May 092014

I am a libertarian. I am not Democrat or Republican. I am not liberal or conservative. I am not left or right. I am not moderate or progressive. I am not a Libertarian. I am not a fusionist. I am not a constitutionalist.

I am a libertarian. I am not thin or thick. I am not brutalist or humanitarian. I am not holist or solipsist. I am not moralist or consequentialist. I am not open or closed. I am not a modal, cosmopolitan, cultural, regime, sophisticated, or Beltway libertarian. I do not have a bleeding heart. I am not a neo, second wave, or millennial libertarian. I am a plain old libertarian, one who needs no labels, issues no caveats, and makes no apologies.

I am a libertarian. Libertarianism is a political philosophy concerned with the permissible use of force or violence. It is not a political philosophy that says limited government is the best kind of government. It is not a political philosophy that is socially liberal and economically conservative. It is not a political philosophy that says government is less efficient than the private sector. It is not a political philosophy that says freedom can be achieved by promoting some government policies over others. It is not a political philosophy that is low-tax liberalism. Libertarianism is not the absence of racism, sexism, homophobism, xenophobism, nationalism, nativism, classism, authoritarianism, patriarchy, inequality, or hierarchy. Libertarianism is not diversity or activism. Libertarianism is not egalitarianism. Libertarianism is not toleration or respect. Libertarianism is not a social attitude, lifestyle, or aesthetic sensibility.

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Nov 082013

Though politicians and analysts often conflate the two, libertarians have different views on many issues than Tea Partiers—and they're not as big a faction of the GOP.

Gary Cameron/Reuters

Observers of the right often classify the Tea Party as an essentially libertarian strain of conservatism. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, for example, recently described Tea Partiers to me as part of the GOP’s anti-establishment “libertarian wing”; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who calls himself a libertarian Republican, has written two books claiming the Tea Party mantle.

A new report, however, finds the link between libertarians and the Tea Party is weak at best. In fact, according to an in-depth survey by the Public Religion Research Institute released Tuesday, most libertarians don’t identify as Tea Party adherents, and less than half consider themselves Republicans. Among Republicans, meanwhile, those who are libertarians tend to have views and priorities distinct from many of their fellow GOPers.

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Mar 112013

Editorial note: The following is the second and final part of a speech to the Republican Liberty Caucus of California, delivered March 2, 2013. The first part appeared on Monday, and can be seen here.

In the summer of 1983, there was a major split in the Libertarian Party. I had been a member since 1977. The split took out a good portion of the Party’s leading activists, and most of the money: although at the time the internal conflict looked to be over organizational and even personal issues, the split went much deeper than that – but it took time for the differences to play out. However, that’s another story: the story I want to tell you now is how an intrepid band of libertarians left the LP, and founded the first serious attempt to create an explicitly libertarian Republican organization.

In the wake of what was a debilitating split, two problems with the LP appeared insuperable: 1) it was clear to me, and a few others, that the LP had peaked. After a few years of seemingly unstoppable growth – we got 5.5 percent for governor [of California, in 1978], and the same candidate – Ed Clark – had polled nearly a million votes [for President] in 1980, although John Anderson’s third party campaign stole much of the media spotlight from the LP that year. Beyond that, however, we saw no opportunities for further growth, which led to the second big problem with the LP: ballot access laws. More than half the Party’s resources were spent just getting on the ballot: after that, there wasn’t much left to put into actually campaigning.

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Mar 062013

Part I: From the Old Right to the New Nixon: Downhill All the Way

Editorial note: The following is the first part of a speech to the Republican Liberty Caucus of California, delivered March 2, 2013. The second and final part will appear on Wednesday.

The Republican party wasn’t always the party of war, unlimited military spending, and reckless foreign entanglements. There is a long albeit largely unknown tradition of opposition to militarism in the GOP, starting with the so-called "isolationist" opposition to US intervention in World War II and continuing right up until the 1960s, when an outgoing Republican president said farewell to the nation, and I quote:

"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

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Mar 012013

Regularly now, the Washington Post, as always concerned with fairness and balance, runs a blog called “Right Turn: Jennifer Rubin’s Take From a Conservative Perspective.”

