Some New Englanders talk secession…

…but it’s not the Free State Project for once.

Yeah, apparently some Vermonters want to stamp upon the cursed alliance too.

From the Boston Globe:

A car parked outside the State House bore a bumper sticker saying, ”Regime change begins at home.”

Inside, about 100 Vermonters gathered in the House chamber for the Vermont Independence Convention — devoted to Vermont creating a regime of its own.

If participants have their way, the state whose former governor was laughed out of the 2004 presidential race after the infamous Iowa scream is going to take what some call its wackiness and others call its sanity in a crazy world and go home.

Go home to the 14 years in the late 18th century when Vermont was neither a British colony nor one of the original 13 states but was an independent republic.

Texas gets more notice as a Lone Star State, but Vermont shares with it the distinction of having gone it alone for a while. Friday’s event was steeped in that history, and an urge to try it again.

The funny thing is these bad boys aren’t even libertarians so much:

”Vermont still provides a communitarian alternative to the dehumanized mass production, mass consumption, narcissistic lifestyle which pervades most of the United States,” said Thomas Naylor, a former Duke University economics professor who retired to Vermont and has written a book called ”The Vermont Manifesto — The Second Vermont Republic.”

”Vermont is smaller, more rural, more democratic, less violent, less commercial, more egalitarian, and more independent than most states,” Naylor said. ”It offers itself as a kinder, gentler metaphor for a nation obsessed with money, power, size, speed, greed, and fear of terrorism.”

These are, well, leftists to say the least. While none of that stuff directly contradicts with liberty, they’re buzzwords of socialism or populism moreso than libertarianism.

At any rate, it’s good to see that we’re not the only ones talking about secession within American politics. Much as I think it’s silly for a political party to start agitating for it now, it’s definitely awesome to see groups like these (and our own Free Talk Live and Free State Project) getting the discussion rolling. Who knows? Maybe when my children are grown up and posting articles on their own blogs, secession will be a major issue and a realistic possibility. Maybe not, but we can hope.

Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on and other libertarian sites since 2004.

  1. It would be more interesting and practical to talk about the Vermont candidates that we have running for state house. We have several candidates in head-to-head state house races. For most of their races an additional $4000 would be enough to put some of them into office.

  2. So despite the fact that nothing they say contradicts libertarianism, they are labled “leftists…” I guess because they don’t take a stand on the #1 threat to white civilization, affirmative action. Worse yet, they don’t curse the inheritance tax, propose a return to the gold standard, or pretend as though the right to bear arms actually means something in the age of nuclear weapons. Clearly, they are commies and should be written off as such. Heck, they didn’t even demonize welfare mothers, illegal immigrants, abortionists, or feminists! What kind of “libertarians” could they possibly be???

  3. Many of those things are lifestyle choices, not political positions. Most of my friends are actually left-progressive types. I don’t agree with their politics, but otherwise I find they have much more balanced lives than the shrill, stressed-out, overinvolved, consumerist, suburban soccer moms who make up much of America.

  4. You know, if it wasn’t for the incessant outpouring of love for these articles we put out, I wouldn’t know how to keep going in life. :D

    I’m not dissing them, I’m glad they’re talking common sense. But those words ARE more often used by the left than the right or libertarians, which was all I was pointing out.

    UA, you find racists everywhere dude. Chill out, my white robes haven’t come in the mail yet, LOL.

  5. I’m not dissing them, I’m glad they’re talking common sense. But those words ARE more often used by the left than the right or libertarians,

    That’s the point. Libertarians should start using them more. Stop sounding like reich wingers for no good reason and maybe the LP can start getting somewhere for a change.

  6. you know, even racists can be funny sometimes. My wife comes from western PA near Johnstown, and one of the towns up there is big KKK country. Like to where they paint KKK shit onto their houses. We passed this one house with a huge flamin cross logo on it, and it was a day or so before halloween. I look over at this porch on this house as we go by, and there were 3 jack o lanterns on the porch, each one grinning away dressed in a little KKK outfit with white hood. :)

    It was a totally visual gag that cant be expressed with words, but I laughed my ass off for about 5 minutes.

