Libertarian Party Radical Caucus (1972)
|Radical Caucus (1972)
|Samuel E Konkin III
The radical caucus (properly lowercase when not abbreviated) was a caucus formed by Samuel L Konklin III (aka SEK3) in 1972. Its recognized opponents included Murray Rothbard and David Nolan. It should not be confused with either the 1979 Radical Caucus or the 2006 Radical Caucus, which are significantly different in important aspects.
Konkin's main goal was the destruction of the Libertarian Party (and especially what the caucus and others referred to as the Partyarchy), although this was not shared by all members of the caucus, who often were focused on decentralization of the party (Rothbard, at this time, was in favor of centralization within the party).
The radical caucus was centered around the Free Libertarian Party of New York in the early to mid 1970s. It especially stood in opposition to the efforts of Gary Greenberg and Murray Rothbard to centralize control of the Libertarian Party. It also appers to have stood in opposition to voting, and for that matter an organized party structure.
At the 1974 Free Libertarian Party state convention (New York), The radical caucus had gained considerable traction due to several of its stances and the ineffective response of the then party leadership, and made headway as part of what Rothbard referred to as a nihilist coalition. SEK3 and other leaders of the caucus stayed off of the convention floor in New York to prevent their own slate from gaining control of the state party leadership (as this would have been purpose-defeating in their view), instead staying outside to sell copies of New Libertarian Notes. Despite this effort, Bill Lawry still won one of the vice-chair seats. 
By at least one account from SEK3, the caucus permanently dissolved after the 1974 Libertarian Party National Convention in Irving, Texas when most of its leadership permanently left the Libertarian Party, never to return (Bill Lawry being a prominent exception).
Evidence does exist to at least suggest, however, that it may have continued into at least 1975. People continued to refer to themselves as members of the radical caucus afterward, and with the exodus of those wanting to dissolve the Libertarian Party and refuse to vote, it's possible that the post-1974 flavor of this caucus was more in line with subsequent radical caucuses.
Surviving documentation of the caucus are hard to find. Here are some of the ones that have been found.
- File:Con Harroff.pdf for MacBride listing three people who might have still been active with the caucus in 1975
- Libertarian Forum volume 6 number 4 The caucus features prominently in Rothbard's report of the 1974 Free LP state convention.
- 2002 SEK3 interview
- Introduction to Agorism See Note 9
- Several documents pertaining to the caucus and to the LP are available in the Agorist Archive.
- See note 9 HERE.
- Libertarian Forum Volume 6 Number 4
- 2002 Interview With Samuel Edward Konkin III, Libertarian Forum Volume 6 Number 4
- Statement by Ohio LP members in favor of MacBride for President, which includes some identified as members of the radical caucus