Dissecting the Libertarian Party…. Act I

The response to my idea about a running series analyzing the Libertarian platform was exceptionally high. I am happy about that because it means that you are operating with open minds. If you can do that, then there may be hope yet. I have heard a lot of people say that the Libertarian party is just another crazy third party. To quote Captain Hammer, “I remember it differently” (if you get that my respect for you has gone up already). So here we go on a journey analyzing the Libertarian platform. Just a couple of quick ground rules…

Ground Rules:
1. Remember to be Respectful. Treat Libertarians with the respect the two big parties cannot show each other. Remember, I do have the ability to duct tape you to the goalpost. If you don’t think so ask someone.
2. Whenever possible, stick to the topic at hand. Don’t stray into other Libertarian platform stances until we get to that part later. I will cover it all before we are done.
3. Speak with your head, not with your heart. Getting emotional here does no good. How can you learn if you are too busy being angry or emotional?

The Libertarian Statement of Principles (Part One)

We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.

That is copied directly from the Libertarian site, as I will do with each section as we discuss it. I broke the statement of principles into two parts because I didn’t want to make the posts too long (I get complaints about the lengths of my posts, wow taken out of context that could be really dirty). I see this as the party is dedicated to the rights of “We the People”. Not so Crazy is it? This country was founded on the principle that people could live free and make the choices that we see fit for our individual lives. The intent of the founders was that we should have that right so long as is does not interfere with the rights of others to do the same. 

Over 200+ years this has been butchered by our government. They have taken the “so long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others” to mean that if anyone objects then the whole population must together determine what is acceptable. I submit that the Libertarians got this one right. No matter what I want to do, what business is it of yours so long as it doesn’t affect you. That doesn’t mean no rules, that means a lot fewer rules though. While this seems like a small part of the platform, it forms the basis for the entire thing. While I have my beliefs on the limits to which this can be applied, I look forward to your thoughts. 

The second part of this specifically speaks to the government’s current position that they have the right to tell us what to do about everything and that they are entitled to parts of what we earn on our own. I don’t see this as an abolishment of taxes. Nor do they as you will see in future sections. But shouldn’t we have a right to determine where our money gets spent? For example, shouldn’t we have the right to veto a bailout bill that contains 100 billion dollars in pork that we didn’t agree to? Shouldn’t we have the right to be more concerned with whether our child gets fed than whether Citi gets saved? I am doing all the work here and the government is taking half the credit (or at least half the money).

So there is the first half of the Statement of Principles that opens the Libertarian Party platform. Act II will be posted tomorrow with the second half of the statement of principles. I say a pretty solid opening for the Libertarians. These guys sure don’t seem crazy so far. But I open the floor to debate…


  1. revolution2010 says:

    Not crazy at all. The more I read that statement, which I do often, I realize that this fight is about restoring the lost Constitution while we still know what it says.
    I think of the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence (strong title) The U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, along with many other works, (such as the Federalist Papers, The Articles of Confederation etc.). They were trying to construct a document, which would protect all people from each other. By the Democracy, they were hoping to have enough people in powerful positions to keep each other honest.

    “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing. Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the People, who have… a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the characters and conduct of their rulers. There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free ‘government’ ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among people.” — John Adams

    This fight is not about our issues, The Libertarian Party is the manifestation of the U.S. Constitution. The fight is about restoring the Constitution.

  2. I agree with you both, however it will be a fight to get there. And in a fight you sometimes need to ally your self with others. That’s why for now I am sticking with the Republicans. My hope is to get more Libertarian candidates elected thru them and use thier resources of money, pollsters and advertising. I would however like to see Libertarians elected in city and state governments. I think that is where a small party can make a difference.

  3. Thedoyle… that is an interesting position. I have wondered to myself whether the right thing to do is to take the same approach. I have decided for myself personally, when I run I have to run as who I am. If that is Libertarian then so be it. I am still analyzing the Libertarian party but I like what I see. I will be talking with some of the leaders for the party locally in the near future.

    In your tactic, the Republicans don’t know they are electing a Libertarian?

