Tag: political gain

Voting Isn’t Working. What Will?

By Josh Louski | USA

The Libertarian Party has existed since 1971. Since then, its members have done a great job at securing seats Congress and even governorships. These are considerable feats since we live in a corrupt, two-party nation. However, they consistently fail at what arguably matters the most: securing the presidency.

As an anarchist, I don’t put too much stock in the Libertarian Party anyway.  However, I do acknowledge that electorally, they are the best path to a smaller state. But it isn’t working. Why?

The GOP and the DNC have a common goal, and that is ensuring and upholding the status quo. if the LP ever got into serious power, they would be failing at that. So they work together to keep policies in place that prevents people voting Libertarian. For instance, our public schools teach about the two major parties and their (very minor) differences but do not inform students about third parties like the Libertarian Party. This causes a lack of voters. If students, especially in their teenage years, were informed about the Libertarian Party and its values, I guarantee it would have a lot more voters. As long as the Republican or Democratic parties are in power, this will not change. Rather than having an informed public, the GOP and DNC would prefer to have a dumbed-down populace that continues to vote for them.  Therefore, voting is not a viable option for achieving any real change.

The Libertarian Party simply doesn’t have the means of gathering upwards of 60 million supporters that will vote for them. So how do we achieve our ideal society of small or no government?

In 1936, Spanish left-anarchists revolted and successfully implemented anarchist societies around Spain, like Catalonia. They didn’t vote, they fought. The workers were in control of most of Spain, and they liberated themselves from government oppression. Maybe its time we do the same.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds. America was built upon revolutionary ideas and values. We wave flags that say “Don’t tread on me” yet refuse to do anything when treading on for decades. Our forefathers would be ashamed of us. It’s time to defend ourselves from the gang we call government, from theft, abduction, and murder. We would not hesitate to defend our families from a home invasion, so why do we sit by idly when the government steals from us and takes our property when we disobey them? Many say that the public has no chance against the United States military. Superficially, this is obvious. However, when you look deeper you see that the Viet Cong waged war with the United States for 20 years. And they won. Additionally, after 16 years, insurgents in the Middle East have still not been defeated by the greatest military power the world has ever seen. As the most heavily armed populace in the world, I’d say the American people would fare even better than the Viet Cong and the insurgents in the Midde East.

We have to fight back. But this is not the only way to free ourselves. For far too long, the American people have given the federal and state governments legitimacy by obeying them. It is important for us to utilize agorism, a strategy of non-compliance and counter-economics used to delegitimize the government and crony-capitalism. If we refuse to participate in government using mass civil-disobedience, it will be totally powerless.  Do not validate their oppression by abiding by it.

Unlike violent insurrection, agorism has never been used in order to undermine and overthrow a government, but is extremely popular among right-anarchists as a means of peaceful dissolution of the government. The problem with agorism is while the populace is not utilizing violence, the government undoubtedly will. Mass disregard for its artificial “authority” would be met with force. Murder and mass abduction would take place as the government would become increasingly frustrated with the people. We would be forced to defend ourselves, and violent insurrection would have to take place anyway.

Pairing these two means of revolution, agorism and violent insurrection, is undoubtedly a more effective way of achieving real, positive change than voting.

Let’s hope that the government decides to straighten itself out before it comes to that.

 

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Choosing Between the GOP and the LP

By Charlie Gengler | USA

Many libertarians have straddled with this choice for a while in recent years.  Which party to choose?  There all factors from every corner.  Which is more useful for advancing my ideology, for instituting my beliefs and/or desired policies?  Which is more consistent?  Which is more dominant, more greedy, more influential and successful, showing stability?  All these questions play into the choices and voting decisions and donations people make.  They’re important.

Certainly, both have their pros and cons.  From a pragmatic point of view, the Republican party is on top, as it has a much larger base.  It holds the position as one of the top two parties, and the most successful party in history, with nineteen total presidential victories since 1861.  This size has its drawbacks, however.  The sections and divisions in the party are anything but equal and have radical differences among them.  The groups that inhabit the GOP share some common ground, but not always much.  There is the religious right, whose only motivation is to protect and/or promote/enforce their personal religion.  Another group is the neoconservatives or ‘establishment’, who hold most of the political power and are most likely to get elected.  Most libertarians cannot identify with these groups and other more authoritarian and obscure subsects within.  There are groups within the party who not only share positions with the LP and most libertarians but are gaining ground in the party.  You have the Freedom Caucus, headed by Mark Meadows, and the TEA party.  The TEA party gained (and held) a lot of ground in the party during Obama’s presidency.  Their platform of lower taxes shares a lot of ground with libertarians and like-minded individuals.  Besides all of this, the LP’s major drawback is its minuscule chance of ever winning, due to the inability of third parties to rise in the modern system.

