Begrudging Another Battle of Ballot-Boxing
, by Kenneth R. Gregg, 23 Nov 2006
Explains how those seeking power through politics are led to compromise, even if they are members of a group espousing principles over expediency, and urges others not to ballot-box but instead vote in the marketplace and the social realm
"What if The Chosen One is ... a member of the Libertarian Party? ... the Libertarian Party can only go so far and no more in promoting libertarianism. Libertarians are human, and political institutions direct thoughts and energies toward specific goals; not only because it is political power which is sought, but because it is the prospect of obtaining power which directs the energies of the LP."
Cast a Giant Ballot: Roger MacBride Made the Libertarian Party the Most Important Third Party in America
, by Clifford F. Thies
, The Freeman
, Oct 1997
Memorial and biographical essay, discussing MacBride's influence on the early Libertarian Party as well as his involvement in the Little House
"In 1971, the Libertarian Party was organized because of the argument that neither of the major parties was committed to liberty, and the naïve idea that a few people—none of whom commanded any significant resources—could do something about it. ... These candidates [John Hospers and Tonie Nathan] were placed on the ballots of only two of the nation's 50 states. Including write-ins from other states, the ticket got 8,000 popular votes out of 77 million cast, not even as many as were received by the Prohibition Party's ticket."
Clark, Ed (1930-)
, by David Boaz
, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
, 15 Aug 2008
"In 1978, he stood as the Libertarian candidate for governor of California, winning 377,960 votes, or about 5.5% of the total cast. That success led to his selection as the party's 1980 presidential nominee. Along with running mate David Koch, ... he appeared on all 50 state ballots and that of the District of Columbia, an unprecedented achievement for a third-party campaign. ... Clark received 920,000 votes (about 1.1%). Although the campaign was successful in some ways, ... the results were disappointing. Following the 1980 campaign, many of Clark's key supporters appear to have lost interest in the party, and a number of them drifted away."
Clark For President: A Report on the 1980 Libertarian Presidential Campaign
, by Ed Crane
(Communications Director), Chris Hocker (National Coordinator), Dec 1980
Post-mortem analysis of the Clark campaign, focusing on what the authors consider were the ten most important aspects, and in terms of what was learned that could be useful to later campaigns
"We want to use this opportunity to express our appreciation for the fine work of the individuals on the National Staff of the campaign whose names are listed on the following page as well as for the efforts of each State Chair, State Coordinator, ballot drive worker, and individual Libertarian volunteer activist who made truly heroic contributions to this campaign. This nationwide team of thousands of dedicated, effective people should serve the Libertarian movement well in the years ahead. ... Growth and development of state Libertarian organizations was one of the areas of greatest accomplishment of the Clark campaign."
David F. Nolan - The Advocates for Self-Government
Includes photo, biography and the essay "Nolan: Innovator for Liberty" by James W. Harris
"In 1971, he wrote a breakthrough article for SIL's monthly magazine, The Individualist, entitled 'The Case for a Libertarian Political Party.' The same month that article appeared — August, 1971 — Richard Nixon went on television to announce that he was demonetizing the dollar and imposing a 'freeze' on wages and prices ... Disgusted, Dave and a group of his friends in Colorado decided to explore the idea of forming a new political party ... Over the next four months, they contacted other libertarians around the country, and on December 11, 1971 — in Dave Nolan's living room — the Libertarian Party was born."
David Nolan: An Appreciation
, by Thomas L. Knapp, 25 Nov 2010
A memorial tribute to Nolan, his chart and his involvement with the libertarian movement and the LP
"While anarchists and 'left' libertarians tend toward a negative view of electoral politics, and therefore of the Libertarian Party as such, few among us would deny the LP's value as a gateway leading from politics to anti-politics. ... In proposing formation of the LP, [Nolan] listed six objectives, all concerned with building and growing a libertarian movement with a sense of its own identity. Only in the final sentence of his call, seemingly as an afterthought, did he mention that 'finally, there is always the possibility that we might actually get some libertarians elected.'"
