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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5565/the-party-of-vacuous-rhetoric/

The Party of Vacuous Rhetoric

September 4, 2006 by

I’ve ignored all the goings on with the LP platform for the same reason that most people have. It appears to have all the significance of a subdivision homeowners meeting at which the main point of contention concerns the placement and type of shrubberies in common areas. This might be important to those who live there, but its importance is localized, with no spillover effects to neighboring communities.

For those who haven’t heard, the large, pedagogically useful, principled, and detailed Libertarian Platform — the best thing about the party — has been relegated to the wayback machine and is now replaced with a new one that is tiny, vague, rhetorically slippery, accommodating, friendlier to the state, and non-threatening to mainstream opinion.



Mark Brabson September 4, 2006 at 10:42 pm

The LP is not a totally lost cause. Yet. I hope that principled folks get off their butts and attend that 2008 convention and restore the missing planks.

I don’t see the LP as a vehicle for electing candidates and indeed the LP has been very inept in that area. Getting the message out to people they have been able to do to some extent. But if they don’t restore the platform in 2008, the LP will have forfeited even that role.

Hugh Akston September 4, 2006 at 11:11 pm

As SEK3 said, you can be a libertarian, or a member of the Libertarian Party, but not both.

BK Marcus September 5, 2006 at 12:03 am

“As SEK3 said, you can be a libertarian, or a member of the Libertarian Party, but not both.”

Ah, so Sam Konkin didn’t consider Murray Rothbard a libertarian? Hard to square that with everything else he had to say about the man.

TGGP September 5, 2006 at 8:01 am

What has been the greatest accomplishment of the Libertarian Party so far?

Carl September 5, 2006 at 11:04 am

A political party makes a lousy protest/educational organization. Either a political party wins elections or it fails to get covered by the press.

A radical protest organization can get press coverage without having to win elections. It can use its radicalness as a tool for getting attention. PETA does this very well.

For the more complete argument along these lines see Political Party or Protest Organization

As to why I have been going through the effort to convert the LP from protest organization to effective political party, I have found that the LP and other libertarian organizations have already educated the populace to a significant degree. This can be seen from my polling data at Quiz2D.

However, our laws do not reflect this. Our elected officials currently lag the voters.
Therefore, it is productive to replace those elected officials with officials that are more liberty-minded. Thus, the need for a libertarian party geared towards winning elections.

That said, the job of educating the voters is not done. With the LP largely dropping the job of voter education on the more radical issues, we need other libertarian organizations to take on this job.

Dan Coleman September 5, 2006 at 11:31 am

That said, the job of educating the voters is not done. With the LP largely dropping the job of voter education on the more radical issues, we need other libertarian organizations to take on this job.

I can’t support a political party that is going to use aggression to achieve its ends–ever. Being “more” liberty-minded clearly isn’t enough, as this description may have very well characterized the GOP in the early to mid 90′s. If the LP believes that life, liberty, and property are only worth defending to a point, then I have little in common with them anymore.

It’s too bad, because I rather like the word “libertarian.” Here’s hoping it doesn’t go the way of the word “liberal,” which I like even better.

David K. Meller September 5, 2006 at 11:52 am

The purpose of the Libertarian Party, to the extent that it has a political purpose, is NOT merely to elect members to office, i.e. to “gain power”, since even Republicans and Democrats do that, but to elect them to office AS LIBERTARIANS!!

The purpose of any libertarians elected, or appointed to government office, is firstly, to highlight the many systmeic and intrinsic failures of the current system of State privilege, its shameful looting of taxpayers, and the infamous and despicable restrictions on individual freedom and responsibility that accompnany being “governed”. It would also be for our public spokesmen to trumpet the glaring superiority of freedom that we, and an LP platform advocates, over the various types of slavery characteristic of the political classes battening off the structures of the contemporary warfare/welfare therapeutic State, exemplified and embodied in so many ways by Republcians and Democrate, and make as many people aware of the contrasts betweem our ways and theirs as possible. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Libertarian Party and its staff, its politicians, and its membership should try to advocate and implement policies that move our society and economy “freedomward” in as humane, rapid, and consistant way as is possible with GOVERNMENT, with an institution characterised by a monopoly of force and fraud, and do this in a way which does NOT compromise our principles and ideals!

