Libertarians and elections (and why it is necessary to get involved now)

Nearly all libertarians are political, but very few are in office and that’s where a lot of our problems start. Now I’m not going to get into the whole philosophical debate about whether a state is permissible or moral, the fact is, one exists and it has power that all libertarians oppose to some degree, this piece will explain ways that libertarians can try to remove some of this power. Many libertarians oppose operating within the current system, as it’s taking part in what they see as an immoral system, Now unless you have enough money to go out and start your own country in the middle of the desert or ocean away from the tax man, this is stupid and will do you no favours. In the western world if you want to be taken seriously, you have to play the politics game.

It would be a very sad thing if liberty were allowed to stagnate and turn into a cesspool of conspiracy theorists and survivalist nutjobs. It is imperative that libertarians, both prominent old ones and newcomers just discovering how terrible the government is, are vocal in their ideas and actively try to change the system for the better.

Of course it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that at least for the foreseeable future, we’re going to have to choose between the lesser of two evils, it doesn’t mean you can’t try to change things from within. Look at what Ron Paul is doing over in the US at the moment. He may not be winning but he’s got every other republican candidate talking about auditing the fed, real cuts to spending and maybe even questioning the sacred cow of military spending. Gary Johnson (arguably the more libertarian of the two) on the other hand is a possible election spoiler with his attempt to run for the Libertarian Party nomination splitting the libertarian vote and perhaps putting Obama back in for another 4 years. Thankfully in Australia, where we have preferential voting, we don’t have that problem, we can all vote for greater liberty whilst hedging our bets by preferencing the less tyrannical of the two major parties, whichever one happens to be that particular election.

Thanks to the work of John Humphreys et al. we have the Liberal Democratic Party, the forefront of libertarian politics in Australia, but unless something unforeseen happens in the near future, it’s going to be a fringe party with no chance of getting a seat in any house at any level of government. The best thing we libertarians can do is start to join major parties and change them from the inside, speak at their forums, expose politicians to the ideas that maybe other people aren’t just sources of revenue for the state, or to quote a rapping Hayek “…chessmen that you move on board at your whim–their dreams and desires ignored.” The more libertarian activity out there, the more people will hear it, if they hear it enough, maybe they’ll start listening and finally we’ll start to see actual change for the better.

In Australia we have quite a small libertarian community already, there’s no point fracturing it further by refusing to vote for the more libertarian party because some of their policies aren’t libertarian enough.  My message to all lovers of liberty is: Get in and participate, become a member of a political party, influence their policies. If you can’t stand either of the major parties, join the LDP, help them get registered at a state and local level, The lower the level of government they’re registered at, the more say you’ll have on policy and the more likely they are to get a foothold. And remember if you don’t participate, there’s no way it’s going to change.

Below are links to the signup sheets for major Queensland political parties:

Liberal National Party: http://website.lnp.org.au/main-menu/membership/join-the-lnp

Australian Labor Party:http://www.alp.org.au/get-involved/joining-labor/

It’s an uphill battle, but unless we do something now, things will get worse, it’s not going to be our fault, but it’s always terrible to look back and think that you had a chance to stop something but didn’t.

88 thoughts on “Libertarians and elections (and why it is necessary to get involved now)

  1. If Gary Johnson serves as a spoiler for Santorum that’s probably a very good thing. Obama is bad Santorum is far far worse. Plus, a good showing by third parties in the US might encourage the major parties to move to a proportional or preferential system. If third parties never spoil there is no incentive to change the broken FPP system.

    As for the LDP vs major parties debate, I question the worth of joining a major. In my experience those that join the majors are more changed than the parties are. I’d actually recommend joining a major an getting 3 or so years campaigning experience and then working to bring the LDP to at least the level of the Greens.

  2. The Greens never joined anyone, and still got a lot of power at the last election. I’d support Santorum over Obama, if I absolutely had to vote for either of them, but that’s because Democrats are more inclined towards BIG government. The Republicans aren’t much better.

  3. In rough numbers the Greens have 10,000 members and the LDP has 2,500. Shem may have a point about the majors providing some opportunities to gain experience but I suggest that people skip three years in a major party and simply join the LDP now. If they then want to make a contribution beyond simply helping make up the numbers (actually important for registration) they can learn on the job.

  4. I’ve just found another website which should be on our list! David Harte runs something called On-line Libertarian Library, and gets mentioned on Radio National when they want to discuss libertarian things! Apparently they are speaking to radicals like Herman Hoppe, from the Von Mises Institute! If even auntie gives them a fair go, things are changing betterly

  5. If people are on campus there’s learning opportunities in the form of Liberal Clubs (most of which don’t require party membership) otherwise there’s other organisations or lobby groups. Basically, for the LDP to be useful it needs more than ideologues, it needs actual campaigning, fund-raising and organisational skills. At all levels and not just in the Exec.

  6. Shem, learning opportunities on campus are good, in fact we’ll be starting a proper Friedman club at UQ this year. But if you want real binding legislative reform, then you need to join a party and get like minded candidates pre-selected and hopefully elected.

  7. Pingback: Libertarians and elections (and why it is necessary to get involved now) - Death Rattle Sports | Death Rattle Sports

  8. “Thanks to the work of John Humphreys et al. we have the Liberal Democratic Party, the forefront of libertarian politics in Australia, but unless something unforeseen happens in the near future, it’s going to be a fringe party with no chance of getting a seat in any house at any level of government. ”

    I totally disagree with you Dom.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_national_and_state-by-state_upper_house_results_for_the_2010_Australian_federal_election#Australia

    Liberal Democratic Party 230,191 1.81 +1.68 0 0 0

    This is 6th, after two flash in the pan parties, Family First and the Sex Party who are not in it for the long run.

    Then there are the ungrateful swine in the Liberal party who think that voting for John Howard was a “libertarian” thing to do.

  9. “Now unless you have enough money to go out and start your own country in the middle of the desert or ocean away from the tax man, this is stupid and will do you no favours.”

    Or there is civil disobedience. Some people are already free as they ignore the more stupid and onerous laws we have.

  10. “unless something unforeseen happens in the near future, it’s going to be a fringe party with no chance of getting a seat in any house at any level of government.”

    What nonsense. The LDP came quite close to having a Senator elected in NSW at the 2010 election. If you’re going to offer political advice, you should first understand the system.

    “The best thing we libertarians can do is start to join major parties and change them from the inside, speak at their forums, expose politicians to the ideas”

    Gee, nobody has ever thought of that before. I guess it explains why so many ex-Liberals are abandoning the party and joining the LDP.

  11. It is political parties themselves which are the problem in Australian politics. Our electoral system is based on the idea that people in a local region (electorate) vote for a person who will best represent the people of that electorate during his term. We don’t need parties for that. Parties short-circuit that system of representation.

    If our representative is a member of a national party, he then represents the national leadership of his party, not his local electorate, except where the interests or policies of both happen to coincide. Conversely, if he consistently chooses to go against his party to represent his electorate, then there is no reason to be in the party.

    People will elect a local representative who is “their” party’s candidate rather than the best man for the job. Their loyalty to their party overrides the criteria for a good local candidate.

    Australian politics is treated like a football match. No matter how bad a person’s chosen party gets, it is always “not as bad as” the other party. No matter how “capitalist” the Labor party behaves, at least it doesn’t have a capitalist ideology like the Liberal Party does. No matter how big-government the Liberal Party behaves, at least it doesn’t have a socialist ideology like the Labor Party does. It is “the lesser of the two evils”.

