Paragraphs are your friend...
There is no way I am going to read that until it is formatted properly. It just hurts my eyes.
"I cannot prove, but am prepared to affirm, that if you take care of
clarity in reasoning, most good causes will take care of themselves,
while some bad ones are taken care of as a matter of course." -Anthony de Jasay
A lot of what you say is things I've said from time to time...just without the explatives. You mind if I cut and paste a little and send to some friends and family?
Also, I mean no offense by this, but winning a presidential election right now would be devestating to the Libertarian Party as well as the Libertarian Movement. We have too little pro-liberty representation in Congress and in the States for only an Executive Officer to do much good right now. Even the Republican Party when it first began its rise in the 19th Century sought houses in Congress before moving a presidential candidate forward. I say this because - as we're seeing with Bush (thank goodness) right now - a President who does not have like-minded people in control of the houses of Congress only has veto power. Honestly, look at the last year since the Dems picked up the majority status in Congress. What has honestly gotten done? Next to nothing. With the essentially socialist Democratic Party and many essentially socialist "neo-Cons" in control of Congress right now, I don't think you'll find the presidency to be nearly as useful to the Libertarian Party as you think it is. What we need to do is campaign for Congress, and also to make the media recognize our presence. And that, in and of itself, is a major issue. Not all that many people know about the Libertarian Party. Most people are raised believing that it's a Republican versus Democrat thing, and you have to go to one or the other (even if you like neither). Congress can override any veto you make with a 2/3 majority. Unless you can make enough noise and rally enough candidates, you'll accomplish nothing more than making the LP look bad by accomplishing next to nothing.
That though, is just my assessment of the current situation. I just do not think that a President alone will have nearly enough power to accomplish anything for the People. The only thing it will do, in my opinion, is further serve to disillusion the people.
In either case, the young voters are your friends. A lot of young voters are thoroughly disillusioned with both mainstream political parties. You need to figure a way out to get their attention. I know a lot of people right out who would vote Libertarian if an option came up for a State or Congressional seat, and a lot more people who would vote Libertarian if not for one or two different view points. Even then, should it prove impossible to get a libertarian Congress, it's going to be a lot (and I do mean a lot) more work than you think to convince people to vote 3rd Party.
Again, this is just my assessment of what I see. Considering where I live and the kinds of people I associate with, I could be way out in left field for all I know.
Formatted web version: http://www.libertarianforpresident.com/Will-Not-Compromise.php
PAID FOR BY CHRISTINE SMITH FOR PRESIDENT
I will not compromise.... Except by running in a coerced political election.
The Origins of Capitalism
And for more periodic bloggings by moi,
It's a generally good thing for the LP to run presidential candidates, even if said candidate has no shot at winning, because the LP presidential candidate usually gets far more media attention than local and state candidates. The presidential candidate is therefore better suited to A) teach the public about libertarian ideals and B) raise awareness of the existence of the LP, thereby improving the chances of local and state LP candidates of winning.
I disagree with you on the idea that a Libertarian president would be able to do little. A Libertarian president would be able to veto nearly all legislation that comes before him/her. Therefore, the only new laws we would have to deal with are those which are supported by a majority in both of the Establishment parties. This would greatly stiffle the growth of big government.
This is not to imply that I disagree with you that Libertarian congresspersons would be useful or desirable, of course.
As for Ms. Smith, I very much like her ideals. It is clear that she was greatly influenced by Harry Browne. I will happily vote for her if she is the LP candidate in the event that Dr. Paul does not get his party's nomination.
Unfortunately, her long post on principles was needlessly long. I felt as though she were simply repeating herself over and over as I read that. Make the point more succinct and it will reach more people.
LP Radical Caucus: http://www.lpradicals.org/
LP Rothbard Caucus: http://www.lprc.org/
Good news...for the statists among us.
"Melody is a form of remembrance. It must have a quality of inevitability in our ears." - Gian Carlo Menotti
Oh, I'm not saying that she wouldn't have veto power, and I'm certainly not saying that I don't like her ideals. I do like her ideals. I just don't think it would be nearly as good for the LP as people seem to think.
Yes, she can teach people about libertarian ideals, but honestly what will that accomplish? I don't think she'll get nearly enough air-time to do it. The activists certainly will not like her and will go on the trail against her immediately. Why? Because, they'll realize that they're petty cause can no longer be used to force the minority will on the majority or even visa versa. They will be at the LP's throat (as they already are in some colleges), and even tossing "anarchist with money" claims, which are definitely going to hurt the LP's image and force it to have to counter on another front. The LP, I predict, would realistically spend more time staving off accusations of being anarchists - which many people automatically associate with groups who want to destroy the US, not simply groups that are for individual liberty - than they would spend teaching people about libertarian ideals. I hate to say it, but I think the mainstream media would be up at the top of that. Considering then that a lot people (for some reason) consider the media to be a viable source of information, they're going to believe it. That will do much more damage than you'd think right now. So long as the LP remains a non-viable party in state, local, and congressional politics, I honestly don't see a presidential bid as being anything short of simple futility.
And what do you think that a Libertarian president would be able to do? Veto? That's not a whole lot. Congress can override any veto with a 2/3 majority, I virtually guarantee that you'll be seeing a lot more in the way of "bipartisan efforts" going through the houses of congress, if for nothing more than so that the political machine can flex its political muscles. Executive Order? She can't actually repeal a law that way, can she? (If she can, please let me know, because that will greatly change my take on this.) I honestly think that at the end of a four year term, Ms. Smith will merely be able to look to the People and say, "I tried." Perhaps I'm just a pessimist, but I don't see how anything else can happen, and I think that one moment will be burned in peoples' memory. I think that one thing alone would be enough that even if the party were to pick itself up off the ground under another name, that people will just not believe the ideal anymore.
As for your liking Ms. Smith's ideals. I agree with you 100%. I like her ideals. I simply don't think she'll be able to accomplish what she wants to. I just think she'll be handicapped by a pro-big government congress.
I'll still vote for her, though, in all probability. Especially since I think my other choices are going to be Clinton or Giuliani.
To others:As to the "statist" comments: where do you intend to raise an army? And do not make the mistake of thinking for one second that you will not need one. That will merely be setting yourself up for complete, total failure. I want peace more than anything. I would relish a world where all was peaceful trade without violence. However that world never has been, is not, and never can be so long as humans exist. Regrettably, we are a violent and detestable race. There have always been and will always be those who enjoy hurting others. There will always be foreign entitities you will have to worry about which revolve around socialist ideas. With no army (which requires a government of some form - even if it's direct democracy - to raise), how then will you tell these people, "leave us and do not return," when they say, "come, look at these people here. See how weak they are? We will conquer them and add them to our number. We will make them happy like us." (gee doesn't that sound familiar)
There is a purpose to some form of government, even if it is a direct democracy. Even Ludwig VonMises himself would have agreed with that (he states as much in his lectures compiled into the book Economic Policy unless I completely misunderstood what he was saying). To raise an army that will man this defense, there will be needed agreement by the people - thusly government - to raise such an army and to deploy it. If you cannot find the answer to this, then your society will quickly find itself either wiped out or bending its knee to a foreign power. You need to answer the question of common defense, and do not think for one moment that everybody will be like you. Not everyone will stand up and say "let's go" when conquest comes. Many people when faced with the decision will - just like people of every other era - will seek out every possible excuse not to, even if they are betraying their own personal ideals. Many people are weak, and the only answer to that is to look to the common defense, thus some form of national army.
Regardless of this, and no offense intended, I don't think that this is the forum for that kind of commentary or this kind of debate.
A) One does not need to be a statist of any sort to believe that it is not unethical to use electoral politics as a tool (among many legitimate tools) for attacking the state, as a tool of defense. Counter-economics, think-tanks and educational institutions, and elections are all fair-game as far as I'm concerned, so long as they serve to decrease, and never increase, the role, scope, cost, and power of government.
B) Minarchists and anarchists need to stick together, for although our end goal may differ, we agree on the first 99% of the journey. As Harry Browne pointed out back in 2004, "Right now, we're $2.3 trillion away from no government, and about $2.2 trillion away from limited government." There is nothing wrong with working with minarchists in the pursuit of achieving our own goal of statelessness.
You ask, "where do you intend to raise an army?"
Government is not necessary for raising armies, counter to your claim. History, indeed, shows your claim to be incorrect.
Not only was an army raised in the American colonies under virtually no American government, against the will of the government ruling over her, and in opposition thereto; but likewise, armies have risen in other stateless and near-stateless areas as well.
I first recommend reading Murray N. Rothbard's For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto chapter 12, "The Public Sector, III: Police, Law, and the Courts." This work will explain how the statelessness of ancient Ireland actually made it harder for invading countries to take over.
I then recommend reading The Market for Liberty by Linda and Morris Tannehill. This work will explain the disincentives to attacking stateless countries, and the manner in which private armies can rise for the purpose of national defense.
Yes, but Ireland eventually lost. Armies are very difficult to raise, and the Continental army had the backing of the Continental Congress to raise it - as well as various wealthy persons who, although seperatist, were statists. Furthermore, had the fleets of Lafayette (a Frenchman under the very statist Louis XVI) not cut the British fleet off from getting supplies to Cornwallis, the US Continental army would also have been crushed. I further remind you that the continental army was almost routinely defeated throughout the course of the Revolutionary War. Yes, armies have risen in statelss and near-stateless areas, but most of the ones I know of were eventually defeated by mass-funded state-backed armies. Why? Because a potter is not a soldier. Unless you have at least small groups of people who dedicate their lives to combat who are capable of training others to do the same (i.e. a national army), then it's just a deal of splat...you never really had a chance to begin with. The only exception to this was Switzerland, but that rebelling army was fighting against an empire that had little to no power to begin with, that uprising being centuries before the Habsburgs (spelling? I've always been terrible with that one) came into power. And in subsequent conflicts where Switzerland was avoided by other armies it was because the Swiss militia was better trianed and equipped, being require by law (statism) to practice regularly with their weaponry. In other situations where the commons have been forced to defend themselves against national armies, they have been subsequently defeated.
The only situations I can think of where militia forces defeat national armies are either 1) where the militia is better armed, equipped, and trained than potential invaders (Switzerland); or, 2) where the national army is not dedicated enough to "do what it takes" to defeat their enemy (the US in Vietnam). Go study the history of the Boer War as well as many others. If an army is prepared to do what it takes to defeat the militia then militia loses.
Next time I have the money for a book, I'll check out the two you mentioned, though...unless I can find it in the library.