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Western Libertarian Philosophy (2004)

Written by Ernest Hancock Subject: Western Libertarian Alliance - Philosophy
Philosophy: (See Also: WLA Declaration of Independence)

The Western Libertarian Alliance

COVENANT OF ALLIANCE with individuals identified by and called to the western culture of rugged individualism and freedom.


Freedom is no invention of government. Nor do the privileged and powerful elect provide liberty to the governed. Freedom is the birthright of all sentient beings. Liberty is the gift that the individual gives him or her self as a reward for thinking, walking and working his or her own way through life.

Freedom and liberty are not won or earned from collectivist cooperation or state participation. They are instead to be protected from those very forces.
Free individuals, walking in liberty, will protect that which is already theirs.

The role of government and centralization, without the unanimous consent of the governed, is to abridge these freedoms by placing limits on the actions of liberty. Rather than grant, award, or bestow: such government can only, at best, protect in the midst of compromise, limit in the name of safety, and pre-empt for the cause of collective control.

We, the Alliance Members, serve notice to all who would seek to gather power unto themselves in the false name of the non-existent state: we are free. We work for liberty as we see the need. Our associations are voluntary and our initiatives remain individual. You tread on us at your peril.

To that end and for these reasons we voluntarily covenant between us the Western Libertarian Alliance.



The individual of libertarian belief and action is a person who is "principled." Principles of liberty, principles of freedom, and principles of non-aggression cannot be faked or selectively followed. Principles that are in the individual's make-up cannot be broken without personal pain and guilt. Only those individuals who are principled and libertarian can safeguard the issues of the WLA.

These principles, being the minimum adherence to the libertarian philosophy and the standard of association with the Western Libertarian Alliance, are enumerated as follows;


We recognize that each individual is the sovereign owner of his own existence and of all products of that existence, having no binding obligation to other individuals or associations save through voluntary association.

We pledge to hold firmly in our individual and voluntarily associated actions to the principle of non-aggression. We will not initiate the use of force or fraud against other individuals or associations. Nor will we advocate or allow the use of force or fraud by proxy. We shall avoid, even at personal cost, any benefit derived from the initiation of force. We will dearly defend the right to not associate with individuals or bodies who do not act or speak in such a manner that is defined by this article.

No one is pure and mistakes in life are made. When an individual may transgress the principles of libertarian philosophy, other individuals may or may not associate with that person as they wish. The goal of association with the WLA is based on the greatest adherence to truth and principles; not on acceptance of a short list of ideas pulled from an a la carte menu.

A member of the WLA will be defined by his words and actions; not by a panel, a list, or a popular vote.


We honor and value the right to self-defense from the initiation of force against us. We do not limit the right of the individual to protect himself, the produce of his labors, or his associations in whatever way he may see fit, including force and fraud, and that such a defense is in keeping with article one.

We recognize and encourage the right of the individual to prepare for the execution of that right through the unconstrained ownership of whatever tools and weapons he desires. His right to own, carry, train with, and use weapons in defense cannot and shall not be constrained.


Relationships among individuals that are totally voluntary are inviolate. Conversely, any relationship not voluntary is considered unjust and void with prejudice.

Rights are neither collective nor additive. Two individuals have no more rights than one. Two million have no more rights than two. No group can possess rights in excess of those belonging to its individual members.

We must maintain these principles without respect to any person's race, nationality, gender, sexual preference, age, or system of beliefs. Any entity or association, however constituted, acting to contravene these principles by initiation or threat of force has forfeited its right to exist.


The right to associate or to disassociate with individuals or groups is the sole choice of each individual. Involuntary association is the crime of slavery. As each owns his own body, product, and earnings. So too, he owns his own associations and has every right to exercise or withdraw all ties as he may see fit.

We uphold the right of the individual, and groups of individuals, to speak and believe whatever they see fit to speak and believe so long as their activities based upon that speech and belief are in accord with the principles of Article One.

