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Foundational Debate — Toward a New Party Part 2

Toward an Organizing Committee for a New Freedom-Aligned Party

by Publius Valerius

[Editor: We are in receipt of a new statement by Publius Valerius.  His, her, or their opinions are his, her, or theirs.]

The responses to my previous post raised a variety of questions that are meritorious for further discussion.

Publius Valerius Publicola was a Roman patriot of the sixth century B. C. He is credited with having saved the Roman Republic from dictatorship and tyranny. Two and a half millennia later, American patriots Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison adopted the nom de plume ‘Publius’ for their brilliant defenses of our modern Federal Constitution. Following the example of tens of American patriots as described in Bernard Bailyn’s definitive book The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, we have adopted a nom de plume so that the ideas discussed here cannot readily be confused with your opinions, positive or negative, of this author.

I should emphasize that the name I proposed for the party, Prosperity and Freedom, is perhaps a placeholder. If an organizing committee for the new party appears, it will doubtless have its own opinions on what the party’s name should be. That’s really a decision to be made later, not earlier, as one could waste a great deal of time without getting to anything substantive.  At some point the best choice of name will become obvious. If the committee is reasonably competent, it will even attempt some amount of market testing to see which names are heard by the public as being better or worse.  I would suggest that the word ’liberty ‘and words derivative from it be avoided, as the activities of several state Libertarian parties have damaged the aura of that word.

The Prosperity and Freedom Party is not meant to be the Libertarian Party under a new name. We already have a Libertarian Party; the provision of a second Libertarian Party does not seem likely to add much to the conversation. In particular while some members of the current Libertarian Party would be welcome in the new group, these being people who are actually doing useful work, the main membership recruitment focus should be on people who are not currently Libertarian Party members.

In my previous memorial, I noted a number of groups of people who were not desirable as members and should be kept out. As one category of people, note Mises Caucus supporters, true socialists, and anarchists. People who want to do away with government, or object to using the force of law to discourage illegal behavior, are not helpful part of most political movements. Adherents of the Mises caucus, Hoppeans, and Rothbardian support political directions that are not appropriate for the political direction that I am proposing.

As a second category of people, note persons who regularly support various sorts of conspiracy theories and the like, such as global warming deniers, 9/11 truthers, 2020 election deniers, anti-factors, southern historical reconstructionists, fascists who support the Russian attack on Ukraine, gold bugs, survivalists, ozone hole deniers, and people who claim that the Federal Reserve Bank is privately owned. That list looks long, but to a very great degree it is the same people time and time again.

The issue with the second group of people is that they attach themselves to ideas seemingly simply because they are unpopular and then scrounge through the Internet to find justification for their wrong claims.  Their presence detracts from the ability of a new party to present itself as being run by sane people who other Americans should trust with their government or parts thereof.

The third group of people might be described as exhibitionists, people who appear at political conventions in minimal or unconventional dress, and, of course, people who are fixated on the abuse of parliamentary procedure.

So, having said that there are some people we do not want, the question is how a new party protects itself from being overrun by these people. As one step, there is a European solution, practiced most notably in Germany, namely that the membership process includes a sortation committee that determines if applicants should be accepted.  The sortation process is based on a review of the applicant’s social media posts and other known activities. As a second step, one imposes the requirement that the people who are allowed to vote in party affairs are the activists, people who have run for office, collected signatures, been major donors, or been vigorous publicists for the party’s positions. At some point, when the party becomes large enough, sortation comes irrelevant, because there are only so many people who think that the South won the Civil War, the earth is flat, or the World Trade Towers were actually rammed by a flying saucer with an airliner painted on its underside.

Sortation is somewhat tedious, so that by American standards German political parties are small.

An issue is created by the existence of voter party registration and public primaries. Much of this can be avoided by maintaining two parallel structures, one recognized by the state government, and the other that actually has a say in party affairs.

It has been objected that the sortation process would narrow the base of potential members, at least if the new party is seen as an offshoot of the old Libertarian Party. The objective here is not to fight with the Libertarian Party for ownership of current LP members but to bring in the sensible majority of the American people.

12 Comments

  1. Stewart Flood Stewart Flood October 10, 2023

    I wish this site had the feature that IPR has that gives you a window of time to go back and edit your comment.

    I have had my head down, concentrating on work, and not politics the past few months, so my comment about there being multiple groups trying to form could possibly be no longer accurate. I believe I counted four at the beginning of the summer. Perhaps Dr. Phillies could give us an update on how many he is currently aware of.

    And what is the current state of the attempts to undo the coup with another coup within the libertarian party? Are they still working to salvage it, or has mises finally destroyed the rest of its competition? To be honest, I got so tired of that modern day Peyton Place that I have not paid any attention to them recently.

