Thursday, July 09, 2009

We propose to move immediately upon your works


Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats -- HL Mencken


For 22 years, anarchists in the Libertarian Party generally resisted that temptation, choosing instead to adhere to the Dallas Accord.

The accord was an instrument meant to encourage détente between anarchist and minarchist libertarians, and it came down to this: The anarchists would not insist that the LP's platform and official communications advocate abolition of the state, and the minarchists would not insist that the LP's platform and official communications advocate retention of the state. The idea was that this would allow for a "big tent" in which anyone who supported less government (a little less, a lot less, none at all) would feel welcome.

In 2006, the minarchists breached the Dallas Accord, and in 2008 they bulldozed right over what was left of it. The LP is now officially on record as approving of the existence of the state.

Throughout this period, we LP anarchists have generally limited ourselves to attempting to re-establish the Dallas Accord. We haven't insisted that the LP become an anarchist party, we've merely worked to get back to the "big tent" concept.

That hasn't worked. The accord itself never really worked, either, and it's time to be honest about why: The minarchist faction continually violated the spirit of the thing.

Every time the LP failed, the minarchists screamed that it was those anarchists' fault, that if there hadn't been someone over in a corner somewhere advocating for legal heroin or private ownership of nuclear weapons, Ed Clark would have been elected president and Andre Marrou would have become Speaker of the House for sure.

Every time the platform came up for re-consideration, the minarchists would try to smuggle pro-state material into it, and then bellyache that anyone who opposed that material was agitating for "anarchy next week" and scaring the Rotarian vote away from our Water Board candidate in East Armpit, New Jersey.

Ever since the inception of the Dallas Accord, the minarchists have been in control of the party and the anarchists have been their scapegoats for the failure of every doomed, silly attempt to trade the party's agenda away for a mess of nebulous "respectability." Their vision of a "big tent" has always been just big enough to accommodate anyone and everyone ... except the anarchists.

No more Dallas Accord? Okay, fine. It's not like the minarchists ever respected it anyway, so there's no loss in letting it slide into the dustbin of history where it belongs without further ado.

But!

This is a two-way street. The minarchists never kept the accord, and now they're completely free of the obligation to even pretend that their actions are bound by its constraints. The anarchists generally did honor its terms ... but now we're no longer bound to do so, either.

Time for an LP Anarchist Caucus! Apparently I'm not the only one who's been thinking along these lines, because here it is.

From my point of view, the LPAC's primary mission should be to link the Libertarian Party to anarchism as visibly as possible -- to actually do all the things that the minarchists have falsely accused us of doing for more than two decades now. We've done the time; might as well do the crime ... especially since one side effect will almost certainly be an improvement/increase in the practical, real-world results that the minarchists claim to care so much about.

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