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The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 8, August, 1977

Part of the complete Libertarian Forum archives. This issue is also available as a PDF format facsimile.




A Monthly Newsletter

THE


Libertarian Forum


Joseph R. Peden, Publisher Murray N. Rothbard, Editor

VOLUME X NUMBER 8 AUGUST, 1977 US-ISSN0047-4517


Tax Rebellion in Illinois!

Shout hosannahs! Ring dem bells! A mighty property tax strike is now sweeping the northern suburbs of Chicago, and for once, the ideological and organizational leadership of the rebellion is being provided by libertarians rather than by Birchers or Cartoites.

It all began with a recent massive property reassessment conducted in the northern quadrant of Cook County, Illinois. The reassessments suddenly boosted property taxes by very large amounts; most raises were in the 50-65% range; other tax bills increased by as much as 300%.

When the property tax bills were sent out, the citizens of the North Shore reacted with shock and anger. At first the reaction was outraged but inchoate; phone calls bombarded the Cook County Assessors Office. Complaints also deluged the Chicago Tribune, which initiated public knowledge of the firestorm of grievance by printing some of the complaints in a front-page article. Many of the letters were a cry from the heart, asking, in effect, where is the leadership, where is the organization, that can organize and redress my grievances? Thus, one outraged taxpayer wrote: "I bitterly resent the government trying to steal my house from me, and that's what they're doing." Another poured out his frustration in the Chicago Tribune article: "I just don't know what to do. It's frustrating as hell. I hear people talk about a revolution, but I don't know how to revolt."

As soon as the article was published, libertarian activists from the Libertarian Party of Illlinois [Illinois] and the National Taxpayers United (the Illinois affiliate of the National Taxpayers Union) saw their opportunity and seized it. A meeting was arranged in Evanston between representatives from the LPI and NTU, and an Evanston resident quoted in the Tribune article. The meeting formed a Taxpayers Protest Committee, with Leonard Hartmann, the quoted Evanston resident, at its head. James L. Tobin, 31-year old economist and bank auditor and Illinois head of the NTU who was to become the principal leader of the tax rebellion, urged an outright tax strike; he was ably seconded by Milton Mueller, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Illinois.

The committee decided to call a "town hall" type meeting in Evanston to see if the property taxpayers would be willing to go along with an outright tax strike—a refusal to pay the assessed taxes. Notice of the meeting ran only in the early editions of the Chicago Tribune; largely, the organizers relied merely on word-of-mouth.

The committee expected about 50 people to appear at the meeting, which was held on the night of August 3 in the Evanston Public Library. Instead, 200 citizens showed up. Hartmann, without a libertarian background, argued for a legal protest: paying the taxes while protesting and appealing the assessments. But James Tobin far better expressed the radical spirit of the meeting by calling for an open tax strike. "We all know we've had big taxes thrown on our backs," Tobin charged. "And now it has come down to what we're going to do about it. Are we going to let city hall control our lives, or are we going to make enough noise for them to listen to us." It is particularly gratifying to the editor of the Lib. Forum that his Conceived in Liberty was brandished aloft by Tobin as he explained why it was not "unpatriotic" to refuse tax payments, giving examples from the book of early American tax revolts. Tobin asserted that "We've gotten to the point where we are afraid of our government, afraid of what it can do to us. It's time somebody stood up and pointed the finger!"

Tobin also presented a well-thought out set of demands for the tax strike. The demands included: (a) extending the Aug. 15 deadline for property tax payments three months; (b) freezing assessments at the old rate, so that taxes do not go up along with government-created inflation; (c) no increase in tax rates without a publicly-announced referendum; (d) allowing small groups of taxpayers to obtain referenda for reducing tax rates; and (e) full amnesty for the tax strikers.

The sentiment of the crowd was overwhelmingly in favor of the tax strike, which was only opposed by two persons. Typical of the sentiment was the charge by a German immigrant in Evanston that when he attempted to challenge his increased assessment, the Assessors told him that he had to wait until he received his bill: but after he received the bill, the office told him that he would have had to challenge the assessment before the bill was sent. "These are Nazi tactics!" the man charged.

The organizers passed the hat at the meeting and raised over $400 for printing and for an advertisement in a local paper. More important was the excellent publicity generated by the meeting: a Tribune article, a page 3 article in the Chicago Daily News replete with pictures; and coverage by two TV stations and several radio stations.

Leafleting the rest of the North Shore, meetings burgeoned in other townships, such as Glenview, Palatine, and Wilmette. The New York Times gave full coverage, plus photograph, to a later meeting in Evanston, held on August 18 at the First United Methodist Church. The meeting of 350 homeowners "shouted their approval" as Jim Tobin charged that "Taxes are immoral." (Indeed, nationwide TV coverage has shown "Taxation is Theft" placards being brandished at these Illinois tax protest meetings.) Tobin told the cheering throng that "You can never call a tax fair when you are forced to pay against your will. It's immoral to force me to pay for educational facilities when I don't have any children to send to school. It's immoral to force the elderly and retired to pay for schools that are no use to them." In this way, Tobin escalated the analysis, and raised the libertarian consciousness of his listeners by widening the attack to the public school system itself—the "consumer" of the bulk of all property taxes across the country.

In its August issue announcing the strike, the Illinois Libertarian, the newsletter of the LPI, concludes its informative article by saying that "How effective the strike will be is dependent upon many unpredicatable [unpredictable] things. But by any standard, our efforts thus far have been extremely rewarding, and if the politicians aren't paying attention they'll be sorry.

(Continued On Page 8)


Page 2 The Libertarian Forum August, 1977


Panama Canal Question

The Panama Canal treaty looms as the hottest issue yet in the Carter administration. It is the issue on which Ronnie Reagan almost rode to glory last year. What are the issues at stake here?

In the first place, the Panama Canal question is a splendid way in vhich to look upon the face of the Right-wing, in all of its pristine purity. For here there are no phony Red Herrings, no anti-Communism, that can plausibly be dragged across the trail. There is no question here of a Soviet threat, no Gulags, there is just naked, unabashed American Imperialism. And yet, or rather, and therefore, here is truly an issue to make Conservative juices flow. Give up sovereignty over the Canal? "Never, sir!" proclaim our home-grown Colonel Blimps.

