Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wes Benedict Responds Concerning Racism in the Libertarian Party

I was pleased to receive an email from Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian Party, indicating that the LP has become concerned about infiltration by racists and has issued a formal statement.  I have copied his email, which includes a link to the statement, and part of the statement:

From: Wes Benedict
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2017 7:08 PM
To: Mitchell Langbert
Subject: Re: Anti-Semitism, Racism, and the LP

Hi Mr. Langbert,
Did you see the piece I put out last week?
I think that makes it clear we're aware of some racists and anti-Semitism in and close to the Libertarian Party and we are driving them out.
Thanks for your support.
Wes Benedict, Executive Director

The statement starts as follows:

The Libertarian Party condemns bigotry as irrational and repugnant, and offers its condolences to the family of the woman killed in Charlottesville, Va.
There is no room for racists and bigots in the Libertarian Party. If there are white nationalists who — inappropriately — are members of the Libertarian Party, I ask them to submit their resignations today. We don’t want them to associate with the Libertarian Party, and we don’t want their money. I’m not expecting many resignations, because our membership already knows this well.
The Libertarian Party Platform states, “We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexual orientation.”

The Libertarian Party is tolerant and accepting, supporting civil liberties, gay marriage, and freedom of religion for all, including Jews, Muslims, Christians, and atheists. The Libertarian Party supports open borders, civil liberties, racial diversity, and free trade — things that white nationalists abhor.
I think many people in America are worried about jobs and security, and feel compelled to do something about it. Years of inflammatory messaging from Republican and Democratic leadership have poisoned the well of civil discourse, and unfortunately, much of what the extremists on both the left and right are asking for will make matters worse.

Republican leaders have demonized immigrants and free trade, and have scared people into thinking that free trade and immigration will cost current citizens their jobs and their standard of living. Yet countries with free trade and immigration have the highest standards of living in the world, and those without freedom of movement and exchange have the lowest. If politicians are truly interested in improving American prosperity, they need to brush up on their understanding of “gains from trade” and “comparative advantage,” then stop goading their supporters into supporting counterproductive policies. Protectionist policies are irrational and cowardly, and will make America weaker.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The LP Must Come Clean

 PO Box 130
West Shokan, NY 12494
August 19, 2017

Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian Party
1444 Duke Street
Alexandria Virginia 22314-3403

Sent via US Mail and Email

Dear Mr. Benedict:

I joined the Libertarian Party in 1977, and I was active in the New York chapter, at that time called the Free Libertarian Party, for several years.  I stopped being active, but I have contributed to the LP and the campaigns of Gary Johnson.  Part of the reason I stopped being active in the 1980s was an apparent anti-Israel tendency in the LP.  As well, I have repeatedly detected anti-Semitism not only in association with the LP but also, and more emphatically, with the Ron Paul movement.  Because of recent events in Charlottesville, this issue has come to a head.  

If I am to be supportive of the LP in the future, I need to have a clear accounting of the degree to which racists and anti-Semites have infiltrated  it.  I also need to have a clear picture of what you and the LP are doing to rid it of the infiltration.  If you wish to reply that it doesn’t exist or that you will do nothing, my support for the LP will end, and I hereby request that you remove me from your mailing list. What I need to know for my support to continue is what the LP is doing to establish a litmus test that excludes anti-Semites and racists.  If the answer is nothing, then please remove me from your mailing list.

Sincerely,


Mitchell Langbert

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What the Democrats Have Become

The Democratic Party reduces human nature to demographic categories: race, gender, creed, and class. To the Democratic Party, these categories define and delimit human experience. The Democrats eliminate ambition, persistence, achievement, genius, moral choice, hard work, and vision. In so doing, they attack human essence.  The Democrats are redefining totalitarian ideology into one of dehumanization through categorization.   

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Science Is Settled: Socialism Has Failed

What seemed to have been the death of socialism when the Berlin Wall fell nearly 30 years ago has not been so.  Like Lucky Luciano socialism was taken for dead but has managed to survive and flourish.  According to a Gallup poll, about 35% of Americans now have a positive view of socialism. Bernie Sanders's showing in the last Democratic primary, in which he received 13.2 million votes to Clinton's 16.8 million, suggests that a large section of the Democratic Party now favors socialism. That may be even greater support than, or at least comparable support to, the 1940s, when a Fortune poll (see note on p. 341 here) found that 25% of the public favored socialism and another 35% was open minded about it.

The evidence has been in for decades: Socialism is a failure.  It has been tried, and it has failed. The chief response, the claim that"there's never been a real socialism," is vacuous. That is, it can be made with respect to any ism, social arrangement or institution. There's never been a real capitalism; there's never been a real Nazism; there's never been a real anarchism. 

The "there's never been real socialism" argument is antithetical to empirical science, which aims to falsify, prove false, hypotheses through systematic testing.  The best scientific evidence with respect to social arrangements is their real-life outcomes. There have been a number of liberal (I use the word "liberal" to mean "capitalist") societies, and there have been a number of socialist ones. The liberal societies have outperformed the socialist ones on all measures save equality when measured with broad statistical measures like the Gini coefficient. 

With respect to how well off the worst-off individual is, liberalism performs better than socialism. With respect to how well off the average person is, liberalism also performs better than socialism. When compared as to how much innovation or progress occurs, liberalism also performs better than socialism. When one compares the pattern of state violence, mass murder, and freedom of expression, socialist societies have performed worse. 

While socialism seemed like a good idea until, say, 1970, it has proven not to work. Why, then, are so many Americans committed to a superstitious belief in it? The superstition permeates our universities, the Democratic media, and even mainstream religious institutions.  The primitive belief that violence and redistribution are more efficient than voluntarism can explain it. Socialism is a persistent superstition because human beings are genetically tribal, and the impulse toward tribalism is thwarted in the modern world.  However, tribal arrangements impede prograss.  Socialism is the ultimate reactionary form of government.