As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all
individuals are sovereign over their own lives, and no one is forced
to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.
We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential
precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud
must be banished from human relationships, and that only through
freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity
that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom
brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free
to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference
from government or any authoritarian power.
In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and
enumerated various policy stands derived from those principles.
These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is
nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is
to this end that we take these stands.
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
over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner
they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal
right of others to live 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 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 the 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
Individual Rights and Civil Order
No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group,
Freedom and Responsibility
Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for
the consequences of the choices they make.
The appropriate way to suppress crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of
laws that protect individual rights.
Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes.
The War on Drugs
The War on Drugs is a grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order, and to peace in
Safeguards for the Criminally Accused
Until such time as persons are proved guilty of crimes, they should be accorded full respect
for their individual rights.
Justice for the Individual
We support restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the
criminal or wrongdoer. We oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights
We favor all-volunteer juries and urge the assertion of the common-law right of juries to
judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.
We favor an immediate end to the doctrine of "Sovereign Immunity" which ignores the primacy
of the individual, and holds that the State may not be held accountable for its
Government and Mental Health
We oppose the involuntary treatment for mental health by health officials or law
Freedom of Communication
We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press,
and the right of individuals to dissent from government.
Freedom of Religion
We defend the rights of individuals to engage in or abstain from any religious activities
that do not violate the rights of others.
The Right to Property
All rights are inextricably linked with property rights. Property rights are entitled to the
same protection as all other human rights.
The Right to Privacy
The individual's rights to privacy, property, and to speak or not to speak should not be
infringed by the government.
We condemn the government's use of secret classifications to keep from the public
information that it should have.
The defense of the country requires that we counter threats to domestic security; however,
we call for repeal of legislation that violates individual rights under the color of
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
We affirm the right to keep and bear arms and oppose all laws at any level of government
restricting, regulating, or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer, or sale of
firearms or ammunition.
Conscription and the Military
We oppose any form of compulsory national service.
We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality and
welcome all refugees to our country.
Freedom of Association and Government Discrimination
Individual rights should not be denied or enhanced at the expense of other people's rights
Women's Rights and Abortion
Individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. Recognizing that
abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold
good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the
Families and Children
We believe that families are private institutions, which should be free from government
intrusion, and that parents have the right to raise their children according to their own
standards and beliefs.
We believe that adults have the right to private choice in consensual sexual
American Indian Rights
American Indians should be free to determine their own system of governance and should have
their property rights restored.
Trade and the Economy
The only proper role of existing governments in the economic realm is to protect property
rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is
Government intervention in the economy imperils both the personal freedom and the material
prosperity of every American.
All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We oppose all government
activity that consists of the forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in
violation of their individual rights.
Inflation and Depression
Government control over money and banking is the primary cause of inflation and
Finance and Capital Investment
Regulation of financial and capital markets represses capital ventures.
We support a constitutional amendment requiring government budgets be balanced by cutting
expenditures and not by raising taxes.
Government is the source of monopoly, through its grants of legal privilege to special
interests in the economy. We advocate a strict separation of business and State.
The unrestricted competition of the free market is the best way to foster prosperity. We
oppose all government subsidies.
Tariffs and quotas give special treatment to favored special interests and diminish the
welfare of consumers and other individuals.
We advocate the termination of government-created franchise privileges. The right to offer
services on the market should not be curtailed by law.
Unions and Collective Bargaining
We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions. An
employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a
Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care delivery, decaying cities,
and poverty are not solved, but are primarily caused, by government.
We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.
Pollution of other people's property is a violation of individual rights. Strict liability,
not government agencies and arbitrary government standards, should regulate
We support strong and effective laws against fraud and misrepresentation.
We advocate the complete separation of education and State.
The American people are not a collective national resource. We oppose all coercive measures
for population control.
We support transit competition and deregulation.
Poverty and Unemployment
We support the repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find
employment. The proper source of aid to the poor is voluntary efforts of private groups and
We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We advocate a complete
separation of medicine and State.
Resource management is properly the responsibility and right of the legitimate owners of
land, water, and other natural resources.
Farmers and consumers alike should be free from the meddling and counterproductive measures
of the federal government -- free to grow, sell, and buy what they want.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
We call for the repeal of OSHA, which denies the right to liberty and property to both
employer and employee and interferes in private contractual relations.
Replace the fraudulent, bankrupt Social Security system with a private, voluntary
We propose allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.
The Civil Service system entrenches a permanent and growing bureaucracy and is inherently a
system of concealed patronage.
We call for an end to government control of political parties, consistent with First
Amendment rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression, and propose electoral
systems that are more representative.
We recognize the right to political secession by political entities, private groups, or
The United States government should return to the historic libertarian tradition of avoiding
entangling alliances, abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures,
and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade and travel.
The important principle in foreign policy should be the elimination of intervention by the
United States government in the affairs of other nations.
International Travel and Foreign Investments
We call upon the United States government to adhere rigidly to the principle that all
U.S. citizens travel, live, and own property abroad at their own risk.
We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their
rights against governments or political and revolutionary groups.
We oppose U.S. government participation in any world or international government. We oppose
any treaty under which individual rights would be violated.
Any U.S. military policy should have the objective of providing security for the lives,
liberty and property of the American people in the U.S. as inexpensively as possible and
without undermining the liberties it is designed to protect.
Presidential War Powers
We favor limiting the presidential role as Commander-in-Chief to its original meaning,
namely that of the head of the armed forces in wartime.
We support the elimination of tax-supported military, economic, technical, and scientific
aid to foreign governments or other organizations.
We favor withdrawal of the United States from all international money and credit schemes,
the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
Individuals have the right to homestead unowned resources, both within the jurisdictions of
national governments and within unclaimed territory.
We favor immediate self-determination for all people living in colonial dependencies and the
termination of subsidization of them at taxpayers' expense.
We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military
and economic aid, guarantees, and diplomatic meddling. We make no exceptions.
We oppose all government restrictions upon voluntary, peaceful use of outer
Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive,
edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply
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.
The Issue: Personal responsibility is discouraged by government denying individuals the opportunity to exercise it. In fact, the denial of freedom fosters irresponsibility.
The Principle: Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. We must accept the right of others to choose for themselves if we are to have the same right. Our support of an individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. We believe people must accept personal responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
Solutions: Libertarian policies will promote a society where people are free to make and learn from their own decisions.
Transitional Actions: Repeal all laws that presume government knows better than the individual how to run that person's life. Encourage private sector dissemination of information to help consumers make informed decisions on products and services. Enforce laws against fraud and misrepresentation.
The Issue: The continuing high level of violent crime -- and the government's demonstrated inability to deal with it -- threatens the lives, happiness and belongings of Americans. At the same time, governmental violations of rights undermine people's sense of justice with regard to crime. Victimless crime laws themselves violate individual rights and also breed genuine crime.
The Principle: The only justified function of government is the protection of the lives, rights and property of its citizens.
Solutions: The appropriate way to suppress crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights. We applaud the trend toward private protection services and voluntary community crime control groups.
Transitional Action: We call for an end to "hate crime" laws that punish people for their thoughts and speech, distract us from real crimes, and foster resentment by giving some individuals special status under the law. Laws pertaining to "victimless crimes" should be repealed. We support institutional changes, consistent with full respect for the rights of the accused, which would permit victims to direct the prosecution in criminal cases.
The Issue: Activities which do not affect anyone but the actor have been criminalized by government on the basis of encoding a particular morality into law.
The Principle: Only actions that infringe on the rights or damage the property of others can properly be termed crimes.
Solutions: We favor the repeal of all federal, state and local laws creating "crimes" without victims.
