1996 Libertarian Party Platform
(12,162 words, 38 pages)
Statement of Principles
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things,and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life -- accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2)the right to liberty of speech and action -- accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property -- accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation,nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery,trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights,we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights,is the free market.
INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND CIVIL ORDER 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.
FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY Members of the Libertarian Party do not necessarily advocate or condone any of the practices our policies would make legal. Our exclusion of moral approval and disapproval is deliberate: people's rights must be recognized; the wisdom of any course of peaceful action is a matter for the acting individual(s) to decide. Personal responsibility is discouraged by government denying individuals the opportunity to exercise it. Libertarian policies will create a society where people are free to make and learn from their own decisions.
CRIME The continuing high level of violent crime -- and the government's demonstrated inability to deal with it -- threatens the lives, happiness,and belongings of Americans. At the same time, governmental violations of rights undermine the people's sense of justice with regard to crime. The appropriate way to suppress crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights. Laws pertaining to "victimless crimes" should be repealed since such laws themselves violate individual rights and also breed other types of crime. We applaud the trend toward private protection services and voluntary community crime control groups. We support institutional changes, consistent with full respect for the rights of the accused, that would permit victims to direct the prosecution in criminal cases.
VICTIMLESS CRIMES Because only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes, we favor the repeal of all federal,state, and local laws creating "crimes" without victims. In particular,we advocate:
a. the repeal of all laws prohibiting the production, sale, possession,or use of drugs, and of all medicinal prescription requirements for the purchase of vitamins, drugs, and similar substances;
b. the repeal of all laws restricting or prohibiting the use or sale of alcohol, requiring health warning labels and signs, making bartenders or hosts responsible for the behavior of customers and guests, making liquor companies liable for birth defects, and making gambling houses liable for the losses of intoxicated gamblers;
c. the repeal of all laws or policies authorizing stopping drivers without probable cause to test for alcohol or drug use;
d. the repeal of all laws regarding consensual sexual relations, including prostitution and solicitation, and the cessation of state oppression and harassment of homosexual men and women, that they, at last, be accorded their full rights as individuals;
e. the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting the possession, use,sale, production, or distribution of sexually explicit material, independent of "socially redeeming value" or compliance with "community standards";
f. the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting gambling;
g. the repeal of antiracketeering statutes such as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which punish peaceful behavior --including insider trading in securities, sale of sexually explicit material,and nonviolent anti-abortion protests -- by freezing and/or seizing assets of the accused or convicted; and
h. the repeal of all laws interfering with the right to commit suicide as infringements of the ultimate right of an individual to his or her own life.
We demand the use of executive pardon to free and exonerate all those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these "crimes." We condemn the wholesale confiscation of property prior to conviction by the state that all too often accompanies police raids,searches, and prosecutions for victimless crimes.
Further, we recognize that, often, the Federal Government blackmails states which refuse to comply with these laws by withholding funds and we applaud those states which refuse to be so coerced.
THE WAR ON DRUGS The so-called "War on Drugs" is a grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order and to peace in the world; furthermore,it has provided a rationale by which the power of the state has been expanded to restrict greatly our right to privacy and to be secure in our homes.
We call for the repeal of all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the use of drugs and of "anti-crime" measures restricting individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property, or limiting our rights to keep and bear arms.
SAFEGUARDS FOR THE CRIMINALLY ACCUSED Until such time as persons are proved guilty of crimes, they should be accorded full respect for their individual rights. We are thus opposed to reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused.
We oppose labeling cases as "civil" strictly to avoid the due process protections of criminal law and we further oppose governmental civil and criminal pretrial seizure of property for criminal offenses.
We oppose police officers using excessive force on the disorderly or the criminally accused, handing out what they may consider to be instant punishments on the streets, preventive detention, and no-knock laws. Instant-punishment policies deprive the accused of important checks on government power --juries and the judicial process. We oppose any concept that some individuals are by nature second-class citizens who only understand instant punishment and any claim that the police possess special insight into recognizing persons in need of punishment.
We support full restitution for all loss suffered by persons arrested,indicted, tried, imprisoned, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings against them that do not result in their conviction. When they are responsible, government police employees or agents should be liable for this restitution.
We call for a reform of the judicial system allowing criminal defendants and civil parties to a court action a reasonable number of peremptory challenges to proposed judges, similar to their right under the present system to challenge a proposed juror.
JUSTICE FOR THE INDIVIDUAL The present system of criminal law is based almost solely on punishment with little concern for the victim. 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.
We oppose all "no-fault" insurance laws, which deprive the victim of the right to recover damages from those responsible in the case of injury. We also support the right of the victim to pardon the criminal or wrongdoer, barring threats to the victim for this purpose. We applaud the growth of private adjudication of disputes by mutually acceptable judges.
We support a change in rape laws so that cohabitation will no longer be a defense against a charge of rape.
JURIES We oppose the current practice of forced jury duty and favor all-volunteer juries. In addition, we urge the assertion of the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law. In all cases to which the government is a party, the judge should be required to inform the jurors of their common law right to judge the law, as well as the facts,and to acquit a criminal defendant, and to find against the government in a civil trial, whenever they deem the law unjust or oppressive.
INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGNTY The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights -- life, liberty, and justly acquired property -- against aggression, whether by force or fraud. This right inheres in the individual,who -- with his or her consent -- may be aided by any other individual or group.
The right of defense extends to defense against aggressive acts of government. We favor an immediate end to the doctrine of "Sovereign Immunity" which ignores the primacy of the individual over the abstraction of the State, and holds that the State, contrary to the tradition of redress of grievances, may not be sued without its permission or held accountable forits actions under civil law.
GOVERNMENT AND MENTAL HEALTH We oppose the involuntary commitment ofany person to or involuntary treatment in a mental institution.
We advocate an end to the spending of tax money for any program of psychiatric,psychological, or behavioral research or treatment.
We favor an end to the acceptance of criminal defenses based on "insanity"or "diminished capacity" which absolve the guilty of their responsibility.
FREEDOM OF COMMUNICATION We defend the rights of individuals to unrestrictedfreedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals todissent from government itself. We recognize that full freedom of expressionis possible only as part of a system of full property rights. The freedomto use one's own voice; the freedom to hire a hall; the freedom to own aprinting press, a broadcasting station, or a transmission cable; the freedomto wave or burn one's own flag; and similar property-based freedoms areprecisely what constitute freedom of communication. At the same time, werecognize that freedom of communication does not extend to the use of otherpeople's property to promote one's ideas without the voluntary consent ofthe owners.
We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through governmentcensorship, regulation or control of communications media, including, butnot limited to, laws concerning:
-- Obscenity, including "pornography", as we hold this to bean abridgment of liberty of expression despite claims that it instigatesrape or assault, or demeans and slanders women;
-- Reception and storage equipment, such as digital audio tape recordersand radar warning devices, and the manufacture of video terminals by telephonecompanies;
-- Electronic bulletin boards, communications networks, and other interactiveelectronic media as we hold them to be the functional equivalent of speakinghalls and printing presses in the age of electronic communications, andas such deserving of full freedom;
-- Electronic newspapers, electronic "Yellow Pages", and othernew information media, as these deserve full freedom.
