POINTS FOR DISCUSSION: TOWARD A MASS-BASED LIBERTARIAN CURRENT
A topic we'd like to throw open for dialogue in the pages of this publication is: How might the grass-roots Anti-Censorship Movement and sex-positive elements begin to better create working alliances with activists from OTHER enlightened social currents to forge a mass-scale, popularly-based libertarian movement in the U.S.?
There are certainly a host of philosophical (as well as quite practical) "points of unity" around which such a movement could rally such natural allies as organized humanists, pro-choice and pot decrim groups, sex workers calling for legalized prostitution, good old "live-and-let-live" folks out there who believe all sexual preferences are equal. Such advanced political forces support abolishment of oppressive laws on free will, consensual activities which (as with the movies we watch, books we read, the art we create, etc.) are simply of no possible business of ANY "third party" (let alone the business of opportunist hack politicians or slavering packs of ridiculous "religious" bigots!)
The argument for doing away with such "victimless crime" laws has most recently had it's most thorough sounding in a recent book by Peter McWilliams titled Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society (Prelude Press). McWilliams is the author of over 30 books including the New York Times motivational bestseller DO IT! Let's Get Off Our Butts, so while the call to end the social "war" on recreational drug use, prostitution, porno, etc. may be a ways yet from jelling into any kind of cohesive "movement," McWilliams' is a voice that is currently demanding notice, bringing libertarian thought to the citizenry via NOBODY'S BUSINESS, his appearance on the talk-show circuit to reportedly VERY supportive audience response, etc. More than 350,000 people are currently in jail for pursuing various forms of personal pleasures --amounting to more than $50,000,000,000 spent this year by taxpayers to continue punishing their/our fellow citizens, though no party was hurt by their so-called "crimes." (McWilliams traces such social policy back to the days of the Puritans and their stocks right up through to the deleterious influence of the Falwells and Pat Robertsons of today.) NOBODY'S BUSINESS is a must-read AND a thrilling, political page-turner available from your local library or bookstore.
Various individual rights groups have in recent days found themselves sharing the same speakers' platforms and working literature tables shoulder-to-shoulder in festive, weekend, libertarian music and art blow-outs called "Freedom Festivals." Reps from groups like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Rock Out Censorship (ROC) often find themselves working their respective literature tables tables at the same rock and rap concerts and festivals throughout Ohio and Florida. Agreeing to "formally" support each other's issues within a larger coalition could well be a "natural," a crucial Next Step, moving us all closer to our objectives of a freer, rational America. Major shifts in social policy regarding ANY of the aforementioned issues may well hinge upon a shift in the larger, overall, social "paradigm," which we may actually stand a chance at facilitating by more effectively working together.
In fact, many individual activists (and some grass-roots groups) ALREADY give time and energy to any number and combinations of particular libertarian issues. The trick will be COALESCE the various PRO-FREEDOM CURRENTS INTO A POLITICAL FORCE in the eyes of the larger public as well as in the eyes of our "public servants" who might be "testing the winds" as to whether to placate the passe, retrograde dregs of the Rabid Right --or to support a gestating libertarian groundswell!
An alliance of libertarian forces supporting each others' particular issues could well make for a virtual TIDAL WAVE sweeping away the ramparts of antiquated superstitions and prejudices which have held sway for far too long now in American politics.
Meanwhile, for our part, remaining vigilant to insure public consideration of voices for practical, libertarian alternatives --seeing that such proposals are not ruled "out-of-hand" by the usual, predictable array of anti-democratic forces (tied to vested financial/social interests in maintaining the status quo)-- may well prove to be the key challenge for the grass-roots Anti-Censorship Movement in the period ahead.
What do YOU think? Write us at Free Expression League, P.O.Box 436, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663.