The Libertarian Double-Standard

I have recently made the decision to drop the Libertarian Party. I’m still a libertarian, though.

That is, I still firmly believe in the Philosophy of Liberty. But, I will no longer actively support the Libertarian Party.

It has become clear to me that the Chair, Secretary, and Media Relations of the Pennsylvania Chapter wish to “tone down” the speech of Libertarians in favor of making the party “more accessible.” I will let them speak for themselves below. Some may consider these quotes to be “out-of-context.” However, I provide a link to the exact quote in the LPPA forums so that you may read them in-context. It is my belief, however, that most of these statements speak for themselves.

Erik Viker – Media Relations (Feb. ’11)

A state party platform is first, and almost entirely, a marketing tool.  It should appeal to non-LP voters, not cause them to step away in concern due to overly extreme rhetoric or complex philosophy. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35054.msg45462#msg45462)

 

Vernon EtzelSecretary

“Statism” is a pejorative, used to identify those who violate the official thought of anarchism. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35209.msg46536#msg46536)

I don’t want to preserve the current world-view expressed in the current state platform. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35209.msg46546#msg46546)

I do hope to resolve strong ties to other libertarians and to build a political party with some influence.  The moment people take up arms is the end of democracy. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35099.msg45538#msg45538)

 

Mik RobertsonChair

Personally, I see myself as a being, not as something I own. Property is owned, not me. I have rights, property does not. If I can own myself, then I can sell myself, and somebody else can own me. I can own the fruits of my labor. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35209.msg46539#msg46539)

Liberty is not an ideology or philosophy unto itself. It is a concept. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35209.msg46556#msg46556)

The force of law is not necessarily oppression. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35099.msg45548#msg45548)

I disagree with the premise that the State is a violent and coercive body. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35157.msg45926#msg45926)

The LP is not now nor has it ever been the Anarchists Club, even though the Dallas accord made it seem that way. Rothbard’s driving away of minarchists in the 1980’s didn’t help the LP. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35157.msg45935#msg45935)

There is no question that the Libertarian Party has been a right-leaning organization since its inception. It came from the supporters of people like Barry Goldwater, after all. It is really not surprising that a lot of the rhetoric is reminiscent of conservatism. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35157.msg45939#msg45939)

If we want to increase individual liberty and decrease aggression, which I think is a good mission for the LP, then we have to look at the big picture, not just at what government does. If the purpose of the LP is to advance a particular ideology, then maybe a different focus would be in order. To the extent that government can secure individual rights equally, I think that is a good thing. To the extent that government can address market distortions, I think that is a good thing. If you want to see where the aggression is ultimately coming from, follow the money. The source isn’t governments, most of them are broke. Unleash those powerful interests unfettered on a free market and how long will there be a free market? (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35157.msg45939#msg45939)

I think [Ayn] Rand was simply wrong. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35157.msg45946#msg45946)

It is difficult to get ideas implemented if most people think that the organization is a bunch of wackos and dismiss anything that it puts forth out of hand. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35131.msg46522#msg46522)

If the LP’s only answer to everything is to eliminate government, we aren’t going to get very far as a political party out to affect public policy. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35131.msg46528#msg46528)

In the end, I think the Chair of the LPPA, Mik Robertson, completes the thought-process currently going on in the leadership.

In my book it is not a win if we are forever relegated to the political sidelines with no affect on public policy because we have clasp so tightly to untenable policy positions. (http://www.lppa.org/smf/index.php?topic=35131.msg46528#msg46528)

These “untenable policy positions” he downplays are the very policy positions that comprise the libertarian Philosophy.

The Leadership of the LPPA, more specifically Vernon Etzel (a self-described ‘progressive Libertarian’), Mik Robertson and Erik Viker, wish to neuter those whose speech may be “unpopular” or may reflect the party as being a “bunch of whackos.” They wish to do this by supporting efforts to re-write the Platforms by taking out some of the more ‘radical’ aspects and by denouncing efforts to keep the party honest.

How can you have an un-radical Libertarian? How can the Philosophy of Liberty be toned down? Why should any self-respecting Libertarian want to censor himself simply because the mainstream media doesn’t like what we have to say? More importantly, how can you be a Libertarian and support censorship of your own groups core ideals? You’d have to ask them yourself to get a clear answer on that.