No individual can or shall be excluded from society or governance by any collective based upon his speech or belief.


A sovereign individual holds complete and final power of judgment over his life and holdings. Therefore he has the right of privacy in himself, his thoughts, his property, and his associations. No other individual or collective is able to properly compel him to forfeit that privacy, even under accusation of criminal act.

That individual's property is his own to use and dispose with as he pleases. Whether his property is real, intellectual, digital, fiat, or associated, he can have no threat of its loss held over him for such threat is force.


Any government instituted among individuals has but one authority, the unanimous consent of the governed. No individual can be placed under government's charter by involuntary servitude. Only the non-aggression principle shall compel all individuals universally.

As such, the only role of government is in protection of these rights and in the universal application of the non-aggression principle.


Unanimous consent of the members of any association or territory is the only acceptable mandate for government activities.

We further stipulate that these principles supersede all existing governmental documents or usage pertinent, that such provisions in

Constitutions, Charters, Acts, Laws, Statutes, Regulations, or Ordinances contradictory or destructive to these principles or the ends which this covenant expresses shall be null and void.



The Western Libertarian Alliance is a voluntary association of libertarians who cannot compromise away their liberty nor easily accept incremental success as a goal and means of regaining liberties stolen by statist collectivists and might-makes-right tyrants.

"Western" is not a description of location, but rather a culture of individualism. Horace Greeley's advice to "Go West, young man!" expresses the value we place on the enterprising and independent spirit of western culture.


The WLA is a body with the goal of uniting the efforts of no-compromise, liberty minded individuals into a wider effort through voluntary association.
This effort is first and foremost an organ of liberty. Through the WLA, associates can find alliance, ideas, suggestions, experience, and tools to help them in their individual struggles for liberty. Only in the strengthening of individual struggles for liberty will the alliance properly gain any acceptable collective benefit.


We understand that liberty and freedom belong to the individual no matter what government is in place over them. We also see that electing one or one-dozen libertarian people to federal office is no more effective than having no libertarians in office. Therefore, the focus of the WLA effort is primarily education and outreach. People need to be told that they do have a birthright to freedom no matter what the strongman says. We need to empower people with the knowledge, skills and tools of liberty so that they might live free. Then can we, without foolish effort, see a change in government and culture.


There are those who desire freedom and liberty but see no hope in establishing either without government's provision. There are those who desire freedom and liberty but see no hope in establishing either with any form of government in place to protect their labors. It is in the nature of the WLA to be a source and a clearing house for knowledge, tools and assistance that people may make use of in order to be empowered as individuals in their own struggle to gain freedom and independence in their own sphere of being.


To lead from the individual outward, we must teach and practice the truism that government must change locally first, regionally second, and nationally last. Through action and effort, the WLA will value first and foremost individual effort and local activism. While not discouraging nationwide activism in most issues, we will de-emphasize the role of the federal government by marginalizing its agents, by rendering it irrelevant, and by empowering sovereign citizens.


Rather than forcing a libertarian onto every ballot, we will seek to have an activist educator in every city. Rather than propping up an unelectable candidate for majority rule, we will raise up an effective cultural standard through activities related to the humanities. Not to discourage voting and campaigning for office, but to bring about an economy of effort; gaining the greatest goals for the simplest effort. This, until such time as there are enough people who will vote uncompromisingly for freedom rather than for the government trough.



The name of the WLA is by no means exclusive. Only it's purpose and mission is exclusive. It is the goal of the WLA to empower the individual to reclaim liberty and exercise freedom. Through this effort we hope to empower individuals to change state and federal laws and regulations that limit liberty. The WLA is by no means a nationalist organization or patriot movement. All freedom-loving and liberty-minded individuals should take heart in the alliance and participate in its activities. All peoples and all nations should be free and sovereign, liberty coming as a result of individuals exercising their rights as human beings.



The WLA is exclusive. Membership is dependent upon agreement with the Principles stated in Article One. Members need only agree to the principle of non-initiation of force, act and speak in accordance with these articles, and announce their membership openly.

