Liberrants

Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States

A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Arizona LP and Its Chapters as Impotent and Irrelevant as the LNC

I don’t know why I expected any other outcome. Maybe hope truly does spring eternal. At any rate one of the first minor chores I accomplished as part of moving in was to email the Pima County chapter of the Arizona Libertarian Party to inquire about local activities. I was hoping that said activities would include such things as outreach programs designed to spread the libertarian gospel among the seas of disenchanted voters trapped in the Demopublican fog. What was I thinking?

Reprinted below is the pithy response to my query from one Ted Louis Glenn, chairman of the Pima County Libertarian Party. While I have no reason to doubt that Mr. Glenn is sincere in his desire to make a change for the better in consonance with libertarian core values, I found his response disheartening:

Welcome to Tucson!
If you haven't already seen it, the county party webpage is at:
http://www.pimalp.org/
and it has the details for our next monthly  meeting.
If you haven't already done so, you should register to vote soon.
The registration cut-off for next month's primary election is August 
14th.
David Nolan for Congress is looking for volunteers:
http://www.nolan2006.org/ 
 

Perhaps this message is an auto response to new inquiries. But assuming that this was a handwritten message, my first response is: As a matter of fact, yes Ted, I have seen the Pima LP’s webpage. That’s exactly how I got your email address. Didn’t that dawn on you? Anyway, I’m very surprised at the theme of your response to my inquiry, which is your insistence that I register to vote. A cursory look at history shows voting to be a less than effective tool for either spreading the libertarian message or getting libertarians ensconced into key political offices as a means of engineering change. As a matter of fact, it has become pretty obvious that voting is nothing but a Demopublican charade designed to bamboozle the masses into thinking that they actually have some influence over who will enslave them. As libertarians we should know better than to think that we can change the existing system from the inside by playing the voting game. While I’ve read statements from key libertarian figures at the national level to the effect that “evangelization” of the libertarian message “is not the party’s job”, I must beg to differ, particularly where regional and local party affiliates are concerned. There are so few organizations dedicated to the cause of liberty that the LP on any level must be proactive in spreading this message if it is to reach anyone in number or have any impact whatsoever on behalf of liberty’s cause.

I quickly found myself asking, what exactly does Ted think will be accomplished by my registering to vote? Does he really think that David Nolan (with whom I’m totally unfamiliar) is going to get any closer to being elected to congress with my being a registered Pima County voter? More important, does Ted really believe that even if pigs sprouted wings and took to the air and Mr. Nolan actually were to be elected to congress that, together with Congressman Ron Paul, he as one of a mere two libertarians serving in the legislative branch would actually make a difference in the way the country is governed? Verily, the only way the LP will ever make any difference will be the day they can ensure that there is at least one libertarian on the ballot in each district of each state and that said candidates get a plurality of votes to put them on the political map. However, we are a very long way off from that day, in large part because libertarian party organizations at the local level like the Pima County party do nothing/nil/nada/bugger-all/teepota/rien/goose eggs/squat during the rest of the year to spread the libertarian philosophical message to the people or even to give themselves visibility or viability outside of election time. If libertarians want to present a true alternative to the Demopublicans, they have to stop thinking and strategizing like them. The people have made it abundantly clear that they don’t need or want another “mainstream” political party.

Alas, I see a proactive libertarian party as an unlikely development. As the debacle of the Libertarian National Convention earlier this Summer shows, the LP, at least on a national level, seems hell-bent on proving itself to be an Orwellian creation of the establishment (incidentally, why is there a Libertarian National Committee? Aren’t we committed to government on a local level, the original vision of the nation’s founders?). Remember in 1984, where it is eventually revealed to Winston Smith that the Brotherhood, the shadowy organization in rebellion against Big Brother and the Party, and its leader Emmanuel Goldstein, whose works Winston looked to for inspiration, were both creations of the Party, a tool for trapping and liquidating dissent? I’m beginning to believe that the LNC, if not the creation of Demopublicans from day one, has been infiltrated by enough of them to render it ineffective and impotent to the point where it is a parody of its founding principles. I don’t know if Ted Louis Glenn is simply unaware of this or is a willing participant in the castration of his own movement, but it looks as if he differs not one iota from any of the other hundreds of local libertarian party leaders in being totally devoid of vision.

I came to Tucson with a modicum of respect for the Arizona Libertarian Party, which was basically “disowned” by the national committee several years ago for reasons I still haven’t been able to fathom. I’ve never put any faith in the national committee, considering that its very existence seems to violate one of the basic tenets of libertarian philosophy, which is a renunciation of centralized authority. I thought that perhaps the Arizona party would have worn this outcaste status as a badge of honor by doing things closer to libertarianism’s core values. Why I thought this I do not know, since political parties are, when one stops to think about it, fundamentally incompatible with the libertarian mindset. It is perhaps inevitable that any libertarian organization that adopts the garb of the statist system will be corrupted by that same garb. The Libertarian Party at all levels seems just such an example.

So to Mr. Glenn I shall, when I have time, send a response saying “thanks, but no thanks.” My time is precious enough as it is. To spend it spreading an ersatz libertarian gospel through a mechanism of the State would be the ultimate moral travesty and a criminally counterproductive waste of time.