Why Be Libertarian?
for a Libertarian Victory
Importance of the Caucus
Ten Points of the Libertarian Party Rothbard Caucus
The Libertarian Party should be a mass-participation
party operating in the electoral area and elsewhere, devoted
to consistent libertarian principle, and committed to liberty
and justice for all. The Libertarian Party should trust in and
rely on the people to welcome a program of liberty and justice
and should always aim strategically at convincing the bulk of
the people of the soundess of libertarian doctrine.
The central commitment of the Libertarian
Party should be to individual liberty on the basis of rights
and moral principle, and not on the basis of economic cost-benefit
American society is divided into a government-privileged
class and a government-oppressed class and is ruled by a power
elite. Libertarian Party strategy and pronouncements should
reflect these facts.
& The Oppressed
The Libertarian Party should make
a special effort to recruit members from groups mosts oppressed
by the government so that the indignation of those who experience
oppression is joined to that of those who oppose oppression
in principle. The Libertarian Party should never approve of
the initiation of force, nor should it rule out self-defense
and resistance to tyranny.
The Rothbard Caucus insists that all reforms
advocated by the Libertarian Party must diminish governmental
power and that no such reforms are to contradict the goal of
a totally free society. Holding high our principles means avoiding
completely the quagmire of self-imposed, obligatory gradualism:
We must avoid the view that, in the name of fairness, abating
suffering, or fulfilling expectations, we must temporize and
stall on the road to liberty.
The removal of a harmful government
policy should never be held up as a condition for removing another,
for this throws self-imposed barriers in the path of liberty
and removes potential pressures for change. For example, saying
that borders may be opened only after welfare is eliminated
is unacceptable; the proper position is to push for both changes.
Should we succeed in achieving open borders only to find that
welfare burdens are increased, this should be used as an additional
argument to abolish welfare.
Avoiding the twin errors of sectarianism and
opportunism is key. Simply repeating our basic principles and
not proposing transition measures is ineffective in the short
run because only a small part of the populace is interested
in liberty in the abstract, and hiding or abandoning our principled
positions is ineffective in the long run because it fails to
sustain us as a movement and attract and retain new Libertarians.
--As the word radical means "going to
the root" of something, radical Libertarians should not
merely propose small changes to the status quo and debate
the fine points of government policy with their opponents,
but should propose the abolition of State institutions and
calling attention to the evil at their base: the coercion,
force, and tyranny inherent in the State. Because morality
and logic are on our side, the best candidates and spokespersons
will sound eminently reasonable while maintaining radical
& Centrality of Foreign Policy
Because the United
States government aspires to world-wide control of events, foreign
policy is always potentially the most important issue of our
time. The Libertarian Party should bring to the public the truth
about the continuing threat to world peace posed by U.S. foreign
policy. No one should be deceived by the notion that any government,
like the American, which has a relatively benign domestic policy,
therefore has a relatively benign foreign policy.
The Rothbard Caucus agrees to the view, adopted
by the Libertarian Party at its 1974 Dallas convention, that
for purposes of party programs and activities the issue of the
ultimate legitimacy of government per se is not relevant. We
oppose all efforts to exclude either anarchists or minimal statists
from party life.