    Whichever party you support, you are stuck with an “evil”.

    Having the backing of a major, national party is what allows representatives to get away with disobeying their electorates. A representative with no party is completely dependent on his electorate for keeping his job. A representative who belongs to a party can largely ignore the wishes of his electorate. He can rely on their loyalty to the party. He knows the other party is “evil” too.

    How many chances does an employee get after repeatedly sabotaging his employer’s business? Usually none. In politics, people repeatedly vote back in the same “bad employee”, i.e. a member of the party they support. If it get’s too much, someone might switch parties and vote for a party with a record just as bad. An employer would not do that. He would look for a third prospective employee with a good record. The “party” mentality stops voters from applying this simple, common logic to running our country.

    Any party, no matter what ideological principles it is founded on, will inevitably go down this same road. It is human nature. The party demands loyalty from supporters to enable it to win. After that, the party politicians can dispense with it’s founding ideals.

    Here is a better way. Vote for the best candidate in your electorate. If he does what you want while in office, back him 100%. If he doesn’t do what you want, sack him. That’s common sense in running a business and it applies equally to running your country. Parties were never part of our electoral system.

    Libertarianism is individualist. Parties are inherently collectivist. They demand loyalty and conformity to their central leadership. Parties are de facto governments, effectively ruling large sections of the population. Large numbers of politicians running electorates all over the country are controlled by one or another party at a national level.

    That is the opposite of how our system of government is supposed to work. The people of each electorate should be running the country through their control over their respective representatives. Instead, party leaderships is dictating to electorates through THEIR representatives in each electorate.

    Libertarians should work to wean Australians from this inherently, helplessly, dictatorial system. We should not waste time on the organisational tasks required for party politics. This time should be spent on working to spread libertarian ideas to voters. If we expose the fraudulence of their party’s policies, we show them the futility of voting for those parties.

    The problems with parties are the same as with any political organization. Fallings out, distrust and in-fighting, public smearings. opportunists, infiltration, individual disgraces and so on. A leaderless movement of independently thinking and acting individuals does not have this problem. Informed people don’t need leaders to tell them what to vote for.

  12. You don’t even understand what collectivism is.

    You are taking the piss. “The way to get a libertarian Government is to educate the 11 million electors in Australia and have them all vote for libertarian leaning independents,all parochial people who do not believe in pork barrelling”

    Um yeah sure.

    “If our representative is a member of a national party, he then represents the national leadership of his party, not his local electorate, except where the interests or policies of both happen to coincide.”

    Do you think that might happen when they actually get elected?

  13. In the 2010 election, based on the Senate vote, the LDP is Australia’s 6th largest political party — bigger than One Nation, the Shootes & Fishers, DLP, and Christian Democrats.

    If those parties can get somebody elected, it is very easy to believe that the LDP will get somebody elected at some point. And when they do, they will be able to actually talk about real issues to try and change the nature of the political debate in this country. Good luck to them.

    What matters is changing the nature of the debate, not getting into parliament. Parliament will always be controlled by whoever can achieve 51% support… so the only way to change the direction of our country is to change what people support. In the long run, it’s all about ideas.

    I think the LDP has done more to promote libertarian ideas than all the libertarians hiding in the Liberal & Labor parties combined. If Australia is going to have a “Ron Paul” type figure, s/he is more likely to come from the LDP than a major party. You are being very naive with this article Dom.

    That’s not saying it’s pointless joining a major party. There is method in that madness too, depending on lots of factors particular to the individual. But I think you’re very wrong to dismiss the LDP as a vehicle for political action.

  14. Down here in Tasmania, I think there is rapidly increasing scope for a fourth party. The three part system is becoming balanced in numbers and decided unbalanced in policy. Such a heavy Greens representation has pulled the whole system to the statist left – even continual poor government is not enough to get the Libs a shot here on anything remotely liberal as a policy platform. There is a real gap opening up for a fourth party prepared to set out a hard line case for the things that need to be done but that the Liberals themselves can’t afford to talk about without alienating half the state.

    Probably enough to get a seat in the north or north west in our five member’s to an electorate system.

    Unfortunately, there is no LDP here.

  15. Chris,

    Many libertarians see the merits of an LVT as opposed to income, payroll and company taxes. For the most part, Henry George was right. Many Georgists are libertarian and just don’t know it. Some Georgists hold some fairly extreme views on the business cycle and redistribution though. Probably best to call those Georgists in particular libertarian leaning rather than libertarian.

    As for Tasmania – I have met some of the Tasmanian LDPers. They are libertarian to boot. Join and I’m sure someone like Peter Whelan or David Lleyonhjelm would put you in contact with the rest of your mob.

  16. “You don’t even understand what collectivism is.”

    The actions of individuals are decided by or on behalf of the group toward a common end.

    “You are taking the piss. “The way to get a libertarian Government is to educate the 11 million electors in Australia and have them all vote for libertarian leaning independents,all parochial people who do not believe in pork barrelling”

    Um yeah sure.”

    An educated public is necessary for there to be informed and responsible voting. However, it is not necessary to educate everybody. We only need to educate enough thinking people in order for the majority of non-thinking people to follow in that direction. In any case, wasting time on running parties is time taken from the task of informing the public. If nobody knows what libertarianism is, nobody will vote for a libertarian party anyway. If enough people do, we don’t need a party.

    What is wrong with independents? Why are party candidates better? Pork barrelling is nothing to do with the issue I am discussing. A politician who represents the wishes of his electorate (i.e. does his job) does not need to be parochial in order to do that and nor that obedience in itself parochial.

    For libertarianism to be installed in this country, the people need to know what libertarianism is and actively support it. Therefore the only two things libertarians should be doing to bring about a libertarian a system are informing themselves and informing others. That’s all.

    ” “If our representative is a member of a national party, he then represents the national leadership of his party, not his local electorate, except where the interests or policies of both happen to coincide.”

    Do you think that might happen when they actually get elected?”

    You think that just the fact that a candidate is elected means that he represents the wishes of people who voted for him? Don’t be a bloody fool all your life

  17. “The actions of individuals are decided by or on behalf of the group toward a common end.”

    Collectivism can be voluntary or forced. You’re equating what a corporation does with a Soviet. This is nonsense.

    “We only need to educate enough thinking people in order for the majority of non-thinking people to follow in that direction.”

    To what end?

    “If nobody knows what libertarianism is, nobody will vote for a libertarian party anyway.”

    This is just nonsense. Why would they vote for libertarian leaning independents either?

    “What is wrong with independents? Why are party candidates better? Pork barrelling is nothing to do with the issue I am discussing. A politician who represents the wishes of his electorate (i.e. does his job) does not need to be parochial in order to do that and nor that obedience in itself parochial.”

    You are confused. Define what you mean by “represent the wishes of the electorate”.

    “For libertarianism to be installed in this country, the people need to know what libertarianism is and actively support it. Therefore the only two things libertarians should be doing to bring about a libertarian a system are informing themselves and informing others. That’s all.”

    Ridiculous. I too like the idea of a Parliament mainly made up of independents implicitly supporting libertarianism.

    It will never happen unless we form Government first. You just don’t understand the sheer bastardy of elections.

    Your plan is not workable. Tell us how long this will take or how much money it requires.

