December 2018 Open Thread

Our monthly open thread. Post news tips about alt parties and independent candidates, discuss any story that should be posted here but has not yet been posted, or even delve into completely off-topic stuff…just avoid quarantined thread subject matter and things that could get us and/or you into legal trouble such as threats, libel, and copyright infringement.

News tips can also be sent to the IPR writers who have chosen to make their contact info available at https://independentpoliticalreport.com/about/.

420 thoughts on “December 2018 Open Thread

  1. William Saturn

    As previously reported, The Saturnalian was censored last month by Automattic at the behest of the nation of Pakistan. As a protest, I have republished the censored, offensive material at Saturn’s Repository. This conveys to a censor or potential censor that an act of censorship will be met with multiple reproductions of the censored material, nullifying the censorship and reversing the censor’s intent. Without the right to offend there is no right to free expression.  In a web of censorship, Saturn’s Repository stands as a free space for free speech.

    https://saturnsrepository.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/pakistan-censors-the-saturnalian/

  2. Jim

    Voter registration chart

    https://i.imgur.com/W0ltqGs.png

    For most states I used numbers closer to the election than those that are in the November BAN. The numbers that I used for the Constitution Party, Working Families Party, and Reform Party are within a few hundred of the number in BAN. But, the more updated numbers that I used I used added 2,300 to the Green Party and 18,800 to the Libertarian Party. Almost half of the difference for the LP came from California. Richard Winger used the 60 day pre-election report while I used the 15 day report.

  3. William T. Forrest

    Very nice! Do you have the other stuff you assembled like this indexed anywhere?

  4. paulie Post author

    Tens of millions each, but falling over time, unlike the LP which keeps growing by leaps and bounds. The only other one that’s growing is non-partisan, not as fast in percentage terms as LP but faster in raw numbers; now bigger than Republican and in some states bigger than both Republican and Democrat combined.

  5. robert capozzi

    pf,

    It’d be great if the LP could be de-fringed to accelerate this trend. Unlikely, but a boy can dream.

  6. paulie Post author

    It’s already been quite a bit defringified and I would not bet against more of that happening. I’m not sure whether it will accelerate the trend or not. It may have more to do with external events. For example, the growth of the 1990s didn’t seem to correspond much with intra-party defringification as I don’t remember much of that happening in the LP at the time, while the relative stasis of the 2000s decade was at a time when the party was actively being defringified. It’s not an inverse correlation either though; see the 1980s.

  7. robert capozzi

    Today I finished a stint on jury duty. The case involved a person who’s a member of the “sovereign citizen” movement. Dude was pulled over for not having license plates. He also had no drivers license. He would not cooperate with the cop, including refusing to give his name and birth date. The defendant claimed he had the “right to travel.” He made obscure legalistic references, not unlike the sort I hear from NAPists.

    It took the 11 Normals and me about 10 minutes to find the dude guilty. There was some sympathy for this fringe figure, but there was no sympathy for his esoteric and time-wasting stunt. Oh, yes, he “defended” himself.

    A cautionary tale for all fringe players, I submit.

  8. paulie Post author

    Yeah, the sovereign citizen thing rarely works. Not exactly news. Is there a larger extrapolation you are trying to draw, if so what and why?

  9. robert capozzi

    Yes, being perceived as a “principled” wacko in public is not a good idea. It doesn’t sell.

  10. paulie Post author

    As far as I know, neither being principled nor being a wacko are by themselves illegal. Offering wacky theories about government laws in a government court has a low likelihood of success, if your measure of success is having the charges dismissed. But that’s about all I get out of that one, and I already knew that.

  11. robert capozzi

    I also note that when the dude claimed that he has the “right to travel,” I was reminded that many NAPists here hold a similar opinion.

  12. paulie Post author

    There are lots of rights I think we should have, but I’m not under any illusion that a government court is likely to recognize them if I make such arguments in court.

  13. robert capozzi

    PF,

    Excellent. Myself, whenever I take a position that’s the same as a wacko, I re-examine that position.

  14. paulie Post author

    Really? Well there are people who believe that various drugs are sacraments in their religion. Lots of other people think those people are wackos. And they are if they think that this is likely to hold up as a legal argument. But they’re not when they say they should have a right to ingest these substances, and I have no idea whether their theological view is wacko or not. I’m not tempted to change my view that they should have a right to ingest any substance they want just because a court is highly likely to rule against them if they make such an argument in court.

    Likewise, I am no less convinced that people should be free to travel without license plates and government travel permission papers just because some wackos think they will get out of jail and/or fines by claiming such rights in court.

  15. Jim

    The fall in the 1980s is due almost entirely to a steep decline in California’s numbers. A few other states, like Arizona and Nevada, increased during the decade. But California amounted to 87% – 98% of all registrations in the 1980s. It probably had a lot to do with Reagan being Governor there. And Justin Raimondo was publishing letters in LP News asking people to quit the LP and join the Republican Party. Also contributing to about 2,000 of the decline: 11 states reported LP stats in 1980, but only 7 did so by 1990.

    The 90s was a reverse of all of those things. By 2000 California had added 44,000, rebounding back above its 1980 level. The number of states reporting increased from 7 to 21. And there were also some states besides California with rapid growth. Pennsylvania added 30,000, which moved it up to 2nd place behind California, where it remains today. No states finished 2000 with fewer registrations than 1990.

    California lost about 7,000 between 2000 and 2008, but those came back by 2010, leaving it flat for the decade. The dip in 2002 is entirely explained by the fact that Pennsylvania did not report the LP registration stat that year (it would have been around 32,000.) The dip in 2006 was caused by North Carolina and Nebraska going to zero, wiping out around 18,000. And Massachusetts peaked in 2004 at 24,000 and began a slide that didn’t stop until 9,000 in 2016. The number of states reporting only rose from 21 in 2000 to 25 in 2010, and the 4 added states didn’t contribute much. 6 state parties had a net loss during the 2000s.

    The number of states reporting in 2018 was 31. Combined those 6 additional states contributed 24,000 to the 567,000 total. The rest has been pretty widespread growth. Since 2010, California is up 58,000, Colorado 29,000, North Carolina 28,000, Florida 15,000, Nebraska 14,000, Maryland 13,000… Only two states have a net loss since 2010: Alaska and Massachusetts. And those two combined are only down 1,600.

  16. Jim

    robert capozzi “I also note that when the dude claimed that he has the “right to travel,” I was reminded that many NAPists here hold a similar opinion.”

    A lot of non-napists do, also. Even the government basically only says it can limit travel for human trafficking, immigration, and safety.

  17. dL

    Bob, do you still subscribe to Stefan Molyneaux’s youtube channel?

  18. William T. Forrest

    Who is this crazy woman and how is she related to the equally crazy and contemptible Molyneux? BTW thanks for the reminder to unsubscribe from his crazy bigoted channel.

  19. robert capozzi

    PF, Jim, and WTF,

    There’s a difference, I submit, between PRIVATE and PUBLIC wacko-ism. If someone believes that, for example, someone has esoteric religious views but they keep it private, most are willing to respect that. Romney was the first LDS candidate for prez by a major party, and he nearly won. My sense is his religion didn’t hurt him too much, even though many find his religious doctrine to be strange. He didn’t proselytize Mormonism, and he didn’t describe his views of Planet Kolob.

    Nor does Weld proselytize Episcopalianism, which I sense is NOT considered wacko. (It’s not my cup of tea.)

    I suspect that Romney and Weld also hold some odd view on something. And, yet, we don’t know what they might be.

    Why is that?

    Because these politicians recognize the difference between PRIVATE and PUBLIC. This is not to say that their private views are unimportant to them. To the contrary, they are probably integral in some cases to their overall thought systems.

    It’s charming on some level that NAPists want to discern between objective wacko-ism and rationality. (I’m skeptical.) For the NAPist, it’s wacko that anyone believe that anyone has the “right” to go anywhere, and then to not see that TO THE PUBLIC the “right to travel” is NOT absolute as it is for the NAPists.

    Similarly, one only need to read the LPUS’s SoP and platform to see that the NAPists are more than willing to share their (what should be) private views publicly. Yes, the language lacks hysteria, but when one reads between the lines, anyone can see that the LP is committed to extreme change. One might also assume, given the heavy moralism in these documents, that the LPUS wants very rapid as well as extreme change.

    And, yet, almost no one wants or will even CONSIDER the change that the NAPists advocate. This is why I say that the LP is inappropriately offering their private thoughts in public. Reread MM’s essay if there’s any question about that.

    Like Cantwell, I see Molyneux as a cautionary tale for NAPists. (Both were doctrinaire NAPists a few short years ago.) Several years ago, I’d sometimes watched his Youtubes as part of my research on the dysfunction of NAPism. I also found him somewhat interesting, given his acting training. (Cantwell was not interesting, aside from the fact that he grew up near where I did, and I recognize his accent as a Long Islander’s.) He sometimes had interesting guests; I first saw Jordan Peterson on Molyneux’s show, for example. (Peterson is also not someone I find influential, but he is interesting.)

    I subscribed to Alex Jones as well, mostly to gain insights on why Trump was (somehow) gaining traction in 16. I generally don’t care for Jones’s message.

    In short, just because a person WATCHES a Youtube does not mean that a person AGREES with the content. I watch Maddow and Scott Adams, too. I don’t agree with them on most things.

    I trust I won’t need to explain this obvious point again.

  20. William T. Forrest

    I also watch/subscribe to plenty of things I disagree with, and I’ll probably continue to take an occasional look at Molyneux. However, he has gone beyond the pale in his “race realist” bullshit and I don’t want to give even him even the tacit support/validation of being part of his subscriber count anymore.

  21. robert capozzi

    wtf,

    Yes, i agree. recent NAPist SM’s and CC’s descent into haterism is most odious.

  22. Anthony Dlugos

    “Similarly, one only need to read the LPUS’s SoP and platform to see that the NAPists are more than willing to share their (what should be) private views publicly. Yes, the language lacks hysteria, but when one reads between the lines, anyone can see that the LP is committed to extreme change. One might also assume, given the heavy moralism in these documents, that the LPUS wants very rapid as well as extreme change.”

    Good post, RC, @ 8:10.

    Its not just that many in the LP recite “Taxation is theft” like the Rosary and refer to the NAP the way Evangelicals refer to John 3:16.

    Its that those people mean those things literally. They advocate basing public policy on them in a very concrete manner, invariantly, without exception, without prioritizing, without temporizing.

    When we say “Taxation is theft” we really mean it. See the platform. We would apparently be in favor of a hypothetical bill to eliminate all taxation on people who make over and above $1,000,00, and only those people.

    This is how you turn a general belief among the populace that taxation is too high and indecipherable and government too big, into a fringe, cult-like organization.

  23. Anthony Dlugos

    “One might also assume, given the heavy moralism in these documents, that the LPUS wants very rapid as well as extreme change.”

    The most self-aware of the NAPists will dodge the Rapidity Problem via vagueness regarding the time frame, allowing the voters to infer for themselves how rapidly we’d intend to usher in libertopia.

    What they certainly will NOT due is affirm a government component to a public policy issue. Which is an odd stance to take for a party purportedly in the business of proving we can govern.

    I had a job interview for an assistant brewmaster position at my favorite craft brewery here in Northeast Ohio. I didn’t actually tell them I am an atavistic prohibitionist, but I was so resolute in my description of alcohol as the devil’s handiwork, that they came right out and asked me if I actually had any interest in making good beer.

    I dodged that question by telling them not to worry about it, because, for the time being, I want the same thing as they do: fewer deaths and less personal destruction as a result of alcohol consumption.

    The owner pointed out that’s not EXACTLY the sole goal of the brewery, although those things are good goals.

    I responded by telling them there are plenty of people out there who do not drink alcohol either as a matter of principle, or because they think have better things to do with their money, or they periodically complain about hangovers so why not reach out to them?

    I did not get the job.

  24. robert capozzi

    AD,

    For the NAPist, “they” are “evil.” I — the NAPist — am righteous. “They” are “idiots.” I –the NAPist — am brilliant. I — the NAPist — must do what I can to educate these morons.

    Overstated, but only somewhat. That’s the attitude. It doesn’t sell.

  25. dL

    In short, just because a person WATCHES a Youtube does not mean that a person AGREES with the content. I watch Maddow and Scott Adams, too. I don’t agree with them on most things.

    So, the answer is, yes, you still subscribe to Stefan Molyneaux.

  26. dL

    We would apparently be in favor of a hypothetical bill to eliminate all taxation on people who make over and above $1,000,00, and only those people.

    No, “we” would not. Neither in principle nor practice. You, however, are on record for supporting higher taxes on the poor.

  27. dL

    will dodge the Rapidity Problem

    Easy to dodge something that you just made up out of thin air. Outside of particle physics, I have never heard of the “rapidity problem.”

  28. Anthony Dlugos

    RC,

    As I mentioned before, I think the least political in the NAP universe keep their public policy pronouncements nebulous, either in whole or in part. Position and momentum of a particular proposal are fuzzy possibilities for them, and as such it keeps the ideas inoffensive and keeps such NAPists sane, generally pleasant people.

    Unfortunately, it makes such proposals totally unworkable in a policy sense.

    On the other hand, any of the NAPists who actually try and collapse the NAP into concrete policy proposals end up sounding batsh*t crazy, angry, apologists for the worst elements of society, and various levels of mentally unhinged.

  29. Anthony Dlugos

    No, “we” would not. Neither in principle nor practice.

    Bullsh*t, that’s how the platform reads, and I can assure you I could find many, many NAPists would be in favor of just such a thing.

  30. dL

    On the other hand, any of the NAPists who actually try and collapse the NAP into concrete policy proposals end up sounding batsh*t crazy, angry, apologists for the worst elements of society, and various levels of mentally unhinged.

    I’m not the one who subscribes to white supremacist youtube channels nor watches white victimhood peddlers on Fox. Neither do I think the incels’ favorite philosopher is any way remotely interesting. lol

  31. Anthony Dlugos

    “Easy to dodge something that you just made up out of thin air.”

    Didn’t make it out of thin air.

    One of the long-term NAPist ” angels dancing on the head of a pin” questions is whether or not they would push a button to end government immediately or not.

    The idea that it should be eventually abolished is not questioned.

  32. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Yes, the politically active NAPisrs hurt the cause of liberty more than the theorists. My sense is their lack of self awareness is pronounced.

  33. dL

    Bullsh*t, that’s how the platform reads, and I can assure you I could find many, many NAPists would be in favor of just such a thing.

    It doesn’t read like that. What part of “All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor” do you not understand? Perhaps you can track down some crackpot who claims to be a libertarian who supports taxing the poor but not the rich, but the bottom line is that you–in this thread–unequivocally supported higher taxes on the poor.

  34. dL

    Didn’t make it out of thin air.

    One of the long-term NAPist ” angels dancing on the head of a pin” questions is whether or not they would push a button to end government immediately or not.

    And everyone else in the world refers to that as “Rothbard’s Button,” not the “Rapidity problem.”

  35. Anthony Dlugos

    oh, come on, dL, read the whole plank:

    All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. We support any initiative to reduce or abolish any tax, and oppose any increase on any taxes for any reason. To the extent possible, we advocate that all public services be funded in a voluntary manner.

    “ANY initiative to reduce or abolish ANY tax”

    What part of that don’t you understand?

    “Perhaps you can track down some crackpot who claims to be a libertarian who supports taxing the poor but not the rich,..”

    I could find a lot more than one crackpot.

    I could propose to delete the phrase I noted and I would smoke out all the dogmatic NAPists in screaming hysterics in a heartbeat.

    Of course, they wouldn’t defend it as “taxing the poor, but not the rich.” They would defend it as abdicating the NAP.

    The end result is the same.

  36. Anthony Dlugos

    And everyone else in the world refers to that as “Rothbard’s Button,” not the “Rapidity problem.”

    Ahh, the return of the Aggressively Pedantic Caucus!!

  37. robert capozzi

    A question for any actual NAPist. If the platform says this:

    “We support any initiative to reduce or abolish any tax,…”

    Is it not the case that AD’s hypothetical “eliminate all taxation on people who make over and above $1,000,00, and only those people,” to be consistent with the platform, a L MUST support such a tax law change?

    If not, why not?

  38. Anthony Dlugos

    “Arguing with the ill-informed and malicious minded is just too much of an energy drain with no upside.”

    RC,

    In this setting, you are almost assuredly right.

    Within an organization that has the rules and by-laws the LP has?

    There would be value in smoking out the malicious,, to demonstrate to, say, the assembled delegates at a Convention just how malicious the person is.

    As an aside, I don’t think the subject at hand is ill-informed. Just the opposite, I think he’s well aware of the foolish places NAPist dogmatism can end up, and the maliciousness and pedantry is designed to head off a demonstration of that.

    I’m very certain a proposal at a Convention to delete the taxing phrase I mentioned would have the NAPists in hysterics. I’m sure you agree.

    Call it the rapidity problem or rothbard’s button, I don’t give a sh*t. The point is 10 out of 10 NAPists/radicals would entertain the question, falling on one side or the other. The other 99.98% of the public would look at the question as ludicrous, and everyone knows that.

    So make a pedantic point to misdirect.

  39. robert capozzi

    AD,

    It wasn’t Rothbard’s button, it was Read’s.

    While “taxation is theft” fails on every level, it — like NAPism — really just needs a tweak. “Taxation is force” is a true statement.

  40. dL

    Arguing with the ill-informed and malicious minded is just too much of an energy drain with no upside.

    The Button was the FEE founder Leonard Read’s concept.

    I agree. But arguing with the half-informed is not much better. Leonard Reed’s button was price and wage controls, not the state.

    RE: malicious. You got a glass jaw, Bob.You revel in your little passive aggressive posturing(the liberty to travel==sovereign citizens whack jobs) but whine like a little boy when someone merely states the facts RE: you’re viewing habits. But I understand your touchiness. You’re viewing habits are an embarrassment.

  41. paulie Post author

    I think one of the commenters finally explained why some people take Molyneux seriously, which I never understood before:

    He says things angrily in a tone that conveys disdain for anyone disagreeing.

    That’s the kind of habitus a lot of people associate with intellect.

  42. dL

    What part of that don’t you understand?

    The part where “abolish any tax” equals tax the poor, not the rich. Please cite such a tax currently on the books that if abolished, the poor would still have to pay but the rich would not.

    I could find a lot more than one crackpot.

    Cite them, then. Name names…

  43. Jim

    paulie “He says things angrily in a tone that conveys disdain for anyone disagreeing. That’s the kind of habitus a lot of people associate with intellect.”

    A week or two ago I watched a few of Vox Day’s videos for the first time and he was doing the same thing. He’d say things like ‘this is what a debate looks like when there’s a 2 standard deviation IQ gap,’ or ‘the thing you guys don’t understand is…’

    I was surprised he had any regular viewers. He came across like he had no self confidence and was trying to mask it by being contemptuous towards the intellect of everyone else. The constant need to remind people that he’s smarter than them is like the intellectual version of a dude who goes around beating people up because he thinks it makes him ‘alpha’.

  44. paulie Post author

    Worse, because there are direct physical consequences of going around thinking you can physically beat everyone. Substituting verbal aggression is similar, but tends to have fewer consequences, so more people tend to persist in that habit longer (especially if physically beating people is not an option for them).

  45. robert capozzi

    pf: I think one of the commenters finally explained why some people take Molyneux seriously,

    me: When I watched him occasionally several years back, it was mostly to get a sense of what motivates the NAPist mind. Since he went full alt-right, I’ve only watched him when he has a literature prof on and a few of his call-in shows, none of which are particularly interesting. I also watched his appearance on the Rubin Report, where he behaved himself, hiding his alt-right-edness, as I recall.

  46. dL

    When I watched him occasionally several years back,

    You’re not just a watcher, you’re a subscriber. And it’s been clear for almost 5 years now that Molyneux is a bigot and a fraud. And he is not an anomaly in your youtube subscribe list. Ben Shapiro, Sam Harris, Dave Rubin, Scott Adams, Peter Schiff. It’s not an eclectic list. It leans pretty heavily as reactionary.

    it was mostly to get a sense of what motivates the NAPist mind.

    As a self-professed “recovering Napster,” why would you need to watch Stefan Molyneux to figure out what motivates the”NAPist” mind? You were one.

    I only point this out b/c you take every opportunity to troll the Non Aggression principle and in a passive aggressive posture, intimate that NAP is a stepping stone to the reactionary sewer. I dunno, are you being autobiographical here?

  47. dL

    I think one of the commenters finally explained why some people take Molyneux seriously,

    Not an argument!

  48. dL

    A week or two ago I watched a few of Vox Day’s videos for the first time and he was doing the same thing. He’d say things like ‘this is what a debate looks like when there’s a 2 standard deviation IQ gap,’ or ‘the thing you guys don’t understand is…’

    Harping on IQ invariably invites a confabulation constructed for the lowest common denominator. I mean if you really want to follow along with a “High IQ” substrata, check out the physics forums
    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/calculating-the-number-of-energy-states-using-momentum-space.958402/

    Vox Day ain’t that. Instead, Vox’s High IQ highfalutin pretense gives the male sexual hierarchy of the sigmas(Vox), the alphas, the lambdas(gay), and the gammas(marxists), whereby the sigmas will save the alphas(and western civilization) from the lambdas and the gammas. LOL. You have to be one hard up, sexually frustrated motherfucker to suck that up…

    IQ is just a test, and the results for any test are normally distributed. It is not an absolute measure. There is no such thing as a high IQ population. If you took the sample subset that scored two standard deviations left from the mean(roughly ~ 2%), eliminated the 98%, gave a new test, the test results would again be normally distributed. If you scored two standard deviation left from the mean on planet earth, you would score 2 SD from the right on planet Vulcan. On earth, you’re genius, on Vulcan you are moron. So, obviously no space travel between Earth and Vulcan! And that analogy is apt b/c in a generation or two, the bots will be better at everything than humans. And in an human-bot population, the humans are the morons. So, human sequestration, human elimination? IQ aside, hopefully the bots are actually smarter than the humans.

  49. robert capozzi

    For those who continue to engage with the pseudonym known as dL, you may not recognize just how distorted his postings are. S/He apparently could see what I subscribe to on Youtube. S/He cites a VERY short list of my subscriptions (for which I offer no apology) there, which totals 68. I also happen to bookmark others, so I effectively have over 70, many of which I never watch or watch very sparingly.

    As I was coming to the conclusion some months back that his/her intentions as an interlocutor were malicious, I asked him/her for recommendations of what I SHOULD watch, the only thing s/he could come up with was some very obscure website geared toward techies, iirc.

    Engaging with such nonsense and duplicity yields no light that I can see. Others may see it differently. I now need to avoid even indirectly addressing this apparently deeply confused and embarrassed energy drain that types. ymmv.

    If any of the adults in the room have a different approach to intelligent-but-malignant trolls, I’d love some feedback.

  50. dL

    S/He apparently could see what I subscribe to on Youtube.

    I’m male. And “apparently” is correct given that a user’s youtube subscriptions are public, in case you didn’t know that.

    As I was coming to the conclusion some months back that his/her intentions as an interlocutor were malicious, I asked him/her for recommendations of what I SHOULD watch

    You apparently don’t know the definition of malicious. Pointing out what is publicly available is not malicious. Not obliging a purported request to supply a recommendation request is not malicious behavior. Suggesting that perhaps you are not the one people should be taking recommendations from when it comes to disassociation from reactionary extremism–based on your own anti-immigration views posted here and your youtube subscriptions–is not malice. You offer no apology. Well, It’s fair game.

    intelligent-but-malignant trolls

    Nah, I like Tom Woods ‘ smack “deranged, fact-free leftist” better. So much so, I put in my twitter bio. But I didn’t oblige his demand for a list, either. What is it with you guys and demands for lists?

  51. Anthony Dlugos

    “The part where “abolish any tax” equals tax the poor, not the rich. Please cite such a tax currently on the books that if abolished, the poor would still have to pay but the rich would not.”

    Moving the goalposts like a champ, eh dL?

    My original statement was,

    “We would apparently be in favor of a hypothetical bill to eliminate all taxation on people who make over and above $1,000,00, and only those people.”

    That statement makes no reference to tax abolishments that would result in the government taxing only the poor.

    Per the platform, and per my original point that a significant portion of the “Taxation is Theft” crowd means that LITERALLY, we would apparently be in favor of a bill eliminating the estate tax in the United States, a tax with a current exemption of $11.18 million per taxpayer that consequently affects approximately 2,000 people, TOTAL.

    I’ll make another gentleman’s wager…I’ll bet MM or some other radical/NAPist would readily confirm that they would indeed be in favor of such a bill.

    I’m not really sure what the argument is here. Radicals are radicals proudly. They should have zero problem with eliminating the estate tax as a way of demonstrating just how strongly they believe “taxation is theft.”

    me: I could find a lot more than one crackpot.

    dL: Cite them, then. Name names…”

    I explained how I could find them: by presenting a deletion of the phrase “ANY initiative to reduce or abolish ANY tax” at an LP Convention. Don’t you worry, they’d come out of the woodwork.

    In the meantime, how could I have any names? I just came up with this hypothetical deletion in the last couple days and posted it here.

  52. dL

    “We would apparently be in favor of a hypothetical bill to eliminate ALL taxation on people who make over and above $1,000,00, AND ONLY those people.”

    That statement makes no clear reference to tax abolishments that would result in the government taxing only the poor in the poor still having to pay but the rich would not

  53. Anthony Dlugos

    “The part where “abolish any tax” equals tax the poor, not the rich.”

    The platform phrase in question reads:

    “We support any initiative to reduce or abolish any tax…”

    Any tax means any tax.

    Not only is there zilch in the platform that precludes elimination of a tax on the rich only, I am quite sure the radicals themselves would tell you any tax means any tax, and would argue the platform means exactly what it says.

