self defense/anti-war/frustrations/concerns/unsubscribing


  Thanks for the kind words. However you may be giving me too much
credit for not challenging non-libertarians with our ideas -- at the
last Direct Action Forum, I was probably the one who was most
confrontational with our guest Brian O'Flynn (trying to persuade him
that eminent domain is wrong by its nature, not just in his particular
case). However I maintain a good rapport with Brian, and had a sense
that I could engage him in that manner without alienating him.
Generally I think challenging non-libertarians intellectually can be OK
as long as we make them feel welcome in other respects, but different
people will react differently, so what works well in one context may
work poorly in another.

  Sometimes speaking up strongly can embarrass others into being more
accepting of your position than they might be if you took a more timid
or less righteous approach. For example, at an ACT-UP meeting not too
long ago, I challenged someone on the use of the phrase "people of
color," which I see as racist, and someone else for using the term
"yuppie" in a derogatory fashion. In both cases, I felt the individuals
would be more likely to think twice before saying something similar in
the future as a result of my intervention.

  On the other hand, I think I kind of blew it while speaking with a
woman at the Matt Gonzalez headquarters yesterday who recognized me
from the District 8 supervisor race. She came up and said she probably
would have voted for me if she hadn't voted for Eileen Hansen. She even
told me how much she'd liked my proposal to have police officers wear
their badge numbers in big football jersey-style lettering on the backs
of their jackets. I was pretty impressed that she correctly identified
one of my issues a year later and tied it to the correct candidate.

  However when I confessed that I hadn't decided whether to support
Gonzalez or Newsom, of course she wanted to know why. This led into a
discussion of housing, and I think I may have alienated her by getting
into an argument over the role of government regulation.

  Anyway, I'm encouraged by your comment that you're more embarrassed
when confrontational dialogue with guests occurs at the Direct Action
Forum than you are by sparse attendance at the events, as this tells me
that you are able and willing to put the latter issue in perspective.
As long as this doesn't mean you want a requirement for LP members to
have their DAF comments cleared in advance! 8)

Yours in liberty,
            <<< Starchild >>>

P.S. - Dave, are you still on the list? I'd say something in response
to your comments here, but I may have waited too long to do so.


Thanks for a very poignant note. It would be especially sad to see
you leave just as you have put your finger on what I have also
perceived as a major problem for the libertarian movement: our
tendency to pounce, criticize, moralize. "What do you mean you don't
agree with us 100%? Check your premises! You have an undistributed
middle term! Checkmate!" It's very curious that a Party based on the
nonaggression principle should be so suffused with combative,
militaristic metaphors, attitudes, and practices. That was apparent
at least as far back as the early '60s, when Ayn Rand's Objectivist
Newsletter featured an Intellectual Ammunition Department. Hit them
over the head with killer arguments--we all know by now how well that
works, don't we? The only person I know to have commented on that
phenomenon, just briefly, was Robert Nozick in _Philosophical
Explanations_. He was naturally an exception. We have a few such
exceptions ourselves, including Starchild (like Nozick, a vegetarian);
however persistent he can be on some issues, he is also gentle in his
style, and not inclined to drive people off with assaultive questions
and challenges (which may have something to do with his recruiting
success). This kind of behavior has actually been more embarrassing
to me in DAFs than sparse attendance. It's not a very hospitable
environment even for our own members who would just like an
opportunity to explore some issues in a tentative fashion. Dilger has
bravely put out some nice posts in that regard, but in his position I
would have felt more attacked than supported by the responses he got.
I suspect your experience may have been similar. As Nozick said, we
"leave no room for words on subjects other than last words"; whatever
we venture to say, we'd better be prepared to defend to the death or
shut up.

There's material here for an article at some point. I assume the
issue has something to do with the fact that libertarianism
disproportionately attracts INTJs (to use the jargon of the
Kiersey-Bates system in _Please Understand Me_, which David Bergland
has urged us to master). They're about 5% of the general population,
but at least 90% of libertarians, in my estimation. (Starchild is a
very rare ENFP, as you may be also.)

Anyway, I'm sorry if we've let you down. I hope withdrawing from the
list doesn't mean withdrawing any farther from us than that.

From: dave barker []
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 7:16 PM
Subject: [lpsf-discuss] self

Hi Everyone,

I want to thank Mike D and Mike E for their response
to the discuss list about my comment to the either/or
view of self-defense vs. anti-war. My question was
slightly sarcastic, as I started it of with, "gee..."
My question was sincere, though, as I was interested
in some feedback, as Mike E and Mike D gave. The
sarcasm was aimed at these 'either/or' views being
discussed previous to the question. I'm wondering if
Mike S would have contributed a differeent response if
I left off the sarcasm at the beginning of my

Thanks, Mike D, for kind of "sticking up" for me with
your response. I didn't even see Mike S's response
until I read yours and Mike E's e-mail. It's hard to
catch those one-word responses and I deleted it
without even realizing that he responded!

