Leadership - Not Compromise!
ALTERNATE LIBERTARIAN STRATEGIES
February 14, 2002 version
Below I identify the positions I personally favor, and will continue to
promote within the party. (Where it is clear to me what their positions
are, I also identify [New Libertarian] and [Grassroots Electoral]
See my Secession Strategy page.
even if I could somehow convince a great majority of the party to adopt
my decentralist/secion(See also my Secession Strategy page.) all of
tomorrow, I would not be entirely comfortable with doing so.
these strategies, like all others, must be looked at as experiments,
ones that may work brilliantly in some political climates, locales and
elections and fail miserably in others. But there must be leading
libertarians, including on the LNC, to promote these
reason I am running for Secretary of the LNC!
What can destroy the party is when one faction with one approach attempts to impose it upon other members--especially if they enforce their strategy through unethical, unfair or bullying tactics. That is what the "partyarchs" (and, I believe, the "New Libertarians") have tried to do, creating controversy and driving out talented libertarian activists. (See my LNC/Staff Controversies page.) Needlesstosay, enforcing "unity" of vision, strategy and tactics is hardly libertarian!
Goal of Party (i.e., to help us achieve "a world set free in our
a. Minimal national state from which some proportion of communities, states, etc. will exercise their libertarian right to secede
b. Minimal national state from which people will not want to exercise their libertarian right to secede
c. Abolition of the state at all levels (anarchism)
d. Networks and confederations of self-determining contractual, minimal state and anarchist communities, which is the inevitable result of the right to secede [Moore]
2. Goal of Party as
a. Push major parties in a more libertarian direction; be a voice of conscience; recruit more members who agree with our philosophy and influence our way to freedom (often combined with d and/or e)
b. Become one of three major parties and legislate our way to freedom
c. Replace the Democrats or Republicans as one of two major parties and legislate our way to freedom [New Libertarian]
d. Use party as a leading nonviolent strategy to make the libertarian revolution [Moore]
e. Use the party until the time is ripe to take up the gun and make violent libertarian revolution (Ballot or Bullet Alternative)
Electoral Campaign Focus of Party
a. Eclectic: Individuals should be free to organize with what ever level of party organization appeals to them; run at whatever level of office appeals to them; run paper candidate or high energy campaigns; or run as write ins or official ballot candidates. The Presidential campaigns will be used to energize activists at all levels. [Moore]
b. High Profile or Grass Roots Electable Only: The only candidates who should be encouraged (or endorsed?) to run are those who either will run high profile, well-funded campaigns or those who have a good chance of being elected at the local level, including in nonpartisan races [New Libertarian]
c. Grass Roots Electable Only: The only candidates who should be encouraged (or allowed?) to run are those who have a good chance of being elected at the very local level, including in nonpartisan races, so that we can build trust as people who are electable to higher office [Grassroots]
4. Audience to Which
a. Appeal to any and all freedom lovers, whoever they may be, registered or currently unregistered [Moore]
b. Appeal more to registered voters, especially middle and upper class ones [New Libertarian]
c. Appeal more to disgruntled and lower and middle class non-voters, encouraging them to register
5. Stance on
a. Candidates and parties can call for gradualist or radical abolition and repeal, as long as they do not call for new laws and taxes and stress that interim "smaller government" programs are temporary
b. It is acceptable to call for some new laws and regulations, like on drugs or prostitution, or some new taxes, like a national sales tax, if that helps us gain at least a little more liberty on these issues
c. We will never be credible or gain power to free ourselves unless we are de-emphasize or even hide our long term goals and only offer short-term interim solutions which allow us a bit more freedom [New Libertarians]
d. We recognize that many people fear the kind of freedom we propose, so we emphasize that people have a right in their own contractual and self-governing communities to have all the rules, regulations and programs they want, as long as they abide by certain due process standards that protect individual liberty [Moore]
6. Speed of Change
and Abolition) to Emphasize:
a. Promote as slow or rapid a change as seems relevant considering the specific issue and the public mood
b. Promote slow change as people are educated and only talk about interim measures (gradualist strategy) [New Libertarian]
c. Promote rapid change to get attention and educate and because submission to tyranny is wrong (radical strategy)
d. Promote right to secession for those who want immediate change, allowing others to work more slowely for change under the rule of current government [Moore]
7. Image to Promote
a. Sober professionals working for “smaller government” with much fewer laws and taxes [New Libertarian]
b. Futuristic thinkers with the solutions to bring us a bright new future
c. Radicals fighting for individual freedom against massive and corrupt corporate and governmental structures that appeals to radicals
d. The most logical people to turn to for solutions to the problems caused by government[Moore]
8. Kind of Issues to
as a Party
a. Emphasize what ever combination of "hot," "wedge," "bread and butter," "outrageous" and "local control" issues seems most likely to work given the political situation and audience
b. Emphasize "hot" issues
c. Emphasize "wedge" issues that separate large constituencies from their allegiance to the state and/or the two big parties: (i.e., drugs, current wars, internet regulations, etc.)
d. Emphasize "Bread and Butter" economic and social issues that appeal to broad base of people [New Libertarian]
e. Emphasize outrageous issues that get lots of publicity (drugs, prostitution, gambling, guns, immigration, US imperialism, secession, etc.)
f. Emphasize "hot," "wedge," "bread and butter" and "outrageous" issues in terms of “local control”; bringing government down to lowest levels; community self-determination and private/contractual community alternatives; may or may not include community secession as an issue. [Moore]
g. Most people are too anti-intellectual to understand issues, so concentrate on name recognition, personal contact and "popularity"
between Big Money Donors and Grassroots Activists
a. Most activity is volunteer and grass roots with funding from small donors; big donor non-activists have growing influence on those who would cater to them
b. "Professionals" looking for person remuneration and seeking to control paid staff, cater to the political whims of big money donors; give short shrift to the desires of grass roots volunteers [New Libertarian]
c. All activists are taught fundraising skills; big donors are encouraged to be grass roots activists or to associate with them; bylaws require parties and candidates to reveal records of the professions and/or employers of all large contributors (say, over $3000 in one year) so that activists and the public know who may be trying to "buy influence" [Moore]
Statement of Principles
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.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life -- accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action -- accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property -- accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.
Party Bylaws and Convention Rules
Adopted in Convention, July 1998, Washington D.C.
Excerpts from Bylaws of the Libertarian Party
ARTICLE 1: NAME
These articles shall govern the association known as "The Libertarian Party," hereinafter referred to as the "Party."
ARTICLE 2: PERIOD OF
The duration of the Party shall be perpetual.
ARTICLE 3: PURPOSES
The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by: functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements; moving public policy in a libertarian direction by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office; chartering affiliate parties throughout the United States and promoting their growth and activities; nominating candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office; and, entering into public information activities.
ARTICLE 4: STATEMENT OF
1.The Statement of Principles affirms that philosophy upon which the Libertarian Party is founded, by which it shall be sustained, and through which liberty shall prevail. The enduring importance of the Statement of Principles requires that it may be amended only by a vote of 7/8 of all registered delegates at a Regular Convention.
2.The Party Platform shall include, but not be limited to, the Statement of Principles and the implementation of those principles in the form of planks.