LP03: Boston Touts Libertarian State for Education Freedom
by Ari Armstrong, May 7, 2003
Boston T. Party remains unconvinced vouchers and tax credits will help establish a market in education, he said April 5 at the Libertarian Convention.
The recent much-publicized Supreme Court decision about vouchers was a 5-4 vote, and it involved a limited voucher program. The dissenters said vouchers "aren't really neutral toward religion," Boston said. "I'm not really hopeful for the constitutionality for voucher programs," he continued, doubting the high court will "uphold sweeping voucher programs."
Besides First Amendment concerns, the Fourteenth Amendment arguably requires "substantially equal public education," so long as education is viewed as an entitlement. The way vouchers are developing today aren't very impactful. Boston said vouchers bring us to the "vestibule of freedom," but not to real freedom.
Boston's new novel, Molon Labe!, is set in the near future in Wyoming, where libertarians gather to establish a free state. Education becomes part of the story line, Boston said. The libertarian leaders in his story eventually decide to give up on vouchers and simply "get out of the public education business."
For Boston, creating a free state is the only realistic way to restore a significant portion of our liberties. He maintains a fairly pessimistic view about most Americans: "They like their rights, but they like their lack of responsibility even more."
Boston urges libertarians to "honestly asses our strengths and pick a fight we can win." Freedom isn't free, and the least we can do is "inconvenience ourselves for liberty" and move to the designated free state. "You have to focus your numbers and take the hill."
The story of Boston's forthcoming novel also deals with the rise of national powers. "I didn't even come up with some of the stuff in PATRIOT II, and that's spooky," he said.
In response to a question from the audience, Boston said he's not concerned a free state would attract unsavory types. Even if it did, "So what? What can they do?" He said the KKK, for instance, is miniscule: "They don't have the numbers or the drive." Many members of strange right-wing "militia" groups are "talkers, not doers," Boston assessed, and anyway they "can't shoot for shit."
The current strategy of trying to win enough support to win campaigns across the nation is "like using a bic lighter to heat up a swimming pool." He acknowledged creating a free state in the context of modern America would be a tricky balancing act. However, the risks are fairly low, and the potential benefits are tremendous. "The windows in history [for freedom] are very narrow," Boston said. A free state would allow libertarians to be "missionaries" to the rest of the world and prove that freedom works best.