Document:Libertarian Party Radical Caucus Platform 2017
Libertarian Party Radical Caucus Platform
Adopted by the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, April 24, 2016; amended at the Membership Convention held June 24, 2017
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 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.
We oppose the existence of any state as having a monopoly on the use of force but agree that governments, when they exist, can only legitimately do so to the extent that their membership is entered into voluntarily and without coercion, and any individual member reserves the right to withdraw from such voluntary association as their conscience dictates.
Until we reach that end, we support reducing, and not replacing, the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and oppose increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose. While recognizing that change often takes the form of increments and transitions, the policies in the planks that follow are to be taken as quickly and efficiently as possible without interruption or delay.
1. The Individual
No conflict exists between an orderly society and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force or fraud against any other individual, group, or government.
1.1 Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Responsibility
Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life, provided those choices do not violate the rights of others.
1.2 Freedom of Association and Discrimination
Libertarians embrace the concept that all people are born with certain natural rights to life, liberty, and justly-acquired property, including the fruits of their labor. We reject the idea that a natural right can ever impose a positive obligation upon others to fulfill that right. Government must not deny, abridge, or enhance any individual’s inherent rights for any reason and any laws which currently do so must be repealed rather than extended to all groups.
We condemn private discrimination as irrational and repugnant; however, we support the abolition of all laws that attempt to limit or ban it. 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 any reasons whatsoever, for exercise of these rights depend upon mutual consent. Individuals and private organizations, including businesses, retain their rights to set whatever standards of association and terms of voluntary interaction they deem appropriate, and other individuals and private businesses are free to respond with ostracism, boycotts, and other free market solutions
1.3 Freedom of Communications
We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right of individuals to unfettered expression. An important corollary to the right to speech is the right to silence. Language that is deemed offensive is not a cause for legal action. We oppose government-imposed or subsidized speech codes as well as laws against "hate speech."
We recognize that freedom of expression is possible only as part of a system of full property rights and recognize that freedom of communication does not extend to the use of other people's property to promote one's ideas without the voluntary consent of the owners. We oppose government ownership, control, funding, and subsidization of any communications organization, medium, or spectra and call for the abolition of the Federal Communications Commission. We support the right to individual and group privacy via encryption, and oppose any government efforts to restrict encryption development or deployment.
1.4 Freedom of Religion
We defend the rights of individuals to engage or not engage in any religious activities which do not violate the rights of others. In order to defend religious freedoms, we advocate a strict separation of church and state. We oppose government actions which define, aid, or attack any religion or religious membership. We oppose taxation of church property for the same reason we oppose all taxation.
Legislative, regulatory, or judicial decisions about what is a crime must not discriminate on the basis of religious belief or membership. No religious test must ever be required to assert the right to act in a way that does not violate the rights of others, and similarly there must be no religious exemption from responsibility for actions which violate the rights of others.
1.5 Families and Children
We believe that families and households are private institutions which must be free from government intrusion and interference. Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs, however they do not have a right to abandon or recklessly endanger their children. Whenever they are unable or unwilling to raise their children, they have the obligation to find others willing to assume guardianship. Accordingly, we oppose all laws that impede these processes, notably those restricting private adoption services, or those forcing children to remain in the custody of, or removing them from the custody of, their parents against their will.
Children are human beings and, as such, have all the rights of human beings. Because the exercise of some rights requires the ability to understand the possible consequences from actions, some rights may not be realized until an appropriate level of comprehension and responsibility is reached. Until such time, rights are placed in the custodianship of a guardian who is entrusted to exercise these rights on behalf of the child. Children must always have the right to establish their maturity by assuming administration and protection of their own rights, ending dependency upon their parents or other guardians and assuming all the responsibilities of adulthood. The path for full acceptance of all rights and responsibilities (also known as “emancipation”) must be easy and clear.
We oppose all laws that empower government officials to seize children and make them "wards of the state" or, by means of child labor laws and compulsory education, to infringe on their freedom to work or learn as they choose. We oppose all legally created or sanctioned discrimination against (or in favor of) children, just as we oppose government discrimination directed at any other artificially defined sub-category of human beings.
We also support the repeal of all laws establishing any category of crimes applicable to children for which adults would not be similarly vulnerable, such as curfew, smoking, and alcoholic beverage laws, and other status offenses. We seek the repeal of all "children's codes" or statutes which abridge due process protections for young people. Juveniles must be held fully responsible for their crimes in accordance with their maturity and ability to administer their own rights and responsibilities.
