Document:National Platform 1982
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STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipo- tent 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-â€”accordingly we support prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and actionâ€”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 propertyâ€”accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent do- main, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepre- sentation.
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 govem- ment may initiate force against any other individual, group or government.
1. 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: Peopleâ€™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 society routinely denying the people the opportunity to exercise it. Libertarian policies will create a society where people are free to make and learn from their own decisions.
The continuing increase in violent crime threatens the lives, happiness, and belongings of Americans. At the same time, governmental violations of rights undermine the peopleâ€™s sense of justice with regard to crime. Impartial and consistent law enforcement protecting individual rights, and repeal of victimless crime laws (which laws breed crimes with victims) are the appropriate ways to suppress crime. We applaud the trend toward private protection services and voluntary community crime control groups.
3. VICTIMLESS CRIMES
Because only actions which infringe the rights of others can properly be termed crimes, we favor the repeal of all federal, state, and local laws creating â€œcrimesâ€ without victims. In particular, we advocate:
a. The repeal of all laws prohibiting the production, sale, possession, or use of drugs, and of all medical prescription requirements for the purchase of vitamins, drugs and similar substances;
b. 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;
c. The repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting the possession, use, sale, production, or distribution of sexually explicit material, independent of â€œsocially redeeming valueâ€ or compliance with â€œcommunity standards; â€
d. The repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting gambling; and
e. 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 â€œcrimes.â€
4. 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 reduc- tion of present safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused.
Specifically, we are opposed to preventive detention, soâ€”called â€œno-knock laws,â€œ and all other measures which threaten individual rights.
We advocate the repeal of all laws establishing any category of crimes applicable to minors for which adults would not be similarly answerable, and an end to the practice in many states of jailing children accused of no crime.
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 which 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.
5. 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 accordingly oppose all â€œno-faultâ€ insurance laws which deprive the victim of the right to recover damages from those responsible in 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 oppose the current practice of forced jury duty and favor a1l~vo1unteer juries.
In addition, we urge the assertion of the common law right of juries to judge not only the facts of criminal cases but also the justice of the law. Juries may hold all criminal laws invalid that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and find all persons guiltless of violating such laws.
7. SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY
We favor an immediate end to the doctrine of â€œSovereign Immunityâ€ which implies that the State can do no wrong and holds that the State, contrary to the tradition of redress of grievances, may not be sued without its permission or held accountable for its actions under civil law.
8. GOVERNMENT AND â€œMENTAL HEALTHâ€
We oppose the involuntary commitment of any person to a mental institution. To incarcerate an individual not convicted of any crime, but merely asserted to be incompetent, is a violation of the individualâ€™s rights. We further advocate:
a. The repeal of all laws permitting involuntary psychiatric treatment of any person, including children, and those incarcerated in prisons or mental institutions;
b. An immediate end to the spending of tax money for any program of psychiatric or psychological research or treatment;
c. An end to all involuntary treatments of prisoners by such means as psycho-surgery, drug therapy, and aversion therapy;
d. An end to tax-supported â€œmental healthâ€ propaganda campaigns and community â€œmental healthâ€ centers and programs; and
e. An end to criminal defenses based onâ€œinsanityâ€ or â€œdiminished capac- ityâ€ which absolve the guilty of their responsibility.
9. FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE PRESS
We oppose all forms of government censorship, whatever the medium in- volved. We oppose the burgeoning practice of the governmentâ€™s invading newsrooms or the premises of any other innocent third parties in the name of law enforcement. We also condemn court orders gagging press coverage of criminal proceedingsâ€”â€”â€”the right to publish must not be abridged merely for the conve- nience of the judicial system.
Events have demonstrated that the already precarious First Amendment rights of the broadcast industry are becoming still more precarious. Regulation of broadcasting including the â€œfairness doctrine,â€ the â€œequal-timeâ€ rule and the â€œreasonable accessâ€ provision, cannot be tolerated. We support legislation to repeal the Federal Communications Act, and to provide for private homestead- ing and ownership of broadcasting rights, thus giving broadcasting First Amendment parity with other communications media.â€˜
In particular, FCC regulation of political coverage must be immediately ended, to stop its chilling effect on the level of political debate in this country. Federally mandated lower rates for political ads, which unfairly harm estab- lished broadcasters, must end, as must FCC monopoly grants, which unfairly benefit established broadcasters.
The removal of these regulations and privileges would open the way for greater diversity in the broadcast media. We deplore any efforts to impose thought control on the media by the use of anti-trust laws and other government action in the name of stopping â€œbias " We specifically oppose such government efforts to control broadcast content as banning advertising for cigarettes and sugar-coated breakfast foods or regulating depiction of sex or violence.
