As you can see from the picture above, it was a full house. We actually had to bring in extra tables from the main section of the restaurant.
Trevor Loudon was our guest speaker. He did a great job of delivering his message of danger and hope.
Danger in that the forces of totalitarianism – while small in number – were extremely powerful, coordinate, and dedicated to far more than the next election.
Hope in that lots of people seem to be waking up to the dangers of Big Government.
Did I think his message of the conspiracy of the Left was a bit a bit overstated: yes. My disagreement is in degree but not in substance. The Left self-organizes as libertarians also do. It’s just that they seem to be better able to take the levers of government than we are. They want power and we don’t want them to have it. We act in almost pure altruism. They consider themselves altruistic (“I’m forcing other people to be as good as I am.”) but, of course, their altruism involves the power of coercion.
Simply, they are more motivated than we are as any casual understanding of Public Choice Theory makes clear:
Second, public and private choice processes differ, not because the motivations of actors are different, but because of stark differences in the incentives and constraints that channel the pursuit of self-interest in the two settings.
Basically, each individual libertarian has little to gain from squelching the Left’s grab for power. Each Leftist who takes control has a huge amount to gain, for instance, as much as 1/6 of our national economy in the case of ObamaCare.
And, yet, we’re mad as hell and if enough of us are then the political center shifts towards libertarian ideals.
Trevor Loudon also pushed on the idea that libertarian isolationism would eventually lead to the destruction of the United States. In this I stand apart from most libertarians and agree with him. As far as I am concerned it’s a matter of freedom of contracts and breach of contracts.
If my friend and I have been having a mutually profitable endeavor, there is nothing wrong with me making an additional contract with her that says “If you are attacked I will defend you. In fact let’s tell all our associates that that is what we will do.”
In such a world, violence is decreased because the cost of violence increases.
I believe this contract can and should extend to nations as well.
We briefly discussed the “Treaty of Budapest” (It’s not really a treaty but a set of memorandums.) ( http://www.cfr.org/arms-control-disarmament-and-nonproliferation/budapest-memorandums-security-assurances-1994/p32484 ) .
The U.S. agreed to:
2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and
the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use
of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and
that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence
or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;
That sure looks like a breach of contract to me by the Russian federation to which we have a moral and legal obligation to respond with the use of force.
It was a great lunch.
Chair, Libertarian Party of Boulder County