1.6 End of Life Decisions
We believe in self-ownership. We support the inherent right of individuals to end their lives with dignity. All persons must have the right to die at the time and place and under the conditions of their own choosing. We support the concept of living wills in which individuals declare the manner in which they are to be treated and the procedures for disposal of their remains. In the absence of such wills and the ability of the individual to choose (e.g., coma) the matter must be decided by the family or such persons the individual may have clearly preferred with whatever guidance they may desire. In keeping with the principle of non-coercion, no individual shall be forced either to continue or terminate life-sustaining care. We oppose the prosecution of physicians and loved ones who participate in consensual assisted suicide.
1.7 Sexual Rights
Consenting individuals have the right to private choice in sexual activity. We support the repeal of all laws and policies which are intended to condemn, affirm, encourage, or deny sexual lifestyles or any attitudes about such lifestyles. Further, we oppose any government attempts to dictate, prohibit, control, or encourage any private lifestyle, living arrangement, or contractual relationship.
1.8 Justice for the Individual
The present system of criminal law is focused exclusively on imprisonment. As violators of foundational principles, aggressors must be required to compensate their victims and pay for costs of their trial and apprehension. We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer and oppose any laws which deprive the victim of the right to recover damages from those responsible in the case of injury. Those unwilling to make payments towards a court-ordered judgment must be placed in a competitive private prison agreed upon by arbitration, in lieu of the state-subsidized Prison Industrial Complex whose sole motive is profit with little concern for making the victim whole. We also support the right of the victim to pardon the criminal or wrongdoer, barring threats to the victim for this purpose.
1.9 The War on Drugs
The so-called "War on Drugs" is in reality a war on people. We deplore the suffering that drug misuse has brought about; however, drug prohibition is more dangerous than drugs themselves and comes with a staggering cost in both money and human lives. The 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.
While we do not advocate drug misuse, we are in favor of alternative solutions that do not increase the power of the state. Additionally, we favor the elimination of all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the use of drugs, and the abolition of bureaucracies like the Drug Enforcement Agency.
1.10 Criminal and Civil Laws
We hold that any action which does not infringe on the rights of others cannot properly be deemed a crime or civil violation and believe that individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves. We therefore favor the repeal of all laws that create penalties without actual victims. In particular, we advocate:
a. The repeal of all laws prohibiting the production, sale, possession, or use of drugs and alcohol, and of all medicinal prescription requirements for the purchase of vitamins, drugs, and similar substances and call for the abolition of any agencies that exist to enforce any of these restrictions including the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.;
b. The repeal of all laws regarding consensual sexual relations, including prostitution and solicitation;
c. The repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting gambling;
d. The repeal of all laws interfering with the right to commit suicide as infringements of the ultimate right of individuals to their own lives; and
We demand the pardon and exoneration of everyone who has been convicted solely for these "crimes." We condemn the confiscation of property via civil asset forfeiture that all too often accompanies police raids, searches, and prosecutions for victimless crimes.
1.11 Safeguards for the Criminally Accused
People must be accorded all possible respect for their individual rights until such time as they are proven guilty of a crime. The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must not be denied.
We oppose labeling cases as civil in order to avoid the due process protections of criminal law and we further oppose pretrial seizure of property. We oppose police officers using excessive force, preventive detention, and no-knock raids, and support the right to film police officers.
Whenever malfeasance of government agents results in persons being arrested, indicted, tried, imprisoned, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings, injured parties must receive full restitution.
1.12 Protection of Privacy
The individual's right to privacy must not be infringed. Governments must not use electronic or other means of covert surveillance of an individual's actions or private property without the express consent of the owner or occupant. Correspondence, financial transactions and records, medical records, legal records, employment records, and the like must not be open to review without the express consent of all parties involved in those actions.
We support the natural rights of individuals to be secure in their persons and property against unreasonable searches and seizures and oppose any government use of search warrants to examine or seize materials belonging to innocent third parties. We also oppose and call for the abolition of police roadblocks and practices of testing drivers for intoxicants, stopping mass transit vehicles and searching passengers, and Terry stops (also called “stop-and-frisk”) in the absence of probable cause.
All federal, state, local, and other government compilations of data must be conducted only with the express consent of the persons from whom the data is sought. To this end, we call for the abolition of the National Security Agency and any other agencies that conduct unwarranted mass surveillance; the abolition of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which rubber-stamps secret warrants that can't be challenged; and the abolition of the USA PATRIOT Act, USA FREEDOM Act, Alien and Sedition Acts, Espionage Act, and any other legislation, executive orders, or regulations which authorize violations of rights.
