Platform of the National Libertarian Party

Platform of the National Libertarian Party
Adopted in Convention, July 2, 2006, Portland Oregon

Preamble
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 others.

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential
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 principles.

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.

Statement of Principles
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the
omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion
over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner
they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal
right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite
principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of
individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United
States, all political parties other than our own grant to government
the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of
their labor without their consent.

We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these
things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate
the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life --
accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical
force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action --
accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the
freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any
form; and (3) the right to property -- accordingly we oppose all
government interference with private property, such as confiscation,
nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of
robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.

Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual
rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of
voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should
not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of
others. They should be left free by government to deal with one
another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only
one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free
market.

I. Individual Rights and Civil Order
No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both
concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no
individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other
individual, group, or government.

I.1 Freedom and Responsibility

The Issue: Personal responsibility is discouraged by government
denying individuals the opportunity to exercise it. In fact, the
denial of freedom fosters irresponsibility.

The Principle: Individuals should be free to make choices for
themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the
choices they make. We must accept the right of others to choose for
themselves if we are to have the same right. Our support of an
individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we
necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. We believe people
must accept personal responsibility for the consequences of their
actions.

Solutions: Libertarian policies will promote a society where people
are free to make and learn from their own decisions.

Transitional Action: Repeal all laws that presume government knows
better than the individual how to run that person's life. Encourage
private sector dissemination of information to help consumers make
informed decisions on products and services. Enforce laws against
fraud and misrepresentation.

I.2 Crime

The Issue: Violent crime and fraud threaten the lives, happiness and
belongings of Americans. Government's ability to protect the rights
and property of individuals from crimes of violence and fraud is
compromised because resources are focused on vice rather than on real
crimes. Laws that codify "victimless crimes" turn those who simply
conduct voluntary transactions and exercise free choice into
criminals. This results in the United States having one of the highest
percentages of the population in prison of any country in the world;
yet real crime remains prevalent in many parts of the country.

Principle: Government exists to protect the rights of every individual
including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited
to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or
deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk
of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of
harm to themselves in the exercise of free choice.

Solution: The appropriate way for the federal government to address
crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that
protect individual rights. The law enforcement resources of the
federal government can be used most efficiently if limited to
appropriate federal concerns. Limiting law enforcement to true crime
will restore respect for the law and those who enforce it.

Transitional Action: Immediately reform the justice system's mandatory
sentencing policies to ensure that violent offenders are not released
from jail to make room for non-violent offenders. Repeal criminal laws
which work against the protection of the rights and freedom of
American citizens, residents or visitors, particularly laws which
create a crime where no victim exists.

I.3 The War on Drugs

The Issue: The suffering that drug misuse has brought about is
deplorable; however, drug prohibition causes more harm than drugs
themselves. The so-called "War on Drugs" is in reality a war against
the American people, our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is a
grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order and to peace in
the world.

The Principle: Individuals should have the right to use drugs,
whether for medical or recreational purposes, without fear of legal
reprisals, but must be held legally responsible for the consequences
of their actions only if they violate others' rights.

Solutions: Social involvement by individuals is essential to address
the problem of substance misuse and abuse. Popular education and
assistance groups are a better approach than prohibition, and we
support the activities of private organizations as the best way to
move forward on the issue.

Transitional Action: Repeal all laws establishing criminal or civil
penalties for the use of drugs. Repeal laws that infringe upon
individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property as
protected by the Fourth Amendment. Stop the use of "anti-crime"
measures such as profiling or civil asset forfeiture that reduce the
standard of proof historically borne by government in prosecutions.
Stop prosecuting accused non-violent drug offenders, and pardon those
previously convicted.

I.4 Freedom of Communication

The Issue: We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through
government censorship, regulation or control of communications media,
including, but not limited to, laws concerning:

a) Obscenity, including "pornography", as we hold this to be an
abridgment of liberty of expression despite claims that it instigates
rape or assault, or demeans and slanders women;

b) Reception and storage equipment, such as digital audio tape
recorders and radar warning devices, and the manufacture of video
terminals by telephone companies;

c) Electronic bulletin boards, communications networks, and other
interactive electronic media as we hold them to be the functional
equivalent of speaking halls and printing presses in the age of
electronic communications, and as such deserving of full freedom; d)
Electronic newspapers, electronic "Yellow Pages", file libraries,
websites, and other new information media, as these deserve full
freedom; or

e) Commercial speech or advertising. We oppose speech codes at all
schools that are primarily tax funded. Language that is deemed
offensive to certain groups is not a cause for legal action.

We strongly oppose the government's burgeoning practice of invading
newsrooms, or the premises of other innocent third parties, in the
name of law enforcement. We further oppose court orders gagging news
coverage of criminal proceedings -- the right to publish and broadcast
must not be abridged merely for the convenience of the judicial
system. We deplore any efforts to impose thought control on the media,
either by the use of anti-trust laws, or by any other government
action in the name of stopping "bias."

The Principle: We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted
freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals
to dissent from government itself. We recognize that full freedom of
expression is possible only as part of a system of full property
rights. The freedom to use one's own voice; the freedom to hire a
hall; the freedom to own a printing press, a broadcasting station, or
a transmission cable; the freedom to host and publish information on
the Internet; the freedom to wave or burn one's own flag; and similar
property-based freedoms are precisely what constitute freedom of
communication. At the same time, we recognize that freedom of
communication does not extend to the use of other people's property to
promote one's ideas without the voluntary consent of the owners.

