Former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld announced today he is running for president against Donald Trump, hoping to secure the Republican nomination.
By Jack Parkos | United States
The basis of leftist movement has been an anti-hierarchy mentality. That all hierarchies are evil and should be abolished to obtain a state of egalitarianism. Far leftists use words like “patriarchy” or “class struggle” to get their point across. The leftist view is that all hierarchies are authoritarian. These include capitalism, the nuclear family, and sometimes the government.
While it is true, that hierarchies can be tyrannical, this certainly does not mean all hierarchies are such the case. Hierarchies are, in fact, natural and do much good.
The wolf pack is a great example of why the hierarchy is naturally occurring. Wolves are very social creatures and form packs to work together to survive. Every wolf plays its role in the pack. In the wolf pack, the leader is the Alpha. The Alpha is in charge of the hunts and makes group decisions to benefit the pack. Below him is the Beta, and at the end is the Omega, the last in line. Such a system allows wolves to survive and work together. Many other social creatures use similar systems.
Humans too are social creatures, and thus require interaction with people. Groups can form from people with common goals and belief not only just to survive, but to thrive. Humans also maintain the idea of rights that can prevent a hierarchy from being tyrannical. Let’s take a farming community for example.
The community needs to plan what crops and livestock will grow and where it will grow. Amongst all the debate, a natural leader will rise and take charge, allowing groups to compromise and figure out a plan as to what to do. He leads the community through the harsh winter with his leadership ability. As the work expands, he must have people below him, but above the average man. This new group may manage certain areas of the land.
This is the common business model. There’s the CEO of the business. Below him may be managers, and below them is the average worker. This works best for business. Without such a leader, the average workers would all have to run the business equally. This could not be done. Suppose there are disputes, which are common in the workplace. How would they be solved? One may say a vote would be a good resolution. But democracy (voting) creates a hierarchy of the majority over the minority, which can be dangerous.
Thus, natural rulers must take charge and run things. They should not be tyrannical as no one would follow them. Such hierarchies, like in the business world, should be voluntary. The leader should not disregard the rights of people. If so, the people can leave. Each man should be in charge of his own property. But, if they choose to form a group based on common defense and beliefs and have a leader, then this is not authoritarianism.
Natural and Unnatural Hierarchies
One may observe the wolf packs can be vicious, the Omega being “bullied” by the higher ranking groups. Such is a tragedy. But in human hierarchies, this can be protected. Humans, again, have greater thinking abilities. Only humans truly grasp the idea of property. As long as a leader respects the people’s property, they cannot be tyrannical. The modern state does not respect private property.
The unnatural hierarchy rises from elites attempting to rule over the people. Through force and violation of rights. The natural hierarchy rises by the will of people to have order and protect property. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe puts it:
Natural order defends these basic property principles. Locations were selected by defensibility. Leaders of small communities were able to act as courts by shunning wrong-doers and directing compensation to the victim. Law was discovered, not created. Taxes in the modern sense did not exist. The king, lords and nobles established protection villages against invaders.
People, having property rights, will need a defense for their property. If they agree to join a group of property owners and establish law, is it authoritarian? Certainly not. Law is necessary for any society, and law can create hierarchies (Reminder: these laws are not forced on the people). Law should be local, decentralized, and non-tyrannical. Law should serve to protect life, liberty, and property. These rules could be established via a contract, perhaps a constitution of sorts. If laws go beyond these intended uses, property owners should have the right to leave such a contract.
A Non-Hierarchal Society
The common myth that hierarchy is anti-libertarian or anti-freedom is a lie from Marxists. Not only is it ineffective, but it’s also a lie about libertarianism. Libertarianism is not about chaos. Libertarianism is about peace and voluntarism. Libertarians aren’t against rules, but rather cohesive violent rules.
Assume all hierarchies were abolished. Unless we ignore human nature, humans will still require interaction. With interaction comes disputes. If two people cannot agree on something, how can it be solved? Removal of the hierarchy is the removal of the law. Without any sort of law, there is no way to solve disputes without violence.