    No other political party or movement has ever achieved what you want to happen.

    “You think that just the fact that a candidate is elected means that he represents the wishes of people who voted for him? Don’t be a bloody fool all your life”

    Um no you idiot the fact that they are elected sometimes from regionally organised parties and win huge majorities means that sometimes that happens.

    I don’t believe you are sincere. You have also espoused some rather whacky views on economics before. Banking and the success of the LDP are the only two topics you’ve ever really piped up about.

  18. No, the way political change happens is generally that the larger parties are taken over from within and without. An external faction to educate generally (i.e the LDP) and the building of a internal faction to assume the structures and skills that the existing parties build up (as Ron Paul is doing in the GOP).

  19. Sometimes new parties do emerge and take Government (UK Liberals, Whigs, US Republicans). However Chris you are largely right. How many times have the Democrats and Republicans changed? The ALP for example have changed three times since their inception. Sometimes the old parties need dismantling (like the formation of the Liberal party after WWII).

    I don’t know of any instance where a movement would be so evident that people wouldn’t vote for it unless the candidates had no loyalty to it as loki describes.

  20. I suspect in those cases there were also changes going on within the older parties at the same time, or self-destruction occurring (as is the case with Labor currently).

    I’m waiting for the day down here in Tassie where the Greens have more members in the House of Assembly than Labor does. It will be fascinating to see the results of that, especially if no party has the numbers to govern in their own right.

    Libs-Greens is not going to happen. So Labor is left choosing between Libs-Labour and Green-Labour. The horror.

  21. “Many libertarians see the merits of an LVT as opposed to income, payroll and company taxes. For the most part, Henry George was right. Many Georgists are libertarian and just don’t know it. ”

    What I like about the Georgist view is that it marks out a logical, cyclical, middle ground between abject anarchy and smothering socialism. That the land itself provides value outside of that contributed by labour and capital, and that this value and only this value should be held in common. In most cases, neither extreme along a continuum is ideal; this remains my position in regards to governance.

    That socialism is limited to the natural produce of the land. That the state is a ‘container’ for land and natural resource, held in trust for the community.

    The wonder is that they haven’t taken this thought that – land value captures community value – and applied it to the distribution side of the government equation. Land value should be collected, sure. But there is more than that. Actions which result in a net increase in land value should be rewarded; actions which result in a net decrease in land value should be sanctioned.

    This has the potential to resolve one of the core criticisms of libertarianism – that actions by the powerful that affect the weak will not be opposed effectively.

    By this action, community benefit is commericalised, as are instances of community harm.

    It seems that the standard Georgist methodology is to say that whatever the net from the collection of land value tax should be distributed equally to all; that changes to the ‘land’ should be absorbed into the land.

    I’d suggest rather that the equal distribution should be limited to that which the land naturally produces, and credited to people only as a rebate against the use of land. That the remainder should recognise the contributions that are made to the land by schools, roads, and other public works; even the employment of people. That the calculation of the effect of change should be credited at least in part to the organisation that effected that change.

    The weakness of this argument lies in the calculation of that change and the attribution of it. It’s a deconvolution problem which is mathematically ‘difficult’ at the best of times, and given the complexity and scale of the effects that go into the pricing of land, this is not the ‘best of times’. But especially for larger scale works, this could be determined.

    The result – that capitalism is redeemed by chaining it to community benefit, not just individual reward.

  22. That last line is the problem- the perception that Capitalism needs to be redeemed! It can stand alone without shame, thank you! Redemption implies that it is evil, but there is nothing anti-social (evil) about self-interest, and the pursuit thereof. It is other systems, which use governments as arbiters of compulsory social engineering, which should feel shame, and need to seek redemption.

  23. It can, but it practice it does not.

    If there is value in community benefit, and this value is unseen, unrecognised by capitalism due to the fact that it is not capitalised, capitalism is flawed.

  24. (Response to comment post 21.)

    ” “The actions of individuals are decided by or on behalf of the group toward a common end.”

    Collectivism can be voluntary or forced. You’re equating what a corporation does with a Soviet. This is nonsense.”

    Whether voluntary or forced, the point is that s political party tends toward a collective action, decided at the top, instead of independent, individual action. A corporation is not collectivist, it is privately owned and directed from the top down. A soviet is run from the top down in practice too. A socialist society is almost identical to a corporation, because under socialism the government effectively does own society.

    What world do you live in?

    ” “We only need to educate enough thinking people in order for the majority of non-thinking people to follow in that direction.”

    To what end?”

    Libertarianism.

    ” “If nobody knows what libertarianism is, nobody will vote for a libertarian party anyway.”

    This is just nonsense. Why would they vote for libertarian leaning independents either?”

    Why would they be more likely to vote for libertarian party candidates? My point is that if we waste time on the organisational and political tasks involved in running a party, we have less time to directly inform individuals with libertarian ideas. Therefore if we go the independent candidate route, we do get more votes – because more people know who to vote for.

    ” “…A politician who represents the wishes of his electorate (i.e. does his job) does not need to be parochial in order to do that and nor that obedience in itself parochial.”

    You are confused. Define what you mean by “represent the wishes of the electorate”. ”

    That’s another discussion, unless you are contending that an elected representative should NOT represent his electorate (and SHOULD represent his party instead?). Otherwise, this issue applies equally to both party and independent candidates. It is up to the representative to represent the interests and wishes of his electorate as best he can and up to the electorate to decide (at the polls) whether they think he is doing so. There is no ideal solution. That is a problem with democracy. The solution to democracy (as all libertarians should know) is limited government.

    ” “For libertarianism to be installed in this country, the people need to know what libertarianism is and actively support it. Therefore the only two things libertarians should be doing to bring about a libertarian a system are informing themselves and informing others. That’s all.”

    Ridiculous. I too like the idea of a Parliament mainly made up of independents implicitly supporting libertarianism.

    It will never happen unless we form Government first. You just don’t understand the sheer bastardy of elections. ”

    Don’t you mean… impose government? Any effort to form a government without genuine popular support is at the mercy of political self-interest every step of the way. It will never get there. You are talking about a coup. Any true political reform requires grass roots support to defend and sustain it.

    “Your plan is not workable. Tell us how long this will take or how much money it requires.”

    I don’t know how much time. How long has your approach taken so far? As for money, absolutely none, except for the cost of purchase of books and internet connection charges and the financial equivalent of the time each individual spends talking or writing to others about his ideas and knowledge.

    “No other political party or movement has ever achieved what you want to happen.”

    We have the advantage of being right.

    ” “You think that just the fact that a candidate is elected means that he represents the wishes of people who voted for him? Don’t be a bloody fool all your life”

    Um no you idiot the fact that they are elected sometimes from regionally organised parties and win huge majorities means that sometimes that happens. ”

    That is no need to have a party. A politician can represent his electorate without a party, His electorate supplies him with the ideology. Or he has his own ideology and the electorate approves or refuses it at the polls.

    “I don’t believe you are sincere. You have also espoused some rather whacky views on economics before. Banking and the success of the LDP are the only two topics you’ve ever really piped up about.”

    Stick with the topic. Don’t try to win this debate by debating with me about something else. My views on banking were not wacky, they are the views of many thinking libertarians on the subject and, as far as you were able to tell me, quite sound ones.

