Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

The Boston Tea Party

Filed under: Philosophy, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 3:41 PM (15:41)

Recently, I’ve been somewhat disappointed in the Libertarian Party, or more accurately, in the conduct of some of its members, specifically, a faction of the LP’s “Libertarian Reform Caucus” (LRC)[1],[2].

Now, if the LRC’s aim was to improve the marketability of libertarian principles and make Libertarian candidates more electable, I could live with that.

But . . . (There’s always one of these where politics is concerned.)

Some of the Reform Caucus’ members have been insisting that the LP go beyond the marketability issue by disavowing the Zero Aggression Principle, causing me to refer to them at various times as the “Deform Caucus,” the “Retreat Caucus,” the “Surrender Caucus,” the “Chickenshit Caucus,” etc. The specific tactic that they tried at the LP’s 2006 National Convention in Portland, Oregon was to remove the Pledge, which states:

YES, I certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.

Personally, I think that any candidate the LP puts up for public consumption should be a libertarian as well as a Libertarian, meaning that the person in question should have an idea of what libertarianism is all about. That means they should know what the ZAP is (and sign the Pledge to show that they agree with it!) and how it applies to the issues of the day.

Along comes a particular Deform Caucus member named Carl Milsted, who wrote an article for LP News titled “Are Libertarians anarchists? It’s time to decide”.

Here’s the best part of the article:

The initiation of force will always be with us. The option of no such force is not available; advocating such is equivalent to advocating free energy or time travel.

The best we can do is minimize the initiation of force, and the overwhelming historical evidence indicates that this minimum requires some government with some war, police and taxation authority.

Maybe minimizing that initiated force is the best that’s possible. That does NOT mean that I have to sign off on that (or any other) initiation of force.


Anyway, the Clown Caucus gets together up there in Portland, and they strip all of the “strident” stuff out of the LP’s platform. All that whacko talk about freedom will scare people off, dontcha know?

I guess it never occurred to them that other people might be attracted by the “strident” language, as I was in 1994.

Anyway, they’ve had their fun and games in Portland, now comes the hard part. Conquest is the easy part — occupation is the shit job. Just ask the Brits occupying Northern Ireland (or the Occupied Six Counties, as the local Catholics call it), or American troops currently stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan. You never know who amongst your allies is going to switch sides, sell you out or stick a knife in your back.

There’s been some dissension amongst LPRC / LRC elements over exactly what to replace the removed planks with. Some of the cheerleaders of this have been dismayed after that their buddies have supported the Iraq occupation, for example.

L. Neil Smith commented on this in The Libertarian Enterprise :

The Portland Purge / Teaching Pigs to Sing

An interesting reaction to this is the formation of the Boston Tea Party by Tom Knapp. Tom’s a great guy, founder of the 2004 Draft L. Neil for President effort, Rational Review and

While the BTP is a competing political party, it’s also complementary to the LP in that it fills that space the Surrender Caucus would have the LP vacate by keeping the heat on Government with its platform:

The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.

Tom’s taken a net-centric approach to the BTP’s business where most states’ election laws require meetings of some kind to be held in person in order to organize. Plus, the BTP at present allows for members to also be members of other political parties.

I’ve just joined (member no. 267). Maybe I’ll be leaving the LP. Maybe not. I’m not sure at present. Anyway . . . . Stop by and check it out.


  1. As opposed to, also abbreviated as “LRC”
  2. There is also a Libertarian Party Reform Caucus. Anyone who cares about these clowns is gonna need a scorecard to keep track of who’s who, who’s sticking a knife in whose back, that sort of thing.
  3. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Myspace / Xanga

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