Solutions: We would provide for free market ownership of airwave
frequencies, deserving of full First Amendment protection. We oppose
government ownership or subsidy of, or funding for, any communications
organization. Removal of all of these regulations and practices
throughout the communications media would open the way to diversity
and innovation. We shall not be satisfied until the First Amendment is
expanded to protect full, unconditional freedom of communication.

Transitional Action: We advocate the abolition of the Federal
Communications Commission.

I.5 Freedom of Religion

Issue: Government routinely invades personal privacy rights based
solely on individuals' religious beliefs. Arbitrary tax structures are
designed to give aid to certain religions, and deny it to others.

Principle: We defend the rights of individuals to engage in (or
abstain from) any religious activities that do not violate the rights
of others.

Solution: In order to defend freedom, we advocate a strict separation
of church and State. We oppose government actions that either aid or
attack any religion. We oppose taxation of church property for the
same reason that we oppose all taxation. We condemn the attempts by
parents or any others -- via kidnappings or conservatorships -- to
force children to conform to any religious views. Government
harassment or obstruction of religious groups for their beliefs or
non-violent activities must end.

Transitional Action: We call for an end to the harassment of churches
by the Internal Revenue Service through threats to deny tax-exempt
status to churches that refuse to disclose massive amounts of
information about themselves.

I.6 Property Rights

The Issue: The right to property and its physical resources, which is
the fundamental cornerstone of a free and prosperous society, has been
severely compromised by government at all levels. Public Policy
instruments including eminent domain, zoning laws, building codes,
rent control, regional planning, property taxes, resource management
and public health legislation remove property rights from owners and
transfer them to the State, while raising costs of property ownership.
Public ownership of real property, beyond that which is explicitly
authorized in the Constitution, and claims against resources both
owned and unowned (such as the oceans or waterways) is illegitimate
and creates scarcity and conflict where none would otherwise exist.

The Principle: Only individuals and private entities have the full
right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy their
property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their
control infringes on the valid rights of others. Resource management
and planning are the responsibility and right of the legitimate owners
of land, water and other natural resources. Individuals have the right
to homestead unowned resources, both within the jurisdictions of
governments and within such unclaimed territory as the ocean,
Antarctica and extraterrestrial bodies.

Solutions: All public lands and resources, as well as claims thereto,
except as explicitly allowed by the Constitution, shall be returned to
private ownership, with the proceeds of sale going to retire public
liabilities. Resource rights shall be defined as property rights,
including riparian rights. All publicly owned infrastructures
including dams and parks shall be returned to private ownership and
all taxing authority for such public improvements shall sunset.
Property related services shall be supplied by private markets and
paid for by user fees, and regulation of property shall be limited to
that which secures the rights of individuals. There will be no legal
barriers to peaceful, private, voluntary attempts to explore,
industrialize and colonize any extra-terrestrial resources. The
federal government shall be held as liable as any individual for
pollution or other transgression against property or resources.

Transitional Action: Rescind all taxation of real property. Property,
resources and rights taken from their legitimate owners by government
or by government supported private action, shall be restored to the
rightful owners. Reverse the Supreme Court decision regarding eminent
domain - Kelo v City of New London. Repeal all legislation that
transfers property rights to the state, including those enacted in the
name of aesthetic values, risk, moral standards, cost-benefit
estimates, the promotion or restriction of economic growth, health or
national security claims. Sunset all federal agencies that own,
regulate or administer property, as well as agencies at the local
level which exercise control over private property and resources.
Rescind and oppose all international treaties that exercise government
control over unowned resources.

I.7 The Right to Privacy

The Issue: Privacy protections have been eroded gradually over many
years. The Social Security Number has become a universal ID number,
causing rampant and massive identity theft. Government routinely keeps
records on the bank accounts, travel plans, and spending habits of
law-abiding civilians, for no other reason than they "might" commit a
crime in the future.

The Principle: The individual's right to privacy, property, and right
to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government.
The government should not use electronic or other means of covert
surveillance of an individual's actions or private property without
the consent of the owner or occupant. Correspondence, bank and other
financial transactions and records, doctors' and lawyers'
communications, employment records, and the like should not be open to
review by government without the consent of all parties involved in
those actions.

Private contractual arrangements, including labor contracts, must be
founded on mutual consent and agreement in a society that upholds
freedom of association. On the other hand, we oppose any use of such
screening by government or regulations requiring government
contractors to impose any such screening.

Solutions: We support the protections provided by the Fourth
Amendment and oppose any government use of search warrants to examine
or seize materials belonging to innocent third parties. We oppose all
restrictions and regulations on the private development, sale, and use
of encryption technology. We specifically oppose any requirement for
disclosure of encryption methods or keys, including the government's
proposals for so-called "key escrow" which is truly government access
to keys, and any requirement for use of government-specified devices
or protocols. We also oppose government classification of civilian
research on encryption methods. If a private employer screens
prospective or current employees via questionnaires, polygraph tests,
urine tests for drugs, blood tests for AIDS, or other means, this is a
condition of that employer's labor contracts. Such screening does not
violate the rights of employees, who have the right to boycott such
employers if they choose. We oppose the issuance by the government of
an identity card, to be required for any purpose, such as employment,
voting, or border crossing. We further oppose the nearly universal
requirement for use of the Social Security Number as a personal
identification code, whether by government agencies or by intimidation
of private companies by governments.