  25. However, I am a minarchist- in fact, I think people should be the absolute rulers of their own properties, and that local counties should democratically rule roads and other public spaces. I do not support taxes, though I do support licences and fees- what would Georgism do for me? I suspect nothing.

  26. The problem with your situation can be illustrated.

    Lets just say that, as has been proposed down here, that a pulp mill is to be built across the river from your place. Now, as a result of that construction, some property will increase in value and others will decrease. I have no idea of the overall change that would occur, other than that I suspect it would be a net positive.

    Still, the value of your property is halved.

    Under your system, you have suffered a loss, with no recourse. Shit happens.

    Under a Georgist system, you end up paying half as much for the right to use the property. You benefit from the change in accordance with the scale of your loss.

    Under my extension to the system, the owner of the Pulp mill would receive a bill or credit based upon the changes in land value due to the pulp mills construction. If pollution occurs and land value drop because of this, costs will be recovered from the mill. If, as the proponent suggests, this doesn’t occur, they receive a benefit due to the increases in land value that will inevitably follow increased employment and opportunity.

  27. Nah, I’ll still vote minarchist, because I’m trying to create a society without taxes.

    Also, suppose the new business increases the value of all the properties in the area in terms of dollars- would I then be assessed for more taxes, even if I don’t want to sell and had not asked for the new business to come here? Even if I couldn’t now pay the new rates?

    As you say, stuff happens.

  28. Yes, because you are now occupying land that has more value. The result is that you may choose to move and leave the land to someone who can do more with it. All well and good.

    But – the business will only add value to the land if it increases the opportunity available to it. So if it does – it is because you have had a win anyway.

    A minarchist scheme inevitably worsens the problems of squatting, leading to more problems with poor land usage.

  29. So Georgism is concerned with efficient land use, for some social end- as determined by town planners, no doubt! You probably approve of the result in America, where a County resumed land from a property-owner, so they could sell it to a mall-maker, and thus get more taxes from the new shops! (Kelso v. New London, i think) This has caused a stink in America, and various parties are taking this through the various Courts available.
    I was disappointed that they even tried it, especially as the US touts itself as the land of the free, and all that.

  30. I’m concerned with efficient land use by nature – I’m an engineer. And no, it has nothing to do with town planners. In some ways, it actually makes town planning redundant. LVT is levied at the rate required to maintain the land price at zero – so it is a market based mechanism. A good estimate could be had by multiplying the current home loan rate by the current land value. So planning, as and where it occurs is done to maximise the community value of the land.

    As to the case in question, the issue would have been moot under a LVT system. The council would have got the same amount from the owner as they would have from the shops, so they wouldn’t have cared. However, the owner, if not getting sufficient value from their land to justify staying where they were, may well have moved on well before anyway.

  31. No, Georgism is premised on the fact that land collects community value. That doesn’t make it socialist. Now what some Georgists propose doing with that value could be considered land limited socialism, but the premise itself is not.

    Libertarianism isn’t about getting rich off the work and capital of others. It is about receiving the full reward for your own labour and risk. Georgism isn’t at odds with that; it is at odds with the Squatter, who wants to gain from others efforts and others loss.

  32. “Whether voluntary or forced, the point is that s political party tends toward a collective action, decided at the top, instead of independent, individual action. A corporation is not collectivist, it is privately owned and directed from the top down. A soviet is run from the top down in practice too. A socialist society is almost identical to a corporation, because under socialism the government effectively does own society.”

    Confused garbage.

    “Why would they be more likely to vote for libertarian party candidates? My point is that if we waste time on the organisational and political tasks involved in running a party, we have less time to directly inform individuals with libertarian ideas. Therefore if we go the independent candidate route, we do get more votes – because more people know who to vote for.”

    Because they want organisation, not rabble. Maybe if they voted for the abolition of income tax, they’d like some degree of certainty it would happen? “waste time on running a party” LOL. The party doesn’t directly inform people?

    You’re a strange boy.

    “Any effort to form a government without genuine popular support is at the mercy of political self-interest every step of the way. It will never get there. You are talking about a coup. Any true political reform requires grass roots support to defend and sustain it.”

    …and…you want to achieve this WITHOUT a political party? This is just cutting your balls off.

    No other ideology has ever succeeded without a political party…but libertarianism can. This is just wide eyed arrogance.

    “That is no need to have a party. A politician can represent his electorate without a party, His electorate supplies him with the ideology. Or he has his own ideology and the electorate approves or refuses it at the polls.”

    Gibberish.

    “Stick with the topic. Don’t try to win this debate by debating with me about something else. My views on banking were not wacky, they are the views of many thinking libertarians on the subject and, as far as you were able to tell me, quite sound ones.”

    Your views on banking ARE whacky. Stop twisting my words you imbecile. You are not sincere. Have you joined the LDP? Have you made a donation to the ALS or Liberty Australia?

  33. Part of the difficulty in the notion of governance is that it provides both leadership and law. The two are not a particularly good mix. But the system we have requires a demonstration of capacity in both.

    Independent candidates lack the visible demonstration of leadership that a party structure provides.

  34. Nuke – Kelo was about eminent domain. It was a disgusting judgment.

    I don’t agree with Georgism but as long as the tax rates are low enough it is the most efficient tax, besides user charges (or an inequitable and unsustainable head tax, which the LVT actually mimics to an extent). As libertarians we should be encouraging this.

    Chris – I think town planning IS redundant, as the Georgist pricing mechanism is only marginal – market prices do 95% of the work anyway.

    Squatting isn’t taken seriously but there are people who actively seek to manipulate planning laws rather unfairly to arbitrage the price differentials of different rules.

    However, I don’t see how minarchy would make this worse: if you had insufficient taxes to enforce such rules, it couldn’t happen.

    I think the LDP should change the tax policy to GST capped at 10%, royalties for the States (max 7%?) and an LVT (max 25?) for shires. Both the royalties and LVT should be capped at sufficiently low rates, contribute to common resources (like defence or police) but be rebated in a TABOR, which would see the rates taper off to the lowest sustainable rate over time.

  35. ‘.’ – What the Georgist pricing model does is rectify the market reactions to changes in land value.

    First let me be clear about what I mean by the Georgist model so we are working from the same basis. This is a system by which land is not ‘purchased’, but rather a levy is charged against the holding of land for monopoly use. That levy is set at the rate required to maintain, under market conditions, the purchase price at zero. My own estimate for this levy would be to multiply the current home loan interest rate by the current market value of the land.

    Basically, what we currently pay as land price is the capitalised value of the projected benefit to be received from holding a monopoly right to the use of that land in perpetuity. What the Georgist system of LVT does is render this to the current, actual value of the right to use that land in perpetuity.

    This is not a marginal change. It is a basis change, and completely up ends the market response to changes in market value.

    When times get tough, LVT drops, improving the local situation. Without LVT, capital values drop, worsening the situation.

    When times are good, LVT increases, preventing overrun. Without LVT, speculation in land value occurs, artificially pushing up prices and increasing over run.

    The problem I see with Minarchy – which as described above is a whole right to the land (i.e with no right left to the government to levy any value from it) is that it only serves to exacerbate the current problems with poor land use. Squatter’s are able to accrue the benefits of increasing land value with no risk and no labour. Minarchy thus requires even stricter town planning for it to work, however it by definition prevents this from occurring.

    My suggestions for tax policy would be to eliminate income tax, capital taxes and corporate taxation; impose LVT as described above at a state level, but with a set proportion going to local council; transform stamp duty and payroll taxes into tax offsets.

