Thursday, October 7, 2010

5 Key Principles that Unite Populist Progressives and Tea-Party Libertarians

"Rise like Lions after slumber; In unvanquishable number; Shake your chains to earth like dew; Which in sleep had fallen on you; Ye are many; They are few." -- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Human World Order
Activist Post

The establishment must do everything it can to suppress unity among the growing herd of angry citizens. However, victory for the people is within our grasp.  In a dangerous scenario for the establishment, populists from the left and the right are increasingly finding common ground.  A recent Mother Jones article titled "Tea Party or Pot Party?" revealed to progressives that they can actually agree with Tea Party libertarians on issues such as legalizing marijuana.  With an honest look at each other's principles we may find that what unites Populists is far more powerful than what divides us.

First, we must be cognizant that the establishment seeks to divide us by using such vile tactics as labeling progressives as "evil communists" and the Tea Party libertarians as "racists."  Naturally, old-school civil rights liberals hate racists, and free-market conservative purists hate communists. Can we not see that the establishment knows precisely what buttons to push to keep us from uniting?  These false labels are irrelevant in our current struggle with a tyrannical Corporate State.

It is clear that we the people are all suffering in similar ways under the current system. We grasp for someone to blame for this manufactured suffering, and the establishment is all too eager to provide a culprit to misdirect our anger.  Progressives have been conditioned to blame big evil corporations, while conservatives have been conditioned to blame big evil government. But now, both are finally realizing that corporate cartels and the government have merged into a most evil monster that cares not for them, or the health of America for that matter.  Even Michael Moore is waking up to the fact that Obama is a mere puppet of the corporate masters.

The people have been fooled and divided for long enough.  Now, we must go beyond phony labels that the establishment has carefully crafted for us, and join our fellow populists to unite around our common human principles.

Here are five co-dependent principles that unite populist progressives and tea party libertarians:

1. Peace - Ending Foreign Wars
Peace seems to be our natural human condition until the corporate controllers disrupt it for their tactical gain. Wars are sold through division, driven by military-industrial complex profits and the desire for power over resources -- period.  Those are not good enough reasons to kill, maim, displace and torture millions of human beings.  Real humans, if desperate enough, may kill for resources but are not inclined to simply kill for power -- and will engage in neither if they are reasonably comfortable.  The good news is, the elite sub-humans who use human pawns for war to increase gluttonous fortunes will eventually be toppled, because the true natural order of peace will always ultimately manifest. Acts of war are always immoral crimes against humanity, as war is hell and we must become the devil to win.

Libertarians and progressives have been consistently unified against the immoral, interventionist wars and the resulting atrocities on liberty.  Complacent progressives must forget about what party is in power and continue to fight for what is right.  It's not okay to excuse the wars, the torture, and the illegal wiretapping simply because the current Democratic president was presented with a Nobel Peace Prize.  If anything, that alone should prove to you the left-right paradigm is bogus.  And if pocketbook conservatives desire authenticity about reducing spending, then we must start with defense cuts across the board -- including ending the wars. Christian conservatives and liberal Jews must adopt the peaceful message of their religions, and realize that the real threat to their freedom and safety is far more dangerous than the engineered Muslim threat sold to them by the corrupt establishment. And those who still support military-industrial complex-owned neocons, God help you.

Common Ground: As Gandhi said, "There is no path to peace, peace is the path".  Ending the wars is the only moral and pragmatic policy to rescue our country.

2. Restoring Economic Justice and Fiscal Sanity
Economic fairness and fiscal sanity begins and ends with reforming our monetary system. The primary reason Americans should be angry about their economic situation is the fact that the Federal Reserve is a privately-owned entity.  It functions outside the jurisdiction of all branches of elected government and it owns the SEC and Treasury, which gives this private group immeasurable power to turn us and our government into debt slaves for their own gain.  The fractional reserve system for money creation inherently causes inflation that will always require more taxes from the public. In fact, the United States never had an income tax until the year after the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913.  The Fed, who continues to loot America, is also the engine that drives the ongoing global financial crisis.  To reclaim America it is imperative that the criminal banking cartel be abolished and sound money must be restored to the people.

We must learn from Woodrow Wilson who said: "Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of our nation, therefore, and all of our activities are in the hands of a few men . . . who necessarily, by very reason of their limitations, chill and check and destroy economic freedom."

This topic is so obviously beyond the false left-right debate that anyone who opposes it would appear to be a shill for the criminal banking system.  If Tea Party activists wonder who is to blame for their climbing taxes, they need to point their finger at the monetary system that encourages big government to keep spending, thus resulting in inflation.  There is already encouraging bipartisan cooperation in regards to investigating the Fed which has brought great awareness of their true nature to the public.

