Libertarian Party of West Virginia chair Matt Harris: Why I loathe Ayn Rand and you should too

Posted at LPWV.org by LPWV chairman Matt Harris:

http://www.lpwv.org/2009/06/30/why-i-loathe-ayn-rand-and-you-should-too/

Many in the liberty movement worship and idolize Ayn Rand, author of The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and a myriad of other novels and shorts. Ms. Rand, however, hated the liberty movement and the Libertarian Party in particular. Rand was particularly critical of the LP’s presidential candidates running in opposition to Nixon and Reagan, as she was herself both a staunch Republican and advocate of authoritarian statism. Unlike what many believe, Rand in fact believed that a strict authoritarian state with dictatorial powers was the best way to impose her brand of objectivism and capitalism on the unwashed masses. In fact, it’s quite clear that Rand in fact loathed the productive class of society in general.

Rand is quoted in “A Nation’s Unity” in 1972 as saying “ If, at a time like this, John Hospers takes ten votes away from Nixon (which I doubt he’ll do), it would be a moral crime.“ Furthermore, she goes on to state, speaking of the Libertarian Party “Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed.“ If these two quotes – an endorsement of statist president Richard Nixon, and a lambasting of anarchism while stating that capitalism requires absolute objective law, do not show you that Rand was in fact a statist, then perhaps you’re dense.

Regardless of her beliefs in statism however, perhaps you should also give consideration to her hatred for you, as libertarians. “Now here is a party that plagiarizes some of my ideas, mixes it with the exact opposite—with religionists, anarchists, and just about every intellectual misfit and scum they can find—and they call themselves Libertarians, and run for office.”, Rand stated in a 1975 interview. She makes an accusation of plagiarism (which is, in fact, quite common for Rand – even though there’s never any credible evidence thereof given whatsoever) while denouncing the Libertarian Party and libertarians. History shows that Rand never supported libertarians politically and in fact unilaterally sided with statist Republicans.

Throughout her career, Rand showed a genuine loathing for the productive classes of society – those who were not her beloved “capitalists”, but were the workers that allowed such people to do anything whatsoever. Face it – without workers, there’d be no industry. Yet while claiming moral superiority, Rand lambasted those very workers while championing the non-productive classes of society. By supporting statist Republicans, she championed the political class. In Atlas Shrugged, she clearly showed a love for the non-productive “management” class. On the other hand, her dislike for the productive class – those who actually do useful things and create useful things – was obvious in many of her writings.

Not everyone in the liberty movement cares much for the Libertarian Party, it’s true. Many of those who choose not to support the LP are in fact great activists, philosophers, thinkers, writers, and otherwise. Just because they choose not to support the LP does not make them authoritarians or statists. Rand, however, has clearly shown herself to be a statist and proponent of the useless political class in America. Her writings, thoughts, ideas,. and statist notions of capitalism ought be tossed out of our philosophy once and for all.

Ayn Rand hates you, and philosophically, you can do so much better than her drivel.

272 thoughts on “Libertarian Party of West Virginia chair Matt Harris: Why I loathe Ayn Rand and you should too

  1. JT

    “Rand in fact believed that a strict authoritarian state with dictatorial powers was the best way to impose her brand of objectivism and capitalism on the unwashed masses.”

    Wow. Talk about a bald assertion with no supporting evidence whatsoever. This is an embarrassing statement.

  2. Daniel Kamerling

    I am not well versed in Rand’s writing (~200 pages into Atlas Shrugged) but I think it is important to disassociate the author with the body of work. In the same way Thomas Jefferson is a flawed person for having slaves/affairs that does not detract from the libery described in his writing. We are lucky when we can champion a person along with their work. However, we must remain vigilant of any sort of idolatry for fear of abdicating mental freedom.

  3. Wingnut

    Hi! I couldn’t agree more with the author. Between Rand and Von Mises, a giant pile of total cock’n’bull has been spewed, and some idiots actually bought into it.

    I think this is a good place for a MaStars campaign rant… to put a delicious icing on the author’s accurate piece.

    Capitalists, readers, you DO see the pyramid scheme symbol on the back of the USA one dollar bill, right? You DO see the servitude infestation in capitalism, right? And do you see the “pay up or lose your wellbeing” Chicago mob-like felony extortion widespread within capitalism? Do you see the “join or starve” felony extortion done to the 18 year olds… by this ugly competer’s church called capitalism? See how forcing competer’s religions onto 18 year olds… kills membership in the cooperator’s church (Christianity/socialism)?? Do you understand that AmWay (American Way) (New World Order) got “the exclusive” (legal tender) on the TYPE of survival coupons (money) accepted in supply depots (stores) and leverages 18 year olds into the organization via that felony activity as well? (It puts AmWay-coupon slaving requirements called price tags… on all the survival goods). Do you understand how farmyard pyramids work… from your childhood?? Remember?? Upper 1/3 are “heads in the clouds” while the kids on the bottom ALWAYS GET HURT from the weight of the world’s knees in their backs? Still with me? Do you see anything illegal, immoral, or just plain sick… in any of this pyramid scheme’s activities?

    Us American Christian socialists are still patiently awaiting the natural fall of the pyramid-o-servitude, or the busting of the free marketeers felony… by the USA Dept of Justice. Us Christians are VERY CLOSE to issuing a cease and desist order until the servitude and inequality goes away… which means it turns into a commune. Commune is a word we LOVE when used in the word “community”… but its one the caps HATE when used in the term “commune-ism”. Go fig. PROGRAMMED!!

    Do a Google IMAGE SEARCH for ‘pyramid of capitalist’ to see a full color picture made way back in 1911, when capitalism was first discovered to be a con/sham instigated by the Free Masons/Illuminati. Folks sure bought into the thing… hook, line, and sinker just the same. The caps didn’t even check if a string was attached! Now THAT’S easy fishing, eh?

    Time to level the felony pyramid scheme called capitalism. Abolish economies and ownershipism worldwide, and hurry. Economies just cause rat-racing, and rat-racing causes felony pyramiding. BUST IT, America! Look to the USA military supply/survival system… (and the USA public library system) for socialism and morals done right. Equal, owner-less, money-less, bill-less, timecard-less, and concerned with growth of value-criteria OTHER THAN money-value. Quit doing monetary discrimination immediately, and make it illegal. There are MANY measurement criteria of “value”… not just dollars. Try morals, efficiency, discrimination-levels, repairability, etc etc. Economies are cancerous tumors, and to cheer for their growth… is just insane. Profiting causes inflation, so if caps LIKE inflation, and if they LIKE a terrible time in afterlife when they meet the planet’s ORIGINAL OWNER before caps tried to squat it all with ownershipism, then keep it up with the felony pyramiding. I dare you. While us Christians are finally bulldozing that pyramid scheme back to level, lets make servitude and “join or starve” (get a job or die) illegal in the USA, and lets level the architecture seen in USA courtrooms, too. Right now, USA courtrooms are church simulators or “fear chambers”, by special design. Sick.

    Isn’t that back-of-the-dollar pyramid… a Columbian freemason symbol? And WHERE is the USA gov located? District of Columbia? (Not even part of the USA!). How much more blatant can ya get? The “Fed” runs a pyramid scheme called the free marketeers. If you’re using the “federal reserve note” certificates, or using no-other-living-thing-on-the-planet entitles of ownership, you’re bought into a servitude/slavery con/sham… called capitalism. Pyramiding 101.

    Larry “Wingnut” Wendlandt
    MaStars – Mothers Against Stuff That Ain’t Right
    (anti-capitalism-ists)
    Bessemer MI USA

  4. libertariangirl

    Matt , I did not know any of those things about Rand. Thanks for posting that.

    Heinlein is my favorite sci-fi author , how were his politics? do youknow offhand if he liked the LP?

  5. Teun van Essem

    This is of course bigoted drivel. Your next statement will be the Ms.rand was a rascist, just so your square nut can fit a round bolt.

  6. Erik Geib

    Rand was a statist in much of her works as well. Some samplings:

    “…a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate it into chaos and gang warfare….” [The Virtue of Selfishness, 152; pb 112]
    ” If a society provided no organized protection against force, it would compel every citizen to go about armed, to turn his home into a fortress, to shoot any strangers approaching his door~or
    to join a protective gang of citizens who would fight other gangs, formed for the same purpose, and thus bring about the degeneration of society into the chaos of gang rule, i.e., rule by brute force, into perpetual warfare of prehistoric savages.”
    [Ibid., 146; pb 108]

    Not that I think it’s necessarily wise to kick dirt into the eyes of the Rand-lovers within the LP, but there’s certainly a case to be made.

  7. bentucker

    silliest essay ever..The LP was essentially founded by people inspired by her works..

  8. Daniel Kamerling

    Wait…don’t we have that gang warfare? Except we call them countries… =p

  9. mdh

    @1 – The typical response I’d expect from a randroid. Go read her own quotes, however, and I believe that you’ll see the evidence clearly presented. I’m not making the assertion so much as taking her own words at face value. Either you are incapable of this, or you choose to selectively ignore some of her own statements.

  10. mdh

    @5 – I haven’t seen any evidence that Rand was a racist, personally, though I have not looked over every statement she’s ever made, just some which I found which all supported this essay. Your straw-man attempt is just weak, as my essay is based entirely on Rand’s own statements and not on any additional aspersions as to her character.

    Try again, randroids.

  11. mdh

    @7 – What your statement has to do with anything, I do not know. What Rand herself said however was that she absolutely hated those same people of which you speak. Those people were, themselves, not entirely liberty-lovers. John Hospers, for example, went on to endorse George W. Bush in 2004.

    Furthermore, your calling my essay silly is a worthless ad-hominem attack that means nothing and has absolutely zero merit whatsoever.

  12. Mike

    You don’t seem to know what you are talking about. Rand urged people to vote Nixon because the alternative was McGovern, a far far bigger statist. She refered to herself as an “Ant-Nixonite for Nixon.” And she had no love for Reagan. She once cursed anyone who voted for him.

  13. mdh

    @6 – This isn’t about kicking dirt into anyones’ eyes, it’s about education. Same as when we try to educate statists about libertarianism. We’re telling them the truth about something they probably previously held misconceptions about. I believe it’s especially important for our own folks to be educated about the subjects they’re espousing to others.

    Advocating Ayn Rand in any political context is akin to advocating support for Republicans like Richard Nixon.

  14. mdh

    @13 – I’m only looking at her own quotes, in context. Who cares if she was an anti-Nixonite. She was for Nixon. She encouraged people to support a tyrant over the libertarian candidate and time and again spoke poorly of the LP (while rarely if ever criticizing the GOP, the bastian of statist “capitalism” she so loved.)

  15. John Famularo

    Erik Geib wrote:
    “Rand was a statist”

    What you quoted above was her denunciation of Anarchism. As a realist she saw that the LP would never get anywhere catering to anarchists.
    She was right.

  16. mdh

    @16 – How can you say she was right? It’s never been tried. That’s like declaring that you positively hate a certain food without ever having eaten it. :)

  17. mdh

    As to Rand being a racist, having done just a tiny bit of reading on the subject, it appears that she was not a racist. An excerpt from some of her writing on the subject: “Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage — the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors. ”

    Therefore, while I have grievances with a lot of what Rand has said and written, especially from the perspective of a libertarian and advocate of the Libertarian Party, it appears that I can say quite honestly that I agree with her on this point, and that she is clearly not a racist.

  18. Gene Berkman

    Ayn Rand advocated limited government, not statism. Laissez Faire based on a concept of individual rights is clearly distinct from statism, even an anarchist can tell you that.

    Laissez Faire plus limited government was the common viewpoint of Rand, Mises, Friedman and the founding members of the Libertarian Party.

    Rand can be criticized for her support for Nixon and for other things she said. But for an intellectual pigmy like the author of this article to think he can make his name by smearing Ayn Rand is pathetic.

  19. Richard Stands

    “I’m only looking at her own quotes, in context. Who cares if she was an anti-Nixonite. She was for Nixon.”

    Wouldn’t the fact that she was an anti-Nixonite, but still supported Nixon for some reason be a fairly important bit of context?

  20. mdh

    And for you to think that you can make your name through ad-hominem attacks against me is much more so.

    My name has been made through legislative success, through effective activism, and through intellectual discourse with my peers.

    Attacking sacred cows with their own words and the truth is just for sport. :)

    As to what Rand advocated politically, I can certainly see that she advocated limited government solely in the area of economics. However advocating Nixon for president, who was responsible for hundreds of thousands if not millions of deaths worldwide through his policies, clearly shows some failings in terms of her political agenda.

    I place the value of life above the value of money. I’ll take a peaceful socialist over a war-mongering free-market capitalist any day.

  21. Erik Geib

    @16 / John:

    I believe I said “Rand was a statist in much of her works as well.” This doesn’t necessarily mean I believe she was a statist, nor does it imply what my definition of a ‘statist’ is. I was simply responding to the idea that her writings could be championed while setting aside her personal views. As such, I wanted to point out that she allowed for some function of the state (my definition of a statist) in her works as well.

    I didn’t say statism was bad, but I didn’t say it was good. I merely tried to point out that her works somewhat reflected her allowance for the place of the state (particularly, as others have noted, if the political reality of the situation means she advocates one form only over the perceived greater threat to liberty espoused by the other). Most people within the liberty movement don’t tend to argue about the fact that Rand was a bit of a minarchist, because she was.

    I think the larger debate involved, and the one rarely discussed on this site in these “minarchist vs. anarchist” debates is what to do about our life within the state as it is. The Cato Institute has put out several works on ‘the libertarian vote,’ finding that 92% or higher of ‘identified libertarians’ consistently vote for one of the two major parties.

    Now, we can all sit here and argue about what defines a ‘libertarian’ (as we all love to do), but the facts remain.

    What Ayn Rand would have said and done about American electoral politics under a system that allowed for ballot access, debate access, etc. while eliminating first-past-the-post…. that’s an entirely different matter. If she had still said the Nixon nonsense, it would be of much greater alarm. What she said about the LP reflected her view of its futility given her perception of the American political situation (i.e., the two-party duopoly).

  22. Erik Geib

    @14 / mdh:

    I believe what I said above (in 22) is a largely sufficient response to your reply. I believe it’s kicking dirt in peoples’ eyes, however, because it doesn’t win us votes, and only alienates some of those with us already. This is a political party, not a religion – it’s okay for some people to like Ayn Rand if it means electing people who are trying to dismantle as much of the state as possible.

  23. Erik Geib

    @21 / mdh:

    “I place the value of life above the value of money. I’ll take a peaceful socialist over a war-mongering free-market capitalist any day.”

    This sort of statement is the very sort you appear to have criticized Rand for: choosing between the two evil sides of the same coin.

    At the end of the day everyone seems to think (at least in their gut, whether they admit it aloud or not) that one party [under certain circumstances] would be better than the other among the two parties. The real answer is they’re both crap, because you can’t guarantee either will not wage war or institute socialism so long as they keep third parties from competing with them.

  24. Thomas L. Knapp

    Matt,

    You’re not giving Rand a fair shake here.

    Rand was only a “statist” if the only alternative to statism is anarchism. If minarchism is admissible as non-statism, she was clearly no statist … and indeed Roy Childs persuasively argued that her actual philosophical claims implied anarchism, from which she recoiled for irrational personal reasons.

    As far as her attitudes toward people are concerned, she was back and forth but the glass was at least half full. From her Nietzscheian uberman roots (later denied, but irrefutably there), she eventually proceeded to glowing portrayals and high-minded defenses of the “mere” worker who trades an honest and competent day’s labor for the best deal he can drive. In her non-fiction, she credited organized labor with stopping FDR’s labor conscription scheme.

    She was a mixed bag, but most of the truly stupid stuff that she came up will turn out, upon closer examination, to be non “ex-cathedra,” off-handed temper tantrums which she either fails, or simply doesn’t try, to ground in her actual philosophical work.

    There’s a difference between Objectivism and Randroidism.

  25. Richard Stands

    Given the methods socialists need to advocate in order to implement their agendas, the term “peaceful socialist” is an oxymoron. I’d agree about war-mongering capitalists, in the instances where both qualities accurately describe the same person.

    When one focuses on liberty as a primary, then coerced redistribution of wealth for ostensibly compassionate reasons is very similar to military redistribution of foreign governmental structures for ostensibly compassionate reasons. Both perspectives sanction force, theft, and potentially slavery in service to some subjective observer’s world view. Means are not inconsequential.

    Ayn Rand wrote extensively in opposition to the former abuse, but did indeed support the latter on occasion.

    For me, this does almost nothing to invalidate the value of her insights into man’s productive nature, and liberty as a whole.

  26. mdh

    @24 – The difference is that I’m not advocating anyone vote for a peaceful socialist, nor would I ever. I advocate that people vote for true libertarians.

