate civil society w/ the state. To equate one with the other is the very definition of a statist.

    me: For me, civil society is contrasted with the state of nature, where there are no rights, only might. At the moment, social orders are maintained with what I call baseline peacekeeping mechanisms. Property rights would be an example, cops and courts to dissuade violent behavior is another.

    Currently and throughout history, the State and civil society have maintained these baseline peacekeeping mechanisms. These two institutions are — for good or ill — like metamorphic rock, i.e., largely fused together. I would not cop to your charge of “statist” since I believe the state component should be minimized and voluntary civil society should be maximized.

    I will be interested to see whether Andy ever sets up AndyLand, where there is no real State, only voluntary civil society institutions.

  141. dL

    me: For me, civil society is contrasted with the state of nature, where there are no rights, only might. At the moment, social orders are maintained with what I call baseline peacekeeping mechanisms. Property rights would be an example, cops and courts to dissuade violent behavior is another.

    If you are going to state the Hobbesian premise you have to arrive at the Hobbesian conclusion: Leviathan. Singular monarchy. Democracy, constitutional, representative government is a non sequitur from the Hobbesain premise of “war of all, against all.” The violence of the state nature would merely be inherited by the political class. Why his book was entitled Leviathan and not Parliamentary Democracy.

    NOTE: Any evidence of security and property rights sans a central authority falsifies the Hobbesian premise.

    Locke, on the other hand, held the SoN to be merely sub-optimal w/ re: to enforcement of property rights. Not a war of all against all. Hence, things like liberal democracy could logically follow. The problems of unjust governments were remedied by the right to revolt. The essential gist of Locke’s political philosophy was “the right to revolt” in contrast to Hobbes “NO right to revolt.

    The only crackpot (liberal)philosopher that goes from Hobbes to minarchist constitutionalism was Ayn Rand. You claim to be in recovery, but that doesn’t appear to really be the case. And I note that Rand despised libertarianism and in practice was a republican.

    Libertarianism, at least the way I view it, starts w/ the Lockean premise but arrives at the Hobbesian condition vis a vis the State as a conclusion. The state is a maximizing agency, it’s maximand being discretionary power.

  142. Robert Capozzi

    dL: If you are going to state the Hobbesian premise you have to arrive at the Hobbesian conclusion: Leviathan.

    me: Listen to you! Aren’t YOU *THE* authority! Telling me, and perhaps others, what I “have to arrive at”!

    Thanks, but no thanks!

    dL: Locke, on the other hand, held the SoN to be merely sub-optimal w/ re: to enforcement of property rights. Not a war of all against all.

    me: Consider the possibility that you are overthinking things. Go out into nature. Observe other beings. Do they have rights? Do they have “property” backed up by the “Animal Rights League,” or do they sometimes merely possess things temporarily?

    Or go to a deserted island. Pick up a stick. Do you own that stick, or do you possess it in the moment? It seems obvious to me that ownership is a function of a rule of law, and that such a rule doesn’t exist on the desert island.

    I’m not terribly concerned what the thought edicts that Hobbes or Locke tried to impose, or how modern-day theorists parrot their words. (I am a bit more inclined to pay attention to Lao Tzu’s words, which make a lot more sense to me!)

    dL: The only crackpot (liberal)philosopher that goes from Hobbes to minarchist constitutionalism was Ayn Rand. You claim to be in recovery, but that doesn’t appear to really be the case. And I note that Rand despised libertarianism and in practice was a republican.

    me: I don’t recall her citing Hobbes, though perhaps she did. I’ve said absolutely nothing about “minarchist constitutionalism,” so you are simply confused about my POV.

    dL: Libertarianism, at least the way I view it, starts w/ the Lockean premise but arrives at the Hobbesian condition vis a vis the State as a conclusion. The state is a maximizing agency, it’s maximand being discretionary power.

    me: dL’s L-ism is just as valid as mine. If it helps you understand the world, and gives you a basis for advocacy, I say Bully for you!

    Having studied some Public Choice theory (even took a class from Tullock), I agree with you that States have a strong propensity to maximize themselves. I’m interested in ways to blunt that maximization, or swamping it with faster non-State growth. I just don’t see the point of visualizing a Stateless society, since it’s not going to happen any time soon and it has its own risks which, I dare say, are potentially more dangerous to liberty than the State itself.

    Calling out the non-existent CotOS doesn’t seem to achieve any meaningful blunting, nor has it caused the private sector to grow faster. It’s just crazy talk. Crazy talk is contra-indicated, don’t you agree?

  143. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “I will be interested to see whether Andy ever sets up AndyLand, where there is no real State, only voluntary civil society institutions.”

    I will probably need a lot of help to set something like this up, unless I become a billionaire. Even then, I’d still need help to set it up.

  144. John F. Kosanke

    “The line is the abortion plank.”

    Hardly. “Pro choice” and “pro life” individuals can be in full agreement on all other issues. Furthermore, many libertarians, including myself, have not even picked a side on this issue. Defining a libertarian as one at the exclusion of the other would be suicidal at best. The dialecticians would love it, because it would essentially bury Libertarianism.

    Grow the tent. Don’t divide it. But for goodness sake, keep it moving away from the omnipotent state – not toward it. Therein lies the common ground – at the moment. I would imagine that fewer than 1% of us believe that taxes should be increased. Let’s bring that number as close to zero as possible, and formally keep it there.

  145. dL

    me: Listen to you! Aren’t YOU *THE* authority! Telling me, and perhaps others, what I “have to arrive at”!

    Thomas Hobbes would be the authority, here. You are misusing his argument. Pointing that out is not an argument from authority fallacy. The book is freely available here. Anyone can read it.
    http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/econ/ugcm/3ll3/hobbes/Leviathan.pdf

    me: Consider the possibility that you are overthinking things. Go out into nature. Observe other beings. Do they have rights? Do they have “property” backed up by the “Animal Rights League,” or do they sometimes merely possess things temporarily?

    Property rights are an entirely human construct as a means of (usually)peacefully managing scarcity. Of course, sometimes they(e.g, intellectual property) can also be used as means to (violently) enforce artificial scarcity. “Property is liberty, property is theft.”

    I would be quote shocked to go out to nature and find pigs drawing up contracts in the same way I would be shocked to find humans slithering on grass. The fact that humans don’t slither doesn’t mean snakes slithering is unnatural. Likewise, pigs not drawing up contracts does not make the fact that humans do some ad hoc anomaly. While it is true that an interspecies response to scarcity is often a predator/prey model, the same necessarily cannot be said for intra-species rivalry. Refer to the wide and varied field of biology re: intra-species cooperation/rivalry for the roughly 9 million different species on earth.

    And, obviously, contracts require more than one party. For Robison Crusoe, there is no intra-specie rivalry. It’s just him. Property rights would be a superfluous thing in that instance. Crusoe finds a coconut. Of course it’s his. A trivial conclusion. Who else’s would it be?

    I’m not terribly concerned what the thought edicts that Hobbes or Locke tried to impose, or how modern-day theorists parrot their words. (I am a bit more inclined to pay attention to Lao Tzu’s words, which make a lot more sense to me!)

    Well, if you are a liberal, you should. If you live under the auspices of a “liberal democracy,” it might prove helpful to understand the political philosophy that supposedly legitimizes the authority one operates under.
    You know, the so-called social contract. Their own edicts may not have much reign over you. But the governments ostensibly “sprung” from those edicts do.

    Hobbes’ importance is not so much for the “war of all against all” but rather for the development of the liberal methodology and the social contract. You know: the political order is one of self-interested cooperation, the separation of the state as an artificial construct from civil society, the presumption of liberty in the interpretation of the law. This is a radical departure from the ancient view that conceives the state as a much more organic thing and the political order as a much more communitarian thing.

    The premise of “war of all against all” + liberal methodology==rationally social contracted Absolute Ruler as an expression of self-interested political cooperation. It’s not derived from an appeal to authority, divinity, theology.

    Lao Tzu is an interesting reference. Libertarianism/Laissez Fair historically traces back to the Chinese. The translation of the Chinese philosophers of the Tang and Ming dynasties by the French Physiocrats forms the seeds of the French liberal tradition. One that is different than the English version. Contra the social contract, the early French liberals viewed the laws of self-interested (political) cooperation as a thing to discovered and not imposed by some hypothetical construct. The ancien regime of the French Monarchs inspire a different, more pessimistic view of political economy, one rooted in an analysis of plunder…and a class-based approach to what we today would call economic rent-seeking.

    The more the US resembles the French ancien regime, the more scientific the old French version of it becomes vis a vis our situation today.

    me: I don’t recall her citing Hobbes, though perhaps she did. I’ve said absolutely nothing about “minarchist constitutionalism,” so you are simply confused about my POV.

    “The Virtue of Selfishness” laid out a clear Hobbesian critique of anarchy. Rand arrives at “minarchist constitutionalism” from the violence of anarchy by walking you up the philosophical chain to adopt the right way to think about epistemology, metaphysics,ethics…finally then, politics. In some ways, it’s sort of similar to the shared commitment requirement of critical theory. After all, there are some (left-wing) Randian dialecticians out there like chris sciabarra and roderick long.

    Having studied some Public Choice theory (even took a class from Tullock), I agree with you that States have a strong propensity to maximize themselves.

    Tullock didn’t believe in a thing called the State or the idea of that thing maximizing something. Indeed, Tullock and Buchanan were highly motivated to ban that notion to the dust bin(read the preface to the Calculus of Consent). Public choice relies entirely on assumptions on methodological individualism. The Calculus of Consent used log rolling(i.e, back scratching side payments…you support my pork barrel bill, i will support yours) to turn legislative voting into a marketable property rights of sorts. They showed that was necessary condition(though not sufficient condition) for a pareto optimal democratic outcome. Yes, the thing usually referred to as old-school Robert Byrd type corruption is necessary to make democracy work.

    Problem: Tullock would later supplant log rolling with the All-Pay Auction vis a vis economic rent-seeking, making CoC an obsolete analysis. A decent idea of this works was that old 90s Eddie Murphy movie, The Distinguished Gentleman. Although that movie was supposed to be a type cynical comedy, it actually portrays how a well-functioning liberal democracy is supposed to work. 2 sides for each issue throwing money at their respective positions…with each side spending much more than they get back.

    In the real world world, however, Tullock began to notice paradoxes by the late 80s. They were dominant coalitions getting back much more than they were putting in. A true competitive market should equalize that. And he never really did satisfactorily resolve that “paradox.” Although this problem is given some prominence in Charles Rowley’s edited volume, “The Encyclopedia of Public Choice,” the problem by and large in the profession is ignored. Why? Because the problem destroys the very field. And economic and political academics don’t advance their careers by destroying their fields. And talented amateurs w/ a necessary technical backgrounds to understand the literature have difficulty getting hold of the literature b/c of IP protections.

    “The State is a firm that maximizes discretionary power” is from Anthony de Jasay. de jasay is a,long retired ex-banker who began writing his rational choice tomes in the early 1980s as an amateur w/ no career stake in the academic industry. Hence, he could be innovative. Although he is given some cachet in the professional libertarian economic community, his ideas are nonetheless generally dismissed. More on him here from an old post of mine:

    https://rulingclass.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/de-jasay-and-the-model-of-the-total-state/

    Bottom line: In some ways, the state resembles Virginia school methodological individualism…sunk costs by rent-seekers, very little gets done. In other areas/ways, particularly in national security, finance and surveillance, it resembles de Jasay’s firm.

  146. robert capozzi

    dL: Of course it’s his. A trivial conclusion. Who else’s would it be?

    me: Right, Robinson POSSESSES the coconut. It’s not PROPERTY in a meaningful sense, with no rivalry, as you say. If another person (Delano) lands on the island, it’s still not “property.” Delano might go over and take the coconut from Robinson.

    Robinson may well CLAIM that the coconut is “his property.” His claim, however, is meaningless to Delano, who is stronger than Robinson.

    Things only become “property” when Robinson, Delano, and perhaps others come to some sort of agreement, including some terms and conditions. They might agree to some basic property rights construct. That’s the beginnings of a baseline peacekeeping mechanism.

    Point is: Rights aren’t “natural,” and they are not “God-given.” That doesn’t mean that a rights system is not a good idea…I think it’s a GREAT idea. Domestic tranquility and a system of mutual respect enables wonderful levels of economic and social cooperation.

    Unfortunately, the Randian/Rothbardian thought system has become hysterical in its insistence on “rights” as almost free-floating truth, when one need only look to see that rights are a social invention/convention. This hysteria lead Rothbard to come up with his “in a L society” mind games, playing out an extreme application of methodological individualism.

    They attempt to claim a universal principle — the NAP — and then apply that principle universally, specifically in politics. My view is that the principle does not stand up to basic scrutiny and so we shouldn’t be surprised that the application of this flawed principle continues to fail.

  147. Thomas L. Knapp

    Interesting observations, RC. They partially explain why I’m not really a Randian or Rothbardian.

    Rand and Rothbard treated the non-aggression “principle” as an underlying foundation of fairly particular systems/societies they envisioned.

    I prefer the Nozickean treatment of non-aggression as a “side constraint.” It doesn’t underlie a particular system/society, it defines a limit within which any number of systems/societies could be built and plausibly called “libertarian.”

    Or, to put it a different way, Randianism/Rothbardianism tend to thickness, Nozickeanism to thinness.

  148. dL

    me: Right, Robinson POSSESSES the coconut. It’s not PROPERTY in a meaningful sense, with no rivalry, as you say.

    Possessions and property are the same thing. What would be superfluous in Crusoe instance would be property rights.

    Delano might go over and take the coconut from Robinson.

    Robinson may well CLAIM that the coconut is “his property.” His claim, however, is meaningless to Delano, who is stronger than Robinson.

    Things only become “property” when Robinson, Delano

    If Delano can take w/o repercussion, then why would he be interested in any agreement?

    Point is: Rights aren’t “natural,” and they are not “God-given.”

    In the sense of heuristics or discoverable laws, I have no issue w/ considering that “natural law.” As an unchanging moral principle or gift from god, I don’t subscribe to that.

    Unfortunately, the Randian/Rothbardian thought system has become hysterical in its insistence on “rights” as almost free-floating truth.

    I don’t know what you mean by “has,” as if someone like Rand originally had position X and later changed it to position Y. Nor are the Rothbardians necessarily obstinate dogmatists on property rights. Quite a few of them have moved over into an anti-IP position. The objectivists tend to be more static on property rights, e.g, IP, b/c I think objectivism is a thicker position than the default Rothbardian. That being said, I obviously have major issues w/ the Hoppe contingent. I view that as a thick veer into propertarianism as a means to enforce a right-wing cultural conformity. I view Hoppe and his sycophants as the excrement of jesus.

    They attempt to claim a universal principle — the NAP — and then apply that principle universally, specifically in politics.

    I do agree that NAP as an explicit principle owes largely to Rand and Rothbard. I don’t know how universal it applies given that Rand saw a the rational state as necessary to enforce it, and Rothbard viewed the state as necessarily violating it. That divergence right there tells right there the problems with the thing: no one agrees on what aggression is.

    That being said, issues with NAP do not thusly legitimize or justify political authority. The social contract begins with NAP more or less as a premise(the state of nature) and then argues a political authority as means for self-interested cooperation. If however the political authority is obviously in competition with the ends of the people, a condition you begin to have w/ the administrative, national security state, then the political authority is thereby illegitimate. And that’s a liberal argument. No need to even appeal to libertarianism re: that.

    Nor is the claim that any alternative to the status quo is unlikely and therefore the status quo is legitimate. That’s the status quo argument fallacy. As I like to say, “any alternative to what he have now is impossible..and we have the Department of Fatherland Security just to make sure.”

  149. John

    “I view Hoppe and his sycophants as the excrement of jesus.”

    I tend to see them more as the hemorrhoid pus drippage from the anus of Thor, or perhaps Odin or Perun.

  150. robert capozzi

    Tk: I prefer the Nozickean treatment of non-aggression as a “side constraint.” It doesn’t underlie a particular system/society, it defines a limit within which any number of systems/societies could be built and plausibly called “libertarian.”

    Me: It’s been decades since I read Nozick (and Hobbes and Locke), but my continuing impression is that Nozick lacked Rand and Rothbard’s hysteria and sanctimony. In that sense, I suspect he was the more helpful thinker.

    Attitude is far more important than NAPsters and some other Ls recognize. Say Robinson and Delano have worked things out in terms of how they will interact and respect the possessions they each have. They recognize property and property rights, and have established a rudimentary judicial system to work out conflicts.

    They are joined on the island by Murray. On his arrival, Murray skewers the Robinson/Delano social contract as not only sub-optimal, but EVIL. Murray has the far superior configuration for a civil society, he exclaims, neck-veins bulging.

    Robinson and Delano don’t agree. While they are open to tweaks to their system, they are not open to some newcomer insulting them, and they both feel that their configuration — while imperfect — has been working just fine. They acknowledge that it could be improved, but they just don’t buy Murray’s vicious indictments, and they are not sure that Murray’s wholesale upending of their working social system would be an improvement.

    “If it ain’t broke,” Robinson says to Murray, “don’t fix it.”

    Murray storms over to the other side of the island to be by himself, screaming that Robinson and Delano are stupid, evil Statists.

    dL: If Delano can take w/o repercussion, then why would he be interested in any agreement?

    Me: Many reasons. Robinson does push ups, booby traps his stash of coconuts, and arms himself with a spear. After a testy period, they both realize that they both would be better off if they learn to cooperate and respect each other’s stuff.

    I’m well aware that Rand and Rothbard don’t agree on some details. But the LP’s foundational documents reflect the Randian/Rothbardian approach, which is reflected above in the example where Murray joins Robinson and Delano on the desert island. It’s replete with hyper-disruptive extremism.

    Murray’s construct may well be optimal, but Robinson and Delano worked out a social order that both were reasonably comfortable with. There are weaknesses and unproven aspects of Murray’s theoretical construct which he simply dismisses and cannot engage on.

    It sounds like you do so by saying, “possessions are property.” The only justification is: “That’s according to ‘natural law’.” Dig a little deeper, and we might hear that Locke suggested “mixing labor with the soil.” And that may well be a reasonable standard! Still, are we to accept self reporting as the standard for labor/soil mixing? How much labor and how much soil?

    These things — as a practical matter — need to be worked out to be acceptable and recognized by civil society as appropriate standards for property rights.

  151. Pro-Choice Libertarians

    John K wrote: ““Pro choice” and “pro life” individuals can be in full agreement on all other issues.” 2/3 of libertarians agree that the government should stay OUT of the issue. Why should the less than 1/3 that fanatically persist in imposing their minority view on the party and all women on the planet be allowed to do so? If they can, they’ll be empowered and enheartened to go after other areas of sexual freedom and of course drug freedom. Maybe you don’t care about that but probably 95% of libertarians do. Should the other 5% be allowed to sabotage all our freedom? I don’t think so.

  152. Luke

    “I view Hoppe and his sycophants as the excrement of jesus.”

    I tend to see them more as the hemorrhoid pus drippage from the anus of Thor, or perhaps Odin or Perun.

    Perhaps Freya’s vaginal herpes ooze?

  153. Pro-Choice Libertarians

    By the way, this quote keeps popping up in my email feeds: “Jim Fulner (MI) moved that we adopt the following resolution: “Be it resolved, taxation is theft.” Following debate, the resolution was adopted by a voice vote.”

    Of course Fulner was a “radical” caucus supporter of getting rid of the abortion plank, which would have encouraged all sorts of people who support taxation for outlawing abortion and lots of other right wing causes to flood the party. So the guy is ultimately an inconsistent and rather self-defeating activist.