Although there is no proposed legislation to fundamentally change the function of the Fed, we saw a progressive Alan Grayson (D-Fla) co-sponsor the "Audit the Fed" bill, drafted by ultra-conservative Ron Paul (R-TX), with another ultra-progressive Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introducing the Senate version. Furthermore, it is also encouraging to see a flurry of candidates from various states and political philosophies proposing citizen-owned state banks as part of the economic solution.  This nonpartisan issue is absolutely vital for all Americans to support if we hope to be free human beings.

Common Ground:  Thomas Jefferson said: "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered . . . I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies . . . The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."  End the private Federal Reserve and establish sound money for the benefit of all Americans.

3. Limiting Government for the Restoration of Individual Liberty
Very simply, more personal liberty comes only by limiting the size of government.  As Americans, we all must hold dear our Bill of Rights which is clearly under assault. Conservative libertarians have long been known as the defenders of liberty, while progressive civil rights leaders in the 60s knew they had truth on their side when they declared that equality would ultimately prevail.  Since the civil rights victory, progressives grew to believe that government intervention works for social matters, and that well-funded regulatory agencies are necessary and good because they are looking out for our safety.

However, the last decade has conclusively proved that all major regulators like the FDA, USDA, CDC, SEC, and DHS have become arms of the elite corporate cartels who use regulation to squeeze small businesses to further consolidate their industry empires.  These utterly corrupt and bloated agencies continue to sell "safety" to the public to justify their budget and jurisdiction expansions, where they limit our freedoms through over-regulation at the behest of their corporate controllers.

Despite being the strongest voice against the Patriot Act at the time, progressives are only now experiencing the personal ramifications of increased government regulation by the massive "Big Brother" surveillance-industrial complex -- and it is happening, ironically, under our supposedly "liberal" president.  They have witnessed an assault on their freedoms with the recent tyrannical raids on peaceful antiwar protesters, private organic food cooperatives, legal natural health choices like medical marijuana, and illegal surveillance of environmentalist anti-fracture gas drilling groups.  In every case, big business is directing big government to crush our freedoms. Big government and big cartel business feed off each other in a self-perpetuating system that must be broken.

Common Ground: Liberty is a natural order that unites us and will prevail.  As John Adams wrote: "Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty."  Restore the Bill of Rights by ending the prohibition of drugs; and by reducing, or eliminating, regulatory agencies who impose fees, taxes, and statutes that threaten our freedoms.

4. Consumer Freedom and Free Markets
No form of government has been able to stop free markets in the history of mankind.  Even under totalitarian communism, barter systems or black markets thrive because free markets are yet another natural order for humanity.  The failed war on drugs is the most glaring example in America. The more tyrannical our government becomes toward limiting consumers' choices, the more we are seeing the rise of local organic cooperatives, many of which utilize barter systems.

For too long progressives and conservatives have confused what constitutes a free market economy. Again, this confusion and division has been deliberately manufactured  Conservatives who advocate for free market capitalism must admit that we haven't had that model since before the original Robber Barons, because Rockefeller and other elites live by the mantra "competition is a sin" -- thus cartels formed to create a form of corporate communism. While progressives like Michael Moore, director of Capitalism, must acknowledge that it is was not "free market capitalism" that caused the financial meltdown -- but rather it was the corrupt banking system and the utter lack of free market competition to blame (ie. Too Big To Fail).

The general public is beginning to realize that anti-competition cartels use government regulatory agencies to further consolidate market share which erodes the free market as well as personal choices.  Food is the most obvious example of an industry that is run by near monopolies, while the FDA continues to suppress healthy choices for local food and natural health alternatives. Progressives and conservatives must unite with no fear of being called anti-business, and fight to break up the cartels and regulatory agencies if we're to have genuinely free and fair markets.

Common Ground: "The difference between free-market capitalism and state capitalism is precisely the difference between, on the one hand, peaceful, voluntary exchange, and on the other, violent expropriation."Murray N. Rothbard.  End the monopoly cartels and abusive regulations; demand true free markets with the liberty of choice, not the illusion of choice.

5. Respecting and Protecting our Ecosystem
Obviously a polluted ecosystem does not discriminate against political affiliations.  Humanity requires a healthy environment above all other concerns; as clean water, air, and healthy soil are essential to our survival. That we can all agree on. However, the modern environmental movement seems to have been hijacked by the elite who show no desire to protect the water, air, and soil.  Environmentalists have been made to believe that CO2 is the most dangerous element responsible for "Global Warming", and despite the establishment's constant betrayal of facts, many still put faith in the elite's proposed solutions that do nothing to reduce real pollutants.