    Rand advocated voting for Nixon.

    I was merely stating that loss of money is less evil than loss of life, and I hope that you will agree with me.

    Furthermore, neither of the two major parties in the US are peaceful socialists. They are both made up of war-mongering socialists.

  27. d.eris

    Daniel (#2) makes an important point about separating an author’s own politics from the content of his or her own works. I’m not very well versed in Rand’s works or her politics, but I’ve known many people who were inspired by her fiction to question the way in which our government and society are organized. Which is always a good thing, no matter its source, imo.

    On the other hand, if in her politics “she was an anti-Nixonite, but still supported Nixon” then she was simply, and perhaps pathetically, just another lesser-evilist, who could not bring herself to take a stand against the two-party system.

  28. mdh

    @25 – And that’s all well and good. I’m not attacking objectivism as put forth by many people nowadays. I am attacking “randroidism” and idol-worship of Ayn Rand as some sort of libertarian hero, which she clearly was not.
    Beyond that, I am also attacking her defense of non-productive classes in certain contexts, especially the political classes, and how she often came off as greatly favoring them over productive classes of society.

    Finally, I’m beginning to “come out” with (and test, iron out, etc) some of the libertarian class warfare arguments that I expect to use to lead Libertarians to all sorts of success in West Virginia politics. Rand seemed like a fun and exciting place to start doing that, and based on the excited utterances seen here both for and against my take on her, I believe I was quite right.

  29. mdh

    @26 – You’re right, my bad. The term I should’ve used was not “peaceful” socialists, but rather those not inclined towards mass murder, genocide, and war.

    Socialism can never be truly peaceful.

  30. Westmiller

    Thomas @25 gets it right:
    “… Rand was only a ‘statist’ if the only alternative to statism is anarchism.”

    The only exposure she had to “libertarians” were Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell (who are both anarchists and religionists) and critics like Roy Childs. But, I don’t agree that her views on anarchism were for “irrational personal reasons.” She makes the case rather well in “The Nature of Government,” which is the source of the quotes cited in this article.

    In politics, she was a “realist,” which one might characterize as unprincipled pragmatism. More important, she considered real political change as impossible, in the absence of a dramatic ideological change in the culture.

    The author here seems to have an affinity for “class analysis”, which Rand roundly condemned as collectivist.

    Nor is there any novelty in the article, which simply repeats the superficial insults that have been propagated over decades, with no regard for the context of Rand’s general philsophy.

    Yes, Rand made errors (I guess her morality demonstrates that she was human), but her philosophical errors were rare and minor.

  31. John C

    Ayn Rand supported Nixon in 1972
    John Hospers supported Bush in 2004

    Which is the worse libertarian?

  32. Tedd

    John C @ 33 asks: “Which is the worse libertarian?” There is only one libertarian among the four listed, John Hospers. If John C meant to ask “which is worse, supporting Nixon or supporting Bush, I’d say Bush was worse, but only because I have the advantage of hindsight. Nixon’s failures gave us Ford, which turned out to be one of our better presidents. Bush’s failures gave us Obama.

  33. tab

    Whoever posted this article, it shouldn’t be titled as the official position of the LPWV. It should read from Matt Harris of the LPWV.

    It is an opinion. Not the official stance of the party.

  34. Jesse

    I learned nothing from this article other than the fact that its author has some hostile emotions boiling inside of him. Are we supposed to just accept his unjustified assertions. No facts are presented in his attempt to demonstrate that Rand had a “genuine loathing for the productive classes of society.” No quotes, no argument, nothing. Also, who exactly is in the “non-productive ‘management”’class? Once again, just asserted, not defended.

    I also really enjoyed the author’s criticism of the ad hominem attacks of some of the comments….and then his use of the term “randroid”. Does he understand the nature of his own actions?

  35. mdh

    If randroid is an ad hominem attack, perhaps you’ve never seen all of the militant Rand fans who use the term to describe themselves. I don’t believe they use it to attack themselves. I’m merely using it as short-hand for “militant Rand fans.”

    My point is that the time has come to lay down useless old sacred cows who didn’t like us or our party. Like objectivism? Fine. Like some of Rand’s books? Fine. Idolize and worship Rand as some sort of libertarian hero? In my opinion, you’re wrong and I have written this essay with the intent to show you exactly why.

  36. Jesse

    Essay? Really! For the second of your two major arguments you provided absolutely no evidence. To me, it really just felt more like an emotional outburst.

  37. Melty

    Rand was more pompous than about anybody I can think of including myself. I don’t understand the Rand worshippers.

  38. mdh

    @40 – Good. I’m working on evoking emotional responses, too. That’s another key element to my electoral strategy.

  39. libertariangirl

    Jesse // Jun 30, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Essay? Really! For the second of your two major arguments you provided absolutely no evidence. To me, it really just felt more like an emotional outburst.

    me_ then what is your interpretation af the Rand quotes Matt provided?

    I always liked Heinlein better , cant wait to see brian Doherty represent his works at a panel discussion of diff lib authors at Freedom Fest

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bill,

    You write:

    “But, I don’t agree that her views on anarchism were for ‘irrational personal reasons.'”

    Her own writing is the evidence of it.

    Her two main objections to “libertarians” were that they used “her” ideas without genuflecting to her personally, and that anarchism couldn’t work because [stomp[ foot] she had announced that it wouldn’t work, even though the plot of Atlas Shrugged had depended on it working.

  41. mdh

    “More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with, and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called “hippies of the right,” who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultanteously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.” –Ayn Rand

  42. mdh

    Note to anarchists: Rand thinks your ideology is “the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement”.

    Her words, not mine.

  43. Trent Hill

    “@33 – I would posit that neither is a libertarian at all.”

    How ludicrous. I could be a perfect libertarian and still suggest that people vote for Stalin over Mao (if those were the only two realistic options). It doesnt mean im sanctioning either’s actions, but that I think my vote can choose the lesser evil and therefore slow the growth of the states.

  44. Trent Hill

    With all of this said–why on earth is Matt attacking Randians? They make up an important leg of the Libertarian Party–and Matt is trying to scare them off at a time when his party desperately needs them.

    I agree with George Selgin’s opinion of Atlas Shrugged and Rand.

    “I read Atlas Shrugged, it was a good book. Get over it.”

  45. mdh

    I’m not attacking people (other than perhaps Rand herself). To say that I am doesn’t really make much sense. What I’m attacking is the notion that Rand was a libertarian hero, and I’m using her own words to show that she was not.

    On the topic of lesser of two evils voting, I disagree. Lending your vote to the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. Endorsing publicly the lesser of two evils is still endorsing publicly evil.

  46. C. Jeffery Small

    Matt’s unbelievable diatribe above is an excellent example of why Ayn Rand opposed the Libertarian Party as a political organization. Matt’s ramblings have little-to-nothing to do with Rand’s actual views. She opposed the Libertarian Party because it was not grounded in sound principles, making it an ineffective defender of liberty, individualism and Capitalism, and she readily realized that an ineffective and inconsistent defender always did more damage to a cause than an articulate opponent. As the head of the WV State LP, here, Matt presents an excellent case in support of her conclusions. I honestly cannot believe that he could have possibly read her works, given his views. And if he did, he certainly did not comprehend them!

    As the quote above makes clear, Rand also opposed the LP because it made (and may still make??) common cause with anarchists. It was Rand’s view that the proper and necessary role of government was to establish an objective rule of law with the purpose of protecting individual rights. Anarchists toss out the concept of objectivity, supplanting it with subjectivism – and this completely undermines the possibility of ever mounting a true and effective defense of rights.

    I would love for a third party to arise and challenge the status quo by offering a real alternative to the statist crap proffered by both the Republicans and Democrats. But as Mark has demonstrated, it certainly will never be the Libertarian Party. And that’s a shame.

    Regards.

    C. Jeffery Small

  47. libertariangirl

    Trent Hill // Jun 30, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    “@33 – I would posit that neither is a libertarian at all.”

    How ludicrous. I could be a perfect libertarian and still suggest that people vote for Stalin over Mao (if those were the only two realistic options). It doesnt mean im sanctioning either’s actions, but that I think my vote can choose the lesser evil and therefore slow the growth of the states.

    me_ your your saying a Libs we should always advocate one of the two-party system candidates , because REALISTICALLY, they are likely to win?

    the lesser of two evils is still evil

  48. mdh

    @51 – I’ve certainly read and comprehended what Rand wrote in her works of fiction and the more popular non-fiction. It certainly differs from what she said and did, however.

    You stand in defense of an individual who admonished the LP for taking votes from Richard Nixon, a mass murderer. I find that unconscionable.

    Your brand of statism is no less likely to become corrupted than that of the Democrats and Republicans. The problem with constitutional governance that solely exists to protect the rights of the individual is that you will never find a single individual who, when given the level of power offered by the title of “government”, will still adhere to such constitutional restrictions.
    Evidence: every society in the modern world which has a government.

  49. Hilton

    The most shabby smear against Rand I’ve ever come across coming from a mediocre little schyster in progressive drag.

    In this excerpt from a personal letter to Hospers, she airs her issues with Hosper’s view of capitalism:

    Now, as to your remarks about capitalism’
    1. You say that you speak on politics from general observation and not as a philosopher. This is a point of difference between us: I never think or speak of anything except as a philosopher.
    2. By now, you probably know the exact nature and reasons of my views on capitalism. So I will not attempt to argue with the allegations capitalists are vicious, exploiting, and warmongering that you make against it—I will say only that I do not agree with you.
    3. I would like to ask you a question, which no critic of capitalism has ever answered: if capitalists are as evil as you say they are, what magic faculty endows a politician with virtue? If men who deal with others by means of voluntary trade are selfish monsters—how does the possession of a gun, with the right to force others, transform a man into a selfless public servant?
    4. I will not state this point as an arbitrary assertion, but only as a question: doesn’t your attitude toward capitalism support the thesis of my last radio broadcast? If you who, to my knowledge, are one of the most rational minds in modern philosophy, do not choose to identify the nature and the actual working of capitalism, but reject it, offering no argument or theory except: “greed”—isn’t that an illustration of the fact that the morality of altruism has made it impossible for philosophers to evaluate capitalism? I do not want to be right, in this particular instance—and I hope that you will correct me.
    As I said at the start, I would like to continue this discussion in person. May I invite you to my house on the evening of Friday, April 22 or Saturday, April 23? Would you telephone me and let me know whether either date is convenient for you?
    Until then, please accept the length of this letter as the best proof I can offer you of my serious interest.

    This is what she had to say about Nixon:

    The special twist, in the case of Mr. Nixon, is that his counterparts on the road to statism in other countries were not elected to office on the implicit promise to save the country from a statist trend. In spite of the usual pragmatist evasions, it was clear to his supporters and enemies alike that he was elected as a champion—or semi-champion—of free enterprise. If one needs factual proof of the danger of implicit promises, unnamed hopes, undeclared principles—i.e., of the futility and impracticality of playing it short-range—Mr. Nixon is the proof. He is an immortal refutation of Pragmatism.
    The worst thing one can say about Mr. Nixon is that he is sincere. A clever demagogue would not believe that one can protect a country’s freedom by establishing the foundation, the principle and the precedent of a totalitarian dictatorship. Mr. Nixon, apparently, does.
    It used to be widely believed that the election of a semi-conservative (a “moderate”) is a way of gaining time and delaying the statist advance. President Eisenhower proved the opposite; President Nixon proved it conclusively. Their policies have not delayed, but helped and accelerated the march to statism. A major reason is the silencing and destruction of the opposition. If Mr. Nixon’s program had been proposed by a liberal Democrat, the Republicans would have screamed their heads off—either on some remnant of principle or, at least, on the grounds of narrow party interests. But when total economic controls are imposed by a Republican President—in the name of preserving free enterprise— who, among today’s politicians, is going to protest and in the name of what?

    Next you state that she was a proponent of statism..yet her whole life was dedicated to fighting collectivism of any sort, statism and racism included.

    here are her views on the current statist trend :

    If America is to be saved from destruction—specifically, from dictatorship—she will be saved by her sense of life.
    As to the two other elements that determine a nation’s future, one (our political trend) is speeding straight to disaster, the other (culture) is virtually nonexistent. The political trend is pure statism and is moving toward a totalitarian dictatorship at a speed which, in any other country, would have reached that goal long ago. The culture is worse than nonexistent: it is operating below zero, i.e., performing the opposite of its function. A culture provides a nation’s intellectual leadership, its ideas, its education, its moral code. Today, the concerted effort of our cultural “Establishment” is directed at the obliteration of man’s rational faculty. Hysterical voices are proclaiming the impotence of reason, extolling the “superior power” of irrationality, fostering the rule of incoherent emotions, attacking science, glorifying the stupor of drugged hippies, delivering apologias for the use of brute force, urging mankind’s return to a life of rolling in primeval muck, with grunts and groans as means of communication, physical sensations as means of inspiration, and a club as means of argumentation.
    This country, with its magnificent scientific and technological power, is left in the vacuum of a pre-intellectual era, like the wandering hordes of the Dark Ages—or in the position of an adolescent before he has fully learned to conceptualize. But an adolescent has his sense of life to guide his choices. So has this country.

    Next you insinuate that Rand was at odds with wokers, and that she preferred the unproductive “management” classes…now if this drivel of your is not intended to call on the envy created by the Marxist myth of “classes” in a free market society the I’ll be buggered.

    Rand simply mentioned that in an advanced technological society the creation of value was primarily an intellectual process, and that physical labour was not the primary force in the creation of value.

    Rand’s ideas are your biggest weapon you have you fool..she just insisted one cant mix it with anarchism if you are to create any long term change in our culture.

  50. libertariangirl

    a true libertarian gang fight , …lol . we are ALL flippin dorks , but smart dorks

  51. Hilton

    I forgot to mention what she thought of “Liberals” and “Conservatives” …the latter of which Rand was supposedly a member of according to Matty, the most disingenuous twit in all of West Virginia it seems.

    Both the “conservatives” and the “liberals” stress a fact with which everybody seems to agree: that the world is facing a deadly conflict and that we must fight to save civilization.
    But what is the nature of that conflict? Both groups answer: it is a conflict between communism and … and what?—blank out. It is a conflict between two ways of life, they answer, the communist way and … what?—blank out. It is a conflict between two ideologies, they answer. What is our ideology? Blank out.
    The truth which both groups refuse to face and to admit is that, politically, the world conflict of today is the last stage of the struggle between capitalism and statism.
    We stand for freedom, say both groups—and proceed to declare what kind of controls, regulations, coercions, taxes, and “sacrifices” they would impose, what arbitrary powers they would demand, what “social gains” they would hand out to various groups, without specifying from what other groups these “gains” would be expropriated. Neither of them cares to admit that government control of a country’s economy—any kind or degree of such control, by any group, for any purpose whatsoever—rests on the basic principle of statism, the principle that man’s life belongs to the state. A mixed economy is merely a semi-socialized economy—which means: a semi-enslaved society—which means: a country torn by irreconcilable contradictions, in the process of gradual disintegration.

  52. mattc

    “Both groups answer: it is a conflict between communism and … and what?—blank out.”

    Umm… no they don’t.

  53. Trent Hill

    “me_ your your saying a Libs we should always advocate one of the two-party system candidates , because REALISTICALLY, they are likely to win?

    the lesser of two evils is still evil”

    Right….but lesser so.

    And yes, I do believe that if they honestly don’t believe the third party has any chance at winning–there best option is to vote for the least evil. You do this too, obviously. You vote for LP candidate whom you might disagree with on multiple issues. In that case you vote for the lesser of three, or maybe 4 or 5, evils.

  54. Hilton

    Sorry Matt..I forgot…the Hippies have crawled out of the woodwork and have resurrected themselves as environmentalists and have now joined the fray in the fight against mankind.

    Here is some of what Rand had to say about them:

    Have you ever looked at a map of the globe and compared the size of the area of industrial sites and cities to the size of the area of untouched wilderness and primeval jungles? And what about the greenery cultivated by man? What about the grains, the fruit trees, the flowers that would have vanished long ago without human care and labor? What about the giant irrigation projects that transform deserts into fertile, green lands? No answer.
    “Louisiana’s state bird, the brown pelican, has vanished from its shores,” the survey laments, blaming the bird’s extinction on DDT.
    The dinosaur and its fellow-creatures vanished from this earth long before there were any industrialists or any men—and environmental “resiliency” never brought them back. But this did not end life on earth. Contrary to the ecologists, nature does not stand ‘ still and does not maintain the kind of “equilibrium” that guarantees the survival of any particular species—least of all the survival of her greatest and most fragile product: man.