As for me, I do not believe in ‘progressive Libertarians’ and I do not believe you can be a ‘moderate Libertarian.’ Centrists and moderates are reserved for the two major parties. Their Philosophy is ambiguous enough to allow for it. I do not wish to be in the same group with weak Libertarians who are more concerned about public image than they are about keeping the Philosophical purity and honesty.

That is, I’M A LIBERTARIAN AND I DON’T GIVE A DAMN WHO THINKS WHAT ABOUT IT! I’m not in the business to be worried about my ‘public image’ or worried what a bunch of Statist-sheeple think about my philosophy. Or worry that I may be “offending” some people with my honest and direct words. If someone doesn’t like what I have to say, then over there’s the door, take a walk!

Until the leadership decides to no longer encourage efforts to deceive the public about what libertarian ideals are, until the leadership decides to grow-a-pair, I will no longer be a member of the Libertarian Party. I am still a libertarian, mind you. But, I will not give my money to an organization that wishes to water-down their platform just so people can swallow Liberty a little easier.

 

Mik Robertson, Chair of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Libertarian Party, can be reached at this email address: Chair@lppa.org

Vernon Etzel, Secretary/Platform Committee/Judicial Committee of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Libertarian Party, can be reached at this email address: Secretary@lppa.org, Platform@lppa.org, judicial@lppa.org

Erik Viker, Media Relations Committee of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Libertarian Party, can be reached at this email address: Media-Relations@lppa.org

 

P.S. Please be respectful should you decide to contact these people for clarification on their rather confusing stances.

 

*This article is based on anecdotal conversations held in a public forum. I make every effort to substantiate my claims by providing links where the original statements may be found at the time of this articles posting. I am not making knowingly false claims about the person(s) included in this article. Every statement I make is my honest perception of the facts and my honest opinion of said person(s).

About Andrew Weit

I voted for Obama in 2008 and realize what a big mistake I made. I am now working to change this mistake and join the pro-Liberty tide that is the Ron Paul 2012 movement.
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26 Responses to The Libertarian Double-Standard

  1. Andrew Shemo says:

    libertarians don’t get a free pass for simply being “libertarian”. good job at holding them accountable, Andrew.

  2. Lydia says:

    This is precisely why my activity with this party ended almost as quickly as it began. It’s becoming the next “tea party”…where conformos get to “try on” being a maverick like a pretend costume, talk a big talk, rattle their swords and…pretty much go home. I take tea party rallies about as seriously as kids getting together in their clubhouse dressing and pretending to be pirates…Sadly, this party seems to be heading in the same direction…even though I too consider myself a libertarian, they won’t be getting another cent out of me if this is how the main heads really think…

  3. Andrew Shemo says:

    I think the libertarian party of PA needs to worry more about putting up legitimate candidates than trying to reform what was once a sound philosophy. if they start toning it down, then we can effectively call them the Republicans or the Democrats. The last thing we need is another party of compromise.

  4. Andrew Weit says:

    Exactly. Compromise is what is currently characterizing the National Tea Party (I won’t indict local groups directly.) It is also what makes up the decrepit major parties.

    I hope many people see this and don’t fall into the same trap I did. The LP is NOT a “Party of Principle.” Everyone from Wayne Root to Mik Robertson is illustrating this very clearly.

  5. Mik Robertson says:

    Good heavens, Andrew! After our initial discussion, you had agreed with pretty much every point I had made. At least you provided the links to put things in context, thank you.

    How you approach things as an individual is of course up to you. How you approach things as an organization can be very different, and it is not often that all individuals will get exactly what they want. Just as self-government requires some self-discipline, to be most effective as an organization can require some organizational discipline. That does not mean principles are lost. Government is not the only source of the infringement of rights, and it is not the only source of aggression.

    You were and still are free to make your case for party positions. Those things you cited were discussions among individual members, they are not necessarily party positions or policy. If you no longer wish to discuss them, that’s fine. I continue to believe that the Libertarian Party should be open to all who want to maximize individual liberty and minimize aggression.