-- Commercial speech or advertising.
We oppose speech codes at all schools that are primarily tax funded.Language that is deemed offensive to certain groups is not a cause for legalaction.
We favor the abolition of the Federal Communications Commission as wewould provide for free market ownership of airwave frequencies, deservingof full First Amendment protection.
We oppose government ownership or subsidy of, or funding for, any communicationsorganization.
We strongly oppose the government's burgeoning practice of invading newsrooms,or the premises of other innocent third parties, in the name of law enforcement.We further oppose court orders gagging news coverage of criminal proceedings-- the right to publish and broadcast must not be abridged merely for theconvenience of the judicial system. We deplore any efforts to impose thoughtcontrol on the media, either by the use of anti-trust laws, or by any othergovernment action in the name of stopping "bias."
Removal of all of these regulations and practices throughout the communicationsmedia would open the way to diversity and innovation. We shall not be satisfieduntil the First Amendment is expanded to protect full, unconditional freedomof communication.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION We defend the rights of individuals to engage in(or abstain from) any religious activities that do not violate the rightsof others. In order to defend freedom, we advocate a strict separation ofchurch and State. We oppose government actions that either aid or attackany religion. We oppose taxation of church property for the same reasonthat we oppose all taxation. We oppose the harassment of churches by theInternal Revenue Service through threats to deny tax-exempt status to churchesthat refuse to disclose massive amounts of information about themselves.
We condemn the attempts by parents or any others -- via kidnappings orconservatorships -- to force children to conform to any religious views.Government harassment or obstruction of religious groups for their beliefsor non-violent activities must end.
THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY There is no conflict between property rights andhuman rights. Indeed, property rights are the rights of humans with respectto property, and as such, are entitled to the same respect and protectionas all other human rights.
All rights are inextricably linked with property rights. Such rightsas the freedom from involuntary servitude as well as the freedom of speechand the freedom of press are based on self-ownership. Our bodies are ourproperty every bit as much as is justly acquired land or material objects.
We further 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 rightsof others. We oppose all violations of the right to private property, libertyof contract, and freedom of trade done in the name of national security.We also condemn current government efforts to regulate or ban the use ofproperty in the name of aesthetic values, riskiness, moral standards, cost-benefitestimates, or the promotion or restriction of economic growth. We specificallycondemn all government interference in the operation of private businesses,such as restaurants and airlines, by either requiring or prohibiting designatedsmoking or non-smoking areas for their employees or their customers.
We demand an end to the taxation of privately owned real property, whichactually makes the State the owner of all lands and forces individuals torent their homes and places of business from the State. We condemn attemptsto employ eminent domain to municipalize sports teams or to try to forcethem to stay in their present location.
Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful ownersby the government or private action in violation of individual rights, wefavor restitution to the rightful owners.
PROTECTION OF PRIVACY The individual's right to privacy, property, andright to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government.The government should not use electronic or other means of covert surveillanceof an individual's actions or private property without the consent of theowner or occupant. Correspondence, bank and other financial transactionsand records, doctors' and lawyers' communications, employment records, andthe like should not be open to review by government without the consentof all parties involved in those actions.
We support the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment and opposeany government use of search warrants to examine or seize materials belongingto innocent third parties. We also oppose police roadblocks aimed at randomly,and without probable cause, testing drivers for intoxication and policepractices to stop mass transit vehicles and search passengers without probablecause.
So long as the National Census and all federal, state, and other governmentagencies' compilations of data on an individual continue to exist, theyshould be conducted only with the consent of the persons from whom the datais sought.
We oppose all restrictions and regulations on the private development,sale, and use of encryption technology. We specifically oppose any requirementfor disclosure of encryption methods or keys, including the government'sproposals for so-called "key escrow" which is truly governmentaccess to keys, and any requirement for use of government-specified devicesor protocols. We also oppose government classification of civilian researchon encryption methods.
If a private employer screens prospective or current employees via questionnaires,polygraph tests, urine tests for drugs, blood tests for AIDS, or other means,this is a condition of that employer's labor contracts. Such screening doesnot violate the rights of employees, who have the right to boycott suchemployers if they choose. Private contractual arrangements, including laborcontracts, must be founded on mutual consent and agreement in a societythat upholds freedom of association. On the other hand, we oppose any useof such screening by government or regulations requiring government contractorsto impose any such screening.
We oppose government regulations that require employers to provide healthinsurance coverage for employees, which often encourage unnecessary intrusionsby employers into the privacy of their employees.
We oppose the issuance by the government of an identity card, to be requiredfor any purpose, such as employment, voting, or border crossing.
We further oppose the nearly universal requirement for use of the SocialSecurity Number as a personal identification code, whether by governmentagencies or by intimidation of private companies by governments.
GOVERNMENT SECRECY We condemn the government's use of secret classificationsto keep from the public information that it should have. We favor substitutinga system in which no individual may be convicted for violating governmentsecrecy classifications unless the government discharges its burden of provingthat the publication:
a. violated the right of privacy of those who have been coerced intorevealing confidential or proprietary information to government agents,or
b. disclosed defensive military plans so as to materially impair thecapabilities to respond to attack.
It should always be a defense to such prosecution that information divulgedshows that the government has violated the law.
INTERNAL SECURITY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES We call for abolition of secretpolice, such as the Central Intelligence Agency. We support Congressionalinvestigation of criminal activities of the CIA and FBI and of wrongdoingby other governmental agencies.
We support the abolition of the subpoena power as used by Congressionalcommittees against individuals or firms. We oppose any efforts to revivethe House Internal Security Committee or its predecessor the House Un-AmericanActivities Committee, and call for the destruction of its files on privateindividuals and groups. We also call for the abolition of the Senate Subcommitteeon Internal Security.
THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS The Bill of Rights recognizes that anarmed citizenry is essential to a free society. We affirm the right to keepand bear arms and oppose all laws at any level of government restricting,regulating, or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer, or sale offirearms or ammunition. We oppose all laws requiring registration of firearmsor ammunition. We also oppose any government efforts to ban or restrictthe use of tear gas, "mace," or other self-protection devices.We further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the groundsthat they are risky or unsafe.
We support repeal of the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the FederalGun Control Act of 1968, and we demand the immediate abolition of the Bureauof Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
We favor the repeal of laws banning the concealment of weapons or prohibitingpocket weapons. We also oppose the banning of inexpensive handguns ("Saturdaynight specials"), and semi-automatic or so-called assault weapons andtheir magazines or feeding devices.
CONSCRIPTION AND THE MILITARY Recognizing that registration is the firststep toward full conscription, we oppose all attempts at compulsory registrationof any person and all schemes for automatic registration through governmentinvasions of the privacy of school, motor vehicle, or other records. Wecall for the abolition of the still-functioning elements of the SelectiveService System, believing that impressment of individuals into the armedforces is involuntary servitude. We call for the destruction of all filesin computer-readable or hard copy form compiled by the Selective ServiceSystem. We also oppose any form of national service, such as a compulsoryyouth labor program.