We call for immediate cessation of federal funding and contracting of ads produced by the National Ad Council, so that no individuals be forced to pay to support issues or ideas to which they would not voluntarily contribute. The implied threat of loss of license renewal broadcasters currently face if they refuse to freely show National Ad Council ads can only be ended by abolishing the FCC.
Government ownership or subsidy of broadcast band radio and television stations and networksâ€”in particular, the tax funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcastingâ€”must end.
We oppose government ownership, grants of monopoly franchise, or regula- tion of â€œpay TVâ€ and cable facilities.
10. FREEDOM OF RELIGION
We defend the rights of individuals to engage in (or abstain from) any religious activities which do not violate the rights of others. In order to defend religious freedom, we advocate a strict separation of church and State. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion. We oppose taxation of church property for the same reason that we oppose all taxation.
We condemn the attempts by parents or any othersâ€”via kidnappings, conser- vatorships, or instruction under confinementâ€”to force children to conform to their parentsâ€™ or any othersâ€™ religious views. Government harassment or ob- struction of unconventional religious groups for their beliefs or nonviolent activities must end.
11. THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY
There is no conï¬‚ict between property rights and human rights. Indeed, property rights are the rights of humans with respect to property and, as such, are entitled to the same respect and protection as all other human rights.
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. 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 actually makes the State the owner of all lands and forces individuals to rent their homes and places of business from the State.
Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners by government or private action in violation of individual rights, we favor restitu- tion to the rightful owners. Specifically, we call for the return of lands taken from Americans of Japanese ancestry during the Second World War.
12. PROTECTION OF PRIVACY
The individualâ€™s privacy, property, and right to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government. The government should not use electronic or other means of covert surveillance of an individualâ€™s actions or private property without the consent of the owner or occupant. Correspondence, bank and other financial transactions and records, doctorsâ€™ and lawyersâ€™ communica- tions, employment records, and the like should not be open to review by government without the consent of all parties involved in those actions. So long as the National Census and all federal, state, and other government agenciesâ€™ compilations of data on an individual continue to exist, they should be con- ducted only with the consent of the persons from whom the data are sought.
We oppose the issuance by the government of an identity card, to be required for any purpose, such as for employment, voting, or border crossings.
13. GOVERNMENT SECRECY
We condemn the governmentâ€™s use of secret classifications to keep from the public information which it should have. We favor substituting a system in which no individual may be convicted for violating government secrecy classi- fications unless the government discharges its burden of proving that the publication:
a. Violated the right of privacy of those who have been coerced into reveal- ing confidential or proprietary information to government agents, or
b. Disclosed defensive military plans so as to materially impair the capability
to respond to attack.
It should always be a defense to such prosecution that information divulged shows that the government has violated the law.
14. INTERNAL SECURITY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES
We call for the abolition of all federal secret police agencies. In particular, we seek the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigaton, and we call for a return to the American tradition of local law enforcement. We support Congressional investigation of criminal activities of the CIA and of wrongdoing by other government agencies.
We support the abolition of the subpoena power as used by Congressional committees against individuals or firms. We hail the abolition of the House Intemal Security Committee and call for the destruction of its files on private individuals and groups. We also call for the abolition of the Senate Subcommit- tee on Internal Security.
15. THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS
Maintaining our belief in the inviolability of the right to keep and bear arms, we oppose all laws at any level of government restricting the ownership, manufacture, transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition. We oppose all laws requiring registration of firearms or ammunition. We also oppose any govem- ment efforts to ban or restrict the use of tear gas, â€˜ â€˜maceâ€, or other nonâ€”firearm protective devices. We further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammuni- tion on the grounds that they are risky and unsafe.
We support repeal of the National Firearms Act of 1935 and the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and demand the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
We favor the repeal of laws banning the concealment of weapons or prohibit- ing pocket weapons. We also oppose the banning of inexpensive handguns (â€Saturday night specialsâ€).
16. CONSCRIPTION AND THE MILITARY
Recognizing that registration is the first step toward full conscription, we oppose all attempts at compulsory registration of any person and all schemes for automatic registration through government invasions of the privacy of school, motor vehicle, or other records. We call for the abolition of the still-functioning elements of the Selective Service System, believing that impressment of indi- viduals into the armed forces is involuntary servitude. We call for the destruc- tion of all files in computer readable or hard copy form compiled by the Selective Service System. We also oppose any form of national service, such as a compulsory youth labor program.
We oppose adding women to the pool of those eligible for and subject to 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 subjected to governmental tyranny.
We support the immediate and unconditional exoneration of all who have been accused or convicted of draft evasion, desertion from the military, and other acts of resistance to such transgressions as imperialistic wars and aggres- sive acts of the military. Members of the military should have the same right to quit their jobs as other persons.