We support the rights of people to develop, sell, and use encryption technology and distributed software that allows users to protect their privacy. Specifically, we oppose any requirement for disclosure of encryption methods or keys (“back doors”) and any requirement for use of government-specified devices or protocols. We also oppose government classification of civilian research on encryption methods, and we oppose any attempts to regulate virtual currencies.
When government agencies violate privacy rights, people who are knowledgeable of these violations have a duty to inform the public. To that end, we support protections for whistleblowers and oppose efforts to charge whistleblowers with espionage for exposing governmental wrongdoing.
If a private employer screens prospective or current employees for drugs or medical conditions, that is a term of that employee's labor contract with the employer. Such screening does not violate the rights of employees, who have the right to boycott such employers if they choose. Private contractual arrangements, including labor contracts, must be founded on mutual consent and agreement in a society that upholds freedom of association. We oppose any use of such screening by government; we also oppose mandating it of private employers.
We oppose the requirement to possess an identity card, for any purpose, such as employment, voting, or border crossing, and call upon the Congress to repeal REAL ID which in effect creates a national identification system.
We further oppose the nearly universal requirement for use of Social Security number(s) as personal identification codes, whether by government agencies or by intimidation of private companies by governments.
1.13 The Right to Self-Defense
The only legitimate use of force is in self-defense. This right inheres in the individual, who may seek to be, or agree to be, aided by any other individual or group. Private property owners shall be free to establish their own conditions regarding weapons. The right of defense extends to defense against aggressive acts of government.
We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, sale, manufacture, transport, or transfer of firearms, ammunition, or any other tool that could be used for self-defense, including any requirements for background checks. Accordingly, we support abolishing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) and favor the implementation of fully-legal carry of weapons, open or concealed, without any permit requirement.
1.14 The Right to Property
We hold that property rights are individual rights and, as such, are entitled to the same protections as all other individual rights. We oppose any recognition of fiat claims by national governments or international bodies to unclaimed territory. Individuals have the right to homestead unowned resources, both within the jurisdictions of national governments and within such unclaimed territory as the ocean, Antarctica, and the volume of outer space. 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 rights of others.
Eminent domain, civil asset forfeiture, governmental limits on profits, governmental production mandates, and governmental controls on prices of goods and services (including wages, rents, and interest) are abridgments of such fundamental rights.
Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners in violation of individual rights, we favor restitution to the rightful owners.
We specifically condemn current government efforts to regulate or ban the use of property in the name of aesthetic values, riskiness, moral standards, cost-benefit estimates, or the promotion or restriction of economic growth. We demand an end to the taxation of privately owned real property, which makes the state the de facto owner of all lands and forces individuals to rent their homes and places of business from the state.
2. The Market
Every individual has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. Where governments exists, the only justifiable role in 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 are intolerable. We believe that all individuals have the right to dispose of the fruits of their labor as they see fit and that governments have no right to take such wealth. We oppose government-enforced charity such as welfare programs and subsidies, but we support those individuals and private charitable organizations that help the needy and contribute to a wide array of worthwhile causes through voluntary activities.
2.1 Finance and Capital Investment
We call for the removal of all regulation of financial and capital markets and the abolition of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
We oppose any attempts to ban or regulate investing in stock-market index futures or new financial instruments which may emerge in the future. In particular, Blue Sky laws which limit small and risky investments must be repealed.
2.2 Inflation and Depression
We recognize that government control over money and banking is the primary cause of inflation and depression. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange must be free to own and use as money any mutually agreeable item. We favor the elimination of all government fiat money and call for the repeal of all legal tender laws and of all compulsory governmental units of account. All restrictions upon the private minting of coins must be abolished so that minting can be open to the competition of the free market. We call for the state to desist attempts to regulate cryptocurrency and for the legalization of domestic deposits denominated in foreign currencies. Above all we call for the abolition of the unaccountable Federal Reserve that issues its own money created without oversight and lends it at interest to the government and other banking institutions.
We favor free-market banking. We call for the abolition of the National Banking System, and all similar national and state interventions affecting banking and credit. Our opposition encompasses all controls on the rate of interest. There must be unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types, including private insurance agencies competing for the business of protecting investors deposits that is current granted as limited and without competition by the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
2.3 Trade Barriers
Free trade does not require a treaty, rather a lack of government involvement. Tariffs and quotas give special treatment to favored interests and diminish the welfare of everyone. We therefore support abolition of all trade barriers and all government-sponsored export-promotion programs. We affirm this as a unilateral policy, independent of the trade policies of other nations.
