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Libertarians are such losers!

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  • Tim Condon
    For those interested, what follows is the text of an article I m releasing onto the Internet today. Feel free to send it around to your friends and email
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 9, 2005
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      For those interested, what follows is the text of an article I'm
      releasing onto the Internet today. Feel free to send it around to your
      friends and email lists.

      Tim Condon - Tampa, Florida - Want real liberty? www.freestateproject.org
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      "What makes the capitalist system work, what keeps economies dynamic, is
      precisely nonconformity, the new, the unusual, the eccentric, the
      egregious, the innovative, springing from the inexhaustible
      inventiveness of human nature. Capitalism thrives on the absence of
      rules or the ability to circumvent them." ---Paul Johnson, historian
      and author of "Modern Times"

      LISTEN, Libertarian!
      By Tim Condon
      October 9, 2005

      Libertarians are such losers. I know, this is not a way to endear
      myself to them, even when my best friends are all libertarian or
      near-libertarian. But success is staring them in the face, and a
      significant proportion of them deploy massive brainpower and argument to
      make sure that nothing ever gets better. It's incredible.

      LISTEN, libertarian! It's over 30 years later, and we're still
      hearing endless platitudes that keep us from gaining political power in
      the service of individual freedom.

      "All we need to do is a better job at selling our product!" the
      activists say. But we've been trying to "sell our product" for decades,
      and the people of America aren't buying.

      "All we need to do is a better job of educating people about what we
      stand for!" say the activists. But after 30 years of libertarian
      presidential candidates and campaigns, the voters are more than aware of
      what we stand for.

      We are caught blinded...blinded in the floodlights of an ugly
      reality: Today there is no significant voting constituency in America
      for libertarian ideas. And it's time to face up to that fact.

      If we are really interested in living in a society where every man
      and woman can do whatever they want so long as they harm no one else,
      there is only one possibility for success. Our numbers must be
      concentrated in one sovereign American state, there to exercise the
      power that comes with voting power in a democracy.

      There is simply no other way.

      Such a "democratic experiment" would be no experiment at all. It
      would merely reference what the Founding Fathers intended the thirteen
      sovereign, revolutionary states to be. It would be a shining example to
      the rest of America and the world, demonstrating the salutary effects of
      people living in freedom. It would be a "little Hong Kong," and would
      instruct our country on what it has lost, just as Hong Kong instructed
      China on the benefits of free markets and property rights for the past
      half-century (as of January 2005 Hong Kong was rated by the Heritage
      Foundation and Wall Street Journal as the freest country in the world
      economically; the United States isn't even in the top 10).

      This is the meaning, and the aim, of the four-year-old Free State
      Project (FSP). It offers real hope for liberty in your own lifetime.

      Yet in the face of the FSP opportunity, the great majority of
      libertarians remain immobilized, or worse. The Executive Committee of
      the national Libertarian Party has refused to endorse the Free State
      Project, even while many state parties have. Former LP Presidential
      candidate Harry Browne all but dismissed the Free State Project ("I have
      not been a big fan of the Free State Project...I have no wish to
      participate in such a program..."). Reason magazine ran an article that
      reprised all the failed "new country" projects of the past 40 years,
      making it clear they think the FSP is just another "pipe dream" And the
      CATO Institute won't even comment on the Free State Project.

      As for the rest of you libertarians, you seem to regard the FSP plan
      with a mixture of fear and revulsion. Move to a small-population,
      cold-weather state to attain liberty in your lifetime? Suddenly we hear
      you bleating about how "things aren't so bad" where you live. And we
      hear emphatic statements that you're sure as hell not moving thousands,
      or even hundreds, of miles away from your comfortable home, just to live
      free. Uh uhhh!

      After all, you live where you live because you like it there. It may
      be that you arrived at your present place and state of lassitude through
      an accident of birth or parentage. Or you may have visited at some
      point, and liked it enough to stay. Now it is where your friends are. It
      is where your job is. It is where your family is.

      But most of all, it is where you are comfortable.

