HOW TO TOPPLE IMMORAL MONUMENTS WITHOUT FORCE

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Travis Hallman, August 17, 2017

Physically damaging property that isn’t owned by oneself is aggression. Taxing citizens to maintain property is also aggression. Aggression is immoral, impractical, and (above all) not necessary. If you perceive taxing and damaging other’s property as wrong then you may be a libertarian.

This libertarian does not personally support glorifying monuments that represent any form of aggression (such as the Robert E. Lee statue representing slavery, the Vladimir Lenin statue representing communism, the Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument representing the original grand wizard of the KKK, the El Mesteño blue demon horse of death in Denver, and more). Furthermore, I believe Libertarians would have fought the war within the United States to abolish slavery without the intentions to draft slaves into a military (like Abraham Lincoln did).

How do we abolish immoral monuments without using force?

Simple answer, free markets.

What is a free market?

A free market consists of economic freedom such that anybody can open a business without having to pay the government for permission (permits, licenses, etc). A free market has no taxes, eliminating reasons for corporations to partner with politicians for tax breaks. A free market does not allow bailouts, letting businesses have setbacks, avoiding the creation of artificial monopolies. A free market does not allow patents. These economic freedoms enable new competition to compete more efficiently. Click here to see how free markets empower green markets!

How does a free market abolish immoral monuments?

Allowing monuments to be maintained by private owners would allow the owners to require a pay-per-view for the monuments, in museums for example. The immoral monuments that have a lacking of demand for viewing could be abolished by the private owners if they’re not profitable. The immoral monuments that have a demand for viewing would continue to have a supply. There is no reason to abolish immoral monuments with high enough of a demand to continue the pay-per-view business because it’s still deemed to have historical value by the consumer. However, you could collect funds to (consensually) purchase this property and abolish it. That choice may not be pragmatic because profits are attainable.

When will the immoral monuments be abolished?

History creates itself daily with new stories and new monuments. Eventually all (current) monuments will lose their appeal and be replaced with new monuments. Even if they aren’t, I don’t agree with the practices of the ancient Mayans or Egyptians but that doesn’t mean I feel the temples and pyramids should be demolished.

How do we establish a free market?

The libertarian party is the largest political party that consistently supports free markets.


2.0 ECONOMIC LIBERTY

“Libertarians want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.”
Lp.org/platform

Voting libertarian in upcoming local, state, and national elections expresses you care about the methods which monuments are allowed to exist or be abolished.

Ask A Libertarian Facebook page encourages you to message us with your questions!

In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

 

Battle of the Laws

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Kristopher Morgan, August 14th

One of the hardest aspects of being a libertarian is being portrayed as someone who does not want any of the goods and services provided by the state.  For example,  when libertarians express the notion that government should not be involved in something like education, our opponents sometimes assume we don’t want an educated population.  Sometimes they’re just creating a strawman, but just as often they are sincere in their belief.  Why do people automatically assume if you don’t want the government to provide a service, it means you don’t want the service to exist at all?  It occurred  to me that the misunderstanding is due to competing philosophies of law.  The libertarian conclusion that natural law is just and moral, while positivism is not, is what separates us from the rest of society, and the consequences of that finding run much deeper than we realize.

Positivism

Positivism dominates society in terms of what constitutes a legit approach to law.  According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Legal positivism is the thesis that the existence and content of law depends on social facts and not on its merits…  positivism is the view that law is a social construction.” In essence, in positivism law is seen as artificial, and as such, the approach isn’t limited by concerns for natural rights.  It’s no wonder there are so many laws in the US the average citizen commits three felonies every day.  Society wants legislation passed and rulers push to make it happen.  A good example is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the bill gets voted on, approved, and signed into law by our politicians.  There is clearly demand for more affordable healthcare, so the political system proposed legislation to solve the problem, and it eventually became law.  Furthermore, the biggest supporters of the ACA paint anyone wanting it repealed as monsters who want to see tens of millions of people dying in the street.  But what if that’s not really the case?  What if the so-called monsters don’t see government as the only acting body within society?  What if we also happen to have an entirely different philosophy of law; one that is incompatible with positivism?