We call for the end of the Defense Department practice of discharging armed forces personnel for homosexual conduct. We further call for retraction of all less-than-honorable discharges previously assigned for such reasons and dele- tion of such information from military personnel files.
We recommend the repeal of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the recognition and equal protection of the rights of armed forces members. This will promote thereby the morale, dignity, and sense of justice within the military.
17. UNIONS AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
We support the right of free persons to 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 his or her employees.
We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain. Therefore we urge repeal of the National Labor Relations Act, and all the state Right to Work Laws, which prohibit employers from making voluntary contracts with unions. We oppose all government backâ€”to-work orders as imposing a form of forced labor.
Workers and employers should have the right to organize secondary boycotts if they so choose. Nevertheless, boycotts or strikes do not justify the initiation of violence against other workers, employers, strikeâ€”breakers, and innocent by- standers.
We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality. We condemn massive roundups of Hispanic-Americans and others by the federal government in its hunt for individuals not possessing required government documents. Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor and to move about unmolested. Furthermore, immigration must not be restricted for reasons of race, religious or political creed, or sexual preference.
We therefore call for the elimination of all restrictions on immigration, the abolition of the Immigration and Naturalizaton Service and the Border Patrol, and a declaration of full amnesty for those people who have entered the country illegally. We oppose government welfare payments to non-citizens just as we oppose government welfare payments to all other persons.
We welcome Indochinese and other refugees to our shores, and condemn the .
efforts of U.S. government officials to induce Indochinese governments to create a new â€œBerlin wallâ€ that would keep them captive.
No individual rights should be denied or abridged by the laws of the United States or any state or locality on account of sex, race, color, creed, age, national origin, or sexual preference. Protective labor laws, Selective Service laws, and other laws which violate rights selectively should be repealed entirely rather than being extended to all groups.
Discrimination imposed by the government has brought disruption in normal relationships of peoples, set neighbor against neighbor, created gross injustices, and diminished human potential. Antiâ€”discrimination enforced by the govern- ment is the reverse side of the coin and will for the same reasons create the same problems. Consequently, we oppose any governmental attempts to regulate private discrimination, including discrimination in employment, housing, and privately owned so-called public accommodations. The right to trade includes the right not to tradeâ€”â€”for any reasons whatsoever.
20. WOMENâ€™S RIGHTS
We hold that individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. We call for repeal of all laws discriminating against women, such as â€œprotectiveâ€ labor laws and marriage or divorce laws which deny the full rights of men and women. We oppose all laws likely to impose restrictions on free choice and private property or to widen tyranny through reverse discrimination.
Recognizing that each person must be the sole and absolute owner of his or her own body, we support the right of women to make a personal choice regarding the termination of pregnancy. We oppose the undermining of that right via lavx s requiring consent of the pregnant womanâ€™s parents, consent of the prospective father, waiting periods, or compulsory provision of indoctrination on medical risks or fetal development. However, we also oppose all tax funding for abortions. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another's abortion. We also condemn state-mandated abor- tions.
21. CHILDRENâ€™S RIGHTS
We believe that â€œchildrenâ€ are human beings and, as such, have the same rights as any other human beings. Any reference in this Platform to the rights of human beings includes children.
TRADE AND THE ECONOMY
Because each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market, and because government interference can only harm such free
activity, we oppose all intervention by government into the area of economics. The only proper role of existing governments 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 intoler- able. Government manipulation of the economy creates an entrenched priv- ileged classâ€”those with access to tax moneyâ€”and an exploited classâ€”those who are net taxpayers.
1. THE ECONOMY
Government intervention in the economy imperils both the personal freedom and the material prosperity of every American. We therefore support the following specific immediate reforms:
a. drastic reduction of both taxes and government spending; b. an end to deficit budgets; c. a halt to inï¬‚ationary 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.
Since we believe that all persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor, we oppose all government activity which consists of the forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in violation of their individual rights. Specifi- cally, we:
a. recognize the right of any individual to challenge the payment of taxes on moral, religious, legal or constitutional grounds;
b. oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes;
c. support repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, and oppose any increase in 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 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 should be terminated immediately.
We oppose as involuntary servitude any legal requirements forcing employers or business owners to serve as tax collectors for federal, state, or local tax agencies.
In the current fiscal crisis of states and localities, default is preferable to raising taxes or perpetual refinancing of growing public debt.
