The Barristas, apparatchiks, dilutionists, and statist creeps who currently control the Libertarian Party are now demanding that immigrants to the U.S. be treated as guilty of being infected until proven innocent. (Conical hat tip to Soviet Onion.) No word on why they dont favour similar controls on travel between states, or hey, counties.
This is just the latest in a long train of abuses and usurpations.
Ive been involved intermittently with the LP for the past couple of decades, and there have always been serious problems with it. But in the last few years things have gotten much, much worse.
One of two things needs to happen, dammit. Either the Libertarian Party needs to be retaken by actual libertarians, and all these bozos purged or else the Party needs to be fought tooth and nail as an enemy of libertarianism.
Groups like the Grassroots Libertarian Caucus and the LP Radical Caucus are working (in somewhat different ways) at the first option, as are some of the better LP candidates and potential candidates (e.g. Mary Ruwart, Tom Knapp, Steve Kubby). The Agorists and Voluntaryists have long advocated the second option. I feel the pull of both, but in any case one or the other needs to be done. Letting the current leadership keep dragging the libertarian banner through the mud without concerted opposition is not an option.
Interestingly, I haven’t found any mention of Libertarians supporting “control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat … health …” in any platform but the latest one (the ’06 Reformer POS). Or the Constitution, for that matter.
If I was a member of the LP, I wouldn’t be after this…
That should read “pose a threat to health”. I was trying to snip the relevant portion and snipped too much. 🙂
GOP litedom continues….
My thoughts exactly.
Well, I’d hate to see you succeed in the former rather than the latter. If you choose the latter, though, I will just point out that you have “the nuclear option” at your disposal — by which I mean organizing an explicitly Libertarian Socialist caucus of the LP and grabbing a ready-made caucus platform from Carson’s “A Political Program for Anarchists”:
I won’t join you in such a project and I hope it fails, but better a superb plan fails than a lame one. Get this out of your system.
I know you’re an agorist, Brad, but why on earth would you hope it fails? I was under the impression that the agorist opposition to politics was based on its perceived futility, not on a moral opposition like the voluntaryists. Am I missing something?
Because your futility obstructs my liberty. Any questions?
And, no “the” agorist position in the sense of what Konkin espoused has been identical to the voluntaryist position. My *own* position deviates from Konkin in that I have doubts about the full applicability of the standard moral objections in all cases, but I do believe electoral politics is bad strategy because it disguises the true problem as one of scope of state policy rather than one of irrational obedience to policy.
I agree electoral politics is a terrible strategy. Still, I find it odd that you wish failure on those who (naively, perhaps) attempt to drive the political machine in a more libertarian direction. “I wish you wouldn’t waste your time,” or, “I wish you would reconsider” would make sense to me. But saying “I hope you fail” in an attempt to make the state less statist seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face, to me at least.
Anyway, it was an honest question, and I’m open to hearing more regarding your position on the morality or immorality of political participation.
@MikeD — If I believe people are following an ultimately counter-productive strategy to their stated goals they share with me, then being a good ally means I *must* wish them failure so they can hopefully come to correct their approach as soon as possible.
Correction: “If you choose the FORMER…”
Don’t blame me, I voted for Satan.
Actually, I did get together with an occult acquaintance of mine back in January, and we (well, mostly she) put a destruction curse on his ass. It should take effect sometime this year.
Funny how it didn’t take much convincing to get her to go along with this. All I had to was point out this bullshit:
The Motorhome Diaries crew also just put together a timely interview with David Nolan, the founder of the party, who has some pretty harsh observations to share.
“Don’t blame me, I voted for Satan.”
I lol’d XD!
Bob Barr is an unspeakable douchebag who crowned a lifetime spent in the business of oppression with the desecration of political party that was supposed to represent the ideals of tens of thousands. By this finale he gained absolutely nothing except the pettiest flattery for what must be the wreck of his ego. This kind of lowliness is sickening to think about. The metaphor that comes to mind is ‘political rapist’.
I must admit that Barr’s a pretty good target for black magick. I suspect many people here have a just claim to revenge. I’d have some very dark thoughts myself if I hadn’t already given up on the LP.
The part of me that still takes the occult semi-seriously still doesn’t think this is a terribly good idea, at least not if you yourself take it seriously.
Altho’… I do know at least one woman in the Libertarian movement who is qualified to perform a Satanic ritual, and would do it well, and can handle anything.
I have to ask… did you use an altar?