  154. Andy

    Hans-Herman Hoppe has called for the abolition of the state, as in no coercive government. All of this name calling is just because some people don’t like his opinion of what this would look like. This has nothing to do with violating any libertarian principles. It is based on style, not substance.

    Don’t like Hoppe’s opinion of what society without a state would look like? Then don’t live in his anarcho-capitalist society.

    The abolition of coercive government would likely cause numerous voluntary societies to spring up. Choose the one that you believe would be the best fit for you.

    All of this talk is hypothetical, since we are far from having any of this stuff actually existing, as in we are sitting around arguing about what society without a state would look like, while we are living under a massive state that does not appear to be going away any time soon.

  155. Andy

    This is great! Somebody came up with a rap tribute to Hans-Harmann Hoppe.

    Drop It Like It’s Hoppe

  156. Mark

    No, you shouldn’t read “Hans-Hermann Hoppe…” or his ideas for non-coercive absolute monarchy, or the non-coercive “physical removal” of homosexuals, non-whites, feminists, and people with social, cultural and political viewpoints he doesn’t like from society. Him and his merry band of Sisyphus’ scrotum sweat should be treated like the revolting, contagious toxins they are and avoided like the bubonic plague.

  157. robert capozzi

    aj: All of this talk is hypothetical,

    me: As is the NAP and the CotOS, and yet these concepts remain in political documents. Why?

  158. Andy

    “robert capozzi
    January 7, 2017 at 15:56
    aj: All of this talk is hypothetical,

    me: As is the NAP and the CotOS, and yet these concepts remain in political documents. Why?”

    The Non-Aggression Principle is an ideal. It is a principle of which many of us here believe that the world would be a much better place if people adhered to this principle.

    I disagree with your take on the Cult of the Omnipotent State. I think that there are people out there who believe that the state is omnipotent, although some of them may not want to admit this.

  159. robert capozzi

    AJ, is the NAP a theoretical ideal or an actual ideal?

    Who are these people that believe the State is, or should be, omnipotent, and what is the cult they belong to?

  160. Kevin Bjornson

    “anarchy” simply means, absence of rulers. If taxation is not considered “ruling”, then an anarchist could favor taxation.

    Some who oppose all taxation, are anarchists, some favor some sort of government.

    If taxation is defined as organized initiation of force to get money, then all taxation is theft. By definition.

    There are other ways to finance government, such as user fees, which Rand pointed out. So to say that government can be funded by other-than taxation, is not breaking new ground.

  161. Andy

    “robert capozzi
    January 7, 2017 at 17:21
    AJ, is the NAP a theoretical ideal or an actual ideal?”

    I’d say that it is an actual ideal.

    “Who are these people that believe the State is, or should be, omnipotent, and what is the cult they belong to?”

    Some call themselves Democrats. Some call themselves Republicans. Others may use some other label, like socialist or communist or etc… Some of them work in government. Some of them do not work in government, but are true believers in the cult.

  162. dL

    Hans-Herman Hoppe has called for the abolition of the state, as in no coercive government.

    He has also justified the state to act as principle agent re: population control that others like me would equate w/ putrid authoritarianism. With friends like that, who needs enemies.

    Don’t like Hoppe’s opinion of what society without a state would look like? Then don’t live in his anarcho-capitalist society.

    I would concur if that was all there was to it. But because he favors the state to act a principle agent re: who should live where and go where, his nonsense has to be forcefully opposed. Secondly, his race realistic libertarianism introduces a stain of bigotry that by and large has been absent from the historical tradition. Unlike, say, progressivism. Bringing in the “culture of liberty” jerkoffs that is nothing but a thinly veiled white supremacism.

  163. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Don’t like Hoppe’s opinion of what society without a state would look like? Then don’t live in his anarcho-capitalist society.”

    That’s all well and good. But it doesn’t justify his demand that until he gets his anarcho-capitalist society, we should not just tolerate but demand an authoritarian police state to make the existing society look like what he believes his anarcho-capitalist society would look like.

    “In order to reach anarcho-capitalism, we must practice police statism” is morally repugnant, strategically idiotic, and not libertarian.

  164. dL

    They are joined on the island by Murray. On his arrival, Murray skewers the Robinson/Delano social contract as not only sub-optimal, but EVIL.

    Robinson/Delano as you described is an actual contract, not a social contract. Indeed, your scenario is a conjecture against Hobbes…humans are not maximizers, but will cooperate/compromise before a winner take all fight to the death.

    Murray, who I gather is supposed to be Rothbard, would not argue Robinson/Delano is evil unless: Rothbard found a coconut and Robinson/Delano came to his hut to claim the coconut in his possession in the name of Robinson/Delano.

    The social contract is a hypothetical construct. Sometimes people want to pretend it is an actual contract. In that event, I will invoke Spooner’s critique, “I didn’t sign that.” As hypothetical construct, a proper way to critique the the thing is an examination of it’s claim: is it a means for a social order of self-interested cooperation?

    In practice, the social contract in the island example goes more like this.

    Robinson/Delano arrive at an inhabited island on a ship bearing some state flag. Soldiers commandeer the island and install a government replacing the current one from custom. In the name of the social contract, they embed a permanent occupying security force to ensure compliance to a thing quite a bit of the natives are not all that happy about. Robinson/Delano will then pluck a few of the natives from the population and educate them in the proper ways of civilized government. Eventually, they will want all the natives to be properly educated in the ways of civilized government via organs of public education. Finally, the thing someday will be turned over to the natives after a generation or two have been absorbed. Or: one of the educated natives takes his education seriously and notices the practice of the social contract does not jive wth the prescription, In that case, rebellion, peaceful or violent.

  165. Andy

    “dL
    January 7, 2017 at 18:24
    ‘Hans-Herman Hoppe has called for the abolition of the state, as in no coercive government.’
    He has also justified the state to act as principle agent re: population control that others like me would equate w/ putrid authoritarianism. With friends like that, who needs enemies.”

    This is your opinion. Lots of people have lots of different ideas on strategies to achieve a libertarian society. Some people thought that voting for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld was a good strategy to move in the direction of a libertarian society. I found that to be pretty stupid.

  166. dL

    This is your opinion.

    The FACT of his advocacy is not an opinion. That’s what he advocates. The debate over the substance of it: would it be an effective strategy to achieve libertarian society is not much of a debate. I don’t subscribe to the nonsense that one opinion is no better or worse than another. That we can’t effectively judge the merit of an opinion. Nor do do I subscribe to the typeof thinking that says that X having a bad opinion/position justifies the bad opinion/position of Y. Just complete utter nonsense.

    So it goes like this:
    Hoppe: complete authoritarian crap. Bigotry.
    Johnson/Weld: respectability politics crap.

    There. See how easy that is.

  167. Andy

    “dL
    January 7, 2017 at 22:30
    ‘This is your opinion.;
    The FACT of his advocacy is not an opinion. That’s what he advocates. The debate over the substance of it: would it be an effective strategy to achieve libertarian society is not much of a debate. I don’t subscribe to the nonsense that one opinion is no better or worse than another. That we can’t effectively judge the merit of an opinion. Nor do do I subscribe to the typeof thinking that says that X having a bad opinion/position justifies the bad opinion/position of Y. Just complete utter nonsense.

    So it goes like this:
    Hoppe: complete authoritarian crap. Bigotry.
    Johnson/Weld: respectability politics crap.

    There. See how easy that is.”

    I disagree with your assessment of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Hoppe raises a lot of good points. Do I agree with every detail of everything Hoppe says? No, but I don’t think that there is anybody whom I agree with on every detail on everything.

    I’d favor Hoppe over a lot of the “politically correct” libertarians out there, and I’d damn sure favor Hoppe over the likes of Johnson/Weld.

  168. Andy

    Here’s a tribute to Hans-Hermann Hoppe somebody posted to YouTube.

    Honoring Hans-Hermann Hoppe

  169. robert capozzi

    dL: The social contract is a hypothetical construct. Sometimes people want to pretend it is an actual contract. In that event, I will invoke Spooner’s critique, “I didn’t sign that.”

    me: It’s indisputable that Spooner didn’t sign the contract, nor did I. But the world is not going to stop so that each person can sign onto what we might call civil society.

    That’s why I advocate Harlos Nonarchy Pods. For those who want to opt out of this admittedly-a-mess social setup up. Think of it as personal secession onto one’s property.

    With HNPs as an option, those who don’t secede are agreeing to play by the rules, flawed as they are.

  170. dL

    me: It’s indisputable that Spooner didn’t sign the contract, nor did I. But the world is not going to stop so that each person can sign onto what we might call civil society.

    The social contract is not civil society. And civil society has no singular contract that can be signed onto. Liberalism 101. You talk like a liberal but think like a communitarian(i.e, trying to use liberal categories for communitarian ideas), which results in a quite a bit of muddled thinking on your part.

  171. dL

    I disagree with your assessment of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Hoppe raises a lot of good points. Do I agree with every detail of everything Hoppe says? No, but I don’t think that there is anybody whom I agree with on every detail on everything.

    I’d favor Hoppe over a lot of the “politically correct” libertarians out there, and I’d damn sure favor Hoppe over the likes of Johnson/Weld.

    We’ve discussed Hoppe ad nauseam in threads here. Whatever good ideas Hoppe may have, they have already been said. And, frankly, that goes for most of his bad ideas, too. The idea of Hoppe as a bulwark against “political correctness” is a joke, given he explicitly subscribes to the very ideas that his sycophants claim eternal opposition to. At some point, one has to throw one’s arms and concede some people just aren’t that bright. The world is not a false dilemma between respectability politics and white supremacism.

  172. Robert Capozzi

    DL, “what we might call” is purposely imprecise. If you have a more serviceable label, I’m all ears. Maybe rule of law?

    No matter WHAT label is chosen, a 100% contractual social order seems implausible to me, although Andy may well establish Andyland at some point, at which time we can observe it and see how it works.

  173. robert capozzi

    more…

    dL: a quite a bit of muddled thinking on your part.

    me: Ya know, I certainly cop to this. My observation is that everyone is muddled in their thinking to some extent. It’s the human condition.

    As a radical, I am ever-willing to check premises. Aristotle, Hobbs, Locke, Rothbard, Nozick were all — near as I can tell — muddled to some extent. They each did a lot of work in attempting to explain the world’s condition, and they offered opinions about how to make a sad song better.

    Some of their opinions make sense to me. Some don’t. We each have our own process of assessing other people’s opinions and observations to form our own opinions and observations.

    I’m getting the sense that you have halted your inquiry. Locke nailed this, Rothbard that, the 89 20-somethings the other. That may well work for you in how you view the world.

    But I invite you to reconsider some of your thought system, as my observation is it’s riddled with holes, fallacies, and unworkable constructs.

    I love feedback, but if your critique amounts to, John Locke didn’t say that, my obvious response is: So? John Locke was not God, near as I can tell.

  174. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Yes, I agree with those who say that some people will always choose a form of organization based on voting. Some just love to go to meetings and/or make communal decisions. (It is a personality type I’ve run into a lot in various peace and green groups I’ve been involved in over the years; I myself enjoy a good meeting!) Others just realize their contract did not cover all contingencies and they need to meet to deal as a group with changing the terms of the contract.

    I became a libertarian decentralist in 1980 because I realized different people want different things and that even IF anarchist/contractual/panarchic social/political organization proves to be the best, not everyone will be ready for it right away. The more important goal has to be dismantaling large nation states and their militaries to make it easier for smaller self-determining communities/confederations to arise.

  175. John F. Kosanke

    The market has rendered collective decisionmaking obsolete. All functions co-opted by the state have been proven to be better provided for profit, and without subsidised monopolies. Nevertheless, as long as the politicians can fool some of the people, the state will continue, and we must surf its turbulence. Most libertarians can see through many of its delusions.

  176. dL

    I’m getting the sense that you have halted your inquiry. Locke nailed this, Rothbard that, the 89 20-somethings the other. That may well work for you in how you view the world.

    No, I just think if you are going to use the terminology, then you should know what the terminology means. What you call open mindedness, I call laziness re: learning the material. It’s a bit pointless to debate things like the “social contract” if everyone can simply pick and choose what the term means. Another thing: the propensity on this board to respond to being called out for being wrong on something as: “well, that’s just your opinion. My opinion is just a valid as yours.” No, on matters fact, opinion has nothing to do with it. And knowing the facts and abiding by them accordingly is not evidence of being “close minded.”

    This is opinion:
    Industrial metal is a better music genre to fuck to than country

    This is fact:
    2 + 2=4

    Opinion:
    Grilled Shrimp Scampi is a better summer dish than roast leg of lamb

    Fact:
    Liberalism holds the social contract to be a distinct thing from civil society.

    Opinion:
    Pinot noir is a better wine with seafood than cabernet sauvignon

    Fact:
    Those who hold no distinction between the state and civil society are statists

    Opinion:
    Cocaine is a better recreational for late-night parties than pot

    Fact:
    If you subscribe to critical theory, you are not a liberal.

    Prediction from Fact:
    If you advocate the state advance one particular bundle of a shared commitment, you are not advancing a liberal state, a classically liberal state, a minarchist state or a more libertarian state…you are advancing political conflict.

    Opinion:
    Football is a better spectator sport than soccer

    Fact:
    Predictions from facts(the scientific method) is more reliable than speculation from error(witch doctor).

  177. robert capozzi

    dL: Fact: Liberalism holds the social contract to be a distinct thing from civil society.

    me: Oh? Liberalism is a concept, one that means many, many things to different folks. How in the world does a concept “hold” anything? Who is the “god” who codified things so neatly for you? Why do you defer to the political-terms authority?

  178. dL

    How in the world does a concept “hold” anything? Who is the “god” who codified things so neatly for you? Why do you defer to the political-terms authority?

    political philosophy, peer-reviewed political science…going back centuries. From Thomas Hobbes to John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin. No need to invoke god or self-claimed godlike authority, here.

  179. George Dance

    “I think the alleged moderate destination statements are in fact interim steps which are de facto directional (i.e. transitional) statements (in fact the Preamble explicitly says so). We pretty permanently have a destinational platform”

    Exactly the problem with the platform. According to the preamble, it’s a ‘directional,’ (or moderate, or gradualist) – document containing interim steps clearly identified as such: “These specific policies are not our goal.” On the other hand (to a limited-government libertarian) the pre-2006 platform was essentially “destinational” (or radical, or abolitionist); and (while some of its destinational language has been repealed since, and some replaced with directional language, there’s still plenty of destinational stuff remaining. The present platform is a mishmash that tries to be both directional and destinational, and ends up being neither.

    That’s the actual elephant in the room, that no one wants to talk about.

    – the Statement of Principles which is required to be in the Platform despite past attempts to bury it. That is the elephant in the room that I will also point at, and no matter how much some Party people want to be quiet, I will be there, constantly reminding them of it.”

  180. George Dance

    dL – “It’s a bit pointless to debate things like the “social contract” if everyone can simply pick and choose what the term means.”

    OTC, if people can’t agree on what the “social contract” means, that’s exactly what should be debated. How can anyone be expected to agree on whether any X should be supported or opposed, if they can’t even agree on what X means?

  181. dL

    OTC, if people can’t agree on what the “social contract” means, that’s exactly what should be debated.

    Sure, if you want to engage in pointless message board fodder that is a complete waste of time. But if you want to engage in a logical debate(where conclusions have to be defended), then the premises have to be clearly known and agreed on. For example: is stealing wrong? If B defines stealing as taking another person’s property without permission and C defines it as a transference of wealth from richer to poorer for property that is collectively owned, then there is no debate. B would reject C’s premise and that would be the end of the debate. Likewise w/ C. There is no possible debate between B & C on that matter.

    My experience on this board is that while radicals are indeed quick to to want to debate perceived erroneous conclusions from ostensibly agreed upon premises, the “respectability politics” types are even quicker to want to engage in pointless fodder.

  182. robert capozzi

    dL, OK, if you are going to go with the “academic” standard of “peer reviewed” material as YOUR basis for truth, that’s perfectly fine…for you. Of course, there are many peer-reviewed conclusions that many in the LM reject or have great skepticism for. Keynesian economics and global climate change “proofs” come to mind.

    I’m just a radical seeking truth, wherever it leads. Terms like social “contract” (which should really always have quotes as far as I’m concerned, civil society, and even the State are fluid, imprecise concepts, whenever I’ve tested them. None of them are truth. I’m inclined to buy that 1+1=2 as a human-made truth, that’s at least serviceable enough as a universally held convention, at least when using base 10.

    What amounts to a waste of time is a subjective matter, of course, and of course I respect your time-management choices.

  183. Thomas L. Knapp

    Sure, people will entertain various definitions for various terms, but consensus usually develops over time.

    The distinction between state on one hand and civil society on the other was, pretty much, the argument of the 20th century. Efforts to merge the two have various names: Totalitarianism, fascism, welfare statism, etc. The catch-all name the Libertarian Party’s founders came up with for such efforts is “The Cult of the Omnipotent State.”

  184. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    A lot of self-styled “civil society” groups really are lobbying groups for both civil society actions and more state laws. Some only lobby for laws. And many never actually receive state funding, though they may take non-profit status. So which category do they go in??

  185. dL

    OK, if you are going to go with the “academic” standard of “peer reviewed” material as YOUR basis for truth, that’s perfectly fine…for you.

    Where else would you get it from? Partisan politics, where the term is used as an accusation and can mean anything from “hates america” to “devil worshipper”? This type of intellectual relativism is like saying the dictionary is optional re: agreed upon word definitions.

    Of course, there are many peer-reviewed conclusions that many in the LM reject or have great skepticism for. Keynesian economics and global climate change “proofs” come to mind.

    I’m obliged to point out that peer-reviewed literature only guarantees the argument is generally a valid one without mistake. You know, that someone making a keynesian argument is actually making a valid keynesian argument. It doesn’t mean it is a sound one. The notion that peer-review guarantees the conclusions as sound and true is the dumbest thing I’ve read in awhile. Did you graduate HS Bob, or are you just being deliberately obtuse?

  186. George Dance

    “For example: is stealing wrong? If B defines stealing as taking another person’s property without permission and C defines it as a transference of wealth from richer to poorer for property that is collectively owned, then there is no debate. B would reject C’s premise and that would be the end of the debate. Likewise w/ C. There is no possible debate between B & C on that matter.”

    Obviously, though, debate is possible between B and C on whether “taking another person’s property without permission” is wrong, and on whether “transferring property that is collectively owned from rich to poor” is wrong. It really doesn’t matter which one gets called “stealing” in the discussion (so long as the term is used consistently), or whether it’s used at all. If the term is used, it’s important to define it, just to know what both sides are talking about; and if those definitions are different, it’s possible to debate and arrive at an agreed one, by using agreed examples of stealing and non-stealing. That may take a while, but it’s not impossible.

    My experience on this board is that while radicals are indeed quick to to want to debate perceived erroneous conclusions from ostensibly agreed upon premises, the “respectability politics” types are even quicker to want to engage in pointless fodder.

    Here’s a very good reason definitions should be debatable. I’d define a libertarian “radical” as someone who wants a political system that doesn’t violate libertarian principle in any way (IOW, a definition based on ends), and an advocate of “respectability politics” as someone who thinks change is possible through the current political system (IOW, a definition based on means). On those definitions, the two terms aren’t mutually exclusive, as you seem to think they are.

  187. dL

    The distinction between state on one hand and civil society on the other was, pretty much, the argument of the 20th century. Efforts to merge the two have various names: Totalitarianism, fascism, welfare statism, etc.