In order to achieve a free economy in which government victimizes no one for the benefit of any other, we oppose all government subsidies. Subsidies can take the form of so-called public-private partnerships, government contracting, mandatory insurance, and similar policies.
We oppose all government guarantees of loans. Such guarantees transfer resources to special interests as effectively as actual government expenditures and, at the national level, exceed direct government loans in total amount. All national, state, and local government agencies whose primary function is to guarantee loans must be abolished.
Relief or exemption from taxation or from any other involuntary government intervention must not be considered a subsidy.
2.5 Unions and Collective Bargaining
We support the right of people to freely associate in labor unions, just as we recognize that the existence of a union does not grant powers that the individuals within the union do not possess. The existence of boycotts, strikes, and lockouts does not justify the initiation of violence against other workers, employers, strike-breakers, or innocent bystanders.
We oppose government interference in bargaining such as compulsory arbitration or the imposition of an obligation to bargain. Therefore, we urge repeal of the National Labor Relations Act and all laws that prohibit employers from making voluntary contracts with unions. We oppose all government back-to-work orders as the imposition of a form of forced labor.
Licensure is a method for government to convert a natural right into a privilege — one that involves paying fees to the government to exercise. Privileges can be and often are revoked by government. Rights must be held inviolate, and no one must be forced to pay to exercise a right.
We condemn all coercive and government-granted monopolies including public utilities and the United States Postal Service. In order to facilitate their elimination, we advocate a strict separation of business and state, and call for the repeal of all antitrust laws, including the Sherman Anti Trust Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, Robinson-Patman Act, and Celler-Kefauver Act. We further call for the abolition of the Federal Trade Commission and the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice. Laws of incorporation must not include grants of monopoly privilege. In particular, we oppose special limits on the liability of corporations for damages caused in non-contractual transactions. We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives, and other types of companies based on voluntary association and favor the elimination of state or federal limits on the size of private companies and on the right of companies to merge. We also favor the elimination of efforts to expand federal chartering as a pretext for government control of business, particularly those involving industries where government could attempt to create its own monopoly.
2.8 Intellectual Monopoly and File Sharing
The phrase “intellectual property” is a misnomer. What the state calls intellectual property is more accurately referred to as “intellectual monopoly” as the is a state-granted grants a monopoly on the use of an idea, or goods, and services derived from an idea to a certain limited group. We call for the elimination of the protection of such monopoly thereby freeing the market, encouraging content providers and product developers to improve on existing products thereby bringing more and better choices to the market.
In particular, we call for the end of the prohibition of online file sharing, just as we oppose all victimless crimes. When content is shared it is not stolen as no one loses any property, only a potential loss of some future revenue, which is natural in any open market.
2.9 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
We advocate the complete separation of employment from state. We therefore call for the repeal of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and any state level equivalent. These laws deny the right to liberty and property to both employer and employee, and interfere in their private contractual relations. Instead, we promote free market solutions to help increase employee safety.
2.10 Space Exploration
The development of space and the establishment of a spacefaring civilization, being in the greatest common good of the human race, should not be restricted by governments.
We oppose all government restrictions upon voluntary peaceful use and exploration of outer space. We condemn all international attempts to control, prevent, or limit private exploration, industrialization, and colonization of the moon, planets, asteroids, satellite orbits, Lagrange points, or any other extra-terrestrial resources.
It is important to allow free market entrants to create innovative launch systems and business models, and for them and their customers to determine their own acceptable levels of risk.
Therefore, we support the abolition of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and replacing its functions with private-sector alternatives.
3. The Community
Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are primarily caused, by government. The welfare and protection state, supposedly designed to aid the poor and protect the public, is in reality a growing and parasitic burden on all productive people, and injures, rather than benefits, the poor themselves, while violating the rights of peaceful persons to be free to keep the fruits of their labors and to trade freely.
3.1 Consumer Protection
The natural right to produce and purchase products and services must not be restricted by law.
In the free market, consumers would be protected because:
a. A good name is an asset to a business and it can best be maintained by fair and honest dealing;
b. The use of certificates, guarantees, and warranties issued by manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services is a protection to the consumer;
c. Both professional and non-professional people can voluntarily form associations for the specific purpose of maintaining high standards both in work and behavior; and,
d. Privately-owned consumer protection organizations producing journals and magazines would proliferate in a free market.
