Libertarian Socialist Caucus of the Libertarian Party

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Platform

Adopted January 25th, 2019.

Mission Statement

The Libertarian Socialist Caucus seeks to honor the principles of non-aggression, through recognizing that exploitation–especially economic exploitation–is aggressive and coercive, and should therefore be opposed by the Libertarian Party. State-secured monopolies over the means of production and continuing state enforcement of unnatural, hierarchical property relations throughout the economy coercively limit choices, thwart individual autonomy, and artificially prop up generalized wage labor and non-labor incomes. As such, exploitation and its enforcement via state-secured privilege necessarily constitutes both theft and aggression, and should be recognized as such by the Libertarian Party.

Statement of Principles

We the members of the Libertarian Socialist Caucus of the Libertarian Party, join our voices with libertarians everywhere to resist the authoritarian state and its politically-privileged ruling class. We hold that every human being on this planet deserves respect for their autonomous choice to live a life that is fully self-determined, and reject the idea that coercive systems of domination have any place in the lives of a voluntary, open society of equals.

We emphatically reject that exploitation, oppression, and hierarchies of domination are voluntary or without aggression, and in seeking the radical goal of complete and equal liberty--the full autonomy and self determination of all people--we hold that hierarchies must neither exploit nor dominate other human beings. As libertarian-socialists, we envision society as universalized mutuality, and as maximal, consensually-sustained social experimentation. We concur that “imposed communism would be the most detestable tyranny that the human mind could conceive. And free and voluntary communism is ironical if one has not the right and the possibility to live in a different regime--collectivist, mutualist, individualist--as one wishes, always on condition that there is no oppression or exploitation of others.” As such, we reject all state-secured privileges and monopolies, all totalizing visions, and all imposed, absentee, hierarchical central planning by the state, along with state capitalism and its politically-connected ruling class of politicians, lobbyists, bureaucrats, bankers, corporations, CEOs, and their violent enforcers of our lives, the economy, and the means to human flourishing and productivity. In its place, we seek the radical decentralization of the economy and the complete flourishing of freely-associated, directly-accountable relationships and institutions that maximize individual autonomy, in concurrence with full control by individuals over their own lives and over the things which directly affect them. Libertarian-socialists will often support a diversity of voluntary mutual associations such as worker-managed co-ops, mutual banks, informal peer-to-peer networks, artisan self-employment, non-exploitative markets, barter, communes, and gift economies. We reject attempts to do away with the violent state’s “crutches” for the most marginalized and at-risk among us, while still maintaining its “teeth”; therefore we seek the immediate abolition of its most violent and oppressive elements. We ask that the coercive state and its ruling class stand down and allow for people to, in mutuality and solidarity, take direct action to improve their own lives and the lives of their neighbors, for “we do not wish to liberate the people, we wish for the people to liberate themselves.”

1.0 Diversity of Tactics

We seek to confront, curtail, and resist government and coercive hierarchy on all levels of society, and the systems of social and economic exploitation enforced by them. Some of us favor direct action, others favor voting for abolition, while still others favor incremental reforms as a path towards eventual liberation. As such, our Caucus promotes a diversity of tactics, including but not limited to:

1.1 Direct Action

We support direct action as a legitimate, vital, and necessary means of achieving positive social change. We advocate for the Caucus to be a vehicle for facilitating direct action--not merely for politicking and policy recommendations.

1.2 Incremental Reform

We advocate for the abolition of harmful laws, regulation, agencies, and positions wherever possible, however, we do recognize electoral politics as a valid form of tactical harm reduction, provided that incremental policy reforms do not further cement the oppressive power of the state. Such incremental policy reforms may include a Universal Basic Income, some version of “Medicare for All”, a Land Value Tax, and others. These are not libertarian solutions, but socialist ones, which are arguably preferable to the current non-libertarian, capitalist model. The Caucus does not endorse these policies as libertarian solutions, but will not explicitly exclude individuals supporting such policies from the Caucus.

2.0 Mutual Aid

We view mutual aid, solidarity among equals, and direct action based on those principles to be essential in achieving individual liberation.

2.1 Welfare Reform

We reject the offensive and paternalistic premise that ordinary people of modest means are unable to run their own lives and need government to “help” them--thus, we reject the coercive redistribution of wealth, and call for the voluntarily mutualization of the welfare state through a compassionate transition to voluntary, community-based mutual aid networks, including: abolition of the cronyist 501(c) non-profit structure, controls over who may provide healthcare in what setting, and food safety regulations that prevent underutilized resources from reaching the people who need them most. We encourage the formation of mutual aid networks to better fulfill these needs.

2.2 Labor Market Reform

We endorse non-violent and non-coercive black market economic activity. We additionally support “under the table” activity associated with the “gray market”. We support these measures as a way of removing barriers of entry into the labor market.

3.0 Healthcare

We seek a horizontally-organized, decentralized healthcare community with open communication, and open sources of technology, set free from restrictive and centralized control, both from private industries and state authority.

