Serf's Up

Serf’s up, comrade! Quit your Stalin, and like the video! A new Austrian Economics music video from the Future of Freedom Foundation, called Serfdom USA! If you like the Beach Boys and Hayek, then this is a video you won’t want to Mises!

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Why Are Libertarians Different? Intent vs. Outcome

This article was featured in The Advocates for Self-Government's weekly newsletter, The Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here. You can also read it in full on their website here. 

By Bret Bittner 

We may look the same. We may use the same language. We put our pants on one leg at a time. Most of us, anyway. 

We certainly have a unique way of thinking though. 

Brett BittnerOf course, our first instinct is not to suggest that “there ought to be a law.” That is the beginning of how we differ from non-libertarians. 

The basis of not defaulting to government intervention lies a bit deeper than instinct. We want a lot of the same results: a well-educated society, an end to homelessness, peace with our neighbors, and the freedom to live our lives.

We also like to point out unintended consequences of policy decisions. Inevitably, every government policy idea devised sought to solve a problem, but not everyone follows where that policy idea takes us beyond the policymaker’s intent. 

Libertarians recognize intent for what it is. We recognize that someone, somewhere intended their idea to fix an existing problem, prevent a future problem, or make lives better. We also see past intent to look at what happens when this intended solution gets implemented. We see whether it, or something similar, worked in the past. We also examine what we describe as unintended consequences that are likely to occur if the policymakers enact the proposed solution.

We focus on outcome. 

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A Vision for the Libertarian Party

Although it's difficult for many libertarian to accept, in order to win elections we need to win the votes of non-libertarians. And in order to do that, we must demonstrate to them that we can govern effectively, even while reducing government.

by Joshua Katz

I'm bothered by the fact that too many of our votes come from our own members or other committed libertarians. In a time when libertarian sentiment is growing, the key is generating votes from those who are not committed libertarians, certainly not Libertarians, but have some libertarian sentiments.

Joshua KatzIf we smash the Republicans and Democrats together and call them Coke, then we are Pepsi, albeit the distances are wrong. Coke has, since the Coke/Pepsi challenge, consistently advertised with things irrelevant to Coke - dancing, singing, a Coke lifestyle, etc. Pepsi has continually claimed to taste better. I happen to think Pepsi does taste better. The Libertarian Party, like Pepsi, expects the superiority of our policies to stand on its own. This is not the way the world works.

What can Libertarians do to enhance their competitiveness and to get non-base votes? In a word - credibility. We, as a group and as individual candidates, must give voters reason to believe that Libertarians will govern effectively and achieve what we say we will do. If the LP were, in some manner, put in charge of a town council tomorrow, is it likely that the town would immediately become a libertarian paradise? I suspect that such a town would be more libertarian on average than most, but not as libertarian as we would like it to be, unless we seriously study governance first.

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