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May 21, 2008 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Soon, state delegates will meet in Denver to conclude a contentious competition and nominate a presidential candidate. No, it's not the Democratic National Convention. It's time for the Libertarian National Convention! Check out the schedule of events and possible seminar topics. Some find the very idea hilarious. Others are watching with more serious interest to see how the outcome may affect John McCain's campaign.
posted by Tehanu (86 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
No GoogleRonPaul tag?
posted by DU at 11:00 AM on May 21, 2008


I can't believe Mike Gravel is running for it. How can we help Bob Barr win?
posted by msalt at 11:02 AM on May 21, 2008


Senator Gravel Lobbies Obama Girl!
posted by homunculus at 11:06 AM on May 21, 2008


I would really love to hear "How Almost Any Libertarian Can Get Elected" (one of the events on the programme). This is clearly what they've been missing all these years.
posted by athenian at 11:09 AM on May 21, 2008


McCain Campaign: Comment Trolls Wanted
posted by homunculus at 11:09 AM on May 21, 2008


Richard Hoagland being in bed with the Libertarians is probably the least surprising thing I have seen recently.
posted by yhbc at 11:10 AM on May 21, 2008


A Bob Barr candidacy does have the potential to spoil a couple of states, particularly his (and my) home state of Georgia (and its 15 electoral votes). Gravel, not so much.

/runs off to find a Barr for President bumper sticker
posted by deadmessenger at 11:11 AM on May 21, 2008


Well, so long as their not using any publicly constructed roads to get there...
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on May 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


or "they're"

anyway, go go Ron Paul! Your people need you! Nader cannot be unopposed!
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on May 21, 2008


I refuse to participate! Nobody's gonna force me to go to Denver, by gum!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:12 AM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Libertarian Party: important proof of concept while simultaneously useless.
posted by pwally at 11:13 AM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


man, any candidate who wants that nomination should just rename himself John Galt or Howard Roarch.
posted by shmegegge at 11:18 AM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barr's most recent high-profile media appearance was a joke played on him in the "Borat" movie.

Heh.
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on May 21, 2008


so long as their not using any publicly constructed roads to get there...

You can find plenty of non-public roads listed in an Ayn Rand McNally Atlas Shrugged.
posted by DU at 11:22 AM on May 21, 2008 [38 favorites]


From the schedule of events in the "hilarious" link:

Richard C. Hoagland will speak?! The crazy alien moon base guy?! I know that it's usually the more kooky elements that show up for the conventions, but this takes the cake. It says he will be talking about whether we need to redefine NASA, but I'm sure a few "one-of-Jupiter's-moons-is-really-a-giant-alien-ship" elements of his presentations will creep into the talk.
posted by Avelwood at 11:23 AM on May 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


What I find very interesting is the photo used on the right sidebar to link to their "seminars" page. The photo shows a massive room, with some kind of power point set-up, and no audience.

Perhaps they are off in Galt's Gulch?
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:25 AM on May 21, 2008


Wow, Hoagland is awesome! Thanks for bringing him to my attention.
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on May 21, 2008


I am the very model of a modern libertarian.
posted by lalochezia at 11:29 AM on May 21, 2008


Ayn Rand. McNally. Atlas Shrugged.

I'm wasted on you people.
posted by DU at 11:32 AM on May 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wait, like a road atlas?
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on May 21, 2008


What??? Come on - conventions are collectivism. Libertarians don't have conventions. They're too busy cutting down wood to make their own paper and hiring people for their own private postal systems so they can mails their little Libertarian screeds to one another to get to a convention. Besides, how would they get there - drive on a FEDERALLY FUNDED road? Heaven forbid.

And who would pay for the convention? What if someone went to get a second piece of chicken cordon bleu from the buffet? Like everyone else there is going to subsidize that guy's lunch. And you'd have to pay for each lecture at the door because no one would want to pay for a talk they didn't attend. And who chose those speakers anyway? Real libertarians would just get one big room and let everyone talk about whatever they want. Obviously the loudest people will have their points heard without any interference from the nanny state.
posted by GuyZero at 11:42 AM on May 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ron Paul won't be attending this convention since it's not mandated in the constitution.
posted by mattbucher at 11:44 AM on May 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


shit, Artw beat me to the roads joke. Oh well.