    But love for man is not a characteristic of the ecologists. “Man has always been a messy animal,” the survey declares. “Ancient Romans complained of the sooty smoke that suffused their city, and in the first century Pliny described the destruction of crops from climate changes wrought by the draining of lakes or deflection of rivers.”
    Such events did not occur in the period that followed the fall of Rome: the Dark Ages.
    Would you regard the following as an expression of love for man? This deals with another alleged pollution created by cities: noise. “Nor can the harried urban inhabitant seek silence indoors. He merely substitutes the clamor of rock music for the beat of the steam hammers, the buzz of the air conditioner for the steady rumble of traffic. The modern kitchen, with its array of washing machines, garbage-disposal units and blenders, often rivals the street comer as a source of unwanted sound.”
    Consider the fate of a human being, a woman, who is to become once again a substitute for washing machines, garbage-disposal units and blenders. Consider what human life and suffering were like, indoors and out, prior to the advent of air conditioning. The price you pay for these marvelous advantages is “unwanted sound.” Well, there is no unwanted sound in a cemetery.

    Predictions of universal doom are interspersed with complaints of this kind. And nowhere, neither in this survey nor elsewhere, does one find any scientific evidence—no, not to prove, but even to support a valid hypothesis of global danger. But one does find the following.
    “… some scientists,” the survey declares, “like to play with the notion that global disaster may result if environmental pollution continues unchecked. According to one scenario, the planet is already well advanced toward a phenomenon called ‘the greenhouse effect.’ Concentrations of carbon dioxide are building up in the atmosphere, it is said, as the world’s vegetation, which feeds on CO2, is progressively chopped down. Hanging in the atmosphere, it forms a barrier trapping the planet’s heat. As a result, the greenhouse theorists contend, the world is threatened with a rise in average temperature which, if it reached 4 or 5 degrees, could melt the polar ice caps, raise sea level by as much as 300 feet and cause a worldwide flood. Other scientists see an opposite peril: that the polar ice will expand, sending glaciers down to the temperate zone once again. This theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”
    This is what bears the name of “science” today. It is on the basis of this kind of stuff that you are being pushed into a new Dark Age.

  55. libertariangirl

    trent-And yes, I do believe that if they honestly don’t believe the third party has any chance at winning–there best option is to vote for the least evil. You do this too, obviously. You vote for LP candidate whom you might disagree with on multiple issues. In that case you vote for the lesser of three, or maybe 4 or 5, evils.

    me- trust me i feel a little shame at that . during the election i went back and forth between saying id never vote for Barr and saying id be loyal to my Party . Something David Nolan said sealed my decision , so I held my nose and voted for some level of evil , this is true.

    I hope my LP doesnt ask me to do this again.

  56. Tom Blanton

    I have always thought Ayn Rand was a scary bitch with a severe personality disorder. Her “Objectivists” are some of the nastiest warmongering people I’ve ever been exposed to. The fact that it apparently takes years of study to understand what her whole deal is all about is evidence enough that she doesn’t present any worthwhile philosophy with any clarity. She certainly does not appear to have had many original ideas.

    All that said, at a time when Glenn Beck can get away with calling himself a libertarian, perhaps the term has become meaningless. The term “minarchist” also lacks any real meaning. A minarchist may think government is just the right size now, or he may think government should be reduced by 99%.

    Almost every statist I’ve ever met in the LP claimed to be a minarchist, even though many of these people make Ron Paul look like a radical anarchist.

    One man’s tyranny is another man’s liberty and one man’s capitalism is another man’s corporatist fascism. Everyone is now a libertarian, but are we any more free?

    Freedom results when tyranny is resisted and most people don’t have the balls to resist because that entails risk.

  57. Hilton

    Jesse “Why Not”

    Exactly my thoughts Jesse..thanks. Uh Oh..I forgot..only Rand and Randroids may be dissed with impunity.

    Libertariangirl…here’s a last dollop of that which is so severely lacking in anarchistic libertarianism….morality.

    Next time you have to choose between the lesser of the evils..why not consider backing it with some solid ideas like this expose on the anatomy of compromise..by no other than Ayn Rand of course.

    There is only one science that could produce blindness on so large a scale, the science whose job it was to provide men with sight: philosophy. Since modern philosophy, in essence, is a concerted attack against the conceptual level of man’s consciousness—a sustained attempt to invalidate reason, abstractions, generalizations, and any integration of knowledge—men have been emerging from universities, for many decades past, with the helplessness of epistemological savages, with no inkling of the nature, function, or practical application of principles. These men have been groping blindly for some direction through the bewildering mass of (to them) incomprehensible concretes in the daily life of a complex industrial civilization—groping, struggling, failing, giving up, and perishing, unable to know in what manner they had acted as their own destroyers.
    It is, therefore, important—for those who do not care to continue that suicidal process—to consider a few rules about the working of principles in practice and about the relationship of principles to goals.
    The three rules listed below are by no means exhaustive; they are merely the first leads to the understanding of a vast subject.
    1. In any conflict between two men (or two groups) who hold the same basic principles, it is the more consistent one who wins.
    2. In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.
    3. When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden or evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side.
    1. When two men (or groups) hold the same basic principles, yet oppose each other on a given issue, it means that at least one of them is inconsistent. Since basic principles determine the ultimate goal of any long-range process of action, the person who holds a clearer, more consistent view of the end to be achieved, will be more consistently right in his choice of means; and the contradictions of his opponent will work to his advantage, psychologically and existentially.
    Psychologically, the inconsistent person will endorse and propagate the same ideas as his adversary, but in a weaker, diluted form—and thus will sanction, assist, and hasten his adversary’s victory, creating in the minds of their disputed following the impression of his adversary’s greater honesty and courage, while discrediting himself by an aura of evasion and cowardice.
    Existentially, every step or measure taken to achieve their common goal will necessitate further and more crucial steps or measures in the same direction (unless the goal is rejected and the basic principles reversed)—thus strengthening the leadership of the consistent person and reducing the inconsistent one to impotence.
    The conflict will follow that course regardless of whether the basic principles shared by the two adversaries are right or wrong, true or false, rational or irrational.
    For instance, consider the conflict between the Republicans and the Democrats (and, within each party, the same conflict between the “conservatives” and the “liberals”). Since both parties hold altruism as their basic moral principle, both advocate a welfare state or mixed economy as their ultimate goal. Every government control imposed on the economy (regardless in whose favor) necessitates the imposition of further controls, to alleviate—momentarily—the disasters caused by the first control.
    Since the Democrats are more consistently committed to the growth of government power, the Republicans are reduced to helpless “me-too’ing,” to inept plagiarism of any program initiated by the Democrats, and to the disgraceful confession implied in their claim that they seek to achieve “the same ends” as the Democrats, but by different means.
    It is precisely those ends (altruism-collectivism-statism) that ought to be rejected. But if neither party chooses to do it, the logic of the events created by their common basic principles will keep dragging them both further and further to the left. If and when the “conservatives” are kicked out of the game altogether, the same conflict will continue between the “liberals” and the avowed socialists; when the socialists win, the conflict will continue between the socialists and the communists; when the communists win, the ultimate goal of altruism will be achieved: universal immolation.
    There is no way to stop or change that process except at the root: by a change of basic principles.

  58. mdh

    Hilton, did you go to school at the Robert Milnes Academy of Excessive Verbosity? I didn’t even bother reading more than a few sentences of any of your pointless posts.

  59. Jesse

    Tom –

    So, have you actually engaged with Objectivism on the level of ideas, or just with people who claim to be an Objectivist?

    The claim that “it apparently takes years of study to understand” is too vague. Of course it is a long and difficult process to fully understand and integrate a comprehensive philosophy (in fact, it is something which can always be improved), but the basics of Objectivism can be explained rather quickly and simply.

  60. mdh

    @65 – “Her “Objectivists” are some of the nastiest warmongering people I’ve ever been exposed to.”

    I have to agree, based on the responses from randroids in this thread! :)

    I’ve yet to see an intelligent critique of my work without ad hominem attacks thrown in by any of the randroids.

  61. Jesse

    Hahahahaha. mdh, what exactly would you like us to critique? The lack of argument? Like I stated previously, for one of your major points you presented no evidence, I presume it was because the point you were making about Rand (that she hated the “workers”) is actually just a non sequitur.

  62. mdh

    Jesse, have you read Atlas Shrugged? The whole plot of the books is that workers are a bunch of filthy, feeble-minded, unwashed masses, and that the glorious non-productive classes ought to be worshipped by them.

  63. Hilton

    @mdh – “I didn’t even bother reading more than a few sentences of any of your pointless posts.”

    It’s painfully obvious you havent bothered to read much else either and

    &mdh-“I’ve yet to see an intelligent critique of my work without ad hominem attacks thrown in by any of the randroids.”

    I have refuted all your lies by posting the exact statements from Rand herself in regards to the specific little smears you’ve concocted…what further defense is warranted against blatant lying? Be fair Matt…your work is no more than a string of lies strung together by distortions…no defense is even possible

  64. Jesse

    Yes, I have read Atlas Shrugged multiple times and I think you may have been reading Dickens instead.

    First, there are several characters in the story (and in the Fountainhead) who are not one of the heroes but who are described as being moral because of their work ethic and personal pride (e.g., among others, Red in Fountainhead, and Eddie Willers in Atlas)

    Second, are you making the claim that Rearden, Dagny, Francisco, Galt, etc. are non-productive, or that they represent the people in society who are non-productive? If so I think you might want to reconsider the party you are in and just straight up join the Marxists.

  65. Hilton

    @libertariangirl – “Hilton , same goes for me , way too long to keep me interested”

    Yep, to understand these ideas takes a bit more than the attention span of a fruit fly. You’re way late for your Ritulin smoothie already.

  66. mdh

    @73 – Your ad hominem attacks are fruitless. There is no lie in my essay, and the direct quotes from Rand herself back up my assertions. Would you claim that Rand did not hate the LP? That she did not support Nixon? That she was not a statist? That she ldid not dislike anarchists? That she did not place little or no value on the productive classes of society?

    I see no refutation, I see only Rand’s own words standing up for my point of view. As a typical randroid, you continue to fall back to ad-hominem attacks against me rather than anything even remotely resembling intelligent discourse.

  67. Jesse

    ONCE AGAIN, could you please define the “productive classes”. You keep throwing that phrase around as if it is magic. You seriously sound like a Marxist.

  68. mdh

    @77 – I’d say Rand sounds more like someone influenced by Marx’s writings. Atlas Shrugged is a tale of one social class basically enacting a revolution against another or other such class(es). That’s Marxist theory 101.

    I’m defining productive classes as people who actually do useful things on a regular basis, rather than people who simply have useful things (such as currency.) Ideas are cute, but those who implement them are being more productive than those who simply sit back and have them.

  69. tab

    Matt,

    Just to one up you on the responses, I’m going to write an opinion piece titled “Why I loathe anarchists and you should too.”

  70. Hilton

    @ Jesse – “mdh – Atlas Shrugged is a tale of one social class basically enacting a revolution against another or other such class(es). That’s Marxist theory 101.”

    You’re right..he has been reading Dickens. Someone obviously played a trick on him :)

  71. Jesse

    mdh, you make me laugh. Someday I will look back fondly on the anger you tried to provoke in me. I forgive you for so blatantly misrepresenting reality.

  72. libertariangirl

    Hilton // Jun 30, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    @libertariangirl – “Hilton , same goes for me , way too long to keep me interested”

    Yep, to understand these ideas takes a bit more than the attention span of a fruit fly. You’re way late for your Ritulin smoothie already.

    me__ oh no you didnt…

    listen before you go jack off on your autographed copy of Anthem , think about this

    anyone can cut and paste , that dont make it worth reading

    secondly , i didnt get to be a libertarian by reading a flippin book and sitting on my ass being a philosopher.
    I am the most un-read Libertarian in the party and I make no apologies, when i got here i hadnt read one ayn Rand book .
    Since then , ive read ‘we the living ‘ and i liked it. its short.

    Im what you call a Live-r-tarian . Meaning , I got here by living free now and hoping unjust laws dont catch up to me . when i found the LP , I understood litttle but i knew it was truth.

    all this anarchist vs minarchist , Rand or not is philisophical , couldnt- care- less , dribble for me .

  73. Erik Geib

    Unless the anarchist doesn’t vote, there’s a good chance he/she has, at some point or another, settled for a “lesser evil,” as even LP (and other) candidates don’t ever pefectly conform to their vision of anarchy. That being said, don’t we all vote for a lesser evil at some point?

    Unless, of course, one doesn’t vote… at which point their personal electoral strategy doesn’t matter anyway.

    The real change that needs to occur in this country is much more likely to begin from outside the system. Though, of course, we can all hope it may still come from within if we ever get a chance.

    “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”
    -Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

  74. Hilton

    @libertariangirl – “Im what you call a Live-r-tarian . Meaning , I got here by living free now and hoping unjust laws dont catch up to me”

    Silly me…I assumed you understood the importance of understanding ideas in fighting these unjust laws.

    Did I say Ass-U-Me.., Dratt, I forgot..assume makes and Ass out of U and Me

    Oh…babysteps. Back to the sandbox now … way too much info for one session allready.

  75. libertariangirl

    LOL , how typical ,

    i understand the importance of fighting unjust laws , that how i got here silly

    i just dont think the intricacies of what libertarian philosophy you adhere to matters all that much

    i give props to those wiling to do the actual work of fighting those unjust laws , minarchist and anarchist alike.

    so , your a philosopher ? well go read a book , contemplate ideas and leave the doing to the real patriots.

  76. libertariangirl

    folks don-cha-know , you gotta know Rand to fight unjust laws …lol

    all libertarianism spews forth from her works …lol

  77. Westmiller

    Thomas Knapp @45
    “[Rand said] anarchism couldn’t work because [stomp foot] she had announced that it wouldn’t work, even though the plot of Atlas Shrugged had depended on it working.”

    1. I’ll grant that she didn’t offer a comprehensive analysis and response to Roy Childs, but her article wasn’t merely a “foot stomp.” (Some day I’ll write a full refutation of Childs, although he reportedly abandoned his own anarchy and isn’t around to defend it in any case.)

    2. Galt’s Gulch wasn’t an “anarchist society”, it was a secure retreat. The governance of the Gulch wasn’t described, nor defended, but that would have been superfluous to her theme.

    Contrary to Matt’s assertion, Rand didn’t “hate anarchists,” she simply thought that anarchist ideas were dissociated from reality.

    BTW: A very good dissection of anarchist ideas was offered by John Hospers, in an appendix to his book “Libertarianism.” I think his argument leaves something to be desired, but I’m not going to review it here, now.

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bill,

    Anarchism is implicit in every sentence of Atlas Shrugged — most especially in the character of Ragnar Danneskjold, who, on his own moral authority, creates a private navy absent any governmental sponsorship whatsoever and goes out to make war on the state.

    Rand’s advocacy of government contradicts every moral claim she makes elsewhere in her philosophy. In Francisco D’Anconia’s speech on money, he makes the same point in many different ways, but most concisely:

    “Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders.”

    The “deal” the state offers is: It dictates, you obey, “unforced judgment” not required. Rand attempts to get around this by envisioning a government which only forces judgments she deems, ex cathedra and sans evidence, “objective” — in other words, a kind of government which has never, ever, ever existed on Earth and which the evidence indicates never can be.

    She also had to completely re-define the meaning of, and re-write the history of, “capitalism” in order to make her philosophy accommodate it, which makes for a good chuckle over her words to Hospers: “If you who, to my knowledge, are one of the most rational minds in modern philosophy, do not choose to identify the nature and the actual working of capitalism …” That phrase describes her to a tee.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    tk, I agree that Rand’s “vision” can most likely never be. I’d suggest that Rothbard’s vision also most likely cannot be. They were both to be applauded as the intellectual shock troops who challenged the marked break in the trajectory of the State’s control over the people.

    They both made some large mistakes in developing counter-constructs to the statist constructs that emerged and were implemented in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostly, I’d suggest the BIGGEST mistakes the Rs made was that constructs could be applied in literal, precise ways. They both overlooked (rejected?) Hayek’s critique of constructivism of ANY kind.

    It seems important that the L movement begin to recognize the Rs overstated overreactions. I’d suggest the theoretical asymptotic anarchist/applied lessarchist approach as a means to repoint L thought and activism in more effective direction.

  80. FYI

    It was no secret Rand disliked the LP. So do a decent number of movement libertarians. And “workers” are not the most productive segment of the workforce. Ayn Rand was a huge supporter of the entrepreneur, and not in favor of an oppressive “authoritarian state.” She was, however, skeptical of the alleged moral supremacy of democracy.

    Fact, fact (which you admitted), fact, fact, fact, and fact. Get yours straight.