The current “Libertarian party”, by gutting its platform, shows that it is ashamed of our ideal and principles, and is unable and unwilling to do this. We therefore have to increase our efforts to develop alternatives to electoral politics, educate both the public, and more importantly, each other on liberty and its applications, and cultivate other pro-liberty organizations, some of which may not be altogether libertarian.

Politics and political changes are usually the LAST changes to take place, and then after the ideas supporting the changes had already been established everywhere else, from Churches to the newsmedia, from academia to the government’s foreign policy apparatus, from lawyers and their Bar Association to major Corporations and Trade Unions. Only then does the government and its “spokesmen” rush to claim “leadership” of the changes in question, and position itself as a tool of so-called “progress”.

There are exceptions to the above, but they only refer to changes that the establishment wanted to undertake for its own reasons anyhow, and promoted phony opposition to create the illusion that “changes” were being forced upon a class of hidebound, bigoted, and reactionary powers for the sake of the “people”. Needless to say, the changes we libertarians are interested in would not fall into that category.

It may even be that the LP, founded as it was in 1972, was premature. Most people then even thought that the word “libertarian” was a curiosity. We have made a lot of progress since then, but I think that we must do a great deal more by way of public advocacy, activism and edcuation before a “Libertarian Party” becomes a practical proposition,even by its own standards.

David K. Meller

Tim West September 5, 2006 at 11:58 am

there’s only one problem – the LP has’nt actually gained anyone any measurable notion of liberty for anyone since it’s founding. I would suggest that being proud of a record of noble intellectual morality that has done nothing to effect the greater society within it is not something to be proud of. It’s warped.

I’ve never met a group of people so dysfunctionally divorced from the larger society around it by choice and so screwed up in their methods to achieve their stated goals than “pure” libertarians are.

One winning libertarian candidate educates 100X the number of voters about libertarianism than any other method. Only after winning “power” do they get to actually use libertarian principals to bring liberty. I highly suspect that purists are scared to death to have to put libertarianism to the test and find out it might not work so well outside the realm of intellectualism and philosophy they are trying to keep it locked down in.

Carl September 5, 2006 at 1:35 pm

In my previous post the first link didn’t work. Trying again.

Political Party or Protest Organization

Regarding some of the comments above: perhaps reforming the existing Libertarian Party is a mistake. Seems that some libertarians go apoplectic at the idea of the word “libertarian” being applied to any but radical libertarians. Perhaps a new party is in order to implement freedom while the LP remains as a protest organization.

However, going this way is quite inefficient, as a political party makes for a very inefficient protest organization while starting a new party is truly challenging. Thus, I went the path of reforming the LP.

But, if ye who object to this reform get involved enough in the LP so as to reverse the reforms made to date, then I will bow out and start a new party. You can have the word “libertarian” and I will have a political party that actually liberates.

Before doing so, do consider the possibility of forming an organization such as “Americans Against Everything.” Have some rallies such as “Crack for the Kiddies,” “Abolish the Army,” or “Legalize Nukes.” For a tiny fraction of the cost of the Harry Browne campaigns, you could get several times the press coverage.

Mark Brabson September 5, 2006 at 4:14 pm

There is no need to resort to ad hominems, i.e.(Crack for Kiddies, ad nauseum). This does not get us anywhere.

I think both the purist’s and non purist’s need to get off their arrogant highhorses and do something productive. Insulting each other just makes the Republicans, Democrats and other statist’s just that much stronger.

bernard b carman September 5, 2006 at 4:23 pm

excerpts from Lew Rockwell’s Rhetoric (http://mises.org/daily/2309), and my personal comments in response:

“I’ve ignored all the goings on with the LP platform for the same reason that most people have.”

- no, most people have ignored all the goings on with the LP platform and reform movement because the LP is unfortunately merely a blip on the political radar. the LRC wishes to change that.

“The small band that orchestrated this coup confesses: they want the LP to gain power.”

- OH YEAH, that’s what we’re after! after the 2004 LP NatCon, we sat around at one of our LP-Buncombe (Asheville, NC) socials at El Chapala’s and thought, “gee… we REALLY want POWER! perhaps we should organize a coup within the LP to get LOTS of it! we’ll deceptively call it the Libertarian Reform Caucus!” LOL! PLEASE stop making me laugh so hard! 8-)

and “coup”??? how can the LRC remotely be considered a “coup”, when everything we’ve done, including our strategy before the Portland convention, has been entirely public from the onset?

