STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
We, the members of the Libertarian Party of Livingston County, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state, and defend the rights of the individual.
We hold that each individual has the right to exercise sole dominion over his own life, and has the right to live his life in whatever manner he chooses, so long as he does not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live their lives 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 life of the individual and seize the fruits of his labor without his consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that the sole function of government, should it exist, is the protection of the rights of each individual: namely (1) the right to life — and accordingly we oppose the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — and 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 property — and accordingly we oppose all interference with private property, such as, but not limited to, confiscation, nationalization, eminent domain, robbery, trespass, fraud and misrepresentation.
Since government, should it exist, has only one legitimate function, the protection of individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. Men 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 on a free market.
INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND CIVIL ORDER
Should government exist, it’s only proper purpose is the protection of the individual. No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Government, should it exist, is instituted to protect individual rights. Government, should it exist, must be limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself.
We hold that no action which does not infringe the rights of others can properly be termed a crime. We favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes without victims” now incorporated in Federal, state and local laws — such as, but not limited to, laws on voluntary sexual relations, drug use/sale/distribution, gambling, and attempted suicide.
Due Process for Criminally Accused
Until such time as a person is proved guilty of a crime, that person should be accorded all possible respect for his individual rights. We are thus opposed to reduction of present safeguards for the rights of the criminally accused. Specifically, we are opposed to preventive detention, so-called “no-knock laws” and all other similar measures which threaten existing rights. We further pledge to do all that is possible to defend the right to a speedy trial. We support full restitution for all loss suffered by persons arrested, indicted, imprisoned, tried, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings against them which do not result in their conviction. We look ultimately to the voluntary funding of this restitution.
Freedom of Speech and The Press
We pledge to oppose all forms of censorship, whatever the medium involved. Recent events have demonstrated that individual’s already precarious free speech rights are becoming still more precarious. Regulation of speech, in any form, can no longer be tolerated. We support repeal of pornography laws.
Protection of Privacy
Electronic and other covert government surveillance of citizens should be ended. Those complicit with the surveillance of citizens should be held criminally responsible. The National Census and other compilations of data on citizens should be conducted on a strictly voluntary basis.
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
In recognition of the fact that the individual is his own last source of self-defense, we support the repeal of all regulation on the ownership and trade of arms. We oppose compulsory arms registration.
We oppose the draft (Selective Service), believing that the use of force to require individuals to serve in the armed forces or anywhere else is a violation of their rights, and that a volunteer militia is a more effective means of national defense than the involuntary servitude exemplified by the draft. We further pledge to work for a declaration of unconditional amnesty for all who have been convicted of, or who now stand accused of, draft evasion and for all military deserters.
We oppose all government interference with the free movement of individuals across borders. We oppose the limitation of sales of property to, employment of,or any other governmental discrimination of individuals based on place of birth.
We hold that property rights are individual rights and, as such, are entitled to the same respect and protection as all other individual rights. We further hold that the owner of property has the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy his property without interference, until and unless the exercise of his control infringes the valid rights of others. We shall thus oppose restrictions upon the use of property which do not have as their sole end the protection of valid rights. We also oppose assaults on property rights by the state such as but not limited to defense of “intellectual property”, arbitrarily granting property title, civil asset forfeiture and eminent domain.
Freedom of Association
We oppose any government interference with the free association of consenting individuals. Furthermore we oppose governmental involvement in said associations such as, but not limited to, marriage, or parent-child relationships.
Unions and Collective Bargaining
We support the right of free men to voluntarily associate in, or to establish, labor unions. We support the concept that an employer may recognize a union as the collective bargaining agent of some or all of his employees. We oppose governmental interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or the obligation to bargain. We demand that the Michigan Right to Work Act be repealed. We recognize voluntary contracts between employers and labor unions as being legally and morally binding on the parties to such contracts.
TRADE AND THE ECONOMY
Because each person has the right to offer his 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 government, should it exist, in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes and protect contracts, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.
We favor the establishment of a sound money system. We thus support the private ownership of gold, silver, Bitcoin and all other mediums of exchange, and demand repeal of all legal tender laws.