    If we want to be effective as a political party, in educational efforts as well as efforts to affect public policy, we should consider what we do very carefully. I think the one advantage a political party has over other organizations is the ability to participate directly in the electoral process, so I think it is reasonable that we give some consideration to that effort. It is certainly not the only thing a political party can do, and other efforts are good as well. I hope you will again consider your positions, as you will always be welcome in the LP if you want to promote individual liberty and decrease aggression.

    • Andrew Weit says:

      Mik, I only conceded that anarcho-capitalism may not be attainable in our current society. That is, I realized that it made sense for the government to protect against force or fraud over free-market law enforcement and arbiters.

      Furthermore, I was agreeable only because I didn’t, yet, understand the current “Partyarchists” that are currently running the State Chapter. At the time of that conversation, I did not understand your allegiance lies with PR more than Principle.

  6. Dave Moser says:

    Andrew and others…….don’t worry about state(or national for that matter). How strong is your county party(s)? Do you even have one? What have you/are you doing to strengthen your county party?

    I can go off here about how much I agree Andrew but negativity will beget nothing positive. Instead I will emphasis positive constructive behavior. I have people from within and without the party still tell me today that everything must be top down. They tell me sometimes with words but more often with action(or lack there of). I will fight that notion with my dying breath. The farther away people push their faith, their focus, their trust……the more removed they are from personal responsibility and their own fate. No one, and especially us Libertarians, should for one moment preoccupy ourselves with anything other than our own backyards. If every person betters themselves the world will be a better place. If we are lacking in leadership at state or national levels it is because we ourselves have not become better leaders. It is because we have not created stronger county parties to draw from. It is because we have failed in better educating even ourselves.

    Anyone that espouses libertarian philosophy much less themselves a Libertarian cannot so blatantly pass-the-buck as to say “I see a problem but I am just gonna go away till someone else fixes it”. That is about as antithetical to libertarian values and sense of personal responsibility as I can imagine. To anyone reading this that has come and gone from the party or never committed because they don’t approve of leadership, thinks the party is not flying in the right direction, or simply thinks that the party is not large or significant enough I say this……make that change. The whole of the problems in this world are no more the problem of a party or leader than they are of a government……the problem lies squarely on the shoulders of every individual compromising the whole. I am the problem….admitting this is the first step. The next is what are you doing about it?

    Dave Moser
    York County Chair
    Pennsylvania Libertarian Party

    • Andrew Weit says:

      I fully understand what you are saying, Dave. But, I fail to see how giving my time and energy to a smaller portion of a larger Party, whose leadership fails to adhere to Philosophy in lieu of public image, is really going to help matters (especially in this case.) Sure, there is a possibility that the smaller portions could influence the larger body. But, I guess my question is this: is there a probability that I would get a ‘return on my investment’ in this case? Would relinquishing myself to a collective group be the most effective way of proliferating the Philosophy?

      I can still spread the message behind the libertarian Philosophy without giving to a political party. No, I will not have an established name under which to fly the banner of Liberty. But, I can, as an individual, espouse and spread the Philosophy to others.

      I think this whole problem (I view it as a problem) has helped me to see something very important that I have missed before; Political parties are just another form of Statism. That is, the individual, not the collective force of a group compromising itself under one banner, is the most effective vessel for the Philosophy. And perhaps, the Libertarian Party is acting its role, as it should.

      I think I have also realized that Liberty is not only a Philosophy, but a way of life. It is not simply something you can slap into a document and then change later because some people don’t like what it says. It is something you have to live and feel. You have to read the Founder’s documents and realize that they did the same. They felt Liberty.

      This is something the Republican Party and the Democratic Party simply doesn’t have. The philosophy behind their party isn’t one that you can feel or live. It’s like an empty shell. Perhaps this is why my blood is so boiled over this. I perceive the effort to personify this Philosophy as a method of gutting the Philosophy in the process, leaving behind the same empty shell as with the two-major parties.

      Furthermore, I will not deny the possibility that the Libertarian Party is proceeding just the way it should. After all, it is a political party and political parties probably have a role similar to the role the current leadership wishes to place the Party into. However, I will not stand silently by as I witness, what I perceive to be, issues.

