The Libertarian Party Mises Caucus was founded in 2017 by Michael Heise and other Libertarians to promote Austrian economics within the Libertarian Party, to to stress the importance of sound economics as critical to the Libertarian Party message, and to advocate applying the science of human action—praxeology—in Libertarian Party efforts to counter the statism of both Democrats and Republicans.
The Platform of the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus
The following are the planks of the platform the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus:
Plank 1 – Property Rights: We recognize the right to property as natural and self-evident, and advocate private property rights from both an ontological and utilitarian perspective. Private property rights naturally extend from the central libertarian principle of self-ownership. Accordingly, we condemn all initiatory violence towards a person’s life, liberty, and property, adhering to the Non-Aggression Principle as the fundamental moral axiom informing all political decisions.
From a utilitarian perspective, we also contend that private property is the best way to avoid conflict between individuals. It is the prohibition, theft, infringement on and regulation of private property that creates conflict in the world. Private property rights in scarce resources must be established and defended. We therefore pursue privatization and decentralization wherever possible.
Plank 2 – Self-Determination: The Mises Caucus recognizes that freedom of association manifests itself politically in the form of absolute right of self-determination. The Austro-libertarian tradition favors decentralization – subsidiarity, secession, nullification, localism – and reduction of government wherever possible as a means of expanding choice and competition in governance for all individuals. Mises wrote, “If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done.” To this end, the Mises Caucus favors radical decentralization of, and secession from, all government and political units. Plank 3 – Economics: The Mises Caucus believes economics is not a self-contained discipline. It is the study of human action and, specifically, the efforts of acting human beings in dealing with the reality of scarcity. As students of praxeology, we believe all actors have purpose, and thus respond to incentives.
Our position is that government interference in the market skews natural incentives, creating unintended consequences that breed inefficiency, conflict, and unnecessary costs. As such, we adhere to the Austrian theory of economics and, further, take an unapologetic free market approach to any and all economic issues. We advocate coupling deregulation and privatization with tax reduction and abolition to achieve truly free enterprise.
Plank 4 – Money: The Mises Caucus vehemently condemns all forms of government monopoly and centralization as coercive and harmful. This is especially true regarding money, the cornerstone of a market economy. Sound money serves as both a medium of exchange and store of value. Currency should never be held captive by the harmful effects of state monopolies. We reject central banking, in favor of decentralization and free market solutions. Accordingly, we advocate abolishing the Federal Reserve System. In a market banking system, private forms of money – from precious metals to cryptocurrencies – will flourish.
Plank 5 – Decorum: The discussion surrounding the proper role of government in society is one of ideas. As Mises himself pointed out, “Everything that happens in the social world in our time is the result of ideas. Good things and bad things. What is needed is to fight bad ideas.” Ludwig von Mises was a brilliant moral philosopher and an accomplished economist, but above all, he was a gentleman. We intend to conduct ourselves in a way that honors his tradition, while exhibiting the utmost decorum in the battle of hearts and minds.
Plank 6 – Lifestyle Choices: The Mises Caucus takes no stance on personal, cultural, and social preferences. One’s lifestyle is merely an extension of their self-ownership. Thus, no individual can rightfully claim jurisdiction over the lifestyle of another. We assert only that any and all lifestyle choices must accord with the Non-Aggression Principle. As Murray Rothbard once wrote, “Libertarianism does not offer a way of life; it offers liberty, so that each person is free to adopt and act upon his own values and moral principles.”
Plank 7 – Identity Politics: The Mises Caucus categorically rejects all forms of identity politics as nothing more than weaponized tribal collectivism that is antithetical to individualism.
The Libertarian Party Mises Caucus has teams established in many of the states. The following is the current list of state team leaders:
- Alabama: Justin S. Ward and Whit Russell
- Alaska: James Ashton
- Arizona: Mike McFarland
- California: formerly Kenneth Brent Olsen
- Delaware: Sean Goward and David Hynes
- Florida: Connor Ri
- Illinois: Ben Baker, Ryan Mahoney, and Scott Schluter.
- Kentucky: Ryan Cornet and Justin Nolan
- Louisiana: Max Freeman, Christopher Moses, and Keith Thompson
- Minnesota: Andrew Kern and Trey Weaver
- Mississippi: James R. Worrell and Stuart Waddell
- Nebraska: James Herrold
- New Hampshite: Thomas Belanger
- New Jersey:
- New York: Timothy Eyer, Anthony Pellegrino, and Susan Overeem Cummings
- North Carolina: Bobby Fortune
- Ohio: Tricia Canfield
- Oklahoma: Kenn Williamson and Robert Lorrah
- Pennsylvania: Roy Michael Bell, Mike Tully, and Michael Heise
- South Carolina: David A. Weikle, Jon Rubottom, Shane Sweeny, Megan Gordon Weikle, and J. Harper Sharpe
- Tennessee: Jesse M. Fullington and Drew Joiner
- Texas: Kelby Casebolt
- Virginia: Javan DeGraff and Peyton Olszewski
- Washington: Joshua Smith, Mark Kibler, and Raylene Scott