  81. mdh

    @94 – Rothbard’s vision was inconsistent. He generally changed opinions on things as often as Paulie changes shirts.

  82. Stewart Flood

    Paulie wore at least two different shirts this weekend. I am quite certain that the shirt he was wearing on Sunday was not the same one he was wearing at the convention on Saturday.

    He and Andy also had Hooters girls all over them Sunday evening. I know that there’s a photo floating around somewhere…

  83. libertariangirl

    the funny part is when P wears his Belushi shirt , how often people ask if its him

  84. mdh

    And it totally is him.

    Apparently there are hundreds of Belushi shirts, though I have still never seen more than one at the same place at the same time.

    I propose Citizens for Belushi Shirt Truth.
    You can call us truthers.

  85. Stewart Flood

    It was taken on Andy’s cell phone. We had dinner at Hooters Sunday evening. I headed back to Charleston and I believe that they were going back to West Virginia. They may still be in-transit.

  86. JT

    MDH: “Jesse, have you read Atlas Shrugged? The whole plot of the books is that workers are a bunch of filthy, feeble-minded, unwashed masses, and that the glorious non-productive classes ought to be worshipped by them.”

    Obviously, you haven’t read it. Or maybe you did, but you’re terrible at comprehension.

    Either way, AS is about a society in which the most productive creators are demonized and branded as immoral by those who depend on their lives and work. When those producers finally go on strike, the economic system crumbles. Your summary bears no resemblance to what is actually depicted in the book.

  87. Andy

    “Apparently there are hundreds of Belushi shirts, though I have still never seen more than one at the same place at the same time.”

    Paul worked a job that is similiar to petitioning back in 2003 where you sign people up for credit cards. As an enticement to get people to sign up, you can give them free gifts. One of the free gifts was the t-shirts with a picture of John Belushi from the movie “Animal House” and the word College written on it. Paul had a whole box of the shirts left over from that job and he’s been wearing those shirts ever since. The shirts actually go over well with a lot of people, particularly college students, but sometimes just people who are fans of the “Animal House” movie. I’ve actually witnessed a few people go up to Paul and offer to purchase a Belushi shirt right off of his back.

    I was at Paul’s parents’ house and saw the box that stores the Belushi shirts that he hasn’t worn back in 2006 and we counted them and at the time he had 97 of them in that box.

  88. Andy

    “Stewart Flood // Jul 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    It was taken on Andy’s cell phone. We had dinner at Hooters Sunday evening. I headed back to Charleston and I believe that they were going back to West Virginia. They may still be in-transit.”

    I will try to post it if I can get it from the phone to a computer. I’m not sure where the cord is.

  89. Michael Seebeck

    The pile of steaming whatever being put forth on all sides here clearly reminds me why the only thing of Rand’s that I have ever read and ever will read is her gravestone, which was done while burying my dearly beloved grandmother in the family plot in New York.

    It is far, far easier to stay out of this one, because one’s understanding of Rand, or not, doesn’t do a damn thing to practically advance liberty in the real world. It’s great thing to advance arguments, though.

    We now return you to your regularly-scheduled waste of electrons…

  90. Westmiller

    Thomas L. Knapp @91
    ” Anarchism is implicit in every sentence of Atlas Shrugged … Rand’s advocacy of government contradicts every moral claim she makes elsewhere in her philosophy.”

    Not at all. She rails against a *statist* government that persistently infringes on individual rights, but her “Nature” essay makes it perfectly clear that government is both a necessary and *potentially* beneficial aspect of social intercourse. A rational person will chose to live in a society governed by rational institutions.

    You’ve taken Rand’s moral prescription of non-initiation as a preclusion of the option to consent to objective laws that she believes (I think correctly) are required to secure individual rights and establish justice in society.

    You *can* retreat from society if you please, but if you want the real benefits of living in a free society, you are obliged to delegate your own use of force to objective (impartial) review.

    “The ‘deal’ the state offers is: It dictates, you obey …”

    Not in her conception. If the state dictates violations of individual rights, it should be opposed. That is what most of her fiction advises: oppose collective tyranny and coerced sacrifice. If that isn’t possible, then find a desert island or remote gulch to preserve your rights. In the meantime, do what’s possible.

    ” … in other words, a kind of government which has never, ever, ever existed on Earth and which the evidence indicates never can be.”

    The Declaration and Constitution advocate a kind of government which had “never, ever existed on earth” prior to that time. Whether or not such an institution can survive is dependent on the dominant philosophical premises of the society. Which is why she argued that political action if fruitless in the absence of basic liberty principles.

    You can certainly be pessimistic about the prospects for such a society. I’m pessimistic in the short term, but I’m also confident of the truth and merits of the liberty argument. How long it will take for those ideals to become common is anyone’s guess.

  91. Robert Capozzi

    ms, this seems to be a recurring theme of yours:

    “We now return you to your regularly-scheduled waste of electrons…”

    As I’ve been trained by Austrian economists, this seems like a strange notion to me. How we as individuals “waste” our electrons is our business, yes?

    Perhaps you can publish the Seebeck Guide to Productive Electron Usage. Or, at least, elaborate on what your view is….

  92. mdh

    “If the state dictates violations of individual rights, it should be opposed. ”

    Then any state should be opposed, since no state can exist without support and funding, and no state can fund itself without initiating force against its citizenry either
    A> to tax them to finance its own existence; ro
    B> to enforce its monopoly on certain industries, be they military, justice, etc.

    These are the two characteristics which really set a government apart from Joe’s Auto Repair. To have them is to initiate force. To not have them is to no longer be a government.

  93. tab

    “It is far, far easier to stay out of this one, because one’s understanding of Rand, or not, doesn’t do a damn thing to practically advance liberty in the real world.”

    Michael,

    Completely agree. Arguments of theory are always fun, but don’t really do anything in reality.

  94. Jesse

    Michael and Tab,

    Where did you come to your current views on liberty? I’m assuming it was through theoretical argument, not magical intuition. So please don’t make me gag with this stupid theory/practice dichotomy.

  95. Westmiller

    mdh @110
    “… no state can fund itself without initiating force against its citizenry … ”

    Not necessarily. Among other things (lottery), Rand suggested a voluntary insurance fee on contracts, which would be a free choice of the parties and simply insures court enforcement of the contract provisions.

    “B> to enforce its monopoly on certain industries, be they military, justice, etc.”

    Justice is not a thing to be bought and sold for the highest price. It requires a methodology for establishing the objective *truth* of the matter, in terms of individual rights, not an advantage to be acquired by whichever party wields the greatest economic or physical power.

    That’s why Rand flatly rejected “competition” in establishing just deserts. In her view, the merit of the case is *not* decided by the accumulation of the greatest power, but by an objective (disinterested parties – ie: jury) review of the facts of the matter and the nature of the violation of individual rights (intentional, accidental, or simple misunderstanding).

    The argument you offer just parrots Roy Child’s propositions, which are either a misrepresentation or a misunderstanding of Rand’s expressed positions.

  96. paulie Post author

    @94 – Rothbard’s vision was inconsistent. He generally changed opinions on things as often as Paulie changes shirts.

    That would be pretty much every day

  97. paulie Post author

    Paulie wore at least two different shirts this weekend. I am quite certain that the shirt he was wearing on Sunday was not the same one he was wearing at the convention on Saturday.

    Correct, I had two on the way from WV to Alabama and back because I was supposed to be back in WV Monday morning but I am still actually only in SC Tennessee (Lewisburg). Due to Andy wanted me to see Christy and it is taking way longer than it should. However the two shirts got washed, plus Andy gave away one of his that he never wore because it was taking so long, and Christy helped me pick out 8 or 9 more here. I got a couple dozen or so in WV and probably over 100 in Alabama.

  98. paulie Post author

    Apparently there are hundreds of Belushi shirts, though I have still never seen more than one at the same place at the same time.

    Not hundreds any more, but probably still close to a hundred. Including a whole suitcasefull in Morgantown. I’ll show you where the dopplegangers are buried.

  99. paulie Post author

    The pile of steaming whatever being put forth on all sides here clearly reminds me why the only thing of Rand’s that I have ever read and ever will read is her gravestone, which was done while burying my dearly beloved grandmother in the family plot in New York.

    It is far, far easier to stay out of this one, because one’s understanding of Rand, or not, doesn’t do a damn thing to practically advance liberty in the real world. It’s great thing to advance arguments, though.

    coincidentally:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lpa-activists/

    Description

    LPA-activists is a list for planning and assessment of Libertarian Party events and strategies in Alabama. Topics such as “Good ideas for fundraising”, “Suggestions for campaign stop between Mobile and Jasper next Saturday”, and “Need six charcoal grills, four trestle tables and twelve volunteers for campaign event” would definitely be ON TOPIC, whereas topics such as “Religion [non-religion] necessary for a free society”, “Marx was right”, and “Objectivism is [isn’t] a crock” would be OFF TOPIC.

  100. paulie Post author

    you are obliged to delegate your own use of force to objective (impartial) review.

    Except that such a thing is no more possible than an objectively correct point on the surface of a globe. All points on a globe are equally “correct,” just as all viewpoints of what is just.

    Anarchy is the only solution and subjectivism is the only reality: everything is in the eye of the beholder; the observer creates, reflects, shapes and changes the observed by the process of observing.

  101. paulie Post author

    The Declaration and Constitution advocate a kind of government which had “never, ever existed on earth” prior to that time.

    Or during, or since.

  102. paulie Post author

    “If the state dictates violations of individual rights, it should be opposed. ”

    Then any state should be opposed, since no state can exist without support and funding, and no state can fund itself without initiating force against its citizenry either
    A> to tax them to finance its own existence; ro
    B> to enforce its monopoly on certain industries, be they military, justice, etc.

    These are the two characteristics which really set a government apart from Joe’s Auto Repair. To have them is to initiate force. To not have them is to no longer be a government.

    Exactly!

  103. mdh

    I need four 8 foot ropes (hemp preferably), a burlap sack, some handkerchiefs, four large bottles of bleach, a large male (unfixed) dog, a bull whip, 18 large jars of mayonnaise, and a female volunteer for next week’s LPWV camping trip in the back woods of West Virginia.

  104. paulie Post author

    mdh @110
    “… no state can fund itself without initiating force against its citizenry … ”

    Not necessarily. Among other things (lottery), Rand suggested a voluntary insurance fee on contracts, which would be a free choice of the parties and simply insures court enforcement of the contract provisions.

    What if someone sets up a competing court – how have they violated anyone’s rights? If they haven’t, how do we call that a government in the modern sense?

  105. paulie Post author

    the merit of the case is *not* decided by the accumulation of the greatest power, but by an objective (disinterested parties – ie: jury) review of the facts of the matter and the nature of the violation of individual rights (intentional, accidental, or simple misunderstanding)

    None of those things are objective, as anyone who has been on a jury or observed one already knows.

  106. Westmiller

    paulie @121
    “… Anarchy is the only solution and subjectivism is the only reality …”

    When you and Jonathan Livingston Seagull get done flying through rocks in Somalia, send me something more informative than specious dictates, which (by your philosophy) can’t possibly be true.

  107. Jesse

    Wow. I had missed the completely silly freshman philosophy rant on “subjectivism” @121.

    “the observer creates, reflects, shapes and changes the observed by the process of observing.”

    Hey Paulie, are you also suggesting that the observed doesn’t have a particular identity? Surprise, surprise, a “Libertarian” whips out Kant in an attempt to justify his personal whims.

  108. Susan Hogarth

    It’s very disappointing to me to see a state chair using the front page of the state party’s website to stir the pot in such a fashion. This sort of discourse belongs more in internal newsletters than on a primary outreach organ, in my opinion.

    And I think it’s better if the Chair of an organization doesn’t spend an inordinate amount of time frothing at the mouth at potential donors and supporters.

    But I have been heavily influenced by the very ‘stay-above-the-fray’ Chair style of Barbara Howe in NC. Barbara has the great gift of making everyone think he’s said something clever that she agrees with, without at all seeming to pander. After years of study, I still have no idea how she does it (obviously:)

    As for Rand, I consider her of some interest, and I believe you have misinterpreted her view of labor and laborers – in fact, I sense more hostility in you toward ‘management’ than I ever have in Rand toward ‘labor’.

    Lastly, I can’t resist a style critique: you write “a myriad of other novels and shorts” – when in fact Rand was actually not a very prolific fiction writer.

  109. Susan Hogarth

    “Anarchy is the only solution and subjectivism is the only reality: everything is in the eye of the beholder; the observer creates, reflects, shapes and changes the observed by the process of observing.”

    What does he create *from*?

  110. libertariangirl

    Matt , you put that on your party website?
    oh geez , i thought it was just a blog post you were circulating.

    I have to agree with susan on that , no reason to maybe piss off people that might give you money or time …

  111. Michael Seebeck

    Crap-ozzi @109: The “Seebeck Guide to Productive Electron Usage” indicates that anything you post is not productive. But that’s beyond old news.

    BTW, no such guide exists anywhere except in your mind. You seem to have an obsessive-compulsive disorder about me and need mental help. That puts you in the same category of Milnes and Trotskyite and past arrivals Itch and Yank.

    Jesse @112, since you asked:

    I arrived at my libertariansim not from reading a bunch of books on libertarian theory or such. I have some of them, but haven’t read most of them. I arrived at it from a combination of street-level politics and the observation of heavy-handed police state tactics applied to people around me. I saw injustice perpetuated by the state, and I was taught (in a public school, at that!) that ALL of the Constitution meant something. The icing on the cake was when I discovered alternate religions and got a different dose of authoritarianism from the comparison, as well as a dose of what could best be described as religious libertarianism.

    I tend to describe it when asked (which isn’t often) as street-libertarianism with a very strong constitutionalist and individualist bent. As a result I tend to be action-oriented instead philosophically-oriented, and I consider the philosophical arguments to be the equivalent of perpetually rehashing the question, “How many libertarians can dance on the head of a pin?” I’m comfortable in my own libertarianism that I see no reason for me to go there, and consider doing so a waste of time.

  112. Trent Hill

    ““… Anarchy is the only solution and subjectivism is the only reality …””

    In what world does it make sense to say “subjectivism is the only reality”–isnt that an objective belief? and one that you’re imposing on the rest of us by virtue of that statement? lol.

  113. Trent Hill

    “Hey Paulie, are you also suggesting that the observed doesn’t have a particular identity? Surprise, surprise, a “Libertarian” whips out Kant in an attempt to justify his personal whims.”

    Jesse is confused. Kant was not a subjectivist.

  114. mdh

    Rand declared the party to be her enemy. Thus, it seems only fair that the party ought then do the same. If you wish to criticize the party for attacking Rand, then perhaps you should also go criticize Rand for attacking the party.

    Make no mistake about it – Ayn Rand was and is an enemy of the Libertarian Party by her own words.

  115. Robert Capozzi

    ms 133, I assure you that my only interest in responding to your posts is to advance the cause of intra-L civility. Yours seem pronouncedly hostile, so, yes, I do challenge your words.

    That you are now referring to me as “Crap-ozzi” — a term I’ve not heard since I was perhaps 12 — seems indicative of a hostile mind, one that doesn’t wish to engage in a meaningful conversation.

    Good luck with that approach.

  116. John Famularo

    Susan Hogarth wrote.
    “This sort of discourse belongs more in internal newsletters than on a primary outreach organ, in my opinion.”

    Up front is exactly where it should be. Potential recruits and donors should know exactly what thaey are getting into. Action oriented minarchists and realists should go elsewhere and leve the LP to the Anarchists and other assorted wingnuts.

  117. mdh

    I sometimes wonder if libertarians aren’t somehow predisposed to internecine strife. It seems that welcoming and even idolizing your foes (Rand being one of them) is a self-destructive behavior, yet I see countless examples of libertarians and even the LP doing such things.

  118. mdh

    @138 – I would posit that there’s no such thing as a minarchist realist. Minarchists haven’t yet taken the libertarian philosophy to its natural conclusion and therefore I don’t think that they can yet call themselves realists, holding on to the hope that Good Government can still exist despite millennia of evidence directly in contradiction to that notion and absolutely zero evidence in support of it.

  119. tab

    “holding on to the hope that Good Government can still exist despite millennia of evidence directly in contradiction to that notion and absolutely zero evidence in support of it.”

    On the flip side, I would say there is no such thing as a anarchist realist. Holding on to the hope that an anarchist state will ever exist for an extended period of time, despite millenia of evidence to the contrary, is quite unrealistic.

  120. mdh

    Both of our points are equally valid, Tad. The problem is that what we’re stuck with now Really Sucks. :P

  121. mdh

    If every government were run by a bunch of Ron Paul clones, I’d probably be going about my business and not caring much about politics or advocating anarchism, to be honest. That’s not to say that I’m not, at this time, a strict adherent to the non-aggression principle. If that had been the case though, I probably never would’ve felt compelled to get into any of this stuff.