> “I have to ask… did you use an altar?”
Altar, athame, silver chalice, wand, pentacle (Sigil of Baphomet), short sword, burning bowl, incense and various differently colored candles.
It wasn’t strictly LaVey’s destruction ritual, and most of the time was taken up by supporting actions: asking me if I really wanted to do this, divination, then ending with a grounding spell. No banishing ritual or circle; she used a Hermetic elemental invocation for “self-steadying” (the same thing demonolaters do, since they consider traditional Goetic methods disrespectful to the demons). I didn’t actively participate so much, but I suppose if anyone’s vulnerable as a result of just being in the room it’s me, which would suck if that were the case. Bob Barr’s not a worthy enough target to die over.
Occult practices interest me for aesthetic and historical reasons, even though they’re almost certainly fraudulent or delusional. I’ll reserve belief until I see results. I definitely do NOT believe in any kind of cosmic retribution or Law of Three, in response to black magick or anything else. Any casual glance at the world without rose-colored glasses will tell you that no such process exists. Crooks can, and often do, die happier than the rest of us. “Evil” is built into the world, not some externally derived sickness that will heal itself you leave it alone. If it were, so many religions wouldn’t try to push the function of cosmic punishment into the afterlife, where people can’t see and easily refute it.
(And if this were the case then it would only prove how inefficient magick is compared to modern technology, because there are plenty of physical ways to hurt someone from a distance that don’t invite damnation or a threefold return. All it would prove is that spells are now outclassed by sniper rifles.)
The good news is that an amoral universe leaves us much more free to interpret our own exoterically derived set of ethics, and opens the door to some magickal gunslinging, which is much more my style than prayer even if it is just delusion. It can’t be less effective than voting in any case, and you don’t sell your soul so cheaply.
> “Altho’… I do know at least one woman in the Libertarian movement who is qualified to perform a Satanic ritual, and would do it well, and can handle anything.”
It’s not Angela Keaton, is it? 🙂
I am undecided about the reality of the Divine. I have seen no evidence that magick works in the obvious way, and most practitioners of magick I have known have been ignorant, naive, dishonest, emotionalist and/or delusional. This does not mean that they lack any human virtues. If magick does work, the best model I’ve ever encountered for an explanation is C.S. Lewis’ defence of the efficacy of prayer, which borrowed from Boethius to conclude that supernaturalism works ‘through’ and ‘behind’ existing causality. This is, of course, an unfalsifiable proposition and an insulated theory.
I have, however, had some very strange experiences in my life. One of them led me to practice Paganism intensely for three years, and I can still not decide whether to call it madness or ecstasy. I had a rather loose relationship with reality during that time, with seriously bad side effects. But I also felt things, and experienced things, with a level of inner fire which makes mundane life seem slightly bleak by comparison. I can’t have these experiences without throwing myself off into a magickal space. And I have personally experienced things which break the rules, as have some other very rational people I know.
The center of Pagan spirituality (I agree with diZerega on this) is direct religious experience. One forces or allows oneself to live life as poetry and open oneself to inspiration. If Paganism is right, the essence of this process is communion with the Divine, which we can reach through stories that ‘ping’ back when we take them as real.
Gus believes that one thing we must discover in this process is a transcendent morality made imminent in any genuine experience of the sacred. This is false- I think it can be shown to be overwelmingly false by an unselected review of the often terrible history of religion. Love, lust, friendship, community, intoxication, war, death, and torture have all been part of Pagan and shamanic rituals and have all been part of paths to the Divine. The Divine, if it exists, is therefore as amoral as nature. This is largely because Pagan methods precisely are a conscious evocation of the prerational elements of human nature (they are in fact the same elements upon which many conservatives and fascists build their politics). Everything that makes a story compelling can be a path to the gods.
The gods are not moral. But *we*- human beings who need to discover how to flourish in life and live among each other- *we* do need ethics. And since Pagan experience means casting oneself free into a story and lose ourselves in the experience (and, supposedly, nudge reality as a result), the spirit and images we invoke can deeply effect us. The reason not to strangle people in service to Kali is not a problem with God but a problem for man. But the intensity of spiritual experience raises the seriousness of the matter significantly. To invoke Satan is to become Satan or at least Satanic for the space of the ritual.