Transitional Action: We also oppose police roadblocks aimed at
randomly, and without probable cause, testing drivers for intoxication
and police practices to stop mass transit vehicles and search
passengers without probable cause. So long as the National Census and
all federal, state, and other government agencies' compilations of
data on an individual continue to exist, they should be conducted only
with the consent of the persons from whom the data is sought. We
oppose government regulations that require employers to provide health
insurance coverage for employees, which often encourage unnecessary
intrusions by employers into the privacy of their employees.

I.8 The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The Issue: Governments at all levels often violate their citizens'
right of self defense with laws that restrict, limit or outright
prohibit the ownership and use of firearms. These "gun control" laws
are often justified by the mistaken premise that they will lead to a
reduction in the level of violence in our society.

The Principle: The Bill of Rights recognizes that an armed citizenry
is essential to a free society. We affirm the right to keep and bear
arms.

Solutions: We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting,
regulating or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer or sale
of firearms or ammunition. We oppose all laws requiring registration
of firearms or ammunition. We support repeal of all gun control laws.
We demand the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms.

Transition: We oppose any government efforts to ban or restrict the
use of tear gas, "mace" or other self-protection devices. We further
oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the grounds that
they are risky or unsafe. We favor the repeal of laws banning the
concealment of weapons or prohibiting pocket weapons. We also oppose
the banning of inexpensive handguns ("Saturday night specials") and
semi-automatic or so-called assault weapons and their magazines or
feeding devices.

I.9 Conscription

The Issue: Any form of coerced national service program is a type of
involuntary servitude. Examples include conscription into the military
and compulsory youth labor programs.

The Principle: Coerced national service programs presume the
government can claim ownership of the lives of individuals. Such
programs are a form of involuntary servitude and are a clear violation
of the US Constitution 13th Amendment.

Solutions: All forms of national service will be staffed by willing
participants without the need for conscription or other means of
mandating such service. When people perceive a just cause, history has
shown that they willingly volunteer to serve.

Transitional Action: All schemes for automatic registration through
government invasions of the privacy of school, motor vehicle or other
records should be immediately eliminated. The still-functioning
elements of the Selective Service System should be abolished and all
associated records should be destroyed. The President should
immediately pardon, providing unconditional exoneration, for all who
have been accused or convicted of draft evasion, desertion from the
military in cases of conscription or fraud and other acts of civil
resistance.

I.10 Immigration

The Issue: Our borders are currently neither open, closed, nor secure.
This situation restricts the labor pool, encouraging employers to hire
undocumented workers, while leaving those workers neither subject to
nor protected by the law. A completely open border allows foreign
criminals, carriers of communicable diseases, terrorists and other
potential threats to enter the country unchecked. Pandering
politicians guarantee access to public services for undocumented
aliens, to the detriment of those who would enter to work
productively, and increasing the burden on taxpayers.

The Principle: The legitimate function and obligation of government to
protect the lives, rights and property of its citizens, requires
awareness of and control over the entry into our country of foreign
nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property. Political
freedom and escape from tyranny demands that individuals not be
unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political
boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of
human as well as financial capital across national borders.

Solutions: Borders will be secure, with free entry to those who have
demonstrated compliance with certain requirements. The terms and
conditions of entry into the United States must be simple and clearly
spelled out. Documenting the entry of individuals must be restricted
to screening for criminal background and threats to public health and
national security. It is the obligation of the prospective immigrant
to demonstrate compliance with these requirements. Once effective
immigration policies are in place, general amnesties will no longer be
necessary.

Transitional Action: Ensure immigration requirements include only
appropriate documentation, screening for criminal background and
threats to public health and national security. Simplifying the
immigration process and redeployment of surveillance technology to
focus on the borders will encourage the use of regular and monitored
entry points, thus preventing trespass and saving lives. End federal
requirements that benefits and services be provided to those in the
country illegally. Repeal all measures that punish employers for
hiring undocumented workers. Repeal all immigration quotas.

I.11 Reproductive Rights

The Issue: The tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies are
aggravated and sometimes created by government policies of censorship,
restriction, regulation and prohibition.

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can
hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe that government should
be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for
their conscientious consideration.

The Principle: Individual rights should not be denied nor abridged on
the basis of sex, age, dependency, or location. Taxpayers should not
be forced to pay for other people's abortions, nor should any
government or individual force a woman to have an abortion. It is the
right and obligation of the pregnant woman regardless of age, not the
state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal
testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy
arrangements and/or home births.

Solutions: We oppose government actions that either compel or prohibit
abortion, sterilization or any other form of birth control.
Specifically we condemn the practice of forced sterilization of
welfare recipients, or of mentally retarded or "genetically defective"
individual. We support the voluntary exchange of goods, services or
information regarding human sexuality, reproduction, birth control or
related medical or biological technologies. We oppose government laws
and policies that restrict the opportunity to choose alternatives to
abortion.

Transitional Action: We support an end to all subsidies for
childbearing or child prevention built into our present laws.

I.12 Sexuality and Gender

The Issue: Politicians use popular fears and taboos to legally impose
a particular code of moral and social values. Government regularly
denies rights and privileges on the basis of sexual orientation or
gender identity.

The Principle: Consenting adults should be free to choose their own
sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have
legitimate authority to define or license personal relationships.
Sexuality or gender should have no impact on the rights of
individuals.

Solutions: Culture wars, social friction and prejudice will fade when
marriage and other personal relationships are treated as private
contracts, solely defined by the individuals involved, and government
discrimination is not allowed.

