Free State Project Forum

FSP -- General Discussion => Prospective Participants => Topic started by: socrates on August 09, 2002, 06:37:50 pm

Title: Questions from a prospect
Post by: socrates on August 09, 2002, 06:37:50 pm
OK, I just found out about this yesterday from WW's article (and I haven't read through everything on the site yet to see if these are answered) but here's my Q's to start:

1. Is there a defined platform of specific principles to which the organization (and every member) is committed?
2. If not, is there a plan to define one?
3. If not, is there a plan to address (mitigate the destructive effects on the organization and its goals) all of the differences in opinion that will tear things apart (or facilitate outside efforts to foil the org.)?

I read something the other day that the Lib. party had recently changed its platform to allow for the existence of the CIA and NSA.  This is one of the problems I have had with the party.  Nobody seems to be of like mind on the fundamental issues.  And, most libertarians I come across do not have a solid understanding of why various fundamental tenets are true in a "natural law" context (is there even a common definition of that term?).

Personally, I'm evolving past the libertarian phase into anarchist.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: admin on August 09, 2002, 06:56:25 pm

Personally, I'm evolving past the libertarian phase into anarchist.


socrates,

I think this is where you have to end up if you work things through logically.  That's where I'm arriving too.  Like I heard once:  if you have a cup of coffee and add a drop of poison, what do you have?  a cup of coffee, or a cup of poison?

All the disagreements we have on this forum take place in the context of still having a little state left and how it should wield its power.

Having said that, FSP is not about anarchy.  It's about making things better within the existing system.   Unfortunately, I'm afraid that the disagreements we have about how to deal with the tiny bit of state that is left may end up tearing us apart.  We'll see.

Charles
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: JasonPSorens on August 09, 2002, 07:19:37 pm
Hey, if we get torn apart after reaching the minimal state, that's fine with me! :)

The FSP doesn't define its political principles apart from the fact that all members agree to work for a "society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals' rights to life, liberty, and property."  That includes both anarchists and traditional libertarians, as well as some people who aren't quite libertarians - we're a slightly bigger tent than the Libertarian Party, because we're interested in winning elections.  The LP isn't interested in winning elections but in making a statement, and therefore it is appropriate for it to be as "purist" and doctrinaire as possible.  (That's why I oppose the platform change.)
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Mega Joule on August 09, 2002, 07:21:38 pm
Quote
Quote from: socrates

Personally, I'm evolving past the libertarian phase into anarchist.


I was anarchist before I knew there was a name for the ideas I held to be true.  
Quote

All the disagreements we have on this forum take place in the context of still having a little state left and how it should wield its power.

Having said that, FSP is not about anarchy.  It's about making things better within the existing system.   Unfortunately, I'm afraid that the disagreements we have about how to deal with the tiny bit of state that is left may end up tearing us apart.  We'll see.

Charles

I believe that these fierce debates over what bit of power the government should ultimately control are a healthy expression of the process by which liberty is born.  The founding fathers experienced the same difficulties and out of their historic struggle a great nation arose.  We are in good company, that of rebels and traitors and radical fringe.

Meg
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: socrates on August 10, 2002, 12:03:11 am
Not to be argumentative, but,

(Jason)
Quote
all members agree to work for a "society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals' rights to life, liberty, and property."


If posed the question, wouldn't most people in the US would say that's what we have now?

(Mega)
Quote
The founding fathers experienced the same difficulties and out of their historic struggle a great nation arose.


If you think they did such a good job, why are you involved in this?

My point, and the point of my questions, (for which I assume the answers are "no", "no", and "no") is that something went wrong (for the US) along the way, and that something was probably seeds planted at the inception by "fierce debates" and compromise (note: compromise is bad).

I think it is possible to define a government better, and a government that can survive without mutation and corruption.  But the only way for that to occur is to define it with a solid philosophical foundation in a well established context.  (I'm not sure human society has evolved enough for this to be possible though.)

It sounds like the means to the end that you are operating under is do it like the other guys (Reps, Dems, etc.): Widen your tent by obscuring your values to gain power, then deal with reality when you win.  (And as follows from that practice, reality becomes appeasement and compromise, and compromise begets what we have now.)

The impression I get from the FSP plan and this discussion is that it is like the simplified project plan with the big box in the middle labeled "miracle occurs here".  How can one pledge oneself to a course of action when that course is not defined?  And how can one commit oneself to a group without knowing the underlying principles of that group?

