Samuel E. Konkin, 3rd
Last issue Your Friendly Neighborhood Anarchocolumnist (YFNA) sketched the last six years of the Movement’s history again, this time focusing on strategy. The failure of all tactics used until now, with the exception of the somewhat arduous Counter-Economic approach (hard work and all that) was noted, and the Party heresy was pointed out as the most blatant failure. But also noted was the drive for exhibition on the part of many libertarians, a desire for visibility in a Public Campaign. Really, about the only positive thing the Party ever claimed for itself was that it attracted people by public campaigning (a false claim, by the way—the Party has yet to convert one person that I know of, usually getting its memberships from old LAers, NBIers, and reader-converts).
Let’s look at some of the problems involved in a political campaign. First, the Party must be a monopoly with individuals subjecting themselves to compromise or outright sell-out to unite behind a candidate. Why? To get him a chance of winning. Why? To take office, of course.
Which brings us to the next problem. A libertarian in office is another politician with power to oppress us. Either he has the power and refrains from using it (threatens us) or uses it (coerces us). Nobody can be trusted with that, clearly.
And who could we all agree on without sacrificing our principles? Behind whom could students of Murray Rothbard, Robert LeFevre, Ayn Rand, Leonard Read, Joseph Galambos, Karl Hess, Robert A. Heinlein, El Rayo, Natallee Hall, and Harry Browne unite? Nobody.
Finally, what candidate can libertarians even draw from our ranks with enough popular appeal to bring large numbers into his campaign that we could then use all our libertarian wiles on to radicalize? Nobody again.
Look at the 1974 election for Republicans, Democrats, American Independents, and Peace & Freedomers. 62% (5 out of 8, figure counters) voted for Nobody. Clearly, she is the most popular candidate, the favourite for 1976.
Who? Why, Nobody, of course.
Look at her advantages! (I cannot refer to Nobody as her, actually, since it is not true that Nobody is female; but it is also false that Nobody is male. So as courtesy to feminists, I use the feminine. After all, who cares if Nobody is offended?)
Nobody would give up her power if elected. Nobody is free from being a focus for factional strife. Nobody already commands large support from the people. (Witness NLA’s brief Vote for Nobody campaign and Sy Leon’s previous League of Non-Voters activities for instruction in great publicity at next to no cost.)
Considering the seriousness of the Office of the President, Nobody would stand for a whimsical, witty campaign to woo the wary.
Nobody would fail to seduce the new converts into Statism. And Nobody would fail to have yet another “cult of personality” spring around her. Blacks and rednecks, feminists and male chauvinists, the poor and the wealthy, the fannish and the sercon, ex-liberals and ex-conservatives could all identify at once with Nobody. Who else can make that claim?
And, speaking of the campaign, I can see it now. “Nobody in Congress was against Taxes in ’76. Vote for Nobody!” (Great around April 15.) “Nobody can represent your interests in government. Nobody for President!” “Nobody deserves to live off your hard-earned tax money. Nobody’s our Man!” (Or woman, person, sentient, thing...)
And remember, dear reader, Nobody can hold more than one office in the U.S. Nobody for Congress! Nobody for Senate! Nobody for mayor! Nobody for governor! Nobody for dog-catcher...whoops, almost forgot about the limited governmentalists.
Before I get carried away (yeah!) with the whimsy, such a campaign is kicking off this year in several stages. On July 4, Counter-campaign ’76 will be announced to the libertarian movement. Want a franchise in your area? After all, even if we have a State Committee in your area, you could always set up a Congressional District Committee, county committee, assembly district committee, or whatever. There’s plenty for everyone. All the National Committee asks is that if you re-publish our ads in publications we haven’t covered (or put our your own handbills), split the take with us 50-50. Otherwise we will send you a “letter of authorization” for you to show to local statists with no hassle.
Get fast, fast relief from political anxiety. Nobody can’t sell out! Countercampaign ’76 may even have a National Nominating Convention in 1976. Best place would be in Kansas City the week before Labour Day. Some 10,000 SF fen are expected to be at the Hotel Muehlebach to hear the Worldcon guest of honor—Robert Heinlein. Libertarians and sympathizers will be highly concentrated there anyway.
“Mr. Chairperson, the State of Virginia unanimously nominates Nobody for President!” Cheers, balloons, kick lines. (Feminists may have male kick lines, if they wish. Nobody won’t mind.)
Naturally, delegate credentials will be sold, blatantly. (Sounds like the regular conventions to me—Ed.) After all, Nobody is free from corruption. And this being the era of Watergate, nobody is free from scandal and smear!
There you are, hard-core person. The problem I posed at the beginning of this column is solved. After all, I could not just carp and criticize without having a positive plan of action. Nobody would expect that from me! And remember, you can vote for Nobody in the convenience of your own home. (Send your name and address to the editor of this publication if you are interested in either campaigning for Nobody or/and wish to be a delegate.)
Southern Libertarian Review
Volume 1 Number 12 / June, 1975
Pages 10, 11