    Tom, if welfare statism is referring to modern liberalism, I would dispute lumping that in. Modern liberals like Rawls and Dworkin held to the traditional liberal distinction. You can google “Liberal vs Communitarian debates” to pull up references to the 1980s debates between Rawls et al and the Communitarians on this very topic.

  188. Thomas L. Knapp

    dL,

    I’m not the one vested in a specifically liberal framework, or attempting to keep Rawls and Dworkin within that framework here; you are. So you’re the one who will have to defend that approach.

    In my view, having the state attempt to subsume the functions of charity is an attempted merger of state and civil society. As baldly so as Mussolini’s “everything within the state, nothing outside the state?” No. But it seems like trying to get only a little bit pregnant.

  189. dL

    Obviously, though, debate is possible between B and C on whether “taking another person’s property without permission” is wrong, and on whether “transferring property that is collectively owned from rich to poor” is wrong. It really doesn’t matter which one gets called “stealing” in the discussion (so long as the term is used consistently), or whether it’s used at all. If the term is used, it’s important to define it, just to know what both sides are talking about; and if those definitions are different, it’s possible to debate and arrive at an agreed one, by using agreed examples of stealing and non-stealing. That may take a while, but it’s not impossible.

    Generally, not possible. “taking another person’s property without permission” ==stealing is not something that is debatable as premise as far as I am concerned. I’m not going to come off it. If you try to modify that as a premise, I am going to reject the argument.

    Now I will concede that one can clarify what one means by “take.” If B takes from C, it means C no longer has possession. Take does not mean copying or duplicating.

    I’d define a libertarian “radical” as someone who wants a political system that doesn’t violate libertarian principle in any way(IOW, a definition based on ends)

    That would be a bad assumption. Not correct. At least not in my case. I would settle for a political system that doesn’t consistently violate LIBERAL principles in catastrophic ways. Being a libertarian radical means I don’t expect to get that outcome. And it also means I’m not excuse the liberal violations.

    an advocate of “respectability politics” as someone who thinks change is possible through the current political system (IOW, a definition based on means). On those definitions, the two terms aren’t mutually exclusive, as you seem to think they are.

    Respectability politics means conformity. I’m not sure how conforming to something changes it. But I’m always willing to tolerate people defining themselves as they see fit. I will then either reject or accept the argument. In the case of ppl like Capozzi, I will reject the argument b/c it is usually an invalid one. In other instances, it will be the soundness of the argument that will be under consideration.

  190. dL

    I’m not the one vested in a specifically liberal framework, or attempting to keep Rawls and Dworkin within that framework here; you are. So you’re the one who will have to defend that approach.

    In my view, having the state attempt to subsume the functions of charity is an attempted merger of state and civil society. As baldly so as Mussolini’s “everything within the state, nothing outside the state?” No. But it seems like trying to get only a little bit pregnant.

    That’s not the intent. You could say that’s the consequence. But you could say the same thing about the consequences of private property and the state==merger. Hence, claim the classical liberals are statists.

    Note: the difference between valid and sound arguments. I generally refrain from using what may turn out to be the unsoundness of an argument to impugn the intent of the one who made the argument.

  191. dL

    A lot of self-styled “civil society” groups really are lobbying groups for both civil society actions and more state laws. Some only lobby for laws. And many never actually receive state funding, though they may take non-profit status. So which category do they go in??

    Seems I could spend the entire day repeating the distinction between a valid argument and a sound argument. Yes, in practice, there often doesn’t appear much of a dividing line between “civil society” and the government. Of course, the other part would to point out the famous Hume fallacy that just because something IS doesn’t mean that’s the way it ought to be. My contention is that if the IS was more like that ought w/ regard to liberalism, you would have a lot less of the IS like DHS,DEA,CIA,TSA, FBI, etc…As it is, those things del-legitimize the liberal state by it’s own argument.

  192. George Dance

    GD – “Obviously, though, debate is possible between B and C on whether “taking another person’s property without permission” is wrong, and on whether “transferring property that is collectively owned from rich to poor” is wrong. It really doesn’t matter which one gets called “stealing” in the discussion (so long as the term is used consistently), or whether it’s used at all. If the term is used, it’s important to define it, just to know what both sides are talking about; and if those definitions are different, it’s possible to debate and arrive at an agreed one, by using agreed examples of stealing and non-stealing. That may take a while, but it’s not impossible.”

    Generally, not possible. “taking another person’s property without permission” ==stealing is not something that is debatable as premise as far as I am concerned. I’m not going to come off it. If you try to modify that as a premise, I am going to reject the argument.”

    Even in cases like that where there is a dictionary definition, it’s still possible to debate it. For example, I could give you a counter-example: say, that there’s nothing wrong with walking in a wilderness area owned by someone who lives on another continent, or eating the nuts or berries growing wild in that area; to which you could reply either that those acts are wrong, or that they aren’t stealing.

    But that has little to do with your original claim (which of course I’ve ‘rejected’), that in cases where there’s no standard definition, it isn’t possible to debate at all.

  193. dL

    For example, I could give you a counter-example: say, that there’s nothing wrong with walking in a wilderness area owned by someone who lives on another continent, or eating the nuts or berries growing wild in that area; to which you could reply either that those acts are wrong, or that they aren’t stealing.

    Of course, a Lockean proviso or perhaps–in this instance–the mutualist offense to ownership claims of unoccupied land.

    taking another person’s property without permission” ==stealing

    is a premise, a proposition…it is not a conclusion. It is however a necessary proposition for any argument for property rights. The right to exclusivity of use is necessary for a right to property. BUT it alone does not establish a conclusion if something IS stealing. You need more propositions or claims to establish that. Indeed, different property rights arguments will have different conclusions re: whether you example is stealing it or not. A Lockean may or may not regard that as stealing. More information would be required. (Is the wilderness all available property for use?). A mutualist would certainly NOT regard that as stealing.

    A better, real-world example: is failure to pay rent by a tenant stealing from the land owner? A Lockean and a Mutualist could debate until the cows come home…it would be pointless. The mutualist proposition that unoccupied land is NOT property is simply rejected by the Lockean. The mutualist is not going to accept the Lockean conclusion on the matter. A mutualist and a Lockean “debate” over the premise “Unoccupied land is NOT property” has no resolution or synthesis. You either accept it or you don’t.

    But that has little to do with your original claim (which of course I’ve ‘rejected’), that in cases where there’s no standard definition, it isn’t possible to debate at all.

    That’s not my claim. My claim is that if A and B reject each other’s premises, A & B are not going to accept each other’s conclusions. Which is obvious. Hence, for to avoid pointless debate, you must define your terms. In the context of political debate, it is better to adhere to the historical definitions of political categories rather than simply make up your own definitions of loaded terms like “social contract.”

    Why?

    (i) Well, for example, I might concede that property rights are social constructions. Proudhon’s famous quote, “Property lis liberty, property is theft” is another way of saying property rights are meant to serve the people and not logic systems. However, I am stickler on retaining the actual liberal meaning of the term “social contract.” And not join civil society and with the state. Otherwise, a statement like “property rights are social constructions” invariably is going to conclude “property rights are meant to serve the interests of the state.” And that I’m going to reject that. And I’m smart enough to avoid having to huff and puff a rejection after being checkmated.

    (ii) I’ve been on this board for ~ year, and there is a type of Godwin’s Law in effect. Every topic is guaranteed to revert to a respectability politics vs radical debate after X number of comments. To me, the gist of that debate is really: conformity vs nonconformity.

    I generally find the conformity arguments to be invalid and weak. The nonconformist side to be valid but not necessarily sound. If you played by the rules of logic a bit better, you might have some better outcomes re: reconciling the two. It may or may not be the case that the two have to reject each other’s premises out of hand.

  194. John F. Kosanke

    Our task is not to define when a theft occurs in the wild. Leave that to the arbitrators who have been selected by the parties involved. The task at hand is to concur that taxation is theft – implying that it is not permissible in the context of politics. This issue is central to libertarianism. It is the least common denominator that defines the mission of the Libertarian party. If anything good can come of this bureaucracy, let it be a formal commitment to LESS-ity.

  195. Thomas L. Knapp

    John,

    No concurrence that taxation is theft is necessary to a “formal commitment to “LESS-ity.” It is entirely possible to argue for “less” taxation or even “no” taxation without such a concurrence.

  196. George Dance

    dL – (ii) I’ve been on this board for ~ year, and there is a type of Godwin’s Law in effect. Every topic is guaranteed to revert to a respectability politics vs radical debate after X number of comments. To me, the gist of that debate is really: conformity vs nonconformity.
    I generally find the conformity arguments to be invalid and weak. The nonconformist side to be valid but not necessarily sound. If you played by the rules of logic a bit better, you might have some better outcomes re: reconciling the two. It may or may not be the case that the two have to reject each other’s premises out of hand.

    I snipped all your comments on the social contract, but that’s mainly because there’s little, if anything I disagree with; it was a thoughtful discussion that in turn is going to stimulate further thought on my part. I had to start with that, because that’s one of the things that gets in the way of meaningful debate here: people tend to snip down comments to the point they disagree with, and the rest gets lost. It happens to you, it happens to me; it’s frustrates me, and I’m sure it does you. I’d like to get into the contract discussion again, but replying to the above is more urgent.

    I think your “radical” vs. “respectability politics” dichotomy is a False Alternative; there are actually two debates going on:
    (1) moderate (gradualist) vs. radical (abolitionist)
    (2) “respectability politics” vs. “anti-establishment”

    There’s a big overlap between the first 2 positions, and between the second – for instance, I see you as both radical and anti-establishment, while I’m both a moderate and an advocate of respectability politics. But they’re distinct positions. One is a debate on what the party should be saying; the other is about how they frame it.

    As evidence, I’d point to radicals who practise respectability politics – Chuck Moulton an Caryn Ann Harlos – and anti-establishment types who are in no way radical – Ron Paul supporters like Andy Jacobs, and even Trump supporters like William Saturn. I could probably find other examples, but these should be enough to show the distinction.

    I’d argue that confusing or conflating these positions is a major reason debates here don’t get resolved – people keep shifting from one to the other, trying to answer abolitionist arguments by attacking “anti-establihment” ones, or trying to refute gradualist arguments by attacking “respectability politics” ones. That type of debate generates a lot of heat, but little light.

    Making that distinction, and adhering to it, would go a long way toward cleaning up debate

  197. Andy

    George Dance said: “As evidence, I’d point to radicals who practise respectability politics – Chuck Moulton an Caryn Ann Harlos – and anti-establishment types who are in no way radical – Ron Paul supporters like Andy Jacobs”

    Well let’s see. I have called for the complete abolition of coercive government. I have said that armed revolution against government is morally justified. I have called for libertarians to separate from the rest of society and form voluntary private communities. I have said that 9/11, the OKC bombing, the Boston bombing, Sandy Hook and several other mass shooting incidents false flags (carried out by government). I have not voted for the Libertarian Party’s presidential ticket since 2004 because I don’t consider any of them since then to have been legitimate libertarians.

    Most people would say that I am pretty radical.

  198. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I have said that 9/11, the OKC bombing, the Boston bombing, Sandy Hook and several other mass shooting incidents false flags (carried out by government). ”

    Evidenceless religious belief is not the same thing as radicalism.

  199. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    George Dance said: “As evidence, I’d point to radicals who practise respectability politics – Chuck Moulton an Caryn Ann Harlos…”

    That is amusing since there was a whole Facebook controversy in Decemeber 2016 about the anti-abortion “respectable” born-again Christian Ms. Harlos showing numerous photos of herself with low cleavage, encouraging discussion of her boobs by various males not her husband, and making a meme with a PUN of “firm” meaning both her views and her breasts bulging from her low cut dress.

    Then this other abortion prohibitionist Merissa Hamilton who yells “abortion is murder” started sending out multiple memes of herself in low cut outfits with big breasts hanging out.

    I guess they think if they are “SEX POSITIVE” they’ll somehow convince all the young libertarian men and women it’s ok to call for outlawing abortion. But they quickly found out how pro-choice women are not so easily fooled to give up abortion rights just because anti-choicers show their boobs around.

    The whole thing is EXTREMELY comical and when I get around to totally updating carolmoore.net will put up a page or two with the whole absurd story, complete with photos.

    Perhaps in Mr. Dance’s Libertarian circles mean respectable means you don’t show your WHOLE breast. I guess that means I”m NOT respectable since have protested publicly that way over 30 years, in peace, drug legalization and LGBT protests.

    And a dozen or so of us will do it again if LP gets rid of the “keep the government out of abortion” plank at 2018 convention, or whenever. We want as much attention as Mr. Weeks got dancing around half nude for purposes never explicitly stated at the LPCON 2016. So I guess we’ll have to take the stage til we’re dragged off by cops, with media cameras rolling and flashing. How UNrespectable!! 🙂

  200. Caryn Ann Harlos

    George, Tom is right – that first thing is not a true dichotomy.

    As for the second, it depends on context. It is disturbing to me that for some being anti-establishment means permission to be the biggest jerk you can be. I reject that utterly. I also believe that there are times and places and reasonable expectations. I don’t show up to LNC meetings, for instance, in sloppy clothing. I was elected to be a professional. Yet I have pink hair. So I think I’m outside that mold. I call it just being decent to people, a hard working ethic, and good work product.

  201. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    January 11, 2017 at 12:51
    ‘I have said that 9/11, the OKC bombing, the Boston bombing, Sandy Hook and several other mass shooting incidents false flags (carried out by government). ‘

    Evidenceless religious belief is not the same thing as radicalism.”

    Tom, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you are not a plant, and that you really believe what you say you believe, so the only other explanation for your comment here is that you just are not that bright.

  202. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    At least Andy got them right and called them “false flags.” I just saw Rubio on tv grilling Tillerson about Putin’s alleged “black flag” operations of blowing up apartment buildings. An idiot as well as obnoxious.

    I’ve seen some libertarian articles like this don’t feel like searching for right now. http://www.infowars.com/33-conspiracy-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-true-what-every-person-should-know/

    Another one, though I’ve seen higher quality libertarian articles. http://www.libertymachinenews.com/defending-conspiracy-theories-from-a-libertarian-perspective.html

    Plus a list at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conspiracy_theories

  203. Andy

    Carol Moore/Secession.net
    January 11, 2017 at 14:56
    At least Andy got them right and called them ‘false flags.'”

    Here is an interview with the survivor of a false flag attack where the perpetrators actually got caught, but they were never punished because the people who would have been in charge of punishing them were in on the attack.

    I am talking about the 1967 sinking of the USS Liberty by Israeli military planes (note that the planes were unmarked, which shows that this was pre-meditated). US President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara were in plan and the cover-up.

    USS Liberty Survivor Sergeant Bryce Lockwood Reveals Truth about the USS Liberty False Flag Attack

  204. Andy

    This is not evidence according to Tom.

    911 Firefighters Witness Bombs Go Off In Towers -BOMBSHELL!

  205. Andy

    So this is not evidence?

    9/11 – firemen , police saying there are bomb’s in the buildings

  206. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Funny I’ve been involved in this discussion here and on Libertarian Pragmatist group, since I do consider self a pragmatist, but want to be clear what I think that means!

    Getting our goal and strategy/tactic language right (Carol Moore version 1/11/17):

    Radical means getting to the root of a problem so can be applied to goal or a strategy, as people specifically indicate.

    Moderate means not going to an extreme in goals and/or strategies, as people specifically indicate.

    Gradualist and “immediatist” refers to timelines and do not automatically infer radical or moderate.

    Pragmatic means that you set your goals and your strategies according to what you think you can achieve. However, you don’t stifle other goals and strategies because depending on outside circumstances and the evolution of a movement they may in fact be the best alternatives.

    (I think abolition of large nation states WILL be achieved, by their own bad actions. So taking advantage of those failures while promoting radical decentralist philosophy is my “pragmatic” goal and strategy. And one I hope others will adopt after I pass on temporarily to the “other side” (organized consciousness outside the body). But I’ll be back!! (Probably as a latino guy 😉

  207. Jill Pyeatt

    Andy, there’s plenty of evidence out there regarding all the false-flags you mentioned, but my experience is that people need to research it themselves to really believe what you and I believe to be true. The people here are simply not interested.

    I’m preparing a talk right now about the recent # Fake News nonsense. There’s so much info that I’m trouble keeping it down to 15 minutes.

  208. Andy

    “Carol Moore/Secession.net
    January 11, 2017 at 15:24
    Yes, Andy, USS Liberty incident particularly nasty coverup conspiracy.”

    What are you talking about Carol? People in government don’t engage in conspiracies. That’s crazy talk. Are you one of those “conspiracy theorist” kooks?

    (My sarcasm should be obvious here.)

  209. Luke

    “That is amusing since there was a whole Facebook controversy in Decemeber 2016 about the anti-abortion “respectable” born-again Christian Ms. Harlos showing numerous photos of herself with low cleavage, encouraging discussion of her boobs by various males not her husband, and making a meme with a PUN of “firm” meaning both her views and her breasts bulging from her low cut dress.”

    You mean discussion of her boobs by females was discouraged, or not encouraged? How so?

    “Then this other abortion prohibitionist Merissa Hamilton who yells “abortion is murder” started sending out multiple memes of herself in low cut outfits with big breasts hanging out.”

    It seems to me that there should be an obvious way for pro-choice women to respond, by also sending out multiple memes of themselves in low cut outfits with big breasts hanging out. There needs to be a boob-off to settle the issue once and for all. How else would we be able to judge who is right and who is wrong? It’s a moral duty of large breasted pro-choice women to do their part for their cause and bring out their big guns. Do it for the children that you don’t want to have to bear.

  210. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt
    January 11, 2017 at 15:34
    Andy, there’s plenty of evidence out there regarding all the false-flags you mentioned, but my experience is that people need to research it themselves to really believe what you and I believe to be true. The people here are simply not interested.”

    That’s true Jill, but a guy like Tom has already been provided with plenty of information, for many years, yet he keeps acting like I don’t have any facts, which leads me to believe that he is either willfully ignorant, intentionally dishonest, or perhaps he is somehow incapable of processing the information.

    “I’m preparing a talk right now about the recent # Fake News nonsense. There’s so much info that I’m trouble keeping it down to 15 minutes.”

    That sounds interesting. I am glad to see that you are doing this. Where are you giving this speech?

  211. Thomas L. Knapp

    “a guy like Tom has already been provided with plenty of information, for many years, yet he keeps acting like I don’t have any facts, which leads me to believe that he is either willfully ignorant, intentionally”

    I have never suggested that you don’t have any facts, nor that you haven’t provided me with information.

    I haven’t asked for facts or information. I’ve asked for evidence — in other words, facts or information that ACTUALLY SUBSTANTIATE your claims.

    Pretending that a building collapsing over the course of 3 1/2 hours is “collapsing at freefall speed” is only “evidence” that you have problems with mathematics, with English, or both.

  212. George Dance

    Andy – “I have called for the complete abolition of coercive government…. I have called for libertarians to separate from the rest of society and form voluntary private communities.”

    Oh, yes, your Hoppean ‘communities’ – you want government broken down, by secession, into a group of mini-states or ‘communities’, each ruled by a government with absolute powers: one that doesn’t even defend against crime (that’s left to ‘insurance companies’), but can and will ban speech (no 1st Amendment), and whatever behaviour it considers immoral, from keeping weapons (no 2nd Amendment) to ‘abnormal behaviours’ such as smoking, drinking, or even listening to the wrong music (no 9th Amendment) – that can go into their homes at any time looking for evidence of these so-called crimes (no 4th Amendment), and, if it finds any, can ‘expel’ them from their homes (no Article I.9). All of which you call ‘libertarian’ on the fiction that the government somehow turns into a ‘proprietor’ and the actual property owners into its ‘tenants’ who’ve ‘voluntarily’ agreed to all of it. That’s a great description of feudalism, but it has dick-all to do with libertarian thought or practice.