And I LOL'ed at Ayn Rynd mcNally Atlas Shrugged. Ho! Ho! Ha! Parry! Dodge! Turn! Thrust! (smack)
posted by GuyZero at 11:44 AM on May 21, 2008


So if a fire breaks out in the convention hall, are they going to dial 911?
posted by Avenger at 11:54 AM on May 21, 2008


Good luck, Senator Gravel.
posted by Eideteker at 11:59 AM on May 21, 2008


Avenger - In the event of a fire the market will decide who gets the fire extinguishers.
posted by Artw at 12:01 PM on May 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


On the subject of Libertarian conventions, let me once again recommend Jerome Tuccille’s hilarious It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand. There's a pretty detailed review here.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:05 PM on May 21, 2008


It seems like Libertarians should be against elections. Rather, the Libertarian model of selecting officials would be to set up a day when you can go in and pay as much as you like to support the candidate of your choice. At the end of the day, whoever has the most cash gets the office, and the cash goes to the corporation that runs the elections.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:17 PM on May 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


Stop making fun. I'm going to be one of the speakers there.

My forum is entitled "Elaborate methods for insuring your vote never counts."
posted by Ynoxas at 12:24 PM on May 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


This post was pretty much designed for a pile-on from the ground up. I could take it to MeTa, but I'm going to see if I could save it (how libertarian/anarchist of me!).

Thanks for the link, Lentrosummahawha.
"Jerome searched for the libertarian ideal, “a society […] in which everyone would be free to choose his own lifestyle; to own or not to own property, to work or not to work, for himself or for others; to trade freely in an open marketplace or not to trade at all; to delineate clearly the boundaries of his own autonomy and live privately, or to join in communes or cooperatives or other communitarian structures on a voluntary basis.” (17) This would be a pluralist free market anarchist society based on voluntary association and self-sovereignty, where people would be free to live in any way they wanted, to choose any political, economic, or social arrangements for themselves, the only rule being that there be no aggression or coercion, and that everything be voluntary. This libertarian vision doesn’t proscribe any specific form of economic arrangement, it only contends that the use of force should be abandoned. Communists can join communes, mutualists can form mutual banks, syndicalists can form workers’ cooperatives, and capitalists can form for-profit business enterprises, all peacefully co-existing with one another."
Yeah, I always hesitate to label myself libertarian, but that's often how I vote. Isn't there a non-Randian kind of social libertarianism, where the goal is to help people but otherwise keep the government out of your life? That's one thing I liked about Gravel; he wasn't afraid to say in front of an auditorium of high schoolers that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana. Isn't there a libertarianism out there for those who reject consensual crimes as absurd? Government should be there to help people; regulation is necessary to keep citizens safe. It should provide defense (but not offense), both internally and externally.

I'm a peaceful anarchist, but only if everyone else is. Otherwise, I need a government for the people, by the people, and of the people; one that looks out for its citizens but allows them self-determination. And the false-dichotomy of a two-party system needs to go.
posted by Eideteker at 12:38 PM on May 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


RALPH NADAR!
posted by srboisvert at 12:47 PM on May 21, 2008


Besides, how would they get there - drive on a FEDERALLY FUNDED road? Heaven forbid.

so long as their not using any publicly constructed roads to get there.


If they held the conference in my non-existent left leaning libertarian free state they wouldn't take roads to get to the conference. Instead they would take one of the many competing light rail lines. My favorite light rail provider is Libertarian Straw Man Transport Inc.
posted by kscottz at 12:52 PM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


And the false-dichotomy of a two-party system needs to go.

Yeah, it's a real problem. I always find myself agreeing with some Libertarian ideas. Not so much most others though. I will be curious to see who gets the nod tomorrow.

This post was pretty much designed for a pile-on from the ground up.

No, but it is becoming that a bit, yeah. There is the amusing stuff that's easy to rag on and will inevitably happen, acknowledge it upfront or not. But then what those last two links suggest is pretty interesting to me-- a splitting of conservative votes on the right that costs McCain the election. It's interesting to see how the third parties, which struggle to define themselves outside the left-right two-party spectrum, actually interact with that spectrum. Even though they're trying (and maybe are) living outside of it, they always get interpreted within it.
posted by Tehanu at 12:56 PM on May 21, 2008


Isn't there a non-Randian kind of social libertarianism, where the goal is to help people but otherwise keep the government out of your life?

Left-Libertarianism?

eg. Chomsky-esque anarcho-syndicalism.
posted by tachikaze at 1:04 PM on May 21, 2008


Isn't there a non-Randian kind of social libertarianism, where the goal is to help people but otherwise keep the government out of your life?

That's what libertarianism is, outside of the US. The whole "libertarianism/anarchism as ultra-capitalist ideology" thing is a product of roughly the last 60-70 years, and is almost nonexistent outside of the US.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:09 PM on May 21, 2008


I'm sorry, was it Obama, McCain, or Hilary that was for an immediate withdraw in Iraq (or was against the war from day one)?