Transitional Action: Repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act and
state laws and amendments defining marriage. Oppose any new laws or
Constitutional amendments defining terms for personal, private
relationships. Repeal any state or federal law assigning special
benefits to people based on marital status, family structure, sexual
orientation or gender identification. Repeal any state or federal laws
denying same-sex partners rights enjoyed by others, such as adoption
of children and spousal immigration. End the Defense Department
practice of discharging armed forces personnel for sexual orientation.
Upgrade all less-than-honorable discharges previously assigned solely
for such reasons to honorable status, and delete related information
from military personnel files. Repeal all laws discriminating by
gender, such as protective labor laws and marriage, divorce, and
custody laws which deny the full rights of each individual.

II. Trade and the Economy

We believe that each person has the right to offer goods and services
to others on the free market. Therefore we oppose all intervention by
government into the area of economics. The only proper role of
existing governments in the economic realm is to protect property
rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which
voluntary trade is protected.

Efforts to forcibly redistribute wealth or forcibly manage trade are
intolerable. Government manipulation of the economy creates an
entrenched privileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and
an exploited class -- those who are net taxpayers.

We believe that all individuals have the right to dispose of the
fruits of their labor as they see fit and that government has no right
to take such wealth. We oppose government-enforced charity such as
welfare programs and subsidies, but we heartily applaud those
individuals and private charitable organizations that help the needy
and contribute to a wide array of worthwhile causes through voluntary
activities.

II.1 Government Debt

The Issue: The national debt imposes debt upon Americans without their
consent, and loads our economy with a fiscal anchor that will burden
many future generations. Our escalating national debt is nothing less
than theft from our grandchildren.

The Principle: The government should operate on a "pay as you go"
basis, and not incur debt.

Solutions: A debt-free government frees up economic resources,
allowing for lower taxes, economic growth and lower interest rates.

Transitional Action: Eliminate the national debt using an incremental
approach, being careful to avoid social disruption. We support the
passage of a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the US Constitution that
restricts Congress from spending any more than it collected in revenue
the previous year.

Eliminate earmarks, pork-barrel spending, and other forms of political
corruption.

Congress should sell assets and reduce spending on non-essential
functions to pay off the national debt as quickly as possible.

II.2 Corporate Welfare, Monopolies & Subsidies

The Issue: Subsidies, government-granted monopolies, and other forms
of corporate welfare today exist as privileges granted by government
to those with political access. These destroy the level playing field
that free markets depend on, create a corrupt relationship between
government authority and special interests, and are unconstitutional.
Furthermore, the loans by government-sponsored entities, even when not
guaranteed by the government, constitute another form of subsidy.

The Principle: Individuals must be free to be aggressive competitors
and form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based
on voluntary association in the market place, and must enjoy no
state-sponsored advantage. Those who best supply a good or service in
the market will enjoy natural dominance only as long as they continue
to benefit consumers. Subsidies and government-granted monopolies
protect the non-competitive from market forces.

Solutions: Replacement of all government-granted monopolies and
subsidies with deregulated free markets and informed consumers will
benefit both consumers and producers, eliminate political favoritism,
and maintain a strict separation of markets and state authority.
Genuine crimes committed to create a monopoly, such as blackmail,
bribery, fraud, libel or slander are prosecuted as any other crime.

Transitional Action: Eliminate all federal grants of monopoly or
subsidy to any private companies, such as utilities, airlines, energy
companies, agriculture, science, medicine, broadcasting, the arts and
sports teams. Repeal all anti-trust laws. All federal agencies whose
primary function is to make or guarantee corporate loans must be
abolished or privatized.

II.3 Public Services

The Issue: Federal, state and local governments have created
inefficient service monopolies throughout the economy. From the US
Postal Service to municipal garbage collection and water works,
government is forcing citizens to use monopoly services. These are
services that the private sector is already capable of providing in a
manner that gives the public better service at a competitive price.

The Principle: A free and competitive market allocates resources in
the most efficient manner.

Consumers of services should not have their choices arbitrarily
limited by law.

Solutions: Libertarian policies will seek to divest government of all
functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or
private individuals.

Transitional Actions: All rate regulation in utilities should
transition to free market pricing.

End the Postal Service's monopoly and allow for the free competition
in all aspects of mail delivery.

State and local monopoly services should be opened to free-market
competition.

Local and state governments can auction assets such as utility systems
and landfills to private industry, thereby immediately reducing the
tax burden on their citizens.

III. Domestic Ills
Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care
delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are
primarily caused, by government. The welfare state, supposedly
designed to aid the poor, is in reality a growing and parasitic burden
on all productive people, and injures, rather than benefits, the poor
themselves.

IV. Foreign Affairs
American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world
and the defense -- against attack from abroad -- of the lives,
liberty, and property of the American people on American soil.
Provision of such defense must respect the individual rights of people
everywhere.

The principle of non-intervention should guide relationships between
governments. The United States government should return to the
historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances,
abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures,
and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade, travel, and
immigration.

--- End forwarded message ---

Dear Marcy;

No sooner send the updated version of national platform and attached as a word.doc for saving or printing or whatever and up pops your forwarded version.

I love the delightful wonders of yahoo group servers and how they make life so interesting at times and sometimes take forever to post or forward.

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian

Dear Ron,

Thank you! Now we can all compare what was BC (Before Convention) and
AD (After Dr. Milsted) and see whether or not the LP's principles
have been compromised (personally, I say not yet).

Marcy

--- In lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com, Ron Getty <tradergroupe@...>
wrote:

Dear Marcy;

No sooner send the updated version of national platform and

attached as a word.doc for saving or printing or whatever and up pops
your forwarded version.