      Of course, the question of "comfort" to those who profess to believe
      in libertarian ideas and ideals is problematical. When you say "things
      aren't that bad here," you sound both smug and hopeful, even as you
      delude yourself. You also sound oh-so-earnest when you explain that "I'm
      not prevented from doing most of the things I want to do. As long as I'm
      careful, and don't make myself too public, it's not that bad at all."

      You pause to let that fortuitous bit of information sink in, and
      then continue: "Besides, I'm not really interested in smoking pot or
      setting up a whorehouse." As if such things meant anything in the
      parlance of what individual freedom is about. Texas Representative Ron
      Paul has stated that, "American history, a least in part, is a history
      of people who don't like being told what to do." Yet today, he points
      out, we have built a society that has "laid the foundation for tyranny
      by making the public more docile, more accustomed to government
      bullying, and more accepting of arbitrary authority."

      Meanwhile, you libertarians fall all over yourselves explaining why
      you can't or won't move to a single state where you could fight being
      "told what to do." After all, it's not so bad to bend a little to
      accommodate your lives to the ever-increasing demands of local and state
      governments, right? You're quite comfortable where you are, and if you
      can't stem the increasing tendency of government to minutely supervise
      what you are permitted to do, well then, you just go along with it.

      Let me ask you a few things.

      What does it mean when a house of a few thousand square feet --
      nice, but not palatial by any stretch of the imagination -- can be
      assessed and taxed so that the property tax bill amounts to one or two
      thousand dollars per month? It means those who own the homes aren't
      really the "owners"; they merely "rent" their homes from the local
      government, often while clamoring for more "government services."

      But it's okay to you libertarians, because you don't live in a big,
      expensive house anyway, so you don't have to worry about sky-high
      property taxes. And you think paying two hundred dollars a month in
      property taxes is quite reasonable, especially when compared to the
      taxes paid by people with bigger houses. Except that even those levels
      of taxation applied to our homes are outrageous when you think about it.

      In New Hampshire, by contrast, there are no state income taxes, no
      general state sales taxes, no estate taxes, no tangible personal
      property taxes, no intangible personal property taxes, no corporate
      income taxes, and no fat "political class" endlessly agitating for
      higher taxes and larger state government. Says one committed libertarian
      from another northeastern state, "When all state and local taxes are
      taken into consideration, along with other mandated expenses such as
      insurance, I'll save between $50,000 and $75,000 every year after I move
      to New Hampshire from New Jersey."

      How about when whole cities, and even states, presume to tell
      business-owners whether they can or cannot allow smoking -- or drinking,
      for that matter -- in and on privately owned commercial property?

      That's all right with you libertarians. You don't like smoking
      anyway, and you're perfectly willing to do your drinking at home. And
      when the property rights of others are violated to suppress behavior you
      don't favor, well then that's okay too.

      In New Hampshire, by contrast, there are no statewide anti-smoking
      laws because the predominant cultural outlook is "live and let live."
      There are also no "open container" laws, and random police roadblocks
      are forbidden by law without a court order. Fittingly, the state motto
      is "Live Free or Die."

      Here's another example: What does it mean when cities totally ignore
      the 2nd Amendment, routinely outlawing the right to keep and bear
      firearms by citizens living in those cities? The people must like the
      idea, since they keep electing the politicians who push it. And when
      murder and assault rates skyrocket in such places -- as they have in
      Washington DC since firearms have been virtually outlawed -- the people
      and politicians agitate for even harsher anti-gun ordinances!

      But it must be okay with you libertarians, because you continue to
      live in such places. Perhaps you don't feel the need or desire to own or
      carry a firearm. And you figure you're safe enough in your neighborhood
      anyway, so you think such laws really don't affect you.

      In New Hampshire, by contrast, the right to openly carry personal
      firearms is enshrined in the state constitution. It is also a "shall
      issue" jurisdiction where state law commands local authorities to issue
      concealed carry permits upon submission of an application. Not
      surprisingly, New Hampshire has one of the lowest crime rates in the
      country and is said to be one of the four safest states in America.