3. INFLATION AND RECESSION
We recognize that government control over money and banking is the cause of inï¬‚ation, depression and distortion of relative prices and production. Indi- viduals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any commodity or item that is mutually agreeable. We therefore call for the repeal of all legal tender laws and of all compulsory governmental units of account. We support the right to private ownership of and contracts for gold. We favor the elimination of all government fiat money and all government minted coins. All restrictions upon the private minting of coins should be abolished so that minting will be open to the competition of the free market. We favor the use of a free market commodity standard, such as gold coin denominated by units of weight.
We favor free market banking. We call for the abolition of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Banking System, and all similar state and federal agencies. Such governmental- ly sponsored credit agencies as the Federal Home Loan Banks, the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Student Loan Marketing Association, and the various institutions supervised by the Farm Credit Administration must either be abolished or totally privatized.
To complete the separation of bank and state, we favor the Jacksonian independent treasury system, in which all government funds are held by the government itself and not deposited in any private banks. The only further necessary check upon monetary inï¬‚ation is the consistent application of the general protection against fraud to the minting and banking industries.
Pending its abolition, the Federal Reserve System, in order to halt rampant
inï¬‚ation, must immediately cease its expansion of the quantity of money. As interim measures, we further support: a the lifting of all restrictions on branch banking; b. the repeal of all state usury laws; c. the removal of the prohibition of interest for demand deposits; d. the abolition or Federal Reserve control over the interest paid on time deposits; e. the elimination of margin requirements on stock purchases; and f. the revocation of all other selective credit controls.
4. BALANCED BUDGETS
We support the drive for a constitutional amendment requiring the national government to balance its budget, and also support similar amendments to require balanced state budgets. To be effective, a balanced budget amendment should provide:
a. that neither Congress nor the President is permitted to override this requirement;
b. that all â€œoff-budget fundsâ€ are included in the budget;
c. that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures and not by raising taxes; and
d. that no exception is made for periods of national emergency.
We condemn all coercive monopolies. We recognize that government is the source of monopoly, through its grants of legal privilege to special interests in the economy. In order to abolish monopolies, we advocate a strict separation of business and state.
â€Antiâ€”trustâ€ laws do not prevent monopoly, but foster it by limiting competi- tion. We therefore call for the repeal of all "anti-trustâ€ laws, including the Robinson-Patman Act which restricts price discounts, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and the Clayton Anti-Trust Act. We further call for the abolition of the Federal Trade Commission and the anti-trust division of 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 incorporation should not include grants of monopoly privilege. In particular, we oppose special limits on the liability of corporations for damages caused in noncontrac- tual transactions. We also oppose state or federal limits on the size of private companies and on the right of companies to merge. We further oppose efforts, in the name of social responsibility or any other reason, to expand federal charter- ing of corporations into a pretext for government control of business.
In order to achieve a free economy in which government victimizes no one for the benefit of anyone else, we oppose all government subsidies to business, labor, education, agriculture, science, broadcasting, the arts, sports, and any other special interest. Relief or exemption from involuntary taxation should not be considered a subsidy. We oppose any resumption of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, or any similar plan which would force the taxpayer to subsidize and sustain uneconomic business enterprises.
7. TARIFFS AND QUOTAS
Like subsidies, tariffs and quotas serve only to give special treatment to favored interests and to diminish the welfare of other individuals. These mea- sures also reduce the scope of contracts and understanding among different peoples. We therefore support abolition of all tariffs and quotas as well as the Tariff Commission and the Customs Court.
8. PUBLIC UTILITIES
We advocate the termination of government-created franchise privileges and governmental monopolies for such services as garbage collection, fire protec- tion, electricity, natural gas, telephone, or water supplies. Furthermore, all rate regulation in these industries should be abolished. The right to offer such services on the market should not be curtailed by law.
Current problems in such areas as energy, pollutionâ€˜, health care delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are primarily caused, by government. The welfare state, supposedly designed to aid the poor, is in reality a growing and parasitic burden on all productive people, and injures, rather than benefits, the poor themselves.
We recognize the great mischief that a host of government interferences have caused in the energy industry, and the even greater mischiefâ€”amounting to a total regimentation of the American economy and societyâ€”that is threatened by recent and proposed interventions.
We oppose a_ll government control of energy pricing, allocation, and produc- tion, such as that imposed by the Federal Power Commission, the Department of Energy, state public utility commissions, and state pro-rationing agencies. Thus, we advocate decontrol of the prices of oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. We call for the immediate decontrol of gasoline prices, and elimination of the federal allocation program for crude oil and gasoline. We condemn the proposed â€œwindfall profits taxâ€ which is really a graduated excise tax on the production of crude oil, and which would cripple the discovery and production of oil. We oppose all government subsidies for energy research, development, and operation. We oppose a subsidized Federal Energy Security Corporation, which would develop synthetic fuels. We also oppose its financing via the issue of small bonds, which would rapidly tend to lose their value in an era of inï¬‚ation. We further oppose government subsidies to a solar development bank for solar energy.