The blog tells us what the Post regards as conservatism.

On Monday, Rubin declared that America’s “greatest national security threat is Iran.” Do conservatives really believe this?

How is America – with thousands of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, scores of warships in the Med, Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, bombers and nuclear subs and land-based missiles able to strike and incinerate Iran within half an hour – threatened by Iran?

Iran has no missile that can reach us, no air force or navy that would survive the first days of war, no nuclear weapons, no bomb-grade uranium from which to build one. All of her nuclear facilities are under constant United Nations surveillance and inspection.

And if this Iran is the “greatest national security threat” faced by the world’s last superpower, why do Iran’s nearest neighbors – Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan – seem so unafraid of her?

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Nov 072012

After all the hollow and uninspired elections that this country has suffered through over the past several decades, one might think that at some point long ago the American public would have finally struck a plateau of disenfranchisement; that we could sink no further into despondency, that there is a saturation limit to the corruption of our voting process. Unfortunately, there has been no such luck. I have to say that in all honesty I have never seen more people gut jumbled and disgusted with our electoral system than I have in 2012. Sure, there is still a hyper-gullible segment of the populous that continues to play the game, but even those idiots are beginning to admit that the choices offered are dismal at best, catastrophic at worst. The fog of the false Left/Right paradigm is starting to lift, and all that lay in its wake is a hoard of lost wide-eyed flabbergasted followers without a coattail or a talking point to cling to. Sudanese refugees have a better chance of survival than these people do…

Even in the more obvious of fraudulent past elections there was at least an attempt by the establishment to present a pageant of conflicting ideologies (George W. Bush vs. John Kerry comes to mind). There has always been the Democrat who pretends to be anti-war, or the Republican who pretends to be small government, or the Democrat who pretends to defend our right to privacy, and the Republican who pretends to be pro-2nd Amendment. But in 2012, even the theater of rhetoric has disappeared. Both primary party candidates seem to be sharing the same intestinal tract and the same teleprompter, and now, the average American is asking a new set of questions. They do not wonder how these men will change things for the better. Not at all. Instead, they wonder which one will do LESS DAMAGE while in office. This is the terrible reality we have come to understand in our society today. It is a sad awakening, but a necessary one.

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Oct 162012

Three weeks from the November 6 presidential election, the contest between President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney remains close, with Obama holding a shrinking lead, according to a number of polls, in the half dozen states that will decide the outcome in the Electoral College.

The closeness of the election reflects two interconnected processes. Working people, the vast majority of the population, are increasingly alienated from both corporate-controlled political parties and their multimillionaire candidates and see less and less reason to prefer one to the other.

At the same time, the ruling elite is divided along lines that could roughly be characterized as greed vs. caution. Those sections supporting Romney want an all-out, undisguised program of self-enrichment for the financial aristocracy. Those supporting Obama are more cautious, fearing that without a pretense of “fairness” and “equal sacrifice”—albeit entirely hollow and false—the capitalist system will face an uncontrollable movement of social opposition from below.

What is most remarkable about the 2012 election campaign is that neither of the two major parties can seriously address the economic crisis that exploded more than four years ago.

Romney blames Obama for the worsening conditions facing millions, without acknowledging the central role of the financial parasites (of which he is a leading representative) in causing the crisis. Obama displays indifference to the plight of working people, while claiming that an economic recovery is under way.

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Jul 152012

It is an absolute fact that no matter which of the two major parties in Washington, D.C., is in power, the freedoms and liberties of the American people continue to be eroded. However, this does NOT mean that there are not basic differences between the two parties. The two parties differ greatly on HOW government will take our liberties. Where they are similar is in the fact that neither of them has any interest in preserving liberty. Until the American people awaken to this reality, whatever freedoms we have left in this country are doomed.

Let me ask you a question: does it really matter whether a free man is enslaved by a socialist state or a fascist state? Are the prisons any more accommodating? Are the lashes from the whip any less painful? Is the agony of losing a loved one any less grievous? Is the persecution any less revolting? What difference does it make to a free man if his liberties are stolen by an Adolf Hitler or by a Joseph Stalin?

Do you want a quick reference to the difference between how the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., are stealing our liberties? When the Democrats control things, America gets more socialism; when the Republicans control things, America gets more corporatism, which is a polite word for fascism. Socialism requires government to own everything, while fascism requires government to control everything. And remember, too, fascists and socialists have always hated each other. Big deal! Fascists and socialists alike hate freedomists, which is why inside-the-beltway Repubs and Dems can’t stand people like Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and yours truly. (Remember the MIAC report identifying the three of us, and our supporters, as being potential “dangerous militia” members?) So who cares which of these two parties happens to be in power? Our freedoms continue to be under siege. That’s why the battle in Washington politics has nothing to do with preserving freedom, but everything to do with HOW government will take freedom. Will they take it by ownership or by control? And, unfortunately, what we have right now is the worst of both worlds: government is using a combination of both ownership and control to steal our liberties. Why? Because except for a very precious few elected civil magistrates (like Congressman Ron Paul), there is no one on Capitol Hill or the White House who remotely understands–or fights for–the principles of liberty.

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Jul 102012

For the past century and a half the Republican Party has gratuitously labeled itself as "The Party of Great Moral Ideas." The Party of Great Moral Frauds is more like it. The party began as the party of mercantilism, corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, constitutional subterfuge, central banking, and imperialism. Its 1860 presidential platform promised not to disturb Southern slavery; its first president supported the Fugitive Slave Act and the proposed "Corwin Amendment" to the Constitution that would have prohibited the federal government from ever interfering with Southern slavery; the party committed treason by "levying war upon the states" (the precise definition of treason in the Constitution) and murdering hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens in order to destroy the voluntary union of the states that was established by the founding fathers. It refused to do what Britain, Spain, France, the Dutch, Denmark, Sweden, and the Northern states in the U.S. had done about slavery and end it peacefully. Instead, it used the slaves as pawns in a war that was about consolidating all political power in Washington, D.C. in general, and in the hands of the Republican Party in particular.

Three months after the War to Prevent Southern Independence ended the Republican Party commenced a twenty-five year war of genocide against the Plains Indians, killing as many as 60,000 of them, including thousands of women and children, and putting the rest in concentration camps. It did this, according to General Sherman who orchestrated this horribly immoral crusade, to “make way for the railroads” that were being heavily subsidized by the Republican Party. It also plundered the conquered South with exorbitant taxes and the legalized theft of vast tracts of property by party hacks for a decade after the war (so-called “reconstruction”), while doing virtually nothing for the freed slaves. It did nothing while as many as 1 million former slaves died of disease shortly after the war in the worst public health disaster in American history.

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Jul 052012

The Sunday edition of the New York Times published an interesting article that is certain to make some Americans who read it uncomfortable. Why is that? Because the article, which is entitled, “What’s a Socialist?” makes a point that many ordinary Americans hate hearing: that by adopting the welfare state, Americans in principle became socialists, just like Europeans.

European Joschka Fischer, a spokesman for the Green Party, points out, “Even in the United States, you have a sort of welfare state, even if you don’t want to admit it — you don’t allow people to die on the street.”

According to the article, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who used to be called “Dany the Red” but who is now known as “Dany the Green,” points out that modern socialism is characterized by more reliance on the state and higher taxes on the wealthy. The article points out that European Bernard-Henry Levy observes that European socialists are like American Democrats.

Levy, however, is only half-right. European socialists are also like American Republicans.

American statists had two monumental achievements during the New Deal revolution in the 1930s.

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