  54. Jim

    robert capozzi “He cites a VERY short list of my subscriptions (for which I offer no apology) there, which totals 68. I also happen to bookmark others, so I effectively have over 70, many of which I never watch or watch very sparingly.”

    It would take me a year to watch just one video from 70+ channels. I have one channel that I subscribe to, and I watch less than a quarter of what he puts out. That one channel is Esoteric Entity (now known as Esoteric The Free after some youtube dickery.) I, also, offer no apology.

    But, seriously, I don’t think anyone but dL cares what channels you have subscribed to.

  55. dL

    Any tax means any tax.

    And your hypothetical tax–one that the poor would have to pay but the rich would not–no one would support, in principle or in practice, notwithstanding your self delusional fantasy of leading some point of parliamentary procedural smoke out at the libertarian national convention.

  56. dL

    But, seriously, I don’t think anyone but dL cares what channels you have subscribed to.

    I could give a rat’s ass what videos he watches…

  57. DJ

    RC: It took the 11 Normals and me about 10 minutes to find the dude guilty.

    Me: Guilty of what?

  58. robert capozzi

    J: It would take me a year to watch just one video from 70+ channels. I

    Me: My point exactly. I’ve been attacked for Youtubes I subscribe to, even though I watch few of them. It strikes me as malicious to attack me for what I merely subscribe to. It’s a ridiculous thing to even bring up. And, yet, it was. It apparently was some kind of guilt-by-association charge that is transparently absurd.

  59. robert capozzi

    DJ: Guilty of what?

    Me: 1) Delaying a peace officer and 2) Driving without a license.

  60. DJ

    RC: Delaying a peace officer and 2) Driving without a license.

    Me: BFD- LOL- not much of a crime. As with most laws, it’s merely a revenue generator. Of course in cases like “Delaying a Peace Officer” I’d say that’s meant to tell citizens that cops are special and can’t be delayed and we will force you to comply- and, what were the circumstances this happened under? If those are the only “crimes” he was cited with then most likely the original “stop” was bogus to begin with. Sounds like y’all just wanted to punish the guy for being “not” normal.

    There was a well known lawyer down here, years ago, who did that very thing- took them to court, and won.

    If I had the money I’d drive w/o a license and fight them in court every time. That too is a revenue source that likely doesn’t pay for itself so extra revenue is necessary from enFORCErs who have nothing better to do after their doughnut break. They may very well get their fine, but after the 2nd time or so they’d find themselves in the news. Every. Fucking. Time.

  61. Florida Man Larry

    It looks like the Florida Libertarian Party was scammed out of a lot of money. The state party treasurer who was scammed is also the budget officer for the City of Daytona Beach, Fred Coulter.

    The email chains for the board distribution list ec@lpf.org are here:

    https://docs.lpf.org/ec-emails/

  62. Chuck Moulton

    Earlier this year or last year LP national treasurer Tim Hagan reported receiving the wire transfer email scam and warning state treasurers about it. I will try to fish out the Treasurer’s report or email when I get home.

    It’s unfortunate that this scam included LP affiliates in its targets. I hope other affiliates can learn from this situation.

  63. robert capozzi

    DJ,

    The dude drove in front of a cop car in a parking lot without plates as well. The cop pulled him over because of the plates. The driver refused to give his name or birthdate, claiming he had the “right to travel” and just wanted to drive on the roads without being subject to the government’s rules. It was all taped, and he refused to comply in any way.

    The driver also defended himself without an attorney.

    He IMO had a wacky idea about rights to drive on government roads, and was probably looking to challenge the law. His closing argument was an explicit call for us to Jury nullify. I might consider nullification, but not in this case. Plates and licenses make sense to me. The dude just wasted everyone’s time for spurious reasons.

  64. LPF fails again

    More on the LPF treasurer fuck up. The state party has lost “at least $14,000” according to one person close to the situation.

  65. DJ

    Robert, that’s all fine and dandy, but, as I said, it seems y’all just wanted to punish him for not being “normal”, which BTW, puts you in the class of normal vs your sentence ( the 11 Normals and me), I also stated “that’s not much of a crime”- and he shouldn’t need a lawyer to explain it, except in a police (show me your papers) state. Now, admittedly, it is against the law- IF that was pointed out to him, fine, otherwise it’s just a look at how smart we are because you needed a lawyer statement and this is, after all, a “police state” where if permission isn’t granted by the state it isn’t a right to travel- he is correct in that he does have the right to “pursue”, which can be defined as travel, thus the state, the courts and the law are unconstitutionally restricting his efforts. Just because he (or I) don’t use the words preferred by the police state doesn’t mean it’s incorrect. Now, what was his argument for the jury to nullify? Were they not approved by the police state normals?

    The bigger thing, to me, is the licensing of cars and people. They are just revenue generators, Period.
    They serve the state to control the masses “pursuit” in every endeavor that requires getting from point “a” to point “b”- we’ve been trained to accept that as “normal” and animals are easily trained meaning we are no mare than animals in the eyes of the state. And like animals, we comply or pay the price. I’m surprised the guy wasn’t shot. The “normals” would probably have defended it.

  66. robert capozzi

    DJ,

    I assure you I had no interest in punishing the defendant. I felt great compassion for him on several levels. The law was clear, as were the instructions. I support those laws for public safety reasons, even though it’s also a revenue generator. I suspect the revenue for plates and licenses doesn’t fully pay for the roads, however.

  67. Libertydave

    roberty capozzi

    You said you support licensing of cars and people for public safety reasons. Can you tell me how licensing cars or people make the public safer?

  68. robert capozzi

    LD,

    Plates ID cars, which are used to ID other law violations, both of the rules of the road and other crimes.

    Licenses are denied to people who cannot drive a vehicle safely.

    These are not, of course, guarantees of safety on the roads. Rather, they are screens for unsafe behavior, and I’m OK with these light requirements.

    To be against plates and licenses are political kryptonite — fringe ideas.

    Private institutions often require passes to move about on private property. The people require such passes when people choose to navigate on public property.

  69. Libertydave

    robert capozi,

    You do know that licensing don’t work at keeping anybody safe and that the government is lying to you about why they passed these laws. As far as car tags go they’re a piece of metal that can easily be removed or stolen before the car is used in a crime. So that law is ineffective at keeping anybody safe and is just a revenue generator. And do you really believe that people who cannot drive a vehicle safely can’t get a license or even care about a license. Come on now give me a break. You really need to quit repeating these lies.

  70. robert capozzi

    LD: You do know that licensing don’t work at keeping anybody safe and that the government is lying to you about why they passed these laws.

    Me: I KNOW neither thing. Please share your proof of these assertions. There may well be better ways to keep the roads safe, but in my 4 decades+ of driving, it’s been working pretty well for me and, near as I can tell, most. More importantly, are there places (Zomia, Somalia?) that have NO laws or rules of the road.

    LD: As far as car tags go they’re a piece of metal that can easily be removed or stolen before the car is used in a crime.

    Me: True. Are you saying plates/tags have not been used to ID criminal acts?

    LD: And do you really believe that people who cannot drive a vehicle safely can’t get a license or even care about a license.

    Me: I’ve noticed that many/most NAPists and nonarchists take their methodological individualism to an extreme. Exceptions don’t prove rules, right? Overarching rules can be useful in maintaining peace for most is the point. We’d need to see a functioning rule-less road system works for me, at least, to be persuaded. I suspect I’m hardly alone.

  71. robert capozzi

    LD and DJ,

    As for revenue, if the requirement for plates and licenses are ONLY effectively user fees, so what? There’s a massive amount of capital involved in building and maintaining roads, yes? Again, there may well be BETTER ways to fund these expenses, but none is immediately obvious.

    If you are both “privatize the roads” advocates, that’s grand. I don’t see the point of dying on that hill. But, make no mistake, running for office on such a plank is a sure way to self-marginalize.

  72. Libertydave

    robert capozzi,

    Here you go lying again. Fees for licenses and tags don’t go to building and maintaining roads, it’s a tax on gas that pays for the roads. Also I didn’t make the false claim that licenses and tags keep the public safe, you did. I just called you out on your lie and gave you a couple of examples showing that you lied. Your the one who need to provide proof of your claim.

  73. robert capozzi

    LD,

    Lying to me means something like saying a purposeful untruth. If fees for plates and licenses don’t go to the transportation system, where do they go?

  74. Libertydave

    RC,

    That’s just like you to ignore the definition of words or make up new definitions or make up new words.
    Here is the definition of lie.

    lie;
    1) A false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
    2) Something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture: His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.
    3) An inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.

    it’s #3 that applies to you. Just because you believe a lie doesn’t make it true, it’s still a lie. Also as far as where the money goes, you have the internet and a search engine. Look it up before you comment. It will make you look less foolish.

  75. robert capozzi

    LD.

    Are you sure about 3? Websters only has 1 and 2.

    I’d be happy to be incorrect, but I’ve always understood it to be about deceiving or misleading others.

    But even if you are correct, the more important question is: Where does the money for plates and licenses go?

  76. Libertydave

    RC,

    Ok from merriam-webster.com, cut and pasted here.

    lie noun (2)

    Definition of lie (Entry 4 of 6)

    1a : an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker or writer to be untrue with intent to deceive
    “He told a lie to avoid punishment.”

    b : an untrue or inaccurate statement that may or may not be believed true by the speaker or writer
    “the lies we tell ourselves to feel better”
    “Historical records containing numerous lies”

    2 : something that misleads or deceives
    “His show of remorse was a lie.”

    3 : a charge of lying (see lie entry 3)

    Again it is 1b that applies to you. Also the money from car tags and license fees goes into the general fund to be used for what ever the government want to use it for. It took me about 5 minutes this out.

  77. robert capozzi

    LD,

    That’s odd. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lie gives a different result.

    Regardless, whenever I use the word “lie,” I mean “purposeful, misleading untruth.” I use “false” or “inaccurate” when others make mistakes about facts. To me, INTENTION is a big deal. Perhaps not for you.

    I don’t find the cost accounting and GL entries illuminating. I associate gas taxes, tolls, plates, and licenses as revenue sources for the transportation infrastructure. I suspect states and localities may do a variety of accountings for such things. Now, IF those revenue aggregated far outstripped the infrastructure costs, I might partially agree with you. They may be too high.

    Still, I notice that the main point: that plates have been frequently used to keep the peace, and licenses have screened out those who cannot drive safely, has been lost. My hypothesis remains that NAPists and nonarchists take their methodological individualism to absurd ends.

  78. robert capozzi

    more…

    And, as this is a website devoted to independent, third-party politics, the extreme position that there’s a “right to travel” that includes the unchecked ability to drive without plates or licenses, I submit that such a position is politically untenable. If, for ex., GJ went on MORNING JOE and got bogged down on the subject of the “right to travel” (as NAPists mean it), it might have been even worse than his Aleppo moment!

    Those who believe in this “right to travel” concept should consider keeping that view private.

  79. ATBAFT

    Agree, Mr. Capozzi. But still if I was on that jury I’d vote to acquit just to screw with the government.
    Unless the guy was also stopped for doing something unsafe – like reckless driving or no headlights at night or failure to identify himself after causing an accident – then nullify.

  80. Libertydave

    RC,

    You got the right page for the definition of lie, now scroll down from the definition of lie used a a verb which is what you put up and you will find the definition of lie used as a noun which is the definition on how I used the word. You do know that to understand what a word means you have to read the whole definition.

    As far as where the money goes if you want to believe a lie that it’s just used for transportation the go ahead and believe the lie. But when you repeat the lie that still makes you a liar. Also since you admitted that these laws are ineffective at keeping the public safe that means that the definition you put up applies to you too.

  81. Anthony Dlugos

    Libertydave:

    Are you in favor of abolishing all state requirements for licensing of drivers and vehicle registration?

  82. dL

    Me: My point exactly. I’ve been attacked for Youtubes I subscribe to, even though I watch few of them. It strikes me as malicious to attack me for what I merely subscribe to. It’s a ridiculous thing to even bring up. And, yet, it was. It apparently was some kind of guilt-by-association charge that is transparently absurd.

    The Association Fallacy is of the form:

    (1) Bob is an Lessarchist
    (2) Bob is an anti-immigrant xenophobe
    (3) Therefore, all lessarchists are xenophobes or predisposed to it.

    To the extent that there actually exists any lessarchists apart from yourself, that would be a guilt by association conclusion. But It’s not guilt by association when there is an actual association. Your anti-immigrant xenophobia is not established by your viewing habits. It’s established by your comments on this forum.

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2018/01/lnc-vice-chair-arvin-vohra-once-again-stirs-controversy-calls-for-removal-with-age-of-consent-comments/#comment-1732709

  83. dL

    Those who believe in this “right to travel” concept should consider keeping that view private.

    Those who subscribe to “need permission from the state xenophobia” should probably realize one’s youtube subscriptions to right-wing, anti-immigrant, anti-muslim xenophobes are not private.

  84. dL

    Are you in favor of abolishing all state requirements for licensing of drivers and vehicle registration?

    if the driver license is being used as a de jure national ID card to control access to employment, banking, air travel, access to public buildings and services, etc, then absolutely.

  85. robert capozzi

    LD,

    Thank you. The semantics here are interesting to me. The noun meaning of “lie” doesn’t completely agree with the verb version. I especially find “the lies we tell ourselves to feel better” illuminating. Does a person recognize the untruth as untrue, or not? It’s often unclear, and of course we can’t know what goes on in another person’s head. We don’t even really know what goes on in our own, despite our best efforts! Meditators know this perhaps better than most.

    I sometimes wonder whether NAPists are doing this. Deep down, they know NAPism is unworkable, yet the sense of moral certainty swamps their sense of serviceability. It’s a theory!

    I’m happy to critique road-infrastructure spending and revenue, but I don’t have empirical data to take a position, one way or another. Do you? The two reports I’ve glanced at say that gas taxes, tolls, plates, and licenses are not nearly enough to fund the roads, and that the balance is funded generally by property taxes. Do you have a better source?

  86. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Your question to LD is a simple one. He probably won’t answer, but I hope he does, so we don’t have to guess.

  87. robert capozzi

    LD: Also since you admitted that these laws are ineffective at keeping the public safe that means that the definition you put up applies to you too.

    Me: Need to address this. No, I didn’t “admit” that. My sense is that plates and licenses are somewhat effective in addressing crime, driving rule violations, and as a screen to keep those who can’t drive safely off the roads. If there’s a place with similar driving miles per capita that does not have plates or licenses, and the outcomes there are better than in the US, I’d like to see the data.

    Now, this doesn’t mean that if you are a safe driver that therefore you would become an unsafe one if you drove a car without plates or a license. There’s such a thing as “network effects.” If there were no rules of the road, fewer might be inclined to drive, knowing that other drivers were uninsured, unlicensed, and in vehicles with no way of identifying them should there be an accident.

    By himself, the defendant that I was a juror for may not BY HIMSELF be a threat to other drivers. If many adopted his stance, however, it’s quite possible that the roads would be significantly less safe than they are now.

  88. Anthony Dlugos

    “Your question to LD is a simple one. He probably won’t answer, but I hope he does, so we don’t have to guess.”

    RC,

    mirabile dictu , we actually got a reasonably straightforward answer, and from the most unlikely of sources.

    Not surprisingly its one that would absolutely be a fringe position politically speaking, however consistent it happens to be.

    But yea, like you have previously noted, almost every NAPist/radical goes mute when the full implications of their philosophy are presented to them.

    And the ones who don’t end up at “we need to offend our audience” type of stuff.

  89. robert capozzi

    AD,

    No actual NAPist has answered your incisive question about a tax regime that excludes all millionaires, either. This is why the “lies we tell ourselves to feel better” is so apropos for seems operative with this crowd.

  90. Anthony Dlugos

    “Fight directly and conspicuously for those who are net contributors to, instead of recipients from, government…And we have to ask, who will most benefit most immediately from a Libertarian reality? It’s not going to be net recipients. Anyone who pays less in taxes than they receive in government school tuition is a net recipient. If you have 2 kids in public school, and pay less than 20k in taxes, you are a net recipient…Add in those who pay more in taxes than they receive in services…”

    Is this idiot for real?

    I guess if the Marx maxim is true, then Ron Paul must have been the tragedy and Vohra will be the farce.

  91. Jim

    robert capozzi “I’m happy to critique road-infrastructure spending and revenue, but I don’t have empirical data to take a position, one way or another. Do you? The two reports I’ve glanced at say that gas taxes, tolls, plates, and licenses are not nearly enough to fund the roads, and that the balance is funded generally by property taxes. Do you have a better source?”

    It might be true that the federal gas tax isn’t enough to cover their expenses, but for many states, their supposed underfunded transportation fund is just a shell game. Gas taxes and tolls take in plenty of revenue. The states then raid the transportation fund for general expenses, which have a shortfall. The transportation fund is now underfunded and requires higher gas taxes. Not every state does that, but many of them do.

    I’m going to guess that the revenue from drivers licenses and license plates is roughly equivalent to the cost of producing them, plus the administration and general expenses of the offices that issue them. It’s around 5% of the transportation fund revenue in my state. The bulk of the transportation fund is gas taxes and tolls, sales taxes on cars, and federal revenue, which is mostly gas taxes.

  92. Libertydave

    Anthony Dlugos,

    I have made my position on on drivers licenses and vehicle registration clear here. They are both programs used by the government to control and punish the poor and minorities and do nothing to keep the public safe. Of course they should be abolished.

    Now I have a question for you and robert capozzi. Why are you both involved in the libertarian party when it obvious that neither one of you have any faith that liberty is the solution to anything?

  93. robert capozzi

    LD,

    I am not a member of the LP, though I was. I realized that since I’m not a NAPist any longer, and that NAPism is both politically untenable and a failure on a theoretical plane (although a nice sentiment), being in the LP made no sense for me. When I vote, I vote L IF the candidate has some semblance of sanity.

    I offer a libertarian path that does not derive from the NAP to other Ls to consider.

  94. robert capozzi

    LD,

    Define things as you will. I advocate things that I believe will maximize liberty and dial back the net incidence of coercion from where we are now. Advocating abolition of license plates and drivers licenses HARMS the case for more liberty because it brands the advocate as a wacko, in my estimation.

  95. Anthony Dlugos

    LD,

    If, by “liberty” you mean a solution to a policy issue that rejects a government component, based on a philosophy that, even just potentially, implies anarchism, then I would agree with RC: such a position is electorally untenable. And if its electorally untenable, you’re not going to even be given a chance to take the country baby-steps towards liberty.

    In the political arena, when you make an argument that drivers licenses/car registrations should be abolished…even when you couch it in terms of how such rules impact the poor and minorities, you lose 99.5% of the voting public, and that includes the poor and minorities. Such people take the EXACT conclusion you want them to take: philosophical anarchism. And they want no part of it. (If you think otherwise, by all means, prove it. But don’t be surprised when such a philosophy winds up with a catastrophically unqualified presidential candidate who can’t get 10% of the delegates in a room full of the most dedicated Libertarians).

    That doesn’t mean your position is wrong on some theoretical/logical level. It just means you are in the wrong arena. By all means, fight the good fight in the arena of philosophy. There you can play the long game. But electoral politics, you have to play the short game. I’m looking at POLITICALLY TENABLE solutions that can move policy in the right direction.

    NAP-based solutions are politically untenable. The entire lot of them. No one should be surprised at that. The NAPists themselves are plenty clear about the implications of their philosophy. They aren’t just opposed to social security on a standalone level as one particular bad government program among other programs they are okay with. They make clear they oppose it in a way that either implicitly or explicitly throws into question all government action.

    When NAPists say “taxation is theft,” they mean that literally. When a voter actually engages a NAPist on that issue, the NAPist doesn’t respond by saying, “oh, that’s just a semi-serious complaint about government taxing too much,” They either go into an explanation about what coercion is, or they bring up the various semi-coercive government revenue sources, thus confirming they do really believe taxation is theft, and if elected, would carry that philosophy to its logical conclusion.

  96. paulie Post author

    Now I have a question for you and robert capozzi. Why are you both involved in the libertarian party when it obvious that neither one of you have any faith that liberty is the solution to anything?

    Robert has not been active in the party in years. He still votes Libertarian sometimes when the candidates are moderates.

  97. robert capozzi

    PF,

    Correct.

    Given the language in the LP platform on taxes, would you support a tax regime that excludes all millionaires from all taxes, as AD asks?

  98. robert capozzi

    pf,

    I know that’s your preference. As a matter of PRINCIPLE, strictly applying the NAP, would it be moral or immoral to vote for a tax exemption only for those who make over $1 million/year?

  99. paulie Post author

    I think that a variety of government actions combine directly and (mostly) indirectly to redistribute wealth primarily upwards and to lock poor people into poverty as well as to prevent new/small business from forming and from rising up to effectively compete with established big businesses and wealthy people who own those businesses or the bulk of their stock. I don’t want to spend the time to prove that this is the case.

    But in light of it being the case, I think it would be wrong to start dissolving the tax state from the top and would vote no unless there was at the same time significant removal of barriers to escaping poverty at the same time. If that makes me less than perfect as a hypothetical libertarian politician, so be it. I’m not likely to ever be one and don’t think if I was one that I would ever face that scenario, so that’s already more time than I really want to spend on it.

  100. robert capozzi

    PF,

    While I like what you say here, it’s clearly heretical to the platform and the NAP.

    Would you require the hypothetical L politician to offer the caveat that this view is contrary to our platform? If not, would you favor the JC from sanctioned this apostate?

  101. paulie Post author

    Bring it on and let chips fall. If and when it came to it I’d lay out the case for the JC that my view is in line with non-initiation of force. At this time it’s not worth the effort. I have other things to do.

  102. Libertydave

    RC,

    I don’t think you understand the NAP very well. Under your ridicules hypothetical question about would supporting excluding millionaires from all taxes be a violation of the NAP, of course not. Under the NAP I agree to not initiate force. While I can use force to defend my self I am under no obligation to help anyone else resist the initiation of force from the government.

    I am allowed to choose who I help and as far as I’m concerned millionaires don’t need my help resisting the initiation of force from the government, it the poor that needs my help more.

  103. robert capozzi

    LD: While I can use force to defend my self I am under no obligation to help anyone else resist the initiation of force from the government.

    Me: It’s entirely possible that I don’t fully grasp the NAP and its nuances. However, “not taxing” is not a “help” as I understand it. It’s simply restoring rights!, yes? As the NAPists who wrote the LP platform said: “We support any initiative to reduce or abolish any tax, and oppose any increase on any taxes for any reason.”

    “Any” and “any” are absolute statements as I read this, including a millionaire’s carve-out from taxation. Help us understand how the LP’s position is NOT to support such a carve out?

  104. Krzysztof Lesiak

    Attention IPR:

    One of the first Libertarian Party presidential debates for this next cycle took place on December 11th, 2018, the 47th anniversary of the LP’s founding. Presidential candidates Ben Leder and Arvin Vohra were among those who participated, though I have no idea who the other candidates are:

    Libertarian 2020 Presidential Debate Round One (1 hr 27 minutes)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXb6RKITpL8

    Arvin Vohra FTW. Vohra will hands down be the second best LP candidate after Ron Paul should he pull off a miraculous upset.

  105. robert capozzi

    more….

    The sentence is question shows that not only was NAPism dyed-into the platform, so was MNR’s “no particular orderism.” I suggest that one can be a total NAPist and yet not necessarily subscribe to “no particular order-ism,” and yet the LP effectively excludes this sub-set from the Inner Sanctum of High Holy Libertarians. People like PF might be considered First Class, Level B, whereas only First Class, Level A members buy both the NAP and no particular order-ism. It’s an exclusive lot, they!

  106. robert capozzi

    AD,

    People wonder why a non-party member would share here. I looked briefly at KL’s link, and randomly skipped ahead to the guy with the big yellow hat with the “Taxation is theft” bumper sticker talking about how he was going to Uganda as part of his campaign. Bracing stuff!

    Who needs comedy specials on Netflix when there’s IPR? 😉

  107. Anthony Dlugos

    LD: “Under the NAP I agree to not initiate force. While I can use force to defend my self I am under no obligation to help anyone else resist the initiation of force from the government.”

    “The purpose of the NAP was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of the NAPism, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when the NAP had been adopted once and for all and AggressionSpeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of NAPism — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words…The NAP was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of policy options down to a minimum.”
    – THE PRINCIPLES OF NAPSPEAK

  108. Anthony Dlugos

    “I looked briefly at KL’s link, and randomly skipped ahead to the guy with the big yellow hat with the “Taxation is theft” bumper sticker talking about how he was going to Uganda as part of his campaign.”

    Best case scenario, the people who participated in that debate are self-aware self-aggrandizers who comprehend what securing a nomination for President that includes 50-state ballot access could mean for their feckless attempts at media stardom.

  109. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Yes, agreed. My Inner Andy fears it could be a false flag designed to discredit the LP and the cause of liberty! 😉

  110. William T. Forrest

    Kim Ruff looking and sounding good in the LPRC debate. Vohra has sadly lost his mind.

  111. Anthony Dlugos

    “Kim Ruff looking and sounding good in the LPRC debate. Vohra has sadly lost his mind.”

    If that is the takeaway from this debate, then the reality of the matter is probably the opposite: Vohra is the sane one. although still more of a threat to the party.

  112. William T. Forrest

    LOL, and why do you say that? What did she say that makes you think she is crazier than the dude who wants forced sterilizations, 14 year olds impregnated by wealthy older men, recruiting white nationalists and “mens rights” incels to the party, and all the other wacky shit he is saying lately? In fact what did she say that was crazy at all?

  113. Anthony Dlugos

    Same reason I thought Petersen, while clearly the most nauseating of the non-Johnson 2016 candidates, was probably the sanest of that non-Johnson lot: he knew he wasn’t qualified for President, and was really just a performance artist engaging in a media stunt to land a gig at Faux News or something like that.