      LISTEN, libertarian: Virtually every political and philosophical
      position you hold is well thought out, logical, and beneficial. Yet most
      of those political and philosophical positions are utterly rejected by
      the mass of Americans. They don't agree with you! Your ideas scare them!
      And your numbers are so pitifully small that after 30 years not one LP
      candidate for any statewide or federal office has ever been elected.

      Why do you sit there so smug in the clarity and justice of your
      positions that will never be implemented? Nor ever be seriously
      considered or debated? You cannot win because in any democratic
      political calculus you are swamped by those who disagree with you and
      fear the ideas you espouse.

      The only way for you to have any kind of hope for success is to take
      it upon yourselves to concentrate your numbers. It has been done in
      Utah, where the Mormons hold sway. It has been done in San Francisco and
      Key West, where gays hold sway. It has been done in New York and New
      Jersey, where predominantly corrupt state socialists hold sway. It has
      been done in Vermont, where a formerly rock-ribbed Republican state has
      been transformed into a highly-taxed political paradise for liberal
      statists, so much so that whole towns are now asking to secede and join
      neighboring low-tax New Hampshire.

      New Hampshire. The chosen Free State. It is the only place where
      politically active freedom-lovers have a chance to wield real political
      power. Why? Because the state is already semi-libertarian in outlook,
      which is why the FSP membership chose it.

      The chance is right in front of you, libertarians! Right now! The
      migration of freedom-loving people to New Hampshire has already begun.
      Several hundred people from all over America and the world have already
      moved to New Hampshire. You can read about them and their stories on the
      Free State Project web site at www.freestateproject.org. If you join the
      others already moving there in a steady stream, you won't have to put up
      with the common, petty annoyances forced upon you by increasingly
      officious apparatchiks of state and local government. You won't have to
      put up with the increasing numbers of "little Hitlers" in daily life
      whose mission it is to help make you "do as you are told" and "obey the
      rules." Rules that shouldn't exist in the first place.

      But even that prospect doesn't entice most of you. For most of you
      the response has been continued lassitude. After all, you're comfortable
      where you are, and you're certainly not going to endure any disruption
      or discomfort in your life to make freedom happen. Not now, and not in
      the future.

      In the 2004 national election, Libertarian Party presidential
      candidate Michael Badnarik -- himself a signed participant with the Free
      State Project -- garnered almost 400,000 votes. Yet the Free State
      Project seeks only 20,000 activist libertarians and other freedom-lovers
      to make the move to freedom (they're currently at almost 7,000 signed-up
      participants: www.freestateproject.org/about/membership.php).

      What would be the impact on politics in New Hampshire? "If you put
      just 5,000 politically active liberty-lovers into New Hampshire, let
      alone 20,000," one Granite State resident told me, "they could sweep the
      state; they'd be more politically powerful than anything either the
      Democrats or the Republicans could put up."

      But you libertarians sit there in your highly-controlled, high-tax
      home states where property rights are routinely violated and local
      ordinances endlessly proliferate, and you refuse to take any action
      other than running futile election campaigns that never garner more than
      a few percent of the vote.

      In the final analysis, you're doing little to attain liberty in your
      own lifetimes, even while you prate on about how much you believe in
      political activism, individual freedom, and the Bill of Rights.

      Never before were Samuel Adams' words more apt than today with
      regard to the general libertarian response to the Free State Project. On
      August 1, 1776, less than a month after the Declaration of Independence
      had been signed and published, Adams said these words in a speech to a
      packed house: "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of
      servitude than the animating contest of freedom--go from us in peace. We
      ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed
      you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that
      ye were our countrymen."

      Is it any wonder that the flame of freedom flickers and sputters in
      America today?

      -- ### --


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Freedom Fred
      I would like to respond to this article in depth, but don t have the time. So I will make a few counterpoints: Firstly, I take it this article is suppose to
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 10, 2005
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        I would like to respond to this article in depth, but don't have the time. So
        I will make a few "counterpoints:"

        Firstly, I take it this article is suppose to serve as a "kick in the butt"
        for those libertarians that have not taking the action of moving to New
        Hampshire. As they say, you attract more flies with honey. I would prefer to
        see a strongly positive article rather than a strongly negative, sarcastic
        one. In this article I read: frustration. While that may be the case, I
        don't think that will exactly engender other like-minded individuals to
        relocate here.