Certainly poo-pooing the fringe elements of the Libertarian party (I'm certain they will at least have fried foods there) is more important than that.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 1:10 PM on May 21, 2008


A few years ago, the Libertarian candidate was harry Browne. Previously he had written a book that made lots of money for him. The title: How I found Freedom in an Unfree World. ...as for politics: Harry said it was plain silly to waste your time voting for any candidate or getting involved in politics. And then he became a candidate...so it goes.
posted by Postroad at 1:22 PM on May 21, 2008


I'm sorry, was it Obama, McCain, or Hilary that was for an immediate withdraw in Iraq (or was against the war from day one)?

Obama was against the war from day one, in fact. I know you want to feel like you're special and Uniquely Right, but not everybody who isn't a Libertarian is a collectivist war-monger.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:27 PM on May 21, 2008 [3 favorites]



Obama was against the war from day one, in fact. I know you want to feel like you're special and Uniquely Right, but not everybody who isn't a Libertarian is a collectivist war-monger.


And was a member of a party that supported it. Even now, his position is not for an immediate withdraw, and the terms of a phased withdraw are hazy at best.

The rest of your comment suits your level of discourse, and isn't worth responding to.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 1:41 PM on May 21, 2008


Yes, of course because if members of a party support an issue the party supports it and therefore you as a voter of said party are therefore guilty of supporting it as well. It makes so much sense now!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:43 PM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Isn't there a non-Randian kind of social libertarianism, where the goal is to help people but otherwise keep the government out of your life?

Yes. 1) Wikipedia 2) Burning Man. Discuss.
posted by msalt at 1:46 PM on May 21, 2008


Yes, of course because if members of a party support an issue the party supports it and therefore you as a voter of said party are therefore guilty of supporting it as well. It makes so much sense now!

Come again?
posted by quintessencesluglord at 1:50 PM on May 21, 2008


Special Events!

The things that add so much more
to your convention experience!
Don't miss:

Early bird Masquerade Party


Oh, good lord, that is creepy.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:51 PM on May 21, 2008


Burning Man is for Hitler. And your boss. Who is Hitler.
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on May 21, 2008


Shit. Thought you said "librarian convention". Where do the librarians convene anyway? (pant, pant)
posted by telstar at 1:55 PM on May 21, 2008


Metafilter meet-ups.
posted by Artw at 1:58 PM on May 21, 2008


The next ALA conference is in Anaheim.
posted by box at 2:01 PM on May 21, 2008


Metafilter favorite James Frey is going to speak. Seriously.
posted by box at 2:02 PM on May 21, 2008


Hoagland? Hoagland? They're so hard up for speakers that they've invited Hoagland?

Wow. That's just sad.

What's next, inviting that crazy guy that lives under the bridge and talks about the CIA hiding miniature Japanese ninjas in his teeth?

Proposal for the Libertarians in the audience: I am prepared to guarantee that I will deliver a superior rant. Fly me to the conference, put me up in the hotel, and tell me when to start ranting. A superior rant experience will be had by all; I can outclass Hoagland any day of the week. Maybe even LaRouche.

No, really. Any day of the week. It's not like the LP has anything to lose at this point.
posted by aramaic at 2:04 PM on May 21, 2008


They should get more Astronauts. I've yet to see a former astronaut speak without dropping them heavy hints that they have right wing views and a pet crackpot theory of some kind or other (UFOs, Lunar He3 production schemes, take your pick...)
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on May 21, 2008


In other convention news: In preparation for the Republican National Convention, the FBI is soliciting informants to keep tabs on local protest groups
posted by homunculus at 2:22 PM on May 21, 2008


Roads? Where we're going we won't need roads.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:01 PM on May 21, 2008


Meanwhile, down the public street at the At the Anarchists' Convention...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:27 PM on May 21, 2008


Meanwhile, down the public street at the At the Anarchists' Convention...

"Not divide and conquer but divide and subdivide."

Huh. That is actually how these kinds of events always seem to work. It seems like being marginal to begin with makes the factioning all the more common.
posted by Tehanu at 3:37 PM on May 21, 2008


Hoagland? Hoagland? They're so hard up for speakers that they've invited Hoagland?

There's a reason why Hoagland, despite being completely full of sht, has managed to get press for thirty years. He's a great, warm, and engaging speaker. His presentation is such that you almost want to believe that there's an alien summer camp at Cydonia.

