Libertarian Principles Platform

[Proposed by Dan Grow 2008-01-18. Consists of 100% recycled language.]

[Preamble and Statement of Principles, without amendment]

1.0. Personal Liberty

No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.

1.1. Expression and Communication

We oppose all forms of government censorship, and we defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right of individuals to dissent from government. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.

1.2. Personal and Bodily Privacy

The individual's privacy, property, and right to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government, and only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes.

1.3. Personal Relationships

Individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. We believe that adults have the right to private choice in consensual sexual activity. We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, and further support the repeal of all laws restricting voluntary birth control or the right of the woman to make a personal moral choice regarding the termination of pregnancy. We call for the elimination of special tax burdens of single people and couples with few or no children.

1.4. Crime and Justice

The appropriate way to suppress crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights. Until such time as persons are proved guilty of crimes, they should be accorded full respect for their individual rights. We support restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer. We oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense.

1.5. Self-Defense

Maintaining our belief in the inviolability of the right to keep and bear arms, we oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.

2.0. Economic Liberty

We oppose all intervention by government into the area of economics. Because each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market, and because government interference can only harm such free activity, we oppose all intervention by government into the area of economics. The only proper role of existing governments in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. While we support strong and effective laws against fraud and misrepresentation, we oppose paternalistic laws that impose prices, define standards for products, or otherwise restrict free choice. We oppose "consumer protection" laws and advocate the repeal of all laws banning or restricting the advertising of prices, products, or services. We oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called "self-protection" equipment. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.

2.1. Property and Contract

We hold that the owners of property have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes the valid rights of others. Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners by government or private action in violation of individual rights, we favor restitution to the rightful owners. The role of planning is properly the responsibility and right of the owners of the land. We oppose all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production and interest rates.

2.2. Environment and Resources

We support the development of an objective system defining individual property rights to air and water. Ambiguities in the area of these rights ( e.g., the concept of "public property") are a primary cause of our deteriorating environment. Present legal principles which allow the violation of individual rights by polluters must be reversed. The laws of nuisance and negligence should be modified to cover damages done by air, water, and noise pollution. While we maintain that no one has the right to violate the legitimate property rights of others by polluting, we strenuously oppose all attempts to transform the defense of such rights into any restriction of the efforts of individuals to advance technology, to expand production, or to use their property peacefully, and we oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.

2.3. Government Finance and Spending

Since we believe that all persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor, we oppose all government activity which consists of the forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in violation of their individual rights. We oppose any increase in existing tax rates and the imposition of any new taxes, and we support a constitutional amendment requiring government budgets be balanced by cutting expenditures and not by raising taxes. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employer or business owners to serve as tax collectors for federal, state, or local tax agencies. We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes, recognize the right of any individual to challenge the payment of taxes on moral, legal, and constitutional grounds, support the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, and support amnesty for all those who have been convicted of, or who now stand accused of tax resistance.

2.4. Money and Financial Markets

We favor the abolition of government fiat money and the use of a free market commodity standard. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies, the repeal of legal tender laws and compulsory governmental units of account. We favor the elimination of the Federal Reserve System.

2.5. Monopolies and Corporations

Through its grants of legal privilege to special interests, government is the source of monopoly, and we advocate the termination of government-created franchise privileges. Anti-trust laws do not prevent monopoly, but foster it by limiting competition, and we defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association. We support the abolition of all tariffs and quotas, including all government subsidies to business, labor, education, agriculture, science, broadcasting, the arts, and any other special interest.

2.6. Labor Markets

We support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment. No worker should be legally penalized for lack of certification, and no consumer should be legally restrained from hiring unlicensed individuals. We oppose government-fostered forced retirement. We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions, and an employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union. We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain.

2.7. Education

We support the repeal of all compulsory education laws, and an end to government operation, regulation and subsidy of schools and colleges.

2.8. Health care

We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system, and we support the right of individuals to contract freely with practitioners of their choice, whether licensed by the government or not, for all medical services. We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services. We favor the abolition of Medicaid and Medicare programs. We call for the repeal of laws compelling individuals to submit to medical treatment, testing or to the administration of drugs or other substances, and we favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.

2.9. Retirement and Income Security

Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government, and we favor replacing the current fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, government sponsored Social Security system with a private voluntary system.

3.0. Securing Liberty

The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.

3.1. National Defense

We recognize the necessity for maintaining a sufficient military force to defend the United States against aggression. We should reduce the overall cost and size of our total governmental defense establishment, and we should avoiding entangling alliances, abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures.

3.2. Internal Security and Individual Rights

The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, personal privacy, the freedoms of assembly, expression and religion, and other individual liberties and rights must not be denied on the basis of national security. We oppose the government's use of secret classifications as they are the servant of the individuals who own this country; withholding information that the public has a right to know is dishonest, deceptive and a perversion of the proper relationship between government and its employers.

3.3. International Affairs

We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights against governments or political and revolutionary groups. We oppose U.S. government participation in any world or international government. We oppose any treaty under which individual rights would be violated. Any U.S. military policy should have the objective of providing security for the lives, liberty and property of the American people in the U.S. as inexpensively as possible and without undermining the liberties it is designed to protect. We support the elimination of tax-supported military, economic, technical, and scientific aid to foreign governments or other organizations. We favor withdrawal of the United States from all international money and credit schemes, and would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid, guarantees, and diplomatic meddling.

3.4. Free Trade and Migration

Government intervention in the economy imperils both the personal freedom and the material prosperity of every American, and we support the removal of all governmental impediments to free trade. We recognize the right to unrestricted travel and immigration and we oppose government welfare and resettlement payments to non-citizens, just as we oppose government welfare payments to all other persons.

3.5. Franchise and Discrimination

We believe that families are private institutions, which should be free from government intrusion, and that parents have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs. No individual rights should be denied or abridged by the laws of the United States or any state, or locality on account of sex, race, color, creed, age, national origin, or sexual preference. While we condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant, we oppose any government attempts to regulate private discrimination.

3.6. Representative Government

We support ending the government control of political parties, consistent with First Amendment rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression, and elections at all levels should be in the control of those who wish to participate in or support them voluntarily. We oppose laws that effectively exclude alternative candidates and parties, deny ballot access, gerrymander districts, deny the voters their right to consider all legitimate alternatives, and enable the federal and state governments to control the elections of their own administrators and beneficiaries. Political parties should be allowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures, primaries and conventions, and we propose electoral systems that are more representative of the electorate at the federal, state and local levels. We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws.

4.0. Omissions

Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval.

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