Defending the Undefendable: Walter Block, Twenty Years Later
, by Walter Block
, Alberto Mingardi, Laissez Faire City Times
, 7 Dec 1998
In addition to discussing Defending the Undefendable
, covers issues such as entertainment, Ayn Rand, Hazlitt, the Libertarian Party and Murray Rothbard
"I advocate voting for the Libertarian Party. I would do so myself were I to vote, but I'm much too lazy to do any such thing. ... The only member of the Republican party I am aware of who is a libertarian is Ron Paul, representative from Texas (and former LP presidential candidate). ... As to the LP, they aren't perfect (e.g., every candidate doesn't always agree with me on everything -- I'm just kidding). But by and large they have remained true to libertarianism, and I am very pleased with them. I speak at LP functions, and donate money to them."
Enemy of the State
, by Lew Rockwell
, Mises Daily
, 24 Nov 2006
Review of Raimondo's biography of Rothbard, An Enemy of the State
, analyzing several of the conventional critiques of Rothbard that are countered in the book; includes quote of Rothbard to Robert Kephart about the Rothbard's life choices
"Let's fast-forward ... to the presidential elections of the 1990s ... Rothbard then rooted for Bush against Clinton ... Many libertarians ... were shocked by his non-interest in the Libertarian Party nominee. But by that time, Rothbard was convinced that the LP was running a presidential campaign in name only, that it was a clique devoted not to real political education but to organizational maintenance. ... Murray was hooted down during a convention when he rose to speak on behalf of his candidate for party chairman ... because his candidate was too bourgeois and too middle class, despite being politically radical."
Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel joins Libertarian Party ranks: Believes Democrats are out of touch with American citizens
, 25 Mar 2008
Libertarian Party press release, including comments from Gravel, Bob Barr and the LP Executive Director
"'My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign with the National Initiative for Democracy.'"
Harry Browne, RIP
, by Lew Rockwell
, 3 Mar 2006
Discusses the impact and influence of Browne's first book, his involvement in Libertarian politics in the 1990s and his outspokenness after 9-11
"He had never been a big enthusiast for the Libertarian Party but in 1996, he graciously threw his hat into the ring as an aspirant ... In 2000, he was an effective and dedicated candidate again. ... How did his presidential bids do at the polls? About as well as most third-party candidates do in a two-party system. ... However: it was also during this period that many people in the two parties began to fear the Libertarian vote on grounds that, as small as it might be, it was enough to make a margin of difference in any race. The LP went from being dismissed to being feared, and this was Harry's doing."
Hospers, John (1918-2011)
, by David Boaz
, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
, 15 Aug 2008
"In 1971, he published a comprehensive work, Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow. That book and his academic stature made him the first presidential candidate of the fledgling Libertarian Party in 1972. On the ballot only in Colorado and Washington, he and vice presidential candidate Tonie Nathan nevertheless campaigned widely in major cities and on college campuses. They received only 3,671 official votes plus an unknown number of write-ins and had their greatest success when Virginia elector Roger L. MacBride cast his electoral vote for Hospers and Nathan instead of Nixon and Agnew."
In Praise of the Libertarian Party
, by Harry Browne
, 4 Jun 2004
Discusses the obstacles faced by the Libertarian Party due to the inherently two-party system, as well as the benefits of the LP presidential campaign
"So why does the Libertarian Party run a presidential campaign? ... [because the candidate] can promote name recognition for the word 'Libertarian,' so that millions of Americans realize that there are people trying to get the government out of our lives. This should be the major purpose of any Libertarian political campaign. By labeling specific proposals as 'Libertarian,' the candidate is telling hundreds of thousands of people that there's a party, a movement, a particular group of people offering to free you from the tired big-government proposals they hear from the Democrats and Republicans."
Interview with Robert Poole
, by Robert W. Poole, Jr.