    “I have said that armed revolution against government is morally justified. I have said that 9/11, the OKC bombing, the Boston bombing, Sandy Hook and several other mass shooting incidents false flags (carried out by government). I have not voted for the Libertarian Party’s presidential ticket since 2004 because I don’t consider any of them since then to have been legitimate libertarians.”

    All of which, I would say, is evidence that you’re ‘anti-establishment’, not that you’re a radical libertarian.

    “Most people would say that I am pretty radical.”

    Which shows only that ‘most people’ buy into the confusion that I noted.

  213. Jill Pyeatt

    I’ll be speaking to my own group, the Pasadena region, which now consistently has 20 + people. I won’t be talking about any of the “conspiracies” or “news stories”, and I’ll try not to comment on them at all. I want to point out how the Washington Post posted a list of 200 sites, claiming they were providing “fake news” gained through Russian propaganda (which included sites like antiwar.com, zerohedge, the Drudge Report, the Ron Paul institute and so on), then had to admit that their article on fake news was based on fake news, then how the NDAA has had a clause signed into law that there will be a committee set up to decide what news is fake, and then to punish the sites that provide them. This attack on alternative journalism shouldn’t be okay with anyone.

  214. Chuck Moulton

    Philosophical arguments are generally boring to me because they boil down to premises and most people argue past each other. This is usually a waste of time.

    However, this particular thread touches on a very important point.

    Carol Moore wrote (1/11/2017 at 1:58 pm):

    there was a whole Facebook controversy in Decemeber 2016 about the anti-abortion “respectable” born-again Christian Ms. Harlos showing numerous photos of herself with low cleavage, […]

    Then this other abortion prohibitionist Merissa Hamilton who yells “abortion is murder” started sending out multiple memes of herself in low cut outfits with big breasts hanging out.

    I missed this whole controversy since I haven’t logged into Facebook in 2 years.

    Luke wrote (1/11/2017 at 3:36 pm):

    It seems to me that there should be an obvious way for pro-choice women to respond, by also sending out multiple memes of themselves in low cut outfits with big breasts hanging out. There needs to be a boob-off to settle the issue once and for all. How else would we be able to judge who is right and who is wrong?

    Let the market decide.

    In fact, a bylaws amendment on platform debate may make the convention run smoother and increase attendance.

  215. steve m

    It seems to me that James Weeks, took an early lead into letting things hang out during a dance he performed at the 2016 Libertarian National Convention.

  216. George Dance

    ”Carol Moore – George Dance said: “As evidence, I’d point to radicals who practise respectability politics – Chuck Moulton an Caryn Ann Harlos…”

    That is amusing since there was a whole Facebook controversy in Decemeber 2016 about the anti-abortion “respectable” born-again Christian Ms. Harlos showing numerous photos of herself with low cleavage [etc. etc.]….

    Perhaps in Mr. Dance’s Libertarian circles mean respectable means you don’t show your WHOLE breast. I guess that means I”m NOT respectable since have protested publicly that way over 30 years, in peace, drug legalization and LGBT protests.”

    No “respectability politics” (not my term) has little to nothing to do with anyone’s cleavage. As I used it, it means participating in the “system” to effect change in a libertarian direction – by petitioning, lobbying, filing lawsuits, and running in elections, for example – as opposed to “anti-establishment” politics, which sees it it all as hopelessly corrupt, and calls for things like ‘armed revolution’ to destroy it root and branch.

    Not that I oppose the right to bear arms … or the right to bare breasts, FTM.

  217. robert capozzi

    Tk: The distinction between state on one hand and civil society on the other was, pretty much, the argument of the 20th century.

    Me: Strikes me that political analysis has been always involved with this question. It seems obvious to me that — with very rare exceptions — most times and most places involved both civil society and a State. It’s my contention that they are like metamorphic rock, making it impossible to isolate a pure stateless civil society. IOW, civil societies happen within the context of a state. The state need not be omnipotent, and almost always is NOT omnipotent.

    dL: Where else would you get [a standard def of “civil society” and a “state”] from?

    Me: Since most places most of the time have both, isolating one from the other is a speculative venture. What we might call civil societies happen within the context of state-enforced laws.

    dL: I’m obliged to point out that peer-reviewed literature only guarantees the argument is generally a valid one without mistake. You know, that someone making a keynesian argument is actually making a valid keynesian argument. It doesn’t mean it is a sound one.

    Me: Yes, I think. Something might be “valid” without being “sound” in the sense that something if “valid” even if the assumptions are accepted in some sort of mind game. One could play the Keynesian mind game accurately within the context of Keynesian assumptions. Most Ls I know find those assumptions ridiculous, as I also do.

    So maybe you can offer how we can draw any conclusions about a civil society sans a State, since virtually all civil societies exist within the context of a State, and all modern, industrial civil societies do? Why, IOW, are civil societies and States NOT metamorphic?

    dL: Did you graduate HS Bob, or are you just being deliberately obtuse?

    Me: Normally, I don’t respond to this sort of thing, but I have shared that I’ve taken Masters level classes with Gordon Tullock, yes? Surely you know they wouldn’t let me take such a class without a HS degree and a BA, yes? Not that that matters one way or another, but you might consider refraining from such swipes, as it’s pretty obviously counterproductive, i.e., foolish.

    dL: A mutualist and a Lockean “debate” over the premise “Unoccupied land is NOT property” has no resolution or synthesis. You either accept it or you don’t.

    Me: Yes, almost any if not all inquiry involves some sort of construct and assumptions, that makes sense. Humans usually have a raft of such assumptions, layered in a multiplicity of ways. To deny that is to not pay attention.

    And this, I suggest, is why politics is not anything like physics. Politics is a game of persuasion, one that involves assembling arguments for a progress toward a more workable, more just political configuration.

    dL: Otherwise, a statement like “property rights are social constructions” invariably is going to conclude “property rights are meant to serve the interests of the state.”

    Me: How so? You admit it is a construct, which surely appears true enough. And it is not debatable that civil societies and states exist side by side almost always. Lessarchists want to see the state shrink, and to the extent there is a state, it’s easily simply an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of reality that state’s exist.

    I, for example, have no interest in serving the interest of the state. I simply want to minimize its effects on people. As a practical matter, most Ls do, including most anarchists. Anarchists, it seems, want a wholesale change in commonly held constructs about political arrangements.

    dL: Every topic is guaranteed to revert to a respectability politics vs radical debate after X number of comments. To me, the gist of that debate is really: conformity vs nonconformity.

    Me: Not for me. My radicalism leads me to what you call a “respectability” stance.

  218. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Mr. Dance wrote: “No “respectability politics” (not my term) has little to nothing to do with anyone’s cleavage. As I used it, it means participating in the “system” to effect change in a libertarian direction – by petitioning, lobbying, filing lawsuits, and running in elections, for example – as opposed to “anti-establishment” politics, which sees it it all as hopelessly corrupt, and calls for things like ‘armed revolution’ to destroy it root and branch. ”

    Thanks for your clarification. So we know you are not a born again Christian or conservative or whatever. 🙂

    However, remember that strategy and tactics are not all or nothing propositions – government politics or armed revolution.

    There are lots of nonviolent options in between that support your “establishment” politics: education, arts, protest, noncooperation, tax resistance, etc.

    And then there are those that show alternatives to the current system, ones many libertarians support: such as creation of shadow cabinets, private communities, private charities, nonviolent secessionist movements.

    Here are 195 nonviolent action methods that can be used quite respectably. (Public nudity probably is one of them; public cock teasing is not.) http://carolmoore.net/articles/nv-action-methods.html

  219. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Luke wrote (1/11/2017 at 3:36 pm): ” It seems to me that there should be an obvious way for pro-choice women to respond, by also sending out multiple memes of themselves in low cut outfits with big breasts hanging out. There needs to be a boob-off to settle the issue once and for all. How else would we be able to judge who is right and who is wrong?”

    The difference is pro-choice women don’t go around saying that women who don’t just cock tease but actually have sex with men not their husbands have a right to have an abortion. Something abortion prohibitionists don’t like, no matter how much they flash their boobs.

    However, what would be more relevant to so many libertarian debates – and in fact MOST OF THE CONFLICT IN THE WORLD – would be PRICK-OFFS. ha ha ha

    With the guys with the biggest pricks winning the debate – or all the power in the world. At least there would be a lot less war. And sometimes nice and SANE guys have the biggest penises, so we’d have a better chance of not being oppressed by mad males…

  220. dL

    Me: Normally, I don’t respond to this sort of thing, but I have shared that I’ve taken Masters level classes with Gordon Tullock, yes? Surely you know they wouldn’t let me take such a class without a HS degree and a BA, yes? Not that that matters one way or another, but you might consider refraining from such swipes, as it’s pretty obviously counterproductive, i.e., foolish.

    No, questioning your educational background in this instance is an obvious rhetorical device to punctuate that what you are writing is betraying that background. You know, what’s the point of studying at a university if you are going to write like you didn’t graduate from HS. A rejoinder in the form of:

    you have to accept all the conclusions of peer-reviewed papers in order to cite the usefulness of the peer-review.

    is nonsense.

    It seems obvious to me that — with very rare exceptions — most times and most places involved both civil society and a State. It’s my contention that they are like metamorphic rock, making it impossible to isolate a pure stateless civil society. IOW, civil societies happen within the context of a state. The state need not be omnipotent, and almost always is NOT omnipotent.

    Classic Hume Is-Ought fallacy. However, in this case, your asserted “Is” is not even the actual “Is.” The dictionary definition of civil society is:

    A civil society is comprised of groups or organizations working in the interest of the citizens but operating outside of the sphere of government.

    Civil society is not a singular thing nor acts as if were a singular thing or agency. Is the self-interested social organization that exists at many levels/layers, guided by custom or heuristic law. The only coincidence with the state is that the people may happen to live under a monopolized government territory. One wouldn’t say that because people fuck in a monopolized government territory that fucking therefore could only occur if there was a state. Likewise, people may got church in a monopolized government territory, but one would NOT say the practice of Christianity, Islam, or Judaism could only exist if there was a state. Indeed, those religious civil societies have persisted for millennia despite the oft case of prosecution by the ruling government.

    Me: Since most places most of the time have both, isolating one from the other is a speculative venture. What we might call civil societies happen within the context of state-enforced laws.

    Actually, it is not a speculative venture. Ever since the state has had the power to ban a product or a behavior, it has spawned a concurrent, coterminous counter society. The very existence of black markets, counter-economics, counter culture falsifies the above premise. Not only do they NOT operate according to state laws, they operate as a direct evasion of those laws.

    One wonders how in the world American civil society didn’t collapse during the revolutionary war since there effectively was no government. One wonders how the civil societies of peoples under Apartheid occupation could even exist. Historically, in South Africa. Today, in Palestine.

    One wonders how the current stateless civil societies in Southeast Asia described in James Scott’s “The Art of Not Being Governed” persist. Primitive, no doubt. But the interesting thing is that they descended from people formerly in states.

    Now, all this being said, there is branch of political philosophy that does see the state and civil society as inseparable. In the modern vernacular, this branch is called communitarianism. Communitarians and libertarians(and liberals) simply cannot debate. Each simply rejects the other’s premises out of hand; hence they will reject the other’s conclusions.

    Now I don’t think Capozzi is actually a communitarian. He is simply using an invalid argument to make the case for some version of libertarian respectability politics. Now, If he were a communitarian, it would not necessarily be so much a case of an invalid argument on his part, it would be more a case of wrong movement, wrong party.

    Nor is it the case that libertarianism has to practice reality-denial when it comes to the intermixing of civil society and State. On the contrary, actually. It is the obvious intermixing that forms the core of the libertarian critique…a critique that historically is rooted in libertarian class analysis. If one subscribes to civil society and markets as inseparable from the state, then the central insight of “the state as the organization of plunder,” the usurpation of self-interested social organization for one dominated by a political process that dominates every civil institution, instead becomes incoherent babble.

    Me: Yes, I think. Something might be “valid” without being “sound” in the sense that something if “valid” even if the assumptions are accepted in some sort of mind game. One could play the Keynesian mind game accurately within the context of Keynesian assumptions. Most Ls I know find those assumptions ridiculous, as I also do.

    Logic primer:

    (A) Valid argument example

    All warehouse workers are robots
    Bob is a warehouse worker.
    Therefore, Bob is a robot

    (A) is a valid argument. If the premises are true, the conclusion is true. The argument, however, is not a sound one. The premise can be empirically falsified.

    (B) Invalid argument
    All warehouse workers are robots
    Bob is a robot.
    Therefore, Bob is a warehouse worker.

    (B) is an invalid argument. The truth of the premises does not guarantee the conclusion to be true.

    (C) Sound Argument
    All humans are mortal
    Bob is a human
    Therefore, Bob is mortal.

    Sound arguments are logically valid and have premises whose truth value can be verified

    (D) Strong Invalid Argument
    Most humans are right-handed
    Bob is human
    Therefore, Bob is right-handed

    Invalid argument, but the conclusion is likely to be true. Note: if replaced “Most” with “All”, then D becomes an unsound valid argument.

    (E) Weak Invalid Argument
    10% of humans have diabetes
    Bob is human
    Therefore, Bob has diabetes

    Invalid argument, and the conclusion is likely to be false.

    Peer review will generally guarantee a valid argument, but not a sound one. It eliminates B,E. Establish C, posit A, falsify D.

  221. dL

    No “respectability politics” (not my term) has little to nothing to do with anyone’s cleavage. As I used it, it means participating in the “system” to effect change in a libertarian direction – by petitioning, lobbying, filing lawsuits, and running in elections, for example – as opposed to “anti-establishment” politics, which sees it it all as hopelessly corrupt, and calls for things like ‘armed revolution’ to destroy it root and branch.

    Respectability politics is not participating/being active in the system. That’s not what I mean by conformity. The conformity of respectability politics is the conformity to the prevailing values/ideas of the political system.

    Now, “taxation is theft” is the easy example. You know, “oh, we can’t say that b/c that will put us at the political fringe.” However, that’s not the best example. The best example would be American Exceptionalism. The United States, the indispensable nation. The so-called moral imperative that justifies the American Empire. Many times I heard William Weld affirm the LP’s ticket strong adherence to that principle.

    It’s not political participation that I find to be an invalid and weak argument. It’s the argument for intellectual conformity to avoid the “political fringe” that I find to be a weak and invalid argument…you know, for a third party.

    On the other hand, arguments for violent revolution may be valid, but they are unsound. At least today. Although a nonconformist argument today, it is not an extremist one. It conforms to Lockean social contract theory. After all, the Locke’s social contract was his means to justify revolution against “the divine right of kings.” The replacement of King and parliament with elected president and congress doesn’t nullify the right to rebel vis a vis the social contract. Nonetheless, I would suggest that those who are interested in espousing that particular alternative find another organization other than the LP.

  222. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    “Respectability politics” isn’t a matter of participation in the system rather than engaging in anti-establishment activities.

    “Respectability politics” is a matter of specifically attempting to situate one’s party’s or group’s IMAGE as non-threatening and mainstream. It doesn’t have to do with tactics or with policy. It has to do with making “let’s make sure we don’t UPSET anyone” a top priority.

    Respectability politics: “Dear God, whatever you do, don’t forget to put that American flag pin on the lapel of your suitably muted-color suit jacket.”

    Not respectability politics: Loretta Nall’s “donate enough money and I’ll show you the two biggest boobs in Alabama” fundraiser (seemed apropos since someone decided to start yammering about breasts).

    A certain segment of the LP — I call them the cargo cultists — take respectability politics beyond even its normal aversion to rocking boats and treat it as a magical sacrament which must necessarily bring political success, just as other cargo cultists in other places believe that if they can make that box look enough like a refrigerator, the planes will return bearing beer to fill the refrigerator with.

  223. robert capozzi

    dL: you have to accept all the conclusions of peer-reviewed papers in order to cite the usefulness of the peer-review. is nonsense.

    Me: It IS nonsense, I agree. I didn’t say otherwise. Within the academic game, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to play. All I was suggesting is that I don’t defer to conclusions or methodologies that peer-reviewed papers put forth.

    dL: Classic Hume Is-Ought fallacy. However, in this case, your asserted “Is” is not even the actual “Is.” The dictionary definition of civil society is:
    A civil society is comprised of groups or organizations working in the interest of the citizens but operating outside of the sphere of government.
    Civil society is not a singular thing nor acts as if were a singular thing or agency. Is the self-interested social organization that exists at many levels/layers, guided by custom or heuristic law. The only coincidence with the state is that the people may happen to live under a monopolized government territory. One wouldn’t say that because people fuck in a monopolized government territory that fucking therefore could only occur if there was a state.

    me: Sorry I gave you that impression. I certainly agree that “what is” should not constrain one’s opinion of “what ought to be.” My critique of the Randian/Rothbardian strain of L-ism is that they tend to get very, very specific about what ought to be in ways that exclude them from the game of politics. It’s more like playing science fiction.

    Politics is more about diagnosing social dysfunction and offering alternative North stars and suggesting a path toward a more functional, more just social setup.

    As for your definition of civil society, two observations:

    I’m pretty sure you will find a wide variety of definition of terms, including civil society.
    But even if we use the definition you prefer, it depends on how one views the concept of “sphere.” Civil societies and institutions are not being dictated to by the State (for the most part), but they operate for the most part in the context of a rule of law, which in most places is established and enforced by a state. With Hayekian/Lao Tzu humility, it seems wise to me to say that we really can’t know how a civil society might operate if there were no monopoly rule of law. If we CAN know, I definitely want to hear how that’s possible. It sounds like wild speculation to me.

    dL: Actually, it is not a speculative venture. Ever since the state has had the power to ban a product or a behavior, it has spawned a concurrent, coterminous counter society. The very existence of black markets, counter-economics, counter culture falsifies the above premise. Not only do they NOT operate according to state laws, they operate as a direct evasion of those laws.

    Me: Hmm, there’s some truth to that. The State-enforced prohibition on murder doesn’t mean that there is NO murder under/within a State. Sorry, no, it doesn’t “falsify” anything. I suspect that stateless (primitive) civil societies in Southeast Asia also prohibit murder and yet murders happen there, too. There are counter societies everywhere and always. So what?

    dL: One wonders how in the world American civil society didn’t collapse during the revolutionary war since there effectively was no government.

    Me: As a lessarchist, it surprises me not at all. There were governments then, although there was a dispute over the governed territor(ies) and who had jurisdiction. For me, I believe that the rule of law works best when the laws are near-universally comprehensible and where enforcement is least intrusive and most efficient.

    dL: Now, all this being said, there is branch of political philosophy that does see the state and civil society as inseparable.

    Me: Metamorphic rock CAN BE separated, but it’s challenging to do so.

    dL: Now I don’t think Capozzi is actually a communitarian. He is simply using an invalid argument to make the case for some version of libertarian respectability politics. Now, If he were a communitarian, it would not necessarily be so much a case of an invalid argument on his part, it would be more a case of wrong movement, wrong party.

    Me: Labels can be useful, but consider the possibility that the labels you have adopted are over-simplified. I do agree that the LP is the “wrong” party for me, since I view the NAP as a sentiment, not an iron law, as well as the fact that I know of no CotOS in the US. If there is one, it’s probably quite tiny and it needs a publicist.

    I’m unaware of any “invalid” arguments that I have put forth, but I do appreciate feedback. I’m a theoretic asymptotic anarchist/applied lessarchist, and that approach seems serviceable enough for me.

    dL: …libertarian class analysis. If one subscribes to civil society and markets as inseparable from the state, then the central insight of “the state as the organization of plunder,” the usurpation of self-interested social organization for one dominated by a political process that dominates every civil institution, instead becomes incoherent babble.