    Vohra is probably well aware that he is not remotely qualified for the office of President, and is just trying to create some sort of Ron Paul-style donor list of your aforementioned incels, white nationalists, and assorted freaks.

    If Kim is delivering policy ideas like she actually thinks she is qualified for an office that oversees a multi-trillion dollar budget and 2.4 million employees (and an organization that she apparently wants to liquidate), then she is truly nuts.

  114. robert capozzi

    One wonders how many NAPists need to go off the rails (Molyneux, Cantwell, Vohra, even RPI) before they start to question NAPism. I suspect the ability to rationalize goes with the thought system of NAPism, and they may never wake from their nightmare.

  115. William T. Forrest

    And what makes you think she isn’t just building up her lists and working towards paid writing and talk show gigs etc? Of the two, if one is likely to not be self-aware in this respect, it would probably be Arvin. I suspect neither one is crazy in that sense. I think both of them want to share and popularize their ideas, build their networks, etc. It’s just that one set of ideas is better than the other.

  116. William T. Forrest

    Robert Capozzi (and Anthony Dlugos?)

    If we still lived in an era when horses were the chief mode of transportation, do you think we should have had horse riding licenses and license plates hanging off horses’ asses? Should riding a bicycle require a bicycle riding license and a bicycle license plate? If and when we get to the stage where driverless cars become common, will we still need driverless car owner-operator papers and tracking plates?

  117. robert capozzi

    WTF,

    It’s up to the people, who own the roads.

    Personally, I have no strong opinions about your hypotheticals. I think horses were identifiable in some way, given that horse theft was a serious crime in places. Bikes? Seems unnecessary. Probably driverless cars should probably be identifiable.

  118. William T. Forrest

    If someone owned the roads, they may have to put up with competition from owners of other roads, and perhaps even from non-use (some road use is discretionary after all) and adjust their policies accordingly, unlike governments. In the meantime, should riding a skateboard require a skateboard registration and skateboard operator’s license? If I walk down the sidewalk should it be ok for the “owners” of the roads (government forced monopoly) to require a license plate on my ass and a walking license which they may suspend if I am found on the sidewalk drunk, walking recklessly, don’t pay my child support, fail to pay court fees for (whatever), etc, etc?

  119. Anthony Dlugos

    “And what makes you think she isn’t just building up her lists and working towards paid writing and talk show gigs etc? Of the two, if one is likely to not be self-aware in this respect, it would probably be Arvin. I suspect neither one is crazy in that sense. I think both of them want to share and popularize their ideas, build their networks, etc. It’s just that one set of ideas is better than the other.”

    Well, I’ll agree with you on one thing: Arvin would be FAR more damaging to the party. (Then again, I thought Petersen would be the most damaging of the 2016 candidates).

    On the other hand, I think the entire group that appeared in that “debate” are some level of both self-aggrandizing and crazy.

    But if I am going to suspect something, I’m going to suspect that, if we start with the double pours of bourbon, Arvin would be the first to drunkenly admit WHY he’s running for president (ditto, Petersen). The others would continue to insist right until they pass out that their radicalism makes them actually qualified for the office.

    As an aside, I’ll make a corollary comment to what RC said about NAPists going off the rails: I have no idea why the radicals themselves don’t better police their own caucus. They are truly their own worst enemy.

  120. William T. Forrest

    Should riding a bus or train require a bus/train riders license and ass-plate? If so, should it be combined with the walking license and ass-plate that it would take to get to the bus/train stop, or should they be kept separate?

  121. robert capozzi

    WTF,

    If there were private roads, the market will sort it out.

    No, I see no compelling reason for walkers or skateboarders to be licensed.

    If there’s a strong sense from the public that drivers licenses and plates are unnecessary, or if a better system is developed, I’m open to other options.

    I wonder if Vohra takes positions on these FASCINATING hypotheticals? If so, I wonder how many of his 300,000 votes were attributable to his (no doubt wacky) views on the subject?

  122. Anthony Dlugos

    These are interesting coffee klatch questions, but we indulge them at the expense of appealing to the people we need to appeal to, i.e., the voters. They don’t care. Nor do they feel the need to be philosophically consistent. Only we insist on that. The voters, on the other hand, will gladly accept some variety of the NAP in one instance, and reject it in others. They’ll also take the NAP to a certain point on some particular policy issue, then dispense with it one marginal step in the same direction.

    If this upsets and/or annoys you, then electoral politics is not your arena.

    The distinctive Harley Davidson engine noise is, strictly speaking, a defect. The cylinders fire at uneven intervals and it CAN be corrected. But not without Harley Davidson losing its customers.

    The LP can have its consistency, or it can have a larger customer base with a “defective” product. It can’t have both.

  123. robert capozzi

    AD,

    NAPists are effectively unconcerned with voters, at least ones alive today. After Thunderdome, some future generation might find Roderick T. Long scribblings and use that as the basis for a new society. They are unrepentant in playing the (very) long game. In the meantime, they can sleep at night KNOWING that they are “moral” in an “immoral” world. There seem to be just enough of them to provide the mutual validation they need to fight on in their quixotic crusade.

  124. William T. Forrest

    Imagine if advocates of slavery abolition stuck their finger in the wind in the 1770s, they would have advocated nothing more radical than more humane treatment of slaves and limits on the number of slaves to be imported every year. Imagine if advocates of rights for women stuck their finger in the wind in the 1870s, they wouldn’t have advocated for voting or other equal rights for women, perhaps only that the stick a man could legally beat his wife with be reduced from the width of a thumb to that of a pinkie. We can even do this for people we disagree with, such as socialists: they wouldn’t have advocated for the radical programs we have today like minimum wage or social security, as those were far too extreme to consider seriously at one time. Perhaps they would have limited their demands to not using live ammunition against striking workers.

  125. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlugos wrote:

    These are interesting coffee klatch questions, but we indulge them at the expense of appealing to the people we need to appeal to, i.e., the voters.

    You are probably referring to the questions about license plates for bicyles, skateboards, and pedestrians. But I think your insight applies also (and more aptly) to the question you and Bob composed about repealing taxes on millionaires while leaving taxes on the poor.

  126. paulie Post author

    You are probably referring to the questions about license plates for bicyles, skateboards, and pedestrians. But I think your insight applies also (and more aptly) to the question you and Bob composed about repealing taxes on millionaires while leaving taxes on the poor.

    Bingo!

  127. dL

    One wonders how many NAPists need to go off the rails (Molyneux, Cantwell, Vohra, even RPI) before they start to question NAPism. I suspect the ability to rationalize goes with the thought system of NAPism, and they may never wake from their nightmare.

    guilt by association!

  128. robert capozzi

    cm and pf,

    Nope, not merely a coffee klatch question, sorry. The PLAIN LANGUAGE of the platform cannot be read ANY OTHER WAY. To be platform compliant, the good LPer has to vote “yes” for exempting only millionaires from all taxation. The language is careless, profoundly offputting to the vast majority, and completely divorced from reality. It won’t play in Uganda and it won’t play here! (To be fair, it might in Zomia and Somalia.) 😉

    Paulie’s admission that he doesn’t say “yes” to such an insane, delusional idea may be the beginnings of a crack in the NAPist stranglehold on the LP. AD deserves all the credit. I’m embarrassed that it never occurred to me previously!

  129. dL

    But I think your insight applies also (and more aptly) to the question you and Bob composed about repealing taxes on millionaires while leaving taxes on the poor.

    Both Capozzi and Dliugos on this forum have expressed support for regressive taxes/transaction costs on the poor.

  130. paulie Post author

    Nope, not merely a coffee klatch question, sorry.

    Yes, it is. The chances of such a proposal being seriously considered are non-existent. Therefore it’s at least as speculative as questions about walking licenses, probably even more so.

  131. paulie Post author

    Paulie’s admission that he doesn’t say “yes” to such an insane, delusional idea may be the beginnings of a crack in the NAPist stranglehold on the LP.

    You asked the wrong person. I’m not your intended target audience. I don’t believe that a soft landing from massive government coercion can be 100% NAP compliant in real life. I don’t favor a super-active judicial committee where every tiny NAP deviation gets dragged in front of the JC. I’m focused primarily on the initial practical steps of halting and reversing government growth and don’t believe in spending a lot of time counting angels on the head of a pin, devising perfect outcomes or perfect plans to get there. I’m of the opinion, stated more than a few times in these pages, that once we crack the dam changes will accelerate and take care of themselves so I don’t have to plan everything out or state with certainty how far things will go much less exactly what things will look like when we get there.

    My POV on the NAP is much like what you have said yours is, that it’s a good guidepost for general direction.

    So if you’re looking for responses from purists or perfectionists ask someone else because that’s not me.

    And I’m still a radical compared to many who are active in the LP, even with that in mind. So this “stranglehold” is mostly in your own mind.

  132. dL

    To be platform compliant, the good LPer has to vote “yes” for exempting only millionaires from all taxation.

    A tax on that the rich would not have to pay but the poor would have to pay would be a severe violation of the LP platform. It’s an ridiculous strawman. Any anyone who tried to push such nonsense through the LP platform committee would get tossed as a troll. Bob’s just upset at the current platform because it no longer validates his xenophobic immigration views.

  133. Anthony Dlugos

    “I suspect there are people of all ideologies who go off the rails.”

    With that I can surely agree.

  134. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Allow me to clarify: Unlike the never-before-discussed-in-public concept of a walking license, the reason that AD’s incisive question about the exclude-millionaires-from-all-taxes is on point springs DIRECTLY from the platform’s language: “We support any initiative to reduce or abolish any tax….” invites testing. Absolutes by their very nature do so.

    Any? Really, any? The High Holy NAPists used the word twice for good measure.

    Also allow me to clarify, as I was under the impression that you are a soft-landing NAPist, but you instead are probably a very rare soft-landing “radical” who is not a NAPist, but instead a NAP sentimentalist, as am I. My apologies. You are not a good person to ask AD’s question of.

    Perhaps LD, Jim, or WTF can skool us….

  135. robert capozzi

    pf: I suspect there are people of all ideologies who go off the rails.

    me: True, but my list is of somewhat former leading lights of NAPism. Obama hasn’t set off for the jungle wearing a Che t-shirt. W is not in France helping to organize the National Front. Barney Frank didn’t traipse off to a Polynesian island. John Boehner hasn’t become a latter-day Idi Amin.

  136. William T. Forrest

    Does “any initiative to reduce any tax that may reasonably be expected to ever be considered by anyone in real life” have to be spelled out? I think not. You can go all gaga about ridiculous scenarios where only millionaires, or only left-handed redheads, get exempted from taxes. Come to think of it yes, that’s covered by the plank which says we find bigotry to be irrational and repugnant. A policy of repealing taxes on millionaires and no one else would be an irrational and repugnant form of bigotry. It also seems a lot less plausible to me that it would get serious consideration in real life than a walking or bicycling license. We already kind of have those in the form of non-drivers state IDs. Someone can be harrassed or potentially jailed for not having one or failing to present it when out and about in public, and I’m sure Capozzi would find them guilty if he’s on the jury.

  137. robert capozzi

    wtf,

    You’ve not persuaded me, but nice try with the bigotry angle. I’ve never heard anyone use “bigotry” to refer to a person’s income level, however. It comes across as a bit desperate to me, but I did have to think about it a bit.

    Nor have I heard of a person being jailed for not having a non-drivers state ID. Cites?

  138. robert capozzi

    more…

    Jurors have no input on sentencing generally, and I didn’t. I might have nullified if I felt the sentence was too severe.

    The defendant apparently WANTED to be detained, to be a test case. He pulled in front of a cop car without plates. He was wasting everyone’s time and money, including mine. Even if I bought into this “right to travel” (anywhere, regardless of the rules), my sympathies were quashed by his contempt for his fellow citizen’s time.

    Oh, maybe we all should have sued him! 😉

    Then, again, I shrugged off NAPism at least 15 years ago. You might give it a try. Highly recommended!

  139. William T. Forrest

    Why is it my job to convince you? Exempting only millionaires, like exempting only left handed redheads, would be blatant discrimination. Of course class hatred can be a form of bigotry. Haven’t you heard of “eat the rich” or “let them eat cake”?

    Cites: again, why waste my time? Here’s a one time freebee for you:

    https://www.citylab.com/equity/2014/02/yes-police-can-arrest-you-refusing-identify-yourself/8485/

    Next time use the search engine yourself. There’s a lot more you can find but I didn’t feel like spending more than 5 seconds on it. You can use search engines, I have faith in you.

  140. Anthony Dlugos

    “…but you instead are probably a very rare soft-landing “radical” who is not a NAPist, but instead a NAP sentimentalist, as am I. My apologies. You are not a good person to ask AD’s question of.”

    Yes, he is, and thus, no, he’s not the best radical to ask the question of.

  141. robert capozzi

    wtf,

    Second point first: Yes, the defendant in my case refused to identify himself as well, even verbally. The article you cite does not claim what you say it does, until possibly the end. I’d need more information to take a view. However, the judge immediately dismissed her. Still, the NY stop-and-identify law sounds ominous to me, but I’d need to hear more.

    Walking in a park is very different to me from driving on public roads.

    Yes, I’ve heard of “let them eat cake,” thank you, but it’s not immediately obvious how it’s relevant in any way.

    In fact, the poorest are exempt from federal income taxes, yet we don’t find that to be “bigotry.” (By the way, I would not be surprised if NAPists of the Randian kind might kinda like the idea of exempting the rich from taxes! A further reward for their productiveness, or something.)

    And of course I don’t expect you to convince me, though I’m certainly open to hearing a coherent counter. I was simply stating a fact: You haven’t. Do what you will with that information.

    “Any” means “any” as I read it, as in “without exception.” No amount of rhetorical dust will obscure the plain meaning of the word the NAPists inserted twice in that plank.

  142. Anthony Dlugos

    “Exempting only millionaires, like exempting only left handed redheads, would be blatant discrimination.”

    I agree with RC: your bigotry angle is inventive. In fact, as a moderate and NAP apostate, I kind of rather like it. It could be a good way to draw a distinction between ourselves and the GOP.

    Sadly, the platform is crystal clear, and deliberately so: we are in favor of the abolishment…or reduction…of ANY tax.

    Moreover, I’ll bet your position would be a minority position among radicals, who would answer the hypothetical, NOT dodge it. They don’t dodge.

  143. Anthony Dlugos

    “The chances of such a proposal being seriously considered are non-existent.”

    Correct.

    There is zero chance of such a ludicrous bill being presented to Congress, let alone passed.

    One wonders why our platform implies we would even consider it.

    If the L.P. were a for-profit corporation, security experts would tell us to close that breach ASAP, not wait for someone to exploit it.

    Lets close it in 2020. After all, the last thing we want is someone coming along saying that sentence means exactly what it says. Because we all agree that such a position is ludicrous.

  144. robert capozzi

    AD,

    I just went on LPedia, and it appears this ludicrous “any” language was first adopted in 2018. I wonder if this obvious mistake was discussed on the platcomm. There were some leading NAPists on that committee, unsurprisingly.

    iirc, these things need to be passed by the whole convention.

  145. Anthony Dlugos

    “Both Capozzi and Dliugos on this forum have expressed support for regressive taxes/transaction costs on the poor.“

    I’d say we’d consider taxes that, poorly designed, could impose taxes on the poor. There’s surely a risk there.

    On the other hand, taxes could be designed that would transfer tax burden from poor to rich.

    But one thing is for sure: calling all taxation theft, and countenancing no tax increases of any kind, seeing it as participating in the theft ensures the L.P. won’t ever get play a part in changing the tax burden at all.

    This is the playing field a political party is on. If it’s truly all theft, it’s best not to participate.

  146. robert capozzi

    AD: taxes could be designed that would transfer tax burden from poor to rich.

    Me: UBI solves that, if well implemented. In addition, it addresses the profound injustice of our pay-to-play legal system.

  147. Jared

    Any incremental tax reform proposal ought to give preference to those whose lives are most negatively impacted by the status quo. The language of platform section 2.4 is a subtle endorsement of “no-particular-orderism” and demonstrates an inhumane willingness to sacrifice tax equity for even the slightest net reduction in government interference.

    I get the impression that some Libertarians in the purist camp care more about how taxation violates some transcendent categorical imperative than about how our tax system affects the well-being of actual people. Voters are more receptive to moral appeals framed by a sensitivity to human struggles and anxieties than to rationalistic moral bludgeoning.

    Perhaps this abstract commitment to an absolutist conception of property rights, detached from concrete human concern, partially explains why are seeing so many frustrated voluntaryists succumb to far-right anti-empiricism and anti-humanism.

  148. robert capozzi

    Jared,

    Welcome. Yes, I think you’re onto to something there. Any theories on why the absolutism leads to the succumbing?

    I suggest it could be that there is massive cognitive dissonance that builds up in the NAPist psyche when others hear their construct of the world but don’t buy it. This leads to a profound disappointment, and they overreact and “act out” their rage via alt-right positioning.

  149. dL

    Any incremental tax reform proposal ought to give preference to those whose lives are most negatively impacted by the status quo.

    Absolutely. It’s why I support, for example, The Mobilization for Incremental Tax Exemption
    http://themite.org/

    And I categorically oppose any consumption tax scheme, be it the “fair tax,” carbon tax, etc…

    The language of platform section 2.4 is a subtle endorsement of “no-particular-orderism” and demonstrates an inhumane willingness to sacrifice tax equity for even the slightest net reduction in government interference.

    It demonstrates no such thing. However, running republicans like Gary Johnson and his cockamamie “fair tax” BS does demonstrate it.

    Perhaps this abstract commitment to an absolutist conception of property rights, detached from concrete human concern, partially explains why are seeing so many frustrated voluntaryists succumb to far-right anti-empiricism and anti-humanism.

    The bulletproof predictor of far right entryism is immigration restrictionism, not the tax code.

  150. Fernando Mercado

    The only notable Third Party thing that has yet to be covered is the fact that the 2020 Green Party candidates have yet to be covered, I’d write an article about it myself, but my last political writing job ended poorly.

    For those curious, the biggest 2020 Green Party Candidates are 2016 Presidential Candidate Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza Curry, Perennial Candidate Gary Swing, and 2018 Maryland Gubernatorial Candidate Ian Schlakman.

    And speculative Green Party Candidates are former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura, two time Presidential Candidate Jill Stein, and 4 time Presidential Candidate Kent Mesplay.

  151. paulie Post author

    OK, but I’m not sitting around bored looking to write up other people’s ideas of what we should cover. Breaking news is welcome, even heads up to interesting opinion pieces and analysis, but I have a lot more things to try to write up than time and inclinaton to do it. Really need to get some new people to help with writing up and posting stuff, or to get active again if already signed up. I do what I can here but could use a lot more help here whether from new people or returning.

  152. Thomas Knapp

    “The idea that [the state] should be eventually abolished is not questioned [among ‘NAPists’].”

    Well, I realize that the definition of “NAPist” changes on a weekly basis to make sure it always tracks what you’re against, but in the real world there’s a major school of “NAPists” (which I’ll define as those who claim to adhere to the non-aggression principle) who very specifically support the continued existence of the state and decry anarchism as irrational. They call themselves Objectivists.

  153. Thomas Knapp

    —–
    Per the platform, and per my original point that a significant portion of the “Taxation is Theft” crowd means that LITERALLY, we would apparently be in favor of a bill eliminating the estate tax in the United States, a tax with a current exemption of $11.18 million per taxpayer that consequently affects approximately 2,000 people, TOTAL.

    I’ll make another gentleman’s wager…I’ll bet MM or some other radical/NAPist would readily confirm that they would indeed be in favor of such a bill.
    —-

    I would absolutely be in favor of such a bill.

    Would I propose such a bill as a candidate or, if elected, as a public official? Almost certainly not. When it comes to policy, I look for ways to reduce everyone’s taxes, not just some people’s taxes. My preferred route to do that with the income tax, if repeal of that tax is not on the table and I can’t PUT it on the table, is a regular and automatic increase in the personal exemption. Everyone from the janitor at the local high school to Bill Gates gets to make more money before tax kicks in on the money he or she makes.

    But put any tax up for repeal, and I’ll support that repeal. More energetically if I think it will help more people and has a better chance of passing, less energetically if not.

  154. Thomas Knapp

    —–
    Are you in favor of abolishing all state requirements for licensing of drivers and vehicle registration?

    if the driver license is being used as a de jure national ID card to control access to employment, banking, air travel, access to public buildings and services, etc, then absolutely.
    —–

    It is entirely possible to have driver’s licenses to prove tested competence that do not serve as general use ID cards and that are in fact anonymous under normal circumstances.

    It could work like this:

    I go take the written and driving portions of the driving license test. Some unique identifying characteristic of me that can be easily checked is then recorded on the license itself when it is issued. That could be a fingerprint, or an iris scan, or hell, even a DNA hash.

    If there’s some reason for me to prove I’m a licensed driver, I present the license. Either the fingerprint, iris scan, or DNA hash matches, or it doesn’t. No need for anyone to know my name, address, etc. just to find out whether or not I passed the test.

    If it was just a matter of “public safety,” there would be no reason for any of that other stuff.

  155. dL

    I would absolutely be in favor of such a bill.

    Of course, the estate tax is not actually an example of a tax that the rich would not have to pay but the poor would. The claim that the LP platform in principle or practice supports “tax the poor but not the rich” as allowable NAP outcome has not been demonstrated and this point amounts to little more than trolling. True, the LP platform is not an endorsement of progressive taxation but that is not the same thing as a de facto endorsement of regressive taxation.

    But I will help the trolls out and actually give an example of where libertarians may be in dispute over such a thing. In practice, a tax that the rich might avoid but the regular folk have to pay usually comes under the umbrella of corporate welfare. For example, a state gives a corporation “tax breaks” to locate/relocate its manufacturing plants, corporate headquarters, etc. Corporate welfare is usually practiced by Democrats and Republicans, not libertarians. Nonetheless, if we, say, take Amazon as an example, there are some libertarians who will call it corporate welfare and there are some who will deny it is a corporate subsidy.

  156. William T. Forrest

    TLK, so in theory, if a tax exemption for left handed readheads was proposed, with taxes on everyone else raised to make up whatever revenue is foregone as a result, you would vote yes if you could?

  157. William T. Forrest

    That reminds me. Someone above claimed that the first 11 million is exempted from an estate tax? I have known middle class people who have had to pay estate tax, even relatively poor people who lost family homes and small businesses when a parent died due to inability to pay that tax and maintain the house or business at the same time. Did something in the law change recently or was someone off by several orders of magnitude, like maybe 11 thousand FRN rather than 11 million?

  158. dL

    It is entirely possible to have driver’s licenses to prove tested competence that do not serve as general use ID cards and that are in fact anonymous under normal circumstances.

    Scientifically/technologically possible, yes. Political science possible, no….

  159. dL

    TLK, so in theory, if a tax exemption for left handed readheads was proposed, with taxes on everyone else raised to make up whatever revenue is foregone as a result, you would vote yes if you could?

    A bogus analogy vis a vis the estate tax. A better analogy if used to counter “rule of law” chirpers…

  160. Thomas Knapp

    “TLK, so in theory, if a tax exemption for left handed readheads was proposed, with taxes on everyone else raised to make up whatever revenue is foregone as a result, you would vote yes if you could?”

    No — and I wrote nothing that could be plausibly construed in that manner.

    If there was a tax specifically on left-handed redheads, and if repeal of that tax was proposed, I’d support such repeal. I would not support a tax increase on anyone else to “make up for” anything.

  161. robert capozzi

    tk: But put any tax up for repeal, and I’ll support that repeal. More energetically if I think it will help more people and has a better chance of passing, less energetically if not.

    me: I would not support that repeal with no apologies. Such “thin” reasoning strikes me as counter-productive to the greater cause of maximizing individual liberty and reducing the net incidence of coercion. It for me illustrates the failure of NAPism to take into account other factors in developing a political agenda. That thought system’s one-dimensional nature is what restricts it from being a cause for meaningful positive change. Yes, a NAPist might spend his or her energies on less wacky matters, but beneath the surface of semi-respectability beats a heart wanting to reduce all political calculation to one variable.

    tk: It is entirely possible to have driver’s licenses to prove tested competence that do not serve as general use ID cards and that are in fact anonymous under normal circumstances.

    Me: Sure it’s “possible.” Many things are. The more salient question is do Ls have to support abolition of drivers licenses as currently understood. This one does not. And, again, taking such a fringe position marginalizes the individual L who espouses it, along with many other, less fringe, Ls.

  162. Stuart Simms

    WTF,

    The Federal Estate Tax has changed significantly over the last 20 years. Research indicates that the cited figure is correct. However, some states have an estate tax while others have an Inheritance tax. Maryland has both while NJ repealed the estate tax starting in 2018 but still has the Inheritance tax.

    https://www.tiaa.org/public/offer/services/individual-advisory-services/repeal-of-the-nj-estate-tax

    In 2017 my aunt, a resident of NJ, passed away, she and her daughter were estranged. My brothers and I visited, arranged care. handled her finances. etc. We were the beneficiaries of her quite modest estate. $0 Federal or NJ estate tax was owed but NJ received ~$10,000 through the Inheritance tax which was 15% from essentially dollar one of the net asset value of the estate after funeral and other qualified expenses. With modest estate planning that figure would’ve been $0. My cousin wouldn’t have paid any tax had she been the beneficiary.

    NJ legislature is heavy Democrat and yet they passed a bill that then Governor Christie signed repealing the estate tax which benefits the heirs of “millionaires and billionaires” while leaving the Inheritance tax in place which impacts those of more modest means.

    Some on this thread would have to oppose what NJ did because it only positively impacted the heirs of wealthy NJ decedents. Or have I misread what has been plainly stated ad nauseum.

  163. William T. Forrest

    TLK: OK, so no tax is raised to make up for it. I saw nothing in the proposal about cutting spending. The other alternative is that it adds to debt and/or inflation. I know you are for repudiating the debt but in the meantime that also means that current taxes are going to service the interest on that debt. So even if taxes are not raised on everyone else explicitly they are in effect if there is no explicit spending cut at the same time.

