A great many people who would class themselves as libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, voluntaryists etc think not. On the face of it they have a point. The established parties are more or less agreed on the political settlement. This is state-run health and education, fiat currency, central banking and deficit finance, EU membership, optional foreign wars, ponderous security theatre, serious restrictions on civil rights such as free speech, the right to silence, double-jeopardy, nannying on pretty much anything you can shake a stick at. In short the leviathan state. Voting for any of the major parties changes nothing, so on the face of it, the “don’t bother voting” lobby has a point.
I didn’t bother in the local elections, being confronted with three candidates from the parties, none of whom even dropped in a leaflet. Some of the turn-outs dropped below 20%
But let us not imagine that the political class will have some moment of self-awareness. They won’t wake up one morning and think ‘my God, we have lost the confidence of the people, let’s all resign’ Sure we have the usual post-election night dross about making voting easier (or compulsory!) but they don’t care how few people vote for ‘em as long as the state gravy train rolls on and the cops can be relied upon to enforce ever-more stupid laws.
So, if I may propose the first principle ~ almost no-one gives up power voluntarily, they have to be kicked out.
Then we have the argument that libertarians never win at the polls so why bother? Well prior to 1863 no-one believed the Southern States would end slavery, then one day Lincoln got all proclamation happy and did it. Sure it was opportunism, sure it meant nothing immediately, but there it was. Just because something has never been done, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. To say otherwise is a counsel of despair.
Then there are those who say ‘live free, raise your kids right and all will be well in the end’ This is half right. Of course practice the non-aggression principle against your kids and raise them right, but there will be many who don’t and they are either tomorrow’s unaware tax cattle or tomorrow political class. Again, these people won’t fade away. And really, how free are you living while still living in a statist paradigm?
So our leaders have to be kicked out. I presume it is unnecessary to say that as libertarians who practice the non-aggression principle, we reject a violent solution, I certainly do, so no bricks or bombs or anything else.
So it has to be political action for me. I would be most interested in everyone’s view on this, so please do share in the comments. I will come on to the options for political action in the next few days, again seeking comments.