I don’t see any evidence for the magickal law of return. I completely agree with you that it is usually just the occultist’s this-wordly version of Hell, with the intention of scaring its audience toward ethical or “moral” action. That said, I’m hesitant to use black magick for precisely the same reasons I would hesitate very strongly to use mundane violence: hurting other people does awful things to you; it leaves spiritual scars which one has to live with for life. In this sense, the law of return is a formulation of the virtue of integrity, in its social application. (authentically) Harmonious and forthright dealings with others makes clarity within oneself easier- once you harm someone you are placed in a position of confronting or evading a jarring memory every time you try to integrate your values or apply those values socially to another. If you shoot someone you will have something very dark and weighty to confront in yourself, and the same principle applies to hexes and curses. Except that the psychological danger is increased if you put yourself in such a heightened state. An obviously if you think that you are touching the Divine, the impact of such a heightened experience can be overwhelming. And to *this* you add the fact that the occult just doesn’t make sense and trying to think in an occult way is inherently damaging to reason and perhaps sanity… well, I think black magick has the rep is does for a reason.
And I’m not entirely certain that the alleged effects of a ritual are not worth worrying about. There is some evidence for thiongs which step into the paranormal. Near death experiences seem fairly well documented, including independently verified remote viewing of objects (i.e., being able to repeat specific details concerning the dress of people when one has one’s eyes covered by a cloth on an operating table). Acupuncture has a better than placebo effectiveness, if not the level of effectiveness traditional Chinese medicine claims for it. I swear that at times I’ve felt energy/ki/prana. I’ve had tantric orgasms and have seen men multiple-orgasm by the same method… and I haven’t been able to have them since I stopped practicing. And while I don’t really know what is going on, but I know that when I threw myself into goddess space it did *something*. And I’ve gotten out of a few really bad situations which by rights I shouldn’t have.
This is, singly or together, proof of anything- but when conjoined with overwhelmingly powerful personal experience is gives me much pause. I am very torn between a desire to live a completely rational life and the desire to embrace experiences which seem so inextricably part of myself Thankfully, I think the time is not far off when I’ll be able to settle this issue in myself conclusively.
“It’s not Angela Keaton, is it?”
I would never say anything that might damage the reputation of the charming Angela Keaton.
> “I would never say anything that might damage the reputation of the charming Angela Keaton.”
Well, I never meant to imply that you would. It certainly wouldn’t damage my opinion of her if she put a curse on Bob Barr; only enhance it or affirm what I already like about her. 🙂
“Don’t blame me, I voted for Satan”: sounds like a name for a blog if I ever heard one!
Brad S. would definitely blame us if we voted for Satan. 😀
It’s because of crap like this that I lean more and more toward simply calling myself anarchist. When I do use the “libertarian” label, I make sure that it’s prefixed with the word anarchist, so that I hopefully won’t get lumped in with these xenophobic bozos in the minds of the unconverted.
I bet you never thought you’d see the day when “anarchist” was a better PR move than “libertarian”.
I shouldn’t fail to point out, BTW, that Tom Knapp’s latest C4SS commentary piece is on this very topic…
“It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To”
Well, there goes the last shred of hope I had that the “Libertarian” Party could actually do some good.
All libertarians succeeded in doing in creating the party was to create another monstrosity that must now be dismantled and destroyed like all of the others.
Can we please stop using the same tactics as the commies now?
I just had this great image of Roderick coated in the blood of the LP leadership. Roderick, poorly photo-shop the image now!
Two men enter! One man leaves!
Driving the conservatoids before him and hearing the lamentations of their women!
“Because your futility obstructs my liberty. Any questions?”
Question: How do ya figger?
Konkin was never able to come up with a good answer to that question. I’ll be interested in seeing if you can.
Well, Brad can speak for himself, of course, but I gather the argument (which I certainly feel the pull of) is that engaging in electoral politics encourages people to keep thinking of the established political framework as the appropriate venue for political change, and so works against the preferable strategy of encouraging people to build alternative institutions and withdraw legitimacy from the state.
Well, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, Tom, but right now I think it’s safe to say:
1) we each recognize the state as principal obstacle to liberty;
2) we each believe we have the most correct way to deal with that obstacle;
3) we each seek to recruit others to our own particular approach to dealing with that obstacle because each approach supposes more effectiveness with more adherents;
4) and as we each believe the approach we are each using is the most correct, we see failures to recruit as regretable lucky breaks for the state;
5) but only one of the two approaches, however, is *actually* most correct.
