Cato's Niskanen Suggests Different Sort of Libertarian Party.

William Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute is suggesting a Libertarian Party in which members surrender to internal discipline, following the instructions of party strategists for the good of overall progress. (To read his entire article click: A Case for a Different Libertarian Party)

Before we dismiss the idea as some kind of Utopian "herding of cats," let's remember that almost every one of the platform planks outlined by Karl Marx in his Communist Manifesto has been implemented in America without an overtly socialist party being exclusively in control for long periods. The coming Obama dictatorship will be the first fascist total control since Woodrow Wilson, yet the "progressive" socialists have always achieved their every incremental goal. The reason: disciplined adherence to strategy.

Niskanen points to the dismal success of small parties in which members work toward relatively unattainable goals rather than focusing energy on definitely attainable strategic goals. His argument is that unified party action toward actually achievable goals is much more successful, even when membership is relatively small. The success of Karl Marx's followers is proof that "cats allowing themselves to be herded" works.

Niskanen's most important points are:

1) The size of the (libertarian) party (in a given district) must be larger than the expected vote difference between the major party candidates. (i.e., there must be evidence they can deliver the winning votes.)

2) After the major party candidates are selected, the party leadership must have the opportunity to bargain with each of the major party candidates on the issue positions of highest priority for the libertarian party. (i.e., what major party candidate wouldn't listen to a little bribery or extortion?)

3) The party, as much as possible, must act in concert to support the major party candidate that is preferred by the members of the party in that district. (i.e., party discipline.)

It's an idea worth considering, but the party leaders would have to be extremely wise and persuasive ... wise to know which major party candidates might be receptive, wise to know which issues to focus on, and persuasive to make sure all the "cats are herded."

If a party leader was that wise and persuasive, he or she would have no trouble persuading a majority of the voting public and getting elected without the need for bargaining with major party candidates.

Ironically, current members of the Libertarian Party can become extremely wise and persuasive, and make the Libertarian Party itself a major party, if only they would diligently work the lessons of Course in Political Miracles. Influencing libertarians to take the Course might be first step in "herding the cats," don't you think?

For the last election year studied (1998) some of the highest percentage of votes for Libertarian Party candidates were for candidates who had been studying free of charge the lessons of: Course in Political Miracles

For a great discussion on Christianity vs. State Socialism see: Christianity vs. State Socialism

“I did not understand what made me free, nor what my freedom is, nor where to look to find it. Father, I have searched in vain until I heard Your Voice directing me. Now I would guide myself no more. For I have neither made nor understood the way to find my freedom. But I trust in You. You Who endowed me with my freedom as Your holy Son will not be lost to me. Your Voice directs me." (Prayer from A Course in Miracles)

  1. Chuck Moulton October 3, 2008 at 5:59 PM  

    I don’t think the Libertarian Party and Niskanen’s ideas are mutually exclusive.

    Why not create a Liberty PAC and only apply Niskanen’s plans in districts where there are no Libertarian Party candidates? Then both approaches could be tried and we could compare the results in the competitive free market.

    I would be willing to help with such a project.