Strongly based on the 1975 Platform of the Workers Party, the Liberty Australia Platform as published here is currently a draft. Many changes are still being made based on the input and feedback of us and our supporters. If you check back here on a weekly basis, you'll see updates.
The platform below is an EARLY DRAFT. It still needs a lot of work to get to where we'd like it. The formatting below also isn't ideal. Please download the Word version of version 0.3.0 of the Plaform by clicking here. You can make edits (track-changes on, please!) and then email it to us.
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OBJECTIVES1. To put principles before votes. 2. To educate, including the use of Australia’s political stage, so as to spread the message of liberty.3. To offer an intelligent and principled alternative to the authoritarianism, plunder, aggression and imperialism as practised and preached by the Labor and Liberal parties.
PREAMBLEThe main problem facing Australia is government. Government has become too big, too powerful and too expensive. It is no longer the servant of the people, but their master. Its record is one of aggression: taxation, conscription, inflation, confiscation, etc.
Power-hungry people use government to exercise control over others; greedy people use it to gain personal advantage over others; lazy people use it to sponge off others; and pressure groups use it to enforce their will on others.
All of us pay for government and all of us are dominated by government.
As libertarians, we seek a world of liberty: a world in which all individuals have ownership over their own lives and are not forced to sacrifice their values for the benefit of others.
We accept that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realised.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLEThe aim of this Party is simple. It is to implement one fundamental just principle fully and consistently. This fundamental principle is that of non-aggression, “No person or group of persons has the right to initiate the use of force, fraud or aggression against another person or group of persons”.This principle is commonly referred to as the “non-aggression principle”. The implications and applications of this principle make up the remainder of our platform.
CLARITY ON TERMSFor the purposes of clarity, it is helpful to elaborate on some of the terms used in this document.
The terms “government” and “State” may be used interchangeably, however, the term “State” is more precise. The State being an institution that uses aggression for exercising a territorial monopoly on the enforcement of regulations, laws and/or taxation over property regardless of rightful ownership. In Australia, the State can be understood as the federal government, state governments, local governments, and all of their associated entities, agencies and enforcers. While the Libertarian Party is against the State, we strongly believe in governance, and accept that voluntary governance is superior in producing peace, freedom and prosperity.
The terms “just” and “moral” are used interchangeably, as are “unjust” and “immoral”. Within an ethical context, what is “just” can be seen as “moral” and what is “unjust” can be seen as “immoral”. However, “just” and “unjust” are preferred terms in that they are well defined by libertarian legal theory (a discrete branch of praxeology).
INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND CIVIL ORDERNo conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no person or group of persons may initiate the use of force, fraud or aggression against any other person or group of persons.
1.1.– Individual Rights1.1.1. Self-OwnershipSelf-ownership is the source of all rights. Self-ownership means that each person is the sole owner of their own life and that no other person or group of persons has any claim on any portion of another’s life without that person’s consent. There can be no conflict between these rights, as each person possesses equal rights. Conflict can only arise through the violation of individual rights.
We uphold the unconditional recognition of every person’s individual self-ownership and, therefore, advocate the repeal of all laws based on the assumption that a person’s life belongs to the State or to Society. We oppose any form of aggression, conscription or involuntary servitude.
1.1.2. Property RightsA property right is simply the exclusive right to control a scarce resource. Recognition of property rights in material objects is the recognition of a person’s right to exist; a person’s right to pursue one’s goals in one’s manner at one’s discretion with what is rightfully one's to command. Just as self-ownership is the right to the property of one’s person, so too is the right to own material products to sustain one’s life and to keep the results of one’s efforts. If the right to use and to dispose of property is controlled by others, the owner of property ceases to be free. Therefore, we advocate the unconditional recognition of property rights, and the repeal of all laws such as those relating to death duties, land acquisition, land taxes, stamp duties, zoning laws, etc., which are based on the assumption that all property belongs to the State, or to Society.
1.1.3. Liberty and FreedomLiberty exists where each person respects the rights (self-ownership and property rights) of others. Liberty is the absence of aggression by other persons, where persons choose to deal with each other only by mutual consent.
The concept of “liberty” includes:• the freedoms of thought, speech and opinion (including religion);• the freedom of association, which means that all persons are free to come together or to stay apart as they choose, in any form or organisation they choose; for example, immigration, labour unions, joint-stock companies, clubs, etc.;• the freedom to trade (a special form of association entailing an exchange of property rights), and the freedom not to trade; including the freedom to choose one’s employers or employees, whether singly or together; and the freedom to bargain on wages or on prices by mutual agreement;• the freedom to contract (a special form of association entailing a voluntary future commitment), which means that persons are free to commit themselves in contract to each other in any manner they mutually agree upon;• the freedom of the press, of information, of broadcasting, of the arts, of all forms of human expression in any medium (a special form of trade in certain products of the human mind), which means that any person may offer for sale or use any form or type of expression provided that he does not violate the rights of others (freedom of the press, etc., does not imply that the media of expression or distribution should be made available to all and sundry via the violation of the property rights of others);• the freedom of movement, which means that everyone has the right to move and reside in any geographical location, provided they respect the rights of others.