We therefore endorse and advocate the elimination of all government consumer affairs bureaus or departments such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), and the repeal of all laws regulating the production, transportation, sale, possession, advertising, quality, safety, or use of any product or service.
We seek a return to a free, dynamic market with every possible and desirable crop being produced and sold by as many market participants as possible, using any method that meets with the approval of the buying public that does not spread external harm.
Private sector labeling must be allowed to replace government-mandated labeling — consumers will be better served with competitive certification and labels and the ability to reject products whose labeling fails to meet their personal standards.
Private individuals or corporations must bear full responsibility for damages they inflict on their neighbors with unwanted externalities including pesticides, herbicides, and genetic modifications.
Pollution of air, water, and land violates the rights of individuals to their lives and property. We support the development of an objective legal system defining property rights to air and water and a modification of the laws governing such torts as trespass and nuisance to cover damages done by pollution. Strict liability, not government agencies and arbitrary government standards, must regulate pollution. Governments will no longer be able to be among the worst polluters due to the fact that they will be held liable like everyone else under this system.
We support holding property owners fully liable for damages done by their toxic waste. We oppose the creation of governmental funds, backed by the taxing power, to finance toxic waste clean-up.
We call for the repeal of environmental regulations and call for the abolition of the federal and state Environmental Protection Agencies and the return of all questions of violations of the rights to life and property to the jurisdiction of the courts.
The transportation industry must not be treated differently from any other industry, and must be governed by free markets and held to strict liability.
We call 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 Safety Board, the Coast Guard, and the Federal Maritime Commission — and the transfer of their legitimate functions to competitive private firms. We call for the privatization of airports, air traffic control systems, passenger rail, and all public roads.
We advocate an immediate end to government regulation of private transit organizations and to government favors to the transportation industry. In particular, we support the immediate repeal of all laws restricting and regulating transit competition such as the granting of taxicab and bus monopolies and the regulation or prohibition of peer-to-peer transportation services. We call for the repeal of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 which restricts the carriage of goods or passengers between United States ports to US-built and flagged vessels, and urge immediate deregulation of the trucking industry.
We advocate the complete separation of education and state. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. We condemn compulsory education laws and call for their immediate repeal. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges must end.
The provision of energy must be left to the free market. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, distribution, and production. We oppose all government subsidies for energy research, development, and operation. We support abolition of the Department of Energy and its component agencies.
We oppose all government conservation schemes through the use of taxes, subsidies, and regulation. We oppose any attempt to compel national energy self-sufficiency. The government must not be in the business of stockpiling natural resources; therefore we call for the complete disbursement of the national strategic oil reserve.
We favor the creation of a free market in all forms of energy by respect for property rights and by the repeal of all government controls over output in the energy industry. All government-owned energy resources must be returned to private ownership.
We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law. Without the ability to judge the law, juries can do nothing to protect the people against government oppression. Since the jury trial is a crucial element to the judicial system of checks and balances against some of the more ludicrous legislative creations, juries need to be informed of their right to nullify all laws that are unjust or oppressive, and find against the government and the law by voting “not guilty.”
We oppose the current practice of forced jury duty and favor all-volunteer juries.
3.8 Government and Mental Health
We oppose the involuntary treatment or commitment of any person for mental health concerns, as well as government pressure requiring parents to obtain counseling or psychiatric drugs for their children. We advocate an end to the spending of tax money for any program of psychiatric, psychological, behavioral research, or treatment.
3.9 Health Care
We advocate a complete separation of medicine from the state. Accordingly, we support a free market health care system and oppose government mandates in insurance and healthcare. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the services they want (if any) and all other aspects of their medical care. We advocate replacing compulsory or tax supported plans to supply health services or insurance with voluntarily supported efforts. We oppose any government restriction or funding of private medical or scientific research.
3.10 Poverty and Unemployment
We oppose all attempts to criminalize homelessness. We therefore call for the immediate repeal of all laws against sleeping, camping, eating, feeding, or solicitation.
Traditional, voluntary sources of emergency support from families, churches, private charities, and mutual aid societies have always been more humane, more effective, and willingly borne by the givers rather than being coercively taken from others. Therefore we call for the complete disbandment of the welfare state.
While we are being oppressed by the current tax system, we propose shortening the time when governmental programs are replaced by effective private institutions we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitable contributions.
Government fiscal and monetary measures that artificially foster business expansion guarantee an eventual increase in unemployment rather than curtailing it. We call for the immediate cessation of such policies as well as any governmental attempts to affect employment levels.