I love the delightful wonders of yahoo group servers and how they

make life so interesting at times and sometimes take forever to post
or forward.

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian

From: Marcy Berry <amarcyb@...>
To: lpsf Discuss List <lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, July 8, 2006 9:29:59 PM
Subject: [lpsf-discuss] Fw: Platform of the National Libertarian

Party

From: Amarcy D. Berry
To: amarcyb@...
Sent: Saturday, July 08, 2006 9:24 PM
Subject: Fwd: Platform of the National Libertarian Party

Platform of the National Libertarian Party
Adopted in Convention, July 2, 2006, Portland Oregon

Preamble
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 others.

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential
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 principles.

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.

Statement of Principles
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the
omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole

dominion

over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner
they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the

equal

right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the

opposite

principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of
individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United
States, all political parties other than our own grant to government
the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits

of

their labor without their consent.

We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these
things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate
the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life --
accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical
force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and

action --

accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the
freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any
form; and (3) the right to property -- accordingly we oppose all
government interference with private property, such as confiscation,
nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of
robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.

Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual
rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of
voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should
not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit

of

others. They should be left free by government to deal with one
another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only
one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free
market.

I. Individual Rights and Civil Order
No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both
concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no
individual, group, or government may initiate force against any

other

individual, group, or government.

I.1 Freedom and Responsibility

The Issue: Personal responsibility is discouraged by government
denying individuals the opportunity to exercise it. In fact, the
denial of freedom fosters irresponsibility.

The Principle: Individuals should be free to make choices for
themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the
choices they make. We must accept the right of others to choose for
themselves if we are to have the same right. Our support of an
individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we
necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. We believe

people

must accept personal responsibility for the consequences of their
actions.

Solutions: Libertarian policies will promote a society where

people

are free to make and learn from their own decisions.

Transitional Action: Repeal all laws that presume government knows
better than the individual how to run that person's life. Encourage
private sector dissemination of information to help consumers make
informed decisions on products and services. Enforce laws against
fraud and misrepresentation.

I.2 Crime

The Issue: Violent crime and fraud threaten the lives, happiness and
belongings of Americans. Government's ability to protect the rights
and property of individuals from crimes of violence and fraud is
compromised because resources are focused on vice rather than on

real

crimes. Laws that codify "victimless crimes" turn those who simply
conduct voluntary transactions and exercise free choice into
criminals. This results in the United States having one of the

highest

percentages of the population in prison of any country in the world;
yet real crime remains prevalent in many parts of the country.

Principle: Government exists to protect the rights of every

individual

including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be

limited

to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or
deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant

risk

of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of
harm to themselves in the exercise of free choice.

Solution: The appropriate way for the federal government to address
crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that
protect individual rights. The law enforcement resources of the
federal government can be used most efficiently if limited to
appropriate federal concerns. Limiting law enforcement to true crime
will restore respect for the law and those who enforce it.

Transitional Action: Immediately reform the justice system's

mandatory

sentencing policies to ensure that violent offenders are not

released

from jail to make room for non-violent offenders. Repeal criminal

laws

which work against the protection of the rights and freedom of
American citizens, residents or visitors, particularly laws which
create a crime where no victim exists.

I.3 The War on Drugs

The Issue: The suffering that drug misuse has brought about is
deplorable; however, drug prohibition causes more harm than drugs
themselves. The so-called "War on Drugs" is in reality a war against
the American people, our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is

a

grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order and to peace

in

the world.

The Principle: Individuals should have the right to use drugs,
whether for medical or recreational purposes, without fear of legal
reprisals, but must be held legally responsible for the consequences
of their actions only if they violate others' rights.

Solutions: Social involvement by individuals is essential to

address

the problem of substance misuse and abuse. Popular education and
assistance groups are a better approach than prohibition, and we
support the activities of private organizations as the best way to
move forward on the issue.

Transitional Action: Repeal all laws establishing criminal or civil
penalties for the use of drugs. Repeal laws that infringe upon
individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property

as

protected by the Fourth Amendment. Stop the use of "anti-crime"
measures such as profiling or civil asset forfeiture that reduce the
standard of proof historically borne by government in prosecutions.
Stop prosecuting accused non-violent drug offenders, and pardon

those

previously convicted.

I.4 Freedom of Communication

The Issue: We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech

through

government censorship, regulation or control of communications

media,

including, but not limited to, laws concerning:

a) Obscenity, including "pornography", as we hold this to be an
abridgment of liberty of expression despite claims that it

instigates

rape or assault, or demeans and slanders women;

b) Reception and storage equipment, such as digital audio tape
recorders and radar warning devices, and the manufacture of video
terminals by telephone companies;

c) Electronic bulletin boards, communications networks, and other
interactive electronic media as we hold them to be the functional
equivalent of speaking halls and printing presses in the age of
electronic communications, and as such deserving of full freedom;

d)

Electronic newspapers, electronic "Yellow Pages", file libraries,
websites, and other new information media, as these deserve full
freedom; or

e) Commercial speech or advertising. We oppose speech codes at all
schools that are primarily tax funded. Language that is deemed
offensive to certain groups is not a cause for legal action.

We strongly oppose the government's burgeoning practice of invading
newsrooms, or the premises of other innocent third parties, in the
name of law enforcement. We further oppose court orders gagging news
coverage of criminal proceedings -- the right to publish and

broadcast

must not be abridged merely for the convenience of the judicial
system. We deplore any efforts to impose thought control on the

media,

either by the use of anti-trust laws, or by any other government
action in the name of stopping "bias."