Not only does the Panama question strip away the anti-Communist camouflage; it also dispenses with anti-socialism and anti-statism as well. For defending the Panama Canal Zone is defending—and does the right-wing know this, I wonder?—an enclave of pure socialism within U. S. territory. In short, not only is the Canal Zone owned by the U. S. government, but virtually all citizens there are employees of the U. S. government-owned and operated Panama Canal Company. So the Conservatives want us to die to the last man not only for naked American imperialism and "soverignty" [sovereignty], but also for an enclave of American state socialism. We should ask ourselves: why don't the conservatives care about that? The answer evidently is that the conservatives are fashioned Imperialists who don't give a hoot about libertarian or anti-statist concerns. One more striking example of the fact that Reaganite Conservatism is antithetical to liberty.

But isn't the Canal Zone "rightfully" the U.S.'s? Didn't we buy it or something? The answer is no, the U. S. stole it, in an egregious power grab by America's first openly imperialist President, the evil Teddy Roosevelt. T. R. engineered a phony revolution in the Panama section of Colombia, a "revolution" fought and paid for by U. S. troops and employees, after which our new puppet regime sold us the rights to the Canal and the Zone. Teddy engineered the coup because the government of Colombia wanted a $10 million cut from the $40 million which the U. S. government had agreed to pay the old bankrupt French Panama Canal Co. for its rights to build the canal. The U. S. wanted the Panama Canal Co. to get the full $40 million. When T. R. made his massive intervention, he conned the American public into believing that he was saving the American taxpayers from an extra $10 million holdup by Colombia; instead, it was simply a question of division of the spoils.

Why was Teddy Roosevelt so worried about the income not going to the French Panama Canal Co.? Because it was no longer "French." It had secretly been bought up by a coalition of Wall St. speculators, headed by J. P. Morgan, and including Teddy's own brother-in-law, Douglas E. Robinson. The new canal company hired the eminent Wall St. lawyer, William N. Cromwell, to get the American money, and it was Cromwell, sitting in the White House itself, who wrote Roosevelt's dispatches and engineered the entire operation. After the company got the $40 million, much of it was funnelled by Cromwell into the eager hands of the New York real-estate investments of Teddy's kinsman Douglas Robinson. Is this the process that is supposed to sanctify U. S. sovereignty over the Panama Canal and the Zone until death do us part?

The Panamanians, understandably, are familiar with the history of the Panama grab even if we are not. Hence the continuing agitation, threat of uprising, etc. The libertarian policy on the Canal is clear and simple: to liquidate the U. S. government operation in the form of the Panama Canal Co., and to withdraw U. S. troops from the Zone and U. S. "sovereignty" over the zone. In short, to get the heck out, and the sooner the better.

The New Left weekly, In These Times, correctly taunts the Conservatives on the socialism of the Canal Zone:

"Right-wingers are lionizing President Theodore Roosevelt, who had no use for their neanderthal 'free market' ideology. . . . They are less vocal in noting that the Canal represents everything they denounce as 'socialism' and 'welfare statism.' The canal's construction was and remains the largest single public works ever undertaken by the American government. . . . Private enterprise is prohibited from the Canal Zone; and the American residents benefit from subsidized housing, public transportation, publicly owned retail stores, and 'socialized' medicine: Success and a high standard of living without the profit motive. No wonder the American canal zone residents don't want to come home to capitalist America. They're very happy with their 'socialist' colony." (In These Times, August 24-30, 1977).

Of course, the shoe is also on the New Leftists' foot; for according to their own ideology, these Zonians are imperialist and militarist—in short, socialist—exploiters of the American public as well as of the Panamanians. But we should all be able to agree: Get the Zonians off our backs!

In contrast to the Conservatives, the new Libertarian Party Platform for 1977-78 is clear and unequivocal—and libertarian—on the Panama Canal issue: "The United States should liquidate its government-run canal operation in Panama and withdraw all U. S. troops from the Canal Zone." At the beginning of the new "Colonialism" plank in which this sentence appears, we now have: "United States colonialism has left a

(Continued On Page 3)


Arts and Movies

by Mr. First Nighter

Annie Hall, dir. by Woody Allen. With Allen and Diane Keaton.

This is Woody Allen's best film to date. I went to this movie on my guard because of my fellow critics' "assurances" that Annie Hall, at long last, transcended "mere humor" to acute social significance. But don't you believe it; Annie Hall is a constant stream of hilarious, scintillating wit. The movie is totally ethnic; it sparkles with "in" ethnic references and local references to New York. As a matter of fact, the best way to approach Annie Hall is to be a Jewish intellectual from the West Side of Manhattan. But Outlanders seem to enjoy the film, too, although one sometimes wonders how. New Yorkers will particularly enjoy Woody's blistering rending of Los Angeles life and culture, and his enthusiasm for New York. Allen sums up the contrast between Jewish and Gentile family eating habits in a few hilarious moments, doing in a short space what it took Goodbye Columbus a couple of hours to convey. In sum, see Annie Hall by all means; you will find yourself repeating the humorous lines for days afterwards.

The Spy Who Loved Me, dir. by Lewis Gilbert. With Roger Moore and Barbara Bach. This is a marvellous new James Bond epic, close to the spirit and verve of the earlier Bond movies in contrast to some of the inferior later films. We are back to high and continuing action, superb gadgets, fascinating villains, and Bond triumphing coolly and elegantly through it all. There are many echoes and resonances of earlier Bond films, such as the great train sequence in From Russia With Love, which still ranks as unquestionably the best of the Bond movies. The initial precredits skiing sequence is superb and one of the best things in the movie.

Of course, for most of us Bond fans, Sean Connery, in the hokey language of the trade, is James Bond. But Connery was getting visibly over the hill in his last couple of Bond films. In the preceding Bond, Roger Moore had been a quasi-disaster; instead of the tough, competent Connery we had Moore the smirking dandy, who left Bond only with a rather foppish elegance. But this is remedied in The Spy Who Loves Me. Moore still does not come close to Connery, but his smirk is gone, and his face, older and a bit more weathered now, is far closer to a plausible Bond.

Unfortunately, Barbara Bach, in contrast to the other gorgeous females in the Bond series, can't act worth a hoot, and wanders around with a peculiarly fixed and wooden expression. (The contrast with the marvellous Daniele Bianchi in From Russia With Love is a painful one.) However, Curt Jurgens makes a highly satisfactory villain, Moneypenny and M are back, and all's right with the movie world—at least for now.


