Steve G.

Bob Barr and the Big Fascist Lie

In Communism, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics on July 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm

The more I’ve thought about Barr’s recent statement imploring Americans to “give thanks to God” for the “life and work” of racist U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, the angrier I’ve become. And it’s really not so much about Helms’s racism as it is about the fascist lie of the “New Right” — i.e. the militarist, anti-Taftian Right — that Reagan and Fed-financed fascism helped “bring down Communism.”

This, even more than rank racism, is a complete rejection of libertarian principles. As our standard-bearer, we have a guy who believes that if not for the fascist central planning and militarization of FDR/Truman/LBJ/Reagan, etc. — and the fiat-money central bank that financed it — Communism would have prevailed.

It took fascism, in Barr’s view, to defeat Communism.

This is a complete rejection of lessons taught by Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard — you know, libertarians — as well as the Old Right views of Robert Taft and Howard H. Buffett. Namely, that Communism is doomed to fail.

Freedom did not win out and Communism wouldn’t have fallen of its own accord — at least not according to the “libertarian” candidate for president.

That the Libertarian Party would have a nominee who spreads this offensive statist propaganda — that which the “New Right” has been spreading for decades in defense of the welfare/warfare state — is absolutely disgusting and should be the final straw for any right-thinking Libertarian.

Barr is not a libertarian, but a conservative of the worst sort. And he’s not a capitalist, but an out-and-out fascist. Just as CIA operative W.F. Buckley infiltrated the anti-war conservative movement of the post WWII era, so has another CIA operative infiltrated libertarianism. Now that his true colors have been revealed to all, without doubt, he should be firmly rejected in the most vociferous manner possible.

  1. It is obvious that unless we want a comunist state under the leadership of the Marxist dictates of Obama or the Socialist programs of McCain we better hope that a true Constitutionalist like Bob Barr gets more regognization by th American people.

  2. Barr a “true constitutionalist” = HA!

  3. The political issue in modern society is whether one believes that people are rational, thoughtful human beings capable of running their own lives with nary an interference, or if governments must accumulate power in order to control the mindless, dangerous masses.

    But a CIA conspiracy? Get real.

  4. Marxist dictates of Obama

    This is the other problem that we as a Libertarian Party have. We have a right-wing extremist at the top of the ticket because so many Libertarians have taken to parroting Freeperisms like “Marxist.”

    Obama is not a Marxist, he’s a mercantilist, with very few real policy differences between himself and John McCain. A Marxist would advocate the revolutionary overthrow of society and its replacement with a communist collective.

    Now, I know that Rush keeps using the term on his show, but that doesn’t make it accurate. In fact, it should make one think twice about using the term himself.

  5. GE I see what you mean, but perhaps one should not “overinterpret” Barr’s positive praise of Helms. I am sure he meant the positive things Helms stood for, and not the less positive things. Everybody has his positive/negative sides. Barr has described himself as a “traditional conservative” and in the interview with bloggingheads he expressly denounced the “neoconservatives”. His loss in the primary of his congressional seat has forced him to think and overthink some past votes and views.

    Ron Paul and Jesse Helms are two of the most fiscal conservatives in congress/senate. Kent Snyder mentioned in a debate that Jesse Helms endorsed Paul’s book on the Gold standard, e.g. his critique on fiat money. Paul, like Helms, also supported Reagan in 1976. As we all know Nixon’s departure from the gold standard was what sparked Paul to enter politics. He has asked Reagan in private about the gold standard and one got the impression Reagan personally was also for it, but some in the administration against it (the Rockefeller/Bush wing, whereas Paul and Barr represent the Goldwater/Reagan line. Reagan made a big mistake by nominating Bush 1 as VP, after he promised he would not. No Bush 1 and you can be assured probably Paul would have been TX governor instead and no Bush 2 in any case). As a matter of fact, the early Greenspan was also against the fiat-money system. Paul refers to it in articles and also his book, The Revolution – a Manifesto.
    Goldwater – the inspiration for the LP – was also strongly anti-communist, like Helms and many conservatives. Yes, communism imploded because of its own failing ultimately, and an only military spending was not sustainable without economic growth. But the strong fight against communism worldwide possibly also helped it from spreading. In Thailand there were strong military infighting, against protesters. Barr was actually part of the revolutionary 68 movement as UCLA, but his mother and the influence of Ayn Rand changed him… perhaps very much like Paul’s strong anti-war credentials and record attract many youth voters and refrain them from going after a socialist “anti-war” (Obama is not really antiwar, but certainly much more than McCain). The communists were military quite active worldwide and had a plan to take over countries. If they had managed to take control of SOuth Africa, they may well have not imploded financially, as Russia and SOuth Africa control over 90% of the gold and SA has many minerals (silver, platinum, diamonds, copper etc. etc.). I personally think – I am no expert – that there may have been a communist suspects with MLK. What I am sure about, is that the whole ANC and Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Mbeki etc. were very much under the influence of communism. Mandela wrote a book “How to be a good communist”. He is most definitely nopt the saint many want to portray him. He was not imprisoned for his political belief, he was imprisoned – rightfully – for plotting to murder innocent people and there were various bombings. There is a certain connection between MLK and Mandela?
    I really see Barr as a conservative libertarian, earlier more conservative with libertarian leanings. He has referred to the “occupation of Iraq” and some conservative pundits has criticized him for this statement, but he stands by it. There is with him also now the strong insight that if you want small government, you have to be anti-war (George Will said the same). Barr does not have the exact strong monetary background as Paul has, but then again not many politicians do have it…

    I may note that Barr’s friend and constitutional lawyer, Bruce Fein – a conservative in the Reagan administration,was/is also Ron Paul’s friend and adviser in his campaign. You can remember in a debate Paul said the war was also against international law… Fein has strongly called for the impeachment of Bush. He has real integrity as an accomplished expert in constitutional law. Barr has seen the overreach of the constitution and would be strict constitutional now. You may also note his strong action against the Patriot Act since the past few years. He did not became known as “Mr. Privacy” for no reason. Also: he served in the Reagan and Bush 1 administrations, and after the CLinton impeachment, you would assume he would have hold an important position in the Bush 2 administration from 2000, not true? But he was totally left out. The Bush 2 administration is very much dominated by neocons (Frum, Erle, Feith etc. etc). If Barr was really one of them, he would have had an important role in the Bush 2 administration, but he had not. Some things to think about?

  6. I personally drafted the memo to all of our operatives in the Libertarian Party.

    The CIA is very opposed to a Barr administration. A Barr adminstration would not be good for our budget. Disclousure, cutbacks, pure evil I tell you. Having “Mr. Privacy” as their presidential candidate is the worse possible scenario for our agency.

    Our operatives were unsuccessful at disrupting the Libertarian Party Convention. We tried spreading rumors to about convention packing, we printed hundreds of negative flyers distorting Barr’s record. We threw our support behind an unknown we were certain the media wouldn’t cover in hopes of keeping the LP marginalized and limited to their typical 400-500k votes.

    While we didn’t achieve our goal of preventing Barr from getting the nomination. The recent intelligence shows Barr is climbing in popularity, hovering 6% according to Zogby.

    Barr publicizing the libertarian ideals of smaller government, ending foreign intervention, upholding gun rights, and protecting privacy is known to strike a cord with many out there and our analysts predict he will gain more support. We must not let this continue.

    Starting with the convention, we had some success at sowing seeds of discontent within the party. Going forward we will continue to have operatives leak stories, write hit pieces, and participate the forums to further spread this discontent.