We oppose adding women to the pool of those eligible for and subjectto the draft, not because we think that as a rule women are unfit for combat,but because we believe that this step enlarges the number of people subjectedto government tyranny.
We support the immediate and unconditional exoneration of all who havebeen accused or convicted of draft evasion, desertion from the military,and other acts of resistance to such transgressions as imperialistic warsand aggressive acts of the military. Members of the military should havethe same right to quit their jobs as other persons.
We call for the end of the Defense Department practice of dischargingarmed forces personnel for homosexual conduct. We further call for retractionof all less-than-honorable discharges previously assigned for such reasonsand deletion of such information from military personnel files.
We recommend the repeal of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and therecognition and equal protection of the rights of armed forces members.This will thereby promote morale, dignity, and a sense of justice withinthe military.
IMMIGRATION We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridgedon the basis of nationality. We condemn massive roundups of Hispanic Americansand others by the federal government in its hunt for individuals not possessingrequired government documents. We strongly oppose all measures that punishemployers who hire undocumented workers. Such measures repress free enterprise,harass workers, and systematically discourage employers from hiring Hispanics.
We welcome all refugees to our country and condemn the efforts of U.S.officials to create a new "Berlin Wall" which would keep themcaptive. We condemn the U.S. government's policy of barring those refugeesfrom our country and preventing Americans from assisting their passage tohelp them escape tyranny or improve their economic prospects.
Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedomto labor and to move about unmolested. Furthermore, immigration must notbe restricted for reasons of race, religion, political creed, age, or sexualpreference.
We therefore call for the elimination of all restrictions on immigration,the abolition of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the BorderPatrol, and a declaration of full amnesty for all people who have enteredthe country illegally. We oppose government welfare and resettlement paymentsto non-citizens just as we oppose government welfare payments to all otherpersons.
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION & GOVERNMENT DISCRIMINATION
Individual rights should not be denied, abridged, or enhanced at theexpense of other people's rights, on the basis of sex, wealth, race, color,creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexualorientation by the laws at any level of government. Protective labor laws,Selective Service laws, and other laws that violate rights selectively shouldbe repealed entirely rather than be extended to all groups.
Discrimination imposed by the government has brought disruption in normalrelationships of people, set neighbor against neighbor, created gross injustices,destroyed voluntary communities, and diminished human potential. Anti-discriminationlaws enforced by the government are the reverse side of the coin, and willfor the same reasons create the same problems. Consequently, we oppose anygovernment attempts to regulate private discrimination, including choicesand preferences, in employment, housing, and privately owned businesses.The right to trade includes the right not to trade -- for any reasons whatsoever;the right of association includes the right not to associate, for exerciseof the right depends upon mutual consent.
WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND ABORTION We hold that individual rights should notbe denied or abridged on the basis of sex. We call for repeal of all lawsdiscriminating against women, such as protective labor laws and marriageor divorce laws which deny the full rights of men and women. We oppose alllaws likely to impose restrictions on free choice and private property orto widen tyranny through reverse discrimination.
Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that libertarianscan hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government shouldbe kept entirely out of the question, allowing all individuals to be guidedby their own consciences. We oppose all restrictions on the sale of RU 486,and on the sale of menstruation-inducing contragestive pills, which blockfertilized eggs from attaching themselves to the womb. We oppose legislationrestricting or subsidizing women's access to abortion or other reproductivehealth services; this includes requiring consent of the prospective father,waiting periods, and mandatory indoctrination on fetal development, as wellas Medicaid or any other taxpayer funding. It is particularly harsh to forcesomeone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another's abortion.
We also condemn state-mandated abortions.
It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman, not the state,to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesareanbirths, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements, and/or home births.
FAMILY LIFE We support protection of the integrity of families and householdsas contractual institutions against government intrusion and interference.Such governmental interference has undermined the value of families andhouseholds as cultural institutions of love, nurture, companionship, kinship,and personal development by forcing them to conform to a rigid, inflexibledesign. Moreover, we condemn the usurpation by government through moralslaws, government welfare programs, and government schools, of activitieslong carried on by families and households. We further accuse governmentof designing
educational programs that place civic and moral education under the controlof politicians and of designing welfare laws that destroy families and households.
SEXUAL RIGHTS We affirm the right of adults to private choice in consensualsexual activity.
Government must neither dictate, prohibit, control, nor encourage anyprivate lifestyle, living arrangement or contractual relationship.
We call for repeal of all legislation and government policies intendedto condemn, affirm, encourage or discourage sexual lifestyles or any setof attitudes about such lifestyles.
AMERICAN INDIAN RIGHTS The major factors underlying the unconscionableplight of America's Indians may be summarized as follows: (1) the unresolvedcomplexity of dual national citizenship; (2) the attrition of reservationlands and abridgement of Indian rights to remaining properties; (3) thesubjugation of individual Indians to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribalgovernmental authority; and (4) various federal commitments to provide thetribes with health, education, and welfare benefits "forever"in exchange for expropriated lands.
We favor the following remedies, respectively: (1) individual Indiansshould be free to select their citizenship, if any, and tribes should beallowed to choose their level of autonomy, up to absolute sovereignty; (2)Indians should have their just property rights restored, including rightsof easement, access, hunting and fishing; (3) the Bureau of Indian Affairsshould be abolished and tribal members allowed to decide the extent andnature of their government, if any; and (4) negotiations should be undertakento exchange various otherwise unclaimed and unowned federal properties forany and all remaining governmental obligations to the tribes.
We further advocate holding fully liable those responsible for any andall damages which have resulted from authorization of, or engagement in,resource development on reservation lands, including damages done by carelessdisposal of uranium tailings and other mineral wastes.
TRADE AND THE ECONOMY Because each person has the right to offer goodsand services to others on the free market, and because government interferencecan only harm such free activity, we oppose all intervention by governmentinto the area of economics. The only proper role of existing governmentsin the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes,and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected.
Efforts to forcibly redistribute wealth or forcibly manage trade areintolerable. Government manipulation of the economy creates an entrenchedprivileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and an exploited class-- those who are net taxpayers.
1. THE ECONOMY 2. TAXATION 3. INFLATION AND DEPRESSION 4. FINANCE ANDCAPITAL INVESTMENT 5. GOVERNMENT DEBT 6. MONOPOLIES 7. SUBSIDIES
8. TRADE BARRIERS 9. PUBLIC UTILITIES 10. UNIONS AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
THE ECONOMY Government intervention in the economy imperils both thepersonal freedom and the material prosperity of every American. We thereforesupport the following specific immediate reforms:
a. drastic reduction of both taxes and government spending;
b. an end to deficit budgets;
c. a halt to inflationary monetary policies;
d. the removal of all governmental impediments to free trade; and
e. the repeal of all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production,and interest rates.