  122. John Famularo

    Minarchy is not an end product but a process. It is the process of developing the smallest, least intrusive, least expensive, most decentralized government structure that simultaneously secures the individual rights to life, liberty and property to a level where the citizens can enjoy the highest quality of life.

    The founding fathers got off to a good, not perfect, start with their constitutional, democratic republic. Like the original Univac I, the American political experiment had all the necessary components but could be vastly improved as was the computer and information technology. Just like it is silly to not use computers or information services because they are not the best they could possibly be, it is silly not to participate in minimizing government because it is not as small as you would like it to be.

    Why is some “government” necessary? Some agency must be the final arbiter when there are disputes between individuals concerning the title to property, violations of expressed contracts, and violations of implied contracts such as the ‘disruption of quiet enjoyment

    In my view of a minimum “government” structure there would be no compulsory taxes, nor compulsory service. All “government” services would be on a fee for service basis. Basic “citizenship” fee would provide the right to vote and basic personal protection. Protection of property and contract dispute fees would be pro rated according to the value of the property or contract amount.

    Anarchists could exist within the system individually or in groups as they saw fit. If they didn’t want to pay any service fees, they just would not get any services. If they stayed within Anarchist County they could do what ever they wanted. If they “visited” other counties for tourism or commerce, they would have to pay a visa fee if they wanted basic protection. This probably would be paid by their host or business client.

  123. mdh

    “In my view of a minimum “government” structure there would be no compulsory taxes, nor compulsory service. All “government” services would be on a fee for service basis. Basic “citizenship” fee would provide the right to vote and basic personal protection. Protection of property and contract dispute fees would be pro rated according to the value of the property or contract amount.”

    So what if I choose to form a competing “government” which provides these services better for a lower fee? Would your government have the right to shut me down and take away my rights?

    If not, then how is it a government at all? At that point, it’s an anarchist system in which free individuals and corporations compete to provide services that people want.

    If it does, then it is a hostile aggressive force which initiates aggression in order to further its own ends and existence.

  124. libertariangirl

    Matt_Action oriented minarchists and realists should go elsewhere and leve the LP to the Anarchists and other assorted wingnuts.

    me__ i dont agree , that sounds as bad as when the minarchists say the LP should rid itself of the crazy anarchists if they are ever to be taken seriously.

    this constant need for both sides to claim who is and who isnt a Libertarian is an exercise in arrogance . ( no offense Matt , you know I like you alot!)

    and while an Anarchist society (?) may be the utopian goal , that wont happen in one fail swoop , we will only get there ( if we ever do , it may just be an ideal) , by steps of minarchy.

    i hope that makes sense , i am not the best versed in all the different type-casts of libertarianism:)

  125. Eric Sundwall

    Mr. Famularo – beware your original design references. The Univac I was stolen merchandise;
    http://www.thocp.net/hardware/abc.html,
    just like the Declaration of Independence. There are plenty of points that one can diverge from the Lockean thinking that permeated the ‘Enlightenment’, especially in modern political theory and practice.

  126. John Famularo

    libertariangirl wrote,
    “while an Anarchist society (?) may be the utopian goal , that wont happen in one fail swoop , we will only get there ( if we ever do , it may just be an ideal) , by steps of minarchy.”

    Exactly! Reducing the size and scope of “government” is a political process, which is best performed by a political party.

    Preaching a new philosophy of life is best performed by a non-political organization.

  127. Erik Geib

    I still maintain this is kicking dirt in peoples’ eyes. What, are we to now turn our backs on all of Rothbard’s ideas because he foolishly chose to support Pat Buchanan once and many found his religious views diagreeable? Are we to say, “I loathe Rothbard and you should too” just because some of his ideas/conclusions were disagreeable? Are we to do the same with the ideas of Hayek, Mises, etc.

    This is all so silly.

    It is especially silly for some in this debate to start throwing rocks at each other over anarchy v. minarchy when our numbers are small enough. As I’ve said before, undoubtedly anyone who votes has, at some point, voted for a ‘lesser evil’ to some degree, as that’s what even most LP candidates are.

    I agree with the many incrementalists on here who state that whatever the end end result is supposed to be, minarchist steps are the best shot at getting there *within* the system. Anarchists are better off advocating change from the outside and advancing their theories and debate than fighting people who, ultimately, are trying to lead them down a better path than what currently exists.

    This all ties in to the fundamental debate over what the LP should even be. Anarchists tend to favor it being a principled defender of ideas, but this offers little chance at winning an election in our system, and it seems to me we’d be much better off creating a different (sister?) organization if that is the goal. I would have no problem with the anarchists even having their own party for presidential candidates, so long as they said they’d at least try and not split the liberty vote in more localized elections. A lot of this sniping appears, at least to me, to be petty grumbling over the use of the word ‘libertarian’ than actual debate. If the minarchists called themselves something else and the party were called something like the ‘Freedom Party,’ I feel like there would be less debate. Then again, I could be wrong.

    If it’s a debate over titles/labels, maybe it’s the minarchists who need to form a new party… who knows.

  128. libertariangirl

    my bad ,t hat wasnt Matt who said that , It was John F .
    sorry Matt when reading all the posts after a break sleeping it can get confusing:)

  129. libertariangirl

    sorry Matt , you can spank me for be a bad girl…
    i read too fast , pay not enuf attention:) obviously

  130. libertariangirl

    I misinterpreted John F. post::

    Up front is exactly where it should be. Potential recruits and donors should know exactly what thaey are getting into. Action oriented minarchists and realists should go elsewhere and leve the LP to the Anarchists and other assorted wingnuts.\

    while we agree that minarchy is the best way to acheive political success and anarchy is more of a philisophical ideal , i do not agree that the minarchists need to start theyre own party .
    our numbers are small enuf , we need to find a way to work together.

  131. Erik Geib

    @154 / libertariangirl:

    I agree that our numbers are ‘small enough’ as is, but I also think party growth is difficult if anarchists insist on browbeating minarchy-leaners with lectures and/or articles like this one. A truly principled anarchist likely doesn’t vote, so the political strategy of minarchists should be of little concern. Most of the growth of the party will likely come from minarchists, but the anarchists are the ones providing the education to start making people consider liberty.

    I also believe (perhaps incorrectly)that John and I are echoing the same point: if the anarchists insist on continually engaging in these debates as a matter of political party (as opposed to political philosophy), it may well be easier for minarchists to form a new organization than fight over the ‘libertarian’ label all the time.

  132. mdh

    Consider Tad and I. We can work together very well when there’s mutual respect. There’re unfortunately a lot of people in the LP as a whole who do not respect fellow freedom-fighters.

    To quote Capozzi, “can’t we all just get along?”

  133. JT

    I hate to break this to you, MDH, but regardless of your own hostility toward Ayn Rand, she has always been and remains to this day the biggest recruiter of people to the libertarian movement, bar none. Ask 100 random Libertarians at an LP convention who first got them here. Then let me know what most of them said.

    Posting a diatribe on a state LP Web site about why you loathe the libertarian movement’s biggest recruiter (whether that’s intentional or not) is…um…not very smart.

  134. mdh

    JT, aside from matching your completely useless assertion (with zero evidence) that Rand is somehow the movement’s biggest recruiter (despite the fact that she endorsed Nixon and hated the LP), my hostility towards Rand is based solely upon her hostility to A> my political ideology, anarchism, and B> her hostility towards my political party, the LP.

    JT, are you even an LP supporter? If so, what have you done for the LP in the past year? I’ll think much more of you if you’re actually a productive member of the party than if you’re just some Republican (such as Westmiller) who supports Rand because she in fact was recruiting voters actively for his party.

  135. mdh

    Honestly, over the past few years, I’d say George W. Bush and Barack Obama have done a lot of recruiting for the libertarian movement, by showing people just how overbearing and evil government can be. Why don’t you go attack everyone in the LP who has lambasted them? :)

  136. Susan Hogarth

    Eric @155 I missed some of the preceding discussion, but I just wanted to respond to this:

    I also believe (perhaps incorrectly)that John and I are echoing the same point: if the anarchists insist on continually engaging in these debates as a matter of political party (as opposed to political philosophy), it may well be easier for minarchists to form a new organization than fight over the ‘libertarian’ label all the time.

    What many anarchists inside the Party want is language form the Party that is not inconsistent with anarchism. That’s all!

  137. mdh

    I don’t know any LP anarchists who want the LP to be explicitly an anarchist party. We desire a big tent party.

    What we do want is for the party not to be explicitly anti-anarchist. That does seem to be the goal of many non-anarchists in the party, sadly. :(

  138. Richard Stands

    Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Judean People’s Front?
    Reg: Fuck off!
    Brian: Excuse me?
    Reg: Judean People’s Front. We’re the People’s Front of Judea! Judean People’s Front. Cawk.
    Francis: Wankers.
    Brian: Can I… join your group?
    Reg: No, piss off.
    Brian: I don’t want to sell this stuff, it’s only a job. I hate the Romans as much as anybody.
    Judith: Are you sure?
    Brian: Oh, dead sure. I hate the Romans already.
    Reg: Listen. If you really wanted to join the P.F.J., you’d have to really hate the Romans.
    Brian: I do!
    Reg: Oh, yeah? How much?
    Brian: A lot!
    Reg: Right. You’re in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People’s Front.
    Stan: Yeah, the Judean People’s Front.
    Reg: Yeah. Splitters.
    Stan: And the Popular Front of Judea.
    Reg: Yeah. Splitters.
    Stan: And the People’s Front of Judea.
    Reg: Yea… what?
    Stan: The People’s Front of Judea. Splitters.
    Reg: We’re the People’s Front of Judea!
    Stan: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.
    Reg: People’s Front!
    Francis: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
    Reg: He’s over there. [points to a lone man]
    Reg, Stan, Francis, Judith: SPLITTER!

  139. libertariangirl

    EG_I agree that our numbers are ’small enough’ as is, but I also think party growth is difficult if anarchists insist on browbeating minarchy-leaners with lectures and/or articles like this one.

    me _ thats just it though , the ‘other side ‘ does the same thing . Ive heard plenty of get lost rhetoric aimed at the anarchists as well .
    it comes from both sides and both are equally wrong

  140. Erik Geib

    Susan,

    Is there a particular example you could provide on this?

    Given the fluctuations of a political party platform, how would you feel aboute a ‘statement of principles'(/constitution) that requires a high-percentage majority (say, 67-80%) that the platform is not allowed to contradict? When the Movimiento Libertario was struggling with its future in Costa Rica they proposed something like this, but unfortunately never followed through with it.

  141. Erik Geib

    @163 / LG:

    I would wager there are far more people open to minarchy than anarchy in this country.

    That being said, I don’t have a problem with the idea of anarchy, it’s the anarchists themselves who tend to be troublesome (from my perspective). I think press releases of this nature are not politically savvy, and the defense of them on the grounds of anarchist purity is only more worrisome.
    I’ve been on the record several times in stating that I think anarchy could well be the future end-result of a liberty movement – I just don’t advocate it now (today). At least not in terms of politics within the system.

    I think it’s generally troublesome for politicos and philosophers to try and imitate each other, as politics generally require babysteps and the occasional compromise, wherein philosophy leaves little room for compromise if a given idea is to stand. I view the anarchists as our philosophers – the minarchists as our politicos. I’m more in the middle, with a politico-lean, which, naturally, tends to make my arugments sound more minarchist in nature.

  142. Erik Geib

    @165 / mdh:

    The sort of statement of principles I was suggesting isn’t to be like the original LP statement of principles.

    While I agree something like the Dallas Accord would be favorable to ‘big tent’ inclusion-ism, I was hoping to see a statement like what the PML tried, with statements such as ‘vows never to raise taxes, vows never to violate the right of free association (items like gay marriage), etc.’.

    The ‘proper role of the state’ should be set aside, that much I can agree upon. You’ll never hear me defend the Portland Massacre.

    That being said, as I recall it, there was plenty of anarchist-minarchist sniping before ’06 effectively ended Dallas. It is to that degree that I ask what sort of measures Susan is referring to.

  143. Erik Geib

    I’m less familiar with inter-party structure than I care to admit…

    Do we currently have any sort of protection that stops the platform committee from instituting a platform that goes against our original principle statements, or has the platform just become more of an issue for anarchists since ’06? I don’t understand how this happened without a super-majority, and if there was a super-majority, why the anarchists are around anyway other than to gain the label of ‘libertarian’ back (?).

  144. Susan Hogarth

    Is there a particular example you could provide on this?

    For instance, some Libertarians would like to see the LP endorse the Fair Tax. I do not, because (among other reasons) it involves promoting a government initiation of force. Of course I don’t speak for all anarchists within the LP; only one :)

  145. Susan Hogarth

    Given the fluctuations of a political party platform, how would you feel aboute a ’statement of principles’(/constitution) that requires a high-percentage majority (say, 67-80%) that the platform is not allowed to contradict?

    We do have an SOP that is difficult to amend (fortunately!). But yes, there’s nothing that says the (rest of the) Platform can’t contradict it. I’m not sure exactly how that would work in practice.

  146. libertariangirl

    EG_ I think press releases of this nature are not politically savvy, and the defense of them on the grounds of anarchist purity is only more worrisome.
    I’ve been on the record several times in stating that I think anarchy could well be the future end-result of a liberty movement – I just don’t advocate it now (today). At least not in terms of politics within the system.

    me _ we are in perfect agreement

  147. Susan Hogarth

    While I agree something like the Dallas Accord would be favorable to ‘big tent’ inclusion-ism, I was hoping to see a statement like what the PML tried, with statements such as ‘vows never to raise taxes, vows never to violate the right of free association (items like gay marriage), etc.’.

    Interesting idea – and it might fit in with another suggestion from someone else I’ve been pondering.

    That being said, as I recall it, there was plenty of anarchist-minarchist sniping before ‘06 effectively ended Dallas. It is to that degree that I ask what sort of measures Susan is referring to.

    Did I refer to ‘measures’?

  148. John Famularo

    “it may well be easier for minarchists to form a new organization than fight over the ‘libertarian’ label all the time.”

    That is probably what will happen. It was a mistake from the beginning to name a party for a philosophy. Especially a philosphy whose adherents differed over the exact definition of that philosophy.

  149. Erik Geib

    Susan,

    The PML motion was supposed to ensure purity of principle, in that any PML member in office would have to give up his pay to the PML if they violated it. I believe they also discussed the idea of a constitutional panel that could rule portions of a platform null in void if they contradicted the statement of principles, though I may be confusing that with a theoretical argument I once read elsewhere.

    ‘Measures’ was perhaps an improper choice of diction. What I was trying to say was what sort of things would make the anarchists feel appreciated other than restoration of the Dallas Accord, given that there eas minarchist-anarchist tension long before Portland.

  150. Erik Geib

    FairTaxers are fools. One of the more agreeable things Ron Paul has said (and there is much to disagree with) is that we should eliminate the income tax and replace it with nothing. It would roughly bring the government tax base back to where it was in the 1990s, which was still too high.

  151. JT

    MDH “JT, aside from matching your completely useless assertion (with zero evidence) that Rand is somehow the movement’s biggest recruiter (despite the fact that she endorsed Nixon and hated the LP), my hostility towards Rand is based solely upon her hostility to A> my political ideology, anarchism, and B> her hostility towards my political party, the LP.

    JT, are you even an LP supporter? If so, what have you done for the LP in the past year? I’ll think much more of you if you’re actually a productive member of the party than if you’re just some Republican (such as Westmiller) who supports Rand because she in fact was recruiting voters actively for his party.”

    Considering that you asserted in your “essay” with zero evidence that AR advocated “a strict authoritarian state with dictatorial powers”–an assertion that even the most ignorant and vitriolic critics of AR haven’t made–your accusation is pretty laughable.

    That said, my claim was based on dozens of conversations I’ve had with Libertarians over the past decade, when I first joined the LP. How do you think most libertarians came into the movement? By reading Herbert Spencer or Ludwig von Mises? Atlas Shrugged has sold many millions of copies since it was published in 1957–and sales have skyrocketed over the past couple of years. Obviously, Rand’s work has exposed many, many people to the idea of a fully free society, and that a good number of them have then joined the libertarian movement.

    As for my specific activities, I’m not going to get into a pissing match with you online. Suffice it to say that whatever I’ve done, I haven’t done anything to impede people from joining the LP (e.g., posting a sad screed against Ayn Rand, one of the 20th century’s most prominent advocates of free markets, on a state LP Web site).