    Me: Surely you see that “dominates” is a loaded term. I have not used it, certainly, agreed? It is my observation that societies need some sort of baseline peacekeeping mechanism (a rule of law) so that people can function on a day-to-day basis. If I am incorrect, please show us where a lawless (state or stateless) place thrived.

    Another way to put it is I find Hayek and Lao Tzu’s humility more persuasive than Rand and especially Rothbard’s grandiosity. Social systems evolve. It seems useful to me to suggest general North stars as guides toward a more functional social arrangement. And there’s nothing per se WRONG with having very specific end-states like offered, but the grandiosity of that approach is offputting and even counterproductive, scary even. It rallies the Kool-Aid crowd, yes, but the rest of us find it unworkable.

    dL: Peer review will generally guarantee a valid argument, but not a sound one.

    Me: Right. Academic games involving valid but unsound arguments don’t interest me much. Some insight may come forth from academic games, and that’s great. I’m somewhat interested in the politics game, and that’s a game where I’m way more interested in truth, packaged well. It’s my contention that the Randian/Rothbardian strain of L-ism is riddled with untruth and it’s packaged unattractively. For the most part, it’s well meaning.

  224. John F. Kosanke

    “No concurrence that taxation is theft is necessary to a “formal commitment to “LESS-ity.” It is entirely possible to argue for “less” taxation or even “no” taxation without such a concurrence.”

    It is possible to argue – even prove – that the state is an unnecessary evil. It is a bit more difficult to politically dismantle the state by integrating the process into a Libertarian strategy for a majoritarian system, which requires a critical mass (both within the party and in society as an organism). Take it out of the theatre and bring it to the floor, starting with accountability for officeholders.

  225. Thomas L. Knapp

    John,

    I’m not opposed to making “taxation is theft” a central tenet on which the Libertarian Party bases its policy proposals. I’m just pointing out that “LESS-ity” does not itself require acceptance of that tenet.

  226. robert capozzi

    jfk: It is possible to argue – even prove – that the state is an unnecessary evil.

    me: Possible understates. Anarchists exist and make their case.

    Prove, though? How would that be “proven”?

  227. George Dance

    dL & TK: I’ve read both your replies, and I don’t see any point in me arguing that those aren’t the right definienda; it’s dL’s term and he can define it how he wishes. I would insist that, whatever term gets used, it’s kept separate from the ‘radical’ vs. ‘moderate’ distinction – those are about ends, or goals, while this is about means, or strategy – and that (especially when a term’s use to label me) that the definiendum be capable of passing Caplan’s Idological Turing Test.

    Here are two statements, on shootings of police, that in my mind capture the divide that I see as important. They’re both by libertarian radicals (both by libertarian anarchists), to show that is not the relevant distinction:

    Tim Moen:
    “As an emergency services worker myself, I am heartbroken and feel like the wind has been knocked out of me by what happened to these individuals who put themselves in harm’s way and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    “‘I’d like to take this opportunity to strongly condemn the shooter’s actions and those of anyone who seeks to needlessly harm and threaten the lives of the brave men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line protecting our communities every day.”

    Adam Kokesh:
    “Let’s say someone is going around stabbing people, like just stabbing people,” he opined. “It’s not murder to kill someone in that situation. And has been pointed out about the Vegas shooting, when you have police officers that are going around and doing violent things all day long, and then they take a break for lunch, well, it doesn’t mean all of the sudden they’re innocent or they’re being peaceful because they’re taking a break from all of their other anti-freedom, rights-violating violence.”

    “Think of how many lives might have been saved by this incident. How many people would these cops have killed had they not been killed? We can only hope that some of the officers in America are listening — if you care about your own safety — to understand that you are hurting people, and you can only push them so far before they hit a breaking point.”

  228. dL

    I’ve read both your replies, and I don’t see any point in me arguing that those aren’t the right definienda; it’s dL’s term and he can define it how he wishes.

    I’m using the dictionary definition of “respectability politics.” Google it. I’m not inventing my own definition of it. I generally try to avoid that. Not b/c I insist on intellectual conformity. Merely to facilitate clarity. If I think RP means intellectual conformity and you think RP means procedural conformity, we would be arguing past each other till the cows come home. Unfortunately, I’m not rich enough to be able to waste my time like that.

    Here are two statements, on shootings of police, that in my mind capture the divide that I see as important. They’re both by libertarian radicals (both by libertarian anarchists), to show that is not the relevant distinction:

    Had to look up who Moen was. Anarchist or not, his statement is textbook boilerplate respectability politics, although I’m not sure whether he is referring to EMS personnel, to police or generally to anyone who wears a uniform. If the statement is referring to police, it is a strange statement for an anarchist to make, qualified perhaps by the observation that the relationship between the police and the citizenry is not as lethal in Canada as it is in the US.

    Kokesh’s statement, on the other hand, strikes the right tone IMO. For an accurate libertarian diagnosis of the problem…and strategically, for a third party. Why would a 3rd party want to ape the exact same press release boilerplate on an important topic as the major parties?

    I agree: the example above DOES illustrate the relevant divide. But who said the divide is between anarchists and procedural conformity? At least for that subset that is choosing to participate using the procedural route of the LP? No, your illustration prima facie demonstrates the divide: intellectual boilerplate public relations conformity vs telling it like it is.

  229. robert capozzi

    dL: intellectual boilerplate public relations conformity vs telling it like it is.

    me: Should that be: intellectual boilerplate public relations conformity vs telling it like it “ought to be,” not “is.” I had the impression that those in the Randian/Rothbardian/NAPster school are largely unconcerned with how things are and are more interested in promoting their NAP-as-Holy-Grail construct as the only moral way to frame the social order, yes?

  230. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    This is discussion actually is enlightening and amusing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Respectability_politics reads: “Respectability politics or the politics of respectability refers to attempts by marginalized groups to police their own members and show their social values as being continuous, and compatible, with mainstream values rather than challenging the mainstream for what they see as its failure to accept difference.[1]”

    Of course what was Rothbard doing from around 1985 til his death? Trying to look respectable! Boy he didn’t like us pot smokers, pro-choicers who threatened to take our clothes off (and called it Gandhian nonviolence, which pissed him off more), anti-religious, non-red neck, blah blah whatever he said he a variety of rants during that time….

    And then we have the radical clique who purged one guy for doing a (poorly explained) strip tease while applauding a leader known to shake her boobs at guys as an attention getting to show how “Sex positive” she is. So I guess that policing the stripper was necessary to show compatibility with mainstream values while exposing/shaking/teasing with cleavage is seen as a mainstream and respectable activity for a third party…

    I’m wondering if this is part of the sexism of the libertarian movement against male bodies. Why do some thing it is GAY to promote libertarianism with guys bodies and “taxation is theft” but OK to do it with womens’ bodies? I’ve made some fun Taxation is theft memes with sexy guys, like Leonardo DiCaprio. (Not gay.)

    Human inconsistencies and foolishness can be SO amusing…

  231. Luke

    Context is everything. If Weeks had stuck to putting up images of his man-breasts on facebook, I don’t think anyone would have been too upset, although facebook would have probably bounced him if he posted the twig and berries. But that’s facebook, not the LP; if he wants to do full nude webcam shows on his own site, almost no one in the LP would care. However, if someone got on the national convention stage to do a strip dance, be it Weeks, Starchild, Harlos, or whoever, a lot of people would have been upset. Whether they should be or not is a different question, but it’s just not the same thing as doing the same on your own facebook page. I don’t think it was because he is a man, or out of shape; more because of where he did it.

  232. Andy

    “Luke
    January 12, 2017 at 21:16
    Context is everything. ”

    Luke, in which state LP are you a member? You seem to know an awful lot about the LP, yet I can’t think of anyone I know or have heard of in the party named Luke. Were you a delegate in Orlando? If so, in which state’s delegation?

  233. Luke

    Hi Andy,

    You can learn a lot about the LP from the comfort of your own home, with or without sending them money or going to meetings. I’d be surprised if none of the 20,000 or so dues paying members of the national LP (and additional state-only members), 150,000-something pledge signers, 500,000 plus registered Libertarian voters, and millions of people who vote for LP candidates and or call themselves libertarians are named Luke, but even if that’s true, I don’t recall discussing whether or not I am any of the above (nor am I planning on doing so). Are you claiming that I am incorrect in the above assessment? Or, are you claiming that making such an assessment requires some kind of special knowledge that can’t be gained without spending a lot of time and money going all over the country to party meetings?

    I would say no, I am not saying anything that requires putting on a t-shirt and socks, much less booking airplane tickets and motel rooms. All one needs to do to reach the level of knowledge I have been discussing is to read discussions on IPR, facebook, etc. If you’ve learned something to dispute what should have been a rather non-controversial statement I made above by spending a bunch of time and money on travel to conventions please do feel free to share it. If you see something I have said here that indicates one way or another whether I have wasted any time and money on learning about the LP anywhere other than on the internet, please explained what I said that leads you to that conclusion and why I couldn’t have gained such esoteric knowledge online.

  234. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Obviously James Weeks protest was not explained as a protest or a protest of what, which made it particularly disruptive. But remember A LOT of people were clapping and applauding at first, thinking he was going to launch into some great speech about freedom. If he had just before that critical point when everyone went – ooooohhhh noooooooo, he might have made a big success.

    And been called RESPECTABLE. Just as flashing cleavage evidently is respectable in the LP.

    Even when one of your most heartfelt goals is sending jackbooted thugs after 1/3 of the women in the country (the number who’ve had abortion or are likely to unless contraception and education improve). And since “abortion is murder” they and their abortionists MUST be thrown in prison… right?

  235. dL

    Me: It IS nonsense, I agree. I didn’t say otherwise. Within the academic game, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to play. All I was suggesting is that I don’t defer to conclusions or methodologies that peer-reviewed papers put forth.

    Hmmm…that’s not what I said. You said i was asserting my own authority. I said, no, I’m merely deferring to the (peer-reviewed) textbook DEFINITION. Your rejoinder to that was a dig about the likelihood of not accepting peer-reviewed climate science conclusions. Obviously, accepting the textbook definition of something does not mean accepting the conclusions of that something. I certainly accept the textbook definition of Keynesianism. I don’t accept the conclusions of it, in large part b/c I will reject its premises. Nonetheless, I don’t try to self re-define Keynesianism as Marxist economics.

    Me: Hmm, there’s some truth to that. The State-enforced prohibition on murder doesn’t mean that there is NO murder under/within a State. Sorry, no, it doesn’t “falsify” anything. I suspect that stateless (primitive) civil societies in Southeast Asia also prohibit murder and yet murders happen there, too. There are counter societies everywhere and always. So what?

    Laws against murder not being sufficient to eliminate murder is an irrelevant conclusion/non sequitur to my rejoinder of your stated argument that civil societies can only spring from a context of state-enforced laws. Your argument would be equivalent to a sufficiency condition re: prohibition and civil society. If, for example, you say:

    The airplane cannot be invented without state subsidized investment.

    The State not only declines to subsidize the invention of the airplane, but it also passes a law banning the invention of the airplane.

    If the premise is true, that law then should be sufficient to guarantee the airplane is never invented. If, however, the airplane is invented, despite the law, the premise is obviously false. A rejoinder in the form of:

    the state prohibits murder, murder still exists, hence the invention of the airplane, despite being prohibited, does not invalidate the premise “the airplane cannot be invented without state subsidized investment”

    ==non sequitur

    Surely you see that “dominates” is a loaded term. I have not used it, certainly, agreed?

    Here, I will quote Karl Marx from the “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” noting it was the Napoleonic, military industrial political economy that spawned the libertarian class theory analysis.

    This executive power, with its enormous bureaucracy and military organization, with its ingenious state machinery,embracing wide strata, with a host of officials numbering half a million, besides an army of another half million, this appalling parasitic body, which enmeshes the body of French society like a net and chokes all its pores, sprang up in the days of the’ absolute monarchy. The Legitimist monarchy and the July monarchy added nothing but a greater division of labor, growing in the same measure as the division of labor within bourgeois society created new groups of interests, and therefore new material for state administration. Every common interest was straightway severed from society, counterposed to it as a higher general interest, snatched from the activity of society’s members themselves and made an object of government activity, from a bridge, a schoolhouse and the communal property of a village community to the railways, the national wealth and the national university of France…All revolutions perfected this machine instead of smashing it. The parties that contended in turn for domination regarded the possession of this huge state edifice as the principal spoils of the victor…under the second Bonaparte [Napoleon III]…the state [seems] to have made itself completely independent. As against civil society, the state machine has consolidated its position …thoroughly.

    It is my observation that societies need some sort of baseline peacekeeping mechanism (a rule of law) so that people can function on a day-to-day basis. If I am incorrect, please show us where a lawless (state or stateless) place thrived.

    Surely, if a “rule of law” was a baseline peacekeeping mechanism, it would not have the need for a prodigious security force? What keeps the peace in Gaza? The Israeli knesset or the Israeli IDF? What keeps the “peace” of the current social order in the US? The United States congress or DHS, FBI, TSA, NSA, ATF, ICE and the 100 other or so 3-letter administrative enforcement bureaucracies. What keeps the peace on the DarkNet? If you have a dispute there, are you going to call the cops or the FBI?

    While I agree that society has to have dispute resolution mechanisms, the argument that what we have today is the only possible way is a fallacy. Any more than someone in the 15th century arguing that what they had the time was the only conceivable way.

    my contention that the Randian/Rothbardian strain of L-ism is riddled with untruth and it’s packaged unattractively. For the most part, it’s well meaning.

    Good for you. I’m neither a Randian nor a Rothbardian. You obviously have a problem with those folks. Take it up with them. However, I’m not sure why you so worried about a more attractive packaging for something you obviously reject.

    I do agree that the LP is the “wrong” party for me

    Thats fine. But why in the world then should the LP care about what you think? You know I have no regard for the GOP or the Dems….and I certainly don’t spend any time on their forums pretending how to advise them on how to conduct their affairs.

  236. robert capozzi

    dL: your stated argument that civil societies can only spring from a context of state-enforced laws. Your argument would be equivalent to a sufficiency condition re: prohibition and civil society.

    Me: When did I state that? If I did state that, it was sloppy on my part, since I usually say something to the effect of “virtually always” vs. “can only.” Does that clarify my view for you?

    dL: Surely, if a “rule of law” was a baseline peacekeeping mechanism, it would not have the need for a prodigious security force? What keeps the peace in Gaza? The Israeli knesset or the Israeli IDF? What keeps the “peace” of the current social order in the US? The United States congress or DHS, FBI, TSA, NSA, ATF, ICE and the 100 other or so 3-letter administrative enforcement bureaucracies. What keeps the peace on the DarkNet? If you have a dispute there, are you going to call the cops or the FBI?

    Me: I’m a lessarchist. I advocate less government. I would say the US has too many laws and government is far too intrusive. I sure hope that’s been made clear to you. Has it?

    Given that, your questions here don’t make sense to me. I would say that my life has largely been peaceful. I’ve never been mugged, stabbed, or shot at. Someone broke into my house once, but didn’t take anything of value. I have probably witnessed corporate fraud a few times, but fraud is very difficult to prove. My sense is that most people most of the time live unaccosted lives.

    dL: While I agree that society has to have dispute resolution mechanisms, the argument that what we have today is the only possible way is a fallacy.

    Me: Again, it’s not an argument that I make.

    dL: I’m neither a Randian nor a Rothbardian. You obviously have a problem with those folks. Take it up with them. However, I’m not sure why you so worried about a more attractive packaging for something you obviously reject.

    Me: No, I don’t have a problem with those folks. It’s not personal. It’s the thought system that the LP is founded on that I strongly suggest be revisited, since it is based on untruth. I used to buy into Randian/Rothbardianism…in a big way.

    dL: But why in the world then should the LP care about what you think?

    Me: I vote L when I vote. I was in the LP for many years. Because the LP was setup as a NAPster party, it excludes many, many lessarchists. Those who see no CotOS are effectively excluded from the LP.

    I have no investment in any outcome. Because the LP’s foundational documents were booby-trapped by 89 20-something founders, the non-NAPsters and those who see no CotOS but who are nevertheless believers that the government is far too big will inevitably be at cross-purposes with the cadre of True Believers in NAPsterism. That tension in my estimation leads to political ineffectiveness.

    I contend that this is a shame, since a lessarchist program could make a significant difference in US politics. J/W 16 and the Pauls are evidence that lessarchism is sellable, and that R and D morearchism is widely recognized as dysfunctional.

  237. Thomas L. Knapp

    There’s a simple fix for “those who see no CotOS” — quit scrunching your eyes closed and screaming “if I don’t see it it can’t see me” over and over.

  238. robert capozzi

    TK, interestingly, I’ve asked you to identify what organization in the US has blind worshippers of an all-powerful government many times. You have responded with Ba’athists, Pol Pot, and others that no longer exist or don’t reside in the US.

    I’m still waiting.

  239. Thomas L. Knapp

    Robert,

    I’d be hard put to name a political organization in the US that DOESN’T have blind worshipers of an all-powerful government (a poor definition of the Cult of the Omnipotent State, but whatever you say).

    Certainly every American political party of any size includes people who are, at the very least, willing to concede complete power to the state for the purpose of achieving this or that overriding end. For example, some “Libertarians” who would happily turn the US into East Germany to protect themselves from THEM FURRINERS.

    The Republican Party throughout the cold war was premised on what William F. Buckley defended as a necessary “totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores.” Unsurprising since his mentor was James Burnham, former head of one totalitarian group (the American followers of Trotsky) and later booster of an American national security state as a managerial state to compete with the Soviets.

    As to other parties, ask Charles Schumer or Jill Stein if there’s ANYTHING they think can’t or shouldn’t be regulated or supervised by the state.

  240. robert capozzi

    om·nip·o·tent
    ?äm?nip?d(?)nt/
    adjective
    1.(of a deity) having unlimited power; able to do anything.
    synonyms: all-powerful, almighty, supreme, preeminent, most high;

    Further down in the definitions, God is cited as “omnipotent.”

    In short, regulation/supervision =/= omnipotence.

    Omnipotence means ALL powerful, not just having regulatory powers. Most/virtually all Rs and Ds are morearchists, I agree. They are Nanny Staters of various stripes.

    Were the 89 employing overstatement for effect? My guess is Yes. Then the question becomes, what is the effect? Does such language attract others to L ideas, or does it repel them?

    Based on results, such language — and the overstated ideas that flow from the overstated foundational idea — repels far more than it attracts.

  241. Thomas L. Knapp

    “having unlimited power; able to do anything”

    Ompnipotent State cultists want the state to have unlimited power, because they believe it is able to do anything.

    If you don’t think such cultists exist, you’ve obviously never listened to congresscritters discuss limits to their power.

    Reporter: Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?

    Nancy Pelosi: Are you serious? Are you serious?

  242. John Kosanke

    “Prove, though? How would that be “proven”?”

    I won’t get into the detail here (which is exactly my point (that minarchists and anCaps can argue all day over how much “government” is necessary, so it is more productive (politically) to find consensus on issues such as taxation, in order to formalize reductionism)).

    Again, I won’t rehash, but if you want proof, read my book, Instead of Politics: Civilization 101.

  243. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “For example, some ‘Libertarians’ who would happily turn the US into East Germany to protect themselves from THEM FURRINERS.”