August, 1977 The Libertarian Forum Page 3


Convention Report

by Milton Mueller

(The National Convention of the Libertarian Party, held on July 14-17 at San Francisco, was the most successful LP convention to date. The convention attracted 1200 people, by far the largest libertarian gathering so far, and its proceedings were well and favorably reported by the local media. Unprecedented harmony and consensus reigned, and the LP platform was updated and improved amidst only distant shadows of the often bitter controversy of the past. In this issue we publish your editor's Keynote Address for this convention. Below, we are happy to reprint with permission Milton Mueller's intelligent and perceptive report on the convention which appeared in the August 1977 issue of the Illinois Libertarian, the newsletter of the Libertarian Party of Illinois. Mr. Mueller is state chairman of the Illinois party, and was a member of the 1977 national LP Platform Committee.—Ed. Note.)

Chicago had just decided to "declare war" on pornography. But the City Council was exceeded in its asininity by the weather, which was hot

(Continued On Page 4)


Panama Question — (Continued From Page 2)

legacy of property confiscation, economic manipulation, and overextended defense boundaries.... Land seized by the U. S. government should be returned to its rightful owners."

(Those interested in utilitarian arguments may ponder the following: even the Pentagon concedes that the Canal is not now vital to U. S. defense; only 7% of East Coast-West Coast trade passes through the Canal, and only 8% of U. S. foreign trade; and the largest U. S. warships and oil supertankers can't pass through the Canal because of its small size.)

In the light of these principles, where should libertarians stand on the hot issue of the Carter treaty? Does it really "surrender" the canal and the Zone to the Panamanians?

Unfortunately, it does not. The treaty is a cunning and crafty way of adjusting imperialism to the current world, of preserving imperialism while recognizing "that continued naked American occupation of the Canal Zone and control of the canal serve as a festering sore, poisoning American diplomatic relations throughout Latin America." (Michael Bauman, "The New Theft of the Panama Canal," Intercontinental Press, August 29, 1977).

In fact, the only thing the U. S. gives up in the treaty is formal sovereignty over the Canal Zone and its seemingly perpetual ownership of the canal. The sovereignty over the Canal Zone the U. S. relinquishes in three years, it is true, but we still retain extra-territoriality in violation of international law: Americans retain U. S. legal rights in Panamanian courts, and Americans sentenced to jail terms will serve them in the U. S. Beyond this, we give up next to nothing. The U. S. gets to keep full control of the canal until the year 2000, and it gets to maintain its military force in Panama until the year 2000 as well. But, even after the year 2000, the U. S. retains the permanent right to intervene militarily in Panama to preserve the continued operation and the "neutrality" of the canal, and it gets to decide when that "neutrality" is threatened. It is important to realize that there are no limits in this treaty on the actions that the U. S. will be able to take after the year 2000 to preserve what it deems to be the Canal's neutrality. And, furthermore, as part of what the treaty considers to be such "neutrality", the treaty explicitly guarantees U. S. warships the permanent right to go through the canal without restriction and without conditions.

In short, the Panama treaty does not at all abandon U. S. imperialism; instead, this imperialism retreats from its naked and offensive older form, to a more sophisticated and hence more effective modern variety of "neo-imperialism". The form of imperialism is abandoned, but the content remains as rabid as ever. To soften the blow to Panamanian dictator General Torrijos, the U. S. sweetens the pot by paying $50-$60 million a year until 2000 A.D.—a big increase from the $2 million per annum we pay now; plus $300 million in U. S. government aids and credits, and the U. S. will "facilitate" $1 billion of U. S. investments and loans in Panama.

We hate to hand the right-wing any victories in foreign affairs, even if for totally wrong reasons: but we have to conclude reluctantly but firmly that the Panama treaty should be defeated. It is true that half a loaf is better than none; but this treaty would not be half a loaf; it would not halfway dismantle American imperialism in Panama; it would simply be providing a figleaf (to mix a metaphor) for continued and even increased U. S. domination (note that we now get Panamanian agreement to the permanent U. S. right of military intervention in the canal.) The treaty, if ratified in both countries, would defuse mounting Latin American opposition to U. S. imperialism and dupe the anti-imperialist movement everywhere.

While it is true that the dumbright (as Lawrence Dennis aptly named it) scents treason in the treaty, let us note the very different responses from far more sophisticated imperialist circles. Thus, Henry Kissinger lauded the treaty and reported that General Brown and negotiator Ellsworth Bunker assured him that "the new treaty marks an improvement over the present situation" for "secure access" to the Panama Canal. (Washington Post, August 18). Negotiator Sol Linowitz hailed the treaty as a "good investment" which "enhances the national security interests of the United States."

But most revealing of all is the editorial support for the Panama treaty by National Review. NR begins by hailing the history of the Canal, claiming that it was not imperialism because the Canal company did not make a profit (ignoring the big payment to the Morgan speculators and their quick resale of stock to the U. S. government at double the value of their investment.) It also salutes Conservatives' pride in the history of American foreign policy. But then, NR says, we should realize that "our own military men support the treaty on the ground that the Canal can be better defended with the treaty than without it." Why? Because Panama agrees to U. S. defense of the Canal first, by air and sea against any external attack. Moreover, the more important guerrilla attack from within Panama would now be less likely because such a defense "could be done far better together with Panama than without it; or worse, against it." In short, the Panamanian government would now be ranged against such guerrillas rather than for them.

Just as we, as libertarians, should be worried about defusing anti-imperialist sentiments throughout the world on Panama should the treaty be ratified, National Review gives such very defusion as one of its major arguments for support of the treaty:

"Let us suppose that the treaty is defeated in Congress—as well it might be. What then? We hardly need Ambassador Bunker to remind us of the predictable consequences in Panama, in Latin America, in the United Nations, in the world. Are we ready to hold the Canal against all possible assaults, political, military, in the guerrilla minefield, in the media, the OAS, and the UN?"

Given these realities, NR concludes that U. S. taking up arms instead of accepting the treaty is unnecessary:

"Based on the outline of the proposed treaty there seems to be no necessary reason to sound the call to arms. We retain what is essential until 2000 A. D. and even then will play an important part as well as some contingent defense role.... And what is most important, we would almost surely be in a stronger position to act at some later time in response to an actual threat or violation of the treaty than we would be now in defense of our own refusal to ratify." (National Review, September 2, 1977).

Once again, as it has done so many times in matters of military and foreign policy, National Review provides a kind of negative touchstone for libertarians. The Panama treaty should be rejected. Libertarians, in opposing the treaty, must of course make clear our diametrically opposed perspective to the Reaganites and Birchers: that we are worried about preserving U. S. imperialism while they are worried about getting rid of it.