We oppose all direct and indirect government participation in the nuclear energy industry, including subsidies, research and development funds, guaran~ teed loans, waste disposal subsidies and federal uranium enrichment facilities. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission should be abolished; the imposition of full 1iabilityâ€”not government agencies-â€”should regulate nuclear power. The Price- Anderson Act, through which the government limits liability for nuclear acci- dents and furnishes partial payment at taxpayer expense, should be repealed. Nuclear energy should be denationalized and the industryâ€™s assets transferred to the private sector. Any nuclear power industry must meet the test of a free market.
We support abolition of the Department of Energy. We oppose the proposed federal Energy Mobilization Board, which would wield dictatorial powers in order to override normal legal processes. We oppose all government conserva- tion schemes through the use of taxes, subsidies and regulations, as well as the dictated conversion of utilities and other industries to coal. We denounce all temperature level regulations as despotic and oppressive. We oppose any attempt to give the federal government a monopoly over the importation of oil, or to develop a subsidized government energy corporation whose privileged status would be used as a yardstick for condemning private enterprise. We oppose the â€œstrategic storageâ€ program, any attempts to compel national self-sufficiency in oil, any extension of the cargo preference law to imports, and any attempts to raise oil tariffs or impose oil import quotas. We oppose all efforts to nationalize energy companies or break up vertically and horizontally inte- grated energy companies or force them to divest their pipelines.
We consider all attempts to impose an operating or standby program of gasoline rationing as unworkable, unnecessary, and tyrannical.
We favor the creation of a free market in oil by instituting a system of full property rights in underground oil and by repeal of all federal and state controls over price and output in the petroleum industry. All governmentâ€”owned energy resources should be turned over to private ownership.
We support the development of an objective system defining individual property rights to air and water. We hold that ambiguities in the area of these rights (e.g., the concept of â€œpublic propertyâ€) are a primary cause of our deteriorating environment. Present legal principles which allow the violation of individual rights by polluters must be reversed. The laws of nuisance and negligence should be modified to cover damage done by air, water, and noise pollution. While we maintain that no one has the right to violate the legitimate property rights of others by polluting, we strenuously oppose all attempts to transform the defense of such rights into any restriction of the efforts of
individuals to advance technology, to expand production, or to use their proper- ty peacefully. We therefore support the abolition of the Environmental Protec- tion Agency.
3. CONSUMER PROTECTION
We support strong and effective laws against fraud and misrepresentation. However, we oppose paternalistic regulations which dictate to consumers, impose prices, define standards for products, or otherwise restrict risk-taking and free choice. We oppose governmental promotion or imposition of the metric system.
We oppose all so-called â€œconsumer protectionâ€ legislation which infringes upon voluntary trade, and call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. We advocate the repeal of all laws banning or restricting the advertising of prices, products, or services. We specifically oppose laws requir- ing an individual to buy or use so-called â€˜ â€˜self-protectionâ€ equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.
We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration, which has jeopardized airline safety by arrogating to itself a monopoly of safety regulation and enforcement.
We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration and particu- larly its policies of mandating specific nutritional requirements, and denying the right of manufacturers to make non-fraudulent claims concerning their products. We advocate an end to compulsory ï¬‚uoridation of water supplies. We specifi- cally oppose government regulation of the price, potency, or quantity able to be produced or purchased of drugs or other consumer goods. There should be no laws regarding what substances (nicotine, alcohol, hallucinogens, narcotics, laetrile, artificial sweeteners, vitamin supplements, or other â€œdrugsâ€™ â€™) a person may ingest or otherwise use.
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. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.
As an interim measure to encourage the growth of private schools and variety in education, we support taxâ€”credits for tuition and for other expenditures related to an individualâ€™s education. We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or nonâ€”profit.
We condemn compulsory education laws, which spawn prisonlike schools with many of the problems associated with prisons, and we call for the immedi- ate repeal of such laws.
Until government involvement in education is ended, we support elimination within the governmental school system, of forced busing and corporal punish- ment. We further support immediate reduction of tax support for schools, and removal of the burden of school taxes from those not responsible for the education of children.
Recognizing that the American people are not a collective national resource, we oppose all coercive measures for population control.
We oppose government actions which either compel or prohibit abortion, sterilization, or any other forms of birth control. Specifically, we condemn the vicious practice of forced sterilization of welfare recipients or of mentally retarded or â€œgenetically defectiveâ€ individuals.