  4. No I would be open about it, it helps to have the Republicans know they need help now and again.

  5. revolution2010 says:

    While I see both of your points of view, I disagree. The reason I disagree is because the LP has to spend countless man-hours and much needed cash flow to petition to be on the ballot. There are three ways to get on the ballot… You have to have 1% of the vote go to your party in the previous election, you have to have 10,000 signatures on petition, OR you have to have 1% of registered voters in your state registered to the party. For MD, that equates to roughly 35,000 voters. If we can get Libertarians to actually register with the party (instead of hanging out to see what happens) the much-needed funds are spent on advertising and promotion of candidates. This has been the problem plaguing the third party… no one is willing to take action. I say, damn everyone else, stand behind your convictions and send a clear message to both of the other parties. You think they don’t hear about it when there is a large swing of voter registrations? They do, and if it starts happening in large numbers, it will make their butts pucker! My suggestion is, fight the right fight, if you are a Libertarian, re-register.

  6. “…seize the fruits of their labor without consent.”

    That is the one that is my biggest problem with the current party system. There is no such thing as private property with concepts on the books such as imminent domain.

    If the government decides that the tax revenue generated from an office building would be better than the tax revenue generated by me, a owner of a home and property, then they can seize my property for a “market value” determined by the government and force me off my land.

    If there is no private property ownership, there is no free country.

  7. Dreweth,

    I have the same issue with imminent domain, and it is covered a little more thoroughly later in the platform. But you are on board with me when I say that we should support a party that says that the government cannot take your personal property then? Knowing you the way I do, I would think that at the end of this Libertarian series you may actually jump to the LP. I wouldn’t force you of course, but it seems more in line with your views, so stay tuned.


    I agree with all that you said in that last comment. If I run I run as what I believe. It looks more each day like the LP at least has my consideration. And they have it heavily. I simply do not trust the other two parties right now. Time will tell as we go through this series and I talk through the entire platform with all of you! I am very interested in meeting the the party people here in NC and finding out where they stand and what their status is currently.

  8. revolution2010 says:

    I agree that everyone should take at look at this party. It may not be perfect, that is the nature, but it is certainly well more intended to protect the freedoms we all take for granted! I am looking forward to debating the rest of the issues as I find most of the platform to be wholly sound. For me, the biggest issue is that I believe this is the only way to straighten out Washington. I believe the D’s & R’s are too embedded in the doctrine that has been instituted in the last 20 or 30 years and business, as usual doesn’t seem to be serving the American people.

  9. That part of the platform is pretty good.

    I have given up on the LP for the foreseeable future precisely because they don’t live up to the ideals in the platform, but that is a discussion for another time. Plus “keeping the fruits of your labor” means ALL of it, not just 99.9999% of it. Taxation at any level is theft.

  10. Although I agree with the thought pattern, I have to ask…..how do you it? In theory, this sounds great. I would love to have all of my money, but we have a system to support. You cannot dismantle the government current system in one swoop. It takes lots of steps to fix what has been screwed up for a long time. Ideals are great but plans make things happen.

    • Nancy O'Hara says:

      Might I suggest a study of the Fair Tax? It’s not about defunding the government, so we would still provide for the services we need, but we would provide the money through a different, much more fair and transparent method. It has far too many features and benefits to discuss in this venue, but it sure makes fine studying on its own.

  11. lingeringmethane says:

    Jen – I agree with you on the “dismantle… in one swoop”. I just had that dialogue with my better half last night. It will have to be a gradual transition (sorry about that T-word) 😉 none of this would, could or even should happen overnight. Something for sure needs to happen.

    I have been a conservative all my life, it is something that requires constant education and research, different from the left; all they go on is a feeling. (I just want to throttle Colmes!) US Weapon, I am also flirting with this swapping parties conundrum. In the conversations I have had over the past couple of weeks I am whole heartedly for a third party in congress; however, I am not yet sold on how the LP will handle the executive branch and the power that comes with it. I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it. It can’t be any worse, right? Anyway, the money is handled in congress and the Federal Reserve, which is an oxymoron, as we don’t have any reserves. The fruits of my labor are exactly that – MINE! There does however have to be some kind of income for the good ole boys on the hill– hello Flat tax.

    It is just a mess out there and only getting worse as we transition to the Socialist ways of the new regime and his incoming SS. We need to fix this NOW! Letters to my “representatives” have been futile and it doesn’t look like the robes have a sack anymore.
    The LP is shaping up to be the best option yet.