    Idiotic statement from that has no basis in reality. Recognizing that large numbers of people with socialist, communist, and/or theocratic ideologies coming into a land territory where they can collect welfare and register to vote, thereby gaining political power, which means that they can implement their socialist, communist, and/or theocratic ideologies on the rest of the population, is in no way turning the land territory we call the present day USA into East Germany, in fact, the opposite is true. Look at how places with large numbers of foreigners with anti-liberty political views has transformed the voting demographics of places like California, which is now a land of high taxes, Marxist wealth redistribution, and gun control.

    I don’t really “want” the government to do anything. I don’t even really “want” the government to exist. I’d prefer to live in an anarcho-capitalist society. However, given that government does exist, and given that government is not going to go away any time soon, there are functions that government is performing. It is not “statist” to expect government to repair the roads as long as government is in charge of the roads. It is not “statist” to expect government to lock up murderers, rapists, and robbers as long as government is involved in criminal justice. Yeah, the free market would come up with better solutions in the absence of monopoly government, but THIS IS NOT WHAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW, AND WE ALL HAVE TO LIVE IN THE HERE AND NOW, NOT SOME FAR OFF VISION OF THE WAY THINGS OUGHT TO BE.

    There are people who live in gated communities right now which have security guards. If somebody who does not live within the gated community enters the gated community without permission, it is the job of the security guards to toss the people entering without permission to enter out of the gated community.

    Say a person enters Disney World (not the best example, since DIsney has received tax payer funding, aka-corporate welfare, but the analogy is still valid because it is what would happen if corporate welfare did not exist), but they did not purchase a ticket. Disney World security is going to throw them out, assuming that they catch them.

    I find it to be highly disingenuous to act like people just have some kind of blind dislike for foreigners (I don’t know of anyone who fits this category), without ADDRESSING any of the real issues involved with people entering the land territory known as the USA where they can collect welfare (as in receive STOLEN money from the native population) and where they can join the body politic by going through the citizenship process and register to vote, after which they can gain politic power and VOTE AGAINST the interests of much of the native population, and every statistical analysis that has been conducted has found that the majority of foreign born people in the present day USA vote in favor of more socialism and more gun control.

  244. Andy

    I don’t think that there is any libertarian out there who seriously does not want the government to do anything in our present day reality. Sure, lots of libertarians do not want the government to perform various functions, and lots of libertarians do not want the government to exist, but this is an IDEAL, and WE DO NOT LIVE IN THE IDEAL, SO WHETHER ANY OF US LIKE IT OR NOT, GOVERNMENT EXISTS, AND GOVERNMENT IS TAXING US, AND PERFORMING CERTAIN FUNCTIONS.

    Say you are an anarcho-capitalist libertarian and your house catches on fire. You may think that fire departments should be privately owned and funded voluntarily, but there is no privately owned, voluntarily funded fire department in your area. The only fire department in your area is the one operated by the local government. I do not believe that any anarcho-capitalist libertarian is going to sit there and watch their house burn down without calling the local government fire department to put the fire out.

    This DOES NOT MEAN that the anarcho-capitalist libertarian really “wants” the government to “come and protect them from the fire,” but rather that they recognize that this is the current system in which we live under, and that they are paying taxes (even if the anarcho-capitalist libertarian in the example refuses to file income taxes, they still pay sales taxes whenever they go shopping, as it is impossible to function in our society without paying some taxes), some of which goes to support the local government fire department.

    Is any anarcho-capitalist libertarian out there going to take it seriously if some other anarcho-capitalist libertarian JACKASS starts to give the anarcho-capitalist libertarian whose house was on fire and who called the local government fire department to put the fire out a bunch of shit about them being a “statist” for “wanting the government to protect them from fire”? I would hope not, and any libertarian anarcho-capitalist who’d do something like that should not be taken seriously.

    While government fire departments exist, I want them to put out fires. While government roads exist, I want them to be maintained. While government police and courts and prisons exist, I want them to arrest, convict, and lock up murderers, rapists, child molesters, arsonists, robbers, and others who commit serious crimes. I don’t want government to do these things because I believe in coercive government, or because I think that government is the best way to handle these functions, but rather because WE ALL HAVE TO LIVE IN THE HERE AND NOW, AND WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT, THIS IS THE CURRENT SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE. Just because I want to change the system in the long term, it does not mean that houses should burn down, roads should go into a state of disrepair, and dangerous criminals should roam the streets.

  245. Andy

    Let’s say that you have a loved one who is in need of serious medical attention. Let’s say that they are having a heart attack, or they were just in a serious car accident, and it is a life or death situation. Are you not going to pick up for the phone and dial 911, since 911 operators receive tax payer funding? If an ambulance shows up, are you going to refuse service if the ambulance receives tax payer funding? Would you accuse a fellow libertarian of being a “statist” for wanting government to “save people who are having heart attack” or to “save people who were in serious car accidents” because they called 911 and the 911 operator dispatched an ambulance, both of which receive tax payer funding? If you do, then you are a JACKASS who should not be taken seriously.

    We can all sit around and talk about the way things ought to be, but even anarcho-capitalist libertarians have to operate in the real world.

  246. Andy

    The animation and commentary in this video does the best job I’ve ever seen in illustrating just how irrational and insane (and unlibertarian) the “open borders” regardless of consequences and regardless of whether or not those crossing actually fit the definition of peaceful people (hint: people with Marxist and theocratic ideologies are NOT peaceful people) actually is.

    Open Border Libertarians In A Nutshell

  247. Andy

    I posted this on the Open Thread for December of 2016, and it was never answered, so here it is again.

    Let’s say that libertarians purchased the Rogers Campground in New Hampshire, where Porcfest is held, and instead of having a libertarian society there that only lasts for one week during Porcfest, that it became a year round settlement.

    Now let’s say that some libertarians like Tom Knapp lived there. Let’s say that Tom and some others like him said, “You know, we should open up our border here on the Rogers Campground, and just allow anyone to enter.” Let’s say that Tom and his fellow “open borders” libertarians got their way, and the borders to the Rogers Campground got opened up to Democrats, Republicans, foreign born Marxists, and foreign born religious fanatics.

    The Democrats and their fellow Marxist buddies don’t like it that the libertarians are engaging in commerce without business licenses, and that they are not paying taxes, and that they are violating child labor laws, and they really hate that they are openly carrying firearms. The Republicans and the religious extremists don’t like it that people are smoking marijuana, and using other drugs, and that they are walking around consuming open containers of alcohol, and they don’t like “Big Al’s Gay Dance Party,” or the panels on polyamory,. so they start to crack down on these things.

    Let’s say that after a while under the “open borders” policy advocated by the likes of Tom Knapp, the number of Democrats, Republicans, foreign born Marxists, and foreign born religious fanatics actually outnumbers the amount of libertarians who live in the Rogers Campground.

    How long do you think that the year round Porcfest settlement would remain libertarian under such an “open borders” policy?

  248. dL

    TK, interestingly, I’ve asked you to identify what organization in the US has blind worshippers of an all-powerful government many times. You have responded with Ba’athists, Pol Pot, and others that no longer exist or don’t reside in the US.

    NSA, Intel organs…They intercept all communications. The FBI is on record that they cannot tolerate any communication between two or more parties “going dark.” Going “dark” refers to the inability to decrypt the communications. They have claimed in both in public and before congress that it will be Armageddon if this happens.

    That is the CotOS. CotOS is not that the state is omnipotent. After all, nothing is. Nor to demonstrate CotOS do you have to somehow demonstrate this omnipotent thing exists. For example, christianity worships an omnipotent god. But to demonstrate that Christianity exists, we are not required to demonstrate that this god exists.

    The operating word in CoTOS is “cult,” not “omnipotent.” When a group of humans come together and say “we most know everything, otherwise the world will collapse…and it’s taken seriously. That’s the cult.

    Now governments do not maximize absolute power. If they tried, they generally wouldn’t be around very long. What they maximize is discretionary power. CoTOS is an enabler of a state that maximizes discretionary power.

  249. Andy

    I have posted this video several times in the past, and NOBODY has been able to refute anything in it. Outside of the few people who have said that they agree with me, the only thing I have gotten from the critics is either silence, or comments about Cantwell’s personality. Yeah, Cantwell acts like a jerk, and I do not agree with everything he says (of course, I don’t agree with everything anyone says), but he does get some stuff right, and he hits the nail on the head here.

    Christopher Cantwell: Libertarianism Is Not A Suicide Pact

  250. dL

    How long do you think that the year round Porcfest settlement would remain libertarian under such an “open borders” policy?

    Is this the same “Andy” who in one breath talks about the moral justification of armed overthrow of the US govt, and in the next breath wants the same to build a Berlin, East German wall around the US? If so(and to point out, it’s easy enough to fabricate someone else’s identity here), the level of cognitive dissonance buzzing around in that cerebral cortex of yours is stunning.To the “Andy” who composed the past few gems, the threat to my liberty is people like you “invading” the voting booth.

  251. dL

    Christopher Cantwell: Libertarianism Is Not A Suicide Pact

    I agree. It’s not a suicide pact. A suicide pact is one agent playing a bad strategy forcing everyone else to play a bad strategy. In the case of Cantwell, a suicide pact would be following whatever advice that creep poster boy whines…

  252. Andy

    So you don’t think that immigration has any impact on voting patterns? Think again.

    Before you read the article, keep in mind that I have a low opinion of Democrats and Republicans. I am not implying that Republicans are wonderful. There is plenty wrong with them. Having said this, it is the Democratic Party that more openly embraces socialism. I also weight political issues, and one of the issues to which I give the highest amount of weight is gun rights. It is the Democrats who have led the charge for more gun control laws. I know that there are Republicans who have gone along with, and in some cases, pushed for gun control, as well, but overall, the Republicans have not been as vehemently anti-gun rights as the Democrats. Yes, there are issues where Republicans have tended to be worse than Democrats, but for the purpose of this discussion, I am focusing on taxes, Marxist wealth redistribution, and gun control.

    If you look at historical voting patterns and demographics, the influx of large numbers of immigrants into California has led to tax increases, more welfare, and more gun control laws. This is even more apparent when you look at votes on ballot initiatives and referendums, as this eliminates much of the Democrat vs. Republican drama and gets down the the core issues. There was a gun control initiative on the ballot in California this past November that passed with 63% of the vote. Back in the late 1970’s (or maybe it was the early 1980’s, but I think it was the late 1970’s), there was a gun control initiative on the ballot in California that got voted down. What happened in California between then and now? Radical demographic shifts.

    This is what happens when NON-PEACEFUL people (as in people with toxic political ideologies) cross borders and alter the political landscape.

    After decades of Republican victories, here’s how California became a blue state again.

    http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-california-voting-history/

    From the article:

    “DEMOCRATS SURGE IN THE STATE

    California’s Latino and Asian populations boomed in the 1990s and the growing segment of voters were turned off by the Republican Party’s hard-line stance on immigration. After the party closely tied itself to Proposition 187, a controversial California ballot measure that denied public services to people in the country illegally, Republicans struggled to win back the state’s immigrant population. Democratic candidates have won decisively in every election since 1992 by performing well in the most populous areas. Despite failing to win the presidency, Hillary Clinton won a higher percentage of votes than any candidate since Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

  253. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    Like I said, you don’t have to prove that you’ve let immigration paranoia turn you into an authoritarian pretending to be a libertarian. Everyone figured that out a long time ago.

  254. Andy

    “After the party closely tied itself to Proposition 187, a controversial California ballot measure that denied public services to people in the country illegally, ”

    It is really a sad state of affairs that Proposition 187 would even be considered to be controversial. It SHOULD BE common sense. Just like repealing Affirmative Action SHOULD BE common sense.

  255. Andy

    The article below from the Washington Post shows how shifting demographics in this country (which is fueled in large part by immigration) is leading to the destruction of the right to keep and bear arms.

    The NRA will fall. It’s inevitable.
    Just look at the demographics.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/10/19/the-nra-will-fall-its-inevitable/?utm_term=.9281eee1c0d1

    From the article:

    “The National Rifle Association’s days of being a political powerhouse may be numbered.

    Why? The answer is in the numbers.

    Support for, and opposition to, gun control is closely associated with several demographic characteristics, including race, level of education and whether one lives in a city. Nearly all are trending forcefully against the NRA.

    The core of the NRA’s support comes from white, rural and relatively less educated voters. This demographic is currently influential in politics but clearly on the wane. While the decline of white, rural, less educated Americans is generally well known, less often recognized is what this means for gun legislation.

    Polls show that whites tend to favor gun rights over gun control by a significant margin (57 percent to 40 percent). Yet whites, who comprise 63 percent of the population today, won’t be in the majority for long. Racial minorities are soon to be a majority, and they are the nation’s strongest supporters of strict gun laws.

    An overwhelming majority of African Americans say that gun control is more important than gun rights (72 percent to 24 percent). While the African American population shows signs of slow growth, other racial minority groups are growing more rapidly — and report even greater support for gun control.

    The fastest-growing minority group in America is Latinos. Between 2000 and 2010, the nation’s Latino population grew by 43 percent. Hispanics, which make up 17 percent of the population today, are expected to grow to 30 percent of the population in the coming decades.

    Gun control is extremely popular among Hispanics, with 75 percent favoring gun safety over gun rights.

    Asian Americans also represent a growing anti-gun demographic. Although only about 5 percent of the population today, the Asian American population is predicted to triple over the next few decades. A recent poll of Asian American registered voters found that 80 percent supported stricter gun laws.

    After the 2012 election, Republican officials said the party needed to do more to appeal to the growing population of racial minorities. Yet the party’s refusal to bend on gun legislation highlights the difficulty of such efforts. If the GOP compromises on guns to appeal to minorities, it might lose support among its core of white voters.

    Rural Americans tend to oppose gun control, with 63 percent saying that gun rights are more important than gun control. The country, however, is becoming less rural and more urban. Recent years have witnessed a significant increase in the number of people living in cities, with big metropolitan areas experiencing double-digit growth.

    This shift, like that on race, is a boon for gun control. Urban residents strongly prefer gun control to gun rights (60 percent to 38 percent), for reasons that aren’t hard to understand. When gun violence is on your television news every night and police are commonplace, people may come to view guns more as a threat than a savior.”

  256. George Dance

    Andy – “After the party closely tied itself to Proposition 187, a controversial California ballot measure that denied public services to people in the country illegally”

    Mention of Proposition 187 (“the Save our State Proposition”) gives me a chance to reopen the debate we were having on Murray Rothbard and the ‘thin/thick’ libertarians in December.

    In his seminal article attacking the Libertarian Party as “Big-Government Libertarians” for embracing the idea of equal treatment in the public sector, Rothbard slams the LP for its opposition to the 187, misrepresenting it as a “tax-cutting measure”.

    http://archive.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/ir/Ch16.html

  257. George Dance

    While I already mentioned my new Nolan Chart article in one thread, it occurs to me that it’s relevant to this “Taxation is Theft” thread as well.

    The article deals with the contention that coercive taxation is not theft, but “enforcement of a contract,” since everyone (including Libertarians) has agreed to pay them in the so-called “social contract.”

    Social contract: The myth
    https://www.nolanchart.com/social-contract-the-myth

  258. dL

    recognizing that large numbers of people with socialist, communist, and/or theocratic ideologies coming into a land territory where they can collect welfare and register to vote, thereby gaining political power

    Why would I be worried by them them when we have commies like you at home, comrade.

  259. Luke

    “The animation and commentary in this video does the best job I’ve ever seen in illustrating just how irrational and insane (and unlibertarian)…”

    …the closed borders “libertarians” are. If it wasn’t bad enough that you are posting garbage from racist, authoritarian nutbags like Hoppe, Molyneux and Cantwell, and acting like anything they ever say is good for anything besides toilet paper (although in reality, their ideas are way too toxic for that), here you go posting a video from a youtube channel called the Anarcho-Fascist and acting like it’s great. Seriously. Look it up. If that doesn’t make you realize how deep your cognitive dissonance goes, I don’t know what will.

    Incidentally, every spurious “point” you keep repeating on this subject was answered in old threads here that I have read from years ago. I don’t want to spend a lot of time finding again exactly where, but you keep acting as if no one is capable of refuting you and it’s simply not true. The fact that no one bothers to do so more often is more likely a result that such mental sludge is beneath contempt and few people want to soil themselves by rolling around in that mud with you, at least any more often than they already have. And that fact apparently lets you keep repeating like a broken cuckoo clock (in more than one sense of broken as well as cuckoo) that “no one has refuted” you.

  260. robert capozzi

    tk: Nancy Pelosi: Are you serious? Are you serious?

    me: While the individual mandate is most certainly a morearchist move, it’s not an omnipotent move. An omnipotent move would be government taking over all industries and professions. Government running factories, trucking companies, construction firms, all health providers, etc.

    You really don’t see the difference? Or are you just being coy?

  261. robert capozzi

    dL: CotOS is not that the state is omnipotent. After all, nothing is.

    me: Thank you for your candor.

    dL: Nor to demonstrate CotOS do you have to somehow demonstrate this omnipotent thing exists. For example, christianity worships an omnipotent god. But to demonstrate that Christianity exists, we are not required to demonstrate that this god exists.

    me: Feels like a sleight of hand. Christians may well believe that God is omnipotent. The “cult” of the omnipotent state would have to either believe that the state is omnipotent, or that it should be.

    It wouldn’t be SO embarrassing if the term was “cult of an ever-expanding state.” There probably are people who believe in that in the US. Omnipotent? Nope, I don’t know anyone who fits that description.

  262. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    Pelosi’s “are you serious?” was not about the individual mandate. It was about the suggestion that there might be limits to Congress’s powers, that there might be something, anything it’s not allowed to do even if a majority votes for it on the floor. It was the equivalent of Nixon’s “if the president does it, it’s not illegal.”

    The end stage of omnipotent state cultism is totalitarianism — everything within the state, nothing outside the stage.

    But that’s the end stage.

    The early stage is that when it is suggested the state do X, the discussion is about whether or not that’s a good idea, not about whether it is legitimate for the state to be involved in X at all. The state is assumed to be legitimately involved in anything its functionaries damn well want to be involved in.

  263. robert capozzi

    tk, “cult of the totalitarian state” would be at least somewhat comprehensible, although I don’t know of any US totalitarians. Yes, there are CERTAINLY morearchists who may not realize that what they advocate could lead to actual totalitarianism. Not recognizing checks on power is contra-indicated, for sure.

    If you asked Pelosi if she wants totalitarianism, she’d say No, I suspect.

  264. LibertyDave

    When Andy commented; “I have posted this video several times in the past, and NOBODY has been able to refute anything in it. Outside of the few people who have said that they agree with me, the only thing I have gotten from the critics is either silence, or comments about Cantwell’s personality.”
    I was going to reply to his comment when I realized that Andy’s prejudice won’t allow him to accept any statement of facts that don’t conform to his beliefs.

    Here are a couple of links that refute his stand on immigration for those with an open mind.
    http://www.factcheck.org/2009/04/cost-of-illegal-immigrants/
    http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/20/news/economy/immigration-myths/

    As far as his hatred and fear of Muslim refugees, the answer is not to close the borders to everyone but the rich. Closing the borders wont stop terrorists from getting into the country and killing people. Instead we need to stop bombing their countries and sending in troops to destroy their cities and take their natural resources, then there wouldn’t be a bunch of refugees that hate us for what was done that need to come to Europe or the United states just to survive.

  265. dL

    If you asked Pelosi if she wants totalitarianism, she’d say No, I suspect.

    So too would kim jong il, Stalin, Hilter…I suspect. No one calls themselves a totalitarian…

  266. dL

    Government running factories, trucking companies, construction firms, all health providers, etc.