  36. “max 25?” should be “max 2%?”.

    Ok. Wasn’t sure what you were going on about there, so ignored it.

    2% is no where near enough. Current home loan interest rates suggest 6-8% would be needed.

  37. LVT has to be marginal otherwise it is too onerous and would discourage trend (read desirable) growth.

    If an LVT was levied at around 7%, it would raise all the revenue we need for all sectors of Government. We don’t need that much though. Don’t Georgists believe in royalties? This figure assumes that we still spend the same inefficient amount on Government services. Consider vertical and horizontal fiscal balance and there is the need for other taxes unless we hypothecate proportions of the tax.

    A 4% LVT might still be marginal. As long as appreciation would average to a higher rate than the capitalised (funded) rate of LVT, it would be marginal. But I suppose this is predicated by actual growth – those seeking to offset losses would merely be market makers and the like.

    But the LVT might be considered inequitable (rarely). What if A can afford land in location X, but cannot build on it yet? Let’s say the LVT and their current rent makes land banking unaffordable. If they save for two years in a (real) bank they can only afford location Y because of relative appreciation (due to development) and can no longer afford X. If B can afford either (to develop, land bank or build a house…slowly) with or without the tax at any time, why is this equitable or efficient to have the LVT at all?

    ” Without LVT, capital values drop, worsening the situation.”

    You’re going to have to explain how this works. I’m not saying this is wrong but I’ve worked as an economist for a few years now and it seems impossible.

    I think we should totally abolish payroll and stamp duty taxes. They are insidious and very inequitable. Basically you are taxing employment and labour mobility. It just shafts the less well off.

    At the end of the day, a VAT, natural resource royalties and a LVT win on efficiency and equity grounds every time.

  38. The intent with an LVT of around 7% is to raise all the revenue needed for government.

    From what I’ve read, yes. But.. what I haven’t seen anywhere or derived myself a logical formulation of the level of royalty charges that is appropriate, or any justification of it. As such, although I think royalties or something like that are necessary, I can’t comment on the level.

    Define what you mean by marginal.

    There is never an issue with affording land under LVT. Land has no cost. So.. the issue is whether they can afford the ongoing costs. If they can, they build. They don’t have to pay for the land, just the existing improvements. And improvements that they make don’t add to their LVT costs.

    We are going through it at the moment here. As the economic situation worsens, land prices are dropping. So the amount of capital I have in my house is being reduced. This reduces my capacity to contribute capital. Under LVT, my situation would be improving as I’d be paying less.

    What I meant by invert is that stamp duty should be paid by the government, not received. Similarly with payroll tax. Companies should receive a payroll offset, not a tax.

  39. At the end of the Georgist day, you still have a tax. I want to eliminate taxes, so if my minarchy ends up with some ‘inefficient’ land use, I would be prepared to put up with that, because the other benefits would outweigh any inefficiency.

  40. Do you? Really? So.. where is the extra cost? All you are doing is trading the need to purchase land, with all of the associated problems that causes, for a system that captures land value on an ongoing basis.

    I’m interested to hear what you perceive as the ‘other benefits’ of a minarchy.

  41. The benefit of completely owning your property is a benefit in itself- knowing that no government could resume your land for its’ own purposes, even if it claimed (as they all do) that it was for the overall benefit of society.
    The next benefit would be that you could choose and pay for any and all, or none, of whichever services the local county offers you. This would also bring the added benefit that public servants would need to learn manners if they wanted your money- I have not met any actual in-your-face rudeness, but I have met some ‘servants’ who were surly. That is met much less in the commercial world.
    The small size of the minarchy, like the Swiss cantons, would enable you to take part in politics with a good knowledge of the issues, and you should also be able to keep officials to their word, or voice your displeasure, easier in such a small government.

  42. 48. Gains from trade. – What is this in reference to?

    49. Ok.. different mechanisms in some cases to the same effect.

    Governments shouldn’t act with sovereign right in any case. I don’t see that this is different under a LVT, except that some one acting to the detriment of those around them at least has financial consequences for doing so under an LVT.

    The issue with the ‘fee for services’ model is that not all that a council provides can be considered a service. While the ‘fee for service’ model works for services, it doesn’t work so well for infrastructure.

    No issue with the ‘localness’ of government and the advantages that brings. Leo Foley down in Hobart has been making good suggestions along those lines for some time.

    (Side thought) One of the issues I’ve been tossing around is consideration of the effects of funding government from the bottom up. I.E. Local government is funded (or instance by LVT), who then pay the state government up the scale for services rendered that cannot effectively or efficiently be rendered at the local level (state infrastructure, high level health services). Similarly, state governments fund the federal government for services that cannot be managed at a state level (national infrastructure, defence, etc).

  43. Yes, that would be good. My own thoughts on the subject are also that even citizenship should be voluntary. I also subscribe to what I call time-share government. Instead of electing officials, local people who choose to be citizens would join some community service brigade, like the militia, or the firefighting services, or some other service, in a part-time capacity- except for one month from each year, when they could meet together as the government of all public properties within their jurisdiction. then you could have officials chosen by seniority of citizenship, with the Mayor being the oldest member. There are variations, but the essence would be that we could all take part directly in government, instead of the indirect method of electing people who vote for us. As for state and national and world issues- as you said, there could be a network of conferences and meetings to arrange and oversee these services.

  44. ” “Whether voluntary or forced, the point is that s political party tends toward a collective action, decided at the top, instead of independent, individual action. A corporation is not collectivist, it is privately owned and directed from the top down. A soviet is run from the top down in practice too. A socialist society is almost identical to a corporation, because under socialism the government effectively does own society.”

    Confused garbage.”

    Which part is garbage? Political parties involving collective action? Corporations being privately owned and hierarchical? Soviets being run hierarchically and dictatorially?

    ” “Why would they be more likely to vote for libertarian party candidates? My point is that if we waste time on the organisational and political tasks involved in running a party, we have less time to directly inform individuals with libertarian ideas. Therefore if we go the independent candidate route, we do get more votes – because more people know who to vote for.”

    Because they want organisation, not rabble. Maybe if they voted for the abolition of income tax, they’d like some degree of certainty it would happen? “waste time on running a party” LOL. The party doesn’t directly inform people?

    You’re a strange boy.”

    Most political parties are rabble. Most of our state and federal parliaments behave like rabble. Political parties fight one another like rabble and fight within themselves like rabble. Party politicians spend most of their time competing for power and prestige rather than running the country, which they also do poorly and mostly in their own, personal interests. There is zero certainty that anything their voters vote them in for will actually happen. Parties spend most of their time manipulating the people, not informing them.

    Tell me why you think a libertarian party would be different.

    ” “Any effort to form a government without genuine popular support is at the mercy of political self-interest every step of the way. It will never get there. You are talking about a coup. Any true political reform requires grass roots support to defend and sustain it.”

    …and…you want to achieve this WITHOUT a political party? This is just cutting your balls off.”

    Grass roots reform is reform from the population base up and it has happened. Reform by parties is reform from the top down and it never happens.

    “No other ideology has ever succeeded without a political party…but libertarianism can. This is just wide eyed arrogance.”

    Few other ideologies deserve to succeed. Those which don’t deserve to succeed could only do so by being imposed by elite interests from the top down. There are many causes which have succeeded largely through popular support. Repeal of the Prohibition on alcohol in the U.S. succeeded solely through grass roots support.