    • Nancy O'Hara says:

      You’re right,Lingering,we don’t have any reserves. It’s not federal either, and it’s not a bank. If you want to really get your dander up, pick up “The Creature from Jekyll Island” by Edward Griffin and find out what an American cartel looks like.

  12. we have a system to support” … “There does however have to be some kind of income for the good ole boys on the hill“.

    This just shows how completely the people have been brainwashed and tricked. I have no “system” to support. If you wish to support a system, go right ahead, just don’t steal my money for that purpose. If those “good ole boys” want an income, they can get an honest career instead of being muggers and bullies.

    Sorry, but I have no obligation to support aggression or thugs. And neither do you.

  13. Jen,

    Very, very true. I would love a world with no taxes, where I get to keep everything that I earn. That cannot happen overnight. And I am not sure that it should happen at all, at least the no taxes part. Far less taxes definitely, but not none. The bottom line is that we do have some things that have to get paid for and that won’t happen without some taxes.

  14. Lingering,

    It is a tough decision. The thought that keeps sticking in my head is that one of the people I trust judgement on said “look at all the parties. Decide which one has the highest percentage of stuff that you agree with, and go with that”. It makes so much sense when put that simply. But that doesn’t make the decision easier. Because I still worry about what I can accomplish. The key now is to get some LP people in Congress and see how they play the game. That will give us answers. The real quandary for me lies in the fact that I may run for office. If I wasn’t planning that move, it would be far easier. I would register for the LP in a heartbeat. The fact is on election day I can vote for whomever I choose, but registering would send a powerful message. And it would, in great enough numbers, ensure that there is a LP candidate on the ticket so a third voice is at least heard. What do you think?

  15. Kent,

    I use roads. And I want the police to protect me and the ambulance to come pick me up and the fire department to put my house fire out. Those are government systems that need taxes in order to operate. What is the alternative? Are you willing to do without all of those things? I agree that taxes are being abused and I am paying for a lot of things I shouldn’t. But I do see the need for some taxes to provide basic needs that I cannot provide for myself.

    • Nancy O'Hara says:

      I don’t think we need to do without those things. The Fair Tax would fund them, but in addition to many other advantages, the pool of people supporting the government would be vastly expanded: prostitutes, drug dealers, thugs, gangsters, billionaires, politicians, and even tourists would be paying into our tax system every time they buy anything in this country. The tax dodges would disappear and the truly poor nor anyone else would pay anything unless and until they spend beyond the poverty level. Certainly worth thinking about…

  16. Why do you believe government monopolies are the only way to providse those services?

    (most ambulances, and many fire departments are not government entities anyway, but are privately funded)

  17. So you would privatize EVERYTHING? Just a question.

    See I like the idea of a community coming together to pay for a road that is needed so that the government isn’t involved. But some people are simply going to say “I won’t use it so I am not going to help pay for it”. Then do we put a tracker on their vehicle in case they use what they didn’t pay for?

    Sure we could privatize police and fire completely, but then wouldn’t we end up with wealthier people being more protected than poor people? If there are two fires and one is a wealthy benefactor of the fire department and the other is a three job mother of 4, who do you think will get the fire trucks? The guy who pays the bills. Some things need to be publically run and funded.

  18. This is called the “problem of the freerider”. Some people might not want to help pay for it. What you could then do (just a possible solution; not the only option) is that everyone who helped pay gets a sticker for their car; everyone else pays a toll to cross. Of course, you are overlooking the fact that the businesses that chip in, do so in order to give customers easy access to thier businesses. They would want freeriders to use the bridge as it would still be in the business’ best interest.

    Many people, including me, would point out that wealthy people are already more protected than poor people. They normally pay for protection above and beyond that available to poor people. I have heard proposals that fire departments could be financed through “insurance”. If you do not buy the insurance, you are on your own if a fire occurs. There could also be competing fire departments (in fact, this would be very preferable). Some might come to put out a fire “on spec”, just hoping that you might pay afterwards out of gratitude. If you didn’t, well, practice and training is always needed. I also wonder why neighbors wouldn’t offer to send their fire department to fight a next-door fire out of self preservation.

    The free market always does the job better, and cheaper, than the government monopoly. When I start thinking of all the possibilities, my mind goes wild.

