Co-founder of U.S. Libertarian Party, creator of political beliefs chart
David Nolan

David Fraser Nolan (23 November 1943 – 21 November 2010) was an American activist and politician. He was one of the founders of the Libertarian Party of the United States, having hosted the meeting in 1971 at which the Party was founded. Nolan subsequently served the party in a number of roles including National Chair, editor of the party newsletter, chairman of the By-laws Committee, chairman of the Judicial Committee and Chairman of the Platform Committee.

2004 Libertarian National Convention, Speaker


David F. Nolan - The Advocates
236x300 JPEG, color


23 Nov 1943, David Fraser Nolan, in Washington, D.C.


21 Nov 2010, in Tucson, Arizona


Full Biography for David F. Nolan: Candidate for United States Representative; District 47
League of Women Voters, November 7, 2000 Election


Advocates for Self-Government, Board of Advisors
Libertarian Party, Founder

Web Pages

David F. Nolan - The Advocates
Biography, picture and quotes
"David Nolan is famous among libertarians for two major achievements. He's a co-founder of the Libertarian Party -- in fact, that party was formed in his own living room in 1971. In 1970, he created a new map of the political world that has all but replaced the old-fashioned left-right linear model. A Google search for the phrase 'Nolan Chart' recently turned up 33,700 references!"


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
"The great project of David Nolan's public life was bringing libertarians together, and bring them together he did — ultimately, in one way or another, by the millions. ... From the LP's beginnings ... Nolan urged his party to maintain a distinctively libertarian identity and to treat elections as opportunities to educate and propagandize, not as ends in themselves."
David Nolan: A leading 20th Century thinker?, Libertarian Party News, Aug 1999
The Political Compass & Why Libertarianism is Not Right-Wing, by Jan Clifford Lester, 1994
Presents a Political Compass in contrast to the traditional left/right spectrum, with a north-south axis of Choice vs. (state) Control and a west-east axis of Personal and Property Choice, and a 20 question quiz to determine one's political bearing
"... the [political] circle may be a useful first stage for illustrating the confusion in the left/right view ... One idea that makes some sense of this confusion, or conflation, is David Nolan's diagrammatical distinction between economic and personal liberty based on the empirical work of professors William Maddox and Stuart Lilie (1984). Nolan puts both types of liberty in the same diagram along two axes."
Related Topics: Marshall Fritz, Libertarianism
Total Victory: How Sweet It Is! [PDF], by Murray Rothbard, The Libertarian Forum, 1983
Lengthy account and commentary on the 1983 Libertarian Party presidential convention
"Dave Nolan (CO) was a fine choice for my replacement. Although at least as ardent a Bergland partisan as myself, he was perceived by the convention as more of a unifying factor, and he had built a new constituency among the delegates by serving as chairman of the platform committee. Some of them were urging a Nolan draft for president."
Two-dimensional libertarianism, by Anthony Gregory, Rational Review, 30 Sep 2004
Questions the usefulness of the two-dimensional Nolan Chart and the World's Smallest Political Quiz and advocates instead a one-dimensional liberty vs. power spectrum
"The two-dimensional Nolan chart appears to be, at first glance, an enormous improvement over all of this one-dimensional nonsense. ... Incidentally, I think David Nolan, founder of the Libertarian Party and inventor of the 'Nolan Chart' two-axis grid, on which the 'World's Smallest Political Quiz' is based, is a sincere guy who has done quite a lot of good. But I disagree with the idea of using this graph in the ways it often is used."


Karl Hess: An appreciation, Libertarian Party News, Jun 1994
Memorial essay
"I first met Karl Hess in 1979, 12 years after I read his book ... On first meeting Karl, I was a bit awestruck. After all, this was THE Karl Hess, author of Barry Goldwater's famous nomination acceptance speech ... Karl's warmth and gentle, down-to-earth manner soon dissipated my awe, however. Within minutes we were talking like old friends. And it was this quality that made Karl perhaps the best-loved of all figures in the modern libertarian movement."
Related Topic: Karl Hess
Libertarian Zappa dies, Libertarian Party News, Jan 1994
"Zappa achieved his greatest prominence in the 1960s, as leader of the rock group Mothers of Invention, an iconoclastic and irreverent band that lampooned virtually every facet of American culture. ... Zappa was staunchly pro-freedom ... His two pet peeves were censorship and the income tax."
The Barr Campaign At Three Months, 26 Aug 2008
Reflections on the Bob Barr presidential campaign from the founder of the Libertarian Party
"Bob Barr needs to get his campaign under control, do some serious fundraising, and start taking bolder stands on the issues: get out of Iraq, end the 'War on Drugs' completely, dismantle the Federal Reserve, pull out of the UN, abolish the IRS, etc. Tepid calls for reduced spending and commissions to study government waste will not inspire activists and donors."
The Case For a Libertarian Political Party, The Individualist, Aug 1971
A few months before the founding of 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 - especially in local or nonpartisan elections. 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 there are two 'third-party' Senators ([James L.] Buckley and [Harry F.] Byrd[, Jr.]) in office at this very moment. 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."
The Essence of Liberty: What is it that really makes one a libertarian?, Libertarian Party News, Mar 1995
Discusses five points of "no compromise" that Nolan considered essential to libertarianism
"First and foremost, libertarians believe in the principle of self-ownership. ... Self-ownership implies the right to self-defense. ... libertarians believe that individuals have the right to own and use anything-gold, guns, marijuana, sexually explicit material-so long as they do not harm others through force or the threat of force. ... In an ideal world, there would be no taxation. ... The fifth and final key test ... is their support for an honest money system ..."


David Nolan: What Happened to the Libertarian Party?, The Lew Rockwell Show, 17 Dec 2008
Lew asks David Nolan about the recent LP presidential campaign and the status of the party
Related Topic: Libertarian Party


Interview with David Nolan, Libertarian Party Founder, by David Nolan (interviewee), Jason Talley, The Motorhome Diaries, 1 May 2009
Jason asks Nolan about the founding and the current direction of the Libertarian Party, the Nolan chart and his current projects

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "David Nolan (libertarian)" as of 03 Apr 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.