    Well, that would be state socialism, the early 20th century version of totalitarianism. State socialism however was obsoleted by State capitalism. Interestingly, state capitalism generates bigger surveillance states than the socialist variety. Indeed, in Orwell’s Nineteen Eight Four, Big Brother only spied on the political class(outer party), roughly 15% of the population.

  267. robert capozzi

    dL, perhaps. Mussolini said, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” He might not have described himself as a “totalitarian,” but based on that quote, he was one.

    Whether Pelosi has similar views to Mussillini, I don’t know, but I kinda doubt it. She’s certainly a morearchist, but I don’t believe she’d want us all to be working for the State.

    The point is that if there is a cult advocating either a totalitarian or omnipotent state for the US, I am not aware of one. Is there one? If there isn’t one, then the SoP is false, which is a poor opening gambit to seek a world of liberty, in my estimation.

    Why not stick to TRUE statements over false ones?

  268. robert capozzi

    dL: state capitalism generates bigger surveillance states than the socialist variety. state capitalism generates bigger surveillance states than the socialist variety.

    me: Technology has made the costs of surveillance lower, so I’m not sure that we can say whether State socialism or State capitalism are more prone to surveillance or not.

    1984 is a cautionary tale, certainly, but it is fiction, so I’m not sure how it’s relevant.

  269. dL

    If you around in the 1980s and were told that the 21st century held a future of Department of Homeland Security, TSA, National ID cards, the prospect of needing a passport to travel internally, totalitarian spying(collects ever communication), I pretty sure anyone and everyone would have thought: totalitarian future. Now that one is living in it, would one concur that it is indeed totalitarian? I suppose opinions would vary. Like they varied in nazi Germany. Like they probably varied in Soviet Russia. Milton Mayer’s seminal work, “They thought they were free,” gives the history of opinion of German citizens during the Nazi reign. Most of them did not think they were living in a totalitarian society. Obviously, if you would asked the jews, or the gypsies, the poles, etc, you probably would have gotten a different answer. Pauli Cannoli would be a good source whether people in Soviet Russia generally thought they were living in a totalitarian society. And, whether that opinion in, say, the 1980s would have been the same compared to, say, the 1950s.

    In the US, I imagine you are going to get different answer if you asked someone living in San Francisco vs someone rounded up in a detention camp.

  270. George Dance

    dL -I’m using the dictionary definition of “respectability politics.” Google it. I’m not inventing my own definition of it. I generally try to avoid that. Not b/c I insist on intellectual conformity. Merely to facilitate clarity. If I think RP means intellectual conformity and you think RP means procedural conformity, we would be arguing past each other till the cows come home. Unfortunately, I’m not rich enough to be able to waste my time like that.

    Well, I googled it. It’s certainly not what I’m talking about. I used “RP” simply because it was the label you introduced; if it doesn’t fit the concept, then let’s use a different one.

    The only point I’d make, in passing, is that the concept is not about ‘procedural conformity’ – not about what they do, but why they do it. I’m talking about libertarians who contest elections or court fights because they believe that it’s possible to win them; not that they agree with the anti-establishment view that they’re meaningless charades the state has constructed to look legitimate, and are simply pretending so the establishment will like them, but that they see the processes as fundamentally legitimate, fundamentally what they purport to be.

    Had to look up who Moen was. Anarchist or not, his statement is textbook boilerplate respectability politics, although I’m not sure whether he is referring to EMS personnel, to police or generally to anyone who wears a uniform.

    He was specifically referring to police: commenting on a shooting of off-duty RCMP personnel in Moncton.

    If the statement is referring to police, it is a strange statement for an anarchist to make, qualified perhaps by the observation that the relationship between the police and the citizenry is not as lethal in Canada as it is in the US.
    Kokesh’s statement, on the other hand, strikes the right tone IMO. For an accurate libertarian diagnosis of the problem…

    Good. As I see it, Kokesh’s statement is based on the fundamental belief that the police, as government agents, are just hired goons “the state” uses to kill and oppress us; while Moen’s is based on the idea that police are just people who want to do what “the state” claims they’re there to do: keep peace and security by defending the population from criminals.

    I think it’s revealing that you’d call Kokesh’s statement ‘accurate’ and ‘telling it like it is’ – as if his viewpoint is the correct one – while dismissing Moen’s as ‘boilerplate’ – as if he may really think the same as Kokesh, but just wants says whatever will make him look respectable. To me that’s empirical evidence that you fall within the ‘anti-establishment’ paradigm. Whereas I think the idea that killing police should be justified, even applauded, is something that discredits Kokesh from representing the LP as its presidential nominee; and, should he run in 2020, I intend to remind the party of that statement whenever I can.

    and strategically, for a third party. Why would a 3rd party want to ape the exact same press release boilerplate on an important topic as the major parties?

    I’d say because it reflects the normal human reaction (whether or not shared by the release generators) to such an event. The reason for a libertarian party to state it would rest on a more fundamental assumption, that it’s possible to use persuasion to effect a (more) libertarian society; which in turn rests on the idea that, fundamentally, political power does reside in the citizenry. Whereas a statement like Kokesh’s reflects the idea that it’s hopeless; “the state” has all the power, and will never give it up, and the best we can do is say that as loudly as possible.

  271. dL

    1984 is a cautionary tale, certainly, but it is fiction, so I’m not sure how it’s relevant.

    Because it was inspired by real life Stalinist Russia. Fictional state, but not fiction….

  272. George Dance

    Andy – I have posted this video several times in the past, and NOBODY has been able to refute anything in it.

    This came up earlier this month, when I criticized a Rockwell’s article on secession, and you complained that I’d ignored a video you posted on the same theme. So I guess it’s worth commenting on the idea of refuting ‘videos’.

    I don’t comment or refute videos, because it wastes my time. First, there’s the hour or so spent in watching one. Then there’s the four or five hours one has to spend in watching it again, to type up a written transcript – then there’s more hours checking the transcript for accuracy. Only then does one have something, in writing, that one can begin to ‘refute.’

    That’s why I comment on written articles only, which don’t require me to do all the work. If it’s a video, I won’t bother to refute it. Most of the time, I won’t even bother watching it.

  273. dL

    I think it’s revealing that you’d call Kokesh’s statement ‘accurate’ and ‘telling it like it is’ – as if his viewpoint is the correct one – while dismissing Moen’s as ‘boilerplate’ – as if he may really think the same as Kokesh, but just wants says whatever will make him look respectable.

    You’re Canadian, correct? The US has an imprisonment rate close to an order magnitude higher than Canada. Ever been arrested? I have, a couple of times for victimless crimes. I don’t like them. My preferred vernacular for them==pigs. There is an authority cult in the US re: thugs in uniform. Kokesh is expressing an opinion that is certainly not isolated to just radical anarchists. It may be different in Canada.

  274. dL

    me: Technology has made the costs of surveillance lower, so I’m not sure that we can say whether State socialism or State capitalism are more prone to surveillance or not.

    The efficiency of state capitalism is not shared by state socialism. So, you wouldn’t have something like a Moore’s law operating in a socialist state. The increasingly lower tech costs of surveillance is a feature/bug of state capitalism.

  275. Luke

    “Technology has made the costs of surveillance lower, so I’m not sure that we can say whether State socialism or State capitalism are more prone to surveillance or not.”

    Technology develops more rapidly when the market is freer. You can compare the two Koreas side by side to see this, or the two Germanies when they were divided. Unfortunately, a market needs to be only partially free to continue to develop more advanced technology for totalitarians to spy on and control people, as they have long since discovered.

  276. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The point is that if there is a cult advocating either a totalitarian or omnipotent state for the US, I am not aware of one.”

    That’s because every time anyone points to it and says “see that? That there?” you screw your eyes shut, stick your fingers in your ears and scream “doesn’texistdoesn’texistdoesn’texistbecauseidon’twantittoexistmaaaahahahahaha.”

  277. dL

    I don’t comment or refute videos, because it wastes my time. First, there’s the hour or so spent in watching one. Then there’s the four or five hours one has to spend in watching it again, to type up a written transcript – then there’s more hours checking the transcript for accuracy. Only then does one have something, in writing, that one can begin to ‘refute.’

    Yep. I can speed read an article in 30 seconds. If it’s good, I might go back and read it again. If it’s provocative, I might spend some time on it. 5-10 minutes. Can’t do that w/ video. Big time waster. Have to be motivated to watch it. Crackpots and cranks do not motivate me to waste my time like that.

  278. robert capozzi

    tk: That’s because every time anyone points to it [an existing CotOS in the US]

    me: That time has yet to happen. Again, Ba’athists, Pol Pot, Mussolini, etc….not in the US.

    Is the State’s intrusiveness becoming alarming? Yes.

    If you don’t see the difference between Pelosi and Mussolini, then I take your point. I — and virtually everyone other than the most extreme NAPsters — do. Now, overwhelming majorities are not PROOF, but when your perception remains so far outside the mainstream, it seems wise to reconsider those perceptions.

    If everyone you meet believes the sky is blue, but you perceive it as yellow, this might be an indication that it’s time to get your eyes checked.

  279. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    The difference between Pelosi and Mussolini is that she didn’t rise to the top of her CotOS archdiocese and he did.

    The difference between any recent president and Mussolini is that Mussolini spoke Italian.

  280. robert capozzi

    tk: The difference between any recent president and Mussolini is that Mussolini spoke Italian.

    me: Of course I must respect your perception, but it is a perception that isolates you and likely a tiny cadre of NAPsters from the greater populace. With such a perception, the ability to relate to the Normals is most likely deeply impaired.

  281. dL

    If you don’t see the difference between Pelosi and Mussolini, then I take your point. I — and virtually everyone other than the most extreme NAPsters — do. Now, overwhelming majorities are not PROOF, but when your perception remains so far outside the mainstream, it seems wise to reconsider those perceptions.

    My understanding is that Mussolini started out as a socialist but veered to classical liberal, at least rhetorically. Promising to “drain the swamp,” privatize the state, reduce it back to its proper “Manchesterian conception.” Sort of the Cato version of Trump. Held power constitutionally for a couple of years. Then seized power as a dictator for 18 years until the later stages of WW II, whereupon he was executed. Infamous for the “nothing outside the state” pronunciation. Serves as the best textbook example of getting fucked over by lip service.

    Pelosi, on the other hand, has never pretended to be anything other than an authoritarian. 30 years elected from a district that is safer than an elected position in the old soviet politburo. Held positions of congressional leadership during 4 wars, hence marking her complicity in the conduct of those wars. Will retire a millionaire but if was put on trial by the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or Libya like the German politicians were a la Nuremberg, would probably be hung as a war criminal. Most famous for her saying ” we have to pass the bill before we know what is in it” in reference to the fascist Obamacare law.

  282. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Nice try, but it has nothing to do with “NAPsterism.”

    Look at the power Mussolini wielded, and what he did with it.

    Look at the power Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 or Obama wielded and what they did with it.

    Mussolini was a piker.

  283. Lee

    dL,

    Mussolini started out as a socialist but veered to classical liberal, at least rhetorically. Promising to “drain the swamp,” privatize the state, reduce it back to its proper “Manchesterian conception.” Sort of the Cato version of Trump.

    Do you have any sources on this? I’ve always had a soft spot for Il Duce, and I’m a huge Trump fan. Ron Paul has been my idol for many years and is one of the icons on my wall, along with Vladimir Putin, the Christian Savior of Western civilization. My friends have taken to calling me a Hoppehead, and Cantwell is my homeboy. Augusto Pinochet is also among my heroes. I’m an admirer of Charles Murray, David Macko, Stefan Molyneux, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and Roger Roots in his younger years.

    I’ve been unable to confirm what you say here about Mussolini, so would appreciate you pointing me in the right direction, as I am always seeking to find additional links between libertarianism and fascism, two great ideas that are even better together. And, while I am on that subject, many thanks to Andy and Luke for helping my find the Anarcho-fascist channel on youtube; a much appreciated resource!

  284. robert capozzi

    tk, good point, in a sense. Current presidents have MUCH bigger power bases than Benito had in an absolute sense. In a relative sense, the picture changes, dramatically so. Benito expressed a desire for totalitarianism, but current presidents didn’t.

    NAPsterism has a hard time processing non-absolutes.

  285. Andy

    Hey look everybody, one of the IPR trolls is back, and this time the troll is calling himself/herself “Lee”.

  286. Lee

    My sincere apologies if I’ve infringed on Andy’s space. Although I am not a big fan of the idea of intellectual property, except when I am, I try not to infringe on any trademarks as a general rule, unless I feel like it. As such, I recognize that my views are so similar to Andy’s that he may feel legitimately ripped off – deprived of his property, if you will – when I post comments here. I realize Andy has somewhat of a monopoly on being IPR’s resident troll, except when he doesn’t.

  287. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Benito expressed a desire for totalitarianism, but current presidents didn’t.”

    Correct. Instead of just babbling about it, they’re doing it.

    “NAPsterism has a hard time processing non-absolutes.”

    Someone here tries to see everything through the lens of “NAPsterism.” That someone isn’t me.

  288. dL

    If everyone you meet believes the sky is blue, but you perceive it as yellow, this might be an indication that it’s time to get your eyes checked.

    Perhaps…of course, in the instance of Pelosi, there isn’t much blue sky to be viewed. The repubs view her just north of Karl Marx. In fact, the only ones who view Pelosi as blue sky are her donors, the DNC and apparently Bob Capozzi.

  289. dL

    Do you have any sources on this? I’ve always had a soft spot for Il Duce, and I’m a huge Trump fan. Ron Paul has been my idol for many years and is one of the icons on my wall, along with Vladimir Putin, the Christian Savior of Western civilization.

    The sad thing about this is that I couldn’t tell for sure it was parody until your follow-up post…

  290. Andy

    “Lee
    January 13, 2017 at 18:18
    I agree with Andy, he makes many excellent points here. For further elucidation:

    http://tinyurl.com/hoqxwlf

    I did NOT post or write that article, and that is not my website. “Lee” is obviously a troll, probably working for some government agency, and is likely the source of the article and the website.

    It is an act of fraud to falsely claim to be somebody, or to attribute things to them that they never said.

  291. Lee

    dL: parody or not, I’d be interested in further sources regarding what you wrote about Mussolini.

    Andy: “I did NOT post or write that article” … so who said you did? I know of no one who has made such a claim. Can you point to any comment that did?

    “and that is not my website.”

    No duh. It appears to be a parody of you. I think Eric Dondero had one devoted to him a few years ago. I don’t think anyone, even Eric, was dense enough to think it was actually Eric’s site or that anyone was trying to suggest that it was. And that’s what makes you so very special, Andy.

    ““Lee” is obviously a troll, ”

    Again, my apologies for violating your exclusive franchise.

    “probably working for some government agency”

    No way! *They* work for *me*.

    “and is likely the source of the article and the website.”

    I also shot JFK, faked the moon landing, and planted the bombs in the twin towers.

    “It is an act of fraud to falsely claim to be somebody,”

    Yes, yes, But is it also an act of fraud to falsely claim that someone else is falsely claiming to be somebody?

    ” or to attribute things to them that they never said.”

    So why are you attributing something that no one ever said, like for example that the parody site claims to actually be you? I mean, who ever said that? Name one person, one time, who said that.

  292. dL

    I did NOT post or write that article

    I would probably help if your authentic posts didn’t convey the idea that could be the author of those bogus posts. frankly, I’m not sure if that site is supposed to be a parody or not, but that post is a pretty accurate musing of Hoppe.

  293. dL

    parody or not, I’d be interested in further sources regarding what you wrote about Mussolini.

    The primary source of Mussolini’s historical broach w/ classical liberalism is Ralph Raico. An momentary fling between his youthful socialism and his governing fascism.

  294. Andy

    “‘Lee’ said: “No duh. It appears to be a parody of you. I think Eric Dondero had one devoted to him a few years ago.”

    It “appears” to be??? You are the asshole who put the site up. No go fuck off and die.

  295. Andy

    dL said: “, I’m not sure if that site is supposed to be a parody or not, but that post is a pretty accurate musing of Hoppe.”

    It may or may not be, but regardless of this, I did not write it, nor do I necessarily endorse everything that Hans-Hermann Hoppe has ever said or done, nor is there ANYONE with whom I necessarily agree with everything they have ever said or done. I am my own man. I may like the work of some people, but I don’t know if there is anyone who I agree with on every detail of everything.

    I damn sure do not support making Donald Trump on anyone else Emperor. That is just silly. I am not even on the Donald Trump as President bandwagon.

  296. Lee

    dL to Andy:

    “I(t) would probably help if your authentic posts didn’t convey the idea that (you) could be the author of those bogus posts.”

    Indeed.

    “that post is a pretty accurate musing of Hoppe.”

    It’s 90% plus direct Hoppe quotes.

    “The primary source of Mussolini’s historical broach w/ classical liberalism is Ralph Raico. An momentary fling between his youthful socialism and his governing fascism.”

    Ah…Ralph “Libertarians for Trump” Raico. Shoulda known! I’ll need to brush up on his scholarship on this matter.

    Dandy Andy,

    “It “appears” to be???”

    Yes, it sure does!!!

    “You are the asshole who put the site up.”

    Evidence? Proof? Remember, as you said…“It is an act of fraud to attribute things to (someone) that they never said.” So why are you committing fraud against me, you fraudulent fraudster you?

    (For the record, no, I didn’t put that site up and have no idea who did).

    “go fuck off and die.”

    After you, I insist, mon cherie.

  297. Andy

    Whoever this “Lee” asshole is, they have obviously been posting here for a long time, as they seem to have lots of knowledge about various things that have been discussed here over the years. I suspect that “Lee” may be somebody who used to post here under their real name way back in 2008 and 2009.

  298. Andy

    “Lee” said: “(For the record, no, I didn’t put that site up and have no idea who did).”

    Maybe it was somebody who works an earlier shift than you work at the government troll center.

  299. Lee

    Nice try, but yet another logic fail from handy Andy. Let’s examine how he does it this time:

    A) What knowledge do you speak of? Can you provide any examples? Even one?

    B) It’s possible to read and not post here, so even if I had knowledge of things that happened here for years (and I can’t think of what the fuck Andy is talking about) I would have been able to pick it up without posting.

    C) The old threads are still available, so even if you had some evidence that I had read them that doesn’t exactly prove that I read them way back when they were first posted, does it?

    So how exactly is it “obvious” that I have been posting here for years? Please do explain. Your failure will be a great illustration for why your logic is so faulty not just on this but on all sorts of issues and matters.

    It’s obvious that Andy is actually a Martian, because he barks like a chicken and I suspect that he was at Sandy Hook because the earth is flat, dude. Gay frogs!!!

  300. Lee

    “Maybe it was somebody who works an earlier shift than you work at the government troll center.”

    So it WAS you after all! Nice to know. And thanks for taking off early without letting me know, asshole. Also, clean up your coffee and cum stains next to the computer from now on, I am tired of cleaning up after you.

  301. Andy

    Somebody, or some group of people, have been trolling here for years. If you are not the same person who has posted under fake names like “Vernon” and “Randy” and etc.., I bet that you are connected with them. I don’t know who you are working for, but it is likely some government agency.

  302. Andy

    “Lee
    January 13, 2017 at 23:29
    ‘Maybe it was somebody who works an earlier shift than you work at the government troll center.’

    So it WAS you after all! Nice to know. And thanks for taking off early without letting me know, asshole. Also, clean up your coffee and cum stains next to the computer from now on, I am tired of cleaning up after you.”

    Nice dodge, but I’m on to you.

  303. dL

    Ah…Ralph “Libertarians for Trump” Raico. Shoulda known! I’ll need to brush up on his scholarship on this matter.