  7. Stuart, I was basically agreeing with you. I guess I should have mentioned that”¦

    It’s all good, man. I was more pointing it at UA. :)

  8. State’s right benefit everyone. That’s the beautiful thing about it. These people recognize this.

    Also, Libertarian need to learn and heavily use lefty language and emphasize lefty priorities.

  9. There are two questions which every secessionist must answer.

    First, how are they going to convince the U. S. government to allow it? We’ve seen repeatedly that the United States will used military force to prevent unilateral secession. Independence from the USA can only come with the USA’s prior consent- something no secessionist movement to my knowledge has sought or even acknowledged.

    Second, what kind of government will the newly independent state have? In Texas, I’ve pointed out repeatedly that a seceding Lone Star State would be more likely to have a constitution written by Tom DeLay than Michael Badnarik- because DeLay is the kind of person who would be elected in Texas as things stand. An independent Vermont would almost certainly have as its first President either Howard Dean or Bernie Sanders- either strong liberal or outright socialist. In both cases the new government would be less free than the status quo.

  10. First, how are they going to convince the U. S. government to allow it?

    Through chanting, prayer, transcendental meditation, singing kumbaya around the campfire, and mutual assured destruction with unconventional weapons of mass devastation.

    Second, what kind of government will the newly independent state have?

    Preferably one that is voluntarily funded and does not claim a territorial monopoly on any of its functions.

  11. The Swiss had a good idea that kept them independent for centuries in the middle of war- and conquest-torn Europe, including the Napoleonic and world wars: well armed populace, private banking and weak central regime.

    communitarian’ That’s a new one. Sounds like communist? can’t say for sure.

    The different term is to distinguish from communist, which has been tainted by the regimes which have used that term to come to be identified with totalitarian statism. Communes, of course, can be voluntary, as can a non-commune society which embraces some communal values. So long as it is concensual, this is compatible with libertarianism.

  12. Someday indeed secession may be a viable topic of discussion for mainstream political parties. What a great day that would be when everyone could find a little spot of the country to call their own, move there with other like minded folks and then secede!

  13. Vermont has a very liberal city, Burlington, and a very liberal capital, Montpelier, controlling a mostly conservative state.

    Very conservative.

    They love their guns, their chewing tobacco, work boots in the house, broken screen door with no lock on the trailer, etc etc.

    It’s a wonderful thing.

  14. If Vermont wants to secede, it’s o.k. with me…As long as they don’t expect the U.S. to provide military protection.
    And will Montpelier allow the staunchly conservative “Northeast Kingdom” to secede from Vermont?

  15. Libertarians Removed from Vermont Ballot
    ballot access news

    The Libertarian Party of Vermont nominated nine candidates on September 13, 2006. Seven were running for the legislature and two for local office. All of them mailed their acceptance forms on the morning of September 14. The deadline for the Secretary of State to receive these forms was September 15. Normally, all intra-Vermont postal mail is delivered in one day. However, in this case, none of the forms arrived until September 16, and the Secretary of State is taking a hard-line position and denying them ballot access.

    However, since three of them were already also nominated by the Republican Party, those three will still be on the November ballot. However, instead of being listed as “Libertarian, Republican”, they will simply be listed as “Republican”.

    The Libertarian Party will continue to be a ballot-qualified party in Vermont. Vermont determines party status by whether it is organized in 10 towns, not on how many votes it polls or how many candidates it runs.

  16. I’ve always stated that the Socialist party in the US is less government oriented than either of the Bobbsey Twin parties and possibly less so than the Constitution party. The two biggest advocates of less government are the Green party and Libertarians. Some Green party people are even less so than some Libertarians.
    As for military protection, they are probably as well defended as Luxembourg or Monaco and nobody is intimidating them. They would be another Andorra, sandwiched between the United States and Canada. I would also imagine that _ after succession- they will be less of a potential target from Al Qaeda than before.

  17. Regardless of how whatever socialistic leanings the Vermonters may have, I would unequivocally cheer them on in any efforts to secede. Decentralization is a wonderful thing and it would set a precedent for other states to follow suit.

