BLACK LIBERTY MATTERS

This is an interesting article on how liberty is interpreted through the lens of American history. And its not good.

Starting with history and American history, here is Samuel Johnson’s bitter rhetorical question about the American revolution: “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?”

Because:

. . . But often it is masters. Understanding all too well how they rule over other human beings, they identify being ruled like that as the great social evil, and they fiercely refuse to be subjected to it. Slaveowners and their neighbors can see what unfreedom is like, and they resist it for themselves. This is only partly because they come to identify their freedom as their freedom to own and rule slaves, and are desperate to protect their status as masters. In a more general way, they become very sensitive to anyone proposing to treat them as they treat slaves.

And:

The language of freedom in American political discourse has very often been appropriated for the defense of white supremacy. We have often heard the loudest yelps for liberty among those trying to protect the terror and apartheid states of the Jim Crow south, the quasi-serfdom of sharecropping, segregated schools, miscegenation laws, and the suppression of black votes. Particular types of freedom or particular strategies for limiting governmental power—freedom of association, religious liberty, federalism, bicameralism, and so on—all came to be identified at one point or another primarily as ways to prevent the federal government from breaking the power of white rule, just as before the war the protection of private property rights had so often been identified primarily with the protection of slaveowners’ supposed property in other human beings.

Conclusion:

Reimagining libertarian politics in light of the truth that black liberty matters will take a lot of intellectual and moral work. And this task, reorienting a set of ideas and ideals in light of a morally compromised history, of understanding what lessons need to be learned from it, of separating the arguments for liberty from the yelps, is insiders’ work. No one else is going to do it for us.

That’s for sure.  Read the whole thing.

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Learn from Gary Johnson’s 2016 Presidential Campaign

Matt Welsh at Reason magazine has a post about Libertarians’ reaction to Gary Johnson’s 2016 Presidential campaign. Subtitle:

Jack Hunter slams GarJo and Charles Peralo defends, while L.P. officials scheme and Austin Petersen prepares for a “special announcement.”

My view is this: all involved should learn from the campaign. From choosing candidates, to dedicating resources to specific states, to building grassroots, to messaging. Hire some party pros from the D and R parties. Get prepared for the next time. Smart candidates will do this.

And remember, Gary Johnson could be helpful in future for the LP or a campaign as a spokesman or adviser. Surely, the media will try to have him as a commentator.

I see little value in actually criticizing Johnson/Weld. It is easy as an observer and after-the-fact to criticize people. But in the heat of the battle — whether you’re on mic, being interviewed, just off a bus — is a different thing. I know I have looked back at certain actions I did and thought woulda, shoulda, coulda.

For a learning instance, don’t fall into the trap of answering questions about what the Libertarian Party stands for with abstract answers. The answers have to be relevant to potential voters. You wan to get rid of the EPA? Ain’t gonna fly. Don’t fall into the trap of ending up in a situation where you debate whether driver’s licences are needed, or something I did some years ago and ended up responding in a debate, “well, privatize the sidewalks”. Useless drivel but that’s what happens in a heated debate.

Gary Johnson: “the alternative that you can be proud to vote for”

From AlternativePAC, a pro-Gary Johnson SuperPAC. Only two minutes, five seconds of your time. Some quotes:

“There’s been a fundamental paradigm shift. Power has been lifted from the elites and split between the people, through the internet. What do Uber, AirBnB, and Lyft all have in common? A way for the average user to maneuver around this top-down approach of rulers and rule-makers, legislators and regulators.”

“In the world of politics, mainstream media no longer controls the content. We use Twitter and blogs and Periscope to create context.”

“The internet has taught us the insider control the process”

“Liberty is real transpartisanship”

“Let’s unite liberty with community”

here.

Progressivism’s Authoritarianism

Daniel Oliver says Hillary is more deserving of the authoritarianism label than Trump. Regardless of that argument, progressivism has other issues and should be avoided:

Running out of other people’s money is certainly one problem with socialism, but not the only one. Socialism is inherently authoritarian, which is why it is the younger brother of Communism and a first cousin of the authoritarian progressivism of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Barack Obama. And Bernie and Hillary. After all, how do the socialists get other people’s money? They take it. That means people will hide their money, which means the state must employ spies and guys, and guys with guns. And crooked agents like Lois Lerner to run crooked agencies like the Internal Revenue Service.

Both parties practice progressivism. The Democrats embrace the label, Republicans shun it but using the government to force your choices on others is a hallmark.

An alternative philosophy has the government only protecting our constitutional and natural rights, preventing others from harming others, treating citizens equal before the law, protecting commons, but otherwise leaving us to our own pursuits.

Note how marriage equality, drug legalization, lower taxes, fewer war fit in.

Note also this philosophy lets people make most of the choices in their lives. After all, who is supposed to make those choices in your life if you are a functioning human; you or someone else?

It doesn’t demonize one group for exploitation which is what Democrats do with people who work in some industries, and Republicans do with people of other races. Democrats over the years have demonized people who work for health insurers, tobacco companies, banks, Uber and the sharing economy. They still do.

Here.

A Reason Democrats Might Vote Libertarian This Year

Libertarian Party President/Vice President Ticket  Johnson/Weld pulls voters from both parties according to many polls.

Here’s a reason why J/W might pull from Democrats.

Thaya Brook Knight is associate director of financial regulation studies at the Cato institute. And she was profiled for a recent publication of Cato’s Letters. Ms. Knight was asked when she was first drawn to libertarian views. Her response:

I’ve always held libertarian views, although until recently I identified as a liberal Democrat. I believe in a strong First Amendment and strong protections for criminal defendants, I oppose the War on Drugs, and I support gay rights. In the wake of 9/11, I was horrified by the willingness to give up personal liberty in the name of safety. For a time, that meant my beliefs were aligned with the Democratic Party. But I’m also a feminist and it makes me angry when I’m told that, as a woman, I don’t know how to make my own choices or that I should be protected from their consequences, like a child. If we’re serious about equality, all adults must have the freedom and responsibility to order their lives as they see fit.

Highlights mine on what’s important to Ms. Knight. Hillary and many Democrats are attacking many of these issues or are recent converts. They’re also attacking our Due Process rights and Second Amendment rights.