  164. William T. Forrest

    SS thanks, that explains it. I thought inheritance and estate tax were the same thing.

  165. dL

    dL@18:40 Sorry, you lost me. I’m not sure what you mean.

    The “rule of law” is often used as a defense of arbitrary compliance…

  166. Thomas Knapp

    “Such ‘thin’ reasoning strikes me as counter-productive to the greater cause of maximizing individual liberty and reducing the net incidence of coercion.”

    Perhaps. But that distinction is politics via fact and logic (“thin”) and politics via religion and superstition (since there’s no way to calculate “net incidence of coercion,” it’s a matter of faith, no more, no less). I prefer separation of religion and policy.

  167. Anthony Dlugos

    Jared writes,

    “The language of platform section 2.4 is a subtle endorsement of “no-particular-orderism” and demonstrates an inhumane willingness to sacrifice tax equity for even the slightest net reduction in government interference.

    I get the impression that some Libertarians in the purist camp care more about how taxation violates some transcendent categorical imperative than about how our tax system affects the well-being of actual people. ”

    99.9% correct. The only reason its not 100% is that I’m not sure how subtle the endorsement of “no-particular-orderism” is. At least among Libertarians, its crystal clear.

    And really, that’s who the platform is meant to deter; very few people outside the party would take the plank literally, even after reading it.

  168. Anthony Dlugos

    “TLK, so in theory, if a tax exemption for left handed readheads was proposed, with taxes on everyone else raised to make up whatever revenue is foregone as a result, you would vote yes if you could?”

    The genius of the NAPist platform is that it engenders hypothetical like this one rather than politically achievable, albeit not utopian, policy solutions.

  169. Anthony Dlugos

    “I just went on LPedia, and it appears this ludicrous “any” language was first adopted in 2018. I wonder if this obvious mistake was discussed on the platcomm. There were some leading NAPists on that committee, unsurprisingly.

    iirc, these things need to be passed by the whole convention.”

    RC,

    I doubt there is the stomach for a fight, anyway. I think you are probably right that the platform is pretty well protected from the specter of reasonableness.

  170. robert capozzi

    tk: But that distinction is politics via fact and logic (“thin”) and politics via religion and superstition (since there’s no way to calculate “net incidence of coercion,” it’s a matter of faith, no more, no less). I prefer separation of religion and policy.

    me: Very few things are calculable with the level of precision you seem to want. Did Bill Gates truly earn his net worth, or was his DOS code protected by a set of laws that allowed him to reap windfalls? When he copied Apple’s look-and-feel to make Windows, did that extend his trajectory to have more assets than the aggregate net wealth of tens of millions of Americans? How much of Vanderbilt’s heir’s net worth is ill gotten, and how much of it was truly earned, based on the rules of the day? Teams of forensic accountants and lawyers could not come up with a reliable number.

    We can speculate based on some facts and employing some logic, but can we KNOW with certainty the answers to these questions? I submit we cannot.

    For me, politics takes into account a number of variables and assumptions. Reducing it to ONE variable strikes me as both unwise AND unworkable.

  171. robert capozzi

    more…

    For me, faith lacks any empirical grounding. Things that would lower the net incidence of coercion would involve some empiricism and some judgment.

  172. robert capozzi

    AD: I doubt there is the stomach for a fight, anyway. I think you are probably right that the platform is pretty well protected from the specter of reasonableness.

    me: A NAPist who values integrity should pick up the mantle to delete the “any” language. Most NAPists seem to value the NAP over the subset of NAPists who subscribe to no-particular-orderism. Knowing that 1) not all NAPists are no-particular-orderists; and 2) by allowing the plank to advertise no-particular-orderisms extreme implications (tax exemptions for the wealthy or red heads), they open themselves up to ridicule.

    Will the 2020 NAPists on Platcomm step up and take the lead? Or are they secretly wanting to cement such a ridiculous stance in the public consciousness?

    If so, can we also look forward to Vermin Supreme or Vohra being the standard-bearer? Perhaps they should tap James Weeks for VP while they are at it. If the no-particular-orderist NAPists really don’t care about credibility, why not go in the other direction?

    It will save me an hour in November 2020. I can stay home!

  173. robert capozzi

    tk: Well, I realize that the definition of “NAPist” changes on a weekly basis to make sure it always tracks what you’re against, but in the real world there’s a major school of “NAPists” (which I’ll define as those who claim to adhere to the non-aggression principle) who very specifically support the continued existence of the state and decry anarchism as irrational. They call themselves Objectivists.

    me: I’d meant to respond to this yesterday…

    Yes, you are correct that Objectivists fancy themselves as NAPists, as many nonarchists do. Personally, I find the nonarchist NAPism more internally consistent than Objectivist NAPism, and therefore the nonarchist NAPist strain is superior for heuristic purposes.

    The definition of (and shorthand term for) NAPism has evolved over the years, but it’s been pretty stable for the last year or two. My communications with you have allowed me to hone it to its current durable (and hopefully accurate) definition.

  174. Anthony Dlugos

    “A NAPist who values integrity should pick up the mantle to delete the “any” language. Most NAPists seem to value the NAP over the subset of NAPists who subscribe to no-particular-orderism. …Will the 2020 NAPists on Platcomm step up and take the lead? Or are they secretly wanting to cement such a ridiculous stance in the public consciousness?

    RC,

    I sense some cynicism in your post,

    A) I wouldn’t expect them to do any such thing, unless forced.

    B) I’d guess the no-particular-orderist NAPists are loathe to make common cause with pragmatics.

    C) In my opinion,, the best way to deal with A) and B) would be for pragmatics to assume the Dallas Accord is a dead letter and propose platform changes that blow past any self-imposed constraints that ensure compliance with that accord. (i.e., in this particular instance, proposing just the deletion of the “any” language.) If you’re not playing offense, you’re playing defense.

    As an aside here, you were actually incorrect on 12/14 @ 17:06 when you argued the NAPists used “any” twice for good measure in the particular plank at issue. They use it FIVE times!!! That’s not ‘good measure’ usage. In such a short sentence that’s “off-putting, obsessive indoctrination of dogma” usage.

    To wit:

    “We support ANY initiative to reduce or abolish ANY tax, and oppose ANY increase on ANY tax for ANY reason.”

    I’m getting flashbacks to reciting the Ave Maria.

  175. Anthony Dlugos

    actually.

    B) should read,

    NAPists who DON’T subscribe to “no-particular-orderism” are probably loathe to make common cause with pragmatics/moderates.

  176. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Let me clarify: There are 2 types of NAPists:

    1) no-particular-order (NPO) NAPists
    2) NAPists who recognize that a general principle does not necessarily imply uni-directionalism, regardless of sequencing.

    As TK notes, there are Objectivist NAPists, and there may be other NAPists are not NPOists. (Objectivists, I note, might actually like the exempt-the-millionaires-from-tax view, as these “non-moochers” are the true productive class, etc.)

    My recovery from Randian/Rothbardianism is now decades old, but I don’t recall any particular NPO pronouncements from the HIgh Priestess. NPO is Rothbardian, and now Longian, I do believe. I suspect that she might grumble a bit, but if there was a plan that re-directed taxes into a UBI pool from government programs, while overall taxes and spending was lowered, she might support such a plan, with the proviso that this would be a first-step toward Galt’s Gulch.

    Did you know that government spending at all levels exceeds $22k per capita? Lower it to $20K, with $10K being given back to everyone and to compensate all for the inherent failings of the justice system, and — my goodness — that would be a massively positive change. The remaining $10K could fund cops, courts, and a true national defense. Raise the exemption from federal taxation to $20K (excluding UBI) and then have a flat tax on everyone, and the sense of fairness would spike, and tax simplification alone would likely re-direct everyone toward a more productive spending and saving approach generally.

    So, no, I’m not being cynical at all. I can even imagine TK himself calling for deleting the “alls.”

  177. robert capozzi

    more…

    Even though TK is himself an NPO NAPist, the plank’s language — seen aright — is not representative of the entire NAPist community.

  178. Thomas Knapp

    I find it odd to conflate NAPism and NPOism. It leaves out the obviosity that NPOism is as pragmatic as it gets, avoiding the utopian fantasy that multi-policy affects can be calculated and “cooked” and going with the highly pragmatic “just do the right thing whenever possible.”

  179. robert capozzi

    tk,

    I’m down with doing the right thing whenever possible. Exempting only millionaires or red-heads from taxation is not right, except for NPO NAPists.

  180. robert capozzi

    tk: …multi-policy affects can be calculated and “cooked”….

    me: Nope, not “calculated.” It’s more “approximated through applied theory and judgment.”

    You “calculate” as well. You admit that you would put no energy behind the “right” tax-exemption-for-millionaires. That’s a TK calculation, for you maintain it would be “principled” to enact such a scheme.

  181. paulie Post author

    Fernando, I’ll answer you on the Join IPR team page. That’s why I created it. Just had not got to it yet. I need to find the page I created for a rule sheet.

  182. Thomas Knapp

    “Supreme/Weeks 20!”

    Well, it would be an improvement over the last three presidential campaigns anyway. Possibly funnier, but definitely more serious.

  183. William T. Forrest

    As i understand it Vermin Supreme’s preferred running mate is Jeff Wood, not James Weeks. The two are very similar in their views but I think they believe Supreme/Wood has a more erect feel to it.

  184. robert capozzi

    https://medium.com/@JeffWood4Office/the-triumphant-return-of-libertarian-macho-flash-86d3603f684b?fbclid=IwAR39TryqTlS4D_Z7-4phWvCbpY0svnsVZH_J6G60U9CreDA4ErXsRLG8ZNs

    Oh, yes. Supreme/Wood would certainly outpace Bergland/Lewis in terms of fringe positioning. Hopefully, Weeks can play a role…perhaps campaign manager/handler. He can train the candidates on public stripping technique.

    Vermin is actually funny, too. He might actually advocate for the NPO NAPist position on taxes.

    Supreme’s convention slogan can be:

    Who needs a Shiny Badge when wearing a boot on one’s head?

  185. William T. Forrest

    “Vermin is actually funny, too. ”

    Agreed, he’s both funnier and more serious than, say, Weld or Kokesh. And a lot less cringe inducing than alt right Vohra. Supreme-Wood has a nice ring to it. Kim Ruff’s “Ruff Riders” does too. How bout Supreme-Ruff? I like the way that sounds.

    “He might actually advocate for the NPO NAPist position on taxes.”

    Well as long as he can still promise free ponies and zero debt I’m for it!

    We’ll need a good gimmick to beat Donald “Cagey D” Trump (he’s not puttin’ ya on, we promise) and the Democratic Winfrey-Avenatti ticket. No wait, Avenatti got popped. Winfrey-Bloomberg? Winfrey-Daniels? Help me out here. I know Cagey D will need some help, but I think I know what his ace up the sleeve is: He’s benching Pence and bringing in Kanye West. If Trump-West doesn’t win, it’s time to hop on Air Force One for a surprise pop in to Moscow during the lame duck and (surprise!) decide to stay. Time to build that Trump Tower Moscow at last. Call it Trump East.

  186. William T. Forrest

    Dont take me, or politics, too seriously. M just BSing ya. I’m a real hack, I know, just hacking these bits to bits. Not gonna quit my day job, I promise.

  187. Anthony Dlugos

    “…avoiding the utopian fantasy that multi-policy affects can be calculated and “cooked” and going with the highly pragmatic “just do the right thing whenever possible.”

    But can’t they be? They’re called elections, I would think.

  188. William T. Forrest

    That’s how you think elections really work? How’s it working for you? Good luck with that.

  189. robert capozzi

    wtf,

    “Serious,” like most things, is subjective, but I suspect you are suggesting that Supreme is “serious” with your tongue deeply in cheek. Yes, Trump has widened the public definition of “serious” but it still entails a resume and civil comportment.

    I’m having a hard time imagining that most voters WANT a president who wears a rubber boot on his head in the Oval.

  190. Anthony Dlugos

    That’s how you think elections really work?

    I don’t understand the question. How do they work?

    I thought most votes win.

  191. William T. Forrest

    Trump, serious, resume and civil comportment all in one short sentence? You just made me squirt coffee out of my nose, and it still hurts. Supreme is a joker, yes, but he is making a serious point about what a bad joke elections are. Have you ever talked to him in person? He’s a very smart guy and, yes, very serious.

    “I’m having a hard time imagining that most voters WANT a president who wears a rubber boot on his head in the Oval.”

    I’m having a hard time imaging that most voters WANT a president who wears a dead orange skunk which occasionally gets undead on his head in the Oval. Yet there he is. (Well, most voters *don’t* want him, but enough did and they were strategically enough dispersed among battleground states). Most voters won’t want Weld, Kokesh, or any of the other jokers the LP may run either. Or who knows, after 2016, all bets are off.

  192. William T. Forrest

    “That’s how you think elections really work?

    I don’t understand the question.”

    utopian fantasy that multi-policy affects can be calculated and “cooked”…

    If you think elections work that way I have to ask again how that is working out.

    ” How do they work?”

    With lots of special interest money, infotainment, phony promises, and dumbasses voting for the shiniest teeth and the most brazen lies.

    “I thought most votes win.”

    Most of the time more or less true. What does that have to do with utopian fantasy that multi-policy affects can be calculated and “cooked”…?

  193. robert capozzi

    wtf: Supreme is a joker, yes, but he is making a serious point about what a bad joke elections are.

    me: Sure, I get that. My sense is that if the LP 2020 ticket is Supreme/Wood, it will likely do worse than Bergland/Lewis as a percentage. I prefer to see Supreme remain an independent clown candidate. I love him in that role. He’s hilarious.

    As the leading exponent of L-ism, I suspect he will hurt the cause of liberty.

  194. William T. Forrest

    Even with national popular vote, elections would not come anywhere remotely close to “the utopian fantasy that multi-policy affects can be calculated and “cooked” …”

  195. Anthony Dlugos

    “With lots of special interest money, infotainment, phony promises, and dumbasses voting for the shiniest teeth and the most brazen lies.”

    Why should a Libertarian Party even exist then? This is an argument against participating at all.

    Vermin Supreme is certainly allowed to conduct his performance art demonstrating (from his perspective) what a “bad joke” elections are, but a political party that is at all welcoming of his stunt is unserious for the market it VOLUNTARILY put itself in.

    I don’t mind Vermin’s message. I think he’s kind of funny. But the Libertarian Party proper needs to be operate in a way that indicates he is clearly not welcomed, nor anyone who agrees with him.

    Imagine a start-up beer company that operates with the belief that the beer market is a total joke, the t.v. ads showing hot men and women cavorting around a beach playing volleyball and drinking a particular company’s beer are “brazen lies,” and beer-drinking customers are idiots. WTF?

    “Most of the time more or less true. What does that have to do with utopian fantasy that multi-policy affects can be calculated and “cooked”…?”

    It has everything to do with it, in my opinion. A Libertarian Party and its candidates participate in elections in order to win. Such an organization and its candidates (should) “cook” a stew of policy positions that gets them elected. Their success in office is reflected in future elections.

    The standard is NOT comparing that stew with a utopian perfect stew, The standard is election and reelection.

    If you believe such a standard is fraudulent in some way, then electoral politics is not for you. I’m not saying your wrong, I am saying you are in the wrong arena.

  196. William T. Forrest

    “My sense is that if the LP 2020 ticket is Supreme/Wood, it will likely do worse than Bergland/Lewis as a percentage.”

    You need to have your sense recalibrated. “Joke” candidates can do a lot better in bringing in media coverage and votes than a plodding, serious, boring yet arcane ticket. A “serious” ticket with an establishment shill like Weld may or may not do well electorally, but even if it does, what would be the point? It’s kind of hard to move policy in a pro-freedom direction when you don’t even advocate that at all to begin with and still don’t even come close to winning. I mean, Romney may do even better if we agree to run him as the LP candidate but what would we “win” even if he somehow won, which he would not?

  197. dL

    who wears a dead orange skunk

    Lot less morning fuss w/ the boot relative to the dead orange skunk combover…

  198. William T. Forrest

    Imagine a start-up beer company that operates with the belief that the beer market is a total joke, the t.v. ads showing hot men and women cavorting around a beach playing volleyball and drinking a particular company’s beer are “brazen lies,” and beer-drinking customers are idiots. WTF?

    D’oh! You haven’t noticed any ads that make fun of other ads, advertising conventions, etc? No irony-based marketing of products come to mind? Think for a minute.

    Such an organization and its candidates (should) “cook” a stew of policy positions that gets them elected.

    No “stew” of policy positions is going to get a Libertarian elected president right now. If it did, it wouldn’t be a libertarian stew. Not even a libertarian-flavored one. And this still has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the original reference to multi-policy effects, which is the idea that these trade-offs can be successfully calculated and engineered to make people more free, as opposed to calling for all our freedoms all the time and getting whatever concessions towards that we can.

  199. William T. Forrest

    “Lot less morning fuss w/ the boot relative to the dead orange skunk combover…”

    We finally agree 🙂

  200. Anthony Dlugos

    “Joke” candidates can do a lot better in bringing in media coverage and votes than a plodding, serious, boring yet arcane ticket.

    I’ll need data to support this birdbrain conclusion.

    Just to head off the usual response, Trump was anything BUT a joke candidate, He was absolutely serious about what he wanted to accomplish. He was not attacking the system itself.

  201. Anthony Dlugos

    “You haven’t noticed any ads that make fun of other ads, advertising conventions, etc? No irony-based marketing of products come to mind? Think for a minute.”

    Not at all what I said. These other ads you are referring to are, (presumably) other beer companies who are attacking their competitors in an effort to get elected. They aren’t attacking the industry and the product itself as a sham.

    “No “stew” of policy positions is going to get a Libertarian elected president right now. If it did, it wouldn’t be a libertarian stew. Not even a libertarian-flavored one.”

    Wrong. That’s merely an excuse to either be a clown like Vermin, or a catastrophically unqualified nut like Vohra or Kokesh.

  202. William T. Forrest

    I’ll need data to support this birdbrain conclusion.

    Then why not make like a good little chicken and peck your own keyboard instead of asking other people to stock your bird feeder for you?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deez_Nuts_(politician)

    Harambe

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-human_electoral_candidates

    Elected to office

    Boston Curtis, a brown mule, was offered as a candidate for a Republican precinct seat in Milton, Washington in 1938, winning 51 to zero.[1][2]

    In 1967, an Ecuadorian foot powder company advertised its product, Pulvapies, as a mayoral candidate in the town of Picoazá. Surprisingly, the foot powder won by a clear majority.[3]

    Bosco the dog, a black Labrador-Rottweiler mix, was elected mayor of Sunol, California (1981–1994).[4][5]

    In 1997, a cat named Stubbs was elected mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska.[6] Although his title as mayor was honorary, he was featured as a write-in candidate for the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Alaska.[7]

    In August 2014, seven-year-old Duke The Dog won an election and became the new mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota.[8][9][10][11][12]

    In July 2018, a cat named Sweet Tart (b.2009) won the title of mayor of Omena, Michigan. This term is her first.

    A statue of Macaco Tião, a candidate for mayor of Rio de Janeiro

    Dustin the Turkey, a puppet, received thousands of votes in Ireland’s 1997 presidential election.
    Cacareco, a rhinoceros at the São Paulo zoo, was a candidate for the 1958 city council elections with the intention of protesting against political corruption.[13] Electoral officials did not accept Cacareco’s candidacy, but she eventually won 100,000 votes, more than any other party in that same election (which was also marked by rampant absenteeism). Today, the term “Voto Cacareco” (Cacareco vote) is commonly used to describe protest votes in Brazil. Cacareco’s candidacy inspired the Rhinoceros Party of Canada, nominally led by the rhinoceros Cornelius the First.

    ….

    Tião, a bad-tempered chimpanzee, was put forward by the fictional Brazilian Banana Party (Partido Bananista Brasileiro, actually the satirical group Casseta & Planeta) as a candidate for the Rio de Janeiro mayoralty in 1988. The campaign’s slogan was “Vote monkey – get monkey” (because people were tired of voting for one platform and then seeing the elected officials implementing another one). There is no official counting (because all votes were recorded as “null”), but it’s estimated that Tião received over 400,000 votes, coming third.[18][19][20]

    ….

  203. Anthony Dlugos

    Brainless, the second!!!

    I already told you I’m stupid!

    When are you going to admit your cantankerous contemptuousness? (Much of it totally unjustified).

  204. William T. Forrest

    “No “stew” of policy positions is going to get a Libertarian elected president right now. If it did, it wouldn’t be a libertarian stew. Not even a libertarian-flavored one.”

    “Wrong. That’s merely an excuse …”

    OK, I made with the data. Now it’s your turn, I’ll need data to support your birdbrain conclusion that I am wrong here. Got any?

    You missed the point with the advertisements as well. Think about it some more. I see no need to keep belaboring the point.

  205. Anthony Dlugos

    WtF,

    Is your birdbrain idea that a political party can be successful on a general and ongoing basis by nominating performance artists, donkeys, foot powder, and dogs?

    You can’t be that dumb.

  206. Anthony Dlugos

    “You missed the point with the advertisements as well.”

    No, you miss the point. Your argument seems to be that the LP needs to organize itself around a mission demonstrating the pointless jokes that elections are, the dumbasses that voters are and then run candidates reflecting this theory.

  207. William T. Forrest


    Is your birdbrain idea that a political party can be successful on a general and ongoing basis by nominating performance artists, donkeys, foot powder, and dogs?

    You can’t be that dumb.

    Define successful. You think we’ll become more free by electing Romney with a different political label? Now I know you’re joking.

  208. William T. Forrest

    “No, you miss the point. Your argument seems to be that the LP needs to organize itself around a mission demonstrating the pointless jokes that elections are, the dumbasses that voters are and then run candidates reflecting this theory.”

    Entirely? Not necessarily. It may be a valid approach, or at may be just one of the potential tools in the arsenal; but either way it makes a shit load more sense than the idea that a Kasich, Romney or Weld will WIN! for president and make us all more free. That’s not even a funny joke, and it sure as hell is not serious.

  209. Anthony Dlugos

    “You think we’ll become more free by electing Romney with a different political label?”

    No, we should nominate a parakeet for president.

  210. William T. Forrest

    Notice how I did supply data…Anthony did not. We still have zero support for the idea that the LP can elect a president by slightly repackaging a Weld, Romney or Kasich or that if it did any additional freedom would result. What’s the evidence that any of this can work in real life?

    Live by the data, die by the data.

    Brawndo, the thirst mutilator, is now a real product with real sales. It was literally conceived for the fictional idiocracy. Or is it fictional? Who can tell anymore?

    They aren’t huge, but to take another example PBR revived its brand with ironic marketing and ironiced its way all the way back to being mainstream at which point the irony was kind of lost but who cares, the shareholders or owners did well, right? That’s just two of many examples.

  211. William T. Forrest

    “You think we’ll become more free by electing Romney with a different political label?”

    No, we should nominate a parakeet for president.

    ….

    Maybe. Why not? If the only standard is getting a lot of votes, I done showed parakeets can get votes. Yet by your standard – electing Kasich or Weld as L POTUS is going to work, and get us more free! – you haven’t shown anything at all. No data. Not even data-flavored factoids, just sarcastic comebacks that assume your conclusion while doing nothing to actually prove it.

  212. Anthony Dlugos

    “We still have zero support for the idea that the LP can elect a president by slightly repackaging a Weld, Romney or Kasich…”

    Zero support? All those people are successfully elected politicians. Not for dog catcher offices either.

    How many people wearing boots on their head got elected governor of a state?

    Live by the data, die by the data.

    However, in any case, go ahead, support a candidate for president (for example) that is a fictional a.i, creation or a guy who wears a boot on his head. All you gotta do is convince enough delegates to support such a candidate, and in doing so we’ll be closer to libertopia.

  213. William T. Forrest

    “rump was anything BUT a joke candidate, He was absolutely serious about what he wanted to accomplish. He was not attacking the system itself.”

    The hell he wasn’t. What do you think “drain the swamp” was about? His whole election was 100% about sticking a thumb in the eye of the bipartisan political establishment.

    As for being absolutely serious about what he wants to accomplish, what the hell is that again? Is he the guy who is going to nuke North Korea or the guy who’s going to make out with Kim Jong whatever on stage? Is he the guy who will bomb the hell out of Syria and assassinate the president or is he the guy who will pull US troops out and let Assad, Turkey, Putin and the Iranians do whatever the hell they want over there? Is he the guy who will legalize weed nationwide and reform criminal justice or the guy who will execute drug dealers, go after cannabis in states where it’s already legal, and encourage cops to rough up suspects more? Is he the guy who will bring troops home from around the world or is he the most militaristic president ever who loves military parades and wars and won’t rule out nuclear first strikes? Is he the guy who will preserve entitlements and balloon the debt or the one who will cut taxes, balance the budget and slash regulations? It all depends on which side of the bed he rolled out of or who he just got off the phone with.

    Trade wars and gun bans one minute, border walls the next, calls for censoring media who criticize him…two minutes later he’s for criminal justice policy reform…give it five minutes and he’ll talk to the head of the police union and change his mind. Five minutes later he’ll get on the phone with Putin and order troops out of Syria so Putin can have it to himself. Ten minutes later he’ll get a call from John Bolton and order a nuclear strike on Damascus.

    Trump is 100% serious about his agenda. Whatever it is any given minute. And his election was not, not, NOT about attacking the system itself. Not even slightly!

  214. William T. Forrest

    Zero support? All those people are successfully elected politicians. Not for dog catcher offices either.

    -Not for president
    -Not as LP candidates
    -Didn’t make us any more free

    So again….zero support. Keep trying, maybe you’ll have some data for us yet.

  215. Anthony Dlugos

    WtF,

    Good discussion, anyway.

