24 November 2010

R.I.P. David Nolan ~ Libertarian Partier & Chartist

Alas, David Nolan, MIT alum and co-founder of US Libertarian Party has just deanimated. Douglas Martin writes in the NYTimes obit...
"David Fraser Nolan was born on Nov. 23, 1943, in Washington and grew up in Maryland. He was influenced by the individualist fiction of Robert A. Heinlein and the novels of Ayn Rand. He went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the idea of being an uncompromising architect like Howard Roark, the hero of Rand’s “Fountainhead.” After switching his major to political science, his involvement in conservative politics deepened. [...] When the Libertarian Party was formed, Mr. Nolan emphasized the need for liberals and conservatives to unite behind unrestricted capitalism and maximum civil liberties. [...] Libertarians’ dovish views on military involvement and liberal attitudes about abortion veer sharply from those of conservatives. This week, expectedly enough, Libertarians campaigned against airport pat-downs. The party’s mix of conservative and liberal positions reflects an underlying belief that almost all government power is inherently coercive. Mr. Nolan came up with a well-known graph, called the Nolan Chart, to explain this phenomenon. The graph has two axes: one labeled economic freedom and the other called personal freedom. Under Mr. Nolan’s scheme, Libertarians dwell in the corner of the graph where both kinds of freedom are greatest. His hope was to persuade people to think of politics as a debate between libertarian and authoritarian positions rather than as one between the traditional left and right. [...] At a meeting of party leaders this weekend, he submitted a resolution but did not attend. Delegates, who did not know of his subsequent death, approved the resolution. It said, “The Libertarian National Committee hereby reaffirms that the Libertarian Party welcomes individuals from across the political spectrum who now accept the libertarian principles of self-ownership and non-aggression.”
David may now be dead but his ideals certainly endure and will ultimately prevail.

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