Saturday, May 19, 2007

Real Li bertarians Fight Back

In effect, the LP had been converted into the private property of the same clique who had ousted the Crane Machine. The group followed the same patterns of self-dealing, top down management, deceptive practices, and overweening arrogance. Another round of the same behavior would be repeated in the largest State organization of the LP, the Libertarian Party of California. That continues to this day.

The following is just one incident in a reaction against the Berglandista that eventually ousted them entirely from any positions of respect in the LP.

=====LP of Pa. Board of Directors resolution passed 3:01pm 9/23/2001====

"Whereas, certain individuals associated with the Libertarian Party conspired to violate National Libertarian Party policy, libertarian principles, and normal standards of business ethics, and

Whereas, we have in the past supported, promoted and endorsed these individuals by our official actions and in our publications and appeals, and

Whereas, we have an obligation to keep our membership informed;

Therefore, we the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania withdraw any expressed or implied endorsement of any of these individuals or organizations or projects in which they are involved. The individuals are, in alphabetical order:
Sharon Ayres
David Bergland
Harry Browne
Michael (Emerling) Cloud
Jack Harris Dean
Perry Willis

The grip of the Berglandista on the LP was finally wrested away by a determined coalition of activists at the 2002 Convention in Indianapolis. The Berglandista candidate for National Chairman, Eli Israel, went down to defeat, opposed by Geoff Neale from Texas and George Phillies of Massachusetts. George, a professor of physics, would be the central force in excising the Emerling influence from his own state several years later. Stubbornly refusing to be silenced he, like the energizer bunny, just keeps going. Phillies lost, but took enough votes to deny election to Israel.

Today, four years later, the LP remains disjointed and without a strategic vision that connects to a plan of action. However, it remains an effective meeting point for people seeking personal freedom and political alternatives and, as with all life, there is yet hope. If the LP assembles a strategically sound plan, taking into account the need for governance and a community model based on persuasion, building at the most local level, it holds the potential of becoming itself a model for the solution.

An effective model for action would focus power on the most local level, building the state and national components entirely as support and networking points through which such useful functions as an effective mediation system would operate with transparency. This could be done entirely online, allowing the National Office to be eliminated or decentralized. The Presidential campaign could then be handled by a candidate who would focus attention on local organizing by providing a charismatic presence. If the local organizing accomplishes what it well could there would be acceptable candidates.

The national site would, in effect, be a collection of resources using a vetting system for information that would disallow the predatory inclinations of such figures as Ed Crane, Michael Emerling, and Perry Willis.

Through its origination of 'idea tools,' the LP changed the direction of politics in America. Those tools include privatization (Bob Poole of Reason Foundation), outsourcing, deregulation, and others intended to make the process more efficient. However, efficiency is neither a substitute or equivalent for freedom though many have confused these things.

Additionally, these ideas were not used as originally anticipated because, as with all ideas, they were sold through such outlets as Cato as tools that actually served to decouple profit and accountability and could be enforced through legislation. These did not, therefore produce the benefits of a free market but rather allowed for the optimization of profit by corporations that also used the legislative process to minimize or even eliminate their potential for liability.

The issues of Global Warming, which is now acknowledged to be supported by overwhelming evidence was evaded for the last 30 years in large part through the actions of Cato, which assumed the role of objective third party while accepting most of its funding from the oil industry. Cato performed similar services on issues related to women, dismissing all issues that go to the foundational, Constitutional difference between the rights of women, which are only supported through legislative action, and of men, which are guaranteed through the Constitution.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not trying to get you.

The chain of events that drove the Libertarian Movement to its present condition was not all by design. Those involved failed to examine the past dispassionately. It is always hard to question the actions of those we accept as heroes, though doing so is essential since we are all only human. Many were soon so emotionally and financially invested in the 'system' they had created that questions brought into doubt their own egos and financial well being. Some had secrets to hide. It was all too human, as are all human enterprises. But to excuse the past is to ignore the need to build a better future, and that none of us can afford to do.

The underlying mythology of Objectivism is pointedly pro-business and anti-woman, ironically enough since Rand was herself a woman. Over the years those who were most impacted by Rand's work have either confronted the contradictions or lapsed into antagonism towards those who do question.

Ideas always have consequences, which is one of the reasons we need to be careful about how well the ideas that represent action match the action to be taken. To this day libertarians bemoan the absence of women who are willing to invest time and money in the LP. Never have they thought to question if this decided preference might reflect a real problem internal to the LP itself. If the car doesn't run when by all you know it should you had better check the engine. You might be missing the crank shaft.

On the issue of global warming it is curious that a movement that endorses accountability ignored the need to ensure that if global warming was real then the consequences would impact all of us while the profit for creating the conditions would be specific to certain industries and individuals. That doubtless comes from romanticizing business and ignoring the deceptive and unethical practices so prevalent in large corporations today.

Bill Hunscher and Roger Mac Bride, both now deceased, would not be surprised.

Life is itself a joke on all of us.

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