    Tell you what, I’ll do my best to try and convert the likes of Weld, Kasich, and Romney to libertarianism and the LP. You are free to spread my intentions far and wide.

    You do your best to nominate a parakeet, donkey, or footwear-on-the-head performance artist. I’ll be sure to publicize your plans.

    And, we’ll see what we’ll see.

  216. paulie Post author

    Tell you what, I’ll do my best to try and convert the likes of Weld, Kasich, and Romney to libertarianism and the LP.

    Good luck, especially with the first part.

    At this moment, Ruff-Phillips strikes me as the best mix of funny and serious in the early LP presidential field, but it’s very early and we’ll see who jumps into the race and what kind of campaigns they run for the next year and a half. For the time being, it doesn’t look like the LP will be in the serious running for the presidency, and certainly not with any kind of libertarians (even lite ones).

    The presidential ticket is only useful for attention and ballot access and whatever tangential benefits it has for candidates much further downticket who may actually win and inspiring some to run and get some people involved with the party…stuff like that. We’re not electing presidents yet, not even if we ran the same exact candidates as the Ds and Rs run. Or even worse ones.

    There’s just no scenario under which we overcome generations of voting habits and billions of dollars that quickly. Even if we didn’t care at all about ideology, at which point there would literally be zero reason for the LP to exist (if we just want a party, any party, that wins the big elections, we already have two).

  217. dL

    Brainless, the second!!!

    I already told you I’m stupid!

    It’s a Sopranos reference. Guess you didn’t watch…

  218. William T. Forrest

    ” I’ll do my best to try and convert the likes of Weld, Kasich, and Romney to libertarianism and the LP.”

    But mainly to the LP, because it doesn’t matter much whether you convert them to libertarianism or not, right?

  219. Thomas Knapp

    ” A Libertarian Party and its candidates participate in elections in order to win. Such an organization and its candidates (should) ‘cook’ a stew of policy positions that gets them elected.”

    True. And that has nothing to do with whether or not multi-policy effects can be calculated and “cooked.”

    In fact, if you look at how elections are won, winning candidates and parties stay as far as they can get away with from trying to put multi-policy effects into their “stews.”

    When Republicans run on tax cuts, they don’t talk about how they expect reductions in marginal rates will affect the housing market in Peoria versus the amount of investment capital available to pharmaceutical startups, and they don’t belabor what schedules will have to be added to, modified in, or deleted from the form 1040. They stick with simple principles — “do your taxes on a postcard!” and “flat rate!” etc.

    In fact, while Ted Cruz would almost certainly have lost the GOP primaries to Trump anyway, one memorable turning point in their jousting was when Trump went simple (tariffs) and Cruz drew blank stares and snoring trying to explain his complex “border adjustment tax” variant.

    Ross Perot didn’t help himself in 1992 with his half-hour infomercial featuring a pointer and a bunch of charts and graphs, either.

    The Democrats and Republicans know practical politics. They know that winning elections is about telling people “this one thing is the right thing to do, let’s do it, it’s SIMPLE.”

    RC’s “reducing the net incidence of aggression” boils down to trying to unitize aggression into commensurable units so that we know how many cents per gallon of tax on milk equals one gang rape or three car stereo thefts.

    Practical politics says you simply and clearly oppose taxing the stuff babies drink, you simply and clearly oppose gang rape, and you simply and clearly oppose car stereo theft. If you want to win elections, anyway.

  220. robert capozzi

    tk: RC’s “reducing the net incidence of aggression” boils down to trying to unitize aggression into commensurable units so that we know how many cents per gallon of tax on milk equals one gang rape or three car stereo thefts

    me: Again, nope. Reducing the net incidence of coercion would be in the background for a lessarchist movement, similar to NPO NAPists wanting — but not necessarily explicitly calling for — abolition of most or all government tomorrow. A deft lessarchist would put together simple-sounding programs that stand a chance of passage, would be attractive to significant subsets of the population, and wouldn’t risk the immediate implosion of civil society as we know it (along the lines of PF’s “soft landing” approach).

    NPO NAPists like to point to socialist movements as their model. And, yet, socialists actually started to WIN elections in the early 20th century. NAPists typically run on positions and the LP platform that have no chance of success.

  221. Anthony Dlugos

    “There’s just no scenario under which we overcome generations of voting habits and billions of dollars that quickly.”

    100% disagreement.

    The LP would be immediately electable with a pragmatically libertarian and sellable platform/messaging. Immediately. There is far too much pent up demand for a legitimate alternative to the demopublicans to think otherwise. The purported voter habits you refer that make winning seem impossible is strictly a result of how far outside the frame of reference our messaging currently is.

    What I WILL concede…as I always have…is that such an electable Libertarian Party would be unrecognizable to you and other NAPists/radicals, and would, as you point out, appear to be a pointless endeavor. To YOU.

    But make no mistake, such an electable Libertarian Party, once elected, WOULD be capable of producing positive policy change that would NOT appear pointless to the beneficiaries.

    Heck, such incremental change MIGHT get such beneficiaries to do a deep dive into libertarian theory of a more radical nature. Once we proven to them we don’t intend on upending the world for a theory.

  222. paulie Post author

    Like what? Weld and Romney have already been elected, Kasich is your governor right now. How have they made people in their states so much more free than before or after them or than people in surrounding states? And that’s if we buy your idea that ideas are the only thing holding the LP back from the presidency. There have been many attempts to create parties of the left, right and center, more and less radical libertarianish parties…you name it.

  223. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Pols will shift to a place where their party is. GJ and WW made some fairly significant shifts, ones that of course do not meet the NPO NAPist standards. Amash pushes the R envelope now, as does RPII. Were they to move over to the LP, they would recalibrate almost certainly.

    Odds are high that they would not support the left-handed red-head tax exemption, however.

  224. paulie Post author

    Pols will shift to a place where their party is.

    From what I’ve seen they make small rhetorical concessions, grudgingly and only when they have to, to get the nomination, then go right back to their prior positions.

    GJ and WW made some fairly significant shifts

    They did? What were they? Did they last into the general election campaign? Would they have lasted had they in fact assumed office? Campaigning is one thing, governing is another. You have a congress, judiciary and bureaucracy to deal with, mayors and governors and foreign leaders…is anyone paying attention to the news?

    Odds are high that they would not support the left-handed red-head tax exemption, however.

    Super awesome. Of course, no one will pass any such thing, IPR banter notwithstanding. It’s more likely they’ll support multi trillion dollar budgets, mounting debt, domestic espionage, new gun laws, wars abroad, growing bookshelves of volumes of federal regulations, millions of people incarcerated or supervised release for victimless crimes, lack of bail money or wrongful convictions, unchecked entitlements… By they I mean Romney, Kasich and probably Weld. If they got elected as Libertarians, and they wouldn’t.

    The thing is, putting a Libertarian jersey on these people doesn’t mean they’ll run the ball in the opposite direction from where their team has been running it for decades. They’ll keep running for the same goal they have been running towards, opposite of ours. But they’ll have our jersey on. Do we get to cheer when they score points against us while wearing our jersey? Why?

    This is all a waste of time since they won’t be putting on our jersey, and if they do they won’t be scoring any points. But if we somehow get past all that they still won’t be running in the opposite direction all of a sudden. All of those things will not all happen at once, at least not anytime soon.

    For supposedly pragmatic libertarians, you and Dlugos are treating some rather absurd scenarios way too seriously. I’d rate the chances of Vermin Supreme winning and actually giving everyone a free pony higher than that moonbeam stuff y’all are pushing. Mad Max collapse leading to unicorns and rainbows anarchotopia. The “Frankel Singularity.” Anything, really. I’ve had DMT hallucinations that were more realistic than Romney or Kasich running as a Libertarian for President, winning in 2020 and making us all more free.

  225. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Their proposed budget cuts were much larger than they would or could as Rs. GJ’s f.p. was FAR more non-interventionist than he could have run on as an R. iirc, WW said “taxation is theft,” which is an overstatement, but indicates a strong shift toward actual lessarchism. GJ spoke of the NAP, although I believe he meant it in more the way you and I do, vs. the NPO NAPists. Intergenerational issues were far more lessarchist than any R could run on.

    Those are off the top of my head.

  226. paulie Post author

    Not ready to cede the libertarian label to fash, although I’d also like to reclaim the liberal label since progressives have largely abandoned it following a hostile takeover and outside pejorativization.

  227. robert capozzi

    wtf: Sounds like throwaway campaign rhetoric to me. I think their record in office is a much better predictor than cherrypicked rhetorical flourishes.

    me: Yes, of course! That’s what campaigns are…rhetoric.

    And, yes, a governing track record demonstrates more fully where a pol is coming from. Since Ls never get elected above state legislature, we have zero observations. This was NOT the case with socialists, who were elected to higher offices, where they could practice what they rhetorically preached.

    NAPists are unlikely to EVER be elected, so — unless there’s a great awakening among Ls — we will only be able to assess Vohra vs. Kokesh, parsing out who is purer and who is fringier.

  228. robert capozzi

    pf: The thing is, putting a Libertarian jersey on these people doesn’t mean they’ll run the ball in the opposite direction from where their team has been running it for decades. They’ll keep running for the same goal they have been running towards, opposite of ours.

    me: One-dimensional thinking. The scrum is at the 50-yard line, and the fullback has the ball, and he’s bobbing and weaving, looking for a seam. He may step sideways, even backward, until he finds the daylight.

    Remember:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-eclUz-RYI

    …So you better think it over…

  229. dL

    Not ready to cede the libertarian label to fash

    I’ll cede the anarcho-capitalist label to the anti-immigrant incels…

  230. Anthony Dlugos

    “One-dimensional thinking. The scrum is at the 50-yard line, and the fullback has the ball, and he’s bobbing and weaving, looking for a seam. He may step sideways, even backward, until he finds the daylight.”

    Great analogy. Electoral politics is much more meandering, probing than the NAPists/radicals want it to be. it isn’t the straight-up philosophical battle we might want, Once we, individually and as the collective known as the LP enter the arena of electoral politics, we are constrained by the rules and conventions therein. That means philosophy has to give way to electoral concerns. Yes, that means compromise. Yes, that means we have to entreat our political opponents and the voters, not instruct them.

    The bobbing and weaving is a problem the NAP tries to “solve,” but what the NAPist doesn’t see is that said bobbing and weaving is absolutely necessary, at least in electoral politics it is. One does not HAVE to chose electoral politics. One CAN choose to fight the fight on other grounds, where principle and strict adherence to an axiom can win the day. Where the only way to run is straight ahead, every time.

    Part of me was disappointed when Governor Johnson dealt with the “Bake the Cake” issue the way he did. It might be philosophically pleasing to imagine a world where strict freedom of association norms rule the day, but, given where the Bake the Cake issue would inevitably end up, its an obvious political loser. Its not entirely logical, if you asked me, to suggest the bakery owner might have to sell a cake off the shelf but does not have to add messaging to the cake that implies support of gay marriage, but if that bob-and-weave gains a certain level of votes and takes the issue off the table, allowing Johnson to focus on more important issues (i.e., issues that can secure more votes) then you gotta do it. Or else face the inevitable “What about a No N***ers Allowed” sign in a Mississippi restaurant and watch your campaign implode in real time.

  231. Anthony Dlugos

    “For supposedly pragmatic libertarians, you and Dlugos are treating some rather absurd scenarios way too seriously… I’ve had DMT hallucinations that were more realistic than Romney or Kasich running as a Libertarian for President, winning in 2020 and making us all more free.

    I’m not about to pin my hopes on Romney or Kasich specifically. First thing, I just want to craft a more sellable platform/messaging and see who we draw in.

  232. Anthony Dlugos

    re: Mother Jones article WtF posted on December 20, 2018 at 20:51.

    It is interesting that the professor cited in the article, Rishab Nithyanand (University of Iowa), who has researched far right extremism on Reddit, specifically mentioned the men’s rights movement as a particularly fruitful source of recruits for the far right.

    This is, of course, one of the groups Vohra suggested he would secure votes from, in what has to be an all-timer idiocy list of factions a “presidential candidates” alleges he/she can put together:

    1) homeschoolers
    2) private schoolers
    3) men’s rights activists.

  233. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Out of respect, I will use “Radical” when referring to the formal Libertarian Radical Caucus, but not when discussing NAPists, NPOists or not. There’s nothing “radical” about NAPism. As we are finding, when things get down to the nub of the issue, NAPists go silent. True radicals strike the root. Instead, they have a series of bromides that they apparently consider self-evident, but are not even close to being so.

    While the Longites here bristle at the thought, their extremism and NPOism stems from MNR, I submit. I believe he came up with the NPO concept, and famously sprinkled the term “Hold High the Banner” in many of his polemical works. That tradition of unyielding NPO NAPism continues to infect their thinking. They cite the early 20th century relative success of socialists as their tactical template, but they overlook the fact that socialists made actual electoral successes before they were co-opted by the majors. It is, therefore, an apples-to-oranges analogy.

    The MNR tradition of Holding High the Banner has transmogrified into the current day Kokeshs and Vohras, who seem hell-bent on bringing Macho Flashism to the center of the LP. Indeed, VP hopeful Jeff Wood explicitly does so. This NPO NAPist element shows no signs of relenting, I suspect for reasons of deep-seated anger, hence the term Angry-tarian. Many of them probably wished it was they who were spitting on WW at the 16 convention! 😉

    PF, who can sometimes talk a good lessarchist game, is clearly scapegoating you with Romney and Kasich. Amash, OTOH, is younger and less set in his ways. And for every Amash, there are probably 10 state legislators with strong L sympathies. Obviously, they are the sorts who could conceivably convert the LP into a viable third way.

    (Cue the many heresies that Amash subscribes to.)

    Vermin Supreme is not. He’s simply a latter-day Pat Paulsen without portfolio:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Paulsen

  234. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlugos wrote:

    If you believe such a standard is fraudulent in some way, then electoral politics is not for you. I’m not saying your [sic] wrong, I am saying you are in the wrong arena.

    If you believe running candidates with no libertarian principles is helpful in some way, then Libertarian Party politics is not for you. I’m not saying you’re wrong [CM: though you are] I’m just saying you are in the wrong arena.

    Paulie wrote:

    The thing is, putting a Libertarian jersey on these people doesn’t mean they’ll run the ball in the opposite direction from where their team has been running it for decades. They’ll keep running for the same goal they have been running towards, opposite of ours. But they’ll have our jersey on. Do we get to cheer when they score points against us while wearing our jersey? Why?

    Bingo!

    Dlugos is of course delusional when he believes the LP will win the presidency in the near term no matter who we run, given the institutional momentum of partisan politics, lever pulling, wasted vote syndrome, media coverage, etc. It mystifies me why anyone would concede the “pragmatic” label to anyone so batshit insane that he believes the LP will win the presidency in 2020 even if we ran a reincarnated George Washington on the platform of everyone gets 3 wishes and a 6 month paid vacation.

    Even if the LP could win the presidency (which — I must re-emphasize — it can’t), electing someone who is going to do the opposite of what we want is well beyond pointless: it’s counterproductive.

    The 2020 presidential campaign will be interesting. I hope we pick a candidate who will grow the party by attracting more
    libertarians into our ranks rather than someone who will shrink the party by not sharing data, be a wasted opportunity by getting no media, or destroy the party by tarnishing our brand and filling our ranks with authoritarian interlopers. However, the real opportunity is at the lower level where we can win elections and have won elections.

  235. paulie Post author

    They cite the early 20th century relative success of socialists as their tactical template, but they overlook the fact that socialists made actual electoral successes before they were co-opted by the majors.

    I don’t overlook it. In fact that’s why I am big on nuts and bolts organization. It seems to me that learning the political basics of social media strategies, phonebanking, door to door campaigns, press release and interview management, video production, and so on puts that level of electoral success within LP reach, with the current ideology. It’s our lack of political activism and savvy, fundraising skill, etc, that relegates us to this level. That and failing to emphasize the left-appealing parts of our platform enough, failure to spend enough time on youth outreach… stuff like that.

  236. Anthony Dlugos

    “And for every Amash, there are probably 10 state legislators with strong L sympathies. Obviously, they are the sorts who could conceivably convert the LP into a viable third way.”

    Damn straight.

    Ditto that 10x force multiplier for the donor class and voters themselves.

    They’re out there.

  237. paulie Post author

    The MNR tradition of Holding High the Banner has transmogrified into the current day Kokeshs and Vohras, who seem hell-bent on bringing Macho Flashism to the center of the LP. Indeed, VP hopeful Jeff Wood explicitly does so. This NPO NAPist element shows no signs of relenting, I suspect for reasons of deep-seated anger, hence the term Angry-tarian.

    You have a point there. That’s something which is making me increasingly uncomfortable as I see it feeding directly into the libertarian to alt reich overflowing sewer pipe.

  238. paulie Post author

    And, yes, a governing track record demonstrates more fully where a pol is coming from. Since Ls never get elected above state legislature, we have zero observations.

    Let’s see what Hewitt does as County Supervisor. From what I know of it his record as mayor is pretty good as far as tackling the government pension issue which is crippling so many cities, especially in California (but not only). I think what Apollo and team did with Baldes – I think she actually won, but got cheated – can work soon if continued. The CRM project has a lot of potential for taking all sorts of LP campaigns and operations from local to state to national levels to the next level.

  239. paulie Post author

    I’ll cede the anarcho-capitalist label to the anti-immigrant incels…

    Yeah, they can have that one. “Capitalist” has a mixed bag enough history to make it not worth fighting over. It’s a niche enough label to begin with to where it’s just not worth the energy to die on that particular molehill.

  240. Anthony Dlugos

    “If you believe running candidates with no libertarian principles is helpful in some way, then Libertarian Party politics is not for you.”

    What those principles are is in the eyes of the beholder. Certainly, given the rules of the Libertarian Party, the party’s principles aren’t automatically yours, no matter how conceited the manner in which you present them are.

    And no, I don’t believe you take a look at the political playing field, as it currently exists in this country, and figure out a way for the Libertarian Party to start winning. I think you start with a message that you know cannot win but you are unwilling to change, and then proclaim that winning is a long way off for the Libertarian Party, thus allowing you to hold onto your dogma.

  241. paulie Post author

    Part of me was disappointed when Governor Johnson dealt with the “Bake the Cake” issue the way he did.

    Maybe it would have been a good time to reprise faking a heart attack. Or stage-diving.

  242. paulie Post author

    It is interesting that the professor cited in the article, Rishab Nithyanand (University of Iowa), who has researched far right extremism on Reddit, specifically mentioned the men’s rights movement as a particularly fruitful source of recruits for the far right.

    I think it has a lot to do with some guys’ personal frustrations over their lack of appeal in the dating market. They feel entitled to certain women they desire, and to a subservient attitude from those women if and when they do get to be with them, instead they see women hooking up with other women, women choosing careers over marriage, women dating interracially or dating non-white immigrants, non-whites and immigrants beating them out for jobs, and their entitlement rage kicks in. They can’t get a girlfriend, or their girlfriend leaves them because they are shitty boyfriends, or they have gay feelings they are trying to suppress, and the rage makes them go all fash.

  243. Anthony Dlugos

    But, by all means, CM, stick to your “we can’t win, there are too many obstacles we are not in control of no matter who we nominate, and even if we could the person wouldn’t be a libertarian” message of doom and gloom despondency.

    I’ll stick to a message of optimism, and one that says we CAN win, and empowers our party in order to realize we CAN change and win.

    And we’ll see what we’ll see.

    My money is on Hope and Change, not Make the Libertarian Party Great Again.

  244. paulie Post author

    The 2020 presidential campaign will be interesting. I hope we pick a candidate who will grow the party by attracting more
    libertarians into our ranks rather than someone who will shrink the party by not sharing data, be a wasted opportunity by getting no media, or destroy the party by tarnishing our brand and filling our ranks with authoritarian interlopers. However, the real opportunity is at the lower level where we can win elections and have won elections.

    Exactly!

  245. Anthony Dlugos

    “Maybe it would have been a good time to reprise faking a heart attack. Or stage-diving.”

    haha. Good one.

    He definitely should have had a firmer answer ready. He was already prepared to tell the dogmatics to pound salt, he might as well just have gotten it over with quickly.

  246. Anthony Dlugos

    “The 2020 presidential campaign will be interesting. I hope we pick a candidate who will grow the party by attracting more libertarians into our ranks…”

    As I noted above, the definition of “libertarian” isn’t automatically CM’s definition. Within the LP itself, there are rules and norms that ultimately determine that definition. Its never set in stone. Even the platform can be changed.

    “rather than someone who will shrink the party by not sharing data, be a wasted opportunity by getting no media, or destroy the party by tarnishing our brand and filling our ranks with authoritarian interlopers.”

    Any data purporting to show that the party is shrinking (if it is), is missing the forest for the trees. I really don’t care whether a party with 15,000 members lost or gained a few thousands. The party budget is smaller than my parents’ church here in Ohio.

    We need to be orders of magnitude larger. We need millions of members, Something is WAY off about our message. It is utterly and completely unpalatable to the voters as currently constituted.

    As an aside, this complaint about not sharing data is very simply handled: make the party big and strong, and we’ll get treated with the respect that you want. Because, as long as you have a situation where the tail (candidate) is wagging the dog (party), you can be assured that candidates will do whatever the hell they want to do.

    “However, the real opportunity is at the lower level where we can win elections and have won elections.”

    As I have noted previously, a Libertarian message sellable for a nationwide or federal office will be sellable locally too. With the right message, we can win everywhere, at every level, and immediately.

  247. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlugos wrote:

    But, by all means, CM, stick to your “we can’t win, there are too many obstacles we are not in control of no matter who we nominate, and even if we could the person wouldn’t be a libertarian” message of doom and gloom despondency.

    I’ll stick to a message of optimism, and one that says we CAN win, and empowers our party in order to realize we CAN change and win.

    You are confusing optimism with delusion.

    I’ve heard pie in the sky silver bullet “this time is different” craziness for decades. Those of us who have been around the block know you are batshit crazy if you believe the LP will win the presidency in the near term. I always stand ready to take free money from batshit crazy people, so by all means let’s make a wager about whether the LP will win the presidency. I’ll even give you 100 to 1 odds against. You pick the wager amount.

    It is far more likely that the media and public will take boot on the head guy seriously than that the LP will win the presidency — several orders of magnitude more likely. Therefore, it is a mystery why you are deadset against (“doom and gloom despondency”) about the former, while bullish optimism about the latter. I can only assume you are 8 beers past drunk.

  248. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlugos wrote:

    As I noted above, the definition of “libertarian” isn’t automatically CM’s definition. Within the LP itself, there are rules and norms that ultimately determine that definition. Its never set in stone. Even the platform can be changed.

    Oh, I had no idea it would be so easy to convince you of the error of your ways and direct your dog and pony show to another pasture. It seems we’ve been wasting time for months assuming you RTFM. I’m sorry it took me so long to diagnose your ignorance.

    There is a definition of “libertarianism” which is “written in stone”: it is the Statement of Principles. Go read the LP bylaws.

    Now that we’ve cleared that up, best of luck in your future endeavors. May I suggest the Green Party for your next crying rant about eschewing all principles to elect someone who will do the opposite of what they want but is wearing their jersey?

  249. Anthony Dlugos

    “There is a definition of “libertarianism” which is “written in stone”: it is the Statement of Principles. Go read the LP bylaws.”

    Those can be changed or eliminated, right?

  250. paulie Post author

    As I noted above, the definition of “libertarian” isn’t automatically CM’s definition. Within the LP itself, there are rules and norms that ultimately determine that definition. Its never set in stone. Even the platform can be changed.

    It takes 7/8 to change the statement of principles. I know you’re not happy about that, but you can either get 7/8, try to start a new party from scratch, or complain endlessly and fruitlessly.

    Any data purporting to show that the party is shrinking (if it is), is missing the forest for the trees. I really don’t care whether a party with 15,000 members lost or gained a few thousands. The party budget is smaller than my parents’ church here in Ohio.

    A forest is made up of trees and doesn’t magically expand if the trees are ignored and malnourished. A few thousand is a big deal at this stage and there are multiple other measures which are important. You can fantasize about magically jumping into the millions but it doesn’t make it any more real or realistic.

    We need to be orders of magnitude larger. We need millions of members, Something is WAY off about our message. It is utterly and completely unpalatable to the voters as currently constituted.

    Again, and we’ve been over this before. There have been lots and lots of attempts to create alt parties in the US. We have some idea of what works and what doesn’t. There have been attempts to create parties of the left, right and center. Not just one or two but many of them. Presumably centrist parties are not outside what voters find palatable, yet there have been many attempts to create them and the vast majority never got as far as the LP is right now. The Reform Party made a big splash, getting a governor elected and backing a presidential candidate who did a lot better than the LP ever has, yet within a single digit number of years virtually collapsed. Yet it didn’t completely collapsed: it still exists, and still has a middle of the road platform. You can find the link in the sidebar. One of our writers ran as their gubernatorial candidate this year in Florida.

    More recently you had Americans Elect, which had big time funding the LP can only dream of, and managed to get on way more state ballots than the LP did its first cycle (or than most alt parties ever do). Yet despite all that money and a middle of the road ideology they failed to attract an actual candidate of the caliber they required willing to actually run with them. Lots played footsie with them but in the end they all decided against it.

    If you think ideology is the only thing keeping the LP from having millions of members and winning presidential elections, you need to get off the internet and actually go work on some political campaigns. Try working on a few local LP campaigns, a few local D/R campaigns, an LP presidential campaign, and a D/R presidential campaign. Even in some minor capacity. I’ve done all of these things, so I am not just talking.

    As an aside, this complaint about not sharing data is very simply handled: make the party big and strong, and we’ll get treated with the respect that you want. Because, as long as you have a situation where the tail (candidate) is wagging the dog (party), you can be assured that candidates will do whatever the hell they want to do.

