|APPENDIX: 1978 PLATFORM OF THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion
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 lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life--accordingly we support prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action--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--accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People 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; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.
INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND CIVIL ORDER (Chapter 1)
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.
CRIME (Chapter 1)
A massive increase in violent crime threatens the lives, happiness, and belongings of Americans. At the same time, governmental violations of rights undermine the people's sense of justice with regard to crime. Impartial and consistent law enforcement protecting individual rights, and repeal of victimless crime laws, which themselves breed crimes with victims, are the appropriate ways to suppress crime.
VICTIMLESS CRIMES (Chapter 1)
We hold that only actions which infringe the rights of others can
properly be termed crimes. We favor the repeal of all federal, state, and
local laws creating "crimes" without victims. In particular, we advocate:'
SAFEGUARDS FOR THE CRIMINALLY ACCUSED (Chapter 1)
Until such time as persons are proved guilty of crimes, they should be accorded full respect for their individual rights. We are thus opposed to reduction of present safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused.
Specifically, we are opposed to preventive detention, so-called "no-knock laws", and all other measures which threaten individual rights.
We advocate the repeal of all laws establishing any category of crime applicable to minors for which adults would not be similarly answerable, and an end to the practice in many states of jailing children accused of no crime.
We support full restitution for all loss suffered by persons arrested, indicted, tried, imprisoned, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings against them which do not result in their conviction. Where they are responsible, government police, employees, or agents should be liable for this restitution.
JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIM (Chapter 1)
The purpose of any system of courts is to provide justice. The present system of criminal law is based on punishment with little concern for the victim. We support restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer.
We accordingly oppose all "no-fault" insurance laws which deprive the victim of the right to recover from the guilty in negligence cases.
INTERNAL SECURITY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES (Chapter 1)
We call for the abolition of all federal secret police agencies. In particular, we seek the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and we call for a return to the American tradition of local law enforcement. We support Congressional investigation of criminal activities of the CIA and of wrongdoing by other government agencies.
We support the abolition of the subpoena power as used by Congressional committees against individuals or firms. We hail the abolition of the House Internal Security Committee and call for the destruction of its files on private individuals and groups. We also call for the abolition of the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security.
THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS (Chapter 1)
Maintaining our belief in the inviolability of the right to keep and bear arms, we oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition. We also oppose any government efforts to ban or restrict the use of tear gas, "mace", or other non-firearm protective devices.
We support repeal of the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and demand the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
We also favor the repeal of laws banning the concealment of weapons or prohibiting pocket weapons. We also oppose the banning of inexpensive handguns ("Saturday night specials").
CHILDREN'S RIGHTS (Chapters 1 and 2)
We believe that "children" are human beings and, as such, have the same rights as any other human beings. Any reference in this Platform to the rights of human beings includes children.
EDUCATION (Chapter 2)
We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.
As an interim measure to encourage the growth of private schools and variety in education, we support tax-credits for tuition and for other expenditures related to an individual's education. We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.
We condemn compulsory education laws, which spawn prison-like schools with many of the problems associated with prisons, and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.
THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY (Chapter 3)
There is no conflict between property rights and human rights. Indeed, property rights are the rights of humans with respect to property and, as such, are entitled to the same respect and protection as all other individual rights.
We further hold that the owners of property have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy their property without interference until and unless the exercise of their control infringes the valid rights of others.
DISCRIMINATION (Chapter 3)
No individual rights should be denied or abridged by the laws of
the United States or any state or locality on account of sex, race, color,
creed, age, national origin, or sexual preference. We condemn bigotry
Nonetheless, we oppose any governmental attempts to regulate private discrimination, including discrimination in employment, housing, and privately owned so-called "public" accommodations. The right to trade includes the right not to trade - for any reasons whatsoever.
RESOURCE USE (Chapters 3 and 4)
The role of planning is properly the responsibility and right of the owners of the land, water, or other natural resources. We therefore urge an end to governmental control of land use through such methods as urban renewal, zoning laws, building codes, eminent domain, regional planning, or purchase of development rights with tax money, which not only violate property rights, but discriminate against minorities and tend to cause higher rents and housing shortages. We are further opposed to the use of tax funds for the acquisition or maintenance of land or other real property. We recognize the legitimacy of private, voluntary land use covenants.
We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the
distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.
We oppose all government controls over, or rationing of, water; these despotic
measures can only aggravate a water shortage.
Instances of government recognition of homesteading in which the governments reserves surface mining rights to itself are invalid and forced surface-mining of such lands is a violation of the rights of the present land holders. We call for the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Land Management and the transfer to private ownership of, federally held so-call "public lands" which constitute more than 80% of certain states.
POLLUTION (Chapters 3 and 4)
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., the concept of "public property") are a primary cause of our deteriorating environment. Present legal principles which allow the violation of individual rights by polluters must be reversed. The laws of nuisance and negligence should be modified to cover damages done by air, water, and noise pollution. While we maintain that no one has the right to violate the legitimate property rights of others by polluting, we 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 therefore support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.
TAXATION (Chapter 8)
Since we believe that all persons are entitled to keep the-fruits
of their labor, we oppose all government activity which consists of the
forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in violation of
As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.
We oppose as involuntary servitude any legal requirements forcing employers or business owners to serve as tax collectors for federal, state, or local tax agencies.
In the current fiscal crisis of states and localities, default is preferable to raising taxes or perpetual refinancing of growing public debt.
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (Chapter 8)
We call for the abolition of the Civil Service system, which entrenches a permanent and growing bureaucracy upon the land. We recognize that the Civil Service is inherently a system of concealed patronage. We therefore recommend return to the Jeffersonian principle of rotation in office.
Unelected government employees should not be permitted to engage in political action. The present conflict of interest that allows recipients of tax monies to determine in part the pattern of government spending must be ended. Therefore, the federal Hatch Act should be retained and expanded to employees of state and local governments. In addition, federal, state, and local government employees should not be permitted to lobby for legislation.
Criminal laws punishing civilian and military employees of the government
for going on strike should be repealed.