I am not against this effort, but I am only trying to find the substance that will provide me with confidence in it. I had been considering a similar plan (hypothetically) for sometime before I stumbled across your organization.

s
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Matthew on August 10, 2002, 12:08:14 am
I think the course of action is defined quite well.  Just because it might not be able to be explained in one nice sentence long quote doesn't mean its not there.  I think the website clearly states our intended course of action.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Elizabeth on August 10, 2002, 12:08:14 am
Quote

The impression I get from the FSP plan and this discussion is that it is like the simplified project plan with the big box in the middle labeled "miracle occurs here".  How can one pledge oneself to a course of action when that course is not defined?  And how can one commit oneself to a group without knowing the underlying principles of that group?
I am not against this effort, but I am only trying to find the substance that will provide me with confidence in it. I had been considering a similar plan (hypothetically) for sometime before I stumbled across your organization.


What part of the specifics do you not see available to you on the website?

We follow classical liberal principles -- see libertarian.org if you have specific issues.

We are an organization devoted to moving 20,000 or more people to a single state in order secure there a free society.  The strategy will depend upon the state (its legislative setup, its size, its current political makeup) and the members (some of whom will vote, others refuse to vote, etc.).

If you want a laundry list of details on exactly what shade of libertarian every member must be, you will not find one, now or ever.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Mega Joule on August 10, 2002, 01:53:45 am
Quote from: socrates

(Mega)
Quote
The founding fathers experienced the same difficulties and out of their historic struggle a great nation arose.

Quote

If you think they did such a good job, why are you involved in this?


I never said they did it perfectly, but through them we became the freest nation on earth.  They did it right, but we have allowed it to dissolve into the oppressive sludge pond we now live in.

"Every generation needs a new revolution.

Quote

My point, and the point of my questions, (for which I assume the answers are "no", "no", and "no") is that something went wrong (for the US) along the way, and that something was probably seeds planted at the inception by "fierce debates" and compromise (note: compromise is bad).


Something did go wrong, but it was not the result of debate and compromise (without which there could be no nation).  Compromise can be bad, but is not inherently so.  In a nation of widely varying moral and ethical value systems you will never reach an uncompromising, unilateral agreement on the philosophical basis for society.  Without compromise you have one set of tyrants imposing their moral standards and objectives on the will of the rest of the populous.
Quote

I think it is possible to define a government better, and a government that can survive without mutation and corruption.  But the only way for that to occur is to define it with a solid philosophical foundation in a well established context.  (I'm not sure human society has evolved enough for this to be possible though.)

How would you define a government?  Would you use your moral and ethical standards and then suppose that since you must surely be right, everyone should be glad you straightened it all out for them.  Then perhaps you will suppose that they should all worship at your feet and praise you for giving them a one-size-fits-all style of government.  And that this utopia will be in stasis for all eternity, satisfying generation after generation, like babes suckling at their mothers' breasts.

Pure hogwash.  Go work for the tyrants if that's what you believe.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Thomas Jefferson


Meg
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Dex Sinister on August 10, 2002, 02:18:25 am
1. Is there a defined platform of specific principles to which the organization (and every member) is committed?

A defined platform of specific philosophical principles to which the organization is committed? No. The organization prefers to be able to gather members from a wider range of philosophical viewpoints than would be possible with a rigidly defined set of specific philosophical principles.

Did you have a set of principles that you would wish to advance, based on your solid understanding of why various fundamental tenets are true in a "natural law" context? It would seem to me that if your principles are fundamental and ecumenical enough, they might be adopted by consensus of the group, even if the group as a whole preferred not to place such principles as an impediment to joining.

Quote
2. If not, is there a plan to define one?

What would you suggest?

Quote
3. If not, is there a plan to address (mitigate the destructive effects on the organization and its goals) all of the differences in opinion that will tear things apart (or facilitate outside efforts to foil the org.)?

If this were a group you were active in, what would your plan be to mitigate the effects of needing to attract a diverse and not-necessarily-uniform group of people to unite to achieve a common goal of massively reducing the government size in a single state?  

Quote
Most libertarians I come across do not have a solid understanding of why various fundamental tenets are true in a "natural law" context (is there even a common definition of that term?).

The vast majority of people, including libertarians, do not derive their political principles from a single philosophical basis. Most people do not even question the precepts of any number of contradictory political views that they hold, and thus do not even know that they are in conflict with each other. In the context of the FSP, I address that problem by questioning them within this forum. How would you address this difficulty, for a group such as this?