    We actually sort of agree here. But part of that process of making the party stronger is strengthening our standard of what we require from presidential campaigns that seek our nomination. They are seeking something valuable, ballot access that would take them millions of dollars to get without our help. So, let’s stop acting like we have nothing to negotiate with. That negotiation does not work after the fact; it has to be done before the nomination is voted on, which means it needs to be a requirement before the nomination to be considered for the nomination is even allowed.

    As I have noted previously, a Libertarian message sellable for a nationwide or federal office will be sellable locally too. With the right message, we can win everywhere, at every level, and immediately.

    Well, first of all, no. Lots of people who don’t find the LP message acceptable on foreign policy or big domestic national issues can still vote for a Jeff Hewitt for county supervisor or a Bethany Baldes for legislature, especially when one of the duopoly parties doesn’t field a candidate. And sometimes those candidates can win. But our presidential candidates don’t have to win to get the bigger parties to enact our agenda; again see what the socialist, prohibition, populist and progressive parties achieved a century ago and how they did it.

    Secondly, it’s not a matter of message alone. Regardless of what our message is, winning big national races, or lots of statewide or congressional races, takes a lot more than message. It takes massive funding, lots of volunteers, overcoming generational and lifelong voting habits, and beating the fear that voting for us would get the “greater evil” elected, among other things.

    Just changing the platform does not do that. And if it did, what would be the point? If I wanted to win with a message that’s not substantially different from Ds and Rs, I would just go be one.

    You haven’t explained how you would stop a party which became less-libertarian enough to the point where you think it could encourage big name crossovers and win big races from becoming less libertarian still to the point that it’s actively anti-libertarian as much or even more so than the current Democrats or Republicans. Even entertaining the idea that we would want to put forth a Romney or Kasich seriously shows that you have no such mechanism.

  251. robert capozzi

    cm: Those of us who have been around the block know you are batshit crazy if you believe the LP will win the presidency in the near term.

    me: I can’t speak for AD, but I would say that there are many races (possibly including the presidency) that are winnable with a moderate L message with no consideration of party or track record. It’s also my contention that the SoP and Bylaws were written in youthfully exuberant Randians with later input by MNR and Evers. The experiment has largely failed, predictably so. If I’m correct (more or less), then the sooner this failure is recognized, the sooner the Initial Error can be repaired.

    That SHOULD be the easy part. The hard part would be message and candidate development, overcoming the election-law obstacles, and other nuts-and-bolt issues.

    NAPist tautologies and the 7/8ths depth charges have made the easy part VERY hard, possibly unsolvable.

  252. Anthony Dlugos

    I’ll agree with you 100% on one thing, CM;

    Anyone suggesting this party can win anything at all, let alone the presidency, now or ever in the future, without a radical (haha) restructuring of the platform
    & messaging is a straight up conman looking for marks.

    But I’m not suggesting that at all. Our product and how we deliver it, while containing a base of a great idea, sucks ass.

    The whole thing needs to be torn down to that base and rebuilt into a product that has a legitimate market we can sell to.

  253. Anthony Dlugos

    “7/8. Good luck with that.“

    Fair enough.

    My preferred strategy, as I noted before, is ignored and honored in the breach.

  254. paulie Post author

    Anyone suggesting this party can win anything at all, let alone the presidency, now or ever in the future, without a radical (haha) restructuring of the platform
    & messaging is a straight up conman looking for marks.

    We already win some offices. Jeff Hewitt is an example but there were several dozen others this year alone, and there are some every election year.

  255. paulie Post author

    The whole thing needs to be torn down to that base and rebuilt into a product that has a legitimate market we can sell to.

    The statement of principles is the base, the non-initiation of force principle is the base of that base. You reject that so what is it that you think the base is and why?

  256. robert capozzi

    PF,

    You’ve said you are not a NAPist, but are you a NIOFist? What’s the difference between the NAP and NIOF, in your mind?

  257. paulie Post author

    I would say that there are many races (possibly including the presidency) that are winnable with a moderate L message with no consideration of party or track record

    You can say that all you want but evidence is sorely lacking. Lots of counter-evidence though; see above.

    The experiment has largely failed

    Depends on your criteria. It’s succeeded more than any other alt party in the era of modern US ballot access laws which started approximately in the 1930s, of any ideology, at least on a reasonably long term basis, and is by no means over. It has contributed to the growth and spinoff of many movement organizations. We can’t know how much it has contributed to the thinking of establishment party politicians and kept things from being worse than they are, but my hunch is it’s a lot more than you would be willing to consider seriously.

    Jim’s charts show that by most measures we are still growing by leaps and bounds. I expect that to continue, and for dividends to increase exponentially (but not always steadily) as time goes on.

    If I’m correct (more or less), then the sooner this failure is recognized, the sooner the Initial Error can be repaired.

    I’m more hopeful that you will eventually recognize that it isn’t a failure and won’t be “repaired,” but not very hopeful in the short or medium term. It may take you years, decades or even centuries to recognize this, or you may not live long enough.

    I don’t think it will take you thousands of years, although that too is possible.

    The hard part would be message and candidate development, overcoming the election-law obstacles, and other nuts-and-bolt issues.

    It is, but we’re making some progress which is adding to my optimism.

  258. paulie Post author

    You’ve said you are not a NAPist, but are you a NIOFist? What’s the difference between the NAP and NIOF, in your mind?

    I did? I’d have to see the context.

  259. Anthony Dlugos

    “Regardless of what our message is, winning big national races, or lots of statewide or congressional races, takes a lot more than message. It takes massive funding, lots of volunteers…”

    There is big money sitting on the sidelines. They appear in the pages of Reason magazine, in interviews at reason tv, and in other outlets. Seven and eight figure money. There are others that haves expressed interest in libertarian ideas.

    They don’t do these things lest they are interested in politics. One check from any of these people and ballot access and perceived legitimacy issues amongst the publix would be over. Permanently.

    But I don’t think they’re interested in donating to lost causes. Naked guys running around on stage at a convention, obsessive platform planks previously discussed here, an accord that sidesteps the “issue” of whether or not government should exist does not led itself to a good investment.

    Are there a lot of ingrained habits to overcome, people used to just voting for the lesser of two evils or voting for their current tribe? Sure.

    But there is a flip side to that coin: support for the two dinosaur parties is weak. They are ripe for the taking, as just about any entity closing in on a century and a half of existince would be. Their efforts at putting obstacles in our way tells me just how weak they are.

    But as RC alluded to, the first step in this process is accepting the fact that our failures are our responsibility, and no one else’s. What we’ve done so far hasn’t worked.

    That’s my opinion, at least.

  260. paulie Post author

    I said

    I don’t believe that a soft landing from massive government coercion can be 100% NAP compliant in real life. I don’t favor a super-active judicial committee where every tiny NAP deviation gets dragged in front of the JC. I’m focused primarily on the initial practical steps of halting and reversing government growth and don’t believe in spending a lot of time counting angels on the head of a pin, devising perfect outcomes or perfect plans to get there. I’m of the opinion, stated more than a few times in these pages, that once we crack the dam changes will accelerate and take care of themselves so I don’t have to plan everything out or state with certainty how far things will go much less exactly what things will look like when we get there.

    My POV on the NAP is much like what you have said yours is, that it’s a good guidepost for general direction.

    So if you’re looking for responses from purists or perfectionists ask someone else because that’s not me.

    And I’m still a radical compared to many who are active in the LP, even with that in mind.

    All that is my position. I support the NAP/NIOF but not in the rigid ways you ascribe to “NAPsters”. That doesn’t create a difference between NAP and NIOF which as far as I know are two ways of saying the same thing.

  261. paulie Post author

    There is big money sitting on the sidelines. They appear in the pages of Reason magazine, in interviews at reason tv, and in other outlets. Seven and eight figure money. There are others that haves expressed interest in libertarian ideas.

    Yes, and most of them are still worried that their money would cause the greater evil to win, or that they can have more influence within one of the duopoly parties, or that single issue or multi-issue advocacy groups are more effective, or that we just need to educate the public on idea and let the political implementation take care of itself, etc, etc. Have you ever talked to such people in person? I actually have. There are many reasons they don’t give serious money to the LP. Relatively few of those have to do with how extreme the LP platform is. Some of them would actually prefer that it be *more* extreme.

  262. Anthony Dlugos

    “NAPist tautologies and the 7/8ths depth charges have made the easy part VERY hard, possibly unsolvable…”

    Right-o. Those countermeasures have definitely done exactly that: made the easy part very hard.

    On other hand, what paulie thinks would be hard…legitimate candidates, funding, volunteers, perceived legitimacy among voters, etc, would actually be comparatively easy.

    Infrastructure? It would take no time at all to build it. Granted, most of it already exists, in the form of libertarian leaning politicians, donors, campaign staff that are currently in the dinosaur parties.

    But any organization that experiences exponential growth typically ends up grabbing experienced leaders from similar organizations…frequently competitors…in their particular market.

  263. Anthony Dlugos

    “Yes, and most of them are still worried that their money would cause the greater evil to win, or that they can have more influence within one of the duopoly parties, or that single issue or multi-issue advocacy groups are more effective, or that we just need to educate the public on idea and let the political implementation take care of itself,”

    Gotta go through a lot of “no’s” to get to the “yes’s.”

  264. robert capozzi

    pf: My POV on the NAP is much like what you have said yours is, that it’s a good guidepost for general direction.

    me: In my case, I like the sentiment of the NAP. I find it unworkable for politics, other than perhaps one’s default position on any given issue. Of course, not all (hardly any) political issues is all black or all white.

    So, taking all this in: You are a NAPist, but not necessarily an NPO NAPist. I hope that’s fair.

  265. paulie Post author

    Dunno. None of these terms are in common usage so if you say so I guess I am. I see it as a general direction to pursue. I don’t expect perfection from politicians, don’t think there is any way to avoid some messiness in getting from here to there, and don’t have a way to know what there will look like if and when we ever do get there. Most of my energy and time needs to be devoted to the practical first steps of getting in that direction. If that means I’m a “NAPist, but not necessarily an NPO NAPist” then that’s what I am. If it doesn’t, then I’m not.

  266. robert capozzi

    pf,

    There may well be a pecking order in the NAPist community, something like:

    *NPO NAPist, the most inflexible and dogmatic category. Tax-exemption for left-handed red-heads only is to be celebrated gleefully as a good first step.
    *Hard-core NAPist, one who adheres to NAPism rigidly, but doesn’t necessarily buy into the NPO on practical grounds. Would not go for tax-exemption for left-handed red-heads only, at least not reflexively. “Thin,” but with some meat on the bones.
    *Soft-core NAPist, who don’t buy into the NPO and who recognize that some deviationism is acceptable. Could be categorized as a “thickist.” Opposes a tax-exemption for left-handed red-heads only.

  267. robert capozzi

    I think this might work better, labels-wise:

    NPO NAPist
    High NAPist
    Low NAPist

    Short and sweet….

  268. paulie Post author

    All these esoteric taxonomies sound like too much work with not enough point to me, but whatever floats your boat.

  269. dL

    Tell you what, I’ll do my best to try and convert the likes of Weld, Kasich, and Romney to libertarianism and the LP. You are free to spread my intentions far and wide.

  270. dL

    There is big money sitting on the sidelines. They appear in the pages of Reason magazine, in interviews at reason tv, and in other outlets. Seven and eight figure money.

  271. robert capozzi

    pf: All these esoteric taxonomies sound like too much work with not enough point to me, but whatever floats your boat.

    me: I’m just tryin’ to understand. There are a few intrepid, well-meaning NAPists who defend the handiwork of 88-20 somethings from nearly 5 decades ago. Analyzing their thinking MAY elicit some insight or uncover an antidote to what I consider deeply dysfunctional thinking. I continue to search for a keystone that will stop the insanity. This Pontifical Swiss Guard seem willing to employ any and all measures to protect a thought system that cannot work; the elaborate defense mechanisms are plain as day, and yet the NAPists seem completely unaware of what they are actually defending.

    Maximizing liberty is more important than ever, and yet this tiny cadre fights off all the millions who would benefit from an effective lessarchist party. They even lionize this crazy history, establishing a Historical Preservation Committee.

  272. paulie Post author

    I’m just tryin’ to understand.

    Good luck on your quest.

    this tiny cadre fights off all the millions who would benefit from an effective lessarchist party.

    I see zero evidence for your oft-repeated contention that “millions who would benefit from an effective lessarchist party” are being fought off in any way. There have been lots of attempts to create all sorts of alt parties of all sorts of ideologies in the US and the LP has been the most steadily successful one in the last 80 years or so since ballot access barriers became a thing. There are still plenty of opportunities to create a new lessarchist party now. If the big money is sitting on the sidelines like Dlugos says, and if more effective organizing whan anything we have done to date is “easy,” what’s stopping them? Just ignore the LP and build your new party. Should be a breeze, right? Just ask Americans Elect.

    Still waiting for the evidence that anything you start would overcome the “wasted vote”/”lesser evil” problem, or that the money and organization would materialize, or that the candidates you think it would attract would actually cross over, or that it would maintain even the minimal ideological coherence of a general lessarchist direction if and when it did start to show some success. By what mechanisms? Just ask the Reform Party.

    Also still waiting for evidence that a few words in the statement of principles and membership pledge is what keeps all this money and organizational ability from magically coming together. These people are supposedly so wealthy and competent why can’t they figure out how to get on a few dozen state ballots (even Nader figured it out) or how to get 7/8 at an LP convention with at most about a thousand people in attendance if it’s really a problem for them?

    In reality of course it’s not, and I’ve never once heard anyone who was thinking about making a move into the LP worry about a few words on a page. It didn’t stop Barr, Root, Weld, Gravel, Johnson, or anyone else. Nobody cares what the D and R platforms say (or I should say very few people do) and people with real money and organizational abilities aren’t going to be stymied by the LP platform either.

    They even lionize this crazy history, establishing a Historical Preservation Committee.

    Yes, I’m glad that happened and contributed to it myself. I don’t think the history is crazy but even if you do you claim you want to analyze their thinking so it would probably be a good idea to preserve it. Contributions can be made at https://www.lp.org/preservation/

    Thank you and everyone else who has or will donate.

  273. robert capozzi

    pf: I see zero evidence for your oft-repeated contention that “millions who would benefit from an effective lessarchist party” are being fought off in any way.

    me: Really? Didn’t you see vid of Perry spitting on Weld? Haven’t you see a long list of NAPist harangues against moderate L candidates?

    pf: There have been lots of attempts to create all sorts of alt parties of all sorts of ideologies in the US and the LP has been the most steadily successful one in the last 80 years or so since ballot access barriers became a thing.

    me: I’m not sure I’d call the current state of the LP as a “success,” but that it’s continued to exist deserves recognition. What I contend is that if it had been a lessarchist vs. a NAPist party from the outset, we would be seeing REAL success now.

    pf: There are still plenty of opportunities to create a new lessarchist party now.

    me: Yes, I’m aware of this. A second LP is an option, but the current one does have several built-in advantages. At the outset, non-NAPist lessarchists would be torn in their allegiances.

    pf: If the big money is sitting on the sidelines like Dlugos says, and if more effective organizing whan anything we have done to date is “easy,” what’s stopping them? Just ignore the LP and build your new party. Should be a breeze, right? Just ask Americans Elect.

    me: AD and I disagree here. It would be VERY hard to start a lessarchist party. Were it not for the arrogance of the 88 and their 7/8ths conceit, reforming the LP (or ignoring the SoP) itself would be the wiser course.

    pf: Also still waiting for evidence that a few words in the statement of principles and membership pledge is what keeps all this money and organizational ability from magically coming together.

    me: It’s not just the “few words.” It’s the underlying thought system of NAPists. It’s the continuing influence of Rothbard, Rand, and Long. A cadre of NAPists, armed with the 7/8ths depth charge, that stalls out any hope of real reform.

    As for the HPC, I won’t be donating. The history is nearly as embarrassing as any history can be. The 88 were well-intentioned, but their ideas should be shelved for a more contemporary approach.

  274. paulie Post author

    Haven’t you see a long list of NAPist harangues against moderate L candidates?

    That’s a lot different from “millions being kept away” nonsense. There is zero proof that a LP which spurned its bedrock foundations in favor of some kind of libertarian lite party would be more successful. The history of many other parties including Reform, Americans Elect, and the lack of some other libertarian lite party being created indicates it might well be less successful.

    I’m not sure I’d call the current state of the LP as a “success,”

    Compared to unsubstantiated fantasies of what would exist if only this or that maybe not. Compared to every other attempt to create an alt party in the US since ballot access laws were made significantly worse over 80 years ago yes.

    What I contend is that if it had been a lessarchist vs. a NAPist party from the outset, we would be seeing REAL success now.

    You can contend it until you are blue in the face but evidence is rather lacking.

  275. paulie Post author

    Yes, I’m aware of this. A second LP is an option, but the current one does have several built-in advantages.

    Pretty minor and outweighed by the disadvantages if what you claim is true.

    At the outset, non-NAPist lessarchists would be torn in their allegiances.

    Well, so be it. Competition is good.

    It’s not just the “few words.” It’s the underlying thought system of NAPists. It’s the continuing influence of Rothbard, Rand, and Long. A cadre of NAPists, armed with the 7/8ths depth charge, that stalls out any hope of real reform.

    So you keep saying. It’s easy to say when you are not trying to actually do anything except talk and there’s no way to prove a negative. However, what evidence I can see does not point in the direction of you being correct here.

    As for the HPC, I won’t be donating.

    Bummer. I’ll have to remember to make a donation in your honor when I can afford it. Still wondering how you can study and learn from history you want to sweep under the rug though.

  276. Thomas Knapp

    —–
    There is big money sitting on the sidelines. They appear in the pages of Reason magazine, in interviews at reason tv, and in other outlets. Seven and eight figure money. There are others that haves expressed interest in libertarian ideas.

    They don’t do these things lest they are interested in politics. One check from any of these people and ballot access and perceived legitimacy issues amongst the publix would be over. Permanently.
    —–

    Seeing as how the largest check that could be written would be $33,900, I doubt that said check would solve ballot access for one presidential election cycle, let alone permanently.

    As for perceived legimitacy issues among the public, your utopian fantasy fetish is showing again.

  277. robert capozzi

    pf,

    I give you evidence all the time. I highlight the reducio ad absurdums that NAPism (especially NPO NAPism) produces (left-handed red-headed tax exemptions being the latest) and how this position holds virtually no support, even from you, a low NAPist; the vote totals of GJ/WW; their media coverage; one-fifth of the pop are broadly L, according to polls; and yet none of this persuades you. “We’re the new socialists, influencing from the fringes!” seems to be the response. The country is on the precipice of full-blown statism, and you respond, “We have gay marriage and legal weed.” (Even though Ls had little to do with either.)

    Competition isn’t necessarily good. There were competing socialist parties, and all of them happened to have bad ideas. And those bad ideas opened the door to the rising fascism we’re now getting.

    And it’s one thing to actually LEARN from history, another to lionize crazy people from the past. I’m in the “history is the autobiography of a madman” camp, truth be told, especially when it comes to the HPC.

  278. Thomas Knapp

    “The 88 were well-intentioned, but their ideas should be shelved for a more contemporary approach.”

    Thing is, you’re sort of like Likud and the two-state solution — they’re all for it, as long as there’s no actual second state involved.

    People who disagree with what the however-many came up with (it wasn’t just the original 88 — their work didn’t require a 7/8ths vote to modify at the convention after that one) have had 47 years to go do it the way they want it done, but would rather just bitch about it.

  279. paulie Post author

    how this position holds virtually no support

    The positions in the D and R platform are absurd at times too, but no one cares because very few people read or pay attention to them.

    the vote totals of GJ/WW; their media coverage;

    There are many ways to propose why those would or should have been more or less if this or that, and what long term impact for good or bad it had on the party. Much of it was specific to that particular election and who they were running against. Some of it had to do with…a lot of things.

    one-fifth of the pop are broadly L, according to polls

    Broadly L according to polls and willing to vote for the LP, especially at the top of the ticket, regardless of how moderate or extreme, are two very different things. We’ve been over this how many times now?

    The country is on the precipice of full-blown statism

    Quite possibly. Or maybe not. Either way, I’m not seeing a suddenly more moderate LP putting a stop to it if that is what is happening.

    “We have gay marriage and legal weed.” (Even though Ls had little to do with either.)

    I think we’ve had a lot more to do than you realize with both, and all sorts of other things. It gets into secondary and tertiary effects etc so I don’t know how to prove such a case. Let’s just call it a hunch if you wish.

    Competition isn’t necessarily good. There were competing socialist parties, and all of them happened to have bad ideas. And those bad ideas opened the door to the rising fascism we’re now getting.

    I have no idea what you mean. None of the socialist mini-parties has much support, nor do all of them put together. If there was only one instead of several what would be different? But supposing you are correct that several libertarian parties would be bad, your other alternative if you want to actually change things is to jump into the LP and try to change it again. I don’t think you would succeed, but who knows, maybe you would. I’m pretty sure that sitting on IPR and griping about how we would suddenly be a major party and would still push in a somewhat libertarian direction if everyone listened to you will accomplish no more than it has the last 50,000 times you did it.

    So, start a party, or get active in the LP, or do nothing but gripe. I’m not sure if any of these will accomplish anything. But I’m fairly positive the last one won’t.

    And it’s one thing to actually LEARN from history, another to lionize crazy people from the past. I’m in the “history is the autobiography of a madman” camp, truth be told, especially when it comes to the HPC.

    If you wanted to donate your reasons would be your own. Even if it’s to study and learn from what you consider a bad example it still needs to be preserved. I don’t consider much of human history to be a positive lesson in things to lionize or emulate but I would like that history to be preserved and available to future generations.

    Anyway, all this going around endlessly is old and once again getting even more boring (and it got boring a long, long time ago). I wish I could control my responditis better because this is not accomplishing anything and I have lots of other things to do.

  280. robert capozzi

    pf: The positions in the D and R platform are absurd at times too, but no one cares because very few people read or pay attention to them.

    me: Right. I’m sure. But to replace a major party in this FPtP setup, lessarchists would need to be better. The Rs had the growing realization that slavery is wrong which propelled them up and the Whigs down.

    Unlike the Rs, the LP is an abolitionist party, and effectively neuters non-abolitionist lessarchists. MNR won. It’s based on his Leninist/cadre model. And unlike the Rs and Ds, the model is permanent. Insanity is completely baked-in and protected by the depth charges.

    pf: I have no idea what you mean.

    me: I’m talking about the early 20th-century socialist parties that MNR and his followers pointed to as the model for an abolitionist, NAPist LP. There was a time when the socialists began to win elections of note, but they fractured and lost influence. But the cause of statism continues to advance, mostly through academia, I’d say.

    I don’t oppose a second lessarchist party, but I’m not the guy for the job. Mostly, I’m just chatting with NAPists, pointing out the glaring errors in their thinking, as I see it. That may or may not trigger other NAPists to radically challenge their (I’d say flawed) assumptions. That’s entirely on them.

    But a second (or third, if we count TK’s BTP) lessarchist party is risky, time-consuming, and expensive. I can’t say I recommend it. I’d rather see a mass consciousness-raising among the Pontifical Swiss Guard (NAPists). Thus far, those efforts have not paid dividends, but I remain hopeful.

    Plus, this engage me, perhaps in a masochistic way! 😉

  281. Thomas Knapp

    “Broadly L according to polls and willing to vote for the LP, especially at the top of the ticket, regardless of how moderate or extreme, are two very different things.”

    Yep.

    Every few years, mainstream media blares that some large percentage of Americans “think America needs a third party.”

    IIRC, in 2016, that percentage was more than 60%.

    And yet, in a VERY good year, less than 10% of American voters cast their ballots for all third parties combined.

    For every “I lean libertarian” person who says “I’d vote Libertarian if they were just less radical on X,” there’s one for whom the problem is Y, one for whom the problem is Z, and one for whom the problems are A, B, C, and D, but he wants a party that’s MORE radical on E, and in fact if he got everything he wanted he would likely still vote R or D because “if I vote Libertarian, the one I fear most might win.”

    Fucking around trying to be something other than what we are will never magically turn us into a successful party.

    We may never become a successful party, but if we do it’s because we’ve convinced enough people to vote for what we are, not because we found exactly the right mix of pandering.

  282. paulie Post author

    But to replace a major party in this FPtP setup, lessarchists would need to be better. The Rs had the growing realization that slavery is wrong which propelled them up and the Whigs down.

    There were no government printed ballots then and certainly no ballot access barriers. Billions or even perhaps millions were not spent on elections. And the Whigs were already collapsing, not because of the Republicans.

    Unlike the Rs, the LP is an abolitionist party, and effectively neuters non-abolitionist lessarchists. MNR won. It’s based on his Leninist/cadre model.

    Doesn’t resemble the LP I know. Maybe it did when you were involved. I think Republican slavery abolitionists had a bigger share of power and influence in the GOP of the 1850s and early 60s than government abolitionists have in the LP of the early 21st century.

    Unlike the Rs, the LP is an abolitionist party, and effectively neuters non-abolitionist lessarchists.

    I doubt that highly. For one thing it doesn’t, since most of our candidates are non-government abolitionists. For another if it did getting on most state ballots is doable – see Nader in 2004 and 2008 – even with a somewhat-similar party already in existence – again see Nader 2004 and 8.

    And while a 7/8 SOP barrier is tough to beat, if it really presented nearly such a huge impediment to people with so much money and organizational ability as you and Dlugos like to fantasize it would be trivial for them to beat it. If they can’t figure out how to pack an LP convention they wouldn’t last 5 minutes on the real big time big money duopoly presidential playing field. Reality is those folks don’t have much of an appetite for non-duopoly presidential politics regardless of ideology, and if they did they would see SOP as meaningless words on paper that would not hinder them in any real way.