  19. Kent,

    I get what you are saying and I do agree that the free market is almost always more efficient and effective than the government running anything. The insurance thing is interesting. But what about the people that cannot afford fire department insurance? Are they simply on their own? Because Bob loses his job and cannot afford insurance during his 6 month job search, does he just have to pray that a fire doesn’t happen?

    Does a similar system happen with police? Does a crook need only find the list of uninsured to know who they can victimize without worry? If you are relying on there to be no victims because of everyone being armed to the hilt, what about the weak that cannot protect themselves. Are they just constantly at the mercy of others?

    I understand where you are coming from on a lot of this stuff and I share your frustration in the current state of affairs, but I worry that by focusing on what can never happen, you lose the ability to change what might actually be able to be changed. You operate on the more extreme side of things, which is fine. But if all the extreme folks put their energy in with the more moderate folks, even though it is less than they want, wouldn’t you form a more powerful voice? I want change too, but that old proverb sticks with me:

    Grant me the power to change what I can, the patience to accept what I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  20. Ah, but I also wish for the wisdom to know what should be changed, too, rather than just what can be changed.

    As long as you are heading in my direction, I will not oppose your efforts. When we get to where you want to be, you can stop, while I keep striving. Who knows, by that time you may realize you are not satisfied with a little liberty anymore.

    Getting back to your questions about the fire insurance, I think I have already addressed those issues (look back over the previous comments).

    With the police, there would be no “list” for a crook to get ahold of. That implies central planning and control. It would not make sense to publish such a list. You might know that a particular house didn’t contract with security company X, but you would have no idea if it contracted with company Y, or Q.

    Even now, crooks say their biggest fear is running into armed “victims”; not the threat of arrest.

    As I say, this isn’t the only possible solution, and I have no doubt that solutions would be found that I can’t even imagine.

    • Nancy O'Hara says:

      It think this part of the discussion is going a little bit overboard. There isn’t any doubt that there are certain responsibilities that the government can fulfill more efficiently than the states or individuals can. In fact, fire and police protection is really handled by the local communities or volunteers now. That doesn’t have to change. I don’t think we have to abolish ways to fund public services, but I do think we have to be careful about what we call a necessary public service. Things like OSHA, HHS, Depts. of Labor, Education, etc. aren’t what I consider necessary — only atrocious encroachments on our liberty. I wouldn’t cry at their funeral!

  21. I’m interested in the flow between USWeapon and Kent.

    USWeapon feels that in the case of starving or unemployment or sickness or using the roads, it’s ok to steal from someone. All other times, it’s not.

    It’s not a right for someone to impose upon me because of some affliction they suffer. I have the right to say ‘no’ to your demand of charity.

    By taking from me to care for another deprives me of taking care of my own. By what right to you declare the need of others out-weighs my needs? When did you declare it your right to measure my needs as valid?

    As soon as you can claim an exception to my freedom, you lose all freedom eventually.

  22. BlackFlag,

    That would be what is termed the straw man argument. In order to take away the logic of my argument you merely twist what I am saying to re-word it as stealing. I never said at any point that it was OK for someone to steal anything. What I did say is that I see the need for certain taxes to be levied in order to provide basic services that everyone is entitled to.

    Let us be clear in this claim of “theft” that radicals continue to throw around. You should take the time to read the Constitution of the United States. It clearly states that:

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.

    So taxes are not theft. Taxes are part of the Constitution. They are laws. And while there are those that would prefer to move to a society where there are no laws because we are individuals, I submit that you have made the choice to live in a country where there are laws. You have made the choice to live in a country that operates with the Constitution as the guiding force behind our collective purpose. If you do not like the Constitution and what it prescribes, then perhaps living here is not best choice to make.

    I agree that the taxes we see here have become a distortion of the government’s power as given by this document. However, to simply say that all taxes are theft is simply saying that you don’t like the Constitution. You cannot pick and choose the parts you want and don’t. Taxes that you pay to the government allow you to get on teh internet and speak badly of the government. You want the freedom of speech part of the Constitution but not the taxes part. I can accept any argument that says we need to follow the constitution the way it is intended. But you can’t pick and choose your sections.

  23. If you take something which does not belong to you from someone who does not wish to part with it, it is theft. Taxes are taken with the implied threat of deadly force. If you doubt this, refuse to pay, and keep refusing each step of the way as government escalates the force with each refusal.