Natural Law

Allaboutphilosophy describes natural law as law that “finds its power in discovering certain universal standards in morality and ethics.” Basically, people who subscribe to natural law believe that concepts of right and wrong are what matter.  In natural law, rules are discovered, not legislated.  Law is not seen an artificial construct, rather we develop our understanding of right and wrong and the human condition is what determines what law ought to be.  Governments are artificial.  They don’t sprout up on their own, people have to form them.  Since they’re made of people, they are held to the same moral standards as everyone else in society.  So when a libertarian says they oppose a bill, such as the ACA, they do so because they perceive violations of natural law.  Private citizens could never get away with using an armed force to regulate local insurance companies and hospitals the way the government does.  Most of us would look at citizens behaving in such a manner and label them criminals.  Natural law does not make a distinction between governing body and private people.  Standards of behavior are universal, not dependent on artificial classes (in this case of rulers and subjects).

Which Is More Just?

Despite what goes on in politics, in private life most people are already followers of natural law.  We don’t hurt each other, we don’t steal from each other, etc. because deep down we identify those actions as flat out wrong.  In fact, if a policeman were caught observing a theft and not confronting the suspect, people would be outraged.  Nobody sits around reading gigantic books on law; but we do assume that we will not be harassed too much if we don’t harm anyone and drive safely.  Because of positivism, we have a superstructure in society that possesses the power to take money from other people through force, to ensure compliance with society’s artificial laws.  So why do we bother making theft a crime?  Why do we get so concerned if a thief knocks over a 7/11 and makes off with a few measly hundred dollars, when all children born last year already ‘owe’ the government $42,000?  While it may be true that security services are paid for through taxation, using taxation as a means removes the universality feature of justice.  Having one law that says you get to take through force, yet another that says nobody else can, is clearly meant to create privileges for those in power.

Positivism empowers political forces at the expense of everyone.  Artificial laws always come from politicians, regardless of what form of government.  But in natural law, we are all free to hold each other accountable to universal standards of behavior rooted in the human condition.  We all have the right to defend ourselves and what is rightfully ours.  For physical survival, the one thing everyone has to have to satisfy their needs for food, water, and shelter is property.  Property is nothing more than having control over resources.  It follows logically that interference with the property of another undermines their attempts to satisfy their needs, and so our guide for determining if natural law is violated is whether property is violated.

Society has to choose between these two philosophies.  Either legal positivism is just, in which case law has no real meaning and justice is really just about power and pandering to it; Or natural law is correct, in which case we have to start looking at government as an agency that has no right to initiate force to make its ends meet.  Justice is based on universal standards that flow consistently from the human condition which nobody has the right to take away.  The choice is ours.

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Decreasing the homicide rate in Chicago

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Cameron Williams, July 19, 2017

What I usually hear from the people of Chicago who want to decrease the homicide rate there is “Take the guns away and there will be no homicides.” In theory they’re right. If no guns are present in Chicago, or anywhere for that matter, gun-related homicides would then disappear. However, is it really necessary to take guns from legal and responsible gun owners? Is it legal or illegal gun owners committing crimes at high rates?

This topic is tricky. There are multiple solutions. One solution would be to allow responsible gun ownership and defensive training in areas of high crime. This skilled and armed community would act as a deterrent for would-be criminals. Last year, Chicago had well over 700+ homicides. What communities suffered the most? Black communities. Under gun laws that heavily favor the restriction of gun ownership, the people of Chicago were still unable to protect their families and communities.

I support Maj Toure’s “Black Guns Matter” (BGM) movement of pro-second amendment rights and gun safety. BGM is a pro-second amendment movement aimed at educating urban communities on their second amendment rights and responsibilities. The BGM movement has given attention to a much misunderstood topic. Join me and the Libertarian Party of Chicago as we move forward in making Chicago citizens safer and more knowledgeable through gun ownership.