Transitional Action: In particular, we advocate:
A. the repeal of all laws prohibiting the production, sale, possession, or use of drugs, and of all medicinal prescription requirements for the purchase of vitamins, drugs, and similar substances; the repeal of all laws restricting or prohibiting the use or sale of alcohol, requiring health warning labels and signs, making bartenders or hosts responsible for the behavior of customers and guests, making liquor companies liable for birth defects, and making gambling houses liable for the losses of intoxicated gamblers; the repeal of all laws or policies authorizing stopping drivers without probable cause to test for alcohol or drug use; the repeal of all laws regarding consensual sexual relations, including prostitution and solicitation, and the cessation of state oppression and harassment of homosexual men and women, that they, at last, be accorded their full rights as individuals; the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting the possession, use, sale, production, or distribution of sexually explicit material, independent of "socially redeeming value" or compliance with "community standards";
B. the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting gambling;
C. the repeal of anti-racketeering statutes such as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which punish peaceful behavior -- including insider trading in securities, sale of sexually explicit material, and nonviolent anti-abortion protests -- by freezing and/or seizing assets of the accused or convicted; and
D. the repeal of all laws interfering with the right to commit suicide as infringements of the ultimate right of an individual to his or her own life.
We demand the use of executive pardon to free and exonerate all those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these "crimes." We condemn the wholesale confiscation of property prior to conviction by the state that all too often accompanies police raids, searches, and prosecutions for victimless crimes. Further, we recognize that, often, the Federal Government blackmails states which refuse to comply with these laws by withholding funds and we applaud those states which refuse to be so coerced.
The Issue: The suffering that drug misuse has brought about is deplorable; however, drug prohibition causes more harm than drugs themselves. The so-called "War on Drugs" is in reality a war against the American people, our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is a grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order and to peace in the world.
The Principle: Individuals should have the right to use drugs, whether for medical or recreational purposes, without fear of legal reprisals, but must be held legally responsible for the consequences of their actions only if they violate others' rights.
Solutions: Social involvement by individuals is essential to address the problem of substance misuse and abuse. Popular education and assistance groups are a better approach than prohibition, and we support the activities of private organizations as the best way to move forward on the issue.
Transitional Action: Repeal all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the use of drugs. Repeal laws that infringe upon individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property as protected by the Fourth Amendment. Stop the use of "anti-crime" measures such as profiling or civil asset forfeiture that reduce the standard of proof historically borne by government in prosecutions. Stop prosecuting accused non-violent drug offenders, and pardon those previously convicted.
The Issue: Instant-punishment policies deprive the accused of important checks on government power -- juries and the judicial process.
The Principle: Until such time as persons are proved guilty of crimes, they should be accorded full respect for their individual rights. We oppose any concept that some individuals are by nature second-class citizens who only understand instant punishment and any claim that the police possess special insight into recognizing persons in need of punishment. We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused.
Solutions: Cases must no longer be treated as "civil" strictly to avoid the due process protections of criminal law. Government must no longer be allowed to seize property for criminal offenses, prior to civil or criminal proceedings. Full restitution must be made for all loss suffered by persons arrested, indicted, tried, imprisoned, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings against them that do not result in their conviction. When they are responsible, government police employees or agents must be liable for this restitution.
Transitional Action: Police officers must be prohibited from using excessive force on the disorderly or the criminally accused, handing out what they may consider to be instant punishments on the streets, or using preventive detention and no-knock laws. The judicial system must be reformed to allow criminal defendants and civil parties to a court action a reasonable number of peremptory challenges to proposed judges, similar to their right under the present system to challenge a proposed juror.
The Issue: The present system of criminal law is based almost solely on punishment with little concern for the victim.
The Principle: The purpose of a justice system is to provide restitution to those suffering a loss at the expense of those who caused that loss. In the case of violent crimes, an additional purpose is to defend society from the continued threat of violence.
Solutions: We support the following:
a) restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer;
b) an end to the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense; and
c.) an affirmation of the right of the victim to pardon the criminal or wrongdoer, barring threats to the victim for this purpose.
Transitional Action: End all "no-fault" insurance laws, which deprive the victim of the right to recover damages from those responsible in the case of injury. Affirm the right of the victim to pardon the criminal or wrongdoer, barring threats to the victim for this purpose. Change rape laws so that cohabitation will no longer be a defense against a charge of rape.
The Issue: The right to a trial by a citizen jury is an important check on the infringement of our rights by government. Current practice has seriously eroded that protection.
The Principle: Juries should be composed of volunteers, not forced jurors. In addition, the common-law right of juries, to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law, should be recognized and encouraged.
Solutions: In all cases to which the government is a party, the judge should be required to inform the jurors of their common law right to judge the law, as well as the facts, and to acquit a criminal defendant, and to find against the government in a civil trial, whenever they deem the law unjust or oppressive.
Transitional Action: End the practice in capital cases of excluding jurors who are opposed to the death penalty (referred to as "death qualification"), which denies capital defendants the right to a trial before a jury representative of community values.
The Issue: The government has placed itself in a position of superiority above its citizens, has denied our rights under a policy of "compelling state interest" (thereby becoming the primary threat to our rights, rather than the protector of them), and has denied its citizens their right to sue their government for redress of grievances, claiming a position of sovereign immunity.
Principle: The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights -- life, liberty, and justly acquired property -- against aggression, whether by force or fraud. This right inheres in the individual, who -- with his or her consent -- may be aided by any other individual or group. The right of defense extends to defense against aggressive acts of government.
Solutions: Government must be returned to its proper role as protector of rights, and once again be made accountable for its actions to the individual citizen. Individual elected officials and bureaucrats must be held accountable if their actions directly violate the rights of individual citizens.
Transitional Action: We advocate an immediate end to the doctrine of "Sovereign Immunity" which ignores the primacy of the individual over the abstraction of the State, and holds that the State, contrary to the tradition of redress of grievances, may not be sued without its permission or held accountable for its actions under civil law.
The Issue: Individuals are forcibly medicated or denied medication, not based on medical need, but based rather on a social agenda as enforced by government.
The Principle: Medication must be voluntary.
Solutions: We oppose the involuntary commitment of any person to or involuntary treatment in a mental institution. We strongly condemn Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), where the patient is ordered to accept treatment, or else be committed to a mental institution and forcibly treated. We oppose government pressure requiring parents to obtain counseling or psychiatric drugs for their children. We also oppose forced treatment for the elderly, the head-injured, or those with diminished capacity. We are against the invasion of people's homes and privacy by health officials or law enforcement to either require or deny drug taking.
Transitional Action: We advocate an end to the spending of tax money for any program of psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral research or treatment. We favor an end to the acceptance of criminal defenses based on "insanity" or "diminished capacity" which absolve the guilty of their responsibility.
The Issue: We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through government censorship, regulation or control of communications media, including, but not limited to, laws concerning:
a) Obscenity, including "pornography", as we hold this to be an abridgment of liberty of expression despite claims that it instigates rape or assault, or demeans and slanders women;
b) Reception and storage equipment, such as digital audio tape recorders and radar warning devices, and the manufacture of video terminals by telephone companies;
c) Electronic bulletin boards, communications networks, and other interactive electronic media as we hold them to be the functional equivalent of speaking halls and printing presses in the age of electronic communications, and as such deserving of full freedom;
d) Electronic newspapers, electronic "Yellow Pages", file libraries, websites, and other new information media, as these deserve full freedom; or
e) Commercial speech or advertising. We oppose speech codes at all schools that are primarily tax funded. Language that is deemed offensive to certain groups is not a cause for legal action.
We strongly oppose the government's burgeoning practice of invading newsrooms, or the premises of other innocent third parties, in the name of law enforcement. We further oppose court orders gagging news coverage of criminal proceedings -- the right to publish and broadcast must not be abridged merely for the convenience of the judicial system. We deplore any efforts to impose thought control on the media, either by the use of anti-trust laws, or by any other government action in the name of stopping "bias."