Page 4 The Libertarian Forum August, 1977


Convention Report — (Continued From
Page 3)

enough to make the entire city sluggish. For those of us able to go, the National Convention could not have come at a better time.

We flew into San Francisco on the midnight plane, for reasons of economy. The broken coastline around San Francisco is full of islands and peninsulas, such that our descent into the bay revealed an intricate web of lights floating over the dark ocean. The sight erased all thoughts of Chicago and its petty dictators.

National Conventions tend to do things like that: they pluck people out of political reality, and, for a few euphoric days, deceive them into experiencing libertarianism as the center of the political universe. However, I believe that this convention made that experience a little bit more justified than before.

For one thing, despite the important tasks of electing a new National Committee and Party officers; despite rewriting the platform, there were no big fights at this convention, and no lingering factions. Even more notable was the fact that with the exception of Nathaniel Branden, none of the featured speakers were libertarians. Eugene McCarthy, Timothy Leary, John Marks, Tony Sullivan, Margo St. James, Earl Ravenal, even Ron Paul—all are significant figures from the "real world" who share our concern for individual freedom in certain areas, but are not Libertarians with-a-capital-L. Our ability to interact with such people is an important part of entering the political mainstream.

Libertarian Parnassus, or, the Platform Committee

The first part of the convention to actually convene was the platform committee. We libertarians are unique in the importance we attach to our platform. Since we are the only Party that really stands for anything, this is quite appropriate. However, work on the platform has been getting progressively shorter every business convention. This time, the committee actually finished on schedule, in contrast to the A.M. bickerings of 1974, and the post-midnight hassles of 1975. In addition, there were fewer proposals for changes than in any previous year. All this is indicative of a very important point: the platform proceedings have served as an excellent vehicle for arriving at a broad consensus as to what constitutes libertarianism. It is the Party's "consciousness-raising" device: its positions, arrived at after long debate and approved by a 2/3 vote, are the Party's most effective weapon against compromise and opportunism. I urge every Party member who was not at the Convention to obtain a copy of the new platform as soon as it is available—and to read every plank in it.

I served on the platform committee, along with LPI members Joe Cobb and David Theroux. There were big-name libertarians like Ralph Raico, Murray Rothbard, Roy Childs, as well as representatives from the ten states with the largest membership—who ought to be named as well, but we don't have the space. The bulk of our work consisted of adding topical references, rewriting or expanding old planks, and making the language clearer in its implications.

There were only two areas of substantive disagreement. One was foreign policy, as expected. A number of people from the Florida LP criticized the foreign policy section of our platform for leaving doubts in their minds about the Libertarian Party's commitment to a strong national defense. The LP platform, as everyone should know, calls for reducing the overall size and cost of our governmental defense establishment, withdrawal of American troops from around the world, negotiations toward nuclear disarmament, and independence for all colonial possessions, including the Panama Canal Zone.

These things tend to make many former conservatives rather nervous. And the foreign policy debate, far from being a serious challenge to the well-established libertarian policy of non-intervention in foreign affairs, simply reflected this nervousness. The critics' testimony all followed a simllar pattern: there were expressions of sober concern about the ability of the U.S. to survive, grave references to the Soviet Union, all leading to a request that the platform give "assurances" that the Libertarian Party believed that the US. military defense should be "unquestionably" adequate. When speaking in generalities, these critics of our foreign policy all sounded rather cold-warrish, making references as they did to Soviet dominance of the world, the "struggle between freedom and slavery," and so on. However, when pinned to specifics by questions from members of the platform committee, they generally acquiesced to the logic of non-interventionism. Their rhetoric and, I think, their feelings, were conservative; their minds were libertarian. The only specific changes they proposed for the platform were 1) a plank condemning terrorism, which was unobjectionable if the label "terrorism" is not used to slander legitimate acts of rebellion; and 2) a plank calling upon the government to limit trade with an "enemy" in time of war if the government thought such trade would impair our capacity for defense, which clearly contradicts libertarian principles, and had little support on the floor. The conservative foreign policy rebellion turned out to be a real fizzler.

There was another area of substantive disagreement, one with far-reaching implications left unresolved by both the platform committee and the Convention as a whole. These arguments, which arose constantly, centered on applying libertarian logic within the totally non-libertarian context of the existing government. As Murray Rothbard put it; how do we de-Statize society, without violating property rights? Should we sell government property, or turn it over to the heirs of some anicent title holder, or homestead it? Do Libertarian elected officials have a right to their tax-supported salaries?

One proposal put forth by W. Evers and Rothbard exemplifies the knotty conceptual probelms [problems] involved in de-Statizing. They proposed a new platform plank on "Government Employees," which would extend the Hatch Act (which prohibits federal employees from running for political office) to all state and local employees, and also advocated prohibiting government employees from lobbying—and voting—due to the conflict of interest involved.

Now clearly, there is a conflict of interest when thousands of government employees vote for legislation which fattens their wallets at the taxpayers' expense. Government employees have been instrumental, for example, in defeating tax limitation referenda. The problem is getting more pronounced as the proportion of public sector employees grows in proportion to the private sector. But the opponents of this measure asked: why stop with government employees? Any individual or group voting for a government program from which it will benefit should, by the same logic, be denied voting rights. But disenfranchisement of anyone is a very, very touchy subject, given the fact that votes can protect people's rights as well as violate them. Whether justified or not, disenfranchisement has ominous, even fascist, overtones to many people; such a plank would be an easy target for a quote out of context seeking to smear the Party. The Convention tabled the issue, after an evenly divided platform committee sent it to the floor.

New Officers Run Unopposed

As far as dry, old convention business goes, things were changed, but none of the changes make good copy. For example, the country was divided up into new regions; Illinois' new regional partners are Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin. David Bergland was elected our new national chairman, M. L. Hanson was elected vice-chair, Greg Clark was re-elected secretary, and Paul Allen was elected treasurer. They all ran unopposed.

Bob Meier, former Illinois resident, announced his retirement as Executive Director at the convention. The National Party's loss is our gain, however; Bob plans to return to DeKalb and stay active as a speaker and lecturer.

But the question remains: how do we propose to get rid of the government, its property and its contracts and its power, without being (or appearing to be) as arbitrary and destructive as the government itself was when it grabbed it? Choosing a just and efficacious theory of de-statizing is not an academic question but a tactical one of extreme practical importance for the Party. This issue will have to be faced by libertarian thinkers and future platform committees.