 

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The Guise of Neutrality

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Andrew Patts- Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Sacramento- July 13, 2017

A popular stance to take in the “Battle of the Internet” is to side with the FCC in support of what is known as Net Neutrality. It is such a widely popular stance that objectors are nearly demonized; who could possibly be against the fair and free exchange of ideas known as the internet (this is due to its moniker, more on that later)? For a long time I sided with the FCC; I signed petitions with John Oliver, spread awareness on Facebook, I helped my mom write a college essay in support of Net Neutrality. My loyalty to the cause was unquestionable.

My opinion of the matter began to change after reading and receiving yet another bombardment of the atrocities that would be committed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) without the FCC’s regulation. It came to the point that I found myself becoming suspicious of the one-sided, dark and hyperbolic language that was common in defense of the FCC Regulation.

The argument in favor of FCC Regulation (I refuse to call it by its purposely innocuous title) is that without it, ISPs would destroy the freedom that the internet provides by manipulating and censoring what content is visible to consumers. The ISPs would force fledgling companies to pay a fee in order to have its content delivered to homes. Netflix would be forced to pay exorbitant fees to Comcast for the privilege of having premium bandwidth; fees that would be passed down to the consumer. Netflix would be able to outbid its competition for rights to the bandwidth. I argue that these are healthy indicators of a free market. Not only does the FCC’s Regulation strip the free market of these indicators, but it merely shifts oversight of these indicators from the people who find it to be in their best interest to watch these markers to people who have no vested interest in advancing technology, but rather a maintenance of the status quo.

Without the government, who would prevent Comcast from blocking Fox News or CNN from their customers? Who would prevent Comcast from charging ridiculous fees to one news organization but not the other? The free market. Comcast owns their service, it’s their property and they can do as they wish with it – if they want to restrict the internet to everyone but those who were willing to pay $1000 a month, let them! They’ll find a 99% reduction in subscription and their competition will love Comcast for their horrible decision to restrict the internet. In a free market and society, news of Comcast’s blatant censorship and restriction of the internet would be far-reaching; even consumers who don’t ascribe to the political views of the organization in question would be hesitant to continue their business with Comcast. How long could a company survive the economic pressure to remove roadblocks from their service and provide the best possible internet to the most amount of people (to make the most amount of money, those greedy capitalists!)?

The FCC, on the other hand, would have the authority to do everything Comcast did in the previous hypothetical situation. Fox News? Hate Speech. CNN? Fake news. The FCC, depending on whose administration oversees the agency (currently, President Trump and his administration), would have the power to force organizations to pay registration fees in order to buy the privilege to be on the internet in the first place. The constitutionality of such an action would be called into question. Months or years may pass while waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court, and, depending on whose administration, the Supreme Court may rule that the FCC’s actions are unconstitutional or they may fabricate an obscure but justifiable reason that the FCC is allowed to charge one organization but not another. In the former situation, you could switch providers. Good luck switching governments in the latter situation.

It is Comcast’s right to run their service as they please. Imagine the possibility of Comcast charging exorbitant fees to new companies who are trying to gain market entry. Suppose Comcast and Myspace have an agreement that Myspace would give Comcast x amount of money to prevent startup social media companies from posing a threat. In order to keep Myspace pleased and to make more money, they charge Facebook an enormous fee that will prevent them from solidifying any real market share. I say, good for them!

While Comcast is busy suppressing innovation, their competition is welcoming it with open arms by eliminating fees altogether. Facebook goes to ATT and flourishes. Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, and countless other companies see that there is money to be made in rebuking Comcast and their fees so they switch to ATT as well. Comcast and Myspace would stagnate and die.

It is in Comcast’s best interest (financially) to provide the most open internet possible in order to attract innovators to their service. The notion that Comcast would willingly hamstring themselves by stifling startups, I came to realize, is nothing but a scare tactic – and that’s where I saw the narrative in favor of FCC Regulation beginning to lose its veneered facade.

