Tag Archives | Libertarianism
Gary Johnson, 2012′s Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor, recently hosted a post-election AMA
(Ask Me Anything) on Reddit and things didn’t go, perhaps, quite as planned. His top question (receiving 180 “up votes” … 117 more than the second most popular question) was ignored by the former candidate:
“I’ve read your campaign manager used $2.3 million of the $2.5 million you raised to pay his own company. If I donated money to your campaign, where do I write for a refund?”
Parapolitical reported on the situation:
“Johnson’s campaign ended 2012 $1,134,602 in debt of which $1,051,637 is owed to the consulting company owned by the campaign manager presumably responsible for accruing that debt … the debt is on top of millions already paid to the firm. Of roughly $2.5 million raised and spent by Johnson prior to the election, more than $2.3 million of his supporters donations and federal matching funds were disbursed to campaign manager Nielson’s company.”
There’s also the matter of a lawsuit filed by a former Ron Paul fundraiser who went to work for the campaign and since claims he was stiffed on his invoices while the campaign manager’s company was paid “first and in full.” Still, Johnson appears unfazed by the clamor for information about the opaque millions.
Dreaming of planned libertarian communities seems to be all the rage. But perhaps the only place they can succeed is in outer space. Via Smithsonian Magazine, Matt Novak on the 1978 think-tank-produced movie Libra:
Produced and distributed by a free-market group based in San Diego called World Research, Inc., the 40-minute film is set in the year 2003 and gives viewers a look at two vastly different worlds. On Earth, a world government has formed and everything is micromanaged to death, killing private enterprise. But in space, there’s true hope for freedom. Viewers get an interesting peek into what daily life is like when a Libra resident shows off her Abacus computer, which is a bit like Siri.
The film’s vision for 2003 isn’t very pleasant — at least for those left on Earth. The people of Libra seem happy, while those on Earth cope with the world government’s dystopian top-down management of resources.
A group of survivalists wants to build a giant walled fortress in the woods of the Idaho Panhandle, where residents would be required to own weapons and stand ready to defend the compound if society collapses. The proposal is called the Citadel and has created a buzz in this remote logging town 70 miles southeast of Spokane, Wash.
“There is no leader,” [explains] Christian Kerodin, a convicted felon who is a promoter of the project. “There is a significant group of equals involved … each bringing their own professional skills and life experiences to the group.” Applicants for the community must pay a $208 fee, and the official website claims several hundred people already have applied.
The compound would include houses, schools, a hotel and a firearms factory and museum.
The planned community of Independence, USA is to be the living embodiment of the writings of Ayn Rand—specifically, the “Galt’s Gulch” described in Atlas Shrugged. Fingers crossed that this continues to unfold in fascinating fashion. Right Wing Watch explains:
On his program last night, Beck revealed grandiose plans to create an entirely self-sustaining community called Independence Park that will provide its own food and energy, produce television and film content, host research and development, serve as a marketplace for products and ideas, while also housing a theme park and serving as a residential community.
At the center, Beck (with the help of David Barton) will create a massive “national archive”/learning center where people can send their children to be “deprogrammed” and elected officials can come to learn “the truth.” All for a mere $2 billion.
Congressman Ron Paul has delivered his final address to the United States Congress, and of course he hit on several of his favorite themes during a 48-minute speech (part of the transcript is below):
Ron Paul: This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.
It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.
To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire…
In a quasi-libertarian experiment, he created the world’s tiniest country where he lived until old age forced him back to the mainland. The Guardian writes:
Paddy Roy Bates, who occupied an abandoned fort in the North Sea and declared it the sovereign Principality of Sealand with himself as its prince, has died aged 91.
In the 1960s, inspired by the “pirate radio” movement, Bates set up Radio Essex on an offshore fort. When that was closed down, he moved in 1966 to Fort Roughs, a disused second world war platform in international waters about seven miles off the coast.
Michael Bates said his father initially intended to set up another radio station, but then “had the bizarre idea of declaring independence”. Despite the lack of legal status, Bates gave Sealand its own constitution, red, white and black flag, passports, stamps, coins, national anthem and a motto, E Mare Libertas: “From the sea, freedom”.
Matt Bruenig on the logical absurdity of debates about “wealth redistribution”:
The blogosphere is ablaze with discussions of redistribution: who redistributes to who, how much redistribution is happening, and so on. The right-wing can claim we are redistributing to poor folks because of government programs. The left-wing can claim we are redistributing to rich folks because of copyrights, patents, and various forms of protectionism for high-income jobs.
The word “redistribution” implies that there is a distribution that is default, and that we redistribute when we modify the distribution away from it. This, of course, is wrong. There is no default distribution. In the United States, we have constructed and enforce institutions of private property ownership and contract enforcement. All distributions are the consequence of any number of institutional design choices, none of which are commanded by the fabric of the universe. Those institutions generate very different end distributions than we would see if they did not exist.
MEDIA ROOTS – Abby and Robbie Martin talk about Rand Paul: catering to the GOP establishment and revealing his true political nature; Libertarianism: what aspects are good and which are bad; entertainment: the current industry dumbing down culture with movies and television; Stuxnet: US covert war against Iran.
Okay, so the mask is finally off. But honestly, it never really was much of a disguise, was it? From Erin Mershon at the Huffington Post:
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) may rail against Social Security insolvency in the public eye, but that hasn’t stopped him from accepting the government checks.
The libertarian-leaning Republican and former presidential candidate admitted Wednesday that he accepts Social Security checks just minutes after he called for younger generations to wean themselves off the program, in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I want young people to opt out of Social Security, but my goal isn’t to cut,” he said.
The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein then asked Paul, “A bit of a personal question — Are you on Social Security? Do you get social security checks?”
Paul admitted he does, stating, “[It's] just as I use the post office, I use government highways, I use the banks, I use the federal reserve system.