    ” “That is no need to have a party. A politician can represent his electorate without a party, His electorate supplies him with the ideology. Or he has his own ideology and the electorate approves or refuses it at the polls.”

    Gibberish.”

    Show me again where I went wrong. An independent politician can represent his electorate? People of an electorate, if the majority, can ensure that their representative will follow their ideology (e.g. libertarianism)? An independent politician can stand for election on his own personal ideology? Just point me to the gibberish in what I said, just so I know you really thought about it before responding.

    “Stick with the topic. Don’t try to win this debate by debating with me about something else. My views on banking were not wacky, they are the views of many thinking libertarians on the subject and, as far as you were able to tell me, quite sound ones.”

    “Your views on banking ARE whacky. Stop twisting my words you imbecile.”

    I didn’t twist your words. You really shouldn’t debate this topic by criticising my arguements on a different topic. Show why you think my comments about this topic are wacky. If they are not, then my comments on banking are irrelevant, whether or not they are wacky.

    “You are not sincere. Have you joined the LDP? Have you made a donation to the ALS or Liberty Australia?”

    Why would that prove my sincerity? I am a libertarian, therefore I do not join or necessarily even support groups, even libertarian ones. I am an individualist and I apply that principle to political activity along with all other activity. We cannot achieve a libertarian society through collectivist means. A major point of libertatianism is that collectivism doesn’t work.

    I believe that society needs a free market of ideas. Formal organizations tend to limit freedom of thinking. Indivdiual, independent thinking and free exchange of ideas ensures a true diversity of ideas and creates more likelihood that correct ideas will arise and false ideas will be weeded out.

  45. “So… Freedom requires that people work independently and without agreement or common aims. Free to do everything but agree or work together to achieve a common goal.

    Seriously?”

    If you and others here insist on not reading my actual words, you are probably unable to make use of that freedom anyway. Not only that, but your comment shows that you don’t have an understanding of the concepts of individual freedom.

    I did not say that individuals are not free to agree. I said that they should be free to think independently. That may results in either agreement or disagreement. If they disagree, then debate ensues to arrive at the most sound ideas and weed out the faulty or misinformed ideas. Through genuine, informed and independent thought, debate and exchange of ideas we would hope that people would arrive at certain common aims. But the whole idea of individualism and libertarianism is that people don’t need to have common aims, because everybody is allowed to do what he pleases – pursue his individual aims – with his own property. The only common aim we should have is to install that system. In a free society, individuals cooperate freely with others in whatever way suits their individual interests. This achieves certain “common aims” that most people have, such as technical advancement and overall prosperity and welfare. There is no contradiction between individual freedom and independence and having aims in common or making agreements.

  46. Acting independently to achieve a common aim is… well inefficient is a nice word for it. Ever seen a soccer game between a team of kids who have learned to work together and one that hasn’t ?

  47. Further thoughts on limited government- by voluntary citizenship, I mean that one could apply for citizenship in one month, be accepted at the start of the next month, and work part-time in the service of your choice for eleven months, and have one month when all the people inducted at the same time are now the government of the county. If you think that people might need some permanent public servants, then you could hold contests between the different services, award points, and see who scored the most overall- and offer permanent jobs to these winners only. These could be the Sheriffs and Judges of the local government- and they could be the representatives to send to other counties for mutual talks, and for any other purpose that we ask of them.

  48. Nuke – I appreciate idealistic viewpoints, but like to be able to see some path to them and some evident benefit from them. Basically your suggesting that people for 1 month in 12 take time away from what they do best to ‘govern’. At a small scale that might works, but even the size of Tassie that model falls apart pretty quickly. It’s too many people, doing work they aren’t skilled in, for too short a period.

    I prefer Leo Foley’s idea that there is a voluntary layer of government introduced at the community level. Unpaid, limited to groups less than about 500 but then represented further up the spectrum. It’s a good thought, but I suspect subject to the same difficulties that local government is; primarily among them that largely Australians roll with whatever happens and simply aren’t all that active politically.

    Maybe if you could make politics a contact sport…

  49. the last part of comment 56 was all about politics as contact sports, or contests! Have it as an annual thing, the equivalent of sport now. I suspect that towns and suburbs would get behind ‘their’ fire brigade, or police patrol, and you could build a real community spirit.
    As for people who don’t become citizens, they would be treated like guests in clubs now- expected to obey the rules, but not having any say in changing those rules. The choice would always be open to join up…
    And I think that public schools should be changed, so that attendance is voluntary, and they would be changed to support those community activities, as a cadet-type system. the rest they’ll be able to pick up from the internet in the future, anyway. Like the current School of the Air, which broadcasts to outback stations for home schooling.

  50. “Acting independently to achieve a common aim is… well inefficient is a nice word for it. Ever seen a soccer game between a team of kids who have learned to work together and one that hasn’t ?”

    That’s what the communists say too. Libertarian society is inefficient. They think that collective action is more efficient. Then when it doesn’t work out, they impose dictatorship, which is also inefficient. The whole point of libertarianism is that free, independent action does lead to the greatest welfare for everybody. The truth is that there is NO common aim, simply because all men are, by nature, individuals. Our only common aim is happiness and the greatest happiness is achieved when people independently pursue their own happiness. I believe the same principles apply to politics. A free market of ideas and independent, individual action is the only solution to solving our social and political issues. All party does is bring opportunists into the leadership and a mass of UNthinking people in the rank and file. Even if the leadership are sincere, they have an uphill battle keeping the herd together. You just can’t impose or organise intelligent thinking by authority.

    OTOH, I believe that it is perfectly legitimate for a person to begin his own organization dedicated to furthering his own ideology or aims. But that person cannot run his organisation as a democracy or a collective. He must run it as he would run a business he owns: dictatorially. Dictatorship is okay as long as what you are running belongs to yourself. It is only dictatorship over the persons and property of others which libertarians object to. Libertarians of course approve of one having sole control over one’s own property. Such an organisation attracts people who support the owner’s ideology or aims and they are free to either join and abide by the owner’s terms or not join at all or leave. Others in the organisation are not truly dictated to – they remain free to choose.

    I still see problems with such an organisation. Time and resources are still invested in organisational task rather than directly useful ones. Organisations also have the problem of being a public target for smears, proneness to infiltration, scandals and so on. But an organisation is best directed solely by one person and others can then join or not join depending on whether they agree with the founder’s goals and methods.

  51. There is a difference between society and government. Society is inherently composed of independent actors, who choose to come together to achieve more than they could separately. These actors live on common land – the state – which is apportioned to various uses by some means.

    The flaw in your suggestion is simply that ‘free, independent action leads to the greatest welfare for everybody’ is not true. If you existed in a situation of unlimited resource then it might be true. But as soon as you have limited resource, it falls apart due to competition and effort to control resources. Once a person or group is able to exert control, your system is screwed.

    If you want to progress your idea, roll it back to the point where you give up on organisation because of what you have seen in existing political parties. Re-imagine the political party, don’t toss it out.

    But at the same time – realise that you live in a world that plays by statist rules. Before your rules can get a guernsey, you need to outplay them at their game, by their rules. And that will require a team.