, Karen Minto, William Minto, Full Context
, May 1999
Topics discussed range from Poole's early influences, Ayn Rand, getting interested in policy analysis, the Goldwater campaign, the LP, Reason Foundation, the professionals who helped him the most and his passion for privatization
"When my friend Dave Nolan started the LP in 1971, I declined the invitation to the founding convention. I didn't think a third party was at all realistic as a vehicle for change. But after a year or so, many Reason subscribers got involved with it, so we started covering it in the magazine; for several years we even had a regular 'Libertarian Party correspondent' column. I went to many of the conventions in the latter '70s and the '80s, often as a speaker on privatization (and occasionally on strategy). I also served on the platform committee a couple of times."
Jeff Riggenbach on Samuel Edward Konkin III
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, Freedom Network News
Lengthy biographical and memorial essay
"[Konkin] became involved with the nascent Libertarian Party. As a delegate from New York City in 1973 and 1974, to the Cleveland and Dallas conventions respectively, Sam organized the original 'radical caucus' within the party. Like its successor 'radical caucus,' founded in the late '70s by Murray Rothbard, Bill Evers, Eric Garris, and Justin Raimondo, it was designed to keep the party properly adherent to libertarian principle."
Joan Kennedy Taylor
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, 14 Jan 2011
Biographical essay, including a review of Taylor's book Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Rediscovered
; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcasts of 28 Dec 2010 and 12 Jan 2011
"To no one's surprise, she was elected by her fellow Massachusetts party members to become the only woman on the 20-member Platform Committee at the 1977 national Libertarian Party convention in San Francisco. Two years later, in 1979, a few months after she arrived in San Francisco ... she served as chair of the Platform Committee at the National Libertarian Party Presidential Nominating Convention in Los Angeles, the convention that nominated the ticket of Ed Clark and David Koch to represent the party in the 1980 presidential election ..."
Keeping Libertarians Inside the Tent: Alienation avoidance
, by Randy Barnett
, National Review Online
, 22 Nov 2002
Responds to New York Times
16 Nov 2002 op-ed by John Miller complaining that Libertarians are "Democratic Party operatives" by offering suggestions that would make the Republican candidates more appealing to libertarian voters
"I read with great interest John Miller's op-ed in the New York Times, 'A Third Party on the Right' in which he complains about the close races that have been tipped to the Democrats by those voting for the Libertarian-party candidate. While I am not a libertarian who advises others to vote Libertarian, many of my libertarian friends and relatives feel otherwise. ... What conservative Republicans often fail to realize is that libertarians are an important constituency that should not be ignored or taken for granted lest their votes be driven to the Libertarian party or even to the Democrats."
Libertarians of Will, Intellect, and Action
, by Murray Rothbard
Keynote address to the Libertarian Party Convention
"We are the institution that garners the publicity, that brings to enormous numbers of people their first knowledge of libertarianism and of the libertarian movement, that educates and ingathers the broad public and attracts and nurtures present and future libertarian activists and cadres. And, on top of all this, we are the only libertarian organization that can use the established institutions of the ballot box ..."
Libertarian Thoughts Reborn
, by John Hospers
, 23 Aug 2003
Part of Walter Block's autobiography series; starts off with his grandparents, early life in Iowa, skepticism, astronomy, teaching at Columbia University and University of Minnesota, interacting with Ayn Rand, the 1972 LP nomination and parting thoughts
"... a representative of the newly formed California Libertarian Party suggested that I go to Denver where there would be a meeting of freedom-oriented people throughout the nation to discuss whether a national Libertarian Party should be formed ... I went to the exploratory meeting on a June weekend in Denver in 1972. ... It was then argued whether or not this party in its infancy should float a candidate for U.S. president, and it was decided that the response should be yes. I was somewhat overwhelmed when I got the nomination ... both Ed Clark and Ed Crane were there at the convention."
Libertarian Voters and the Libertarian Party
, by David Boaz
, 23 May 2008
Discusses the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential candidate nominees, the views of libertarian-leaning voters and the prospects for the LP
"So what's the relationship between libertarian voters and the Libertarian Party? First, of course, members of the Libertarian Party are much more committed to the libertarian philosophy than are the libertarian-leaning voters David Kirby and I have identified in recent research. Our research indicates that 15 to 20 percent of American voters hold broadly libertarian views, yet the Libertarian Party has only once broken 1 percent in a presidential race. ... So libertarian-leaning voters seem open to voting for third-party candidates, and thus they should be fertile ground for the Libertarian Party."
