Bullshit Attempts at Salvaging Minarchism: Another Saga Involving the Local LP Chapter
By: Shane Radliff
March 23rd, 2016
Samuel Edward Konkin’s quote from his New Libertarian Manifesto has become a staple for Liberty Under Attack, so we won’t burden you with reading it once again. Nonetheless, we place a heavy emphasis on consistency and have made some enemies in the process. Although, in our constant attempt to be philosophically consistent, it makes it that much easier to handle criticisms of our work.
One of those enemies made was the McLean County Libertarian Party (MCLP), when I went to one of their meetings on July 7th, 2015. I wore my LUA Voluntaryist shirt, but other than that, I went as the grey man and kept my views on the political means suppressed—that is, for the time being (until I got home).
It wasn’t until months after, when a reader posted the aforementioned field trip report on their Facebook page, that I got the initial feedback. It consisted of phrases like, “You can’t know us from one interaction,” to “We are fine with anarchists and you are welcome to come to our meetings” (I’m paraphrasing).
After they discovered that article, I figured it was time I start stirring the pot. I started a “2016 Illinois Voter Unregistration Drive” and posted it on the MCLP Facebook page. Their response was priceless (link to view the thread):
“This is silliness. If you want to uncouple from government, then don’t pay your taxes, avoid public utilities and go off the grid. If, however, you participate in a society that uses public services, your only hope is to participate at the ballot box. You’re either on the bus or your [sic] off the bus.”
“No, what’s silly (and insane) is trying the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. And the only hope is through the ballot box? If that was true, there would be no hope. For me on the other hand, I prefer to take the initiative in restoring my own Liberty, without having to subjugate myself before those who imagine themselves to be “our” rulers. The way I do that is through The Freedom Umbrella of Direct Action.”
Following my response, a reader stated “Maybe you should read the law first, before you start issuing orders,” followed by my initial post on the event page listing the legal citations for Illinois. Apparently, it would seem to be the case that bad role-modeling is endemic to reformists, as also evidenced by the fact that Kyle Rearden was accused by James Babb of similarly “issuing orders” to the audience during their informal debate last year.
This was posted from The Freedom Umbrella of Direct Action (FUDA) Fascistbook page, so I wasn’t found out completely, until that same reader posted my Behind Enemy Lines: The Dangers of the Libertarian Party article. It was evident at that point, and I even got a friend request from the Chairman of the Lollipop Guild (I don’t remember his title, again; partyarchy is a bitch).
As you can see, I’ve been sparring with these people for the better part of a year. That being said, I continued my attempt to decrease the membership within the “Libertarian Party” gang.
Note: Out of respect for his privacy and to protect the guilty, I will not be using his real name and the screenshots will be redacted. Henceforth, he will be called John.
In 2014, a “friend” and I held an informational protest against the War on Drugs, and the only person that showed up in clear opposition to narcotics prohibition was this same person that we will see advocating for political rulers. At that time, I was a loose Constitutionalist and we got along just fine. We never saw each other in person after that initial encounter, but we’ve exchanged conversations on Fascistbook on a few occasions.
Soft-Censorship of Dissenting Opinions by a Statist-in-Denial
With the dog and pony show (“elections”) in full swing, the Cancel Your Voter Registration page and my anti-libertarian Libertarian Party trilogy have gotten a lot of hits. That said, I came across the screenshot below and posted the aforementioned Behind Enemy Lines: The Dangers of the Libertarian Party article. Now, by the time I was taking screenshots of the interaction, that had already been deleted, but we will get to that momentarily.
Initially, there are a few problems. First off, he claims that joining the anti-libertarian Libertarian Party is “part of the solution”, when there is no factual evidence to show that they have accomplished anything; rather, there is substantial evidence to the contrary. As evidenced by the image above, the LP was established in 1971, and since that time, government power has increased substantially. Secondly, the “support fiscal responsibility, individual empowerment, and social tolerance” part sounds exactly like what libertarian leaning folks would say. As I’ve stated previously, the LP is libertarian leaning, so this comes as no surprise; at this juncture, why not also say when someone is conservative leaning or progressive leaning?
After I posted that article, he sent me a Fascistbook message, which said:
Suffice it to say, I was not surprised in the least bit. There are a few things I want to discuss in regards to this message.
First off, promoting “limited” coercion and “limited” theft is NOT admirable, and it is not even within the market selection of “promoting liberty”. There is a vast difference, and that distinction cannot be made enough.
Secondly, as should have been evidenced by my diatribe on the LP, I want nothing to do with his wannabe gang; and, as always, I am open to respectful, intellectual discussion, as long as it is productive. Though, as you will see in the following screenshots, it is not possible with Sir John.