  52. “The flaw in your suggestion is simply that ‘free, independent action leads to the greatest welfare for everybody’ is not true. If you existed in a situation of unlimited resource then it might be true. But as soon as you have limited resource, it falls apart due to competition and effort to control resources. Once a person or group is able to exert control, your system is screwed.”

    So free, independent action cannot work, because it leads to control by one person or group. The solution is for individuals, and hence their resources, to all be controlled, by one person or a group (a government).

    “If you want to progress your idea, roll it back to the point where you give up on organisation because of what you have seen in existing political parties. Re-imagine the political party, don’t toss it out.”

    The problems I see with organisations are inherent to them. Therefore I have to imagine something else.

    “But at the same time – realise that you live in a world that plays by statist rules. Before your rules can get a guernsey, you need to outplay them at their game, by their rules. And that will require a team.”

    Who will support your “team” if nobody supports libertarianism? How will you steal supporters from the major parties? If your “rules” don’t have a guernsey, then how will your party, which stands for said rules, get a guernsey?

  53. “Who will support your “team” if nobody supports libertarianism? How will you steal supporters from the major parties? If your “rules” don’t have a guernsey, then how will your party, which stands for said rules, get a guernsey?”

    Do you seriously think contesting elections doesn’t get attention? Are you really this thick?

    “The problems I see with organisations are inherent to them. Therefore I have to imagine something else.”

    Like what? Bloody hell lad, start making sense!

  54. “Do you seriously think contesting elections doesn’t get attention? Are you really this thick?”

    I’m not against libertarians running for office. Of course I support that. Who else would I want in office? I am saying there are problems with forming parties. A libertarian doesn’t need to be in a party to run for office. They will get the same attention with or without forming parties.

    “The problems I see with organisations are inherent to them. Therefore I have to imagine something else.”

    Like what? Bloody hell lad, start making sense!

    Independents. What other alternative is there to parties?

  55. “So free, independent action cannot work, because it leads to control by one person or group. The solution is for individuals, and hence their resources, to all be controlled, by one person or a group (a government).”

    Well stated. Basically, this is the conundrum all constitutions seek to address. Preventing the gradual assumption of power and control by a limited number of people is not simple, nor easy.

  56. “A libertarian doesn’t need to be in a party to run for office.”

    They do if they want to form Government and repeal 4/5 of the onerous laws we have as did the Whigs once they were in power in the UK.

    “Independents. What other alternative is there to parties?”

    Weak, useless, fractured, parochial independents with no implicit guarantee implement a libertarian agenda.

  57. Not all organisations are the same! Syndicates are not top-heavy, and networks are alliances- flash mobs are a good example of co-ordination without dictatorship. So such organising is possible, though not as ‘efficient’ as a hierarchy.

  58. In this area, Ron Paul sets a pretty good example of the sort of hybrid organisation possible. A hierarchical formal campaign, grass roots support that do their own things, and SuperPAC’s that provide external support.

    I think his comment on it once was ‘it’s like herding cats’.

  59. ” “So free, independent action cannot work, because it leads to control by one person or group. The solution is for individuals, and hence their resources, to all be controlled, by one person or a group (a government).”

    Well stated. Basically, this is the conundrum all constitutions seek to address. Preventing the gradual assumption of power and control by a limited number of people is not simple, nor easy. ”

    So, to prevent the gradual assumption of power and control by a group, you deliberately give power and control to a group all in one go?

  60. ” “A libertarian doesn’t need to be in a party to run for office.”

    They do if they want to form Government and repeal 4/5 of the onerous laws we have as did the Whigs once they were in power in the UK.”

    I’m not talking about just one independent libertarian in office in just one electorate. I am talking about many independent libertarians gaining office in the majority of electorates. They would then form a government. A party is not necessary for them to do that. They have something in common without the need for a party: libertarianism. We don’t have to worry about whatever else they disagree about.

    You are a bit slow on the uptake.

    ” “Independents. What other alternative is there to parties?”

    Weak, useless, fractured, parochial independents with no implicit guarantee implement a libertarian agenda.”

    So if we have independents in office who are all libertarians, we have no guarantee that they will implement a libertarian agenda and cooperate toward this end?

  61. “Freedom to act independently is a goal, not a method.”

    The alternative to acting independently is acting according to the dictates of either leadership or the majority, both of which are almost guaranteed to be wrong.

    Man is by nature an individual. Even when he does try to act as part of a group such as a political party, he follows his individual interests within that group. The result is competition for power and influence within the group. A group therefore does not eliminate independent action, it just imposes the interests of the strongest individuals on the actions of all the others.

  62. “Not all organisations are the same! Syndicates are not top-heavy, and networks are alliances- flash mobs are a good example of co-ordination without dictatorship. So such organising is possible, though not as ‘efficient’ as a hierarchy.”

    Syndicates are not formally “top heavy” but the interests of more influential members still dominate those of the other members, usually in a very oppressive manner. However a group is formally constituted, that tendency will always exist. Mobs are always dominated by the strongest individuals in the mob. Networks and alliances are not organisations, they are voluntary associations of individuals in their own interests. In a free society of independent individuals, people associate voluntarily in their own interests. They are rarely entirely independent. They are just not dependent in an externally organised manner.

  63. “In this area, Ron Paul sets a pretty good example of the sort of hybrid organisation possible. A hierarchical formal campaign, grass roots support that do their own things, and SuperPAC’s that provide external support.

    I think his comment on it once was ‘it’s like herding cats’.”

    Ron Paul has no formal control over his grass roots support. His record as a congressman and his stated ideals both simply appeal to a large section of the grass roots and they voluntarily rally to support him. Ron Paul has no hierarchical control except for that which he exercises over his own campaign for election.

  64. This is quite possibly the DUMBEST “debate” I’ve ever been a part of, with the thickest idiot I’ve ever encountered.

    “I want to vote for libertarian independents who form a Government as though they were a political party, but if they form a party I will not vote for them if my life depended on it, because forming a party is anti libertarian”

    Most people would need to be run over by a train several times to have their IQ drop off so sharply.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Chris – I hope you have joined the LDP by now. You are an intelligent guy and we need to update our tax policy. We need libertarians UNITED and we need them in Tasmania registered. I hope a LVT is part of the mix of the new tax policy. You have made me think, even perversely, never realising that in rare circumstances the LVT can actually be inequitable! Dangerous ideas! What I want you to realise going away from this discussion is that deadweight losses too can exhibit non linearities…

  65. “This is quite possibly the DUMBEST “debate” I’ve ever been a part of, with the thickest idiot I’ve ever encountered.”

    You consistently resort to abuse very early in any debate you have. It is clear that you have no intention of hearing out the other person’s views before passing judgement. That is not debating.

    ” “I want to vote for libertarian independents who form a Government as though they were a political party, but if they form a party I will not vote for them if my life depended on it, because forming a party is anti libertarian” ”
    Under our system of government, the government is formed by the representatives chosen by each electorate. No party is necessary for the running of our country. Our country is run by parties with the majority of elected officials, but only because those officials decide to close ranks in the government to make this happen. In the absence of parties, all elected officials would participate democratically in running our country. All that would be missing would be inter-party and intra-party politics. In the enlightened society we would all wish to have, people in all electorates would not have that much to disagree on. We all share very similar basic interests. In a libertarian society, there is not much to disagree about in regard to government, simply because in a libertarian system, the government’s responsibilities are few and small.

    “Most people would need to be run over by a train several times to have their IQ drop off so sharply.”

