Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Institutions for Freedom: The Acorn Principle

If we want to grow an oak tree we cannot start out with a palm. The other parties are palm trees, dedicated to top down forms of government. If we continue on our present path we will be arguing with a half grown palm tree called the Libertarian Party. Actually, the arguments have already started.

We need to visualize ways of demonstrating that institutions of consensus can replace the functions of government. We can best begin with those institutions we directly control. The first of these is the Libertarian Party in all of its incarnations.

In the 200 years since the Constitutional Convention met to hammer out the framework for their institutions of law and political action we have learned a lot. We know that local is better. We know that keeping a clear relationship between authority and responsibility with clear lines for liability are essential to positive system feedback. Local groups and even state parties within the LP have experimented with various changes in their bylaws and practices that have created excellent models for political action that bring activity back to the most local level.

What seemed to be the insoluble problems of internecine warfare have been answered.. We have all come to believe in-fighting is a natural part of the Libertarian culture. It is not. Libertarians can work together effectively and without rancor or undue recourse to classical political maneuvering. What has been done in one place can happen again elsewhere.

Decentralizing focuses our attention on creating a clear presence for freedom that speaks to ordinary Americans; the kind of people who are simply looking for a better way of handling the problems that confront them. It is the best and first school for freedom.

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