The climate change debate has become the only environmental topic discussed in the mainstream and appears to be yet another example of manufactured political division. Environmentally-conscious progressives know they have been repeatedly lied to by the establishment left about everything from free-trade agreements, to the wars, to GMO foods, yet they seem to have a very difficult time questioning the man-made "global warming" theory and the elite's proposed solutions.

At the very least, eyebrows should be raised since “hacked” emails exposed that the science data had been manipulated to fit the theory.  Alarm bells should go off when we learn that, as Vice President, Gore designed the proposed Cap and Trade system with Enron’s criminal CEO Ken “Kenny Boy” Lay years before the global warming propaganda had begun. A full blown revolt should take place knowing that the scandalous international Banksters and Big Oil (including BP) have shaped Cap and Trade to line their pockets. Finally, many of the proposed provisions appear to tax personal choices while major corporate polluters are exempt. Regardless of what we believe, it certainly appears that climate change fits the establishment's problem-reaction-solution model of social engineering and we should all beware.

Additionally, the global-warming-is-a-hoax crowd must concede that fossil fuels are still dirty and have a major impact on the environment regardless of whether they effect climate change.  The environmentalists who recently opposed fracture drilling in Pennsylvania did so because the practice contaminates ground water, not because natural gas effects climate change.  These protesters were nonpartisan Americans.  We must unite against practices that provably damage our health and the health of our ecosystem.  These can include oil spills and subsequent chemical spraying, industrial agriculture and factory farms, dirty coal and depleted uranium energy plants, deliberate poisoning of public water with sodium fluoride, and the production, promotion, and disposal of dangerous pharmaceuticals to name a few.

Common Ground: True pollution is obvious. "Truth is uniform and narrow; it constantly exists, and does not seem to require so much an active energy, as a passive aptitude of the soul in order to encounter it. But error is endlessly diversified; it has no reality, but is the pure and simple creation of the mind that invents it." - Ben Franklin.  We must unite to confront the provable threats to human health and the integrity of our environment, and we must do it rather quickly.

These principles should naturally unite angry citizens who have been relentlessly abused by the corporate state.  Sure, many will remain close-minded and submit to the manufactured division, but as we reach this crucial tipping point for free humanity, it is now imperative that we join in common purpose - FREEDOM.  Let us know what you think!

This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


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Excellent article. we should get Alex Jones to do a show on this topic. So many reformed liberal, like myself, fail to see the truth because of the wedge issues employed by the establishment to separate us. Thanks for the article.

RepublicConstitution said...

Incredible article!!

This actually fully encompasses many of the similarities which both sides of the issues, left and right, need to understand to find common ground.

The political system as it plays out in front of us on television is a false left vs. right paradigm of corporate owned and controlled Republicans and oligarchical financier/foundation funded and controlled Democrats. In the end, the elite win when that false game is played.

Americans need to wake up and unify in an entirely non-violent manner to get real justice and freedom.

Anonymous said...

This post may not sound genuine, but I was also a registered Democrat. I voted for Kucinich in the '04 primary, then after Dean was assassinated by the media, I cast my vote for Kerry.

This article explains what the rally in SF on 9/5/10 was all about. Matt Gonzales, John Dennis and Ron Paul took to the podium to put on a non-partian, anti-war, and anti-establishment rally. (Search: "Dennis" "Gonzales" "SF" "anti-war")

These similarities are also why McKinney, Nader, Baldwin and Paul united under the 4 principles of "Foreign Policy," "National Debt," "Privacy," and "Federal Reserve." (Search: "Paul" "Nader" "McKinney" "Baldwin" "Principles")

Today, I actually identify much closer to the Tea-Party Libertarian banner then I ever did when I called myself a anti-war Democrat. But, much like what the media did to Howard Dean, they've successfully assassinated and co-opted the Tea-Party banner to make ti appear as it were a bunch of crazies.

Anyone paying attention tshould be able to see this.

Activist said...

Thanks for the encouraging comments. We feel the exact way you all feel. Victory will be ours eventually because these principles are the truth!

Keep up the fight and share these articles with friends...perhaps we'll wake up a few...

Activist Post Editors

Filer said...

Hey I would rather travel to Washington for a Rally about nothing than spend 2 minutes reading something like this that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

The article is way off, blurring key distinctions and ignoring principled differences to reach it conclusions. Progressives are against CRONY capitalism, not proper regulation. Likewise, being against police-state surveillance isn't an anti-regulation stance, its a pro-Constitution, pro-civil rights stance. You'll also have a hard time finding progressives who support NAFTA and free trade, two things the free marketers love to champion. Progressives support ideas like the 1970's direct federal employment program to create jobs...contrast that with the tea party which pushes less corporate as a job creator.