With FCC Regulation, on the other hand, large corporations would have a method of buying votes in the government to preserve their status as primary market holders. This isn’t a new concept. We see lobbyists of every facet of society bidding for the votes of politicians – the FCC would be no exception. Myspace would be able to spend millions of dollars that startups don’t have in order to buy a few votes in the FCC to preserve their status as the dominant social media. In order to mask their corruption, they would obfuscate their intent by creating hoops and ladders that startups would be forced to overcome in order to have a (virtual) seat at the table. This would cost startups not only in programming, but in lawyers to make sure they comply with the purportedly “Free” internet of FCC Regulation. Instead of investing in their infrastructure to provide groundbreaking new features, startups would be forced to pay for their compliance with the law and adopt features that consumers are sick of, don’t want, or don’t need.

One fear tactic that proponents of FCC Regulation use is the idea that Comcast would begin charging people and companies alike for premium access to their bandwidth, or else Comcast would throttle internet speeds. This is a practice that every company does. Pay X amount for 10 mbps, or pay Y amount for 100 mbps. Proponents of FCC Regulation believe that this is extortionate. Do people have a right to demand paying less for more? Yes they do. But, it is also the right of Comcast to assess the viability of allowing an additional amount of stress to pummel their servers. It’s also the right of the consumer to switch to a service that charges less for more. FCC Regulation to treat every user as equal would have detrimental effect on everyone’s experience if it were enforced to its fullest sense of equality.

I argue, let Comcast practice extortion. Companies would leave Comcast’s service and flock to other services, and consumers would follow – leaving Comcast to suffer a slow but inevitable bankruptcy. Preventing this from happening and forcing ISPs to adopt certain regulations only allows inefficient but established ISPs to maintain their market share while hindering startups who would be expected to comply with inefficient standards that result in the consumer paying more for less. FCC Regulation would empower established corporations, diminishing consumer choice and stifling innovation.

Let us imagine that Comcast, in a lust for greed, decided to allow companies like Netflix and Hulu to wage an economic bandwidth war against each other in an effort to buy the most bandwidth and force the other to suffer limited speeds in order to foster a better rapport among their own customers. I don’t see this as a bad thing. This sort of cutthroat economic warfare culls the herd of devious ISPs. Netflix and Hulu would duke it out, buying bandwidth and reveling in the company’s inability to service their customers. But truly, who is hurt the most? The ISP. When Hulu loses to Netflix and ultimately discontinues service with Comcast, others who love Hulu’s service would leave Comcast as well. This scenario would play out similarly to the one outlined earlier; Comcast’s decision to play favorites with certain companies would utterly backfire when the established order becomes old, outdated, and unfashionable. Comcast would suffer as a result of their greed. This is how the free market punishes the greedy.

FCC Regulation, on the other hand, would expose the internet to the world of politics and allow favorites to be played by the politicians. Netflix could hire lobbyists to ensure that regulations are written to ensure their dominance and force their competition to overcome jungles of red tape for the simple act of gaining market entry. If Comcast were to do this and Hulu discontinued service, Comcast would be held accountable and be punished by the free market. In the case of FCC Regulation, Comcast would be absolved from their involvement and the internet would be beholden to the interest of the 1%, lobbyists, and large corporations like Comcast.

The solution to this problem (if a problem existed in the first place) is to allow the free market to reward the greed that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship, and the uninhibited freedom of ideas. The free market does not reward those whose greed results in the stifling of advancement. FCC Regulation rewards the inverse of the free market. Rather than rewarding innovation, the government rewards the established corporations. Rather than rewarding entrepreneurship, the government creates barriers of entry to protect their own greedy interests. Rather than unleashing freedom, the government would have us apply for permits to practice our free speech over the internet.

Some may call me paranoid when I mention the possibility of government tyranny; they may tell me to put on my tin foil hat when I say that the FCC would have Apple surrender their encryption to the FBI. I know there has never been a single documented case in the entire history of the internet, anywhere in the world, of a government seizing control of the internet and confining its use to state-sanctioned activities, but I embrace my paranoia, nonetheless.

P.S. I find the name choice nefarious in and of itself. “Net Neutrality,” who could possibly want a restricted internet? The name shuts down meaningful conversation and obfuscates the true objective of the law – government control. I liken it to naming a gun ban the “Safe Children Act.” Who wants children in danger? It’s a disgusting manipulation of emotion that should be addressed. “The PATRIOT Act” is a moniker that also appeals to emotion rather than logic; a similar bill named “The Orwellian Expansion of Governmental Powers of Surveillance” would have a snowflake’s chance in hell to be passed.

