Letters to the Editor: September 24, 2003

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Letters to the Editor: September 24, 2003

Time for Real Academic Freedom

Ari,

The academic freedom debate presents an opportunity for me to write about two of my favorite subjects: 1) the separation of education and state and 2) the differences between conservatives and libertarians.

Conservatives say:

I'm sick and tired of all the socialists who dominate the academic environments at our public universities. Their influence over our children's minds must be neutralized. I want taxpayers to be forced to pay for more professors who teach our children about the virtues of free market capitalism, individual liberty, and personal responsibility.

Libertarians say:

I'm sick and tired of all the authoritarians who dominate the academic environments at our public universities. Their influence over my child's mind must be eliminated. I want a complete separation of education and state with the freedom to choose to pay for whatever kind of professors I want to teach my child.

The differences between conservatives and libertarians are obvious.

Conservatives detest socialism, which is one form of authoritarianism. Libertarians detest all forms of authoritarianism.

Conservatives think in collectivist terms as illustrated by the concern for "our children's minds." Libertarians think in individualistic terms as illustrated by the concern for "my child's mind."

Conservatives compromise. They're content with mere neutralization as a solution to the problem of socialistic authoritarianism. Libertarians don't compromise. Elimination of the problem by a complete separation of education from the state is the only acceptable solution.

Conservatives advocate the use of coercion as long as it serves to further their objectives. Even though libertarians have similar objectives, i.e., more free market capitalism, more individual liberty, and more personal responsibility, forcing taxpayers to pay for more professors who teach about these virtues is understood by libertarians to be oxymoronic.

I think John Andrews and other conservatives are close to making public statements in support of the complete separation of education and state. With a little more prompting and a little less concern about the consequences for their political careers, I think some of them will soon.

-- Steve Gresh, September 24

City Newsletters

Ari...

Liked your article on the government propaganda mills known as city newsletters.

Even more insidious, however, are the so-called public access channels (such as channel 8 in Arvada) that are actually government access channels that allow no access by the public, especially that part of the public that wishes to offer alternative viewpoints to those of the powers.

-- Doug Campbell, September 24

Ari Armstrong replies: I did cover one example of this TV programming.

Washington, We Have an Economic Problem...

Hi folks, I highly recommend everyone read this speech, given by David M. Walker the Comptroller General last week. He is very blunt about the fiscal train wreck the United States government is headed toward. I expect he will be fired soon as were Treasury Secretary O'Neill and the Bush Economic advisor, Lawrence Lindsey, earlier this year for making similarly blunt remarks about the fiscal condition of the federal government. I recommend as broad of dissemination of this speech as possible among your distribution lists.

-- Jeff Wright, September 24

Endorsing Non-Libertarians?

Ralph,

You wrote, "The national LP's myopic view that endorsement of non-LP candidates is strictly forbidden is anti-libertarian. Worse, it is cunterproductive and continues to leave this Party with inflexible responses to difficult political choices."

This requirement exists in the LP's bylaws and can only be removed or modified by the delegates to a national convention. Until that happens, the LNC, national staff, and affiliate parties have an obligation to follow the party's rules. If you feel this restriction is counterproductive, the solution is to convince the delegates to amend the party's bylaws.

You also wrote, "Do we run a candidate against Ron Paul, Doug Bruce, or Penn Pfiffner? Our current policy (if not our strategy) is to do so. This demonstrates to the politically connected that the LP is a bunch of uncooperative and politically unsophisticated bozos."

I can't speak with respect to Doug Bruce or Penn Pfiffner, However, the LP of Texas has routinely chosen to NOT run a candidate against Ron Paul. The bylaws prevent endorsements -- they do not require that we field candidates in all races.

-- Steve Dasbach, September 4

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