We advocate the repeal of all laws which restrict individual liberty and which assume that individuals are free only insofar as the State permits them to be free. Such laws include those regulating censorship, education, unions, compulsory voting, licensing, tariffs and prices, wage and rent controls; laws permitting State monopolies, State supported cartels and State supported price fixing rings and laws relating to the registration of books, newspapers, magazines, cinemas, radio and television stations, etc.
1.1.4. Aboriginal AustraliansWe recognise that the rights of Australian Aborigines have been violated frequently, extensively and degradingly by successive governments. We advocate the repeal of all laws which violate individual rights. In particular, we advocate that land currently held “in trust” by various governments be returned to the Aboriginal Australians with full property rights, including the ability to mine the minerals below the ground.
1.1.5. The Rights of ChildrenWhile parents are supporting a child they are responsible for that child and have guardianship over that child.
Children are human beings and have equal rights with all other human beings.
While a child is dependent on others they cannot be fully self-sufficient. Notwithstanding, every child has the right to leave home, to seek employment unhindered by State aggression, to seek alternative guardians, and to enjoy full rights of ownership over their own property, and therefore the right to seek redress against theft, including thefts committed by their parents.
1.1.6. The State and DiscriminationNo law shall discriminate against any individual on the grounds of race, colour, sex, creed, etc.
1.1.7. Voting and ElectionsCompulsory voting is an infringement of individual rights. We advocate voluntary voting and therefore the repeal of laws which make voting compulsory. Whilst compulsory voting exists, we advocate a “none of the above” option on every ballot.
1.2.– Justice, Crime and the Legislation of the StateIn many respects the Australian legal system is contradictory, convoluted and complicated. There is no consistent conception of justice. The application of State legislation does not always guarantee that justice is served.
We advocate a complete streamlining of the legal process on the basis of individual rights. We advocate one fundamental principle: No person or groups of persons shall initiate the use of force, fraud or aggression against another person or group of persons. Only on the basis of this principle can persons be equal before the law.
Thus, on the principle that every person is responsible for their own actions, we maintain that every person convicted of transgressing the law must undertake to compensate fully the victim or victims of their action for the loss of the victim or victims. (See 1.2.3. Criminal Justice.)We further advocate the streamlining of the legal process on the basis of consent. Where plaintiff and defendant agree on the method of adjudication of their dispute, whether trial by jury, trial by judge(s) or decision by some extra-legal agency, then the result of that agreement will be binding and will have the force of law, subject to the right of appeal.
1.2.1. Victimless “Crime”Actions which do not infringe the rights of others should not be termed crimes. Such actions not involving victims (“victimless crimes”) are not crimes at all, but, by being so defined, are merely attempts by one group of people to control the lives of other individuals. Therefore, we advocate:• The repeal of all laws restricting the voluntary exchange of goods or services, including trading hour restrictions.• The repeal of all laws restricting or controlling any form of gambling.• The repeal of all laws which control or prohibit any sexual activity, including homosexuality and prostitution, between consenting adults.• The repeal of all laws restricting or controlling the production, transportation, sale, possession or use of any food supplement or drug. • The repeal of all laws setting up special classifications of foreigners, and the abolition of all laws which place economic and social restrictions upon them.
1.2.2. Due ProcessUntil a person is proved guilty of a crime, they should be accorded all possible respect for their individual rights - innocent until proven guilty. Present safeguards for the rights of the criminally accused must be improved. Preventive detention and all similar measures violate individual rights. Speedy trials should be available to accused persons, incorporating the principles of “fair hearing” and “natural justice”.
Losses suffered by any person arrested, indicted, imprisoned, tried or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings which do not result in their conviction should be recoverable from the agency, person or persons laying the charges.
1.2.3. Criminal JusticeThe purpose of any system of courts should be to provide justice. The present system of criminal law is based on punishment, with little concern for the victim. The primary emphasis should be changes from the present “crime against society” to “crime against individuals”. Thus, to implement this principle, we advocate that:• the goal of the legal system, upon a determination of guilt, should be restitution to the victim for their loss but only at the expense of the criminal. Whether the restitution to the victim be paid by the criminal as a result of work in a free environment or as a result of work within a restricted environment (e.g., gaol) should be a question for the court to decide;• if a person is found innocent, the monetary costs of their defence should be recoverable from the party initiating the proceedings;• all laws relating to alleged conspiracies will be reviewed to ensure that those which infringe individual liberty are eliminated; and• all restitution and/or punishments are beholden to the principle of proportionality.