    I repeat. Small government, Mr Privacy must be stopped at all costs.

    Your truly, for a more user friendly CIA,
    Acting Director of Covert Operations with the US

    PS: disinter keep up the great work. You promotion is coming soon. I know you realize how difficult the government paperwork can be at times.

  7. This is the other problem that we as a Libertarian Party have. We have a right-wing extremist at the top of the ticket because so many Libertarians have taken to parroting Freeperisms like “Marxist.”

    Obama is not a Marxist, he’s a mercantilist, with very few real policy differences between himself and John McCain. A Marxist would advocate the revolutionary overthrow of society and its replacement with a communist collective.

    Now, I know that Rush keeps using the term on his show, but that doesn’t make it accurate. In fact, it should make one think twice about using the term himself.

    EXACTLY!

  8. Okay: Jesse Helms was no libertarian. He’s supported some stuff that makes one’s hair curl. The press release could have been worded a bit better as well. However, this is no crisis. I was no fan of Jesse helms. In fact, I detested a lot of what he stood for, but I’m not going to throw a damn hissy fit each time the Barr campaign does any little thing that could be hammered on.

    And since when did the LP become so politically correct? G.E., you must have picked it up during your tenure in the Democratic and Green parties. You haven’t been in the LP terribly long, but already you’re attempting to be the gatekeeper who determines who is a “real” libertarian versus those “fake” ones.

  9. But a CIA conspiracy? Get real.

    Yea, come on guys. The CIA would NEVER get involved with anything political or anything.

  10. Notice Barf is completely silent regarding the tragic death of Kent Snyder, yet he is crying over the “loss” of a statist pig. Go figure.

  11. Gene “fascist lover” Trosper: It has nothing to do with political correctness — it has to do with ECONOMIC FACTUAL CORRECTNESS.

    Barr is “politically correct” in advancing the statist lie that lends credibility to the liberal/neocon consensus, of which you are a part.

  12. That’s a bit harsh. Gene is part of a liberal-neocon concensus how?

  13. Sure. If I’m a politically correct closet liberal, then he is most certainly part of the liberal-neocon consensus.

    Which do you think is closer to the truth?

  14. since when did the LP become so politically correct?

    This is another problem that we as a Libertarian Party have.

    There’s been such a push by some to appeal to the right wing fringe, that proper moral stances on issues such as the immorality of bigotry are now framed by many as “political correctness,” and support of immoral and unlibertarian enterprises such as immigration shutdowns, foreign wars for oil, big government expansion, and state government majoritarian rule are seen as presented as legitimate points of view that only the intolerant doctrinaires would have a problem with.

    So we’re being told that we’re politically correct for shutting our minds to Dixiecrat racist crap, and that we’re not open-minded enough when we reject repackaged statist right-fringe bullshit as “libertarian.”

    And we wonder why we’re in the cellar?

  15. bmillerlib:

    The party system is rigged in such a way that any upstarts that challenge the ruling class are treated as enemies to be destroyed. Campaigns are often strangled in the crib with so many hoops to jump through just to get on the ballot. Those hose that make it through tend to face well-moneyed opponents and a media that denies the existence of any letters except D or R.

    So is it a surprise that those that fair such a gauntlet are watered down and rendered politically impotent by the process?

  16. The party system is rigged in such a way that any upstarts that challenge the ruling class are treated as enemies to be destroyed.

    Nah.

    That’s a cop out.

    Many Libertarians, including so-called “principled” ones, threw their copy of the LP platform in the garbage can to join the Ron Paul campaign when offered a chance to grasp the brass ring of power.

    When offered the chance to be upstarts opposed to power and consistently in favor of a principled approach, even many LPers are willing to throw various constituents under the bus to get what they want.

    Many of the same people complaining about the pro-DOMA states rights social conservative Republican from Georgia as LP nominee were demanding the LP nominate a pro-DOMA states rights social conservative Republican from Texas instead. How they position themselves as “principled” is well beyond me.

    If people who claim to operate “outside the system” are willing to give in to that sort of power-over-principle theme, than the entire utility of a “libertarian movement” comes into question. Over the past 12 months, my long-time faith in libertarians to consistently do the right thing has been completely demolished — in a way, the Barr nomination is anticlimactic. So many libertarians had already abdicated their principles to support the Paul campaign — they’re just pissed off that they were thrown under the bus on their issue by other unprincipled libertarians, just as they originally threw immigrants, gays, and other constituencies harmed by Ron Paul’s statism under the bus.

    The whole “party of principle” thing is obviously a laughable tagline at this point. There’s very little real principle in the entire movement, in fact. Just a bunch of hypocritical faux-doctrinaires who are lecturing other people on “the right way to think,” even while campaigning in the opposite direction on various issues when it suits some “bigger purpose.”

    That’s no different at all from Democrats or Republicans, except that the Ds and Rs are better at it than the clumsy Ls.

  17. Brian Miller just can’t stand that Ron Paul doesn’t want to give him welfare benefits.

  18. The LP Platform _should_ be thrown in the garbage and replaced with the Constitution.

  19. So VanDyke….where’s my 50 dollars plus 5 percent yearly interest? Fucking thief!

  20. Brian Miller:
    “proper moral stances on issues” hmmm let me see, will the LP then talk against pornography and prostitution as well, you know to be consistent in your reasoning
    or do you consider pornography and prostitution to be properly moral?

  21. Hmm, yes, probably the release would have been better if it said “hastened” rather than “helped” the downfall of communism. There’s a strong case that the US defense build up of the 80s put intense pressure on the Soviets, as some top Soviets have reported that.

    No fan of Helms or the build up, here, just an interpretation. That, and Barr’s been polling well in NC. Perhaps silence would have been the better course. But no where does the release say: I agree with everything Helms did and said. If it did, that would be a problem for me.

    Projecting and speculating does little to advance knowledge and understanding.

  22. Robert: Yes I agree. This guilty by association is about the same as with a certain 500 USD contribution to Paul last year that has been totally blown out of proportions. I do think some tend to argument in theory. Sure one can say the military build-up and intervention was too big during the Reagan years, but communism was also a threat (much different than Al Qaeda of today), they had a lot of nukes etc. It should also be said that Reagan defied the “hardline military conservatives” in the GOP (including Helms?) by negotiating with Michael G during the time of glasnost and perestroika and this has helped a lot help end the cold war. Communism had to self-implode, but if they had captured the mineral wealth of South Africa, they would have lasted much much longer, I can guarantee anyone.

    With McCain or Obama, I am afraid there may be a new cold war with China and Russia may break out, also over Iran…

  23. Gene “fascist lover” Trosper: It has nothing to do with political correctness — it has to do with ECONOMIC FACTUAL CORRECTNESS.

    Barr is “politically correct” in advancing the statist lie that lends credibility to the liberal/neocon consensus, of which you are a part.

    HEHEHEHEHE!

    Thanks for the early morning chuckle! Hmmm…now where did I put the polish for my jackboots?

  24. Gene Trosper Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 1:14 am

    (Regarding G.E.) You haven’t been in the LP terribly long, but already you’re attempting to be the gatekeeper who determines who is a “real” libertarian versus those “fake” ones.

    Well Mr. Trosper, I know that you have touted yourself as being in the LP longer than just about anyone else, but I, as a self described libertarian for over 30 years, and active in the LP for 20 years, can tell you that you sir, are a “fake” one. Your willingness to compromise the core of libertarianism precludes your “real” libertarian” credentials. The same goes for Barr and W.A.R.