      Again, I understand that just leaving may not be the best thing for me to have done at this point. However, at what point do you just throw your hands up, concede “I am not winning this one” and move on to another way of getting the Philosophy out there? It’s not like this is a small disagreement between members of LP. This is the leadership of the State Chapter wishing to mock the possible leadership of National (like Wayne Root) and in the process, gut the Philosophy of it virility that actually defines it.

  7. Andrew Shemo says:

    Dave,

    good point. I also believe that local elections are where we can start changing minds first. Most folks don’t know there’s a 3rd party in PA so if we can start making people aware that they have more than 2 choices, I think it’ll help the overall outlook for say libertarians and independents.

    Jake Towne and Josh Monighan took home something like 10,000+ votes a piece and both ran as independents. hopefully more libertarians will do the same.

  8. Vernon Etzel says:

    Thank you Andrew for the quotes you attributed to me. I stand behind them 100%.

  9. Bill Tsafa says:

    Anytime you have more two or more people together in the same room there will usually need to be some sort of compromise of co-existence. That is for everything including… which movie to see and where to eat. The larger the group of people gets the more compromises are required within members of the group. If the members do not wish to compromise and they will ultimately leave… then you are left with a bunch of smaller groups who are even less effective.

    If Libertarians do not want to compromise among themselves, they they should consider operating more as a lobby group rather then a political party. As a lobby group they do not need to make as many compromises.

    Consider the effectiveness of the NRA. They are a lobby group… not a political party. They have chosen to be a ONE issue group (Gun Rights). If they tried to transform themselves into a political party then they would have to take positions on all sorts of issues… abortion, wars, gay rights, economy… etc. All the people within the NRA would then take opposing views and the organization would breakup from within.

    I think both the Libertarian and Tea party should follow the NRA’s example. They should pick just a few causes that matter most to them and are at the core of what they believe and then try to exert their influence on the major parties. The major political parties will no longer see them as a political competitor but rather a large voting pool to be courted.

  10. Erik Viker says:

    Andrew Weit, here is the entire forum post that the quote from me above comes from:

    “The most important platform anybody can adopt is the code of personal conduct that person demonstrates in positions of responsibility. It’s absurd to waste so much time pre-wordsmithing a document hoping it will appeal to every LPPA member, as if any LPPA member will be somehow held to behavioral standards as a result.
    A state party platform is first, and almost entirely, a marketing tool. It should appeal to non-LP voters, not cause them to step away in concern due to overly extreme rhetoric or complex philosophy. A state party platform is not a purity test. If we choose to, we can all be MORE personally Libertarian than the platform we adopt describes. If a local group is comprised of people who prefer stricter Libertarian behaviors, then that local group can adopt a local platform that defines their very strict Libertarian preferences.
    To borrow from some of my religious friends to offer an analogy, Orthodox Jews and Reform Jews are all still Jewish. It’s kinda like that.” – – Erik Viker

    What’s your specific problem with these observations?

    • Andrew Weit says:

      “no cause them to step away in concern due to overly extreme rhetoric or complex philosophy.” You openly state that the libertarian philosophy is overly complex. You also suggest that the libertarian philosophy contains extreme rhetoric.

      You can’t paint flowers on the handle of a spike and expect it to hurt less when you thrust at someone.

      You are advocating making the Libertarian Party platform more ambiguous in order to appeal to non-LP members. The problem I have with this is simple: We don’t want overly-sensitive non-libertarians in the party. If we must walk on eggshells in order to appeal to someone, we don’t want them anyway. This Philosophy isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s a rough, individualist, and selfish philosophy not meant for collectivists.

      If we present the Philosophy and someone doesn’t like it, it is not our fault. However, if we are purposely ambiguous and deceitful, and members join who aren’t libertarian (let alone if those members make it up the chain to leadership positions) then we have actively wrought our own destruction. We, then, become at fault.

      You, Vernon, and Mik are all in leadership positions in the state Chapter and you have all espoused a desire to manipulate the platform to lure in non-libertarians.

      What do you do when you now have to worry about offending some weak-minded ex-democrat or some flimsy ex-republican? You have now neutered the philosophy for the sake of numbers on a sheet of paper.

      You havn’t become more effective just because you lured in more people. You were deceitful and dishonest and now have an organization full of non-libertarians who now want to do the same thing and water it down even more than it already was to bring even more moderates and eventually centrists.

