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L. Neil Smith's
Number 479, August 3, 2008

"If it weren't for those of us who insist on
the perfect, there'd never be any good."

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Funeral for the Libertarian Party
by Kat Kanning

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

The History

The selection of Bob Barr as the Libertarian Party candidate heralded the end of a bad idea—the attempt to make a political party out of a philosophy of non-aggression. At the core of the libertarian philosophy is the idea that one should not initiate force against others and that the free market (voluntary arrangements between individuals) is the best way for people to interact. Statism is the opposite of this philosophy—the state by its very nature is force. What is law without the threat of force behind it? The state is notorious for interfering with the free market, also. The LP platform still states, "As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others." How is the idea of individuals who are sovereign over their own lives ever compatible with with the idea of a state, which by definition requires the use of force over individuals?

Samuel Edward Konkin III commented on the state's backlash against libertarian ideas in his book, The New Libertarian:

"The State's Higher Circles were not about to yield their plunder and restore property to their victims at the first sign of opposition. The first counter- attack came from anti-principles already planted by the corrupt Intellectual Caste: Defeatism, Retreatism, Minarchy, Collaborationism, Gradualism, Monocentris and Reformism—including accepting State office to "improve" Statism! All of these anti-principles (deviations, heresies, self-destructive contradictory tenets, etc.) will be dealt with later. Worst of all is Partyarchy, the anti-concept of pursuing libertarian ends through statist means, especially political parties.

A "Libertarian" Party was the second counter-attack of the State unleashed on the fledgling Libertarians, first as a ludicrous oxymoron, then as an invading army.

The third counter-attack was an attempt by one of the ten richest capitalists in the United States to buy the major Libertarian institutions—not just the Party—and run the movement as other plutocrats run all the other political parties in capitalist states."

As Konkin stated, "pursuing libertarian ends through statist goals" is not possible. You can't achieve a society of voluntary interactions through use of force. That is why strategies like the Free State Project spinoff, The Free Town Project experienced such a violent backlash. Early members of the Free Town Project stated their goal as "Taking over a town and making it free." This resulted in the ridiculous reply from a town resident, "You're not going to shove freedom down our throats!" No matter how good the intentions of those who seek and win political office, the effect is that you're forcing your way of life on someone else.

"Bob Barr" gets a visit from the Grim Reaper at the funeral for the LP

With the gutting of the Libertarian Party principles at the 2006 convention, and now the nomination of Bob Barr as the LP candidate, the state backlash against libertarian ideals described by Konkin has reached a new level. The state takeover of the Libertarian Party is clear with the watered down platform. Bob Barr (who was knocked out of office by anti-drug-war libertarians) voted for the Patriot Act, was active in pursuing the war on drugs, he helped weaken habeus corpus appeals, voted to establish the Department of Homeland Security, and he worked for the CIA. Now he's supposed to be a libertarian? It's pathetic to see earnest libertarians working to get this man elected.

The lure of power will always draw the worst of mankind. Russell D, Longcore recently commented in The Libertarian Enterprise, "The worst possible candidates from the Republican and Democrat parties have floated to the top, much like what you see when you glance down into a toilet bowl." The same is unfortunately true of the Libertarian Party. No decent person seeks to rule others. "In the late 1980's it became very clear to me that the 'bad guys' were never going to stop being bad anywhere and everywhere possible. It was very clear early on to me that was just as true inside the Libertarian Party at all levels." said the noted Libertarian Earnest Hancock. As long as the state retains the image of the legitimacy of its use of force, these 'bad guys' will continue to cloak themselves as protectors of the innocent, rather than the thieves and murderers that the ruling statist class really are. Market Anarchy (or voluntaryism) cannot tell you that these 'bad guys' will cease to exist, it only takes away their cloak of legitimacy. When people see that the democratic state is just a new way of enslaving, perhaps they can at least stop helping the 'bad guys'.

The Funeral

Seth Cohn of Canturbury mourns the loss of the LP

In order to celebrate the death of a bad idea, some New Hampshire Freestaters held a funeral for the Libertarian Party, July 20th, 2008. It was held in hopes that those who understand that initiation of force is wrong will give up on using statist means to achieve their dream of a voluntary society. The funeral started out with the ill health and death of "Bob Barr", who wore ski boots because "he went downhill very fast" according to funeral organizer Lauren Canario. The arrival of The Grim Reaper (played by Jim Johnson) signaled the death of the whole Libertarian Party. Pall bearers carried the "Libertarian Barrty" coffin to a throng of people waiting to celebrate or mourn the death the party. The Cardinal of the Shire, played by Russell Kanning, (The Shire is a geographical concept for those who have renounced affiliation with The State) officiated over the funeral and comforted those in mourning.

The Cardinal of the Shire and The Grim Reaper oversee the funeral

Video of the funeral:

Reprinted from The New Hampshire Free Press (News from the New Hampshire Underground)


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