TAXATION Since we believe that all persons are entitled to keep the fruitsof their labor, we oppose all government activity that consists of the forciblecollection of money or goods from individuals in violation of their individualrights. Specifically, we:
a. recognize the right of any individual to challenge the payment oftaxes on moral, religious, legal, or constitutional grounds;
b. oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capitalgains taxes;
c. support the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, and oppose any increasein existing tax rates and the imposition of any new taxes;
d. support the eventual repeal of all taxation; and
e. support a declaration of unconditional amnesty for all those individualswho have been convicted of, or who now stand accused of, tax resistance.
As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasionshould be terminated immediately.
We oppose as involuntary servitude any legal requirements forcing employersor business owners to serve as tax collectors for federal, state, or localtax agencies.
We oppose any and all increases in the rate of taxation or categoriesof taxpayers, including the elimination of deductions, exemptions, or creditsin the spurious name of "fairness," "simplicity," oralleged "neutrality to the free market." No tax can ever be fair,simple, or neutral to the free market.
In the current fiscal crisis of states and municipalities, default ispreferable to raising taxes or perpetual refinancing of growing public debt.
INFLATION AND DEPRESSION We recognize that government control over moneyand banking is the primary cause of inflation and depression. Individualsengaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutuallyagreeable commodity or item, such as gold coins denominated by units ofweight. We therefore call for the repeal of all legal tender laws and ofall compulsory governmental units of account. We support the right to privateownership of and contracts for gold. We favor the elimination of all governmentfiat money and all government minted coins. All restrictions upon the privateminting of coins should be abolished so that minting will be open to thecompetition of the free market.
We favor free-market banking. We call for the abolition of the FederalReserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National BankingSystem, and all similar national and state interventions affecting bankingand credit. Our opposition encompasses all controls on the rate of interest.We also call for the abolition of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, theResolution Trust Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration,the National Credit Union Central Liquidity Facility, and all similar nationaland state interventions affecting savings and loan associations, creditunions, and other depository institutions. There should be unrestrictedcompetition among banks and depository institutions of all types.
To complete the separation of bank and State, we favor the Jacksonianindependent treasury system, in which all government funds are held by thegovernment itself and not deposited in any private banks. The only furthernecessary check upon monetary inflation is the consistent application ofthe general protection against fraud to the minting and banking industries.
Pending its abolition, the Federal Reserve System, in order to halt inflation,must immediately cease its expansion of the quantity of money. As interimmeasures, we further support:
a. the lifting of all restrictions on branch banking;
b. the repeal of all state usury laws;
c. the removal of all remaining restrictions on the interest paid fordeposits;
d. the elimination of laws setting margin requirements on purchases andsales of securities;
e. the revocation of all other selective credit controls;
f. the abolition of Federal Reserve control over the reserves of non-memberbanks and other depository institutions; and
g. the lifting of the prohibition of domestic deposits denominated inforeign currencies.
FINANCE AND CAPITAL INVESTMENT We call for the abolition of all regulationof financial and capital markets -- specifically, the abolition of the Securitiesand Exchange Commission, of state "Blue Sky" laws which represssmall and risky capital ventures, and of all federal regulation of commoditymarkets. We oppose any attempts to ban or regulate investing in stock-marketindex futures or new financial instruments which may emerge in the future.
We call for repeal of all laws based on the muddled concept of insidertrading. What should be punished is the theft of information or breach ofcontract to hold information in confidence, not trading on the basis ofvaluable knowledge. We support the right of third parties to make stockpurchase tender offers to stockholders over the opposition of entrenchedmanagement, and oppose all laws restricting such offers.
GOVERNMENT DEBT We support the drive for a constitutional amendment requiringthe national government to balance its budget, and also support similaramendments to require balanced state budgets. To be effective, a balancedbudget amendment should provide:
a. that neither Congress nor the President be permitted to override thisrequirement;
b. that all off-budget items are included in the budget;
c. that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, andnot by raising taxes; and
d. that no exception be made for periods of national emergency.
The Federal Reserve should be forbidden to acquire any additional governmentsecurities, thereby helping to eliminate the inflationary aspect of thedeficit. Governments facing fiscal crises should always default in preferenceto raising taxes. At a minimum, the level of government should be frozen.
MONOPOLIES We condemn all coercive monopolies. We recognize that governmentis the source of monopoly, through its grants of legal privilege to specialinterests in the economy. In order to abolish monopolies, we advocate astrict separation of business and State.
"Anti-trust" laws do not prevent monopoly, but foster it bylimiting competition. We therefore call for the repeal of all "anti-trust"laws, including the Robinson-Patman Act which restricts price discounts,the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and the Clayton Anti-Trust Act. We further callfor the abolition of the Federal Trade Commission and the anti-trust divisionof the Department of Justice.
We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives,and other types of companies based on voluntary association. Laws of incorporationshould not include grants of monopoly privilege. In particular, we opposespecial limits on the liability of corporations for damages caused in noncontractualtransactions. We also oppose state or federal limits on the size of privatecompanies and on the right of companies to merge. We further oppose efforts,in the name of social responsibility, or any other reason, to expand federalchartering of corporations into a pretext for government control of business.
SUBSIDIES In order to achieve a free economy in which government victimizesno one for the benefit of any other, we oppose all government subsidiesto business, labor, education, agriculture, science, broadcasting, the arts,sports, or any other special interest. In particular, we condemn any effortto forge an alliance between government and business under the guise of"reindustrialization" or "industrial policy." The unrestrictedcompetition of the free market is the best way to foster prosperity. Wetherefore oppose any resumption of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation,or any similar plan that would force the taxpayer to subsidize or sustainany enterprise.
We call for the abolition of the Federal Financing Bank, the most importantnational agency subsidizing special interests with government loans. Wealso oppose all government guarantees of so-called private loans. Such guaranteestransfer resources to special interests as effectively as actual governmentexpenditures and, at the national level, exceed direct government loansin total amount. Taxpayers must never bear the cost of default upon government-guaranteedloans. All national, state, and local government agencies whose primaryfunction is to guarantee loans, including the Federal Housing Administration,the Rural Electrification Administration, and the Small Business Administration,should be abolished or privatized.
The loans of government-sponsored enterprises, even when not guaranteedby the government, constitute another form of subsidy. All such enterprises-- the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the Federal National MortgageAssociation, the Farm Credit Administration, and the Student Loan MarketingAssociation -- must either be abolished or completely privatized.
Relief or exemption from taxation or from any other involuntary governmentintervention, however, should not be considered a subsidy.
TRADE BARRIERS Like subsidies, tariffs and quotas serve only to givespecial treatment to favored special interests and to diminish the welfareof consumers and other individuals, as do point-of-origin or content regulation.These measures also reduce the scope of contracts and
understanding among different peoples. We therefore support abolitionof all trade barriers and all government-sponsored export-promotion programs,as well as the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Court ofInternational Trade. We affirm this as a unilateral policy, independentof the trade policies of other nations. Concurrent with the adoption ofthis policy shall be the complete and unilateral withdrawal from all internationaltrade agreements including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
PUBLIC UTILITIES We advocate the termination of government-created franchiseprivileges and governmental monopolies for such services as garbage collection,fire protection, electricity, natural gas, cable television, telephone,or water supplies. Furthermore, all rate regulation in these industriesshould be abolished. The right to offer such services on the market shouldnot be curtailed by law.