    But as Kris stated, there remains that enormous obstacle in Washington, D.C. At this point it is quite hard to fathom the feds simply allowing a state to secede, whether its approach to secession was violent or not.

  18. But, that can be overcome through a combination of self-esteem, positive thinking, pyramid power, tarot readings, crystals, past life regression, and mutual assured destruction through black market nukes smuggled out of the former Soviet Republics by way of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  19. More about the ballot access. We do have three state house candidates on the ballot. Two as Lib/Rep. One as Lib. Their consent forms were hand delivered. I think we’ll get 3 more candidates back on the ballot because the statutes are clear that being nominated by two parties give them until this Friday to file corrections to how they appear on the ballot. I’ll have more news later this week.

    – Hardy

  20. What is the LP in Vermont thinking? Why do you wait until two days before the deadline to nominate your candidates and then why do you mail in the forms one day in front of the deadline instead of driving them to the appropriate place to ensure that they get there on time. It is not like Vermont is that big. They instead relied upon a government entity (ie post office) to make sure they got their on time (your kidding me right). Again, what is the LP in Vermont thinking? It looks like the republicans at least got their forms in on time. We have to do better than this if we are to be taken seriously.

  21. When things get so bad that states begin seriously supporting this idea, it won’t be hard to change the federal government. I’m very grateful we aren’t living in a monarchy or other form of government where change requires war and violence.

    California would make an interesting country. You can bet if they were serious about this, the feds would put up a fight for fear of losing California. I’m not sure how the rest of the country would react, but I can bet it would be a big topic. If Vermont tried this, the rest of us might rally support for them, or not care. We like an underdog.

    But, again, when it gets that bad, we can change the federal government. The tide is turning.

  22. SCRAPPED by the reformist-dominated Portland convention:

    We recognize the right to political secession by
    political entities, private groups, or individuals.

    TO: Thomas Jefferson, Continental Congress
    George Washington, Continental Army

    SUBJECT: Secession from British Empire


    We regret to inform you that the Colonial Libertarian
    Party cannot support your revolution against King
    George. We USED to have a position supporting the
    right of secession but it was too radical so we
    scrapped it to get a few more votes from moderate

    Chairman, Colonial Libertarian Party

  23. Reformers (LRC members) did not even make up 10% of the convention attendees. How come we “dominated” it?

    There’s nothing prohibiting LP candidates from advocating secession if they want. You can have your cake and eat it.

  24. The Vermont Seccessionist tend to be Georgists. That is why they can sound both leftist and libertarian. They are in the upper left quadrant of the Milsted Chart.

    (chart at )

    In general, when dealing with the left, it is worth noting that there are two different lefts out there:
    1. The socialist left — government control is better than corporate control.
    2. The luddite left — small business control is better than corporate control.

    There is a large overlap between libertarianism and the second. Jefferson and his Democratic-Republicans were part of the luddite left vs. the pro-corporate Hamiltonians.

    (While most people associate Luddism with being anti-technology, the real motivation behind the original and the modern Luddites was anti-centralization. You don’t see modern Luddites complaining about web pages, personal computers, etc. In fact, modern Luddites are often more familiar with (con’d)

  25. technology than capitalists or socialists. Read the Whole Earth Catalog or any of the get off the grid literature.

    When the modern Luddite leftist says “capitalism kills”, heare referring to capitalism in its original definition: concentration of capital in the hands of capitalists. (Marx coined the term.) Thus, it is not a contradiction for these people to engage in independent commerce.

    While a libertarian world would include a mix of corporate capitalism and independent business, a strong case can be made that independent business would take a larger share in a libertarian society than the one we live in. We can make common cause with the Luddite left.

  26. Absolutely!

    While a libertarian world would include a mix of corporate capitalism and independent business, a strong case can be made that independent business would take a larger share in a libertarian society than the one we live in. We can make common cause with the Luddite left

    Karl Hess, Kevin Carson, Roderick Long and Charles Johnson have done good work in this area. Actually I rather doubt corporate capitalism would survive at all without limited liability, corporate personhood, corporate welfare, etc.