Dex }:>=-
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: socrates on August 10, 2002, 10:46:06 pm
You would have more effect on changing things for the better to start a black ribbon campaign: anonymously wrapping them around trees in the middle of the night, posting and discussing across the internet and in other real world groups the ribbons, and how they signify the death of the Constitution.  Even the limited group that you have now could spark nationwide interest and attention to the Constitution and its meaning/intent.

As for my interest in (and what I've learned of) the FSP, I'm sorry that your organization is so unconcerned with basic cause and effect.  I wish you well in your efforts.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Elizabeth on August 10, 2002, 11:36:45 pm
Mouseborg, you're my hero.  :)
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Steve on August 11, 2002, 05:18:21 am
Quote
Personally, I'm evolving past the libertarian phase into anarchist.


I call myself an "evolutionary anarcho-capitalist", conceding that the state will have to be reduced over time before it is eliminated.

Quote
something went wrong (for the US) along the way


Yes, it's called entropy.  Mechanisms, even well-designed ones, eventually develop rattles and break down, unless they receive proper maintenance from trained technicians.  The US Constitution flew for a very long time with relatively minor problems.  It has one of the best safety records of any political system on the planet (maybe the Swiss and the UK could beat it), and is therefore a design to be emulated, if not copied.  Do we need a Constitution 1.1, and 2.0?  Yes, of course.  But let's evolve, based on past success, and not do a total re-write.  Look what happened to Netscape....

Quote
As for my interest in (and what I've learned of) the FSP, I'm sorry that your  organization is so unconcerned with basic cause and effect.  I wish you well in your efforts.


Spoken like a true libertarian, unconcerned with cooperation or achieving success.  Look, man, read the web site or just scan the posts: we are a normal libertarian distribution like you find throughout the libertarian community.  We are not a party, that is what the LP is for.  We just want to form a critical mass to enable the runaway reaction to take off.  Boom--political explosion!  There is no other way: surrounded by inert human material, libertarians today are neutralized and harmless.

Maybe the solution is for us to stop avoiding the word "libertarian".  The euphemism "liberty-oriented" begs definition.  If we use "libertarian", we can just refer people (as Elizabeth did above) to sites like www.libertarian.org .

Quote
Charles wrote:
if you have a cup of coffee and add a drop of poison, what do you have?  a cup of coffee, or a cup of poison?


Might as well drink your hemlock now, because we will never persuade the masses of our principles, or convince the principled of the need to compromise and cooperate.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Solitar on September 24, 2002, 02:56:51 am
Quote
Hey, if we get torn apart after reaching the minimal state, that's fine with me!
It's not okay with me!  When you called for "20,000 libertarian activists" you involved me whether I move or not and every libertarian effort in this nation. The process of restoring liberty in this nation can not afford such a loss. Thus the Free State activists must be prepared to prevent being "torn apart after reaching the minimal state".

Steve,
I agree with your suggestion that the FSP stop using "libertarian" and perhaps to use some other word or phrase. I've recently begun using "Free State activist" instead of "libertarian activist" and "liberty-minded" even though it does beg definition as you note regarding "liberty-oriented". What DO we call it?
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: wolf_tracker on September 24, 2002, 04:30:08 am

Steve,
I agree with your suggestion that the FSP stop using "libertarian" and perhaps to use some other word or phrase. I've recently begun using "Free State activist" instead of "libertarian activist" and "liberty-minded" even though it does beg definition as you note regarding "liberty-oriented". What DO we call it?


How about Freestater
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Bill Hamilton on October 30, 2002, 05:18:34 pm

Quote

We are not a party, that is what the LP is for.  We just want to form a critical mass to enable the runaway reaction to take off.  Boom--political explosion!  


Question: since the project is asking specifically for political activists, are you expecting them to spontaneously achieve political success?  I'm sorry if that sounds sarcastic, but the fact is there's no way on Earth you will succede unless you have a detailed plan in place beforehand.  That means you need an organization, a platform, political targets and objectives, campaigns.

I'm asking because I'm interested but unwilling to take success for granted as a matter of faith.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: JasonPSorens on October 30, 2002, 05:37:25 pm
Much of this planning will have to take place after we choose the state, but there's no obstacle to our doing all the research and planning that we need.  See the "Free State Political Strategy" forum for some ideas.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Zxcv on November 15, 2002, 11:32:52 am
Quote
Question: since the project is asking specifically for political activists, are you expecting them to spontaneously achieve political success?  I'm sorry if that sounds sarcastic, but the fact is there's no way on Earth you will succede unless you have a detailed plan in place beforehand.  That means you need an organization, a platform, political targets and objectives, campaigns.
This is an assertion that is not necessarily true.