1.2.4. Involuntary CommitmentNo person should be committed involuntarily to a mental institution. The incarceration of an individual not convicted of a crime, but merely asserted to be incompetent, violates the individual’s rights.
1.2.5. Subpoena and Jury ServiceThe power to subpoena witnesses will be abolished as it compels attendance at trials and thus violates the rights of those compelled to give evidence. Coerced testimony is forced labour and should be abolished.
Similarly, any form of compulsory jury service is likewise forced labour. If individually negotiated fees were paid to jurors and to witnesses, coercion would not be necessary and individuals would be more likely to assist the processes of the legal system.
1.2.6. Penal InstitutionsAt present criminals are kept in prisons at the expense of taxpayers, who include the victims of these crimes. The criminal is not liable to pay restitution, so the victim loses twice — (a) through the crime and (b) through taxation for the upkeep of the criminal and often also for the support of the criminal’s family.
Penal institutions will be used only for incorrigible criminals; there they will have to work out their restitution debts under supervision. Otherwise, criminals may be allowed to work in their own vocations and pay off their restitution as determined by the courts. (See 1.2.3. Criminal Justice.)
1.2.7 Self Defence The only legitimate use of force is in defence of rights. We oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defence. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence and use of defence weapons on their own property.
2. ECONOMIC AFFAIRSPolitical freedom is impossible without economic freedom. Every economic control by the State is a control of people. Every State intervention is an invasion of personal liberty. The Party regards all forms of State intervention as a violation of individual rights. The majority of economic ills currently suffered by Australians are traceable to many and varied State attempts to “regulate” trade, “fix” prices and wages, “redistribute” wealth, “regulate” the currency, “manage” the economy, “direct” production, “set” standards, and so on. The problems of inflation, monopolies, cartels, price fixing, wide-scale industrial unrest and shortages are all caused by State aggression; they are the inevitable problems which will always plague the present Statist system.State controls divide society into competing classes and special protected interests which deprive Peter to pay Paul and set one group of persons against another. Only in the free market can there be harmony among persons.
2.1.– Monetary and Fiscal Policy2.1.1. Taxation is TheftTaxation (which is legalised aggression and robbery by the State) is no more justified than aggression and robbery committed by private individuals. The greater one’s ability and/or willingness to work, the greater one is penalised by progressive taxation. This is blatantly unjust. We believe that every person has ownership over their own life and their own income, and that extortions, regardless of motive, are inconsistent with freedom.We are committed to creating a social system in which justice is the ruling consideration in all human relationships. As taxation is unjustifiable we are committed to working towards the elimination of the income tax, sales taxes, capital gains tax, gift duties, death duties, company taxes and all other taxes.
Taxation can be replaced by:1. Voluntary individual contributions;2. Voluntary fee-for-service payments; and3. Private bodies taking over many of the present functions of the State.
2.1.2. Inflation and Recession/DepressionWhen the volume of money is increased, prices rise in accordance with the law of supply and demand. The visible effect is a reduction in the value of the currency measured in terms of purchasing power.
As a result, everyone needs more money just to maintain the same standard of living.
The State, with its monopoly control of the money supply and the banking system, is obviously the only group which is able to inflate the currency.
On gaining office, we would halt inflation by:• ending the inflationary practice of deficit spending by achieving a balanced or surplus budget at all times; and• putting an end to credit expansion by the Reserve Bank.
Inflation is caused by State intervention in the economy. Recession/depression is the inevitable result of inflation.
On gaining office we would speed recovery from a recession or depression by:• removing all controls on wages, prices, rents, incomes and interest rates; • eliminating the income tax, sales taxes, capital gains tax, gift duties, death duties, company taxes and all other taxes;• repealing all restrictions on production and trade, including factory hours, standards, licensing, etc.;• eliminating all tariffs;• removing all subsidies;• continually reducing the strength of the Public Service;• removing government support for all business enterprises; and• abolishing all State business monopolies.
2.1.3. Money and BankingIn order permanently to eliminate the threat of State-induced catastrophe from the Australian economy (the so-called “trade” or “business” cycle) the Party will reform the monetary and banking systems. As well as providing for long-term stability and prosperity, these reforms will hasten recovery from inflation/recession.