    It doesn’t matter if it is “permitted” by the Constitution, local “laws”, or even if it is engraved in stone and handed down from Heaven. It is still theft and it is still wrong. You can rename it all you want, but it doesn’t change the reality of the act.

    The Constitution is not the “be all and end all” of liberty. It was written by imperfect people who were products of the time in which they lived. I would not be upset if the US government were forced back in line with the original content and intent of the Constitution, but, for me at least, it would be a beginning, not a destination.

    • Nancy O'Hara says:

      I agree that the income tax is theft, since it assumes the government owns your income and you are left with what they think you deserve. But it isn’t the only way to collect taxes. A consumption tax would tax only purchases, and those are voluntary. The millionaire doesn’t have to buy a Lear jet, but he pays the tax when he chooses to. The means of production and the results of working are not fair game for the tax man, I believe. We have to find a better way.

  24. USWeapon :”That would be what is termed the straw man argument. In order to take away the logic of my argument you merely twist what I am saying to re-word it as stealing. I never said at any point that it was OK for someone to steal anything. What I did say is that I see the need for certain taxes to be levied in order to provide basic services that everyone is entitled to.”

    As soon as you claim that I need to pay (by coercion) for some services that I don’t want – for your entitlement – it is called ‘theft’. You justify this theft because you see a gain for yourself – an entitlement. But who pays? One cannot get an entitlement without someone else paying for it. Why should I be forced to pay for your gain and a loss to me? Simply because there maybe a greater fool (or victim) behind me paying my entitlement is not an argument – at some point the game ends, and someone loses.

    USWeapon: “You should take the time to read the Constitution of the United States. ”

    Some piece of paper neither gives me my rights, nor justifies the theft of my earnings and destruction of my welfare. A group of strangers raising their hands and declaring their right to my wallet does not make their theft any less evil.

  25. So then Kent your issue is with the constitution. You don’t believe that it has any weight in terms of defining how the country is run. The deal here is that if you choose to be an American, you choose to be governed by the laws that America set forth in its founding documents. If you go tomorrow and join a country club, you are agreeing to abide by the rules of the club. If you don’t like the idea of abiding by the rules, then you don’t choose to be a member of the club. I don’t want to not be an American, I want America to be run by the rules that were set forth for it to be run by.

    You were a write-in candidate for the Presidency according to your website. As one you were signing up to abide by the rules in the constitution as to the role of the President. Although I do think it is a bit odd that someone who states that he feels that there should be no politicians chose to run for the highest office in the land. As always, not a judgement. I would like to understand that a bit better though.

  26. BlackFlag,

    On the contrary I do not see a gain or benefit for myself. I merely see that the government, in levying taxes, is operating within the constitutional stipulations. It is intended to be for the welfare of the country. While I again admit that this has gotten way out of hand, my point still stands that there are certain taxes that are constitutionally provided.

    And while a piece of paper does not give you your rights or justify any “theft”, the constitution is the founding document that serves as the basis for how this country is operated. You are not forced to be an American, and therefore are welcome, at any point to walk away from this club and find one that is more to your liking. But should you choose to be an American living in America, then this document IS, in fact, the rule book for membership. The Constitution does not “give anyone rights. It recognizes those rights as true. But it does set forth the powers granted to the government by the people who choose to belong to this club. There is no “I would like to be in your club but I choose to opt out of your rules”. America isn’t perfect, but the founding document is better than most countries, and thus it is a pretty good club to be in. As AMEX says, membership has its privileges. Unfortunately it also has its rules.

    And before I go any further I want to stress that I am not trying to be the “if you don’t like it get out” guy. I am merely speaking in terms of no one is forced to be here and be what we are, but if America is so horrible and our government is so evil, and our system so unfair, and our constitution so flawed, then no one is forced to participate in the American experiment. Anyone is free to leave and seek a better club to join. But I tell you now, there isn’t a better club. There are actually very few where we could even have this discussion without paying a heavy price for it.

    But since there is not a better club, I am proud to be an American. And I am completely willing to accept the rules (the constitution) as they are written or as the people of this country as a group decide to change them. In a free world as I hear described, you aren’t forced to participate in any group. That is true here as well.

  27. This is the myth of “implied consent”. I never signed the Constitution, nor did I get to vote on whether I agreed to it. I certainly didn’t choose to be subject to the Constitution just because I was born here. I had no choice as to my birthplace. Am I now subject to it just because I haven’t moved away? It is pointless to move; there is nowhere to go, and by leaving, I abandon my home, family, and friends to the bad guys by default.