And as this is a Libertarian convention, his arguments will probably seem more reasonable and grounded than all the rest combined. Hopefully he'll bring his Baltaresqe Harem down from the compound and when the Libertard right sees the money and women being a UFO prophet gets you, there will be a whole slew of UFO cults started that night in Denver.
posted by bunnytricks at 4:54 PM on May 21, 2008


At the Anarchists' Convention...
I always liked anarchism.org myself.
posted by msalt at 5:06 PM on May 21, 2008


And was a member of a party that supported it.

So was Ron Paul.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:36 PM on May 21, 2008


So was Ron Paul.

Gosh, I suppose if Ron Paul were running as a candidate for the Libertarian Party this year, it would have some bearing.

As he is not, what's your point?
posted by quintessencesluglord at 5:49 PM on May 21, 2008


Assides from the Paulites gathering round Barr, per the article?
posted by Artw at 6:33 PM on May 21, 2008


Could we please differentiate between supporting a candidate and supporting the party. Supposing Paul won the Republican nomination, he would have to betray the Republican platform to end the war.

That supporters of Paul will now support Barr only really speaks to how ill-fitting the Republican platform is to them, and perhaps they should have just voted Libertarian anyway.

Just a question of where your priorities are.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 8:46 PM on May 21, 2008


Quint, you're not making a lick of sense. Both Obama and Ron Paul were against the war and ran for the nominations of their parties which supported the war (though, I think at best, the Democratic party was split on the war).

And no one is for immediate withdrawal from Iraq (as in, just telling everyone to come home ASAP). I'm in favor of getting out as quickly as possible, but I think it would take at least a year to do it.
posted by empath at 9:34 PM on May 21, 2008


The point was made that Ron Paul was running for the Republican nomination and opposed the war (similar to Obama).

However, this has absolutely no bearing on the Libertarian Party (which has consistently opposed the war).

If you had to name which parties opposed the Iraq war and are for immediate withdraw, Democrat or Republican is not among them.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 10:06 PM on May 21, 2008


And if you had to name which parties have measurable influence on American politics, "Libertarian" is not among them.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:27 AM on May 22, 2008


And if you had to name which parties have measurable influence on American politics, "Libertarian" is not among them.

True enough, but is that really the fault of the parties (could have mentioned Green as well), or the hypocrisy of folks who want change yet continue to support the duplicity of the Democrat/Republican parties?
posted by quintessencesluglord at 6:55 AM on May 22, 2008


the hypocrisy of folks who want change yet continue to support the duplicity of the Democrat/Republican parties

Does change have to mean radical baby-with-bathwater changes in order not to be hypocrisy? What if people want change within the two party system, but don't want to go to extremes?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:27 AM on May 22, 2008


Does change have to mean radical baby-with-bathwater changes in order not to be hypocrisy?

Given that the country is several year into the war, inertia suggests stopping it will be a radical baby-with-the-bathwater change. The various party platforms are stated. Choose.

What if people want change within the two party system, but don't want to go to extremes?


Depends on how you define change. Tempering an entrenched party position would certainly be change. To do a complete 180 pretty much defines extreme.

If I were a member of the KKK (and I am by no means wish to conflate any political party with them. It is just an example.), I think it is pretty safe to infer certain aspects of how I view race relations by my membership, even though I may not agree with the organization's ideas 100%. Even if I am trying to change how they view race relations from within; I am still a member of the organization, and as such somewhat defined by them.

At least that is how it looks to me.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 8:46 AM on May 22, 2008


If I were a member of the KKK (and I am by no means wish to conflate any political party with them. It is just an example.), I think it is pretty safe to infer certain aspects of how I view race relations by my membership, even though I may not agree with the organization's ideas 100%.

Well, yeah. It's what they do. The major political parties don't rally around a concept as singular as white supremacy. The match to ideology is not so simple there. And in this oh-so-convenient example, for a real parallel, you'd need to be describing a party organized around the issue in question. Except you aren't. You're describing the Democratic Party, which is not the Non-Violence Party. Oh, how they are not.
posted by Tehanu at 11:29 AM on May 22, 2008


The State of Libertarianism, 2058: How the Rand Era gave way to the Surveillance Era—and what we can do about it. A speculative flight into the future.
posted by homunculus at 12:30 PM on May 22, 2008


When the war started, the polling approval rating for going in was something like 75%. We have a two party system rather than a parliament, so that a winning effort has to be able to capture 50% of the population. This means having a middle-of-the-road platform in most respects. Supporting an outsider position can only be a media event, not an actual political action. Green party or Libertarian party nominees are attempting to start conversations, not get elected. They can't get elected, and they know that.

