Ruwart Update

I’m back from Indianapolis – about which more later. In the meantime, I note that Mary Ruwart has an interesting article on how the LP is turning its back on libertarianism’s “natural constituency … the impoverished, the downtrodden, and the young.”

Speaking of Ruwart, I’m surprised that, despite widespread dissatisfaction with Barr, I haven’t seen any online discussion of a Ruwart write-in campaign. (If I vote at all this year, it’ll be a write-in – most likely of Ruwart.) Also, this (admittedly not much publicised) petition for Ruwart to run again in 2012 has only 13 signatures so far.

Agorist Demerit Count: 5.5


12 Responses to Ruwart Update

  1. Darian W August 24, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    Besides a few gestures toward students, I can’t say I’ve seen the LP have anything but it’s backside turned toward the impoverished, the downtrodden, and the young. Admittedly I was only active in the LP from 2004 to 2007 and marginally involved til 2008 so my perspective may be skewed.

    Perhaps Ruwart has noticed a change from simple ignorance and incompetency to open hostility. That I can see, especially hostility towards Spanish-speakers.

    I also think that boycotting the vote will be a more effective message than a write-in campaign.

  2. Nick Manley August 24, 2008 at 3:53 pm #

    I generally don’t care much about elections, but I was pleased to see Ruwart opposing Barr. She would have given the LP a more emphatic face.

  3. Administrator August 24, 2008 at 5:34 pm #

    I also think that boycotting the vote will be a more effective message than a write-in campaign.

    An anti-voting campaign can be a good outreach tool. Mere nonvoting by itself is just interpreted as apathy, though.

  4. Anon73 August 24, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    Well as Lysander Spooner once said, the statists will interpret anything you do as legitimizing the electoral process, whether one abstains, votes for candidate A, or votes for candidate B. So if someone wants to make a statement by not voting, more power to ’em.

  5. gyakusetsu August 24, 2008 at 10:45 pm #

    Guess I missed the original Indy mention, as I would have invited you for a coffee or beer.

  6. Administrator August 25, 2008 at 12:21 am #

    Well as Lysander Spooner once said

    Actually Herbert Spencer.

  7. Anon73 August 25, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    Dang, I thought for sure it was Spooner. 🙁

  8. Bob Kaercher August 25, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    Professor: I honestly don’t think you need to give yourself agorist demerits for supporting Ruwart for president.


    1.) She has absolutely zero chance of actually winning the presidency.
    2.) Based on what I’ve read of her, she’s incredibly consistent on being pro-freedom, making her campaign a far more effective vehicle for libertarian ideas than the campaigns of some other libertarians.

    Therefore, as one supporter of agorism to another, I don’t think your support of her warrants any demerits.

  9. Administrator August 26, 2008 at 12:13 am #

    Well, the agorist demerits aren’t indications that I think blogging in support of the Ruwart campaign is unjustified. If I thought that, I (hopefully) wouldn’t do it. They’re just a check-and-balance type means of discouraging me from letting electoral politics take up too much of my blog.

  10. CK August 29, 2008 at 5:29 pm #

    Can I just say this: as someone who had relatively high hopes for Barr as someone who could use his past establishment credentials to bootleg in some high-octane libertarianism into the debate, I have been EXTREMELY disappointed.

  11. Less Antman August 31, 2008 at 3:36 am #

    Barr COULD have made a heck of a splash with a campaign that focused on repealing all the laws he voted for during his Congressional years (those who repent always make great stories), and he did snare significant support at the LP nominating convention by implying he’d do so, but it is clear now that those expectations won’t be met, and he is getting such a shockingly small amount of campaign money from LP members that his campaign has been effectively repudiated by the party faithful (nor is he bringing in significant sums from anywhere else).

    The Intrade futures contract ( says Barr’s campaign is going to be a train wreck that won’t even reach Ed Clark’s 1.1% in 1980 and will prove, once and for all, that pragmatism isn’t practical. There’s a good chance that the radicals will have the floor after November, with a chance to do what Ruwart has been trying to do for over a decade:

    (1) Address, not dodge, the tough questions, including law enforcement, dispute resolution, and collective defense, and

    (2) Talk to the left, which is a more natural and useful ally than the right.

    I’ve always wanted that test case in the LP, and we came within a few votes of getting it in 2008 (Ruwart got 45% of the vote on the final ballot with her anarchism being openly discussed by the candidates and convention delegates). I’m still not ready to give up on the LP being a useful form of advocacy for the broader movement just yet. But I think 2012 will either see the LP’s greatest triumph or its effective end: I see no in-between.


  1. Draft Ruwart in 2012? | blog of bile - August 24, 2008

    […] I found this petition linked from Austrian-Athenian Empire: To:  Dr. Mary J. Ruwart […]

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