MacBride, Roger Lea (1929-1995)
, by David Boaz
, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
, 15 Aug 2008
"In 1972, living in Virginia, he was selected as a Republican elector. He refused to vote for Richard Nixon and cast his vote instead for the brand-new Libertarian Party ticket of philosopher John Hospers and journalist Tonie Nathan ... The Libertarian Party then chose MacBride to be its presidential nominee in 1976; his modest wealth helped the party to afford a professional campaign for the first time. He came in fourth, receiving about 173,000 votes. His campaign book A New Dawn for America presented libertarian principles and policies in a readable, commonsense manner."
Murray, the LP, and Me
, by David Bergland
, 25 Dec 2002
Lengthy autobiographical essay, focusing on Rothbard, libertarianism and the LP; part of Walter Block's Autobiography Archive
"It is important to understand what the LP was in those early days. The total number of people who really knew libertarianism-Objectivism-classical liberalism, and counted themselves as adherents ... might have been a few hundred. But some of them, Dave Nolan being the ring-leader, started a new political party to advance the libertarian philosophy by using the political system to spread the word. (Naive, yes. But the LP is still going, after 30 years.) The LP was a social organization as well as political. At state and national conventions, libertarians could hang out with philosophical brothers and sisters for a few days ..."
Neither Bullets nor Ballots
[PDF], by Wendy McElroy
, The Voluntaryist
, Oct 1982
First editorial, describing the two major goals of The Voluntaryist
"As Voluntaryists we reject the Libertarian Party on the same level and for the same reason we reject any other political party. The rejection ... is based on the conviction that to oppose the State one must oppose the specific instances of the State or else one's opposition is toward a vague, floating abstraction ... Political offices are the State. By becoming politicians libertarians legitimize and perpetuate the office. They legitimize and perpetuate the State."
On Political Activism
, by Samuel Edward Konkin III
, May 1977
Letter to the editor, criticising John Hospers' view that running for political office as part of the Libertarian Party is "the quickest way of getting libertarian ideas known to millions"
"The paragraph is in your centerfold, and happens to be authored by Dr. John Hospers: 'One fact can hardly be controversial ... it is almost entirely because libertarians have formed a political party whose members ran for office and had their ideas publicized in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.' The 'fact' is indeed not 'controversial;' it is abject nonsense. I have yet to see any significant label retention from those exposed to Libertarian Party commercials during campaigns; most Americans automatically blank out minor parties."
Party makes bid for Silicon Valley support
, Libertarian Party News
, Jan 1999
Describes the visit by LP leaders and other libertarians to a Cato Institute conference in Silicon Valley
"Libertarian Party leaders traveled to Silicon Valley in November to try to build bridges with the computer industry -- and explain to cyber-CEO's why they should "invest" in a start-up third party. LP National Director Steve Dasbach, Political Director Ron Crickenberger, and National Committee Alternate Dan Fylstra all attended 'Washington, DC vs. Silicon Valley: The Annual Cato Institute/Forbes ASAP Conference on Technology & Society,' which was held in San Jose, California, November 19-21. "
Power Profile: Ed Crane
, by Patty Reinert, Examiner.com
, 30 Jan 2008
Biographical profile of Ed Crane, including his views on the 2008 U.S. presidential candidates and his five tips for success
"Crane left it all to become chairman of the Libertarian Party with the goal of making it a national force. He remembered walking into the hall at the first Libertarian Party convention in a Denver hotel in 1972 and being stunned by the collection of misfits who shared his ideals. ... 'There were all kinds of crazies there — gold bugs, Ayn Rand fanatics, anarchists — but they were good people interested in liberty.' He managed Libertarian candidate Ed Clark's 1980 presidential run, and Clark got the largest share of votes that the Libertarian Party has ever won — 1.05 percent."
