"First, sign this oath!?"
Should you sign the LP Oath?
You wanted to join the Libertarian Party-- then they gave you an oath to sign, which says, "I do not advocate the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals."
You probably thought, "That's lame. Why would I sign an oath to join a political party? Then again-- oh well, I agree with Libertarians on most things, and I don't see anything wrong with what this says. I sure don't believe in initiating force against others. I'm not a terrorist!"
Here's the problem--
The oath is not about violent acts against government. That is Fraud. The oath is about Anarchy.
Libertarians for an Open Party was founded in 1999.
(Or if you signed and are now reconsidering, we provide a Form to Revoke the LP Oath.)
1. Are taxes an "initiation of force" for social goals? Then the oath would prohibit all taxes? Is there an exception for war? How so?
2. Is the constitution an "initiation of force" for social goals? What about the established courts of Justice?
3. Did you know the oath was influenced by Ayn Rand? ("no man may initiate . . . the use of physical force against others", Atlas Shrugged, John Galt Speaking) Did you know Rand considered this doctrine to prohibit all taxes? (The Virtue of Selfishness, Government Financing in a Free Society)
4. Thomas Jefferson wrote-- "a wise and frugal government . . . shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits . . ." (1st inaugural address, 1801) Does this sound better than the LP oath? perhaps closer to your own principles? What's wrong with that? Would Jefferson have signed an oath against all taxes?
5. You may have been told, "the oath just means you won't blow up the government". This is Fraud. First, it ignores the original statements from Ayn Rand. Second, if the government "initiated force" by taxing people, then the oath would allow blowing up the government, in self-defense! Third, if the party wanted an "anti-terrorist" oath, they should have written one in plain language, for example-- "I do not advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government". Why make it so hard to understand, when it is so easy to make it clear?
6. You may have been told, "it's no big deal, just sign it and forget about it". First, if "it's no big deal", then why does the party require it? Second, Would an oath against the constitution really be considered "no big deal"?
7. You may have been told, "the oath means whatever you want". Why sign anything without knowing what it means? Why trust someone who asks you to sign and can't explain what it means? How "principled" are the people who sign a meaningless oath and require others to do likewise?
8. You may have been told, "the oath is only an ethical ideal or utopian (anarchist) goal, it's not about policy". If you promise not to lie, does this mean only it would be "ideal" if you didn't lie? Such an excuse would make any promise untrustworthy!
9. Do you find it silly, dogmatic, and self-defeating that a political party would require an oath? Why isn't it enough to agree on the issues, perhaps for different reasons?
There are many Libertarians who want the oath removed, and for many reasons. The last vote by the national party was 60-40 to keep the oath. The oath divides the party in endless heated debates.
We say-- join the LP. Do NOT sign the oath. Instead, help us remove it! After joining the LP, please join us too-- Libertarians for an Open Party. (And we also ask that you join our "Million Dollar Idea" List.)