    His later politics notwithstanding, his historical work w/ re: libertarian tradition, particularly the French liberal tradition, is pretty valuable stuff. There is no axe being gored there. I certainly no fan of the Communist Manifesto either, but I consider Marx to be a reliable chronicler of the French political economy at the time of Louis Bonaparte. The historical context that undergirds the development of the laissez faire critique in 19th century France.

  304. Lee

    “Somebody, or some group of people, have been trolling here for years. If you are not the same person who has posted under fake names like “Vernon” and “Randy” and etc.., I bet that you are connected with them. I don’t know who you are working for, but it is likely some government agency.”

    Somebody, or some group of people, have been molesting all the pets in the neighborhood for years. If it’s not Andy, I bet he is connected with them. I don’t know who Andy is working for, but it’s likely the Vatican. Or maybe the illuminati. One thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t leave my pets alone with him if you know what I mean.

    Nice dodge, but I’m on to Andy. It’s obvious that he knows a lot about all these pet incidents including details that only those committing these hideous crimes could possibly know. And by obvious, I mean I have no evidence whatsoever and can’t cite a single example when pressed, even if all the evidence is posted for everyone to see on a public website so even if he did know all that stuff all that would show is that he read the website. However, I have failed even by that standard, so the next step after I get caught on that one is to say that Andy must somehow be connected to it anyway, because the guy across the street has a green handkerchief in his left pants pocket and the wind is blowing from the west. Or, actually, just because.

    Also, this clearly shows that Andy works for the government, most likely in a troll center, because governments have a tendency to hire incompetent people who can’t make it in the private sector and with the truly amazing logic skills that Andy has shown in this particular exchange (as well as many others) where else could he possibly find employment? Ergo, Andy must be the one and only true troll. QED. Wait does that mean I’m Andy? Am I talking to myself here? Help!

  305. Andy

    “Concerned Citizen
    January 14, 2017 at 00:30
    Isn’t it obvious that Lee is in fact Lee Wrights whom Andy has had problems with?”

    LOL! Nice try, but I don’t buy that for a second.

  306. Andy

    “Lee
    January 14, 2017 at 00:35
    ‘Somebody, or some group of people, have been trolling here for years. If you are not the same person who has posted under fake names like ‘Vernon’ and ‘Randy’ and etc.., I bet that you are connected with them. I don’t know who you are working for, but it is likely some government agency.’

    Somebody, or some group of people, have been molesting all the pets in the neighborhood for years. If it’s not Andy, I bet he is connected with them. I don’t know who Andy is working for, but it’s likely the Vatican. Or maybe the illuminati. One thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t leave my pets alone with him if you know what I mean.”

    It is time for a physical removal, a la Hans-Hermann Hoppe style. Somebody throw this “Lee” bum the hell out of here.

  307. dL

    Social contract: The myth

    A couple of things. I would quibble a bit with the gandhi-esque timeline. Certainly, the Chicago School had a significant impact on the financial/regulatory regime that followed the Keynesian/Bretton Woods crack-up in the late 1970s. In particular, the formation of the “Washington Consensus.” Monetary policy. Not to mention Greenspan lording over the fed for 2 decades. Secondly, cyber-libertarianism was a dominating influence in the early days of the public internet. From my perspective, I don’t agree that libertarianism has been a piddling thing that has only recently advanced to an object status of mockery/bitter opposition.

    I’ve never heard of James Luko, but certainly for anyone who wants to pretend the “social contract” is a real contract, the easy rejoinder to that nonsense is to inquire as to the copy of the signature. However, I do think that the thing as a hypothetical construct, a paradigm, is a valid approach. However, the test for consent is on the the behavior of the government, not the citizen. Luko’s conditions for a burden of non- consent are impossibility conditions. If you don’t live in a state, if you are killing government agents, etc, etc then you are not under a social contract is red herring…as in, no shit, you are 6 feet under the ground.

    Luko’s position, if show the state, you show consent, is more along the lines of a communitarian. But communitarians reject social contract theory or the idea of atomic, self-interested binding ascent to government. They see the state/polis more like a community or a family that guides what your self-interest would be. In other words, without it, there is no moral sense of individual self to begin with, much less a “self-interest.” However, I think that point of view ,explicitly stated, has little cachet with people. Hence, the disingenuous arguments like Luco’s masquerading as a social contract argument.

  308. robert capozzi

    dL: In fact, the only ones who view Pelosi as blue sky are her donors, the DNC and apparently Bob Capozzi.

    me: The point is that Pelosi is not as statist as Mussolini. Those deeply programmed in NAPsterism in my experience seem to have a very difficult time with shades of gray.

    Because I see a difference between Pelosi and Mussolini, you apparently think that I support her. I do not. I see a difference between Ryan and Mussolini, too. Am I correct that you see them all the same: as statists?

    If so, this is what I mean by seeing the sky as yellow. Most of humanity sees it as blue, that is, we perceive relatives. Most Americans might perceive Mussolini on balance as quite negative, but they would perceive Pelosi and Ryan with some positives and some negatives. The absolutism of the NAPster mindset just sees the negatives, and cannot differentiate between these three.

  309. George Dance

    RC – If so, this is what I mean by seeing the sky as yellow. Most of humanity sees it as blue, that is, we perceive relatives.

    Bad analogy, since we have no idea what colors anyone else sees. If whenever you looked at blue you’d see what I call yellow – you’d have asked your parents what color it was, they’d have told you ‘blue,’ and you’d call it ‘blue’, too. But that would only be agreement on a label, not an actual color.

    (Some philosophy for Mr. Phillies et al.)

  310. dL

    Most Americans might perceive Mussolini on balance as quite negative, but they would perceive Pelosi and Ryan with some positives and some negatives.

    Hmmm, should the balance be what history thinks of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin or what the Italian, German and Russian contemporaries of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin thought of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin?

    Because they don’t match. Indeed, totalitarianism often is what the other guy is living under, or what the long dead guy lived under, but not what you are living under.

    Take Duterte. Outside of the Philippines, he is regarded as a tyrant. But with the Filipinos, he is pretty popular. So which is it? the apparent absolutist, NAPster view of Deterte shared by most Americans or the nuanced, LessAnarchist view shared by most Filipinos?

    Conclusion: Don’t cite contemporary popular opinion of someone as a measure of tyranny. Otherwise, by that consensus standard, there are no tyrants.

  311. robert capozzi

    gd: Bad analogy, since we have no idea what colors anyone else sees.

    me: The analogy works, depending on how one uses it. It’s true that we have no idea what goes on inside another’s head, and the mechanics of how they perceive. But if there’s a broad consensus that the sky is “blue,” and someone says it’s “yellow,” that person’s perception or mental function is going to be suspect for the vast majority.

    If TK cannot discern a difference between Pelosi and Mussolini, and he tells the Public Square that they are the same, the reaction will probably be that most think he’s being WAY too harsh on Pelosi. Some hard right wingers might sort of agree, but moderates and liberals may think he has some odd ax to grind.

  312. robert capozzi

    dL: Hmmm, should the balance be what history thinks of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin or what the Italian, German and Russian contemporaries of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin thought of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin?

    me: The general sense of history in the populace one resides in would be my take. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, or at least do a reasonably good impression of the average Roman. It’s even OK to offer a contrary view, but it should be presented in a manner where the prevalent view is considered and addressed in an appropriate manner. Know your audience is wise counsel, IMO.

  313. Thomas L. Knapp

    “If TK cannot discern a difference between Pelosi and Mussolini”

    There is no “if” there. I clearly distinguished between the two in my previous comments.

  314. dL

    “If TK cannot discern a difference between Pelosi and Mussolini”

    Actually by capozzi’s “public square” standard of measuring tyranny above, there would be no discernible difference between the two. In practice, there are no tyrants.

  315. robert capozzi

    TK, right, you did.

    tk1: The difference between Pelosi and Mussolini is that she didn’t rise to the top of her CotOS archdiocese and he did.

    The difference between any recent president and Mussolini is that Mussolini spoke Italian.

    tk2: Look at the power Mussolini wielded, and what he did with it. Look at the power Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 or Obama wielded and what they did with it.

    Mussolini was a piker.

    me: While these are rough analogies, OTOH you seem to suggest that Pelosi was on her way toward Mussolini, but US presidents are equal with Mussolini. OTO, US presidents are far worse than Mussolini.

    Maybe you want to clarify….

  316. robert capozzi

    dL: Actually by capozzi’s “public square” standard of measuring tyranny above, there would be no discernible difference between the two. In practice, there are no tyrants.

    me: Not sure how you get there, dL. My sense is in the US, Mussolini would be considered a tyrant. Pelosi would be considered bad –but not nearly as bad as Mussolini — by some, others would be ambivalent about her, and some would admire her greatly.

    There are no tyrants in an objective sense, true.

  317. Andy

    I do NOT agree with everything that Christopher Cantwell says, and once again, my opinions are my own, and i doubt there is anyone out there with whom I agree with on every detail about everything.

  318. robert capozzi

    Lee: So Pol Pot and Idi Amin were not tyrants?

    me: Seems accurate and appropriate to me. Were they “objectively” tyrants? Not necessarily. They probably thought they were not tyrants, on some level. Human-made labels are not objectively true.

  319. dL

    me: Seems accurate and appropriate to me. Were they “objectively” tyrants? Not necessarily. They probably thought they were not tyrants, on some level. Human-made labels are not objectively true.

    No, there’s an objective standard for measuring tyrants. That standard, however, does not include what Pol Pot thinks of Pol Pot.

    “Human-made labels” may not be objectively true in the sense of being written into the laws of physics, but in terms of how humans treat one another, there is no dispute re: murder, plunder, tyranny, jack-booted thuggery….no amount mealy-mouthed, communitarian moral relativism is going to change that.

  320. robert capozzi

    dL, by all means, adopt standards and get agreement as to what those standards are. Who enforces those standards is where the rubber meets the road. You and I might well agree that “Pol Pot” meets the meaning of the word “tyrant.” But someone else might believe Pol Pot was NOT a tyrant. What are you going to do about this disagreement? Probably nothing, I suspect. And why should you?

    Lee, if grunts worked better for communicating than words do, I’d be for using them. Wouldn’t you?

  321. dL

    dL, by all means, adopt standards and get agreement as to what those standards are. Who enforces those standards is where the rubber meets the road. You and I might well agree that “Pol Pot” meets the meaning of the word “tyrant.” But someone else might believe Pol Pot was NOT a tyrant. What are you going to do about this disagreement? Probably nothing, I suspect. And why should you?

    What am I going to do re: those who don’t view Pol Pot or the Khmer Rouge as tyrants or practice a type of moral relativism that equally weights all points of view on the matter? Well, what is within my power to do something about it…as it pertains to my life? Certainly, I can make a suggestion that people who hold such views shouldn’t be anywhere near the libertarian movement or party.

  322. Robert Capozzi

    DL, so, for ex., you’d dissuade all moral relativists from voting L? Does that act somehow taint the purity-of-thought within the NAP cult? 😉

  323. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    There’s far less evidence for a “NAP cult” than there is for a “cult of the omnipotent state.”

    Is it OK for non-libertarian moral relativists to vote Libertarian? Sure. But it doesn’t make sense for the LP to pitch itself as the party of non-libertarian moral relativists in the hope that we can trick them into voting for our candidates. Actually persuading people makes more sense, at least in the long term, than hoping to put over a big con.

  324. dL

    DL, so, for ex., you’d dissuade all moral relativists from voting L?

    No…only suggesting that those moral relativists who regard Pol Pot in the same manner as Pol Pot regarded Pol Pot are not constituency the LP should concern itself with.

    Frankly, you’ve plowed right through the highway of respectability politics and are operating now at a fringe typically referred to as the bottom of a cliff…

  325. robert capozzi

    dL: ….regard Pol Pot in the same manner as Pol Pot regarded Pol Pot are not constituency the LP should concern itself with.

    me: I don’t regard PP that way at all. He was a hurtful person, causing much pain and suffering. I just don’t fool myself that my opinions are “right” and those who disagree with me are “wrong.”

    It’s funny because TK used to bristle when I used the term NAPsolutist, maintaining that NAPsters weren’t actually absolutists. If not absolutists, then it strikes me that NAPsters must be relativists. Now, he and dL seem to believe that they are absolutists, and that apparently “real” Ls are, too.

    It’s all quite confusing!!!

  326. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Bzzt. You set that bait out, but I didn’t take it. I modified your usage of “moral relativists” to “non-libertarian moral relativists” to accommodate the fact that that there are libertarian moral relativists.

  327. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    January 13, 2017 at 16:28
    ‘The point is that if there is a cult advocating either a totalitarian or omnipotent state for the US, I am not aware of one.’

    That’s because every time anyone points to it and says ‘see that? That there?’ you screw your eyes shut, stick your fingers in your ears and scream
    ‘doesn’texistdoesn’texistdoesn’texistbecauseidon’twantittoexistmaaaahahahahaha.;”

    This is EXACTLY what Tom Knapp does whenever anyone points out any piece of the large mountain of evidence that points to 9/11 having been an inside job.

  328. Andy

    Great video that pokes holes in the official government story about the allegedly hijacked Flight 93 that allegedly crashed in Shanksville, PA after passengers on the plane allegedly overcame the alleged al Queda terrorist hijackers. Funny how the alleged crash site does not match similar plane crash sites.

    Hoodwinked at Shanksville: The Boeing 757 Challenge!

  329. Andy

    Very interesting video that shows how the official story about Flight 93 crashing in Shanksville, PA on 9/11 is a lie, and which also proposes a more plausible explanation for what happened there, as in that cruise missiles were used.

    9/11: How the Shanksville crater was made

  330. dL

    me: I don’t regard PP that way at all. He was a hurtful person, causing much pain and suffering. I just don’t fool myself that my opinions are “right” and those who disagree with me are “wrong.”

    Neither do I, necessarily. On matters that are actually opinion. However, in the instance of PolPot, it is not an opinion. The security apparatus he had to employ to retain power demonstrates an assessment of his rule at the time is not merely a function of the opinionated biases of the one making the assessment today.

  331. dL

    Now, he and dL seem to believe that they are absolutists, and that apparently “real” Ls are, too.

    It’s all quite confusing!!!

    It shouldn’t be. There is no moral relativistic interpretation of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. His regime required an extensive security murderous security force to exercise power. The people of Cambodia did not blithely follow along b/c they saw Pol Pot as being morally right and saw no moral problem with genocide. Any American who decades later wants to claim cultural moral relativism when it comes to excusing Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge is full of shit.

    Pointing out that there is little or no moral relativism when it comes to genocide–in this instance or in general– is not a moral absolutist position.

  332. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    Surely if there are people pointing to mountains of evidence supporting your theory regarding 9/11, you could point to, say, one item. But in 15 years, you have yet to do so.

    Note that I did NOT say evidence disputing the official story. I said evidence SUPPORTING YOUR version. The two things are not the same thing.

  333. robert capozzi

    dL: Pointing out that there is little or no moral relativism when it comes to genocide–in this instance or in general– is not a moral absolutist position.

    me: Let me come at this from another direction. There are many behaviors that I find myself saying, “How can they possibly justify doing that?” You might feel the same way in perhaps, say, 95% of the time. You might know of a justification in the 5%. I might not buy the justification you offer.

    Even though we agree most of the time, sometimes we don’t. That illustrates the relativistic nature of human behavior and its interpretation. Pol Pot’s genocide would be one.

    OTOH, I find Nagasaki to be the most heinous single act in human history. Many feel it was justified. I understand their case in the broad strokes, but I don’t buy it.

    Are the Nagasaki justifiers “wrong,” and I am “right”? Here I can’t say for sure. They’ve not convinced me, certainly. Are Nagasaki justifiers “evil”? I’d say No. We just have a serious difference of opinion on the matter.

    To you, Down Low….

  334. dL

    me: Let me come at this from another direction. There are many behaviors that I find myself saying, “How can they possibly justify doing that?” You might feel the same way in perhaps, say, 95% of the time. You might know of a justification in the 5%. I might not buy the justification you offer.

    Sure, moral relativism applies to human behaviors. E.g, pre-marital sex, treatment of women, treatment of animals, treatment of children, treatment of prisoners, slavery…Not everyone agrees re: these things, although I suspect those subject to the treatments in question are probably not oft too fond of them. For example, not every adult is in agreement about spanking children. But I’m pretty sure I know what the child thinks about the matter.

    However, human genocide does not fall within the moral relativistic boundary. Neither does murder, rape, theft. These things are not culturally relative nor are they relative in general to human moral sensibility. Nor is government tyranny. Regarding the latter, there is a scientific test to measure it. The extent of the domestic security organization. Taxation in Switzerland might not pass the scientific test. However, Slavery in colonial America would pass the test. The regime wouldn’t last 5 seconds w/o the security apparatus. In this sense, it is not an opinion. Slavery in 18th-19th century American polite society a was a morally relativistic institution. But there wasn’t much moral relativity for the institution among the slaves.

    I’m actually more of moral non-cognitivist in the tradition of David Hume.That means I don’t regard moral statements as having truth content. I view reason as means to moral ends, not so much as the deducer of moral ends. Yes, that means I dispense with such things as “natural law.” However, it also means, at least in my case, that I’m quite skeptical of moral authority. I think people should do what they will…any prior restraint against that liberty needs a good reason. I regard moral absolutism Either/OR moral relativism as a false dilemma. More often than not I view moral relativism as an apologetic for ad hoc moral authority.

    So I regard libertarian morality as something that can quite comfortably reject both moral absolutism and moral relativism. Think of it this way: It’s not so much that I have to defend moral license. Instead, you have to defend moral authority. Appeals to culture, tradition, sampled opinion to defend moral authority are things I view as logical fallacies.

  335. robert capozzi

    dL: These things are not culturally relative nor are they relative in general to human moral sensibility. Nor is government tyranny. Regarding the latter, there is a scientific test to measure it. The extent of the domestic security organization.

    Me: I’d need to hear more to be convinced. How was this “scientific test” arrived at? Who developed it? How would one measure an “extent” of a domestic security organization, and what qualifies as such an organization?

    dL: So I regard libertarian morality as something that can quite comfortably reject both moral absolutism and moral relativism. Think of it this way: It’s not so much that I have to defend moral license. Instead, you have to defend moral authority.

    Me: Boy, would I like to hear more about this concept. My Inner Lao Tzu resonates with rejecting both absolutism and relativism. I don’t recall arguing for moral authority, however, so I’m not sure what you are getting at.

  336. Carol Moore

    I confess I’m getting bored with all the memes. I agree, obviously (unless your private community wants to call its user fees taxes… haha).

    I don’t think obsessing on one little aspect of libertarian philosophy helps expand people’s imagination on the bigger issue of: so what do you do if you get rid of taxes??

    This current obsession with that phrase is very 1978ish when it also was a mantra, and where did it get us??

    It’s sort of like standing on a corner screaming “All the prophecies were fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. You must believe!” And then having nothing in particular to offer after that.

  337. Carol Moore

    On the other hand, I’m not one to reject the usefulness of a fad, so I’ve started a new line of PRO-CHOICE LIBERTARIANS “taxation is theft” memes to remind people it costs LOTS of money to out law abortion.

  338. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I don’t think obsessing on one little aspect of libertarian philosophy helps expand people’s imagination on the bigger issue”

    Huzzah!

    This means you’re going to stop the 24/7/365 “why doesn’t everyone just shut up and agree with me on abortion” whining, right?

  339. dL

    “I don’t think obsessing on one little aspect of libertarian philosophy helps expand people’s imagination on the bigger issue”

    On the other hand, erring on core issues like abortion is a poison pill RE: the expansion of anyone’s imagination on the bigger issue.

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