  152. Michael Seebeck

    @138:

    ms 133, I assure you that my only interest in responding to your posts is to advance the cause of intra-L civility. Yours seem pronouncedly hostile, so, yes, I do challenge your words.

    Considering A) you started the name referring, B) All you do on here is argue with people, and C) you offer nothing constructive, you reap what you sow. Don’t like it? Tough s**t.

    You want civility, get a dog. This is politics, not Kumbaya around a campfire. You should have realized a LONG time ago the whole Rodney King caucus baloney is impossible, unless you’re the biggest wuss in the multiverse. The answer to “Can’t we all just get along” always has been and always will be “NO”, due to the violent and self-interest nature of people. Had you ever realized that instead of perpetually tilting at that windmill, then you would truly understand why governments, and therefore politics, exist.

    That you are now referring to me as “Crap-ozzi” — a term I’ve not heard since I was perhaps 12 — seems indicative of a hostile mind, one that doesn’t wish to engage in a meaningful conversation.

    Good luck with that approach.

    I do engage in meaningful conversation, but in your case the conversation isn’t meaningful. Never was, either. You could do us all a favor and realize that like Milnes and Trotskyist, you are viewed as a joke around here. Frankly, the best thing you can do AFAIC is STFU.

    My mind is not hostile either, just impatient with fools, who I do not suffer, including you. For you to try to read my mind, a skill that nobody in the multiverse has mastered except partially my wife , just illustrates how foolish you are. Besides, if you could read it, you’d run away screaming as fast as your legs could carry you. There’s stuff you can’t handle in there.

  153. robert capozzi

    eg168, the Platcom can only make suggestions. The party adopts planks in convention.

    I never heard about the “Dallas Accord” until recent years. It was not a formal thing, and it certainly is not perpetual.

    Portland was where most of the old, vestigial Platform was stricken. Denver is where the streamlined Platform was adopted, fyi.

  154. libertariangirl

    Seebeck , Capozzi is NOTHING like Milnes or Trotskyist . And everyone here does not think he’s a joke , just you.
    I dont agree with everyting he says but I quite agree n some things .

    Its funny he makes you so mad.

  155. libertariangirl

    and for someone who clamis to be of a certain spirituality , you sure dont seem to practice it so much .

    all that negativity you spew will come back to you 3fold.

    and so it is

    bless3d be

  156. mdh

    First off, I think Mike S is a great activist who does great work.

    Secondly, I think that the notion that well all agree all of the time is silly, and that we can all “get along” is idealistic but not realistic.

    Third off, Mike, I think RC is also a reasonably intelligent guy and I personally don’t view him as a joke. While I do believe in private nukes and he does not, I’ve never seen him behave in the way Milnes does (constant begging for personal funds) or CT (going on and on about a joke political philosophy that doesn’t exist.) Capozzi represents a very real segment of the party. One which I disagree with at times, but one which is nonetheless valuable.

    Ayn Rand on the other hand, her work and whoever it may have touched notwithstanding, was never a contributor to the LP in any fashion, endorsed statists and statism, and railed against the LP, stating that it was a moral crime for the LP to run a presidential candidate.

    JT, your anecdotal evidence doesn’t hold up against my own. Oh well. Continue on with your name-calling and rudeness, and that is what you will be judged based upon.

  157. Erik Geib

    @182 / Robert:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression it was at Portland that the LP decided a government was allowed to exist for the protection of rights, and the language didn’t necessarily say this was a short-term or incremental belief. Now, I don’t know if this affected the statement of principles or not, but I could see how if improperly worded it could be seen as an affront to the anarchist wing.

    In regard to the platform committee, though the specifics may have been off, I’m sure you know what I meant. Surely a permanent provision not easilý overturned by a platform at convention, nor contradicted by the platform itself, would be a possible idea to inter-party unity.

    Also, for the record, I certainly don’t view you as a joke and should hope Seebeck could make better use of his time than spending it railing against you. I’m amused at how riled up some people get when others refuse to get drawn into a name-calling match with them. Your contributions to this site of are value to me as well as (undoubtedly) many others.

  158. libertariangirl

    Seebeck is a f%#&ing awesome activist , we need more people who do actual work like him.

    its his inter-personal skills and VERY extreme arrogance that get on my nerves.

    I philisophically agree with Seebeck more , but Robert is nicer , and more mature , and to me he gets the best of Mike , when he goes off like he does

  159. JT

    MDH: “JT, your anecdotal evidence doesn’t hold up against my own. Oh well. Continue on with your name-calling and rudeness, and that is what you will be judged based upon.”

    I very much doubt that you’ve ever informally polled dozens of libs. about which prominent person brought most of them (though clearly not all) into the lib. movement or influenced them toward liberty. Given that the enormous sales of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged totally dwarfs anything written by any other free-market advocate, I don’t even consider the answer debatable.

    Examples of name-calling? I don’t believe I’ve used one slur against you here. But if you wrote that Ayn Rand–who spoke out frequently against taxation, welfare, regulation, the Fed, the Drug War, censorship, quotas, etc.–in fact advocated “a strict authoritarian state with dictatorial powers,” then I have no problem calling you either ignorant or a liar.

  160. JT

    Not to mention, MDH, that you said earlier that the whole plot of Atlas is “that workers are a bunch of filthy, feeble-minded, unwashed masses, and that the glorious non-productive classes ought to be worshipped by them.” That’s the most bizarre interpretation of the book I’ve ever heard (except for the one published in National Review when the novel was first released). Your anger toward AR for denouncing the LP seems to be severely biasing your perceptions.

  161. Erik Geib

    JT,

    As evidence for your argument you could cite Brian Doherty, who many agree is among the better libertarian historians. In Radicals for Capitalism he often mentions that for many libertarians “it all begins/began with Ayn Rand.” This isn’t to say that they follow her arguments to a tee (as Doherty himself is certainly critical of her many personal flaws), but that she did in fact open many eyes.

    Not as many came to the movement from Hazlitt, Mises, and Hayek, etc., despite Read and others’ hopes to the contrary. At least according to Doherty. Ayn opened many eyes, and then others brought in the more reasoned philosophical arguments.

    This is a stupid argument, as either side could claim to be right, but taking a firm stance one way or the other does little to grow the party.

  162. John Famularo

    All activists are not equal. Some are a net negative. Bad activists drive out good activists.

    Nieve activists fall for the scams of the “affinity frauds” such as Michael Cloud, Perry Willis and Harry Browne. An effective political organization must be able to maintain focus on its mission, not cater to every whim and fancy of its membership.

  163. mdh

    I’m sure some would say that it started for me with Rand based solely on the fact that I read AS in high school long before I 3was a libertarian. Really, I’d cr5edit Bush and Kerry for my becoming a libertarian since they provided no good option and I went looking for one. I found the LP.

  164. libertariangirl

    Did anybody but me get here because the overbearing evil empire came crashing down on them and their friends with unjust fascist laws?

    or did everyone get here by reading great books from this philosopher or that one?

    i feel like a whole new breed , and kinda like a square peg when everyone talks about what great author led them to the LP.

    the LP means so much more to me than the manifestation of something i read in a book , when i got here it was like an epiphany validating the distrust of government id felt for some time.

    truth resonates on a whole other level than bullshit.

    im just happy to be here:)

  165. libertariangirl

    I MUST be naive JF , cause the 2nd LP book I ever read was Why Government Doesnt Work , and I liked it , and I liked Harry Browne .

    I quite like Michael Cloud too .

    i must be an idiot! :)

  166. mdh

    I worked for the brutal fist of tyranny and saw thinga that other people here never have and never will know.

  167. Richard Stands

    @172 libertariangirl,

    Richard Stands … did I miss something? i dont get yur post at all

    Apologies for the long apparent non-sequitur.

    It’s a scene from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”. It has become a classic parody for me on issues like these. Small zealous groups arguing amongst each other, focusing on their differences and assuring they remain small groups in the process.

    As one of the zealots myself, I often use this as a reminder to myself to try to put common goals ahead of intolerance of philosophical variance in my compatriots.

    How much philosophical variance does it take to wipe out functional middle ground? Probably a good discussion. If the goal is more individual liberty, then it should probably take more variance than the differences between Librtarianism, Minarchism, Anarchism, and Objectivism before that common ground is gone.

    In any event, I prefer to laugh about it than be upset by it. :-)

  168. Steven R Linnabary

    Did anybody but me get here because the overbearing evil empire came crashing down on them and their friends with unjust fascist laws?

    I, for one, have never read any Ayn Rand. I did see a movie based on one of her books (The Fountainhead), starring Gary Cooper.

    I got here after reading an interview with Milton Friedman where he used the term “libertarian”, which I promptly started using to describe myself. It wasn’t until 3 years later that I found out there was a Libertarian Party, and I voted for that candidate. And it was 6 years after that that the LP became somewhat active in Ohio, and when I joined.

    PEACE

  169. John Famularo

    libertariangirl wrote,
    “I liked Harry Browne … Michael Cloud too . ”

    Con men are good at getting people to like them. They will tell you what you want to hear. How well do you know what they did with the money they raised and what they did to subvert the LP?

  170. libertariangirl

    not much , I have heard things from folks .

    Mainly that HB was in it for the money , and Michael Cloud too , subversion not so much .
    Can you give a 1 -2 paragraph synopsis of explaining that .

    someone on the thread about LPWV fundraising called my dear friend Chris Azzaro , Clouds protege.

    I do have personal knowledge of Azzaro and the LPNevada has never been as good as when he was here . I absolutely loved him .

  171. Erik Geib

    Not that I’m saying I came to libertarianism because of Ayn Rand (because that would certainly be untrue), but I think the point one is trying to make is something like this:

    After a series of oppressive moves by government wherein one found themselves increasingly uncomfortable, along came someone like Ayn Rand (or Ron Paul or whomever) who articulated a well-spoken alternative to the status quo. This opening of the mind eventually led one to many other ideas and authors and arguments, etc., once one embraced the idea they could do more than just not like it. Naturally, not everyone to libertarianism because of one author or moment, but I’d reckon it’s safe to say that many had a moment where they “woke up” or became tired of it all enough. For some it was Ayn Rand, for some it was Rothbard, others Paul, Browne, whomever (yes, I’ve heard someone say Harry Browne, remarkably enough, led them to libertarianism). I’ll take the word of Doherty that Rand led a significant enough number of people to libertarianism (at least those who were able to move past the cult of *only* Rand’s ideas) that for many it “all began with Ayn Rand.”

  172. Steven R Linnabary

    LG, when I first saw Michael Emerling (that was his name back then), I was impressed with him also.

    But later, after watching him in action for several years, I came to see him as sort of an MLM huckster. Without the charm and charisma.

    Personally, I always liked Harry Browne. And I didn’t care if he made a little money off his books. At least he had a libertarian answer for any conceivable question the media might give him! Quite a contrast to the current leading candidate!

    PEACE

  173. libertariangirl

    I had a different experience . I got tired of oppressive government , became an anti-prison anti drug war activist , got on a tv news show , got called a libertarian , stared dumbly , then got asked by the local LP to come speak . I liked the people , i volunteered a little and wound up on an excomm .
    ive been learning ever since …

  174. robert capozzi

    all, thanks for the kind words. respecting colleagues doesn’t mean we’ll always agree. but, without mutual respect, we have nothing.

    eg, I don’t recall any such thing coming out of Portland.

    I’ve called for a St Louis Accord, although I’m not sure that means we need MORE restrictive language in the Bylaws or SOP. I’m not sure what form an accord might take, but no one else saluted.

  175. Westmiller

    @mdh:
    “I’ll think much more of you if you’re actually a productive member of the party than if you’re just some Republican (such as Westmiller) who supports Rand because she in fact was recruiting voters actively for his party.”

    LOL. Since we’re getting into footnotes here, make a note that I was a co-founder of the Canadian Libertarian Party, U.S. National LP Secretary, and California LP Chairman. I decided (for myself) that activism in a major political party would be more productive. There are few organizations more libertarian than the RLC (link on my name).

    BTW: Rand died almost ten years before the RLC was founded.

  176. John Famularo

    libertariangirl wrote,
    “Can you give a …synopsis of [Browne, Willis, Cloud, Dean scandal] ”

    George Phillies wrote a book about it. Melinda Pilsbury Foster and Carol Moore also wrote extensively on it.

    My direct involvement came in 2001 when Browne et al tried to get the LNC to give them control of the fund raising process through the American Liberty Foundation. It was almost a done deal until I presented documented proof that both Browne and Willis had lied to the LNC concerning Willis’ working for Browne prior to his nomination while he was LP Executive director. Willis also used Jack Dean as a front to use LP funds to support Browne’s nomination bids in 1996 and 2000. Besides deceiving the LNC they also filed false FEC reports, which if they had been discovered by the FEC before the three year statute of limitations would have exposed the LNC to civil and/or criminal fines.

  177. libertariangirl

    every single candidate we’ve had , i bet had his allies on the LNC , who probably did questionable things dealing with favoritism .
    hell it happened with Barr , and Dr Paul just last election .

    but how did any of those people or acts damage the libertarian movement or the LP? seems to me those are in-house transgressions between differing cliques anddo little to halt the growth of liberty.

    however , i obviously need to read Phillies book , and I will do that when im finished with my current book.

  178. paulie Post author

    paulie @121
    “… Anarchy is the only solution and subjectivism is the only reality …”

    When you and Jonathan Livingston Seagull get done flying through rocks in Somalia, send me something more informative than specious dictates, which (by your philosophy) can’t possibly be true.

    I didn’t send you any dictates. If you wish to engage in the delusion that there is some objective justice which all juries are in touch with – I guess FIJA is entirely unneccessary, and what of jury selection challenges? – you are not objectively wrong,
    but to many of us it seems patently silly – as if you were saying that your house is THE objectively true location, and all others are false – more so if they are far from yours.

  179. John Famularo

    libertariangirl wrote,
    “how did any of those people or acts damage the libertarian movement or the LP?”

    By driving out good activists and wasting and diverting LP resources.

  180. Susan Hogarth

    I worked for the brutal fist of tyranny and saw thinga that other people here never have and never will know.

    I hate when people trot out this line. It’s ridiculously melodramatic, without being at all informative.

  181. paulie Post author

    Hey Paulie, are you also suggesting that the observed doesn’t have a particular identity?

    I don’t know, that depends on who is observing it.

    Surprise, surprise, a “Libertarian”

    Why the scare quotes?

    whips out Kant

    OK, you got me; not my field of study and I don’t remember 1990s college courses. Kant you explain a little better?

    in an attempt to justify

    No attempt at anything.

  182. paulie Post author

    What does he create *from*?

    Good question. I’m tempted to say from itself, but that would be a bit too solipsistic. What did God create the universe from? Alternatively, how did it create itself out of nothing with no god?

  183. Susan Hogarth

    Eric @175

    ‘Measures’ was perhaps an improper choice of diction. What I was trying to say was what sort of things would make the anarchists feel appreciated other than restoration of the Dallas Accord, given that there eas minarchist-anarchist tension long before Portland.M

    It’s not a question of ‘appreciation’, I think. It’s a question of what we can live with policy-wise. It’s quite possible to write nearly all if not all Libertarian policies and platform planks so that anarchists within the Party AND minarchists can agree. What I see lacking is an attempt to do so.

    For instance, Plank 2.0 of the current platform:

    A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.

    Pretty good. In the third sentence I might change the verb ‘is’ to ‘can be’ to indicate that such a government doesn’t exist and to hint that it never can which is my belief).

    3.0 has problems, though:

    The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.

    The constitution does not in any way *prevent* the infringement of individual rights unless you subscribe to social contract theory. I would change ‘is’ to ‘can be’ in the first sentence, and do something dramatic to the second sentence, up to and including striking it entirely. Possibly something like “Constitutional limitations on government should be constantly strengthened and expanded, to increase the liberty of individuals with respect to government.” First pass; it needs work.

  184. paulie Post author

    I arrived at my libertariansim not from reading a bunch of books on libertarian theory or such. I have some of them, but haven’t read most of them. I arrived at it from a combination of street-level politics and the observation of heavy-handed police state tactics applied to people around me. I saw injustice perpetuated by the state

    Combination of both for me

  185. paulie Post author

    isnt that an objective belief? and one that you’re imposing on the rest of us by virtue of that statement? lol.

    No. See above.

  186. robert capozzi

    eg, was that NEW language in 06, or holdover language?

    I recall there was some new language in 06, although that year was mostly about deleting most of the planks. More planks would have been deleted but for a procedural matter blocked it, and the (embarrassing, IMO) preamble was almost deleted despite the extraordinary 7/8ths requirement.

  187. mdh

    @21i3 – Susan, my actual activitiws are classified and cant be discussed. My point is that I worked for a system which I discov3red in a very first-hand way to be abridging th rights and freedom and privacy of the citizens. That fact mov3d me down th path to pro-liberty thought.