“But you know what? The LP was not founded to get people elected to office.”

- really!?! then WHY call it the Libertarian PARTY??? the last i checked, the purpose of a political party is SUPPOSED to be to get its candidates elected to a public office. and gee, a LOT of people have spent a LOT of money on campaigns over the years to do so!

but what is the consensus of the definition of a “political party”?

political party – n: an organization to gain political power

UH OH! there’s that word “power” again! perhaps the non-reformers within the LP should entirely abandon the idea of being a “political party”, for otherwise it can likewise be construed that they are all merely after power!

“And yet the new drafters say that they are not really interested in educating people. They are only interested in getting votes.”

- really!?! is THAT what “we’ve” said??? factually, YOU’RE COMPLETELY WRONG!

the goal of the LRC is to achieve more liberty in our nation through the political process, more specifically via growing the LP into a viable POLITICAL PARTY.

in accordance with this goal, we believe we MUST strive to achieve SOME kind of consensus among Americans. therefore, the LRC has adopted the ideal of incremental libertarianism, rather than continuing the LP’s 35 year strategy of immediately demanding its somewhat collective ideal of “perfect liberty”.

did you actually take any time to READ what is on our LRC website, or did you come up with your own assumptions regarding our goals? … as did the “Sage of the High Plains” (L. Neil Smith), who recently claims that the LRC website is PROBABLY filled with a lot of made up numbers.

education is most effective when accompanied by application. as the LP grows into a viable political party and achieves much greater political success, Libertarians holding office will be more likely to enact libertarian legislation, which will bring about more liberty in our nation. the public at large will then be better educated as to how Libertarian philosophy helped to solve many of our nation’s problems.

“But they have misdiagnosed the problem. The people who vote for the LP are committed activists who don’t think that it really matters whether the Republicans or Democrats win. Thus has emerged in recent years a very important role for the LP, and the only viable political roll: it has become a spoiler for Republican candidates. By controlling only 2-4 percent of the voters, it can swing whole elections in favor of one candidate or another.”

- i believe many LRC members can agree with this current important and viable political roll for the LP, while being merely a blip on the political radar. however, it appears that many LP members believe that the LP CAN BE much more than this, and is what the LRC originally set out to discover.

“What’s remarkable about this LP boondoggle…”

- let’s examine this “boondoggle” as you call it. i presume you are using the meaning, “work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value.”

well let’s see… IF the real purpose of the LP was merely to educate Americans rather then to elect Libertarians to public office, how has that been going after 35 years? has the LP been successful in its goal? how do you rate success in such an endeavor to begin with? what percentage of the American public has been successfully educated in the ways of Libertarianism? it appears to be around or less than 3%, nationwide.

it seems logical that this educational goal would have a practical goal of some sort. perhaps after a certain amount of time, enough Americans would just “get it” and start electing Libertarians to public office as some kind of secondary goal? otherwise, what was supposed to be the pinnacle of achievement for the LP?

regardless, this has yet to happen in any sort of major way after 35 years, yet here you are claiming that the LRC’s advocation of a change in strategy is merely a “boondoggle”. how presumptuously interesting of you to suggest!

“…is that those who brought it about haven’t heeded any lessons from the longest running political success of an American libertarian politician, namely that of Ron Paul. He is super-radical in all specifics, super-radical on all general principles, super “median voter” in his presentation, and, above all else, incredibly honest and trustworthy. People love him. He will likely serve in the US House of Representatives as a Republican as long as he willing to serve.”

- yes, Ron Paul, a respected Libertarian who realized that the LP was not getting him closer to his seat in Congress, decided to do so under the Republican banner.

what, are you not going to claim that he is a “power grabber” as well? you’re not going to call him a sell out? so in your book it’s OK for Libertarian candidates to seek public office under another label, but try and act like a political candidate within and be ridiculed for doing so?

but notice that you even stated that Ron Paul is a “super ‘median’ voter in his presentation”! the platform of any political party IS the fundamental outreach tool, and therefore becomes the presentation of the party. by your own logic, presentation should appeal to the median voter, therefore, the LP’s platform should do likewise!

you might find it interesting that much of the LRC doesn’t even necessarily wish the LP to appeal to the “median voter”, but there is a general consensus to first appeal to the Libertarian Quadrant, as generally defined by the Nolan Chart and the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, and second to the masses of Americans that are fed up with the Republican and Democrat parties who are seeking a different political home. why is it so unthinkable to you that the LP can very well be that home?