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“What does Libertarianism mean to me?”

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Jake Harper July 6, 2017

Liberty: The idea that you or I could pursue our dreams free from compulsion, the foundation on which America was formed. In the years since, we have strayed from the principles of liberty. Libertarianism is the rebirth of that noble idea. Unlike other political ideas or parties, everyone can live as they please so long as they don’t hurt others. Republicans and Democrats demand all of society follow their morals, whether you share them or not. Libertarianism holds the belief that everyone is free to pursue their dreams, so long as they do not harm others; peace is a core principle. As peace flourishes, so too does the human spirit and all of the beauty and prosperity that comes from it. The prosperity I speak of is not only monetary, but spiritual, cultural, and intellectual. Everyone can live precisely how they desire whether they are fundamental Christians or Communists. You can even form communities that function as such, so long as nobody is forced to stay or join. This prosperity also allows us to be charitable and help anyone in need. We are already some of the most charitable people. Imagine if we kept more of what we made. So much of what we make is taken from us; income tax, sales tax, gasoline tax, local taxes and countless others. Equipped with more of our own money and the freedom to use it, the numerous charities that would arise to help our neighbors would be limitless.

 

It is the promise of prosperity and opportunity, and an absence of force that  drew me to the Libertarian Party. If the ideas of peace, tolerance, individualism, limited government, and free markets sound like your principles, or simply a good way to organize a government, I implore you to find a political philosophy with the promise, and proven track record, of creating a bright future for everyone; Libertarianism.

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In Support of the 2nd

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Andrew Deemer, June 13, 2017

Hello. My name is Andrew Deemer, I am going to discuss the 2nd amendment, why I support said amendment, why some people want to add more restrictions to said amendment, and why these restrictions are ineffective. I will also discuss why I prefer the AR 15 over a shotgun for home defense, AR15 facts, and more.

To understand why it is that I choose to support the second amendment, you must look at my past. I grew up in Ohio in a family that had weapons. My parents taught me about the weapons in the house. They made sure that, even though they taught me, those weapons were never within my reach. They taught me to respect the weapon at all times and to handle it as if it were loaded. I also have a military background. It was here I learned how to use an M16. I fell in love with the format of the weapon which is the main reason I prefer this weapon for home defense. It is a platform that I am well trained and am very confident. Fixing jams is second nature. I could take it apart blindfolded. A shotgun is longer than most AR15’s. I can sweep corners and clear my house easier with an AR15 than a shotgun because of the overall length of my shotguns. The AR15 is also faster to bring up than a shotgun. The sights are easy to adjust to what makes you comfortable. The recoil of the AR15 is easier to control in close quarters.

Now when it comes to supporting the second amendment, I truly believe it is one of the most important to defend. When this amendment was ratified in the year 1791, our fathers wrote this amendment because they were afraid of a one free-standing army. It was put in place to protect the American people from a government that had become too powerful.

The individuals that want to put more restrictions on the 2nd amendment truly believe that they are helping to stop mass shootings. Sadly, this is as far from reality as Star Wars. If you want physical proof, let’s take a look at Chicago. This city is controlled by the democratic party, which is the same party that believes in very strict gun laws. In the 8 months since the year 2016 had begun, Chicago has seen more murders than the whole year of 2015. Within those 8 months 474 people were murdered. The whole year of 2015, in Chicago, there were 468 murders. This number is staggering. Throughout 2015, out of 2,327 shootings, 2,843 people were either killed or wounded. As of Friday Sept 2, 2016, there were 2,318 shootings, and out of those, 2,848 people were killed, or wounded. This number was still on the rise, with four more months in the year. Now you might ask, “Well how is this relevant?” These are numbers from one of the most, if not the most, gun restricted places in the country. This is why gun control does not work as intended. Imagine, if you will, if more people in Chicago concealed carried? How low would those numbers be?