We regard the tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies to be aggravated, if not created, by government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition. Therefore, we call for the repeal of all laws which restrict anyone, including children, from engaging in voluntary exchanges of 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 opportunity to choose alternatives to abortion, including but not restricted to the centralizing and hamstringing of adoption services and the prohibition of decentralized, market oriented adoption services.
We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children. We urge the elimination of special tax burdens on single people and couples with few or no children.
Government interference in transportation is characterized by monopolistic restriction, corruption, and gross inefficiency. We therefore call for the dissolu- tion of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation, the Interstate Commerce Commisson, the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Federal Maritime Commission, Conrail and Amtrak. We demand the return of Amezicaâ€™s railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.
As interim measures, we advocate an immediate end to government regula- tion of private transit organizations and to government favors to the transporta- tion industry. In particular, we support the immediate repeal of all laws restrict- ing transit competition, such as the granting of taxicab and bus monopolies and the prohibition of private jitney services. We urge immediate deregulation of the trucking industry. Likewise, we advocate the immediate repeal of the federally imposed 55 mph speed limit.
7. POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT
Government fiscal and monetary measures that artificially foster business expansion guarantee an eventual increase in unemployment rather than curtail- ing 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 which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws, so-called â€œprotectiveâ€ labor leg- islation 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.
We seek the elimination of occupational licensure, which prevents human beings from working in whatever trade they wish. We call for the abolition of all federal, state, and local government agencies which restrict entry into any profession, such as education and law, or regulate its practice. No worker should be legally penalized for lack of certification, and no consumer should be legally restrained from hiring unlicensed individuals.
We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and â€œaid to the poorâ€ programs. All these government programs are privacyâ€”invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.
To speed the time when governmental programs are replaced by effective private institutions, we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitable contributions.
8. HEALTH CARE
We support the right of individuals to .contract freely with practitioners of their choice, whether licensed by the government or not, for all health services. We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services. We favor the aboli- tion of Medicare and Medicaid programs. We further oppose governmental infringement of the health care practitioner-patient relationship through regula- tory agencies such as the Professional Standards Review Organization. We oppose any state or federal area planning boards whose stated purpose is to consolidate health services or avoid their duplication. We oppose laws limiting the liability of health care professionals for negligence, and those regulating the supply of legal aid on a contingency fee basis. We oppose laws which invalidate settlements of malpractice suits through the use of private arbitration services. We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.
We condemn attempts at the federal, state, or local level to cripple the advance of science by governmental restrictions on research. In particular, we oppose government attempts to suppress recombinant DNA research, which has opened the way for increased supply of medically useful human proteins, such as insulin, and shows promise of revealing the nature of hereditary diseases, the structure of bacteria and viruses, and the nature of the immune response. We oppose any laws which limit liability for injuries arising from recombinant DNA research. 7
We call for the repeal of laws compelling individuals to submit to medical treatment, testing, or to the administration of drugs or other substances.
9. RESOURCE USE
The role of planning is properly the responsibility and right of the owners of the land, water, or other natural resources. We therefore urge an end to governmental control of land use through such methods as urban renewal, zoning laws, building codes, eminent domain, regional planning, or purchase of development rights with tax money, which not only violate property rights, but discriminate against minorities and tend to cause higher rents and housing shortages. We are further opposed to the use of tax funds for the acquisition or maintenance of land or other real property. We recognize the legitimacy of private, voluntary land use covenants.
We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households. We oppose all government controls over, or rationing of, water; these despotic measures can only aggravate a water shortage. We oppose the construction of government dams. We favor the privatization of presently government-occupied dam sites. We also favor the abolition of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers. ~
Instances of government recognition of homesteading in which the govern- ment reserves surface mining rights to itself are invalid and forced surface- mining of such lands is a violation of the rights of the present land holders. We call for the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Land Management and the transfer to private ownership of federally held so-called public lands, which constitute more than 80% of certain states. Further, we oppose any use of executive orders invoking the Antiquities Act to set aside public lands in Alaska and elsewhere,
Americaâ€™s free market in agriculture, the system that feeds much of the world, has been plowed under by government intervention. Government subsidies, regulations and taxes have encouraged the centralization of agricultural businesses. Government export policies hold American farmers hostage toâ€˜ the political whims of both Republican and Democratic administrations. Government embargoes on grain sales and other obstacles to free trade have frustrated the development of free and stable trade relationships between peoples of the world.
The agricultural problems facing America today are not insoluble, however. Governmental policies can be reversed. Farmers and consumers alike should be free from the meddling and counterproductive measures of the federal govern- mentâ€”free to grow, sell, and buy what they want, in the quantity they 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 regulations on agricultural production;
c. deregulation of the transportation industry and abolition of the Interstate Commerce Commission;
d. repeal of federal inheritance taxes; and
e. ending government involvement in agricultural pest control. A policy of pest control whereby" private individuals or corporations bear full respon- sibility for damages they inï¬‚ict on their neighbors should be implemented.
11. OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT (OSHA)
We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This law denies the right to liberty and property to both employer and employee, and it interferes in their private contractual relationsâ€˜. OSI-lAâ€™s arbitrary and high- handed actions invade property rights, raise costs, and are an injustice imposed on business.
12. SOCIAL SECURITY
We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary. Victims of the Social Seucrity tax should have a claim against govemrnent property. We note that members of the U.S. Congress, and certain federal, state and local government employees, have been accorded the privilege of non-participation, one which is not accorded the working men and women of America.
13. POSTAL SERVICE
We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages government surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.
14. CIVIL SERVICE
We call for the abolition of the Civil Service system, which entrenches a permanent and growing bureaucracy upon the land. We recognize that the Civil Service is inherently a system of concealed patronage. We therefore recommend retum to the Jeffersonian principle of rotation in office.
15. CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS
We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission, which suppress the voluntary support of candidates and parties, compel taxpayers to subsidize politicians and political views they do not wish to support, invade the privacy of American citizens, and entrench the Republican and Democratic parties. Such laws areiparticularly dangerous as they enable the government to control the elections of its own administrators and beneficiaries, thereby removing it even futher from public accountability. We call for the repeal of restrictive state laws that effectively prevent new parties and independent candidates from being on the ballot.
16. NONE OF THE ABOVE
In order to expand the range of choice in federal, state and local elections of government officials, we propose the addition of the alternative "None of the above is acceptableâ€ to all ballots. In the event that â€œnone of the aboveâ€ wins a plurality of votes, the elective office for that term will remain unfilled and unfunded.
American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world and the defenseâ€”against attack from abroadâ€”of the lives, liberty and property of the American people on American soil. Provision of such defense must respect the individual rights of people everywhere.
The principle of non-intervention should guide relationships between govern- ments. The United States government should return to the historic libertarian traditon of avoiding entangling alliances, abstaining totally from foreign quar- rels and imperialist adventures, and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade, travel, and immigration.
The important principle in foreign policy should be the elimination of in- tervention by the United States government in the affairs of other nations. We would negotiate with any foreign government without necessarily conceding moral legitimacy to that government. We favor a drastic reduction in cost and size of our total diplomatic establishment. In addition, we favor the repeal of the Logan Act, which prohibits private American citizens from engaging in dip- lomatic negotiations with foreign governments.
2. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND FOREIGN INVESTMENTS
We recognize that foreign governments might violate the rights of Americans traveling, living, or owning property abroad, just as those governments violate the rights of their own citizens. We condemn all such violations, whether the victims are U.S. citizens or not.
Any effort, however, to extend the protection of the United States govern- ment to U.S. citizens when they or their property fall within the jurisdiction
of a foreign government involves potential military intervention. We therefore call upon the United States government to adhere rigidly to the principle that all U.S. citizens travel, live, and own property abroad at their own risk. In particular, we opposeâ€”as an unjust tax-supported subsidy~â€”any protection of the foreign investments of U.S. citizens or businesses.
The issuance of U.S. passports should cease. We look forward to an era in which American citizens and foreigners can travel anywhere in the world without 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 US passports are issued, they should be issued to all individuals without discrimination and should not be revoked for any reason.
3. HUMAN RIGHTS
We condemn the violations of human rights in all nations around the world. We particularly abhor the widespread and increasing use of torture for interroga- tion and punishment. We call upon all the worldâ€™s governments to fully imple- ment the principles and prescriptions contained in this platform and thereby usher in a new age of international harmony based upon the universal reign of liberty.
Until such a global triumph for liberty, we support both political and revolu- tionary actions by individuals and groups against governments that violate rights. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn, however, the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political and revolutionary groups.
The violation of rights and liberty by other governments can never justify foreign intervention by the United States government. Today, no government is innocent of violating human rights and liberty, and none can approach the issue with clean hands. In keeping with our goal of peaceful international relations, we call upon the United States government to cease its hypocrisy and its sullying of the good name of human rights. Only private individuals and organizations have any place speaking out on this issue.
4. THE UNITED NATIONS
We support immediate withdrawal of the United States from, and an end of its financial support for, the United Nations. We also call for the United Nations to withdraw itself from the United States. We oppose any treaty that the United States may enter into or any existing treaty under which individual rights would be violated.
We recognize the right to political secession. This includes the right of secession by political entities, private groups or individuals. 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.
1. MILITARY POLICY
We recognize the necessity for maintaining a sufficient military force to defend the United States against aggression. We should reduce the overall cost and size of our total governmental defense establishment.
