"[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." ~ Ed Crane
Libertarians, the Party's Over
Exclusive to STR
November 5, 2008
This is an open letter to any and all 'Libertarian' Party folks; those of you who are still clinging desperately to the notions that libertarians will someday be electable candidates for office, and that by engaging and subsequently entering the political system, you can then dismantle, reduce ' or even eliminate it altogether ' from within.
Since you seem irrevocably addicted to these contentions (and I'd like to think I speak with some measure of first-hand knowledge; just have a gander at my bio below), I'd like you to consider this an intervention. You're obviously sick, and you need to get well.
The Party has been going on now for 37 years ' since December of 1971, to be exact ' with your first slate of candidates running in a handful of 'states' during the 1972 election year. From then until now, the Party's greatest feats have consisted of electing 'state representatives' in Alaska in the early 1980s, in New Hampshire some ten years later, closely followed by a sole such, and very short-lived, victory here in Vermont. Beyond that you've elected a smattering of a few hundred selectmen, city council members, mayors, and general dog-catchers. In other words, in almost four decades of participating in the governmental process, the Party has hardly even made its way onto the radar screen.
The Internet has the potential to change that, you say? Well, the Web has been around since about 1992 or so, but to be fair, it didn't get out of the Compuserve phase until around 1994, with the advent of Microsoft Windows. Still, that's 14 years you've had to get the Amerikan Sheeple to flock behind you, and it hasn't happened. We've just witnessed this year an all-time record voter turnout by said AmSheep, and your vote totals remain at abysmal, unelectable lows across the boards.
There's more: From the Party's near-anarchistic 1970s Rothbardian beginnings, especially with the publication of For a New Liberty, your latest presidential candidate, Bob 'I've Seen the Light' Barr's platform reads like a Republican handbook: tax reform instead of tax elimination, closed instead of open borders, reduction of the surveillance gestapo, not freedom. There is nothing 'Libertarian' about any of this, since if one hews to the few and basic principles of libertarianism, it is more than self-evident that any Libertarian who can legitimately lay claim to the designation is and must of necessity be an Anarchist/Voluntaryist. Try denying it ' news flash: You can't, any more than you can deny that the earth is a sphere. You could perhaps call yourselves the Minarchist Party, but Libertarian? And still engage government? Please.
Here's the upshot: The Party's over. In truth, it was probably already over in 1972, when you actually earned your first (and last) electoral vote. Why? It was a flawed idea from the outset; it was self-contradictory. One does not defeat an enemy by joining his ranks. It's that simple.
What to do about it? Pretty simple. Remove the Party label, and remove it from the political arena altogether. Call it Libertarianism America or whatever, and turn it into an educational think-tank. Show people what government really is and what it does versus the populist mythology. And then encourage them to drop out. Stop voting. Stop even registering, in fact. If you are registered, contact whoever you need to to get your name removed from the list. Find any way you can to reduce and avoid paying taxes. Don't register with Selective Service. Don't answer the Census. Avoid using the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible. Pull your kids out of the government schools and do whatever it takes to homeschool them. Brew your own beer. Practice Agorism. Own firearms and ammo. Get yourself some non-governmental gold and silver bullion. Put a Strike The Root bumper sticker on your car, or wear a Strike The Root T-shirt. Fuck Uncle Sam's upcoming digital TV mandate ' cancel your cable or satellite subscription, and get rid of your TV set altogether. Stop paying attention to and believing the mainstream media, especially what the bastard politicians say in their worthless speeches and endless platitudes. Shut government out of your life as much as possible, every day you're still alive and seeking happiness and fulfillment. Share The On-Line Freedom Academy with a friend. I'm sure you can think of others.
Sound like a better plan than endless toil, spending money, wasting time, wasting your life pursuing a hopeless and dramatically flawed path of resistance? Then maybe you'd prefer to engage in some real resistance, and have fun watching government dry up and blow away? Whaddaya say, 'Libertarians?'.