We support repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws, so-called "protective" labor legislation for women and children, governmental restrictions on the establishment of private day-care centers, and the National Labor Relations Act. We deplore government-fostered forced retirement, which robs the elderly of the right to work.
3.11 Social Security
Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual not the government. Therefore, we call for the elimination of the coercive government-sponsored Social Security system.
3.12 Resource Use
Resource management is properly the responsibility and right of the legitimate owners of land, water, and other natural resources. We oppose government control of resource use via taxes, incentives, or regulations.
We call for the homesteading or other just transfer to private ownership of government controlled lands and other resources. We recognize the legitimacy of resource planning by means of private, voluntary covenants. We oppose creation of new government parks or wilderness and recreation areas. Such parks and areas that already exist must be transferred to non-government ownership. Pending such just transfer, their operating costs must be borne by their users rather than by taxpayers.
The allocation of water must be governed by unrestricted competition and unregulated prices. We call for the divestment of government and quasi-government water supply systems. The construction of government dams and other water projects must cease, and existing government water projects must be transferred to private ownership. Only the complete separation of water and the state will prevent future water crises.
4. The State
Foreign policy must seek peace with the world and the defense — against attack from abroad — of the lives, liberty, and property of persons within its territorial borders. Provision of such defense must respect the individual rights of people everywhere.
The principle of non-intervention must guide relationships between governments. The United States government must return to the historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures, and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade, travel, and immigration.
4.1 Sovereign Immunity
We favor an immediate end to the doctrine of Sovereign Immunity that ignores the primacy of the individual over the abstraction of the state, and holds that the state may not be sued without its permission or held accountable for its actions under civil law.
Government agents must be subject to civil and criminal liability for any injuries caused by their actions, without regard to whether those actions occurred during the course of their duties. Neither government agencies nor their representatives shall be exempted from laws, statutes and regulations applicable to everyone else.
Government agents must be personally responsible for satisfying judgments against them, and the agency/taxpayersmust never directly pay such settlements.
4.2 Government Secrecy
We oppose the government's use of secret classifications to keep information from the public, especially that which exposes government malfeasance.
4.3 Death Penalty
We oppose the administration of the death penalty by the state.
4.4 Internal Security and Civil Liberties
In order to best protect individual rights, it is necessary to remove the monopoly over domestic security concerns from the state, and allow open and honest discussion of potential security information with competing private contractors. We therefore call for the abolition of the Department of Homeland Security, the repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the National Defense Authorization Act and all other legislation that authorizes secret evidence, holding people without charge, treating material witnesses like convicted criminals, engaging in searches and seizure without warrants, and other violations of individual rights under the color of national security. Additionally, we oppose the existence of internal Border Patrol checkpoints.
Individuals, companies, and government agencies must use discretion when gathering data during any investigation. Security, national or otherwise, must not be considered an automatic defense to charges against those who collect such data, nor must the protection of personal information be automatically guaranteed by the state as all individuals must be responsible for securing their personal data.
We support the abolition of the subpoena power as used by Congressional committees against individuals or firms. We oppose any efforts to revive the House Un-American Activities Committee or any related committees such as the House Internal Security Committee or Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security. We call for the government to openly disclose data they have collected in the past, and that which is not free to be disclosed openly must be destroyed.
4.5 Government Debt
We oppose government entering into debt obligations on behalf of its constituents and their children for decades to come. No person can rightly enter into a contract on behalf of another person without their consent. When governments accrue debt, they are in essence entering into debt on behalf of their constituents and the children of their constituents. We therefore call upon both houses of the United States Congress to promptly pass, and call upon the state legislatures to ratify, an amendment repealing Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibiting future indebtedness and deficit spending on the part of the federal government, and repudiating all federal government debt and debt service obligations accrued prior to the ratification of said amendment.
Until the national debt is repudiated, the federal government must have a balanced budget. To be effective, a balanced budget must provide:
a. that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes;
b. that all spending is included in the budget;
c. that neither the Legislative nor the Executive be permitted to override this requirement; and
d. that no exception be made for periods of so-called “national emergency.”
Governments facing fiscal crises must always default on their debt obligations in preference to raising taxes. At minimum, the level of government must be frozen. Additionally, the Federal Reserve must be forbidden from acquiring any additional government securities, thereby helping to eliminate the inflationary aspect of the deficit.
Taxation is theft.
Since we believe that all persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor, we oppose all government activity that consists of the forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in violation of their individual rights. Specifically, we:
a. recognize the right of any individual to challenge the payment of taxes on moral, religious, legal, or constitutional grounds;
b. support the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, and oppose any increase in existing tax rates and the imposition of any new taxes;
c. oppose all taxation, including but not limited to, personal income, corporate income, capital gains, and inheritance taxes; and
d. support a declaration of unconditional amnesty for all those individuals who have been convicted of, or who now stand accused of, tax resistance.
As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion must be terminated immediately including, but not limited to, imprisonment and asset forfeiture.
We oppose as involuntary servitude any legal requirements forcing employers or business owners to serve as de facto tax collectors for federal, state, or local tax agencies.
We oppose any and all increases in the rate of taxation or categories of taxpayers, including the elimination of deductions, exemptions, or credits in the spurious name of "fairness," "simplicity," or alleged "neutrality to the free market." No tax can ever be fair, simple, or neutral to the free market.
In the current fiscal, default is preferable to raising taxes or perpetual refinancing of growing public debt.
We hold that one of the basic core principles of a free market is the freedom to move about voluntarily, and as such, borders are artificial barriers to trade and movement. A free market cannot exist with a closed or restricted border.
Undocumented non-citizens must not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor and to move about unmolested, nor should citizens be denied the right to assist in whatever manner they choose. Furthermore, immigration must not be restricted for reasons of nationality, race, religion, political creed, age, or sexual preference.
We therefore call for the elimination of all restrictions on immigration, the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol, and declare a full pardon for all people who are in the country without government permission. We oppose government welfare and resettlement payments to non-citizens just as we oppose government welfare payments to all other persons. We aim to restore a world in which there are no passports, visas, or other papers required to cross borders.
4.8 World Government
We support the immediate withdrawal of the United States government from, and an end to its financial support for, the United Nations (UN). Specifically, we oppose any policy designating the UN as policeman of the world, committing troops to wars at the discretion of the UN, or placing troops under UN command. We oppose our government’s participation in any world or international government and oppose any treaty under which individual rights would be violated.
4.9 International Money
We favor withdrawal from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. We oppose any participation in international government-issued currencies whether regional or international in scope and any bailout of foreign governments or American banks, either by means of the International Monetary Fund or through any other governmental device. We strongly support all private sector units of trade and their use in international markets. We oppose any participation in international government-issued currencies whether regional or international in scope.
4.10 Foreign Aid
We support the elimination of tax-supported military, economic, technical, and scientific aid to foreign governments or other organizations, and call for the repeal of all prohibitions on individuals or firms contributing or selling goods and services to any foreign country or organization. We support the abolition of government underwriting of arms sales. We further support abolition of federal agencies that make American taxpayers guarantors of export-related loans, and oppose the participation of the United States government in international commodity circles which restrict production, limit technological innovation, and raise prices.
4.11 Human Rights
The violation of rights and liberty by other states can never justify foreign intervention by the United States government. No state is innocent of violating human rights and liberty, and none can approach the issue with clean hands. Only private individuals and organizations have any place speaking out on this issue.
We abhor the widespread and increasing use of torture for interrogation and punishment. We condemn the use of force, especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by government groups.
We favor immediate self-determination for all individuals living in colonial dependencies, freeing these individuals from American dominance accompanied by the termination of subsidization of them at taxpayers' expense. Land seized by the United States government must be returned to its rightful owners.
The important principle guiding foreign policy must be the elimination of intervention by the United States government in the affairs of other nations. Negotiations with any foreign government do not necessarily concede moral legitimacy to that government. We favor a drastic reduction in cost and size of our entire diplomatic establishment. Additionally, we favor the repeal of the Logan Act, which prohibits American citizens from engaging in private correspondence with foreign governments with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States without authorization of the United States government. However, we acknowledge that individuals involved in such
4.14 Military Policy
We call for a completely voluntary military in both funding and participation where members of the military can quit any time they choose. While borders and taxpayer funded militaries exist, their purpose must be limited to defending the borders of the United States from attack. The United States has no business being the policeman of the world. We call for the withdrawal from commitments to engage in war on behalf of other governments and for abandonment of doctrines supporting military intervention such as the Monroe Doctrine.
We favor the repeal the Neutrality Act of 1794, and all other United States neutrality laws, which restrict the efforts of Americans to aid overseas organizations fighting to overthrow or change governments. We wish to end the incorporation of foreign nations into the American defense perimeter. Further, we call upon the federal government to cease the creation and maintenance of American installations and bases in other countries, and American military troops stationed overseas must be withdrawn as quickly as practicable.