“Does [Ron Paul] have “power”? No he does not. He is a voice of opposition. He is a teacher. He is an inspiration. That is his role. Libertarians who win public office all find the same thing.”

- that might be Ron Paul’s role NOW. however, get a dozen or so more Ron Paul’s elected to Congress and then let’s talk about their role THEN.

but wait, according to you and some other Libertarians, the LP isn’t SUPPOSED to be electing Libertarians to public office – i keep forgetting that! therefore, with this political strategy, we are to presume little hope of ever having a dozen Libertarians holding public office… unless they run under a different political banner.

“The only way to have the power that the LP reformers want is to abandon principle. But then you also abandon libertarianism in every way except in name.”

- wait a minute… did Ron Paul abandon his Libertarian principles because he changed the banner under which his campaign was run? NO!

did Ron Paul abandon libertarianism in every way, INCLUDING in name? NO!

then what possesses yourself, and some other non-reformists, into believing that we Libertarians in the LRC would do otherwise?

“Here is a prediction, and, yes, I’ll be very happy to admit that I’m wrong if it turns out not to be the case. The new LP platform will not increase the percentage of votes the LP will received in the national election. By demoralizing the serious activists and talking down to intellectuals, it will result in a diminished percentage of the overall votes.

- WHAT “new platform”??? there is not a new LP platform! there is merely the leftover remains of what wasn’t entirely abolished, largely due to the technicalities of the LP Bylaws.

but wait, is this an attempt to try and prove that the LRC’s strategy is flawed and will be the cause of the LP’s demise? LOL! 8-)

let me get this straight… after 35 years of a very seemingly failed strategy of having a “political party” designed NOT to elect candidates to public office, you mean to suggest that the ongoing decline in LP support would be a result of the LRC’s reform efforts, which have only just begun? HA HA… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

i’m very glad to hear you say that you will be very happy to admit that you’re wrong. i have also personally and publicly stated that perhaps the LRC’s strategies will prove to be wrong, however, after the LP’s overall political track record, i don’t see how the LRC could possibly cause any more damage than the LP hasn’t already done to itself.

of course, if the goal of the LP was to NOT get Libertarians elected to public office to begin with, then i suppose its political track record has been right on course! 8-)

regardless, i don’t see how the LRC has demoralized any of the serious activists at all! on the contrary, i have only heard any demoralization come from specific members of the non-reformist camp. i have yet to meet an LRC member that has suggested the efforts of the serious LP activists were any sort of boondoggle, as you have presumptuously and emphatically stated about the efforts of the LRC in your article.

in fact, the LRC embraces the need for a Libertarian activist/protest organization, as well as a Libertarian POLITICAL Party. we just don’t feel that both strategies work well together under one roof. separate them, and there will be a more effective effort in achieving the real goal, which is more liberty in our nation.

what seems to me to be a demoralizing statement to the serious LP activists, is your calling the Libertarian Platform, “the best thing about the party.”

the best thing about the LP has nothing to do with any mere document voted upon by the delegation – it has all to do with the people who have sacrificed themselves throughout the years to the ideal that through the political process, Americans just might be able to lesson government corruption, and bring about an increase of liberty to each and every individual American, and be a shining light of libertarian example to the entire world.

it is the goal of the LRC to uphold this ideal, while it continues to ask fellow libertarians, regardless of where they might fall in the Nolan Libertarian quadrant, whether or not the LP should continue to primarily act and function like a protest organization, or rather, like a political party.


bernard baruch carman

- founding member, Libertarian Reform Caucus • http://www.ReformTheLP.org

- vice chair, Libertarian Party-Buncombe • vicechair@LPbuncombe.org


Mark Brabson September 5, 2006 at 4:25 pm

I think the best way to solve this is to simply lay down the gauntlet at the 2008 LP convention. Let both sides battle it out for control of the party. Winning side gets control of the party and the losing side departs the party permanantly.

Problem solved.

Blah September 5, 2006 at 6:11 pm

This is a sticky situation. Perhaps the Libertarian party’s platform should be, “The goal of this party is to act as a tool for Libertarians to elect people to office who will reduce the size of the government.” That’s a true statement, right? Let the actual Libertarian candidates have their own bullet points and goals. I would love to see the LP nominate someone who wants to reduce the government, but not by radical amounts. Why? Because that person might win.