One group thinks the healthcare bill is completely unconstitutional and needs to be rescinded..and the other thinks it is too weak and needs to be expanded to a single-payer system, eliminating the powerful insurance lobby. Their are fundamental differences here that can't be overcome with a simple glossing over of general support for the constitution.

I understand why some want to lump the two together - the tea party is a populist public-relations franchise, bankrolled by wealthy corporate interests and elites (like the Koch brothers and Dick Armey's corporate sponsored Freedom Works). The social-welfare, economic-equality beliefs of progressives are the antithesis of the direction people like Dick Armey and the Koch brothers (and mega-powerful interests like the pharma or oil cartels) want the country to move in. It would be sweet mana from heaven if they could lump to two groups into one. Expect Cheney to pray to Mecca before that happens..even the Dems (you know, the ones the tea baggers call "socialists") are having a hard time convincing progressives they're not corporatist hacks.

Activist said...

Thanks for your comment. "If you're not catching flak, you're not over the target."

Can we at least agree that CRONY capitalism includes owning regulatory agencies, and that they need massive reform to go back to work for the people?

You're right the article clouded regulation and police-state, which is unclear. The police-state is part of big government that needs to go -- much like bloated phony regulators.

Healthcare is definitely a massive challenge. Conservatives offered nothing substantial to the debate, and we have a long way to go solving this. I happen to think insurance companies serve absolutely no purpose in the system except driving up prices, while mandating purchasing from them is unconstitutional.

We must do our best to drop labels and find common ground. If the tea party is co-opted by the elite, then we need to create something new - like the Independence Party...

Anonymous said...

No scientific body of national or international standing has denied that global warming is occurring that it is probably due in large part to human activity. The fact that a few scientists out of thousands engaged in fraud, and the fact that various politicians and businessmen are greedy and want to make money, should in no way surprise us or shake our confidence in the unanimous opinion of the international scientific community (which we seem happy to trust when it comes to airplanes, quantum mechanics, evolutionary biology, etc. etc.). It is really crazy to think that there is some vast international conspiracy involving all chemists, climatologists, geologists, ecologists, etc.

Anonymous said...

But I should be quick to say that I agree with everything you said apart from your skepticism concerning global warming. And I sincerely *hope* that you're suspicions are correct. Nothing would make me happier than to learn the tens of thousands of scientists are all wrong and that we don't have to worry about sea level rise, desertification, glacial retreat, ocean acidification, ecosystem degradation, species extinction, and erratic climate patterns affecting food security.

Activist said...

"Skepticism is the first step toward truth." - Denis Diderot

JRH said...


I lead a Tea Party group consisting of several thousand members. I have sacrificed literally thousands of dollars in wages. A small handful of locals do all of the work of the events we hold. We have members who embrace a range of philosophy spanning from hard-core Christian Conservatives to Anarcho-Capitalists. We all dislike Obama but we are all working to elect a conservative African American from our group to replace a 13-year incumbent State Rep. I have never received a check from FOX or Dick Armey. I don't like either of them particularly and Newt Gingrich makes my skin crawl. While many of our members supported Palin, when she went the Party route to endorse Slick Rick Perry for Governor most of them turned on her.

We are independent minded. Most of us will vote GOP or Libertarian, but a growing number will be casting protest votes because we are sick of voting for the lesser of evils.

I am exhausted. I am a private person who enjoys reading and spending time with my family, two things I have sacrificed too much of because I am busy rallying 'troops' to wake up before it is too late. And I am sick and tired of hearing I am a racist, a Republican shill, funded by corporate interests, or killing the planet by exhaling.

2,500 people had joined this local Tea Party before Dick Armey even had it on his radar screen to climb aboard the Tea Party Express. The truth is Republicans don't like us much. The party wants to have us sit down, shut up and vote the ticket and they will be sorely disappointed for many elections to come. So please don't generalize a movement I have put a lot of time, money and heart into. There are surely those who would love to co-opt us and there will be sell-outs along the way but the vast majority of us don't get any money outside of local donations and put far more in than we ever receive.

Activist said...

Great Comment! The very fact that the establishment left is going to such hideous lengths to categorize the Tea Party, while the establishment right is trying to co-opt the movement shows how desperate they are to a maintain the left-right paradigm.