On attaining office, the Party will:• abolish the Reserve Bank and repeal all laws which create special privileges for banks, thus ending the present State-supported monopoly of the banking system;• repeal the State’s monopoly of the money supply and repeal all legal tender laws so as to allow competition in currency;• repeal all taxes, regulations, legislation and other barriers that apply alternate currencies, including physical coins and cryptocurrencies (i.e. Bitcoin);• restore confidence in the Australian economy by replacing the Australian dollar (based on nothing) with a new currency (or a revaluation of the present currency) based on sound money; and• eliminate State-supported fractional-reserve banking.On the attainment of these objectives, all monetary and banking practice would be guided solely by the fundamental principle.
2.1.4. Repudiate Public DebtPublic debt serves as a mechanism for governments to commit non-consenting individuals to future property rights violations. Further, public debt acts as a wealth transfer upon persons unborn or too young to consent. It’s unjustifiable that persons be subject to debts made without their consent and therefore we advocate the repudiation of all public debts.
2.2.– Production and Trade2.2.1. Free TradePolitical freedom is impossible without economic freedom. We therefore advocate and will actively work towards completely separating the State from the economy.
State controls are usually imposed on the alleged basis that they are vitally necessary, either to protect the interest of consumers or to effect a fair distribution of wealth in the name of some unidentifiable public good.
In a free market, consumers with their choice (whether to buy or to abstain from buying) are the supreme controllers. Their choices ultimately determine what is produced, in what quantity and quality, and at what selling price.
In a free market, wealth is acquired, not at the expense of a sacrifice by someone, but by serving consumers. Only in a free market can economic justice prevail.
Controls abridge the freedom of trade and abrogate the rights of individuals.Therefore, we advocate for:• the abolition of all State controls on prices, wages, rents, shopping hours, production quotas, etc.; • the abolition of all managed trade agreements in favour of complete free trade between all persons regardless of geographical location; and• all Free Trade Agreements will stipulate that: regulated trade between the individuals, companies, and institutions within our respective countries will be illegal henceforth.
2.2.2. State LicensingThe effect of State licensing is to give financial advantage to a selected person, or to a group of persons, by preventing free competition.This action constitutes a flagrant negation of the rights of individuals. Therefore, we advocate the abolition of all such licensing. This includes occupational licences, production licences, the licensing of personal relationships, copyrights and patents. We encourage certifications by voluntary associations of professionals.
2.2.3. State MonopoliesOnly the State can establish monopolies, such as the post office and the railways, which are inefficient, unreliable and only exist because the State prohibits competition.
All laws preventing or restricting privately owned business from competing with State monopolies will be abolished. State services will then be removed. The State also props up many other businesses, both State-owned and privately-owned, by regulating competition and preventing consumer choice. All restrictions on competition and free choice should be abolished.
On attaining office, the Party would, with all deliberate speed:• repeal all laws maintaining State monopolies; and• offer for sale all State-owned property as it becomes available and, thereby, liquidate any State debt.
2.2.4. Tariffs and QuotasTariffs and quotas are methods by which the States subsidise one or more sections of the community at the expense of others. Tariffs and quotas, through interference with market forces, promote inefficient production and reduce competition by denying to consumers the right to purchase, without hindrance, the lowest priced goods available.
We advocate the abolition of all tariffs and quotas. The Industries Assistance Commission, the Department of Customs and Excise and all other such agencies will be eliminated.
2.2.5. Subsidies and IncentivesIn common with all other State interventions, subsidies and incentives serve only to benefit one section of the community at the expense of others. Therefore, we advocate for their elimination.
2.2.6. StandardsAny person who contracts to provide one standard and intentionally deliver another is guilty of fraud. Laws regulating specific standards are unnecessary for consumer protection of individual rights.
Minimum standards, when imposed, tend to become maximum standards and so restrict competition.We advocate the immediate abolition of all laws enforcing standards. (For Consumer Protection see Section 3.6.)
2.3.– Investment by Foreign and Multi-National CompaniesAny and all individuals and their companies should be able to operate within Australia, provided their claims to property rights are justly transacted. These individuals or companies may use and dispose of, within this country or overseas, any investment, capital gained, property owned or goods and services produced here. While operating with our territorial boundaries they will be subject to Australian law.
Elimination of taxation and the modifying of the Australian currency to one of sound money will allow enormous sums of risk capital to accumulate in Australia. Free market forces, operating on the exchange rate, will so depreciate the currencies of other countries in relation to our own that access to the local market will be on terms highly favourable to Australians.
3. GENERAL AFFAIRSMany domestic problems are caused or compounded by violations of the non-aggression principle by the State.
We oppose all State aggression which infringes upon the rights of individuals, and we will repeal all legislation that infringes upon those rights. All other affairs should be the province of private individuals.