The Principle: We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals to dissent from government itself. We recognize that full freedom of expression is possible only as part of a system of full property rights. The freedom to use one's own voice; the freedom to hire a hall; the freedom to own a printing press, a broadcasting station, or a transmission cable; the freedom to host and publish information on the Internet; the freedom to wave or burn one's own flag; and similar property-based freedoms are precisely what constitute freedom of communication. At the same time, we recognize that freedom of communication does not extend to the use of other people's property to promote one's ideas without the voluntary consent of the owners.
Solutions: We would provide for free market ownership of airwave frequencies, deserving of full First Amendment protection. We oppose government ownership or subsidy of, or funding for, any communications organization. Removal of all of these regulations and practices throughout the communications media would open the way to diversity and innovation. We shall not be satisfied until the First Amendment is expanded to protect full, unconditional freedom of communication.
Transitional Action: We advocate the abolition of the Federal Communications Commission.
Issue: Government routinely invades personal privacy rights based solely on individuals' religious beliefs. Arbitrary tax structures are designed to give aid to certain religions, and deny it to others.
Principle: We defend the rights of individuals to engage in (or abstain from) any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others.
Solution: In order to defend freedom, we advocate a strict separation of church and State. We oppose government actions that either aid or attack any religion. We oppose taxation of church property for the same reason that we oppose all taxation. We condemn the attempts by parents or any others -- via kidnappings or conservatorships -- to force children to conform to any religious views. Government harassment or obstruction of religious groups for their beliefs or non-violent activities must end.
Transitional Action: We call for an end to the harassment of churches by the Internal Revenue Service through threats to deny tax-exempt status to churches that refuse to disclose massive amounts of information about themselves.
The Issue: We oppose all violations of the right to private property, liberty of contract, and freedom of trade, especially those done in the name of national security. We also condemn current government efforts to regulate or ban the use of property in the name of aesthetic values, risk, moral standards, cost-benefit estimates, or the promotion or restriction of economic growth. We specifically condemn all government interference in the operation of private businesses, such as restaurants and airlines, by either requiring or prohibiting designated smoking or non-smoking areas for their employees or their customers. The taxation of privately owned real property actually makes the State the owner of all lands and forces individuals to rent their homes and places of business from the State. We condemn attempts to employ eminent domain to municipalize sports teams or to try to force them to stay in their present location.
The Principle: 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 human rights. All rights are inextricably linked with property rights. Such rights as the freedom from involuntary servitude as well as the freedom of speech and the freedom of press are based on self-ownership. Our bodies are our property every bit as much as is justly acquired land or material objects. 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.
Solutions: We demand an end to the taxation of privately owned real property. Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners by the government or private action in violation of individual rights, we favor restitution to the rightful owners.
Transitional Action: Repeal property tax laws and force government to fund property protection services with user fees.
The Issue: Privacy protections have been eroded gradually over many years. The Social Security Number has become a universal ID number, causing rampant and massive identity theft. Government routinely keeps records on the bank accounts, travel plans, and spending habits of law-abiding civilians, for no other reason than they "might" commit a crime in the future.
The Principle: The individual's right to privacy, property, and right to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government. The government should not use electronic or other means of covert surveillance of an individual's actions or private property without the consent of the owner or occupant. Correspondence, bank and other financial transactions and records, doctors' and lawyers' communications, employment records, and the like should not be open to review by government without the consent of all parties involved in those actions.
Private contractual arrangements, including labor contracts, must be founded on mutual consent and agreement in a society that upholds freedom of association. On the other hand, we oppose any use of such screening by government or regulations requiring government contractors to impose any such screening.
Solutions: We support the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment and oppose any government use of search warrants to examine or seize materials belonging to innocent third parties. We oppose all restrictions and regulations on the private development, sale, and use of encryption technology. We specifically oppose any requirement for disclosure of encryption methods or keys, including the government's proposals for so-called "key escrow" which is truly government access to keys, and any requirement for use of government-specified devices or protocols. We also oppose government classification of civilian research on encryption methods. If a private employer screens prospective or current employees via questionnaires, polygraph tests, urine tests for drugs, blood tests for AIDS, or other means, this is a condition of that employer's labor contracts. Such screening does not violate the rights of employees, who have the right to boycott such employers if they choose. We oppose the issuance by the government of an identity card, to be required for any purpose, such as employment, voting, or border crossing. We further oppose the nearly universal requirement for use of the Social Security Number as a personal identification code, whether by government agencies or by intimidation of private companies by governments.
Transitional Action: We also oppose police roadblocks aimed at randomly, and without probable cause, testing drivers for intoxication and police practices to stop mass transit vehicles and search passengers without probable cause. So long as the National Census and all federal, state, and other government agencies' compilations of data on an individual continue to exist, they should be conducted only with the consent of the persons from whom the data is sought. We oppose government regulations that require employers to provide health insurance coverage for employees, which often encourage unnecessary intrusions by employers into the privacy of their employees.
The Issue: We condemn the government's use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have.
The Principle: Government is the servant of the individuals who own this country; withholding information that the public has a right to know is dishonest, deceptive and a perversion of the proper relationship between government and its employers.
Solutions: We favor substituting the present secrecy system with one in which no individual may be convicted for violating government secrecy classifications unless the government discharges its burden of proving that the publication either:
a.) Violated the right of privacy of those who have been coerced into revealing confidential or proprietary information to government agents; or
b.) Disclosed defensive military plans so as to materially impair the capabilities to respond to attack. It should always be a defense to such prosecution that information divulged shows that the government has violated the law.
Transitional Action: Abolish the entrenched system of classification of information except for all matters that pass a private sector citizen review board and are determined as true national security.
The Issue: Lacking appropriate citizen oversight, government bureaucracies have deprived citizens of their privacy, property, and freedom, under the pretense that such action is necessary to protect us from our enemies. Such actions include the suspension of the right of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II, the Patriot Act and the classification of "enemy combatants" today.
The Principle: The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, personal privacy, the freedoms of assembly, expression and religion; and other individual liberties and rights must not be denied on the basis of national security. The Bill of Rights provides no exceptions for a time of war.
Solutions: Wherever possible, private security agencies should replace public institutions. Agencies, public or private, duly constituted to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to independent oversight, accountable to the citizenry whom they serve, and subject to the law, including full responsibility for any violations of individual rights. Individual awareness of the requirements of security must be the ultimate supplement to any public protection.
Transitional Action: We opposed the establishment of a new cabinet level Department of Homeland Security and now call for its elimination. Abolish the subpoena power as used by Congressional committees against individuals or firms. We oppose any efforts to revive the House Internal Security Committee (or its predecessor the House Committee on Un-American Activities), 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. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies like the CIA, NSA, and FBI must be prevented from abusing individual rights or else be abolished.
The Issue: Governments at all levels often violate their citizens' right of self defense with laws that restrict, limit or outright prohibit the ownership and use of firearms. These "gun control" laws are often justified by the mistaken premise that they will lead to a reduction in the level of violence in our society.
The Principle: The Bill of Rights recognizes that an armed citizenry is essential to a free society. We affirm the right to keep and bear arms.
Solutions: We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, regulating or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition. We oppose all laws requiring registration of firearms or ammunition. We support repeal of all gun control laws. We demand the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Transition: We oppose any government efforts to ban or restrict the use of tear gas, "mace" or other self-protection devices. We further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the grounds that they are risky or unsafe. We 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") and semi-automatic or so-called assault weapons and their magazines or feeding devices.
The Issue: We oppose any form of national service, including conscription into the military, a compulsory youth labor program, or any other kind of coerced social program.
The Principle: Impressment of individuals into the armed forces is involuntary servitude.