UNIONS AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING We support the right of free personsto voluntarily establish, associate in, or not associate in, labor unions.An employer should have the right to recognize, or refuse to recognize,a union as the collective bargaining agent of some, or all, of its employees.
We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitrationor the imposition of an obligation to bargain. Therefore, we urge repealof the National Labor Relations Act, and all state Right-to-Work Laws whichprohibit employers from making voluntary contracts with unions. We opposeall government back-to-work orders as the imposition of a form of forcedlabor.
Government-mandated waiting periods for closure of factories or businesseshurt, rather than help, the wage-earner. We support all efforts to benefitworkers, owners, and management by keeping government out of this area.
Workers and employers should have the right to organize secondary boycottsif they so choose. Nevertheless, boycotts or strikes do not justify theinitiation of violence against other workers, employers, strike-breakers,and innocent bystanders.
DOMESTIC ILLS Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, healthcare delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are primarilycaused, by government. The welfare state, supposedly designed to aid thepoor, is in reality a growing and parasitic burden on all productive people,and injures, rather than benefits, the poor themselves.
ENERGY We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, andproduction, such as that imposed by the Department of Energy, state publicutility commissions, and state pro-rationing agencies. We oppose all governmentsubsidies for energy research, development, and operation.
We oppose all direct and indirect government participation in the nuclearenergy industry, including subsidies, research and development funds, guaranteedloans, waste disposal subsidies, and federal uranium enrichment facilities.The Nuclear Regulatory Commission should be abolished; full liability --not government agencies -- should regulate nuclear power. The Price-AndersonAct, through which the government limits liability for nuclear accidentsand furnishes partial payment at taxpayer expense, should be repealed. Nuclearenergy should be denationalized and the industry's assets transferred tothe private sector. Any nuclear power industry must meet the test of a freemarket.
We support abolition of the Department of Energy and the abolition ofits component agencies, without their transfer elsewhere in the government.We oppose the creation of any emergency mobilization agency in the energyfield, which would wield dictatorial powers in order to override normallegal processes. We oppose all government conservation schemes through theuse of taxes, subsidies, and regulation. We oppose the "strategic storage"program, any attempt to compel national self-sufficiency in oil, any extensionof cargo preference law to imports, and any attempt to raise oil tariffsor impose oil import quotas.
We favor the creation of a free market in oil by instituting full propertyrights in underground oil and by the repeal of all government controls overoutput in the petroleum industry. All government-owned energy resourcesshould be turned over to private ownership.
POLLUTION Pollution of other people's property is a violation of individualrights. Present legal principles, particularly the unjust and false conceptof "public property," block privatisation of the use of the environmentand hence block resolution of controversies over resource use. We supportthe development of an objective legal system defining property rights toair and water. We call for a modification of the laws governing such tortsas trespass and nuisance to cover damages done by air, water, radiation,and noise pollution. We oppose legislative proposals to exempt persons whoclaim damage from radiation from having to prove such damage was in factcaused by radiation. Strict liability, not government agencies and arbitrarygovernment standards, should regulate pollution. We therefore demand theabolition of the Environmental Protection Agency. We also oppose government-mandatedsmoking and non-smoking areas in privately owned businesses.
Toxic waste disposal problems have been created by government policiesthat separate liability from property. Rather than making taxpayers payfor toxic waste clean-ups, individual property owners, or in the case ofcorporations, the responsible managers and employees, should be held strictlyliable for material damage done by their property. Claiming that one hasabandoned a piece of property does not absolve one of the responsibilityfor actions one has set in motion. We condemn the EPA's Superfund whosetaxing powers are used to penalize all chemical firms, regardless of theirconduct. Such clean-ups are a subsidy of irresponsible companies at theexpense of responsible ones.
CONSUMER PROTECTION We support strong and effective laws against fraudand misrepresentation. However, we oppose paternalistic regulations whichdictate to consumers, impose prices, define standards for products, or otherwiserestrict risk-taking and free choice. We oppose governmental promotion orimposition of the metric system.
We oppose all so-called "consumer protection" legislation whichinfringes upon voluntary trade, and call for the abolition of the ConsumerProduct Safety Commission. We advocate the repeal of all laws banning orrestricting the advertising of prices, products, or services. We specificallyoppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called "self-protection"equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.
We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration, whichhas jeopardized safety by arrogating to itself a monopoly of safety regulationand enforcement. We call for privatizing the air traffic control systemand transferring the FAA's other functions to private agencies.
We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration and particularlyits policies of mandating specific nutritional requirements and denyingthe right of manufacturers to make non-fraudulent claims concerning theirproducts. We advocate an end to compulsory fluoridation of water supplies.We specifically oppose government regulation of the price, potency, or quantityable to be produced or purchased of drugs or other consumer goods. Thereshould be no laws regarding what substances (nicotine, alcohol, hallucinogens,narcotics, Laetrile, artificial sweeteners, vitamin supplements, or other"drugs") a person may ingest or otherwise use.
EDUCATION We advocate the complete separation of education and State.Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interferewith the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation,and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended. We call for the repealof the guarantees of tax-funded, government-provided education, which arefound in most state constitutions.
As an interim measure to encourage the growth of private schools andvariety in education, including home schooling, we support tax credits fortuition and other expenditures related to an individual's education. Welikewise favor tax credits for child care and oppose nationalization ofthe child-care industry. We oppose denial of tax-exempt status to schoolsbecause of those schools' private policies on hiring, admissions, and studentdeportment. We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or propertyof private schools, whether for profit or non-profit.
We condemn compulsory education laws, which spawn prison-like schoolswith many of the problems associated with prisons, and we call for an immediaterepeal of such laws.
Until government involvement in education is ended, we support
elimination, within the governmental school system, of forced busingand corporal punishment. We further support immediate reduction of tax supportfor schools, and removal of the burden of school taxes from those not responsiblefor the education of children.
POPULATION Recognizing that the American people are not a collectivenational resource, we oppose all coercive measures for population control.
We oppose government actions that either compel or prohibit abortion,sterilization, or any other forms of birth control. Specifically, we condemnthe vicious practice of forced sterilization of welfare recipients or ofmentally retarded or "genetically defective" individuals.
We regard the tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies tobe aggravated, if not created, by government policies of censorship, restriction,regulation, and prohibition. Therefore, we call for the repeal of all lawsthat restrict anyone, including children, from engaging in voluntary exchangesof goods, services, or information regarding human sexuality, reproduction,birth control, or related medical or biological technologies.
We equally oppose government laws and policies that restrict the opportunityto choose alternatives to abortion.
We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing built into our presentlaws, including welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported servicesfor children. We urge the elimination of special tax burdens on single peopleand couples with few or no children.