      Lowering the standards does not make the LP more successful in spreading the message. Because, the message wasn’t being sent. You didn’t actually reach anyone. You just made yourself look better by adding some numbers into the system.

  11. Vernnon Etzel says:

    “You, Vernon, and Mik are all in leadership positions in the state Chapter and you have all espoused a desire to manipulate the platform to lure in non-libertarians.”

    I have only attempted, with the help of quite a few other “active” members (of which there are few), to resolve core agreements to build a common trust. The present platform is a mission statement by a couple anarcho-capitalists back in 2004. We can debate that platform if you wish. What is clear is that IT is not THE definition of “libertarian” or of any reasonable philosophy. The platform is not sacred.

    I swear you see this word “libertarian” as if it were a bible or a koran, something set down by the mouth of God. As if there is no thinking, no independent thought, only disciples and followers of the Truth. When arguments turn against the preaching, “heresy” (aka “statist”) is declared. Consider the word “tolerance” for a moment.

    My interest isn’t to tell YOU what to think. My only interest has been to build this idea of Trust between different ideological factions, to allow people to join without passing a formal immigration exam. The LPPa has anarchists, anarcho-whatever, neo-libertarians, geolibertarians, this-libertarian, that-libertarian, and if we can’t work together, we’ll never have influence on policy or society, and so will remain victims of our present governments.

    Democracy is there. Sure, sure, it’s more illusion than reality. Ballot access laws, straight-party voting, registration gimmicks, you name it is put in the way to keep control of the elections. It has to be done. We need people with the courage to stand and debate on behalf of the people. If we stand for basic principle, the principle of Liberty, we’re doing the right thing.

    Right now, we’re not a party of Principle, we’re a party with a chunky, dogmatic and arguably crazy platform. Sure, I would call it “libertarian”, but it certainly doesn’t stand for what I belive, nor what HUMAN BEINGS believe. It’s a niche market. It has no influence except to corral a handful of good people into an intellectual cage.

  12. Erik Viker says:

    Andrew, you have perpetrated several fallacies.

    In the comment you have appropriated, I suggest adopting a state platform that avoids losing potential LP members concerned about “overly extreme rhetoric or complex philosophy.” You incorrectly assume this is equal to “openly stating” that an existing “philosophy” is overly complex or extreme. You also incorrectly equate “libertarian philosophy” with the “Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania platform.”

    I have no idea what your flowers and spikes are all about. I suggest you avoid metaphor if you’re unable to read the difference between “openly stating” and suggesting effective use of language in organizational material.

    You allege I am “advocating making the Libertarian Party platform more ambiguous in order to appeal to non-LP members.” This is incorrect. I have not advocated for ambiguity. You confuse “ambiguous” with “introductory.” I believe a party platform is a marketing tool to help newcomers consider the fundamentals of a political party organization. You may disagree. You write as if the LPPA is the repository of all things related to libertarian philosophy. It is not, but this may explain your disappointment. The LPPA is a political party for directly influencing public policy in Libertarian directions, not a libertarian philosophy club. If you want a libertarian philosophy club, you should establish one. I might even join up.

    You state “We don’t want overly-sensitive non-libertarians in the party.” I do not know who this “we” is. I personally want non-libertarians to join the party and become citizens who promote Libertarian principles in government. Libertarians don’t spring to life fully formed. They begin as non-libertarians and gradually becoem Libertarians. As a political party, we should nurture that transition, not draw ultimatum lines. You seem to prefer the functional equivalent of an emo teenager saying “I WON’T and you can’t MAKE ME.” This is very powerful, very passionate and very unlikely to make any difference in an adult world. You are confusing a “rugged individualist philosophy” (which I do promote) with actual government involvement by libertarian-minded citizens.

    I have no idea what you mean by “deceitful.” Aparty platform that is less specific than you personally prefer is not mutually exclusive with more specific Libertarian ideals put into practice by individual Libertarians aligned with the state organization. This is why I write “If we choose to, we can all be MORE personally Libertarian than the platform we adopt describes. If a local group is comprised of people who prefer stricter Libertarian behaviors, then that local group can adopt a local platform that defines their very strict Libertarian preferences.”

