Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Foundation Building for a Real Unparty

An effective political organization. In this case we can better state the goal as an effective unpolitical organization. Libertarianism is the Unparty. That has already been true, to a great extent. The most successful Libertarian campaigns have been the product of individuals who just made it happen. Using their natural charisma and the support that charisma could generate, riding issues that positioned them favorably in the minds of voters.

This is how it has to be. If you start with an acorn you cannot expect to end up with a palm tree. If you start out with a conventional political structure you will end up having built a replacement to either the Republican or Democrat party. Either outcome, even if individuals registered Libertarian were in the majority, would be failure.

It is the forms of government that we need to change. We need to grow forms that cannot be transformed into instruments of oppression.

This brings us to a consideration of the most local forms of political activism in which Libertarians engage. Libertarians run for office, partisan and non-partisan. As a precursor to this successful candidates involve themselves in their communities in ways that provide them with strong, affirmative support networks among non-libertarians. They become the answer by translating the principles of libertarianism into local institutions and applicable policy.

American culture today provides a wealth of potentials that remain underutilized. Individualism is at its most elemental volunteerism. At the community level we need to help people identify and implement the means for solving their problems, be that creating private land trusts for those interested in conserving their heritage or funding shelters for abused women using awards from litigation.

Private foundations representing billions of dollars spend an enormous amount of time looking for projects to fund. Libertarians need to be aware that these resources exist.

Libertarians run for office to use the forms of election as forums for speaking out on issues. The three kinds of campaign have been described as passive, getting the name on the ballot; minimal; doing the things that can be done free or at little cost; active; trying to make a respectable showing on a small budget.

Libertarians have had massive experience with unwinnable campaigns. Hundreds of Libertarians have thrown themselves into races full of hope and enthusiasm. They have not failed. By placing the word Libertarian on the ballot they raised public awareness. This has both created opportunities and moved Libertarians into the arena of political reality.

To this we can now add the campaigns of electable candidates. Such candidates as Ilana Freedman in Massachusetts are proving that becoming an electable candidate is also the way to create the visible examples that are necessary to the acceptance of libertarianism. This kind of candidate and campaign answers the immediate objections to libertarianism by providing the missing steps in the program. Candidates like Ilana are part of their communities and run from within a network of support that is not mostly Libertarians.

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