    I’m talking about the early 20th-century socialist parties that MNR and his followers pointed to as the model for an abolitionist, NAPist LP. There was a time when the socialists began to win elections of note, but they fractured and lost influence.

    Not exactly. When socialists began to win elections of note the duopoly A) adopted a lot of their ideas and B) erected ballot access barriers to make it hard for them to get on ballots at all. The fractionalizing into multiple socialist mini-parties came after that, not before.

    But a second (or third, if we count TK’s BTP) lessarchist party

    There have been a bunch of others besides. Some more radical, some less, but none even made enough headway for you to remember them.

    I’d rather see a mass consciousness-raising among the Pontifical Swiss Guard (NAPists).

    You might consider something with better chances of success, like working on Vermin Supreme’s campaign or putting all your savings into lottery tickets.

  283. paulie Post author

    Fucking around trying to be something other than what we are will never magically turn us into a successful party.

    We may never become a successful party, but if we do it’s because we’ve convinced enough people to vote for what we are, not because we found exactly the right mix of pandering.

    Exactly.

  284. robert capozzi

    tk: Fucking around trying to be something other than what we are

    me: And yet according to PF a large segment of the LP is NOT NPO NAPist. What “we are” starts to sound a lot like what “I am.” For everyone else, “to the gas chambers — go!” was too close for comfort!

    Tolerate the non-NAPists, take their money, but never, ever let them deviate.

    Package and market sellable ideas. Pandering! There is NO other way to look at it!

  285. robert capozzi

    pf: if it really presented nearly such a huge impediment to people with so much money and organizational ability as you and Dlugos like to fantasize it would be trivial for them to beat it.

    me: I’ve already indicated that it would be difficult too right the ship. Success does build on itself, so perhaps he’s correct, but for now AD and I disagree on the degree of difficulty a non-explicitly-NAPist LP would still face were there to ever be a Vatican II, a new “Dallas Accord.”

  286. robert capozzi

    pf: I think Republican slavery abolitionists had a bigger share of power and influence in the GOP of the 1850s and early 60s than government abolitionists have in the LP of the early 21st century.

    me: Among voters, impossible to know. Among leadership, difficult to know. But we DO know that the GOP didn’t have a depth charges. NAPism has two protections in the LP: the 7/8ths and a relatively tiny cadre of NAPist Swiss Guards, the fearless keepers of the flame. Those tiny minorities lord it over the rest of the lessarchist community.

  287. paulie Post author

    Baloney. If the rest of the lessarchist community can’t either pack a thousand-person national convention or do what Nader did when the Greens wouldn’t nominate him in 2004 or 2008, they sure as shit don’t have what it takes to take on the duopoly. No matter how many times you repeat this fantasy it’s not making it any more plausible. I mean, not only does it not pass the laugh test, it doesn’t even complete the pre-requisites to be allowed to take the test to begin with.

  288. robert capozzi

    pf,

    The lessarchist community is neither unitary nor organized. Most of them are independents and some Rs and possibly a few Ds. A tiny sliver of them are in the LP, and a tiny sliver of them are NAPists, and some of those are NPO NAPists. The non-NAPist lessarchists are, IOW, diffuse. Those outside the LP are scared off by the Weeks and Vohras. Those inside the LP probably are not up on the vagaries of the NAP cadre and its depth charges.

    The NAPists maintain control through a massive advantage (i.e., the depth charges), and maintaining that advantage provides them concentrated benefits (they believe), and thus they do all they can to make the battle not worthwhile.

    The Dlugoses, Johnsons, and Welds of the world can continue to end run the NAPist cadre, but outright lessarchizing the LP is just too much effort.

    This is why I go straight to the “check your premises” approach to NAPism. I go right to the belly of the beast. Once the NAPists wake up to the fact they’ve made a tremendous mess, perhaps their conscience can be uplifted and they will let go of their unworkable ideas.

  289. dL

    The lessarchist community is neither unitary nor organized

    The so-called lessarchist community only exists in your head. It’s a nonsensical term you made up. No one knows what the term means, much less fashion themselves a member of some narcissistic pretend community.

  290. paulie Post author

    Yeah, so again, you should spend your time on something with a much higher chance of success, like working on Supreme for President and expecting to get a white house position in 2021, or putting all your money into lottery tickets. But whatever floats your boat. Anyone who can’t outmaneuver Weeks and Vohra isn’t going to outmaneuver Trump, Sanders, Biden, et al. But I said all this already, and you aren’t offering anything new either so let me know if and when you do.

  291. paulie Post author

    The so-called lessarchist community

    People who would like government to non-trivially decrease in size and scope, as I understand it.

    But it still doesn’t explain how people who supposedly belong on a playing field or battlefield with the leaders of the duopoly can’t get 7/8 at an LP convention or do what Nader did. I mean come on. Robert Milnes came up with more realistic scenarios than that one.

  292. robert capozzi

    pf: Anyone who can’t outmaneuver Weeks and Vohra isn’t going to outmaneuver Trump, Sanders, Biden, et al.

    me: It’s not that lessarchists can’t outmaneuver Weeks and Vohra, it’s that they don’t want to be associated with lunatics. They don’t join the LP. The non-NAPists can generally outmaneuver the NAPists, despite the other depth charge, the JC, which isn’t generally invoked by has been threatened.

    These Normals steer clear of the LP. Maybe they vote, maybe they don’t. When they DO vote, they have to rationalize their selection based on they lesser of two evils grounds, which is getting harder to do.

  293. robert capozzi

    sorry, should read:

    The non-NAPists in the LP can generally outmaneuver the NAPists, despite the other depth charge, the JC, which isn’t generally invoked but has been threatened.

  294. robert capozzi

    As for ideas for undoing the SoP’s NAPist yoke, perhaps a state or states could disaffiliate unless the SoP and other NAPist trappings were dropped.

    Like any addict, the first step is to admit to the problem. HOW to lose the NAPist yoke is less of my concern.

  295. paulie Post author

    It’s not that lessarchists can’t outmaneuver Weeks and Vohra, it’s that they don’t want to be associated with lunatics.

    And they also can’t qualify for the ballot like Nader did in 2004 and 8 despite the Greens, yet they have billionaire donors and millions of members just waiting to join and donate. They can’t take over the LP and they can’t get on the ballot without the LP but they are ready to take on the Ds and Rs. I want to believe.

  296. robert capozzi

    pf,

    You again mistake my and AD’s view. I DO agree with him that money doesn’t care to support self-sabotaging losers.

  297. dL

    People who would like government to non-trivially decrease in size and scope, as I understand it.

    As I understand it, the “lessarchist community” is basically a one-man duplicitous troll job against the non aggression principle.

  298. paulie Post author

    You again mistake my and AD’s view. I DO agree with him that money doesn’t care to support self-sabotaging losers.

    No, I understand the difference in your viewpoints. I just don’t believe they matter because if the pent up demand was that big it would find a way to create its own political avenue, whether through taking over the LP, taking over an establishment party, starting a new party… I think the logical conclusion has to be that such a demand doesn’t exist in the way you think it does.

    There are a lot of people who want government to be smaller, but a lot of them don’t vote (some out of principle, some out of cynicism, some out of being denied that right, some out of laziness, etc), some vote for what they think is the lesser evil, and on and on and on. The LP is what it is, and you repeating yourself a million times on IPR does nothing to change it or to offer an alternative. However, I’m just as powerless to get you try something different as you are to get the LP to run along your lines from somewhere way off in the bleachers here, so here we are.

  299. paulie Post author

    As I understand it, the “lessarchist community” is basically a one-man duplicitous troll job against the non aggression principle.

    LOL, OK. I am not going to hang up on these exotic taxonomies, like I said. Here, have a video.

  300. robert capozzi

    pf,

    I’m not wedded to the taxonomies I use. If you have a better set, I’m all ears.

  301. paulie Post author

    It’s not that I have a better set, it’s that I don’t care. Maybe if someone paid me. But probably not even then.

  302. robert capozzi

    pf: I just don’t believe they matter because if the pent up demand was that big it would find a way to create its own political avenue, whether through taking over the LP, taking over an establishment party, starting a new party

    me: There’s more nuance to my view. There IS pent-up demand, but it’s highly unfocused. People want to be free, and many believe that government doesn’t work at these levels. But these people haven’t been offered a viable alternative to the Rs and Ds. The LP — set up as a vehicle really only for NAPists — sometimes appeals to some of these lessarchists, they excesses of NAPism does not channel the lessarchist impulse.

  303. paulie Post author

    Yeah, I know that’s your viewpoint. I don’t see it as factual and I already explained why. Don’t see anything to be gained from endless repetition.

  304. dL

    I just don’t believe they matter because if the pent up demand was that big it would find a way to create its own political avenue,

    there is no pent-up political demand for “smaller government” in the Heimatschutz security state.

  305. William T. Forrest

    To be honest I don’t miss him at all. I’m glad he does ballot access signature work but the comment section here is better without his frothing at the mouth ranting. It reminded me of a Ghaddafy speech, if we had several of them every day.

  306. William T. Forrest

    I miss Andy about as much as Robert Milnes, if anything even less. It might be kind of funny if there was a site where everyone who got booted from IPR hung out though. It might be worth lurking/trolling for the lulz. Sadly, they can’t get along enough to get something like that together. Maybe William Saturn could gather up all the misfit toys and make it happen. It would be worth it just to watch the cyberpig eat himself in impotent rage.

  307. Thomas Knapp

    “The NAPists maintain control”

    Yes, the NAPists maintain control. That’s why your group was able to gut the platform in 2006 and run Republican retreads for president in 2008, 2012, and 2016.

  308. William T. Forrest

    TLK

    Don’t go injecting reality into these discussions, it doesn’t belong with the fever dreams under discussion here.

  309. dL

    they’re off to join the lessarchist community!

  310. robert capozzi

    tk,

    True that non-NAPists have had some tactical wins in recent years. But, as you can see, the NAPists have now slipped in the left-handed red-head tax exemption (“any”) clause back into the platform.

  311. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Also true. But when actions are constrained by NAPist (in this case) strictures, the outcomes are less positive than they otherwise might be. Further, we don’t know how far along a more lessarchist LP might have evolved had the NAPists setback and reversed the party’s progress in 1984.

  312. Thomas Knapp

    “True that non-NAPists have had some tactical wins in recent years. But, as you can see, the NAPists have now slipped in the left-handed red-head tax exemption (‘any’) clause back into the platform.”

    It wasn’t “slipped in.” It was openly proposed, openly debated, and overwhelmingly passed.

    The wording proposal originated on the platform committee with a(nother) committee member’s desire to incorporate as much as possible of the lessarchist “World’s Smallest Political Platform” into the LP’s platform.

    Which is neither here nor there, insofar as what you have is an excuse, not a reason. When you get your way on the real stuff and it fails miserably, you come back with “it’s all because of those people saying stuff that nobody outside the party pays any attention to — if it wasn’t for THAT, the complete takeover of the party’s actual operations by my faction would have produced the promised results.”

  313. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Thanks for the history. I wonder if there were non-NAPists on the Platcomm? And I wonder whether anyone recognized just how extreme the new Taxes plank is?

    Orwell made a great point in 1984 about language. iirc, Newspeak involved limiting language to fewer and fewer words as a means to control the masses. For me, the taxonomy of NPO NAPist, High NAPist, Low NAPist, and non-NAPist lessarchist helps me, at least, to more quickly make the associations necessary for insight into a particular matter. I offer them as a way out of the attempt to control thought.

    The plank, whether the Platcommers recognized it or not, is undiluted NPO NAPism. To those outside of L circles, it’s obviously a ridiculous stance. Testing what the language means elicits all sorts of extreme outcomes; even PF won’t go along with it, in part because he is at least sometimes a Low NAPist. As a non-NAPist lessarchist, I find it absurd. It weakens the ability for Ls to offer real-world solutions to the Normals.

    The Platcomm collective may well have WANTED to appeal to those in the L quadrant with this plank. Instead, they produced something that everyone “below” at least High NAPists, if not even everyone except NPO NAPists.

    My feedback is to try again in 2020.

  314. Sunshine Batman

    Hey all,

    Your favorite commenter has emerged from semi-retirement to announce the new Sunshine Batman twitter account!

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  315. Sunshine Batman

    UPDATE

    I posted one tweet, an article about ACLU suing NSA.

    Twitter then suspended me for 12 hours for “violating rules.”

  316. Thomas Knapp

    “I wonder if there were non-NAPists on the Platcomm?”

    Yes, there were. And they argued against e.g. opposition to “any” tax.

    “As a non-NAPist lessarchist”

    You’ seem to be a “lessarchist” in the same sense that Benjamin Netanyahu is a “two-state solution” man.

  317. robert capozzi

    tk,

    “against e.g. opposition” is not 100% clear. Are you saying that some Platcomm members could see that the “any” language was NPO thinking, and it hurts the cause of liberty by adopting this language? If so, glad to hear there were some sane people on the Platcomm, and VERY disappointing that this language was adopted in convention.

    Did you NPO or High NAPists try to reinstitute the “private nukes” clause ( We further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the grounds that they are risky or unsafe.)?

    And I’m sorry you have the impression that I’m not a lessarchist. All I can do is assure you that government would be smaller were it up to me. It’s true that I would not abolish the Supreme Court and the Navy (if I could). I would either move to Zomia or support adoption of Harlos Nonarchy Pods for the very few who want out of civil society.

  318. dL

    Orwell made a great point in 1984 about language. iirc, Newspeak involved limiting language to fewer and fewer words as a means to control the masses. For me, the taxonomy of NPO NAPist, High NAPist, Low NAPist, and non-NAPist lessarchist helps me, at least, to more quickly make the associations necessary for insight into a particular matter. I offer them as a way out of the attempt to control thought.

    Orwell, indeed. napist, doublenapist, doubleplusnapist, doubleplusunnapist….Of course, last year it was napster, doublenapster, doubleplusnapster, doubleplusunnapster, until the old farts at the Department of Newspeak finally figured out that humans on the planet had doubleplusunauthorized the expropriation of the word napster to mean music service. This required doubleplusgoodtaxation to revise and republish the Newspeak dictionary to doubleplusgoodauthorize the doublerevised meaning of the term. Unfortunately, Newspeak bureaucrats have failed to realize napist too has been doubleplusunauthorized expropriated by humans to mean something entirely different. In this case, an afternoon sleep fetish. Luckily, Newspeak has a term for “individualist,” ownlife,” and when the Dept. of Newspeak finally gets around to doubleplusgoodretiring the doubleuncompetent crankpot responsible for the doubleplusungood fuck ups, I imagine the doublefinal doubleplusrevised revision of the dictionary will be available. ownlife, doubleownlife, doubleplusownlife, doubleplusunownlife, noparticularorderismownlife. Of course, the latter term is a violation of the NewSpeak rules and will eventually require a revision along the lines of something like doubleplusunorderismownlife.

  319. paulie Post author

    Also true. But when actions are constrained by NAPist (in this case) strictures, the outcomes are less positive than they otherwise might be

    Untested theory. For one thing it’s rather unclear to what extent “napist structures” constrain anything whatsoever in well over a decade at least. For another we have no idea what would have happened in the 35 years since the NYC walkout had the votes come down differently there.

    Suppose the Kochs had beaten Rothbard and not the other way around, he would have taken his venom somewhere else, perhaps to the Republicans a few years earlier than he did, perhaps to principled anti-voting, perhaps to the Populist Party, or wherever. Suppose then Ravenal had a million votes in 1984, or 3 million. What then? The Kochs are fickle, and at any point in the past 35 years they could have decided the LP was not a good ROI, or not the most optimal use of their money, and at this point the LP would have been left in the same position as it ended up in post-Koch walkout in reality – but without the Rothbardians or any other source to build an independent existence.

    Perhaps, at some point the LP could have followed a trajectory similar to what the Reform Party followed in 1996-2001: a well known presidential candidate, a governor or some other somewhat significant electoral victory or victories, federal money attracting a circus show of also-rans, cult leaders, egomaniacs and scam artists from the other major and minor parties, no guiding principle to keep it pointed in even a general direction ideologically, and a collapse and fractionalization.

    Or, maybe it would have become the vehicle of choice for a Donald Trump/Roger Stone campaign or something similar.

    There’s just no way to know, nor reason to assume, that it would have united and activated all the dispersed people who want a generally smaller government direction. Lesser evilism would have continued to be an issue, disagreements about specifics of both issue emphasis/position and strategy and tactics would have continued to be an issue. There would have been less of a guardrail against opportunists even than we have had in reality (and it hasn’t been much of one) and less of a motivator for true believers to volunteer time at times when money is tight.

    So, maybe it would have been more successful than what actually happened at creating some kind of change. Quite possibly it would have been less successful and less enduring. There is no way to know and no reason to assume.

  320. paulie Post author

    Couldn’t do much due to what the crypto market did to me this year but here is a symbolic donation in Robert Capozzi’s honor

    Dear paul,

    Thank you for your donation of $20.05.

    Your contribution will be used to preserve Libertarian Party history.

    We are grateful for your support.

    Respectfully,

    Nicholas Sarwark

    Chair, Libertarian National Committee

    Receipt number: 201801476

    2005 was the year before the Portland platform massacre 🙂

  321. robert capozzi

    pf,

    The point of Newspeak was to collapse the language into fewer words as a means of CONTROL. Whenever I’ve had these conversations and NAPists have objected to “NAPsolutist,” “NAPster,” and now the more elegant “NAPist,” I’ve asked for alternative terms. The hemmed-hawed answer was generally, “um, libertarian.” The NAPist — consciously or unconsciously — believes that the NAP is integral to L-ism. They are synonymous to the NAPist, and there can be no parsing, no nuance when it comes to the First and Only Commandment. Without the NAP, the NAPists seem to believe that the cause of liberty will be coopted by “right-wing opportunists” or other poseurs.

    I’ve added to the language, and in the process offered an explanation of why NAPists tend to want to squelch dissent and range of thought. Yes, they are not always successful, as 06, 08, 12, and 16 indicate. But the NAPists have a built-in advantage: As Harlos aptly labeled, the “depth charges.”

    Obviously, I don’t subscribe to the NAP, yet I feel the label libertarian best describes my politics. The fifth of the pop who use L (perhaps more casually) are overwhelmingly not NAPists.

    You are QUITE correct that we can’t know what an alternative history might have yielded. I offer it as a heuristic to consider. From my vantage point, no good can come from nonsense, and the NAP is nonsensical as the ONLY valid political consideration. (Low NAPists such as yourself will at least entertain alternative perspectives.) Odds are better that a more reality-based LP and LM would have been and would be far more effective. Completely non-ideological attempts like the Reform and Americans Elect is NOT what I point to, lessarchism (for lack of a better word!) is.

    It DOES make sense that if:

    a) One subscribes to NAPism
    b) One doesn’t particularly care about influencing politics
    c) One is more interested in internally maintaining the moral code of NAPism free of adulteration

    Then, keeping the LP small is easier path. Again, it’s all about CONTROL. While the NAPists speak of “outreach,” what I surmise is that they seek “conversion.”

    Another possible insight: Right NAPists (Mises Caucus, etc.) are far less inclined to be NPO NAPists. I really doubt they’d go for abolishing ICE or immigration laws before, say, Social Security. Many/most of the leading lights of the right L are more properly in the High NAP camp.

    No, I suspect most NPO NAPists are more of what we’d deem Left NAPists. This despite the fact that MNR (the Moses of NPO NAPism and later the John the Baptist of Paleo L-ism) popularized NPOism.

    By way of analogy, the NPOs are like the Hasidim to the High NAPist Orthodox sect. Few Goyim would instantly recognize the difference, and yet the differences are significant. In my experience, the Payot is usually the best tell. (Correct me if I’m wrong, please.)

  322. paulie Post author

    Completely non-ideological attempts like the Reform and Americans Elect

    Not entirely true. Both started out with a set of unifying ideas but couldn’t remain coherent in any way. Given the lack of coherence we’ve already seen from various LP candidates, even with the guardrails currently at least theoretically in place, I think the odds are pretty high that absent those the LP couldn’t maintain even minimal directional coherence.

  323. robert capozzi

    I dunno about how coherent the RP and AE were. But were the LP and LM inclined to step off the ledge and move toward reality-based lessarchy, case studies might be useful in making a course correction. Still, since I find NAPism to be itself sand, attempt to build the LP into a real force would likely also lead to collapse. A tiny edifice can hold together on sand, but not a large one.

  324. paulie Post author

    I dunno about how coherent the RP and AE were.

    Not that hard to look up.

    The Reform Party platform includes the following:[4]

    Maintaining a balanced budget, ensured by passing a Balanced Budget Amendment and changing budgeting practices, and paying down the federal debt

    Campaign finance reform, including strict limits on campaign contributions and the outlawing of political action committees

    Enforcement of existing immigration laws and opposition to illegal immigration

    Opposition to free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement and Central America Free Trade Agreement, and a call for withdrawal from the World Trade Organization

    Term limits on U.S. Representatives and Senators

    Direct election of the United States President by popular vote and other election system reforms

    Federal elections held on weekends or Election Day (on a Tuesday) made a national holiday

    A noticeable absence from the Reform Party platform has been social issues, including abortion and gay rights. Reform Party representatives had long stated beliefs that their party could bring together people from both sides of these issues, which they consider divisive, to address what they considered to be more vital concerns as expressed in their platform. The idea was to form a large coalition of moderates; that intention was overridden in 2001 by the Buchanan takeover which rewrote the RPUSA Constitution to include platform planks opposed to any form of abortion. The Buchananists, in turn, were overridden by the 2002 Convention which reverted the Constitution to its 1996 version and the party’s original stated goals.

    In the meantime, everyone from Pat Buchanan to Ralph Nader to Lenora Fulani to Trump, Ventura, all found themselves incoherently under the Reform banner, with chaos resulting.

    AE also grew out of longstanding efforts by certain wall street, intelligence agency and big business types to craft a centrist third party which was basically center-right, country club Republican: essentially the Republicans without their crazy fringe fundamentalists and moderate Democrats without the unions and the rainbow coalition, a moderate third force in politics that went by a variety of names such as Unity ’08, Unity ’12 and so on.

  325. robert capozzi

    The RP cited surface issues. AE seemed to be about even MORE surface issues: to be in the center.

    What the heck is the name of the party that Korbel and Dean are involved with? Lessarchist, iirc, but not NAPist.

  326. paulie Post author

    The RP cited surface issues.

    Surface to you, central to them. Apparently a lot of people thought they were important issues, propelling Perot’s movement, Ventura (for a short while), etc.

    IMO: Debt, trade and immigration are certainly important issues now as then. But yes, campaign finance and term limit issues aren’t nearly as important to me personally – although I understand why they are to some people.

    What the heck is the name of the party that Korbel and Dean are involved with? Lessarchist, iirc, but not NAPist.

    Unity or United, something like that.

  327. Thomas Knapp

    “Are you saying that some Platcomm members could see that the ‘any’language was NPO thinking, and it hurts the cause of liberty by adopting this language?”

    Some (at least one, I think two or three) argued that just because the LP has stated clearly and unequivocally that it’s against all taxation and considers taxation theft, that doesn’t mean the LP is against all taxation and considers taxation theft; and that therefore the platform committee shouldn’t recommend language based on the notion that the LP is against all taxation.

    I don’t recall that no particular orderism came into the discussion.

    I have no opinion on what “Platcomm” members may have thought or said, since I’ve never been part of a Soviet bureaucracy.

  328. robert capozzi

    Tk: Some (at least one, I think two or three) argued that just because the LP has stated clearly and unequivocally that it’s against all taxation and considers taxation theft, that doesn’t mean the LP is against all taxation and considers taxation theft; and that therefore the platform committee shouldn’t recommend language based on the notion that the LP is against all taxation.

    Me: Well, the non-NAPist(s) didn’t make a lot of sense here. I’d challenge the assumption. It’s indisputable that taxation is force. Whether it’s THEFT or not presupposes that there’s such a thing as property; whether it’s not ill-gotten; and that there’s a durable, infallible legal system in place to sort out disputes. NAPists tend to assume these things, and yet when tested they tend to accept that the legality of “property” is often dicey. Justice is clearly not perfect; it doesn’t involve perfect information; it’s highly procedural; and it involves sometimes insuperable costs (attorney’s fees, etc.).

    tk: I don’t recall that no particular orderism came into the discussion.

    Me: The non-NAPists were poorly represented, then. The current plank is undiluted NPO NAPist. Obviously, it allows for extreme examples that you yourself — a leading exponent of NPO NAPism — would put no energy behind enacting. I’d think that some NPO NAPists would be open to deleting the “anys,” if for no other reason than optics. It’s embarrassing!

    tk: I have no opinion on what “Platcomm” members may have thought or said, since I’ve never been part of a Soviet bureaucracy.

    Me: The Soviet component was done by the mid-70s. The well-meaning ideologues who founded the LP made sure that their handiwork was unassailable. With NPO and High NAPists, the narrow thought system was set in stone, and they merely play within the very narrow guard-rails the LP’s founders established. The ‘18 conventioneers were not in a skeptical mood, it seems, since the language is so sloppy and open to ridicule.

  329. Gina

    It seems to me that Capozzi still has far too much of that same religious-like zeal he had when he was an ardent acolyte of Rand and Rothbard, only now he’s inverted their good and bad guys much as Ayn Rand did to Marxism while leaving much of the superstructure in place.

    He still has a notion of original sin, in his case the “88 twenty-somethings” and their enshrinement of the SOP, as if that matters (at best it’s in the real world a guardrail against the LP going full Reform Party circa 2000 and in all likelihood not even that if a Romney comes sniffing around). There’s the fall from grace when the LP rejected God the Father (the Kochs) at the 1983 convention, and the promised land that we would be in if only it were not for the High NAPist pharisees of the PlatComm – never mind what all the hundreds of other third parties in the last 85 years or so of US history have failed to achieve regardless of ideology, including a number of attempts at creating center-libertarianish parties.