  188. Erik Geib

    Robert,

    http://www.lpedia.org/index.php?title=2004_Libertarian_Party_Platform&redirect=no

    Previously the same section had said the “only justified role of government.” Moreover, a similar passage earlier in the platform (it was quite long, as you recall) read:
    “The appropriate way to suppress crime is the consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights.”

    The ’04 platform (and many others before it) only spoke of what the proper role of *existing* (and that’s the key word)goverments is or could be.

    The change to the text was largely a Milsted/Reformist phenomenon that, as I recall, angered many immensely, as it pronounced in no uncertain terms a proper role for government (current and future).

    The readings I’ve done of the convention suggest the aformentioned passage, in particular, angered many long-term activists, which I believe included David Nolan.

  189. paulie Post author

    Consider Tad and I. We can work together very well when there’s mutual respect. There’re unfortunately a lot of people in the LP as a whole who do not respect fellow freedom-fighters.

    To quote Capozzi, “can’t we all just get along?”

    +1

  190. robert capozzi

    eg, in 06, Milsted and the Reform Caucus were NOT focused on the platform, but rather the pledge. I wasn’t on PlatCom in 06, either.

    We’d need to ask someone who was on it to get a sense of the dynamics of that change.

    People will always squawk about some language they don’t like. I despised the right to any weapon passage that was thankfully deep sixed. I dealt with it…for years!

    Non-asymptotic anarchoLs don’t have veto power in the LP and its documents. They are, and probably always have been, a minority in the party. Welcome? Of course!

  191. paulie Post author

    Did anybody but me get here because the overbearing evil empire came crashing down on them and their friends with unjust fascist laws?

    or did everyone get here by reading great books from this philosopher or that one?

    i feel like a whole new breed , and kinda like a square peg when everyone talks about what great author led them to the LP.

    the LP means so much more to me than the manifestation of something i read in a book , when i got here it was like an epiphany validating the distrust of government id felt for some time.

    truth resonates on a whole other level than bullshit.

    im just happy to be here:)

    I’m with you on that; evil empires (but books too) caused me to rebel.

  192. mdh

    My poin t is just that the patform ansd other official docs should be state-neutral Neither explicitly anarchist nor minarchist nor otherwise

  193. paulie Post author

    I worked for the brutal fist of tyranny and saw thinga that other people here never have and never will know.

    I contracted with them so same here in a way. Also under confidentiality agreement.

  194. robert capozzi

    mdh, I hear you on “State neutral.” While I’m open to that idea personally, that approach tends to make the Platform anarchist, often in anarcho code. It leads to tortured language like “Governments, when instituted….”

    For an L candidate to maintain that plumbline, one needs to speak in ways that those who aren’t steeped in L theories are highly unlikely to not understand.

    In short, State neutral ain’t neutral. It hamstrings non-anarchist Ls in ways many/most of us don’t want.

  195. LibertyDave

    @14 you said this post is about education. I have a couple of questions for you. 1) Who are you trying to educate? and 2) Do you think after reading the responses to the post that you were successful?

    If your trying to educate Rand fans then your using the wrong tone in your post. By attacking their hero you immediately lost any possibility of communication because when you attack you audience they will be thinking about defending there beliefs and wont listen to what else you have to say.

    If you want to educate people then maybe you should quit reading about what your trying to teach and read “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. He may not be a libertarian but he is an expert on selling stuff and we either sell our ideas to skeptical people or we will never succeed in our goal of reducing government.

  196. Catholic Trotskyist

    I am honored to be mentioned in this thread. I am insulted that someone would say that my political philosophy does not exist. the fact that it is now being discussed on a thread that I didn’t even participate in yet, proves that it does exist.

    As for libertarians being prone to internescine strife, as Richard pointed out in the Life of Brian exerpt, socialist parties are even more prone to such strife. At least the Libertarian Party has, BTP notwithstanding, managed to stay together pretty well. Libertarians and socialists are each convinced that 99% of people are brainwashed sheep, and they tend to have a profound disrespect for religious institutions. My philosophy combines the best aspects of socialism and theology, with ideas from liberalism, conservatism, and even some libertarianism as well on issues like the drug war and civil liberties. I am the anti-Rand, an upside-down version of Ayn Rand, because I blieve in a new world order through the axis of the church, the state, and the world system.

  197. Libby

    Who are these people who are posting on this site?

    You have no clue about Ayn Rand, her books or her beliefs.

    Reading this thread is like walking through the mirror into Alice In Wonderland.

    Is this the “god hates homosexuals so we have to picket at service men’s funerals” thread?

    Did you ever read Atlas Shrugged? Or do you just make things up. I’m guessing the latter.

    Reading some of these statements make me think that people who have suffered brain damage are posting here.

  198. Thomas L. Knapp

    Susan,

    You write:

    “We do have an SOP that is difficult to amend (fortunately!). But yes, there’s nothing that says the (rest of the) Platform can’t contradict it.”

    Bzzzzt. There most manifestly is something that says the rest of the platform can’t contradict it. Read the bylaws — any modification of the platform can be appealed from the floor of the convention to the Judicial Committee and overturned for conflict with the SoP.

  199. Catholic Trotskyist

    Yes, Libby, we are all brain-damaged, or at least very eccentric. This site brings together who have a vast variety of ideas about how society should be run, and sometimes this leads to some rather outlandish discussions, and I’m definitely considered by most people to be one of the most insane of the group. Alice and Wonderland is an apt comparison, I would say. But you aren’t any less brain-damaged than any of us if you are an objectivist. Join the club.

  200. mdh

    @229 – Robert, and being not-neutral in the other direction hamstrings anarchists in ways that we don’t like. :P

    I’m not saying candidates have to follow the platform plumbline, either. I am more than happy to run candidates who are not pure libertarians here in West Virginia if they are decent people who believe in our core values. I’m also happy to run a hardcore anarchist. Individual candidates are individual humans and as such will not always strictly stick to a platform. If we can’t accept that, then we’ll be limiting our chances for electoral success given that sometimes an awesome candidate isn’t a perfect libertarian, and that sometimes a given stance may work better in a given region for demographic reasons, etc.

    The platform is a statement of what we, as the LP, believe in. It should be state-neutral so that it can adequately state what we, as Libertarians in the LP, believe in – both anarchists and minarchists.

  201. paulie Post author

    then read THE ART OF WAR by Tsun Tsu ? i think

    Sun Tzu, yes.

    Also from China, read the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (possibly the first known libertarian, who has recruited far more libertarians – most in non-English speaking countries, and some English speakers as well- than Ayn Rand ever has….and that’s if you count Rand as a libertarian, which she denied).

    Overview:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao_Te_Ching

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao

    Potential officials throughout Chinese history drew on the authority of non-Confucian sages, especially Laozi and Zhuangzi, to deny serving any ruler at any time. Zhuangzi, Laozi’s most famous follower, had a great deal of influence on Chinese literati and culture. Zhuangzi is a central authority regarding eremitism, a particular variation of monasticism sacrificing social aspects for religious aspects of life. Zhuangzi considered eremitism the highest ideal, if properly understood.[35]

    Scholars such as Aat Vervoom have postulated that Zhuangzi advocated a hermit immersed in society. This view of eremitism holds that seclusion is hiding anonymously in society. To a Zhuangzi hermit, being unknown and drifting freely is a state of mind. This reading is based on the “inner chapters” of the self-titled Zhuangzi.[36]

    Scholars such as James Bellamy hold that this could be true and has been interpreted similarly at various points in Chinese history. However, the “outer chapters” of Zhuangzi have historically played a pivotal role in the advocacy of reclusion. While some scholars state that Laozi was the central figure of Han Dynasty eremitism, historical texts do not seem to support that position.[37]

    Political theorists influenced by Laozi have advocated humility in leadership and a restrained approach to statecraft, either for ethical and pacifist reasons, or for tactical ends. In a different context, various anti-authoritarian movements have embraced the Laozi teachings on the power of the weak.[38]

    The economist Murray Rothbard suggests that Laozi was the first libertarian, likening Laozi’s ideas on government to F.A. Hayek’s theory of spontaneous order.[39][40] Similarly, the Cato Institute’s David Boaz includes passages from the Daodejing in his 1997 book The Libertarian Reader.[41] Philosopher Roderick Long, however, argues that libertarian themes in Taoist thought are actually borrowed from earlier Confucian writers.[42]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_Tzu

  202. paulie Post author

    Also from wikipedia

    Laozi is traditionally regarded as the author of the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching), though its authorship has been debated throughout history.[2][3][4]

    The earliest reliable reference (circa 100 BC) to Laozi is found in the Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji) by Chinese historian Sima Qian (ca. 145–86 BC), which combines three stories. In the first, Laozi was said to be a contemporary of Confucius (551-479 BC). His surname was Li (? “plum”), and his personal name was Er (? “ear”) or Dan (? “long ear”). He was an official in the imperial archives, and wrote a book in two parts before departing to the West. In the second, Laozi was Lao Laizi (??? “Old Master”), also a contemporary of Confucius, who wrote a book in 15 parts. In the third, Laozi was the Grand Historian and astrologer Lao Dan (?? “Old Long-ears”), who lived during the reign (384-362 BC) of Duke Xian (??) of Qin).[5][6]

    Popular legends say that he was conceived when his mother gazed upon a falling star, stayed in the womb for sixty-two years, and was born when his mother leaned against a plum tree. He accordingly emerged a grown man with a full grey beard and long earlobes, which are a symbol of wisdom and long life.[7][8] In other versions he was reborn in some thirteen incarnations since the days of Fuxi; in his last incarnation as Laozi he lived to nine hundred and ninety years, and traveled to India to reveal the Dao.[9]

    According to popular traditional biographies, he worked as the Keeper of the Archives for the royal court of Zhou. This reportedly allowed him broad access to the works of the Yellow Emperor and other classics of the time. The stories assert that Laozi never opened a formal school, but he nonetheless attracted a large number of students and loyal disciples. There are numerous variations of a story depicting Confucius consulting Laozi about rituals.[10][11]
    According to legends, Laozi leaves China on his water buffalo.[12]

    Many of the popular accounts say that Laozi married and had a son named Zong, who became a celebrated soldier. A large number of people trace their lineage back to Laozi, as the emperors of the Tang Dynasty did. According to Simpkins & Simpkins, many (if not all) of the lineages may be inaccurate. However, they are a testament to the impact of Laozi on Chinese culture.[13]

    Traditional accounts state that Laozi grew weary of the moral decay of city life and noted the kingdom’s decline. According to these legends, he ventured west to live as a hermit in the unsettled frontier at the age of 160. At the western gate of the city, or kingdom, he was recognized by a guard. The sentry asked the old master to produce a record of his wisdom. This is the legendary origin of the Daodejing. In some versions of the tale, the sentry is so touched by the work that he leaves with Laozi to never be seen again. Some legends elaborate further that the “Old Master” was the teacher of the Buddha, or the Buddha himself.[14][15]

    By the mid-twentieth century, a consensus had emerged among scholars that the historicity of Laozi was doubtful or unprovable and that the Daodejing was “a compilation of Taoist sayings by many hands originating in the 4th century BC.”[16] Alan Watts (1975) held that this view was part of an academic fashion for skepticism about historical spiritual and religious figures, arguing that not enough would be known for years, or possibly ever, to make a firm judgment.[17]

  203. Erik Geib

    I don’t see a problem with Susan’s suggestions, and I highly doubt phrasing/wording the platform in such a manner would push away potential voters. When one actually does research on how/why voters behave the way they do, it often has far more to do with gaming the system than platform diction. Hell, I’d wager that most voters don’t even realize what their party platforms extensively detail.

    When voters do pay attention to issues and a candidates’ stance on said issues, they often look at the individual candidate themselves more than they do said candidate’s respective party platform. There are countless Republicans and Democrats who are out of line with their party platforms, but that doesn’t stop voters from voting for them. Party platforms tend to be a larger reflection of a party’s constituencies, of which therein I think it’s more than reasonable to word things in a way that doesn’t isolate or agitate many supporters who helped found and grow the party over the years.

    We’d be much better off worrying about changing the electoral system than fighting over the party platform.

  204. robert capozzi

    eg, it’s dangerous to extrapolate from historical voter behavior to draw conclusions about the LP for the simple reason that our vote totals are statistically insignificant.

    Those of us who want to mount a meaningful challenge to the Rs and Ds would like the platform to not alienate large sectors of the pop.

    Those who want the LP to be a cadre of revolutionaries — a vanguard, holding high the banner of radical doctrine makes abundant sense.

    Doing both seems nearly impossible.

  205. paulie Post author

    Our vote totals are fairly significant for a third party that is not a flash in the pan in US politics. The factors that would change that are many, but I highly doubt that any platform would be high among those – especially a platform which even moderate libertarians would consider ideologically libertarian.

  206. Erik Geib

    Robert,

    The point of what I was saying is that most voters who are considering a vote for an LP candidate aren’t necessarily looking at the platform, and even then, aren’t necessarily caught up on the subtleties of semantics. There’s no need to dismiss the valid concerns of long-time supporters for the false promise of support expansion, when the reality of the situa(ion says the electoral system is much more of a problem than the platform.

  207. Erik Geib

    If you read some of the Boaz and Kirby studies of the libertarian vote, we’ve never even pulled 1/5 of our own (‘libertarian’) vote. I sincerely doubt the anarchists are the reason many libertarians game their vote over to Republicans and Democrats.

  208. robert capozzi

    eg, all opinions are valid. There are many, many obstacles for the LP to be successful…electorally or even to be of influence.

    IMO, the old platform was tantamount to self sabotage — something we can (and have!) control(led). Systemic obstacles we can’t control.

  209. paulie Post author

    Comments on the original article at LPWV.org. See the article there for formatting on comments. Link is in the main article up top

    18 comments to Why I loathe Ayn Rand and you should too

    *
    David F. Nolan
    June 30th, 2009 at 10:44

    I find it odd that an article with the pronoun “I” in its title is unsigned. Shouldn’t there be a byline? (I’m not arguing, pro or con, about the content.)
    *
    Libertarian Party of West Virginia: Why I loathe Ayn Rand and you should too | Independent Political Report
    June 30th, 2009 at 11:38

    […] http://www.lpwv.org/2009/06/30/why-i-loathe-ayn-rand-and-you-should-too/ […]
    *
    Jake Witmer
    June 30th, 2009 at 16:40

    Matt, I find it odd that you would take a position like this on the LP WV homepage. If I had not read Ayn Rand, (while ignoring her admittedly silly and jealous forays into real-world politics), I might never have become a L/libertarian (capitalist, jury rights, objectivist, individualist, Jeffersonian democracy, whatever…) activist. One can agree with objectivist politics (in their pure formulation) and disagree with Ayn Rand
    s (and ARI’s) woefully-inconsistent application of them. Why exclude those who disagree with you? As early as 5 years ago, I would have thought it was philosophically foolish to say “I loathe Ayn Rand” on a State Libertarian Party (but the case can be made). Now, I simply think it’s strategically foolish, because objectivists can be (and are) libertarians as well. Especially the objectivists of the Nathaniel Branden variety. I strongly recommend that libertarians who are spending their time “loathing” other libertarians read the following essay by Nathaniel Branden:
    http://www.theadvocates.org/library/objectivism-and-libertarianism.html

    Rand was a good philosopher who helped clarify muddled thinking in many people. As such, her works are often the first step towards political clarity. That’s not something I’d want to take a stance against, even if it is and was inconsistently applied by much of her legacy. As far as a description of my allegiances, I agree most closely with Robert Heinlein, who in turn, said he “could get along with a Randite” (in his novel, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”). …Let’s all get along.
    *
    Tad
    June 30th, 2009 at 17:04

    It is written as an opinion piece and identified as such. I see no problem with this on the homepage. It is not presented as an official stance of the LPWV.

    In fact, I encourage everyone to send us your opinions and we’ll post them. It creates great discussion and provides a wide array of opinions.

    I think Rand provides a good general introduction to the philosophy, but I’ve never understood the obsession with her. Her books are boring and tedious, and no way am I going to bother reading 1,200 pages of garbage.
    *
    Jesse
    June 30th, 2009 at 18:02

    I learned nothing from this article other than the fact that its author has some hostile emotions boiling inside of him. Are we supposed to just accept his unjustified assertions. No facts are presented in his attempt to demonstrate that Rand had a “genuine loathing for the productive classes of society.” No quotes, no argument, nothing. Also, who exactly is in the “non-productive ‘management”’class? Once again, just asserted, not defended.
    *
    Matt D. Harris
    June 30th, 2009 at 22:49

    Jesse, look to the Rand quotes. I’m using her own words, not my own, to make my assertions. Your arguments to the contrary just don’t stand up. Did you read all of the Rand quotes in the essay?
    *
    Mik Robertson
    June 30th, 2009 at 23:36

    Here are the three Rand Quotes in the piece:

    – If, at a time like this, John Hospers takes ten votes away from Nixon (which I doubt he’ll do), it would be a moral crime.

    – Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed.

    – Now here is a party that plagiarizes some of my ideas, mixes it with the exact opposite—with religionists, anarchists, and just about every intellectual misfit and scum they can find—and they call themselves Libertarians, and run for office.

    Apparently from those quotes this conclusion is reached:

    “Rand, however, has clearly shown herself to be a statist and proponent of the useless political class in America. Her writings, thoughts, ideas,. and statist notions of capitalism ought be tossed out of our philosophy once and for all.

    Ayn Rand hates you, and philosophically, you can do so much better than her drivel.”

    Hmm.
    *
    Matt D. Harris
    July 1st, 2009 at 07:41

    I reach the conclusion that she is a statist based upon her advocacy of supporting Richard Nixon for president.

    I base the claim that she hates us based on her own assertions that… well, she hates us. *Us being the LP, collectively.)
    *
    Burke Chester
    July 1st, 2009 at 08:16

    Rand believed that government is necessary to protect individual rights and that anarchy would degenerate into statism. She also believed that all political systems had underlying philosophies that led to those systems and that free societies needed her rational philosophy to sustain themselves. Libertarians generally understand none of this.

    Rand had no problem with the “working classes” and even pointed out that unions had at times fought for freedom more effectively than businessmen. She did believe that innovation was the product of great minds doing great things and that they should be free to do such things.

    IMO, anyone who reads Atlas Shrugged and hates it is hopeless.
    *
    Jack Plant
    July 1st, 2009 at 10:23

    Mr Harris is one scary fellow and his attempts to discredit Rand only highlight the faults of the Libertarian Party. Rand was right!

    This article is so full of outright lies that it is outrageous! It is heartening that so many others agree with my viewpoint. Irrationality is rife among libertarians.
    *
    Tad
    July 1st, 2009 at 15:34

    “Mr Harris is one scary fellow and his attempts to discredit Rand only highlight the faults of the Libertarian Party. Rand was right!

    This article is so full of outright lies that it is outrageous! It is heartening that so many others agree with my viewpoint. Irrationality is rife among libertarians.”

    I wouldn’t say he is scary because he disagrees with Rand. That is somewhat of a ludicrous position to hold.

    If the article is full of outright lies you should usually use your own facts to prove them wrong. Otherwise you are just throwing out some statements without anything behind them.
    *
    Tom W
    July 1st, 2009 at 19:58

    While I’d agree that Ayn Rand’s fiction works were tedious reading and not that enjoyable, that doesn’t change the fact that she’s an admirable woman for her philosophy and political theories (doubly so considering her own background).

    What I get from much of this article is simply that Rand had a practical side, and realized that sometimes, you have to vote for a “lesser of 2 evils” instead of tossing a vote to a 3rd. party that has a zero probability of being elected to office under the circumstances. (And as illustrated with Nixon’s election, sometimes that doesn’t work out like you hoped either.)

    There’s often a big difference between small-l libertarians and people claiming allegiance to the big-L Libertarian party, too. I’d agree with Rand that anarchists and other whack-jobs who often latch onto the Libertarian party do nobody any good. (Here in my home state of Missouri, for example, we recently had some guy who insisted he be addressed as “Chief” in front of his name. He wanted to run on the Libertarian ticket, but seemed to have formulated just about NO opinions on political policy, save his enthusiasm for marijuana and other drug legalization. Every picture I ever saw of the guy showed him smoking a hooka or something, stoned off his butt. Electing those types gets nothing useful accomplished, and makes the party as a whole into a joke.)

    I think the current political climate in America is FAR worse than it was in the Reagan and pre-Reagan era that Rand was referring to, also. We’re now in an era where our leaders, no matter which party they claim allegiance to, have basically the SAME agenda of advancing the New World Order. A 3rd. party is the only viable option now…. We’re past “lesser of 2 evils” discussions today.
    *
    Josh
    July 2nd, 2009 at 15:17

    I read Atlas Shrugged in 9th grade and it had a profound effect on me. I now recognize her folly in believing in minarchism, but I will never forget these words:

    “I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live my life for the sake of another man; nor will I ever ask another man to live for mine.”

    Say what you will about the woman and her politics, but the ideals in her books are of pure freedom.
    *
    Jack Plant
    July 2nd, 2009 at 15:50

    Do I really need to refute the unsubstantiated accusations of Mr. Harris? I think not. His statement that “Rand in fact believed that a strict authoritarian state with dictatorial powers was the best way to impose her brand of objectivism and capitalism on the unwashed masses. In fact, it’s quite clear that Rand in fact loathed the productive class of society in general.” is totally ludicrous. Rand dedicated her life to fighting dictatorship. THAT is a fact which is beyond refutation. The “fact” that Mr. Harrris calls the working class the “productive” class postions him clearly in the camp of the leftist, class war types. His evasion of reality is typical of libertarians. I have no interest in, as “Tad” suggests presenting my own facts to refute Mr. Harris’ statements. I merely make statements and readers can accept them or not. MY position is clear. Unfortunately there IS no archetypal “libertarian”. These people have perverted the nature of freedom in their advocacy of anarchism. Libertarian “philosophy”, if it can be called that, is all over the map. Ultimately, the “party” is a failure, and will continue to be.
    *
    pdsa
    July 2nd, 2009 at 23:09

    From The Ayn Rand Institute:

    Does Objectivism support Libertarianism?

    “For the record, I shall repeat what I have said many times before: I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called “hippies of the right,” who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultaneously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.”

    Ayn Rand, “Brief Summary,” The Objectivist, September 1971

    “Above all, do not join the wrong ideological groups or movements, in order to “do something.” By “ideological” (in this context), I mean groups or movements proclaiming some vaguely generalized, undefined (and, usually, contradictory) political goals. (E.g., the Conservative Party, which subordinates reason to faith, and substitutes theocracy for capitalism; or the “libertarian” hippies, who subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.) To join such groups means to reverse the philosophical hierarchy and to sell out fundamental principles for the sake of some superficial political action which is bound to fail. It means that you help the defeat of your ideas and the victory of your enemies.”

    Ayn Rand, “What Can One Do?” Philosophy: Who Needs It

    I’ll take “Hippies of The Right“, for the win.
    *
    pdsa
    July 3rd, 2009 at 00:02

    Jack Plant, your bias is showing: “The ‘fact’ that Mr. Harrris calls the working class the ‘productive’ class postions him clearly in the camp of the leftist, class war types.”

    Just what qualities do equities owners add that increases the end value of product produced by a business’ workers? Self-evidently, it is the persons who create product, who are also the productive class. Equities owners simply skim from the value of other person’s work. Capitalism and Free-Market are two very different concepts. It is proper that an entity which supplies necessary capital to a business receive a fair return on the investment, but there is nothing fair about receiving a perpetual grant of ownership to the value of others’ work product. A lifetime grant for profit from capitalisation long past, which has been paid in full with proper interest is slaveholding.

    You attempt to grayscale reality with a reference intended to portray this as some sort of discredited Marxist theory in action, by using the same evil tactic of dialectics? All of this to support what you perceive to be a natural right to NeoFeudalism? Please spare me the inanity.
    *
    Matt D. Harris
    July 3rd, 2009 at 17:29

    Mr. Plant,
    It seems silly that you would call the LP a failure given that the political party which you link to, apparently founded in 2002, is non-existent other than said website. The LPWV on the other hand has in fact been very successful in myriad ways Your randroid babble is virtually worthless since you refuse to make any worthwhile statements whatsoever. Go do better than the LP with your “Freedom party international,” and then we’ll talk. I wish you nothing but the best of luck!
    *
    Matt D. Harris
    July 3rd, 2009 at 17:42

    In the end, the lack of maturity amongst the randroids has really made me feel quite justified in terms of attacking their hero. She hated us, she hated our movement, she hated our party We do ourselves a huge disservice to idolize her.

  210. robert capozzi

    pc, if yer saying we CAN control (as opposed to “work on”) systemic obstacles, I’m all ears.

  211. paulie Post author

    To some extent. I’ve laid out many of those particulars in past comments on other threads and don’t have time right now to repeat myself in that level of detail. You can call me if you want to get a general idea, I’m offline most of the time.

  212. Westmiller

    Erik Geib @ 246
    ” … we’ve never even pulled 1/5 of our own (’libertarian’) vote.”

    In 1996, California had an “open” primary and the SoS reported votes cast by registration.

    Results:
    More than 2/3 of the votes for the LP candidate (Browne) were cast by Republican registrants.
    More than 2/3 of the LP registrants voted for some other party’s candidate (dominantly a Republican).

  213. mdh

    Westmiller, what does a primary have to do with general election results? You’ve lost me. Are you saying Libertarians voted in other parties’ primaries and Republicans voted in the Libertarian primary?

    For the record, I support the RLC to an extent, but I think that you’ve got an even tougher fight than the LP does, and that sure ain’t easy. :P

  214. paulie Post author

    In 1996, California had an “open” primary and the SoS reported votes cast by registration.

    Results:
    More than 2/3 of the votes for the LP candidate (Browne) were cast by Republican registrants.
    More than 2/3 of the LP registrants voted for some other party’s candidate (dominantly a Republican).

    The libertarian vote – using a broad interpretation of the term – is mostly neither registered Libertarian nor voting Libertarian, and most of it is not Republican either. There are far more
    small l libertarians in the left-center-libertarian area who generally don’t vote or vote Democrat or Green, especially among available audiences: 90% of Americans don’t switch parties after age 30, and if you don’t believe me on the available audiences, try running OPH booths at a few colleges (I’ve done hundreds). Or look at the Cato random phone survey which showed that there were more libertarian-leaning black people than white people, proportionally (yet how do black folks generally vote?).

    Why is the LP failing to attract this vote, when even a more socially conservative candidate, Ron Paul, attracted a lot of support from young people and other groups the LP (and Republicans who are not named Ron Paul) fails to reach?

    Mostly because it doesn’t try, and uses language that fails to connect with the target audience on those occasions when it does.

  215. mdh

    Why did Ron Paul get the support he did from such audiences? The answer is clear. Radical policy, radical rhetoric, and a coolness factor that largely came from his standing up to neocons in the debates and elsewhere! His image was professional but radical, and that’s what Americans want to see. If you look like more of the same and smell like more of the same, you will get nowhere. If you can convince people as Ron Paul and Obama did that you are radical and radically dfifferent, you will earn large support. Obama was of course not those things, but his campaign rhetoric and strategy allowed him to convince many people that that was the case.

    So what can libertarians do to enforce this image?

    Challenge authority. Challenge the status quo. Challenge everything. And look professional and intelligent while you do and say radical things!

  216. paulie Post author

    Why did Ron Paul get the support he did from such audiences? The answer is clear. Radical policy, radical rhetoric, and a coolness factor that largely came from his standing up to neocons in the debates and elsewhere! His image was professional but radical, and that’s what Americans want to see. If you look like more of the same and smell like more of the same, you will get nowhere. If you can convince people as Ron Paul and Obama did that you are radical and radically dfifferent, you will earn large support. Obama was of course not those things, but his campaign rhetoric and strategy allowed him to convince many people that that was the case.

    So what can libertarians do to enforce this image?

    Challenge authority. Challenge the status quo. Challenge everything. And look professional and intelligent while you do and say radical things!

    Good points

  217. Michael H. Wilson

    While I have read most, if not all of Rand’s works, for some reason I found Spinoza to be my major influence.

  218. paulie Post author

    Now there’s a candidate I can really get behind!

    :-P

    ——————–

    And for anyone not on facebook

    The LNC needs Aaron Starr’s wisdom more than ever!

    Aaron has toured the country for over 10 years, working as an emcee, stripper, singer, dancer and musician.

    He currently holds the following titles:

    1) Mr. Capital City Lights All-Star 2007
    2) Mr. Closet 2007
    3) Mr. Columbus All-Star 2008
    4) Mr. North Star King Of Kings (runner-up) 2008

    Aaron as chair of the Libertarian National Committee would be a huge boon and recovery for the party’s credibility as a whole. He blogs at http://www.aaronstarr.com

  219. Erik Geib

    Boaz and Kirby once did a report titled ‘The Libertarian Vote’ that showed in 2000 small-l lib.s voted 72-20 for Bush over Gore. In 2004, horrified by war and intrusion on our civil liberties, this margin shrank to 59-38 (I believe that’s the figure; the 2000 figure is definitely correct). More alarming than the overwhelming Republican support is that 92 (2000) to 97 (2004) of lib.s vote for non-lib. candidates.

    Voter-pattern studies have consistently shown that voters try too hard to ‘game’ the system for a likely favorable result (‘the lesser evil’ approach). When (IF) we can break down the real barriers (strategy isn’t really the barrier – ballot access, devate access, FPP, gerrymandering, etc. are) we can really see how people feel. As is, we’re much better off attacking the barriers against us and standing as a consistently libertarian voice of education and reason in the meantime.

    Personally, I think the best chance for change is outside the system anyway. As I’ve said before, by voting Lib. (and I do), I and others are ultimately gaming the system too. No candidate is perfect – we’re always picking lesser evils.

  220. paulie Post author

    Also from what I can tell, there are already many Obama voters complaining that he sold them out on issues ranging from torture to gay rights.

    It took Bush voters til 2006-7 to get to the same stage.

    Yet another reason I think we have more opportunities on the left, if we just really tried.

  221. libertariangirl

    what? theres no such thing as a Libertarian who voted for Obama , right?
    why on earth would any self respecting Lib ever vote for Obama?

    say it aint so P , say it aint so !

  222. paulie Post author

    Not me. But there definitely were some, Seth Anthony of CSU Libertarians and former Georgia LP exec dir Trevor Southerland for example.

  223. paulie Post author

    But then as Erik mentioned a lot of Libertarians voted for Bush (especially in 2000), and I don’t just mean Dondero.

    There were some that voted for Kerry too – our AL-79 candidate from 2002 Charles Johnson (radgeek.org) for example.

  224. Melty

    “LP . . . uses language that fails to connect with the target audience”
    good point!
    I suggest libertarians develop a distinctive talkstyle free of euphemisms and socialist/miltarist buzzwords (for a few examples: healthcare, gender, African-American, climate change, War on Terror, pro-life, pro-choice)

  225. Melty

    stuff like “nonagression principle” and “enlightened self-interest” goes nowhere towards target audiences

  226. libertariangirl

    I like your ideas Melty , I have a personal hate fetich against the words healthcare , law enforcement . absolutely drive me crazy!!!!!

  227. Melty

    Thanx, libertygirl. I’ve been collecting these things.
    I’ve been thinking since a few years ago that there ought to be a liberty-rhetoric think tank for working out what buzzwords are good, and for brainstorming new ones and the like, for more effective pro-liberty talk. To this day, I’m not aware of any such thing. Is there one? If one could just put a few linguistical-n-freedom minded folk together on it, you could get it going on.

  228. mdh

    “The work of the anarchist is above all a work of critique. The anarchist goes, sowing revolt against that which oppresses, obstructs, opposes itself to the free expansion of the individual being. He agrees first to rid brains of preconceived ideas, to put at liberty temperaments enchained by fear, to give rise to mindsets free from popular opinion and social conventions; it is thus that the anarchist will push all comers to make route with him to rebel practically against the determinism of the social environment, to affirm themselves individually, to sculpt his internal statue, to render themselves, as much as possible, independent of the moral, intellectual and economic environment. He will urge the ignorant to instruct himself, the nonchalant to react, the feeble to become strong, the bent to straighten. He will push the poorly endowed and less apt to pull from themselves all the resources possible and not to rely on others.”

    Quoted from a 1911 essay posted originally at http://libertarian-labyrinth.blogspot.com/2009/07/tale-of-two-mini-manuals.html

  229. John

    Is this a joke? Rand was against any government policy beyond a police force and courts… She certainly was not a statist. While she criticized the anarchist faction of libertarianism, her purely political views are not different from mainstream modern libertarianism.

    On your accusation that she is against the productive individuals in society… I am really not sure where you drew this conclusion from. She glorifies competent executives in Atlas Shrugged, but also glorifies the common workers who are competent at what they do. All of her protagonists have the ability to do hard labor and technical productive work in addition to business or their other talents.

    Very strange analysis and conclusions you have made… I am not a Randian or Objectivist but I feel there is a lot to learn from her work. Some of the best moral arguments for Capitalism and a purely free government.

Leave a Reply