The good news is that independent-minded citizens are increasingly joining and forming local grass roots movements all over the country in protest of the corrupt establishment. It's only a matter of time before that coalesces into a movement so powerful that the establishment must succumb to its force.

It's difficult to say what form it will take and when it will happen. Perhaps we'll see it if Ron Paul runs in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Our only real chance is to get Dr. Paul to run in 2012. I doubt that he can be elected with the massive establishment entities that will go after him. Dr. Paul is the only one on the political scene that can unite the many factions that are so dissatisfied with our country today.

Jan said...

This article should be on all progressive and libertarian sites. I found it as a link from and will reference it on

In 2000 I wanted to see Nader, Buchanan and Harry Brown campaign together in a "Vote for one of us" approach. The Paul/Nader effort in 2008 was just too little, too late. We must revive that effort. Divide and conquer is the oldest strategy in the book.

Anonymous said...


Someone posted this in r/progressive on Reddit, and as a progressive, I thought I'd stop by and say a few words.

Some of this stuff is really good. Ending foreign wars, drug prohibition, and government surveillance, for instance, would be a great start.

On the other hand, eliminating the regulatory agencies that are in place to protect consumers would be disastrous. Mind you, it's true that since Reagan's day they've been coming progressively more corrupt, but the key there is to keep corporate money *completely* out of politics, and not just let them have a big free-for-all.

Essentially what you're saying in this article is that progressives and libertarians should agree on several things that we already agree on and several things that libertarians like and progressives don't. If this is honestly about working together as opposed to just preaching your own views, you ought to consider backing off on a few of these points.

We don't all have to become libertarians in order to agree on ending foreign wars, government spying, state-sponsored monopolies (which, by the way, are not inherent to government regulation), and drug prohibition. Why not at least make a real effort to team up on the things we do agree on? After that, we can fight it out on the things we don't.

Paul said...

While I agree with the general thrust of the article - that it is the natural business of the ruling class to "divide and conquer" - there are some real differences between these groups.

But, that should not stop us from uniting for the purpose of defeating our common enemy, the leviathan state.

Having done so, what then? Are we condemned to struggle with our former allies for control, the winning side getting to impose on the losing side?

No. We just need to physically separate, and live in the sort of state or community that most suits us. There are 50 states, over 3000 counties in this country. We need not combine in a top-down homogenized mess as we have now, and we should not do so. I have written about that here:

iawai said...

To clarify to a few commentators: Libertarians are NOT anti-regulation. They are PRO voluntary consumer's regulatory groups. They are anti-monopoly regulators, because these regulators have never been benevolent or omniscient and were designed as a nexus to draw in corporations to capture the regulators.

Hamilton, at the dawn of the Republic, wanted more regulation and federal activity to explicitly entwine the interests of the rich and powerful with the interests of the federal government.

Beyond these factors, another fatal flaw to federal regulation is the lack of incentive to actually regulate consistently and adequately. The recent egg recall should evidence that the regulators failed in their mission to protect consumers, because the producer was previously in trouble, and should have been under closer inspection. There was another piece of news not long ago that an agency official had fabricated his resume and was not performing his duties.

A private, for-profit regulator would not allow these horrible deviations without suffering a loss in profits and reputation. The FDA, and other federal regulatory agencies simply go without any comeuppance, and in fact are likely to receive MORE funding so that they can plaster over these faults with more half-assed efforts.

Jahfre Fire Eater said...

Common ground is pretty obvious. The relevant difference/similarity is not found in an issue-by-issue comparison of positions.

The fundamental divide is in the means proponents are willing to utilized to realize their ends.

Progressives see the state as the provider from whom all blessings flow.
The "Tea Party" is a label looking for a definition. So far, members seem to just like the jerseys regardless of the outcome.

I am a limited government fiscal conservative and a proponent of state's rights and community rules at the local level. Using the power of big government to impose the will of the holder's of "common ground" positions is absolutely unacceptable to me and to most who understand the advocates of ever-escalating government power may, coincidentally, agree with us on certain positions. Even so, we will never accept each other's means.

-Jahfre Fire Eater

Activist said...


Even if that "common ground" is limited government and states rights? Progress and collaboration must be made at some point, no?

Fred Boyd said...

We all have to identify and operate from First Principles- what do we believe and what are the values that drive everyday decisions? Then act on those values as we select our leaders, vote and move from those First Principles. For me First Principles are Family, Health, Security, and Liberty. My First Principles are probably not too different from most Americans'.

