THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 376, July 16, 2006
"I will not see libertarianism redefined or watered down"
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Regarding the recent de-libertarianization of the Libertarian Party, I see two possible solutions. Either get a lot of the REAL libertarians to join the party and outnumber the LINOs (which I'm sure we would) or make the Free Libertarian Party of America from L. Neil Smith's and Aaron Zelman's book "Hope" a reality. If the second option is chosen, and you need a presidential candidate, I know of one available.
A seventeen minute "Google" video (more like a slideshow), that you apparently have to watch online, it looks like the video can't be downloaded for later viewingit may require a broadband connection to play properly, but just the same the audio part didn't work on my computer.
Interesting take on ingrained political bias versus facts, and current politics and future events, especially regarding the destruction of personal rights and liberties. Discusses the dismantling of the American Constitution and the future "Internet 2" that will have everything plugged into it to monitor and control, well, everything and everybody. The "Terminator" movie may have been less science fiction and a more accurate portrayal of the future than we may think. Could be the scientists and political hacks get their inspiration from Hollywood sci-fi (as they once did from H.G. Well's, and Jules Verne's portayal of the submarine, army tank, flying machines, and more in an earlier era.)
The suggestion in the video is that 9-11 was allowed to happen as a catalyst to put other pieces of the puzzle into place, pieces that were already arranged and waiting to happen.
The video rehashes many of the conspiracy theories bouncing around, and it does so in an interesting way.
Re: The Portland Purge", by L. Neil Smith
In "The Portland Purge" L. Neil Smith writes, "What had happened in Portland on the Fourth wasn't merely the complete disaster it appeared to beit was all of that, of course, make no mistake about it; the Libertarian Party and the cause of individual liberty itself will almost certainly never recover, and we'll all end up with our naked pink asses in transparent bathtubs, being forced to act as batteries for George Rodham Bush VII's iPod."
I share Neil's outrage at the visceration of our platform, but not his uncharacteristic pessimism. I believe this was a wake-up call, and that it has sufficiently provoked the wrath of hardcore libertarians, who will descend upon the 2008 LP NatCon, wherever it is held, and have their vengeance. I predict that the platform and the party will make a comeback, and both will be more hardcore than ever.
The "reformers" got their way because it was a poorly attended (300 voting delegates!) off-year convention in a terrible location. How many delegates actually voted for the purge? I haven't seen numbers, but I'm guessing the total was around 100. We can make short work of them next time.
Remember, it was only two years ago that Neil celebrated the remarkable nomination of Michael Badnarik as our presidential candidate. The rank- and-file haven't strayed that far since then; this year's convention was an aberration.
The good news is the "reformers" failed in their attempts to modify or remove the pledge and the statement of principles. Now that would have been a major disaster. As long as both of those documents remain intact, the heart of the LP survives.
In light of recent changes to the Libertarian Party platform, among other things, I no longer refer to the philosophy I have consciously subscribed to most of my life as "libertarianism." I have instead started using the term "anarcho-capitalism."
It seems longer, but it's only one more syllable. And given the degree to which the meaning of the word "libertarianism" has become muddled, I think "anarcho-capitalism" has the advantage of being more precise. Some might object that people outside the movement don't know what "anarcho-capitalism" means. That's true, but nobody outside the movement knows what libertarianism means, either, and people like Bill Maher describing themselves as "libertarian" and in the next breath espousing victim-disarmament laws don't help. Neither do the various "libertarian" authors writing pieces in favor of the War in Iraq.
So rather than spend time trying to explain to people what the difference is between what I consider libertarianism and the various other kinds we now have, including those that countenance victim-disarmament laws and wars of aggression, I've decided to simply use the term "anarcho-capitalism."
It's what I've always believed, anyway. I've evidently just been calling it by the wrong name.
David M. Schmidt
Re: The Portland Purge", by L. Neil Smith
A Response to 'The Portland Purge"
It's an interesting phenomena with human nature to blame others for the fault than one possesses them self. For example, Mr. Smith really messed up the LP's chance to have one presidential candidate in all 50 states in year 2000. He makes references to the July 4th convention, which occurred (by one account) on July 1st and 2nd. This implies that Mr. Smith did not care enough to go to the convention. On the other hand, he acts like a libertarian prima donna! His inflammatory statements create the divisiveness that he claims will bring down the party. This is the very thing his article accuses the neolibertarians of doing.
In a previous post on LPIfreediscuss (Message #7716), I called for unity. It would be nice if libertarians could learn to play together. Instead we root out ideological heresies in a convenient location; among ourselves. Unfortunately, the real enemies are the statists who currently reign unchecked over our lives.
A humorous, alternative is to have a separate political party for each individual libertarian. This alternative has a major flaw! I don't like anyone in my own separate political party. :-)
P.S. Quoting Rothbard often results in a smaller Libertarian tent. For instance, when someone does not take an extreme view, that person becomes "not libertarian enough". Not libertarian enough puts the person in the "infidel box". A wiser approach would be to place the person in the "fellow traveler box". An even better solution would tolerate a view different from one's own view.
The pragmatists want to get more libertarian leaning people into public office. Our political opponents often claim that all the extreme libertarian positions are supported by each of our candidates. It is hoped that reducing the controversial planks will reduce unfounded attacks or at least shrink the target. The flaw in this view is failing to realize that our political opponents will stoop to any means available to gain or maintain their power. They are not interested in discussing public policy or even informing the electorate. Their only concern is getting elected.
It looks like the LP is on the verge of another ideological schism. Here is an off the wall idea.
Let's plan for a party split!
For years people have complained about the L-word. Some wanted a simpler party name like "Liberty Party". What would it take to make two parties out of one? Actually splitting the party would have many damaging effects including losing ballot access and splitting the donor base. Nevertheless, a break in the party may be inevitable. Party members should consider the ramifications of such a break up. By staring into the abyss we might discover ways to patch up our differences.
I believe that both Rothbard revolutionaries and Libertarian politicians can coexist. In fact, I believe the two complement and support each other. Here is a vision of a "libertarian utopia", we stop fighting among ourselves and instead use that effort to bring liberty in our lifetime!
Re: "Wannabenazis", by L. Neil Smith
Rick Hammock responded to my recent TLE column about "Wannabnazis":
> These people are not liberals their republicans extremist.
"I think you have got your definition of a liberal all wrong."
I think you couldn't tell the difference between a conservative and a liberal if your life depended on it, my friend.
It shocks me a little to realize that I've been in politics for 44 years. I was with the George Holly campaign in Florida in 1962. I was with the Barry Goldwater campaign in 1968. I was with the Eugene McCarthy campaign in 1968. I've run for office twice, myself, setting records each time.
Neither the socialists who call themselves conservatives nor the socialists who call themselves liberals give a rat's ass about the Constitution or your life, liberty, or property. They all want simply to consume you. They only use slightly different excuses in an attempt to justify it.
When you have learned that much, Rick, you will have begin to acquire political wisdom.
L. Neil Smith
On last Wednesday, the 12th of July, I had a perfectly splenid interview with Cato Craft, who operates the podcasting system Radio Free Liberty. If you'd like to hear it, go to http://RadioFreeLiberty.com.
Scroll down the page to Episodes 026 and 027.
There was a range of topics, but we talked a lot about the Portland Purge and what can be done about it.
If you like what you hear, be sure to write to Cato and let him know.
L. Neil Smith
[The direct link to Part 1 of the L. Neil Smith interview is
And the direct link to Part 2 of the L. Neil Smith interview is
Re: The Portland Purge", by L. Neil Smith
Loved your new one on the Portland purge.
A nitpick: Though the Sat. morning cartoon modeled after the Ghostbusters movie we all know and lovethe one with Murray and Ackroydwas the one called "the Real Ghostbusters," it was not actually the first frachise with a claim to that name. The other, inferior Ghostbusters cartoon was based on a TV show made in the 1970s, and was thus the more genuine article, even if not nearly as good a show.
Just a tiny bit of trivia for you. Real libertarians are not only better like the Real Ghostbusters, but we also have a proper historical claim to the name.
The "FSP News" for July 2006 has been published:
Free State Project