Jim Burns

From LPedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jim Burns
Jim Burns Denver 2008.jpg
Libertarian Party of Nevada
Personal Details
Death: December 20, 2014
Occupation: Political candidate
Residence: Nevada
Party: Libertarian Party
view image gallery

Jim Libertarian Burns was Libertarian Party of Nevada former chair and candidate. In 2008 and 2012, he made a bid for the presidential nomination. He was well-known for legally changing his middle name to "Libertarian" in order to force the state to put the word Libertarian on the ballot. The Internet Archive has archived a series of documents entitled "The Jim Burns Collection."[1]

In an interview with Wikinews, Burns gave this memorable quote:[2]

We humans have always found ourselves on what appears to be the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, the vast majority of us cannot live without others. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and our very lives depend on the division of labor, that is to say, the actions of others. The world would be a bleak place, indeed, if there were not other people in it. On the other hand, our largest danger does not come from wild beasts or even natural disasters; rather, it comes from other human beings. Humans rob, rape, and kill each other, and these activities are often organized by the greatest threat to human beings: tyrannical governments.

It appears that we cannot live without each other and at the same time we cannot live with each other. The answer to this dilemma is simple -- but not so easy: We must stop the robbing, raping, and killing and at the same time allow the peace, prosperity, and progress that the division of labor brings.

The answer to the dilemma is an elementary rule that may sound familiar. The rule is the fountainhead of civilization. It is the first step in being a good neighbor. The rule has a sister rule -- the golden rule -- "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." The rule is that "no one should initiate force, threaten to initiate force, or engage in fraud against others." Another way to say the same thing is that "people should be allowed to live as they choose so long as they allow others to do the same." In other words, "live and let live."

The rule has a name: Libertarianism. Libertarianism is neither a panacea nor a religion -- though some might be tempted to call it a philosophy. Libertarianism is just a simple rule that makes it possible for us to live with each other. When you think about it, you know that almost everyone follows the libertarian rule almost all of the time. When people do not follow the libertarian rule, we have a name for such behavior: We call it "criminal."

What libertarians want people of good will to know is that, except for scale, there is no moral difference between a local thug and a Washington bureaucrat: No matter who does it, to initiate force, threaten to initiate force, or engage in fraud, is a crime.

Libertarianism is the foundation of civilization. To the extent that the libertarian rule is abandoned, the very core of civilization -- co-operation and trade -- is threatened. And, if civilization breaks down, the results are famine, pestilence, and war -- each of which brings death to large numbers of people. Thus, to all people of good will, "live and let live" -- the libertarian ideal -- should be of paramount concern. To the degree the rule is not followed, civilization breaks down. What better vehicle than the Libertarian Party, then, for the protection of your rights and our civilization?

With libertarianism, we shall take the next step on the road to peace, prosperity, and progress for ourselves and the people of the planet. Peace is a byproduct of free trade. Prosperity is the consequence of liberty. Progress becomes more possible with prosperity and the free exchange of ideas. The first step and maintenance of these benefits is Libertarianism. That is to say, that if people are allowed to live as they choose so long as they do not violate the equal rights of others, the results are free trade which brings peace, free markets which brings prosperity, and freedom of thought and action which brings progress.


  • 1970s - ?????
  • 2008 - U.S. President
  • 2012 - U.S. President