Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Will the Libertarian Party Ever Get Libertarianism Straight?

Another exchange between Walter Block and the Party:

Dear LP:

You’re still using the inexact “hurt people” rendition of libertarianism. Why not change this, and become more accurate in your description of this philosophy of ours?

The point is, under libertarianism, we are indeed allowed to “hurt” others. For example, by competing with them for customers, spouses, in athletic contests, etc. Why not say, instead, “threaten or initiate violence against” or “violate the rights of”?

We don’t want to give a wrong impression of what libertarianism is all about do we? Especially not publicly, and by leaders of the LP.Simply pis the idea that every person ha

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business                   
Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318      
New Orleans, LA 70118

December 15, 2015

Dear Muslim Republicans,

I share your outrage and hurt at Donald Trump’s recent comments and policy suggestions about Muslims. I share your outrage and hurt that he still is polling well among Republicans. I share your outrage and hurt that we should even have to discuss such matters. But obviously we do.

Freedom of religion is one of our most sacred American values, protected by our Constitution. Never should someone be disparaged, profiled, or have their rights infringed upon because of their religious faith. Republicans like to talk a good game about our Constitution but, clearly, many are making an exception when it comes to religious liberty. This is quite sad and it is this kind of double standard that has caused so many liberty-loving people to leave the Republican Party and find a better home in the Libertarian Party.

If you have not previously considered the Libertarian Party, I encourage you to do so now. We are an extremely diverse group of people who are passionate about liberty…about all rights, of all people, all the time. We do not denigrate or disparage any group. We respect the humanity of all people and their rights to make their own decisions about their lives. Simply put: Libertarianism is the idea that every person has the right to pursue happiness in any way they wish as long as it doesn't hurt people or take their stuff.

I know many of your families have fled repressive regimes abroad in search of peace, prosperity, and liberty in the United States. I hope you have found good things here. No country is perfect and recent weeks have reminded us of that. But I maintain that, despite our imperfections, the United States is one of the best places on the planet for liberty-loving people. Our Constitution does protect your rights, and it will continue to. And Libertarians nationwide always will stand with you also, advocating your rights and the rights of all people to live freely.

Friend, if you find that the Republican Party continues to disparage you, please consider a home in the Libertarian Party where we respect all rights, of all people, all the time.

Nicholas Sarwark
Chair, Libertarian National Committee


  1. They need to learn the fundamentals of libertarianism. No trespass against person or property. Unowned property is acquired by homesteading. Therefore, government (criminally) controls much property but owns none of it.

  2. Politics and libertarianism mix like (boiling?) oil and water. If the LP did get itself aligned with libertarian philosophy, the very next action it takes is to dissolve.

  3. Slightly off topic, but I was unaware until last week of monstrously horrible and statist Austin Petersen who is running for the LP presidential nomination. He doesn't believe in the NAP, he says that anarcho-capitalism is childish and he wants the USA to send black-ops to the Middle East.


    I did not realize that Tom Woods tangled with Mr. Petersen back in April 2014.


    I was happy to learn that Larkin Rose had eviscerated Mr. Petersen long ago back in May 2014.


    Naturally, Mr. Petersen will probably end up as "our" candidate.

    A deeply statist guy like Mr. Petersen (who seems to believe deeply in the magical and religious Mary Poppins Theory of Government) but who claims to be a libertarian is far worse than Rand Paul who insists that he isn't a libertarian.

    1. Bob Roddis, you should check out Marc Allan Feldman. He is also running for the LP nomination and is equally repulsive. If you read the piece he wrote in the Times of Israel, it's clear that his view of libertarianism is predicated on identity politics. Truly strange.

      The LP needs an overhaul, but most of the proper libertarians won't go near it.

    2. I'm sure the article mentioned is:
      "Liberty is more than just freedom. Liberty = Freedom x Power. You can set an animal free, but an animal will not get liberty. Liberty requires self-determination. An animal cannot make decisions for itself, cannot control its environment, cannot choose its own destiny. You can fall in a deep hole, and nobody can control or oppress you, but you have no liberty unless you can get out of the hole. Freedom can only give you liberty if you already have power."

      Liberty is the freedom and power to make decisions to control yourself, your property, and your environment, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. It is a property of individuals only, as only individuals have rights.

      We live in a world of identity politics. Individuals see themselves as part of a collective, and often will choose freely to give power to the collective, in order to be more effective in getting things they want done.

      My central moral principle is the Non-Aggression Principle.
      My central political principle is the Positive Empowerment Principle:
      Maximize the power of individuals to control themselves, their property, and their environment as long as they are not infringing on the rights of others.

  4. Let me guess. I'll bet this current gang running the LP will not be sympathetic to my proposal for a one note ad theme of "private neighborhoods everywhere that can discriminate all the time". No crime, no terrorists, no gays, no anti-gays, no guns, no gun-grabbers, no atheists, no Christians, no Sunnis, no Shia, all depending upon your personal lifestyle choices, and protected by private property and enforceable contractual agreements.