[LibertarianReformCaucus] RE: [CALibs] Ed Clark on anarchism (video)


  You're right that I accidentally misquoted Ed Clark, substituting the word "anarchism" for "no government." Thanks for catching that. However the link to the video is right there in my message, so even someone seeing my original post but not your response would not likely be prevented from learning anything significant.

  In any case, allow me to draw your attention to the fact that Ed Clark's comments appear to be carefully worded so as not to exclude anarchy. "Classically liberal" can include anarchist, and saying we want "smaller" government or "lower" taxes does not preclude no government or no coercive taxation in the same way that saying "we want *small* government" or "*low* taxes" would. Reducing something is a logical step to eliminating it, and if the end state is not specified, either a lower amount of something or none at all are possibilities. And saying no government is not envisioned as an "immediate alternative" clearly implies that it may be an alternative down the road!

  The fact that Murray Rothbard would see fit to "mock" (without a quote, I'm taking your word here that this is a fair characterization) Clark for not getting more than five times as many votes as the 1976 LP presidential campaign would seem to be evidence of my suggestion that the LP did have more momentum in the '70s, and was more optimistic.

  FYI, Eric Dondero is a Republican, not a Libertarian, but I don't dispute your description of him as a "blowhard!" He is on record as saying his mission is to "destroy" the LP, although he recently claimed (unpersuasively, to my mind) that he meant it sarcastically. If he's right that Bergland wrote a paper advocating allying with fringe groups as a strategy, then I say good for Bergland. I think the LP should stand up for the rights of marginalized and demonized groups most likely to be the victims of government oppression.

  As for radical additions to the Libertarian Party's national platform during the 1980s, I think there tends to be a time-delay in the occurrence of such modifications. Just as it took until 2006 for the forces that had been gathering in support of watering down the platform to strike a critical blow, I suspect that it took a while for the radicalism present in the party during the 1970s and still fairly strong in the 1980s to become more institutionally reflected in the language of the party's platform during the '80s. I believe it is you who has your history backwards about the "Cato faction" being "driven out" and so on -- according to what I've heard, no one was forced to leave; the Cato folks chose to walk after their candidate lost the 1984 presidential nomination. It's my impression that by the tail end of that decade the party was losing its radical drive, and that this trend started at the top and was then propagated via an increasingly pragmatic/moderate tone of official party communications. I know that by the time I became involved around 1992, the party leadership was seen as significantly less radical than the grassroots activists with whom I was working at the local level.

  From reading the first LP platform, I would agree with you that the party did start out as an explicitly minarchist party in 1972, largely due I believe to the strong influence of minarchist author/philosopher Ayn Rand on its founders, but Rand herself was a radical in many other ways, and the overall radicalism of the party's founding spirit was quickly manifested in its acceptance of anarchists, as evidenced by the 1974 Dallas Accord two years later.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

P.S. - I notice that you're not claiming in this message to be "more radical" than I am, as you recently claimed on a ThirdPartyWatch.com discussion board! Not that I really give a fig who wears the title of "more radical" -- I just found that claim extremely ironic, given your constant arguing against radicalism, again in evidence here.