4.15 Presidential War Powers
We call for the reform of the Presidential War Powers Act to end the President's power to initiate military action, and for the abrogation of all Presidential declarations of "states of emergency." There must be no further secret commitments and unilateral acts of military intervention by the Executive Branch.
4.16 Weapons of Mass Destruction
We believe that no government agency must be allowed to acquire, purchase, or otherwise accept for use any vehicles, equipment or weapons unless such hardware is readily available in an open commercial market. If any tool in its intended use is deemed too powerful or destructive for any individual to own, i.e. weapons that would destroy towns or neighborhoods in their applications, those tools are also too powerful for any government to own.
4.17 Election Laws
We call for an end to government control of political parties, consistent with individual rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression. Political parties are private voluntary groups, and must be allowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures, primaries, and conventions. At the same time, political parties must not be given any special privileges or subsidies in their internal decision-making process. To that end, we call for the complete abolition of primary elections that are funded or controlled by any government body. "Voters" do not own political parties — the people who invest their time and money in them do, and the state must not interfere in their right to run their parties in the manner that suits them.
We demand repeal of all regulations and regulatory structures including the Federal Election Campaign Act and the FEC which suppress voluntary support of candidates and parties, compels taxpayers to subsidize some politicians and political views which many do not wish to support; invades the privacy of American citizens; and protects the Republican and Democratic parties from competition. We call for an end to all government subsidies to candidates or parties and the repeal of all laws which regulate or restrict voluntary financing of election campaigns.
Many state legislatures have established prohibitively restrictive laws which in effect exclude alternative candidates and parties from their rightful place on election ballots. Such laws wrongfully deny ballot access to political candidates and groups and further deny the voters their right to consider all legitimate alternatives. We hold that no state has a legitimate interest to protect in this area except for the fair and efficient conduct of elections.
Electoral systems matter. The predominant use of "winner-take-all" elections in gerrymandered, single-member districts fosters political monopolies and creates a substantial government-imposed barrier to election of non-incumbent political parties and candidates. We call upon legislative bodies to adopt electoral systems that are more representative of the electorate at the federal, state, and local levels, such as proportional voting systems with multi-member districts for legislative elections and ranked choice or approval voting for single winner elections. Further we oppose implementation of the electoral system known as Top Two.
Competition in ideas and government policies is important to the electoral process and is a cornerstone of fundamental freedoms. At the national level, The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), created in 1987 by the Republican and Democratic national parties for the express purpose of keeping minor party and independent candidates out of debates, intentionally limits participation in the nationally-televised debates to the Democratic and Republican Party nominees. The presidential debates organized by the CPD exert a de facto influence on the outcome of presidential elections, because a presidential candidate who is excluded from presidential debates has virtually zero chance of winning the general presidential election. The right to form a party for the advancement of political goals means little if that party’s nominee can be arbitrarily excluded from debates and denied an equal opportunity to win votes. While we support the abolition of all intrusive election and other laws affecting the operation of private political parties, to the extent that these laws exist, they must not be manipulated to benefit the dominant parties to the exclusion of minority parties or independent candidates and to the ultimate detriment of the voters who are not presented with the range of potential choices. This effectively disenfranchises voters and violates First Amendment freedoms. Therefore, in accordance with current ballot access laws, we call upon all organizations that host debates to have fair and objective debate criteria that must: include all candidates who are legally qualified to serve and whose names appear on the ballot. Additionally for Presidential debates, candidates must also appear on enough ballots to potentially secure a majority in the Electoral College.
The Australian ballot system, introduced into the United States in the late nineteenth century, is an abridgment of freedom of expression and of voting rights. Under it, the names of all the officially approved candidates are printed in a single government sponsored format and the voter indicates their choice by marking it or by writing in an approved but unlisted candidate's name. We advocate for a strict separation of ballot and state, and call for a return to the previous electoral system where there was no official ballot or candidate approval at all, and therefore no 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, and local elections, we propose the addition of the alternative "None of the above is acceptable" to all ballots. We further propose that in the event that "none of the above is acceptable" receives a plurality of votes in any election, either the elective office for that term must remain unfilled and unfunded, or there shall be a new election in which none of the losing candidates shall be eligible.
We recognize the right to political secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals. We believe that individuals must be allowed to decide for themselves if and how they will be governed, if at all. Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others.
Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination, including the existence of any particular governmental system, must not be construed to imply approval. In every matter, we adhere to the consistent application of the principle of the non-initiation of physical force or fraud.
Radical Caucus Platform 2016
|Libertarian Party Radical Caucus Platform
Radical Caucus Platform 2019