    • George Phillies George Phillies Post author | October 10, 2023

      Stewart: I will investigate the feature. I have also heard ‘five’ groups, not counting people trying to take back the LNC via the national convention, and people running for LNC Chair. How can people know? I have recently been astonished by the high quality of the operational security some of these groups have maintained. At some point we may find out. Also, like the socialist groups of a century ago, the splits and mergers mean that the count is unlikely to stay current. I have not been pursuing a count, so you seem to know about more of them than I do.

      • Stewart Flood Stewart Flood October 10, 2023

        I doubt that I know much more. But you are correct that operational security is vital. I have publicly stated that I am working with others toward organizing a new party, but as you know, most details are still being held back as we organize.

        The main reason for this is — and I am certain this is true for other groups as well — that finding and vetting volunteers is not a simple task. Those that are still in the libertarian party probably view new groups as either a joke or a threat when we are neither. I said “still in” because people are burning out and leaving it on an almost daily basis around the country.

        I know what my group is doing, but not what the others in potentially three or four or more might be. And not all groups have exactly similar goals. I believe some are trying to build an exact replacement for the liberty party, which I believe is doomed to failure. I am not saying that our job is easy, but it is not the same.

  2. Stewart Flood Stewart Flood October 10, 2023

    Well RFK won’t be accepted in this proposed party. He fits too many banned categories. He should go back under his rock and hide from needles.

    I have been informed by someone that my theory of who the author likely would be is incorrect. He named several other suspects, based on writing style, neither of whom I know. But of course, it really does not matter, as we still have no idea what this party stands for. The word freedom is used in the title of the article, but my Spidey sense is tingling.

    Since several of us have asked the question of what the philosophical basis of this party will be, hopefully, the author is preparing an answer. I have already proposed the need for a new classical liberal party, identifying all of the issues this author mentions, so I’m guessing it is not just a duplicate of what I called for, and that several groups have been working toward since before I wrote anything about the need.

    If this is another suggestion of a classical liberal party, then it just proves that more people than myself are saying we need one.

  3. JackT JackT October 9, 2023

    We have a good idea who this author dislikes, but we still don’t have an idea who the author proposes as the core constituency of this party. What unites the founding core of the party? Where do they differ from the major parties and existing minor parties such that founding a new party seems preferable to working within an existing party? These are the questions to address first before worrying about excluding folks

  4. Stewart Flood Stewart Flood October 9, 2023

    I think we need to stop fixating on the name. I have a couple of questions that perhaps the author will address:

    Since you have stated that former members of libertarian party are not welcome, and since most people politically active that actually believe in liberty and limiting, but not necessarily eliminating government, are either in the LP, or have been in the LP, I am a bit confused about what the general philosophical direction of the party would be.

    Obviously, to the general public using terms like neo-conservative, classical liberal, or democratic socialist may not be exactly understood, and therefore probably to be avoided, but to those here who understand political labels, what would be the general classification of this new party?

    I certainly agree that some of the more “flamboyant“ members of current parties, most notably, the LP, have caused controversy at times. It is unfortunate that there are people who choose to make themselves the center of public attention at events, like national conventions, which really should be intended to get the internal business of the organization done. I have already quite audibly stated my opinion of some current factions, but there are so many that if you eliminate everyone who is part of any “undesirable“ faction, or has any “undesirable“ tendencies, or opinions, you eliminate everyone.

    Who do you believe is left, and what philosophy will they adhere to in selecting candidates, and determining issues to either support or oppose?

    Others have suggested similar concepts of “filtering“ members, and while on the surface it looks objectionable, it is likely necessary for any new organization that is starting in this highly fractured and volatile political climate we have at present. How would you present it to people? Will they be told “we have to check your credentials“, or will it just be similar to what the masons do with their legendary “black ball”. You get rejected, but you are never told why or who objected to your membership. (My grandfather was a member, my father attempted to join and was blackballed. I never had any interest in that kind of thing, but I do have a plate in a box here that was my grandfather’s that is clearly from the Masons)

    To summarize, what would the general political philosophy be, and how would you deal with the public image of a party that requires passing purity tests – as the media will almost certainly call it.

    Oh… And I like the flying saucer thing… I had never thought of that one. But would it have been two of them, not one? Or was the second one actually a drone from Russia that was chasing the flying saucer and accidentally hit the second tower? See how easy conspiracies are to start? Perhaps the current national chair of the LP is involved somehow. Certainly, the secretary is.

  5. Stewart Flood Stewart Flood October 9, 2023

    Ahhh…I believe I understand who the author probably is.

  6. Andy Andy October 8, 2023

    Prosperity and Freedom Party sounds and looks similar to the Property and Freedom Society, which is an organization started by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Whoever came up with this name for a political party may want to consider a different name to avoid confusion.

    • George Phillies George Phillies Post author | October 9, 2023

      Even more obscure that the American Phalangists, but I agree.

    • Root's Teeth Are Awesome Root's Teeth Are Awesome October 9, 2023

      It also sounds similar to the Peace and Freedom Party, which has been on the California ballot for many decades.

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