Party goals, means, and priorities (was: Protesters Are Heroes)


  I agree that running candidates should usually be at the top of our
priority list. But it is a *means to an end*, not an end in itself, and
therefore not a goal! I feel there is some confusion here between
goals, which is where we are going, and means, which is how we get

  While it's certainly true that we cannot be all things to all people,
I believe in the importance of thinking outside the box. Defining our
mission narrowly might blind us to less orthodox opportunities for
advancing liberty that would be a more effective use of our resources.
For example, political parties traditionally do not get involved in
conducting historical walking tours, but I think this could be a very
fruitful initiative for us.

Yours in liberty,
        <<< Starchild >>>

Starchild - Thanks for your response, however I remain

I already agreed that liberty or freedom was the
ultimate goal of the party, however I disagree that
this is the same as tangible objectives on _how_ we
should achieve that end. Maybe 'vague' was not the
best word to use to describe freedom. How about
'exceedingly broad'. Using freedom as an objective for
the LP is like trying to start a charity with the
objective of 'help all people'. I doubt you would find
many serious donors.

That being said, I'm also not saying that running
candidates is the only legitimate agenda item, just
the primary one. Especially this year as it's
off-cycle. If I had to list them all in priority order
it might look something like this -

1 - Local candidate support
2 - local legislation activities - referendums,
position papers, counter litigation etc
3 - fund raising and outreach
4 - protests (peaceful of course)
5 - social and other internal activities

Of course these are my opinions and I'm not even on
the Excom, but at times I feel like the LPSF has these
priorities completely upside down. For instance, you
and I both know that lpsf support for candidates last
year was nearly nil.(by non-candidate members anyway)
But again, if the LPSF wants to engage in mainly
protest activities, I won't get in the way and I doubt
the LPC will either.

Either way, I still don't think it's a good idea to be
all things to all people, whether or not we are the
only libertarian group in SF or not.




Long before party leaders came up with this
"mission statement" that
you found in the notes of the LNC meeting, the party
had what I believe
was widely considered to be our mission statement:
The Preamble of our
platform, which reads as follows:



As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world
in which all
individuals are sovereign over their own lives, and
no one is forced to
sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of

We believe that respect for individual rights is the
precondition for a free and prosperous world, that
force and fraud must
be banished from human relationships, and that only
through freedom can
peace and prosperity be realized.

Consequently, we defend each person's right to
engage in any activity
that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the
diversity that freedom
brings. The world we seek to build is one where
individuals are free to
follow their own dreams in their own ways, without
interference from
government or any authoritarian power.

In the following pages we have set forth our basic
principles and
enumerated various policy stands derived from those

These specific policies are not our goal, however.
Our goal is nothing
more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime,
and it is to this
end that we take these stands.



Freedom, as the term is used by libertarians, is
not a vague concept.
We mean something very specific -- the right to do
what you want so
long as you do not violate the rights of others --
and we have a
platform that goes into many pages of detail on what
we mean by that.

If you don't think Aaron Starr is anti-protest, I
think perhaps you
haven't read his essay or aren't taking him at his
word. He writes, "I
learned that the image we create from such stunts
[referring to Ron
Crickenberger's arrest] is that of a party of
protesters and
complainers, not a party which accomplishes changes
in the political
environment." That's saying that protesting hurts
the LP -- a
conclusion which I totally reject -- not just that
protesting should
not be an "official LP objective." I agree that
protesting should not
be an "objective," because like electing candidates
it is a means to an
end, not an end in itself!

Various organizations in the Libertarian Movement
(LP, Cato, ISIL,
Bureaucrash, etc.) will naturally have their areas
of focus and
specialization. But I believe that we need *more*
cohesion and sense of
being a united movement, not less. If a group like
the Cato Institute
discovered a legal way to help LP candidates, I
would welcome their
support, not tell them they should stick to writing
policy papers
because that is their primary mission and they can't
be all things to
all people.

If what Bureaucrash does is advancing the cause of
liberty (which I
believe it is) despite pissing some people off (and
I have no
indication that they *are* pissing off anyone who
wasn't already
strongly opposed to our agenda to begin with), why
then should
Libertarians shy away from such actions, if the
positives outweigh the

I agree that electing Libertarian candidates is
important; perhaps it
is the single most important practical task that the
LP does. But to
define it as the be-all and end-all of the party
goes way too far.
There is a desperate need for libertarian activism
in San Francisco and
many other places. What other libertarian groups are
active here in the
accessible, grassroots way that we are? None that
I'm aware of, except
the Free State Project to a very minimal extent, and
they do not even
have a local focus. Bureaucrash has not had enough
people sign up for
its SF Meet-up group to have local Meet-ups here. To
the extent that WE
don't represent the libertarian point of view in ALL
aspects of local
politics, from rallies and protests to having an
artistic presence at
festivals, to speaking at City Hall hearings, to
issuing press releases
on local issues, etc., etc., etc., the libertarian
point of view will
go *without any organized representation*.

Perhaps ideally there would be numerous local
groups with various
missions and focuses, but there aren't. Right now it
is us or nothing.

Yours in liberty,
    <<< Starchild >>>

Starchild - I don't think Marcy, A. Starr or any
other Libertarians are anti-protest'. I think the
contention here lies with whether protesting

should be

an official LP objective. When you say "Freedom is


party's proper objective".. I actually disagree


that. That is our ultimate goal, yes. But freedom


an objective is so horribly vague it leaves no


for a group to rally around.

For instance, freedom is also the underlying


of ISIL, Cato, Bureaucrash and many others. But we
need something to distinguish us from what they


trying to do. Trying to be all things to all


isn't going to work (IMHO). Bureaucrash is always
going to be a better protest/activist group than


LP, probably because they don't have to worry


upsetting potential voters.

I saw this on the LNC notes from May, by the way


"The core mission of the Libertarian Party is to


public policy in a Libertarian direction by

building a

political party that elects Libertarians to public

I think this is statement is fairly clear and


and outlines the basic objective of the party.


or not all members agree with it or not (or think
electing libertarians to office is futile) it


the point. But by actually having clear goals and
objectives, we can have members and an image that


highly focused.

=== message truncated ===

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