Thirdly, in the amount of time that it took him to delete my post and message me, he wouldn’t even have had enough time to get through so much as the introduction. Judging the book by its cover, eh? A touch of intellectual dishonesty much? So much for their ability the inability to hear dissenting opinions. Shane 1; LP 0!
Since I’ll be more than happy to keep score, I’ll also cover two last points, real briefly. He states that “I’m trying to make minarchism and anarchism more accessible to people.” Now, something I do not tolerate is when people muddy up the waters of consistent libertarianism (voluntaryism), with their advocacy for the political means. That sends an inconsistent message to those who are interested in the idea of freedom and liberty, and gives them the wrong idea that voting and running for office are still okay to do as libertarians (or even as anarchists). At that point, why shouldn’t the LP make political alliances with the Oathkeepers and the Three Percenters while handing out endorsements to them like they are candy?
In summation, he was actually spot on in that last sentence of his message. I sure as hell am trying to limit membership into the LP gang. Damn straight. I would rather recruit disgruntled voters to the idea of voluntaryism, rather than deceitfully “trick them” into joining, yet, another political party. Only, in the case of the LP, they will just see their time, money, and effort wasted in a much more measurable manner—the continued growth of government, despite their “efforts”. In actuality, the LP serves the same function as the Oathbreakers and the Three Inchers, namely, to sucker people into lining the pockets of what the LP’s own founder, the late David Nolan, described as a very timid organization.
Let’s continue to my responses:
My responses couldn’t have made him too happy, and we are about to see another instance of him not even opening up the links that I presented to him:
That is the final screenshot in this sequence, but there are some interesting observations to be made. If he would have even taken the time to read the first paragraph of the FUDA, he would understand the goal. It explicitly states:
“Please keep in mind that there are no value judgments being made here, particularly with regard to the efficacy of the tactics and strategies listed, for such decisions are to be made by each individual’s judgment in examining and testing the methods that appeal to their own sense of purposeful behavior. This list is compromised only of “what counts” as the ECONOMIC MEANS OF MAKING MONEY.” [Emphasis added]
It’s no wonder that the “umbrella” doesn’t include the political means, since that would defeat the entire purpose of it. Again, to reiterate: he didn’t even take the time to open it, and he expects me to provide him with the same respect. Notice also how he made an assumption that “activism” only involves reformism, and that anything not reformist (like direct action) is not “activism.” This is ironic because even reformists don’t agree on what constitutes “activism.”
It’s also worth a mention that he does exercise property rights over his own page, and rightfully so, although he shouldn’t be surprised when he hears dissenting opinions (as I am not, on my own page).
Enter argumentation ethics.
Real briefly, Hoppe’s argumentation ethics postulates that any individual who argues against property rights (whether verbally or over the Internet), must first exercise the implicit ownership of their own body (i.e. the use of their mouth, brain, vocal chords, etc.), which, if done, would result in a performative contradiction. That said, he has surely exercised his self-ownership through the act of argumentation, and his explicit recognition of “his” personal Facebook. Although, John is a member of the Libertarian Party, an organization that specifically advocates for theft (taxation), by way of coercion and the use of force—John finds himself in what Hoppe calls a performative contradiction.
To put that in the form of a statement, it would be similar to him saying, “Private property is illegitimate.” See the problem?
To reiterate, it is not “admirable”, nor consistent, to advocate for “limited government”—that, in and of itself, is a contradiction in terms, much like “consensual rape” or “voluntary robbery”—anytime the seed of authoritarianism has been planted, no matter how small it begins with, it has always grown destructive of person and property. That is, if you don’t count the violations of person and property inherent in, say, the 1787 federal Constitution. I think Hoppe puts it best:
“…a tax-funded life-and-property protection agency is a contradiction in terms: an expropriating property protector.”
I’m sure the MCLP is well-intentioned; that possibly being the case, I don’t want this content to seem like a string of ad hominems, and it surely is not—if it was, I wouldn’t bother with redacting his personally identifiable information. Rather, I am pointing out the flaws and contradictions within their fallacious reasoning, in hopes of completely dismantling that LP chapter, so that real strides can be taken to restore liberty, instead of subjugating themselves before their supposed “masters.”
That said, for some time I have been looking for fellow Champions of Liberty in the area, and I have been unsuccessful thus far. Whether it be the mindless, socialist millennials at Illinois State University, the local LP chapter, or contract-breaking supposed “friends”, I will continue to push forward in my efforts; because the cause of true liberty, of respect for person and property, is a mission that I deem worthwhile. Do you?