3.1 Communication and Education

We seek worker-empowered medical treatment and service centers operating with diverse practices based on mutual aid, open technology, and transparent accountability. We seek local and multi-regional third party, independent, and voluntary networks of communications for easy access to healthcare education, consumer reporting, and consumer safety. We encourage open-access curriculum and resources to enter the field without the state’s monopoly on education, including community and volunteer-driven seminars and classes on proper healthcare skills and techniques to provide all individuals the opportunity to learn and save lives.

3.2 Regulation Reform

We seek the abolition of bureaucratic structures of protection of ideas, markets, and industries, including: pharmaceutical patents, state-licensed insurance companies, along with other state-protected profiteers. We seek to abolish the state and private entities that manipulate and restrict the free and open access to care.

3.3 Workplace Reform

We recognize that our medical professionals have chosen to aide others by dedicating themselves to learning life-saving skills--not necessarily for profit, but to provide care to others. We support the mutualization of all state-run hospitals and healthcare facilities. As a step toward this, we support medical professionals and their rights as individuals and workers to be fairly compensated for their labor, to form unions, and to collectively organize for their security and compensation.

4.0 Property and Money

The Libertarian Socialist Caucus believes that free markets are a cornerstone of a free and prosperous society, and the government enforcement of capitalist property laws and exploitative financial systems constitute a distortion and threat to a free market.

4.1 Property Rights

We question traditional capitalist property norms that encourage rent-seeking behavior and predatory title ownership, where vacant homes are violently defended while the homeless are violently assaulted with the same authoritative means. While we respect each individual's autonomy and their rights to personal property, we are skeptical that any sort of ethical absentee ownership can be established while existing within a statist structure. We believe that shelter is one of the few necessities that should not be used for means of exploitation and profit.

4.2 Fiscal Policy

We call for the abolition of all laws and regulations that give traditional banking and financial institutions privilege over other community financial systems. We believe that a free and healthy economy will have room for experimentation with various economic systems, including: gift economies, mutual banking, alternative currencies, and other grassroots forms of finance.

5.0 Identity and Autonomy

We reject libertarian brutalism, and embrace that to be a libertarian is to oppose ALL forms of non-consensual domination and involuntary hierarchy--not just the narrow conception of purely state domination. We believe that the various forms of oppression and domination are intersectional, and that to truly oppose one is to oppose them all. We define libertarianism as being opposed to this intersection of hierarchy and oppression, also known as kyriarchy.

5.1 Youth Autonomy

We do not privilege the independence of adults over the independence of the child. Depriving young people of agency over their futures is an irreversible harm. The use of physical, financial and intellectual power imbalance to treat young people as property deprives the youth of autonomy and agency. Intimidation, extortion and physical or sexual abuse against minors should be treated in the same way as such abuse and aggression is treated against adults. Young people have a right to make autonomous choices of their own volition and cannot do this without the guidance of people around them in regard to issues such as identity, expression, relationships, emancipation, education, healthcare and labor.

5.2 Indigenous Autonomy

We recognize the sovereignty and autonomy of all indigenous people. Indigenous rights signify a larger struggle and peaceful resistance for the sake of preserving art, language, customs, history and nature against an imperialistic force that has attempted to erase this. We ask for collaboration, solidarity, and formal recognition of all indigenous people and their autonomously-organized bodies.

5.3 Transhumanism

We assert that the future of human advancement is dependent upon our ability to evolve, and our natural freedom to do with our bodies as we deem fit. As such, we stand in solidarity with transhumanists, and transhumanism as a method to dismantle the state. We also desire that those who wish to refrain from augmenting their bodies and minds remain free to do so, without regard to any law saying that people must be microchipped, or subjected to any sort of involuntary augmentation procedures.

5.4 Euthanasia and Suicide

Recognizing that decisions to end one’s own life is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

6.0 Law and Justice

We seek to free humanity from the state monopoly on law and justice, and its use of this monopoly for exploitation and social control.

6.1 Restorative Justice

Because we believe that acts of violence initiated in retaliation are still a form of aggression, which we consider contrary to our principles, we support a restorative model of justice that seeks restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. We oppose state violence for the purposes of punishment and vengeance, favoring restitution and reconciliation over imprisonment, fines, and all other state-administered punishment. A therapeutic dialogue is preferable to adversarial litigation wherever possible, since voluntary cooperation is the essence of a free society.

6.2 Prison Abolition

The punitive use of confinement is a cruel and unusual practice which must be ended. Where governments exist, they should transition to a restorative justice model. Those currently incarcerated have a natural right to unionize and bargain collectively. Law enforcement on the local, state and federal levels, as the enforcement arm of the state, should be abolished and replaced by polycentric defensive and dispute resolution associations.