The Principle: We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted
freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals
to dissent from government itself. We recognize that full freedom of
expression is possible only as part of a system of full property
rights. The freedom to use one's own voice; the freedom to hire a
hall; the freedom to own a printing press, a broadcasting station,

or

a transmission cable; the freedom to host and publish information on
the Internet; the freedom to wave or burn one's own flag; and

similar

property-based freedoms are precisely what constitute freedom of
communication. At the same time, we recognize that freedom of
communication does not extend to the use of other people's property

to

promote one's ideas without the voluntary consent of the owners.

Solutions: We would provide for free market ownership of airwave
frequencies, deserving of full First Amendment protection. We oppose
government ownership or subsidy of, or funding for, any

communications

organization. Removal of all of these regulations and practices
throughout the communications media would open the way to diversity
and innovation. We shall not be satisfied until the First Amendment

is

expanded to protect full, unconditional freedom of communication.

Transitional Action: We advocate the abolition of the Federal
Communications Commission.

I.5 Freedom of Religion

Issue: Government routinely invades personal privacy rights based
solely on individuals' religious beliefs. Arbitrary tax structures

are

designed to give aid to certain religions, and deny it to others.

Principle: We defend the rights of individuals to engage in (or
abstain from) any religious activities that do not violate the

rights

of others.

Solution: In order to defend freedom, we advocate a strict

separation

of church and State. We oppose government actions that either aid or
attack any religion. We oppose taxation of church property for the
same reason that we oppose all taxation. We condemn the attempts by
parents or any others -- via kidnappings or conservatorships -- to
force children to conform to any religious views. Government
harassment or obstruction of religious groups for their beliefs or
non-violent activities must end.

Transitional Action: We call for an end to the harassment of

churches

by the Internal Revenue Service through threats to deny tax-exempt
status to churches that refuse to disclose massive amounts of
information about themselves.

I.6 Property Rights

The Issue: The right to property and its physical resources, which

is

the fundamental cornerstone of a free and prosperous society, has

been

severely compromised by government at all levels. Public Policy
instruments including eminent domain, zoning laws, building codes,
rent control, regional planning, property taxes, resource management
and public health legislation remove property rights from owners and
transfer them to the State, while raising costs of property

ownership.

Public ownership of real property, beyond that which is explicitly
authorized in the Constitution, and claims against resources both
owned and unowned (such as the oceans or waterways) is illegitimate
and creates scarcity and conflict where none would otherwise exist.

The Principle: Only individuals and private entities have the full
right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy their
property without interference, until and unless the exercise of

their

control infringes on the valid rights of others. Resource management
and planning are the responsibility and right of the legitimate

owners

of land, water and other natural resources. Individuals have the

right

to homestead unowned resources, both within the jurisdictions of
governments and within such unclaimed territory as the ocean,
Antarctica and extraterrestrial bodies.

Solutions: All public lands and resources, as well as claims

thereto,

except as explicitly allowed by the Constitution, shall be returned

to

private ownership, with the proceeds of sale going to retire public
liabilities. Resource rights shall be defined as property rights,
including riparian rights. All publicly owned infrastructures
including dams and parks shall be returned to private ownership and
all taxing authority for such public improvements shall sunset.
Property related services shall be supplied by private markets and
paid for by user fees, and regulation of property shall be limited

to

that which secures the rights of individuals. There will be no legal
barriers to peaceful, private, voluntary attempts to explore,
industrialize and colonize any extra-terrestrial resources. The
federal government shall be held as liable as any individual for
pollution or other transgression against property or resources.

Transitional Action: Rescind all taxation of real property.

Property,

resources and rights taken from their legitimate owners by

government

or by government supported private action, shall be restored to the
rightful owners. Reverse the Supreme Court decision regarding

eminent

domain - Kelo v City of New London. Repeal all legislation that
transfers property rights to the state, including those enacted in

the

name of aesthetic values, risk, moral standards, cost-benefit
estimates, the promotion or restriction of economic growth, health

or

national security claims. Sunset all federal agencies that own,
regulate or administer property, as well as agencies at the local
level which exercise control over private property and resources.
Rescind and oppose all international treaties that exercise

government

control over unowned resources.

I.7 The Right to Privacy

The Issue: Privacy protections have been eroded gradually over

many

years. The Social Security Number has become a universal ID number,
causing rampant and massive identity theft. Government routinely

keeps

records on the bank accounts, travel plans, and spending habits of
law-abiding civilians, for no other reason than they "might" commit

a

crime in the future.

The Principle: The individual's right to privacy, property, and

right

to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government.
The government should not use electronic or other means of covert
surveillance of an individual's actions or private property without
the consent of the owner or occupant. Correspondence, bank and other
financial transactions and records, doctors' and lawyers'
communications, employment records, and the like should not be open

to

review by government without the consent of all parties involved in
those actions.

Private contractual arrangements, including labor contracts, must be
founded on mutual consent and agreement in a society that upholds
freedom of association. On the other hand, we oppose any use of such
screening by government or regulations requiring government
contractors to impose any such screening.

