Starting the Libertarian Party was a Huge Strategic MistakeSubmitted by Treg on Fri, 05/25/2012 - 02:46
When I met Nolan here at the 2010 ISIL convention I found a moment to ask him.... "Upon reflection, now that some 40 years has past, was it a strategic mistake to start the Libertarian Party?" I believe he just looked at me like I was crazy or his mind was spinning on the puzzling thought.
So I added, "Back in 1970, coming out of the 1960's, there were two general social movements, one that held a big concern for the earth, plants and animals and that all folded under the "Environmental movement".
"The other social movement were the the various liberty-self determination movements: ie. liberty-self determination for black Americans in the workplace, social life, and home-life, (Google Malcolm x).... liberty-self determination for women in the workplace, social life, and home-life, (Google Betty Friedan) ....liberty-self determination for Indian Americans in the workplace, social life, and home-life (Google Russel Means and watch the cult hit movie "Billy Jack"), .....liberty-self determination for Mexican Americans in the workplace, social life, and home-life (Google Cesar Chavez) ....liberty-self determination for Gay & Lesbian Americans in the workplace, social life, and home-life... and these movements were also "anti-Vietnam war" movements.
Here is my point, the Environmental movement was able to capture all the various interests under one banner, even the health movement fell under its large umbrella. And they stayed as a social movement, and never became a party at the time. They then were able to work BOTH PARTIES. They even got lots of major legislation done for them as a political movement that did not become a party.
But the libertarian movement that came out of the 1960's was also anti-Vietnam war and it was pro-gold, pro-free market. By breaking free of the GOP, free marketers wanted liberty-self determination for all Americans. As a movement, the libertarian movement could have captured all the other liberty-self determination movements across the spectrum. But instead, it quickly formed a political party and went no where fast. It did not grow. It chose a gay California philosophy professor, Mr. John Hospers as its first Presidential candidate and Ms. Tonie Nathan as the first woman VP in 1972 but it failed to attract the both woman and gay American who desperately wanted liberty & self determination.
Throughout the 1970's the Environmentalist movement grew wide and broad and deep. If a republican or democrat pushed their issue, it did not matter. And they gained huge social acceptance for their ideas. By the end of the 1970's "everybody cares about the environment" was a real success. It was a moral high ground that meant that politically you could not be seen as Not PRO-Environment.
Meanwhile, the various liberty-self determination groups were absorbed into the liberal progressive socialist democratic fold. While each group aspired to liberty & self determination, their "friendly" liberal-socialist was there to tell them that to get it, you need government favors, grants, and 'special rights'.
And during the 1970's the LP went nowhere, FAST. In the 1970's it was a debate society that brought together the philosophy of Ayn Rand, the economics of Milton Friedman and Murray Rothbard, and it hung out with the anti-communists because they were the only ones who would listen to boring free market economics. In the 1980's it was a refuge for those who did not buy into the PC sweeping the country. By the 1990's it was a computer geekdom refuge.
My point is, by becoming a political party in 1971, Nolan and Rothbard single offhandedly killed the chance to use the libertarian philosophy to shelter and home the various self-determination groups that came out of the 1960s.
Today the R3VOLution is not a Party. Thank gawd for that. It can grow. It can breathe. Notice that in the 2000 the Environmental movement died. Do you know what killed it? It became a political party, the GREEN PARTY. Most of all, to do that, it adopted socialist progressive economic assumptions and thus churns out those "solutions". This has resulted in the very people who love wildlife, killing it. See 60 minutes here: http://www.dailypaul.com/209683/exterminate-liberal-thought-...
The R3VOlution has a real chance in bringing lots of various groups back to the liberty-self determination fold. The problem is that in the last 30 years these groups have swallowed a lot of Political Correctness, "educated themselves" about the virtues of "democratic socialism", and have created a sub-political culture that has not only its own style, its own coolness, its own hip, but also created its own "mating network". As any sociobiologist can tell you, once you have females selecting males upon this criteria, you have a future movement.
Well we in the R3VOlution are not so mature, we are just 5 years old if that. We are just now gaining a culture, gaining a style, and most of all gaining females who select us as "any friend of Ron Paul is a friend of mine". With females comes a future. Notice that in the 1970's, 80's and 90's and even today, the LP is 90% men. Yes, its a dead party, a dead movement. We on the other hand, are a real MOVEMENT. The R3VOLution is alive and well. It is diverse, from country to rapp to punkrock, to folk, we are alive. We are about liberty and self determination, or have I repeated myself?
This is not to say that the environmental progressive left is not unbreakable. Science itself is doing the breaking, from Sociobiology, to free market "voluntarist economics", yes we have our in-roads to the left. We need to be in these circles.
So, keeping the R3VOLution outside of the GOP and DNC, means we mingle with all the rest, from the 99%'rs to the Greens to the Constitutionalists, to the Birthers, to the John Birchers, to the Gold Bugs, to the LGBT community, to the Gun Rights to the what have you.... The R3VOLution can incorporate it all because freedom and liberty and self-determination are common popular values. We come from the point of view that COMMUNITY is something voluntary "3VOL", a bottom up creation, and its a good thing. We also come from the point that top down govt controls can and does kill community. "Farmers markets are free markets" - Now that is a bumper sticker that gets an environmentalist to thinking.