    You are right. If I decide to join a club, I get to look over the rules first and decide if they are worthy of my compliance or not. How does a baby have that choice?

    If I had been elected President, I would have upheld the Constitution much better than any president in the history of America, I can promise you that. That was an obligation I agreed to accept if I got the job. That is a completely different situation than supposedly being obligated by accident of birth. As I have said, forcing the government back within its Constitutional limits is a good start, but not the final destination. That would have been my goal had I been elected. But never forget, I am not delusional enough to believe I had a chance. I was making a statement and taking a stand. I never hid the fact that I am an anarchistic libertarian.

  28. I certainly support the libertarian platform. It has its issues, but they are neither crazy nor undeveloped, as many third parties are. Many third parties are single issue or few issue parties, which have not fully developed a platform into anything that could address the multitude of issues in running a country.

    The issue of ballot placement is a big one for me. There was a great deal of time and money put into that which could be avoided by action on the part of libertarians, as Revolution mentioned. I also would support some reforms of the ballot process, such as listing a national candidate on all state ballots if they get approved on more than 25 state ballots.

    The taxation issue that we have sort of strayed onto is one I have thought a great deal about lately. Currently, the government has no income other than that which it brings in by coercion. The government does, however, perform a number of services. Were these services being performed in the private sector, none of the libertarians in this argument would likely argue against the private companies providing these services operate at a profit. If the government was able to operate certain functions more efficiently or effectively than the private sector, such as policing functions or infrastructural functions such as power grids and roads, then it could operate those things at a profit, thereby funding itself. It is not coercion to charge for services rendered. It would a simple matter of bringing the government into the market. There is a lot more to the concept than this, of course, and I am still working on it. More to come…

  29. The coercion comes about when government forbids competition with its own “sevices”. If it wishes to operate in competition with private companies, while using zero “tax” money, let them.

  30. USWeapon Says: “On the contrary I do not see a gain or benefit for myself. I merely see that the government, in levying taxes, is operating within the constitutional stipulations.”

    But by what right?

    You do not have the right to coerce money from me. Even if there are 10 of the like of you, you still don’t have the right. Even if there is 100,000 of you, you still don’t have the right. And even if you write it on a piece of paper, you still don’t have the right.

    There is no welfare for any person, group or country that can be derived by coercing people out of their money. And as you agree – it is gotten out of hand, for it could not do anything else. For once you agree that it’s ok to steal for ‘this thing I believe is important’, someone else can justify stealing for anything else they think is important. With no surprise, everyone starts stealing as much as possible…..

    “And while a piece of paper does not give you your rights or justify any “theft”, the constitution is the founding document that serves as the basis for how this country is operated.”

    First, it was not the founding document for United States. The “Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union ” were the founding document of the United States, written in 1777.

    Secondly, because a piece of paper says so, it does not make it right. Risking Godwin’s Law, the Nazi’s made a written law for every tyranny they created, as did the Stalinists, Maoists, etc.

    “You are not forced to be an American, and therefore are welcome, at any point to walk away from this club and find one that is more to your liking. ”

    Ah, the ol’ fallacy of “If you don’t like the crooks stealing your couch, you can always abandon your house” argument.

    “But should you choose to be an American living in America, then this document IS, in fact, the rule book for membership. ”

    And who says so?

    Again, and in fact, it is NOT!

    It is a rule book for how GOVERNMENT is supposed to work, but the government is not the United States of America! Even Jefferson (a founder, if you forgot) made this very important distinction.

  31. Jon Smith

    I like where your head is at on this one. I agree about the Libertarian party, which is obviously why we are having these discussions regarding their platform. My hope is that more people will see it and realize that the party isn’t crazy. My readership seems to grow every day and while I used to hope each day to reach 100 page hits, I generally have that in the first few hours of any given day. I hope more and more people will come and read and discuss. Whether or not people choose the Libertarian party or not, I like to believe that I am serving the party well to rationally discuss the platform. Plus having this open and civil dialogue with dissenting opinions is a very positive thing. I don’t always agree with my readers, but I truly value learning their stances and understanding where they are coming from.