The committee had its lighter moments, too. Some of the more humorous occurrences were not intended to be funny. One person testifying before the platform committee sincerely recommended putting a tribute to Ayn Rand on the first page of our platform. (Nobody would gag at the idea as much as Rand herself, I'm sure.) Bill Evers at one point proposed to replace the word "oysters" with the word "shellfish" in a section on the Law of The Sea. "This," he said, "is my tribute to Ayn Rand—the Virtue of Shellfishness." To top it off, one thoughtful fellow proposed a whole new platform plank—on extraterrestrials. While he was of course sincere in his concern for the rights of vistors from another planet, I think the libertarian platform is bizarre enough to many people already, without making it downright zany.


August, 1977 The Libertarian Forum Page 5


Keynote Address to the LP Convention

by M. Rothbard

I am honored and delighted to be here, and particularly happy that the theme of this convention is Turning Point, 1777/1977. For one thing, it means that the Libertarian Party is, to my knowledge, the only organization in the country that realizes that the Bicentennial does not merely apply to 1776/1976. The official governmental Bicentennial Commission has just shut up shop, convinced that its task is done. The left-wing People's Bicentennial Commission has not been heard from for the entire year. It seems that only the Libertarian Party understands that the American Revolution did not end in 1776; in fact, the Revolution began a year before the official Bicentennial, in 1775, and it ended eight grueling years later, in 1783. We should be celebrating the bicentennial for eight years, and not just for a few months of hoopla.

But there is greater significance to the Libertarian commemoration of 1777 than the mere fact that we are better historians than everyone else. There is something unfortunately symbolic about confining one's celebration to 1776, the year of the Declaration of Independence. For as noble, as exciting, as profoundly libertarian as the Declaration was, it was still the necessary but not sufficient first step in the victory of what we have correctly identified as the First Libertarian Revolution. The Declaration was the rhetoric, the ideology, that set the stage; but the American revolutionaries, our libertarian forefathers, were not only interested in setting forth a glorious set of principles; having done that, they were also interested in action, in putting these principles into practice in the real world, in transforming the real world to give those principles life. The American revolutionaries set themselves a goal: to transform reality so as to bring the rhetoric of the Declaration into living practice. The American Revolution was the process of struggle by which the revolutionaries pursued their goal and achieved their victory. It is only because of their dedicated actions that we, their descendants, can celebrate the 4th of July and the Declaration of Independence.

I have long been convinced that the process of becoming a libertarian—whether it happens gradually or in a blinding flash of conversion—is a twofold rather than a single process. If we may use a now familiar rhetoric, we might say that the true libertarian is "born again", that is, that the process of conversion to liberty takes place in two distinct—though sometimes rapidly succeeding—stages. The first conversion is what we might call the "baptism of reason"—the moment or moments when the person becomes convinced that liberty is the best, and the only just, social system for mankind. He or she realizes that liberty is the true, the good, and the beautiful. But I have become increasingly convinced that this realization is only the first step to becoming a full-fledged libertarian. To be truly "born again", the libertarian must experience what we might call a second baptism, the "baptism of will". That is, he must be driven by his rational insight to dedicate himself to the mighty goal of bringing about the victory of liberty, of libertarian principles, in the real world. He must set out to transform reality in accordance with his ideal vision. In short, the truly complete libertarian, the "born again" libertarian, if you will, is not content with recognizing the truth of liberty as the best social system; he cannot and will not rest content until that system, that set of principles, has triumphed in the world of reality. Reason and will are thus fused in a mighty and unflinching determination to carry on the struggle until the victory of liberty over statism has been achieved. The American revolutionaries pledged "their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor" to their struggle for liberty and independence. They were not parlor libertarians; they were determined to settle for nothing less than victory, regardless of how long or how arduous the task. And one thing is certain: they never could have won without that iron determination; for otherwise, they would have wilted very early: after Long Island, or Fort Washington, or Valley Forge. The American revolutionaries would settle for nothing less than victory; can we fail to follow their florious [glorious] example?

I am convinced that our primary task, now, as libertarians, is not to hassle with each other on the precise role of the courts or the police in the eventual free society, nor over the proper detailed strategy or tactics of achieving it. As important as these questions are, our most vital task is for each and every one of us to achieve the baptism of will, that is, to adopt and hold high—forever—the victory of liberty as our primary, overriding political goal. This is what we are all about, we libertarians. To paraphrase a very different ideologist, our task is not simply to understand the world but also to change it. And that is why we libertarians call ourselves a "movement"; Webster's defines "movement" as a "connected and long continued series of acts and events tending toward some more or less definite and [end] ... as, the Tractarian movement; the prohibition movement". Our common end, of course, is the victory of liberty over statism.

I used to think that adopting the victory of liberty as the overriding goal must be almost self-evident to all libertarians—until I began to find those who turned pale and fled when the word "victory" was mentioned. For there are all too many libertarians who apparently believe that the point of the whole enterprise is not triumph in the real world, but all sorts of other motivations, ranging from contemplating the beautiful intellectual edifice of the libertarian system to selling each other dried beans to bearing moral witness to the rightness or righteousness of the libertarian world-view. There is, I suppose, a certain satisfaction in knowing, or even proclaiming, that we are right and that everybody else is wrong and misguided. But, in the long run, this and the other motivations are only frivolous; they are simply not worthy of respect. They are not worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as the American revolutionaries who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the cause.

The major serious objection to holding victory as our goal is that such a goal can only be hopeless and absurd. The State, it is said, is mighty, pervasive, and all-powerful; and who are we but a tiny handful of men and women, dwarfed by the legions of the State? But this sort of thinking is impressionistic and superficial; geared to the range of the present moment, it overlooks the underlying trends of historical events. Here, in particular, we can take hope and inspiration from the Founding Fathers and the American Revolution. For, I can assure you, to the observers of that day, the American cause looked totally hopeless. How could a handful of ragged, untrained soldiers hope to defeat the mightiest State, the mightiest Empire of the eighteenth century? To all knowledgeable people, the American cause seemed hopelessly quixotic and absurd, Utopian and unrealistic. For, think of it: In all of history there had never been a successful mass revolution from below against a strong ruling State. So how could this American rabble possibly succeed? And yet—we did it! We won! We performed the impossible.

The first libertarian revolution succeeded, and we can do the same—but we, too, must have the will to triumph, to accept nothing less than total victory.

