As its name implies, this column is concerned with activities out on the frontlines of the battle for freedom, and with the people who are the strategists, tacticians and troops. Although the major emphasis will be on projects which spread libertarian ideals to a wider audience than they now enjoy, FRONTLINES will also cover activities that occur solely within the libertarian community and whose major function is to increase the morale, knowledge and social contacts of the people involved. (After all, even ATLAS SHRUGGED's hero, John Galt, had a little help from his friends.)
There are those who might argue that a military analogy is a bit strong to apply to a social movement that eschews the initiation of force, and that a marketplace analogy is more apt. In fact, the marketplace/educational model is the one that has traditionally governed Objectivist and other libertarian projects and this is well and good—a social movement without theoreticians is no better than a mob. On the other hand, without people who are willing to get their hands dirty in the real world selling ideas, making them work, fighting pernicious ideologies—in short, creating a new world—the theoretician remain a bunch of people who sell books and magazines to each other. Pure intellectuals have their place elsewhere in REASON; social strategists and activists have FRONTLINES.
BAY AREA LIBERTARIAN LEAGUE
Probably the single most active local group on the West Coast, the Bay Area Libertarian League (B.A.L.L.), has an ambitious set of purposes:
1. Sponsor programs which present the viewpoint of individualism to the public at large. This educational and proselytizing function is accomplished through lectures, campus literature tables, radio & TV messages, newspaper articles, demonstrations and counterdemonstrations.
2. Internal education: enhance and amplify understanding, and expose libertarians to alternative viewpoints on philosophy, ethics, economics, and social systems.
3. Social function: provide opportunities for contact between libertarians for mutual enjoyment and profit.
4. Communication network: through the newsletter and through members' use of the mailing list for private mailings, provide libertarians means to interact by announcing their activities, projects, and commercial ventures. If the "parallel economy" is a viable concept, it can be brought about only if communication is available.
Aside from its members providing each other with a wide variety of activities in the San Francisco Bay area, B.A.L.L. operates a book service under the management of Sue Mullen, provides an eight-page newsletter, THE AUTONOMIST, (2000-name mailing list) under the editorship of Chris Hocker, and operates a lending library (Cynthia Perry is the librarian).
Upcoming B.A.L.L. events include:
Sept. 11, 18, 25—Continuing lecture series: Basic Principles of Objectivism. Held at 1334 Bonita Ave., Berkeley, 8 p.m. 50¢ admission.
Sept. 12—Lecture by Dr. Robert Cunningham, (Professor of Philosophy at University of San Francisco), on population, pollution, and the environment. Held at 2330 Mast- lands Dr., Oakland, 8 p.m. $1.50 admission.
Sept. 13—Libertarian Discussion Group. Held at 1239 Clayton St., San Francisco, 8 p.m.
Regular membership in B.A.L.L. is $5.00 per year and sustaining membership (which entitles one to use the B.A.L.L. mailing list for private mailings and to place up to one full page ad per year in THE AUTONOMIST) costs $10.00. Further information on B.A.L.L. can be obtained from David Theroux, c/o B.A.L.L., P.O. Box 7031, Berkeley, CA 94707.
AT OUTING OF IDEAS
On August 4th New Hampshire libertarians, conservatives, and leftists held a different kind of gathering to talk over strategies, ideologies and ideas. The brainchild of Barbara Anderson, N.H. Libertarian Party Public Relations Chairman, AT OUTING OF IDEAS was held as an outdoors event at Cascade Park near Concord, N.H. Activists set up tables with materials for sale, swapped ideas and plans, and enjoyed the park recreation facilities. Representatives from both the New Hampshire and Massachusetts Libertarian Party attended, as did several state (Democratic) political figures and representatives from the John Birch Society, Young Republicans, Young Americans for Freedom, and other groups. The gathering received coverage in the MANCHESTER UNION LEADER, a state-wide newspaper.
The success of this venture has inspired the formation of a committee called the Coalition for Freedom, whose purpose is to continue working on producing and promoting such gatherings. The Coalition's first meeting will be held September 16th at 2 p.m. at the Sherwood Inn, Rt. 4, Epsom, N.H.; persons interested in obtaining more information should contact Barbara Anderson at that address.
ELECTION LAW PETITION
In one of the more unusual alliances in recent memory the Libertarian Party of California has joined with the Socialist Workers Party, La Raza Unida Party, Prohibition Party, and the Socialist Labor Party (with affidavit support provided by the Peace and Freedom Party and the American Independent Party) to file suit in the U.S. District Court of Northern California alleging that the California election code violates the First, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by making it virtually impossible for minor parties to get on the ballot (to qualify a party must collect the names of 663,340 registered voters on petition, or have 66,334 registered party members). If the suit is upheld, the Libertarian Party will find it much easier to qualify for ballot space and the publicity inherent in that. As it is now the L.P. is confined to carrying out write-in campaigns—and write-ins often aren't counted in California! It's hard to present your ideas in the political arena if you can't get in the door.…