Would it be against my principles, as an anarcho-capitalist, to vote for such a person? Absolutely not, because I could unequivocally say that person will do a better job than the Republican or Democratic candidates. It doesn’t matter if that person says, “I think some taxes are good and very important.” You don’t have to agree with everything they say to vote for them. You simply need to believe they are the best candidate.

Bill, Just tell the truth. September 5, 2006 at 9:15 pm

Great, the LP is either a Democratic Party Lite or a Republican Party Heavy. No more and no less.

What is missing is TRUTH. The NEW LP has abandoned the truth about the absolute rights of individuals to life, liberty and property just for some votes.

So how long is it before the LP buys the fantacies of the current two parties. We can win the war in Iraq? The military is too small? Socialized health care is good for you? We know how much fuel you need, how much meat you can eat or how much education you need? I hope it never comes to this.

Mark Brabson September 5, 2006 at 10:53 pm

What is most disturbing is that the LP seems to be buying into the Neo-conservative and Zionist fantasy of a U.S. Hegomony? That segment lead by Neal Boortz certainly seems to buy into it.

Vanmind September 5, 2006 at 11:01 pm

Well, debating the issue at the convention would at least demonstrate some of the qualities that I expect from libertarians.

Here’s a question: if the modified LP gained control of the House and the Presidency, would its first objective be to let the public know that the next campaign would be about newer–seemingly radical–promises to lead the nation even closer to laissez-faire? Just when would a politically successful Libertarian Party take the next logical libertarian steps?

Otto Kerner September 6, 2006 at 1:08 pm

Dear Carl, Bernard, and Tim West:

I feel you. I’ve always thought there was a certain amount of logic to Libertarian “Reform” proposals. But, please why don’t you take Rockwell’s advice and change the name of your party. “Libertarian” is a sucky name for a mainstream political party, anyway. How about “American Freedom Party”, or “Bill of Rights Party”, or “Small Government Party”? Sadly, “Constitution Party” is taken.

max.chiz September 8, 2006 at 11:05 am

I have a series of questions for the reformers who are posting here that I hope will help shed some light and improve understanding (if they care to respond), but let me make a few observations first.

1) As an educational instrument, the LP is a failure. I don’t think anyone will dispute that the LvMI, for example, does a much better job at educating people.

2) I never saw the problem with the LP as one of having a “radical” platform. I saw it as a problem of not being able to run an effective campaign. The party never seemed to have an election strategy, and never bothered to seriously promote its candidates as a viable option.

3) I always thought the biggest weakness of the party was that the various factions of Liberitarians could never get along long enough to work together: if the minarchists, the anarcho-capitalists, the Objectivists, etc. can’t manage to find some common basis for working together to achieve a set of goals all their principles have in common, what hope does the party have of success?

Now for my three (related) questions:

  1. Why do you seem to think that changing the platform is going to make the party more practical? Wouldn’t working on running better elections, and better marketing for candidates be a more effective approach? Wouldn’t a larger focus on state legislature seats (which are rarely decided on party lines in many places) and other “low hanging fruit” have been the more effective way to make the party practical? After all the party would certainly look like it had a better chance of winning a house or a senate seat if 25% of the state legislators were liberitarians.
  2. How does increasing the internal tension of the party help? Wouldn’t it have been more effective to focus on the parts of the platform in dispute among CURRENT party members and try to craft some basis for a political aliance to get the common goals of everyone accomplished?
  3. What reasoning led to the conclusion that this was the best way to reform the party?

Derrick September 9, 2006 at 9:04 am

Why is that every time a third party is formed, eventually, “members” of the party who dislike the platform hijack the party and change it into something else? They should start their own party to feed their needs.

There should be no parties, but since there are, there should be no “factions” within parties — you either like what a given party represents or you don’t. If not, you pick another, or start a new one.

All this historic co-opting is what perverted the term “liberalism” in the first place.

Should anyone affiliated with the original intent of the LP should sue the pragmatists for trademark infringement? I honestly don’t see how the pragmatists have any rights to the LP name.

Derrick September 9, 2006 at 9:11 am

As shortcomings of libertarianism go, I think one problem has always been a glut of libertarian sites / info out there. No one who isn’t already in the fold is going to wade through all that.

Likeminded libertarian info purveyors would help the dissemination with a little consolidation — if they can agree on anything.