        Secondly, the Free State Project is really supposed to be politically neutral
        from what I understand, even though its members are predominately
        libertarian.

        Thirdly, we do not need "large numbers" or "the majority" to accomplish our
        goals. Personally, I consider the current political infrastructure in our
        country antithetical to libertarianism due to is very nature. No "winner
        takes all" system can be said to be conducive to libertarianism. Tyranny of
        the Majority is still tyranny, no matter how you shake it.

        What we need, instead, is a means to deconstruct the current political
        infrastructure and replace it with a better one -- one conducive to
        libertarianism. How we achieve that is, of course, open to debate -- and we
        should debate it.

        In the mean time, IMHO, we should seek more positive messages to cajole
        like-minded people around the country to participate. After all, it is not a
        small decision to decide to relocate. And negativity is not likely to
        engender the thousands we desire to become a part of New Hampshire and our
        efforts here.

        My 2 cents. Take it for what it's worth.

        -Freedom Fred

        On Sunday 09 October 2005 18:10, Tim Condon wrote:
        > For those interested, what follows is the text of an article I'm
        > releasing onto the Internet today. Feel free to send it around to your
        > friends and email lists.
        >
        > Tim Condon - Tampa, Florida - Want real liberty? www.freestateproject.org
        > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >----------------- "What makes the capitalist system work, what keeps
        > economies dynamic, is precisely nonconformity, the new, the unusual, the
        > eccentric, the egregious, the innovative, springing from the inexhaustible
        > inventiveness of human nature. Capitalism thrives on the absence of
        > rules or the ability to circumvent them." ---Paul Johnson, historian
        > and author of "Modern Times"
        >
        > LISTEN, Libertarian!
        > By Tim Condon
        > October 9, 2005
        >
        > Libertarians are such losers. I know, this is not a way to endear
        > myself to them, even when my best friends are all libertarian or
        > near-libertarian. But success is staring them in the face, and a
        > significant proportion of them deploy massive brainpower and argument to
        > make sure that nothing ever gets better. It's incredible.
        >

        --
        - Freedom Fred
        Invoke a pocket of Freedom wherever you are!
      • Alan R. Weiss
        ... And there are dozens of articles like that available. Some even written by Tim Condon. :-) Fact is, the FSP has written many, many articles, letters to
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 11, 2005
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          Freedom Fred wrote:

          >I would like to respond to this article in depth, but don't have the time. So
          >I will make a few "counterpoints:"
          >
          >Firstly, I take it this article is suppose to serve as a "kick in the butt"
          >for those libertarians that have not taking the action of moving to New
          >Hampshire. As they say, you attract more flies with honey. I would prefer to
          >see a strongly positive article rather than a strongly negative, sarcastic
          >one. In this article I read: frustration. While that may be the case, I
          >don't think that will exactly engender other like-minded individuals to
          >relocate here.
          >
          >
          >

          And there are dozens of articles like that available. Some even written
          by Tim Condon. :-)

          Fact is, the FSP has written many, many articles, letters to the editor,
          editorials, and analysis all touting the FSP, New Hampshire, and our
          mission. Practically the entire FSP (save the forums, which are like
          most forums outlets for venting) is positive.

          Every once in awhile, though, a good kick in the ass does wonders for
          the spirit, especially one based on facts. Not everyone is going to
          respond positively to this. Doubtlessly some will use this as an excuse
          to (ah, further) take no action. But then again, they weren't serious
          about liberty anyway.


          >Secondly, the Free State Project is really supposed to be politically neutral
          >from what I understand, even though its members are predominately
          >libertarian.
          >
          >

          The fact is, Freedom Fred, this country is sliding deeply into
          slavery/sefdom and the fact is, liberty-minded people have had very
          little impact on the disasterous direction this empire -- er, sorry,
          country -- is taking. Amazingly enough, all the good words of Robert
          Heinlein, Ayn Rand, L. Neil Smith, Vin Suprynowicz, Neal Boortz, and
          literally hundreds of other thinkers, writers, speakers --- for nearly
          naught.