Although the LP has a relatively small base, it still has divisions and several opinionated sides dwelling within.  It houses several left-wing caucuses, such as the Libertarian socialist caucus.  It also claims home several groups whose sole goal is the legalization of drugs, specifically marijuana.  While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this, I do feel that it detracts from the message.  This leads into my larger problem with a large base of the party, most exemplified by the most recent candidates Gary Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld, which is the watering down of the libertarian position and its principles.  The standpoint has been simplified into a packaged and marketable ideal, “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”  While not entirely wrong, the idea that this is what libertarians want is not only nebulous but just not entirely true.  We want freedom and security for our basic human rights.  But more than this, we want the NAP to be the guiding principle in our society, and subsequently, for aggression to be minimized to the lowest possible, or ideal, amount.  The idea that all we want is gays to get married and to smoke weed is flat-out ignorant of the libertarian ideology and shows either a lack of understanding or a false and poor pragmatic plan to market our views to a more liberal generation, thus becoming a fusion of both parties.  Rather, it could be its own party, different and independent of both parties.  This has problems of its own, but before that, there’s more on that phrase often used to describe libertarian perspectives.  Socially liberal does not encompass all libertarian views.  Libertarians are pro-second amendment, pro getting government out of marriage, not just inclusion of same-sex couples.  We are not for the censorship and speech control often used by the left.  We are also far more ‘extreme’ in our economic policies than the GOP, wanting much lower taxes on almost all fronts, and proposing more radical changes than the tax cuts seen by the Republican party.

The LP also has major hurdles in front of it if it plans to become independent, more of its own thing.  Major players in the party, Weld, Johnson, Petersen, etc. are Republicans.  This leads to the party being hugely reliant on the GOP.  Almost all of the successful candidates, candidates who win big positions, win not so under the banner of the Libertarian party, but under that of the Republicans.  Unless someone runs for Congress or governor or some other likewise position under the libertarian party, the party can not and will not grow.  It must differentiate itself from the Republican party to gain disillusioned Democrats and to define itself more.  It must also distance itself from the Democratic party, not only to gather Republicans but to purge itself of socialists and other economic authoritarians.

With all of this considered, pros and cons weighed, the choice is muddied. There is certainly up for debate, and both sides have valid arguments.  I will put my support behind the Republican party with two contradictory hopes.  One is for the LP to absorb itself into the larger GOP, and begin to dominate its politics.  This solves the third party problem and also settles grievances I have with both parties, given they abandon each of their views I disagree with.  This first solution is unlikely at best, too much wishful thinking and utopian dreaming.  The second solution is for the LP to gain steam among the younger generation and for more candidates focused on freedom and rights, rather than appealing to all sides.  I feel that if they focus their sights on settling a base ideology that is more consistent and more right-leaning and also more realistic and put together.  Right now they have a series of jumbled policies that I agree with but for the wrong reason.  The Republican party is certainly the best hope and most likely party to institute change and reform for a smaller government, especially on the economic front, but the Libertarian party is a closer representation of social policies and freedom, and it holds radicals with views of government very ideal.

 

OPINION: Turning the Ship Around: Joshua Smith for LNC Chair 2018

By Mason Mohon | USA

When I first interviewed Joshua Smith, he was nothing but a great opportunity to put another face of libertarian activity on the site. Now, he may be the golden opportunity for the Libertarian Party to start making serious moves in the world and begin to actually bring liberty step forward.

Cryptocurrency is under attack. The state hates the subversive nature of it. The IRS recently went after Coinbase, forcing it to turn over plenty of customer information. A recent Senate bill created an IRS crackdown on finances, which included digital currencies. Some have even argued that this bill jeopardizes the privacy of cryptocurrency wallets in general. It is also a possibility that blockchain technologies have become another asset for government spying. This attack on one of the most powerful tools of liberty should be one that the Libertarian Party is at the forefront of challenging, but they are not.