So are the conversations they want to start worth giving up a decision between the two viable candidates? Thinking back to Nader, would a Gore presidency really have been "no different" from a Bush presidency, now that we're 8 years later? I can't imagine many people still feel that way, although in all honesty I think some people enjoy the drama of reacting to "the terrible state of things" as much as anything...
posted by mdn at 12:43 PM on May 22, 2008




Well, yeah. It's what they do. The major political parties don't rally around a concept as singular as white supremacy. The match to ideology is not so simple there. And in this oh-so-convenient example, for a real parallel, you'd need to be describing a party organized around the issue in question. Except you aren't. You're describing the Democratic Party, which is not the Non-Violence Party. Oh, how they are not.


Um, no.

I can see where mentioning not wishing to conflate any political party around this oh-so-convenient example falls on deaf ears. But anyway...

For any particular issue, the party is singular on that issue. Organization really fails to matter as much as the expression. Otherwise it would not matter which party I chose as long as I was working for effective change within that party (it could be argued it would make more sense to join the Republican party and work for change within that framework since most of the impetus for war came from them). I stand by my analogy.

But you wouldn't mind enlightening me on what organizational principles of each led to both the Democratic and Republican support for the war?
posted by quintessencesluglord at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2008


quintessencesluglord, you continue to argue in bad faith. Nobody is saying that there are "organisational principles" that lead most of the members of the Democratic and Republican parties (because saying that "The Democratic/Republican/whatever Party supports the war is fallacious, attributing human characteristics to nonhuman entities) to support the war.

The fact is that there are members of both parties who support the war and members of both parties who oppose it. Obama is a Democrat who opposes the war. There is nothing inconsistent about this.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:02 PM on May 22, 2008


quintessencesluglord, you continue to argue in bad faith.


It seems like Libertarians should be against elections. Rather, the Libertarian model of selecting officials would be to set up a day when you can go in and pay as much as you like to support the candidate of your choice. At the end of the day, whoever has the most cash gets the office, and the cash goes to the corporation that runs the elections.

O.o

Right back at 'cha babe.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 2:19 PM on May 22, 2008


quint, I believe that was good faith satire, not an argument, that you attributed to Pope Guilty.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 2:24 PM on May 22, 2008


Right back at 'cha babe.

You may have noticed a wooshing noise slightly above your head...
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:07 PM on May 22, 2008



You may have noticed a wooshing noise slightly above your head...


No sir, it's taking the caricature you tend to make of libertarians and giggling that you of all people would accuse anyone of arguing in bad faith.


quint, I believe that was good faith satire,


Nope, satire would be losing an election twice to Bush ;)
posted by quintessencesluglord at 3:56 PM on May 22, 2008


No sir, it's taking the caricature you tend to make of libertarians and giggling that you of all people would accuse anyone of arguing in bad faith.

So you're arguing that because I satirise something, I can't also argue against it in good faith?

Are you drunk?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:44 PM on May 22, 2008


Libertarian Party Nominates Bob Barr for President
posted by homunculus at 3:12 PM on May 25, 2008


Anarchists of the World, Unite! The Libertarian Party's radical candidates aren't conceding anything to the media-appointed frontrunners
posted by homunculus at 5:12 PM on May 25, 2008


Bob Barr sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act. WTF kind of Libertarian is that? Bullshit whiney tax dodger party more like.
posted by Artw at 9:26 PM on May 25, 2008


According to Wikipedia, Barr has moved in a Libertarian directon on both same sex marriage -- where he at least opposes a federal amendment banning same sex marriage now -- and marijuana, where he recently worked as lobbyist for repeal of the Bob Barr Amendment (which overrode state medical marijuana laws).
posted by msalt at 11:54 PM on May 25, 2008


Voted for the PATRIOT act as well I see...
posted by Artw at 2:20 PM on May 26, 2008


(Which, yes, he regrets.)
posted by Artw at 2:21 PM on May 26, 2008


> It seems like Libertarians should be against elections.

I'm a libertarian and I like the idea of the Futarchy. Natch, I don't agree with the Libertarian Party's stance on many things and have no idea what other libertarians think about it.
posted by Monochrome at 9:30 PM on May 26, 2008


I am unclear on how Futarchy differs from plutarchy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:06 AM on May 27, 2008


Considering that the new Libertarian VP candidate is a professional sports handicapper, I can see how at least some number of Libs would be in favor of Futocracy.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 8:20 AM on May 27, 2008


Reflections on Attending the 2008 Libertarian Party Convention in Denver
posted by telstar at 12:02 AM on May 31, 2008


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