TRANSPORTATION Government interference in transportation is characterizedby monopolistic restriction, corruption and gross inefficiency. We thereforecall for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation,including the Department of Transportation, the Interstate Commerce Commission,the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation SafetyBoard, the Coast Guard, and the Federal Maritime Commission, and the transferof their legitimate functions to competitive private firms. We demand thereturn of America's railroad system to private ownership. We call for theprivatization of airports, air traffic control systems, public roads, andthe national highway system. We condemn the re-cartelization of commercialaviation by the Federal Aviation Administration via rationing of take-offand landing rights and controlling scheduling in the name of "safety."
As interim measures, we advocate an immediate end to government regulationof private transit organizations and to governmental favors to the transportationindustry. In particular, we support the immediate repeal of all laws restrictingtransit competition such as the granting of taxicab and bus monopolies andthe prohibition of private jitney services. We urge immediate deregulationof the trucking industry. Likewise, we advocate the immediate repeal offederally imposed speed limits.
POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT Government fiscal and monetary measures thatartificially foster business expansion guarantee an eventual increase inunemployment rather than curtailing it. We call for the immediate cessationof such policies as well as any governmental attempts to affect employmentlevels.
We support repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person tofind employment, such as minimum wage laws, so-called "protective"labor legislation for women and children, governmental restrictions on theestablishment of private day-care centers, and the National Labor RelationsAct. We deplore government-fostered forced retirement, which robs the elderlyof the right to work.
We seek the elimination of occupational licensure, which prevents humanbeings from working in whatever trade they wish. We call for the abolitionof all federal, state, and local government agencies that restrict entryinto any profession, such as education and law, or regulate its practice.No worker should be legally penalized for lack of certification, and noconsumer should be legally restrained from hiring unlicensed individuals.
We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and "aid to thepoor" programs. All these government programs are invasive of privacy,paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help forsuch persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.
To speed the time when governmental programs are replaced by effectiveprivate institutions we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitablecontributions.
HEALTH CARE We favor restoring and reviving a free market health caresystem. We oppose the efforts of Washington politicians to place all thespending on health in American society within a federally-planned overallhealth budget. A new national health budget will necessitate not only federalprice controls on health care services -- with all the waiting lines anddistortions that accompany price controls -- but also rationing of healthcare. The bureaucratic, top-down system called "managed competition"that is to determine what-gets-spent-on-what cannot escape being a politicalscramble by special interests seeking health dollars and could never bean adequate substitute for completely free competition in the medical marketplace.
We advocate the complete separation of medicine and State. Recognizingthe individual's right to self-medication, we seek the elimination of allgovernment restrictions on the right of individuals to pursue alternativeforms of health care. Individuals should be free to contract with practitionersof their choice for all health care services. We oppose any government infringementupon the practitioner-patient relationship through regulatory agencies orcontracted review organizations. We condemn the practice of criminally prosecutingmedical practitioners under the anti-trust laws.
We oppose any form of compulsory National Health Insurance, includingmandatory health insurance benefits required of employers by the government.We favor abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs. We also oppose anystate or federal area planning boards whose stated purpose is to consolidatehealth services or avoid their duplication. We support the removal of allgovernment barriers to medical advertising, including prohibition of publicationof doctors' fees and drug prices. We further support the elimination oflaws requiring prescriptions for the dispensing of medicines and other health-relateditems.
We condemn efforts by government to impose a medical orthodoxy on society.We specifically condemn attempts by the F.D.A. to restrict the use of vitamins,herbs, and other supplements. Until such time as the tyrannical and futiledrug prohibition is repealed, we advocate immediate reclassification ofall drugs, particularly marijuana and heroin, to make them available formedicinal use.
We oppose the attempt by state and local governments to deny parentsthe right to choose the option of home births and to discourage the developmentof privately funded women's clinics. We call for the repeal of all lawsthat restrict the practice of lay midwifery or that permit harassment oflay midwives and home birth practitioners. We also call for the repeal ofall medical licensing laws, which have raised medical costs while creatinga government-imposed monopoly of doctors and hospitals.
Since a person's body is his or her own property, we favor repeal ofthe existing prohibition on the commercial sale and purchase of body parts.
We favor the deregulation of the health insurance industry, and opposegovernment-imposed limits on its use of genetic and other screening andtesting methods. We oppose laws that limit the freedom of contract of patientsand health care professionals, and laws regulating the supply of legal aidon a contingency fee basis. We also oppose subsidy of malpractice insurancethrough public funds. We call for the repeal of laws forcing health careprofessionals to render medical services in emergencies or other situations.
We recognize that AIDS is a dread disease of epidemic proportions. Butgovernmental proposals to combat it present an unprecedented threat to individualliberty and often encourage the spread of the disease. We oppose all government-mandatedAIDS testing. We are opposed to FDA restrictions which make it difficultfor individuals to secure treatment for this disease. We also call for thedecriminalization of hypodermic syringes, especially since sharing needlesis now a major means of transmission of the disease. We oppose government-mandatedcontact tracing and state intervention into the private medical recordsof individuals. We are opposed to efforts by the government, especiallythe postal service, to restrict the dissemination of AIDS education material.We support the rights of all individuals to freedom of association includingthe right not to associate.
We condemn attempts at the federal, state, or local level to cripplethe advance of science by governmental restriction of research. We opposesubsidies to, or restrictions of, medical education. We call for an endto government policies compelling individuals to submit to medical experiments,treatment, and testing. We condemn compulsory hospitalization, compulsoryvaccination, and compulsory fluoridation. As interim measures, we advocatedollar-for-dollar tax credits to any individual or group providing healthcare services to the needy or paying for such services. Tax credits shouldalso be made available for private grants to medical education and medicalresearch.
Because all individuals should have full responsibility and control oftheir own lives, we support the right of terminally or hopelessly ill personsto end their lives. We support the freedom to use living wills and durablemedical powers of attorney in which individuals declare the manner in whichthey are to be treated and the procedures for disposal of their remains.In the absence of such wills and the ability for the individual to choose(e.g. coma) the matter should be decided by such person or persons as theindividual may have clearly preferred, with whatever guidance they may desire.In keeping with the principle of non-coercion, no individual shall be forcedto either continue or terminate life sustaining care. This right does notentitle individuals to force medical professionals or others to assist themin ending their lives or in continuing life support.
Because existing tax policy has dampened price competition and consumercost consciousness in the medical industry, we would provide not only taxbreaks for employer provided health plans (whose value is not currentlytaxed as income), but also individual tax credits so that families can choosetheir own health plans.
RESOURCE USE Resource management is properly the responsibility and rightof the legitimate owners of land, water, and other natural resources. Weoppose government control of resource use through eminent domain, zoninglaws, building codes, rent control, regional planning, urban renewal, orpurchase of development rights with tax money. Such regulations and programsviolate property rights, discriminate against minorities, create housingshortages, and tend to cause higher rents.