    Much of your rambling response here presumes to determine for other people whether they are or are not “non-libertarian.” Hat behavior seems intellectually collectivist to me. A Libertarian is anyone who is a registered Libertarian voter and/or a member of the Libertarian Party organization at any level of organization. A libertarian is anyone who says they are a libertarian. Don’t mix the two up anymore, Andrew. It makes you seem foolish.

    You generally seem to be responding to what you pretend I wrote, rather than to what I actually wrote. This may serve to advance your righteous indignation, son, but it doesn’t advance citizen liberty and limited government.

    • Andrew Weit says:

      “You write as if the LPPA is the repository of all things related to libertarian philosophy. It is not, but this may explain your disappointment. The LPPA is a political party for directly influencing public policy in Libertarian directions, not a libertarian philosophy club.”

      So, is that really it, then? Is that what the leadership wishes to make the Libertarian party?

      So, a “Libertarian” doesn’t actually have to be libertarian? All they have to do is just pay dues and register as a “Libertarian” yet, they don’t actually need to be libertarian themselves?

      I don’t think I’m being an emo-teenager by saying ‘Hey, you want to be here you have to be libertarian. You can’t be some progressive or a republican turned off by Bush. You actually have to believe in the libertarian philosophy. No flimsy flip-floppers allowed.’

      “A Libertarian is anyone who is a registered Libertarian voter and/or a member of the Libertarian Party organization at any level of organization. A libertarian is anyone who says they are a libertarian.”

      Oh yes, how foolish of me. To think that Libertarians should actually be libertarian. I will try not to make such a grievous error in judgement in the future. I will try to keep in mind that “Libertarians” can be communist, socialist, neo-fascists, they could support republicans or democrats, they could even support Statism. Just as long as they give you guys money and change their voter affiliation, they are allowed in regardless of their ideological beliefs.

  13. Shane Land says:

    I love it! What I believe the underlying problem is, establishment Republicans who see the rising power of the Libertarian Party so they want to join it and think that Libertarians are as partisan as Democrats and Republicans. They don’t realize… We are not loyal to a party! We are only loyal to freedom and are already used to looking out for people who say one thing and do another. We support those who support liberty, and you will be held accountable!

    Besides this… The practise of worrying about the growth of the party instead of doing what is right for the country is the biggest flaw that the Democrats and Republicans have. Why would we copy this? Libertarians are the party of “do what is right” even if it costs me reelection. Libertarians are typically for constant turnover of politicians and term limits… keep the government fresh!

  14. Erik Viker says:

    I do not know what you mean by “is that really it,” Andrew. If you care enough to rant about the LPPA leadership, get involved and become part of that leadership and help guide the consensus that any organization strives for.

    You seem to want a purity test for YOUR version of what a libertarian is before allowing people to join the Libertarian Party. That surely won’t make the LPPA grow any more influential, and it surely won’t nudge public policy in libertarian directions.

    Who decides for another citizen whether or not they’re libertarian?” You?

    Honestly, son. . . YOU? How would you measure that “believe in the libertarian philosophy?” Mind reading? Following them around to observe their libertarian behavior and apply it to a scale you personally devise? A purity test such as you propose doesn’t seem very liberty-minded to me, and I suspect you’d have a difficult time coming up with reasonable requirements even if any organization was foolish enough o give you such responsibility.

    Your most recent response, Andrew, reminds me of several emo teenagers I’ve known. But I assume you did not intend to present as petulant, sarcastic, defensive and self-righteous.
    Now if you care to work toward Libertarian Party principles in government, then you’re most welcome to participate in LPPA activity. But if not, that’s your choice as a free adult citizen and I support your decision either way. But do not expect serious LP activists to sit by while you publicly cherry-pick their words to suit some little snit you have going on.

  15. Andrew Weit says:

    My ‘version’ of libertarian philosophy is clear and simple. You either support coercion and violence by a self-proclaimed monopoly, or you support voluntary exchange on a free-market. That’s it. There’s no middle ground, no gray areas, no wiggle room. Do you support the abolition of a violent monopoly (the State)? No? Then you aren’t libertarian. Bye bye.