We call for the withdrawal of all American troops from bases abroad. In particular, we call for the removal of the U.S. Air Force as well as ground troops from the Korean peninsula.
We call for withdrawal from multilateral and bilateral commitments to military intervention (such as to NATO and to South Korea) and for abandon- ment of interventionist doctrines (such as the Monroe Doctrine).
We view the mass destruction potential of modern warfare as the greatest threat to the lives and liberties of the American people and all the people of the globe. We favor international negotiations toward general and complete dis- armament down to police levels, provided every necessary precaution is taken to effectively protect the lives and the rights of the American people. Particularly important is the mutual disarmament of nuclear weapons and missiles, and other instruments of indiscriminate mass destruction of civilians.
2. PRESIDENTIAL WAR POWERS
We call for the reform of the Presidential War Powers Act to end the Presidentâ€™s power to initiate military action, and for the abrogation of all Presidential declarations of â€œstates of emergency.â€ There must be no further secret commitments and unilateral acts of military intervention by the Executive Branch.
We favor a Constitutional amendment limiting the presidential role as Com- mander-in-Chief to its original meaning, namely that of head of the armed forces in wartime. The Commander-in-Chief role, correctly understood, confers no additional authority on the President.
1. FOREIGN AID
We support the elimination of taxâ€”supported military, economic, technical and scientific aid to foreign governments or other organizations. We support the abolition of government underwriting of arms sales. We further support aboli- tion of federal agencies which make American taxpayers guarantors of export- related loans, such as the Exportâ€”Import Bank and the Commodity Credit Corporation. We also oppose the participation of the U.S. Government in international commodity cartels which restrict production, limit technological innovation, and raise prices.
We call for the repeal of all prohibitions on individuals or firms contributing or selling goods and services to any foreign country or organization.
2. INTERNATIONAL MONEY
We favor the withdrawal of the United States from all international paper money and other inï¬‚ationary credit schemes. We favor withdrawal from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
3. UNOWNED RESOURCES
We oppose any recognition of fiat claims by national governments or interna- tional 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 urge the development of objective international standards for recognizing homesteaded claims to private ownership of such forms of property as transportation lanes, broadcast bands, mineral rights, fishing rights and ocean farming rights. All laws, treaties, and international agreements which would prevent or restrict homesteading of unowned resources should be abolished. We specifically call for an end to U.S. participation in the current Law of the Sea treaty negotiations because these proceedings exclude private property princi- ples.
United States colonialism has left a legacy of property confiscation, economic manipulation, and over-extended defense boundaries. We favor immediate independence for all colonial dependencies, such as Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, both to free these lands from United States dominance, and to free the United States from massive subsidization of them at taxpayerâ€™s expense. Land seized by the U.S. government should be returned to its rightful owners.
The United States should liquidate its governmentâ€”run canal operation in Panama and withdraw all U.S. troops from the Canal Zone.
2. THE MIDDLE EAST
We call upon the United States government to cease all interventions in the Middle East, including military and economic aid, guarantees, and diplomatic meddling, and to cease limitation of private foreign aid, both military and economic. Voluntary cooperation with any economic boycott should not be treated as a crime.
We oppose the incorporation of the Persian Gulf and the countries surround- ing it into the U.S. defense perimeter. We oppose the creation of new US. bases and sites for the pre-positioning of military materiel in the Middle East region. We condemn the stationing of American military troops in the Sinai peninsula as a trip-wire that could easily set off a new world war.
We condemn the expenditure of billions of American tax dollars to buy Israeli and Egyptian participation in the Camp David Accords.
We condemn the growing alliance between the United States government and the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China, just as we condemn the previous alliance with the Republic of China on Taiwan. China should not be considered as part of Americaâ€™s defense perimeter, nor should the United States government pursue joint military or diplomatic policies with China in Southeast Asia or Africa.
4. SOUTHERN AFRICA
We call upon the United States to cease all interventions in Southern Africa, including military and economic aid, guarantees, and backing of political groups, and to refrain from restricting American trade and investment in the region.
5. SPACE EXPLORATION
We oppose all government restrictions upon voluntary peaceful use of outer space. We condemn all international attempts to prevent or limit private explora- tion, industrialization, and colonization of the moon, planets, asteroids, satellite orbits, Lagrange libration points, or any other extraterrestrial resources. We specifically call for the repudiation of the U.N. Moon Treaty. We support the abolition of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the priva- tization of all artificial satellites.
Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordi- nance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval.
Notes about this page
OCR and initial wiki entry by Ken Moellman 5/31/2015
1980 Libertarian Party Platform
|1982 Libertarian Party Platform
1984 Libertarian Party Platform