Libertarian pledge

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The Libertarian pledge, a statement individuals must sign in order to join the Libertarian Party of the United States, declares, "I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals."[1] Libertarian Party founder David Nolan created the pledge in 1971. His goal was to convince government authorities that the LP was inherently not a violent organization, during a time when many political groups were using terroristic tactics.[2]

The pledge is required by Section 5.1 of the national bylaws[3] and many state affiliates of the Libertarian Party also have bylaw provisions requiring it.[4] At the 2006 Libertarian National Convention, the Libertarian Reform Caucus attempted to repeal the pledge but failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds vote.[5] There have been many proposals to change or eliminate the pledge.[6][7][8][9]

A reference to the pledge was made on April 17, 2001 when, in response to Timothy McVeigh's description of himself as a libertarian, Libertarian Party national director Steve Dasbach said:[10]

Timothy McVeigh is not just a mass murderer; he's a very confused mass murderer. Besides having no appreciation for the value of human life, McVeigh apparently has no understanding of the meaning of the word libertarian. Just to set the record straight, real libertarians wholeheartedly reject the use of force to achieve political or social goals. Real libertarians see violence and try to prevent it, see problems and organize cooperative solutions, and see government abusing its power and work peacefully through the political system to protect our rights.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Beyond Government by Harry Reid". Archived from the original on 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  2. ^ Brian Holtz. "Advice for the Libertarian Party". Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  3. ^ Bylaws of the Libertarian Party, May 2008
  4. ^ For example, Libertarian Party of Wyoming Archived 2008-06-24 at the Wayback Machine., Libertary Party of Utah Archived 2008-09-17 at the Wayback Machine. and Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County Archived 2009-12-08 at the Wayback Machine. mention the pledge on their sites.
  5. ^ "Libertarian Party of Allen County: 2006 Libertarian National Convention, Mike Sylvester's take". 2006-07-03. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived April 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Archived from the original on November 3, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ [2] Archived June 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Now it's even easier to share what's important across the web - Yahoo! Pulse". Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  10. ^ Libertarian Party (2001-04-17). "Libertarians rebuke Timothy McVeigh".