Libertarian Home seeks to help Libertarians get stuff done. It allows people to float policy ideas, discuss strategy, hold our institutions and our elite to account, meet and get to know each other, rehearse arguments and have fun. These are the things that help a movement grow.
Does it also seek to represent libertarians? That is, to transmit a view on behalf of it’s members?
Well, perhaps it should. It could, certainly, and it may have appeared do have done so recently in letters responding to the Paris attacks and one on freelancing. However, I am not convinced representing members is a sensible plan. Libertarians are too varied for any institution to transmit a view on everyone’s behalf. That is why there were so many names on our recent letters: writing “Libertarian Home members”, as appeared in some drafts of the Paris letter, would have misrepresented the majority of you who didn’t sign it. I know that the silent majority included some who actively disagreed. It probably includes many who would support it too, if they had been paying attention to our Twitter on that particular day.
So what I did was put a letter together, add the names of those that did agree and carried a selection of interesting points from a range of libertarian voices. That collection included some who signed the Paris letter, others who didn’t sign and a few that disagreed with the words in the letter.
Incidentally, at 150 odd words and edited down to 100, the Telegraph letter did not represent my own view either, and I wrote it. I imagine it did not fully represent the people who poured over the draft and helped edit it, either. What it did do is on the letters page of a national newspaper show that the anti-surveillance folk outnumbered the pro-surveillance folk by 37:1, although the letters editor gave the 1 pro-surveillance guy top billing. The point is that this seems like something useful that most members would regard as a positive. I hope so.
No one has come to me and said that my approach pissed them off. I consider this way of representing specific members (who have an opinion in common) was a success worth repeating.