Solutions: Recognizing that registration is the first step toward full conscription, we oppose all attempts at compulsory registration of any person and all schemes for automatic registration through government invasions of the privacy of school, motor vehicle, or other records. We call for the abolition of the still-functioning elements of the Selective Service System. We call for the destruction of all files in computer-readable or hard-copy form compiled by the Selective Service System. We oppose adding women to the pool of those eligible for and subject to the draft, not because we think that as a rule women are unfit for combat, but because we believe that this step enlarges the number of people subjected to government tyranny.
Transitional Action: We call for the immediate and unconditional exoneration of all who have been accused or convicted of draft evasion, desertion from the military in cases of conscription or fraud, and other acts of resistance to such transgressions as imperialistic wars and aggressive acts of the military. Members of the military should have the same right to quit their jobs as other persons.
We call for the end of the Defense Department practice of discharging armed forces personnel for homosexual conduct. We further call for retraction of all less-than-honorable discharges previously assigned for such reasons and deletion of such information from military personnel files. We recommend the repeal of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the recognition and equal protection of the rights of armed forces members. This will thereby promote morale, dignity, and a sense of justice within the military.
The Issue: We welcome all refugees to our country and condemn the efforts of U.S. officials to create a new "Berlin Wall" which would keep them captive. We condemn the U.S. government's policy of barring those refugees from our country and preventing Americans from assisting their passage to help them escape tyranny or improve their economic prospects.
The Principle: We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality. Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor and to move about unmolested. Furthermore, immigration must not be restricted for reasons of race, religion, political creed, age or sexual preference. We oppose government welfare and resettlement payments to non-citizens just as we oppose government welfare payments to all other persons.
Solutions: We condemn massive roundups of Hispanic Americans and others by the federal government in its hunt for individuals not possessing required government documents. We strongly oppose all measures that punish employers who hire undocumented workers. Such measures repress free enterprise, harass workers, and systematically discourage employers from hiring Hispanics.
Transitional Action: We call for the elimination of all restrictions on immigration, the abolition of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Border Patrol, and a declaration of full amnesty for all people who have entered the country illegally.
The Issue: Discrimination imposed by government has caused a multitude of problems. Anti-discrimination laws create the same problems.
The Principle: Individual rights should not be denied, abridged or enhanced at the expense of other people's rights by laws at any level of government based on sex, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation. The right to trade includes the right not to trade -- for any reasons whatsoever. The right of association includes the right not to associate, for exercise of this right depends upon mutual consent.
Solutions: While we do not advocate private discrimination, we do not support any laws which attempt to limit or ban it.
Transitional Action: We support repealing any laws imposing discrimination by government, rather than extending them to all individuals.
The Issue: Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question. We condemn state-funded and state-mandated abortions. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another's abortion.
The Principle: We hold that individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements and/or home births.
Solutions: We oppose all laws likely to impose restrictions on free choice and private property or to widen tyranny through reverse discrimination.
Transitional Action: We call for repeal of all laws discriminating against women, such as protective labor laws and marriage or divorce laws which deny the full rights of men and women.
The Issue: Government involvement in traditional parenting responsibilities has weakened families and replaced family-taught morals with government-taught morals.
The Principle: Families and households are private institutions, which should be free from government intrusion and interference. Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs, without interference by government -- unless they are abusing the children. Because parents have these rights, a child may not be able to fully exercise his or her rights in the context of family life. However, children always have the right to establish their maturity by assuming administration and protection of their own rights, ending dependency upon their parents or other guardians, and assuming all responsibilities of adulthood. A child is a human being and, as such, deserves to be treated justly.
Parents have no right to abandon or recklessly endanger their children. Whenever they are unable or unwilling to raise their children, they have the obligation to find other person(s) willing to assume guardianship.
Solutions: We recognize that the determination of child abuse can be very difficult. Only local courts should be empowered to remove a child from his or her home, with the consent of the community. This is not meant to preclude appropriate action when a child is in immediate physical danger.
Transitional Action: We would repeal all laws that impede these processes, notably those restricting private adoption services. In particular, we call for the repeal of all laws restricting transracial adoption. We oppose laws infringing on children's rights to work or learn, such as child labor laws and compulsory education laws. We also oppose the use of curfews based on age.
We call for an end to the practice in many states of jailing children not accused of any crime. We call for repeal of all "children's codes" or statutes which abridge due process protections for young people.
The Issue: Government has presumed to decide acceptability over sexual practices in personal relationships, imposing a particular code of moral and social values and displacing personal choice in such matters.
The Principle: Adults have the right to private choice in consensual sexual activity.
Solutions: We advocate an end to all government attempts to dictate, prohibit, control or encourage any private lifestyle, living arrangement or contractual relationship.
Transitional Action: We would repeal existing laws and policies intended to condemn, affirm, encourage or deny sexual lifestyles, or any set of attitudes about such lifestyles.
The Issue: The rights of American Indians have been usurped over the years.
The Principle: Individuals should be free to select their own citizenship, and tribes should be free to select the level of autonomy the tribe wishes.
Solutions: Indians should have their property rights restored, including rights of easement, access, hunting, and fishing.
Transition: The Bureau of Indian Affairs should be abolished leaving tribal members to determine their own system of governance. Negotiations should be undertaken to resolve all outstanding differences between the tribes and the government.
We believe that each person has the right to offer
goods and services to others on the free market.
Therefore we oppose all intervention by
government into the area of economics. The only
proper role of existing governments in the
economic realm is to protect property rights,
adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework
in which voluntary trade is protected.
Efforts to forcibly redistribute wealth or forcibly manage trade are
intolerable. Government manipulation of the economy creates an
entrenched privileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and
an exploited class -- those who are net taxpayers.
We believe that all individuals have the right to
dispose of the fruits of their labor as they see fit
and that government has no right to take such
wealth. We oppose government-enforced
charity such as welfare programs and subsidies,
but we heartily applaud those individuals
and private charitable organizations that help the
needy and contribute to a wide array of worthwhile
causes through voluntary activities.
The Issue: Government intervention in the economy imperils both the personal freedom and the material prosperity of every American.
The Principle: The free market, which respects individual rights in voluntary trade with other individuals, should be allowed to function unhindered by government. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected.
Solutions: To ensure the economic freedom and enhance the economic well-being of Americans, we would implement the following policies:
a. Dramatic reductions in both taxes and government spending;
b. An end to deficit budgets;
c. A halt to inflationary monetary policies;
d. The elimination of all government impediments to free trade; and
e. The repeal of all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production and interest rates.
Transitional Action: We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the US Constitution.
The Issue: Government manipulation of the economy creates an entrenched privileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and an exploited class -- those who are net taxpayers.
The Principle: All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. Government activity should not include the forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in violation of their individual rights. No tax can ever be fair, simple or neutral to the free market.
Solutions: Specifically, we: a.) support the right of any individual to challenge the payment of taxes on moral, religious, legal or constitutional grounds; b.) oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes; c.) support the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, and oppose any increase in existing tax rates and the imposition of any new taxes; d.) support the repeal of all taxation; and e.) support a declaration of unconditional amnesty for all those individuals who have been convicted of, or who now stand accused of, tax resistance. 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. We oppose any and all increases in the rate of taxation or categories of taxpayers, including the elimination of deductions, exemptions or credits in the spurious name of "fairness," "simplicity," or alleged "neutrality to the free market."
Transitional Action: As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately. In the current fiscal crisis of states and municipalities, default is preferable to raising taxes or perpetual refinancing of growing public debt.
The Issue: Government control over money and banking is the primary cause of inflation and depression.
The Principle: Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item, such as gold coins denominated by units of weight. We support the right to private ownership of and contracts for gold.
Solutions: We call for the repeal of all legal tender laws and of all compulsory governmental units of account, as well as the elimination of all government fiat money and all government minted coins. All restrictions upon the private minting of coins must be abolished, so that minting will be open to the competition of the free market. We favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. The only further necessary check upon monetary inflation is the consistent application of the general protection against fraud to the minting and banking industries.