          Whether RLC, Libertarian Party, Democrats, Republicans, Indies, or
          whatever - nothing has particularly "worked." The LP is a shambles and
          is now considered to be a failure by many libertarians and all
          Republicans (Democrats just sneer at it, erroneously calling it a
          right-wing club). So Tim used the small-"l" term libertarian. Do you
          run away from it? Would you prefer classical liberal? Because I'm SO
          over the label argument I could just retch at the mere hint that there
          is anything worth taking offense to any longer. But that's just me.

          >Thirdly, we do not need "large numbers" or "the majority" to accomplish our
          >goals. Personally, I consider the current political infrastructure in our
          >country antithetical to libertarianism due to is very nature. No "winner
          >takes all" system can be said to be conducive to libertarianism. Tyranny of
          >the Majority is still tyranny, no matter how you shake it.
          >
          >

          Tim made that point, clearly. He said that if only 5000 people up and
          moved, and were activists, big things would happen.

          >What we need, instead, is a means to deconstruct the current political
          >infrastructure and replace it with a better one -- one conducive to
          >libertarianism. How we achieve that is, of course, open to debate -- and we
          >should debate it.
          >
          >

          Tim suggested one method. The best deconstruction is, of course, armed
          revolution with a side of rope. Since that is even less likely to occur
          than a huge influx into the FSP, perhaps you'd like to start with a
          suggestion? :-) I know you are going to write a nice long piece, but
          when you do, please realize we're all on the same side. Way, way to the
          side ... of American politics in general.

          >In the mean time, IMHO, we should seek more positive messages to cajole
          >like-minded people around the country to participate. After all, it is not a
          >small decision to decide to relocate. And negativity is not likely to
          >engender the thousands we desire to become a part of New Hampshire and our
          >efforts here.
          >
          >

          I too thought, "gee, Condon is doing his usual carrot and stick schtick,
          his usual "get up off your asses" repartee. And then I realized,
          "ignoring the tone of voice, is he right?" You decide if he is, or isn't.

          Meanwhile, I fully expected that if and when the FSP started to feel the
          pressure of the 2006 "deadline" we'd see articles like this one -
          chastizing, cajoling, wheedling (I dare say it! Wheedling!). That Tim
          wrote one was inevitable. That he did such a good job should be commended.


          >My 2 cents. Take it for what it's worth.
          >
          >-Freedom Fred
          >
          >

          Feel free to write a positive one, Fred. Just get it published!

          Alan



          --
          Alan R. Weiss
          CEO, EEMBC Certification Laboratories (ECL) and Synchromesh Computing
          6300 Bridgepoint Parkway
          Bridgepoint Square One, Suite 125
          Austin, Texas 78730 USA
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          email: alan@... or aweiss@...
          or alan@...


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        • phil_h_1985
          First I introduce myself; I m a 19 year old Belgian Student and libertarian. I would like to participate to the FSP. There is only one thing I m sure about my
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 29, 2005
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            First I introduce myself; I'm a 19 year old Belgian Student and
            libertarian. I would like to participate to the FSP. There is only
            one thing I'm sure about my future: I'm not staying her in Belgium.

            A lot of libertarians can't move because of personal reason,
            friends, family, job etc. Even for me, it would be hard to move, I
            don't know if I'll find a job that I would like to do over there.

            I don't what is your nationality, but I'm pretty sure you are
            American. Well be happy to be in America, here in Belgium people
            are conducted to be pro-State power. When I'm talking about Freedom,
            people say I'm crazy or they insulted me (of course, they never come
            with facts or numbers). Big brother is their friend and they don't
            want to think themselves. In America (and some other English talking
            countries), I also talked to many people, Americans are much more
            open-minded than Belgians or French (actually I'm also French).Why?
            I don't know, historical heritage maybe.

            For now I (or we) just have hope on our side. Let's hope we will
            succeed. If we do, we will change mankind for ever and FSP will be
            in every historical Book.
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