Signal Intelligence About The LP

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Borrowing Ideas From The LPCO Values Statement

Let's try to strip-mine the LP Colorado Platform's Statement of Values for substantive principles to consider including the LPUS platform. 
  • A free people have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not commit fraud or forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
  • In a free society, no one is forced to sacrifice their values for the benefit of others.
  • The exercise of every right imposes an appropriate level of responsibility upon that person.
  • The people do not possess the authority to empower government to infringe upon human or civil rights for any reason.
  • A right is the ultimate personal authority to perform some act. A right can never obligate others to perform an act, as this would force others into servitude.
The LP platform already says the above, sometimes with nearly identical wording.
  • Because the exercise of some rights requires the ability to understand the possible consequences from our actions, some rights may not be realized until an appropriate level of comprehension and responsibility is reached. 
  • The purpose of government is to protect our human and civil rights, establish a judicial system, provide for the common defense, and serve as steward of our public resources.
  • When people violate the rights of others, those individuals forfeit their rights to the extent necessary for justice to be restored. 
The first point here would be a good addition to the discussion of choices in the existing LPUS 1.0. plank.  Maybe something like: "The right to make a choice may not be realized until the individual is capable of understanding its consequences and accepting responsibility for them."

The platform already pretty much says point two in various places, except for the part about public resources.  As a geolibertarian, I would love to add such a statement about the natural commons.  However, that would not get 2/3 approval in St. Louis, and (re-)stating the other things about government would incur much controversy while arguably not adding anything new.  (However, I'm curious whether our anarchists would say that the platform already advocates the existence of the state.)

The third point opens up the debate between restorative justice and retributive justice.  Some influential libertarian thinkers (e.g. Rothbard, Ruwart) reject retributive justice completely.  I personally favor a mixed approach.  This would be controversial, but at least the controversy wouldn't turn on anarchism vs. minarchism.  The sentence itself is probably too vague to pass.  I'd rather invest in language opposing 1) cruel and unusual punishment and 2) prior restraint.
  • While human rights are enjoyed by all people through virtue of our humanity, civil rights are enjoyed only by citizens. To respect civil rights is to acknowledge that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. To deny people their civil rights, such as voting, is to govern without the consent of the people.
  • In contrast to rights, a privilege is permission from an authority to perform some act. While all types of rights are equal, privileges are not equal and give some individuals advantage over others. Because all legitimate power stems from the people, governments may only grant such privileges, typically in the form of licenses or permits, as the people have authorized.
The LPCO values statements doesn't really define "civil rights" except by saying that only citizens have them.  Several of the LPCO planks give examples of civil rights, but it seems more trouble than it's worth to try to classify every right in the LPUS platform as either a "human" or "civil" right.  Also, this terminology seems non-standard, as most things that in America are called "civil rights" are actually "human rights" under LPCO terminology.  We don't want the LPUS to say it opposes "civil rights" for non-citizens.

Nothing currently in the LPUS platform would fall into the category of "privilege".  In fact, the LPCO platform doesn't give any examples either, and just says that marriage is not a privilege.  There's no need to add to the LPUS platform any positive language about "privilege" granted by government.


B. Kalafut said...

That last one on the first list does away with rule of law--the usual crypto-anarchism (or outright nihilism) that should only be "strip mined" for the sake of moving to the rubbish heap.

Unknown said...

B.S. Crap...? Why, after Slavey? Indntured Servant, allowed! NOT 'p-Public servant's AS if Equal to/o general CitzenShip. Goverment, worker's GAVE-up, right's (for a time) Voter's Boot's on their Neck's. Not on the Ground.
Not those (re-)registered or non-! Redress; Bill of Right's