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Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Pledge Against Revolution, Not A Pledge For Anarchy

Tom's "bullshit" essay doesn't address a single one of these six threads of evidence:

1) The LP Pledge includes a curious qualification (about "social and political goals") that appears nowhere in the prior art by Rand, Rothbard, etc. on what they would say is an absolute and categorical ethical principle.

2) The LP Pledge was adopted while the explicitly-minarchist 1972 Platform was in force, and that Platform talked about "legitimate governments" whose "sole function is the protection of the rights of each individual".  Whatever the Pledge means, it can't have been written to rule out the sort of minarchism envisioned by the 1972 Platform.

3) The 1976 LPOK Pledge tries to expand or clarify the scope of the allegedly unambiguous and absolute classic NAP language by adding "economic" as another sort of goal.

4) Old
-timers in the LP consistently recall concerns about government surveillance and COINTELPRO.

5) Of all the LP old-timers who have weighed in on this question, all but one confirm Nolan's report of the rationale behind the Pledge -- i.e. as a pledge against violent revolution. (Gene, the NAP clearly does not rule out violent defensive revolution against tyrannical states.)

Nolan's explanation is an admission against interest -- he's a radical who always argues for more ideological purity in the LP.

LP Bylaw 5.1 makes the Pledge a condition of membership.  If Tom or anybody else thinks that I disqualify myself from LP membership by not being a NAPsolutist, I invite them to challenge my delegate credentials in St. Louis in 2010.