Since Oct 14, 1999
The Libertarian Party's Statement of Principles, the main document of agreement among Libertarians (requiring 7/8th vote at national convention to amend), I present in full, below. (It should be noted that L.P. platforms, programs, and other documents only represent the opinions of particular individuals, or the fad positions accepted by a majority of L.P. members attending a particular convention, or convention designated committee.)
Many libertarians today are working hard to change and remove the 7/8th vote requirement. I know that some are doing so to make the L.P. a better conservative vote catcher. Likewise, I suspect that others are doing so with the hope of gaining Democratic Party-election victories. I do not assign motives or hidden agendas to any particular "Libertarian."
I do, however, contend that the L.P. is slowly being taken over by quasi-libertarians. This is being made easy by the losertarians who fantasize success from a quick win strategy, based on hiding the libertarian philosophy, while pretending to be a "real" political party. Reality on the other hand, requires an honest and accurate assessment of politics in America. That will not be forthcoming from the Libertarian Party for some time to come. If ever.
This is because of the imagined notion that a "real" party must be seeking to win elections. Such pretend notions fly in the face of reality. A real libertarian political party, in its current situation, would be seeking to refine its philosophy, develop strategies, and spread its message. To do this, the main function of the party would be to serve as an umbrella and vanguard, for the rest of the larger libertarian movement. Candidates for public office would be seeking to inform, not gain votes.
For all those interested in the Libertarian Party, I suggest they read Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer" while paying special attention to his three phases of a movement. Libertarian Party members have jumped from the pioneering phase to the consolidating phase, without having 'materialized' the movement. In otherwords, they have prematurely jumped from infancy to adulthood politically speaking, without passing through adolescence. The result is political decrepitness. This error is a direct result of the mistaken notion that the majority of Americans are libertarian. They are not.
I am a Libertarian.
The Libertarian Party's Statement of Principles
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life -- accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action -- accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property -- accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.