, by Lew Rockwell
, 12 Jul 2005
Criticizes the "Iraq Exit Strategy: America's Path Forward" proposal, made by the Libertarian National Committee on 29 June 2005, and suggests the name "Regime Libertarians" for those who make that kind of proposals
"... this plan has actually been proposed by the national arm of the Libertarian Party ... the party that claims to represent Jeffersonian liberalism and a radical alternative to right and left has proposed a realpolitik 'plan' for Iraq that, like all such plans, will be buried by events. There is some good material in the plan, of course. It is critical of the invasion and the lies. But ... it completely contradicts the LP platform, which is very good because it takes principled stands against all warmongering, militarism, foreign troop placements, foreign aid, and outrageous spending in the name of defense."
Robert Anton Wilson
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, 15 Aug 2011
Biographical essay, including a lengthy digression on the thought of Ralph Borsodi, founder of the publisher of a magazine co-edited by Wilson in the early 1960's; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 4 Aug 2011
"He also showed up now and then at libertarian gatherings of various sizes and types. I still remember how startled I was one day in 1981, when I was chairing a panel on civil liberties at the national Libertarian Party convention in Denver. ... So when, at last, I stood to make a few introductory remarks and looked out at the crowd that had gathered, I almost jumped out of my skin when I realized that the man sitting in the middle of the front row, virtually under my nose, was none other than Robert Anton Wilson, then in his late 40s and at the height of his fame."
Rothbard, Murray (1926-1995)
, by Brian Doherty, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical and bibliographical essay
"Rothbard thought work toward real-world political change was vital to the libertarian intellectual movement. As a consequence, he became involved with the Libertarian Party. When the party was first launched in 1972, he had determined that conditions in the United States were still premature for such a move. However, by 1975, he became an enthusiastic participant, writing position papers and helping shape the party's platform. ... In the aftermath of the 1980 Libertarian presidential campaign, Rothbard broke with Koch and Cato president Ed Crane, and his involvement with any Koch-financed organizations ceased."
The 1977 Libertarian Party National Convention
, by Tom Avery, Tom G. Palmer, Libertarian Review
, Oct 1977
Recounts the main events of the convention, highlighting several of the speakers and their messages
"More than 1200 people attended the largest libertarian political gathering of modem times: the Sixth Annual National Convention of the Libertarian Party at the Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco. ... Everywhere were signs of activity and growth, symbolized by the attendance itself: 100 people attended the first LP National Convention in Denver, in 1972; 200 showed up in Cleveland in 1973, followed by 300 in Dallas in 1974, 500 in New York in 1975, and 600 in Washington, D.C. in 1976. The attendance of over 1200 at the San Francisco convention was a great leap forward, and the trend promises to continue into the future."
The Barr Campaign At Three Months
, by David Nolan
, 26 Aug 2008
Follow-up discussion of the Bob Barr presidential campaign three months after the nomination (and 10 weeks before the election)
"Polls by the Zogby organization show Bob Barr pulling as much as 5% of the popular vote nationwide, and double that in some states. If this materializes we should all be excited, but early polls usually show third-party candidates getting two to four times the vote they actually receive in November. I still hope and expect Barr to receive the highest vote total of any Presidential candidate to date (i.e. more than 921,000) and think he is likely to exceed our best percentage showing (1.06% in 1980). This will require about 1.3 million votes, but I think it could happen. [Actual 2008 vote total for Barr: 523,715]"
The Case For a Libertarian Political Party
, by David Nolan
, The Individualist
, Aug 1971
A few months before founding the Libertarian Party, Nolan presents his rationale for establishing a new political party, after discussing four other libertarian activist strategies and admitting that "political approaches are inherently coercive"
"First, third-party candidates CAN win ... Even at the national-government level, it happens occasionally. Third-party candidates have been elected to Congress more than one hundred times in this century ... And second, 'winning' (in the sense of electing someone to office) is not the only reason for having a political party - especially in the short term sense. ... All of which leads this writer inexorably to the conclusion that the time has come for us to form our own party. We have the numbers to mount a meaningful effort, nationwide. We have both a desire and a need to achieve visible results."