    As I stated in a earlier post, touting the few things which libertarians could agree with Helms on would have not been objectionable, but for Barr to go on glowingly as he did about Helms is more than inappropriate . . . it is completely off base.

    When will the apologizers for the full fledged conservatism of Barr running as a “Libertarian” wake up to the fact that Barr cares very little for the LP, its local LP candidates, the LP’s future, and is absolutely catering to the conservatives ONLY in his campaign? Where will Barr be in relation to the LP next year. My money is on that he won’t be anywhere near!

    Folks, this is not about the lesser of five evils here . . . the LP is about educating and promoting libertarianism to the electorate in the political sphere. Just because Barr is less “bad” than all the others (except possibly Baldwin . . . we’ll see if Jay actually gets on ballots), it does not follow that Libertarians should give Barr a blank check to promote a less than libertarian agenda. Make no mistake about it . . . Barr definitely IS promoting a WAY less than a libertarian agenda, and Libertarians ought to be calling him on it.

    Bravo to G.E. for doing just this!

  25. Many of the same people complaining about the pro-DOMA states rights social conservative Republican from Georgia as LP nominee were demanding the LP nominate a pro-DOMA states rights social conservative Republican from Texas instead. How they position themselves as “principled” is well beyond me.

    EXACTLY.

    BTW, I agree that the Barr campaign needs to called out on its dubious praise for Helms, backsliding on DOMA, etc. But I am still amazed that Ron Paul got a free pass again and again on his similar weak spots from otherwise hardcore libertarians. Huge double-standard.

  26. Robert Capozzi Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Hmm, yes, probably the release would have been better if it said “hastened” rather than “helped” the downfall of communism. There’s a strong case that the US defense build up of the 80s put intense pressure on the Soviets, as some top Soviets have reported that.

    Where is the proof that the militarism of Reagan and other administrations actually “hastened” the communist downfall? It is equally possible that the American military buildup spurned hate for the US, and effectively strengthened the Soviet resolve. Of course, it might have hastened its demise, as money spent on non-productive ventures like the military could also impoverish a nation.

    However, what good did all that military spending do for Americans? Such spending only hastened to cripple the American economy as well, as we are seeing that the War on Terror is doing right now.

    In a nutshell, Capozzi is just another apologist for the non-libertarian ticket pf Barr/W.A.R.

    No fan of Helms or the build up, here, just an interpretation. That, and Barr’s been polling well in NC. Perhaps silence would have been the better course. But no where does the release say: I agree with everything Helms did and said. If it did, that would be a problem for me.

    So, good polling well makes it all better, right Bob? Does this polling have anything to do with strengthening support for libertarian solutions, or is this alleged “polling well” simply support for conservative positions? Given Barr’s pandering to the right, I believe unequivocally that the latter is the case.

    The ridiculousness of Capozzi’s argument is capped off with the idea that the Barr press release doesn’t say that Barr agrees “with everything Helms did and said.” That’s right Bob, take the argument to the extreme and if that isn’t what Barr is saying, then it’s no “problem”. But the glowing, totally positive tone and verbiage of the Barr statement is OK, as it isn’t supportive of “EVERYTHING” Helms stood for.

    Capozzi, please find a better way to promote your utter compromise of liberty . . . you think we’re all lightweights who don’t see through your extremely weak arguments?

  27. Jim Lesczynski Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    But I am still amazed that Ron Paul got a free pass again and again on his similar weak spots from otherwise hardcore libertarians. Huge double-standard.

    Jim:

    Yes Ron Paul has weak spots. Some may be giving him a “free pass”, but as a Ron Paul supporter, I don’t. I have long said that I disagree with his positions on immigration (though Paul’s view is prefaced on the failing economy, whereas Barr’s isn’t), abortion, and certain other socially conservative ideals. Paul always however, gave a principled argument for liberty for the longer term . . . Barr does not and continues to not. My support for Ron Paul is/was simple . . . he calls for transitioning out of federal programs with the ultimate goal being based on the principle of liberty and choice. Plus, throw in his desire to totally handcuff the federal government by cutting off the purse strings, and the fed. government can’t do any the things it shouldn’t . . . war, welfare, and control of the populace.

    There isn’t a double standard here . . . some minor (in my view) “weak spots” yes. Barr, is just an abomination. His actions speak volumes . . his votes in Congress, and his praises for conservative causes currently. Does Barr repudiate TOTALLY his support for the USA PAtriot Act? Does Barr repudiate TOTALLY his support for DOMA? Does Barr repudiate TOTALLY his support for a VAT, Sales or “Fair” tax? Does Barr repudiate TOTALLY his support for the basis of the Iraq invasion? Does Barr repudiate TOTALLY his vote to unconstitutionally give Bush the authority to decide to initiate war? Does Barr repudiate TOTALLY his support and vote for No Child Left Behind? Shall I go on?

    Comparing Barr to Paul is not a fair comparison.

  28. Stefan Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 10:56 am

    With McCain or Obama, I am afraid there may be a new cold war with China and Russia may break out, also over Iran…

    Voting for and supporting Barr is going to change this?

  29. Hmm, yes, probably the release would have been better if it said “hastened” rather than “helped” the downfall of communism. There’s a strong case that the US defense build up of the 80s put intense pressure on the Soviets, as some top Soviets have reported that.

    Yes, pressure on the Soviet taxpayers. And pressure on the American taxpayers. Government: whether it’s yours or someone else’s, it’s always on your back.

    No fan of Helms or the build up, here, just an interpretation. That, and Barr’s been polling well in NC.

    As a Libertarian in NC, it’s pretty embarrassing to have my presidential candidate pandering (I beleive that was your point) to diehard Helms supporters – who are not as numerous as you might suppose, and who are routinely reviled by the people we *need* to reach out to – the young, immigrants and their children, liberals, and real conservatives (not coldwar red-baiters). I suspect many of Helms’ voters breathed a secret sigh of relief when he stopped running. He was a bit of an embarrassment to many in the state, to say the least.

    Perhaps silence would have been the better course. But no where does the release say: I agree with everything Helms did and said. If it did, that would be a problem for me.

    I’m glad to discover that there’s some line you will draw🙂

    Projecting and speculating does little to advance knowledge and understanding.

    Oh, I wouldn’t say that. Speculation has a large role in discovery. But what *is* needed is for Libertarians to communicate with Barr, and for Barr to listen to them and develop a much more straightforwardly libertarian (not conservative) message. As a foil for Obama against McCain, he is uninspiring with his more-conservative-than-thou message. As a Libertarian firebrand he could be an interesting candidate.

    I don’t see him having the flexibility to change course at this point, though. I do still hope for it.

  30. So let’s make lemonade out of the lemons. Barr is outside the tent trying to wave folks in by almost any means. Those who are enticed inside for the “show” need to be entertained (educated) by “real” libertarians, not barkers. You can choose to be an entertainer or a barker.
    This is politics, folks – one guy’s “outreach” is another guy’s “pandering.”
    It goes to show you, though, why Education is more important in the long run than Running Candidates or Rolling up Big Votes. If libertarian “politics” makes you uncomfortable, then don’t participate.

  31. If you want to be a consequent PC LP’s, you should condemn pornography, prostitution and other moral evils along with racism. Period! Whatever approach one take, you should be consistent in your argumentation.

  32. Steve:
    I am of the sincere opinion that not voting for a third party candidate (they are all against a new cold war) will be worse than voting for a third party candidate. A third party candidate may not win, but the more support that the candidate gets, will send a message to the winner, whereas if you do not vote, the message will be weaker.

    McInsane already has made offensive statements towards Russia, so he will be even worse than Bush and Obama would be a protectionist and with his foreign policy advisers (of Polish Jewish origin…you know who I mean? his son is also with Obama and other son with McCain and daughter with MSNBC) who are out to confront Russia and China, you can be sure we are in for something awful, not even mentioning the economic situation.

    If third parties can fare above expectation this year, the stage could be set for possibly some electoral successes in congress in 2010. In order to really spread the message of liberty, you need to have some political power, otherwise you are a voice only heard of every four years.

  33. Cappozi – The policies of Reagan and Helms propped up Communism — they in no way “hastened” its demise.

    Stefan – There’s a big difference between accepting a $500 donation from a guy and denouncing his views, vs. issuing a press release imploring Americans to give thanks to God for the life and work of someone whose life and work was dedicated to “keeping the Negro race down.”

    RE: Paul and DOMA — NO ONE forgives Ron Paul for being wrong on DOMA and wrong on immigration. These were two areas where he was wrong vs. a consistent philosophy of hardcore libertarianism everywhere else. Barr is a fucking neocon who wants to restore habeas corpus. BIG DIFFERENCE.

    Stefan: I joined the Libertarian Party in 2005. I was never a member of the Democratic Party. I briefly considered running in the Democratic primary — that flirtation lasted two months. Do not spread lies about me and do not use my Christian name.

  34. Susan,

    I indicated that I thought the Reagan-era buildup was a mistake. I don’t think defense spending should have gone to $0 in the Reagan era, however. I guess some might view that as a “statist” position. Perhap on some highly theoretical basis, $0 should be a goal, but I for one table such speculation as pure theory with little-to-no practical application.

    I’ve read former Soviet official’s saying they thought that the buildup hastened the downfall of the Soviet Union. They may be incorrect; it’s unprovable, can we stipulate?

    Again, I’m not sure I’d have advised producing that particular press release because of Helms’s baggage. I wouldn’t quite call it “pandering,” but I see why you characterize as such. I’d certainly not advise putting out a release condemning Helms on his death.

    Conspiracy theorists engage in quite a bit of speculation and projection, seems to me. That approach doesn’t work for me, but I wish all the best to those who find that approach useful in their efforts for finding the truth. Ditto for “drawing lines.” I’m a path of least resistance sort, influenced by Hayek and Lao Tsu, whom Rothbard called the first libertarian. Works for me.

    So, I trust we can agree to disagree on approaches now and again😉

  35. Bob,

    It looks like family has impressed upon you not to engage me in dialog. Fine, but I will still “call you out” so to speak, on your numerous non-libertarian positions, so others can see you exposed for what you aren’t . . . libertarian.

  36. I understand G.E. Thank you for the correction and I apologize.

    There is a difference between praising an influential senator who was known to be a gentleman and very much voting fiscally conservative and known for being consistent and honest (other than most politicians!) and praising him for certain more negative aspects. If you look at most of the responses – from very different political persuasions – on Helms passing away, all have been positive about him, except Jesse Jackson and the ACLU. Expressing your condolences and praising him for certain positive things he has done, does not mean Barr condone ALL Helm’s views. Reading that into Barr’s PR is like “eisegesis” (e.g. reading something into a text that is not there), not “exegesis”.

    Politics is a human science, not natural science. Differences of opinion and interpretation should be allowed. It is not an exact science, which is one reason why you would seldom find two people within the same school of political thought agreeing on everything 100%.

    If Paul would have run as the LP candidate, I am sure he would have received the same criticism on pro-life and immigration that Barr is facing from certain LP quarters. One can make a distinct argument that Paul’s immigration policy is consistent with liberarianism, as it is a start to demolishing the welfare state,
    securing national sovereignty and law and order, except if you are an anarchist for whom illegal immigration is not a problem. The same with regard to the pro-life position. If you view life as starting with conception, then abortion is an utterly unlibertarian thing and an intervention causing death.

    As for the ridiculous accusation that Barr is a “neocon”, see my extensive comments above (no.3 comment). He is a “traditional conservative”, just like Paul and Doug Bandow, who is his foreign policy adviser.

  37. I think it would be more productive to discuss McCain (and Obama’s) newest “promise” to balance the budget within the next four years, should he be the president. And the media;s ridiculous and uncritical buzz about it. How on earth it he going to save with no federal govt. department to be slashed, no troops from anywhere overseas to return in the foreseeable future, Iraq alone running at 400 million US a day or more. Now here we have something to talk about!

  38. Steve LaBianca Says:

    July 8, 2008 at 1:28 pm
    Gene Trosper Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 1:14 am

    (Regarding G.E.) You haven’t been in the LP terribly long, but already you’re attempting to be the gatekeeper who determines who is a “real” libertarian versus those “fake” ones.

    Well Mr. Trosper, I know that you have touted yourself as being in the LP longer than just about anyone else, but I, as a self described libertarian for over 30 years, and active in the LP for 20 years, can tell you that you sir, are a “fake” one. Your willingness to compromise the core of libertarianism precludes your “real” libertarian” credentials. The same goes for Barr and W.A.R.

    Woo hoo! You’re on a roll! Keep it coming! : )

  39. Gene Trosper Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Woo hoo! You’re on a roll! Keep it coming! : )

    Gladly, as you are quite deserving!

  40. Stefan Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I think it would be more productive to discuss McCain (and Obama’s) . . .

    Sure, anything to take the heat off the conservative Barr lack of libertarian actions and rhetoric.

  41. Stefan Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Steve:
    I am of the sincere opinion that not voting for a third party candidate (they are all against a new cold war) will be worse than voting for a third party candidate.

    I am of the sincere opinion that voting for virtually anything less than or substantially deviating from what you want is a wasted vote. I believe that NOT voting for Barr makes a much larger statement than voting for the lesser of 5 evils.

    Barr IS the lesser of 5 evils, and DOES deviate substantially from what I want, therefore I will almost undoubtedly NOT vote this time, unless I find that Charles Jay is excellent, which I don’t know enough yet.

  42. RE: Paul and DOMA — NO ONE forgives Ron Paul for being wrong on DOMA and wrong on immigration. These were two areas where he was wrong vs. a consistent philosophy of hardcore libertarianism everywhere else.

    And he’s wrong on abortion. And he talks out of both sides of his mouth on free trade. And he has no qualms about grabbing all the pork he can for his district. And he panders to racists then flat-out lies about it.

    He’s still better by leaps and bounds then the rest of Congress.

    On my scorecard, I’d rate Paul about 85-90% libertarian and Barr about 75-80% libertarian.

  43. Jim Lesczynski – Plenty of libertarians do not think he’s “wrong on abortion.” Although I would not support the Sanctity of Life Act, I do support the repeal of Roe v. Wade. You don’t? And yes, I do see abortion as the initiation of force, and so do many other radical libertarians.

    Talking out of both sides of his mouth on free trade? Wow. Ron Paul is the world’s number-one advocate for complete and total free trade. If he’s talking out of “both sides” of his mouth, he’s saying the same thing from each corner: FREE TRADE BEGETS PROSPERITY; PROTECTIONISM BEGETS WAR AND POVERTY. He in no way equivocates from this message.

    The pork argument is such B.S. I hesitate to even respond to it. In fact, I will decline. If you haven’t come to realize that Ron Paul’s approach to “pork” is 1000% libertarian yet, you don’t want to, and what I say in his defense will do no good.

  44. I should clarify: Obviously libertarians can think he’s “wrong” on abortion — but this is a legitimate matter of philosophical dispute; not an out-and-out case of being wrong as with DOMA and immigration.

  45. G.E. very correct🙂
    On pork: Pork votes against it, yet while the majority of congress votes for it, he gets it for this district, although he voted against it. Faced with this situation, he decide it is better to give this pork to his district, e.g. the people he represent, than back to the big federal government, who will just use it for another (evil) purpose, like the war funding. If I would also rather chose for pork for my district
    than letting that money be used for the funding of the evil, illegitimate war.
    He also – in contrast to McCain – use and asks for govt. funding for veterans, which has always be high on his agenda. Taking care of people is important.

    On free trade: absolutely free, does not wait to require free trade agreements with certain governments (which he see as managed trade). Trading with Cuba for instance provide new sources of income and possibilities for his farmers.

  46. Jim Lesczynski Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    On my scorecard, I’d rate Paul about 85-90% libertarian and Barr about 75-80% libertarian.

    I also give Paul about a 85% to 90% (closer to 90), but Barr is only about
    50% to 55% on my scorecard. Barr’s actions speak much louder than the promises he made at the “made for C-Span audience” LP debate rhetoric, and Barr’s actions in Congress in congress were pretty bad. I had previously given (on another blog, about 2 months ago) Barr a 65% or so libertarian rating, but recent rhetoric and knowledge of prior congressional votes I didn’t know about previously have downgraded him significantly. Add in his likely departure (inactivity) from the LP in the next year or so, and I would likely downgrade him further.

  47. Barr IS the lesser of 5 evils, and DOES deviate substantially from what I want, therefore I will almost undoubtedly NOT vote this time, unless I find that Charles Jay is excellent, which I don’t know enough yet.

    Charles Jay is great from what I can tell so far. As a Floridian, you might actually be able to vote for him.

    However, since he will be on in very few states, his totals will be ignored by many more reports of the election outcome than other alternative candidates who are at least on the ballot in most states.

  48. I think Paul’s votes against NAFTA and other free trade agreements are bogus and part of his pandering to anti-Mexican racist feelings. I understand that NAFTA is far from perfect, real free trade doesn’t take a thousand-page agreement blah blah blah, but it is an important step in the right (libertarian) direction. NAFTA cut some taxes while raising none. Repealing NAFTA would make us less free, not more free.

  49. Steve LaBianca Says:

    July 8, 2008 at 4:57 pm
    Gene Trosper Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Woo hoo! You’re on a roll! Keep it coming! : )

    Gladly, as you are quite deserving!

    Me? little ol’ me is deserving? Why, you flatter me too much, Mr. LaBianca! Golly, I have absolutely NO idea why I would deserve it. Could do me and everyone else a favor and please, point-by-point, show how I am a “fake” libertarian? I think it would be good for everyone to know the sordid, ugly truth! : )

    I eagerly await your response! *grabs popcorn*

  50. Jim Lesczynski – NAFTA is the initiation of force and should not be supported by real libertarians. It is filled with big-business giveaways and “libertarian” support for it is the same as libertarian support for the robber barons and violent union busting of the early 20th century.

    It is absolutely absurd to insinuate that creating a new level of government bureaucracy — the NAFTA trade board or whatever it’s called — with absolutely no accountability is somehow “moving in the libertarian direction.”

  51. Hmm, yeah, didn’t our esteemed Chair tell me that you’ve been an activist for over 20 years, that you’ve defeated many local bond measures, that you fought valiantly against incorporation of your area, and that you’ve even organized peaceful immigration checkpoint protests? And that you help out noninterventionist organizations and have even had a blog on the subject? And that you have an equally avid interest in ending Prohibition? And the war upon freedom of the soul?

    Yeah, and a bunch of this even comes documented. I’ve seen the archives.

    I’d love to know how Gene managed to fake out even our Republican Kool-Aid drinking newspaper

  52. Good for Gene for doing all of that good work. It sounds like he has done more for liberty than several of the people in this thread, myself included, combined.

    The work that he’s done, however noble and worthwhile, does not make his chosen presidential candidate above reproach. Nor does it make Gene himself above reproach when, in his petty and unjustifiable defense of the unlibertarian usurper Barr, he personally attacks and demeans those who speak the truth.

  53. Well Gene and I share a difference of opinion there– I was pretty much a Ruwart delegate. No, I don’t support Barr.

    There’s plenty else to be done for Liberty. That’s my focus now.

  54. No, G.E., he was just making fun of you and Steve.

    Gene has walked the walk and has to answer to nobody, especially YOU.

    And “truth” is about as relative as what one preceives, which varies from person to person. (And I don’t support Herr Barr either.)

    Deal in facts, not truth. If I want “truth”, I’ll go waste my time at a church tent revival with Benny Hinn, Greg Laurie, or Jimmy Dobson.

  55. G.E., how is NAFTA an initiation of force? Did it not eliminate many tariffs and trade restrictions?

    I forgot to answer your question about my opinion of Roe v. Wade. I believe the decision was based on flawed constitutional reasoning but nonetheless arrived at the right outcome. Not only am I pro-choice, I’m pro-abortion, as I believe it is beneficial to society.

  56. Lesczynski – NAFTA gives all kinds of special privileges and subsidies, etc. to favored interests, and imposes restrictions on others. It also features a new level of government bureaucracy, supranational, that can unilaterally make law that we are bound to respect. How is that NOT initiation of force?

    You’re from New York, right? Do you really want the federal government using its guns to force, say, Alabama to legalize population control? I reject the nationalist view. I am pro-life but I would never advocate that the federal government invade a (should-be) sovereign state to interfere with what should be a local matter. Calling on the federal government and its guns to advance your ideas — even if they are pro-freedom — is wrong and very unlibertarian in my opinion.

    Oh, and when you say that abortion is “beneficial to society,” I can only assume you mean the HIGHER birth rate that resulted post-Roe, as promiscuity increased with abortion as a “backup plan,” and then women decided they couldn’t go through with it? I fail to see how that’s been beneficial. If you’re referring to the widely discredited Freakonomics argument, well, it’s been widely discredited because it’s wrong. But even if abortion were “beneficial to society” — is that the criteria by which laws should be measured? What if murdering every child who failed to pass certain cognitive benchmarks by age 5 were shown to be “beneficial” to society? Would you support that too?

  57. The idea that the Soviet Union was certainly to collapse on its own without any help from the west is a wet dream from the fevered imagination of Murray Rothbard. As an economic system, the Soviet Union bottomed out in the 1930s. That’s when they had mass starvation. By the 1980s, the system was working after a fashion. They didn’t even need that many prison camps; people knew where they stood.

    Bad economic systems can last for a rather long time. Look up the Indian caste system sometime. Ditto for totalitarian regimes. The shoguns of Japan ruled with an iron fist for centuries. Tyranny works, alas.

    But extreme tyranny is inefficient. Without enemies, the inefficiency is no problem. That’s why Stalin was at his worst before World War II. During the war, he downgraded the party and increased freedom of religion, because he needed more popular support. During the Reagan arms buildup, the Soviets realized they needed a more open society to compete so they instituted Glastnost. A society that regulates mimeograph machines cannot go high-tech. A computer with printer is a printing press. Networked, computers are even more dangerous to a closed society.

    Maybe the Soviets would have tried Glastnost, anyway. But without Reagan to deal with, they might have continued their merry way.

  58. G.E. and Steve: I appreciate your entheusiasm for defending liberty, but I’ll be honest (as I always am): i’ve been in the trenches. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work. It’s not a matter of who is pure and who is not. You want to talk petty, G.E.? Well, the argument over purity is about as petty and destructive as you can get in the LP.

    I’ve accomplished a LOT during my time in the LP. No brag, just fact. I wanted others to join in on the excitement of succeeding, but it’s been people like you two (and Aaron Starr due to his purge-like mentality) which caused me to abandon the LP a few years ago.

    I was talked back into joining and part of the reason why I joined and decided to get back involved again is because of Bob Barr. I am fully aware of his faults and I cringe at times when I see things like the Jesse Helms press release. Believe me: if I was intimately involved in the Barr campaign, things would be different and MORE libertarian. However, I’m not and I refuse to play hari-kari because our candidate doesn’t meet the hardcore anarchist standards of *some* voiciferous members. The barr campaign is a TOOL for building the party. That is how I see it, plain and simple. tactically, having barr as our candidate could mean some decent gains this year, building our chances for 2012. Unfortunately, some, like yourselfves are hell bent on doing everything possible to royally screw up an opportunity for the cause of liberty. I would explain in great detail why I believe it can mean some good things for ALL Libertarians, but it’s pretty clear that neither of you are open to intelligent, constructive discourse.

    Yes, I mocked both of you. When you both begin to make utterly stupid and uninformed remarks about my not being a real libertarian and other nonsense, you open yourself to mocking and ridicule.

    No adult should have to prove *anything* to those who willfully make accusations without the slightest shred of evidence. So, here: read away. I can add more, but I won’t. I frankly have better things to do with my time.

    http://freedomkeys.com/trosper.htm (this brief essay was once used by the Costa Rican Libertarian Party for outreach purposes)

    http://www.libertariansforpaul.com/2007/11/02/who-is-behind-libertarians-for-ron-paul/

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2003/12/prweb96035.htm

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/1/prweb97374.htm

    http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:_lVyUKaSTfQJ:www.lp.org/lpn/9609-Browne-out.html+%22gene+trosper%22+stop+the+browne+out&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010217143120/lprc.org/news15.htm

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010219115759/lprc.org/news3.htm

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010216204134/lprc.org/news11.htm

  59. NAFTA gives all kinds of special privileges and subsidies, etc. to favored interests, and imposes restrictions on others.

    I would need some specific examples. Who receives subsidies, and in what form? Is the targeted repeal of trade restrictions a “special privilege”? I think the elimination of any trade restriction or tariff is a good thing, although of course I would prefer to eliminate them across the board. When a state eliminates the sales tax on, say, clothing or food, I’d prefer them to eliminate the sales tax altogether, but I’m not going to turn up my nose at some tax relief.

    It also features a new level of government bureaucracy, supranational, that can unilaterally make law that we are bound to respect. How is that NOT initiation of force? It depends on the laws they make. If they’re making laws that eliminate tariffs and trade barriers, that’s great. If they’re making anti-freedom laws, that’s bad.

    If you’re referring to the widely discredited Freakonomics argument, well, it’s been widely discredited because it’s wrong. But even if abortion were “beneficial to society” — is that the criteria by which laws should be measured?

    I was thinking of the Freakonomics study, but even before I became aware of that, I intuitively recognized that unwanted pregnancies are socially and economically detrimental. However, I agree with you that that isn’t a sufficient measurement by which to judge a law. Even if I thought abortion were not socially beneficial, I would still support a woman’s ownership rights over her body on principle.

  60. Susan,

    re: “I don’t see him having the flexibility to change course at this point, though. I do still hope for it.”

    I’m wondering: If Barr changed his positon on abortion and adopted Rand and Rothbard’s position that fetuses are “parasites,” would that be “pandering” to Rothbardians? If not, why not? And would you applaud that position change?

    And if that’s the “correct,” “real Libertarian” position, what does that make all humans? Parasites that the host decided to let live? Former parasites? Parasitic womb escapees?

    Recall, I’m pro-choice, but I’m trying to understand just how far the litmus tests go. Is there a checklist that I missed somewhere?

  61. Susan,

    Further: If one is pro-choice but refuses to hold high the banner of fetuses as parasites, is that an acceptable “real Libertarian” position?

  62. As an economic system, the Soviet Union bottomed out in the 1930s. That’s when they had mass starvation. By the 1980s, the system was working after a fashion.

    Which is why the Soviet Union was receiving almost half its food as international food aid in the 1970s, right?

  63. If Barr changed his positon on abortion and adopted Rand and Rothbard’s position that fetuses are “parasites,” would that be “pandering” to Rothbardians?

    Bob, your efforts to change the Libertarian platform to declare that a woman’s uterus is the purview and property of the state — rather than the individual woman — failed miserably at convention when the delegates overwhelmingly voted to amend the platform to reinforce that the party’s membership is opposed to your agenda.

    It doesn’t suit you to characterize yourself as the Fetal Defense League and everyone who disagrees with your “womens’ uteruses are federal property” line as evil dehumanizing parasite-trolls.

  64. Jim: The “benefits to society” argument with regard to abortion can be dangerous and can lead to a suspicion that you support those that want to see a reduction in population growth rate in say certain minorities, like blacks or Hispanics. Ron Paul’s anti-NAFTA?CAFTA etc vote has nothing to do with any racist pandering towards anti-Mexicans…you can use this same type of argument and accuse you of pandering to say anti-black sentiments by advocating birth control/abortions.

  65. Carl: I agree with you regarding the communist regime/danger a few decades ago. The USSR was stronger than China then and they were both active in countries like Zimbabwe, supporting different parties. If in the 1980’s, the USSR had managed to take control of South Africa with all its mineral wealth via the ANC, they would have had a 90% monopoly on gold and dominance in various minerals and would have had a lot of money to sustain their empire and expand for probably a few decades longer and could have expanded more. It was really at a ‘knife’s edge” at times. I think it is easy to make judgement viewing some issues, without being aware of the plans and strategies, what could have been. The communist system may have died in the end, but would have been active a lot longer, with the possibility of the cold war becoming hotter…. Wars has often been about commodities and with the strain, the prices of commodities rises and when there are wars, even much more.

  66. Brian: If you take the view that life begins as conception, then what a woman does
    with it in the privacy of her house in case of an abortion is a case for the state to react to her intervention, just like if say a parent kill a child, it is not a property or privacy right, but the life that they have taken warrant action by the state/police.

  67. Brian,

    I’m — repeating — pro choice. Haven’t I made that clear?

    I’m just not in the business of litmus testing people on every issue to ascertain just how L they are. I guess I’ve not seen the tablet of stone with the metaphysically certain correct positions etched on it.

    Help a brother out: Is there such a tablet of irrefutable, unalterable, absolute political truths?

    It seems virtuous that — if there IS one — you would be so kind as to share its location.

  68. I am pro-choice, but don’t see the “parasite” issue at all… I see it as a far simpler approach that doesn’t even depend on the “when life begins” question…

    I see the product of conception, “alive” or not, as a “guest” that has moved in and taken up residency – Like any guest that wears out the welcome, you have the right evict him / her / it, and use force to perform the eviction if necessary… It is NOT your responsibility when evicting a guest to see to it that the guest survives, (though pitching him out an upper floor window instead of the door is frowned upon…) or has someplace else to go.

    At this point, “evicting” a fetal guest tends to be fatal for the fetus – at some future point it might not be – at which time the matter could be revisited to require “evictions” to take the form of some sort of transplant, assuming that there was a willing recipient / funding source…

    So what happens w/ a live child after birth? At this point the state assumes that you have “invited” the little darling to hang around for the next 18 years or so, and made the commitment to provide for it’s needs. However, it is STILL possible to “evict” an unwanted child by putting it up for adoption, with the only limit being that you have to find some other entity wiling to provide for it (with whatever strings that entity wants as part of the deal…)

    It has been one of my occasional “authoritarian fantasies” (Yes, I think even most Libertarians have them once in a while, we just don’t want to make them come true) to replace “abortion clinics” w/ “Pregancy Transplant Centers” – w/ the folks currently protesting outside the clinics as not-so-voluntary recipients… [insert evil grin here!]

    ART

  69. Earlier today, I posted a refutation of Mr. LaBianca’s ridiculous and baseless assertion that I am a *chuckle* “fake” libertarian. It is still awaiting moderation and if the site owner decides not to approve it’s posting, that is fine by me. However, for the sake of posterity and clearing the air, I have posted my response, plus a few other thoughts at my MySpace page. The link should be provided on this posting by clicking on my name.

    Thanks, and I hope everyone has a pleasant evening!

  70. Gene – I just approved your comment. I did not see that it was in spam (for # of links). If that happens again, just post a comment saying so and someone will release the comment.

  71. Hmmm…. At least I attempted to. I’m not sure what happened to it now.

    Ah… I don’t have permission to do that. ENM is MIA.

  72. Thanks, G.E.

  73. Gene – See, we can be civil. Our “bad blood” stems from your perception that I have been unfair to Bob Barr and have tried to tear him down, etc. I gave $25 to Barr within five seconds of hearing he was running, and if you can search through the old posts at TPW, I made it very clear that I hoped he would run. I was hoping for a Barr-Ruwart ticket, combining the best of both worlds. I “turned against” Barr within about five minutes of making my meager donation when I saw he supported the FraudTax. It has been all downhill from there. But even still, I held out and said that I would consider voting for him as the least-bad candidate, until that Helms press release which, as I said, was more offensive for the economic fallacy than for praising a racist.

  74. Now here’s a decent man. He quit his job rather than the lower the flag to half-staff for Jesse Helms:

    http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/politicians/helms/story/1135443.html

  75. Now THAT man who refused to lower the flag is damn near a hero in my eyes!

  76. Decent man? Maybe. He was a government employee who lost his job. He’s only a hero if they don’t replace him.

  77. Yes, G.E. we CAN be civil. I am no fan of drama and want a peaceful life for myself and everyone around me. However, it’s NOT about Bob Barr for me. It’s 100% about TACTICS. No offense, but many “radicals” cannot wrap their minds around how to engage in tactics to gain wins for our cause.

    I know, I know. I can hear it now: ” Ah, Gene, but you’re willing to sacrifice principles for electoral gains!” Again, that’s NOT what it’s about.

    If you’ve explored some of the links I posted, you’ll see that the messages I have given are fairly hardcore, such as calling for shutting down the Interstate 15 checkpoint operated by the Border Patrol. No one at that time was close to even advocating that position, but I did. However, I gave some practical reason WHY it should be shut down beyond the usual Libertarian mantra. People care about traffic gridlock, especially in Southern California. People’s eyes glaze over when you focus totally on philosophical points, but throw in a practical benefit IN ADDITION to that and ears perk up. People want to listen. It really is amazing how much easier it is to get people to agree when you present solutions to “quality of life” problems. It becomes a win-win situation for Libertarians AND road weary voters. No compromise in principles involved! Bonus: our local California assemblyman came out PUBLICLY for eliminating the checkpoint just one week after our very well-cover protest. Television, print and radio were all represented.

    When I ran the successful campaigns against those school bonds, it was a thoroughly anti-tax platform I presented. My tactic was twofold:

    1. The bonds were being touted as “critical” to ease overcrowding in classrooms. Interestingly, shoved within the proposed projects were things such as an olympic sized swimming pool, administration building and other non-classroom projects. I honed in on these projects as “extras” and made the bond proponents look like liars. The tactic worked.

    2. I took a risk and called their bluff during the campaign. I stated publicly that if they removed the “extras” from future bonds, I would step aside and not oppose them. Let’s face it: politicians are very prideful people and I knew deep down that they would not remove a single project from future bond measures. Instantly, I made them out to look super-greedy and heard headed. That tactic worked fantastically when the first bond failed and they threw a second one on the ballot a few months later. The next bond went down spectacularly.

    Never did I relent against taxes, but I used tactics to ensure wins for liberty.

    Now, about Bob Barr: You don’t have to like him and I absolutely understand why some Libertarians would be upset. Like I said in a previous post: I cringed when the Jesse Helms press release came out. But, I still support his campaign because I believe, based on past experience, that his campaign can be used to better position the LP for 2012.

    How, you may ask? One of the biggest obstacles to attracting candidates like Gary Johnson is because of our lousy organizing and horrible vote totals. You would be correct in saying that vote totals have nothing to do with principles or philosophy. The way American politics work is that people generally don’t like hitching to a loser, or in our case, a dysfunctional loser. We don’t have to win this November, but by making a very good showing at the polls, we will give the perception that the LP is very much on the rise and is an emerging player. While people don’t like associating with losers, the American mindset loves underdogs who put up a valiant struggle and are ascendant. If Bob Barr can garner more votes than Ed Clark, we will have shown a massive increase in voter interest which will capture the attention of media, politicians and voters. Suddenly, we are not crying out in the wilderness all by ourselves. Now we have people’s attention. That is important! Look at what happened when Ron Paul captured all of that attention.

    Sure, some of what I say may seem like a pipe dream, but that’s because we are USED TO LOSING. It is now an ingrained mindset. We expect to lose and frankly, we don’t know how to handle what little success we gain.

    Honestly, from my perspective, it’s downright frustrating seeing my fellow Libertarians do everything possible to screw up our chances to gain liberty today.

    I’m not saying I am 100% right in everything I have done or said, and I am not demanding that people listen and adopt my methods. I am merely presenting my successful experiences for the benefit of radical Libertarians to get the agenda moved toward our direction faster.

    Do you want your freedom now, next year, ten years from now, twenty years from now? We cannot wait to educate all Americans and *hope* that they decide to consider the writings of Murray Rothbard (a man I respect and admire). Is it radical to regain *some* freedom today or wait until it’s all gone?

    We have chosen of our own free will to become involved in a Libertarian political party that seeks ballot recognition. I respect consistent hardcore libertarians who eschew electoral politics. However, one cannot complain too loudly about principles when one is associated with an organization that willingly jumps through government mandated hoops and allows taxpayers to print our ballots and basically fund the election process. To simply use the LP as an educational vehicle is philosophically dishonest because to maintain ballot status and run candidates, we actually engage in the initiation of force. Without taxpayers, we would not have ballots, ballot pamphlets, elections officials and all the rest. I believe we owe it to the taxpayers we aggress against to do all we can as an electoral organization to change the tide from statism to liberty. To do otherwise is an act of fraud.

  78. Re: the old USSR. There is a school of thought that the Soviet Union was propped up in the 1970s by the oil embargo when the price skyrocketed at that time. They exported oil and enjoyed the higher price which I think was about $30 a barrel then. Without doing a lot of research that was probably close to what we are paying now.

    MHW

  79. As an after thought: in my opinion, the best book on political tactics is “Rules For Radicals” by Saul Alinsky. You can feel free to ignore the leftist slant, but his book is an invaluable guide that all Libertarians should read and adopt!

  80. Rules for radical hmmm. Was that where he mentioned having a group of people to a bean supper prior to making the city hall meeting?

    MW

  81. One of the biggest obstacles to attracting candidates like Gary Johnson is because of our lousy organizing and horrible vote totals. You would be correct in saying that vote totals have nothing to do with principles or philosophy. The way American politics work is that people generally don’t like hitching to a loser, or in our case, a dysfunctional loser. We don’t have to win this November, but by making a very good showing at the polls, we will give the perception that the LP is very much on the rise and is an emerging player.

    Depends, I guess.

    If we attract the sorts of voters who like the idea of closing the border, banning the gays, blasting the blacks and giving thanks to God for Jesse Helms, we’re not going to be attracting many interested mainstream voters… just the Vigueries and Alan Keyeses of the world.

  82. I didn’t like the press release praising Jesse Helms.

    I would note, however, that it is only libertarian critics of Barr
    that have latched onto this issue.

    The most absurd, of course, are those who jump from Barr’s overly
    broad praise of Helms to Barr being a racist. Well, that is only
    slightly more absurd than blaming Barr for William F. Buckley’s support
    of the Cold War!

    The actual media coverage of Barr continues to be that Barr
    may spoil McCain’s chances and put Obama in office. I have not
    seen one article that even hints that the nomination of Bar implies
    that the LP is racist because Barr praises Helms. Nearly all
    articles that point to Barr’s record explain that his past social
    conservative positions are inconsistent with libertarianism. The
    new article in Time magazine explains that Barr jumps between
    apologizing for past errors and emphazing his post 9-11 support
    for civil liberties.

  83. My silence on the libertarian guru Trospers is not acceptance opf his statements or premises. I simply have not had time to post a complete response.

    The very short version is this: promoting the LP through Barr is futile, simply because Barr doesn’t say much more than “libertarians want to maximize liberty”, and “federalism”. When Barr effectively drops out of being active in the LP sometime next year, you’ll see what a futile effort it all will have been. Throw in a run for Senate in Georgia as a Republican, selling the same conservative positions as he does now, and you’ll realize that Barr will not have been a tool of the LP to promote liberty, but that the LP was unilaterally a tool for Bob Barr to promote . . . Bob Barr.

  84. it is only libertarian critics of Barr that have latched onto this issue

    For now.

    If Barr is successful in grabbing 2% or 3% of the vote instead of 1%, you can be certain that whoever follows him will be tarred as the “Jesse Helms candidate” by the Democrat.

    The other irony is that nobody in the center or left is going to support someone who believes we “should give thanks to God for Jesse Helms.”

    If a majority of Libertarians want the LP to become an angry right-wing conservative straight white guy’s party, then that’s what it will become. Just don’t expect to grow out of that shrinking niche, or expect the rest of us to spend a lot of time, effort or energy saving you from yourselves.

  85. Gene Trosper Says:
    July 8, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Could do me and everyone else a favor and please, point-by-point, show how I am a “fake” libertarian?

    Point 1-Barr is at best a conservative who agrees with libertarians on several points. How is support for (by an alleged libertarian-Trosper) a conservative candidate for president not compromising libertarian principles? After all, supporting a candidate who supports coercion IS compromising libertarian principles.

    Point 2-Trosper says-“The barr campaign is a TOOL for building the party. That is how I see it, plain and simple. tactically, having barr as our candidate could mean some decent gains this year, building our chances for 2012.”

    The problem here, can be stated in a counter question, “building our chances in 2012 . . . for what?” Our chance at being better at promoting conservatism than the Republican Party? We should be improving exposure of liberty! The vote totals only mean something (unless you win . . . and the LP is way far away from that!) if the votes are FOR what it is you want to promote. The LP ought to be promoting libertarianism, not some variation of conservatism! This is why the vote total is meaningless with a conservative candidate. The message is primary . . . the strategy and tactics are secondary and are meaningless unless the message is geared toward achieving the goals of the libertarian message.

    I suggest, and have been suggesting for several years now, the principles of liberty are fine. Yes they are more difficult to “sell” than statism. All statist have to do is say that what is needed is to pass a law prohibiting something and Voila! the problem is fixed. Libertarians know this isn’t the case, but rank and file voters put a lot of faith in this line of thinking. Yes our message is tougher to persuade people of the superiority of it and it’s consequences. The strategy then is to become better persuaders, not to soften the message by nominating conservatives like Barr and W.A.R.

    Thirdly, as all I said was that Trospers is a “fake”, he comes back with such things like “it’s pretty clear that neither of you are open to intelligent, constructive discourse. . . .Yes, I mocked both of you. When you both begin to make utterly stupid and uninformed remarks about my not being a real libertarian and other nonsense, you open yourself to mocking and ridicule . . . No adult should have to prove *anything* to those who willfully make accusations without the slightest shred of evidence . . .”

    Libertarians are, among other virtuous characteristics, first and foremost, respectful. Mr. Trosper got his back up when I called him a fake, so he “mocked”, said I’m not “open to intelligent, constructive discourse”, called remarks “utterly stupid”, etc. Is this is a (respectful) libertarian, or is this just a wimpering baby lashing out? And where’s my shred of evidence . . . supporting Barr is basically the only evidence needed to back up the compromising of libertarian values . . it simply is illogical to be a libertarian and support a candidate who isn’t. No, I’m not talking about simply voting for a candidate who is less bad than others, but actively supporting a “less bad” candidate for some vague gain, whatever that may end up being.

    Note: even if true, and I don’t agree that it is, that I “open (my)self to mocking and ridicule”, it doesn’t necessarily follow that that “opening” ought to be taken. Trosper has decided to say that I HAVE opened myself up, and he has to take that opportunity to mock and ridicule. Yeah right . . . very libertarian, very respectful of you Trosper. After all, his alleged libertarianism was challenged, and he had to get aggressive. Come to think of it, Trosper’s aggressiveness isn’t libertarian either.

  86. Three simple questions:

    1) Is the Libertarian Party going to win the presidential election in 2008?

    2) If the answer to question 1 is “no,” then why run a candidate?

    3) If the answer to question 2 is “to educate the public about libertarianism,” then how does promoting “states’ rights,” the drug war, and closing the borders contribute to that goal?

  87. Brian: You oversimplify that which loses meaning when oversimplified:

    Brian Miller Said
    “Three simple questions:

    1) Is the Libertarian Party going to win the presidential election in 2008?
    EI: No. the purpose is to increase vote totals, and champion the ideas that Barr is correct and libertarian about, setting the stage for 2012.

    2) If the answer to question 1 is “no,” then why run a candidate?
    …to increase vote totals, and champion the ideas that Barr is correct and libertarian about, setting the stage for 2012. moreover, the Answer might be yes, in which case, Barr is clearly better than McCain and Obama, because he can be held to the ideas of liberty by internal pressure, even if he is not 100% libertarian.

    3) If the answer to question 2 is “to educate the public about libertarianism,” then how does promoting “states’ rights,” the drug war, and closing the borders contribute to that goal?”
    …It’s not. This is what delusional and ignorant philosophers (who ignore strategy) believe, but it’s not what any intelligent Libertarian believes. The goal on a battle field is first to survive, second to advance, third to win. If you can’t survive, you can’t advance. If you can’t advance, you can’t win.

    Hope that clears it up for you.

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