    This is an example of why your “debates” are dumb. There is no need for abuse, even with a “thick” person. All you need to do is state your case. You do not even allow other people to state their case.

  66. “Chris – I hope you have joined the LDP by now. You are an intelligent guy and we need to update our tax policy. We need libertarians UNITED and we need them in Tasmania registered.”

    United, registered, marching in lockstep toward a bright and glorious common goal. That’s the libertarian way!

  67. loki doesn’t seem to get the different between individualism and some kind of weird categorical atomism.

    A group of organised kids playing soccer still follow their individual goals and make individual judgements. They just do it in a collective manner. That is NOT the same as socialism where a single entity makes the decisions. When Hayek talks about spontaneous order and the knowledge deficiency in socialist societies it’s CENTRAL PLANNING that is the main focus of his attack.

    Central planning fails because knowledge cannot be aggregated adequately. Yet at the same time interpersonal relationships is how we learn just about everything! I think using theories of emergence a libertarian might have a preference toward a particular model for a political party (one where branches are fairly autonomous and federal leadership centres around the dissemination of ideas that have been tested and found effective, rather than strict rules) but to say that parties themselves are anti-libertarian is just plain crap. It’s like saying that textbooks are anti-libertarian because they tell people how to think in a controlled manner rather than making everyone learn by their own experience.

    One-size-fits all is the kind of model we should reject NOT a model of shared knowledge, shared action and shared branding. Political parties and shared organisation have many advantages over independents.

  68. “John,

    Do you want get rid of this divisive loki troll?”

    Only totalitarians use the word “unify” and “divisive”. That was what they called Pauline Hanson for dissenting against politically correct ideology. Apparently I don’t fit into the new order you are attempting to impose. You are obviously not a genuine libertarian. You obviously don’t even have the intelligence to be a libertarian.

    A truly intelligent person doesn’t abuse people who post ignorant or “wacky” ideas and arguments. You don’t even debate long enough with other posters to determine whether they are wrong. You start abusing them about three posts in and turn the debate into a shit fight before it is even properly begun.

  69. “loki doesn’t seem to get the different between individualism and some kind of weird categorical atomism.”

    You are right. I don’t know what weird categorical atomism is. Does anybody else?

    “A group of organised kids playing soccer still follow their individual goals and make individual judgements. They just do it in a collective manner. That is NOT the same as socialism where a single entity makes the decisions.”

    A soccer team follows the directions of a coach and a team captain. They also have their assigned roles within the team. That is more like socialism than individualism. There is no such thing as pure collectivism. There is always a degree of individualism in any system, simply because man, by nature, is an individual.

    “When Hayek talks about spontaneous order and the knowledge deficiency in socialist societies it’s CENTRAL PLANNING that is the main focus of his attack. Central planning fails because knowledge cannot be aggregated adequately.”

    A soccer team is centrally planned. The reason it works in a soccer team is that there are only seven members. That is an easier number to manage than the population of Australia.

    “Yet at the same time interpersonal relationships is how we learn just about everything!”

    Interpersonal relationships exist without central planning. They are just voluntary instead of imposed.

    “I think using theories of emergence a libertarian might have a preference toward a particular model for a political party”

    Emergence is where organisation arises spontaneously from simpler, disorganised interactions. You are talking about the deliberate and planned organisation of a party. If we begin my way, with political action by independent activists, then perhaps a party would arise from that.

    “(one where branches are fairly autonomous and federal leadership centres around the dissemination of ideas that have been tested and found effective, rather than strict rules)”

    “Autonomous” is another word for “independent”. A party can tolerate only a certain amount of autonomy among its members and still remain a party. The dissemination of tested ideas by party leadership depends on the leadership personally approving of those ideas. That’s still heavy centralisation.

    “but to say that parties themselves are anti-libertarian is just plain crap.”

    I didn’t say that parties are anti-libertarian. I said that they tend heavily toward collectivism as a method and restrict individual action. You can still have a party working for the GOAL of libertarianism. I am saying that the party method of attaining a political goal is not based on libertarian principles.

    “It’s like saying that textbooks are anti-libertarian because they tell people how to think in a controlled manner rather than making everyone learn by their own experience.”

    People are free to choose whether to read the book and whether to agree with it. People are free to choose whether to join a party too. But while they are in the party, they are not free to think and vote as they wish. The whole point of them being in the party is that they agree with the party and cooperate with other members. That ultimately means cooperating and agreeing with either the leadership or the vote of the majority within the party. this restricts their independence. Books don’t require readers to agree. They merely supply information.

    The other way in which parties restrict independence is through their requirement for loyalty. Members are told that however much they personally disagree with certain party policies, no matter how corrupt the leadership becomes, that they must still support the party in order for it to win. They tell their supporters not to “waste their votes” For example, from the article above:

    “In Australia we have quite a small libertarian community already, there’s no point fracturing it further by refusing to vote for the more libertarian party because some of their policies aren’t libertarian enough.”

    “Gary Johnson (arguably the more libertarian of the two) on the other hand is a possible election spoiler with his attempt to run for the Libertarian Party nomination splitting the libertarian vote and perhaps putting Obama back in for another 4 years.”

    “One-size-fits all is the kind of model we should reject NOT a model of shared knowledge, shared action and shared branding.”

    Independent political activists can share knowledge and action. Shared branding implies a common product, i.e “one size fits all”.

    “Political parties and shared organisation have many advantages over independents.”

  70. Does anyone still not believe me that loki is a troll?

    “A soccer team is centrally planned.”

    WTF!?

    I suspect the devious “Parkos” may be up to this, given the awful grammar and gibberish.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Shem you make some excellent points, most of which will be wasted on the brain dead “loki”.

    We should get a Tasmanian branch of the LDP started, since we do have members down there. I hope Chris has avoided the annoying sideshow above and has joined up.

  71. “Does anyone still not believe me that loki is a troll?”

    Having a different opinion to you does not make me a troll, even if it is one you are incapable of following.

    ” “A soccer team is centrally planned.”

    WTF!?”

    A soccer team is directed by the coach and the captain and its members are assigned set positions in the team with set roles and tasks. They cooperate toward a common end. That is central planning, albeit simpler than for a whole society because of the much smaller scale. That is also the meaning of “team”.

    “I suspect the devious “Parkos” may be up to this, given the awful grammar and gibberish.”

    It’s English, you obnoxious twit.

  72. ” Shem you make some excellent points, most of which will be wasted on the brain dead “loki”. ”

    A true libertarian respects the right of others to disagree and even to be wrong. Abuse displays intolerance of another’s freedom to think, speak and act as he chooses. Abuse also indicates one’s own inability to argue intelligently. An intelligent person argues intelligently even when the person he is debating with does not. When this becomes a waste of time, he merely stops debating. You start abusing people who disagree with you about three posts in. That shows that you are the unreasonable person, not the intelligent person.

  73. I’ve got this great idea for a TV show. It would be a house where all the rooms have TV cameras and microphones, and we force disagreeable people to meet there, and we the audience can channel-hop to any room in the house at any time. We could call it Big Brother. The difference that I have in mind is that my house would be in Canberra- the big house in the middle, in fact! Televise Parliament House, all the time! Drama guaranteed! I don’t know how you’d get commercials in, but the audience would be large.

  74. Because everyone, including that ‘someone else’ wants to know what Kevin will do next! And how will the Real Julia respond?

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