We advocate the establishment of an efficient and just system of privatewater rights, applied to all bodies of water, surface and underground. Sucha system should be built upon a doctrine of first claim and use. The allocationof water should be governed by unrestricted competition and unregulatedprices. All government restrictions upon private use or voluntary transferof water rights or similar despotic controls can only aggravate the misallocationof water.
We also advocate the privatization of government and quasi-governmentwater supply systems. The construction of government dams and other waterprojects should cease, and existing government water projects should betransferred to private ownership. We favor the abolition of the Bureau ofReclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers' civilian functions. We alsofavor the abolition of all local water districts and their power to tax.Only the complete separation of water and the State will prevent futurewater crises.
We call for the homesteading or other just transfer to private ownershipof federally held lands. We oppose any use of executive orders invokingthe Antiquities Act to set aside public lands. We call for the abolitionof the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Forced surface-miningof privately homesteaded lands in which the government has reserved surfacemining rights to itself is a violation of the rights of the present landholders.We recognize the legitimacy of resource planning by means of private, voluntarycovenants. We oppose creation of new government parks or wilderness andrecreation areas. Such parks and areas that already exist should be transferredto non-government ownership. Pending such just transfer, their operatingcosts should be borne by their users rather than by taxpayers.
AGRICULTURE America's free market in agriculture, the system that feedsmuch of the world, has been plowed under by government intervention. Governmentsubsidies, regulation, and taxes have encouraged the centralization of agriculturalbusiness. Government export policies hold American farmers hostage to thepolitical whims of both Republican and Democratic administrations. Governmentembargoes on grain sales and other obstacles to free trade have frustratedthe development of free and stable trade relationships between peoples ofthe world.
The agricultural problems facing America today are not insoluble, however.Government policies can be reversed. Farmers and consumers alike shouldbe free from the meddling and counterproductive measures of the federalgovernment -- free to grow, sell, and buy what they want, in the quantitythey want, when they want. Five steps can be taken immediately:
a. abolition of the Department of Agriculture
b. elimination of all government farm programs, including price supports,direct subsidies, and all regulation on agricultural production;
c. deregulation of the transportation industry and abolition of the InterstateCommerce Commission;
d. repeal of federal inheritance taxes; and
e. ending government involvement in agricultural pest control. A policyof pest control whereby private individuals or corporations bear full responsibilityfor damages they inflict on their neighbors should be implemented.)
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT (OSHA) We call for the repeal of theOccupational Safety and Health Act. This law denies the right to libertyand property to both employer and employee, and it interferes in their privatecontractual relations. OSHA's arbitrary and high-handed actions invade propertyrights, raise costs, and are an injustice imposed on business.
SOCIAL SECURITY We favor replacing the current fraudulent, virtuallybankrupt, government sponsored Social Security system with a private voluntarysystem. Pending that replacement, participation in Social Security shouldbe made voluntary. Victims of the Social Security tax should have a claimagainst government property.
CIVIL SERVICE We propose the abolition of the Civil Service system, whichentrenches a permanent and growing bureaucracy upon the land. We recognizethat the Civil Service is inherently a system of concealed patronage. Wetherefore recommend return to the Jeffersonian principle of rotation inoffice.
ELECTION LAWS We call for an end to government control of political parties,consistent with First Amendment rights to freedom of association and freedomof expression. As private voluntary groups, political parties should beallowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures, primaries,and conventions.
We urge repeal of the Federal Election Campaign Act which suppressesvoluntary support of candidates and parties, compels taxpayers to subsidizepoliticians and political views which many do not wish to support, invadesthe privacy of American citizens, and protects the Republican and Democraticparties from competition. This law is particularly dangerous as it enablesthe federal government to control the elections of its own administratorsand beneficiaries, thereby further reducing its accountability to the citizens.
Elections at all levels should be in the control of those who wish toparticipate in or support them voluntarily. We therefore call for an endto any tax-financed subsidies to candidates or parties and the repeal ofall laws which restrict voluntary financing of election campaigns.
Many state legislatures have established prohibitively restrictive lawswhich in effect exclude alternative candidates and parties from their rightfulplace on election ballots. Such laws wrongfully deny ballot access to politicalcandidates and groups and further deny the voters their right to considerall legitimate alternatives. We hold that no state has an interest to protectin this area except for the fair and efficient conduct of elections.
The Australian ballot system, introduced into the United States in thelate nineteenth century, is an abridgement of freedom of expression andof voting rights. Under it, the names of all the officially approved candidatesare printed in a single government sponsored format and the voter indicateshis or her choice by marking it or by writing in an approved but unlistedcandidate's name. We should return to the previous electoral system wherethere was no official ballot or candidate approval at all, and thereforeno state or federal restriction of access to a "single ballot."Instead, voters submitted their own choices and had the option of using"tickets" or cards printed by candidates or political parties.
In order to grant voters a full range of choice in federal, state, andlocal elections, we propose the addition of the alternative "None ofthe above is acceptable" to all ballots. We further propose that inthe event that "none of the above is acceptable" receives a pluralityof votes in any election, the elective office for that term should remainunfilled and unfunded.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS American foreign policy should seek an America at peacewith the world and the defense -- against attack from abroad -- of the lives,liberty, and property of the American people on American soil. Provisionof such defense must respect the individual rights of people everywhere.
The principle of non-intervention should guide relationships betweengovernments. The United States government should return to the historiclibertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, abstaining totallyfrom foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures, and recognizing the rightto unrestricted trade, travel, and immigration.
A. Diplomatic Policy
1. NEGOTIATIONS 2. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND FOREIGN INVESTMENTS 3. HUMANRIGHTS 4. WORLD GOVERNMENT 5. SECESSION
NEGOTIATIONS The important principle in foreign policy should be the eliminationof
intervention by the United States government in the affairs of other nations.We would negotiate with any foreign government without necessarily concedingmoral legitimacy to that government. We favor a drastic reduction in costand size of our total diplomatic establishment. In addition, we favor therepeal of the Logan Act, which prohibits private American citizens fromengaging in diplomatic negotiations with foreign governments.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND FOREIGN INVESTMENTS We recognize that foreigngovernments might violate the rights of Americans traveling, living, orowning property abroad, just as those governments violate the rights oftheir own citizens. We condemn all such violations, whether the victimsare U.S. citizens or not.
Any effort, however, to extend the protection of the United States governmentto U.S. citizens when they or their property fall within the jurisdictionof a foreign government involves potential military intervention. We thereforecall upon the United States government to adhere rigidly to the principlethat all U.S. citizens travel, live, and own property abroad at their ownrisk. In particular, we oppose -- as unjust tax-supported subsidy -- anyprotection of the foreign investments of U.S. citizens or businesses.
The issuance of U.S. passports should cease. We look forward to an erain which American citizens and foreigners can travel anywhere in the worldwithout a passport. We aim to restore a world in which there are no passports,visas, or other papers required to cross borders. So long as U.S. passportsare issued, they should be issued to all individuals without discriminationand should not be revoked for any reason.