The AR15 is one of the most popular platforms being sold today, considered to be today’s modern sporting rifle. But sadly the AR15 has been given a bad reputation by gun grabbers. Thankfully, there are people out there that will stand up for this weapon, myself included. So let me lay down some facts. First and foremost, the AR in AR15 does not stand for “assault rifle,” nor does it stand for automatic rifle. AR stands for ArmaLite (which is a brand). An assault rifle is fully automatic which means the AR15 does not fit into this category. If you would like to see a real assault rifle, look up the M249 S.A.W. Though the AR15 looks like your standard issue M16, this is not the case. The M16, depending on the model M16 A1, A2, A3, A4, and the M4, has two firing positions, semi-auto and full-auto, as well as safe mode. The AR15 has safe and fire. It is reliable, accurate, versatile, great for target shooting and hunting.

We all want the American people to be safer. The current government programs go about it all wrong. The LA buy-back program, for example, not only has people turning in their weapons, they are only given $100 for weapons that cost at minimum of $300. When LA does these programs they are televised. Anybody can see who no longer has weapons in their home, making them an easy target. What is even worse is that these people are willing to put their family in harm’s way. The average response time for emergency services to reach your house is 6 minutes. What are you going to do if the person breaking into your home isn’t a burglar? What if this individual is a murderer? Now I understand that this is a hypothetical, but the fact that some are willing to risk it being a burglar vs a murder is just insane. This is not a risk I would be willing to take. So, with that said, this is why I chose to be a libertarian. I believe in the doctrine of free will.

If you would like more 2nd amendment content from me, make sure to check out my Facebook page: vets4the2nd Twitter: vets4the2nd

 

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The Ask A Libertarian Drinking Game

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By The Ask a Libertarian Team

You will need:
At least 3 people
Clear cups
Booze.

Rules:
There are three types of players: one Regulator, at least one Tax Collector, and peasants.

The Regulator decides what everyone is drinking, and may at any time command everyone to finish their drinks. The regulator may also make up to two additional rules of his/her choosing at any point throughout the game. The regulator is not subject to any other rules of the game, including his own drink choices. The regulator is voted on by all players before the game begins.

Peasants have no power. They must do as commanded and take all penalties. All peasants will have their cups marked approximately ⅓ of the way up from the bottom. This portion is their tax. No peasant is allowed to drink the bottom third of their cup. They can, however, tattle on the other players if they do not follow the rules.

Tax collectors contribute no booze to the party. Instead, they are entitled to the remaining third of each player’s drink every round.

If the tax collector does not want the remainder of the peasant’s beverage, the peasant must dump it into the nearest toilet.

Penalties:

Anyone caught breaking the regulator’s rules is subject to a penalty decided on by a majority vote from all players before the game begins.

Anyone caught drinking the bottom third of their drink, and anyone forced to dump their drink in the toilet, receives the following penalty:

Since taxes have been wasted, all of the other players will harass the offending peasant, screaming some variation of the phrase, “but what about the roads?!” This will continue until the offending player takes a “muh roads”/hot asphalt shot: equal parts Jagermeister, Fireball, and strong hot coffee.

 

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Law vs Morality

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Donnie Davis, June 15, 2017

Laws do not prevent actions, morality does. Laws are there to set in stone what will happen if certain actions are taken against someone or their property. They are not meant to scare you into following someone else’s moral code to avoid punishment. Or at least, that is how our society is supposed to work. Government is not the parent of the people, nor can it dictate their morality. It can only hold them accountable for their actions transgressed against another person.

You cannot rape yourself. You cannot violate yourself. You cannot steal from yourself.  These are actions committed against someone else, and it is correct to punish the perpetrator of those actions.

The idea that you cannot put x, y, or z into your own body by your own choice because it’s bad for you is the same as saying that drinking anything but water and eating anything except fruits and vegetables is now illegal because it’s bad for you.

Saying that it is illegal to prevent anyone from doing REAL crime is like saying having large amounts of money is illegal to keep you from purchasing illegal items. It’s like saying owning a firearm is illegal because all they are used for is killing, or that owning a straightened coat hanger is illegal because it’s used to break into cars….