Next our task is to identify actions and political positions that are inherently in conflict with those First Principles. Mega-corporate profit motive is inherently anti-family. The Fed is clearly operating at odds with my financial security as my wages stagnate and my house value is ravaged by the recession. And Corporate "healthcare" clearly cares little for my health unless it drives me to spend 10-25% of my income on "health insurance."

Vote your true self-interests, not the positions of the Moneyed Interests who control the Party you identify with the closest. Ultimately, the Moneyed Interests have the most money to spend to bring us into line. The challenge becomes how to separate the truth in what you hear in the media- including internet blogging from disinformation intended to reinforce a Moneyed Interest-driven outcome.

Activist said...

Brilliant Breakdown Fred, Thanks.
Eric Blair

Puzzled said...

The solution to the "healthcare divide" is to convince liberals that nothing better can come out of Washington, and to convince conservatives/libertarians that we like cheaper healthcare and greater availability.

Deuce said...

Anonymous is showing all the irrational symptoms of deep denial. He shoots the messenger, argues semantics, and hyperfocuses on the already-acknowledged differences between the two sides. The Kool-Aid is coursing through his veins and he cannot be saved. It must kill him that so many capable, open-minded thinkers that he thought were on his team are agreeing with this very well reasoned and well written article. Kudos for the exceptional article and many insightful comments

webabuser said...

Good article. I felt the need of something like this from a long time. A problem is that in order to work the libertarians would have to throw out the Palinians/bigots/imperialist ziocons and the leftists would have to drop the statists, the less-evilist and obots (which are most of their constituency). Provided that this would work out, they will most likely find that to elect good people to reform the system is like sending virgins to reform the whorehouse, then we will have a chance to get serious and go whole hog for anarchy.

Darth said...

So I think what Jahfre is saying (and I agree with him) is that common ground is not good enough if the principles we agree to are still imposed by government force. There will be no real common ground until that is gone. A small government person accepting a liberal agenda by virtue of it being agreeable to them, is not finding common ground. The liberal is still getting their agenda implemented and maintained through government force. So this is not common ground at all for the small government person whose primary position is the objection to the forcible coersion by the government.

Limited Government is not something that will be forced upon us by the government so your response to him is irrelevant to the point he is making. Yet it is very relevant as an example because this is precisely the point where people who seem to have common ground will quickly diverge. It's silly to think that anyone DOESN'T want wealth and liberty and justice. But the liberal's way will always be to have any actions towards these things facilitated by the government, while the libertarian will want them facilitated privately.

This article is fantastic and has many merits. But if it has one failing it is the failure to acknowledge this point. People whose fallback position is "government" will never fully reach common ground with those whose fallback position is "private". This means that, sadly, the concept of common ground will go out the window at the point of implementation. Precisely the point where it matters. Not to be a fatalist about an otherwise commendable concept, but the facts are what they are...

bro43 said...

As for regulatory agencies, the fact is there now are more regulatory agencies than ever before in US history. How has that worked out for us? The more the regulations, the deeper the corruption runs. When are folks going to learn that each individual should act as their own regulatory agency, expecting the state to is akin to asking the thief to hold your wallet.

Anonymous said...

Regarding government controlled regulatory effectiveness, check out who is on the regulatory boards... industry insiders and ex-lobbyists. Why? Because I'm not going to spend much of my attention and meager resources to get who I want on a regulatory board, but the companies getting regulated will spend millions on getting their people on there, and fund the congressmen that control that board, and collect blackmail on anyone that has influence over that regulatory board. You'll find that government regulations usually regulate start-ups and other independent competition against the big industry players, through requirements that only large corporations can afford and thousand page laws that only expensive legal teams can navigate. The effective and moral solution is to allow the consumer (us, the citizens) to choose the independent research we want so that we make the decision that we want, not what some politician, lobbyist, or industry insider wants for us. Do you think any average Americans are on these regulatory boards?

It is regulations that have resulted in our current broken healthcare system. Why do we not get bombarded with ads from profitable health insurance companies? Because we have no choice. Auto and home insurance companies compete for our business, while health insurance companies know we have now choice because they wrote the laws that make competition obsolete.

In response to the comment about NAFTA and free trade agreements being supported by libertarian, 'free market' people, there is a confusion of terms. NAFTA is not free market. 'Free market' laws and treaties are not free market... it's just a label corporate-owned media puts on it. True free market requires no law and no treaty. Free market means the government allows its citizens to make their own contracts with foreign entities without any government laws or agreements.