The Libertarian Legacy of Rose Wilder Lane
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, 14 Apr 2010
Biographical essay on both Rose Wilder Lane and Roger MacBride, transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 30 Mar 2010 titled "Roger MacBride and Rose Wilder Lane: A Libertarian Legacy"
"... Roger MacBride, had voted for John Hospers for president and Tonie Nathan for vice president — thus casting the first electoral vote ever cast for a woman and the first electoral vote ever won by the Libertarian Party. ... It was also Roger MacBride who put the fledgling Libertarian Party on the political map in 1972 and represented it as its presidential nominee in the 1976 campaign against Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. In later years, MacBride abandoned the LP and went back to the Republican Party, within which he founded a libertarian organization, the Republican Liberty Caucus. "
The life of the Party: An introduction, part one
, by Thomas L. Knapp, Rational Review
, 23 Jan 2003
Describes three possible routes for the LP to have its policy prescriptions implemented and proposes a series of articles, by the author and others, outlining their visions for the party's success
"It's the stuff of folklore: in December of 1971, a few people got together in David F. Nolan's Denver apartment and founded a new political party. ... More than three decades into its existence, the LP has yet to define itself ... Randites, Rothbardians, anarchists, minarchists, single issue enthusiasts and advocates of various syntheses compete for the attention of Libertarians and for control of the Party's apparatus, such as it is."
The LP's multiple personality disorder: The Life of the Party, part two
, by Thomas L. Knapp, 30 Jan 2003
Describes three political party strategies (electoral, ideological and revolutionary) and suggests that, in view of its size, the LP should decide on only one of these approaches
"An electoral party strategy is centered around winning elections ... An ideological party strategy is centered around rigorous adherence to principle and refusal to sacrifice goals for electoral gain. ... The LP's current platform is consistent with that of an ideological party. ... An electoral party would eschew ['educational' and 'spoiler'] campaigns for the most part, concentrating instead on winnable elections, most of which, for the nonce, are to local and lower-level office."
Total Victory: How Sweet It Is!
[PDF], by Murray Rothbard
, The Libertarian Forum
Lengthy account and commentary on the 1983 Libertarian Party presidential convention
"Actually, while all support to the LP is to be welcomed, it will not harm the Party in the long run to be no longer dependent on the Koch family; it will not harm us to make it on our own in the real world. There was getting to be a danger of the Libertarian Party's becoming a perpetual welfare client of the Koch family. It will in the long-run be better for the LP to go out and develop more broadbased sources of funding, and hence more feisty independence."
Related Topics: David Bergland
, Roy Childs
, Robert A. Heinlein
, Roger MacBride
, Tonie Nathan
, David Nolan
, Ron Paul
, Robert W. Poole, Jr.
, Justin Raimondo
, Earl Ravenal
, Mary Ruwart
What Are Libertarians Out to Accomplish?
, by Sheldon Richman
, 23 Jan 2015
Reviews a Nathaniel Branden speech, given at the 1979 Libertarian Party national convention, about the manner in which libertarians communicate with non-libertarians
"Ed Clark, a libertarian who was listed on the ballot as an independent, had run quite a successful campaign for governor of California the year before, by libertarian standards, winning 377,960 votes, 5.46 percent of the total. The party in California had also gotten publicity earlier that year for supporting ballot Proposition 13, a cap on the state's property tax, and for opposing Proposition 6, the Briggs Initiative, which would have denied jobs in the government's schools to gay people. The LP's position prevailed in both cases."
Why I am a Libertarian
, by Mark Richards, 21 May 2008
Describes the persons (mainly his mother) and events that influenced him in becoming a libertarian
"When I found out that there was a Libertarian Party that I could actually vote for, I was elated to say the least. I started voting for Libertarians locally here in New Jersey in 1973. 1976 was the first time I voted for a Libertarian presidential candidate when Roger MacBride ran. ... I'm proud to say that I have voted for a Libertarian presidential candidate in every election since. I officially joined the Libertarian Party in 1980 during Ed Clark's campaign. I signed up my mom and dad and my one cousin as members soon after. My mother was a member until she passed way in 1994."