Solutions: We support the protections provided by the Fourth
Amendment and oppose any government use of search warrants to

examine

or seize materials belonging to innocent third parties. We oppose

all

restrictions and regulations on the private development, sale, and

use

of encryption technology. We specifically oppose any requirement for
disclosure of encryption methods or keys, including the government's
proposals for so-called "key escrow" which is truly government

access

to keys, and any requirement for use of government-specified devices
or protocols. We also oppose government classification of civilian
research on encryption methods. If a private employer screens
prospective or current employees via questionnaires, polygraph

tests,

urine tests for drugs, blood tests for AIDS, or other means, this

is a

condition of that employer's labor contracts. Such screening does

not

violate the rights of employees, who have the right to boycott such
employers if they choose. We oppose the issuance by the government

of

an identity card, to be required for any purpose, such as

employment,

voting, or border crossing. We further oppose the nearly universal
requirement for use of the Social Security Number as a personal
identification code, whether by government agencies or by

intimidation

of private companies by governments.

Transitional Action: We also oppose police roadblocks aimed at
randomly, and without probable cause, testing drivers for

intoxication

and police practices to stop mass transit vehicles and search
passengers without probable cause. So long as the National Census

and

all federal, state, and other government agencies' compilations of
data on an individual continue to exist, they should be conducted

only

with the consent of the persons from whom the data is sought. We
oppose government regulations that require employers to provide

health

insurance coverage for employees, which often encourage unnecessary
intrusions by employers into the privacy of their employees.

I.8 The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The Issue: Governments at all levels often violate their citizens'
right of self defense with laws that restrict, limit or outright
prohibit the ownership and use of firearms. These "gun control" laws
are often justified by the mistaken premise that they will lead to a
reduction in the level of violence in our society.

The Principle: The Bill of Rights recognizes that an armed citizenry
is essential to a free society. We affirm the right to keep and

bear

arms.

Solutions: We oppose all laws at any level of government

restricting,

regulating or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer or sale
of firearms or ammunition. We oppose all laws requiring registration
of firearms or ammunition. We support repeal of all gun control

laws.

We demand the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms.

Transition: We oppose any government efforts to ban or restrict the
use of tear gas, "mace" or other self-protection devices. We further
oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the grounds that
they are risky or unsafe. We favor the repeal of laws banning the
concealment of weapons or prohibiting pocket weapons. We also oppose
the banning of inexpensive handguns ("Saturday night specials") and
semi-automatic or so-called assault weapons and their magazines or
feeding devices.

I.9 Conscription

The Issue: Any form of coerced national service program is a type of
involuntary servitude. Examples include conscription into the

military

and compulsory youth labor programs.

The Principle: Coerced national service programs presume the
government can claim ownership of the lives of individuals. Such
programs are a form of involuntary servitude and are a clear

violation

of the US Constitution 13th Amendment.

Solutions: All forms of national service will be staffed by willing
participants without the need for conscription or other means of
mandating such service. When people perceive a just cause, history

has

shown that they willingly volunteer to serve.

Transitional Action: All schemes for automatic registration through
government invasions of the privacy of school, motor vehicle or

other

records should be immediately eliminated. The still-functioning
elements of the Selective Service System should be abolished and all
associated records should be destroyed. The President should
immediately pardon, providing unconditional exoneration, for all who
have been accused or convicted of draft evasion, desertion from the
military in cases of conscription or fraud and other acts of civil
resistance.

I.10 Immigration

The Issue: Our borders are currently neither open, closed, nor

secure.

This situation restricts the labor pool, encouraging employers to

hire

undocumented workers, while leaving those workers neither subject to
nor protected by the law. A completely open border allows foreign
criminals, carriers of communicable diseases, terrorists and other
potential threats to enter the country unchecked. Pandering
politicians guarantee access to public services for undocumented
aliens, to the detriment of those who would enter to work
productively, and increasing the burden on taxpayers.

The Principle: The legitimate function and obligation of government

to

protect the lives, rights and property of its citizens, requires
awareness of and control over the entry into our country of foreign
nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property.

Political

freedom and escape from tyranny demands that individuals not be
unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political
boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of
human as well as financial capital across national borders.

Solutions: Borders will be secure, with free entry to those who have
demonstrated compliance with certain requirements. The terms and
conditions of entry into the United States must be simple and

clearly

spelled out. Documenting the entry of individuals must be restricted
to screening for criminal background and threats to public health

and

national security. It is the obligation of the prospective immigrant
to demonstrate compliance with these requirements. Once effective
immigration policies are in place, general amnesties will no longer

be

necessary.

Transitional Action: Ensure immigration requirements include only
appropriate documentation, screening for criminal background and
threats to public health and national security. Simplifying the
immigration process and redeployment of surveillance technology to
focus on the borders will encourage the use of regular and monitored
entry points, thus preventing trespass and saving lives. End federal
requirements that benefits and services be provided to those in the
country illegally. Repeal all measures that punish employers for
hiring undocumented workers. Repeal all immigration quotas.

I.11 Reproductive Rights

The Issue: The tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies

are

aggravated and sometimes created by government policies of

censorship,

restriction, regulation and prohibition.

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can
hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe that government

should

be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for
their conscientious consideration.

The Principle: Individual rights should not be denied nor abridged

on

the basis of sex, age, dependency, or location. Taxpayers should not
be forced to pay for other people's abortions, nor should any
government or individual force a woman to have an abortion. It is

the

right and obligation of the pregnant woman regardless of age, not

the

state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal
testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy
arrangements and/or home births.

Solutions: We oppose government actions that either compel or

prohibit

abortion, sterilization or any other form of birth control.
Specifically we condemn the practice of forced sterilization of
welfare recipients, or of mentally retarded or "genetically

defective"

individual. We support the voluntary exchange of goods, services or
information regarding human sexuality, reproduction, birth control

or

related medical or biological technologies. We oppose government

laws

and policies that restrict the opportunity to choose alternatives to
abortion.