    If my ‘version’ isn’t all nice and pretty and able to be slapped into a news-bite or thrown on an advertisement, oh well. Kleenex is on sale at Giant.

    That is Philosophical honesty and purity. If you call “being an actual libertrian” a ‘purity test’, that’s up to you. I call it resource management. I call it not wasting time and energy.

    And my ‘little snit’ is pointing you people out on your hypocrisy. It’s taking your words, you posted on a public forum, and using them to defend my assertion that you are hypocrites. You do not care about libertarian philosophy. You only care about increasing your numbers, period. It doesn’t matter who those numbers are or what they actually believe, as long as you can show growth, then everything is okay.

    This isn’t a community center where “all are allowed.” It’s supposed to be a Party that is adhering to and requiring adherence to a philosophical position.

    I do not care to work towards “Libertarian Party Principles” because you people have shown me what those principles really are and I don’t care to work towards that kind of goal. I would much rather work towards libertarian principles (which run almost parallel to most your desires.)

    I also don’t expect serious LP activists to sit by while I call you people out. In fact, I encourage you people to come after me. You have really helped to publicly illustrate what a Political party really does. Regardless of the ‘philosophy’ they pretend to uphold. You have also helped illustrate what the current leadership really thinks about libertarian philosophy. So, by all means, keep it up, keep going.

    It is my hope that in time the LP will be exposed for the sell-out organization it has become. You people are no better than The Tea Party. They got loosey-goosey about their label and it fell into the hands of those that are currently destroying the name. The same is happening with the LP.

  16. Vernon Etzel says:

    This site is called Liberty Thinkers. While I’d love to go into a thoughtful discussion about the terms “coercion” and “wiggle room”, I really don’t think any extensive, honest discussion is possible. It would require thinking about what others say.

    Erik and I have given you the courtesy of reading and responding to your (Andrew’s) statements, but it is obvious from replies that they are not being read. If you want an honest debate on these issues, you should do so at the LPPa forums as a member. If you want to hide here and disparage ME and others, claiming that I’m not libertarian, or that I have in any way “sold out”, then reasonable discussion with you is impossible.

  17. Erik Viker says:

    Andrew, despite all your rambling philosophical ultimatums, you still fail to explain how you’d prove somebody was your kind of preferred libertarian to allow them party membership. Sign a paper? Anybody can do that. Mind reading? Spying on behavior? Absurd.

    You can say you’ve demonstrated hypocrisy in the LPPA, but saying it doesn’t make it so. You can say you are an aardvark but saying it doesn’t give you a long furry snout.

    Another fallacy: “You only care about increasing your numbers, period.” This is not only false, it does not logically follow from any statement I’ve made. On the contrary, I’ve specifically mentioned moving public policy in Libertarian direction as a goal.

    And another fallacy: Nobody said the words “all are allowed.” You made that up. Membership in an organization has obligations established by that organization. If you expect mor estringent obligations, form your own organization. As I explained earler, the LPPA wouldeven affilate with your more stringently libertarian county organization.

    Son, you have stated no goals other than to feel the way you want to feel. If you mature to the point where you want to help bring Libertarian principles into actual government activity, then you know where to find the LPPA. If what you want is to stand on some contrived indignation regardless of what LPPA members have actually said and done, then your blog is the right place for you. Be at peace.

  18. Erik Viker says:

    “Explain yourself further in your backyard.” Aaaaahahahahahaa!

  19. Matt schutter says:

    Erik why do you have to call him son? I think your insults are not helping the problem. Andrew is a grown man. I would recomend that you go to the convention at the end of the month and grievence your state party Andrew. I Know i have a couple things to say to my party and that is what I am going to do

  20. Derek Drummond says:

    Andrew Weit,
    FYI I have been linking this article all over the boards the last couple of days because it explains exactly what most of us already believe goes on in the Libertarian Party. I also encountered Erik Viker on one of the boards and I can tell you your assessment on and about his is 1000% accurate! And I and 10 or 15 other people agree with you. Keep up the good work and one question for you. Do you happen to know who are the opponents running against Viker in 2012? If so could you send me their websites or whatever contact information you may have. If there are no opponents yet can you tell me how we can encourage people to run against him?
    Thanks,
    Derek

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