In fact, corporate-owned media has twisted what is 'free market' to suit their interests. Corporations cannot exist in a free market system. A corporation is an entity created and defended by the government. Without the government protection, people are just people. They can't hide behind a corporate entity... they must accept personal responsibility for the decisions they make. Without corporations no one person could amass large amounts of power, because with power comes responsibility over those people and assets they control and would be open to so many law suits for the actions of their assets that no one would want to own more then they can supervise and directly control.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a good article. Obviously, there are areas of common ground, as well as major differences, between libertarians and progressives.

While there is no use trying to ignore the differences or sweep them under the rug, it would probably be wise at this point to follow the old maxim: "the enemy of my enemy is my frind" while we still have something left to fight over. It is a matter of setting priorities.

Also, there is an important dimension to the situation that is getting short shrift - the problem of scale and concentration. There are plenty among the elite on both the left and the right that are all about concentration of political and economic power (actions speak louder than words). However, among ordinary people, there is plenty of skepticism about the concentration of wealth and power, and this skepticism transcends political ideology. If we get rid of the federal leviathan (or at least chain him down), then more people will achieve a higher degree of political satisfaction through the expansion of home rule - whether left or right. Let's face it, Texas will never be Massachusetts and vice versa. It is about time that we admitted to each other that this is OK. It really isn't necessary to impose a monolithic value scale on 300 million people. Our smallest state is still larger than many countries. Most of us don't wring our hands over what we can do to impose our social and political mores on the inhabitants of Tuvalu. Why should we care unduly about how people in a State 500 miles away choose to govern themselves?

Richard W. Posner said...

Corporations must be divested of the rights of "persons" under the fourteenth amendment. Corporations are NOT persons.
No corporation should be chartered unless it is non-profit and able to provide empirical evidence that its existence will "PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity".
The for-profit paradigm does not promote excellence, it promotes exploitation and oppression.
The system of usury that currently masquerades as our "economy" must be eliminated. It is privately controlled, debt-based and exists only for the profit of a small minority.
“If congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.”
Andrew Jackson
“The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity.”
Abraham Lincoln
And, do we want to be the "United" States or a bunch of competing sovereign states? In New Mexico we get a lot of our water from Colorado. With water and other resources not being equally distributed and/or becoming scarce, how do you suppose all this state independence will work out? I guess we better make sure we've got lots of weapons to make sure all our militias are ready.
@Activist, it's too late. While I admire your optimism and have tried to show people the need for solidarity, the comments on this and many other posts should be enough to show you that it ain't gonna happen.
Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

Rady said...

A friend characterized the main points of this article this way:

"The RepubliCrats agree on perpetual war, playing monopoly with other people’s money, Big Brother surveillance, crony capitalism, and hit-and-run resource extraction."

I've taken a couple online tests that labeled me "Left Libertarian". Whatever the various labels mean, I do believe we should take care of and protect the most vulnerable members of our society... so maybe that means government intervention. Someone's gotta run the programs.

On the other hand, I think it should be done on a regional level. Like someone said above, Massachusetts will never be Texas. So, regional can mean at the state level, or preferably, even smaller. South Florida, with its tourism, fishing industry and mega cities is vastly different from the citrus counties to the north of us.

The federal government has become everything the Founders feared – and so our regulatory agencies are captive to Big Biz, our food is monopolized, and Americans are some of the sickest people on the planet. We suffer from legalized toxic food, soil, water & air, coupled with a for-profit healthcare system whose doctors made 30-50 times what their patients make.

Something wrong with that picture.

Darth makes an excellent point: “People whose fallback position is 'government' will never fully reach common ground with those whose fallback position is 'private'. This means that, sadly, the concept of common ground will go out the window at the point of implementation. Precisely the point where it matters.”

But, we best find common ground cuz the elites are killing “them” as softly as they’re killing “us.”

Let each state decide how much “private” and how much “government.”

And, let’s keep in mind, effecting any real change in the current system won’t happen with words, or elections. And it certainly will not happen online. Any alliances forged – to be of any real and lasting value – are done face to face. They are built on trust – something that takes time to develop. (I recommend Are we slacktivists? The Limits of Internet Organizing.)

"5 Key Principles" is an excellent article – and we need more like it. Let’s get these points refined so that we, together, can bridge our differences and use our common ground as the starting point.

~ Rady

Rady said...

btw, Ernest Partridge (Crisis Papers) wrote in-depth about the difference b/w liberals and libertarians:

~ Rady

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mr. Activist: Thomas Jefferson NEVER said: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered . . . I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies . . . The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

That Jefferson quote about Private Banks is supposed to have been taken from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin in 1802. I can find no such letter which contains this supposed "quote".