Transitional Action: We support an end to all subsidies for
childbearing or child prevention built into our present laws.

I.12 Sexuality and Gender

The Issue: Politicians use popular fears and taboos to legally

impose

a particular code of moral and social values. Government regularly
denies rights and privileges on the basis of sexual orientation or
gender identity.

The Principle: Consenting adults should be free to choose their own
sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not

have

legitimate authority to define or license personal relationships.
Sexuality or gender should have no impact on the rights of
individuals.

Solutions: Culture wars, social friction and prejudice will fade

when

marriage and other personal relationships are treated as private
contracts, solely defined by the individuals involved, and

government

discrimination is not allowed.

Transitional Action: Repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act and
state laws and amendments defining marriage. Oppose any new laws or
Constitutional amendments defining terms for personal, private
relationships. Repeal any state or federal law assigning special
benefits to people based on marital status, family structure, sexual
orientation or gender identification. Repeal any state or federal

laws

denying same-sex partners rights enjoyed by others, such as adoption
of children and spousal immigration. End the Defense Department
practice of discharging armed forces personnel for sexual

orientation.

Upgrade all less-than-honorable discharges previously assigned

solely

for such reasons to honorable status, and delete related information
from military personnel files. Repeal all laws discriminating by
gender, such as protective labor laws and marriage, divorce, and
custody laws which deny the full rights of each individual.

II. Trade and the Economy

We believe that each person has the right to offer goods and

services

to others on the free market. Therefore we oppose all intervention

by

government into the area of economics. The only proper role of
existing governments in the economic realm is to protect property
rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which
voluntary trade is protected.

Efforts to forcibly redistribute wealth or forcibly manage trade are
intolerable. Government manipulation of the economy creates an
entrenched privileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and
an exploited class -- those who are net taxpayers.

We believe that all individuals have the right to dispose of the
fruits of their labor as they see fit and that government has no

right

to take such wealth. We oppose government-enforced charity such as
welfare programs and subsidies, but we heartily applaud those
individuals and private charitable organizations that help the needy
and contribute to a wide array of worthwhile causes through

voluntary

activities.

II.1 Government Debt

The Issue: The national debt imposes debt upon Americans without

their

consent, and loads our economy with a fiscal anchor that will burden
many future generations. Our escalating national debt is nothing

less

than theft from our grandchildren.

The Principle: The government should operate on a "pay as you go"
basis, and not incur debt.

Solutions: A debt-free government frees up economic resources,
allowing for lower taxes, economic growth and lower interest rates.

Transitional Action: Eliminate the national debt using an

incremental

approach, being careful to avoid social disruption. We support the
passage of a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the US Constitution that
restricts Congress from spending any more than it collected in

revenue

the previous year.

Eliminate earmarks, pork-barrel spending, and other forms of

political

corruption.

Congress should sell assets and reduce spending on non-essential
functions to pay off the national debt as quickly as possible.

II.2 Corporate Welfare, Monopolies & Subsidies

The Issue: Subsidies, government-granted monopolies, and other forms
of corporate welfare today exist as privileges granted by government
to those with political access. These destroy the level playing

field

that free markets depend on, create a corrupt relationship between
government authority and special interests, and are

unconstitutional.

Furthermore, the loans by government-sponsored entities, even when

not

guaranteed by the government, constitute another form of subsidy.

The Principle: Individuals must be free to be aggressive competitors
and form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies

based

on voluntary association in the market place, and must enjoy no
state-sponsored advantage. Those who best supply a good or service

in

the market will enjoy natural dominance only as long as they

continue

to benefit consumers. Subsidies and government-granted monopolies
protect the non-competitive from market forces.

Solutions: Replacement of all government-granted monopolies and
subsidies with deregulated free markets and informed consumers will
benefit both consumers and producers, eliminate political

favoritism,

and maintain a strict separation of markets and state authority.
Genuine crimes committed to create a monopoly, such as blackmail,
bribery, fraud, libel or slander are prosecuted as any other crime.

Transitional Action: Eliminate all federal grants of monopoly or
subsidy to any private companies, such as utilities, airlines,

energy

companies, agriculture, science, medicine, broadcasting, the arts

and

sports teams. Repeal all anti-trust laws. All federal agencies whose
primary function is to make or guarantee corporate loans must be
abolished or privatized.

II.3 Public Services

The Issue: Federal, state and local governments have created
inefficient service monopolies throughout the economy. From the US
Postal Service to municipal garbage collection and water works,
government is forcing citizens to use monopoly services. These are
services that the private sector is already capable of providing in

a

manner that gives the public better service at a competitive price.

The Principle: A free and competitive market allocates resources in
the most efficient manner.

Consumers of services should not have their choices arbitrarily
limited by law.

Solutions: Libertarian policies will seek to divest government of

all

functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or
private individuals.

Transitional Actions: All rate regulation in utilities should
transition to free market pricing.

End the Postal Service's monopoly and allow for the free competition
in all aspects of mail delivery.

State and local monopoly services should be opened to free-market
competition.

Local and state governments can auction assets such as utility

systems

and landfills to private industry, thereby immediately reducing the
tax burden on their citizens.

III. Domestic Ills
Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care
delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are
primarily caused, by government. The welfare state, supposedly
designed to aid the poor, is in reality a growing and parasitic

burden

on all productive people, and injures, rather than benefits, the

poor

themselves.

IV. Foreign Affairs
American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the

world

and the defense -- against attack from abroad -- of the lives,
liberty, and property of the American people on American soil.
Provision of such defense must respect the individual rights of

people