  27. Thats the direction I want for the LP. I dont believe we will be successful as long as we keep kissing the asses of corporate globalists becuase “they are private instead of government.” There’s ‘good private’ and bad, and the bad is worse than government IMO.

    We need a LP that condemns globalist slave labor, use of prisoners, removal of all corporate favors and deals, a level playing field in the marketplace between the smallest home business and the largest. No breaks or deals for anyone, OR breaks and deals for EVERYONE. None of this in between shit. Either give the small man what the big man can get, or give nobody nothing. Pick yer method. As long as a level marketplace playing field is restored, the effect will be the same. The bad part is the INEQUALITY of opportunity.

  28. “States rights?” States don’t deserve rights. They don’t deserve the right to exist. Only human beings have rights.

    I love HoT. Everything I say gets taken the wrong way, particularly by Mr. Richards here. First, I supposedly impguned his religiosity, and now I’m calling him a racist. Neither was true.

    The Libertarian Party likes to pretned that racism doesn’t exist, or even worse, that “reverse racism” is the real issue. If anyone (such as myself) even mentions the idea of racism, I am labled a wierdo… Meanwhile a bunch of white guys who couldn’t fit in in high school bandy about a return to the gold standard…

  29. It is ironic that Tom Naylor is a professor of Economics. What kind? Marxist? All this talk about egalitarianism – if its not _forced_ egalitarianism, hey great, cool. But usually its forced, coerced, and managed. Generally right into the ground. Still, the really ironic thing about this Vermont secessionist thing is, “hey, what are they really complaining about?” The war? OK, there’s that – but the rest of the United States Government and most of the states _are_ pretty much socialist. Like them.

    New Hampshire and Wyoming have cases to make: they have active libertarian movements with a great deal against the cult of the omnipotent state. Texas, my own state, has no grievance since apparently we’ve taken OVER Washington (sorry about that, Connecticut, and sorry to the rest of the country for the Two Bush League Regimes). But I can’t for the life of me figure out what Vermont is so pissed about. Lack of open carry in the rest of the Union? Still, if y’all want to leave, OK.

  30. Joe Knight, you made me laugh! Good one. undercover_anachist, you seem to be saying that because the LP has demographics consisting of mostly white guys advocating a return to the gold standard, that this somehow invalidates the notion. Sorry, brother from another mother, that dog don’t hunt. Of course racism exists – but the LP has been at the vanguard against it. Sowell, Williams, Boddie (lets trot out more brothers to prove the point?). Yeah, racism exists. Fight it. Every day. I do. And all sorts of other ‘ism’s, too.

  31. “States rights?” States don’t deserve rights. They don’t deserve the right to exist. Only human beings have rights.

    True, although the term generally refers to states having more local autonomy against the feds, which is at least a small step in the right direction. Then, the next step is for cities and counties to have more autonomy within states, until we get to individual self rule. Of course, if we can get to it and bypass the intermediate steps, all the better.

    a return to the gold standard”¦

    Actually, a free market in money, which has historically preferred gold, but you are free to issue money backed with anything you like – or nothing, if you can get someone to accept it.

    btw discriminating against those who didn’t fit in high school is a form of prejudice, too. What should they do – kill themselves?

  32. All this talk about egalitarianism – if its not _forced_ egalitarianism, hey great, cool. But usually its forced, coerced, and managed.

    Actually, no…usually it is a rhetorical con job to sell centralization of power to the masses who think they will benefit from it, and then using the increased power of the coercive state to centralize wealth in the hands of the elites.

    The war? OK, there’s that – but the rest of the United States Government and most of the states _are_ pretty much socialist. Like them.

    More like fascist. Then there’s prohibition, and a lot of other crap.

    “hey, what are they really complaining about?”

    Did you read the post we are commenting on? Their statement seems to explain it pretty well.

