Organizing the Radical Exodus

So at long last, the truth is undeniable: the Libertarian Party has sacrificed libertarianism for dreams of legitimacy, political success, establishment mediocrity, and party power. Finally, the radicals and consistent libertarians are getting a consistent message about the LP: it is no longer their party (if it ever was). So what should these true libertarians do?

That's where we come in. The Alliance needs to act to take advantage of these refugees from the party. No doubt they are disgusted with political parties in general and worthless, image-heavy, substance-light campaigns and slogans. We need to give them a true alternative so that, if the word libertarian really is lost to Barr and Root, at least the ideas have a place to go and an organizational culture that won't hold people back.

I propose that left libertarians go out and form ALL chapters in their local communities. Here are a few pointers to remember:

  1. Form a blog for your organization, and start posting to it immediately. If you need help with this, contact me.
  2. Use the internet. Find people blogging about local matters of left libertarian interest, and comment on their blogs using your ALL identity (whatever name you've chosen for the organization). Use upcoming.org, Facebook, MySpace, etc. to network with people nearby to start building a contact list. Find local aggregators and make sure your blog is included. Post on local forums and perhaps start your own.
  3. Go to your local LP meetings and talk about ALL and left libertarianism, stressing the libertarian side of the equation.
  4. Find the lefty activists near you (Food Not Bombs, for example) and tell them about what you're trying to do, stressing the leftist side of the equation.
  5. Assemble a body of materials. Have signs ready for participating in local protests establishing your left libertarian identity. Get flyers ready, make them powerful, attention grabbing, and hard hitting (see Charles Johnson's work in this area with the Southern Nevada ALL chapter). Take advantage of the Market Anarchy series, Agorist pamphlets, and other monographs - this literature can really sway the more bookish, more passionate types who will be true assets to the cause. My friend Brady has had as much success distributing Kevin Carson's Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand to Ron Paul types as to lefty commie anarchist types
  6. Schedule a meeting. This means using internet media and print media to get the word out, setting a date and time appropriate for your likely attendees. Have and follow an agenda, but allow time for those essential, free-wheeling conversations that promote camaraderie. Talk about ALL and propose affiliation.
  7. Participate in local radical actions. Go to protests as a group. Launch protests of your own, and invite sympathetic non-members to join in. Use your blog to document and communicate with the community. Consider doing a print zine or newspaper to distribute - you can leverage content from the blog and the wider ALL community.
As much as I hate superfluous organization, building this group identity will make it that much more comfortable for people coming from the LP to participate. We need to act quickly to make sure that radical libertarianism doesn't just dissipate, but that it is finally fully unleashed to wreck havoc on the establishment.

Written on Friday, May 30, 2008