This is just the icing on the cake for the status quo Libertarian Party. Granted, it has been “good,” and we have gained record registered voters for a third party, along with getting record LP votes in the 2016 election, but are people moving to us, or are we moving away from principle. It seems to be the latter. The party seems to be giving up on radicalism in favor of growing numbers, for Gary Johnson, one of the biggest exposures of libertarianism to the public sphere, decided he would support carbon taxes and not let businesses keep the right to discriminate. We’re in a bad place. We need to get back to what libertarianism is all about: radical uncompromising principled anti-statism.

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith, Candidate for 2018 LNC Chair

Joshua Smith is a huge leap in that direction. His simples platform includes four points. These points start with an emphasis on enabling local leaders of the movement, giving them an avenue for actual activism and expansion in their communities and cities, which is something the movement really needs. This echoes Larry Sharpe’s advocacy for widespread local activism, which could be one of the only keys to actual LP success. This local mobilization could cause cascades of benefits to the liberty movement as a whole.

Smith’s second point was a principled reform focus. He wants to clean the party of its clutter. The libertarian socialists have no place in the movement and need to be ousted. They do not get to benefit from LP resources, so they should not be in the party. The principles of the party shall be reaffirmed and concretely defined. Joshua Smith will make this happen.

The third point is a focus on membership. As he told is his interview, he had a few issues his first go around with the LP when it came to getting active in the party and spreading the ideas that need to happen. He wishes to simplify and empower membership the LP, giving members new proper tools to spread liberty as soon as they have joined. “We can’t expect new members to be enthusiastic about spreading the ideals of liberty if we don’t act as though we’re happy to have them,” Smith states.

His final point was an emphasis on marketing. The party needs to be able to market itself better to the public. It needs to look appealing to join in, not like a mess with gross naked gingers dancing on stage. The marketing would focus both on member retention and party building, two things the party is definitely going to need in the coming future.

Since devising those points, and since my interview, he has put emphasis on fighting for cryptocurrencies, something that definitely needs to be done in this day and age. He has expressed interests in forming coalitions with big name cryptocurrency individuals and organizations, which would allow the LP to mobilize itself when it comes to defending the new technology from the hands of the state. This would put the voice of a large community of antistate and liberty-oriented people into action, which would be the beginning of a new political voice for the Libertarian Party.

Furthermore, Smith has expressed to me an interest in creating a new youth wing of the party. Young people like me have to be serious self-starters when it comes to activism. During the Hurricane Harvey disaster, my local Libertarian Youth Caucus was able to get active in relief, but most of the help came from the LYC higher-ups, and not the party itself. Libertarians across the board were mobilized in help, but I never saw the Party itself showing its face in this time of need. I am interested in seeing how Smith’s new youth wing would mesh with and integrate with the Libertarian Youth Caucus.

The Libertarian Party is giving up principles for the sake of party expansion, but you can have both. Smith’s election to LNC chair would turn this party around. These new focuses of activity could cause a real political change for the party and allow us to stand strong in the fight for cryptocurrencies. Enough playing games. Its time to start getting active.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions of this article do not reflect that of 71 Republic LLC.

Politics is the Game of Sexual Assault and Immoral Action. Why Are We Still Surprised When Politicians Fit This Trend?

By Mason Mohon | USA

The castle walls are crumbling, and nobody hiding within them is safe. Inside its walls, every type of immoral and evil degenerate can be found feeding their self-centered desire and exploiting others. This is the castle of the cultural and political elite, filled with popular culture icons, politicians, and bureaucratic pigs who think they’re “all that,” and why wouldn’t they? They beat us. They made it up the ladder by stepping on our heads. They are the snakes who bit us on our heels when we thought we were safe. They are the friends who stabbed us in the back. These methods are the only way the ladder could really ever be climbed, with a few exceptions of course.

I feel as if there is a shadow man exposing people sitting behind the curtain and spinning a wheel of who is going to be ousted for a past of disgusting sexual misconduct next. Roy Moore, George Takei, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K. were all exposed in rapid succession, and no matter what strategy they employed things always came back to bite them. Spacey came out as gay in response to his accusations, but that doesn’t make what he did ok. House of Cards is finished and I will be thoroughly surprised and slightly disgusted the next time I see him get a shot. Takei’s coming out card had been played forever ago, though, so he just went for it and blamed the Russians for it. Really? Come on George, own what you did and quit making hypocritical and senselessly unbacked political commentary. Stop shilling for FDR’s clearly destructive New Deal policies and quit trying to justify his imprisonment of the Japanese population. C.K. admitted to what he did without making sorry excuses for his actions.