“4) and as we each believe the approach we are each using is the most correct, we see failures to recruit as regretable lucky breaks for the state;”
I’m not so sure about this. Political participation and building alternative institutions are not mutually exclusive processes; I think most libertarians can walk and chew gum at the same time. Furthermore, some personality types are naturally inclined to work for change in their own way. If the options for Libertarian A are:
1. Work within the libertarian party and do nothing else.
2. Do nothing at all.
would you really prefer he follow option 2 to option 1?
I take issue with the way the question is framed. Number two is not what I advocate.
Mike D. wasn’t saying you advocate (2). He was saying that for some libertarians whose natural temperaments and affinities are for a particular strategy (be it electoral politics, countereconomics, or what have you) the realistic options for them are that or nothing.
@Roderick — But if what I advocate isn’t an option for someone else, why shouldn’t I suppose they’re not listening to me anyway — and my answers, including to the preceding question?
I think after they chose to put Bob Barr up as their candidate, they effectively drove out any true libertarians left within the party. I couldn’t see any difference b/t Barr and Bush until he supposedly had an ideological epiphany a few months prior to election time. I am skeptical of such well timed enlightenments.
I do think Barr has been a bit more libertarian than Bush for a while. (Needless to say, being a bit more libertarian than Bush is not a qualification for being the nominee of the Libertarian Party.)
Fair enough for a starting point:
“[E]ngaging in electoral politics encourages people to keep thinking of the established political framework as the appropriate venue for political change, and so works against the preferable strategy of encouraging people to build alternative institutions and withdraw legitimacy from the state.”
I have to think that Brad means something different. He refers to futility. “Futile” refers to that which produces “no result or effect,” not to that which produces an effect contrary to the effect desired.
If the LP is merely “futile,” then it neither advances nor obstructs Brad’s liberty (or, to elaborate on behalf of his meaning as I take it, his attempts to achieve same).
I was not being so precise in the reply you are replying to. My use of the word futile was in reply to someone else’s use of it. Of my two replies to them, I believe the second better illustrates the point that the LP is not merely ineffective *politically*, but that a politically effective LP would be a bad thing because reformism generally disguises the problem.
I’ll also clarify that futility is a broader concept than just *politically* futile. Regardless of whether the Lp is futile or not as a political effort, I believe it’s futile as a strategy for liberation because the most correct path lies outside of politics as conventionally understood. I do regret that I’m sometimes apparently misunderstood as saying it’s *just* politically futile, though.
Just my two cents (as an intermittent commenter but daily reader of all of your blogs)
I definitely prefer the second option. I’ve done a lot of reading of both sides’ arguments over the years, and I just think that we’d have a freer world if we didn’t waste time on the whole “elections can solve things” mind-set and just side-step the regulatory State as much as possible.
Relevant new blog post…
Anti-politics: Throwing a bone to the reformists
I am a radical libertarian who is a charter and lifetime member of the L.P. Of late I, too have been pretty unhappy with the way things have been going.
I have to admit that I smell the foul stench of COINTELPRO.
Having said that, the L.P. is still by far the best, or least bad, political party and for now I’ll hang in there in hopes that the radicals get control again.
I have been trying to get some in-house education going. Other than candidate training they do not seem to be much interest. But I think many in the L.P. do not understand their economics as well as they should and maybe this is one reason why this sellout to the establishment is occurring.
Read Rothbard! On my blog I am reviewing some of his works, so check that out first.
As an officer of the Arizona and Maricopa County LP’s I make no apologies for the cadre of Libertarians that make up the core of the national party.
There are some good folks who are serving as at-large members and, unfortunately, there has been an alleged attempted purge of 2 of them who are of the radical/hardcore variety.
Fortunately, the attempts to have done so have backfired.
None the less, I belong to the LP Radicals that wants to “take the party back” and its because of verbage like what is in this press release you point to that the national party is seriously in need of an overhaul.
Meantime, I would suggest local activits work within their locan and state affiliates since that is where you will see the most results and can hook up with like-minded activists.
As Tip O’Neal once said: “All politics is local”.
I should really learn to scroll down before posting.
Sorry, Brad, for asking questions you had already answered.
Well I go a bit further even than most Agorists in a sense that I really could care less about the LP one way or another.
I don’t think any sort of mass action is feasible unless
1. it is guided by narrow utilitarian concerns or
2. a lot of groundwork is done to increase people’s time horizons (and intersubjectivity as well)
Either way it seems like you get a lot more “bang for your buck” just convincing people to evade the state instead of confronting it, because that fits most people’s narrow utilitarian concerns as stated above.
