The Independent Libertarian Network, officially registered with the Electoral Commission last month, is now open to membership. This new libertarian political party has been created to encourage individuals right across the libertarian spectrum to become active in their communities and spread the message of liberty as they see it.
Libertarianism is a broad-church, and this is demonstrated by the hours of debate that take place online between, for example, Minarchists and Anarcho-Capitalists. Regrettably, this can often lead to what appears publicly as hostile exchanges of opinion which frequently degenerate into name-calling.
As someone who has engaged with the public on a political level for over seventeen years, I can say with experience behind me that if we are to sell the ideas of liberty to our neighbours, friends and family, the negative aspects within the movement as illustrated above really need to stop.
Yes, debate is good. It helps develop the ideas in one’s own mind – and it is a particularly valuable tool for people new to the ideas of liberty. However, the negativity does nothing to encourage newbies on board, particularly if those newbies upon posting something in a comments section or forum are then subjected to abuse over how libertarian they are.
The formation of the Independent Libertarian Network is, I believe, a positive step towards building relationship amongst freedom-loving individuals. It is my hope that it becomes a supportive community that recognises we are all travelling in the same direction, but that some of us may wish to halt that journey sooner that others. Given time, some may recommence their travels and adopt more absolute views on freedom; others may not.
To get to the point – I want the Independent Libertarian movement to be a constructive one; constructive in building relationships, constructive in our language; constructive in spreading ideas; constructive in implementing those ideas.
It is far too easy to be destructive. It is easy (and one could say it’s a habit) for us to say that something is wrong and focus upon that, rather than identifying what is right and promoting that instead. It is easy to say that what someone is saying is rubbish and focus on that, rather than identifying the positive in a message and promoting that instead.
I’ve fallen foul of this in the past – I’m not by any means perfect. I’ve become frustrated by colleagues around me and lost my cool, and what does this achieve? Nothing but ill-feeling and a reluctance on the part of others to work with you.
So, I encourage freedom-loving individuals to get involved with the Independent Libertarian movement. You have several options:
- You can support the Network as a whole, without joining the party by making a donation of money, your time or your expertise.
- You can become a Friend of the organisation. From just £10 a year you will be supporting the development of the Network.
- You can become a Member. From just £20 a year you’ll be able to become an Independent Libertarian spokesperson in your own right, with the opportunity if you so choose to stand for election in your area as an Independent Libertarian Network candidate.
- You can support Independent Libertarian activists directly, by supporting their campaigns.
It is important for me to emphasis, for clarity, that the Independent Libertarian Network is unlike other political parties. There is no hierarchical leadership structure. I am the Founder and owner of the Network, that is to say, of the organisation – and I deal with the business of the organisation; but I don’t, nor ever will I lead libertarians.
You are the owner of yourself; of your thoughts and your activity. You have the power to influence others around, or if you haven’t the time, to support those Independent Libertarians who are attempting to do so. Time, money, expertise and services are all things you can offer to the movement and its activists.
So please consider getting involved in what I hope will develop as a positive, active and successful libertarian force across England, Wales and Scotland.