Do you see where this is going? Once you go down that road, there is no coming back from it without violence.

We, as Libertarians, are trying to stop that pattern of thinking before it’s too late. 

Our slogan is that we are “The Party of Principle”, because we stand firmly on our principles….

  • We seek to substantially reduce the size and intrusiveness of government and cut and eliminate taxes at every opportunity.
  • We believe that peaceful, honest people should be able to offer their goods and services to willing consumers without inappropriate interference from government.
  • We believe that peaceful, honest people should decide for themselves how to live their lives, without fear of criminal or civil penalties.
  • We believe that government’s only responsibility, if any, should be protecting people from force and fraud.”

“Libertarian Pledge, which all must agree to in order to join the Libertarian Party, declares, “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.”

Libertarians strongly oppose any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.

People that want the government to tend to their every whim, because they couldn’t be bothered to protect themselves from harm, want us to give up our freedoms so they feel “safe.” That has never been enough to stop anyone from doing harm, to themselves or otherwise.

 

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Thinking Beyond Pro-Choice & Pro-Life

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Travis Hallman, June 6, 2017

First and foremost, thanks for opening this article. Your engagement proves your willingness to be open to new ideas.

Before diving right into the subject of abortion clinics, I want to preface by saying that these ideas represent my own view, and not necessarily those of every libertarian nor even all members of the Ask A Libertarian team. There are many pro-choice, pro-life, and pro-privatize libertarians running for offices on your voting ballot. However, I identify as the last option because my end goal is to have ZERO demand for abortion clinics. I believe privatizing abortion clinics and empowering moral agents will achieve this goal more effectively than other means. Here’s why:

Libertarian Party Platform,

1.5 Abortion
Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

https://www.lp.org/platform/

To me, one statement stands out among all other statements within that platform: “We believe that government should be kept out of the matter.”

Government should not be allowed to create, fund or even prohibit abortion clinics from operating. Giving them power to prevent abortion clinics from opening because you don’t like them will enable them to use that same power to block your ability to open your business (of any kind) tomorrow, because someone else doesn’t like it. The best way for me to protect MY freedom of choice is to protect YOUR freedom of choice.

QUESTION: Can you think of any examples when government uses one power to restrict another freedom?

In addition to being allowed to operate, abortion services must also stand independent of any government funding or involvement. Realizing government doesn’t (yet) own abortion clinics, offering government funds to them still creates incentives to earn more funds by doing more abortions.  And as long as abortion providers are receiving funding or any other special treatment from the government, it is against their own interests for the government to allow moral agents to easily impact potential clients. By allowing government involvement in this sector, they can now appeal to it to take action in many forms against those moral agents. This may include, but is not limited to, lobbying for laws requiring standards such as licenses for pro-family or anti-abortion groups to open, increasing their taxes, or denying the same bailouts and incentives to those moral or private agencies.

Additionally, the government has to use your tax dollars to pay the employees responsible for counting your money and rationing it to abortion clinics. This is irresponsible spending at best and absolutely evil at worst. Never will 100% of taxpayers be satisfied with how the taxes are being spent (that applies in all aspects for all government run agencies). Allowing abortion clinics to exist solely in the private sector, removing taxes (to remove incentive for crony partnership with politicians), and ending bailouts (to avoid the creation of a monopoly) will allow for each individual to choose a business that 100% satisfies their needs.

“But abortion is murder!”

Then let’s expose abortion clinics to the free market so that demand can dictate the survival of the murder clinic (not the force of the government keeping them open). Then let’s empower churches and other moral agents to empower individuals not to demand the murder clinics. This would, in part, require better sex education and other related services.

I realize there are already many churches and moral agents making strides in sex education. However, establishing complete privatization without licensing, taxation, and bailouts would greater empower these organizations and allow for more of them to open and run effectively.

I’m offering a moral solution instead of using force, coercion, extortion, or incarceration to END ABORTIONS.

QUESTION: Is there another way to stop abortions (without using force, coercion, extortion, or incarceration)?