3.1.– UnionsOver the years, successive governments, through industrial legislation, have permitted labour unions to become a law unto themselves, privileged to breach contracts and to coerce both employers and employees. Further, governments have repeatedly encroached upon individual rights within a workplace context, including that of compelling speech and interfering in the ability of workers to organise and take industrial action.
We recognise the right of all persons to form voluntary associations of any kind and for any purpose. We also recognise the right of all persons to refrain from joining any association. We therefore advocate repeal of all laws establishing compulsory associations or forbidding voluntary association of any kind.
We accept that contracts between employers and employees should be entirely voluntary, but legally binding, like any other voluntary contract. We recognise the right of an employee to withdraw their labour in the understanding that they do not breach their contract of employment. Likewise, an employer may terminate a contract of employment provided that they honour their obligations under the contract.
3.2.– Broadcasting and TelevisionAs the Australian Broadcasting Commission is a State-owned and operated enterprise it will be offered for sale to private operators. The Broadcasting Control Board will be abolished.
In addition to selling the ABC, the Party will recognise the property rights in airwaves, and, as an interim measure, transform the Broadcasting Control Board into the Airwaves Property Registration Office. APRO will define all available broadcasting frequencies. Existing licence-holders will have their property rights recognised; all other frequencies will be available for claim. All other laws regulating broadcasting will be repealed. After the frequencies are defined and existing claims recognised, APRO will be abolished.
3.3.– EducationThe present State school systems are far from satisfactory. Common problems are: insufficient funds, sky-rocketing costs, inadequate teachers and facilities, poor communication because of large classes, high failure and drop-out rates, and widespread discontent amongst administrators, staff and students.
These systems contain numerous contradictions. Uniform syllabuses do not allow sufficient variety. Furthermore, they restrict both teachers and students. Regulations always restrict innovation. Zoning laws restrict choice of school. Taxpayers either pay for, or subsidise, schools. Little allowance is made for those taxpayers who are childless or who send their children to private schools. “Free education” is not free — it is paid for by the taxpayers.The present education system violates the fundamental principle of non-aggression.
We advocate:• the elimination of all State control, ownership and subsidy of educational institutions;• the removal of all government syllabus restrictions;• the repeal of all zoning restrictions;• the removal of all government restrictions applying to teacher training and qualifications, these being decisions for the owners of individual schools; and• that attendance at schools should be non-compulsory and be a parental responsibility.
A free market educational system would be a just system. The market forces of supply and demand would encourage growth, diversity, experimentation and higher quality at lower costs.
3.4.– PollutionPollution may be defined as “the transfer of matter or energy to the person or property of another without the latter’s consent”. It, therefore, clearly violates the fundamental principle of non-aggression. Furthermore, the pollution does not depend on arbitrary limits.
Any pollution is a violation of individual rights. Proof of the source and identity of the polluter must be obtained in order that effective legal action be taken.
Pollution is the violation of the property rights of the victim. Much of the current confusion surrounding the problem of pollution stems from the facts that:1. property rights are not adequately defined or protected (see Section 1.1.2);2. much of the property affected by pollution lacks a specific owner, e.g., rivers, the sea and air;3. it is not easy to sue State departments if they cause pollution.
We therefore advocate the following measures as being necessary for the solution of pollution problems:• the development of just methods for the transference to private ownership of all currently unowned property;• the repeal of all current laws relating to pollution and the full implementation of a body of law to protect legitimate individual rights (see Section 1); and• the abolition of the Department of the Environment and Conservation, and all similar regulatory bodies.
Concepts such as “moral pollution” and “aesthetic pollution” are not valid for they are matters of individual choice, and do not infringe upon the rights of others.
3.5.– ConservationWe accept that conservation and cultivation of a healthy environment should be a concern of all persons. However, the desire to conserve natural resources, or man-made objects is not a valid excuse for the violation of individual rights. We oppose such violations as being contrary to the fundamental principle of non-aggression. Specifically, there should be no legislation that violates the right of a person to dispose of property as they see fit, provided that such disposal does not infringe upon the rights of any other person.
As with pollution and also with conservation, much confusion is caused when property is not privately owned. Therefore we advocate:• that just methods be devised for the transference to private ownership of all currently unowned property, including waterways, air space and “public” (State) property;• that conservationists buy areas or resources or building that they wish to conserve;• that the State be forbidden from levelling taxes on property bought for the purposes of conservation and that all taxes on private property be repealed;• that all current laws relating to the conservation, regulation and control of the use, development, sale or production of resources (including land, minerals, building, etc.) be repealed.
3.6.– Consumer ProtectionThe aim of consumer-protection laws is to protect the rights of consumers. It is unjustifiable to legislate to “protect” consumers if, as a consequence, the rights of producers are violated. The rights of one group of people cannot take precedence over those of another group of people.
