Steve G.

Party Like It’s 1773

In Libertarian on July 11, 2008 at 6:18 am

This week the Boston Tea Party began endorsing candidates who accept our smaller government platform. Since our party is not yet on the ballot in every state, we are looking to candidates from all the other parties who are willing to agree that a smaller government at every level and on every issue, and a larger government at no level and on no issues, is best. In other words, we are looking for men and women who accept, as Henry David Thoreau said in 1848, that the first step toward a better government is for each of us to declare what would be a better government.

To me, and to millions of people like me, a better government has to be smaller. We pay too much in taxes. We pay too much for everything because of the cost of regulations. We suffer too much from the abridgement of our freedom and the nationalisation of powers. We suffer privation, disease, injuries and death due to the USA government’s violations of the constitution, including the illegitimate wars on Americans called the war on drugs and the war on terror. We see the USA government causing too much privation, disease, injury, and death all over the world in foreign wars and decades long military occupations of foreign countries like Germany, Japan, and Korea.

It is time to eliminate government programs. It is time to fire government employees. It is time to bring all the troops home from all the countries where they are stationed. It is time for free trade, not managed trade. It is time for an end to the social welfare state.

Americans currently feed, house, clothe, care for, and salary 52% of the population in city, county, regional, state, and national government programs. More than half the population either works for or is directly paid by some government agency at some level. Obviously, such dubious “largesse” cannot continue. It isn’t really largesse, because the money being bestowed is entirely stolen. Taxation is theft, regulation is restraint of trade, and war is murder.

If you want a bigger government program for NASA, we don’t want you in the Boston Tea Party. I know all about NASA, all about the defense contractor companies who abusively perform trivial project work for shamefully high fees. I’ve been black listed from working in the industry since 1991, and I still get daily e-mails from people all over the industry making me aware of corruption, mismanagement, malfeasance, and the deaths of personnel in all areas of the space program. Clearly, having butchered two batches of seven astronauts with their negligence, NASA has no business being involved in space activities. Equally obvious, dozens of entrepreneurs are ready and able to take up the challenge of putting people in space, if only NASA would stop ruining their lives, as they ruined mine.

If you want a bigger government program for your favorite cause, we don’t want you in the Boston Tea Party. My experience, going back to my earliest political writings, a “My Turn” piece that Newsweek magazine never published, is that everyone knows that the government is wrecking things in the area they care about. Veterans are terrified of VA hospitals. Farmers are disgusted by the Department of Agriculture. Environmentalists see the EPA approving things it shouldn’t, banning things that are harmless, and egregiously benefiting influential business interests to the detriment of the environment. NASA enthusiasts see NASA constantly screwing things up. Experts on nearly any area of foreign policy you care to name see the government failing to do the right thing all over the world, and supporting one corrupt regime after another. Yet, the interest groups clamor for more money for their interest area, in spite of their detailed knowledge of how the government is screwing up whenever it does anything in that area.

It is time to give it a rest. It is time to admit that government was never the solution to our problems. It is time to accept that the industrial era civilisation which organised mass production, mass destruction, total war, mass media, and massive government is a past era, a dying civilisation, and one we are well rid of. It is time to move on to the decentralised, specialised, highly personalised information era civilisation we are capable of achieving. We have all the tools to do things better, to make life better, to customise solutions for all kinds of problems, and to leave the mass production society so its components and factories may be recycled into something better.

Nothing better is going to come of centralisation of authority. Nothing better is going to come of mass produced goods or mass media to control minds or weapons of mass destruction. We’ve seen what the Procrustean one-size-fits-all assembly line does for people, and we don’t need it. Nor can we afford it. Government must become smaller, and it can either shrink voluntarily, through the efforts of peaceful persons accepting the necessity for less oversight, less regulation, fewer prohibitions, and a smaller jail population, or it will be shrunk by force. People will resist, they will rebel, they are in a revolution right now, and the revolt is only presently non-violent. It is not guaranteed to remain non-violent.

Indeed, the current round of overseas interventions is already violent, bloody, unjustified, and deadly. The United States government has over-stepped the constitution, has violated the treaties to which it is a party, has engaged in war crimes in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Somalia, and in other countries, and must be brought to heel. The appeasement which characterised treatment of Hitler’s anschluss in Austria and the Sudetenland, the lack of action against his invasion of Czechoslovakia, and the cataclysm which saw his occupation of Poland, Holland, Belgium, and France is identical to the way the international community has treated Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan, occupation of Iraq, and military intervention through Ethiopian proxies in Somalia. A war with Iran would be a cataclysm, as Iran has been at considerable effort to illustrate with its recent missile tests. These wars must end.

Which means that libertarians must step up our campaigns, increase our efforts, and recruit more participants in an effort to rein in excessive government. This year, this election season, now is the time. Complacency and timidness must be shed. Take on the the greater person you know you can be. Take a leading role in changing society for the better, for individual liberty, for economic freedom, today.

On the other hand, if you want a smaller government at all levels and a bigger government at no level, then we are eager to have you join our party. You may join us without leaving the other party you belong to now. We have members of our party who are also active in the Republican party, many who have worked for Ron Paul’s campaign. We have members of our party who are also active in the Libertarian party, many of whom are campaigning for public office for that party. We have members who have left those parties, and who have left other parties, because they were looking for something better.

Make no mistake about it, there is corruption in high places. There is corruption in the Republican Party. There is corruption in the Democratic Party. There is an unbelievable amount of corruption in the Libertarian Party, given its small size and the paltry sums of money involved in the sleaze and filth going on. But there is no corruption in the Boston Tea Party.

Why not? I can think of three reasons right off. Openness. Rule of the members. Zero national budget.

The Boston Tea Party is completely open in all its activities. Want to know what’s going on with the new state affiliate being formed in North Carolina? Join the North Carolina Boston Tea Party group on Facebook and read all about it – anyone can join, joining is free, anyone can comment there. Want to know what’s going on with the national committee? Join the btpnc Yahoogroup. Want to discuss it? Join btpnc-talk also on Yahoogroups. Want to join the party? Visit http://www.bostontea.us/ and see everything we’re doing, review the polls taken at our nominating convention in June, check it all out, even many of the logs are public. Want access to the super secret clandestine conversations which we use in smoke filled back rooms to make all the decisions? Sorry to disappoint you, but all our deliberations are public.

That turns out to be important, because any time the national committee takes any action with which the members disagree, any member can initiate a poll to reconsider that action. A majority of those members who vote in the poll determine what happens. We’ve already tested that feature.

Earlier this year, I was persuaded by the vice chair of the party that we should have a nominating convention in which each state affiliate cast one vote. It seemed like a great way to get new state affiliates organised. One of our members disagreed and started a poll to overturn that action. All those who voted in the poll did vote against it. So, we went back to one member one vote and held our convention in June. When the vice chair tried to stop the poll by abusing his power over the national web site, his administrative privileges were revoked. Ultimately, he resigned over the issue.

So, it is very difficult for us to have corruption in high places because everything we do is in the open, and everything we do is subject to being reviewed and over-ruled by the members. In addition, corruption is very unlikely because the national party has no authority to control any significant amount of money. We have raised and spent less than $76 so far this year. Our state affiliates are authorised to raise funds, though some of them have adopted the same limitation for the same reason. So, much of the fundraising is handled by individual campaigns, or by individual donors.

As a result of these features, the Boston Tea Party has become the fastest growing libertarian political party in America. We are adding new members, new state affiliates, and new candidates at an increasingly rapid pace.

You can join us. Membership is free. All you have to do is visit our web site, read the platform, agree with it, and you’re in. Nothing to pay. Nothing to send in. No fuss, no muss. One person, one membership.

Oh, yes, we’ve tested that this year, too. A nationalist socialist youth tried to form 12 memberships from an open relay in Milwaukee and cast votes during our online nominating convention. Though he is convinced that a strong leader, or fuhrer, is needed, he opted to cast all his votes for “none of the above” in the polls. We were able to detect and disable his accounts so the polling was not tainted. Many of our members are actually quite clever where computer related technology is concerned.

If you are a candidate for public office, go to our web site and look at our platform. If you agree with it and join, contact your state affiliate or the national committee, and we’ll examine your campaign materials. If we agree that you are consistently for a smaller government at all levels and on all issues, we’ll endorse your candidacy. We’ve already endorsed candidates in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire – states where we don’t yet have affiliate party organisations – and we’re expecting to announce the endorsement by state affiliates of candidates in Texas, Alabama, Michigan, and elsewhere.

Perhaps most importantly, in some ways, we have chosen two standard bearers who are exceptional in the movement for individual liberty. Charles Jay helped to organise the Personal Choice Party in 2004 and is running as our presidential candidate. Tom Knapp has been involved in many libertarian activities, most notably the Rational Review news aggregation site, and is our vice presidential candidate. You can learn more about Charles at CJ08.com.

The Boston Tea Party has avoided the pitfalls embraced by other parties. We did not choose Barack Obama, who recently betrayed Americans with his vote in support of telecomm immunity and domestic espionage in favoring FISA. We did not choose John McCain whose opposition to free speech, private property, and peace is notorious. Nor did we choose Bob Barr, who recently extolled the supposed virtues of arch-segregationist Jesse Helms, has opposed Wiccans in the military, opposes gays and lesbians having access to the institution of marriage, announced his opposition to legalising all drugs two weeks before the LP nominating convention, voted for the USAPATRIOT act, and voted for the war in Iraq.

But, you don’t have to support our national candidates if you don’t wish. Chances are, except in Colorado, Florida, and perhaps eight or ten other states, you won’t even have the option of voting for Jay or Knapp because they won’t be on the ballot in your state. We’re working hard to correct that difficulty, and we expect to be on 30 or 40 state ballots in time for the 2010 Congressional elections. But you still don’t have to feel any obligation toward party loyalty.

I know that the scoundrels in the national LP have been pushing party loyalty as hard as they can. After all, they’ve seen about half the members of the party fail to renew their membership since 2000. The stench of corruption is too much for most dedicated freedom activists. Men like Chris Bennett and women like Angela Keaton have refused to be a part of the idiocy in the LP, and have withdrawn their cooperation – in both their cases filling out the remainder of their terms, but without the enthusiasm which has long characterised their involvement.

Party loyalty, like patriotism, is a refuge of scoundrels. It is a way of justifying all kinds of wrong doing in the name of “we need to do these wrong things to win.” I won’t put up with it.

So don’t feel you have to support our candidates if you join our party. You don’t. In some cases, you won’t be able to support their bids for public office even if you wish, due to onerous laws in your state. You are welcome to support any presidential or vice presidential candidate you please. But, we do think that the only candidates who are for smaller government in all areas, and a larger government in none are Charles Jay and Tom Knapp.

We are coming into some difficult times economically. The Federal Reserve has been printing money without regard to any intrinsic value since August of 1971, thanks to a stupid executive order by evil president Nixon. For various reasons, they have had one of the longer runs with fiat money in world history, not quite as long as the mulberry bark paper of the Mongol Khans, much longer than the Weimar Republic’s disastrous hyperinflation. But the easy ride is coming to an end. As my friend Doug Casey notes, we are headed for a Greater Depression to make the 1930s look like economic easy street in comparison. Indeed, my view is that the only greater depression in economic history of the last 500 years is the 1722 to 1782 depression caused by the disaster of the Banque Royale and Bank of England paper money schemes. If a sixty-year depression sounds very long, you may hope that technology speeds up the recovery, as well.

But the future beyond those economic problems looks very bright indeed. Technology is making it possible to do more things, do them faster, live longer, live more healthy lives, and enjoy the resources not only of this planet, but of our entire Solar System. We are approaching an era of great prosperity and great opportunity. Most of what stands in our way is corruption, political machinations, and excessively zealous government. Since these are entirely problems of human making, they can be, and are being, resolved with human action.

It won’t be easy to overcome centuries of excessive government, prohibitionism, welfare and warfare statism, and idiocy. Some of us are going to be hurt by the effort, and some are going to die trying to get rid of the last vestiges of mass appeal government. Worthwhile things are never cheap, they are dear. The expense in treasure, in lives, and in sacred honor cannot be too high, though, for the blessings of peace, prosperity, and freedom we can bestow upon ourselves and our posterity.

These are revolutionary times. Once again, it is time for women and men to stand up, don the costumes, board the ships, and dump the tea in Boston Harbor. It is time to act up and act out. It is time to get rowdy and be free. It is time to show those in government that we won’t be tamed, we won’t be caged, and we won’t be intimidated. They can in fact kill us, but they can never take our freedom.

Please join the Boston Tea Party today. The freedom you save may be your own.

  1. While I think the BTP has merit as a vehicle for making endorsements, I think it should stick to policy programs and avoid overly specific prognostications (like “we’re going into a great depression to make the 1930s look like a field trip”).

    Such predictions typically don’t come true, and also don’t attract much support from the broader voting base.

    It’s much better to say that “poor decisions by the US government have put us into economic hard times that are likely to get worse.” That way, when the country is at 12% unemployment and 11% annual inflation, you’re not stuck trying to explain why The Great Depression II hasn’t yet happened — you can instead focus on the obvious serious economic problems of the moment.

  2. Exactly, Mr. Miller. Libertarians make all sorts of over-reaching statements because – let’s face it – hardly anyone is listening. For example, do you think Mary Ruwart would have made such a poorly constructed argument on child consent to porn if she thought she was going to be running for president some day? I doubt there’s a libertarian out there who has put pen to paper who can’t be later criticized for some inaccuracy or ill-worded statement.

  3. I wish the BTP much luck. Any friend of freedom is a friend of mine.

    I think the BTP can play an important role in making libertarianism more accepted than it is now. Much like a radical Greenpeace made the Sierra Club look acceptable (and likewise, Earth First making Greenpeace look acceptable later down the line), the BTP can make the LP look acceptable to the American public. This may make some libertarians blanch, but wouldn’t we rather have the LP platform (warts and all) adopted as policy than the GOP or Democratic parties? Though I am LP, I hope the BTP becomes a radical organization that inspires libertarians. How I miss the more radical days of the LP!

  4. Brian, I write what I please. If you don’t like my ideas, don’t read them. Thanks. If, on the other hand, you want to write your ideas where people can read them, by all means, comment on my stuff. Or, you know, get your own blog. You might, however, try to get your information straight wherever you try to write it. Neither the Boston Tea Party, nor I, said that the coming greater depression is going to make the 1930s look like easy street, but, rather, my friend Doug Casey said so. You might want to read up about Doug at CaseyResearch.com to see whether he has any place from which to make such comments. I think he’s much more well informed than me.

    Gene, you can always rely on me to be more extreme than the LP. When I was in the space movement, people said that the L5 Society was like the PLO, and Davidson was like the Hezbollah. My objective is to take the thesis much further toward the point of the Nolan chart, so the synthesis has to be closer to what we all want.

  5. Obviously, I disagree with Roscoe’s hate filled mis-characterisation of my friend Mary Ruwart’s views on child endangerment, child pornography, and the age of consent, three issues Roscoe seems eager to conflate for some malicious purposes of his own.

    Nevertheless, I can reassure everyone that I am far more ethical than to ever run for any public office, nor any office within the Boston Tea Party. I do not believe in the delegation of force. I am the transition or interim chair of the Boston Tea Party because my friend, Tom Knapp, asked me to help him keep the organisation going much earlier this year. I am extremely fortunate that a very large number of people have risen to the challenges of putting things on a rapid growth track.

  6. It occurs to me to mention that people who have chosen to stick with the LP and continue to pay dues to the national party organisation are rewarding the very behaviors they seek to change. Or, perhaps they like the way the LP national staff is behaving.

    Certainly the bias shown by the national party staff and officers toward one of the candidates before the nominating convention, and against other candidates, was noticed not only by me, but also by David Nolan. To be sure, that bias was in favor of a racist, a bigot, a man who has raised money for Republicans (millions of dollars) and donated it (tens of thousands of dollars) to opponents of Libertarian Party candidates. The anointed presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party has voted for gun rights restrictions (Lautenberg amendment), declared his opposition to legalising all drugs within two weeks of being nominated, extolled the virtues of segregationist and racist Jesse Helms, and suggested that libertarians favor the defense of marriage act that he helped author and support.

    Libertarians who support Bob Barr are behaving foolishly. For my own part, I am completely unsympathetic with the results that the party loyalists are obtaining. Sticking with the LP is a foolish mistake. There are better ways to accomplish the goals of the freedom movement.

  7. […] BTP and stay in the LP. It is entitled Party Like It’s 1973, an apparent ironic reference to Party like it’s 1773 by BTP interim chair Jim […]

  8. […] BTP and stay in the LP. It is entitled Party Like It’s 1973, an apparent ironic reference to Party like it’s 1773 by BTP interim chair Jim […]

  9. A Dramatization…General Washington is introduced to the new troops…

    Transfer Sergeant: “Here they are, General. This young lad here is Corpora–let’s say Colonel–Colonel Tom Knapp. He has the distinction of running away from the same fight twice in two years! And this other fellow is Priva–I mean General–Charles Jay. General Jay has allied himself with 3 different political parties in the past 4 years. You may remember his campaign for Vice-General a few years ago. Remember…he ditched out on it?”

    General Washington: “Hmmm, I see…well men, I think the best place for you two would be right out in front–I mean, up at the front.”

  10. General Washington was a horrid authoritarian and counter-revolutionary. His policies as head of the army established a privileged officer corps and a very unhappy – judging by the numbers of soldiers who left over lack of pay, irrational discipline, and other problems on many different occasions – enlisted cadre. Washington continued to be an authoritarian as president, leading 15,000 troops to eradicate opposition to his buddy Hamilton’s whiskey tax among a few hundred farmers in Western Pennsylvania.

    You seem to suggest that party loyalty is everything. I’m going to say it again, party loyalty is nothing. Political parties are nothing but tools which either serve the purpose of increasing freedom, and should be exploited, or don’t, and should be abandoned.

    You are a party loyalist. No doubt you are also a patriot. Party loyalty is the penultimate refuge of scoundrels, and patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. So, you, in my view, are a scoundrel.

    You say nothing about the many reasons that people have left the LP. You suggest that Tom Knapp has left the LP when in fact he has not. Tom is continuing to campaign as an LP candidate in Missouri.

    Presumably, you don’t think there is any amount of corruption, abuse of power, or ill treatment of activists by the national LP that would cause you to reconsider for a moment your participation in the LP. If some of us get killed because of the LP national, you’d be fine with it.

    You make a military analogy presumably because you are comfortable with that metaphor. I suspect you of being a militarist, and part of the disease-ridden carcass of war enthusiasm. You love war, don’t you? You want all of us in uniform, and those of us who won’t fight the fight your generals demand can then be shot as deserters, as mutineers, for treason, or for cowardice in the face of the enemy.

    But, your analogy is as brutal as it is senseless. Your argument does not work, because the members of the LP are volunteers and customers. Those who won’t renew their dues in the national LP, as I have refused to do for a decade, are unsatisfied customers, and no amount of bullying by militarists is going to change our dissatisfaction with the corrupt and filthy product you are touting. The people who do the actual work at all levels of the LP, with the exception of a few primping, preening, over-paid and under-worked national staff, are volunteers. (By over-paid, I specifically refer to Angela Keaton’s questions about Shane Cory’s exorbitant after-resignation payments, for which questions she was silenced. Keaton has been one of the most effective fund-raisers for the LP, so silencing her seems like an incredibly stupid choice by the generalissimos – or was it the admiral?)

    You can push around volunteers in the army, Lance, by shooting the deserters. But, that analogy won’t wash in political parties. Members of the LP are members by choice. If you don’t like people leaving your party, then make it something worth staying in. If you don’t want people to abandon the fight for your party’s victory, then make it a fight worth fighting.

    Because your candidate is a racist, a bigot, an authoritarian, a statist, and a poltroon. He has evil intentions. He worked to lock people like me in prison. He is not for legalising all drugs, and he never will be. He is not for gun rights for all Americans and he never will be. He has continued to have his political committee raise funds to support Republican candidates who have LP opponents.

    So if you are looking for traitors, I suggest you look at the top of the ticket for your party. You can examine the motes in Tom’s eye, and in Charles’s eye, but only after you pluck the big beam of lumber out of Bob Barr’s eye.

  11. […] BTP and stay in the LP. It is entitled Party Like It’s 1973, an apparent ironic reference to Party like it’s 1773 by BTP interim chair Jim […]

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