Any member can disassociate from other members of the WLA, as befitting voluntary alliance. Though the individual member may disassociate at any time, the WLA may only disassociate with an individual member by the measure of its own Covenant of Alliance. The judge of that association is the witness of the acts and words of an individual calling himself an alliance member. Only individuals can align or associate. Only individuals can choose to judge another by their acts or words. The old parable, "If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck: it's a duck," is the model for association with the WLA.

As no board, panel, or office exists in voluntary alliances, such model can be in no danger of takeover by unprincipled groups or individuals. Only the principle defines the member, not his paid dues or roll call. The WLA has neither to measure by.

No one, ever, speaks for the WLA. The WLA has no voice other than its individual members. The WLA has no authority other than the sovereignty of its individual members. The WLA has no rule other than this Covenant. All discussion with individuals, press, government officials, organizations, etc. shall be prefixed with such statements as "I believe." and "I am of the contention." and the WLA shall only be represented officially by the statements in the Articles of this Covenant. Any member may read these Articles as a statement of what the WLA believes.


The Western Libertarian Alliance shall be the organization of all libertarian individuals who are willing to work with other libertarians for freedom and liberty through freely associated volunteer alliances.

This format for political and social activism uniquely utilizes trust as its keystone. In alliance we can trust other individuals to act for the good of the WLA without vote or bylaw. Those people who would violate principle and try to enslave us in our own organization will meet that trust as their undoing. For the WLA will trust freedom to rule us. Such trust will not engender any structure that statists may use to rule us.

In short, the whole world can look at our Alliance and judge for themselves who the WLA's leaders, movers and shakers are. They can also clearly see who the fakers are. And should the fakers successfully deceive some among us, the voluntary nature of our Covenant will either deprive them of any power to usurp us, or make us less attractive to their goals for power.

So you, libertarian individuals, go out now as Alliance members to fight the statists and disarm the collaborators. You need no leaders. You need no rulers. You are free.



In the due course of American history, the Libertarian Party of the United States of America stood as the first light of freedom after many years of the darkness of socialism's rise in this once free land. However, it is become clear that one cannot fight the beast by conjuring up another beast. For one beast will remain after a clash of titans and the people will still live in the shadow of a giant beast who lords over them. The beast's motives matter not, his stature alone will tempt him eventually to force those under him to follow his will. Indeed, his benevolence will seem to justify such force over the people for their own good.

No organization should exist in such a way that its survival becomes more important than the freedom of the individuals that form it. No such beast should wear the name "Liberty" nor call the bounds of his shadow "Freedom." The only just power of any organization is that which is just for an individual. Neither the LPUS nor any other organization has any justification for the use of force against its membership.

The beast called LPUS that was formed by the people to battle the federal giant of statism has no faith in the libertarian principle and sees no hope in defeating the federal giant and so has allied itself with the enemy to enslave the people. Abandoning its mission principle, the Libertarian Party of the United States has attempted to control its members and usurp their sovereignty through a long list of violations of the Libertarian Principle:

The LPUS has orchestrated the use of government power through threat of force to undermine sovereign state parties.

The LPUS has dictated from the Watergate down to the state parties.

The LPUS has involved itself in fraud and deceit against its own members.

Members of LPUS have advocated and condoned the initiation of force by supporting taxation for the purpose of funding internal party elections.

The LPUS has acted in a tradition of aristocracy and elitism as evidenced by its seeking endorsements of, and mimicking of our political masters rather than openly challenging their premises.

The LPUS has turned its back on its founding documents and embraced the cynicism of the enemies of liberty, by insisting that individual activists blunt the message of freedom lest it offend their new masters in the halls of power and centralization.

The LPUS has sold its birthright for a teat at the government sow, gaining little power and less respect from the statists. They have then turned and laid upon their affiliates the burden of their misspending for this small gain.

