Factions in the Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party in the United States is composed of various factions, sometimes described as "left" and "right." Many libertarians reject use of these terms describe the political philosophy. There is some overlap between those groups and minimal government (minarchist) versus anarcho-capitalist.
In 1974 the larger minarchist and smaller anarcho-capitalist factions made the Libertarian National Convention in Dallas made the "Dallas Accord". It is an implicit agreement to compromise between factions by adopting a platform that explicitly did not say whether it was desirable for the state to exist. Over the years anarchists did continue to debate and clash with minarchists in the party.
When Ron Paul sought the 1988 Libertarian Party nomination for president, many saw him as too conservative and supported American Indian activist Russell Means to run against him. Nevertheless, Paul won the nomination and ran a libertarian presidential campaign.
After the campaign Paul supporters like Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell labeled themselves Paleolibertarians because of their culturally conservative views. However, they soon left the party and later abandoned the term.
Many conservatives have left the Republicans to join the party. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks some such conservatives initially supported the war in Afghanistan and the Iraq war.
Over the years the number of anarchists in the party dropped by about half. During the 2006 Libertarian National Convention delegates deleted a large portion of the very detailed platform. They added the phrase "Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property." Some took this as meaning the Dallas Accord was dead. However, anarchist philosophies of no government also are supported by planks of the party platform, one which describes the "right to alter or abolish government" and another that states that "Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval."
- Duncan Watts, Understanding American government and politics: a guide for A2 politics students, 2nd Revised edition, Manchester University Press, 16 March 2006, p 246 IBN 978-0719073274: "Libertarians feel that neither left nor right can be trusted to defend the rights of individuals."
- Leonard Read rejected these terms as "authoritarian". Neither Left Nor Right, The Freeman, February 1998, Vol. 48 No. 2.
- Walter Block rejected the labels being even in making differentiations between libertarians who were largely pro-property. Author "Libertarianism is unique; it belongs neither to the right nor the left," Journal of Libertarian Studies, Volume 22 (2010): 127–70.
- Sheldon Richman writes about this in Libertarianism: Left or Right?, Future of Freedom Foundation's "Freedom Daily," June 2007. "Is libertarianism of the Left or of the Right? We often avoid this question with a resounding 'Neither!'" He also points out that left and right were "first used in the French Legislative Assembly after the revolution of 1789. In that context those who sat on the right side of the assembly were steadfast supporters of the dethroned monarchy and aristocracy – the ancien régime – (and hence were conservatives) while those who sat on the left opposed its reinstatement (and hence were radicals). It should follow from this that libertarians, or classical liberals, would sit on the left."
- Mike Hihn, "The Dallas Accord, Minarchists, and why our members sign a pledge", Washington State Libertarian Party, August 2009.
- Paul Gottfried, The conservative movement: Social movements past and present , Twayne Publishers, 1993, p. 46.
- Less Antman, The Dallas Accord is Dead, Lew Rockwell.com, May 12, 2008.
- Walter Block, "Anarchism and Minarchism: No Rapprochement Possible", Journal of Libertarian Studies, at Ludwig Von Mises Institute website.
- Gibson, Brad (April 2, 1987), "Libertarian hopefuls visit Penn State", The Daily Collegian (University Park, Pennsylvania): 20
- "Also running". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). May 10, 1987. p. 10.
- "Texan sees a Libertarian president in political stars", The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington), June 29, 1987: 8
- Davidson, Lee (August 25, 1988), "Libertarians say Americans want voting alternative", The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah): B5
- Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. "The Case for Paleo-libertarianism" in Liberty, January, 1990, 34-38.
- Do You Consider Yourself a Libertarian?, Kenny Johnsson interviews Lew Rockwell for The Liberal Post, as posted on LewRockwell.Com, May 25, 2007.
- "Conservative-Libertarian Split: Liberals Get It, Conservatives Don't". IntellectualConservative.com. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- Justin Raimondo, Booting Boort: Antiwar Backlash Against Libertarian Convention Speaker Picks Up Steam, Antiwar.com, December 9, 2003.
- Knapp, Thomas, "Time for a new Dallas Accord?", Rational Review.
- Libertarian Party platform.