The only laws needed are those required to enforce the fundamental principle: that no person or group of persons has the right to initiate the use of force, fraud or coercion against another person or group of persons.
In the realm of consumer protection, enforcement against fraudulent practices is essential. Since each person is the owner of their own body, laws designed to protect people from themselves are unnecessary and unjustifiable.
We advocate:• a review of all existing laws relating fraud to make them clearer, more understandable, and more enforceable by an individual even against the largest corporation;• the repeal of all existing consumer protection laws that violate individuals’ rights, including all laws designed to protect people from themselves;• the repeal of all laws preventing professional people from advertising their services; and• the prosecution of those that violate the rights of individuals through fraudulent behaviour or practices.
It should not be forgotten that in the free market consumers would be further protected because:• a good name is an asset to a business and it can best be maintained by fair and honest dealing;• the use of certificates, guarantees, and warranties issued by manufacturers and supplies of goods and services are, in themselves, a protection to consumers;• both professional and non-professional people can voluntarily form associations for the specific purpose of maintaining high standards, both in work and behaviour; and• privately owned consumer protection organisations producing journals and magazines would proliferate in a free market.
3.7.– WelfareThe principle of individual rights has far-reaching implications when applied to “Welfare”. Put simply, its application means the eventual termination of all State welfare programmes.
All State welfare is paid for by taxation or inflation in direct violation of the rights of individuals. The claims of welfare recipients do not take precedence over the right of other individuals.
Insistence upon this principle does not mean that we are indifferent to the plight of some people. It means that we believe that it is unjustifiable to rob or to enslave one person for the purpose of helping another.
We do not deny that the plight of the old, the sick, the handicapped and the impoverished is cause for great concern. The plight of most of these people has been caused by their exposure to a lifetimes of confiscatory taxes and duties. Government-caused inflation has added to this plight.Our fiscal policies, designed to permit every person to control and plan their own life, will restore dignity and self-respect to many who would otherwise have been forced to seek charity through impersonal and inefficient welfare programmes, run by the States on money extracted by force from taxpayers.By freeing Australians from the crippling tax burden imposed to provide inefficient and impersonal welfare programmes, individuals would be better able to make for themselves adequate provision for sickness and old age, especially in the absence of inflation.
We therefore advocate:• that corporate welfare, being one of the most offensive forms of wealth transfer, be immediately abolished;• that State welfare schemes for individuals be reduced and eventually replaced by private charitable organisations;• that all laws relating to compulsory retirement and minimum wages be repealed, thus making it possible for many welfare recipients to return to work and recover their lost self-esteem; and• that it be recognised that in a free society where the right to dispose of one’s income as one chooses is not violated, people will not only be in a better financial position to engage in and support voluntary welfare schemes but will also be more willing to do so.
It is naive to think that a few people in government care more or can do more for any deprived group than can be done by any concerned group outside of the State.
Under a laissez-faire system of private charity:• the productive rich are richer, so they have more to contribute to charity;• the productive poor are richer, so they are less reliant on charity, thus leaving more charitable help for the involuntarily non-productive poor;• all productive individuals, being able to keep all the fruits of their labour and thus feeling that their liberty and dignity is genuinely respected, have not only the means, but, more importantly, also a genuine incentive to contribute to charity; and• the voluntarily non-productive poor, knowing that they have no right to live at the expense of others, have a strong incentive to become productive, thus leaving more charitable help for the involuntarily non-productive poor.
3.8.– HealthWe accept that health is an individual matter and that all State health schemes contravene individual rights.
State hospitals should be offered for sale. Thereafter they would be operated more efficiently by private enterprise, which may include charities, worker-collectives, friendly societies and other non-profit entities. We accept that in a system of free enterprise, through innovation and competition, the supply of medical services, devices, and treatments would almost instantly increase, prices would fall, and a greater variety of health-care services would appear on the market.
We therefore advocate:• that all State organisations in the realm of health care be replaced at the earliest possible date by private organisations;• that recognition be given to the fact that, in a free economy, people will be in a better position to engage in and support voluntary medical schemes which are free of State control;• the elimination of all State protectionism and barriers to innovation by repealing all restrictions on the production and sale of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, including patents;• the elimination of State licensing requirements for medical schools, hospitals, pharmacies, and medical doctors and other health-care personnel; and• removing State nutrition guidelines which have been captured by special interest groups.
3.9.– Land, Building and HousingState regulations and controls on town planning, land zoning and subdivision have prevented the free flow of land to the marketplace. The shortages so created have added to high prices and personal hardship.
State regulations and controls on buildings, housing and services have created unwarranted delays and shortages.