Transitional Action: We call for the abolition of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Banking System, and all similar national and state interventions affecting banking and credit. Our opposition encompasses all controls on the rate of interest. We also call for the abolition of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, the Resolution Trust Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the National Credit Union Central Liquidity Facility, and all similar national and state interventions affecting savings and loan associations, credit unions, and other depository institutions. To complete the separation of bank and state, we favor the Jacksonian independent treasury system, in which all government funds are held by the government itself and not deposited in any private banks. Pending its abolition, the Federal Reserve System, in order to halt inflation, must immediately cease its expansion of the quantity of money. As interim measures, we further support: a.) the lifting of all restrictions on branch banking; b.) the repeal of all state usury laws; c.) the removal of all remaining restrictions on the interest paid for deposits; d.) the elimination of laws setting margin requirements on purchases and sales of securities; e.) the revocation of all other selective credit controls; f.) the abolition of Federal Reserve control over the reserves of non-member banks and other depository institutions; and g.) the lifting of the prohibition of domestic deposits denominated in foreign currencies.
The Issue: Government regulation of capital markets inhibits investment, and creates marketplace advantage for those with political access, through exemptions to laws against fraud and breach of contract.
The Principle: Free markets should operate unhindered by government regulation, while government should punish fraud, theft and contractual breach without exception.
Solutions: We call for the abolition of all regulation of financial and capital markets. What should be punished is the theft of information or breach of contract to hold information in confidence, not trading on the basis of valuable knowledge.
Transitional Action: We call for the abolition of the Securities and Exchange Commission, of state "Blue Sky" laws which repress small and risky capital ventures, and of all federal regulation of commodity markets. We oppose any attempts to ban or regulate investing in stock-market index futures or new financial instruments which may emerge in the future. We call for repeal of all laws based on the muddled concept of insider trading. We support the right of third parties to make stock purchase tender offers to stockholders over the opposition of entrenched management, and oppose all laws restricting such offers.
The Issue: Government debt forces individuals to assume debt that they did not choose to incur; distorts capital markets and rates and ruins the economy.
The Principle: Government must not incur debt, nor should it be allowed to hold assets, for these are debts incumbent on and assets taken away from the individuals of this country.
Solutions: We support the drive for a constitutional amendment requiring the national government to balance its budget, and also support similar amendments to require balanced state budgets. To be effective, a balanced budget amendment should provide:
a. that neither Congress nor the President be permitted to override this requirement;
b. that all off-budget items are included in the budget;
c. that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes; and
d. that no exception be made for periods of national emergency.
Governments facing fiscal crises should always default in preference to raising taxes.
Transitional Action: The Federal Reserve must be forbidden to acquire any additional government securities, thereby helping to eliminate the inflationary aspect of the deficit. At a minimum, the level of government should be frozen.
The Issue: We recognize that government is the source of monopoly, through its grants of legal privilege to special interests in the economy.
The Principle: Anti-trust laws do not prevent monopoly, but foster it by limiting competition. We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association.
Solutions: We condemn all coercive monopolies. In order to abolish them, we advocate a strict separation of business and State. Laws of incorporation should not include grants of monopoly privilege. In particular, we would eliminate special limits on the liability of corporations for damages caused in non-contractual transactions. We also oppose state or federal limits on the size of private companies and on the right of companies to merge. We further oppose efforts, in the name of social responsibility or any other reason, to expand federal chartering of corporations into a pretext for government control of business.
Transitional Solutions: We call for the repeal of all anti-trust laws, including the Robinson-Patman Act, which restricts price discounts, and the Sherman and Clayton Anti-Trust acts. We further call for the abolition of both the Federal Trade Commission and the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice.
The Issue: The unrestricted competition of the free market is the best way to foster prosperity.
The Principle: In order to achieve a free economy, in which government victimizes no one for the benefit of any other, we oppose all government subsidies to business, labor, education, agriculture, science, broadcasting, the arts, sports, or any other special interest. In particular, we condemn any effort to forge an alliance between government and business under the guise of "reindustrialization" or "industrial policy." Relief or exemption from taxation or from any other involuntary government intervention, however, should not be considered a subsidy.
Solutions: We call for the abolition of the Federal Financing Bank, the most important national agency subsidizing special interests with government loans. We also oppose all government guarantees of so-called private loans. Such guarantees transfer resources to special interests as effectively as actual government expenditures and, at the national level, exceed direct government loans in total amount. Taxpayers must never bear the cost of default upon government-guaranteed loans. All national, state and local government agencies whose primary function is to guarantee loans -- including the Federal Housing Administration, the Rural Electrification Administration and the Small Business Administration -- must be abolished or privatized. Furthermore, the loans of government-sponsored enterprises, even when not guaranteed by the government, constitute another form of subsidy. All such enterprises -- the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Farm Credit Administration, and the Student Loan Marketing Association -- must either be abolished or completely privatized.
Transitional Action: We oppose any resumption of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, or any similar plan that would force the taxpayer to subsidize or sustain any enterprise.
The Issue: Tariffs and quotas serve only to give special treatment to favored special interests and to diminish the welfare of consumers and other individuals, as do point-of-origin or content regulation. These measures also reduce the scope of contracts and understanding among different peoples.
The Principle: Individuals trading with individuals in other nations, voluntarily, should be the sole source of regulation of international free markets. All trade barriers are unnecessary and burdensome constraints.
Solutions: We support abolition of all trade barriers and all government-sponsored export- promotion programs, as well as the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Court of International Trade. We affirm this as a unilateral policy, independent of the trade policies of other nations.
Transitional Action: We advocate a complete and unilateral withdrawal of the United States from all international trade agreements, including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The Issue: We believe government involvement in the provision of utilities has weakened our free market and limited the development and availability of state of the art services.
The Principle: The right to offer, on the market, such services as garbage collection, fire protection, electricity, natural gas, cable television, telephone, or water supplies should not be curtailed by law.
Solutions: We advocate the termination of government-created franchise privileges and governmental monopolies for such services.
Transitional Action: All rate regulation in industries providing these services should be abolished.
The Issue: Government interference in the employer/employee relationship has imposed undue burdens on our economy, destroying the rights of both to contract in the free market.
The Principle: We support the right of free persons to voluntarily establish, associate in, or not associate in, labor unions. An employer should have the right to recognize, or refuse to recognize, a union as the collective bargaining agent of some, or all, of its employees.
Solutions: We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or the imposition of an obligation to bargain. Therefore, we urge repeal of the National Labor Relations Act, and all state right-to-work laws which prohibit employers from making voluntary contracts with unions. We oppose all government back-to-work orders as the imposition of a form of forced labor.
Transitional Action: Government-mandated waiting periods for closure of factories or businesses hurt, rather than help, the wage-earner. We support all efforts to benefit workers, owners and management by keeping government out of this area. Workers and employers should have the right to organize secondary boycotts if they so choose. Nevertheless, boycotts or strikes do not justify the initiation of violence against other workers, employers, strike-breakers and innocent bystanders.
Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care
delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are
primarily caused, by government. The welfare state, supposedly
designed to aid the poor, is in reality a growing and parasitic burden
on all productive people, and injures, rather than benefits, the poor
The Issue: Government regulation of the energy industry has resulted in high prices, shortages, lack of competition, stunted exploration and development of alternative energy sources, and displaced responsibility for wrongdoing in the energy markets, while granting advantage in existing markets to those with political access.
The Principle: We favor the creation of a free market in oil by instituting full property rights in underground oil and by the repeal of all government controls over output in the petroleum industry. Any nuclear power industry must meet the test of a free market. Full liability -- not government agencies -- should regulate nuclear power. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production, such as that imposed by the Department of Energy, state public utility commissions, and state pro-rationing agencies. We oppose the creation of any emergency mobilization agency in the energy field, which would wield dictatorial powers in order to override normal legal processes.