  33. “communitarian’ That’s a new one. Sounds like communist? can’t say for sure.”

    actually communitarian is just another word for civic republicanism or civic humanism and it can be found on the right not on the left.

    civic republicans view individual freedom in the context of practicing virtuous behavior within small-scale, deliberative, face-to-face, participatory civic institutions like NE town meetings.

    the two founding American philosophies are:

    1. Lockean classical liberalism
    2. Harrington civic republicanism

    Professors Don Livingstone a David Hume scholar and political scientist Frank Bryan are both communitarian/civic republicans on the advisory board of the SVR.

  34. Cannoli,

    If you can cogently explain the difference in coercion between fascist and socialist, you get a big Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cone. Actually, I think we can both settle on “nationalistic socialist.” Except that the US isn’t even good at *that* – I mean, who ever heard of a fascist, or a nationalist socialist, society being so retarded on immigration?

    Maybe we should leave the fascism, socialism, and mercantalism to those that practice it better – and reserve for ourselves some libertarianism.


  35. Don Livingston’s 2 part article on civic republicanism in the Vt Commons Journal

    The following are essential features of republicanism. (1) sovereignty resides in the people or their representatives; (2) all citizens are equal before the law (which is not to say that the laws should be the same for all); (3) although there can be inequalities of wealth, all citizens should have a measure of economic independence; otherwise factions, demagogues, and tyranny will result. (4) republics are morally intrusive; that is, they enjoy a distinctive way of life binding together generations; and this way of life is rooted in a law not made by the legislature, but is rooted in nature or sacred tradition. Governments can only legislate in accord with law; they do not make law; (5) republics must be small.

    In the cacophony of talk about republics, lip service at least is paid to all of the above conditions except (5).

    to read more:

  36. from part 3 of Livingston:

    “David Hume was the first to challenge the traditional belief that a republic had to be small. In 1752 he published an essay, “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth” in which he argued not only that a republic could be large, but that if properly ordered, a large republic would be the best polity. He began by accepting the traditional view that, all things equal, a small republic would be the best polity. But small states are vulnerable to conquest by larger ones. The remedy was a large state composed of small republics. He called the later “county republics.” These would have considerable autonomy over morals, education, and social welfare, leaving to the central authority such general matters as defense, foreign treaties, and commerce. Hume observed that such a polity was already mirrored in the Swiss federation and the United Provinces, and he saw no reason why a country the size of Britain or France could not be ordered in this way.”

  37. Carl wrote:

    “The Vermont Seccessionist tend to be Georgists. That is why they can sound both leftist and libertarian.”

    yes there is a contigent of geo-libertarians but more broadly Thomas Naylor considers himself more in the southern agrarian/catholic distributist tradition (Wendell Berry/EF Schumacher although not particularly religious) on the right and of course advisory board member Kirk Sale (a neo-luddite) is one of the founders of the bio-regional movemnet in the US.

    the is a healthy dose of individualist anarchism (mutualism) represented too…

    if this was a leftist movement then why are:

    Thomas DiLorenzo, Marco Bassini from the Mises Institute and Jason Sorens from the FSP on the advisory board?

    I would also say that

  38. “Second, what kind of government will the newly independent state have?”

    In short, the republic cannot survive without representative bodies that are credible and competent. Representation is built on citizenship. But citizens cannot be factory-built or found in electronic villages. They must be raised at home. That rearing takes place in real polities: places where community and politics meet, where individuals learn the habit of democracy face to face, where decision making takes place in the context of community interdependence.

    This then is the great challenge of the twenty-first century: saving the center by shoring up its parts, preserving union by emphasizing disunion, making cosmopolitanism possible by making parochialism necessary, restoring the representative republic by rebuilding direct democracy, strengthening the national character through a rebirth of local citizenship.


  39. Over the last quarter century there have been many recommendations to save American politics, but they have been cosmetic and superficial, like giving smelling salts to a fighter whose legs have gone. We propose to return to where the roots of democracy are still firmly established and nourish them to new life. We propose to focus on a place where citizenship still lives, where a small pastureland of liberty and community of the kind America so desperately needs still lies intact. There we propose to build a new resurgent twenty-first century politics of human scale. At that promising place which will inspire all America, we suggest Vermont.

