The finer details of individual liberty can, at times, be ugly. A very stark truth is that, in protecting the rights of the individual from the vagaries of the omnipotent state and its unwieldy exercise of its monopoly on what is considered legitimate force, we who are dedicated to a free society often find that we must tolerate things from others that we would rather do without. The finer points of what should be considered tolerable can at times be murky, at best. Then there are instances where the dividing line should be clear to any reasonable individual operating in good faith.
I say “should be,” because all too often, it is not to those who should very well know better. According to Libertarian National Committee Region 6 representative and Vice-Presidential candidate John Phillips, knowing better has been in short supply within the LNC of late. To wit, on this very day, there was a debate amongst the ostensible leaders of the Libertarian Party as to whether to accept as a new member, complete with membership dues, an inmate currently serving time having been convicted in the sex trafficking of young girls.
Now, even as a Christian, I am not necessarily opposed philosophically to the decriminalization of sex work; supply rarely, if ever, fails to meet a demand, and the fewer barriers there are between willing counterparties, the less dangerous such transactions become. That said, adherence to the ideals of liberty require that the agency of the individual be respected; while some may argue otherwise, the agency of the young must be considered somewhat in abeyance, as they generally have not developed enough mentally and emotionally to fully understand the ramifications of their actions. Of course, those who supply that which feeds the baser appetites of the predators among us know this, and often prey on desperate young girls, which is why I don’t even know how refusing this membership is at all a debate. Phillips agrees, having sent the following email to his fellow LNC members:
“I am willing to be convinced either way, as I said in the off-list conversation. I myself of am of 2 minds on the subject at hand. I find the crimes listed to be reprehensible, yet I am also open to reform, arguments against the state, etc. However, I will not accept blanket inaccurate statements, nor will I accept statements made in a dictatorial tone, particularly when they have had solid arguments made against. I also do not believe that anyone was attempting to issue directives to the ED. They were merely stating their opinions strongly. I do agree with the objection of making the name public, while also agreeing with the desire for the rest of the conversation to be held up for transparency. I do not, nor ever will, agree that it is a matter not up for discussion. I find the argument that there being no rule on it means we cannot do anything nonsensical. The NAP pledge is part of membership for a reason. To ignore that is to ignore a large part of our raison d’etre as a party. To argue that the body can do nothing in a situation which has been argued is not covered under the bylaws is to then argue that this body also then has little reason to exist other than to engage in mental masturbation circle jerks. If it is covered under the bylaws then by all means show everyone the appropriate passages and we can walk away. If it is not then that is exactly the purpose of a body such as ours, to deal with such situations in a timely manner. If indeed the it is the duty of the delegates then a 3rd option is available to us that no one has discussed. Do nothing. Do not cash the check, do not return it. Bring it to the delegates in May. If the position of the body is that it is the delegates decision, then it is that easily addressed. I would have thought that answer to be obvious. I personally find it distasteful to pass the buck like that, but it is a compromise I could abide by. I assure you that members are already planning on doing so in a related case we are all familiar with.
– John Phillips
Libertarian National Committee Region 6 Representative”
Yes, personally I believe in redemption, but even with that, such violations of the rights of other sovereign individuals cannot be dismissed so lightly, especially violations against those not fully matured. I generally support the LNC, but in this, the correct path is clear, and it should be demanded that they follow it. Just as I would wish Judas had not sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver, neither must we sell ours for $25.
Tarnell is an economist, entrepreneur and social observer. When he is not being a Lucky Libertarian, he is likely plotting to take over the world (and leave you alone) and singing romantic ballads to absolutely no one.