State powers of acquisition and State restrictions on land use and sale violate the property rights of owners. Therefore, they cannot be tolerated.
In many different ways, the States extorts large sums of money from individual property owners, and from property transactions.
We accept that land, housing and commercial buildings would be more affordable, accessible and sustainable in a free society. Fewer taxes, less regulation and more competition in the production of housing will deliver a better standard of living, with greater instances of home-ownership at a lower cost to regular people.
We therefore advocate:• the repeal of all laws relating to the production, use or sale of land or housing, including building codes, standards and regulations, zoning laws, all registration laws, stamp duty laws, land development regulations, and resumption laws; and• the sale of all State-owned land and buildings.
3.10.– AgricultureState intervention in agriculture has spelt disaster to many primary producers.
We accept that in the absence of State aggression, producers, through competitive markets, would deliver a greater range of better, more sustainable and healthier products to consumers at affordable prices.
We advocate:• the repeal of all laws relating to the production and marketing of foodstuffs and agricultural products; and• the abolition of all State-enforced quotas, levies, taxes, subsidies and other such aggressions.
3.11.– The Public ServiceState activities cannot be justified as they infringe upon the rights of individuals.
Furthermore, State departments are notoriously wasteful and inefficient. State departments, boards, enquiries, statutory bodies, trusts, commissions, etc., continue to proliferate. New State departments are set up in an attempt to solve the problems created by other departments. Individuals are compelled by law to support this huge authoritarian and parasitic bureaucracy.
Governments are the major offenders in creating the problems that they so ineptly attempt to solve.The Public Service will be drastically reduced.
Ample productive employment will be available to displaced public servants as State restraints are lifted and private enterprise is left free to expand.
3.12.– NationalismThe concept of Nationalism is often used as the reason for State aggression against individuals. “In the national interest” has become the standard excuse for tax increases, expropriation of property, conscription of youth, and the many and varied repressive controls and regulations imposed upon individuals.
Nationalism can easily lead to the establishment of a strong centralised State. Historically, nationalism has been the prime cause of aggression.We do not accept the validity of such concepts as “the common good” and “the national interest”. We maintain that such concepts are poorly defined, arbitrary, meaningless and therefore invalid, and are only used as an excuse to violate the rights of individuals.
Nationalism, however, need not be evil if it springs, spontaneously, from individual pride in a way of life. If there is to be genuine national feeling in Australia, it will be for an Australia that is a free country in which individual rights are respected and where people are able to live in peace and harmony. If emphasis is placed upon the individual, and not on the State, then the repugnant, militaristic brand of nationalism will not appear.
3.13.– SecessionAll persons have a right to self-determination. Therefore, all persons or groups of persons may, through property rights and freedom of association, opt for their property, village, district, group of districts, or similar to peacefully secede, form an independent state or attach themselves to another state.
3.14.– The Orwellian StateThe “Orwellian State” describes invasive forms of control including propaganda, surveillance, disinformation, denial of truth (doublethink), and manipulation of the past, including the "unperson". All aspects of the Orwellian State are repugnant and unjustifiable. We advocate:• the elimination of State censorship, regulation, and control of communications media and technology;• ending the State’s practice of spying on everyone, including mandated data retention, State biometrics databases, and practices described as “dragnet data collection”;• protection from unreasonable search and seizure, including but not limited to records held by third parties, such as email, medical, and library records;• the withdrawal from all international organisations and agreements that violate individual rights (e.g. the Five Eyes network);• transparency by the State in all of its spending, dealings, and decision making;• clearly articulated protections for whistle-blowers and journalists for “leaking” and/or reporting on unjustifiable State action;• defunding and dismantling all State departments involved in the indiscriminate spying and collecting intelligence on individuals or disinformation;• the repeal of all laws that restrict speech or thought;• the repeal of State-mandated curriculum and cessation of State indoctrination via the schooling system;• the cessation of all funding to State broadcast media, State-funded advertising, State-employed or funded “spin doctors” and all other activities involving the creation or dissemination of State propaganda;• against the mandated backdoors in digital systems and the weakening and/or undermining of encryption and digital security; and• for the separation of science and the State.
4. FOREIGN AFFAIRS4.1.– Foreign AidThe historical trend of Foreign Aid as delivered by the State has been that of taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries.
Since the State has no place in the production and distribution of goods and services, foreign aid programmes are not within their jurisdiction. If individuals or groups of individuals choose voluntarily to assist others, they should be at liberty to do so. We accept that through increased prosperity and the removal of policies that confiscate wealth, regular Australians will have greater means and willingness to voluntarily support worthy charitable causes throughout the world.
4.2.– Military PolicyWhile we are not pacifists, we are vehemently against military interventionism and military socialism. We are anti-war. The emphasis in any military matters should be on defence.We advocate:• a policy of peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none;• the immediate withdrawal of the Australian military from all overseas conflicts;• the immediate closure of all overseas military bases; and• the return of all troops and other military personnel to Australia.
4.3.– Military ConscriptionConscription is an aggressive action against individuals and is unacceptable. We oppose any form of compulsion, conscription or involuntary servitude as it violates the principle of non-aggression.
4.4.– Treaties, Alliances and International AgreementsPeace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none. No treaty, alliance or international agreement will be entered into which relinquishes any portion of Australian sovereignty or involves the use of Australian forces for foreign intervention.
4.5.– The United NationsOstensibly the United Nations was created as a peace-keeping organisation. However, it welcomes as members numerous aggressive totalitarian States which advocate and practise slavery. Representatives of these countries hold many policy-making and executive positions within the United Nations and are able to enforce their will on peace-loving peoples of other countries.
That any freedom-loving individuals or groups should be prepared to abide by unjustifiable decisions is blatantly irrational. We, therefore, advocate that Australia withdraws, forthwith, from the United Nations.
4.6.– ImmigrationThe flows of ideas, goods, capital and people lead to a more prosperous society.
We advocate:• for the abolition of subsidies for immigrants; • for the abolition of barriers to immigration;• against both forced integration and forced exclusion;• for a private property and voluntary association based approach to solving matters of residency and citizenship.
4.7.– Diplomatic ImmunityNo one individual possesses more rights than other individuals. Therefore, no individual or group will receive any special treatment, favour, sanction, privilege or immunity under law.
4.8.– Foreign TravelAlthough access to Australia is granted to all people, other States might not accord Australians the same freedom.Any Australians wishing to travel overseas, therefore, would have to make their own arrangements for such travel with the governments of the countries concerned.
4.9.– ExtraditionWe apply the fundamental principle of non-aggression to all people. If a person enters Australia and is accused of a crime in a foreign country, they will be judged according to the criminal code of the local area of Australia in which they reside. If they are not guilty, they will be offered sanctuary; if they are guilty, they will be deported or be required to compensate the victim(s).
CONCLUSION"The libertarian view in my opinion is really simply about love of one’s life and love of human civilisation and one’s fellow man. It is the outcome of the sincere and principled desire to live in peace and cooperate with others, and of the opposition to the use of violence against our fellow men to settle differences. It is the ultimate “live and let live” philosophy. That is why I love it and that I think is what draws people to it.
Libertarians appreciate the beauty and necessity of interpersonal freedom, both in the personal and civil liberties sphere as well as in the economic sphere. We believe in freedom of thought, belief, association, and speech, but also freedom of trade, independence, property rights, and so on. For us it is holistic. It is not A versus B. It is not civil liberties versus economic liberties. It is an integrated whole. Each is necessary; each supports and complements the other, and blends into the other. How can you have freedom of press if you can’t own a printing press? How can you have property rights in a business or home if the state can tell you that you can’t use or sell drugs there or worship the “wrong” religion? You cannot have civil liberties without economic freedom, and vice versa. This is what libertarians see, because of our insistence on clarity, honesty, principles, consistency, and economic truth.
Most people are at least “soft” libertarians in their daily lives–they live and let live, help each other out, respect each others’ rights, hope for the flourishing of their friends, family, neighbours, and fellow men even as they strive for their own happiness and flourishing. This is the essence of civilisation, of society. We all benefit from living among each other: the division of labour, communication, learning, cooperation, the transmission of accumulated knowledge, society, friendship, trade, discourse, intercourse. Libertarianism is basically the extension of civility, of society, to a more rigorous, systematic, and principled level, informed by the laws of economics."
— Stephan Kinsella
DISCLAIMERThis Platform is not a policy document. It is a declaration of aims and ultimate objectives. To some, the objectives may appear idealistic but every objective can be achieved, in time. This will involve an educational programme to clear people’s minds of the misconceptions that have been so carefully planted by State education programmes and malicious media misrepresentation of facts.
The Libertarian Party Platform can be altered, as laid down in the Constitution of the Party.
The policies of the Libertarian Party will be directed towards what is ultimately possible. Policies will be determined, in keeping with the Platform, to produce change directed away from socialism and towards individual freedom.
ATTRIBUTIONSThis document incorporates the ideas and writings of many before us. Intellectual giants, trailblazers, activists, and more.
At this drafting stage where many wheels are still in motion, we’ve opted to go without for now, however, it is the intent of the Libertarian Party, upon production of the final platform, to provide a full list of attributions and references for reasons of both credit and further educational purposes.