Solutions: All government-owned energy resources should be turned over to private ownership. Nuclear energy should be denationalized and the industry's assets transferred to the private sector. We oppose all government subsidies for energy research, development, and operation. We oppose all direct and indirect government participation in the nuclear energy industry, including subsidies, research and development funds, guaranteed loans, waste disposal subsidies, and federal uranium enrichment facilities.
Transitional Action: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission should be abolished. The Price-Anderson Act, through which the government limits liability for nuclear accidents and furnishes partial payment at taxpayer expense, should be repealed. We support abolition of the Department of Energy and the abolition of its component agencies, without their transfer elsewhere in the government. We oppose all government conservation schemes through the use of taxes, subsidies and regulation. We oppose the "strategic storage" program, any attempt to compel national self-sufficiency in oil, any extension of cargo preference law to imports and any attempt to raise oil tariffs or impose oil import quotas.
The Issue: Toxic waste disposal problems have been created by government policies that separate liability from property. Present legal principles, particularly the unjust and false concept of "public property," block privatization of the use of the environment and hence block resolution of controversies over resource use. We condemn the EPA's Superfund whose taxing powers are used to penalize all chemical firms, regardless of their conduct. Such clean-ups are a subsidy of irresponsible companies at the expense of responsible ones.
The Principle: Pollution of other people's property is a violation of individual rights. Strict liability, not government agencies and arbitrary government standards, should regulate pollution. Claiming that one has abandoned a piece of property does not absolve one of the responsibility for actions one has set in motion.
Solutions: We support the development of an objective legal system defining property rights to air and water. Rather than making taxpayers pay for toxic waste clean-ups, individual property owners, or in the case of corporations, the responsible managers and employees should be held strictly liable for material damage done by their property.
Transitional Action: We call for a modification of the laws governing such torts as trespass and nuisance to cover damages done by air, water, radiation, and noise pollution. We oppose legislative proposals to exempt persons who claim damage from radiation from having to prove such damage was in fact caused by radiation. We demand the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency. We also oppose government-mandated smoking and non-smoking areas in privately owned businesses.
The Issue: Government consumer protection regulation restricts the competition of the free market and replaces the individual's right to make independent choices with government-determined, "one size fits all" standards.
The Principle: Consumer demand rather than legislative mandate should drive consumer safety and protection. We support strong and effective laws against fraud and misrepresentation. However, we oppose paternalistic regulations, which dictate to consumers, impose prices, define standards for products, or otherwise restrict risk-taking and free choice.
Solutions: We encourage consumer activism that would boycott and economically sanction those businesses that adversely affect human health and/or damage the environment, passing costs on to the general public. We look to independent entities such as Underwriters Laboratories, Consumer Reports and other testing organizations as models for grassroots consumer-driven certification.
Transitional Action: End governmental interference in consumer affairs by eliminating the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and other ineffective governmental organizations. Repeal laws mandating use of safety equipment such as seat belts or crash helmets, which can be more effectively driven by consumer action in the marketplace.
The Issue: Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Compulsory education laws� spawn prison-like schools with many of the problems associated with prisons�
The Principle: Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity of choice.
Solutions: We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended. We call for the repeal of the guarantees of tax-funded, government-provided education, which are found in most state constitutions. We condemn compulsory education laws�and we call for an immediate repeal of such laws. Until government involvement in education is ended, we support elimination, within the governmental school system, of forced busing and corporal punishment. We further support immediate reduction of tax support for schools, and removal of the burden of school taxes from those not responsible for the education of children.
Transitional Action: As an interim measure to encourage the growth of private schools and variety in education, including home schooling, we support tax credits for tuition and other expenditures related to an individual's education. We likewise favor tax credits for child care and oppose nationalization of the child-care industry. We oppose denial of tax-exempt status to schools because of those schools' private policies on hiring, admissions and student deportment. We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.
The Issue: We regard the tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies to be aggravated, if not created, by government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition.
The Principle: The American people are not a collective national resource. We oppose all coercive measures for population control.
Solutions: We oppose government actions that either compel or prohibit abortion, sterilization or any other forms of birth control. Specifically, we condemn the vicious practice of forced sterilization of welfare recipients or of mentally retarded or "genetically defective" individuals. We call for the repeal of all laws that restrict anyone, including children, from engaging in voluntary exchanges of goods, services or information regarding human sexuality, reproduction, birth control or related medical or biological technologies. We equally oppose government laws and policies that restrict the opportunity to choose alternatives to abortion.
Transitional Action: We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing built into our present laws, including welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children. We urge the elimination of special tax burdens on single people and couples with few or no children.
The Issue: Government interference in transportation is characterized by monopolistic restriction, corruption and gross inefficiency. We condemn the re-cartelization of commercial aviation by the Federal Aviation Administration via rationing of take-off and landing rights and controlling scheduling in the name of safety.
The Principle: The transportation industry should not be treated differently from any other industry, and should be governed by free markets and held to strict liability.
Solutions: We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation -- including the Department of Transportation, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Coast Guard, and the Federal Maritime Commission -- and the transfer of their legitimate functions to competitive private firms. We demand the return of America's railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of airports, air traffic control systems, public roads and the national highway system.
Transitional Action: As interim measures, we advocate an immediate end to government regulation of private transit organizations and to governmental favors to the transportation industry. In particular, we support the immediate repeal of all laws restricting transit competition such as the granting of taxicab and bus monopolies and the prohibition of private jitney services. We urge immediate deregulation of the trucking industry.
The Issue: Government fiscal and monetary measures that artificially foster business expansion guarantee an eventual increase in unemployment rather than curtailing it. Government programs are inefficient, paternalistic, demeaning and invasive of privacy.
The Principle: The proper source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals. No worker should be legally penalized for lack of certification, and no consumer should be legally restrained from hiring unlicensed individuals.
Solutions: We seek the elimination of occupational licensure, which prevents human beings from working in whatever trade they wish. We call for the abolition of all federal, state and local government agencies that restrict entry into any profession, such as education and law, or regulate its practice. We oppose all government welfare, relief projects and "aid to the poor" programs.
Transitional Action: We call for the immediate cessation of such fiscal and monetary policies, as well as any governmental attempts to affect employment levels. We support repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws, so-called "protective" labor legislation for women and children, governmental restrictions on the establishment of private day-care centers, and the National Labor Relations Act. We deplore government-fostered forced retirement, which robs the elderly of the right to work. To speed the time when governmental programs are replaced by effective private institutions we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitable contributions.
The Issue: Recent decades have witnessed growing government involvement in the health care system. That involvement has led to bureaucratic top-down management, rapidly escalating prices, costly regulations, the criminalization of the practice of medicine and a host of other problems. None of these problems was prevalent prior to the time when government began to increase its involvement. We believe that government involvement is the principal cause of many of the problems we face in the health care system today. The high cost of health insurance is largely due to government's excessive regulation of the industry.
The Principle: We recognize the right of individuals free from government interference and its harmful side effects to determine the level of insurance they want, the level of care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care. Government's role in any kind of insurance should only be to enforce contracts when necessary, not to dictate to insurance companies and consumers which kinds of insurance contracts they may voluntarily agree upon.
Solutions: We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We advocate a complete separation of medicine from the State. We support an end to government-provided health insurance and health care. Both of these functions can be more effectively provided in the private sector.
Transitional Action: We oppose any government restriction or funding of medical or scientific research.
The Issue: We oppose government control of resource use through eminent domain, zoning laws, building codes, rent control, regional planning, urban renewal, or purchase of development rights with tax money. Such regulations and programs violate property rights, discriminate against minorities, create housing shortages, and tend to cause higher rents. All government restrictions upon private use or voluntary transfer of water rights or similar despotic controls can only aggravate the misallocation of water. Forced surface-mining of privately homesteaded lands, in which the government has reserved surface mining rights for itself, is a violation of the rights of the present landholders.