    Having the government operating in the private sector would be a great plan so long as they are not given any advantages that the private companies fail to receive. If a company can do it better than Uncle Sam, I am all for it. A true free market is almost always the best solution.

    I also agree that ballot placement is a huge issue. Revolution, one of the readers here and a long time friend, is very passionate about that subject and has a blog here as well that is in my blogroll (Coup detat). She is working a grassroots plan in Maryland to ensure that the LP’s resources are spent on the campaign rather than being allowed to participate. After this series on the platform I intend to write some posts about the best way forward and this subject will be one of them.

  32. BlackFlag,

    I am well aware of the articles of confederation, and have most of it committed to memory, as well as the federalist papers and many other important documents.

    The mistake that I see in your thinking is that you believe that you should be able to take your ball and go home. It isn’t an old “couch” argument. The fact is that you are living in the United States of America. The constitution is one of the founding documents for this country, whether you choose to recognize it or not.

    What I really fail to see is what you hope to gain with your position. You simply choose not to accept the realities of the situation in which we find ourselves and state that you refuse to play the game. You don’t recognize the government or the laws or the system. While I can see where you are going in terms of what your ideal world looks like, it simply isn’t productive. I want change in this country, real change. I want to get back to where I think we should be. And I realize that to do so I am going to have to accomplish this within the system as it is set up. I want to win the game. So I show up and find the best strategy within the confines of what I am in to move forward and win the game.

    It seems that you, instead simply refuse to acknowledge that any of it exists. You simply choose to not play the game that is before you. I recognize your right to do that, but I question what you hope to get out of that stance. You can choose to say that taxation is theft and the government doesn’t have the right to your money. But that doesn’t change the fact that if you don’t pay they will come and get you. I instead look for ways to properly change the system to get taxes into the realm of what I feel is fair and equitable. You can simply attempt to ignore the power that the government has, but that won’t get you even one step closer to where you want to go. What is…simply is. Like it or not. I will attempt to change what is, but that won’t happen by my simply refusing that “what is” is the reality that I face.

  33. My own personal thought is that the Costitution was a contract (one I did not sign, by the way), between the government and the people. The government unilaterally broke the contract centuries ago; almost before the ink was dry (the Whiskey Rebellion comes to mind). That means that the people who try to act as though the contract is still in force are trying to negotiate with a government which is under no such illusions. Still, as I say, if you can force the US government back inside the Constitutional limits which it is legally required to obey, I am all for it. I simply think it is a dead issue; one just as “utopian” as a fully libertarian society may be. If we are chasing rainbows anyway, I choose to chase the one I really want instead of a pale shadow of my desire.

    Plus, if you refuse to pay taxes, the government won’t “come get you”; it will kill you.

  34. Oh, and sometimes, the only way to win is to refuse to play a rigged game. At least by the rules that the cheaters have established. We may be in a “Kobayashi Maru” scenario.

  35. Ray Hawkins says:

    I always wanted to come back to this series as I used to think that Libertarians were attractive to me as an alternate to what I despise about the two major parties. As you’ll see, there are reasons I am not a Libertarian:

    “We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.”

    – Not much to critique here other than the notion that it would not be clear whether “challenging” means the LP does not agree with all or part of the “omnipotent state”.

    “We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.”

    – This strikes me as intellectually dishonest. First off – what exactly is forcible interference to mean? Can someone interfere with your life, but if it is not forceful then it is ok? Second – define the individual? When does an individual become an individual and who defines that? As I read this – it occurs to me that Libertarians would not want government defining the individual – then who? Why is this important? Does age matter? Should a parent allow A 16 year old to live as they choose?

    “Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.”

    – More intellectual dishonesty. Let’s circle back to some of the original stuff here. If my neighbor intentionally shoots my wife and as a result she is paralyzed, under Libertarian ideals he has exercised forcible interference over the life of my wife (and quite possibly my own). Since the thought here is that any supposed right for government to dispose of the lives of individuals (literally and figuratively) is wrong, then the actors in my example are solely myself, my wife and our neighbor. But – how do I determine what it is the appropriate action to take that affects ‘disposal’ of my neighbor and/or restrictions upon his fruits of labor? Or – would any action taken by me be seen as a potentially equal forcible interference upon his life since his action was taken upon my wife and not I?


  1. […] Dissecting the Libertarian Party…. Act I […]

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