    Perhaps a more skeptical approach would be to look at all that and conclude that we simply don’t know. Perhaps we would have been better off had things played out differently, and perhaps we would have been worse off. All that we can do now is move forward, and Jim’s charts show that there is still ample room to be optimistic about the LP’s future growth. Organizational details will matter. The recent emphasis on CRM, get out the vote, door to door and phone banking has potential. We shall see.

  330. robert capozzi

    G: including a number of attempts at creating center-libertarianish parties.

    me: Interesting. Other than the BTP (which was hardly “center”) and (I think) Korbel’s dormant effort that I can’t seem to find, I know of none. Please give some examples.

    G: …we simply don’t know…

    Me: 100% agreed. I can say that weighing down a political party with the unworkable NAP is doomed to obscurity.

    Things may well be turning up, and I do wish you luck. But tiny numbers are tiny numbers. Yes, organizational skills can make a difference, but my observation is that it’s more important to have a solid foundation upon which to execute. The NAP doesn’t qualify as a solid foundation, near as I can tell. It’s a nonsensical millstone, although it’s a lovely sentiment.

  331. dL

    It seems to me that Capozzi still has far too much of that same religious-like zeal he had when he was an ardent acolyte of Rand and Rothbard

    is there actually any evidence, written or anecdotal, that Capozzi was once an ardent acolyte of Rothbard or Rand?

  332. Gina

    I know of no reason to doubt his word. He’d know better than I would if any written record has survived or any comrades from those days who would vouch for him on that. I know that by 1983 Rothbard was naming him as an agent of the Kochtopus, because I read it many years later. As far as I can remember that is the earliest written reference to Robert Capozzi that I can remember seeing at the moment.

    As for center-libertarian efforts: the Kerbel thing is one. There is or was a Personal Choice Party in Utah which was led by libertarians but organized around the idea that they would not deny any candidate a place on the ballot on the basis of ideology. Americans Elect was at least willing to consider Gary Johnson as a potential candidate, and did attempt to nominate him in Oklahoma. There’s a Twelve Visions Party which may or may be somewhat center libertarian, but is somewhat cultish. Objectivist Party is/was roughly the same. BTP could have been centrist (judging by its one sentence platform) if center-libertarians had chosen to use it as a vehicle. I think Carl Milstead was floating a new party at one point but gained no tractions and as far as I know never tried to qualify anyehere. I’ve seen occasional mutterings about forming center-liberarian parties that seem to be perpetually stuck in the planning phase. If the demand was there why have none of them advanced further?

  333. robert capozzi

    G: If the demand was there why have none of them advanced further?

    Me: My theory is that the LP — despite its NAPist roots — has relative institutional strength. Starting a NEW party is capital and labor intensive. Non-NAPists — especially former NAPists —
    who would like to see a lessarchist party that could address the real world, and many like myself could imagine that it could actually become a force in American politics.

    I suspect most lessarchists use the label “libertarian” to describe their politics. But the LP has the market cornered on the L label. Even if some non-NAPist state LPs wanted to disaffiliate and reconstitute as a real party, the schism would probably be a “cut your nose off to spite your face” situation. One of the LP’s inherent strengths is it is (perceived, at least) as a national party.

    I’d count only Kerbel’s UIP as an attempt at a lessarchist, non-NAPist party. And that crew picked a name way too similar to a progressive party upstart.

    Yes, Carl talks about a center-left lessarchist from time to time, but he has so far recognized that the institutional barriers are out of his grasp.

    The Objectivist Party? Really? That’s got NAP written all over it! Twelve Visions “somewhat” cultish? AE considering GJ does not make their’s a lessarchist vision from my POV.

    Maybe I might count the Country Party of WY, but that was probably somewhere between RP1 and the Constitution Party.

    I have dim hopes that some NPO and High NAPists might open their minds and recognize their mistake. They make up the Pontifical Swiss Guards, so their awakening could lead to cascading reform of the LP.

    Otherwise, I consider the situation hopeless, barring an unexpected catalyzing event.

  334. Thomas Knapp

    “BTP could have been centrist (judging by its one sentence platform) if center-libertarians had chosen to use it as a vehicle.”

    Bingo. The BTP was a fun experiment with several goals from its founder’s (that would be me) point of view. One of those goals was to find out whether the “I’m a lessarchist, just not a NAPist” people were serious about wanting a lessarchist but non-NAPist party. And, among those who ever noticed it, it demonstrated that no, they weren’t serious.

  335. Gina

    Robert,

    Those all sound like weak excuses, not good reasons, that supposedly overwhelming and well financed numbers of lessarchists have been unable to create a new party or take over the existing LP (except that they have – just look at who gets nominated for president the last three times). When you combine that with how all third parties – libertarians, leftists, rightists, centrists, populists, one issue parties, one state parties, national parties, non-ideological parties – have performed for the past 85 years or so a more likely explanation seems to be that it’s just hard for a US third party to start and keep very much going, regardless of ideology.

    But you have another shot: on the Perry Willis thread Aiden reveals he is starting a new party in 2020 or 2022 and he is confident he will outperform the LP. We shall see.

  336. Gina

    “William Saturn
    December 28, 2018 at 18:01
    Interesting”

    Why? As far as I know involuntary mental confinement has been very limited in the US in the last several decades and barriers to entry to get on the internet are virtually non-existent in the present day, requiring only the ability to acquire a cell phone or walk, take the bus or get a ride to the town library to use their complimentary computers.

  337. Gina

    A survey of http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm reveals a few other somewhat libertarian leaning (though not consistently so) parties.


    BETTER FOR AMERICA PARTY – Wealthy conservative GOP donor John Kingston created Better for America as a one-time (2016 election) electoral platform to place an anti-Donald Trump (and anti-Hillary Clinton) center-conservative presidential candidate on state ballots. BFA has already secured ballot status in New Mexico, and is now seeking it “several” more states. Former Gov & GW Bush Administration cabinet member Christie Whitman (R-NJ) is also a leader of the BFA movement. The party did not formally field a 2016 nominee, but many of the BFA leaders generally seemed to support conservative independent Evan McMullin’s late candidacy. Running largely as a #NeverTrump Independent, CIA veteran McMullin finished in an impressive 5th place (715,000 votes).

    Not really libertarian at all, but I could see a Romney or Kasich on such a ticket if they wanted to be, and some here have touted them as potential LP candidates. Weld would probably not be out of place on a Better for America ticket.

    CITIZENS PARTY – Not to be confused with the progressive party by the same name in the 1980s, this new Citizens Party was launched in 2004 as the New American Independent Party. In 2011, the party changed its name to Citizens Party. The CP vows to become a national entity. The CP describe their ideology as a “pragmatic … mixture of what might appear to be liberal, moderate and conservative views.” The party supports fair trade (reciprocity), and opposed free trade policies, NAFTA, CAFTA and the WTO; supports gun ownership rights; supports gay marriage and is pro-choice; wants tougher animal cruelty laws; supports legalizing medically assisted suicide; wants to create tax incentives to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US and protect US family farms; opposed the Wall Street bailout; and opposes a “neo-conservative foreign policy.” To date the party has only ballot qualified one candidate under its name: a Pennsylvania state legislative candidate in 2006.

    Clearly not so libertarian on trade, but since when does one issue deter “pragmatic libertarians”?


    INDEPENDENCE PARTY OF AMERICA – After two years of openly feuding with Ross Perot’s allies in the Reform Party, Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and his supporters bolted from the party to launch the new Independence Party in 2000. While this splinter party shared the Reform Party’s call for campaign finance and other political reforms, the IP shared Ventura’s disagreement with the more social conservative and trade protectionist views espoused by the Reform Party. The IP — which describes itself as “Socially Inclusive and Fiscally Responsible” — is pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-medical marijuana, pro-gun rights and fiscally moderate. The IP has fielded crowded slates of Congressional and state candidates in Minnesota in every election since 2000. While Ventura initially said he wanted to take this Minnesota party national and possibly field a Presidential nominee in 2004, few chapter exist in other states and the party to date has never nominated a Presidential ticket. Ventura’s gubernatorial retirement in 2002 was a blow to the IP, although former Democratic Congressman Tim Penny was a credible IP nominee for Minnesota Governor in 2002 (but finished a distant third). Also in 2002, IP co-founder Dean Barkley became the first IP member to serve in Congress when Ventura appointed him to the US Senate to complete the two months of a term left open by the death of incumbent Paul Wellstone (D). As for a national party organization, the Independence Party essentially does not really have one. It seemingly consists of a few separately-organized state affiliates with at most a very informal link to the tiny central national organization which doesn’t seem to coordinate activities between the states. Thus, each state entity goes its own way — and support has clearly dwindled over the past decade. Surviving state parties are the Minnesota Independence Party, Independence Party of Florida, and Independence Party of New York State.

    Minnesota lost major party status in 2018 so there’s not much left of this effort, but it exists or existed, and sounds libertarian-liteish on most issues. At least the intent to take it national also exist(ed).

    MODERN WHIG PARTY – Seizing the name of the long dead Whig Party (1833-1856) of Presidents Zachary Taylor, John Tyler and Millard Fillmore, this new Modern Whig Party was launched in 2008. Nearly all of the party founders and state chairs are Iraq/Afghan War veterans. These new Whigs explain themselves as follows: “We represent moderate voters from all walks of life who cherry-pick between traditional Democratic and Republican ideals in what has been called the Modern Whig Philosophy. This includes general principles of fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and bold social progression.” They are centrists — vaguely claiming they have “tens of thousands of members” — who support a strong military, energy independence, increased funding of the sciences and education, more spending on veterans and veteran families, and oppose legislating morality. The party has established state party affiliates around the nation and fielded a few candidates for Congress and state legislature. No candidates fielded in the 2016 cycle.

    Sounds like centrist “pro-defense” libertarian lites – fiscally conservative and socially liberal. So why are they still so obscure? Don’t the Kochs and all the multi-millionaires funding Reason and Cato like any of these?

  338. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Well, then you failed with the BTP. Recall: “The Boston Tea Party supported reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues and opposed increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level for any purpose.”

    What you REALLY created was a NPO NAPist party. Like the LP’s new taxation plank, the tell is the multiple use of the absolutist “all” word.

    Further, the BTP was founded by a NPO NAPist, and an anarchist to boot. It’s no surprise at all that my fellow non-NAPist lessarchists did not take the bait! We generally have a more flexible approach to the politics of reducing the net incidence of coercion.

  339. robert capozzi

    G: Those all sound like weak excuses, not good reasons,

    Me: Thanks for the feedback, but mine is simply an explanation.

    G: …that supposedly overwhelming and well financed numbers of lessarchists have been unable to create a new party or take over the existing LP (except that they have – just look at who gets nominated for president the last three times).

    me: I guess I’ve not explained my view clearly enough for you. While non-NAPist lessarchists have run on the L line, the machinery of the LP remains NAPist. Non-NAPists — appealing to most people’s understanding of what works — can prevail inside a NAPist institution, but the Pontifical Swiss Guard protects the heart of the LP like an impenetrable chastity belt. This Holy Roman Empire definitely strikes back, manifesting in this latest NPO Taxation plank.

    G: When you combine that with how all third parties – libertarians, leftists, rightists, centrists, populists, one issue parties, one state parties, national parties, non-ideological parties – have performed for the past 85 years or so a more likely explanation seems to be that it’s just hard for a US third party to start and keep very much going, regardless of ideology.

    me: I’ve agreed with this point numerous times. This seems to be a matter of pride for NPO and High NAPists, but I ask the question: To what effect? Thus far, I’d say almost none.

    And, even more importantly, is the NAP-infused LP living up to its full potential? To this I say, nothing and no one does, but the gap between the NAP-weighted LP of today and what it COULD be is massive, in my estimation. NAPism talks WAY past the sale and, ultimately, implicitly begs the Normals to turn away from the LP. Rather than overcome objections, NAPists offer the Normals a long list of why they should NOT vote L.

  340. Thomas Knapp

    “the gap between the NAP-weighted LP of today and what it COULD be is massive, in my estimation.”

    An estimation is an attempted calculation based on limited data.

    Your data need not be unlimited. You’re entirely free to start a “non-NAP-weighted” party and see if it matches your estimation any time you want to do so.

    Presumably the reason you don’t do so is that you expect the results would discredit your hypothesis.

  341. robert capozzi

    tk,

    It’s at once amusing and disappointing that when I challenge the cult of the omnipotent NAP, the response often leads to: If you don’t like it, go start your own party. You don’t like it, tough! There’s the door!

    A truly charming and unique approach to marketing, yours. Are you the Dale Carnegie of the 21st century? 😉

    Closing in on 50 years of a NAP-limited LP reveals LOTS of data. Electorally, it’s done almost nothing through time. Influence-wise, the State is a LOT more coercive and intrusive now than it was 50 years ago.

    As explained numerous times, should the optimal path be a sane lessarchist party separate from a reformed LP, I’m definitely not the guy to launch it. It’s, as I’ve said, in my estimation, a hopeless situation. Even if I had the resources, I do have other interests. The ONLY hope I see is if NPO and High NAPists have that “oh shit!” realization that their thought system simply doesn’t work. I’ve been there; it’s kinda embarrassing. But I note that the defense mechanisms and employment of deflecting non-sequiturs one encounters from the NAPist set tell me that the nut is muy deficil to crack.

  342. dL

    It’s at once amusing and disappointing that when I challenge the cult of the omnipotent NAP, the response often leads to: If you don’t like it, go start your own party. You don’t like it, tough! There’s the door!

    It’s amusing that when I challenge the one man cult of lessarchsim, the response is crickets. My contention that “lessarchism” is not some form of moderate libertarianism but rather reactionary conservatism. And the reason you support some one like Weld is not b/c he represents some move to the “moderate center,” but rather b/c he represents a lack of principle that opens the door to elements that share your xenophobic immigration views, a la the Tom Woods gang.

  343. Thomas Knapp

    “It’s at once amusing and disappointing that when I challenge the cult of the omnipotent NAP, the response often leads to: If you don’t like it, go start your own party. You don’t like it, tough! There’s the door!”

    I’m sorry you’re disappointed that the facts you have often pointed out yourself are true.

    Yes, it is difficult if not impossible to disentangle the LP from the NAP.

    That would be the case whether I liked it or not.

    That is the case whether you like it or not.

    If things were different, they’d be different. But arguing about the type and degree of difference doesn’t change the fact that things aren’t different, and that you can’t make them different within the particular vessel in question.

    It’s not so much that I’m a defender of the NAP, though I am. It’s that since your kind have had complete control of the LP as a practical matter, you’ve been continuously unsuccessful and are at this point reduced to whining that some stuff that got written down nearly 50 years ago and that very few people pay any attention to is what’s responsible for your failures to deliver the goods.

    That’s unseemly, especially given the fact that you could go create a party that reflects your values any time you felt like it. The logical conclusion to draw from your refusal to do so is that you know it would be an even bigger failure than the Libertarian Party, and that you wouldn’t have the NAP to shift blame to.

  344. Gina

    “but mine is simply an explanation.”

    Just not a good one, nor one that seems to be a good fit for known facts.

    ” guess I’ve not explained my view clearly enough for you. While non-NAPist lessarchists have run on the L line, the machinery of the LP remains NAPist. Non-NAPists — appealing to most people’s understanding of what works — can prevail inside a NAPist institution, but the Pontifical Swiss Guard protects the heart of the LP like an impenetrable chastity belt. This Holy Roman Empire definitely strikes back, manifesting in this latest NPO Taxation plank.”

    Very few people care. Far more people pay attention to candidates than to platforms. If candidates don’t perform better, the fault is almost certainly either their own, that of their supporters, external circumstances…but hardly the platform.

    “To what effect? Thus far, I’d say almost none.”

    I’d say you are wrong. I believe we have had a lot more indirect impact than you realize.

    “… have that “oh shit!” realization that their thought system simply doesn’t work. ”

    It would be nice if you had such a moment in regards to your faith-based belief system regarding the 88 twenty-somethings etc. holding us back from the promised land.

    ” the gap between the NAP-weighted LP of today and what it COULD be is massive, in my estimation.”

    As has been demonstrated here ad nauseum and way beyond, your estimation seems to be at odds with such data points as are available.

    “the response often leads to: If you don’t like it, go start your own party. You don’t like it, tough! There’s the door!”

    Starting your own party or working to get rid of what you imagine are the things holding the LP back are both ways you could hep achieve that which you claim you want. Holding your breath and waiting for other people to realize you’re wrong as you type the same thing thousands of different times in thousands of different ways (or do you save it as a cut and paste) is…even less likely to achieve anything.

    “Are you the Dale Carnegie of the 21st century? ”

    That would be a tall order indeed, but setting our sights a bit more realistically, you’re probably the Dale Carnegie of this particular forum now that Andy Jacobs has left the building. Or something.

    “Electorally, it’s done almost nothing through time. ”

    That’s A) false and B) More than any other third party in the US of any ideology since ballot access was made much more difficult in the 1930s.

    “Influence-wise, the State is a LOT more coercive and intrusive now than it was 50 years ago.”

    In some ways yes, some ways no. There has been significant deregulation in many industries, there is no more draft lottery (except theoretically in times of crisis or war), cannabis is becoming legal, Roe gave women more control over our bodies, state enforced segregation has been banished, LGBT people are much more accepted and now free to marry, interracial marriage has been legalized in states where it was once illegal, erotica is no longer illegal or quasi-legal, and questioning the government is much more universally common, to take just a few data points into consideration.

    Certainly, some things have become worse, but where they are compared to 50 years ago tells us very little about how much worse they could have been if it was not for the efforts of libertarians, direct but mostly indirect, over the last several decades. I think they would have been worse, even significantly so, but since most of the reasons why are very indirect, I can understand why you would disagree. But even if I’m wrong about this it doesn’t do anything whatsoever to show that any libertarianesque party would have done better. Refer to all the counterexamples of libertarianish, centrist, and centrist-libertarianish parties cited above, along with all attempts to build parties on the left and right in the same time frame.

    Of course you could prove otherwise, and if you can’t or won’t start a party, there’s the option to recruit enough delegates to exceed 7/8. It’s less than a thousand people after all. But whining on a website forum is so much more effective and satisfying, right?

  345. robert capozzi

    G: But whining on a website forum is so much more effective and satisfying, right?

    Me: So it strikes me that either I am not explaining the situation well, or you, TK, and other NAPists engaged here are being willfully obtuse.

    Perhaps another tack will illustrate my point more powerfully. Are you familiar with the concept of risk/reward? My subjective assessment is that I’d need to risk all my efforts in an attempt to de-NAP the LP and that, even with that, the odds of my succeeding are incredibly low. The reward to me — if successful — are not all that great for me. Even if the SoP and other NAPist concepts could be removed from the LP’s foundational documents, the even harder work of promoting lessarchism is probably quixotic.

    High risk/low reward is not something I’d invest in. You?

    Now, IF NAPists could see what I see (and most of humanity sees), they would immediately recognize that NAPism — as reflected in the SoP and parts of the platform — is batshit crazy, I might imagine that a reformed LP could — with MUCH effort — become a force for good. The millstone of the NAP makes that all-but-impossible. Yes, non-NAPsters do secure nominations under the current NAP-dominated LP, but that’s even a challenge. Completely unqualified also-rans give the qualified a run for their money at LP conventions. To me, this indicates something has gone terribly wrong in the LP collective. The current 2020 field validates my view.

    And, yes, few actually read the handiwork of the 88 20-somethings. Still, those words poison the party’s ability to address the real world. The cause of maximizing individual liberty in the here and now is hamstrung by the strictures put in place nearly 50 years ago and protected by the Pontifical Swiss Guards today.

    Do I really need to explain this further?

  346. dL

    SoP and parts of the platform — is batshit crazy,

    This is an example of why you’re a duplicitous interlocutor. Anyone who considered themselves “sane” would have nothing to with or wish no association with something they considered batshit crazy. For example, I consider “Build the Wall” batshit crazy, and I have no interest making that garbage more palatable to the masses. Progressives often call libertarianism batshit crazy. But at least they’re honest about it. They have no interest in tweaking this or that to make the LP more presentable. Someone who calls you batshit crazy but wants to be your friend? Ain’t buyin…

  347. William T. Forrest

    Robert keeps making it like he hasn’t explained his position well enough or we’ve been unable to understand him. That’s not the case. We just disagree with him, that’s all.

    “Even if the SoP and other NAPist concepts could be removed from the LP’s foundational documents, the even harder work of promoting lessarchism is probably quixotic.”

    Got it. So Robert’s only interest is in wasting other people’s time with his repetitive rhetoric.

    ” I might imagine that a reformed LP could — with MUCH effort — become a force for good. ”

    Imagination is grand.

    “Still, those words poison the party’s ability to address the real world. ”

    Only in Robert’s imagination, which sees any real life engagement with the general public on behalf of pulling things in the direction he says he wants of less government to be too risky, so he prefers to lecture those who actually do engage that they would be better off doing what he doesn’t do himself.

    “The cause of maximizing individual liberty in the here and now is hamstrung by the strictures put in place nearly 50 years ago and protected by the Pontifical Swiss Guards today.”

    Only in Robert’s imagination.

    “Do I really need to explain this further?”

    LOL, no. You’ve belabored your imaginary point far too much already. Now it’s time to get back to the real world. I imagine you’ll spend 2019, 2020, and however much longer you can sharing the figments of your imagination in much the same way.

  348. robert capozzi

    G and WTF,

    I do admit to some repetition, but I note that I feel that NAPists tend to deflect rather than engage in the glaring weaknesses of the NAPist approach. I also note that the recently-developed-in-this-thread NPO, High, and Low NAPism taxonomy tracks for me, at least.

    It apparently doesn’t trouble y’all in any way that the LP’s founders felt the need to protect their handiwork with the 7/8ths depth charges. To me, it feels highly defensive; that on some level even they recognized that their “creation” was so untenable that they needed to booby trap their edifice.

    If you feel that I’m somehow wasting your time, you could just ignore me! I do it with one hostile member of the commentariat, and it works pretty well for me.

    Happy New Year!

    My sense is that it won’t be one on the political stage, and odds are good that Ls won’t step up and become relevant. Sadly so, for me. I foresee a Supreme/Weeks future.

  349. Gina

    ” I also note that the recently-developed-in-this-thread NPO, High, and Low NAPism taxonomy tracks for me, at least.”

    Whatever gets you thru the night.

    “It apparently doesn’t trouble y’all in any way that the LP’s founders felt the need to protect their handiwork with the 7/8ths depth charges. To me, it feels highly defensive; that on some level even they recognized that their “creation” was so untenable that they needed to booby trap their edifice.”

    Seems like wise recognition of and protection from political chicanery, although 8/8 would have been better. If a party has no permanent foundation it’s likely to sooner or later be taken over by opportunists and used for ends opposite from those intended. Luckily the LP’s barriers are high enough this hasn’t happened yet.

    “If you feel that I’m somehow wasting your time, you could just ignore me! ”

    True.

    “Happy New Year!”

    You too Robert, and anyone else reading.

    “odds are good that Ls won’t step up and become relevant. ”

    I believe we are more relevant than you realize, and that the coming year like all preceding ones will bring a mix of the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. We shall see.

    ” I foresee a Supreme/Weeks future.”

    Highly doubtful. I am envisioning a sloppy weld. But whatever comes our way I hope we make the best of it. Now it’s time to set the table and lick in the new year!

  350. paulie Post author

    via fb
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2497146127/

    Please welcome Paul Frankel (that’s me), the least new member of this group (I made it). Paul lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and as for being a member of the Libertarian Party, he said “Yes, since 1995, according to my wallet card”. When asked how long he has been talking to himself and referring to himself in the third person Frankel replied “who the hell are you and why do you want to know?”

    When asked if he considers himself radical or pragmatic, he said, “a lot of people think those two contradict each other but my decades in the LP and studying the history of third party politics tell me otherwise.” Some unidentified moderator wrote:

    “Paul, please reply in the comments and introduce yourself to your fellow group members.

    You might include:

    – How long have you been affiliated with / interested in the Libertarian Party?”

    I may have heard of it as far back as 1980, when I was 8 years old and new to the United States (immigrated from Russia with a few months in Italy along the way). I am 99% sure I had already heard of it before 1984, when David Bergland’s 30 minute late night informercials helped me to overcome cocaine binges (thanks, I know how old I was) and get to sleep. I became more interested in the late 1980s when LP members marched besides me in anti-prohibition marches in NYC where I lived at the time. By 1992, disappointed with the Democrats’ choice of Bill Clinton and the other choices on my ballot I started voting LP. Bergland’s book “Libertarianism in One Lesson” helped me to overcome remaining objections, especially after I read the other books in its “further reading” appendix over the next 2-3 years.

    “What do you want to find out about Radicals and radical positions?”

    Mainly who will help me out if and when I am on the lam or surviving the collapse of civilization. Wait, wait, I can’t say that out loud. Mostly looking for people to party with at LP conventions and whatnot.

    “How did you arrive at libertarianism?”

    It was always my instinctive position, but the lack of anti-prohibitionist options on my ballot in 1992 led me to explore and overcome remaining objections.

    “Also take a moment to read the ‘pinned post’ to see if you’re in the right place.”

    It’s been a while since I read it but I think it was pretty good from what I remember.

    “If you are ready to take the next step, please officially join the Caucus at http://www.lpradicalcaucus.org/join

    Pretty sure I did.

    “Thank you for your interest, and welcome!”

    OK, I think I’ll stay for a few more years, and nappy hew ear.

  351. Jim

    robert capozzi “It apparently doesn’t trouble y’all in any way that the LP’s founders felt the need to protect their handiwork with the 7/8ths depth charges.”

    I can’t say I knew about the 7/8ths rule when I joined, but who joins a party with the intention of changing its principles? Maybe if the Republicans and Democrats had had such a rule they wouldn’t have wound up full of white nationalists and socialists.

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