The Principle: Resource management is properly the responsibility and right of the legitimate owners of land, water and other natural resources. We recognize the legitimacy of resource planning by means of private, voluntary covenants.
Solutions: We advocate the establishment of an efficient and just system of private water rights applied to all bodies of water, surface and underground. Such a system should be built upon a doctrine of first claim and use. The allocation of water should be governed by unrestricted competition and unregulated prices. We also advocate the privatization of government and quasi-government water supply systems. Only the complete separation of water and the State will prevent future water crises. We call for the homesteading or other just transfer to private ownership of federally held lands.
Transitional Action: The construction of government dams and other water projects should cease, and existing government water projects should be transferred to private ownership. We favor the abolition of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers' civilian functions. We also favor the abolition of all local water districts and their power to tax. We oppose any use of executive orders invoking the Antiquities Act to set aside public lands. We call for the abolition of the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. We oppose creation of new government parks or wilderness and recreation areas. Such parks and areas that already exist should be transferred to non-government ownership. Pending such just transfer, their operating costs should be borne by their users rather than by taxpayers.
The Issue: America's free market in agriculture, the system that feeds much of the world, has been plowed under by government intervention. Government subsidies, regulation and taxes have encouraged the centralization of agricultural business. Government export policies hold American farmers hostage to the political whims of both Republican and Democratic administrations. Government embargoes on grain sales and other obstacles to free trade have frustrated the development of free and stable trade relationships between peoples of the world.
The Principle: Farmers and consumers alike should be free from the meddling and counterproductive measures of the federal government -- free to grow, sell and buy what they want, in the quantity they want, when they want.
Solutions: Farmers, ranchers and all other purveyors of goods and services in the agricultural free market must operate unhindered by government regulation, while being policed by private sector consumer protection agencies for quality, and held strictly liable by government only against fraud and deception.
Transitional Action: The agricultural problems facing America today are not insoluble. Government policies can be reversed. Five steps can be taken immediately:
a.) abolition of the Department of Agriculture;
b.) elimination of all government farm programs, including price supports, direct subsidies and all regulation on agricultural production;
c.) deregulation of the transportation industry and abolition of the Interstate Commerce Commission;
d.) repeal of federal inheritance taxes; and
e.) an end to government involvement in agricultural pest control. A policy of pest control whereby private individuals or corporations bear full responsibility for damages they inflict on their neighbors should be implemented.
The Issue: Social Security is a bankrupt, immoral pyramid-scheme that has trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities and yields below average returns for those trapped in it. Any financial advisor who suggested investing in a program like this would go to jail, but the members of Congress get off scot-free.
The Principle: In a free society, retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government.
Solutions: We favor replacing the current fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, government sponsored Social Security system with a private voluntary system.
Transitional Action: Pending that replacement, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary. Victims of the Social Security tax should also have a claim against government property.
The Issue: We recognize that the Civil Service is inherently a system of concealed patronage, which entrenches a permanent and growing bureaucracy upon the land.
The Principle: The concept of "career bureaucrat" is anathema to true liberty. We promote the Jeffersonian concept of "citizen statesman" and would extend it to those performing "necessary public service" functions, as long as those are not being provided by the private sector.
Solutions: We therefore recommend a return to the Jeffersonian principle of rotation in office.
Transitional Action: We propose the abolition of the Civil Service system.
The Issue: Electoral systems matter. Many state legislatures have established gerrymandered districts and prohibitively restrictive laws that effectively exclude alternative candidates and parties from their rightful places on election ballots. Such laws wrongfully deny ballot access to political candidates and groups, and further deny the voters their right to consider all legitimate alternatives. Various laws enable the federal and state governments to control the elections of their own administrators and beneficiaries, thereby further reducing accountability to citizens.
The Principle: Elections at all levels should be in the control of those who wish to participate in or support them voluntarily. As private voluntary groups, political parties should be allowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures, primaries and conventions. No state has an interest to protect in this area except for the fair and efficient conduct of elections.
Solutions: We propose electoral systems that are more representative of the electorate at the federal, state and local levels. There should be no state or federal restriction of ballot access. Voters may submit their own choices including the option of using "tickets" or cards printed by candidates or political parties.
Transitional Action: End government control of political parties, consistent with First Amendment rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression. We urge repeal of the Federal Election Campaign Act and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which suppress voluntary support of candidates and parties. Primary elections should be returned to political party convention rather than being a taxpayer subsidized public event. Add the alternative "none of the above" to all ballots. In the event that "none of the above" receives a plurality of votes in any election, either the elective office for that term should remain unfilled and unfunded, or there shall be a new election in which none of the losing candidates shall be eligible. In order to grant voters a full range of choice in federal, state and local elections, we propose proportional voting systems with multi-member districts for legislative elections and instant runoff voting (IRV) for single winner elections. To avoid fraud and manipulation, electronic voting systems must use a voter verified paper ballot as the ballot of count, recount, audit and record.
The Issue: People are forced to be subject to governments and to participate in their programs, usually as providers of financial support, regardless of their wishes to the contrary.
The Principle: As all political association must be voluntary, we recognize the right to political secession. This includes the right to secession by political entities, private groups or individuals. Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others.
Solutions: We support the right of political entities, private groups and individuals to renounce their affiliation with any government, and to be exempt from the obligations imposed by those governments, while in turn accepting no support from the government from which they seceded.
Transitional Action: As a transition step, we support the right of political entities, private groups and individuals to renounce their participation in any government program, and to be exempt from the obligations imposed by that program, while in turn accepting no benefit from the program from which they seceded.
American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world
and the defense -- against attack from abroad -- of the lives,
liberty, and property of the American people on American soil.
Provision of such defense must respect the individual rights of people
The principle of non-intervention should guide relationships between
governments. The United States government should return to the
historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances,
abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures,
and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade, travel, and
The Issue: Intervention by the government in Washington in the affairs of other nations is an attempt to impose our values on those nations by force.
The Principle: The important principle in foreign policy should be the elimination of intervention by the United States government in the affairs of other nations.
Solutions: We favor a drastic reduction in cost and size of our total diplomatic establishment. We would negotiate with any foreign government without necessarily conceding moral legitimacy to that government
Transitional Action: We favor the repeal of the Logan Act, which prohibits private American citizens from engaging in diplomatic negotiations with foreign governments.
The Issue: We recognize that foreign governments might violate the rights of Americans traveling, living or owning property abroad, just as those governments violate the rights of their own citizens. Any effort, however, to extend the protection of the United States government to U.S. citizens when they or their property fall within the jurisdiction of a foreign government involves potential military intervention. In particular, the protection of the foreign investments of U.S. citizens or businesses is an unjust tax-supported subsidy.
The Principle: We condemn all such property-rights violations, whether the victims are U.S. citizens or not. We call upon the United States government to adhere rigidly to the principle that all U.S. citizens travel, live and own property abroad at their own risk.
Solutions: We look forward to an era in which American citizens and foreigners can travel anywhere in the world without a passport. We aim to restore a world in which there are no passports, visas or other papers required to cross borders.
Transitional Action: American embassies should inform our citizens that they are subject to the laws of foreign countries when they travel or invest in those countries. Our government cannot insulate citizens from foreign laws when they travel abroad; our embassies cannot assume the responsibility of protecting citizens from the consequences of their own conduct while visiting nations outside the United States.
The Issue: We condemn the violations of human rights in all nations around the world. We particularly abhor the widespread and increasing use of torture for interrogation and punishment. The violation of rights and liberty by other governments can never justify foreign intervention by the United States government. Today, no government is innocent of violating human rights and liberty, and none can approach the issue with clean hands.
The Principle: We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups. Only private individuals and organizations have any place speaking out on this issue.