Government intervention in the economy imperils both the material prosperity and personal freedom of every American. We therefore support the following specific immediate reforms:
(a) reduction of both taxes and government spending;
(b) an end to deficit budgets;
(c) a halt to inflationary monetary policies, and elimination, with all deliberate speed, of the Federal Reserve System;
(d) the removal of all governmental impediments to free trade — including the repeal of the Michigan Right to Work Act, the Interstate Commerce Act, all antitrust laws, all copyright and patent laws, and the abolition of all Executive departments which interfere with free trade, as the most pressing and critical impediments;
(e) and the repeal of all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates.
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, the arts, or any other special interests. Those who have entered into these activities with promises of government subsidy will be forewarned by being given a cutoff date beyond which all government aid to their enterprise will be terminated. Relief or exemption from involuntary taxation shall not be considered a subsidy.
Tariffs and Quotas
Like subsidies, tariffs and quotas serve only to give special treatment to favored interests and to diminish the welfare of other citizens. We therefore support abolition of all tariffs and quotas as well as the Tariff Commission and the Customs Court.
Since we believe that every man is entitled to keep the fruits of his labor, we are opposed to all government activity which consists of the forcible collection of money or goods from citizens in violation of their individual rights. Specifically, we support the eventual repeal of all taxation. We support a system of voluntary fees for services rendered as a method for financing government, should it exist, in a free society.
Government intervention in current problems, such as crime, pollution, defraud of consumers, health problems, overpopulation, decaying cities, and poverty, is properly limited to protection of individual rights, should it exist. In those areas where individual rights or voluntary relations are not involved, we support an immediate reduction of government’s present role, and ultimately, a total withdrawal
of government intervention, together with the establishment of a framework in which private, voluntary solutions to these problems can be developed and implemented.
Militarization of Police
We oppose the use of weapons of war by government agents on the streets of the United States. We oppose the use of military hardware such as, but not limited to, MRAP tanks, battle fatigues, and assault weapons by police forces.
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. concepts such as “public property”) are a primary cause of our deteriorating environment. Whereas we maintain that no one has the right to violate the legitimate property rights of others by pollution, we shall 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 property peacefully.
We strongly oppose fraud and misrepresentation. We shall, however, oppose present and prospective so-called “consumer-protection” legislation which infringes upon voluntary trade.
We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children. We further support the repeal of all laws restricting voluntary birth control or voluntary termination of pregnancies. We shall oppose all coercive measures to control population growth.
We support the repeal of all compulsory education laws, and an end to government operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools.
Poverty and Unemployment
We support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment — including, but not limited to, minimum wage laws, so-called “protective” labor legislation for women and children, governmental restrictions on the establishment of private day-care centers, the Michigan Right to Work Act, and licensing requirements. We oppose all government welfare and relief projects and “aid to the poor” programs, inasmuch as they are not within the proper role of government, and do contribute to unemployment. All aid to the poor should come from private sources.
The principles which guide a government, should it exist, in its relationships with other governments, should they exist, are the same as those which guide relationships among individuals and relationships between individuals and governments, should they exist. It must protect its citizens against the initiation of force from would be aggressors. While we recognize the existence of authoritarian governments, we do not recognize them as legitimate governments. We will grant them no moral sanction. We will not deal with them as if they were legitimate governments. To do so is to ignore the rights of their victims and rob those victims of the knowledge that we know they have been wronged.
We support an end to the Federal foreign aid program.
Ownership in Unclaimed Property
We pledge to oppose recognition of claims by fiat, by nations or international bodies, of presently unclaimed property, such as, but not limited to, the ocean floor and planetary bodies. We urge the development of objective standards for recognizing claims of ownership in such property.
Currency Exchange Rates
We pledge to oppose all governmental attempts to peg or regulate currency exchange rates. International trade can truly be free only when currency exchange rates reflect the free-market value of respective currencies.
The United States should abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world, and should not enter into permanent alliances with other countries. We should in particular disengage from any present alliances which include authoritarian governments.
We should reduce the size of our national defense apparatus, and thus reduce, and eventually eliminate, the overall cost and size of our total defense establishment.
We shall support recognition of the right to secede. Individuals or groups which do secede should be recognized by the United States as independent political entities where: (1) secession is supported by a majority within the political unit, (2) the majority does not attempt suppression of the dissenting minority, and (3) the government of the new entity is at least as compatible with human freedom as that from which it seceded.
The United Nations
We support withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations.