October 29, 2004 by [email protected]
Michael Badnarik for President
Richard Campagna for Vice
We know that some thinking people are not going to take our advice and stay home from u.$. elections. One consideration is Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik.
Badnarik offers what Howard Dean apparently offered--opposition to the Iraq War and the Patriot Act--and without the baggage of being part of a major corporate party. Badnarik has the sense to place these two issues most prominently on his web page. When we recall that Kerry co-authored the Patriot Act and voted for the Iraq War, it's hard to deny that Badnarik is an alternative.
In truth, if Badnarik could deliver on the often-stated Libertarian position that "The U.S. Government's foreign imperialism has always ended with horrendous results. . . By promoting national defense rather than international offense, Badnarik would bring home our troops from the over 130 countries where the U.S. Military currently maintains a presence, and subsequently secure America more than any current plan offered by the Democrats and Republicans"--we should put up with everything else he says and back him to the hilt. It's completely unrealistic to think there will ever be global peace and security without this modicum of understanding that Badnarik shows.
Even Ralph Nader does not put such an emphasis on anti-militarism; although Ralph Nader's theory of foreign policy might be a little more sophisticated. Based on what Ralph Nader has said about immigration and treaties, we'd also have to say Bush would be better on the question of the INS and Badnarik far better than both.
There is no doubting that libertarianism is quintessentially Amerikan. At the same time, given what we have seen from the other candidates, there is no doubt that we respect voters who look at the Patriot Act and the war and decide Badnarik is their man. Libertarian voters may really be good people with some illusions about how the world works. It's harder to say that people voting for Bush or Kerry have good intentions.
Patriot Act, Iraq war, INS--thus far we agree. Libertarians may be shocked to hear that we even agree with this: "Free trade is a necessary component in ushering in a peaceful tomorrow." The difference is what stage we believe free trade occurs at.
In case libertarians have not noticed, they have failed in implementing their free trade utopia on the agenda since the late 1700s and the days of Adam Smith. The truth is that the free trade utopia is a subset of the communist utopia. It is simply not possible without communist preconditions.
Capitalism is incompatible with the conditions of free trade. Small businesses inevitably become larger and inevitably form organizations formally or tantamount to government. On this point it hardly matters if a city government hires police or a wealthy company hires Pinkertons. Company towns and public towns often do the same exact things. Nader shares the same underlying confusion as Libertarians about the roots of freedom.
For the foreseeable future there is going to be large scale organization, whether that is a corporation or a government, and bureaucratically-speaking it often does not matter which. The humyn being has no choice but to learn how to organize on a large-scale internationally but consistent with freedom. Along these lines, private property is completely inconsistent with freedom. Either the Libertarians are correct that private property gives rise to freedom or MIM is correct that it is a detriment to freedom.
We say that it is self-evident that economic harmony precedes the elimination of government coercion. Until economic harmony comes about, private interests will seek to use governments to promote their interests. That's exactly why as Badnarik pointed out, the united $tates is involved in 130 countries. It's on account of business relations. What the Libertarians miss is that armies do not deposit themselves in other territories for their own sake. There is an underlying economic reason. Even the fact that people are available for large international armies is a statement about what jobs are and are not available.
Libertarians are weak on the main sources of coercion in the world. Far more people lose their freedom from dying of starvation and simple illnesses that would be prevented by basic health care than by being dissident intellectuals put in prison some where. It also goes without saying that in primitive conditions, there are still the types of social conflicts that lead to state formation. If people are starving, the people with agricultural means of production and the starving are both going to seek a state. The hyper state activity stems from economic conditions.
The lack of effectiveness of Libertarian Party politics stems from an incorrect understanding of how the world works. The lack of understanding is the reason why Libertarians become so faint-of-heart. The original Libertarian Party candidate for president in 1972 has endorsed Bush.(2) In current conditions, MIM is more genuinely Libertarian than most Libertarians. We never waver or wonder whether we should have supported Kerry or Bush the way Libertarians typically do.
People who feel a god-given duty to vote could do worse than cast a protest vote for Libertarians. They do not have the underlying source of the problems nailed down, but they have taken correct stands on some of the main issues of the day. Verbally, Badnarik has taken a stance against imperialism, so a vote for Badnarik cannot be seen as a vote for imperialism, at least on the surface. There can only be a question of whether Libertarians really know how to achieve what they are talking about.