I think the LP is dead. The dogmatists need to form a new party, and with a shorter, less obtuse word than “libertarian.” They need to build a BRAND. Now the problem is how to keep the new party from morphing into something antithetical. Maybe a constitution is for amending but a party platform isn’t?

Tangiers September 10, 2006 at 8:10 am

Mr. Bernard Baruch Carman,

I learned about libertarian thinking from the LP, or at least, was introduced. I got a political platform produced from particular moral and economic theory, I did not have that theory in mind yet. As a matter of fact, it was only external the LP itself that the bases underpinning the notion could be found. In my case, as educational tool it was successful. However it wasn’t until I abandoned that heinous capital “L” and simply stuck to a commitment to liberty itself, that I was able to have a philosophically consistent defense of it. One precluded the other, I suppose.

David K. Meller September 12, 2006 at 2:25 pm

It is true that the LP hasn’t achieved its goals of electing LP officeholders above the local,municipal,or county level in the past 35 years, but nobody else has either.

The radicals (like PETA, Friends of the Earth, NAACP, NOW etc.)who work outside of electoral politics are working in the direction that the statists and collectivists in the establishment (who control the funding, and hence the direction, of both major parties) want to go anyhow. While there are possible organizing and media-access techniques that we might learn from the “left”, there is no guarantee that similar non-political (or anti-political) initiatives undertaken by us would be anywhere nearly as successful and considerable reason to believe that we would be unsuccessful.

Education and increasing public awareness of Libertarian alternatives is something we have been remarkably successful with, although there is a long way to go. Anyone old enough to remember the founding of the LP remembers when the names of Rothbard, von Mises, Ayn Rand, Hayek and other current libertarians were totally UNKNOWN, or at most (like the word “libertarian” itself), they were political curiousities.

Today if we articulate our arguments and observations intelligently, we certainly get a hearing, sometimes even agreement, and even authoritarians often feel that they have to respond to Liberrtarian arguments. Cerrtainly the LP has had someting to do with the change in our visibility in the last 35 years. It hasn’t done it alone, but I don’t think that other libertarian and classical liberal groups, foundations, and media could have done THEIR educaiotnal and advocacy work without them.

We have done incredibly well, far better than anyone had a right to expect. We had, and still have, NO presence in the major newsmedia, no real presence in academia yet, (how many graduate and undergraduate degree programs are there in Objectivist studies, Praxeology, Austrian Economics, and Classical liberal studies)? We have some Congressmen and retired generals and admirals arguing that American military forces are overextended but the Libertarian perspective of principled Non-intervention is hardly even the dominant opposition doctrine of American foreign policy and National Defence, even with growing dissatisfaction with neocon intervention. There is no real libertarian presence in the Fortune 500 corporate Boardrooms, and no consistant references to our points of view in their press and newsmedia, although we will today sometimes find references to Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises and others that are accurate and respectful, unlike when we first started out. We have no libertarian judicial presence even on the appellate level, still less on the Supreme Court, we have no real presence in the Bar Association, or, even more importantly, the major elite tax-exempt policymaking foundations, e.g. Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderburg Group, Ford Foundation, Trilateral Commission, Carlyle Group, Skull and Bones, or other power centers. I could continue, but I have made my point.

The remarkable thing is that we libertarians have achieved as much as we have, while being totally excluded (both then and now) from the decision-maklng elites and their apparatus of control in our society. We should temper our critcisms of the LP, or other libertarian, objectivist, or Classic Liberal institutions with an awareness of that fact!!

We have enormous amounts of additional education, advocacy, and activism to undertake before most of our fellow-Americans, to say nothing of our fellow human beings around the world, realize how vicious, how fraudulent, and how pathetically and ievitably USELESS AND WORTHLESS government is, in ALL its works, both “welfare” and “warfare”, both “domestic” and “foreign”. We undoubtedly now still have an enormous job in simply increasing the size of a core of principled, intelligent, and engaging libertarians, both inside and outside the LP, before it is reasonable to talk about the LP winning elections.

Once a critical mass is reached, however, then we won’t have to worry about whether we can “elect” enough people to “office”. The changes will come with or without a “Libertarian Party”, and we finally will be in a position that has been fought for for decades, if not centuries. The LP can’t do it alone, and even if they could, I am not sure that they should. All of us should find ways to live up to the challenge of Ludwig von Mises:

“Yield not to evil, but resist it with courage”

David K. Meller

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