Moreover, without hierarchies, there is no private property. If people cannot keep what they own, there is no incentive to work. Without an incentive to work, there can be no production. Without production, no food, technology, etc.
Assuming people would work for the betterment of the group, how is it decided what gets done? Who decides what is done? Suppose we use the farming example again. Say there is a dispute over whether land should be used for crops or livestock. How would this be solved? Again, the only way would be through either violence or democracy. However, as stated above, democracy is a hierarchy of the majority. This hierarchy gains its power simply from the majority, not from any natural leading ability.
The hierarchy is a natural part of human nature. Capitalism is not tyranny. The tyrannical hierarchy is not part of this. While the tyrants who use the law for personal gain should be overthrown, there must be a replacement with leaders. These leaders must only have authority based on consent from individuals. These leaders must be decentralized and have their only purpose to protect their property, as well as the people who they have engaged in a contract with.
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John Keller | United States
The Libertarian Party
John Hospers (1918-2011) was the first Libertarian presidential candidate. He defined Liberty best in 1971, during his campaign for President in 1972, that “Liberty is the absence of coercion by other human beings.” The Libertarian Party began forming on July 17, 1971, with a meeting of David Nolan, John Hospers, Ron Paul, Tonie Nathan, Edward Crane, and others. The new political party was officially announced January 31, 1972. The first platform of the party focused on ensuring a gold-backed currency and a return to the classical liberal thoughts held by many of the Founding Fathers of America. The Libertarian Party’s goal was, and is, to shrink government and return rights and liberty to the citizens of the United States of America.
“The only proper role of government, according to libertarians, is that of the protector of the citizen against aggression by other individuals. The government, of course, should never initiate aggression; its proper role is as the embodiment of the retaliatory use of force against anyone who initiates its use.” – Dr. John Hospers
A Brief Introduction to the Philosophy
The philosophy of libertarianism is rooted in texts from the Age of Enlightenment (1685-1815), such as the theories of John Locke (1632-1704), in his The Second Treatise of Civil Government, written in 1689 as well as the philosophies and writings of Thomas Paine (1737-1809), who wrote Common Sense in 1776.
In addition, the Libertarian Party has been influenced by many modern-day philosophers as well. The most notable of these philosophers is Ludwig von Mises (1891-1973) who wrote Human Action in 1949. His philosophies dominate the Libertarian Party’s economic platform, and his work was so influential the Mises Caucus formed within the party. After his death, the Mises Institute was founded in Auburn, Alabama in 1982 with the mission, “To advance the Misesian tradition of thought through the defense of the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention as economically and socially destructive.”
History of the Libertarian Movement (1972-2000)
The Libertarian Party has historically been the strongest third party in the 20th century. In 1972, John Hospers received 3,674 votes. In 1996, the presidential ticket of Harry Browne and Jo Jorgensen received 485,759 votes.
As the presidential election began to get started in 1976 there were serious doubts in the minds of conservative voters on the integrity of the Republican Party following the Watergate Scandal in 1972. The Libertarian Party become a place to vent frustration with government, and with their message for smaller government and personal accountability attracted many new voters.
The 1976 presidential ticket consisted of former state representative of Vermont Roger MacBride for president and California lawyer David Bergland for vice president. His campaign focused on issues, such as ending the Federal Reserve and returning to a gold-backed currency, as well as non-interventionist foreign policy. Democratic nominee “Jimmy” Carter spoke of being an outsider “untainted” by the politics of Washington D.C. while Republican nominee Gerald Ford focused on his ability as the chief executive, relying on his incumbent status to help carry the election in his favor.
By the end of the campaign, Roger MacBride and David Bergland had won over 172,557 votes, almost 170,000 more votes than the first ticket just four years prior and having ballot access to thirty-two states.
In 1980 the Libertarian Party hoped to capitalize on the moment of the previous year and nominated Ed Clark, who had received almost 378,000 votes in his campaign for Governor of California in 1978, for the presidency. David Koch, a successful businessman and vice-president of Koch Industries. The election began heavily contested.
President Carter faced immense backlash for his foreign policy in the Middle East and many Americans had deemed it improper for an actor to be president. The Libertarian Party and the Libertarian presidential ticket was seen as a viable third option. Although Reagan won in an electoral landslide, the Libertarian ticket received almost one million (921,128) votes.
The Reagan Administration proved to be very popular, and in the 1984 election, it showed. Former vice presidential candidate, now presidential candidate, David Bergland was only able to generate a quarter million votes.
One of the most iconic, although not the most successful, presidential runs of the Libertarian Party took place in 1988. Former congressman Ron Paul of Texas received the nomination and Andre Marrou, a former member of the Alaska House of Representatives, was nominated as the vice presidential candidate. The campaign Ron Paul ran was described by one reporter as a “Kamikaze Campaign” for being so dedicated to the issues while he stood, according to the journalist, “as much chance as I” at becoming president. Ron Paul focused on non-interventionist foreign policy, ending the Federal Reserve, getting the government out of education, and focusing on returning the American dollar to the gold standard. On top of these key issues, former Congressman Ron Paul made a pillar of his campaign the War on Drugs.
Although unsuccessful, the Ron Paul for President Campaign raised the campaign standard and redefined the Libertarian Party, highlighting the power and ability of a grassroots campaign as he raised over $2 million in donations.
In 1992 Ron Paul’s former running mate, Andre Marrou, took the nomination and continued the message of Ron Paul, but faced limited success as Americans flocked to Ross Perot, an independent from Texas who attracted over 19,000,000 votes.
Following the success of Ross Perot, the Libertarian Party knew that large success against the two-party duopoly was possible. Harry Browne received the 1996 presidential nomination. As a veteran, he pressed Bob Dole for claiming “My generation won [World War Two]” and his strong ties to the past and not to the future. When election time came he had attracted nearly half a million votes – losing votes to the popular Ross Perot who gained over 8,000,000 votes for the Reform Party.
In 2000, Harry Browne again took the nomination and ran a similar campaign to the campaign run in 1996. He won nearly the same number of votes but served a larger role.
In the controversy over the election in Florida, where Ralph Nader arguably detracted enough support from Al Gore to allow George W. Bush to win the state, the story in the state of Washington is often forgotten.
Harry Brown’s campaign attracted enough votes, alongside Pat Buchanan’s campaign for president, to swing the state away from George W. Bush and in Al Gore’s favor, ensuring the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, Al Gore, took the state, winning him an additional 11 electoral votes.
As the century turned and George W. Bush took the White House, the Libertarian Party began to go through a reformation process.
New Age Libertarianism (2004-2012)
In the twenty-first century, the Libertarian Party began to reform its priorities in its platform. The reformation became highlighted in the 2004 Libertarian National Convention as it became the most contested presidential primary in the thirty-two-year history of the Libertarian Party.
The three leading candidates were Aaron Russo, Gary Nolan, and Michael Badnarik. Aaron Russo was leading in pre-convention polls for the nomination. He was running his campaign on criticizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and ending the War on Drugs.
Gary Nolan, polling second, focused his campaign on Anti-Bush doctrine. He planned to focus campaigning on his home state Ohio with the goal of swinging the state away from Bush and winning the state for the Libertarian Party. His platform consisted of repealing the USA PATRIOT Act, ending the war in the Middle East and bringing home the troops, while rallying against the income tax.
Going into the convention Michael Badnarik was predicted the least likely of the three major candidates to win the nomination. His campaign was built on the principles of laissez-faire economics.
With Aaron Russo in the lead, it seemed clear that the Libertarian Party was beginning to switch away from the Ron Paul Era of economic focus and begin focusing on social issues, with economic policy on the back burner; however, a surprise came at the 2004 Libertarian National Convention.
On the first ballot, the vote counts for the nomination were all within twelve votes of each other; with Russo gaining 258, Badnarik 256, and Nolan 246. On the second nomination ballet, Nolan was eliminated and surprisingly endorsed Badnarik. In the final vote for the nomination, Badnarik took the nomination 417 votes to 348 for Russo, with six delegates voting “None of the Above”.
Although the focus on economics continued in this election cycle, a focus on social issues was beginning to grow within the party. Badnarik began his run immediately, trying to build off the momentum of the convention, but he struggled at first getting the Libertarian Party on board, especially those who had supported Aaron Russo who felt “cheated” at the convention.
By election day, the highest poll for the Libertarian ticket was at 5%, a poll conducted in New Mexico. On election day Badnarik, who held high hopes, pulled in about 400,000 votes, only about 0.32%. Following the results, he pursued, with support from Green Party candidate David Cobb, a recount in the state of Ohio, which President George W. Bush had won by about 100,000 votes. If the recount had been “successful” then Ohio would have swung to be a blue state, and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) would have been president.
In 2008 the election became key as there was a rejection of the Bush intervention policies. Former congressman Bob Barr was nominated by the Libertarian Party to run for president. He held high hopes going into the general election as many conservatives were growing tired of the pro-war leanings of the Republican Party, and the dedicated hawk candidate John McCain (R-AZ). However, Barack Obama (D-IL) came out as a strong anti-war candidate and supported social liberty and Barr began losing support. He tried to shift focus towards an economic policy where he believed he held the edge over the other candidates, but the American people were more focused on issues regarding foreign policy, and Barr was only able to gain a half million votes come election day. As the election cycle wore down the Libertarian Party began to strategize for 2012.
Libertarianism in the Modern Age (2012-Present)
In 2012 the upcoming nomination for president at the Libertarian National Convention was projected to be a toss-up between former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Libertarian Party Vice Chair R. Lee Wrights. Going into the convention, Gary Johnson was being seen as an unlikely choice. He was a former two-term Republican governor in the state of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. He had joined the Libertarian Party December 2011, just six months before the national convention after he failed to gain any traction in the Republican New Hampshire primary. On the other hand, R. Lee Wrights had been a member of the Libertarian Party since 2000 and had served for two years, prior to the 2012 Libertarian National Convention, as Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party (2004-2006).
Just as in 2004, the convention turned out to be an upset. Gary Johnson, on his platform of fiscal responsibility and social equality, won a surprising landslide victory at the convention, receiving 419 delegates (70.4%). Jim Gray, a California judge, received the nomination for vice president. The pro-immigration and anti-intervention ticket won considerable support as anti-war Republicans who could not support Mitt Romney voted Libertarian. Gary Johnson, on election day, made Libertarian Party history by receiving 1,275,971 votes.
Gary Johnson continued to fight for the Libertarian message and in 2016 sought to be renominated for the Libertarian presidential ticket. He was renominated in a landslide, gaining more than 30% more delegates than the runner-up Austin Petersen. Bill Weld, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts, was selected as the vice presidential nominee.
The 2016 election proved to be pivotal. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld began speaking throughout America on the message of peace and prosperity, speaking to the people about pro-immigration policy, low taxes, balanced budgets, and more. In short, the campaign rested on the idea that the government should stay out of your wallet and out of your bedroom. Bill Weld ran a strong campaign under Gary Johnson, and together they received 4,489,235 votes for the message of peace and prosperity.
Leading to the 2020 Libertarian National Convention much is unknown, but it is clear that even if there is not another Bill Weld or Gary Johnson, the idea and message of Libertarianism will spread. As the message spreads and more and more people are informed of the principles of peace and prosperity, it is clear that the breakout year for the Libertarian Party is coming soon as momentum grows.