  40. UA, who in the Libertarian Party has been claiming that racism doesn’t exist? And no one is calling you a weirdo for mentioning racism. I, for one, have been calling you out because you throw the racist label at others so casually with little or nothing to back it up. Sure racism exists, and white males, of which you complain the LP has too many, don’t have exclusive rights to it.

  41. Can I donate a new keyboard to your film studio? :p

    Seriously though, that looks awesome. Keep us posted on your progress; that could be a very cool movie.

  42. All the best to the Vermont secession movement. Tom Naylor of the Second Vermont Republic movement will speak at the 13th annual League of the South national conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee in October. We in the League wish you New Englanders well in your fight to be free of this American Empire. We’re trying to do the same for our part of the country before the GOP clamps down on us with a full-blown police state.

    Michael Hill
    President, The League of the South

  43. I was attracted to the Libertarian Party as a youth because of its message of freedom. Legalized drugs (of which I have smoked but not inhaled only once in college), anti-war, open borders, free trade, anti-death penalty, pro-gay rights, and pro-choice on everything… This is what I thought the LP was. This is not what it is today! Excluding the drug issue, each of these issues have been reversed by leading LP “thinkers.” And the main issue for which I tag so-called libertarians as being racists is immigration. Clearly, there is no remotely libertarian justification for the border socialism espoused by anti-immigrant freaks. The only justification is a nationalist, anti-immigrant, racist sense of entitlement and a hatred of freedom. I am a recovering “liberal” myself who was once a “protectionist.” Until I realized that protectionism protects unearned privelage and is an assault on freedom.

  44. Then there are the so-called libertarians who oppose the Civil Rights Act and believe in the ultimate libertarian hypocrasy of “states rights.” I can do without the 10th grade civics lesson – I know what states rights is supposed to mean. I also know what it was used to mean for 100 years (i.e. the subjugation of blacks at the hands of whites without interference from the federal government). Obvious racists like Lew Rockwell are given a pass here. A government’s only legitimate purpose is to protect the rights of its citizens. I do not find the concept of “state’s rights” – i.e. the right of a state to sanction or condone discrimination without the intereference of the federal government (doing its only rightful job) as a libertarian concept.

    But regardless, then there are the libertarians who oppose the CRA and at the same time fight the “scourge of reverse racism,” i.e. affirmative action. If the CRA is illegitimate, shouldn’t private businesses be able to show preference to non-

  45. -whites? The CRA established various protected classes, of which white men are not included. Make up your mind – is the CRA illegitimate, or should white men be added? My vote is for neither. On the list of “injustices,” I would rank so-called anti-white discrimination at the bottom of the list. The federal government’s infringement of my “right” to discriminate against people of different ethnicity in my public business (it stops being private when you open the doors for business) doesn’t even make the list. How can it be considered anything other than racist when so-called libertarians focus their energy on these woefully undeserving causes when we have a war, domestic spying, impending theocracy, border socialism, Ovarian Marxism, anti-gay hysteria, and various other signs of impending right-wing totalitarianism? The reason: Because many LP members would welcome totalitarianism, so long as it were of the right-wing variety.

  46. U-A

    I agree with you…for the most part. however:

    1) On most of the positions where you see deviation from the original libertarian stance, I do believe we retain a majority in favor of the original stance.

    2) You can’t honestly claim to be an anarchist and support a regime mandate such as CRA.

    3) Should private businesses be allowed to show preference to non-whites? Of course, otherwise they are not private businesses.

    4) The reason I don’t like “affirmative action” is that I don’t like regime forms asking me what “race” I am. Whenever just refusing to fill these forms out completely becomes impractical, I put down “human”. I don’t like being pigeonholed by “race” and I don’t like the regime perpetuating this scientifically dubious concept. Not everyone who opposes it is white or an “uncle Tom” – some people whom it’s supposed to help find it to be condescending.

    5) Yes, I’m a lot more concerned about reich wing trespasses on our freedom at present.

  47. Alan,

    difference between socialist and fascist:

    Socialists believe the means of production should be socialized – ie owned by the government or voluntarily shred by a commune or by society at large. State socialism often resembles fascism in practice. Voluntary socialism is very different, and is fully compatible with libertarianism.

    Fascists believe in an economic system which retains nominal private ownership while centralizing effective control in the hands of the state. It is typified by corporate-government collusion and also by the fetishizing of regime violence at home and abroad – the fasci being bundles of sticks used by Roman soldiers to whip and kill dissenters and thus demonstrate the state’s power.

    They also tend to parochialistic, chauvinist, jingoist, racist, nationalist and xenophobic – thus the anti-immigrant hysteria.

  48. Ovarian Marxism… The idea that a woman’s womb is state property. If a woman does not own her own body, then who does? The state?

    Nicolae CeauÅŸescu banned abortion in Communist Romania under the concept of Ovarian Marxism. What happened? Overpoulation, unwatned children, rampant crime. No coincidence that crime in the U.S. plummetted following the passage of Roe v. Wade.

    I’m not an anarchist. I do believe, fervently, in the CRA. If you want to discriminate against people on the basis of race, you can create a private club. If you’re open to the public, you cease being “private.” I do not like the idea of the federal government doing business, period. Giving preference to minorities in government contracting is not as bad as the government contracting itself. However, as a white man, I do not feel harmed by the diversity initiatives of private institutions. Funny how “libertarians’ seem to think that “private” businesses should only be able to discriminate against blacks, not whites.

  49. “Funny how `libertarians’ seem to think that `private’ businesses should only be able to discriminate against blacks, not whites.”

    Huh? I guess this one sailed right over my head. I agree with you that individuals have a right to discriminate, after all, discrimination is truly nothing more than the exercise of preference and we all do it regularly and in a variety of ways. However, no rights to discriminate against sex, race, religion, etc… can be justifiably be granted to government. If existence of government can be justified at all, it has to refrain from such discrimination because it necessarily forces *all* people to submit to its dictates.

    I’m unaware of any libertarian objections to the many private organizations whose missions are plainly to provide aid to specific demographics, United Negro College Fund, et. al. But, the AA programs that are typically (and rightfully) decried are those that in government agencies or at least involve government subsidy. (cont.)

  50. (cont.) Also, your statement, “If you’re open to the public, you cease being private” demonstrates a woeful misunderstanding of private property. My property doesn’t cease to be my property just because I decide to open my doors to let the “public” come in and take a look at it. To suggest otherwise indicates that others magically acquire some sort of claim to my property simply by my decision to open a store, advertise a business, or do some other arbitrary thing that indicates I am seeking to transact with the “public.” I realize that we currently have laws that were crafted under this irrational premise, but they can’t possibly be justified using libertarian philosophy.

  51. Secession,
    What a wonderful idea.
    When you talk os that then you dont worry about what the Feds think.To hell with them,If they were doing what the Founding Fathers intended there wouldnt be a need for secession.I hope Vermont does it and the rest of the States follow then the money grubbers in DC would cease to exist.

  52. Undercover anarchist, avoid confusion with the term “decentralization” as opposed to “state’s rights.”

    I agree with you about our positions and will attempt to restore the deleted planks in our STATE platform at the next NM state convention.

    I defend the rights of racists to be racists (see what paulie said) – but also throw a flaming tantrum whenever I encounter it in the LP (hard as that may be to believe, given my sweet, gentle disposition).

    And finally, all, a reminder, there is a difference between secession and the RIGHT to secession.

  53. I’m not an anarchist.

    Sorry. From your handle undercover_anarchist and this blog post

    I deduced you were. Either way, I am (an anarchist) so I am against ALL government programs.

    If you’re open to the public, you cease being “private.”

    If this is true, then the government can dictate more than who you hire or who you do business with. It can also socialize your profit, allocate your resources, make all your business decisions. In other words you would just become the socialst manager rather than an owner of your own business.

    Funny how “libertarians’ seem to think that “private” businesses should only be able to discriminate against blacks, not whites.

    Haven’t run into that one yet. Of course they should be able to discriminate against whites! And you should be free to boycott them if they discriminate against anyone.