HUMAN RIGHTS We condemn the violations of human rights in all nationsaround the world. We particularly abhor the widespread and increasing useof torture for interrogation and punishment. We call upon all the world'sgovernments to fully implement the principles and prescriptions containedin this platform and thereby usher in a new age of international harmonybased upon the universal reign of liberty.
Until such a global triumph for liberty, we support both political andrevolutionary actions by individuals and groups against governments thatviolate rights. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny anddefend themselves and their rights. We condemn, however, the use of force,and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless ofwhether such acts are committed by governments or by political and revolutionarygroups.
The violation of rights and liberty by other governments can never justifyforeign intervention by the United States government. Today, no governmentis innocent of violating human rights and liberty, and none can approachthe issue with clean hands. In keeping with our goal of peaceful internationalrelations, we call upon the United States government to cease its hypocrisyand its sullying of the good name of human rights. Only private individualsand organizations have any place speaking out on this issue.
WORLD GOVERNMENT We support withdrawal of the United States governmentfrom, and an end to its financial support for, the United Nations. Specifically,we oppose any U.S. policy designating the United Nations as policeman ofthe world, committing U.S. troops to wars at the discretion of the U.N.,or placing U.S. troops under U.N. command. We oppose U.S. government participationin any world or international government. We oppose any treaty under whichindividual rights would be violated.
SECESSION We recognize the right to political secession. This includesthe right to secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals.Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does notremove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others.
1. MILITARY POLICY 2. PRESIDENTIAL WAR POWERS
MILITARY POLICY Any U.S. military policy should have the objective ofproviding security for the lives, liberty and property of the American peoplein the U.S. against the risk of attack by a foreign power. This objectiveshould be achieved as inexpensively as possible and without underminingthe liberties it is designed to protect.
The potential use of nuclear weapons is the greatest threat to all thepeoples of the world, not only Americans. Thus, the objective should beto reduce the risk that a nuclear war might begin and its scope if it does.
We call on the U.S. government to continue negotiations toward multi-lateralreduction of nuclear armaments, to the end that all such weapons will ultimatelybe eliminated, under such conditions of verification as to ensure multi-lateralsecurity. During arms reduction negotiations, and to enhance their progress,the U.S. should begin the retirement of some of its nuclear weapons as proofof its commitment. Because the U.S. has many more thousands of nuclear weaponsthan are currently required, beginning the process of arms reduction wouldnot jeopardize American security. U.S. weapons of indiscriminate mass destructionshould be replaced with smaller weapons aimed solely at military targetsand not designed or targeted to kill millions of civilians.
We call on the U.S. government to remove its nuclear weapons from Europe.If European countries want nuclear weapons on their soil, they should takefull responsibility for them and pay the cost.
We call for the replacement of nuclear war fighting policies with a policyof developing cost effective defensive systems. Accordingly, we advocatetermination of the 1972 ABM treaty or any future agreement which would preventdefensive systems on U.S. territory or in earth orbit.
We call for the withdrawal of all American military personnel stationedabroad, including the countries of NATO Europe, Japan, the Philippines,Central America and South Korea. There is no current or foreseeable riskof any conventional military attack on the American people, particularlyfrom long distances. We call for the withdrawal of the U.S. from commitmentsto engage in war on behalf of other governments and for abandonment of doctrinessupporting military intervention such as the Monroe Doctrine.
PRESIDENTIAL WAR POWERS We call for the reform of the Presidential WarPowers Act to end the President's power to initiate military action, andfor the abrogation of all Presidential declarations of "states of emergency."There must be no further secret commitments and unilateral acts of militaryintervention by the Executive Branch.
We favor a Constitutional amendment limiting the presidential role asCommander-in-Chief to its original meaning, namely that of the head of thearmed forces in wartime. The Commander-in Chief role, correctly understood,confers no additional authority on the President.
1. FOREIGN AID 2. INTERNATIONAL MONEY 3. UNOWNED RESOURCES
FOREIGN AID We support the elimination of tax-supported military, economic,technical, and scientific aid to foreign governments or other organizations.We support the abolition of government underwriting of arms sales. We furthersupport abolition of federal agencies that make American taxpayers guarantorsof export-related loans, such as the Export-Import Bank and the CommodityCredit Corporation. We also oppose the participation of the U.S. governmentin international commodity circles which restrict production, limit technologicalinnovation, and raise prices.
We call for the repeal of all prohibitions on individuals or firms contributingor selling goods and services to any foreign country or organization.
INTERNATIONAL MONEY We favor withdrawal of the United States from allinternational paper money and other inflationary credit schemes. We favorwithdrawal from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
We strongly oppose any bailout of foreign governments or American banksby the United States, either by means of the International Monetary Fundor through any other governmental device.
UNOWNED RESOURCES We oppose any recognition of fiat claims by nationalgovernments or international bodies to unclaimed territory. Individualshave the right to homestead unowned resources, both within the jurisdictionsof national governments and within such unclaimed territory as the ocean,Antarctica, and the volume of outer space. We urge the development of objectiveinternational standards for recognizing homesteaded claims to private ownershipof such forms of property as transportation lanes, broadcast bands, mineralrights, fishing rights, and ocean farming rights. All laws, treaties, andinternational agreements that would prevent or restrict homesteading ofunowned resources should be abolished. We specifically hail the U.S. refusalto accept the proposed Law of the Sea Treaty because the treaty excludedprivate property principles, and we oppose any future ratification.
1. COLONIALISM 2. FOREIGN INTERVENTION 3. SPACE EXPLORATION
COLONIALISM United States colonialism has left a legacy of property confiscation,economic manipulation, and over-extended defense boundaries. We favor immediateself-determination for all people living in colonial dependencies, suchas Samoa, Guam, Palau, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands,to free these people from U.S. dominance, accompanied by the terminationof subsidization of them at taxpayers' expense. Land seized by the U.S.government should be returned to its rightful owners.
FOREIGN INTERVENTION We would end the current U.S. government policyof foreign intervention, including military and economic aid, guarantees,and diplomatic meddling. We would end all limitation of private foreignaid, both military and economic. Voluntary cooperation with any economicboycott should not be treated as a crime.
We would repeal the Neutrality Act of 1794, and all other U.S. neutralitylaws which restrict the efforts of Americans to aid overseas organizationsfighting to overthrow or change governments.
We would no longer incorporate foreign nations into the U.S. defenseperimeter. We would cease the creation and maintenance of U.S. bases andsites for the pre-positioning of military material in other countries. Wewould end the practice of stationing of American military troops overseas.
We make no exceptions to the above.
SPACE EXPLORATION We oppose all government restrictions upon voluntarypeaceful use of outer space. We condemn all international attempts to preventor limit private exploration, industrialization, and colonization of themoon, planets, asteroids, satellite orbits, Lagrange libration points, orany other extra-terrestrial resources. We repudiate the principles containedin the U.N. Moon Treaty. We support the privatization of the National Aeronauticsand Space Administration.
OMISSIONS Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation,ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machinationshould not be construed to imply approval.