Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's All About The Legitimacy of Government

Continuing with The Voluntaryist, Issue 2, I wanted to post a few thoughts on the editorial titled LET MY PEOPLE GO, which was co-written by George H. Smith and Wendy McElroy.

This editorial begins by mentioning the Dallas Accord, an agreement made in 1974 between the minarchists and anarchists within the Libertarian Party.

It sounds like it was meant to shut-up the annoying anarchists who just really didn't like anything at all about government. Apparently the majority on both sides ended up thinking that if they could just stop arguing about that, for just a little while, then both groups could work together and focus on growing the Party itself.

And once that growth happened, and government became smaller as a result, THEN a discussion on government itself, and how to get rid of it, could occur.

I can almost hear the snickers of the minarchists in this situation, can't you?

Please note, I'm not making fun of the anarchists here, it's just that I can now see how different the goals are for the two groups.

Anyway, the authors' biggest concern continues to be the time and energy wasted inside the party by those who have figured out that there is no moral legitimacy in government.

This excerpt probably says it best:
"Voluntaryists believe that anarchists have important contributions to make in strategy as well as in theory. We believe in the potential of nonviolent anarchist organizations to challenge State power on a level impossible for political parties. The basic theory is there, awaiting development. The strategic insights are there, awaiting implementation. Where, then are the anarchists? Many of them, including those of the highest caliber, are stuck in a regressive and increasingly bureaucratic political party, soliciting votes like common political hacks, engagins in vendettas, and fighting delaying actions against Party conservatism which approaches with the inevitability of death."


mudshark said...

The Voluntaryist is a great source.

some more perspective on the conflict/compromise of the time from the LF.

Debbie H. said...

That's a fantastic resource too mudshark. Might have to do another blog project after this one. ;)

Less Antman said...

You're really bringing back memories, Debbie. You might notice that I was mentioned in that LET MY PEOPLE GO article: George and Wendy publicly debated me and Jeff Hummel on the ethics of voting back in 1982 on a couple of occasions, with respect and affection and complete disagreement. Jeff and I actually opposed the Dallas Accord back then (and still), not because we didn't think anarchists and minarchists could ally for a common cause, but because we thought it was important for the anarchists in the LP to speak about free market provision of legislative, adjudicative, and protective services, in part to persuade the minarchists, and in part so that the public would be aware of both types of libertarians in the LP.

I look forward to your continued installments on this wonderful publication. -- Less Antman

Debbie H. said...

Les, Yes I have noticed your name popping up several times since beginning this project. I completely understand the idea of having people in the LP speak out about the topics you mention, particularly in regards to persuading the minarchists. Glad you found this blog and I look forward to any perspective you may want to share.