Our freedoms and our labors are not the Party's to barter away, they are the beginning and end of the Party's reason for being. The message of liberty is not a 'pick and choose' menu, it is the bill for the meal and must be paid in full. They have no power over individual members, but rather, derive their existence by the unanimous consent of those members. This existence does not imply power over those individuals. Any assumption of power LPUS derives from its existence is unethical and amoral. The party does not define the principle, the principle defines the party.

The LPUS has forgotten these foundations and refuses to recognize these truths, no matter the venue of discussion. The LPUS has abandoned its reason for existence.

Therefore, we, as principled libertarians, must abandon the LPUS. We choose to withdraw from the voluntary association we once had with the LPUS. Our libertarian principles allow us to endure no further outrage as the shadow of the LPUS extends over its state affiliates and members.

We are free.

As with all kings, we need not kill the LPUS, we need only stop propping it up.

Having no home in any political party that must conform itself to the statist model and work within the collectivist's limits, we see no other choice but to work outside of that methodology. Rather, we shall form loose associations of strong principles in hopes of working within the culture to change the hearts of the people. Our freedom will be made complete by being free from the false hope of vote, election, and incremental gain through compromise. We will be free of the burden of centralization's "voluntary" fee or donation and have the freedom to teach and persuade the people to liberty rather than rely on the force of politics to change them by the very force libertarians should despise.

In the end, LPUS has become the advocate of its own brand of neo-statism. No principled libertarian can associate with them without compromising the libertarian principle. As such, we can no longer associate with those who so easily compromise libertarian principles. We hereby sunder this association and render it null and void.

If you agree and wish to be counted with us, then sign below in same format and forward back to the first name on the signatory list -OR- e-mail me with your information.


Michael Trent Haggard, Winslow, Arizona, 2000 -
Scott H. Bieser, Riverside, California, 2000 -
Rick Tompkins & Kathy Harrer, Phoenix, Arizona, 2000 -
Ernest Hancock & Donna Hancock, Phoenix, Arizona, 2000 -
Elizabeth A. Brandenburg-Andreasen, Tempe, Arizona, 2000 -
John Wilde and Wanda Wilde, Phoenix, Arizona, 2000 -
Alan Patrick Fanning, Phoenix, Arizona, 2000 -
Jeffery W Grubbs, Tucson, Arizona, 2000 -
Powell Edward Gammill, Phoenix, AZ 2000 -
Ray Price, Arizona, 2000 -
Michael Renzulli, Arizona, July 20, 2000 -
James E. Sharpe, Phoenix, Arizona, 2000
Paul L. Schauble, Phoenix, AZ, 2000 -
Mark & Jen Horning, New River, AZ, 2000 -
Robert L. Gresham, Bloomington, IN, 2000-
Thomas Smith, Clearwater, FL, 2000 -
Warren "Mickey" Michelsen, Page, Arizona, 2000 -
Brandon Cody, California, 2001 -
Erica Sellers, Peoria, AZ 2001 -
Kerry Pearson, Richmond, BC, Canada, 2001 -
Rick LaPoint, 205 Madison St., Berea, KY 40403-
Scott A. Campanaro, 170 Dutra Rd, Martinez, Ca 94553 -
Kathryn Ann Graham, Castroville, Texas, 2002 -


Whereas we, the undersigned, share the grievances and principles outlined in the Declaration above, and

Whereas, however, we have either never joined or already removed ourselves from LPUS (in most cases for reasons included in the statement of grievances above), we lack the option of resigning from it. We are therefore

RESOLVED: that the Libertarian Party of the United States, while it continues the abuses of libertarian principle and the failures of performance on behalf of their libertarian membership, cannot expect nor receive our support. We are proud to sign our names in solidarity, fraternity, and friendship with the signatories above.


Kent B. and Frances H. Van Cleave, Bedford, Indiana, 2000 -
Rick LaPoint anarcho-capitalist, 205 Madison St. Berea, KY 40403-
Clyde Harmon libertarian/anarchist, Young, Az. 2000-



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