There is no point in the FSP re-creating the wheel. The LP is already in every state. So they can handle the political party nuts and bolts, if a party is needed.

But I wonder if even that is wise. If we just transplant 20,000 LP members to a state who vote only for LP candidates, we will have accomplished almost nothing. I think it may be more helpful simply to run FSP people in the mainstream party races. FSP voters would get a simple email from the leaders saying who the FSP candidates in the major parties are (they won't be hiding the fact anyway). I assume the people orchestrating this will work in conjunction with the LP so the latter don't work at cross purposes (for example, running LP candidates in races that have a viable major-party FSP candidate).

I write the above with the admission I am a complete newbie. It is a guess on my part; I have not yet invested enough time in forums to see if my guess is really on target.

To me the essense of FSP is an idea, one that will cause freedom-loving people to concentrate. Having accomplished the concentration, we can assume the leaders will not squander that accomplishment! (The planning that brought about the accomplishment is evidence of ability to carry it forward for subsequent execution.) A certain amount of trust is involved. Besides, there ain't any other game in town, if you really want freedom...
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: RidleyReport on November 18, 2002, 12:12:47 pm
Zxcv wrote:

<<there ain't any other game in town, if you really want freedom...>>

Zx:

Elizabeth is collecting quotable quotes from FSP members to be posted to our index page on a rotating basis, I believe.  Can I send her what you just said, for that purpose? If so plz email me at dadaorwell@NOSPAMaol.com

Anyone else who wants to forward quotable quotes can send them to Elizabeth by posting them at

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=3;action=display;threadid=73

Dada
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: RidleyReport on November 18, 2002, 02:42:52 pm
Bill Hamilton wrote:


<<there's no way on Earth you will succede unless you have a detailed plan in place beforehand.>>

Robert Heinlein once said "detailed instructions are the death of initiative."

You could say the same thing about detailed plans.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Midwest Patriot on November 18, 2002, 04:30:45 pm
I am also relatively new to FSP, but it seems to me that what Jason and others have done is give us the concept.  And the dream.  

The most important thing now is to build the people base and select the state when we hit the 5000 mark.  Its how you eat an elephant.....one bite at a time.  Don't let a lack of details, plans, etc cause us to lose sight of the big picture.  Our common desire for freedom from excessive government will provide enough impetus for a more detailed action plan as we proceed.  And I would have to believe that those of us that are truly interested in a free state are already well read on the subject, interested, knowledgeable and somewhat experienced.  We'll make the dream come true.  And no, I'm not a dewy-eyed idealist.  But rather a healthy 52 year old veteran, who believes FSP is the best idea I've heard in a long time.

As an aside, I agree that we should get involved with our local government now, to further our education and knowledge.  Personally, I've been active with commissions, etc.  Also campaigned for City Council.  Didn't make it, but the experience was invaluable.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Solitar on November 18, 2002, 07:01:04 pm
Now here is some experience we should all be proud of Midwest Patriot for!
Quote
As an aside, I agree that we should get involved with our local government now, to  further our education and knowledge.  Personally, I've been active with commissions, etc.  Also campaigned for City Council.  Didn't make it, but the experience was invaluable.
If at once you don't succeed...
I lost my first two races - for council and then for county commissioner.
Then I got smart and ran when I could do so unopposed. But now that they know even more about my libertarian agenda, I'll likely never be unopposed again. :-\
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Zxcv on November 18, 2002, 10:32:17 pm
Gee, I didn't know I was quotable!

Dada, go ahead and use it, any you have my permission to use anything else I post here as well. When I post something on a BBS, I figure it's no longer under my control, ha ha.
Title: Re:Questions from a prospect
Post by: Midwest Patriot on November 20, 2002, 10:32:08 am
Joe-  Thanks for the kind words, but the old saying is true: You can make things happen, watch things happen, or wonder what just happened.  For too long I sat on the sidelines as the activism of others determined my life and destiny.  Like you, I realized I needed to become a part of the system if I was to have any hope of trying to fix it.  

Jason-  Maybe Joe and I, and other like minded folks can start working on political philosophy for the FSP, as long as its based on our current Constitution.   I know your idea was to get us there, and maybe those of us who can need to start thinking of what to do once we arrive.   I must qualify this though by saying once again we can't let details get in the way of an outstanding dream.