An Open Letter by Punkerslut to
I've spent some time looking through the material on your website, such as the "Our Mission" and "About" pages. There were a few things that I thought deserved some serious, reasoned comment.
For example, this is what you listed as one of the objectives of your Libertarian organization: "Exposing millions to libertarianism by replacing the old 'Left-Right' political map with a more inclusive and accurate model such as the one used by our World's Smallest Political Quiz." This is followed by the statement, "Creating new libertarians by presenting the freedom philosophy in an honest and persuasive way."
The difficulty arising, however, is that your World's Smallest Political Quiz produces a map that is something like the Pournelle Chart (1964). Mourice Bryson and William McDill also discussed it in an article in 1968. There is also the modernized version and adapted chart of Christie Stuart from "The Floodgates of Anarchy." (1970) Even the most common citation for the 'political map' is given as 'the Nolan Chart,' which was conceived in 1971. However, in presenting your philosophy in an "honest and persuasive way," you seem to have done something little more than plagiarize the work of others.
The quiz itself is rather hilarious. As long as you agree with everything, which is worded extremely deceptively, you'll be labeled as a full Libertarian. Can't get much more Libertarian than that: agree with everything and you'll be allllll right. On personal issues, the questions aren't so vague: Agree/Disagree for "There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults" and "Military service should be voluntary. There should be no draft."
Then when you get to the economic issues, the slant is extremely strong: "Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security." and "Replace government welfare with private charity." "Let people control their own retirement" next to a statement about privatizing Social Security is making the statement that Social Security does not let people control their own retirement. "Replace government welfare with private charity" sounds like one is getting something in exchange for losing something else, though it is quite clear that the point of this is reduced spending on the poor altogether. Again, these things are not clearly spelled out in the "World's Smallest Political Quiz."
What's even more hilarious is how many articles on Wikipedia there are about your "Political Quiz," most of them written by... oh, admitted members of Libertarian parties and groups. It even has its own page on Wikipedia, with dozens of links to Libertarian groups. When I tried to edit it, to correct Wikipedia's lies about the origin of the word Libertarian, my edit was deleted by a Libertarian Party member, "Carol Moore." On what grounds? On the grounds that it would leak out links to the webpages on Anarcho-Communism, which is where Libertarian stole its phrases from.
"Honestly and persuasively" means thousands of edits to Wikipedia to better reflect Libertarianism. It means using the word "Libertarianism," which was invented by an Anarcho-Communist, without referencing its origin. It means using "political compasses" and "political charts," of which received development from mainstream as well as anarcho-collectivist, political theorists, without referencing where it came from. But, then again, it is a political quiz that is "the world's smallest." You seem more interested in the internet traffic of people who clearly want to waste their own time, than those who have a serious interest in political issues.
Take this statement from the list of things you're trying to accomplish: "Equipping libertarian activists with the tools and skills they need to successfully impact their communities." What if the property of the communities are not owned by the people? What if the apartments are all rented, what if all the houses are all mortgaged? There is an immediate contradiction in the fact that you're "opposed to big government," and yet, at the same time, it is the only avenue through which you intend to make change. "To successfully impact communities" really means organizing voters to elect your party's candidates.
Do you intend to organize workers to strike against their bosses and to seize the property that was the natural, inalienable right of their ancestors? No, no, none of that. That violates "property rights" to reclaim what was once the common property of every human being. "Property rights" only means the property rights of the rich, to dispossess the majority of their right to make a living. In the words of John Locke, from chapter 7 of his Second Treatise on Government, "...however men may seek their own commodity, yet if this were done with injury unto others, it was not to be suffered, but by all men and all good means to be withstood."
Is there any Capitalist whose ownership of land doesn't exclude the common people from using that land to their benefit? Is there one business that doesn't cooperate in an age-old system of fixed prices, cartels, and anti-competitive behavior? Is there one person starving, hungry and miserable, who would not be in that position were the lands possessed and managed in common? In short, is there any way in which you can intend to positively effect community, without negatively effecting its enemy, the exclusive right of private property?
Another component of your philosophy: "We believe liberty is the best way to achieve peace and prosperity. And the best way to achieve liberty is by effectively communicating the ideas of entrepreneurship, limited government, civil liberties, and individual responsibility to the public."
Entrepreneurship? How is it that when the land and property is all bought up by the capitalists that we get liberty? What if they privatized the air and de-nationalized the dirt? What if there are so many skyscrapers that you have to pay for a right to feel natural sunlight? What if there are so many businesses that you can't sit, stand, or be anywhere without having to pay for something? Would you really feel free then? Probably not. And saying, "But you, too, can be one of those tiny little shards blocking out the sun for the great majority!" doesn't inspire me with a passion for liberty.
Limited government, of course, in terms of social spending. It would be amazing if limited government meant the abolition of the police, the military, and all forms of law enforcement, but I think, instead, you actually mean limited soup kitchens, limited homeless shelters, etc., etc.. Individual responsibility? Of course, but only for the poor. The rich, who have the responsibility of sharing land that was once held in common, are not to be held to their contracts. They're not to be forced into their obligation of providing for all, since they took from all, in excluding them from land that all our ancestors shared equally.
Yes, property rights, according to the last few hundred years of human society, shall be respected. The property rights that have existed for millions and millions of years, with there being no such fence post or border, are to be forgotten. Individual responsibility -- in regards to the deeds in the government's offices, but not in regards to justice, truth, and equality. Again, it seems overwhelming that whatever opposition you have to government, you're not going to be able to achieve liberty by propping up business.
If exclusive mastery of the prisons and the police is tyranny, then why would you say otherwise about exclusive mastery of those who build prisons and those who fill the ranks of the police? If government's power is tyrannical, then why isn't economy's power similarly tyrannical? And, moreover, why would you rely on such a political avenue to achieve your ends?
Your thesis is that government is oppressive (by imposing force). Your conclusion is to use government to stop oppression (by electing Libertarians). Yes, there is a problem with the government, and we need a new government. From Bolshevik Communists to Conservative Tories, this phrase has been uttered for at least a century. Those who have attempted this route, however, have rarely gotten very far in achieving any type of liberty or equality.
If you're going to use any type of outside force to pressure the government to change, even to dissolve, it's going to be social and economic power -- it's going to mean the workers, organized together, not just against the tyranny of the state, but against the tyranny of the boss. Only with extreme deception can you rouse the masses to believe that a new monarch will be the solution to all of their problems.
Thank you, I patiently await a response.