Thomas Jefferson wrote to Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin 5 times in 1802, and NONE of those letters contain such a statement.

to the secretary of the treasury (Albert Gallatin.)
Washington - April 1, 1802....

to the secretary of the treasury (Albert Gallatin.)
June 19, 1802.

to the secretary of the treasury (Albert Gallatin.)
Monticello - September 13, 1802.

to the secretary of the treasury (Albert Gallatin.)
October 7, 1802.

to the secretary of the treasury (Albert Gallatin.)
October 13, 1802.

Nor could I find the Quote in a letter from ANY OTHER year!

The Jefferson quote "warning about private banks" from all the information I can find, is made up; a phony.


Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:23 (This is the LAST paragraph of the letter, and the underlined part is the LAST sentence of the Letter, and it ends with the word "scale"). - Source:

Thomas Jefferson to Abbe Salimankis, 1810. ME 12:379 - Source:

Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1803. ME 10:437 - Source:

Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816 ME 15:39 - Source:

Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39 - Source:

I did several posts on the subject:


I have challenged any one who can, to find the exact Jefferson source of the supposed quote. To this day, I have yet to receive such information.

Anonymous said...

The above post is correct, the quote in question is mis-attributed to Jefferson, it really has no connection to him.

On the article itself, I am for the most part in agreement with you. Even though I am a firm believer in anthropogenic climate change, I don't believe massive top-down regulation is the way to change people's behavior. I am what some here seem to call a "progressivist" (though I disagree with the label) in that I do believe there is some place for government in the administration of society. However, I do not consider it the solution to all problems. The government has no place bailing out automotive manufacturers, funding exorbitant weapons manufacturing under the label "defense spending", or regulating the amount of salt in my food. Ensuring that hard-working, productive members of society can have access to health-care without becoming destitute is, however, a place I think the government has some role. Don't get me wrong, the health-care bill was a travesty from the get go, marred by partisan politics and corporate corruption, but the notion that somehow, in the vacuum proposed by those who advocate a fully privatized, unregulated system, universal coverage would occur, is wishful thinking. If that were so, why hasn't it come into existence yet?

Regulation is not by itself bad. The current division of frequencies for telecommunications is highly regulated, but such regulation is necessary to prevent huge problems in data transmission. Airspace above the US is also highly controlled, but I don't see any Tea Party spokesmen coming out against that regime. There are circumstances that demand oversight by a neutral third party, and that is where the public sector has its role. Every law we have is a regulation on our behavior, from murder and fraud, to traffic law.

On a similar topic, if you were to dismantle the FDA, something would have to come in to replace it. If the replacement took the form of voluntary regulatory regime, then legislation would have to be put in place to prevent abuse by cartels and to prevent harm to the public. These laws are regulations, plain and simple. And I worry about elected officials having such a role, as it could easily leads to foolish decisions for positive publicity, rather than the substantive legislation necessary to protect consumers from companies who hold a great deal of power.

If the left would stop pretending that all private enterprise is universally evil, while the right would stop pretending that a total absence of regulation constitutes a society, and not just chaos, we could actually make some progress.

P.S.: When the Tea Party first formed I actually viewed it as a positive development. The excesses of government stimulus were mind-boggling. I got off the wagon at around the time the comparisons of Obama to Hitler were being made. While I may not have too much faith in the government as it is now, that kind of rhetoric cheapens the debate, and renders it pointless, just as much as it did when the left called Bush the same thing. Also, the recent turn it has taken from fiscal restraint, to hard-line Christian fundamentalism is also bothersome. If the Tea Party are really libertarians, than the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, pro-faith legislation stance being put forward should bother them. If the movement went back to its roots, of advocating fiscal restraint and less government control, maybe I would support it, but that's not the picture I'm getting right now.

Mark Herpel said...

Best fricken post I've read in the past ten years. Keep up the good work.

Mark Herpel

Activist said...


VERY, VERY kind of you to say. We're so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting our site.

Activist Post

diana said...

I have been passing this essay around a lot the past few weeks. I've been saying for years that the R/L paradigm no longer describes reality, and you brought up many good points. I recently read some of the above comments. You said that you didn't think the republicans had come up with any good ideas regarding the health care issue. I suggest you check out Operation Health Freedom, which features pieces by Ron and Rand Paul, Tom Woods, Peter Schiff, Andrew Napolitano...they have some very sound, common sense ideas that would improve on the current system for many people in many ways...

Thanks for your are helping people connect the dots and boy do we need more people doing that in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

You are so spot-on. We must build bridges based on common-ground & stop allowing the elite 1% to divide and rule us! When meeting another activist/person of a differing camp, this must become our mantra: what do we have in common; not where do we disagree. Actually it is simple respect. Not one has all the answers.

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