Libertarian Party Platform



Executive Summary
Libertarian Party Platform

Based on the July 2002 platform

I. Individual Rights and Civil Order

No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.

1. Freedom and Responsibility

Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make.

2. Crime

The appropriate way to suppress crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights.

3. Victimless Crimes

Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes.

4. The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs is a grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order, and to peace in the world.

5. Safeguards for the Criminally Accused

Until such time as persons are proved guilty of crimes, they should be accorded full respect for their individual rights.

6. Justice for the Individual

We support restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer. We oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense.

7. Juries

We favor all-volunteer juries and urge the assertion of the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.

8. Individual Sovereignty

We favor an immediate end to the doctrine of "Sovereign Immunity" which ignores the primacy of the individual, and holds that the State may not be held accountable for its actions.

9. Government and Mental Health

We oppose the involuntary treatment for mental health by health officials or law enforcement.

10. Freedom of Communication

We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right of individuals to dissent from government.

11. Freedom of Religion

We defend the rights of individuals to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others.

12. The Right to Property

All rights are inextricably linked with property rights. Property rights are entitled to the same protection as all other human rights.

13. Protection of Privacy

The individual's rights to privacy, property, and to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government.

14. Government Secrecy

We condemn the government's use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have.

15. Internal Security and Civil Liberties

The defense of the country requires that we counter threats to domestic security; however, we call for repeal of legislation that violates individual rights under the color of national security.

16. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

We affirm the right to keep and bear arms and oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, regulating, or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer, or sale of firearms or ammunition.

17. Conscription and the Military

We oppose any form of compulsory national service.

18. Immigration

We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality and welcome all refugees to our country.

19. Freedom of Association and Government Discrimination

Individual rights should not be denied or enhanced at the expense of other people's rights by government.

20. Women's Rights and Abortion

Individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question.

21. Families and Children

We believe that families are private institutions, which should be free from government intrusion, and that parents have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs.

22. Sexual Rights

We believe that adults have the right to private choice in consensual sexual activity.

23. American Indian Rights

American Indians should be free to determine their own system of governance and should have their property rights restored.

II. Trade and the Economy

The only proper role of existing governments in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected.

1. The Economy

Government intervention in the economy imperils both the personal freedom and the material prosperity of every American.

2. Taxation

All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We oppose all government activity that consists of the forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in violation of their individual rights.

3. Inflation and Depression

Government control over money and banking is the primary cause of inflation and depression.

4. Finance and Capital Investment

Regulation of financial and capital markets represses capital ventures.

5. Government Debt

We support a constitutional amendment requiring government budgets be balanced by cutting expenditures and not by raising taxes.

6. Monopolies

Government is the source of monopoly, through its grants of legal privilege to special interests in the economy. We advocate a strict separation of business and State.

7. Subsidies

The unrestricted competition of the free market is the best way to foster prosperity. We oppose all government subsidies.

8. Trade Barriers

Tariffs and quotas give special treatment to favored special interests and diminish the welfare of consumers and other individuals.

9. Public Utilities

We advocate the termination of government-created franchise privileges. The right to offer services on the market should not be curtailed by law.

10. Unions and Collective Bargaining

We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions. An employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union.

III. Domestic Ills

Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are primarily caused, by government.

1. Energy

We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.

2. Pollution

Pollution of other people's property is a violation of individual rights. Strict liability, not government agencies and arbitrary government standards, should regulate pollution.

3. Consumer Protection

We support strong and effective laws against fraud and misrepresentation.

4. Education

We advocate the complete separation of education and State.

5. Population

The American people are not a collective national resource. We oppose all coercive measures for population control.

6. Transportation

We support transit competition and deregulation.

7. Poverty and Unemployment

We support the repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find employment. The proper source of aid to the poor is voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.

8. Health Care

We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We advocate a complete separation of medicine and State.

9. Resource Use

Resource management is properly the responsibility and right of the legitimate owners of land, water, and other natural resources.

10. Agriculture

Farmers and consumers alike should be free from the meddling and counterproductive measures of the federal government -- free to grow, sell, and buy what they want.

11. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

We call for the repeal of OSHA, which denies the right to liberty and property to both employer and employee and interferes in private contractual relations.

12. Social Security

Replace the fraudulent, bankrupt Social Security system with a private, voluntary system.

13. Postal Service

We propose allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.

14. Civil Service

The Civil Service system entrenches a permanent and growing bureaucracy and is inherently a system of concealed patronage.

15. Election Laws

We call for an end to government control of political parties, consistent with First Amendment rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression, and propose electoral systems that are more representative.

IV. Foreign Affairs

The United States government should return to the historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures, and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade and travel.

A. Diplomatic Policy

1. Negotiations

The important principle in foreign policy should be the elimination of intervention by the United States government in the affairs of other nations.

2. International Travel and Foreign Investments

We call upon the United States government to adhere rigidly to the principle that all U.S. citizens travel, live, and own property abroad at their own risk.

3. Human Rights

We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights against governments or political and revolutionary groups.

4. World Government

We oppose U.S. government participation in any world or international government. We oppose any treaty under which individual rights would be violated.

5. Secession

We recognize the right to political secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals.

B. Military

1. Military Policy

Any U.S. military policy should have the objective of providing security for the lives, liberty and property of the American people in the U.S. as inexpensively as possible and without undermining the liberties it is designed to protect.

2. Presidential War Powers

We favor limiting the presidential role as Commander-in-Chief to its original meaning, namely that of the head of the armed forces in wartime.

C. Economic Policy

1. Foreign Aid

We support the elimination of tax-supported military, economic, technical, and scientific aid to foreign governments or other organizations.

2. International Money

We favor withdrawal of the United States from all international money and credit schemes, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

3. Unowned Resources

Individuals have the right to homestead unowned resources, both within the jurisdictions of national governments and within unclaimed territory.

D. International Relations

1. Colonialism

We favor immediate self-determination for all people living in colonial dependencies and the termination of subsidization of them at taxpayers' expense.

2. Foreign Intervention

We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid, guarantees, and diplomatic meddling. We make no exceptions.

3. Space Exploration

We oppose all government restrictions upon voluntary, peaceful use of outer space.

V. Omissions

Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval.