Chat Question

Chris,

  Although I'm not an anarchist, I have to agree with Michael E. on
this. I think it's better if we try to word our communications so that
they don't appear to exclude the possibility of anarchy. While the LP
platform does not specifically call for anarchy, neither does it
exclude it as an option. No minimum level of government is advocated by
our governing document. This to me seems like the right balance.

  A "libertarian" is one who believes in non-aggression. At least that
is the definition reflected in the language of the pledge that
Libertarians have to sign in order to be voting members of the party.

  Certainly anarchists believe in non-aggression at least as strongly as
those who believe in small government (though I would disagree with
them that it is possible to eliminate aggression and still protect
individual rights simply by eliminating government, as this ignores the
continuing need for a mechanism to compel people, including those who
will ultimately be held innocent, to face legal charges brought against
them).

Yours in liberty,
            <<< Starchild >>>

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There is much to discuss in your reply.

However, my Chat question does not concern the relative
illegitimacy of govt functions, but rather the question: "Is it an
equitable policy to exclude a large LP contingent, namely the
anarchist wing, when communicating as an LP representative
to the media or public?".

That's a good point; sorry for missing it.

I think it is fair to say that the difference between libertarians and
anarchists is precisely whether or not there is *any* legitimate
function
of government. A libertarian believes there are some minimal functions
that are legitimate; an anarchist believes there are none.

An anarchist can certainly be a member of the LP (as we've discussed
before) on the grounds that from where we are, anarchists and
libertarians
are going in the same direction. That does not, however, make the
anarchist a libertarian. (By some lights, it may make him *better*
than a
libertarian, but that's not the same.)

So given that the LP has libertarian and anarchist members, is it
equitable
for the LP to advocate libertarian positions even when they conflict
with
anarchist ones? I think it is. This is, after all, the Libertarian
Party;
elimination of the government is not in the party platform, even if
some
members would like to diminish the government into nonexistence. The
LP,
as an organization, is definitely working towards *a* government, a
republic with elected representatives and executives with extremely
limited
power. I think it is reasonable for official LP statements to be in
line
with that position.

~Chris
- --
Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as
distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
~Ambrose Bierce / Freelance text nerd: <URL: http://crism.maden.org/ >
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