Humble Libertarianism and the Necessity of Breaking with the Politics of the Two-Party State

W.E. Messamore has been growing The Humble Libertarian by leaps and bounds. What was once a simple blog with a single author, now includes, among other things, multiple regular contributors and columnists, an integrated Twitter "Soap Box" in the sidebar with live updates, a message forum with categories on everything from politics and activism to arts and entertainment, a consulting and design service geared toward bloggers who might be interested in tweaking their own site, as well as an online E-book meant as an introduction to libertarian thought and politics, entitled Learn About Liberty. This relatively short work sketches basic Libertarian Ideas, including the non-aggression principle and the proper role of government, the History of those ideas with examples from antiquity and modernity, and closes with a section arguing for Libertarian Solutions to contemporary social and political problems, including poverty, corporate fascism, imperialism and the nanny state.

Surprisingly, however, the Humble Libertarian does not appear to be a staunch advocate of the Libertarian Party or its candidates for elected office, of which there are literally hundreds this year. Such advocacy is not included among the solutions offered in Learn About Liberty, for instance, though it is obviously the case that the policies and politics promulgated by the ruling two-party state and duopoly system of government must be counted among the primary causes of the problems enumerated in the work's closing chapter. This is not to say, however, that third party alternatives are categorically ruled out by humble libertarianism, but the idea literally remains questionable. In a post from last fall, for instance, Wes delineated a number of problems inherent in the duopoly system of government, asking: "Time for a third party?" An excerpt:
That truth is that both parties suck. It's that simple. If neither party ought to have control of our government for longer than eight years, because any longer than that will be enough time for them to do some serious damage, then it is clear that both parties are awful and shouldn't have control of our government for any length of time. We have two broken parties that propose and enact the wrong answers and the wrong solutions, and we're stuck playing them against each other so that neither one will be in office long enough to completely wreck everything. But in the meantime, we are suffering attrition- the slow wearing-down of our freedoms. Picture death by a thousand slow cuts. This is not a strategy to win over the long term. It's a strategy to suck less in the short term. It's not a plan that will solve America's problems. It's a plan to fail.
The real question thus appears to be not whether it is "time for a third party," but rather: why would anyone continue to support a system of political organization and representation in which the ruling parties admittedly constitute a veritable threat to freedom and liberty? Only 15% of the American public believe the two-party system works "fairly well." Consider the results from the most recent WSJ/NBC public opinion survey:

According to the poll, more than 80% see problems with America's two-party system -- with 31% believing it's seriously broken and that America needs a third party, and with another 52% saying that it has real problems but that it can still work with some improvements. Only 15% of Americans believe the two-party system works fairly well.

Arguably, third party politics is, for many Americans, a politics of infinite deferral: "this is the last time I will vote Republican/Democrat," we tell ourselves, "this is their last chance." At Bonzai, a libertarian blog, Mike Farmer recently wrote:
If the Republicans regain power and don't work diligently to undo the damage done by Democrats an the previous Republican administration, it'll be necessary to create a permanent and viable third party, if only to act as a power broker between the two main parties.
How many last chances are we willing to afford the morally, politically and intellectually bankrupt Democratic-Republican political class? More pressingly, how much longer can we afford to suffer their misrule?

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