The Libertarian Party and Non-objectivity

Last week, the Libertarian Party (LP) tweeted: “It’s sad that we can look to North Korea for an example of more freedom than the United States.” The now-deleted tweet was apparently motivated by the party’s mistaken belief that marijuana is legal in North Korea. Though a later tweet offered an apology, the original tweet illustrates the moral bankruptcy of the LP.

To the LP, the only consideration in evaluating a totalitarian dictatorship is the legal status of marijuana. Everything else about that society is ignored–the LP ignores the full context. The fact that North Korea is a massive concentration camp is deemed irrelevant, because, like wow man, they can get high.

This isn’t the first time that the LP has been guilty of epistemological indecency. Indeed, the entire history of the party has been a continuous parade of non-objectivity. For example, while claiming its support for individual rights, the 2016 LP platform states:

We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.

Known as jury nullification, this means that juries may unilaterally declare a law invalid.

While there are a great number of laws that should be repealed, jury nullification isn’t about repeal. It’s about a case by case determination whether a law is just or not. Which means, there really is no law. The law is what twelve individuals sitting in a jury room decide it is.

Suppose a jury decides that the prosecutor should not have to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt. This, they declare, is unjust. Suppose they decide that, so long as the evidence is substantial, all doubts should be cast aside. This is nothing but anarchy, and those entering a courtroom will never know what standards may or may not apply. Indeed, there are no objective standards.

Protecting individual rights requires objective laws–clearly stated laws that define which actions initiate force or commit fraud. This is precisely what the LP wishes to abolish.

As another example:

The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights—life, liberty, and justly acquired property—against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group.

According to the LP, an individual has a right to round up a local street gang and reclaim the property he believes his neighbor has stolen. And his neighbor, believing that his life is in danger, has a right to recruit a rival street gang to aid in his protection. If you wonder how this will play out, simply watch a video of the recent riots in Charlottesville.

Despite their pretenses, the LP isn’t about individual rights. They are about following one’s whims, whether it is in a courtroom or in the streets. Objectivity requires standards, and that is precisely what the LP rejects.

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