Friday, October 25, 2013

David Nolan's Five Points Of "No Compromise"

Libertarian Party founder David Nolan had 5 points (yeah, a litmus test) that he used to determine if someone was a Libertarian. 

I like 'em. 

YOU OWN YOURSELF      First and foremost, libertarians believe in the the principle of self-ownership. You own your own body and mind; no extermal power has the right to force you into the service of "society" or "mankind" or any other individual or group for any purpose, however noble. Slavery is wrong, period.    Because you own yourself, you are responsible for your own well-being. Others are not obligated to feed you, clothe you, or provide you with health care. Most of us choose to help one another voluntarily, for a variety of reasons -- and that's as it should be -- but "forced compassion" is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.  THE RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE     Self-ownership implies the right to self-defense. Libertarians yield to no one in their support for our right as individuals to keep and bear arms. We only wish that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution said "The right to self-defense being inalienable..." instead of that stuff about a "well-regulated militia".  Anyone who thinks that government -- any government -- has the right to disarm its citizens is NOT a libertarian!  NO "CRIMINAL POSSESSION" LAWS     In fact, libertarians believe that individuals have the right to own and use anything- gold, guns, marijuana, sexually explicit material- so long as they do not harm others through force or the threat of force. Laws criminalizing the simple possession of anything are tailor-made for police states; it is all too easy to plant a forbidden substance in someone's home, car or pocket. Libertarians are as tough on crime- real crime- as anyone. But criminal possession laws are an affront to liberty, whatever the rhetoric used to defend them.  NO TAXES ON PRODUCTIVITY     In an ideal world, there would be no taxation. All services would be paid for on an as-used basis. But in a less-than-ideal world, some services will be force-financed for the foreseeable future. However, not all taxes are equally deleterious, and the worst form of taxation is a tax on productivity -- i.e., an income tax -- and no libertarian supports this type of taxation.    What kind of taxation is least harmful? This is a topic still open for debate. My own preference is for a single tax on land. Is this "the" libertarian position on taxes? No. But all libertarians oppose any form of income tax.  A SOUND MONEY SYSTEM     The fifth and final key test of anyone's claim to being a libertarian is their support for an honest money system; i.e. one where the currency is backed by something of true value (usually gold or silver). Fiat money -- money with no backing, whose acceptance is mandated by the State -- is simply legalized counterfeiting and is one of the keys to expanding government power.    The five points enumerated here are not a complete, comprehensive prescription for freedom... but they would take us most of the way. A government which cannot conscript, confiscate, or counterfeit, and which imposes no criminal penalties for the mere possession and peaceful use of anything, is one that almost all libertarians would be comfortable with.

All of these seem to be common-sense principles. 
98% of the U.S. population disagrees with me. 

I got to meet the great David Nolan about a year before he passed away.  A really great guy. 


1 comment:

Justin L. Oliver said...

I think rights exist, and self-ownership is a useful but probably not true concept.

Self-ownership, as a theory of rights (property rights), is used to justify a theory of individual rights, which seems like a backward approach.

A more fundamental objection is that self-ownership would make sense to me if there were a mind-brain dichotomy (as Christians like Lock believe) where the mind (or soul) were the thing doing the owning, but such a dichotomy does not exist.