Monday, September 15, 2008

A de-centralized Libertarian Alliance: an idea whose time is coming

First, let me admit a dangerous truth: I have always liked the Articles of Confederation. Perhaps even better than the US Constitution. Those history textbooks that indoctrinate students to believe that the Articles were a failure because they denied the national government the power of taxation annoy the hell out of me.

That having been said, I've always wondered why the Libertarian Party chose a hierarchical approach that far more resembled the Federal structure of a powerful State embodied in the Constitution than the loose alliance generated by the Articles.

John P. Slevin, in a comment at Independent Political Report, captures this contradiction rather nicely:

You have the right idea, wrong solution.

Certainly support local candidates. Bust your butt doing so. That’s where it IS at.

ALL govt money IS spent locally, THERE ARE 2 reasons the LP is stuck on the presidential elections process.]

First, they are idiots.

2nd, it makes them money (and the “them” are the people who receive the money deposited into those accounts).
Those are the ONLY 2 reasons the LP has stuck with the top down model.

Deny them this. Simply don’t support it.

Either you understand that the purpose NEVER has been to support a strong or stronger LP or you do not.

It’s NOT about party building. It IS about negating the powers which control us.

You do that locally. You do it thru city councils and everything below and above LOCALLY.

Aside from candidacies at the local level, and for my money MUCH MORE important are citizen movements. Things like local referenda are FAR, FAR more effective.

The voters ALREADY are on our side (have been since the inception of the LP).

It long is past the time for the LP to think “outside the box”.

What has to happen is for the idiots who are the national LP to understand that they are not the show.

Equally important is for principled LP members NEVER to support those who will wield power.

EVERY LP member “of note” who strives for reform always seeks simply to replace the idiots at National instead of simply acknowledging the very obvious truth.

The LP cannot succeed at dismantling the state as long as it structures itself in accordance with State rules.

Defy your local central committee. Tell your State Party you will NOT give them a dime. Don’t give a dime to anything in which you have no say.

Now, dangerously, that is a libertarian solution, and it NEVER has gained creedence among Libertarian “top dogs” but it is so obvious that anyone, anyone ought to recognize and act upon the central truth of that.

And, finally, always remember, you have not lost as long as the locals are on YOUR side.


The majority of Americans are naturally libertarian in many aspects of their lives.

It has taken a lot of work, and a lot of talent, for us to fail to reach them with the present organization.

Think outside the box? Shit, folks, it's time to get outside the box.


ChrisNC said...

I think this overstates the case. A presidential candidate is essential for three reasons. From least to most important: first, it guarantees that every person (at least in most states) will have a chance to see and vote for a Libertarian candidate, even when there are no local candidates; second, it supports the credibility of the entire LP ticket, verifying that the local guy isn't just a lone ranger; and third, and most importantly, in many states, the presidential candidate counts for ballot status (here in NC, ONLY the votes for president or governor count toward ballot status). Local candidates are the face of the party, and can best reach their neighbors, but that is why the laws remove those votes from consideration for ballot status. Where I do agree is on the emphasis of resources. Just as the top of the ticket validates the rest of the candidates, the down-ticket candidates direct voters up the line. We ignore them at our peril.

George Donnelly said...

To cede the presidential elections is a big step. There is a lot of power there that can be used to advance the liberty agenda. And more votes for president can mean savings on future ballot access.

And this Mr Slevin, his tone is counterproductive.