As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.
In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy positions derived from those principles. These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual. We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life –accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property –accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.
I. The Individual
1.1 Civil Rights
We believe that every human is born with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, and that no governmental entity, individual, or corporation may violate or void these rights. We believe that individual rights are civil rights, regardless of age, sex, gender, orientation, race, nationality, creed, or religion. We will consistently fight to protect your civil rights in New Hampshire.
Just as it is true that the only economic situation consistent with individual rights is the free market, so is it also true that life, liberty and happiness cannot prosper under continuous state surveillance. We oppose the use by the state of people or technology to monitor, account for, and keep Granite Staters under surveillance, especially where there is no evidence of criminal behavior, and thereby restrict the normal interaction of peoples. We oppose passive, yet compulsory, surveillance legislation, such as laws that require individuals and businesses to report legal activities without evidence of criminal acts.
We support every individual’s inalienable right to self-defense, and thus to keep and bear arms. We support the existence of ‘Stand Your Ground’ and ‘Castle Doctrine’ laws and believe that every person may exercise their right to self-defense wherever they have a right to be. We reject all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, transport or transfer of any item or tool that could be used for self-defense.
Government should confine itself to protecting individuals from aggression, coercion and deceit. We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we advocate the repeal of all laws criminalizing gambling, possession and sale of drugs, and sexual relations between consenting adults. All those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these victimless crimes should be pardoned and their records expunged.
The most fundamental property right is an individual’s right to own and control his or her own body. All individuals have the right to determine their own health care needs and treatment. We support a truly free market health care system and oppose government mandates in insurance and healthcare. Government has no constitutional authority to interfere with the practitioner/patient relationship.
The contract between an employer and employee is a voluntary relationship, where both sides choose to enter into it and can only fairly negotiate on the terms of the contract without interference by government. We support the right of employers and employees to freely choose whether or not to bargain with each other through a third party, such as a labor union. There is no inherent “right to work” nor a “right to unionize,” merely the freedom for all to negotiate conditions of employment.
II. The Market
We oppose any and all new tax burdens, including income and sales taxes in every form.
We support all efforts to minimize the tax burden of every citizen and business in New Hampshire, and advocate voluntary means of supporting state services, such as lotteries and user fees.
Taxation of privately owned real property should be eliminated. In effect, it makes the state the owner of all lands by forcing individuals to pay rent to the state or forfeit their title.
Tax favoritism should be illegal. Abatements, subsidies, credits, or other incentives to businesses based on geographical area, job creation, or any other criteria deny equal protection under the law.
Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We oppose inflationary monetary policies and unconstitutional legal tender laws. We oppose government use of debt to conceal or cover the cost of their expenditures.
2.3 Professional Licensing
Each person has the inalienable right to earn a living by the fruits of their labor. State licensing subverts these rights, and acts as a protectionist guard against competition without achieving their stated goal of protecting the safety of our citizens. Requiring professionals to carry licenses restricts worker mobility and competition which leads to higher consumer prices.
We support the elimination of all state run boards and license requirements for all professions. Professionals are best regulated when they are forced to compete for consumers without interference from the state.
2.4 The Liquor Market
We believe that free markets drive economic growth and competition is essential to free markets. Government owned businesses are anti-competitive and unnecessary. We advocate abolishing the state liquor board, eliminating liquor store quotas, and eliminating the regulation of liquor sales.
III. The Community
3.1 Criminal Justice
Where criminal statutes are necessary for the protection of life, liberty and property, the punishments applied should be proportionate to the crime. Rehabilitation, counseling, and restitution should be sought over incarceration. Offenders should have the opportunity to make the aggrieved party whole, rather than continue to place a drain on society. Ineffective and detrimental incarceration is costly in terms of wasted human potential, as well as tax dollars which are diverted from productive private use.
3.2 Civil Asset Forfeiture
We support the elimination of civil asset forfeiture, which permits the government to take private property without having to prove any criminal wrongdoing. State law should prohibit receiving funds from federal civil asset forfeiture to remove incentives to seize assets wrongly. State law should require a criminal conviction before the state may seize illegitimately obtained property.
3.3 Death Penalty
We recognize that the justice system is imperfect and subject to human error. The possibility of taking an innocent life means there are insufficient moral grounds to justify the use of the death penalty and we oppose its use by the state.
3.4 Foreign Policy
“If goods don’t cross borders, armies will.”
We believe that American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Peace will never be achieved through force. Libertarians seek the withdrawal of troops from the 900+ military bases in more than 130 nations around the world.
We support an end to taxpayer funded foreign aid and we support real free trade (not the bureaucratic version of “free trade” that exists under NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, etc). We agree with President Thomas Jefferson who stated in his March 4, 1801 inaugural address that we should seek “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.”
The environment is a shared resource, a treasure, and an important part of New Hampshire’s economy. Pollution of air, water, and land violates rights to health and life, and rights to property. Polluters, including government, should be strictly liable for harms caused by pollution. Competitive free markets and individual property rights stimulate the moral choices and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. Private landowners have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Protecting the environment requires individual rights and responsibilities regarding resources like land, water, air, and wildlife to be protected by individuals. Where damage is inflicted to the environment restitution to the injured parties must be required.
Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
We recognize the right to political independence. Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others.
Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, restriction, regulatory agency, activity, or objections should not be construed to imply approval.