6.3 Sex Work

Sex work is a legitimate form of work, as equal to any other form of work in terms of dignity and entitlement to protection. We reject the false narrative that all sex workers are victims of sex trafficking, and recognize that while slavery, kidnapping, and rape are serious crimes, sex work, including international and interstate migratory sex work, do not constitute those crimes. As such, we call for the complete and total decriminalization of sex work, and the employment of sex workers on a local, state, and federal level. We furthermore call for an immediate end to the endorsement of prohibitionist sex work policies both domestically and internationally, to be replaced by the adoption of harm reduction practices.

6.4 Homelessness

It’s hard to find another class of citizen treated worse than the homeless. In many states and cities, the act of being homeless strips you of equal rights, if it's not explicitly criminalized. Aiding the homeless has also been deemed criminal activity. Public funding is spent on ways to inconvenience, agitate, and imprison the homeless. We call for the immediate abolition of all laws that criminalize behavior without a victim that are used to oppress the homeless. These include ordinances that criminalize such non-violent, victimless behavior as: public intoxication, loitering, public camping, sitting, panhandling, receiving food donations, buying and selling without a permit, not having enough money, having too many possessions, not having identification, etc. We encourage the formation of mutual aid networks to help the homeless exercise their natural right to self-defense, including through programs wherein money and materials can be donated for the purposes of armament.

7.0 Foreign Policy

We seek a world without walls between peoples. In a stateless society, there are no state-sanctioned borders. All individuals should be free to move as they choose and freely associate with anyone from anywhere in the world. We embrace the idea of a world at peace and reject the idea that such peace can ever be achieved through weapons and their accompanying ammunition.

7.1 Military

The Libertarian Socialist Caucus recognizes that intervention of the United States, through its military and intelligence communities, into the domestic affairs of other countries, has been a major source of instability throughout the world, and the negative consequences of past interventions will be felt by Americans and the rest of humanity for decades to come. Therefore, we call for the immediate and complete demobilization, disarmament and defunding of the various branches of the American military machine. We promote a transition from the armed services to skill, trade, and education-based programs within the community.

7.2 Equal Representation

We reject the unequal and exploitative status of protectorates for US territories, such as Puerto Rico. We call for either the immediate complete independence, or immediate admission of all non-state US territories as equal states into the United States of America, as determined autonomously by the people of that territory.

7.3 Immigration and Migration

The right to move across the surface of the planet freely is inherent to the existence of every living creature including humans. Where borders exist, their only legitimate use is as a means of determining jurisdiction, and should not be used to deny anyone their ability to move freely. We call for the abolition of arbitrary barriers to travel, including border controls, citizenship status, and customs inspections by agents of nation-states. We also call for the immediate abolition of ICE and an end to the practice of confinement and deportation of undocumented individuals. We call for a voluntary, party-led campaign of education to inform the public of the true difficulty, cruelty, and exploitative nature of current US immigration law. We encourage the use of technology--including encrypted communication--to reduce and eliminate the barriers to free trade and the free exchange of ideas obstructed by borders.

8.0 Labor

We oppose the violation and subversion of autonomy in labor via coercion and exploitation. We believe that slavery--both direct and indirect--has been the single greatest subversion of liberty of individuals throughout history. We reject all forms of encroachment of autonomy in the workplace.

8.1 Labor Organization

We recognize that any free market must include the ability of workers to organize themselves for their mutual enrichment and empowerment. As such, we call for the repeal of all laws and regulations that prevent, restrict, or manipulate the organization of workers, including: the Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act of 1935), the Railway Labor Act, the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (Taft-Hartley), so-called "Right to Work" laws, and other laws interfering with the worker's right to contract. Furthermore, we call for the abolition of all practices interfering with workers' rights to engage in concerted activity in the workplace; whether to discuss pay and benefits, to form unions, prompt negotiation with management, or to leave a union and change union membership. Additionally, we support the right to engage in boycotts and divestment campaigns, including secondary labor actions, wildcat strikes, or general strikes, without government or employer restraint rendering them illegal or ineffective.

8.2 Means of Production

We call for an immediate end to every type of regulatory capture that guards the means of production from direct accessibility by workers, including zoning prohibitions on the use of residential spaces, occupational licensing, and intellectual property controls, as well as all laws and regulations that privilege other forms of commercial organizing above the worker-owned cooperative. We favor cooperative workplaces to maximize ownership of one’s labor, the unionization of top down workplaces, and the homesteading of workplaces funded by corporate welfare.

8.3 Work Abolishment

We believe that our current system of coerced labor, and the “work ethic” that goes along with it, is a detriment to human freedom, enrichment, innovation, and true productivity. We therefore call for the abolition of work, entailing vast reduction in working hours, automation of labor, elimination of “bullshit jobs” and the eventual creation of overlapping networks of basic income. We believe that the only way this can come about effectively and justly is from the bottom-up, by the people themselves, from the neighborhood to the municipality, and increasing in scale through larger confederations of people, until this freedom is enjoyed by all. This is the only way to ensure that such measures are controlled by the people rather than by hierarchs, and that they benefit everybody instead of only some at the expense of others.

9.0 Omissions

Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval. Any position in the Libertarian Party platform not directly contradicted by the positions here should be considered approved of and supported by this Caucus.