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By Nate Galt | United States
Minarchy is the true protection of the inalienable rights granted to the populace. If the state ceased to exist tomorrow and an anarchist society stood in its place, there is a high possibility that two groups would be formed- the collectivists and non-collectivists. The collectivists would live in communes and would live off of their own work, similar to Kropotkin’s ideal visualization of anarcho-communism. The other group would try to live life as they did before. This society could potentially last, however; corporations could have their own military, police force, and justice system. This would be much worse than if these services were held in the public’s hands.
There will always be some semblance of power in the real world. Ever since the dawn of time, hierarchies have dominated the social structure of the human race. Abolishing the state is possible, but a new authority will take its spot in the hierarchy. In an anarchic society, this could be the man with the most followers or money. This, in turn, would lead to an oligarchic or monarchic de facto state. The only thing that would differentiate this state from a dictatorship would be that it calls itself a corporation. Minarchy would keep liberty at a maximum and governance at a minimum while preventing any sort of takeover by private armies. A minarchic society would minimize the government to its basic functions while still protecting the public.
Furthermore, it would support a much fairer justice system. A privatized system is not the true administration of proper justice. We need to reform the justice system and to move it forward, not push it back by means of privatization. This system would have an unfair bias against the poor and the interests of rivals. Those who cannot pay would fare much worse than those who could afford to do so. Therefore, the best system of administering fair justice should be in the hands of the public. It would make everyone equal in the eyes of the law, regardless of gender, race, or socio-economic status.
Minarchy also prevents people from being sold like goods on the open market. In an anarcho-capitalistic society, the only way to help prevent the sale of living people without using force is a boycott. A supporter of anarcho-capitalism might reply that the N.A.P., or Non-Aggression Principle, allows someone to step in to defend a person if their rights are infringed. However, the N.A.P. has no limits or extent to which someone could retaliate. I do not want to live in a society where someone who does minor damage to a home could be shot.
I believe in the prevention of child slavery and other such vile acts. In a minarchic society, there are laws enforced by a public law enforcement agency which stops them from happening. This agency will be watched by the eye of the people and all their actions will be a public matter.
In all, I firmly believe that the concept of minarchy is the best way to preserve individual rights. The state will be shrunk to its minimal functions while still protecting the public from certain crimes. It prevents a complete takeover by corporations by having a certain set of laws in place. However, it does so while maximizing individual liberty.
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By John Keller | United States
Dodge County, a rural bastion in Wisconsin, is in a desperate position following increasing control from Madison. Whereas the inner cities have been struggling under the Walker Administration, rural Wisconsin has begun to suffer in ways they haven’t since the market crash of 2008.
In the last fiscal year, Dodge County had a proposed budget of $111,693,552, an 11.39% increase from 2013. A property tax rate of 5.6% is the average in Dodge County. But the main source of income for the Dodge County government, the property tax, brings in only $33,281,315. So, other taxes and revenue sources had to cover $78,412,237 of appropriations in the county. The reason for such an imbalance is unfunded mandates.
As of mid-July, there are 99 unfunded mandates and restrictions on how local counties can govern from the Walker Administration. Essentially, this means there are 99 instances in which Scott Walker is telling the county how to run itself and how to spend your money, without paying for it with the state’s taxpayer funds. This leads to budget imbalance and growing debt at the local level.
Phil Anderson: A Solution
Phil Anderson offers a different option. Running for governor in 2018, he is campaigning to increase local control. He stated in his platform, “Local municipalities, counties, and school boards ought to be as free as possible to pursue the priorities of their communities without interference from the State. State regulation ought to be limited to those things that only the State should do. All unfunded mandates should be eliminated.”
There is only one candidate that wants change the way Wisconsin runs so that local governments can run their own affairs. He is running to find local, common sense solutions for local problems, not statewide, bureaucratic decisions. In order to keep your money in your pocket and allow Dodge County, and all of Wisconsin. to spend less, vote Phil Anderson for Governor.
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