And on this idea of a “gay card,” I say that because homosexuality is real. Don’t use it as a dodge when your messed up past is revealed to the world. You commodify your sexuality by using it to keep yourself relevant in the game of cultural popularity, and that is messed up. Doing such marginalizes and otherizes those within the gay community. Stop pretending to be any sort of “ally” while using life-defining characteristics as a tool for political gain. It was all in vain anyway, because Spacey’s career is taking hits.

But this article is about politics, is it not? It takes some messed up action to climb to the top of pop culture, but the game is a lot messier in the political world. As allegations came out against both Al Franken and Roy Moore, I was told by friends that both the subreddits of r/The_Donald and r/politics were ablaze with a defense of the member of their ideological camp. Those in Donald’s attempted to make sense of how Al Franken was in the wrong, and somehow Roy Moore was in the right. Politics, a very liberal leaning subreddit, swayed in just the opposite direction. All I have to say is what the hell is wrong with you people? You think you can just write off somebody’s egregious past because they have an R or D in front of their name? That’s messed up. I am officially taking the radical position that sexual assault is wrong in any and all instances, along with clear sexual harassment.

The question still faces us, though. Why does the sleazy perv always find himself at the top of the food chain? That’s a hard question to answer, but it is one worth trying to answer, and a very important one to at least take a stab at. One important thing to take note of is men are built with a drive to reproduce and being in a position of power gives them the idea they can exercise that drive when there is not a consenting response that indicates the drive should be pursued. Men in positions of power like to exercise that power, and that seems to be manifesting itself in ways that are not ok.

At the same time, let us take a look at the political industry itself. Getting elected is a nasty game and not an easy feat, particularly in the case of a national election to the house, senate, or even presidency. Getting there means climbing a ladder, and let us not forget that the ladder of the political system is one that rests on violence. The taxpayer is exploited so that the system may be upheld, and that only provides an incentive to leave the bottom of exploitation and run to the top, reaping the benefits of the exploiter. The politician gets to choose how others live their lives (yes, I know Rand Paul exists, yet he is literally one out of one-hundred). Maybe a politician aspires to change things for the better, but he will always be beaten out by the man who takes the massive paycheck under the table from the corporation he just agreed to lobby for.

The winner will be the one who attacks the opponent viciously. Remember the election between Adams and Jackson? No, you don’t, you were not alive, but you can still read about it. Adams and Jackson resorted to using unbacked accusations to ruin the moral character of the other candidate just so they would look better. The way to win was to ruthlessly attack your opposition. These days, it is done through massive payoffs to news organizations who will target candidates on what they know of the least, or it is done through presidential debates with rigged questions, or they just plain and simple bar you from speaking (remember how little time Ron Paul got to speak in the debates?). The point is, there is no room for nice guys in the political system. To win, you have to lie, steal, and cheat.

This is the system that we live under. Why are we ever surprised when somebody is found guilty of lying, stealing, cheating, or sexual assault when we all give our support to a system that encourages such things? If you want this to stop, quit playing into their system. You don’t know how many more Harvey Weinstein’s are out there, so don’t support their lifestyle by throwing your money into the movie industry. Don’t vote for anyone who may have a background of sexual assault, even if they’re the only choice for your party. What this probably means is not voting for either of the major two parties, but be wary for sickos in the third ones too. It is your responsibility to dismantle this system by removing your service from it. Serve them no more, and they shall fall apart.

Would a Government Shutdown Really be That Bad?

By Ryan Lau | USA

Anyone who has watched or read the news sometime this month is most likely aware of the fact that once again, congressional Democrats and Republicans are unable to agree on a budget. Democrats are consistently pushing for some form of protection for Dreamers, which has since sparked backlash from President Trump. Republicans, on the other hand, seek an increase in defense spending, which has been vehemently opposed and countered by Democrats. Both parties wish to avoid a government shutdown, with a deadline of Friday at midnight to reach an agreement. Ironically, though, the one area in which both Democrats and Republicans generally agree is the one area in which both are wrong. In fact, a government shutdown, contrary to popular belief, would be incredibly beneficial to both the American people and government.