The revolution will consist of people doing their own thing all the time, without reference to authorities. Then the “state” as such will at worst function as a super-mafia and rapidly be overtaken and dismantled by alternatives and competitors.
The idea of “warfare” will seem as quaint and ridiculous to these future people as the crusades do to us. “You mean he told them all to go out and get killed for nothing? And they did it?!?”
There may be a point between here and there where mass action and confrontation does become feasible because people’s time horizons and interdependence have expanded due to the gradual collapse of the state. When the time comes, you won’t have much difficulty getting people to act.
In the mean time, and I do intend the pun here, I think it really doesn’t matter what happens to the LP or even the popular definition of “libertarian”.
I’m personally tired of all the “ists,” “isms” and “arians.”
I’m for Liberty, first mine, then everybody else’s. More government means less liberty. We need a new Liberty Party to overshadow the Libertarian Party and make it obsolete.
Yet your advocacy of a political party makes you one sort of “-ist”, so apparently you’re not *that* tired of it all.
I’d be very much interested in responses to the jury nullification approach. It would seem to me that activity that could make a real difference by reaching (and convincing) just 10 – 15 percent would be a more sensible approach.
Unfortunately for America, third parties are irrelevant. The two-party system is here to stay, we must work to change them from within. Third parties only steal votes away from the next closest major party they resemble (Thank Ross Perot for defeating Bush Sr and Ralph Nader for defeating Al Gore) Third party candidates only hurt their cause by running. Instead, third party leaders should become involved with either the Republicans or Democrats, after all Republicans abolished slavery and conservative Democrats wrote and enforced Jim Crow laws. The parties can and will change. My political views are most closely libertarian, but I too see ridiculousness in the LP. Way too much emphasis is put on legalizing drugs and deporting illegal aliens. Heroine and Crack should definitely not be legal, and people who leave their homes and lives behind to come to America should not be persecuted. Not too long ago, they were our grandparents. Libertarians should work within both parties to advance the cause of the personal responsibility that accompanies freedom with stricter prison sentences for violent criminals and more lenient ones for people who make poor live choices. Instead of focusing on gun control, we should focus on making the penalty for using a gun illegally so harsh that it far outweighs the benefits derived from its misuse. Likewise, we as a society cannot let the poor starve to death on the streets, instead of more welfare programs, we should encourage private donations to humanitarian organizations (churches, homeless shelters, the Salvation Army, etc.) so that they may more effectively care for those in need. There is so much wrong with the system that is so easily remedied.
a) Stealing votes away from the party they most closely resemble is not necessarily an ineffective strategy for changing the major parties; see this old piece of mine here.
b) Working within the major parties does not look obviously easier than running a third party against them. In both cases one tends to be consistently outvoted by statist majorities. Clearly what’s needed is education to make people less statist; and third parties at their sanest see their function as educational rather than actually trying to get elected.
c) There are strategies for achieving liberty that don’t focus on electoral politics. See, for example, Sam Konkin’s here (which bypasses electoral politics entirely) or Kevin Carson’s here (which combines electoral politics with direct action).
d) I agree with you on immigration, but disagree strongly on most of the other issues you raise. Drug prohibition, in addition to being unjust and ineffective, is one of the chief engines driving both violent crime and the growth of the police state. Re guns, the right of self-defense is the most basic one there is. Re treatment of criminals, I favour an emphasis on making criminals compensate their victims, rather than an emphasis on punishment. Re welfare, we should abolish the thousands of laws that make it harder for poor people to rise out of poverty.
Re non-electoral strategies see also Charles Johnson here and here.
Back away from the internet, sir.
How did you happen to find this blog?
I’ve known many people who have used heroine without hurting anyone. I’ve also known one person who has used *heroin* without hurting anyone. She was clearly suffering from her use, but she was a kind person with a good spirit and a great deal of intellectual courage. I’d very much appreciate if you would cease your support for violent institutions that want to put her in a cage.
I’ve experimented with hard drugs myself. I believe in trying everything once. I quickly decided they were a *bad* idea (actually, cocaine wasn’t so bad, it’s just not even close to worth the price). But I prefer to make decisions based upon my own knowledge and experience rather than trust in the authority of police and parents, who have proven wrong on so many other issues. Therefore, I’d also appreciate if you would stop threatening to put *me* in a cage as well.
Please come down off your control trip. Aren’t there more rewarding experiences in life than ordering people around?