It's refreshing to know that my political views/logic
at this point in my life aren't isolated, and that
they are shared by others, whether Libertarian or
Anarchist. Before I found and met people from the
Libertarian Party, I felt pretty isolated in my
political beliefs; after realizing there were many
things that the Dems and Repubs. stood for that I
didn't; that I thought were hypocritical. I think the
huge difference between myself and others, at that
time, was that my political beliefs were centered on
what was in the best interest of preserving Liberty
and Freedom, not just for me, but for others. What I
saw, instead, were people only interested in what was
moral or immoral only to them, and then trying to get
laws passed that reflected those morals. I found this
to be in contrast to the Constitution and Bill of
Rights, and felt isolated, politically.

Then, I found the Libertarian Party, and it was
refreshing! I use the word refreshing because that's
what it felt like to me, to meet such logical people
who contemplated things like I did. After meeting
Libertarians, and thanks to them (you), I then
expanded my political views to Economic Freedom, and
realized the importance of Economics to preserving
freedom, reducing the chance of wars, etc. I didn't
know the slightest thing about Economics, but, thanks
to other LPers, I was given the opportunity to look
into this important part of freedom (economics). I'm
so glad I'm not some ignorant and naive statist

One thing I remember about Libertarians when I first
began speaking with them (some of you) was your
willingness to have a friendly, logical discussion
about topics. No one ever attacked me, or began
defending themselves when I would ask questions about
the Environment, the 'Poor,' Housing, Minimum-wage,
Health-care, Education, etc...all questions typical
concerns from my socialist upbringing (my family
consists of Public School teachers, State and Federal
employees, and the Military). Not that Libertarians
don't care about those things, but that we DO, and all
things are better served WITHOUT the government
involved. When I would ask questions to self-declared
socialists and some democrats regarding some of these
issues, there was never an inteligent, logical debate,
and many of the socialists and democrats I was
speaking to became very hostile.

Here's some things I'm a little frustrated and
concerned about lately: Recently, I sent in an e-mail
about this young woman from France who was doing and
saying many things that reflected Libertarianism. The
original e-mail was sent to me from my brother, who is
a Libertarian-turned-Republican. The responses I got
back were quick to point out and focus on the two
non-libertarian views she had. I was a little
dissappointed, because it was exciting for me to read
about a 22-year-old speaking such great things about
liberty, freedom, business, and also taking on the
teacher's unions and telling it like it is.(I'm a
teacher). How many 22 year-olds here in America do you
hear doing the things she's doing in the name of
Liberty in this country? Most 22-year olds I know of
don't even care about politics; and the ones that do
vote are voting in favor of more and more regulation,
from both parties.

I've also attended many speaking events lately, and
even when a person declares themselves not to be a
Libertarian, yet has many pro-libertarain stances,
instead of embracing this, some libertarians are quick
to challenge and debate the person on the one or two
things they said that were un-libertarian (to them).
This can turn some people off.

Also, when a speaker DOES declare themselves a
Libertarian, many begin arguing over the differences
in their morals, instead of leaving their morals out,
which may have been enough to win some people over.
Example: Walter Block, instead of saying that he's
pro-choice because the constitution restricts
government from interfering in such matters, he argues
that it is a Property Right, and that the fetus or
baby, etc. is invading the woman's property (the
womb), therefore, the woman has a right to eliminate
the baby from her property. What the hell? I even had
a hard time writing this just now! Then, the
Libertarians in the audience began arguing whether or
not it's a property right issue! We're so easily
sidetracked, which, in turn, may turn many people away
from our party, when the point was that the government
has no authority in the abortion business, which
Walter and many would have agreed on, and that would
have been enough.

I'm also frustrated about Libertarians themselves
debating who they're going to vote for, especially
when the two candidates they're debating aren't even
Libertarian! How many registered Libertarians are
there in San Francsico? How many votes did Mike Denny
get? What's wrong with this picture? Now thst the
choice is between two non-libertarians, we spned a
business meeting debating which non-libertarian we
should, or shouldn't endorse.

It's even more frustrating when two libertarian
candidates are running for the same position, such as
Governor, and then we're not even united on voting for
one Libertarian candidate! The slim chance we have of
winning is made even slimmer when we're arguing over
whether or not one of the candidates turned us off the
wrong way or not, and then give the vote to the other
libertarian candidate not even endorsed by the Party.
What's wrong with this picture?