Of course, in the immediate present, any existing State may look all-powerful, while opposition movements may seem small and puny. But, in a few short years, how the tables may be turned! State after State has seemed all-powerful almost to the day of its collapse and demise, while numerous successful ideological movements have flowered from a tiny handful to triumph a few short years later.

And no State has seemed more powerful than did the British Empire at the start of the American revolutionary war. It was easy to look superficially at the first two years of that war and conclude that all was inevitably lost. Washington's Continental Army had almost been wiped out in New York; Howe's army had conquered the American capital at Philadelphia. Washington's forces froze and starved through the winter at Valley Forge and St. Leger and Burgoyne were marching down from Canada to meet at Albany and then proceed to New York City and cut America in two.

As everyone knows, the turning point of the war came in late 1777, when Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne's once mighty British army was surrounded and forced to surrender at Saratoga. But what were the factors that brought about this fateful turn and that carried the Americans through

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the rest of the lengthy conflict to victory?

There are many causal facts that we could mention, including the overweening self-confidence of the British, who contemptuously dismissed Americans as a militarily untrained rabble; there is also the determination and dedication of the Americans, civilian and military. But what I would like to concentrate on here is the fact that the American revolutionary leaders adopted and developed what would nowadays be called a "mass line". That is, in contrast to conservatives, whether of 1777 or 1977, the American revolutionaries were not afraid of the mass of the American public. On the contrary, they realized that the great bulk of Americans were being oppressed by the British, and that the public could be brought to see this and to act upon that knowledge.

And sure enough, the great strength of the American armed forces is that they relied upon, indeed blended with, the civilian population. In a deep sense they were that population. The Americans were a people in arms, a mobile people that knew their particular terrain, and who were imbued with a deep sense of their rights and of the iniquity of the British invasion of those rights. When combatting Burgoyne, the Americans, led by British-born libertarian General Horatio Gates, shrewedly avoided, until the very end at Saratoga, direct confrontation with the superior firepower of the highly trained British invasion force. Instead, Gates, aided by influxes of armed civilians who joined the fray as their own counties and districts were being invaded, wore down the British forces by guerrilla harassment. An example particularly heart-warming to libertarians, is the case of General John Stark, who had resigned from the American army and retired to his native New Hampshire in pique at shabby treatment by his superiors. But when a troop sent out by Burgoyne invaded southwestern Vermont, Stark rose up, mobilized the militia and other volunteers from New Hampshire and Vermont, and clobbered the British troops at the Battle of Bennington.

Gates and Stark, and later the victor of the decisive final Southern campaign, General Nathaniel Greene, were following the theories and the vision of their mentor, the forgotten and unsung hero of the revolutionary war, General Charles Lee, second in command of the American army during the first years of the war. Lee was a fascinating character, an English military genius and soldier of fortune and a radical laissez-faire libertarian, who, as soon as he heard of the events leading up to the Boston Tea Party and the developing break with his native country, rushed to America to take part in the revolution. It was Lee who fused the political and the military together to develop the principles, strategies, and tactics of revolutionary guerrilla warfare, which he called "people's war". Every American military victory in the war was fought on people's war, guerrilla principles; every defeat was suffered when America tried to play the age-old game of inter-State warfare between two disciplined State armies marching to meet each other in open frontal combat.

Thus, Lee and his disciples worked out and applied the military implications of a mass line, of a people rising up against the Leviathan State.

There were other vitally important features of this overall mass line. One of its important aspects was that the American revolutionaries blended all the arguments against British imperialism into a harmonious and integrated structure. Historians have argued whether the revolution's thrust was economic, constitutional, moral, religious, political, or philosophic—without realizing that the revolutionaries' libertarian perspective integrated them all. No vital aspect went neglected. The revolutionaries understood—and pointed out—that the British government was injuring the economic well-being of the Americans through taxes, regulations, and privileged monopolies; but they also knew that, in so doing, the British were aggressing against the natural rights of person and property enjoyed by Americans and by all men. For the American revolutionaries, there was no split, no disjunction, between the economic and the moral, between prosperity and rights.

As a corollary to their mass line, the American revolutionaries and their leaders were not afraid to be radical. In current rhetoric, they dared to struggle and dared to win. There were three features of that radicalism that I would like to explore today. First was their willingness, indeed their eagerness, to desanctify, to demythologize the State, to strip it of its ancient encrusted armor of justifications, alibis, and rationalizations. The last and vital remaining act of this process was desanctifying the King—a revered mystical symbol of State sovereignty which was far more powerful, to Americans and to Britons, than Parliament or the unwritten British constitution. This final act was necessary to any outright American break for independence; it was first launched tentatively, very early in the revolutionary agitation, by Patrick Henry, but the mortal blow was delivered by the unknown, impecunious pamphleteer Tom Paine, another English-born laissez-faire radical who performed this feat in his runaway best-seller, Common Sense. Paine realized that this final act of demystification had to be couched radically, in no mincing or uncertain terms, thus cutting the final umbilical cord not only with Great Britian, but also with the age-old established principle of monarchy. And in so doing Paine also pointed out the piratic origins of the State itself. He referred to King George as "the royal brute of England", and to kings in general as "crowned ruffians", whose thrones had all been established by being heads of gangs of "armed banditti."

The king, he wrote, was "nothing better than the principal ruffian of some restless gang; whose savage manners or preeminence in subtilty obtained him the title of chief among plunderers; and who by increasing in power and extending his depredations, overawed the quiet and defenseless..."

Paine concluded his great work with these stirring words:

"O! Ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose not only tyranny but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted around the globe. Asia and Africa have long expelled her. Europe regards her as a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind."

I would like to underscore the importance of the line, "Ye that dare oppose not only tyranny but the tyrant..." For here Paine was referring to that two-step, double "baptism" process of which I spoke earlier. That it is splendid, but not enough, to come to the point of opposing tyranny in the abstract, as a general principle; but that it is of equally vital importance to pres on to the second stage, to the concrete activism of engaging in struggle against the actual tyrant of whatever time and place we happen to live in.

This brings me to the second, interconnecting radicalism of the first libertarian revolution. It used to be thought that all Americans had read John Locke and were simply engaged in applying his concept of natural rights, of rights to liberty and property, and right of revolution against tyranny. But now we know that the process was not that simple. Even in those enlightened days not everyone was interested in or equipped to read abstract philosophy. What most Americans did read were intellectuals and libertarians, like Tom Paine, who took Locke's abstract philosophy and radicalized it to apply to the conditions of their time. By far the most influential such writings throughout the eighteenth century were "Cato's Letters", written by two libertarian English journalists, John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon. Trenchard and Gordon not only put Locke's ideas into stirring and hard-hitting phrases; they took Locke's "if ... then" proposition: that is, if the government transgresses against rights of person and property, then it is proper to rebel against it, and added in effect this insight: "The if is always here." In other words, they pointed out that it is the essence of Power, of government, to expand beyond its laissez-faire limits, that it is always conspiring and attempting to do so, and therefore that it is the task of the people to guard eternally against this process. That they must always regard their government with hostility and deep suspicion: in short, with what is now disparagingly called, "a conspiracy theory of history." And so, when the British government, after the war with France was over in 1763, began their Grand Design to reduce the virtually independent American colonies to imperial subjection, the American colonists, without access to the memoranda and archives of the British government of the day, suspected the worst, and immediately roused themselves to determined resistance. Now, two hundred years later, we know that the colonists' suspicions were correct; they could not know this, but they were armed with a "conspiracy theory" which always suspects governments of designs upon liberty. They had absorbed the lesson of Trenchard and Gordon in Cato's Letters:

"We know, by infinite examples and experience, that men

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possessed of Power, rather than part with it, will do anything, even the worst and the blackest, to keep it (pace Richard Nixon); and scarce ever any man upon earth went out of it as long as he could carry everything his own way in it... This seems certain, that the good of the world, or of their people, was not one of their motives either for continuing in Power, or for quitting it.

It is the nature of Power to be ever encroaching, and converting every extraordinary Power, granted at particular times ... into an ordinary power, to be used at all times.....

Alas! Power encroaches daily upon Liberty, with a success too evident... Tyranny has engrossed almost the whole earth, and striking at mankind root and branch, makes the world a slaughterhouse...."

There is another critical point to make about the importance of such men, such best-sellers as Trenchard and Gordon or Tom Paine. At the last LP national convention in Washington, a friendly journalist, and many others, remarked that it seemed more like a scholars' conference than a political party gathering. And one participant reported that everyone there seemed to be very smart, but if that's the case, how in the world will we ever win the masses of the non-smart?

Well, the first answer is that yes, we are very different from other political party conventions. I don't think that the crucial difference is that we're smart and the others are dumb; after all, if we may let this secret out to the world, we're not all that smart! We are a glorious movement to be sure, but we have hardly achieved perfection. The difference between us and the Democrats and Republicans is not that we are so much smarter than they are, but that we are deeply concerned with ideas, with principles, whereas they are simply concerned with getting their places at the public trough. We are interested in principles, they in Power; and, gloriously enough, our principle is that their power be dismantled.

But how can the masses understand ideas? Well, a quick answer is that they have done so before: notably in the American Revolution and for a hundred or so years afterwards: in America and in Europe. So if they didn't read Locke they read Paine or Cato or their popularizers, or read their followers in the press or heard them in speeches and sermons.

The American revolutionary movement was a diverse and structured one, with different persons and institutions specializing in various aspects of the struggle. The same is and will be true of our movement. Just as not everyone had to read Locke to become a full-fledged American revolutionary, not everyone now has to read all of our flowering theoretical works in order to grasp the essence of libertarianism and to act upon it. The American revolutionaries never felt that every American had to grasp fully the fifth lemma of the third syllogism of the second chapter of Locke before they could take their place in the developing struggle; and the same should be true of our libertarians and our own theoretical works. Naturally, the more that everyone reads and understands the better; and it is hardly my point to deprecate the great importance of theory or of reading. My point is that not everyone has to know and agree to every nuance before we start moving, ingathering, and acting to transform the real world.

There is a third important aspect of the radicalism of the American revolutionaries, and this again underscores the importance of the mass line. In contrast to their polar enemies, the Conservatives, who strove to maintain traditional aristocratic and monarchical rule over the masses, the libertarian revolutionary leaders realized that the masses, as well as themselves, were the victims of the State, and hence they only needed to be educated and aroused to join the radical libertarian cause. The Conservatives knew full well that they were subsisting on privileges coerced from a deluded and oppressed public through their control of State power; hence they apprehended that the masses were their mortal enemy. The laissez-faire radicals, for their part, understood that same fact, and so from the Revolution down through most of the nineteenth century, here, in Great Britian and on the continent of Europe, these libertarians led the mass of the public against traditional conservative statism. Where the conservatives rested their case on traditional privileges sanctified by mystical divine command, the laissez-faire radicals held aloft the banner of reason and individual rights for all people.

Here again is a profound lesson for us today. Too many libertarians have absorbed the negative and elitist Conservative world-view to the effect that our enemy today is the poor, who are robbing the rich; the blacks, who are robbing the whites; or the masses, who are robbing heroes and businessmen. In fact, it is the State that is robbing all classes, rich and poor, black and white, worker and businessman alike; it is the State that is ripping us all off; it is the State that is the common enemy of mankind. And who is the State? It is any group who manages to seize control of the State's coercive machinery of theft and privilege. Of course these ruling groups have differed in composition through history, from kings and nobles to privileged merchants to Communist parties to the Trilateral Commission. But whoever they are, they can only be a small minority of the population, ruling and robbing the rest of us for their power and wealth. And since they are a small minority, the State rulers can only be kept in power by deluding us about the wisdom or necessity of their rule. Hence, it is our major task to oppose and desanctify their entrenched rule, in the same spirit that the first libertarian revolutionaries opposed and desanctified their rulers two hundred years ago. We must strip the mystical veil of sanctity from our rulers just as Tom Paine stripped the sanctity from King George III. And in this task we libertarians are not the spokesmen for any ethnic or economic class; we are the spokesmen for all classes, for all of the public; we strive to see all of these groups united, hand-in-hand, in opposition to the plundering and privileged minority that constitutes the rulers of the State.

It is this task, this march toward liberty, that the libertarian movement has undertaken. That movement was born only a little while ago, and in a few short years it has grown and expanded enormously, in numbers, in the depth of understanding of its members, and in the influence it has been exerting on the outside world. It has grown amazingly far beyond the dreams of its tiny handful of original members. The libertarian movement extends beyond the Libertarian Party, and consists of a broad

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Recommended Reading

Cyra McFadden, The Serial (Random House). Hilarious, savagely satiric novel on life and manners in Marin County, the cutting edge for California. Ultimately depressing, because chillingly accurate account of how these upper-middle class liberal boobs refract all the experience of their lives through the haze of meaningless, pop-psychology jargon. The women come off much worse in Mrs. McFadden's portrayal, probably because they can devote all their time to this nonsense.

Thomas Szasz, Karl Kraus and the Soul-Doctors (Louisiana State Univ. Press, $9.95). One of Szasz' best works, a rediscovery (including his own translation) of the witty, Menckenesque, classical liberal Viennese writer, Karl Kraus, and Kraus's accurate and bitter attacks on Freud and psychonalysis. This brief book contains Szasz's most blistering and hard-hitting attacks on psychoanalysis, its "verbal lynching" of people who disagree.

Boris Souvarine, "Solzhenitsyn and Lenin," Dissent (Summer 1977), pp. 324-36. For many years, anti-Soviet writers have propounded the myth that Lenin was a "German agent" whose victory was fuelled by "German gold." A subsidiary myth was that Lenin was spirited across Europe by the Germans in a "sealed train." One of the most recent propounders of this mythology was Stefan T. Possony, in his biography of Lenin. Possony went so far as to bring back reliance on the notorious forgeries known as the Sisson documents. Now, in response to Solzhenitsyn's purveying of similar stuff, the Grand Old Man of Sovietologists, Boris Souvarine, engages in an elegant dissection and evisceration of the myth in the impeccably anti-Soviet journal Dissent.

Francis Russell, "The End of the Myth," National Review (August 19, 1977), pp. 938-41. Francis Russell, whose Tragedy at Dedham and subsequent writings have put the boots to the legend of Sacco and Vanzetti as innocent martyrs, here polishes off a long-standing myth of the defense that secret FBI files showed collusion with prosecution witnesses and other hanky-panky of the FBI. Having extracted the files under the Freedom of Information Act, Russell shows that the FBI, for once, did nothing of the sort.


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number of people and organizations, ranging from scholarly centers and magazines to lobbying groups to supper clubs to tax rebels. But while the Libertarian Party is not the whole movement, it is a vital part of that movement. We are the institution that garners the publicity, that brings to enormous numbers of people their first knowledge of libertarianism and of the libertarian movement, that educated and ingathers the broad public and attracts and nurtures present and future libertarian activists and cadres. And, on top of all this, we are the only libertarian organization that can use the established institutions of the ballot box and the political party structure to roll back the Leviathan State, to pressure from below for repeal of statist measures, decrees, and institutions.

Our national convention is a time for stock-taking, for judging how well we have been succeeding at our task. Well, let's take a look: since our last convention, we have mounted our first nationwide presidential campaign. We were on the ballot—despite enormous legal handicaps—in almost two-thirds of the states, and we have vaulted into becoming the nation's third largest political party. Now how's that for a party that only began a half dozen years ago? I say that's terrific, and shows that we are truly the wave of the future.

And so we have splendidly achieved Phase I of the hoped for growth and expansion of the Libertarian Party. Phase I was the establishment of our party as the leading nationwide third party, a feat accomplished by the 1976 presidential campaign. Phase II, our task for the near future, our turning point, is to use the 1976 results as a springboard for widening and deepening the grass roots strength of the Party throughout the states: over this year and next to develop local and state-wide chapters and candidates. Then, if we perform that task well, we will be ready for a great leap forward in the 1980 presidential campaign to make this party into a true mass party at the head of a mighty movement, a movement to complete the original American revolution and to bring liberty to our land.

We hereby put everyone on notice: We are libertarians of the will as well as the intellect, of activity as well as theory, of real world struggle as well as idealistic vision. We are a serious movement. Our goal is nothing less than the victory of liberty over the Leviathan State, and we shall not be deflected, we shall not be diverted, we shall not be suborned, from achieving that goal. The odds against us are no greater than the odds that faced our forefathers at Concord, at Saratoga, or at Valley Forge. Secure in the knowledge that we are in the right, inspired by the vision, determination and courage of our forbears, we dedicate ourselves to the noblest cause of all, the old American cause, of individual Liberty. With such dedication and with such a goal, how can we help but win?


Tax Rebellion — (Continued From Page 1)

The strike may not cripple the County government or even come near it, but even so, thousands of people have either taken actions or have been exposed to ideas which question the very legitimacy of government."

But, in a sense, this thoughtful conclusion underestimates the impact of the Illinois tax strike. For the later New York Times article indicates clearly that the politicians have indeed been paying attention, and are scared stiff. The pattern of the New Jersey income tax protest movement of last year is repeating itself, with politicians scrambling to cover their flanks.

Thus, when Tobin and a throng of protestors showed up at the Governor's office in Chicago to demand a special session of the Legislature to redress the grievances, the "discomforted" Governor James ("Big Jim") Thompson promised to consider the request, and "expressed sympathy with the group's aims." At the August 18 Evanston meeting, several government officials showed up to try to explain the tax increase. They were received with "jeers and boos", but despite that, "the officials gave sympathetic responses and some concessions to the taxpayers' demands." Thus, George Dunne, chief executive officer of Cook County, pledged at the meeting to support a move in the Legislature to roll back property taxes. The same pledge was made by the counsel for Thomas M. Tully, the Cook County assessor. The counsel, Dan Pierce, agreed with the protestors that he doesn't understand why the country's budget is so high. "There's no question that the taxes are too high", Pierce conceded; he particularly didn't understand why school district budgets had doubled in the last seven years in much of Cook County, at a time when school enrollments were declining.

Thus, libertarians have leaped in to discover and give voice to the anti-government and anti-war grievances of their fellow-citizens. Not only have they been mobilized for libertarian action and been educated in libertarian ideas (including opposition to the public schools) and in the idea that taxation is theft, but the politicians have begun to knuckle under to the vociferous demands and actions. Politicians, scared of their jobs and of the voters, will buckle under pressure, and this has already been demonstrated in Illinois. Finally, the tax rebellion shows the great importance of libertarian activists and organizations—such as the LPI and NTU—being already in place to take advantage of and take the lead in mass protests and mass movements against statism.

(See the Chicago Daily News, August 4; the New York Times, Aug. 20; the Illinois Libertarian August, 1977. The Illinois Libertarian may be obtained from LPI, P. O. Box 1776, Chicago, Ill. 60690. Anyone interested in obtaining information about the Illinois tax strike, may call 312-525-6231 or 312-763-5122 during the day, or 312-287-0969 in the evenings.)


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