“[The] Simplest way to stop abortions is to teach our children about celibacy & hold them to it.”
-Joy Waymire (candidate for president in 2016)

 

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The McDonald’s Standard: A Guide for Determining The Legitimate Role of Government

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Kristopher Morgan, May 23, 2017

We all have things we would like to see humanity do, whether we want to feed the poor, move towards clean energy, protect endangered species, scientific research, or setting floors on wages.  We all like to believe that passing a law is akin to waving some magic wand that simply makes things better. We get ourselves into trouble when we consider the reality of the situation;  there is no wand.  When we realize passing and enforcing new laws means making criminals out of more and more people, we have to choose responsibly.

Coming to a balanced belief system as to what the proper place of government in society takes an immense amount of study into the social sciences, history, political economy, ethics, philosophy, etc.  This can be extremely time-consuming… fortunately there are shortcuts to answering most questions pertaining to the proper role of government.  I call one of them the ‘McDonald’s Standard.’  The method is very simple: Clarify what action the government is taking and ask yourself “how would I feel if McDonald’s were doing this?”  Here are a few examples to demonstrate how it works.

  1. Taxation.  On one hand, we are threatened with fines and jail time if we do not pay taxes.  On the other hand, those taxes pay for services such as roads.  Let’s imagine that McDonald’s decided to use the same business model.  McDonald’s decides to provide every resident within a 1mi radius with a Big Mac.  McDonald’s then decides that they will collect money from all residents, and those who decline simply get locked in a room on McDonald’s property.  Is food not a vital service?
  2. Welfare programs.  On one hand, they are paid for through taxation, on the other hand poor people benefit from them.  So, let’s imagine McDonald’s decides that they’re going to send their employees in a neighborhood, armed with tasers, guns, and clubs, and they collect money from some residents to give to others (while keeping about 80% for themselves!).  What would we think about McDonald’s?
  3. War.  On one hand, evil do-ers really should be taken out of power.  On the other hand, innocent people die in government wars.  So, let’s imagine a McDonald’s employee tracks a criminal into a Burger King bathroom, right after taking from the BK cashier’s drawer.  The McDonald’s employee then proceeds to blow up the entire Burger King restaurant to get this criminal.  Does this person get to claim all the other people inside the Burger King were simply collateral damage?

Now I know someone out there is going to say something along the lines of: “of course we don’t expect McDonald’s to take on the same role as the government ya dope!  McDonald’s doesn’t have a Constitution, and we don’t elect politicians to operate McDonald’s like we do the government.  We don’t expect these things from them because they’re not the government!”

This line of reason is exactly why I am writing this article.  What we are actually talking about is government legitimacy, so let’s examine the reasons people believe government has it.

1. The government represents the people through voting.  Their job is to carry out the will of the people they represent.

  • False.  All governments operate via law and enforcement thereof.  So what that means is the first thing politicians assume is that they do not have your consent.  If they had your consent, there would be no need to use law enforcement measures.  Also, the idea that some bureaucrat you have never met before can accurately take your conscience and values into account when making decisions… come on…

2. The government is an entity on its own charged with the task of running society.

  • False.  The government is a collection of human beings.  Society is not a machine that needs an operator, but rather a collection of people.  If no human being has the moral right to use force against another, then the government can’t possibly have it.  Morality for McDonald’s doesn’t change if they change their name to McGovernment!

3. The government derived its power to use force from the consent of the people.

  • False.  If nobody has the power to use force against others to begin with, nobody could have possibly given that power to the government.  Giving one’s consent to others to use force against themself is a contradiction in terms.

This list could grow exponentially, but I hope the point is clear.  Governments are nothing more than groups of people, same as any other, whether it’s a business, a family, a charity, a community watch group, etc.  It doesn’t have to be McDonald’s necessarily, but before you support anything any government does, ask yourself “what if someone else in society were doing the same thing? How would that make me feel?”  Because let’s face it:  most of us spent our formative years pledging allegiance to the flag and learning politically correct/tainted history.  By projecting government actions onto parties we feel neutral about, we can overcome these biases.

 

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