When I was voting for Governor, I had this feeling
that my vote wasn't going to matter and was tempted to
vote for Tom McClintock, but, instead, I decided to
give my 'no-count' vote to the Libertarian Party,
instead. If I didn't, it would have gone to the
Republian Party, and that I did not want, any more
than I wouldn't have wanted it to go to the Democrats,
the Greens, etc. Now, in some sense, I feel as though
my vote DID count because I voted for my Principles,
and my principles are Libertarian.

I'm not sure how much longer I am going to be a part
of this lpsf e-mail list. I've learned a lot of things
and I've learned of a lot of resources that I can
educate myself on, such as lewrockwell, etc, and I
think I'll focus the spare time I have to this,
instead of reading the 50 e-mails a day I get from the

I would like to put this out for some comments before
I unsubscribe from the list: Were the Founding Fathers
Libertarians? Was there a Libertarian Party back then?
Was the term Libertarian used back then to describe a
principle or a belief or a philosophy? Also, even if
there wasn't a Libertarian Party back then, but you
feel the Founders were libertarian, where do you
think, today, the Federalists and the Anti-Fedralists
fall, politically? Would the Federalists be Republican
or Democrat and the Anti-Federalists be Libertarians?
Or, would the Federalists be Libertarian and the
Anti-Federalists be Anarchists? What do you think?

I also heard Patrick Henry voted against the passing
of the constitution even with the addition of the Bill
of Rights because he still feared it wasn't enough to
protect the people from a potential tyranical
government. Is this true? If so, I think I'll name my
son after him (when I have one).

One more thing: I'm anti-war, but I'm not a pacifist.
I have no problem with anyone who wants to take the
opportunity to seek out OBL and SH themselves.
However, the way it is now, a person can't exercise
their freedom to do this on their own. There are too
many bureaucratic obstacles in place to prevent OBL
and SH from being captured or killed effectively and
efficiently with the least amount of people being at
risk and the least amount of tax money being spent. I
would be in favor of lifting these restrictions, and
allowing people in favor of the Iraq war to volunteer
themselves to go seek out these people oversees. There
are many people capable of doing this without using
thousands of soldiers and billions of dollars.

Thanks everyone, I learned a lot from many of you. If
anyone wants to e-mail me personally about topics or
events, please feel free. Semper Fi to Leilani. Semper
Paratus to anyone in the 'Old' Coast Guard.

Dave Barker

"Dr. Michael R. Edelstein"

Self-defense does not violate rights as does war.

War violates the rights of the innocent individuals
taxed to support
the war and violates the rights of the innocent
individuals bombed
in the execution of the war. Self-defense, OTOH, is
a means of
protecting individual rights.

Best, Michael

From: "Mike Denny" <>
To: <>;
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2003 8:45 PM
Subject: [lpsf-discuss] Pro Self Defense and Anti


I'd say it's too bad Mr. Sawyer chose to use his

intelligence to demean your question with a curt and
seemingly snide
reply rather than use "succinct" language to educate
on this subject
near and dear to him...especially as you presented
your question quite
honestly to him. Frankly, this kind of response
doesn't flatter him
but that's OK. He's representing his own ideas here
and if he doesn't
care how he or his ideas are received then that's
his problem. Still,
I'm glad he's in our forum and cares about Liberty
enough to
affiliated with us. And he does have a point, it is
difficult to
reconcile self-defense and anti-war sentiments. In
my opinion, it can
and must be done.

As one who shares your sentiments and who is as

fully armed as the
state of California allows, it is perfectly
consistent to be in favor
of self-defense and still abhor the idea of war,
even if necessary and
justified. But it is not consistent to be in favor
of self-defense and
a pacifist. After all, self-defense does imply that
there may be some
killing. And defensive war is still war.

One does not have to be a pacifist to be against

war. Anyone who is
"pro-war" is confused if you ask me. Still, it is a
tough world out
there and we must be prepared to take care of
ourselves and those for
whom we are responsible. The issue we debate on this
forum is whether
the Iraq situation is in fact self-defense. I won't
labor the issue
here as plenty has been said in previous threads.
But some names for
those who are pro self-defense and anti-war in my
opinion are
"thoughtful", "life affirming" and "G_d fearing" to
name a few. I'm
sure there are many more. Maybe Mr. Sawyer has a few
to add to the
rather short offering he made in his first reply to

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Michael Denny

-----Mensagem original-----
De: []
Enviada: seg 17/11/2003 17:34

Assunto: Re: [lpsf-discuss] Fwd: New Libertarian

Joan d'Arc

In a message dated 11/18/03 1:22:13 AM,

<< Gee, what am I, since I am in favor of


and I am anti-war?

Dave Barker >>

Confused? :slight_smile:

Live free or die, Michael S.

Michael R. Sawyer
Trade Printing
1761 Kelly Street
San Mateo, CA 94403
ph: 650-286-0970
fax: 650-286-1980

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