In the event of a government shutdown, all funding for federal programs would come to an immediate halt. An obvious exception exists for branches such as the Post Office, which are self-reliant upon their own revenue from stamps and postage fees for operation. However, the vast majority of government agencies would immediately lose their funding, and this is not a bad thing, as the government will save a considerable amount of money during this process by halting the funding of useless or overpaid agencies. 

As a clear example of this, I first examined the expenditures of the United States National Guard, which has an alleged purpose of protecting our citizens in case of a foreign threat or emergency. The thing is, we don’t have any current foreign threats that require an acting home army. Most of these individuals are already trained for an event that has not occurred in our nation since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Despite the clear lack of need for such a large force, the federal government allocates no small amount of funding for their archaic and currently obsolete services.

The average monthly wage of a guards-person ranges from $184 for a private enlisting in one weekend of basic drill training, all the way up to $18,936 for an active duty general. For the sake of simplification, I have conservatively estimated the average figure to be roughly $1,000 a month, though the true average is likely far higher. In the event that only half of the 348,156 currently enlisted National Guard members were told not to report to work (it would likely be a considerably higher number than this), the federal government would be saving 174 million dollars in a single month, but each guards-person would still be entirely capable of reporting to his or her full-time job.

Though admittedly a small figure, the National Guard is a tiny fragment of our overall spending. As an example of a larger agency, I will now examine the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency dumps out an exorbitant annual budget of 12.8 billion dollars for services that frankly, are none of the government’s business. If an employer and employee come to a voluntary agreement regarding the terms of the employee’s labor, it is not the place of any third party entity, regardless of their claim to power, to prevent this transaction from occurring, provided of course that it does not infringe upon the Natural Rights of any individual. On the other hand, if an able-bodied adult cannot find labor, it is not the business of the government to support him by forcibly taking money from the more successful. In both scenarios, a voluntarily funded market-driven solution would prove to be adequate and would do so without grand-scale theft.

Now, this aforementioned figure of 12.8 billion dollars also does not include the funding of over 17,000 full-time employees. Thus, not including the employees, a one-month long government shutdown would save over one billion dollars. Factoring in their salaries, this number would, of course, be significantly higher. That’s one billion at least, with nine zeroes, no longer being forcibly taken from the taxpayers in order to fund an inefficient organization, or one billion dollars used to shrink the staggeringly high national debt.

Ultimately, our federal government has a budget of approximately 3.8 trillion dollars for the fiscal year of 2017. When all is said and done, even a one month long partial shutdown, cutting the expenditures of the state by 50%, would save the American people 158 billion dollars. This money could be used in remarkably better places than it is now, and at the discretion of the American consumer, rather than a tyrannical and bloated nation willing to steal and kill to accomplish their allegedly-noble causes.

Though the finances of a government shutdown are a key aspect of its potential benefit, they are not the only one. Most notably save finances, the average American will have a significantly better experience with air travel. Given a shutdown is to occur, air traffic control and airport security staff would still be in place, as they are always hired by the airports themselves, and thus outside of the federal government’s payroll.

Who, then, is federally paid for in an airport? The Transportation Security Agency, with an abysmal record of zero terrorists stopped since its creation in 2001, devours nearly 8 billion dollars in federal funding annually. To make matters worse, dreadfully long lines can add five, fifteen or thirty minutes, even an hour to travel times due to security lines, depending on the airport and the occasion. A temporary shutdown, however, would eliminate these lines, and during the holiday season, families across the nation would be more able to travel without stress, spending more time with their families and less time waiting to be prodded by an eerie metal rod.

Clearly, the verdict is in on a government shutdown. Saving Americans money and protecting their happiness are allegedly in the direct intentions of the government. However, these intentions are clearly ignored. The American people are being stolen from in order to fund obsolete and inadequate services. Regardless of the state’s true intent (which I would venture to guess that nobody can fully explain in this day and age), the fact that a state that formerly protected the rights of the individual has fallen into such disrepair is a calamity. Reversal of this governmental decay, if you will, must be instituted at the earliest possible hour, in order to finally allow the American people to live in peace and prosperity. Thus, it is with no minute degree of irony that I declare: the federal government would best accomplish its goals by suspending its own existence.