Solutions: We call upon all the world's governments to fully implement the principles and prescriptions contained in this platform and thereby usher in a new age of international harmony based upon the universal reign of liberty.
Transition: Until a global triumph for liberty has been achieved, we support both political and revolutionary actions by individuals and groups against governments that violate rights. In keeping with our goal of peaceful international relations, we call upon the United States government to cease its hypocrisy and its sullying of the good name of human rights.
The Issue: Participation in any form of world or international government threatens the sovereignty of the United States, its citizens and its Constitution.
The Principle: The sovereignty of individual rights is preserved only by minimal government, and subservience to a world government is totalitarianism of a more severe form than to a national government.
Solutions: We oppose U.S. government participation in any world or international government. We support withdrawal of the United States government from, and an end to its financial support for, the United Nations. We oppose any treaty under which individual rights would be violated.
Transitional Action: Specifically, we oppose any U.S. policy designating the United Nations as policeman of the world, committing U.S. troops to wars at the discretion of the U.N., or placing U.S. troops under U.N. command.
The Issue: The potential use of nuclear weapons is the greatest threat to all the peoples of the world, not only Americans. Thus, the objective should be to reduce the risk that a nuclear war might begin and its scope if it does.
The Principle: Any U.S. military policy should have the objective of providing security for the lives, liberty and property of the American people in the U.S. against the risk of attack by a foreign power. This objective should be achieved as inexpensively as possible and without undermining the liberties it is designed to protect.
Solutions: U.S. weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction should be replaced with smaller weapons, aimed solely at military targets and not designed or targeted to kill millions of civilians. We call for the replacement of nuclear war fighting policies with a policy of developing cost-effective defensive systems. Accordingly, we oppose any future agreement which would prevent defensive systems on U.S. territory or in Earth orbit.
Transitional Action: We call on the U.S. government to continue negotiations toward multi-lateral reduction of nuclear armaments, to the end that all such weapons will ultimately be eliminated, under such conditions of verification as to ensure multi-lateral security. During arms reduction negotiations, and to enhance their progress, the U.S. should begin the retirement of some of its nuclear weapons as proof of its commitment. Because the U.S. has many more thousands of nuclear weapons than are currently required, beginning the process of arms reduction would not jeopardize American security. We call on the U.S. government to remove its nuclear weapons from Europe. If European countries want nuclear weapons on their soil, they should take full responsibility for them and pay the cost. We call for the withdrawal of all American military personnel stationed abroad, including the countries of NATO Europe, Japan, the Philippines, Central America and South Korea. There is no current or foreseeable risk of any conventional military attack on the American people, particularly from long distances. We call for the withdrawal of the U.S. from commitments to engage in war on behalf of other governments and for abandonment of doctrines supporting military intervention such as the Monroe Doctrine.
The Issue: Recent Presidents have -- on their own through declarations of "states of emergency" and with the assistance of Congress via the War Powers Act -- expanded the role of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to assume the power to wage limited (and not so limited) war without the Constitutionally required explicit Declaration of War by Congress. These wars often occur in secret, funded and/or operated by the CIA, NSA, and other agencies not directly accountable to the People.
The Principle: The role of Commander-in-Chief, correctly understood, confers no additional authority on the President.
Solutions: We favor a Constitutional amendment limiting the presidential role as Commander-in-Chief to its original meaning, namely that of the head of the armed forces in wartime.
Transitional Action: We call for the reform of the Presidential War Powers Act to end the President's power to initiate military action, and for the abrogation of all Presidential declarations of "states of emergency." There must be no further secret commitments and unilateral acts of military intervention by the Executive Branch.
The Issue: The federal government has used foreign aid as a tool of influencing the policy of other sovereign nations under the guise of aiding needy people in those nations. This forces American taxpayers to subsidize governments and policies of which they may not approve.
The Principle: Individuals should not be coerced via taxes into funding a foreign nation or group.
Solutions: All foreign aid should be voluntarily funded by individuals or private organizations.
Transitional Action: Eliminate all tax-supported military, economic, technical and scientific aid to foreign governments or other organizations. Abolish government underwriting of arms sales. Abolish all federal agencies that make American taxpayers guarantors of export-related loans, such as the Export-Import Bank and the Commodity Credit Corporation. End the participation of the U.S. government in international commodity circles that restrict production, limit technological innovation and raise prices. Repeal all prohibitions on individuals or firms contributing or selling goods and services to any foreign country or organization, unless such provision constitutes a direct threat to the people of the United States.
The Issue: The federal government's involvement in international currency markets undermines the stability of the dollar, artificially inflates and deflates the currency and undermines the free market.
The Principle: Individuals voluntarily trading in free markets should be the only determining factor in the value of goods and services
Solutions: The government involvement in international money markets along with the Federal Reserve System should cease, and private sector trading should be the only influence in the value of money.
Transitional Action: The United States must withdraw from all international paper money and other inflationary credit schemes, and from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. We strongly oppose any bailout of foreign governments or American banks by the United States, either by means of the International Monetary Fund or through any other governmental device.
The Issue: Governments and international groups claim the right to unowned resources that they have no jurisdiction over, imposing those claims against individuals by force.
The Principle: Individuals have the right to homestead unowned resources, both within the jurisdictions of national governments and within such unclaimed territory as the ocean, Antarctica and the volume of outer space.
Solutions: We oppose any recognition of fiat claims by national governments or international bodies to unclaimed territory. We urge the development of objective international standards for recognizing homesteaded claims to private ownership of such forms of property as transportation lanes, broadcast bands, mineral rights, fishing rights and ocean farming rights.
Transitional Action: All laws, treaties and international agreements that would prevent or restrict homesteading of unowned resources should be abolished. We specifically hail the U.S. refusal to accept the proposed Law of the Sea Treaty because the treaty excluded private property principles, and we oppose any future ratification.
The Issue: United States colonialism has left a legacy of property confiscation, economic manipulation and over-extended defense boundaries.
The Principle: People have the right to govern themselves as they see fit, without fearing that a large nation will simply take control of them.
Solutions: While the United States should be willing to accept expansion through other nations and territories petitioning for statehood, we must not coerce any nation or people into "unity" through military or economic action.
Transitional Action: We favor immediate self-determination for all people living in colonial dependencies -- such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands -- to free these people from U.S. dominance, accompanied by the termination of subsidization of them at taxpayers' expense. Land seized by the U.S. government should be returned to its rightful owners.
The Issue: Intervention in the affairs of other countries has provoked resentment and hatred of the United States among many groups and nations throughout the world. In addition, legal barriers to private and personal aid (both military and economic) have fostered internal discord.
The Principle: The United States should not inject itself into the internal matters of other nations, unless they have declared war upon or attacked the United States, or the U.S. is already in a constitutionally declared war with them.
Solutions: End the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid, guarantees, and diplomatic meddling. Individuals should be free to provide any aid they wish that does not directly threaten the United States.
Transitional Action: Voluntary cooperation with any economic boycott should not be treated as a crime. End all limitation of private foreign aid, both military and economic. Repeal the Neutrality Act of 1794, and all other U.S. neutrality laws, which restrict the efforts of Americans to aid overseas organizations fighting to overthrow or change governments. End the incorporation of foreign nations into the U.S. defense perimeter. Cease the creation and maintenance of U.S. bases and sites for the pre-positioning of military material in other countries. End the practice of stationing American military troops overseas. We make no exceptions to the above.
The Issue: Government has historically asserted a monopoly on space exploration.
The Principle: Voluntary, peaceful use of outer space should not be regulated by government. Space related activity is not a proper function of any government except for the protection of the terrestrial borders of that nation and its people located within that territory.
Solutions: We support all peaceful, private, voluntary attempts to explore, industrialize and colonize any extra-terrestrial resources.
Transitional Action: We support the privatization of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration