LPCO Convention Diana Hsieh attended the Colorado Libertarian Party convention last May. She just got around to posting her impressions of the event, and they're not pretty. She gave a speech outlining some of the philosophical underpinnings of libertarian thought. Writes she:
"Before I arrived at the convention, my basic worry was that I was presuming too little, that these philosophical issues would be old hat to most people. But after a few casual conversations and a sampling of the other lectures, I began to worry that perhaps I was presuming too much, that these philosophical issues would be foreign and undigestible to many...
Political movements take all types. Go to a gathering of Democrats and poll them on the theories of Keynes. See how many respond, "Who?"
Try a similar experiment at a Republican convention. Ask them if they've read Goldwater's 'Conscience of a Conservative.'
The libertarian movement needs philosophers and intellectuals, but it badly needs activists, people who have a positive visceral reaction to libertarian ideas, even if they don't care much about the deep thinking behind those ideas.
Count me as one who falls into sort of a middle ground. I appreciate the philosophy, but I'm more concerned about the nuts and bolts of creating a libertarian society. For example, I love reading Ayn Rand, I could care less about objectivism. I missed Diana's lecture, sadly. From a brief reading of the summary of the speech, I can't say that I agree with it. There are many ways that a person can come to a generally libertarian viewpoint, that people have the right to do as they please, as long as they don't interfere with others' right to do the same. Her viewpoint seems to be a bit more rigid. More:
"Also noteworthy was the fact that ending the war on drugs seemed to be a top priority for a great many people. Let me rephrase that: gaining the freedom to get high seemed to be a top priority for a great many people. Now, I'm all for ending the drug war. People have the right to put whatever substances they want into their bodies. And the drug war, like prohibition before it, promotes crime and fosters the worst in government. But the drug war is hardly the worst violation of rights we suffer here in the US."
I don't do illegal drugs. Legal ones however...
I can think of only one government program that does more damage to human rights than the drug war. (The income tax, of course.) I am very interested in hearing Diana's explanation for that last sentence. Perhaps gun prohibitions are a close third.
:: Walter 11:28 AM [+] ::